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Weej's Different Perspective
Perspectives that are Different:
Konami and UDE – Uh-Oh! Spaghettios
Article #3 | 8/30/05

The new Ban List has finally arrived, and people are preparing for it best they can as October 1st draws closer. Black Luster Soldier, after almost a year and a half of domination, has finally been banned. Some of the cards on the Ban List come as a complete shock, but others, as somewhat obvious. I was at least right with three of the cards on my list: Dark Hole got un-banned, Delinquent Duo got banned, and Black Luster Soldier was banned as well. Here’s a look at the newest Ban List, to take effect October 1st here in America and September 1st in Japan:

September/October 1st Ban List 2005-2006:
Witch of the Black Forest
Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning
Chaos Emperor Dragon – Envoy of the End
Fiber Jar
Makyura the Destructor
Magical Scientist
Sinister Serpent
Harpie’s Feather Duster
Monster Reborn
Butterfly Dagger – Elma
Mirage of Nightmare
The Forceful Sentry
Change of Heart
Painful Choice
Graceful Charity
Delinquent Duo
Imperial Order
Mirror Force
Ring of Destruction
Sixth Sense

Don’t worry about Sixth Sense, obviously, as it is broken, is not out in English, and never will be. Notice, however, that the list is getting longer and longer. They are finally taking the steps needed to allow more “balance”. By balance, I mean that there will be less “swing” cards. The field won’t change as drastically in as sporadic a manner. The sad part, however, is that these cards would all be thrown into your standard deck, minus a card or two like Butterfly Dagger and Makyura. This is absolutely ridiculous and shows first hand how rotten this game was before the first list was created.

Let’s go over the new arrivals first:

Graceful Charity: This, in my opinion, was rather unnecessary. If you wanted to stop drawing abuse, ban Pot of Greed, not Graceful Charity. Graceful Charity would have been fine being unbanned because Black Luster Soldier is no longer available. At the very least, you’d be doing the classic dump and revive with Premature and Call of the Haunted, and discarding Sinister would probably be the most “sinister” discard you could do. Personally I wish they banned Pot and left this card in check because it is nowhere near as bad as Pot since BLS is banned.

Delinquent Duo: Now this I can understand, but I also wish it wasn’t so. I’m going to be honest with you: I loved abusing this card. I’m not talking about using MoF to get it back 2-3 times and playing like some reckless idiot either. I’m talking about using it once and absolutely crippling the opponent to the point where they never recover and end up losing. The ideal time to use Delinquent Duo is after your opponents move – they’ll set a monster and a facedown spell or trap, leaving 4 cards in there hand. Next turn, you play it, and they just lost 50% of their resources. How awesome. When people used this against me, I would almost always win anyway, and whenever I used it, I would almost always win, so personally, while I know it’s most definitely ban worthy, I will miss it.

Ring of Destruction: I guess their just cycling stuff out, because banning this was pretty pointless. The main reason they might have banned this alongside restricting Limiter Removal was probably because of how ridiculously powerful Machines would have gotten. Regardless, I guess it’s a worthy ban that will force players to make room for other traps and/or incorporate new ideas.

Mirror Force: Even though Dark Hole is back, I am truly going to miss Mirror Force because it was everything that Sakuretsu Armor wished it could be. There’s not much to say other than the Holy Barrier will most certainly be missed.

Sinister Serpent: Totally unnecessary. The main reason it was abused for was Metamorphosis, and that’s restricted now. It wasn’t inherently broken, it primarily provided +1 card advantage. Even though it is card advantage, it isn’t always useful, and that’s to keep in mind. Either way, the banning of Sinister will probably contribute to Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer dropping off the face of the earth for the next 6 months.

Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning: Wow, they actually had the gonads to do it. After a year and a half of ridiculousness, the final overpowered trump card of the game has been rid from the Advanced Format. There is no other Monster in the Advanced Format that will be able to match everything BLS was and still is, and believe me, if you’re sick of facing it because you and incapable of being a conformist like everyone else, you’ll be happy that this thing is banned.

Confiscation: Well, it’s back, and while I personally feel that it’s the second most powerful out of the three pre-negators (Forceful, Confiscation, Duo – good bye Pot if they play either of the first two), it’s effect isn’t as powerful late game so that’s what balances it out.

