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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

Card Ratings
Traditional: 2.35
Advanced: 2.65

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 Decks

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.


Advantage F/H: 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.

Traditional Format Score:                                         7/10

Advanced Format Score:                                           7/10


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.

T:                                                                                6.5/10

A:                                                                                6.5/10


Attributes/Effect: 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.

T:                                                                                9/10

A:                                                                                9/10


Dependability: 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 have monsters.

T:                                                                                5/10

A:                                                                                5/10


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--

Traditional:                                                                 3.44/5

Advanced:                                                                  3.44/5


FORCE System Suggestions:

++        Contributes to On-Field Removal, Enemy Disruption

--          Detracts from Resource Replenishment (heavily).

ExMinion OfDarkness
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 cards.
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 advantage.
Sending BLS back may only keep it off the field for that one turn, leaving you hurting just as badly.
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.
1.5/5 Traditional
2.25/5 Advanced
Tranorix 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 attack.

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. It’s fun.

Traditional – CCCC: 2/5
Traditional – Field Control: 4/5
Advanced – CCWC: 2.5/5
Advanced – Field Control: 4.5/5
Snapper 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 opponent’s monster.

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 Decks.

Advanced: 2.5/5. There are better alternatives.
Traditional: 2.5/5. There are better alternatives.
Overall: 2.5/5.
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 than sorry.


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.




Traditional       : 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.


Advanced        : 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 opponent.


Limited                        : 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.

Coin Flip


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.

Normal deck:
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)
3/5 Advanced
Bounce deck:
3.5/5 Traditional
4/5 Advanced

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