What’s on my mind
The ban list has been announced as of about a week and I’m pretty sure if you’ve found your way to this you know what’s on it by now. If not, the changes are as follows
Wind-Up Carrier Zenmaity
One Day of Peace
Advanced Ritual Art
Thunder King Rai-Oh
Blackwing-Kalut the Moonshadow
Lumina, Lightsworn Summoner
Shien’s Smoke Signal
Everyone’s first instinct is usually to start getting upset about what the list didn’t do, but I would much rather focus on what it did do. If you don’t care about my opinions and just want to see my talk about what the meta will be next format skip on down to the next section, but if you want to hear how I feel the banlist impacted the game we had last format and changed the way many decks will play or be played read below.
Toned back Wind-Ups
Made Wind-Ups comparable to Inzektors in that they are no longer a “sacky” deck and the cards that generate massive advantage (Magician and Dragonfly) can no longer be abused the way they had before. This was done through hitting Sangan, Zenmaity, Wind-Up Magician, and Solemn Warning. Every Wind-Up Deck lost 4 cards out of the main deck and 1 card from the extra. People will soon realize just how different the game is with 1 solemn warning, perhaps the single most impactful card hit outside of Wind-Up Magician and Zenmaity on this list, but Sangan is giving it a run for its money.
Makes Dino-Rabbit less sacktastic
Most people don’t see eye to eye with me on this, but this is my write-up so I can do what I want (well within reason of course). Rabbit lost 2 Cards in their main deck as a result of this list. One of those cards facilitates the engine in a huge way being Sangan which somehow always seems to go off around Macro Cosmos despite the deck oftentimes opting to main 3 of the card. Its beyond me but whatever. They now have 2 copies of the furry bunny in the deck and not potentially up to 5. This is including Sangan and the Two Tour Guides which can go get Sangan on a regular basis. I think Rabbit players may opt to use Gold Sarcophagus for the time being and most will switch to play Verz when it debuts here barring the cards aren’t ridiculously expensive as its basically Rabbit 2.0 and supports the infamous Macro Cosmos in the main for the time being.
Konami is a business, and businesses like making money. The Prophecy deck is a searching machine, literally searching almost non-stop throughout a game. Thunder King says no to all that, so by putting him down to 2 they give Prophecy a bit of a better chance in the Meta. People will say that most players only played 2 anyway, and they would be right. However I think people would have certainly considered playing 3 once Prophecy reaches its full potential. The deck is tearing Japan apart right now. You can check results from Japanese tournaments at www.shriek.twoday.net . Keep in mind the card pool is different between here and there when you look at results from there, but it’s a good place to go to see different and unique ideas as well as keep up with where the game will be going in the near future as they get new sets before us and then we play catch up. Also Warning to 1 means that the deck can summon its bosses more easily. This is a trend Konami seems to be going with, having boss monsters that get around Solemn Judgment and are only vulnerable to the great Solemn Warning. This can be seen with Grapha, Lightpulsar getting back REDMD, Mermail Abyssmegalo, the Prophecy High Priestess thing, and Garunix now which revives itself from the grave by its own effect.
Advanced Ritual Art
This card to 2 does nothing at all desirable for this game. This may be my least favorite move on the list. The 2 decks likely to see more play as a result of this are Demise and Herald. Both of which are annoying and about as much fun to play against as Countdown.
One Day of Peace to 1.
Hallelujah. Who would have thought a card that generates you no advantage and gives your opponent a plus 1 would be so deserving of this spot but I feel the card should be banned. It promotes stalling. There are already so many cards that serve this same function anyway and this just isn’t needed as it stalls and replaces itself unlike any of the other stall cards out there such as Threatening Roar, Waboku, Forzen Soul, and Thunder of Ruler.
The unrestricted cards will contrary to what appears to be popular belief have a sizable impact on the game.
Lumina at 3 is a little cloggy as is, but could be used to play a couple more rank 3’s consistently and also helps Lightsworn players better deal with cards like Dimensional Fissure and Macro Cosmos which I support wholeheartedly as I think both of the aforementioned cards are bad for the game as the decks who use them do not do so to further their own game state, but rather just so their opponent cannot interact with them and play the game.
Kalut to 3 makes Blackwings a viable deck. Konami is set to give us some more Blackwing support in the near future and havin Kalut at 3 with only 1 Black Whirlwind is a decent balance. There are some combos I see this deck being able to make that would be pretty sick but I personally do not have the courage to play the deck at any major events as I can see it not being able to handle certain meta decks that can outpace it. That will nto stop people who loved this deck and still do going back to it here and there and seeing if a viable form of the deck can be made to compete in the current meta.
Shien’s Smoke Signal
This was not needed. It makes Samurai better able to sack their way to victory and they already do that plenty. The deck won a YCS last format but yet still got a card back. Doesn’t make any sense to me, but I imagine some new Samuai support is in our future and this is to help sell that support.
I like this card at 3, as I feel this is often a card that needs true skill to be maximized. However, by not putting Dragged Down to either 2 or even 1 I hate this move. Dark Worlds are going to be more annoying than usual and that’s a bit hard to believe. The card helps players more reasonably stop boss monsters like Megalo and High Priestess which is a good thing, and I feel this card at 3 is favorable to Solemn Warning at 2. This is because unlike Solemn Warning, a Rabbit player is much worse off going Laggia set Mind Crush and Forbidden Lance. However, Laggia + setting Warning and Forbidden Lance was going to be a real problem for you most likely. Mind Crush at 3 helps players fill the void to stop certain ards that only Warning could stop before but doesn’t allow players to just stop everything in a manner that made going first oftentimes an incident that would generate significant if not insurmountable advantage.
