Who would of expected a new list announcement at the YCS of all places? Hello Pojo Readers, Crunch$G back here to discuss the recent Forbidden and Limited List update to take effect on June 5th. Oddly enough, we got the announcement of a new list on a Saturday during the YCS for the first time that I can remember. Kinda weird to announce the new list at the event to basically invalidate the results due to the format changing in a little over a week, but I digress. We finally got a list change to help take care of the format with Kashtira being the top Deck and there being several other options like Mathmech, Superheavy Samurai, Labrynth, Runick, Spright, and many others. There was a lot of Decks that could be hit on this list, and spoiler alert… a lot of Decks did get some sort of hit. There’s several changes to go down, so let’s get started and see what the new format will look like.


From Limited to Forbidden

Well we got to play the card for 3 years, but Cyber-Stein has returned to the Forbidden section once again. For several years it was honestly fine, even though you had some niche FTKs with Reproducus, Telekinetic Charging Cell, and Blaze Fenix. It was also able to summon out powerful Fusions on its own, with Naturia Exterio being the main target to negate all the opponent’s Spells and Traps. It didn’t really become an issue until we got the new Superheavy Samurai support that could very easily make Gear Gigant X to search for the Cyber-Stein to either Pendulum Summon it or summon it off of Platinum Gadget. With the lack of Spells and Traps that Superheavy Samurai runs, it helps to be able to search for Cyber-Stein and summon it to get the Naturia Exterio on the field to protect you from a majority of the Spells & Traps in the game. Cyber-Stein did feel like a fair hit considering how much stronger the pool of Fusions has gotten, it just took a bit for a Deck to be able to use it very consistently every game.

Superheavy Samurai Scarecrow

From Unlimited to Forbidden

Didn’t think at the start of 2023 that we’d have to hit a Superheavy Samurai card, but here we are. Superheavy Samurai Scarecrow was a great card for the archetype to revive their monsters at the cost of a simple discard, while also being a Link-1, meaning you could send away a Superheavy Samurai Soulpiercer to get a search and later revive it with the Scarecrow to hopefully search again since Soulpiercer doesn’t have a hard once per turn. Superheavy Samurai was fine as an archetype until we got the new Pendulum Scales that had no real drawbacks to their main effects alongside yet another searcher to make the archetype that much more consistent. Hitting Superheavy Samurai Scarecrow makes Superheavy Samurai no longer able to be a 1-card combo strategy, now needing a few more cards to be able to make plays. It’s a significant hit to Superheavy Samurai, so we’ll see how they stand without their Link-1.

Number 89: Diablosis the Mind Hacker

From Unlimited to Forbidden

Now we take a focus on a Kashtira hit finally as we see one of the main Rank 7s the Deck made getting the axe, that being Number 89. The ability to banish whatever card you wanted from the opponent’s Extra Deck face-down was strong, adding the other ability to then banish the top cards of the opponent’s Deck face-down for each card banished face-down they already got can be pretty insane, but then you add it in a Deck that locks the opponent’s card zones when their cards are banished face-down and another monster that attaches materials when cards are banished to then detach said materials to banish more cards on the field face-down all while sitting on a walking Macro Cosmos. Overall, you can see why a card like this was insane for Kashtira to be able to access. It banished so many of the opponent’s cards and helped you lock down as many of their unused card zones as possible to prevent them from playing. The card had to go to balance out Kashtira, and thankfully it didn’t take long to do so.

Appointer of the Red Lotus

From Limited to Forbidden

We saw a while back that Konami didn’t like Appointer of the Red Lotus when it was put to 1, and it seems Konami still doesn’t like the card since it’s now Forbidden. It’s a pretty fair hit, to be honest, considering it’s pretty much a modern version of Trap Dustshoot. Being able to get knowledge of the opponent’s hand while also taking a card from their hand for a few turns is very good and something many players don’t like, hence why we never really seen cards like Trap Dustshoot, Confiscation, and The Forceful Sentry come back in modern times. 2000 LP is a cost worth paying to slow the opponent down by taking away a key resource from them, and the aforementioned knowledge you get from seeing their hand also helps you know what to play around. It’s a pretty powerful Trap Card and one of few that deserves the ban.

