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Baneful's Column
By Baneful

August 4, 2017

[Circle LADD Format] A Full Introduction


I’m referring to it as Circle LADD Format because “Perfect Circle” is ambiguous; the Perfect Circle deck was invented in the Trooper Format, although became an even more dominant deck in the next format.  While LADD (Light and Darkness Dragon) may not have been the defining feature of the format, it’s the best way to distinguish it from the formats adjacent to it.  Since it’s structurally similar to the Trooper Format preceding it, I will mostly write about the changes between the two formats. 


Circle LADD Format was a downward creep of power.  Not many great cards were added; however, the cards which were banned and limited opened up room for other cards to see more play. Those who find some of the cards in Trooper Format a bit overpowered may prefer this format. 


Circle LADD Format starts from the September 2007 banlist onward to late January 2008.  Most players set the boundary at the end of January because the revolutionary booster set Phantom Darkness came out in February.  Cards like Dark Armed Dragon made it an entirely different format. 


Ban List Changes


The September 2007 TCG ban list started the new format.  Quickly, these are the changes:


ˇ         Confiscation, Metamorphosis, Snatch Steal and Ring of Destruction are Forbidden.

ˇ         Breaker the Magical Warrior and Magician of Faith were unbanned. (Limited to 1)


The following cards are Limited to 1:

Card Trooper

DHERO Disk Commander


Snipe Hunter

Brain Control


Gold Sarcophagus


Smashing Ground

The Transmigration Prophecy

Trap Dustshoot

Wall of Revealing Light


The following cards are Limited to 2:

Red Gadget

Green Gadget

Yellow Gadget


DHERO – Malicious

Nobleman of Crossout

Pot of Avarice

Royal Decree



The following cards are Limited to 3:

D.D. Assailant, Protector of the Sanctuary, Deck Devastation Virus, Good Goblin Housekeeping.


Qualitative comments: The overall effect of the ban list was the prevention of OTK’s.  With Card Trooper at 1, it is no longer an OTK card and Machine Duplication is completely useless.  Of the 4 Forbidden cards, 3 of them allow the player to put a lot damage on the board, especially Metamorphosis’ ability to make Cyber Twin Dragon.  Confiscation essentially made players’ life points start at 7000.  With most of the power spells banned and no Tsukuyomi, Magician of Faith was fine to come back.  Nobleman of Crossout is at 2, but since Flip Effects aren’t a major threat, it’s no longer all-powerful.  Crush Card Virus, Diamond Dude Turbo and Demise OTK were not hit at all.  However, most players rejoice the limiting of Trap Dustshoot.


Card Pool


Gladiator’s Assault was the only booster set released in between the two formats.  Although Gladiator monsters were introduced, they were not highly competitive at that point. Their defining card, Gladiator Beast Gyzarus, was released two booster sets later.  Apart from Gladiators, plausible cards from GLAS include Enishi Shien’s Chancellor, Spirit of the Six Samurai, Evil Hero Dark Gaia, Swing of Memories, Dark Fusion, Cunning of the Six Samurai, Light-Imprisoning Mirror, Shadow Imprisoning Mirror, Double-Edged Sword Technique, No Entry!!, Dragon Ice, Veil of Darkness, Skreech, Security Orb, Necroface, Soul Taker, Royal Firestorm Guard, Tongue Twister. 


While there was only one new booster set, the end of 2007 saw a lot of great new promo and structure deck cards released in the format:

ˇ         Dimension Prison

ˇ         Light and Darkness Dragon

ˇ         Marshmallon (at 1)

ˇ         Gold Sarcophagus (at 1)

ˇ         Foolish Burial

ˇ         Fiend’s Sanctuary

ˇ         DHERO – Plasma

ˇ         Malevolent Catastrophe

ˇ         Dark Bribe


Staple Monsters


D.D. Crow – I learned the hard way that this card is practically a staple.  Most decks in the format should have two of these.  Keep in mind that the format has slowed down significantly compared to Trooper format, so the opponent having a Disk Commander in the graveyard able to be revived can seriously tilt the game against you.  Of course, when considering your deck ratios, you should consider this more of a trap card (because you won’t be using it for attacking).  Also, make sure you only use its effect when the opponent is using a card to access a monster from the grave so you can also get rid of their Premature/Call/etc. without wasting a card.


Sangan – Obvious choice.  In what old format was it not a great card?  Many monsters in the format have <1500 ATK, especially DHERO’s (Fear Monger, Disk Commander, Malicious) and most decks in the format in general.


Breaker the Magical Warrior – This card is back and you should run it because it’s one of the best most versatile Spell/Trap removal cards available to you which comes with a free beatstick.


Treeborn Frog – Some may not want to use this, and I understand.  But it’s a great card for many people in this format.  Trap line-ups are generally low, so your backrow won’t be too clogged.  It helps summon Monarchs and LADD.  It can be dumped by Trooper, Foolish Burial and discard effect.  It’s a well needed life point cushion.  And as an added bonus, it can activate its effect numerous times to cripple LADD if it ever comes down to that.


