Finally! The new Forbidden and Limited List has arrived and it's safe to say that it's nothing short of radical! Ever since Konami overhauled our game with more consciously balanced card designs and a more frequent change in Advanced Formats, the F&L List has been gradual and almost underwhelming in its changes, where it once a world-shifting force. The Forbidden and Limited List used to hallmark the rise and fall of empires within our communities. September and March were sacred months of revolution, in which every duelist and deck was placed upon equal ground so that the race could start again. Once Konami made the shift to making more frequent changes to the List, formats have come and gone without much fanfare.

In fact, this List was supposed to be just like all of its contemporaries: minor, corrective, and simple. But it was really quite a lot more than that. Let's start with the big change: Raigeki's back. A card once considered monstrously degenerative to the game is now deemed playable and healthy, with many prominent players even going so far as to outright call it "just okay."

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To put that in perspective, Raigeki has been Forbidden for ten years. This card hasn't seen the light of day since August of 2004. The insanity of believing that a card that just got out of a ten year stint in card prison could be nothing to worry about is an interesting notion, though it's not an unfounded thought. Let's face it: the game is far crazier than it was ten years ago. Why?

Because Cards Like Glow-Up Bulb Exist
More than Raigeki, the biggest power player on the new F&L List is Glow-Up Bulb. When this card got the axe on the March 2012 List, I don't think anybody expected it to see the light of day again so soon. This card is by and large one of the most splashable ever printed. A free Level 1 Tuner's more powerful than you'd think and chances are we'll soon see the truth in that. With the retrospective Legendary Collection 5D's coming out pretty soon, the return of Glow-Up Bulb makes a little more sense, but it still leaves you with a monstrous powerhouse on your hands.

What do you do with it? Well, a lot of people are looking to the past, planning to rebuild decks like KMP or Quickdraw Dandywarrior that were knocked out of competition when Glow-Up Bulb was removed from the game. But today I want to see if it's possible to be a little more progressive. What if the Bulb could be retrofitted into a strategy built after its time?

Guess what? It can, because it's freaking Glow-Up Bulb!

I've always had a strong affinity for Plants and when the Plant Princesses were released, it was a happy day in my book. They're incredibly large women – each boasts 2800 ATK or DEF – and their effects are phenomenal. It's one of my most favorite decks to play. Traditionally when I build a Plant Princess deck, there isn't much room to justify the stereotypical "Plant Engine," but with Glow-Up Bulb back and Meliae of the Trees now existing, compelling arguments can certainly be made. Plus, a great deck can win even without its primary win condition. So if you aren't locking your opponent out of the game with an impenetrable Princess defense, than you'll kill them with long sequences of Synchro Summons. And let's be real here: the possibility of injecting some Shooting Quasar Dragon into your Princess strategy is just too delicious of an idea to ignore.

This deck came together splendidly; it holds all the grace and poise you'd expect from royalty. Here! Take a look…

DECKID= 101197Can I just say how fun it is to like, build without a budget for once? If you're a regular here at TCGplayer then you know my usual gig is the budget column, More Bang For Your Buck. As a broke college student, budget building is close to my heart. But having the opportunity to write about Shooting Quasar Dragon has been a nice change of pace.

Sympathetic Engines
In the past I've built several decks that played two different strategies simultaneously; it can make for quite the interesting early game. Usually, the engines have been compatible enough that you'd rarely find yourself with dead hands. Today's sort of an exception to that. Because the two different schools of thought we're combining share the Plant-type as the common denominator, it's easy to make them work together. Essentially, everything comes down to Lonefire Blossom. It's the kickstarter for both engines and because they have that common origin, it's easy to get them to flow in and out of each other like some beautiful, organic ying yang-y sort of... thing. You understand my sentiment, I'm sure.

The sooner you can get to Lonefire Blossom in your early game the better off you'll be. Luckily enough, the deck's chock full of ways to do that aside from the usual method of drawing into it. Your best and strongest bet is always going to be Meliae of the Trees; I still stand by my sentiment that it's one of the best things to happen to Plants in ages. Meliae just flies under the radar because no one's made a big splash topping with it yet.

Xyz Summoning Meliae's incredibly straightforward in this deck since you have plenty of Level 3 Earths. In the earlier stages of the game, Xyz Summoning Meliae is best left to Junk Forward and Mathematician. Junk Forward's your Cyber Dragon: an easy-to-Summon monster that serves as the requisite for bigger moves. Unlike CyDra however, your opponent doesn't need to control a monster for Junk Forward to work: you just have to control no monsters yourself. If you Special Summon Junk Forward with its effect, then Normal Summon Mathematician immediately after, you can send Lonefire Blossom to the graveyard with Mathematician's effect and begin to set up the field to your liking.

Meliae of the Trees is also your chief method of unleashing that yummy Shooting Quasar Dragon. This deck's a unique trade-off compared to typical Quasar strategies: you have several different combos that can make Quasar, most of which only consist of three cards, and they're accessible at nearly any point in the game depending on what resources you've used up to that point. That often requires some careful thought because you simply have so many options. With cards like One for One and Redox, Dragon Ruler of Boulders in the mix you have a ton of different ways to get all of the necessary monsters to the field. So while this deck isn't as straightforward as a build focused solely on Shooting Quasar Dragon, it's also not a glass cannon like so many other Quasar builds.

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Part of what makes this deck so strong is its versatility and lack of linearity. Chances are, when your opponent places a daunting threat on the field, you'll have more than one course of action that can help you cope with it. That's another reason decks of this nature aren't always the most popular on the competitive circuit: strategies that offer so many branching plays are tough to master, and they're only as strong as your grasp of their abilities. It's up to you to make it work.

Alright, Buck. So There Isn't A Bang!?
Nope! Not this week! Today is nothing more than unadulterated deck fantasy. Truth be told, until we see a reprint of Glow-Up Bulb I think it's safe to say that it won't be on my radar for a while as far as real life tournament competition goes. But if it were to be reprinted I'd probably be running something a lot like this. It's a crazy-cool deck that ticks a lot of my personal checkboxes.

High versatility with a strong offense and defense sounds like a winning combo in my book. Straight up. Maybe you're a fan of the royal family? Feel free to share any gardens you've been tending to in the comment section below.

-Zach Buckley
Team Nofatchx