Branded Explusion

From Unlimited to Forbidden

Speaking of Trap Cards that deserve to be banned. Branded Despia is a pretty fair Deck, to be honest. Branded Fusion might be a strong card, but it’s easy bait for one of the most common handtraps in the game. Branded Explusion was really the only degenerate part of the Branded Deck. On paper, being able to tribute one of your Fusions to give yourself a monster from your graveyard and the opponent another monster from your graveyard doesn’t seem too crazy, but when you start summoning cards like Ra’s Disciple, Ido the Supreme Magical Force, and Gimmick Puppet Nightmare to the opponent’s field to prevent them from summoning monsters on their turn, that’s where things get pretty unfair. It was pretty consistent to get to as well, since if you didn’t either hard draw it or search it with Aluber since you already drew Branded Fusion, you could just send Albion the Branded Dragon from your Extra Deck to the grave with Mirrorjade to set it from your Deck at the end of the turn. Cards like this whose main use is to prevent the opponent from playing aren’t fun to deal with, so thankfully this card is now gone.

Blaster, Dragon Ruler of Infernos

From Forbidden to Limited

It took a bit longer than it should have, but now we got a 2nd Dragon Ruler legal in the format, and probably the one we all expected to come off next. Blaster, Dragon Ruler of Infernos is your standard Dragon Ruler, focusing on the FIRE Attribute where Tempest focused on WIND. This was the safest bet to bring back out of the 3 remaining Dragon Rulers that were banned since FIRE is weaker historically than EARTH and WATER and the effect to discard itself and another FIRE to destroy a card isn’t as powerful as reviving a monster with Redox or sending a monster from Deck to grave with Tidal. Whether those two can come back or not is a different discussion, but it’s easy to assume that Blaster is not as powerful as Tidal or Redox, hence why it was the next Dragon Ruler to come off the list. Also we’re getting a ton of support for the FIRE Attribute and several older FIRE archetypes, so it made sense to bring back Blaster at this time.

Mathmech Circular

From Unlimited to Limited

For years, Mathmech was just a cute little archetype built around getting Final Sigma out as fast as possible to pull off a quick OTK, but then we got Mathmech Circular. With the release of Circular, the Deck became a strong engine in Cyberse strategies to make a Primathmech Laplacian on the opponent’s turn to take out up 3 cards from the opponent, 1 from hand, 1 monster they control, and 1 Spell/Trap the control, all via Mathmech Superfactorial. You also could get a negation off the Laplacian you summoned if you used Mathmech Diameter as material, making the play much stronger. It also just helped Cyberse Decks get more bodies on field since you could just easily revive the Mathmech Sigma you likely sent to summon Circular and then search for Mathmech Equation for another revival and use the 2 monsters to make Primathmech Alembertian to search for Mathmech Diameter to Normal Summon. Mathmech Circular really made the Mathmech strategy go right round, pun intended, after its release, so limiting the card is understandable to keep the archetype under control again.

PSY-Framegear Gamma

From Unlimited to Limited

Not too long ago, we saw the OCG decide to limit PSY-Framegear Gamma out of the blue, and honestly this wasn’t a hit I really expected to come over to the TCG, but looks like I was wrong. I understand why they hit the card, however. Having a card in the hand to negate any monster effect and summon 2 free bodies on the field is fairly good, especially if you can do it on your turn to make a Synchro before the 2 monsters you summoned get banished since Gamma is a Level 2 Tuner and the other monster you summon is a Level 6 in PSY-Frame Driver, helping you make some of the best Synchros in the game. Even if you don’t get a Synchro off the Gamma, the monster negation was likely more than powerful enough. With Gamma at 1, it makes running a single copy of it alongside the 1 PSY-Frame Driver no longer worthwhile as an engine since now you got an equal chance to draw one or the other. You could warrant the Gamma’s slot by also throwing in 3 PSY-Framegear Delta potentially to negate Spells, but I don’t expect that to be as good as Gamma was to stop monsters.

