While the List wasn't delivered in time for YCS Toronto and YCS Rimini this weekend, Konami's shaken up the game for the rest of the year. While some say the list solved most of the players' complaints, others are still dissatisfied. A lot of changes were made so let's dive right in.
First up, the Forbidden cards.
Performapal Monkeyboard: I think everyone – even fans of mixed Pendulum decks – would agree that this was a change for the better. Monkeyboard was incredible, since it was a complete Pendulum Scale in and of itself; the fact that it was re-usable made it even more problematic.
Back in the heyday of Draco Pals people were making tremendous Turn 1 boards, then using Ignister Prominence the Dracoslayer to shuffle Monkeyboard back to the deck and search with Majester Paladin the Ascending Dracoslayer in the End Phase. Armageddon Knight and Blackwing – Zephyros the Elite could serve a similar purpose and we've seen recent abuse with Majespecter Unicorn – Kirin.
The Pendulum deck's still alive and well even without Monkeyboard, and I feel like most players are happy it's finally gone.
Kaiser Colosseum: This might seem like a bit of an odd hit to some, but restricting Kaiser Colosseum seems to be a more preemptive move than anything. It sees a good amount of play in the ABC-Dragon Buster deck that's been dominating the OCG, and if you combine that with the fact that this card caused a ton of confusion and ruling headaches – especially lately involving The Monarchs Stormforth – as well as the fact that it's a floodgate that doesn't let your opponent play, well, Forbidding it starts to make a little more sense.
I think Bujin players are the only people that might be sad to see this one go. Let's move on to the newly Limited cards.
Cir, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss and Beatrice, Lady of the Eternal: The general consensus seems to be that Burning Abyss wasn't hit as hard as it should've been, and I'm inclined to agree.
While putting Cir to one takes away a resource and another of the really good Burning Abyss name-stamped cards, it seems largely irrelevant unless cards that banish become widely popular. Choices like a third copy of Farfa, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss were still common over the past few months, so there's definitely no shortage of Burning Abyss monsters to take the slot of the missing Cir.
Limiting Beatrice means fewer power plays in the mid and late game, but just like the Cir Limitation, that seems to be largely irrelevant. With one copy around you can still power through the early game a lot faster and more consistently than other decks, especially since those other big strategies took even bigger hits to their card pools. It doesn't really matter how much weaker your mid and late games are compared to the competition if you can accelerate your strategy and get into the peak of your game plan before they can.
I don't think anyone would say that Burning Abyss has a bad grind game. It never technically needed Beatrice in the past. Expect Burning Abyss to be an absolute powerhouse… Again.
Kozmo Dark Destroyer and Emergency Teleport: These hits weren't necessary in my opinion. Both the Fire King and Card of Demise variants of Kozmo had a lot of problems and weren't seeing as much success as the other three top decks in competition, so weakening Kozmos doesn't make all that much sense at first glance.
But when you realize that Monarchs are largely unplayable now – and we'll get to that next – it seems like yet another preemptive hit. It's a smart move on Konami's part and I completely support decisions like that. Without The Monarchs Stormforth around this deck could've definitely been a problem.
Blue-Eyes is gaining a lot of steam, so it seems like the un-targetability of Kozmo Dark Destroyer wasn't R&D's main purpose for restricting the deck. Targeting effects are weak against the Blue-Eyes deck too, so non-targeting removal effects were already going to get popular no matter what, even with the loss of Stormforth. I think Dark Destroyer was hit more to help mitigate those crazy unbeatable Turn 1 fields the Fire King Kozmo deck can create. If they didn't hit Dark Destroyer they would've had to hit both Terraforming and Fire King Island to be hinder the deck's combo rate, and it was probably just easier to deal with Dark Destroyer directly.
Emergency Teleport to 1 is pretty long overdue and a lot of people are happy it's finally happened. Even back before Kozmo Tincan, Emergency Teleport was making OTK's out of nowhere by searching Kozmo Farmgirl straight to the field right in the Battle Phase. Quick-Play Spells probably shouldn't create 4500 points of damage entirely on their own.
