I’m back with my second article for Alter Reality, and this time I’m going to be voicing my opinion on the new Forbidden/Limited list that will be going into effect on Thursday September 1st. Every six months, like clockwork, a new Forbidden/Limited list comes into effect, and the competitive Yu-Gi-Oh community is forced to adapt to the new changes, whether they like them or not. Though most the time, you rarely hear the majority of players jump with joy over the new list. With that said, every 2-4 weeks before it’s released, you will never see more enthusiasm from the players. It’s like the start of a brand new football season for them. Even though your team hasn’t made the playoffs in over 10 seasons you still find yourself on the couch on Sunday waiting for kick off! So before we get started let’s take a look at what changes Konami made to the list this time around.
Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning
Legendary Six Samurai - Shi En
Pot of Avarice
Shien’s Smoke Signal
T.G. Hyper Librarian
Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier
Call of the Haunted
Dewloren, King Tiger of the Ice Barrier
Swords of Revealing Light
No Longer Limited:
Mystical Space Typhoon
My first reaction to the new list were all the changes they made. I mean wow, they rarely ever make this many changes in one list! Coming from someone who believes this game needs a lot of ‘hope and change’ to become better, than this list should be a step in the right direction, right? Well not so much. I believe Konami took about 2 steps forward and about 20 steps backwards with this list. Rather than discussing every single change made to the list, I’m going to focus on the changes that I believe to be most significant, whether positive or negative to the game.
Let’s begin with the newly forbidden cards. The only card I want to spend time with is Giant Trunade. This was the most significant change we saw in my honest opinion. This has always been a problem card, but most recently in the last few formats is where it really exposed itself as a cancer to the game. In a format where you could set 3-4 spell or trap cards without fear of Heavy Storm, Giant Trunade saw much more play. Giant Trunade took a lot of thinking out of the equation. I could set every protection card in my hand, and then on the following turn Giant Trunade back all my cards plus my opponents, make a huge push, develop a field, and then set all my protection back face down where they would be instantly live again as soon as I ended my turn. Talk about broken. There is no downside to activating Giant Trunade. There aren’t many cards that can negate it. The most common cards would be Solemn Judgment or Dark Bribe. Obviously the latter of the two rarely sees any play. Naturia Beast is also a great counter to Giant Trunade, but getting him out can sometimes not be so easy, and not every deck can bring him out. In the end, Giant Trunade was always the card that if activated by your opponent, usually led to your heart dropping, and knowing the game could be over this turn, or if not this turn, you were put into a situation that was just impossible to come back from. Overall, excellent move by Konami. This change is totally approved.
There were plenty of changes made to the limited list this time around, but I believe that there were two changes that stuck out more than anything else. I present to you none other than Black Luster Solder - Envoy of the Beginning and Heavy Storm. These two additions to the limited list rocked the competitive Yu-Gi-Oh community, one for the better, one for the worse. Many people will argue that Konami may of limited BLS strictly for business reasons, seeing as it was reprinted in the most recent Gold Series pack. I’ll leave that up to you to decide. Looking at it from a game play perspective, I’d say Konami really screwed up this time. BLS is truly a “I Win,” card if you draw it. Now obviously there are cards to counter it and commonly played ‘protection’ cards to slow him down, but let’s look at it for what it is. If you have a single monster on the field and I drop this mammoth of a monster, I can take out more than 50% of your life points just by attacking your monster and using the effect of BLS to attack twice. It’s nothing less than a devastating game ender. Not to mention he can be tossed into just about any deck running three copies of Tour Guide from the Underworld, Sangan, and two Effect Veiler. Oh you didn’t get the memo, those six cards will be found in 99.5% of every competitive deck on the YCS circuit. Guess what that means? BLS will be hitting the field at some point, no matter what deck you are playing against. This change is without question, disapproved. Now on the other hand, we have the return of another nice little gem. In the words of the most electrifying man to ever grace the wrestling ring, “FINALLY, HEAVY STORM, HAS COME BACK, TO YU-GI-OH!” I can’t even begin to express my gratitude to Konami for allowing us the privilege to utilize Heavy Storm in our decks again. No longer can you randomly set 3-4 spell or trap cards, and just lock your opponent down without a care in the world. Now if your hand consists of Solemn Warning, Torrential Tribute, Mystical Space Typhoon, Book of Moon, Mirror Force, and Gladiator Beast Laquari, you actually have to THINK about which play to make. Heavy Storm is on a completely different level of fairness compared to Giant Trunade. Heavy Storm can easily be negated by commonly played cards, such as Starlight Road, Solemn Judgment, and Stardust Dragon. All but one are trap cards that will be common among most decks, and the other being a monster that is also commonly brought out among the top tier decks. Also if you make the mistake of setting 2-3 cards, and you want to activate Heavy Storm you will lose your own cards in the process, rather than sending them back to your hand to reset after you made a huge push against your opponent. Heavy Storm really speaks for itself when it comes to providing balance to the game again. This change, paired alongside the banning of Giant Trunade, were the absolute two best changes I’ve seen in any recent Forbidden/Restricted List. Totally approved!
Now before I ramble on too long, I’m going to skip over the semi-limited cards, and move on to a change made to the ‘no longer limited’ list that I believe is just, well, not so good. There is one that specifically jumps out at me and that’s Mystical Space Typhoon. Unrestricting this card to 3, alongside the limiting of Heavy Storm is very counter-productive. Heavy Storm forces the player to set only 1 spell or trap unless he wants to lose card advantage to a Heavy Storm. So in return, after setting that 1 spell or trap, the opponent responds with one of his three copies of Mystical Space Typhoon, knocking out the only protection that player had, leaving him/her very vulnerable. Your almost put into a situation where you don’t want to set any cards, unless they can be chained to the effect of a Mystical Space Typhoon. It means playing cards like Solemn Warning, Solemn Judgment, Torrential Tribute, etc. will be less effective than what they use to be. Although I still believe you still need to play them simply because of how broken they are. It will come down to playing quality chainable cards alongside your power trap cards and outplaying the opponent into wasting their MST’s on cards like Trap Dustshoot and Call of the Haunted, retrieving a Sangan or a similar floater. In my opinion I believe with the limiting of Heavy Storm, Mystical Space Typhoon should of also been limited to 1, if not, kept at 2.
Now there were many other changes made to the list that I agreed and disagreed with. Today I only wanted to mention 4 out of the 30 changes that I believe to be the most significant of all. I also believe there are cards missing from the list entirely that without a doubt in the world would of made the next six months much, much better. Cards like Monster Reborn and Sangan should have been gone several formats ago. Ever since the release of Synchro monsters and the newly released XYZ monsters, a card like Monster Reborn should not be legal for tournament play. Especially when Call of the Haunted was also bumped up to 2 copies per deck, but I’ll save that for another article. All in all, I think Konami made some excellent changes with the new list, some changes better than others. Some changes were just completely unjustified and will make for an agonizing, yet interesting 6 months.
Remember always feel free to leave constructive criticism, comments, and suggest ideas for future articles. I appreciate the time you take to read them.