Spirit Reaper – While this format has some hand floaters, the majority of the time you should be afraid of a direct attack from Reaper.  Cards like Airknight are no longer around to punish it.  In this format, you can lose a lot of life points by being outnumbered on the field, and having this wall of defense is added security.


Marshmallon – Without a weakness to targeting, it’s more reliable.  Plus, the 1000 damage is a great bonus that makes the opponent more killable when you do go on the offensive.  It depends on whether you prefer life point protection or control, but there’s no law preventing you from running both Marshmallon and Reaper (especially if you need tribute fodder for LADD).


Card Trooper – It’s no longer a definite 100% staple like it once was.  The limit hurt it’s consistency.  It’s no longer an engine, but a one-off.  It can’t OTK.  At 1, it’s not consistent.  But some decks could use the milling, the 1900 ATK beater, the pressure against trap cards, destruction, and the draw power.  Worth using if you have room for it.


Snipe Hunter – It’s at 1 and that’s plenty.  I personally find it to be a tiny bit overrated and at times unreliable, but this format has a lot of discard fodder and sometimes you need that removal so you can go in and deal a lot of life point damage.  I consider it a semi-staple.


Cyber Dragon – It’s still potential tribute fodder and a strong easy to summon beater for adding field presence to protect your life points and hurt the opponent’s.  A fair number of pro players in major tournaments omitted it from their decks (perhaps because they’re counting on already having field presence and don’t need a card that clogs when they’re established).  For example, it negative synergy with Treeborn Frog.  But a majority of the top 16 deck lists I’ve seen in this format (of various deck types) do use ~2 copies of it.


Magician of Faith – It’s back and it’s not a staple anymore.  Metamorphosis, Graceful, Pot, Delinquent, Confiscation and Snatch have all been banned, as well as Tsukuyomi to generate advantage from it.  Nobleman of Crossout also isn’t as significant.  Without insanely strong power spells, this card’s early game deficiency dissuades many players from using it.  There’s still Heavy and Premature though.  It’s still a good card, but completely discretionary depending on your deck.


Staple Spells and Traps

Spells: Heavy Storm, Mystical Space Typhoon, Premature Burial, Brain Control, Pot of Avarice, Scapegoat, Lightning Vortex, Book of Moon, Nobleman of Crossout.  (Other commonly mained Spells: Smashing Ground, Foolish Burial, Gold Sarcophagus, Brain Control).  Not a whole lot to say here since you are familiar with these cards.  Vortex is good in this format since there are more monsters that benefit from the discard and face-up monsters are more of a threat than face-down monsters.  Speaking of which, Nobleman of Crossout, while still a very good card, is no longer the all-powerful removal card it used to be; many players used 1 copy and side the 2nd.


Traps: Mirror Force, Torrential Tribute, Call of the Haunted.  All 3 of these are practically mandatory.  (Other commonly mained Traps: Crush Card Virus, Phoenix Wing Wind Blast (PWWB), Dust Tornado, Bottomless Trap Hole, Dimension Prison, Solemn Judgment (x3), Return from the Different Dimension.  Crush Card Virus was, at times sacky, but perhaps less overpowered than some may think; it still only has a handful of suitable targets, can result in dead draws and many good monsters have under 1500 ATK anyways.  However, it’s still a potent side deck card.  Dimesnion Prison made Sakuretsu Armor obsolete, but due to Monarchs’ ability to destroy non-chainable traps.  PWWB’s chainability wins here.


Top Decks


Major decks of the format include: Perfect Circle Monarch, Perfect Circle w/ LADD and Gadget Anti-Meta.  Other decks include: Six Samurai, Macro Cosmos, Baboon Burn, Volcanic Monarchs, Demise OTK, Zombie, Gadget-Chimeratech.  Diamond Dude Turbo


For reference, here are the top 16 deck lists for 4 major tournaments.


SJC Washington DC (Sept 2007)

SJC Durham (Oct 2007)

SJC San Mateo (Dec 2007)

SJC Orlando (Jan 2008)


Popular Side Deck Cards


Cyber Dragon

Kinetic Soldier

D.D. Crow

Dust Tornado

Royal Oppression

Nobleman of Crossout

Pulling the Rug

Enemy Controller

Trap Dustshoot

Vanity’s Fiend

Malevolent Catastrophe

Exiled Force

Spell Shield Type-8

Snipe Hunter

Legendary Jujitsu Master

D.D. Survivor

Mobius the Frost Monarch

Royal Decree

Mind Crush

The Transmigration Prophecy


Mask of Restrict


Bottomless Trap Hole

Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror

Needle Ceiling

Macro Cosmos

Dimensional Fissure

Solemn Judgment

Gravekeeper’s Spy

Destiny Hero – Plasma

Des Wombat

Threatening Roar

Neo-Spacian Grand Mole


Dark Bribe

Lightning Vortex

Banisher of the Radiance

Mei-Kou Master of Barriers



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