I wanted to start off this article by apologizing to
a few people with this article. I think the
(temporary) death of premier tournament Yu-Gi-Oh!
has made me rather pensive and reflective of my
experiences with the game. While I feel I've
conducted myself to a reasonably high standard
during my time here, there are quite a few mistakes
I made and two in particular I would like to
My first apology is to Jason Holloway. This has been
on my mind for a long time, but at this point in
time, with more maturity, I don't feel it was right
at all for me to call his name out in public. While
I wouldn't have published it if it wasn't the
verifiable truth (and not just my personal opinion),
the article really wasn't fair to him. Even without
cheating or shady tactics, he would likely have been
in the list of top ten or so players in the game at
the time (and certainly better than me in my rusty
The reason for writing the article, of course, was
to try to inhibit future cheaters who wanted to
follow in the footsteps of a player like him or
others on their way to Yu-Gi-Oh! glory. But it was
highly inappropriate and borderline an abuse of
public position to direct such a widely-read article
at someone, no matter what the circumstances. Sorry
Jason, and if we meet again I would like to buy you
a frothy beverage and some stuffed animals (you
pick) to atone.
My second apology is to Upper Deck for my (quickly
locked) thread about Upper Deck Day being a scam. I
was not aware that attendance would be so low, that
door prizes would be given out, and that raffles
would be given to ensure everyone would win
While many of my objections to the event turned out
to be true:
GLAS packs with no retail value were dumped off in
such as California, Indy, and New York that
attracted 250+ players prizes to only the top 16 was
a bit unfair....
The overall value of the prizes UD and the TO's gave
out and such far outstripped the expected profit
margin leeway we would give a company. Every company
has a right to profit, as long as that doesn't
involve completely butchering and fleecing the
customer. I incorrectly assumed UD was doing this
without even realizing the other prizes given out.
Sorry, and thanks for the wonderful event.
Moving on to Matters Not Involving Atonement for
For the first time in a long time, there is no
premier event to look forward to. With UD Day done
and in the rear view mirror, I suppose I have a lot
of free time on my hands. So let's take a look at an
ideal forbidden list for me.
Good friend Matt Peddle, a featured writer for
Metagame.com and a top-tier duelist (contrary to
popular belief these terms aren't always mutually
exclusive), recently made a post that stimulated my
intellect. He stated that while many of our ideas
are in agreement (regarding floaters and card power
levels), the difference lies in what we would
ideally want from the game.
He correctly pegged me as a rabid pro-subtype and
pro-themer. This means I favor a game where a deck
such as Zombies, with access to Zombie-specific
support such as Zombie Master, Book of Life, and
Pyramid Turtle does battle with a deck like Hopeless
Dragon, with access to Dragon-specific support. The
winner of this would battle with a deck like
Gladiator Beasts, and so on.
Matt Peddle happens to be a frothing, rabid
anti-subtyper (and anti-Dentite). The previous
sentence isn't true. Actually, he feels the game is
most thriving when one dominant cookie-cutter build
controls the format. Here, duelists are forced to
make minor (but significant) tweaks and revisions to
the infrastructure of the established CC. Players
are then forced to engage in a battle of skills
versus decks that are constructed nearly as well as
his or her own.
After assuming mastery of this format and seeing how
every play/deck-building decision matters, I am
beginning to see the merits of his stance. In fact,
I am beginning to agree with it entirely. I am
slowly realizing that my dream of a pro-subtype game
has been destroyed for a few reasons. The first is
that Konami and design don't actually favor subtype
or Type support persay. They actually support
something else which is slightly different.
Rather than support generic subsets or Types such as
a Dark deck or a Spellcaster deck, design has moved
towards supporting “casts of characters” such as Six
Samurai, Gladiator Beasts, Gravekeepers, Lightsworn,
or other themes. This is fine, but it also means
that cards like Honest, Rising Air Current, and
Mystic Tomato are likely not going to be released in
large enough quantities in future sets to make my
pro-theme dream come true. Rather, design is
focusing on casts of characters such as Black Wings
So a realistic forbidden list would focus on the
pro-CC school of thought put forth by Mr. Peddle.
And because I am beginning to realize my ideal form
of Yu-Gi-Oh! will never come true (largely due to
set design), I am beginning to see the glory of his
approach. So let's make a balanced forbidden list.
I Cannot Succumb Completely to the Devious Allure
of Matthew Peddle
While I agree with his assertion that one dominant
CC does indeed improve the quality of play by every
player, I would like to make a slight modification
to this. I currently feel the trend towards “Boss
Monsters” and such cannot really be reversed, so we
should actually resurrect an ancient dinosaur to
fight the evils of Dark Armed Dragon and Judgment
Ideally, the format should reward the player who
makes the last substantial push to the field. For
example, you should generally be punished if you are
making a play such as double Synchro Summons without
game shot; indeed, you frequently will be punished
if you do such a thing against a good player. You
should also be punished for foolishly summoning your
“boss monster” without generating field advantage
from it. And finally, you should be punished for
taking money from your mom's purse.
Ideally, I would like to see all of these cards
banned. But with cards like the Six Samurai, Red
Eyes Metal Darkness Shining Black Dragon of Doom the
Swordmaster, and Summon Priest coming out with
numerous means of special-summoning and swarming the
board, I have to simply accept that these “boss
monsters” are a part of the fundamental fabric of
However, I hate ensuring that only one form of CC is
out there. It's time to make a few modifications to
the list. In my mind, the goal of any format and any
game is to reward skill. In my eyes:
The Golden Rule for Yu-Gi-Oh!: More options
equals more possible results which equals more
decisions to be made which rewards skill.
Currently, games are decided because players make a
gradual trickle mistakes that lead to a loss. If I
were to observe an average Tele-DaD player, I would
probably see 4-5 minor or major misplays per MATCH.
Cards like Solemn Judgment, Phoenix Wing Wind Blast,
and the Synchro Mechanic are so versatile that it
becomes difficult to make every play an optimal one.
This makes the skill edge incredibly huge from
skilled “pro” to average, or even good player.
Playing at two UD days, I lost one match over 18,
and there was no player who rationally believed they
would beat me when we sat down to play. The reason
is I would consistently exploit their mechanical
errors and slight misplays to further a superior
game position, winning with intentionally inferior
decks (I did not main Royal Oppression and played
off-beat cards I theorized would do well).
But the problem with this format is that you can't
play any deck other than Tele-DaD if you want to
win. So let's make a list that gives more options to
every player, makes players less likely to lose to
“god hands,” and helps further deck diversity WHILE
holding true to this idea:
A dominant Cookie-Cutter, in a non-OTK format,
rewards the player who properly conserves resources
and consistently forces the Opponent to overextend
An example. If I'm playing against Matt Peddle, and
I put a monster on the board that forces him to
summon his Dark Armed Dragon first, I should be
rewarded for this (assuming I have a DaD in hand).
So the game-within-a game for good players is to
force their opponent to extend first.
With these tenets in mind, let's get to work
constructing a list.
A Sneak Preview of Next Ban List Article:
Luster Soldier- Envoy of the Beginning
- Gorz the
Emissary of Darkness
If you are thinking I am off my rocker, rest assured
I will explain within a few days. I might almost
have you agreeing with me by the time I'm done.
As always, e-mail me at
JAELOVE@gmail.com with feedback. Thanks.