Well, here we have it. The September 2012 banlist has finally been announced, and the dueling community has been sent into the tank to test out what the format has brought us. I have decided to take the time today to sit down and examine each change on the list, give you whatever insight I feel is appropriate, and perhaps critique the things I dislike about the list. Since the actual list is a far cry from my “ideal” wishlist, it is going to be obvious that I do not agree with every decision. However, for Konami – this list isn’t half bad. They certainly did address certain problems, but remained oblivious to some. Anyway, let’s jump right on into it.
Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier
Hey would you look at that. I listed this card as a candidate to be banned on my wishlist, and by some stroke of luck it actually happened. I certainly approve of this selecton, regardless of how played it might have been in the last six months. I feel like this decision was made with the Atlantean monsters in the back of Konami’s mind, though I am not entirely how sure that deck went into level six synchros. In terms of how this decision with influence the next six months, well certainly with the resurgence of the synchro mechanic, losing out on the best level six monster will have some type of impact. Decks list X-Sabers utilized Brionac when orchestrating game winning maneuvers. And of course, the newly reborn Plant Synchro decks had access to Brionac at all times. I feel like the banning will inherently influence decks based primarily on the synchro mechanic, but not in such a way that will be too detrimental to their playable. I guess it is time to welcome Orient Dragon back to our extra decks if we need that level 6 synchro.
I am so proud of Konami for actually understanding why this card needed to be banned. I wrote about this in both my wishlist and prediction list, so there is not much to say about the card in specific. The decision will obviously affect the Chaos Dragon variants, but it only ripped away their instant win card – so of course they will remain playable these next six months.
Inzektor Dragonfly/Inzektor Hornet
I put these two cards together since they are, of course, tied to one another. I have spoken at volumes about my distain for the Inzektor deck, and seeing this change is more than welcomed. This will allow the return of old mechanics, such as setting non-chainable spell and trap cards. The ability to loss cards like Dimensional Prison and Mirror Force to an Inzektor swarm is long gone, and now the game can completely change. The playable of cards like Thunder King Rai-Oh have sky-rocketed.
A wonderful pre-emptive strike by Konami! I wasn’t aware this was in their arsenal. I salute this decision, for maybe we can enjoy a six month period where we do not discard our hand at the opponent’s will.
I feel like this is one of the more significant decisions made on the banlist. It not only affects Chaos Dragons, it has an impact on potential Chaos Plant and Chaos variants. I have always felt Chaos Sorceror was on the cusp of being too powerful of a card. The instant floater status of a 2300 attack monster is incredible when you take into consideration the synergy with cards like Arcanite Magician. This restriction is again, something I salute. In terms of how it will affect the Chaos Dragon archtype, well it certainly was a detrimental hit. The deck needs Chaos monsters in order to trigger the effect of cards like Eclipse Wyvern, and reducing the amount of potent Chaos monsters also damages how well the deck will be able to swarm. However, Chaos Dragon players will be able to swap in copies of Darkflare Dragon to make up for the lack of Chaos Sorcerors. Overall, I still feel like the deck is a powerhouse in the upcoming format, but the need to switch Chaos Sorcerors out for Darkflare Dragon is difficult to ignore.
Hallelujah! It is a miracle! Sorry, perhaps I have been watching too much coverage of Magic the Gathering earlier… they have these cards called Miracles and… yeah anyway…. Back to Spore. I could not have been more shocked to see this card come off the banlist. I honestly thought Konami had their hearts set on forever crippling the Plant engine, but much to my surprise we have been given back one of their two abused tuners. My hope is that Plant Synchro can return as a viable deck over the next six months, and you can be sure I have been trying to make that work. The thing that I love so much about Plants is that you almost always have plays. This arsenal of plays allows players to manipulate their way through difficult gamestates, while at the same time applying pressure and gaining card advantage. I honestly think that Plant variants will be viable this upcoming format, and I couldn’t be happier.
Windup Carrier Zenmaity
Wind-Ups are still a completely viable archtype. There are still numerous combos in the deck which generate over 8000 points of damage. The sheer fact that a two card combination like Wind-Up Shark and Magician can put that much damage on the board will make it so that this deck certainly doesn’t die. Long gone may be the days of massive discard combos, but not long gone are the days of field presence and swarm. This deck will still be played this upcoming format and at the end of the day may still be as frustrating to play against.
