I'm sure you've heard already, but the brand new Forbidden & Limited List dropped yesterday. There are a few big differences with this F&L List from the last few which makes it really exciting, too. For example, this is the most number of cards Forbidden at one time since the September 2013 F&L List, which was one of the biggest Lists of all time!
The other important factor is that this F&L list actually comes into effect immediately. While we usually have one, two, or even three weeks to prepare for the changes, Konami saved us from another weekend of Zoodiac dominance. In fact, I've already seen a whole bunch of people looking for flights to Orlando for the UDS tournament on Saturday. While it can be frustrating to not have a "last hurrah" with your favorite strategy before it gets pushed into the garbage, I think this decision is better for the game overall.
Because there are so many changes on this list, I won't try to cover all of them in one article. Instead, I wanted to touch on some of my favorite moves, while discussing how they fit into the bigger context of Yu-Gi-Oh!for the coming months, as well as how they relate to the other cards on theF&L List. Let's start with one of the most called-for Forbiddings in along time:
Zoodiac Broadbull - Forbidden
Ever since the very first day of Raging Tempest, Zoodiacs have been the best deck of the format in one form or another. Throughout each iteration of the strategy there have been a handful of reasons it was dominant. Originally, three Ratpier in one deck just clearly outpaced and outperformed everything else. Then, it was the silly Elder Entity Nordenand Fusion Substitute combo, which was the final nail in the coffin for one of the most splashable Level 4 monsters of all time. Finally, the issues with modern Zoodiacs stem in part from how little they're affected by Link Summoning, especially in combination with True Dracos.
But one constant across all versions of the deck was Zoodiac Broadbull. Ina vacuum, a Fire Formation - Tenki on legs isn't too crazy. After all, how much could one Beast-Warrior accomplish by itself?
In the case of Zoodiacs, a whole freaking lot.
One-card Xyz Summons break the game. It's as simple as that. The strength of Zoodiacs is far greater than the sum of their parts. If you look atZoodiac Ratpier, Zoodiac Whiptail, Zoodiac Chakanine, Zoodiac Broadbull, orZoodiac Drident by themselves they don't seem that powerful. But when you start factoring in the sheer value that any Zoodiac monster has by itself because of all those cards taken together? It quickly gets out of hand.
Zoodiac Broadbull rests at the heart of that issue. Taking it out of the equation leaves the initial Zoodiac Whiptail summon in a similar spot: a1200 ATK Xyz Summon with a Raigeki Break and D.D. Warrior Lady effect. It doesn't quite get threatening until you realize your opponent can do it every single turn, and that's all due to Zoodiac Broadbull. Making powerful plays off of one card isn't necessarily unhealthy for the game, but being rewarded with free momentum for zero drawback isn't fair. Zoodiac Dridentmay have always been the end result of the Zoodiac Combos, but the real problem was Zoodiac Broadbull. That being said, I'm glad both cards are finally Forbidden.
Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning - Semi-Limited
There were a couple changes that seem to outline the direction thatYu-Gi-Oh! has been going for quite some time now. While Gateway of the Sixand Burial from a Different Dimension both fall into that category, BlackLuster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning takes the cake as the best example.It's an iconic monster that hasn't been anything other than Limited for a decade, and now it's at two copies per deck. Furthermore the OCG's allowed three copies, which suggests we could see a similar shift later on.
What Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning at Semi-Limited tells us as a player base is that Konami has realized how important the Turn 1 inYu-Gi-Oh! truly is. I know that sounds like an obvious statement, butYu-Gi-Oh! hasn't always been that way. Think about a lot of the older cards on previous Forbidden & Limited Lists: Raigeki, Dark Hole, Magician ofFaith, Breaker the Magical Warrior, and many more.
A lot of them seemed amazing in their time, but slowly moved their way up the F&L List. I'm honestly surprised Dark Hole went to Limited on thisList because it seems very un-Konami-like at this stage in the game.
