I've gotten a lot of criticism over the past few days. Such as "The ban list has it's perks, it causes bad players like Valafar to quit". I can take an insult thrown my way, so this doesn't concern me too much. What does bother me is how unbelievably moronic some of these people have been. Virtually no good has come from this list. In fact, no good has. Sure, Fishborg Blaster is banned, but shouldn't that have happened a long time ago?
Now, this may sound like a conspiracy theory of sorts, but I think this list was deliberate. It reminds me a lot of the September 2008 list. Everything seems to be in place to promote Exceeds to ridiculous proportions. Just look at the secondary market value for Tour Guide From The Underworld.
The number one problem for this list is Heavy Storm. People are very quick to point the finger at Mystical Space Typhoon, but let's be reasonable. MST is not an overpowered card.
And this is probably the biggest problem we have right now. If you set 2 or more face downs, you will get sacked by HS. If you only set 1, they're going to MST you and make their plays without you being able to do anything. It gets to the point now where you're better off not setting at all, at least their cards will be dead.
In other words, you're not allowed to defend yourself. So if you can't defend, you have to go on the offensive. And this is where centralization begins. Your only option is to attack, so you need to be able to attack harder and faster than your opponent can. Eventually someone finds/builds a deck that can hit harder and faster than any other deck, and that deck becomes unbeatable.
The thing is, these decks tend to lack any sort of skill or thought with them. I'll give an example.
September 09 Lightsworns. JD at 2, Lumina at 3, Necro Gardna at 3, CotLB at 3. To win with this deck, you need to be able to mill fast and draw good. If you're lucky, you'll mill Wulf and Necro Gardna a lot. If you're unlucky, you won't and your opponent will win. It was that simple. As Michael Bonacini said, you did need to know when to go derp all over your opponent's face, but if your opponent wasn't playing Lightsworn as well? Not so much.
The deck ran itself. Much like Tengu Plants of last format. You learn how to make a few plays, and then you repeat them. The difference is that Tengu Plants needed to be smart against the back row. The back row would change from deck to deck, you'd need to know what was in it, how to counter it and how to play around it. The thing is, now there isn't any back row.
So no worrying about Warning, Compulsory, BTH, D Prison, you just make plays and 9 times out of 10 they'll happen. I don't know about anyone else, but this is hardly my definition of skill.
People say that there is skill involved in setting back row in a format where HS is legal. I disagree. I've played quite a few formats with HS legal and I'll be the first one to tell you that very little thought went into it. If you're opponent had both Storm and MST still, you set 2. If your opponent has Storm but not MST, you set 1. If your opponent has MST but not Storm, you're free to set as much as you like provided you can protect it.
This is what's called a "routine", and it hardly pertains to skill. The person activating MST/Storm isn't being particularly skillful either. Since when does activating a spell with no condition or cost take effort or thought? By that logic Ookazi is skillful.
And this is all provided that players draw their cards, which is of course completely luck based.
At least in the last HS format, we had Starlight Road. However, in the current format, SLR isn't particularly effective. If your SLR gets MST'd and you have face downs, HS is going to win the game. If you do manage to get off SLR, your dragon will probably be eaten alive by Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning.
So the number one rule of this format is to draw really well and to sack hard. And people wonder why I'm in a bad mood?