Hello Pojo Readers, Crunch$G back here with the next installment with me breaking down the Forbidden and Limited List. Last time around I finished the Forbidden Section with the Traps and I move back to Monsters, only this time in the Limited Section. Cards are typically limited when they are so powerful at three that they need to be hit in consistency, but not too powerful to where they don’t need a ban or banning them will ruin the deck it is played in too much. I’ll talk about why these cards are at one and if they should be banned or maybe move up to two or three, so with all that out of the way, let’s discuss the limited monsters.
Just like how I grouped the Dragon Rulers together for greater ease, I’m doing the same for all five pieces of Exodia, cause it’s mostly the head I’m talking about as the limbs of Exodia are just vanilla monsters. Exodia the Forbidden One requires you to have it and the other four pieces of Exodia in your hand for an immediate win condition. All five pieces have been limited ever since the game’s inception and they’ve never moved despite all the Exodia variations that we’ve seen throughout the years. Any deck that used Exodia was more than likely broken because of whatever consistency the deck had, so consistency was hit when it came to Exodia decks with cards like Elma getting banned to prevent RML abuse or Chicken Game for the same reason if you played the Exodia variant.
I feel like Exodia at one is just how the card is meant to be. Whether all pieces at three or not would be broken or not doesn’t matter. If you did play 3 of each Exodia piece, they feel more expendable than if they were at one, though decks might just play one of each piece in favor of consistency cards to draw the Exodia. There was some new Exodia support that might make having each piece at 3 insane, but I don’t know how strong it would really be. I just feel that no matter what, it’s Exodia’s destiny to always be limited.
The only other Normal Monster to be limited beyond the Exodia limbs is Qliphort Scout, but it’s a Pendulum Monster so I don’t know if it really counts. Qliphort Scout is a Level 5 Normal Monster, which makes it searchable via Summoner’s Art, which is important because its Pendulum Effect lets you pay 800 life points to search for any Qli card from your deck. From tribute fodder, to Scales, to boss monsters, to Spells and Traps, Qliphort Scout searches for all things Qli related, which is very strong in the Qliphort deck. It was first Semi-Limited in April of 2015 to hit consistency without killing Qli as a meta deck, but November of 2015 was when it went to one.
Now, I feel Qliphort Scout would be fine at three once again. Qliphort aren’t doing much even with Apoqliphort Towers being unlimited again, so Qliphort Scout will give them the consistency without being too strong because Scout won’t really add to the power to the deck, just the consistency. The best floodgate for Qliphort in Skill Drain is also at one and I’ll talk about that when I get to Traps, but Scout will be a welcome three of once again so losing Scout is no longer dangerous.
Phantom Darkness provides yet again another powerful card. Armageddon Knight is a Level 4 DARK Warrior that sends a DARK monster from your deck to the graveyard upon summon. This can trigger so many combos with cards like Destiny HERO – Malicious and Destrudo just to name a few. The power of this card came in DARK Warrior decks because they were able to Link Spam like crazy, especially with Firewall Dragon around. Isolde helped make Armageddon Knight easy to get to by just sending 4 Equip Spells to the graveyard. DARK Warriors especially got a boost when Phantom Knights got their own Link Monster, and a very strong one at that. Armageddon Knight was good for years, but the TCG finally limited it for the first time in December of 2018.
I feel like Armageddon Knight is just too good for DARK monsters. It can literally put them all in the graveyard with just a simple summon, and being Warrior just adds to its power. While I could see it banned one day if DARK monsters abuse this way too much, it’s fine at one for now.
Chaos Emperor Dragon – Envoy of the End
It feels weird that I’m talking about Chaos Emperor Dragon in the limited section instead of the forbidden section, but here we are. Chaos Emperor Dragon was a big Dragon that couldn’t be Normal Summoned or Set and instead first had to be Special Summoned by banishing a LIGHT and DARK monster from your graveyard. It was a quick body on board, and a 3000 ATK one as well. It could also blow your opponent out of the water as once before, you could pay 1000 life points to send all cards from both player’s hands and fields to the graveyard to then inflict 300 damage to your opponent for each card sent, which could guarantee an OTK. This was also broken with Yata-Garasu if you had a Sangan or Witch of the Black Forest on the field to blow every card away to then be able to attack directly with Yata to shut down your opponent’s Draw Phases. It was banned in August in 2004 and it took an errata to allow Chaos Emperor Dragon to return. Now if you use the effect to send cards from the hands and fields to the grave, you cannot activate cards or effects the turn you use that effect, meaning before or after Chaos Emperor Dragon, also it only burns for 300 for each card sent to your opponent’s graveyard and not just both. It could still help with finishing a game, but not really an OTK if you fail to get the damage in, plus the Yata combo is even more impossible with this and both Sangan and Witch getting their erratas. Chaos Emperor Dragon with this text change was limited in January of 2019 in the TCG.
