Saturday, 18 August 2012

September 2012 List Review

I'm sure most of you have seen the new list by now. It's fairly certain that it's confirmed at this point, but Konami has been known to throw curve-balls in the past. This post is just so I can share my thoughts about the list, people are entitled to agree or disagree.


Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier

I called it. I for one won't miss it, it's one of the most abused and broken cards in the game and has been a component of numerous OTK and FTK plays. This also serves as a pre-emptive hit against Atlanteans, something I don't oppose either.

However, that said, there's now a substantial lack of good lv6 Synchros. I'm glad Goyo and Brio are gone, but I'd like good and balanced lv6 options. Orient Dragon and Gravity Warrior are OK, and Flamvell Uruquizas is decent when the format calls for him, but aside from that there aren't enough good lv6 options. Somewhat tragic considering Zombies now have the cards they need to be competitive back from the rest of the list, but then had their last strong option taken from them.

Future Fusion

Good riddance. This should have gone to 0 back when Chimeratech OTK reared its head 4 or 5 years ago. I'm glad it's finally gone, but the fact that it lasted so long shows incompetence on behalf of the list makers.

I would have liked to have Metamorphosis back in exchange though. Maybe one day.


Inzektor Dragonfly & Inzektor Hornet

I am very pleased about these hits. This doesn't kill the deck, instead this makes it run as it was intended; as an equip based utility deck. With Sword, Centipede, Ladybug and Hopper still all around the deck has no functional issues as some may believe. I think the archetype will still be a strong Tier 2 contender. I can finally use the deck without feeling dirt cheap.

If I could have chosen though, I would rather have Dragonfly get an outright ban and have Hornet at a higher number, but this is fine too. I just have more issues with Summon spam than I do with destruction.

Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon

I can't complain about this hit either. This also means I won't ever have to deal with the choo-choo train of death. I  can settle for a limit.

This card deserved the hit in its own right, but as for actually dealing with Chaos Dragons and Hieratics? There's a lot left to be desired. Both decks are still fully functional and will have a large meta share next format. Keep your sides unchanged for those two.

Chaos Sorcerer

Excuse me? The list makers have got some real nerve touching this card. Apparently BLS-EotB is equally as powerful as this card. This change disgusts me. This card has never needed to be hit in the history of the game. The list makers have made this card their bitch to be frank, they just won't leave it alone.

BLS-EotB should be ban. God knows why it ever left its spot in the first place. This card should be at nothing other than 3. It's perfectly balanced and has never caused issues. Even back in '05 this card was useable at best.

I am grossly disappointed with this hit. Konami needs to stop whoring boss monsters; I'm sick of it. Boss monsters have been killing the game for years and I wish they'd get hit instead of the decks.


This card probably shouldn't have been banned, so I'm glad it isn't. It's the plant equivalent to Mezuki.

That said, LIMITED!? Who writes these lists?

"Each player can only activate the effect of "Spore" once per Duel."

Who the hell was going to use 2 or 3? Again, this is a real sign of incompetence. I guess I'm just moaning, but seriously?

Evigishki Gustkraken

Seems unfair to Gishki if you ask me, but the less hand loops the better. Not sure if this was the card at fault though.


Was never ban worthy or even limit worthy for that matter.

Wind-Up Zenmighty

No complaints. I'd rather have this hit than WU Hunter. Again, summons spam bothers me more than anything else.

Ultimate Offering

Ban it.


Mandatory Guide from the Underworld

Will still be used with 1 Sangan. If you played September 2009 format you'll remember how people often used 3 Deep Sea Diva with no third target. Fact is this card is still good, as is Sangan. Double TGftU will be common sight (using one to fetch the other; it's still a free Rank 3), and Sangan will still get used because it's Sangan and it always gets used. Realistically this achieves nothing other than making it a one-off rather than something you can do twice. That is until Daigusto Emeral happens.

Yeah, not the smartest hit. Should be limited so that it's exclusive to decks that actually use lv3 Fiends like DWs or Infernity, or even Relinquished decks.

Debris Dragon

I am very pleased. Junk & Debris decks are now viable again. Plus, this is a random toy for X-Sabers if they want to use it. Could easily be at 3 imo.

Blackwing - Kalut the Moon Shadow

I'm not happy with this. They should have Gale or Whirlwind bumped to 2 imo, this card is silly. I'm not a fan of hand-based cards like this.

*sigh* Shriek's coverage will be littered with BWs again.

