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Pojo's Yu-Gi-Oh Card of the Day
Back To Square One
Discard 1 card from your hand. Return 1 monster on
the field to the top of the owner's Deck.
Type - Spell
Card Number - RDS-EN044
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale 1 being the worst.
3 ... average. 5 is the highest rating.
Date Reviewed - 02.15.05
Back To Square One
Rated For: Control Decks, Fiend
Don't worry folks, this isn't a
bounce themed week. However, I noticed our esteemed
staff hadn't gotten around to reviewing this bad
boy, and so Tuesday brings us Back to Square One,
replete with amusing card art and all.
Back to Square One is one of the best
control mechanisms in the game because it offers two
units of tempo; your opponent loses a normal summon
(and clears the field) and a draw phase. Use this
card on a Sinister Serpent, D.D Warrior Lady, or
other such set monster and they basically have to
perform the same move again. Use it on a tribute
monster and they basically waste three resources
(their draw phase, their tribute material, and their
draw phase). Use it on BLS and they might have run
out of food, creating yet another dead draw.
Of course this card comes with a
hefty cost, a discard, but as discard costs go, this
is infinitely superior to all others, including
main-decked Raigeki Breaks and Divine Wraths. It's
also recommended for Fiend Decks because of Night
Assailant, which basically makes this a free card.
Let's take a look.
You're losing two resources. No
matter what, you gain one back because of your
opponent's draw phase. The other side is that they
lose their normal summon for your other resource.
This doesn't quite balance out, as you're well
aware, but there are other factors. One, you can
dump Sinister/Assailant/Tribute monsters and two,
you can dump this on their tribute monster. The
advantage still doesn't quite balance out.
Best Draw for the Situation:.
This possesses a variety of drawbacks and benefits.
The discard can get hefty, especially in the early
game, but if you have a Sinister/Tribute, it's quite
godly. The card itself is highly versatile; it can
serve almost as a flip effect manager, since you can
use it to remove f/d monsters for a turn. It also
provides that last push for life points, I once went
with this card, Compulsory Evacuation Device,
Injection Fairy Lily, Confiscation, Trap Dustshoot,
Mind Crush, and won the duel in three turns.
For those who are in need of extra
bouncing, this is the most reliable form in the
game. In fact, nothing packages a Time Seal and a
Compulsory Evacuation Device so well; this thing
effectively serves as two resources in one, although
both of those traps separately have their own
advantages. Nevertheless, this card has a unique and
singular effect, hence its high score.
Honestly, even as a proponent of this
card, I must admit it can be terrible in a great
deal of situations. If your opponent is owning you
with more than one monster, this card is nearly
worthless. If you have no field presence to back
this up with, it can be bad. Also, if you don't have
a tribute/Sinister to dump, the cost can get quite
hefty. If you're in control, however, this is a game
winner. On the bright side, it can almost always be
activated, since it's a spell and your opponent will
The Bottom Line:
Another great, underlooked card. The
best of the "discard costs", except for maybe Divine
Wrath in the side deck.
A BAD Score--
FORCE System Suggestions:
++ Contributes to On-Field
Removal, Enemy Disruption
-- Detracts from Resource
Back to Square One
Following in the theme of "put crap back on top
of their Deck"...
Back to Square One seems as if it has a hefty
cost at first glance, but it's actually dead
even. You're giving up 2 cards (Back to Square
One and the discard) for an advantage of 2
(their loss of field presence + their next turn
draw). You end up with 2 cards in the
graveyard, and the opponent is set back by 2
Obviously, if you play this, you play Sinister
Serpent. No questions asked.
Sending back a useless monster essentially gives
you an extra turn. It's kinda like Yata.
Sending back a Tribute monster gives extra
Sending BLS back may only keep it off the field
for that one turn, leaving you hurting just as
Potential dead draw if Serpent isn't in hand.
These things were deadly in draft -- 1st picks
every time. If it weren't for Smashing Grounds
and Noblemen of Crossout, this thing would be
seeing a good bit of play.
Back to Square One
Welcome to my half birthday, a holiday which, I
feel, is far more important than that other day we
just passed! So, yeah:
Back to Square one is another card with the
relatively rare effect of sending a card to the top
of its owner’s deck. Unlike Legendary Jujitsu
Master, however, this is a Spell; and also unlike
LJM, you need to discard to activate it. A big plus
is that you don’t have to wait for your opponent to
This card can be dramatically effective for the same
reasons as LJM. Send that big monster to the top of
your opponent’s deck and he’ll have to summon it all
over again. Send your opponent’s last defending
monster – ATK or DEF – to the top of his deck and
get a free shot at his Life Points. Send that
monster your opponent Creature Swapped to the top of
your deck, if you want to! Why not?
The discard is all that hurts this card, but the
fact that the monster goes to the top of your
opponent’s deck instead of his hand actually negates
the card disadvantage. Regardless, the discard can
hurt, but that can always be mitigated by our good
friends Sinister Serpent, Night Assailant or
Skull-Mark Ladybug. Run this in Field Control Decks.
Traditional – CCCC: 2/5
Traditional – Field Control: 4/5
Advanced – CCWC: 2.5/5
Advanced – Field Control: 4.5/5
OVERALL RATING: 3.3/5
Back to Square One
Today’s card is Back to Square One, a Spell that is
very similar to yesterday’s card.