Red Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon
Another card ripped from the hands of Chaos Dragons. Simply put, this will require players to cut down a copy of Eclipse Wyvern, but honestly, with Future Fusion banned – did you really want to play two copies of each of these cards? This decision is moreso a way to combat the rise in play of Hieratics over in the OCG. Overall this limitation will have little impact on the TCG because even if this card was at three, Chaos Dragons would likely only play one.
This is another card I did not see Konami unbanning. However, she might be a little bit beyond her time. She certainly has interactions with Snowman Eater or the newly played Night Assailant, and she is quite the beating for Thunder King Rai-Oh, but I have yet to find room for her in one of my decks. I always acknowledge her as a card, but never felt compelled enough to run her. And whenever someone has summoned her against me, other than the few times it took down a Thunder King Rai-Oh – I have been rather unimpressed. She will be played, but perhaps people will soon realize she isn’t as instant staple.
Ultimate Offerings is slowly going to turn into Gateway of the Six with decisions like this. If Gadgets draw this against you… watch out… the game might very well be over. It is disheartening to know cards like this will exist in certain archtypes, but Yu-Gi-Oh has been like that for awhile now. Gadgets are still going to be a playable deck, they virtually always have. Limiting Ultimate Offerings will only reduce the likelihood of an instant kill.
Sure why not. If Torrential Tribute can be at two, why can’t Mirror Force? Torrential Tribute is a much better card, there was a reason Mirror Force saw little play last format. I still think Dimensional Prison is a better all around card, so moving Mirror Force up to two should have very little impact on my deckbuilding. There will be people who try it out though, yet I think people will soon realize how frustrating getting poked by Card Trooper really is and back to Dimensional Prison they will go.
I chalk this one up to random decisions.
A Hero Lives
A slight hit to the Hero Lives Bubbleman decks. Seeing as how that deck has the primary goal of OTKing, I can certainly be behind any type of change to that deck. I don’t really see this change having that much of an effect on the deck. Of course it will reduce the likelihood of drawing the OTK, but only by a small percentage, and not enough to really notice. I wish a little bit more was done to the deck, but it is certainly better than nothing.
Hieratic Seal of Convocation
This deck was not seeing much play in the TCG, so this slight hit will only continue that trend.
Pot of Duality
This was an interesting change. I acknowledge Pot of Duality as being a powerful draw spell, but honestly, I think it is the perfect balance in one. The fact that you need to reveal the top three cards is a major drawback. I am usually thrilled when my opponent activates this card against me, because I get to concretely know a card they have. I guess this was another try to damage Elemental Hero variants, but it will only have a minor impact. I sided out copies of this card when I played Hero Beat as it was, just gives the maindeck more room for certain cards.
E - Emergency Call
Same idea as A Hero Lives. That was the only deck running three copies, and now it will just slightly loss a bit of consistency.
Good ole’ Rescue Rabbit. If there is any reason this format ends up being awful, this guy will likely be the reason why. It is an absolute joke that Konami didn’t touch this card any further than a slight limitation to two. The only reason I could find Rescue Rabbit variants being less successful is how the rest of the decks were affected. The virtually auto-win Inzektors were dismantled, meaning Rescue Rabbit players will be unable to enter events with a handful of free victories. In the four YCS’s that I ran Dino-Rabbit, I was literally 14-0 against Inzektors. Swap out those 14 victories with 14 matches against more difficult matchups and I am not sure what my overall record would be. This deck is obviously still powerful and is going to generate plenty of free wins. The true deciding factor in how well this deck does is how much room other decks will have to maindeck tech like Snowman Eater, and if another free-win archtype sprouts up.
Blackwing - Kalut the Moonshadow
Hey, I actually predicted this one! This is a pretty big change for the Blackwing archtype. One of the biggest issues that came with limiting Kalut to one was how much of an affect it had on not only the deck’s interactions, but the makeup of the deck. One Kalut made it so that you had fewer targets for Blizzard and Shura to special summon, without even talking about Kalut’s own effect. Now that there are two Kaluts, there is some possibility that Blackwings become a playable deck again. Icarus Attack is forever going to be known as a powerful trap card, and this deck was always the one that could utilize it the most.
