Never fear, BLS is here!

I am going to talk about a subject that has been long awaited, and long feared by many in the Yugioh community; the return of  Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning. With the new ban list created and put into action, many people were surprised by this addition to the Limited section. Long ago, this card was created and became regarded as one of the most powerful cards in the history of Yugioh. Almost at once, BLS was added to the Forbidden category and was thought to never come back. No one really knows why Konami has brought back this monster, which has caused a lot of speculation in the Yugioh community. The reasoning that I present is that, in fact, the reason it has returned is the addition of the Synchro game play and the addition of many new and powerful cards.

First, let's look at the Black Luster Soldier himself and take into account his weaknesses. There is no way to directly pull a BLS from your deck, granted, you could Foolish Burial it then Monster Reincarnate it, but this means you need exactly those two cards in your hand. With Foolish Burial being Limited, it makes it so that you can only have 1/40 in your deck at the highest odds. Then factor in that you have 3/40 Monster Reincarnations in your deck, this makes it a 4/1600 (1/400) chance that you will draw both (obviously given that odds will get better as the game goes and your deck decreases). You are much better off simply letting BLS come up on his own with the odds of 1/40. Furthermore, you must take into account that his effects only occur during your Main Phase 1 & 2 and your own Battle Phase. This means that you can only use his effect on your own turn. Your opponent could Torrential Tribute him, Mirror force him, or Bottomless Trap Hole him easily. They could also just let you have your push and destroy BLS on their own turn with a monster of equal or greater attack.

Next, with the addition of newer cards, there are many ways to counter BLS, and to easily destroy him. As I previously mentioned, you could Torrential Tribute or Bottomless Trap Hole him when he is summoned or Mirror Force him when he attacks, but are these all your options? Of course not! Lets say you have 2 Quillbolt Hedgehogs in your graveyard and a Winged Kuriboh, which is a common occurrence in one of my decks, summon Junk Synchron, bring back Winged Kuriboh with his effect and the 2 Quillbolts by their own effect. Boom, you have a Junk Destroyer, you destroy their BLS along with 2 of their other cards on the field. This leaves them in a tough spot because you are likely going to hit them with 2600 directly because you just decimated their field. Most decks now are likely to be able to go from nothing to a monster with 3000 or more attack points in a single turn, this leaves BLS to be easily killed. A simple list of monsters that can crash themselves into BLS and destroy it would be: Blue-Eyes White Dragon, Red Dragon Archfiend and The Supremacy Sun. Blue-Eyes can be summoned through Ancient rules with no tributes, Red Dragon Archfiend can easily be synchro summoned in one turn (I have seen this many a time) and The Supremacy Sun can be brought back at your own Standby Phase next turn. Along with this simplistic strategy, just summon a monster with over 3000 attack and kill BLS.

Lastly, there is one simple card that stops BLS in his tracks and that is Necrovalley. This card is old, but it still has the power to gum up any strategy that is based off of Black Luster Soldier. If you cant remove any cards from your graveyard, you cant summon BLS if you cant remove your monsters from play. With many of my experiments, Gravekeepers tend to be the weakness to a BLS based deck. With a BLS deck, running heavy in Spirit Reapers, it is easy to stall until you pull a Chaos Sorcerer, or the BLS. Gravekeeper's Descendant can easily kill them by tributing a Gravekeeper to destroy the Spirit Reaper, Gravekeeper's Spear Soldier can attack it repeatedly to inflict damage or Gravekeeper's Assailant can switch it into attack mode, targeting it and thus destroying it. All these monsters have 1500 attack and can be easily pulled from the deck at will.

Basically, take a look at the Limited list, as I am doing myself and think about the cards that are on it. Many of these cards have been limited because of their easily exploitable abilities, but it is not the card that makes a deck, it is the duelist. As long as there is a card in the game, there is someone with the idea of how to exploit that card, some are easier than others, and some are more obvious to counter. The idea still remains simply that a card is limited as long as it isn’t completely unfair or one sided. These cards are strictly for the Forbidden list, and Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning is not an unfair or one-sided card. In fact, it is on its own, a fair card because you can counter it, and can perceive it coming. If I tell you that there are 2 monsters in your opponents graveyard, one of light, and one of dark, what is the first move that you perceive coming? It is not like Raigeki, or Harpie's Feather Duster where all the sudden your field is gone and you are left thinking “what just happened to me?” It is easy to perceive the BLS and to stop it seeing as it is only one card, after all, as long as you have another draw left, you cannot be counted out because of it alone.

This is my first article, and I hope that everyone enjoyed it and found it to be a helpful read.

Austin Fies

Whitewater, WI

Austin Fies

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