Jubilation? Fear? Anger? One of those words(or all three) are probably running through your mind right now at the sight of a post by me(it wouldn't possibly have anything to do with the new TCG banlist). However this post isn't about me as you probably already know my story. I didn't like the direction the game was going so I stopped playing for a format or two(turns out one just does not actually ever quit yugioh). I was planning on sitting out yet another format, when Konami did something extraordinary. They got my attention.....in a good way. I have always been a proponent of separate banlists for the TCG and OCG however I have known full well that my dream was likely to stay just that. Until it doesn't. I don't need to tell you all what events have transpired. Just know that this is game changing. In all honesty I don't know what many of the new cards do but I can tell you that this separation of TCG and OCG changes things. Most importantly however is the fact that Konami did a massive cleansing of the game that I and many others that have many more accolades than I have been wanting. Card Destruction, gateway, monster reborn,and pot of avarice all were banned and rightfully so. Unfair cards that gave unfair advantage that in turn produced unfair wins were punished. Something like that has not happened in many formats and certainly never of this magnitude. Is the list perfect? No. Heavy storm was banned which I will always think is wrong. I don't like overextending and cards that punish overextending should play an integral part of the game. I will say however that Konami did take meaningful steps to anticipate this overextending tendency. By hitting backrow cards such as D-Prision, Torrential, Bottomless, and Judgement the " Set 5 and Sit" mindset becomes a alot less viable but not having a card that completely eliminates that mindset is still better than any amount of precautionary measures. But I digress, Konami did alot more harm than good and made meaningful changes which is a massive step in the right direction. More importantly it actually makes me want to play the game again. While I don't know the exact specifics of why the game was so bad and exactly what cards got it into that predicament, it doesn't really matter as it really is always the same story just with different card names. That being said I don't want to talk about each and every card on its own but I do believe that a few warrant greater attention(at least in my eyes).
Elemental Hero Stratos: Oh the venerable hero finally gets hit. Before my hiatus I was playing and heroes and thus developed insight into how the deck played(Hero Beat if you are curious of the variant). However all people really seem to want to know is: "Is the deck dead?" Short Answer: Yes. Long answer: Yes, in its current form. Heroes will have to change and adapt and will need to incorporate new strategies and tech choices, but hell what deck doesn't have to do all of these things? Explore, discover, create. That is what this list requires and to be honest it is quite refreshing to see the need for such traits in Yugioh.
Destiny Hero Malicious: Oh the days of perfect circle and how this card brings back memories of such. Some people are scared about the amount of possibilities that this card opens up(with there being three d-draw and all) but I welcome those possibilities. To actually have a draw engine and not just being able to search for whatever you want is a nice change of pace. Maybe I'm just talking out of my ass considering I haven't been following the metagame very closely for the past format but being able to splash in a draw engine in whatever deck is nice. Plus I'm also looking forward to a hero/d-hero mashup that tries to compensate of the lack of Stratos.
Black Whirlwind: I will admit that this has always been one of my selfish desires to see this card back at three(If you haven't read the blog before, just know that I love Blackwings). Blackwings is the one deck where I feel comfortable tooting my own horn, since I have played them for so long, I know the intricacies as good as anyone else and feel completely comfortable playing them. While in past formats the deck has been garbage(which forced me to turn to heroes) this format has changed things. Blackwings are now largely where they were at when they were in their prime. They only lack 2 gale but even then they were still tier one with only one gale. With so few actual traps now, hand traps may become a larger force and Kalut is still one of the best in class. Couple that with the fact that Blackwings are able to dance around skill drain and you have a very solid concept for a deck(for the uninformed I believe that skill drain will play in a big role in this format). Even if Blackwings don't flutter to the top having three black whirlwind certainly doesn't hurt them and if nothing else it gives me a reason to play them.
Plaguespreader Zombie and Mezuki: I lumped these two together because they represent in essence the same thing. Zombies could very well be back. Couple this with three malicious and three d-draw and you have a deck that is very similar to the zombie decks that were dominating past formats(not recent ones). This is particularly scary and like I said earlier, unlimiting malicious open particular holes that give reason for concern and this just might be one of those holes. This does pose a particular problem however, it seems that zombies are either broken or worthless and making them a good(not broken) archetype has so far proved elusive. Still it remains to be seen but these two cards are ones to keep a very close eye on, but if it does end up being broken we will only have to deal with it until January!
That last part of was just a joke, we as yugioh players should never put up with a terrible game no matter how short it is but that segway was just to good to pass-up. That being said the fact that Yugioh is going to have 4 banlists per year is extremely significant. Not only will the game change more often but we won't have to endure six months of pain because of terrible card design by Konami. Now I hope Konami doesn't use this as a catalyst to say " Well they only have to complain for 4 months" to justify even worse card design, instead I hope they use it as an opportunity to moderate the game which in turn would mean that they wouldn't have to make such drastic changes that completely alter the game as we know it instead they would make smaller changes that improve the health of the game. Time will tell if Konami will squander this opportunity but if this banlist is any indication then Konami is taking the right provisions.
With that being said there is still some cause for concern, not necessarily for the coming format but for some of the reasons Konami did what they did. There is new zombie support coming out in Shadow Specters and the likely reason that Konami brought back both Plauge and Mezuki to two is to push the new product. I have yet to dive into the new support cards and see if they are any good but I will get on that soon and write another post about it. Furthermore and perhaps the most interesting takeaway from this list, is the fact Konami didn't bring any previously banned cards back. They only hit cards or un-restricted them. Could these be a new tactic that Konami uses? If this tactic continues we could see more of a set rotation sort of game(which if done right would not be a bad thing). Only time will tell but it is an interesting development nonetheless.
Thank you all for reading and I greatly appreciate all of my readers continued support(even through the six months were nothing was posted).