Wow, not only did they bring back Spore, they gave us a second copy of Debris Dragon! This is a massive change on the banlist, that essentially defies everything I predicted in Konami. Spore and Debris Dragon both support the Synchro archtype, something I thought Konami was actively trying to flush out of the game. With Debris Dragon and Spore back in the mix, it is impossible to ignore the potential of a Plant Synchro deck this upcoming six months – and I am absolutely thrilled.
The Agent of Mystery – Earth
When Agents lost two copies of Earth it was a severely crippling change. The deck lost the consistency engine it enjoyed, and at the same time lost viable targets for Master Hyperion. Another copy of Earth is just what the deck needed to regain its position as a playable deck. The ability to drop huge monsters onto the board like Black Luster Soldier, Chaos Sorceror, Master Hyperion and Archlord Kristya would inherently give the deck a good matchup against Dino-Rabbit, while making it have the firepower across the board.
Tour Guide From the Underworld
Hey, I predicted this one too. Limiting Tour Guide to two has created this idea that we need to replace the third copy with something like Night Assailant. While I understand the reasoning behind this, I am not quite sure I agree with it. The idea is that once you use a copy of Tour Guide to search Sangan, you will still have a Tour Guide in your deck with a viable target. The problem with this line of reasoning is that if you were to go forth and do that (use a Tour Guide to search Sangan) you leave yourself with only one target for the remaining Tour Guide. Therefore, if you were to draw Night Assailant before Tour Guide, you would make it so that you have a future draw that is completely died. You are already going to be able to use one Tour Guide for an XYZ summon during the course of the game, and I am not sure how needed playing things like Night Assailant will truly be unless your deck utilizes Rank three XYZs more than others (ex. Rabbit and Leviair). At the end of the day I would rather just play two copies of Tour Guide and one Sangan so I can avoid situations where I draw into dead Tour Guides because I drew Night Assailant first.
I still don’t think Lightsworns are a very good deck. Moving this card to three might make it so that more people try the deck out, but at the end of the day, the card that will really put this deck back on the map is Charge of the Light Brigade.
More or less irrelevant.
A lot of people are trying to make three copies of Destiny Draw work with Emergency Teleport. There are two problems with this, the first of which is the lack of a third Destiny Hero Malicious, the second is the lack of two copies of Allure of Darkness. The Teleport engine is inherently inconsistent because cards like Krebons are relatively weak in the spectrum of today’s goal. What the original TeleDAD decks allowed you to do was utilize draw spells like Allure of Darkness to sculpt the type of hand you were looking for. With only one Allure of Darkness I feel like this engine is systematically flawed because it lost one of the most important pieces from its original form. The other problem with Emergency Teleport is the lack of the third Destiny Hero Malicious. These type of decks seem to be throwing all three Teleports into the deck when, in reality, there is only one Teleport play to be had. Once you use Teleport and Destiny Hero Malicious the first time, the other copies of Krebons are rather weak. Of course you can use Teleport with something like Stratos to summon… Orient Dragon, but that doesn’t seem to appealing. I understand the nostalgic reasons why people want to make a deck like this work, but I am not sold on it being a tier one viable deck.
I love Destiny Draw… I love the Destiny Hero engine more than anything in the game of Yu-Gi-Oh. It is fun to play Destiny Draw after opening Stratos. The problem with Destiny Draw now is that the only powerful target is Destiny Hero Malicious, and that card is dramatically more viable in threes. Without Destiny Hero Disk Commander, or a reliable way to summon Destiny Hero Plasma (outside of the sole copy of Scapegoats), I am not sure how enthusiastic I am going to be about playing a Destiny Hero engine. I really wish the engine was tier one in some capacity, but I just cannot see myself getting to a point where I see that happening.
Swords of Revealing Light
Largely irrelevant to competitive play.
Level Limit Area B
I am not sure if I would have sided three copies of this in my Dino-Rabbit deck from the last format. But I guess that is about the only place where it would see any play.
Largely irrelevant to competitive play.
The cards I have a major gripe about seeing around for the next six months are without question Pot of Avarice, Black Luster Soldier and Monster Reborn. The Dino-Rabbit deck would have taken a dramatic hit if they lost Pot of Avarice, but alas Konami ignored that card yet again. I am not even going to start on Monster Reborn or Black Luster Soldier…. It should be clear why those cards have long passed their welcome stay.
So here is my individual card analysis of the September 2012 banlist. Next week I am going to begin analyzing specific decks and predict what I think will be the best choices for the upcoming format!