Book of Moon: They restricted a perfectly solid 1 for 1 card that wasn’t even that abusive in the first place. It doesn’t have the consistency that Tsukuyomi has, so why restrict it? Don’t be surprised if Enemy Controller makes a comeback now that Book is restricted to one.

Thousand-Eyes Restrict: Overkill. They already banned Sinister and restricted Tsukuyomi. So why did they restrict the Restrict? Because you can still use 2-3 Magician of Faith (insert comedy drumroll here). Oh well, TER’s wrap on the game won’t be in a chokehold now.

Scapegoat: This is perfectly understandable. This was one of the most abused cards of all time. It rewarded players that played both wrecklessly and conservatively, and made games ridiculously slow. It is about damn time that Scapegoat was restricted.

Metamorphosis: This was unnecessary because the whole reason Thousand-Eyes was abused in the first place was because Scapegoat was plentiful in 2’s and 3’s. They have ruined an entire arche-type in exchange for cutting the balls of the Goat Control. It’s not a fair trade. 

An End to the World Standard?

After Spikes and Baron’s Duel Monster Comet posted the new Asian Ban List, Kevin Tewart had a message for the Yu-Gi-Oh! community: that there is a high possibility that Ban Lists will be done according to region, and not worldwide. Kevin, Dan, and the whole damn UDE brigades reasoning is that the metagame for Yu-Gi-Oh! varies worldwide. There is no doubt that what they speak of is true, as I have dueled players from Hong Kong, where people will think you’re crazy if you run more than one Scapegoat. The problem with this excuse to make more money is that the Japanese game has, and always will, eclipse the English game. That means that if most of the cards that were released in Japan were released here, the metagames would probably be near identical. Here are the major Japanese promos that separate their game from ours – if we were to have these, there would be almost no conceivable difference between our metagame and theirs:

Deck Destruction Virus – Powerful, anti-beatdown, capable of stopping many powerful attackers. The ultimate form of removal in terms of overall field, hand, and deck destruction.

Shrink – A far superior Enemy Controller. Chainable Quick-Play that can be activated in the Damage Step that makes the ATK or DEF of a Monster almost irrelevant. Can make cards like Don Zaloog extremely powerful, as Shrink halves the ATK of one monster on the field. So halve that Jinzo that’s attack Don Zaloog, destroy the Jinzo, do Battle Damage, and benefit from it with Don’s discard effect. Awesome and powerful, you would not see Book and Controller run as consistently if this amazing card were available to us.

D.D. Warrior – An Earth Warrior that allows for more cookie-cuttered American style. Monsters that get removed from play cannot return.

Shield Crush – This Spell is especially worth noting. It destroys one Defense Position Monster card, which makes it much more useful than Nobleman of Crossout if you want to preserve your Flip Effects. It would be very popular here.

The Gadgets – Constant, replenishing hand advantage. Powerful in the “Weakdown Deck”, supplemented by Limiter Removal and Shrink, both able to be activated in the Damage Step.

That’s it. While there are many other awesome promo cards in Japan like Marshmalon, The Tricky, Sphere Bomb, and Curse of Vampire, most of these cards have outlived their use just like cards that have been released here over two years ago. What must be remembered is that without all the right tools, the cookie-cutter aspect of the game will always be the same: Japan has more tools than us, and that’s what allows more decks to flourish. There must be a world-wide standard when it comes to this game – what in the world will happen at the World Championships?

Then again, some good can happen from this, we’ll have to wait and see. Remaining optimistic is always something that can be good. With this new, modified list, we’ll be able to tell first hand if UDE cares more about the money, or if UDE actually cares more about this game lasting in the long term. One of the first signs of this will be if BLS is on the ban list or not, because it WILL be arriving in the $30 Master Collection Volume 2. We will also see if they care about the game by how badly they alter the metagame with their modified list. As most of you know, it was Kevin who had the opportunity to talk to Konami about the 2004 Tins. Whether he got to hand-pick the cards or not is irrelevant: the flood of new Warriors in the tins altered the metagame and made Warrior-deck usage increase to an already ridiculous all time high.

Even though Japan has to conform to our list at Worlds, the whole world will have to conform to a new list if the World Championships are to take place. Asia’s Ban List is the most balanced ban list to ever be released for the OCG. Here’s to hoping that UDE keeps it that way. (That means keeping BLS banned and leaving Scapegoat limited to one, Kevin!)

Please send comments to mrweej@gmail.com



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