But Kozmos aren't the only deck that suffered from Teleport's Limiting; the Monarch deck took a hit too. Emergency Teleport to 1 makes the Super Quantum engine far less effective; it's inconsistent to the point where it's probably not even worth playing, and that's not something you want to hear when you see what else Monarchs have lost…
Ehther the Heavenly Monarch, Pantheism of the Monarchs, and The Monarchs Stormforth: In addition to the loss of the Super Quantum engine, these three hits are absolutely devastating. Ehther and Stormforth were essentially searchable defense that advanced your position at the same time, and losing two copies of each is very bad news for this deck. Losing two Pantheisms not only makes it way harder to open with the infamous Pantheism + The Prime Monarch combo, but it takes away the recurring +1 of card economy every turn that would always result when the big Monarchs sent Pantheism to your graveyard. It also eliminates the possibility of banishing Pantheism and searching another one off Tenacity of the Monarchs in case you were still stuck looking at a brick hand even after resolving your first copy.
Foolish Burial becomes a near staple now for its ability to seek out Erebus the Underworld Monarch, since you can only play four copies of Monarchs that send spells or traps to the graveyard, and for its ability to recycle the one copy of Pantheism by yarding Edea the Heavenly Squire. Searching Erebus is going to be huge, because the deck won't have nearly as many good Tribute Summons now.
…That is, for the people willing to try and make Monarchs work. I don't have to write a wall of text explaining the new problems this deck faces heading into the upcoming format. I think it's obvious to everyone that it won't exist at all.
Pendulum Call: This seems like an odd choice, especially since the Pendulum Magician cards were most popularly being used as a splash in other decks, than for the actual Magician effects themselves.
With the release of better Pendulum cards, Magicians probably would have faded into nothingness anyways. Even the hit to Wisdom-Eye Magician last time around seemed out of place; all in all I don't think this change will affect the game much.
Let's take a look at the Semi-Limitations next.
Maxx "C": This is the one change I really don't like. Going first has become such a powerful advantage in this game because you can set up boards and rank in cards before your opponent has a chance to stop you. Hand traps play an important role as a result, balancing the problem. Having one less Maxx "C" to help when you lose the die roll isn't a good thing.
The biggest problem is that having three copies of Maxx "C" in your deck when you were going first was never very good unless the other four cards in your hand could established a decent field anyways board. It made for a deck building paradox where you wanted to play the full three copies in case you lost the die roll, but you didn't want to gimp yourself when you won it.
With Ghost Reaper & Winter Cherries being good against Blue-Eyes as well as Burning Abyss, hopefully the impact of this Semi-Limiting won't be very noticeable for now. But a day will come where Maxx "C" is the only hand trap that will be effective against a new top deck, and the impact will definitely be felt then. Until that time comes, I suggest picking up your playset of Ghost Reapers if you don't have them. You'll want to have that option.
Thunder King Rai-Oh and Wind-Up Magician: I feel like these changes are pretty irrelevant and won't impact the game at all. Both cards can probably go to 3 and I'm sure they will on the next list. R&D probably just wanted to test the waters and make sure they weren't going to create problems; better safe than sorry.
Finally, the following cards are no longer restricted and can be played at 3-per-deck.
Allure of Darkness: With cards like Leviair the Sea Dragon, Kozmo Strawman, and Kozmotown, I think having three copies of Allure is a bad idea. I don't dislike this change quite as much as the Semi-Limiting of Maxx "C" but it definitely makes Burning Abyss even better, making a stronger case that it's the new deck to beat. On the bright side, three copies of Allure gives Kozmo more help it probably needs. That's always a good thing.
Thousand-Eyes Restrict and Gold Sarcophagus: Just like Thunder King and Magician, these changes probably won't impact the game at all.
What do you guys think of the newest update to the Forbidden & Limited list? Do you approve of them, or do you think the powers that be made a misstep somewhere? Let me know down in the comments!