Denglong, First of the Yang Zing

From Forbidden to Limited

The next unban on this list wasn’t one I was expecting to happen any time soon. After being gone from the TCG for nearly 6 years, we finally have Denglong back in the format. Considering, however, that this was banned because of a True King Dinosaur Yang Zing Deck and we are getting new Dinosaur support coming up very soon, I guess it’s understandable why they chose now to bring back Denglong considering the OCG never banned it to begin with. Denglong can be pretty strong for Yang Zings, being able to search for something like Nine Pillars for negation while also modifying its Level by sending a Wyrm from Deck to grave and summoning a Yang Zing from Deck upon leaving the field, but it does require several bricks that aren’t as generic as something like the bricks for a card like, say, Ib the World Chalice Justiciar is, hence why we got Denglong legal and Ib remains banned. I don’t expect Denglong to break the format, but I can see some cool combos coming from the card. It can be a good addition to a modern True King Dinosaur Yang Zing Deck, or you could run it in Swordsoul Tenyi for some plays. We also thankfully don’t have True King of All Calamities in the format, which this card initially helped summon with ease. Denglong feels like it’ll be a welcome addition back to the game.

Kashtira Arise-Heart

From Unlimited to Limited

Not a hit I expected to happen, but one that does feel welcome. Considering we just lost Number 89, Kashtira feels like its next game plan was going to become turboing out Arise-Heart as fast as possible, preferably multiples at once, so you got that Macro Cosmos on legs on 2 monsters at the same time while also being able to remove 2 cards a turn and absorb a ton of banished cards as Xyz Materials. Putting Arise-Heart to 1 ensures the archetype cannot summon multiples at the same time, meaning outing the first Arise-Heart likely means you won’t have to deal with it again. Kashtira does still feel like a strong archetype even with no Number 89, 1 Arise-Heart, and another hit I’ll discuss in a bit, plus you still got Shangrai-Ira locking down the opponent’s zones. After this list, thankfully Kashtira should be knocked down a few pegs and become much more bearable to deal with. I could see this card being one they later ban if Kashtira continues to be a force, however.

Purrely Delicious Memory

From Unlimited to Limited

With the new Purrely support from Cyberstorm Access, the gameplan of the archetype to summon a Expurrely Noir with as many materials as possible became far more consistent. Konami, however, doesn’t seem to like Towers-like monsters in the TCG, especially one that can bounce the opponent’s cards back to their Deck multiple times a turn. The hit of Purrely Delicious Memory to 1 now means it’ll be harder to summon Expurrely Noir as consistently since this is the Memory that got you to Epurrely Plump to generate as many Xyz Materials as you could to help summon the Noir. The card is still somewhat searchable, though it takes a little bit of RNG to get, but you got to hope nothing bad happens to your lone copy of Delicious Memory now, or you can’t summon Epurrely Plump and therefore will have a harder time summoning Expurrely Noir.

Naturia Sacred Tree

From Unlimited to Limited

We finish the limit section with Naturia Sacred Tree, a Trap that gave Naturias all their consistency by sending it to the graveyard as much as possible. Naturias as an archetype were fine up until we got the new support. Naturia Camellia was able to easily send Sacred Tree from Deck to grave, and Camellia was easy to summon from Deck with Mole Cricket. Being able to send Sacred Tree to the graveyard gave you a ton of searches for more Camelias or Mole Crickets, or you could search for Naturia Blessing to help make more Extra Deck plays by reviving a monster that’ll help Synchro Summon a Naturia Beast or Naturia Barkion for Spell or Trap negation. It also could help you get more access to ways to summon Naturia Sunflower to negate monster effects. The new Naturia cards were fairly popular with Runick, so much so that Konami decided to hit Sacred Tree to 1 to limit the consistency of Naturia a ton and put any Naturia variant in check.

Herald of the Orange Light

From Limited to Semi-Limited

With all the Ishizu cards being put to 1 and Drytron still being a distant memory in the meta, it doesn’t feel like Herald of the Orange Light is really that much of a threat anymore. Fairy is still a strong typing, but I don’t foresee any Fairy monsters taking over in the meta again any time soon. It still feels risky to Konami it seems, so they decided to take it slow and put the card to 2 instead of going straight to 3 right away. Sure the monster negation is still powerful, but what is really going to run it right now. I don’t see a lot of Decks running the Ishizu cards as much since they’re all at 1 besides those that can really abuse them, and I don’t think 2 Orange Lights and just 4 Ishizu cards is too consistent. Drytron gets a nice boost with a 2nd Orange Light again, but we still don’t have Eva to search it and something else. Orange Light will likely go back to 3 next list once we see it isn’t going to do much anymore.

