Hello Pojo Readers, Crunch$G back here again continuing to look at every card on the Forbidden and Limited List in the TCG. I finally finished all the Forbidden Monsters last part, so now I can move on to the Spells, which will require two parts just like the Main Deck Monsters considering there are 28 banned Spells in the TCG, and oh boy there are some fun Spells to look at. I’ll get started into the first 14 right now. (Cards here are banned as of the January 28th, 2019 Forbidden and Limited List)
Butterfly Dagger – Elma
This is broken for one reason and one reason alone, and that is a lack of a hard once per turn clause breaking the card open with loops. Elma here when destroyed and sent to the graveyard while equipped will return to your hand. There is only one card in the game I know of that abuses this infinitely, and that is Gearfried the Iron Knight. Equip Elma to Gearfried and Gearfried will destroy Elma, just for Elma to return to your hand. Alone this isn’t a problem, just wastes a lot of time, but then add it with other cards that can abuse this. Get a Gearfried and a Royal Magical Library on the field and you can just equip Elma to Gearfried over and over to gain Spell Counters on Royal Magical Library to keep drawing cards and eventually see all five pieces of Exodia to win the game. I’m sure something could work with Morale Boost and Fire Princess as well, but Royal Magical Library was the best for FTKing with Gearfried and Elma looping each other. Konami hates loops, so they banned Elma in April of 2005 after limiting it for the longest time since they didn’t want to ban cards before late 2004.
Elma needs a hard once per turn clause, cause otherwise someone will break it open with Gearfried again even if Royal Magical Library magically got banned tomorrow. That along with the card pool making it easier to thin your deck to get to your combo and Elma is just begging to be broken with Gearfried again. Maybe there is some other card that can abuse Elma as well that I don’t know about, but either way Elma needs a hard once per turn clause before returning to the game.
Card of Safe Return
Though this one took years to break open, once it did the advantage you could get off it was insane. Card of Safe Return is a Continuous Spell that lets you draw a card each time you Special Summon a monster from your graveyard. This isn’t a once per turn, so the right cards will make this crazy good. The deck that had the right cards though was Zombies with cards like Mezuki, Plaguespreader Zombie, Zombie Master, and Book of Life to keep reviving monsters over and over along with having access to Burial from a Different Dimension to keep using your Zombies over and over for Synchro plays since the deck had all this support around the time 5D’s started. Zombie decks could summon a ton of Synchros and draw many cards and for a bit during this period they had access to Monster Reborn, but the TCG was lucky to not have Brionac and Premature Burial out at the same time with Card of Safe Return. Card of Safe Return no matter how many copies you had could let you draw so many cards in Zombies to continue plays, so it was eventually banned in September of 2009.
There is a card called Supply Squad that lets you draw a card when a monster you control is destroyed, but it is a soft once per turn, meaning you only get one draw per copy you control per turn when something is destroyed. Card of Safe Return needs that sort of errata if it wants any chance to return, especially since we have more revival cards now and will likely only keep getting more. Card of Safe Return in its current form is not safe to return to the game.
Change of Heart
Here is one of the most simple cards on the Forbidden and Limited List, Change of Heart. Change of Heart is a Normal Spell that lets you target a monster your opponent controls and take control of it until the end of the turn. More times than not the monster you took with Change of Heart never went back to them. With this card, you likely attacked your opponent for game with whatever you stole from them or use whatever you stole for a Tribute Summon. Long story short, whatever was stolen from you with Change of Heart was never going to return to your field except in rare instances, no matter what the card said. Change of Heart is one of many cards that take control of other monsters and it was banned in April of 2005.
Now a days, Change of Heart is better than before now that you have more to do with monsters. You got Synchro Summons, Xyz Summons, Link Summons. If it wasn’t guaranteed before that your opponent wouldn’t get the stolen monster back, it is now. Change of Heart can steal games and put you in an advantageous position, even with the monsters that might be unable to be targeted by this or will be unaffected by this. Change of Heart cannot return.
