Hey everyone, drummerjmm here, and Ban List speculation season is upon us once more! 6 months ago you guys seemed to thoroughly enjoy my thought process on the list in comparison to the big names like Joe Giorlando and Billy Brake, so I figured I'd set out on writing an article on it once again.
First and foremost, this will not be a "What I Want" list. The following is intended to analyze the issues in the current meta and resolve them in a sensible fashion based on logic and reason. If you're looking for a list that trashes decks like Windups and Mermails because those are the types of decks you hate, then you can just quit reading now.[There are some things that absolutely should be added to the list, and some that simply only have the potential to be on the list. This article will be grouped and labeled accordingly.]
Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning and Monster Reborn (Potentials):
Power cards cycle, it's simply the nature of the game. With cards such as these removed from the game once more, random top-decks at opportune moments won't swing the game in one players favor nearly as often. As a result, the game will tend to be more skillful, rather than luck based. One could argue the same fate for Heavy Storm and Dark Hole, but there should always be some form of universal equalizer accessible to both players.
This is one of those cards that only serves 2 purposes in the game. The first of which is to help advocate some form of solitaire play, and the second being Dark World. No body likes solitaire, it's bad for the game in general. As for Dark Worlds, cutting Card Destruction is not designed to hurt them; Dark World are the innocent casualties as a byproduct this cards removal from the game.
Gateway of the Six:
Loops must be stopped to maintain a stable gamestate, and with the looming release of Daigusto Emeral and Evilswarm Ouroboros, Gateway of the Six becomes the enabler for not only yet another discarding hand loop, but one that will furthermore continue to banish every card discarded from the hand there after.
Initially dubbed the Atlantean Stratos, the universatility of this card makes the original Elemental HERO Stratos himself look subpar. What makes Atlantean Dragoons so good is his ability to be set off in a multitude of ways. Whether it's via Genex Undine, Mermail Abysspike, or Mermail Abyssmegalo, you net advantage through Atlantean Dragoons while gaining advantage through the card who used him as a cost.
If a Water player opens with Genex Undine, not only will they be searching out Genex Controller, but by sending Atlantean Dragoons as the cost, they gain access to search essentially ANY monster in the deck. Maybe it's the Mermail Abysmegalo they plan on using to set off more Atlantean effects while going for the kill, or maybe they'll go after a copy of Moulinglacia the Elemental Lord for that free Delinquent Duo-incarnate effect. How about a copy of Deep Sea Diva for the following turns play? Without question, Atlantean Dragoons is the enabler of the Water deck. Many people seem to think that Genex Undine is the problem, but it is far from it. While the risks tend to be well worth the reward, Genex Undine is a two part card that cannot function alone, which gives it its own inconsistencies to begin with.
With Atlantean Dragoons at a single copy, the Water player must make his choice very wisely, because they aren't going to be able to mitigate a possible mistake now with another search later.
Yet another 'loop' enabler. After the limiting of Wind-up Carrier Zenmaity, the initial thought was that fear of Wind-ups was over, but as it turns out, that couldn't have been further from the truth. Utilizing Wind-up Magician's effect to tutor another copy of itself is the fundamental basic beginning of a number of plays that result in either an OTK or a complete domination of the field. When played correctly, 1 copy becomes 3, and they end up being recycled by the effect of Wind-up Rat allowing them to be used again and again.
While Wind-up Shark tends to be the card that sets this whole fiasco off, attempting to add him to the list would only serve to make the deck near unplayable. The Limited and Forbidden list is designed to balance things, not destroy them. With Wind-up Magician at 1, the deck is still fully functional as an Xyz machine, but is no longer able to 'loop' based around 2 card combos of Wind-up Magician / Wind-up Shark or Wind-up Shark / Tour Guide from the Underworld, effectively balancing the deck as it should be.
One Day of Peace:
Similar to Card Destruction, One Day of Peace is an enabler of solitaire gaming styles. Digging deeper into the recesses of the deck towards whatever the win contain might be, all-the-while making your opponents next turn essentially useless tends to defeat the purpose of a competitive TCG.
Evigishki Mind Augus:
If you've seen my channel recently, or especially that of fellow ARG member Tyler Nolan, you've seen the astounding power this card controls. The definition of Solitaire play could be defined simply as a picture of this card. While the Gishki Solitaire deck is technically playable with only a single copy of Evigishki Mind Augus, it becomes extremely weak to input by the opponent. Pilots of this deck more than likely would not risk playing it at all with only a single copy of Evigishki Mind Augus to begin with.
