Recently, ARG has posted numerous articles on the site from all sorts of players with their ideas of what the September 2012 banlist should look like, and although there are a few similarities between them (Since there's always a general consensus on problem cards), each list has been quite different from one another.
The reason for this is because there are so many cards in the game right now that have banlist potential. This, in addition to the fact that the F/L list is always (at least partially) pushed towards sales for Konami, means it seems entirely arbitrary to bother coming up with a realistic banlist. (And in light of all the negative comments left to those who come up with their own lists, it's best to avoid it anyway)
I think it's more ideal to discuss a larger majority of cards that have the potential to end up on the banlist, without sticking to a list of 10 or so cards and placing them where people think they should end up. Moreover, when there are a large number of cards that could legitimately fall into a certain category on the F/L list, there's never really a right answer when it comes to which cards you should pick. I'm sure we'd all love to ban 15 cards we hate, and unrestrict our favorite cards, but that's never going to happen. Remember, in addition to damaging the best decks of the current format, you have to consider decks that might become too much of a problem next format.
Instead of writing a ban list prediction, I've compiled a list of cards that COULD face the list, and why.
Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning
I find there's mixed opinions on this card, many people say it's way too good to be legal, others argue that it's not as lethal as it was during older formats and so it isn't a problem with so much destruction power in the meta. But personally I think this card causes more problems than it is worth, and could see a hit in september. The idea of a boss monster is nothing new, and having a deck with a big powerful monster isn't a bad thing. The problem with BLS, is that almost every single deck can play it. A generic, splash-able card isn't necessarily bad for the game, but when it's as powerful as BLS is, it turns into a card that wins games entirely on its own. How often have you heard someone say 'He had BLS and won'?
I've seen so many people claim that to fix windups you just need to ban this card, but at the same time I've heard the same amount of people say it isn't the main problem. I'd agree with both sides. On the one hand, losing your entire hand in one turn is incredibly frustrating, boring to play against, and defeats the entire point of the game being a two player game. And being forced to main deck cards like Effect Veiler and Maxx c just on the off chance you'll manage to protect yourself severely limits creativity and makes the game very stale. In one of konami's articles explaining the march 2012 banlist, one of the points made when it came to banning the plant engine was that it reduced the number of cards people automatically added to their decks before even thinking about it, and this card does nothing to help that situation. On the other hand, wind-up hunter was around before Order of Chaos, and literally nobody complained up until then. It's the other wind-up cards that make this card so good. At its heart, wind-up hunter doesn't give you any advantage, since you're trading off one of your monsters with a card in your opponent's hand. It's only when you combine it with other cards to get so much free advantage that hunter becomes a problem.
Wind-Up Carrier Zenmaity
This is the other wind-up card people want to see hit. Without this card, the 'windup loop' cannot possibly exist, so hitting hunter would not be necessary, but even with hunter gone it's still possible for windups to put 3-4 XYZs on the field simply by having Magician and Shark in hand, and I think that's just too much free advantage for any deck. With this card restricted, less cards get taken from your hand for free, and doesn't mean you can spam wind-up hunter's effect quite so thoughtlessly.
I've honestly not seen anyone put this card on their banlist predictions, but I think limiting wind-up rat would allow wind-ups to still have access to zenmaity, and makes hunter a balanced card in the process. Hitting any one of these three wind-ups would stop the loop, but rat gives free access to the other two wind-up cards listed above, and just like Tour Guide, become a one card XYZ. As well as this, leaving rat at with a restricted zenmaity would still mean your opponent could take 2 cards from your hand if they had magician and shark in hand, and end with an XYZ or two on the field. It's nowhere near as powerful as the full loop, but it still puts the opponent at a severe disadvantage and still isn't fair.
Red Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon
This is another card that simply generates too much free advantage at no cost to the user. And with 2800 ATK, if you can't kill it on your next turn (Which is pretty difficult unless you're playing dark worlds), your opponent can simply crank out more dragons without a care in the world next turn. The other big issue with REDMD is it's the quickest way to make gustaph max for the heiratic OTK. While I think OTK decks are terribly boring, unskillful and generally terrible for the game, it's worth noting that while Konami doesn't make money directly from gustaph, more people are going to buy packs of Galactic Overlord for the heiratic pieces for this deck, so from a business perspective there's reason to keep this guy at no less than 2. On the other hand, the F/L List is heavily based upon the OGC meta, and heiratics are a very problematic deck for the OGC. It's difficult to gauge exactly where this card will end up, but I think in terms of restricting the swarming capabilities of chaos dragons, it's the best card of the bunch.
Leviair The Sea Dragon
The fact that you can open with rabbit and tour guide and pretty much have a guaranteed win without playing any other cards isn't fair at all, and puts the opponent in an almost unwinnable condition. And it's all down to this XYZ. How often have you had your opponent sit behind a Laggia and a Dolkka after 2 turns, and you've actually been able to come back? How many tournament reports have you seen where the writer has simply put 'He opened rabbit and tour guide'? The simple fact is, if leviair did not exist, not only would you be able to turn one TGU into two XYZ monsters with dino rabbit, but it would also mean it wasn't so easy to abuse the banished zone. With Leviair gone, dino rabbit loses power, and means that rescue rabbit isn't quite as problematic, and could mean TGU can stay at 3 and still allow you to utilize your extra deck without it creating so much advantage like it does with leviair. A further point, is that it would mean decks focusing around the banished zone like macro cosmos decks become slightly more playable, since your opponent can't steal all your monsters, and would make cards like Cyber Valley safe to play again.