After talking about a few older cards, it’s time to get into a more recent Spell that was good enough to be banned, Chicken Game. Chicken Game is a Field Spell with several effects. The first effect Chicken Game had was to make the player with the lowest amount of life points not be able to take any damage. The next one is that during the Main Phase, the turn player could pay 1000 life points for one of three effects: draw 1 card, destroy Chicken Game, or give the opponent 1000 life points. No matter what you pay for, neither player can respond to it, so no MST or whatnot. The most common effect was the draw 1 card, especially in FTK decks to draw into their deck using a ton of Spells for Magical Explosion and Life Equalizer, or you could go in the Exodia route. Chicken Game helped make decks more consistent. It also made OTKs harder because the player with lower life points took no damage, so you had to make sure your opponent had equal to or more life points than you before you made the final blow. Chicken Game was so good that it was banned in April of 2016.
Today’s Yu-Gi-Oh is having trouble with FTKs all over the place every once in a while, and all those FTKs love all the consistency they can get. Chicken Game will just add to that consistency, along with making the old Magical Explosion FTK consistent again, so Chicken Game should not come back until we know FTKs are taken care of.
Here is a card that didn’t have a specific home, though maybe one of the most famous decks to use it was Gladiator Beasts back in 2008. Cold Wave was a Normal Spell that had to be activated at the start of your Main Phase 1 and after it resolves, neither you or your opponent could not play or set Spells or Traps until the end of your opponent’s turn. This helped many decks establish their board and go in for the OTK without fearing for something like Mirror Force or Torrential Tribute or Bottomless Trap Hole. It also shut your opponent down from setting Spells or Traps on their turn so you didn’t have to worry about any new set cards when your turn came around. Cold Wave was very powerful and it was banned in March of 2011.
Cold Wave should not return. Being able to not use the Spells and Traps you set along with also not being able to set new Spells or Traps when your opponent’s turn comes along again just isn’t fun to deal with. You want to be able to set up some protection and disruption for your opponent and Cold Wave prevents that, so it should stay banned for the time being.
There are three cards famous for hand destruction and they are all banned, so I will of course talk about them all starting with Confiscation. First off, you should know that Confiscation was banned in April of 2005 but returned the very next format and wasn’t banned again until September of 2007 where it has stayed at since. Confiscation is a Normal Spell that at the cost of 1000 life points lets you look at your opponent’s hand and discard a card from it at your choice. Naturally it is a one for one, but it does so much more than take away a card from your opponent. It gives you information about your opponent’s hand and lets you choose what card you want to discard from them. The power of knowing what cards your opponent has in your hand will help you make plays more optimally and getting rid of a card at your choice lets you get rid of the biggest threat, this made Confiscation a staple when legal, so it was banned like many staples are.
In 2019, Confiscation cannot return. There are a lot of floating effects now, but there is no way you will discard a card from your opponent’s hand that floats unless you had to, plus still getting information like your opponent’s hand is still very good. Confiscation is a very powerful card that cannot come back, even if losing one card doesn’t hurt as bad as it used to, it’s the information and the choice that makes it good.
The second of the three infamous hand destruction Spell that is banned is Delinquent Duo, and it is arguably the best one back in the day. You pay 1000 life points to discard a card from your opponent’s hand at random and if they still have another card left in their hand, they discard another card of their choice. This is the only one of the three that doesn’t show you the hand of the opponent, but in exchange it takes away two cards from your opponent. It is an immediate plus one, which is very good as I’ll get into eventually with the Spells, and back in the day the only floater to worry about discarding was Sinister Serpent. The card was very powerful and was one of the first cards banned in August of 2004, but it came back the next format in April of 2005 to take part in the beloved Goat Format only to get banned again in October of 2005 where it has stayed banned since.
I know the two cards you discard from your opponent are out of your control, but Gumblar has taught us that discarding two cards alone can be very strong. Sure Delinquent Duo isn’t discarding any more by itself, but there is still a chance you don’t make your opponent discard floaters and not every deck plays floaters. Delinquent Duo is immediate advantage and it should still be banned because of the lack of effort it takes to activate.
