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Baneful's Column
By Baneful

July 11, 2017

An Update for 2017

I originally planned on noting that I was incorrect in suggesting that Reverse Trap was a counter to Reinforcements in the May 2002 article; apparently, it does not work during the Damage Step.  But now I’ll take the time to give an update on a variety of my previous articles because, to some extent, my opinions and the game itself has changed in the past 2-3 years.  This article is going to cover a lot of different aspects of Yugioh.


You’re Never Too Old or Too Cool for Yugioh!

 “At 16, I thought I was too old for YGO.  That was so far from the truth.  In fact, I was too young for it.  I cared [too much] what people thought about me”.  Still completely agree.  I’m 25 now and there’s no end in sight.


A Brief History of Yugioh Video Games

Not much to add.  The Yugioh video games were very good for their time early on, but things got to a point where video games in general progressed and Konami still kept Yugioh games within the same rigid formula.


Why Archetypes are Bad for Yugioh

“Yu-Gi-Oh! has essentially gone from 'build your own team' to 'pick a team uniform'

“.  This matter has remained the same.  Pendulums were an opportunity to give generic splashable support but unfortunately they further consolidated archetypes.


#Pojo2014 – The Legacy of Pojo.com

I’ve long tried to modernize the site and catch up to all of the latest social media trends, but at the end of the day, people enjoy the site for what it is, and I’ve learned to accept that.


Yugioh vs. Magic the Gathering

Both are great card games, but go different routes.  Yugioh has been sort of a cultural fad/phenomenon with accessible primally satisfying gameplay.  Magic has been a card game first, and one with more emphasis toward balance.


Konami’s Card Art Censorship

I still, to an extent, agree with the censors.  Never did I disagree because it was offensive or subversive, but rather because pandering to teenagers with lust and gore cheapens the brand.


From Gargoyles to Anthropomorphic Airplanes

Here I commend Takahashi for giving the game its own flavor (with GX and onward) rather than continuing the standard medieval fantasy trend.  Lately, it seems like the game has been moving toward a more technological and cyber direction with the art work and lore.  We live in a society with smartphones and social media; it’s a logical consequence.


Power Creep

I mentioned the benefits of power creep in diversifying gameplay style, but this article came out well before Qliphorts and Nekroz convinced me that Konami planned on creeping up the game every other format.  The debut of “Link” monsters (a new type) is a sign of hope.  Apparently, they restrict Extra Deck summoning as a way to control the pace of the game.  Perhaps this will move the game back to center, somewhere between basic beatdown and XYZ/Pendulum swarming.


Death of the Staples

We got Twin Twisters though.  That’s a balanced staple.  Solemn Striking is a bit too much of a staple, especially at 3.  Staples are still dead though.


Top 50 Cards of 2006

This was Jaelove’s list (not mine), and it was actually made in 2005 (some of the cards were banned since).  I assessed how they compared to today’s standards.  It seems that most are either banned or not used at all.  In playing retro formats, I can assess that list with more context on how they played back then.  Morphing Jar (at #42) was way underrated.  In hindsight, Airknight was the best tribute monster – not Jinzo.


Synchros, XYZ’s and Pendulums

In hindsight, Pendulums were a disappointment.  They offered promise in helping high level monsters become more summonable, but instead of being used to help out non-Pendulum monsters, they only served the purpose of summoning themselves.


Yugioh 50 Years From Now

It’s 2017.  Amazon is putting retailers out of business.  Physical Yugioh cards may be niche collectibles but it may be more convenient to duel online: less money, less space, less time, etc.  It seems like we are moving into an all digital era, at least for now.


Millennium Duels

I have to respect Konami for including Pojo into their PR and giving me a copy of the game to review.  I gave the game a 5/10, and that might be why we weren’t asked to review any more games.  But, part of my integrity as a writer is to be honest.  Pleasant interface, but too often repetitive chore without buying in-game content.  Not returning to it.


Yuginomics 101

Actually making a profit, beyond flipping a few cards, is just not feasible for the effort most people are willing too allocate.  But I still think this is a crucial article for people who want to break even on playing the card game, and steadily maintain the value of their collection.


Decluttering the Ban List

Based on Konami’s recent ban lists, I’ll give an update:

ˇ         Dark Magician of Chaos – Didn’t really need the nerf, but fair enough.

ˇ         Elemental Hero Stratos – This card is still banned??!!?

ˇ         Sangan & Time Seal – I still disagree, but I can see the other point of view.

ˇ         Tribe-Infecting Virus – Still should’ve been unbanned a few years ago.

ˇ         El Shaddoll Construct – Shaddolls are much less of a threat now (they’re not going to replace modern tier 1 decks) and don’t need to be punished.

ˇ         Thousand-Eyes Restrict – Hooray!

The laxing on limits I proposed, for the most part, never happened.  May as well though, it’s not like Inzektors, for example, are going to be tier 1 (even if their Dragonfly goes to 3).


A Frightening Realization

The shortest submission in Pojo history.  I love it.


Dueling Network (2011-2016)

I was really surprised when I saw DuelingBook emerge (basically a reskin of DN).  I felt like a kid on Christmas.  They have a Goat Format option too, which I’ve been playing a lot of.  Now that the movie is already out and everything, I hope this one doesn’t get targeted.


Yugioh’s Bad Reputation

Maybe my darkest article, but it’s still an issue that plagues Yugioh: the immaturity and hostility in the community.  It’s the reason why I left the Pojo forum.  When you have a game that mostly consists of adolescent males and young adult men, it becomes Lord of the Flies.


Ground Zero Thinking

Short and sweet, but one of the favorite articles.  Being able to think objectively is an important life skill in general, and I applied it to 4 Yugioh related examples.


Being on the COTD Team

This is the article that I have the most to say about.  I’ve been on the COTD team a long time.  I once tried to rebuild the team via an exhaustive effort to add competitive-minded players.  But Bill (Mr. Pojo) was right.  Most reviewers don’t stick around, so it’s not easy to keep a dream team.  At the heyday of my recruiting efforts, I remember getting email saying “Do we really need 16 reviews on ‘Phoenix Wing Wind Blast’.  But it didn’t take too long to the point which cards only get 1-2 reviews.


I’ve gone through many different algorithims and rating systems over the years.  At this point, I don’t pay the rating too much mind, except 1-range is garbage, 2-range is suboptimal, 3-range is viable/useful, 4+ is competitive.  My ratings also often factor long-term usability (i.e. Effect Veiler would get a bonus for being perennially useful even if it’s not a main deck staple at the moment.  I sort of look at COTD from the perspective of whether the card is worth owning.


I still believe in the necessity of quality control standards.  A review should be more than copying and pasting the card text and paraphrasing each sentence.  It should analyze the implications of the card: what interactions does it benefit from, what cards counter it, what decks should run it, and how does it affect field presence/card advantage/etc.  I do like Jaelove’s old scoring systems because they do make the reader think about these things.


I’m semi-retired from the COTD staff myself.  I’m not a daily reviewer anymore, though I’d love to keep doing a few cards per month.  I’ve been playing mostly retro formats (and not much of the new ones).  I abstain from any review which I feel like I’m not qualified or informed enough to write.  Being silent when you don’t know much about something is a virtue.


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