This time, we’ll take a look at the cards due to be Limited.
The TCG list is very different from the OCG one, and this split is most apparent in the Limitations. Let’s start with what they have in common, then we’ll get to the differences.
Genex Ally Birdman
Yep. That’s it. Genex Ally Birdman is the only card in both the OCG and TCG lists that was moved to Limited status.
This is a card that has been known to open up quite a lot of plays via re-use of Normal Summon effects, and also cause a few OTKs. Such examples include Divine Wind of Mist Valley, Gallis the Star Beast, or Deep Sea Diva.
Coupled with The Agent of Creation – Venus, this card can help Summon Trishula OCG-side, or even opens up combinations of Stardust Dragon + Daigusto Phoenix (6500 damage), Scrap Dragon + Gachi Gachi Gantetsu (3000 damage w/ freely destroying 1 card the opponent controls), or even just Gachi + Zenmaines.
With Synchros gaining more power than ever, this Tuner was going to be an issue, one that would consistently keep getting worse as time went on.
Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Rooster
This card is remarkably good. It sets off an array of consistent combos that took over Japan for quite a while, but while it may have had a huge impact there, it has had absolutely no impact here because it did not exist here until a few weeks ago. The TCG hit Fire Fists in a different, far more effective way anyway. We’ll cover that later on with Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Spirit.
A clear shot at slowing down the consistency of Mermails, which in the OCG would be a clear contender for best Deck. This stops its Rank 7 consistency while simultaneously slowing down the searches. This card’s combos with Mermail Abyssocea have at times led to nearly unbreakable fields on turn 1. The TCG went after Atlantean Dragoons instead to prevent this.
This card was swapped with Wind-Up Magician to make Wind-Ups even worse (most likely due to its Level-gaining effects and the new access to Trishula the OCG gained). Wind-Ups gained new spam combos by Magician returning to 3, but with Shark at 1, there is no Number 16: Shock Master play rivaling what we know of its prime. The TCG is due to Forbid Shock Master, so hitting Shark for the sake of that isn’t necessary here.
Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier
Many people are here for this and no other reason. If Heavy Storm being banned is the centerpiece of the TCG list, this Limitation is the centerpiece of the OCG one.
Trishula is a great card. At its core, it’s a 2 for 2, but everyone knows there’s more to a game than card advantage: context is a thing.
Originally Forbidden in a seeming effort to make people abandon Synchros, this card seems to have come back to life in an effort to bring the players back to them. With Birdman at 1 on both lists, the various options for Summoning it out were certainly inhibited worldwide, but the TCG list had other concerns – Striker and Earth were cards to consider as well, and bringing them to greater number may’ve not been wise with legalizing Trish.
Number 11: Big Eye
This is one that doesn’t make a lot of sense. Does anybody even still use two Big Eyes with the baby dragons forbidden, and Master of Blades legal? It makes sense the TCG wouldn’t touch this card as it doesn’t do anything of noteworthy value by putting it to only 1.
(Leader’s Note: Atem here. I suggest the OCG followed a different path regarding the matter of EEV, which will be discussed later in the article…)
Divine Wind of Mist Valley
There is an entire deck based on this card, and it’s really awesome. I’ve dueled against some very good players using it in very cool ways. For example, try using Genex Blastfan to put Arcanite Magician on the field 3 times in one turn. Also, during either player’s turn, try using Mist Valley Thunder Lord to target a Set Safe Zone you control, and Chain that Zone by targeting an opponent’s monster: this is almost like repeatedly reusing Solemn Warning. I would even consider running a Divine Wind deck this format if Birdman had stayed at 3. It’s that good, especially with Heavy Storm Forbidden. Unfortunately, the OCG released Harpie Dancer and created a very consistent FTK with this card, justifying a Limitation OCG-side and immensely crippling Mist Valley over there.
This sole example is exactly why the TCG and OCG should have different lists: the Dancer-Wind problem doesn’t exist here, so TCG players shouldn’t have to suffer a Limitation for it until a day where Dancer is likely to come here.
We didn’t put this card at 1 because we outright banned it. See our previous article to find out why.
A second shot at Mermails, which the TCG took by limiting Deep Sea Diva instead. Fantastic card, but not nearly as good as Diva, and with Heavy Storm banned, this won’t cause any tricks.
A fantastic start to our list. As stated before, this was a shot at the consistency of Mermail Decks. I don’t feel I have to go in-depth as to why this card should have been hit. It’s a recyclable, re-usable, nearly unstoppable searcher with high enough stats that it creates 8000 damage with its associated combinations.
Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Spirit
The TCG’s answer to Level 3 Fire Fists. By hitting a low value card, it impacts people slightly less, while allowing them to still use 3 copies of their newly released Rooster. But with this limit comes a lot more. The Deck still works! By substituting the lost Tenki and 2 lost Spirits with 3 “Crane Crane”s, the Deck can do almost as much as it ever did, with one exception: Rekindling.
Rekindling is a card I would have put at 1 in a heartbeat – It’s another ‘win button’ card that does a LOT of things. However, its usefulness entirely depends on the contents of the Graveyard. Take a look at every FIRE monster released since it was printed, and you’ll see that just about every worthwhile monster among them has exactly 200 DEF, lending compatibility with Rekindling and Firedog.
It’s obvious they want people to use Rekindling, but why is it still Unlimited if it’s so powerful and paradigmatic? If you run 3 copies of this card, you’re going to have it in your opening hand quite often, and it’s not much good to you there early-game, especially in formats where setting the Grave up fast is unlikely. So, running 3 copies may not be a smart decision at present. Further, Limiting Spirit is an indirect hit on Rekindling‘s compatibility with Level 3 Fire Fists, by controlling the number of Tuners easily summoned.
Konami used a subtle touch here.
Deep Sea Diva
Here’s a great stop to one of the most overpowered cards in the current format. You’ll notice this monster’s name popped up many times in the last few articles. In the OCG, this card is a 1-card-Trishula. Worldwide, using one serves as the Normal Summon of a 2800 ATK monster, using two will make a field threatening the destruction of any face-up card on the field you want and nearly 6000 damage as follow-up, and both cases lower the ATK of all of your opponent’s monsters by 300 points. By Special Summoning another copy of itself, it’s any Rank 2 Xyz Summon, and by getting various other Level 2s and 3s, it’s an array of Synchro options.
If not Limited, it would have stood to define a great chunk of gameplay in the format, perhaps with respect to a card the TCG is set on Unlimiting very soon, Destiny Hero – Malicious.
Having to run at least 2 copies of a Normal Monster, and only being allowed 1 copy of this card means 50% of the time, it will be useless to you. Running 3 copies of that Normal Monster means more or less the same thing. They’ve effectively killed this card outside of Decks that run many Normal Monsters: many decks able to easily field particularly specialized Xyz Monsters without a more proper investment can no longer do so. This was a good way to hit Evilswarms (and the new Key Beetle Deck, which was hit in the OCG by bringing back Trishula and adding a Grand Mole.) By doing so, it brought them back down to an even level with Constellars. With fewer Traps in the game, this card would be even harder to stop, so I’m glad to see it go away and stop being splashed into various Decks.
Thunder King Rai-Oh
Rage counters: Added. Many people really wanted this card back to 3, and now they get even less. I consider it 1 step closer to where it really belongs. Gone. This card impairs the very concept of Yu-Gi-Oh!: searching for what you need, and Special Summoning your monsters. Giving it 1900 ATK was effectively a giant middle finger to the playerbase. Shadow Specters has a Continuous Trap Card that prevents either player from adding cards from their Deck to their hand, so rest assured, you’ll have this effect back soon enough, without the Honest-compatible 1900 ATK and ability to screw over a Special Summon.
Evigishki Mind Augus
The OCG dropped the ball here, big time. With Mermails being the #1 Deck there (the best matchup for Gishki there is) and “Spellbook of Judgment” gone, Droll & Lock Bird is going to see zero play for a time. This means Gishkill is nearly unstoppable there. With 1 “Evigishki Mind Augus”, you cannot use Gishkill in the TCG with any form of realism. The OCG is now stuck with one defined Side Deck slot for all worthwhile Side Decks (the 1 Droll) during their next format: the TCG is not.
Dewloren, Tiger King of the Ice Barrier
I have to be honest. I thought about this one for a long time, and the only reason I can think of is that KONAMI hates Ice Barriers. I mean, the Main-Decked cards are pretty much awful, got no love whatsoever, and now out of a possible 12, we can run only 4 of their Synchros. This card was previously Semi-Limited to prevent tricks with Symbols of Heritage.
The OCG saw no reason to put it to 1 (though they get a new list in November alongside Legacy of the Valiant). Maybe a World Premiere card in Shadow Specters would make Dewloren too silly to be allowed a second copy of? Diva even went to 1.. This one’s a strange hit.
