Problem Cards – September 2014

frazier smithWhile we wait for the next Forbidden & Limited List, I figured I’d give my thoughts on cards that should be affected in some way. There aren’t many that I think need to be changed, but for the few that are on my hit list, I feel that they are just too game breaking to remain unaffected. I do not expect all of these changes to take place, especially since some of them are more recent than others, but hopefully some will.

Soul Charge

This card is the first on the list, and for obvious reasons. Since its release, it has dominated the game in a myriad of ways. A first turn Soul Charge play is ideal for any deck running the card, and that usually leads to auto-wins. I remember doing the coverage for ARGCS Virginia where Patrick Hoban piloted Dragon Rulers to his third victory, utilizing the recursion power of Soul Charge to destroy everyone in the Top16. In the same tournament, we got to see players using Infernities to make unbreakable boards on the first turn, too. This problem has continued throughout each and every format, and it would be great if the card were just banned. Honestly, though, Konami is most likely NOT going to ban this card—for whatever reason—and if they touch it, it will only be to 1 per deck. Now, that may seem okay to some of you, but it is actually more of a nuisance at 1 than it is at 3. It becomes a devastating 1-of that players will complain about because their opponents got lucky and drew into it. Think of it as a Future Fusion or Gateway of the Six Samurai. Unfortunately, the best answer to a Soul Charge is another Soul Charge. However, if there’s only 1 copy of it, many games will be decided because one player drew his while the other did not.

kaisercolosseumKaiser Colosseum

This card has been flying under the radar for a bit because it hasn’t seen play up until this year, really. Now that we all know about it, I would say that it should not be at 3 per deck. It is extremely degenerate, allowing one player to control the entire pace of the game, while the other just sits there hoping he messes up. You can see this featured mostly in Bujins, where only one monster is needed to win the entire game. I remember playing with Madolches at locals and losing to double Kaiser Colosseum—two games in a row—because he never summoned a second monster, and when he did, he turned them into an Xyz anyways. When this card is drawn in multiples, it is almost surely game. Also, I have never seen Kaiser used in any non-degenerate strategies. That usually raises a red flag that a card is not okay for the game, like with Mass Driver. I would love to see it get banned, but even hitting it to 1 per deck would be nice, which I think is a fair treatment for all floodgates.

Rivalry of the Warlords and Gozen Match

Following what I just said about Kaiser Colosseum, these cards should be at 1 because they are floodgates. When they are face-up, they usually make it so that the other player cannot play the game, which is not particularly skillful, and awfully annoying. You get punished for simply playing a specific deck and not drawing an out to said card. I have done it many times to people, and I have had it done to me many times as well. All of those wins and losses feel dirty. You sit there hoping that your deck is kind enough to give you an MST or something to get rid of it, but it doesn’t always happen. Sometimes, even when you finally draw an out to them, they either have another one, or the game has progressed too far for you win regardless. I think Konami had the right idea by limiting Dimensional Fissure, Macro Cosmos, and Soul Drain to 1 per deck. Hopefully, they realize that there are other cards that stop players from doing anything at all, and give them the same treatment.

Super PolymerizationSuper Polymerization

While I don’t think that this card should be banned, I do think it should at least be limited to one. It is one of the only cards in the game that cannot be responded to, and that alone puts it in a league of its own. Super Poly, as it is widely known, has only gained popularity recently thanks to Shaddolls. Now it seems that everyone is maining a full playset of the card following Patrick Hoban’s YCS victory in Toronto. At a recent regional that I judged, I noticed a considerable number of players going back and forth with Super Poly until someone eventually lost. In the OCG, they limited El Shaddoll Construct and El Shaddoll Winda to 1 per deck, which certainly helps, but I think that is a little harsh to do for us because the deck literally just came out. The sad thing is, the forbidden and limited list is usually created and finalized before recent problems are realized, meaning Super Poly will probably fly under the radar. It was only discovered to be a problem at the last event, and I can’t see them factoring that into the equation.

Vanity’s Emptiness

This card has been around for too long, and the strategy with it has always been the same: set up a board of big monsters and hope your opponent doesn’t have an out to it. Emptiness is downright dirty, and it is too powerful to be on three per deck. It is a floodgate, meaning it can single handedly stop one player from playing the game, and it is so powerful that you can win with just one. I think cards like Maxx “C” are far healthier for the game, especially since they promote decision making. You can either continue to make your push at the sake of card advantage, or you can stop your play and wait for the next opportunity. In the latter case, your opponent gets a chance to respond. The problem with Emptiness is, sometimes it’s just outright game with the right field, and the other player doesn’t get a chance to defend himself. Do you remember the two Dragon Ruler formats of 2013? Players were winning games by simply summoning Stardust Spark Dragon and setting Vanity’s Emptiness. There was also double Dracossack with Emptiness, which put on too much pressure for you to even get a turn to set a Phoenix Wing Wind Blast or whatever you needed to both survive AND counter the Emptiness. Just like Royal Oppression, this card is not healthy for the game.

Infernity LauncherInfernity (All of it)

They have hit this deck several times in the past, and the only reason that it is currently surviving is through Soul Charge. However, just to be sure that it never resurfaces, they should either limit Infernity Archfiend to 1 per deck, or just make Infernity Archfiend’s effect once per turn. This deck has plagued the game too many times, especially at this year’s WCQ and Worlds. I’m all about combo decks, but to literally win the game on turn 1 or 2 is just absurd.

Tour Guide From the Underworld

I love this card. She has been with us since the middle of 2011 and she has done great things for the game. However, with the rise of the Burning Abyss strategy, I think it would be nice if she were on either 1 or 2 per deck. The deck can function without 3 copies of her, and I think it would keep things from becoming stale while also promoting innovation.

Stellarnova Alpha

It’s the newest counter trap on the block and it has a very powerful effect. I would really like it if this card went to 2 per deck because when someone draws multiples, you almost don’t get to play. It’s really hard to have a response to it because it’s a counter trap, so it usually goes unopposed. The Satellarknight strategy is perfectly fine without having a full 3 copies of this card. I mean, if you are ever looking for the definition of an auto-pilot deck, this is the one. In my entire time playing the Yu-Gi-Oh Trading Card Game, I have never played a deck easier to use than Satellarknights. And while there is nothing wrong with that, I do find it rather annoying for it to have 3 Infernity Barriers to make things even easier.

And that rounds it up for the cards that I think are the biggest problems right now. If you notice, most of my choices are just things that do not allow the other player to really PLAY the game. I think there is nothing wrong with having to actually duel for advantage. Auto-wins are not okay because they are rarely skillful (memorizing a combo does not count), and they demotivate players to continue in this game.

Until next time, duelists! Remember, Play Hard or Go Home!

Frazier Smith

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