At the cost of discarding one card from your hand,
you can return one monster on the field to top of
the owner’s Deck. The effect is really no different
from that of Legendary Jujitsu Master other than
that you can return any monster, whether it’s your
own or an opponent’s unknown face-down monster. The
effect is slightly more useful for these reasons
because it gives more immediate access to the
opponent’s Life Points and can delay the moment in
which you will need to ultimately get rid of the
The cost is the only thing that really causes Back
to Square One to fall into the “Underlooked”
category, particularly because people don’t really
like discarding cards from their hand unless they’ll
be doing some long turn damage. Another reason for
Back to Square One’s rare apperance in Decks is
because there is much better monster destruction;
Nobleman of Crossout, Smashing Ground, Fissure,
Tribe-Infecting Virus, Sakuretsu Armor, and many
others offer permanent removal of monster threats,
and they’re all free! So because of the one card
disard, Back to Square One is reserved for Bounce
Advanced: 2.5/5. There are better alternatives.
Traditional: 2.5/5. There are better alternatives.
Art: 3/5. It’s Name That Monster Time! I see Goblin
Attack Force, Man-Thro'
Tro', and one of the monsters from Taunt.
Yet another shortened review I am
afraid. I must confess to being rather mixed on
Back to Square One. Why? Well, let’s
look at the effect: “Discard 1 card from your
hand. Return 1 Monster on the field to the top
of the owner’s Deck.” This is pretty nice:
removal with an element of control. That
limitation to Monsters though isn’t too nice:
it’d be much more useful if it worked on Spell
or Trap cards as well, but that should be
obvious. Likewise, it’s rare that it will not
easily outshine its under-achieving (well in the
modern game) cousin Tribute to the Doomed.
There is the chance that Back to Square One
would backfire: it’s really lame to bounce a
Breaker the Magical Warrior, especially if
it already used its counter, but nuking it is
usually a good idea.
Now, the real gripe I have is how
we receive this effect: a Normal Spell card.
Given the discard cost, I don’t think the timing
works out for you to use Serial Spell to
copy the effect, so I can’t think of how this
wouldn’t be better as a Quick-Play, so that I
could, you know, use it on an opponent’s freshly
Summoned Monster? If it were a Trap, I don’t
think it would cut it: while bouncing a Monster
to the top of the opponent’s deck gives control,
I’ll stick to Raigeki Break nuking my
choice of card, or Compulsory Evacuation
Device for a more traditional bounce to the
hand. It’d have been pretty sweet as a
Quick-Play Spell though. Oh well, better safe
Decks that I can see especially
benefiting from this card are Control, Exodia
(top decking the Head is better than not getting
it back at all), discard-oriented, and then a
smattering of semi-“random” decks that like
bouncing to the top of the deck… not that I can
think of any. Otherwise, it’s a decent option
in general if you want to add a little control
by altering your Monster removal.
3/5-That discard cost is almost a kiss of
death here. Normally I don’t let that bother me
too much as most are either running hand control
or counters to it. Still, it can set up a
Yata-Lock just fine… no matter who is
playing either card.
3.5/5-Back to Square One is much better
in this format.
Remember, these are general rating: it’s much
more useful for the decks I mentioned above for
both constructed formats. Here its rating is
bolstered by the fact that so many decks have
Monsters that are a pain to re-Summon normally.
Bouncing BLS to the top of their deck is
second only to removing it from play.
Discarding from the hand is less risky here due
to the extra difficulty in “locking” an
4/5-In Limited, only
draw tends to be more valuable than removal.
If you deck already uses three
copies of Night Assailant and a
Sinister Serpent, then this easily trumps
most other Monster removal options.
If you run Control, Exodia,
or any theme that would like to some player to
re-draw a card, you really need to explain why
you aren’t running this as your de
facto Monster removal. The reason I
can take it or leave it in decks in general is
that it’s a Spell Card, a one time effect. So
it’s a one turn gain with respect to screwing up
one Draw Phase and one Summon. If it’s the
opening you need, great. If not, that had
better just be a Sinister Serpent or the
like that you discarded.
Back To Square
One is a card a lot of people don't look at as
advantage, per se, because they can't see the
advantage present in it.
The opponent never LOSES the card, and that sort of
discombobulates people who want to see it in use.
You lose two cards for an immediate advantage and a
not-so-immediate advantage. I dislike using this
card cause I don't use too many discard cards, and
when I do, I'm more inclined to use Raigeki Breaks
over this. If I'm using the Night Assailant Engine,
then sure. This will do quite fine.
The immediate advantage is this: They lose their
card. That by itself does not incline people to use
Tribute to the Doomed. The second advantage is that
they lose their draw phase. If you can kill the
discard through Night Assailant or Sinister Serpent,
this is HUGE at the least. Knowing what they're
going to draw is one thing, but by that time,
they've already chosen the best offensive path they
can take with their hand and taken it. Not only have
you killed their resources, but you've killed their
chance of taking a better path.
This sends ANY monster back to the top of the deck.
A good comparison is using Compulsory Evacuation
Device and Time Seal consecutively.
That, unfortunately, means that this thing really
needs a tribute monster to hurt the opponent best.
Anyway, this is great in bounce decks. I know, I've
played with this in an EARTH Bounce (I'll attempt to
put an article up later on my short run with it,
since the topic came up) and it's killer.
2.5/5 Traditional (the cost is actually fairly low
here with Sinister and certain Chaos monsters
willing to eat up the discarded monster in seconds,
and I would LOVE to give them back a useless Tomato
or Witch when they try to trick me into it)