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Counter-Point: Continental Ban Lists - Deep Down Inside Who Wants to be a Conformist?

Raise your hand if you’re a conformist.  Raise it high if you believe that the world is a better place when we all do things the way everyone else does them just because that’s how we’re told they ought to be.  Hold that arm up there so we can all see that you prefer to let others be original; that you like others to make decisions for you.  Wave your arm like Horshack if you like …….. CONFORMITY. 

I bet you think that was ridiculous.  Odds are that you might even feel somewhat insulted that I’d suggest that an independent and free thinking Yugioh player like you would eagerly want to follow the crowd and submit to the way of the masses.  So right now I want to challenge you to consider the possibility that you just might want to defy the Japanese ban list.  Oh, suddenly you’re scared to think independently?  Suddenly you think maybe napay’s nuts for suggesting that we might want to do something different?  Breathe.  Now breathe again.  There’s something of a Japanese saying that goes something like this, “The nail that sticks up, gets hit”.  Meaning, no one will pull you out and make an example out of you if you do like everyone else is doing.  I say, “Bah”.  Breathe some more, big deep breaths. 

The new Japanese ban list has been released and was effective in Asia on September 1st.  Here’s the list: 

I. Forbidden Cards

You cannot use these cards in your Deck or Side Deck:

Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning
Butterfly Dagger - Elma
Change of Heart
Chaos Emperor Dragon - Envoy of the End
Delinquent Duo
Fiber Jar
Graceful Charity
Harpie's Feather Duster
Imperial Order
Magical Scientist
Makyura the Destructor
Mirage of Nightmare
Mirror Force
Monster Reborn
Painful Choice
Ring of Destruction
Sinister Serpent
The Forceful Sentry
Witch of the Black Forest

NEW! - Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning, Delinquent Duo,
Graceful Charity, Mirror Force, Ring of Destruction, Sinister Serpent

II. Limited Cards

You can ONLY use one of the following cards in the Deck & Side Deck

Book of Moon
Breaker the Magical Warrior
Call of the Haunted
Card Destruction
Cyber Jar
D. D. Warrior Lady
Dark Hole
Dark Magician of Chaos
Deck Devastation Virus
Exiled Force
Exodia the Forbidden One
Heavy Storm
Injection Fairy Lily
Left Arm of the Forbidden One
Left Leg of the Forbidden One
Lightning Vortex
Limiter Removal
Mage Power
Magic Cylinder
Morphing Jar
Mystical Space Typhoon
Night Assailant
Pot of Greed
Premature Burial
Protector of the Sanctuary
Reckless Greed
Reflect Bounder
Right Arm of the Forbidden One
Right Leg of the Forbidden One
Sacred Phoenix of Nephthys
Snatch Steal
Swords of Revealing Light
Thousand Eyes Restrict
Torrential Tribute
Tribe-Infecting Virus
Twin-Headed Behemoth
United We Stand

NEW!- Book of Moon, Confiscation, Dark Hole, Limiter Removal, Metamorphosis,
Night Assailant, Scapegoat, Thousand Eyes Restrict, Tsukuyomi.

III. Semi-Limited Cards

You can ONLY use two of the following cards in the Deck & Side Deck

Abyss Soldier
Creature Swap
Dark Scorpion - Chick the Yellow
Emergency Provisions
Good Goblin Housekeeping
Gravity Bind
Last Turn
Level Limit - Area B
Manticore of Darkness
Nobleman of Crossout
Reinforcement of the Army
Upstart Goblin

Newly Unlimited Cards-
Marauding Captain, Vampire Lord

I’m not going to analyze the list.  I’m not going to talk about what got added or deleted.  I’m not even going to talk about why it’s wrong to ban Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning.  None of that.  One more time, I want to challenge you to consider the possibility that you just might want to defy the Japanese ban list.  We have less than 20 days to get our signs painted and organize a march.  Do we send letters to Congress, the Japanese Embassy or Donald Rumsfeld?  Someone must know what to do, right? 

Well actually, there may be no need for all that.  Upperdeck and Konami already know that Yugioh is played differently all over the world.  They know that more cards are available in Asia and they know that this causes variances in style of play and deck types.  Did you notice that following the release of Dark Beginnings 2, folks are running around trying to build Mill Decks and Toon Decks?  The availability of themed and support cards does have an impact on what gets played.  So, when I say that we ought to have continental ban lists, then I mean that the ban lists should be tweaked a bit for each geographic region (continent) of the world that has its own distributor of Yugioh cards. 

There is a certain logic to this that is derived from the fact that cards are not distributed uniformly worldwide.  We all know that Blue-Eye’s Ultimate Dragon and Needleworm have been distributed in Asia for sometime.  Infact, Needleworm has been easily available in Asia as a common for a good long while now.  In the sequenced timeline you follow from buying packs to building decks, it’s clear that it all begins with what’s made available and these differences should sequentially follow through in a similar way to the ban lists. 