Constellar Ptolemy M7
Another very, very good hit. Possibly the smartest one on the list. Between Stoic Challenge and Gustkraken, this card has been nothing but bad news since its release. A while back, Evigishki Gustkraken went to 1, as the first attempt to stop what was being called Gishticks (a play on fish sticks). This is a Deck that would use Gishki Shadow to grab Aquamirror, use Aquamirror to Tribute a “Hieratic” monster and summon Gustkraken, shuffle 1 card from the opponent’s hand into the Deck via Gustkraken and Special Summon a Level 6 Dragon-Type Normal Monster via the “Hieratic” monster, overlay Gustkraken and the Normal Monster for M7, detach Gustkraken to add Shadow to hand, shuffle Aquamirror into the Deck to get back Gustkraken, and then discard Shadow to do it all over again. This deck had more recruiters than “Spellbook” decks. With 3x Gishki Shadow and 3x Preparation of Rites, as well as 3 Manju and 3 Senju, Gustkraken to 1 seemed pointless to me. Let’s not forget, the loop only uses one Gustkraken in the first place.
So why did people stop using the Deck? Hieratic Seal of Convocation going to 2 certainly didn’t help things, but if you wanted to use these cards, Gishkill was both more consistent and equally weak to the same threats, so there was no point. Now with Mind Augus’s Limitation taking it out of the running, this Deck would be devastating, and Limiting M7 stops it entirely.
Wait, so why is Gustkraken still at 1?
We’re moving into a slower format, so the ability to open a card that allows you to search anything, and have it in your hand two turns later is much stronger – a great amount of the risk to using this card in prior formats was “you may lose the game, figuratively or literally, while you wait for this card’s payoff”. Ceteris paribus, this card prefers slower formats to faster ones.
This, coupled with the fact that the “Dragon Rulers” use this as a means of accomplishing many goals simultaneously meant the card’s position in gameplay needed to be evaluated. When used to banish a (larger, or should I say September-legal) “Dragon Ruler”, the player will ensure that Ruler is in their hand 2 turns later, while also immediately recruiting 1 Dragon-Type monster from their Deck whose Attribute matches that of the banished Ruler. Not only is Sarc’s use converted from “the game giving you an IOU and making up for it later” to “a guaranteed profit over timelapse”, it’s also useful for driving up the chances of drawing other non-recruitable things. Every Ruler and Dragon you recruit via Sarc, either directly or indirectly, is a card you don’t have to expect for your Normal Draw – things that the Rulers can’t recruit become easier to draw, when the Deck’s Rulers and Dragons are already recruited.
With Heavy Storm gone, a lot of backrow has been cut down in quantity to prevent ‘Set 5, end’. This keeps resource conservation a very real thing, and stops the game from being too back-row reliant. This particular card was hit because of its effectiveness against Hand Traps.
I have been hoping this card would be banned since 2010. Opening with it is much less likely while it is Limited, so it thankfully won’t have much impact, but the raw power of this card is absurd. Let’s not forget the last time Gravekeeper’s won a YCS (and took 2nd and 3rd at the same one) was also the last time Heavy Storm was Forbidden.
Bottomless Trap Hole
Another card hit as consequence of the departure of Heavy Storm. Cards that were our best responses to Summons were generally put to 1, cards that were our best responses to attacks were generally put to 2.
Compulsory Evacuation Device
See: Bottomless Trap Hole.
Eradicator Epidemic Virus
This card hugely rose in use the last 3 months, and its doing so opened up the players’ eyes to its potency when able to be used consistently. With Number 85: Crazy Box giving any Deck access to it, Limiting it seems like a solid effort on KONAMI’s part to prevent consistent Virus openers.
(Leader’s Note: Pursuant to the prior note, recall that EEV’s playability surge existed solidly because of Decks having multiple easy ways to prepare it first turn. In Dragons, your most direct way to Eradicator was through Big Eye: your second way was through a Level 8 DARK Synchro, and your path of highest specialization was through “Fusilier Dragon, the Dual-Mode Beast”. Of those three paths, spending a Big Eye hurt the least, by far – in Dragons, your Tuner monsters were precious commodities to be saved for the proper moment, since reviving the Tuners wasn’t a guarantee at all, and one Blader/Colossal could change entire matches. And running Fusilier was risky by its own merits, too.)
This, like Dimensional Fissure, has been Limited as a result of Heavy Storm being Forbidden.
Without Heavy Storm around, I’m surprised Skill Drain wasn’t also hit. It and Soul Drain just wreck entire duels until they’re dealt with.
See: Bottomless Trap Hole.
And that’s it! Quite a long list of changes, and we haven’t even covered the Semi-Limitations and Unlimitations. We’ll go over those next time.