You can look at this on paper and just see how powerful it can be. Dimension Fusion is a Normal Spell that lets you pay 2000 life points to let both players Special Summon as many of their banished monsters as possible. The obvious deck to use this in was Airblade Turbo decks, even after Elemental HERO Stratos was initially limited. You used cards like Monster Gate or Reasoning to set up field presence while hopefully getting some Warriors in the graveyard for Divine Sword – Phoenix Blade so Blade can banish some Warriors to come back to your hand for discard fodder while Dimension Fusion could summon some banished Warriors for an OTK like Stratos, Diamond Dude, or Dasher. You could also use Dark Magician of Chaos since it banished itself when it left the field, so tributing it off or using Allure of Darkness while DMoC was in your hand and then using Dimension Fusion to summon DMoC and he would give you back a Spell like the Dimension Fusion. This kind of deck was better especially with Dark Armed Dragon coming out, making DAD Return another deck since Dark Armed could banish a lot of DARKs in your graveyard. These kind of decks were so strong after Phantom Darkness that they emergency banned Dimension Fusion on May 9th, 2008 along with limiting Return From a Different Dimension and semi-limiting Allure of Darkness to limit the potency of these very fast DARK decks after Phantom Darkness came out.
Now can Dimension Fusion return? Well now we have a ton more cards that can banish monsters for you, just to resummon them with Dimension Fusion. Divine Sword is still in the game, so Warriors can abuse Dimension Fusion, especially since Isolde can dump the Phoenix Blade in the graveyard. DMoC now has an errata to grab the Spell back during the End Phase of the turn it was summoned, and Dark Armed Dragon is still at one. Still, imagine Dimension Fusion is something like Kozmos maybe or Thunder Dragons since they do a lot of banishing. Dimension Fusion has a high ceiling still and can be very explosive for an OTK, even if your opponent might get back a monster or two as well. Dimension Fusion is too good to return to the game.
Giant Trunade is a simple Spell card that returns all Spells and Traps on the field to the hand. Now on paper, this card looks infinitely worse than something like Heavy Storm or Harpie’s Feather Duster, but Giant Trunade has a quality to make up for not destroying, and that’s to let you reuse some Spells and Traps. This card was easily abusable with something like Call of the Haunted if the monster it revived wasn’t destroyed but is no longer on the field, or with Premature Burial since that card returning to the hand did not destroy the monster it revived. You could also send back something like a Royal Oppression that you controlled so you didn’t have to worry about your opponent stopping your Special Summons without losing your Oppression. Trunade made cards reusable that had no business being that way, so it was eventually banned in September of 2011 for clearing opponent’s threats and making powerful Spells and Traps reusable.
Giant Trunade cannot return with cards like Call of the Haunted and Oasis of the Dragon Souls at three as well as being a backrow remover. We got a new card called Hey, Trunade! that clears Set Spells and Traps and that keeps a good part of Giant Trunade without keeping the abusable part. Giant Trunade has too much room for abuse to return to the game.
Graceful Charity has moved between Forbidden and Limited a lot. It was banned on the first list to ban cards in August of 2004, but shortly came back in April of 2005 just to get banned again in October of 2005 and THEN returned again in April of 2006 just to finally get banned one last time in March of 2007 where it has stayed at since. Graceful Charity is a Normal Spell that lets you draw 3 cards but then makes you discard 2. The card basically lets you see three new cards and get rid of the two worst, sure there are good times to use Graceful Charity instead of just activating it, but it helps recraft your hand. It was worth banning multiple times, though I guess they brought it back when they knew the format was going to be much slower. Graceful Charity was a staple in every deck.
Now Graceful Charity was a staple where you didn’t have floaters to abuse it except for the Dark World archetype and Sinister Serpent, imagine Graceful Charity in a metagame with a ton of graveyard effects that can trigger off of Graceful Charity while at the same time drawing you three cards. Graceful Charity has aged like a fine wine and should not be unbanned anytime soon.
Harpie’s Feather Duster
Here is one of the few cards that was one of the first to be banned and still hasn’t returned to this very day to the TCG, though the OCG has since returned it at one. Harpie’s Feather Duster is a Normal Spell that destroys all Spells and Traps your opponent controls. You don’t even have to worry about your own Spells and Traps since Feather Duster is only focused on your opponent. If your opponent set 5 and passed, you can use Feather Duster to blow them out of the water and get in some very easy damage, especially with OTK decks. Feather Duster was worthy of its initial ban back in August of 2004 and I can understand why it has stayed there to this very day…
With all that said, Harpie’s Feather Duster might be a welcome addition back to the game. Players now a days just set as much backrow as they can and pass turn when they can because they know there isn’t a card that can completely blow them out. The best card for backrow removal is something like Twin Twisters now, though Hey, Trunade! can work as well against set cards, even if those cards might be chainable. Now we have a ton more chainable Traps that do what they need to than we did in 2004, Harpie’s Feather Duster will promote more strategic backrow setting as well because you won’t be wanting to set everything just to risk getting blown out by Feather Duster. We need more thought into setting backrow and Feather Duster can promote that.