It just seems now that Chaos Emperor Dragon is coming back to three. If you use other effects in a turn, then summoning a Chaos Emperor Dragon will just get you a 3000 body while summoning Black Luster Soldier will at least get you the effects of the Solider along with other card effects at least. Chaos Emperor Dragon could finish a game at a later turn, but your opponent will likely kill it if you keep it on the field. The card is a shell of its former glory.
Cir, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss
A card from an archetype everyone loves, they have two limited monsters (three technically, but one doesn’t have Burning Abyss in the name) with the first one I’ll talk about being Cir, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss. Cir is a Level 3 DARK Fiend (important because the deck loves Tour Guide) and it has the standard Burning Abyss qualities all the Level 3 Main Deck monsters have and that is they can be Special Summoned from the hand once per turn if you control no Spells or Traps and they destroy themselves if you control a monster that isn’t a Burning Abyss. Cir has the unique effect that if you didn’t Special Summon Cir with its own effect, then when it is sent to the graveyard you can revive any Burning Abyss monster that isn’t Cir. This card was easily loopable with Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss where Dante could always add back Cir when it is sent to the grave and Cir could always revive Dante when it is sent to the grave. Cir could also revive the other Burning Abyss monsters to Xyz Summon another Dante as well, which got it semi-limited in November of 2015 and eventually limited in August of 2016. The Burning Abyss monsters are so good at floating, especially with the first wave.
Now a days, I’d like to see Cir come back to the game at three. The OCG has every Burning Abyss card at three, though Tour Guide is at one, and BA still don’t top that often over there, not to forget to mention Speedroid Terrortop being at two over there as well. They even have their own Link in the OCG whereas the TCG gets it later in 2019 and BA still don’t consistently top. I know players love Burning Abyss, so I’m sure it’ll make them happy to see them get some power back, and I don’t think Cir going to three will hurt that bad.
A card that got its own list to itself basically, Cyber-Stein is famously known for being emergency banned on December 21st, 2006 by Upper Deck because of how powerful Stein was back in those times. Now, what made Stein so powerful. Stein has the simple effect that allows you to pay 5000 life points to Special Summon a Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck. There were decks literally dedicated around OTKing with Cyber-Stein, mostly because you could summon monsters like Cyber End Dragon or Cyber Twin Dragon and give them an Equip Spell like Megamorph and use Limiter Removal to boost their ATK to ridiculous numbers, which was so good in 2006 when the only thing that could stop Cyber-Stein maybe was Solemn Judgment negating the summon or using Skill Drain, but not many decks wanted to use Skill Drain in 2006 and I don’t think players were aware of how good Solemn Judgment is at this point, either that or Solemn didn’t have too many powerful things to stop. Also, don’t get me started on decks just throwing Cyber-Stein in just to get some powerful Fusions like the Cyber Dragons along with other stuff. So as we know Stein got emergency banned in December of 2006 and finally returned to the TCG in January of 2019.
I think Stein at one is perfectly fine. You got Effect Veiler, Infinite Imperemance, Solemn Strike, Solemn Warning, so many more cards to negate the one of Stein that running it isn’t worth it as much as it used to be. It at three might be risky because you might see it consistently enough to where negates might not be around, and summoning The Last Warrior from Another Planet or Naturia Exterio with this can be deadly, but at one means the negation for it is more consistently seen than the Stein itself. I know there was an FTK involving this with Danger! when it was revealed to be unbanned, but we recently saw it was unable to top a major event and we all know what causes the problem with that FTK since OCG had Stein at 1 for a while now and don’t have the Danger! monsters yet and they don’t even bother with Stein.
