It is just about that time of the year. Historically speaking, we are about a week or so away from the official leak of the September 2013 Limited and Forbidden List. Over the course of the last two list cycles I wrote articles pertaining to my predictions and desires. My desire lists tended to create quite an outcry from the Yu-Gi-Oh community, and I am not sure if I am going to make a revision to my list from last year. I certainly have not made a clear cut decision yet, but we will see going forward if that is something the community wants to read about. What I am going to do is look back over the course of the last six months and make predictions about what we will see going forward. I have historically gotten a few predictions correct, and perhaps this time around I can do the same thing. I should make it quite clear that what I am going to say in the remainder of this article is in no way shape or form what I would like to see happen on September 1st. This is merely a prediction of what we will see from Konami. So without further delay, time to jump right into it.
Pot of Avarice
Newly Limited to 1:
Spellbook of Judgment
Newly Limited to 2:
Blackwing Gale the Whirlwind
Blaster, Dragon Ruler of Infernos
Redox, Dragon Ruler of Boulders
Tempest, Dragon Ruler of Storms
Tidal, Dragon Ruler of Waterfalls
Spellbook Magician of Prophecy
Spellbook of Secrets
Thunder King Rai-Oh
Advanced Ritual Art
Just to reiterate, I do not believe these changes are adequate enough, but they are my honest predictions for the September 1st, 2013 Ban List.
Anyway, for explanations.
Brain Control is easily one of the most frustrating cards in the history of Yu-Gi-Oh. "Brain for Game" was a common occurrence in every format the card has been legal. However, with that being said - Monster Reborn happens to fall just in line with Brain Control in the game altering effect it has. If you are in a dire situation, both cards have the chance to turn the situation around. Konami of Japan wants these stellar individual top decks to exists, so switching out Monster Reborn for Brain Control is not that absurd of a prediction. When Brain Control was originally banned, it was Monster Reborn which found itself being unbanned at the same time. With the recent support for Synchro monsters, it would not surprise me to see Konami bring back one of the easiest ways to utilize your opponents monsters for giant Synchro summons. I would love to see both cards leave forever, but I just sense Brain Control making a return to the Yu-Gi-Oh world.
Pot of Avarice to 0
With the upcoming release of Pot of Duplicity.
At the start of your Main Phase 1: Target 3 monsters with different Types in your Graveyard; shuffle all 3 of them into the Deck, then draw 2 cards. You cannot conduct your Battle Phase during the turn you activate this card.
I would not be surprised to see this mean the farewell of Pot of Avarice. While it may not be the most played card this current format, the card has been an issue for the game for years on end. Pot of Duplicity offers the decks which want that effect a similar replacement, but cannot be universally abused in the same way that Pot of Avarice has been.
Traditionally when there has been an Extra Deck boss monster, Konami has had the tendency to use the limited list as a way to handle the deck without making changes to the structure of the deck. Six Samurai saw this happen with Shi En and I would not be surprised to see the same happen to Ophion. With the return of Synchro monsters, Ophion exists as a limitation to future card design and something Konami would not want as a limitation to their new releases. Decisions are often made for the benefit of future product, and this one would fall into that category.
Gold Sarcophagus to 1
This card once existed at one, and slowly found itself at three after many years. Seeing it being played in threes in Dragon Ruler is exactly the type of motivation needed to make the switch back to one. I always thought this was near perfect card design, but Konami tends to make changes that handle another problem which affect well designed cards. Unfortunately for Gold Sarcophagus, the Dragon Ruler archtpye was released. As an attempt to keep the Dragon Rulers as a playable archtype, I could see Konami make this type of decision.
Spellbook of Judgment to 1
This is quite possibly one of the best single Yu-Gi-Oh cards of all time. The full effect of Spellbook of Judgment rival the impact of Chaos Emperor Dragon - Envoy of the End, but I fear it will exist for six more months. This card was one of the most hyped and expected releases over the course of the last year, and I could see Konami acknowledge its power, but fail to pull the trigger on a full banning. Limiting it to one will obviously damage the Spellbook archtype, but the functionality of the deck will allow it to still use the card several times in the game. It just forces Spellbook players to continuously look it with Spellbook of Eternity. I believe the card should never have been printed, but it is the card that brings the entire archtype together, and the recent release of World of Prophecy may keep the card around another six months.
Another one of the cards I believe should be banned, which likely will not be. There is something about this card which feels weird sitting next to Painful Choice and Pot of Greed on the Ban List, but have you seen it these past few months? Even if they touch the Dragon Ruler archtype, this card has never been used fairly. Konami will not pull the trigger to put it zero, but I could easily see it at one. That is a mistake, but seems likely to me.