Objections?  Well, I’m sure there would be.  I’m not exactly of the opinion that I’d want to spend 5 months perfecting my deck and earning my way to a spot in the World Championships only to learn that half my deck will be immediately banned the minute I deplane.  But, just how real is that scenario?  Realistically, most of us are not going to go to the World Championships.  Most of us play in casual tournaments at our local card shops, toy stores and book stores.  Most of us play with our friends, kids, parents and siblings.  Most of us don’t even play in regional tournaments.  For most of us a continental ban list would not be a problem at all.  I know I’m going to get an e-mail from Max Suffridge about this now.  But, here’s what I’d say after asking him to autograph a card for me, I bet the continental ban lists will be tweaked a little here and a little there; I don’t think they will be dramatically different from one continent to another.  Furthermore, I think the World Championships ought to have a unique ban list that won’t favor any one continent over another.  This would mean that everyone would have to make some small adjustments to their deck at the World Championships.  Another point I would make is that it’s a measure of skill to be able to adjust what you’re doing in response to the environment you find yourself in.  Golf is like this.  If you think Tiger Woods always finds his ball resting on top of nicely groomed short grass, you’re wrong.  Tiger’s got to hit off of rocks, sand, water and concrete because as a high level player he has to be ready to adjust what he’s doing to the environment he finds himself in.  If you want to play with the big boys, you need to be able to adjust your game when needed. 

If you really sit back and think about it, even in the United States, we have different ban lists; traditional and advanced.  They don’t even have this in Asia where it’s all advanced play.  Right there we already have disunity.  Another argument that I’ve heard voiced is that we need uniform worldwide rules if we want our game to be taken seriously.  I just don’t buy that argument.  Why is it then that only half the baseball teams have a designated hitter?  Why are there TWO governing bodies for professional golf that enforce different ban rules?  Why is it that in Canada a football team only gets 3 downs instead of 4?  My point is that variations in rules exist in major worldwide sports, not just Yugioh. 

It’s commonly believed that the ban lists are mainly used as a mechanism to increase parity by removing excessively powerful cards from the pool of play.  This is not really true.  The primary point of the ban lists is to keep the game fresh and entertaining.  The reality of the second statement is that it leaves room for banned cards to rotate on an off the list to prevent the gaming environment from getting stale.  I’ll cite the unbanning and rebanning of Delinquent Duo and Graceful Charity as examples.  It’s not that Konami decided that these cards really weren’t so powerful and unbanned them only to find that they had made a big mistake so they rebanned them.  What really happened was Konami rotated them off the list and then rotated them back on to keep the gaming environment fresh.  Note that Dark Hole and Confiscation got unbanned recently; look for them to get rotated back on in the future. 

So there you have it; one side of the debate in favor of having continental ban lists instead of a universal ban list.  Is the idea perfect, no.  But I do think the idea has merit and balances the entertainment and competition sides of the trading card gaming environment.  I would invite you to read the other side of this debate that Leon has written for the Pojo website today.  There should also be a Pojo Poll up today that is ready for your vote on whether the ban list should be continental or universal.  We still have time before the October 1 list is released.  Vote and be heard.  If you want to talk about it, get on the message board and let’s discuss. 


It’s easy to find me on the message boards, e-mail is ok, but I like open discussion better.  If you’re looking for deck ideas, see my Deck Theme’s post on the Pojo Message Boards.  Oh, and yes, I am the same notasperfectasyou that auctions Yu-Gi-Oh cards on EBAY.

napay’s prior articles and why you’d want to read them:

“Vulnerability: a New Perspective on Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning” presents a contrarian point of view as we are leading up to the anticipated banning of BLS-EotB along with a different way to think about vulnerability.


“Not As Perfect As Konami – Will Work For Cards” presents a wish list of things I’d like Konami/UpperDeck to do.


“Thoughts and Observations about Winning Decks – Part 5” presents a fifth installment of analysis for the purpose of seeing what can be learned from comparing two proven decks focusing on the issue of the changing landscape of Yu-Gi-Oh.


“Thoughts and Observations about Winning Decks – Part 4” presents a fourth installment of analysis for the purpose of seeing what can be learned from comparing two proven decks focusing on the issue of replacing cards.


“Thoughts and Observations about Winning Decks – Part C” presents a third installment of analysis for the purpose of seeing what can be learned from comparing two proven decks focusing on cards that strengthen your position.


“Thoughts and Observations about Winning Decks – Part B” presents a second installment of analysis for the purpose of seeing what can be learned from comparing two proven decks focusing on cards that weaken your opponent.


“Thoughts and Observations about Winning Decks – Part A” presents a first installment of deck analysis for the purpose of seeing what can be learned from comparing two proven decks.

“Mom and Dad Won’t Let Me Buy Cards On EBAY” presents some thoughts on the good and the bad of buying cards on EBAY and how you might work EBAY for a better experience.

“The Exodia FTK” presents an example of applying calculated mathematical probabilities to Yu-Gi-Oh in demonstration of why a deck 40 cards is a good idea.

“Fake/counterfeit Yu-Gi-Oh cards” presents a summarized version of my own experience buying fake cards and what I learned from it.

“The Star Circle” presents a very visual way to think about the components of your deck and how to think about card flow as a way to improving your deck.

“How Big is your Monster” is about why you need to stop thinking about how to get big ATK monsters in your deck and why you do need to think about how cards work synergistically.


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