As a card that single handedly is defining the meta by the way it controls it, Macro Cosmos has reached a point in its life of simply having to much power. One could compare Macro Cosmos to Royal Oppression from a few formats ago. With Macro Cosmos down to a single copy, the surprise factor of a chaining its effect is settled to a bare minimum. While limiting Macro Cosmos will only serve to make room for replacement Dimensional Fissures, at least the opponent will be able to attempt to make their plays around the banishing presence instead of running headlong into it.
Royal Oppression (Potential):
As it currently stands, the meta is overrun by extremely dominate special summon mechanics. In an attempt to balance the metastate, Royal Oppression has the ability to make a positive impact on the direction the game is currently headed by allowing a large number a decks the potential to make a stand for themselves under its protective wing.
While the fear of a potential first turn Evolzar Laggia with multiple backrow including Royal Oppression will exist, as well as any number of other strategies such as Blackwings from the older days, or even in the newly released Fire Fists, one must realize the sheer amount of backrow hate available in the game today. 3 Mystical Space Typhoon, 3 Dust Tornado, 3 Twister, 3 Night Beam, 1 Heavy Storm, and any other number of archetype specific backrow removers. A well prepared duelist should not have to much trouble against an opponent with an active Royal Oppression, as it can be used against the owner too!
Grapha, Dragon Lord of Dark World:
There is not a single monster in the game that has near as many effects bundled up into one explosively powerful package. Beginning with any number of card effects that already net the Dark World player some form of advantage, Grapha, Dragon Lord of Dark World adds onto the mix by destroying any card the opponent controls. Followed by near immortality, Grapha, Dragon Lord of Dark World is able to put extreme amounts of pressure on the opponent ranging between 2700 and 3000 ATK, essentially for free, as his summoning condition keeps the Dark World players hand populated with at least 1 other Dark World monster that will also trigger some sort of effect when it is discarded in a fashion similar to how Grapha, Dragon Lord of Dark World would have been to begin with.
At two, if an opponent manages to get off a Bottomless Trap Hole, Dimensional Prison, Debunk, or chains Macro Cosmos at the right time on one copy, it becomes much easier to deal with a lone remaining copy.
Zombies have had their time as the meta in the past, and even to this day have to potential to be an extremely reliant Synchro or Xyz summoning deck. However, in the spotlight of new releases, Zombies have been left to the shadows, a day late and a dollar short. An additional copy of Mezuki would serve as the the tipping point to bring the deck back into the limelight. Gogogo Ghost has brought some life back to possible strategies with the deck, but further coupled with the upcoming release of Lavalval Chain, Zombies could make their way back into the competitive scene as worthwhile competition, further diversifying the successful strategies duelists can employ to keep the game enjoyable, rather than a continuation of the same, stale, match ups that we've all seen happen in the past.
Deep Sea Diva:
Another intricate part of the Water deck setup. Similar to Tour Guide from the Underworld, Deep Sea Diva is a tutor. Tutors tend to be extremely reliant for decks able to utilize them to their fullest, and thus why they end up finding themselves on the list. We know the deck can function with even only a single copy as some players have shown us by choice, but where Deep Sea Diva truly becomes problematic at 3 is the correlation to Atlantean Dragoons at 1. If the water player already has a copy of Deep Sea Diva in hand, and are able to get off Atlantean Dragoons in one of the multitude of ways, their decision becomes much easier to make, effectively reducing the impact of the limitation on Atlantean Dragoons.
Book of Moon:
In a game as fast paced as Yugioh can tend to be, the ability to help dictate the tempo is a very welcoming relief, from both sides of the coin. Book of Moon is a very interesting card due to the sheer number of uses it holds. Behind Book of Moon, players can go on offense, sit back on defense, or take the initiative to break apart combo plays without the need of negations such as Solemn Warning. At 1, Book of Moon has fallen out of favor over time, but a second copy could very well be what it needs to see play again.
There are a few others that may deserve a place here, but I didn't feel were conversational enough to go into detail, for the sake of discussion, I'll go ahead and list them here:
Pot of Avarice
Gladiator Beast Bestiari
Chaos Sorcerer [Only with the banning of BLSEotB] Lonefire Blossom
The Transmigration Prophecy
Pot Of Duality
One quick explanation here: Reborn Tengu is meaningless when coupled with the Xyz mechanic that dominates the game right now. Few decks attempt to run the synchro route any longer, and those that do are largely out numbered, and out classed, by the Xyz strategies embedded in the current game. At best, Reborn Tengu regains his former glory of MVF (Most Valuable Floater).
With all of that in mind, I hope you all the best of luck in preparing for whatever the actual list may hold for us in coming weeks. I don't expect anything to be destroyed, not even remotely, but rather a momentum shift towards a more balanced gaming experience for the multitude of strategies that exist in the game today.