Dark Armed Dragon
This was the biggest reason people were buying Phantom Darkness, right? I know it had a ton of good DARK cards, but we all know the kingpin of that set is Dark Armed Dragon. Dark Armed Dragon is a Level 7 that cannot be Normal Summoned or Set and can only be Special Summoned from your hand when you have exactly 3 DARK monsters in your grave and Dark Armed lets you banish a DARK from your grave to destroy a card on the field. Very powerful by 2008’s standards. Sure you had to have three DARKs in the grave, but there were graveyard manipulation cards to fix that. Phoenix Blade was used in decks with Dark Armed Dragon that ran Warriors to also use with Dimension Fusion, also you had Destiny HERO – Malicious and later Plaguespreader Zombie who can lower the number of DARKs in your grave. It was deadly to have multiple Dark Armed Dragons in your hand back then, plus the ease of summoning and the power of destroying cards only up to the number of DARKs in your grave got Dark Armed Dragon limited in March 2009.
Now a days, I’d love to see Dark Armed at three. Dropping three of these isn’t really as dangerous as it used to be since you have to have exactly 3 DARKs in your grave, decks don’t want to play a one of card that is reliant on having an exact number of a specific kind of card in your grave. The popping won’t matter after your opponent gathered a ton of advantage to stop your Dark Armed Dragons or make the popping not matter. If we can have Black Luster Solider back at three, maybe Dark Armed Dragon can have its time back at three finally.
A monster with similarities to Armageddon Knight and also released in Phantom Darkness, we have Dark Grepher. Grepher is a Level 4 DARK Warrior meaning it has the best attribute and it’s searchable off Reinforcement of the Army, which was useful a lot throughout the years. You could discard a Level 5 or higher DARK monster to Special Summon this from the hand as well as once per turn discard a DARK monster to send a DARK monster from your deck to the graveyard. This helped decks with heavy amounts of DARK monsters load up the graveyard for years. I know this could of been useful for getting Destiny HERO – Malicious and Plaguespreader Zombie in the grave back when Tele-DAD was a thing, also it fueled up for Dark Armed Dragon. It wasn’t really the problem with Tele-DAD, so it went unhit so it could be used with other DARK decks. Infernity used this to help set up some combos with Necromancer and Archfiend, but what made this card so powerful was the DARK Warrior becoming very popular as well as the Danger! monsters being a thing. This could easily discard 2 Danger! monsters alone as well as dump something like Malicious or the Phantom Knight monsters, which made Dark Grepher so powerful that it warranted a limit in January of 2019.
With its recent limit, you can be assured the environment hasn’t changed much without Grepher when it hasn’t even been limited for a month. For now it can stay limited but the decline in the Phantom Knights, DARK Warriors, and Danger! monsters that is bound to happen might make it able to come back to three eventually.
Deep Sea Diva
Deep Sea Diva is a Level 2 Sea Serpent Tuner that upon Normal Summon gets any Level 3 or lower Sea Serpent out of your deck. This card can summon another copy of itself and allow for two potential Synchro Summons just as long as you provide the non-Tuners needed for that, which is easy. Mermail Atlanteans love this card, even before they got Neptabyss. Many decks could use multiple Deep Sea Diva to get to multiple Tuners with great ease as well as an immediate Level 3-5 Synchro if need be. This card was limited in September of 2013 in the TCG and October 2015 in the OCG when Neptabyss became a thing. Mermail Atlantean would make for a powerhouse if you basically have six Neptabysses.
Deep Sea Diva going to any more than one will be too good for Mermail Atlantean probably. Neptabyss is so powerful, and having copies of Deep Sea Diva makes it much easier to get access to that card. Keeping Diva at one is for the best considering how good Neptabyss will make this card.
Dinomight Knight, the True Dracofighter
One of the big consistency pieces for True Draco. Dinomight Knight is a Level 6 that can be Tribute Summoned via tributing a Continuous Spell or Trap instead of a monster, which is good when the True King/Draco Continuous Spells and Traps give you an extra Normal Summon on your or your opponent’s turn and can pop monsters or Spells/Traps. Dinomight could also take a True King/Draco Continuous Trap and either activate it or add it to your hand when your opponent used an effect. You’d mostly activate the Trap since you would be able to get around having to set it first and the Traps will give you an effect to Tribute Summon on the opponent’s turn for something like Ignis Heat, Majesty Maiden, another Dinomight Knight, or Master Peace if you had another Tribute Material. Not to add the Trap will pop a monster when it leaves the field. Dinomight made True Draco consistent enough to get banned in September of 2017 and it went back to one in May of 2018 when they opted to take the power from True Draco away and ban Master Peace.