Rescue Rabbit

Achieves nothing. Should be limited. Once Verz Heliotrope is TCG legal the deck will get stronger again and we'll be back at square one.

The Agent of Mystery - Earth

Should never have been hit, Hyperion should have been. This is what I mean by Konami killing decks instead of the problem card in the deck. Agents will make a come back, which I'm not too happy with. Can't say I like the deck because honestly I hate them more than I hated Wind-Ups. It reeks of solitaire and easy boss monsters.


My arse is still sore, I know what this card is capable of. Terrible move. I expect Airblade reincarnations an Junk Collector decks to become much stronger, which is not good.

Pot of Consistency

It was inevitable really. The hit is understandable, though I disagree with it. I wish this was what happened on the September 2011 list to help neuter the usability of decks like GKs and TGs. Sadly this is one of those cards that helps low tier decks more than it helps high tier decks, so I will miss having 3. Can't say I disagree with lowering staple ratios though.

E - Emergency Call

Redundant hit is redundant.

A Hero Lives

Hieratic Seal of Convocation

Semi-Limiting cards like this literally achieves nothing and doesn't do anything to consistency whatsoever. And once more, Konami can't deal with problems properly. Ban that stupid giant Lonefire Blossom on steroids and we won't have any issues.

Mirror Force

Konami dodging problems. This and TT didn't need to move up. If the list maker were able to hit the problem card (Heavy Storm) we wouldn't have to have every mass destruction trap in the game moving up.

I've said this before: how do one or two face-downs stop 5 monsters? Answer: they don't. The solution is obvious, and this is not it. This game needs more proportionality.




Necro Gardna

Was never a problem.

Emergency Teleport

Not a fan of this card. I've seen what it does at 3.

Destiny Draw

See Emergency Teleport.

Level Limit - Area B

So discrete.

Swords of Revealing Light

In the words of fellow Pojoer and YouTuber:


... apart from Aliens."

Magic Cylinder

Because solitaire burn needed another toy apparently.


The two bans are good, but as for actually fixing the game? Nothing was achieved. Last meta's good decks have been torn down and a pathway has been laid for the next generation of lucksacking and solitaire. I got my Tsukuyomi back though, so I don't care. Once I get my second copy of Goats legalised I can finally have modern Goat Control working.

It's evident that this list wasn't well thought out, and it became apparent what the problem was after listening to a podcast that a few pros did. Hint: it's not Kevin. I probably owe him an apology if anything, but that's another post which I've planned.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

The Forbidden & Limited Card List: What Needs to Happen

In an ever increasing attempt to bide time for final testing with the Chain Infernity variant, I thought I'd post a rather unorthodox take on the Forbidden & Limited Card List (or FLCL for conciseness' sake). What I find is people tend to have a habit of creating rigid lists with loose reasoning behind them, but the general state of the game itself seems to be ignored and dead fads also seem to get ignored.

What I'm going to do instead of the norm is divide cards into groups and discuss them rather than ascribe a position to them. This will be based around and idealised model rather than any sort of prediction. The model itself is rather straightforward. There are three primary problems with the game as it stands:

  1. The game is extremely luck based, more than it has ever been in the past.
  2. The game is very fast. Not as bad as Airblade or September 2009, but it's an issue.
  3. The game is limiting player interaction.

Alongside this, there are the two regular issues:
  1. Some cards or combos are broken.
  2. Some cards or decks are overpowered.
Note that there is a difference between the two. A broken card is one that abuses other cards or mechanics, or a card that simply isn't fulfilling the purpose it ought to. An overpowered card is simply a card which is too good.

Also, there are a few cards which are arguably poor design and should have restrictions placed upon them simply because of their functionality, not their actual usage.

I'd also like to point out that popularity isn't a valid reason for anything to be hit, which is tragic considering this is how Konami makes 50% of their FLCL decisions.

Onto some of the actual categories:

Cards that are abusing game mechanics

This is quite the issue and one that I rarely see addressed. Konami gets a bit carried away when making cards and often disregards the functionality of game mechanics themselves. The prime culprits right now are:
  • Leviair the Sea Dragon
  • Daigusto Emeral
  • Pot of Avarice
Leviair the Sea Dragon: Removal has always been an important balancing factor in this game, even in the days of Goat Control. Removal has always been the end of the line for a card and that alone induced a substantial amount of fear, forcing people to play conservatively or run the risk of losing their card for good. Giving these cards a second chance was always reserved for very specialised decks which had their own drawbacks to compensate. What Leviair does is grant universal access to the RFP. As we've seen in the past with Return-DAD and in modern times with Dino Bunny, this only leads to the abuse of cards that have removal as costs or restrictions. It also removes the fear of removal meaning there is reduced incentive to conserve cards. Regardless of how effective Leviair is at his job, this is an issue that needs to be addressed.