Here is a card that is similar in use to Harpie’s Feather Duster, but not banned as long. Heavy Storm did have a stint where it was banned in late 2010 and early 2011, but it later came back only to get banned again in the TCG when we split from the OCG in September of 2013 and the OCG later banned it and brought back Feather Duster in January of 2015 with the advent of Pendulums. Heavy Storm is a Normal Spell that destroys all Spells and Traps on the field. Take what applies to Feather Duster earlier and bring it here with Heavy Storm. Your opponent sets 5 and you can blow them out with Heavy Storm. You want to use this when your opponent has more set cards than you, though, because Heavy Storm does destroy all your Spells and Traps as well. It is another card that promotes players not setting all their backrow without though, and I can understand why it was banned with Pendulums being able to be Pendulum Summoned from the Extra Deck and Heavy Storm destroying them in the Scales.
Now a days, I think Heavy Storm could be one to return if they don’t bring back Harpie’s Feather Duster. I can’t imagine Heavy Storm breaking Pendulums wide open, plus again it promotes players not mindlessly setting all their backrow, but it has the benefit of destroying the owner’s backrow if they have any. Sure this won’t matter with decks that have light backrow and Pendulum Monsters, but those decks won’t become infinitely better because of Heavy Storm. I say Konami can choose which one to bring back between Heavy Storm and Harpie’s Feather Duster, we could use one.
Kaiser Colosseum, while a good card, was banned at a very odd time I feel. It is a Continuous Spell card that has its effect apply only while there is at least one monster on controller of this card’s side. Your opponent could then not summon monsters if the amount they control would exceed the amount of monsters you control, but monsters that were on the field before this was activated are not affected by this. Kaiser Colosseum was good in decks like Bujins that didn’t spam the field with a lot of monsters and mostly wanted to protect Bujin Yamato so he can keep control of the game for the Bujin player, so you used Kaiser Colosseum to make sure your opponent couldn’t summon a ton of threats to your Yamato. The card is very good, especially when Bujins had some meta relevance in 2014, but this card was banned in August of 2016, which seemed like an odd time to ban this card and many felt that maybe they meant to ban Vanity’s Emptiness at this time, lol.
Even with the ban being at an odd time, Kaiser Colosseum is a card I’m fine with not having in the game. It isn’t fun when one card is preventing you from playing your strategy and summoning a bunch of monsters. Stun decks now a days could use this as well with something like Inspector Boarder to potentially shut down the opponent. Kaiser Colosseum is not a fun card to have played against you and I’m sure many are fine that this card is gone, even if we don’t know why it was banned when it was.
Last Will is a Spell that could be useful for many decks. It is a simple Normal Spell that after you activate it, once during that turn it was activated if a monster you control was sent to the graveyard by any means, you could Special Summon any monster with 1500 or less ATK from your deck. This could of been useful with so many combos, you had the Magical Scientist FTK with this card helping you get to the other piece after something like Monster Gate got you to one of them, you could use this before your Tribute Summon to get a monster from your deck, it had many applications and it was banned in March of 2007 before we could find more, and trust me there were going to be more. It basically turned monsters that weren’t meant to be floaters into floaters.
Now a days, Last Will is much easier to trigger with Synchro and Link Summoning being things, making it easy to send a monster to the graveyard to trigger Last Will and give you a new monster to extend your combos and have another body on board. So can Last Will come back when the card has clearly gotten better and not worse? No, just no.
As you can see, there are a ton of very powerful Spell cards in the game, where only Monsters have more cards on the list. Many banned Spells as you can see here and in the next article are very generic and strong while others are strong in a handful of strategies while maybe not working in others, trust me there is only one true archetypal banned Spell in the game as you’ll see in the next part. Spells will always be superior to Traps, and the amount of Spells to Traps on the Forbidden and Limited List will tell you why. There will never be a time in this game where Spells aren’t relevant I feel. Next time I’ll get into the other half of banned Spells, and that one will be pretty fun.
Thanks for Reading,