Kashtira Unicorn

From Unlimited to Semi-Limited

The last hit to Kashtira on this list feels like the minor one of the three, as Kashtira Unicorn goes from 3 to 2. It isn’t that big of a hit considering we still got 3 Fenrir and 3 Pressured Planet to search for it, and only losing 1 copy isn’t a lot. It’s still a hit to consistency and it makes it so where you do have 1 less Unicorn to deal with. I still expect to see Unicorn hit the field a lot to search for cards like Kashtira Birth and Kashtiratheosis, plus it’ll probably be great in the mirror match to banish the 1-of Arise-Heart now, which might be the only reason Kashtira players would be thankful to see this go to 2, in fear of the mirror match. It isn’t a big change in the world, but you can never complain when consistency for a very powerful Deck takes any sort of hit whatsoever, so I guess we can take what we get here.

Lightning Storm

From Unlimited to Semi-Limited

Here’s another hit that really feels like an OCG hit since they love putting staple cards to 2 most of the time. I guess the TCG liked this hit, so they decided to follow up on it from the OCG and put Lightning Storm to 2 over in the TCG as well. Lightning Storm is a pretty strong card, being able to become a pseudo-Raigeki or a Harpie’s Feather Duster outright, in exchange for only really being good early in the game when you got no face-up cards on the field to meet the card’s activation condition. Losing a singular Lightning Storm doesn’t make the card unplayable, you just can’t rely on seeing it as often as before since you only got 2 copies instead of 3. It does also feel more sacky this way, but it isn’t like this is a card as broken as Maxx “C” is when it was at 1 or 2. The effect is still strong, but it doesn’t feel degenerately broken. I can see this being like Pot of Desires where it most likely stays at 2.

Runick Fountain

From Unlimited to Semi-Limited

Another consistency hit to a popular Deck, this one likely being more relevant as Runick Fountain goes to 2. This is basically the bread and butter to the Runick strategy, and while most Runick engines in other Decks mostly were only playing 2, the hit here is more towards pure Runick, since that version ran all 3 copies of Fountain alongside a ton of Runick Quick-Play Spells and floodgates. It’s still a super consistent card to get to, since every Runick Quick-Play summons Hugin to search for Fountain, alongside you still having 3 Runick Tip, 1 Terraforming, and whatever other consistency boosting cards you want. The hit here mainly is to ensure you have 1 less Runick Fountain to deal withh in the Runick matchup. The issue remains it’s still consistent to get to, removing 1 means you still got another to deal with, and you still got cards like Hugin and Munin to protect it. It’s a fine hit to help have less Fountains to deal with against pure Runick with floodgates, but it probably won’t be the last hit to Runick in its lifetime.

Sky Striker Mobilize – Engage!

From Limited to Semi-Limited

With all the Sky Striker support coming down the line, it makes sense for the archetype to get some sort of boost from the Forbidden & Limited List, and no boost can be as big as Engage going to 2. Having another copy of Engage does mean you can banish a copy you recover with Multirole and still have another to spare for more searching. This with 3 Kagari does mean you’ll probably see Engage resolve a lot more. With all that said, the Sky Striker cards aren’t as powerful as they once were. If you brought Hornet Drones to 3, it becomes a easier engine to make Link-2s in any Deck, hence why it stays at 1 for now. The rest of the archetype feels a bit fair for the modern game. Cards like Widow Anchor, Shark Cannon, Afterburners, and Jamming Waves are still nice, but relying on the Sky Striker cards isn’t enough to be a Tier 1 threat like in 2019. The Deck also doesn’t have Mystic Mine to have a degenerate Field Spell to sit on. It does have a nice OTK tool with Linkage at least, so something it didn’t have back in its prime. Sky Striker is good enough to be rogue probably, especially with new cards coming down the pipeline, but it isn’t anything to worry about to where 2 Engage becomes an issue.

