This week we're talking about not one, but two new banlists.
If you'd told me a month ago that a retrain of Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier wouldn't even be the third biggest news story of the week I'm not sure I would have believed you. Yet somehow, Konami managed to deliver an absolutely massive news week with legacy support announcements for four themes, and two updates to the Forbidden & Limited Lists.
Meanwhile, the TCG updated the card database for Legendary Duelists: Rage of Ra to preview some of the upcoming new cards, and Dragons of Legend: Complete Series made its debut on Friday.
There's lots to cover this week – let's jump right into the OCG reveals for Blazing Vortex.
We actually don't know that much about Blazing Vortex – the OCG's next core set launching in Japan at the end of the month. In fact, the only thing we know about Blazing Vortex is that it contains legacy support for three themes: Armed Dragon, Windwitch and Fabled. It might contain exactly zero new themes for all we know, though that seems unlikely. Let's talk about what we DO know, and look at the new reveals.
I know you're absolutely thrilled that Guardragon Elpy is still legal in the TCG, so I'm sure you'll be even more excited to learn that Armed Dragon Flash is on its way here early next year. An Emergency Teleport for Level 3 Armed Dragons seems primed for abuse in Guardragon strategies, but OCG builds probably won't rely on the smaller Armed Dragon monsters.
Instead, OCG players will probably plan to summon the new Armed Dragon boss monsters: Armed Dragon Thunder LV10 and Armed Dragon LV10 - White. It's a different world in the OCG where Elpy is Forbidden, although I think we'll see Armed Dragon Flash end up in plenty of decks that are Dragon-heavy or focused on Rank 3s anyway.
The Windwitch engine is being fleshed out into a complete theme in Blazing Vortex too. Windwitch - Freeze Bell is a new counterpart to Windwitch - Snow Bell that protects Synchros from being destroyed by battle, and Windwitch - Blizzard Bell is the theme's third tuner.
The Windwitches are also picking up a trap card, Ice Wind's Refrain; a spell, Chime of the Windwitch; and a new Synchro, Windwitch - Diamond Bell. Currently you'll almost always use the Windwitch engine to summon Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon, but Diamond Bell is an interesting alternative – especially in a Trickstar hybrid.
Our own Loukas Peterson finally got his wish: Fabled support is coming in Blazing Vortex! There are two new Main Deck monsters – Fabled Marchosia and The Fabled Afanc – plus a Synchro Fabled Andraith.
The Field Spell Stairway to the Fabled World is a huge boost to the deck's offensive power, while Fabled Regicide seems like a reasonable trap in a deck that probably won't play many to begin with. The game plan for Fableds won't change much with these new cards, but they do give the deck enough speed and added consistency to compete against modern strategies.
Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier froze the entire Duel Terminal World once before, and it's back with a new effect to banish even more cards. Structure Deck: Ice Barrier of the Frozen Prison got its first preview ahead of its November 21st release in the OCG, and the biggest reveal was a new take on the classic 'banish all the things' Synchro monster.
Trishula, Subzero Dragon of the Ice Barrier is Level 11, requires two non-tuner materials, and banishes three cards off the field when summoned. Destroying an opponent's Subzero is a huge mistake: it'll be replaced by a 3300 ATK Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier and your monsters will have their ATKs halved, and their effects negated.
Mirror Master of the Ice Barrier and Frost Spirit of the Ice Barrier are a much-needed update to the deck's Synchro summoning capabilities. Mirror Master can summon Frost Spirit from the deck, and Mirror Master's floodgate effect puts Subzero's second effect in context. The goal of this strategy is to maintain field presence to keep your floodgate effects live. Those floodgate effects include Mirror Master, General Raiho of the Ice Barrier, Warlock of the Ice Barrier and Defender of the Ice Barrier.
There's a lot of depth to the Ice Barriers already, and with a more modern set of Main Deck monsters you can finally exploit those cards and create a cohesive strategy.
It was shocking enough when the OCG announced a new F&L List just days after the TCG List dropped, but it was even more shocking to see Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon on the Forbidden List.
Dragoon's only been available in the TCG for a little over a couple weeks, so to see it hitting the Forbidden List so early in the OCG is interesting timing. Let's face it: we all know something's going to happen to Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon down the line. The TCG will either follow directly in the footsteps of the OCG sometime next year, or instead we'll see a restriction put on Predaplant Verte Anaconda or Red-Eyes Fusion. To be clear: a Limit on either of those cards isn't enough. They'll need to be Forbidden to stop players from leveraging the Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon effectively.
Here's the list of changes to the OCG list…
All of the usual caveats apply when talking about the state of competitive play in the OCG: Harpie's Feather Duster has been legal there for quite some time, and Maxx "C" is probably the single most influential card in the game, still legal overseas. Orcust Harp Horror remains Limited in the OCG so Girsu, the Orcust Mekk-Knight is unlikely to meet the same fate here in the TCG. Red-Eyes Fusion is naturally off the list in response to Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon leaving the game, and Makyura the Destructor has a new, errata'd text that makes it much more fair.
The new TCG Forbidden & Limited List is much more interesting than the OCG List, and if you want a discussion of the impact it'll have on the game look no further than Loukas' 5 Reactions To The New Banlist and Doug's 10 Decks Buffed By The New Banlist.
Of course the Create-A-Card Project continued on last week with match-ups between Cyber Angels and Sylvans, and Lightsworns and Dinomists. Sylvans won their match-up handily last week, and Dinomists defeated Lightsworns in a huge upset.
I think it's fair to say at this point that there's some strategic voting taking place. Lightsworns are hugely popular, and none of the other themes are threatened by Dinomists in a second round matchup. Ganging up to defeat Lightsworns in the first round goes against the spirit of the poll, but it's a good strategy if your favorite deck's on the right side of the bracket.
Here's a quick rundown of all the stuff we brought you here on Infinite last week:
And that's your week in Yu-Gi-Oh news! Next week we'll be talking about the second round of the Create-A-Card Project and likely more Blazing Vortex cards. Stick with us all week; you can expect plenty of articles from Infinite writers about new decks made possible thanks to the banlist.
Until next time then