Daigusto Emeral & Pot of Avarice: In this case, the area being abused is the Graveyard. The Graveyard has always been a little bit loose, but with the speed of the game on the rise these two are not only removing the need to conserve resources, they're actually giving an incentive to burn through them as fast as possible. There's no need to keep cards in reserve because these two are essentially letting you do everything twice. Again, this isn't an issue of how good the cards themselves are, it's about the gameplay they allow for.

Cards which are or have become broken
  • Future Fusion
  • Lavalval Chain
Lately Konami seems to have been rather strict about this. This is a fairly straightforward example of what it is to be broken. This was a card designed to give a more effective option to fusion summon that wasn't as redundant as Polymerization. Right now, its sole function in the game is to act as a super powered Foolish Burial or a mini Painful Choice.

Oddly though, I think the correct way to handle this card is to give it the Prisma treatment: make it so that it's only valid for monsters with specific materials.

Lavalval Chain needs to be dealt with also. There are already decks abusing the ability to determine their own draws indefinitely. The culprits are Infernity, and to some extent, Lightsworn.

Cards which are overpowered
  • Judgement Dragon
  • Dark Armed Dragon
  • Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning
  • Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon
  • Grapha, Dragon God of Dark World
  • Infernity Launcher
  • Rekindling
  • Limiter Removal
  • Royal Tribute
  • Return from the Different Dimension
There's been quite the build up of these over the years. Regardless of how good the deck that supports these cards are, these cards are quite frankly far too powerful. They more or less hand wins to the user on a silver platter. The majority of these are boss monsters, which have proven time and again to have no positive effect on the game whatsoever. I'm not certain why the player base seems to have such a fetish for them.

Cards that limit player interaction
  • Cardcar "D"
  • Evolzar Laggia
  • Final Countdown
  • Skill Drain
  • Chain Burn in general
I've reserved some cards that should be here for another section. This is a fairly straightforward one. Cards like these are removing interaction between players and are making the game more solitaire like.

Regarding back row in general
  • Heavy Storm
  • Solemn Judgement
  • Solemn Warning
  • Torrential Tribute
  • Dimensional Prison*
This chunk of cards here are fairly controversial. Personally, I think they should all get the axe and be taken down a few notches.

Heavy Storm: I won't deny that this card has served the game well in the past, but realistically speaking this card has had so many ill effects on the game lately that denying it is, to be frank, ignorant. It's been the golden ticket for OTK decks and it's been letting players get away with overextending their monsters for a very long time. I won't deny that back row needs to exist in moderation, but as it stands back row simply does not exist. There's no reason to think twice with monsters any more. How is one face-down (if any) meant to handle an obscene number of monsters? The monsters have been taken up a notch over the years and for proportionality back row needs to be made more present also. This cannot happen with this card legal.

The Solemn Brigade: Inversely, without HS legal these two acted as the golden ticket for stun decks. By definition, stun decks limit player interactivity. The Solemns turned attrition based gameplay into flat out stalemates. Summons need to be restricted, not made impossible. There are more balanced conditional options in existence. These needn't be legal.

Torrential Tribute: This is a testament to HS's detrimental effect on the modern game. This card was raised up because one back row was not sufficient in dealing with a swarm of monsters. With HS gone, this can be taken down.

Dimensional Prison: A bit of a miscellaneous hit here. Arguably it isn't a problem, but we saw how hideous the game becomes when people main 3 of this. This card ought to stick around just as an attack deterrent, but like with SW we don't want stalemates. I'm not completely certain as to what to do with this one, though. There are attack deterrents in the game which are much more balanced and perfectly useable.

Effect Veiler

This is a card that bothers me often with its design. I don't like the idea of having cards that have no risk attached to them in this game. I'm not settled on this card.

Miscellaneous Decks
  • Inzektors
  • Wind-Ups
If all of the prior are dealt with, these should be the only issues left. I'm not particularly bothered about how these decks are dealt with, so long as they are.

I think that's everything summed up. This is opinion based, but I hope this at least conforms to my model. Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Quick Thought - 2

Would March 2011 format really have been so bad if Solemn Warning wasn't around?