Tuesday, 15 March 2016

OCG Banlist April 2016 Discussion

 The time has finally come...
Konami seems to compensate for the previously short list with a harsh & cruel list this time round.

Source: https://www.facebook.com/yugioharcv2014 Yugioh Intro to Expert Players FB

Without further ado, let the discussion/ranting/salt/tears begin:

Performapal Monkeyboard
The outright ban of Performapal Monkeyboard may have been surprising, but it wasn't totally unexpected. A one-card generic pendulum scale is indeed quite overpowered, as previously mentioned. Guess we won't see much of this monkey in the year of the monkey anymore.

Lavalval Chain
OCG follows in the footsteps of TCG, banning the generic Rank 4 monster that contributes to the summoning of Naturia Beast, the card responsible for rage quits.
It is also thankful that they did not ban Evilswarm Exciton as well.
Life Equalizer
Guess Konami has enough of Monarch OTK as much as they did with EMEm last format.
An OTK will be hard now considering they now have to inflict 11000 worth of damage, without Life Equaliser. Also, the limitation of  Pantheism of the Monarchs doesn't help either.
But there is always room for innovation, but that's another story for another post.

Newly Limited:
Let's welcome back our long-lost friend? This card got banned shortly after I started competitve Yu-gi-oh. Feels like so long ago, perhaps because it is. For those of you who haven't heard, don't forget to read the errata

Thousand-Eyes Restrict
Yet another one of those it-is-time-to-be-unbanned-because-you-no-longer-matter. lol
Looking forward to seeing people abuse this card with Instant Fusion being at 3 now.

Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss
Scarm, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss
Mask Change Second
Tour Guide from the Underworld
These limitations was kind of  unexpected, at least from me. I never thought that Burning Abyss would be hit that badly. Perhaps this is a play by Konami to promote new BA support cards or other builds of BA. The limitation of Scarm, imo, is likely to be due to the release of Sangan from the Forbidden section of the list. Konami is likely to be doing this to support the use of the Errated Sangan to replace the lost copies of Scarm. To add on, the fact that key swarm cards like Cir & Graff remains untouched means that Konami does not wish to drill a screw to shut BA into the coffin just yet...
Masked Change II's limitation perhaps meant that Konami didn't want Dark Law to be a must-play for every dark-attribute deck. Or as a daring speculation/hope of my own, perhaps this hints towards the dark attribute D-Heroes getting a Masked Form soon? Perhaps also special-summon able by Mask-Change II?
As predicted, the release of Sangan meant that Tourguide would be placed under scrutiny by Konami. 

Performapal Skullcrobat Joker
Ignister Prominence, the Blasting Dracoslayer
Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer
Draco Face-Off
Wavering Eyes
Luster Pendulum, the Dracoslayer
Each of these hits were called one way or another in the previous prediction post. Performapal Sorcerer gets punished hard despite being recently reprinted. I speculate it could be due to it being a searchable synchro material for Naturia Beast.
With this new list, Dracopal deck lost the majority of its search power and swarming capabilities.

Emergency Teleport
Domain of the True Monarchs
Pantheism of the Monarchs
Monarchs has always stayed relevant in the metagame due to its lockdown capabilities for meta decks, pendulum or non-pendulum alike. It would seem that that is about to change for the next format.
Firstly, Emergency Teleport kills off the Super Quantum engine, which was known to be recyclable unlike the Squire and Vassel engines, hurting its consistency.
Secondly, to add insult to injury,  the banlist kills or incapacitate the deck by limiting the best thing that this deck can offer - a lockdown in the form of inaccessibility to the extra deck.
It is understandable, however, given that without Performapal Magician's 1000atk boost on Performapal Joker being as accessible as before, a 2800Atk monster standing in the way of victory and escaping a lockdown seems too unfair for the game, if S/T destruction was to be ignored.
Nevertheless, Monarch decks has lost its greatest asset - Lockdown.
Lastly, draw power and searching capabilities, both offered by Pantheism of the Monarchs, has been the key thing in the uprising of Monarch decks. The introduction of this card in the Structure Deck was capable of bringing Monarch to greater heights, with the variety of effects. (including the choice that wasn't much of a choice graveyard effect). The limitation of Pantheism can only mean that Monarch is seemingly now back to square one, losing its speed and search, slowly the deck once more. Guess now Monarch player shave to be thrifty and reuse Pantheism via Idea.

Pendulum Call
Magician decks loses all hope of recovery or staying alive, now that their unique searcher is also gone. However, as I mentioned before for the other hits, one should not be discouraged as this could mean that Konami can now be prepared to release more Magician support/cards. 
Stay glass-half-full !

Monster Gate
I can only imagine the sadness and shock of Infernoid players to receive a hit from the banlist, especially when they were hiding under Konami's radar as a tier 2 or arguably rogue deck for the past months. This move could be made in preparation for more milling cards or cards to be made in the future, but I think these two cards were limited likely due Monarch's abuse of them to initiate the special summon of Kuraz (more quickly) and clear threats on the field.
Edit: More about Infernoids here.

Newly Semi-Limited:
Super Rejuvenation
Attempt by Konami to allow Dragon decks to flourish more. Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon not joining in this section means that Konami has yet to prepare to allow Dragons to be top in the meta again.