It's no secret that a lot of those cards were, at some point, extremely powerful. However, none of them are particularly useful on your first turn.While setting Magician of Faith or Dark Holing your own board are technically options for your opening plays, neither are very impactful.
That leaves a card like Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning in a weird spot. Yes, it's clearly useful, maybe even more so than any of those previously mentioned cards. But it's also not good when you're going first, and the entire game is about going first. Even with the starting player having one less card than their opponent, being the first to set up your board is crucial. Drawing Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning in your opening hand puts you down to just four cards to make plays with, and that's assuming your other cards are all useful.
Do I think BLS will find its way into some decks? Absolutely, even if I'm the only one playing it. But looking at the OCG shows us that it's not as scary as Konami once thought, which says a lot about the current state of the game compared to years past. Regardless, I'll be trying out a bunch ofChaos decks in the coming weeks; keep your eyes peeled for those.
Rescue Rabbit - Unlimited
They say that time heals all wounds, and the proof is in the Yu-Gi-Oh!community's outcry for Wind-Ups, Inzektors, and Rescue Rabbit to come off the F&L List. I don't know if people just forgot that 2012 was one of the most expensive times to be playing Yu-Gi-Oh, but people's opinions about those three decks have really changed over the years. Gone are the days of complaining about getting your hand looped with Wind-Up Hunter or losing your entire field to Inzektor Hornet and Inzektor Dragonfly, because now people want those cards back. Desperately.
At the very least, Rescue Rabbit's the most balanced of those 2012 decks, at least in a modern lens. Cards like Inzektor Dragonfly and Wind-UpCarrier Zenmaity are still pretty busted nowadays, giving you heavy benefits without much of a drawback. But Rescue Rabbit's different. If you want to play three copies of Rescue Rabbit, the fewest Normal Monsters you can realistically get away with would be three.
But flip back to any older Zoodiac deck profile and you'll see a lot of complaints about drawing the one single Speedroid Taketomborg that deck played. Perhaps a more accurate example is Brilliant Fusion and Gem-KnightGarnet, another time you'd be running a ratio of three good draws to onebad draw. The community's fairly divided on whether or not these high risk, high reward cards are worthwhile in competitive play, and those suites onlyforce you to play one brick.
Rescue Rabbit has at least three bricks, potentially more if you wanted to play a second set of Normal Monsters. It could put you in a rough spot as far as consistency goes.
That said, I want to try Rescue Rabbit in a bunch of decks because it's one of the few one-card Rank 4 Xyz that don't require prior setup. The obvious choice is to play it in a revamped Dinosaur deck, now featuring a lot of free deck space with the loss of True King Lithosagym, the Disaster. It also saw spots in OCG versions of Frog Paleozoics to make quick ToadallyAwesomes on Turn 1. I think my biggest prospect is actually Metalfoes. Between Rescue Rabbit, Rescue Ferret, and Rescue Hamster you could theoretically make great use of Emerging Emergency Rescute Rescue. I'm sure we'll see Rescue Rabbit appear somewhere, I'm just not sure where that will be.
Overall I feel that the dueling community is happy with this F&L List, especially when compared to the last couple years. I've seen a handful of naysayers that wanted Dragonic Diagram and Master Peace, the TrueDracoslaying King hit in some way, but I appreciate Konami's approach this time around where they got rid of cards like Dinomight Knight, the TrueDracofighter instead. While Master Peace is annoying, you no longer have to worry about a big follow-up turn after you tribute it away with a Kaiju.
Personally, this list opens up so many deck-building possibilities that I'm excited to try out. In many ways, hitting True Dracos and Zoodiacs wouldhave been enough to make me want to get back to building crazy decks. ButKonami took it one step further and unlimited cards like Honest, Charge ofthe Light Brigade, Rescue Cat, Rescue Rabbit, and Debris Dragon.
Those are all cards that directly boost rogue decks, and I can't wait for the next couple months of Yu-Gi-Oh!