Spright Starter

From Unlimited to Semi-Limited

The final hit in the semi-limit section goes to an archetype that hasn’t really taken any hits elsewhere on this list, and that’s Spright. Considering how strong the archetype is still for Level 2 goodstuff strategies, it was fair to expect something to happen to the archetype. Therefore, Konami has decided to put Spright Starter to 2 on this list. It’s another case of a minor consistency hit to an archetype to deal with 1 less copy of a power card the strategy has. Spright Starter is one of the main cards for Spright, summoning any Spright from the Deck with great ease while locking you to Level, Rank, and Link 2 monsters. It’s fair to see why this is a card you’d want to hit, though putting it to 1 feels like it would of been more effective. Overall, it feels like Spright got a small slap on the wrist when it probably should of got more of their cards hit.

Blackwing – Steam the Cloak

From Limited to Unlimited

We finally reach the cards going back to 3, starting with a card that probably could of went straight to 3 after it was unbanned, Blackwing – Steam the Cloak. Steam the Cloak was a great Tuner for when Crystron Halqifibrax was legal, but the card is long gone now, so having Tuners like Steam the Cloak back in the format don’t feel like they matter as much except for archetypes they were meant for. The card wasn’t really going to see play anywhere besides Blackwings, which weren’t really going to be so much of a threat that you couldn’t put Steam the Cloak back to 3. Anyways, Steam the Cloak is another one of the Crystron Halqifibrax related Tuners to finally get released after initially being banned to let Halqifibrax stick around for a little bit, so now the TCG is just missing Glow-Up Bulb and then all of Halqifibrax’s victims will be free.

Genex Ally Birdman

From Limited to Unlimited

From a Tuner that was hit only a few years ago for Crystron Halqifibrax, to another Tuner that was limited many years ago to make certain loops less consistent. Genex Ally Birdman has been at 1 for around 10 years now, mainly to stop stuff like the Gallis the Star Bird FTK with Koa’ki Meiru Doom and any potential loops with Divine Wind of the Mist Valley. After much time has passed, however, those plays have become far more fragile to the modern game enviroment to where making them more consistent doesn’t feel like that much of a threat. Therefore, you now got 3 Genex Ally Birdman to play to try and make the Gallis FTK work in 2023 with all the new Link tools we got, but now you got more handtraps than ever to deal with, so that’s something to consider before trying to pull off the FTK in a competitive landscape.

Samsara Lotus

From Forbidden to Unlimited

In what seems like a traditional case of “this banned card is fine, so we aren’t scared to put it straight to 3” we got Samsara Lotus. This is another card that was initially banned due to an FTK, this one involving the combination of Topologic Bomber Dragon, Knightmare Cerberus, and Trickstar Black Catbat to summon the Samsara Lotus next to in order to burn the opponent each time it came back while the Bomber Dragon kept destroying it for you to revive over and over again. Konami feared this FTK enough to ban Samsara Lotus early into the Link Era, but now the combo feels more fragile against the current game enviroment, smiilar to the Gallis FTK, hence why Samsara Lotus is now back to 3. This is probably something players will care about the least since it was only ever used for an FTK, while you could probably justify some use for Genex Ally Birdman. Again, probably an FTK that’s too fragile to take to a competitve event.


From Limited to Unlimited

We still have SPYRAL Master Plan banned in the TCG, which probably would of been nicer to bring back to increase the combo ceiling and consistency of SPYRAL. Instead we got Quik-Fix to 3, which is still a good consistency boost. Quik-Fix was limited initially after the release of SPYRAL Double Helix due to the combos at the time being too strong, especially since you can use this with Machine Duplication to summon more copies of Quik-Fix to search out your SPYRAL GEAR cards. It’s a boost to SPYRAL that they kind of need considering it seems Konami has no desire to bring back Master Plan, which is something SPYRAL really needs to do the combos they really want to do with SPYRAL Resort. The Deck can probably take what it can get in its state, so Quik-Fix is fine to give them some Machine Duplication combos again.