Glow-Up Bulb
With glow-up bulb's effect being once per duel, I feel that it being at 3 is completely redundant. It is unlikely to see players play it at 3 copies in a desperate attempt to summon out Naturia Beast. (I would rather abuse other Earth level 1-tuners such as Re-cover, even if Emergency Teleport is now at 1)
In short, glow-up bulb's status change makes little to no difference in the current meta.

Kuribandit finally returns to 3 after the death of Shaddolls and Dragons, which was probably the main reason it landed itself at the limited slot in the first place. Hence I think this change is fair. With the release of spell-searching cards such as left arm offering since Kuribandit has been limited, perhaps this would inspire Shinra lovers to try out the deck again?

Destiny Hero – Malicious
As predicted, D-Heroes lived up to the hype of Edo Phoenix's return, and the banlist gives D-Hero a leveled playing ground to compete the metagame. Let's see what the new D-hero support can do to the meta.

Mermail Abyssteus
Atlantean decks has previously abused Atlantean Prince for its OTK possibilities. But Deep Sea Diva's limitation led to the deck's demise. Mermail Abyssteus being at 3 is unlikely to make any significant impact on the metagame, although it could provide Mermail-Atlantean a fighting chance by offering a more board-control build rather than the old OTK based build. It could also allow the water-based deck to access its rank 7 toolbox more.

Mind Control
Book of Moon
This isn't so surprising considering these two cards were reprinted recently to fill up the last of the few 20-card slots in GOLD PACK 2016.

Gold Sarcophagus
Dragon Shrine
Similar for Kuribandit's case, now that the culprits (Dragon Rulers) are sitting behind bars, it is time for these poor innocent cards to return.
Dragonuity fans rejoice!

Crush Card Virus
Allure of Darkness
Allure of Darkness provides BA with more draw power, after losing their searching capabilities. The limitation of Monarch's draw engine could prompt them to seek Allure of Darkness as a substitute/answer to their deck's consistency.
Crush Card Virus slowly returns to 3 after its erratum keeps it fair and 'un-broken' but it still has not seen much play in recent months.

Final Words

What this means for the meta/Changes we expect to see:

  1. As afore-mentioned, with Magical Explosion still available at 3, but pulling off an OTK will be A LOT harder than before, even with the aid of Blasting the Ruins. However, we can never discount the possibility of troll-OTK decks emerging in the form of Self-Destruct button being abused.
  2. The limitation of Tourguide from the Underworld may mean that BA users would drop Fiendish Rhino from their deck. The lack of this one-card rank 3 xyz summon may also mean that BA decks are leaning towards other Rank 3 engines such as Phantom Knights and Speedroids (even more than before).  In addition, the limitation of Dante frees up space in the extra deck for more rank-3 toolboxes to be used. I can also forsee the Ritual build being abused more in the next meta, considering that Pre-preparation of Rites will serve as the next deck-searching/thinning.
  3. Infernoid players are likely to include Void Dream in their deck more often than before, considering that they have just lost their main rapid method of milling and filling up their graveyard.
  4. Surprisingly, Twin Twister and Solemn Strike escapes unscathed. Perhaps not yet...
  5. GeoTheBacon suggests that his fav deck, DDD is now stronger than ever and stands a chance to contest the metagame. But I shall leave him to expand on that in his own blog post.
  6. For the final point, I have reserved it specially for the elephant in the room monkey on the list:
Draco-pals is unlikely to be dead, although the deck has been tremendously slowed, losing 7 of its important key cards and the main of the core-build. Other rank 4 toolbox still exist to keep this deck alive. With innovation, it will survive.  So haters, don't be naive to cheer so soon. 
Cards such as Armageddon Knight, Blackwing Zephyros, Shaddoll Dragon could see more play now, now that more slots are available to fill up in the deck, moving the deck towards the build of what TCG named as [Dark Dracopals]. Clownblade could also return as a rank 4 toolbox, but it would be tougher than before now that Lavalval Chain has resided in Sangan's previous residence. Players determined to continue to summon Naturia Beast in the next meta would seek to source out level 4 Earth monsters such as Heroic Champion Assault Halbred, Performage Hattricker and Rescue Rabbit. The latter can also be said for the fact that Master P would likely to be played in quantities of 3 in the next meta.
Mathematician could been seen in a desperate attempt to summon Naturia Beast, or Ignister Prominence, the Blasting Dracoslayer (1+3+4), but being at 1 not only means that Konami figured out this possibility, but also that it would be inconsistent.
Similar to how TCG dealt with the blow, Masked Chameleon could see more play with Master Pendulum as its main target, in a bid to summon Ignister or level 8 synchros/rank 4 xyz, although the limitation of Ignister may suggest otherwise. Being searchable by King of Feral Imp also makes it worthy for consideration.

Now that low-scale EM mons are dwindling in quantity (Performapal Magician and Monkeyboard), other scale 1-3 Performapals (such as Partnaga or TurnToad) may also see more play, for them to work hand in hand with the scale 6 Performapals (Turtle and Lizard)

A harsh banlist greatly reflects what the Yugioh metagame should be like in my opinion.
Get hit by the list, adapt, recover, think of tech idea, strive to stay alive.
A perfect example would be Nekroz, which still managed to stay relevant despite the years of lists and hits.
With the new cards about to be released and this new list, I wait in eager anticipation for next month to come.

Let's just hope this isn't an early April Fool's Joke by Konami.

As always, feel free to comment, reply, tweet back your thoughts.

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