There's absolutely no doubt in my mind that something from the inzektor horde will make an appearance on the September list. Not because of their impact in the TGC, since they've not done quite as well as many expected, but because of how powerful they are in the OGC. This deck is by far THE deck to play over there, and while there are plenty of other decks making the top tables, nothing has done quite as well as inzektors have. Whilst it's true the entire strategy this deck is flawed, since it punishes you for playing a card (Not to mention the ability to +4 with the loop), it's also true that the deck is relatively combo heavy, and suffers from consistency issues, as well as there being a lot of side deck hate available to keep this deck at bay. Personally I think to make the deck balanced over here, centipede to 1 would do just fine, however it's doing so well in the OGC it's only right that Konami damage the deck severely, and I think inzektor dragonfly is the card to most likely to be hit.
As I mentioned earlier, I think the entire concept of the rescue rabbit deck would be a lot easier to manage if leviair wasn't in the game. However, even assuming that card was banned, there's still a 45% chance of opening with rescue rabbit if you play 3. Meaning the biggest problem with the deck, 'Summon laggia, set 3, end' still exists. It's still a play that can pretty much decide the entire outcome of the duel before the opposing player has even played a card, and what game is fun when one player can almost guarantee he will win in the first minute of the game? Restricting rabbit reduces the odds of opening with laggia, and in turn prolongs the game and gives the opponent chance to counter it.
Without it being so easy to summon in dino rabbit, this card isn't too much of a threat. Evols have been around for quite some time now and can get this guy out pretty easy, but I don't see anyone moaning that evols should be punished in september. However, if dino rabbit isn't competitive from September, I can see a few people switching to evols for their dinosaur fix, and so 3 laggias could become a pain next format. I can see this going to 1 as a preemptive strike against it being over used again.
This format this card has done absolutely nothing, however it's going to become a force to be reckoned with once the new water support is released, and we could very well see a wave of atlantean decks at the top tables next format. However, at the same time if we limit the support cards too much, it will impact the ability for Konami to sell product, so I certainly don't think this card, or any other support, will get hit too badly on the list.
Future Fusion, Limiter Removal, Card Destruction, Gateway of the six
I've piled these three cards together because they all cause the exact same problem with the game. In the right deck, playing any of these cards can seriously increase the odds of that player winning that round. Limiter removal is an OTK in a can, and although it's not had much of an impact recently as the others, with the new machine support this card could very well become the most despised card next format since machines will see a lot more play. Also with the release of Evilswarm Ouroboros, six samurai get access to a combo that can banish your opponent's hand, field, and graveyard, and draw the entire deck in one turn. It’s not consistent, but still very much possible, and there’s potential for someone to come up with a samurai turbo build to spam the loop. Any one card that basically can turn the entire game round simply because one player opened with it isn’t fair at all.
It’s a sad truth however, that if any of these were to get banned, there’d still be plenty of other ‘win more’ cards in the game. Future fusion is only problematic because chaos dragons are popular. It did little before t was used in chaos dragons, and if Konami don’t ban Limiter Removal, when the machines rise up in September, that will replace future fusion in winning games just because someone drew it.
In a game where every deck is filled with boss monsters, and cards that pump out advantage, monster reborn is just too powerful. There are too many power cards in the game right now, and I think monster reborn is the worst. In a deck that relies heavily on the graveyard it's even worse, and like BLS topdecking this card can change the course of the entire duel all by itself.
Mystical Space Typhoon
3 MST makes playing trap cards incredibly risky, and means that decks can just swarm the field constantly with no fear of their opponent’s backrow. There are plenty of other cards like Dust Tornado and Night Beam that people can use, so this card could find itself on the list with no problems whatsoever. The problem with MST, is that it can be used at almost any time. Night beam can’t be chained, and dust tornado has to be set first. Both have restrictions on their use, but MST is just too haphazard to be at 3.
This card has probably caused more debate in the YGO community than any other card in the game. Whether or not this card should be allowed is a hotly contested topic. I think that whether it's 'broken' or not will be irrelevant as to whether or not it finds its way back to the banned category. It's cycled in and out of the game plenty of times, and there are plenty of arguments either side. It stops your opponent from over extending with 3-4 backrow cards (Or punishes those who do it anyway), but with heavy storm banned, it means the format features more traps and is therefore slower, and (In general) more skillful, seen as you can’t just throw all your monsters on the field.
This card will make the machine decks of next format stupidly powerful compared to what they will be already with the geargia support cards. If you have this card all 9 gadgets in your deck, it's possible to put 3 shock masters on your side of the field, and completely lock down your opponent. However, offering is only available at 2 right now, and as it's a trap card it takes time to set it up, so it's susceptible to MST, Dust tornado etc and since you can't search your deck for it, it's not going to happen too often. That being said, the fact that it can cause so much advantage in machine decks could cause Konami to limit it to 1 in September, but at the same time unlimiting it would help push sales.
Oppression would have been really good this format since there's way too much unhindered special summoning going on. But at the same time, many will be familiar with how frustrating the card can be in stun decks, and it could become one of those 'Open with this card and you win' cards, much like Trap Dustshoot was in September 2011. I think if next format is another fast paced one, oppression deserves to come back.