Dinomight at one is just fine. The deck is very consistent still and can get tops in this day, though not as many as when it was in its prime. Having three Dragonic Diagram in the TCG really helps. True Draco is a good stun deck still, and it would be one of the best decks with three Dinomight Knight maybe, so we should keep it at one as long as Diagram is around.
Ehther the Heavenly Monarch
Monarchs really got a boost with their new Structure Deck. Ehther the Heavenly Monarch is a Level 8 with 2800 ATK and 1000 DEF (those stats are important in Monarchs) that first off could be Tribute Summoned by just tributing one Tribute Summoned monster, which you should have one often in Monarchs. If Ehther is Tribute Summoned, you can send two Monarch Spells/Traps from your hand and/or deck to the graveyard to Special Summon a monster with 2400 or more ATK and 1000 DEF from your deck but it returns to your hand during the End Phase of that turn. This could easily get Kuraz the Light Monarch on your turn to pop two cards you made good use of already, or The Prime Monarch since you want that in the grave, for two more draws. In Extra Deck Monarchs, Kuraz could also pop a used up Brilliant Fusion as well. You could also get another Ehther or Erebus on your opponent’s turn, which Ehther could banish a Monarch Spell/Trap during your opponent’s turn to immediately allow you to Tribute Summon it, which is powerful on your opponent’s turn with The Monarchs Stormforth. Ehther was a powerful card for Monarchs which helped them become pretty consistent despite the occasional brick, so Ehther was limited in August of 2016.
Honestly, I wouldn’t mind Ehther at three once again. The OCG never limited Ehther while the TCG did along with the hits the OCG did as well. Ehther at three won’t break Monarchs open, especially since Extra Deck Monarchs don’t look as good with one Brilliant Fusion. I’d like to see Monarchs return to full power, and I’ll get more into that when I get to the Spells section.
Elemental HERO Stratos
I can’t imagine many players that hate this card. Elemental HERO Stratos is a Level 4 Warrior that when Normal or Special Summoned can either let you add a HERO monster from your deck to your hand or destroy Spells and Traps on the field up to the number of other HERO monsters you control. Stratos is a very powerful card. Back when it was first released, it made Airblade Turbo the powerhouse it was and it got Stratos quickly limited in March of 2007 because that deck was so explosive and consistent for the time. Over time, we had Elemental HEROs get Fusion Monsters that only required a HERO and a monster of a specific attribute, which made Elemental HEROs good with cards like Miracle Fusion and Super Polymerization, along with having consistency in E – Emergency Call, Reinforcements of the Army, A Hero Lives, and of course that one of Elemental HERO Stratos. The banning of this card was odd because it was the same list the baby rulers and Spellbook of Judgment were banned, September 2013 in the TCG, so I don’t think anyone was complaining about HEROs at the time. The OCG never banned this as well and eventually brought this back to two before the TCG finally got it back to one in September of 2018, five years after being banned and after so much complaining and begging for it to come back.
Now a days, I’d love to see Stratos at two just like the OCG. Despite how good it is and how easy it is to get to, it isn’t causing meta problems. I know the OCG has one Shadow Mist, so that makes us different from them, but I can’t imagine Stratos mattering that much at two with either one or three Shadow Mist. I know OCG has Mask Change II limited to one as well, but that card doesn’t matter as much to HEROs when they can already use the original Mask Change. Stratos at two will be a welcome addition as well as a surreal sight to see.
Genex Ally Birdman
The Forbidden section isn’t the only one stopping FTKs. Genex Ally Birdman is a Level 3 Tuner that can Special Summon itself from the hand by returning a monster you control to the hand, but Birdman is banished when it leaves the field and it gains 500 ATK if the monster returned to the hand was WIND. Nothing really mattered except the Special Summon condition by bouncing a card to the hand because this caused an FTK with Gallis the Star Beast and Koa’ki Meiru Doom. All you had to do was play a deck full of monsters, Normal Summon Doom, Special Summon Gallis by sending the top card of your deck to the graveyard and since it’ll likely be a monster your opponent will get burned off Gallis, then trigger Birdman to bounce Gallis back to your hand but since Doom negates DARK monster’s effects, you won’t summon the Birdman and the Gallis is back in your hand to use again, then bounce back again with Birdman and then you got an FTK loop. It wasn’t the biggest thing in the world, but Konami of the TCG and OCG limited it in September of 2013 mostly because I guess they didn’t want it happening as often.