Atlantean Dragoons/Mermail Abyssmegalo to 2
Even if Mermails feel off the face of the earth after the release of Dragon Rulers and Spellbook of Judgment, they were far and away the most dominant deck in the months prior. Event after event Mermails were constantly in the finals and occupying the highest percentage of decks in the Top 32. These restrictions will be made to limit the consistency of pulling off the Deep Sea Diva OTK, but also to keep the deck a strong contender going forward. With the release of new Synchro monsters, I doubt Konami will touch the Deep Sea Diva engine, and will want to see this deck exist as another which can utilize some of the new Synchro monsters.
The Dragon Rulers to 2
This certainly hurts the Dragon Ruler archtype, but not enough to cripple it going forward. Each of these creatures can be found outside of the Dragon Ruler archtype, so I doubt they put them each to one right off the bat. If two still prove to dominate the competitive circuit, then sure, I could see them being limited in the future. But for the benefit of decks like Psychics or Mermails, I could see Konami limited them to two in order to leave them as inclusions in a myriad of competitive decks. The Dragon Ruler archtype was obviously the boogeyman in the room these past few months, and with a few limitations Konami will believe other decks can survive again.
Blackwing Gale the Whirlwind to 2
The Blackwing archtype has slowly been given back vital pieces over the last few years and seeing Gale go to two would not be a surprise. Not only is it another piece of support for an archtype that is vastly outclassed by new releases, it just so happens to be a tuner monster. If Konami is trying to support their new Synchro monsters, one would expect this Ban List cycle to bring new life to many of the old archtypes which tried to utilize that mechanic. Blackwings were one of the first to successfully use Synchro monsters, and Gale was always the go to tuner.
The second Lonefire Blossom just so happens to open the door to endless Synchro based combos when used in conjunction with Formula Synchron, Dandylion and Spore. If Konami wants to see players slam Star Eater on the board, Lonefire Blossom to two is one of the easiest ways to make it happens. Combining Lonefire Blossom with the standard Call of the Haunted was one of the original ways to make these type of plays happen, so with three Call of the Haunted - Konami can easily expect the player base to begin the return of Plant based Synchro decks. Debris Dragon falls into the same category as Lonefire Blossom. Whenever there has been a Plant deck, Debris Dragon was not too far behind. Seeing Debris Dragon go back up to three will only further help new Synchro monsters hit the table the next six months.
Spellbook Magician of Prophecy/Spellbook of Secrets to 2
Putting these cards to two will have no actual effect on what the Prophecy archtype is trying to accomplish. Instead it will damage the consistency numbers, a decision which Konami has done countless times over history. Remember when Rescue Rabbit was limited to two? The deck is still trying to accomplish the same gamestates, but it lost the consistency numbers. These limitations do not go a long way towards rendering the deck useful, but they do help limit how often Spellbook ogf Judgment hits the table.
T.G. Striker to 3
You may see a theme developing here, but this card was limited to one as a way to promote the newly released XYZ monsters. Seeing as how we are on the tail end of that era in Yu-Gi-Oh, it should be expected that we begin seeing cards like T.G. Striker climb up the Ban List. It really would not have a tremendous effect on competitive play, so why not? Plus you know, he is a tuner after all.
I am still not sure why this card went to two. Seeing as how it had almost no effect on the last six months, I could see them put it back to three.
Tsukuyomi to 3
Now here is something to talk about. This guy was originally banned because of the ability to re-use flip effect monsters such as Magician of Faith or Dekoichi the Battlechanted Locomotive. In the newer era of Yu-Gi-Oh, flip effects are dramatically outclassed by the power creep. So with that being said, Tsukuyomi has still need able to find itself in competitive top tier decks. Instead of reusing your own effects, this card has been used to shut down whatever stun effect happens to be hindering your plays at the moment - if that is Fossil Dyna or Thunder King Rai-Oh. The difference between two and three copies of this card is so small I see Konami making the decision to move it up the Ban List. They clog, you definitely do not need multiple copies to accomplish anything - and the abuse of flip effects is over five years old.
Advanced Ritual Art to 3
Card has done nothing at two. Konami tends to slowly creep these type of cards up the list, so you can almost guarantee they will put it at three to see if it causes any ripple effects in the game. Competitively speaking, it probably won't. There will be those players who Herald of Perfection Lock you out of a game here or there, but we have dealt with that for some time now.
Reasoning to 3
I understood the reasoning to put this to one back in the day. The reasoning to put it to two though? I am not quite sure. Would this card be played in threes? Probably not. So I can see Konami's reasoning in putting this back to three.
And outrage commence.