Lyrilusc – Recital Starling

From Semi-Limited to Unlimited

Awhile back, we saw Recital Starling return to 2 after being limited for a bit due to the power of Bird Up. It was understandable maybe why it initially went to 2, since this was the card that made Utopic Draco Future highly accessible in the Bird Up strategy. With that said, it went to 2 several formats ago and didn’t do much of anything, so it’s weird that it didn’t go straight to 3 on the very next list and instead took a little bit for it to come back to full power. To be fair, 2 copies or 3 isn’t the biggest difference in the world for Bird Up since you only really needed 2 to summon the Utopic Draco Future, but having the 3rd back is fine since I doubt that’ll be the breaking point to making Bird Up meta once again.

Draco Face-Off

From Limited to Unlimited

Now here’s a card that feels way overdue for coming off the limited section. Back in 2016, the limitation of Draco Face-Off was more than warranted due to how strong the Dracoslayer and Dracoverlord cards were for Pendulums at the time. Now it feels most to all Pendulum Decks that aren’t a dedicated Dracoslayer Deck leaned away from the Dracoslayer and Dracoverlord cards, at least the Main Deck ones. To be fair, only having 1 Draco Face-Off makes most the cards not named Luster Pendulum not worth running in other Pendulum strategies in my opinion, and even then you didn’t see Luster Pendulum that often. You might see a rise in play for those cards in Pendulum Decks now with this at three, but it might not be worthwhile to run the bricks, even in a dedicated Dracoslayer Deck. It’s another Pendulum boost that isn’t Electrumite coming off the Forbidden section, so I guess there’s that. This probably could of come back years ago, if not when we got the new Dracoslayer stuff a few months back.

Sky Striker Mecha Modules – Multirole

From Limited to Unlimited

We end things off with the only other Sky Striker card worthy of going up on the list, and that’s Multirole. Multirole helped Sky Striker get a pretty decent grind game by setting your Sky Striker Spells back to your Spell & Trap Zones up to the number of Spells you activated that turn, basically serving as a Spellbook of Judgment for the archetype. The ability to send a card to grave to ensure the activations of all your Sky Striker Spells for a turn was also nice. With all that said, nothing was warranting Multirole staying at 1 anymore. Sky Strikers might have more disruption options than Spellbooks with cards like Widow Anchor and Shark Cannon, but that’s really all you get off Multirole, and that’s assuming they’re in the graveyard since this doesn’t search from Deck like Spellbook of Judgment does. It also banishes any card you get back off it once it leaves the field, likely to stay banished since Sky Striker doesn’t have any real good ways to recover their banished cards. Multirole is still a good card for Sky Striker, but it’s fair enough to be at 3 now.

In Conclusion

Overall a good list that hit multiple different popular Decks in the format, though some got hit worse than others. Kashtira, Mathmech, and Superheavy Samurai feel like the biggest losers from the list while Purrely still feels playable and Spright got a slap on the wrist basically. I do think Kashtira is still viable at the very least, but I’m doubtful on Superheavy Samurai and Mathmech, though we could always be surprised. Runick also took a slap on the wrist similar to Spright, but really only pure Runick is affected. Labrynth goes off unscathed whle Branded lost the only degenerate part of the strategy. Sky Striker got a nice boost, and same goes for FIRE Decks getting Blaster back, all to promote upcoming product. Interesting the TCG kept Glow-Up Bulb banned while the OCG put it to 1, but either it’ll probably come off near Duelist Nexus or the OCG might be planning to ban it again. Orcust Harp Horror feels like another card that feels long overdue to return, but maybe another list. Denglong is cool to see back, though I don’t know if you’ll see True King Dinosaur Yang Zing be the main use of the card and more of Wyrm goodstuff or Decks like Swordsoul Tenyi and Zefra using it. Some FTKs came back with Birdman coming to 3 and Samsara Lotus leaving the banned section in general, but I doubt they’re something to worry about. Some generic cards took a hit like Appointer of the Red Lotus, PSY-Framegear Gamma, and Lightning Storm which I guess is fine. The list did a decent job at cleaning things up, though more can still be done on a future list.

Thanks for reading,