I don’t mind with Birdman at one, especially since Gallis doesn’t have nor really needs an errata. One Birdman makes the FTK pretty inconsistent, though still possible. You got three Sekka’s Light to use in that Monster Mash deck, but you don’t want Gallis hitting the Sekka’s Light so you’ll probably stick to 40 monsters. As I said, the deck isn’t very consistent since you are using 40 monsters which don’t offer consistency typically like Spells and Traps do, but it’s still possible if you’re lucky.
Graff, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss
The second Main Deck BA that is limited, this time we have Graff. Graff here is also a Level 3 FIEND that can be Special Summoned from the hand if you control no Spells or Traps and it self destructs when you control a monster that isn’t a Burning Abyss. The unique effect Graff has if you don’t use his effect to Special Summon himself is that when Graff is sent to the graveyard, you can Special Summon a Burning Abyss monster from the deck that isn’t Graff. Another case of easy floating, this time it deck thins as well. It can’t loop Dante, but it certainly gives you the materials to make as many Dantes as possible. Burning Abyss could Rank 3 Spam with great ease in Master Rule 3 and that got Graff limited in November of 2015 at the same time Cir got semi-limited.
I would like to see Graff back at three just like with Cir. As I said with Cir, the OCG basically has full power Burning Abyss except for having only one Tour Guide and it doesn’t top that often. Now, I should mention the TCG does have the Danger! engine with Jackalope and Tsuchinoko to make Rank 3s like Dante or the Link-2 Burning Abyss easier to summon, but even then I don’t think Burning Abyss will make the best use of the Danger! monsters since the BA Main Deck monsters that isn’t the Ritual nobody really plays will blow up when you control those Danger! monsters. Graff at three will be fun to see again, especially with the TCG finally getting the Burning Abyss Link. At best, Burning Abyss will be rouge like it already is right now.
The deck that I feel is the best immune to powercreep. Infernity Archfiend is the heart and soul of the Infernity deck as it gives strong consistency. If you draw Archfiend while having no other cards in your hand, you can Special Summon it from your hand. Also, if you Special Summon Archfiend while having no other cards in your hand (which was Infernity’s gimmick) you can add any Infernity card from your deck to your hand. Infernity had two reigns of meta relevance, 2010 with Synchro Spam (which I’ll talk about more with Infernity Launcher) and 2014 Xyz Spam. Archfiend helped get you to many disruptive cards like Barrier and Break while at the same time being revived with Necromancer and summonable off something like Stygian Street Patrol and the aforementioned Infernity Launcher. Archfiend also being Level 4 meant it could be used for Rank 4s, especially Lavalval Chain which Infernity loved since it set up the graveyard. The 2014 reign of Infernities got it a win at the World Championship and got Archfiend and Barrier limited in October of 2014, though Barrier has since returned to the game.
Now a days, I’d like to see Archfiend come back. The OCG never limited it because they already had Duelist Alliance and the power creep that brought minus the Burning Abyss since those were TCG exclusive. People love making Infernities work and having three Archfiend back would be great with Grandsoil having an errata and Firewall being gone because I know Infernities could work with those cards for FTKs. Without them, I’d like to see the boards Infernity could make with the added consistency of three Archfiend, we did just get Barrier back so it isn’t completely out of the question.
I get why some of these cards are limited. They are powerful to cause some crazy stuff, but not too powerful that they break the game. Some of these cards I feel have spent too long in the limited section and are ready to move up while others are fine at one for one reason or another. The limited section will likely expand more than the Forbidden Section with erratas and Konami not printing stupidly powerful cards like they did in the beginning of this game’s history. The next part I’ll get into the rest of the limited Main Deck Monsters, including the three limited Rituals, before I move on to Extra Deck, Spells, and Traps like I did with Forbidden and then I’ll just group all the semi-limits together since that section is so short.
Thanks for Reading,