This was dumb, The card should either be at 3 or at 0. No one uses more than one and when Konami hit this card everyone just didn’t understand why, and we still don’t really know why that ever happened. Regardless, Spore is back in one of the two places where it belongs. It doesn’t make any deck any more or less viable, it would appear to me that this is just Konami realizing they made a dumb mistake.
So if you’re still with me, and let’s be honest you probably aren’t, let’s briefly touch on what’s good right now.
Breaking down the tiers at the start of the format
Mermail Atlanteans and Mono Mermail (including and excluding undine)
Fire Fists and certain Fire variants
Machine variants (Pure Karakuri, KK Geargia, Machina Geargia, and Machina Gadgets) until we get Goldfish
Some less powerful fire Variants (Hazy Flames, pure Fire Kings, etc.)
People have said this format will decrease the number of playable decks, but I’m looking at that and it does not appear to be the case. The way I ordered them is an informal ranking system, but I grouped them by tier and then within each tier by how I feel they rank within that tier. This is just how I feel at the moment. Currently I have Samurai way down low, but the better Prophecy gets, the more playable Samurai gets so things are of course subject to change. If this becomes a backrow Heavy format, look for Blackwings to surge upward as they can play a great tempo game with cards like Delta Crow-Anti Reverse, Icarus Attack, and now Blackwing-Kalut the Moonshadow at 3. Not included in this ranking are the two decks which get help in Hidden Arsenal 7, Lavals and Verz. Where they fall will be based on what’s relevant when they come out, things rise up and fall off the playable list and I likely have forgotten some decks that could perform at very high levels. If the format swings to graveyard reliant decks Macro Rabbit could rise up the list, but if Macro Rabbit becomes increasingly played, Fire Fists will be a great meta call as they have a very good matchup against Macro Rabbit.
Tier 1 Breakdown
Mermails haven’t lost anything and they are going to get a themed Lonefire Blossom. Most of if not all of the attributes (I can’t recall) will get a themed “Incarnate Dragon.” Water will be able to abuse this card with Undine if they like as well as in the Mono Mermail builds but not as consistently, albeit it will still be abuse. They’ve lost nothing and are set to gain more things and the deck was already considered a top contender last format and the deck that many people thought was better is no longer a factor (Wind-Ups).
Fire Fists are good now, but will get better. Wolfberk and Fire Fist – Chicken will likely both show up in this format if they haven’t been announced already. The two cards make the deck extremely consistent allowing for use of the Rank 3 and Level 6 Synchro, plus easier access to Rank 4’s on a regular basis. Onslaught of the Fire Kings into Graunix is also a problem to deal with and Tenki is extremely OP in my opinion so the deck will maintain a consistent presence for the next format.
Macro Rabbit is the great equalizer at times, keeping certain decks in check just due to its presence. I hate this deck with all my heart, I think its players are soulless at times, but I can understand why many feel the deck must remain a factor. If it wasn’t so many things could just run rampant through the format and players would have no hopes of stopping a variety of decks and the format would become based around just a few decks, and I personally like more variety in a format because more informed and more well-rounded players tend to have higher levels of success due to skill level and not due to opening with a better hand than the opponent.
Tier 2 Breakdown
Dragons and Agents really only lost Sangan. All of the decks that gave them issues like Rabbit and Wind-Ups and such (other than each other) lost Solemn Warning to stop the Gorz and Tragoedia plays. I think they are both strong picks right now and play very well against certain decks within the meta. However, both tend to take a bit of damage as part of their play style which just excessively plusses Fire Fists. Decks will change as new sets release and Dragons could switch up their playstyle a great deal with the release of a trap card in Tachyon Galaxy and move towards a deck that plays a few trap cards and perhaps even goes for Rank 4 spamming by including the Hanzo engine to make Lavalval Chain to stack the Black Luster Soldier or bury the Eclipse Wyvern to banish the Blue Eyes White Dragon to revive with Daigusto Emeral the next time you make a rank 4. The deck has reliable ways to get the Blue-Eyes to the grave from the hand with Lightpulsar and Darkflare Dragon is this is certainly an idea that is not all that farfetched.
Agents will opt to main deck 2 copies of Thunder King Rai-Oh. This will really help them in their Prophecy match-ups and also their Mermail match-ups. I view this deck as highly comparable to Prophecy outside of Agents ability to utilize Thunder King Rai-Oh and Prophecy’s inability to do so. Some may think one card doesn’t make that big of a difference, and to that I say you’re not using your brain. Rescue Rabbit, Hevay Storm, Dark Hole, Monster Reborn, Black Luster Soldier, Gorz, Solemn Judgment. Those are cards that for the most part you can only play one of and do devastating things, you can play two Thunder Kings. Hopefully that logic makes sense, if it doesn’t rethink the way you view the value of cards. Thunder King keeps your opponent from just going straight nuts on you while also progressing you towards your own gamestate of Hyperion and Kristya control, buying you the time to set those plays up and keeping decks that can’t handle cards like Thunder King at bay.
I’ve already talked about Propehcy a bit earlier. The deck is good and only getting better. As it gets better, many people will play Six Samurai to combat the deck, so the decks ability to morph itself to deal with that will be how we can determine if it stays around as playable. They will only get more support this format, and the advantage their cards can generate is often insurmountable as it’s a deck full of plus 1’s that likely won’t survive in its full potential form past this format due to the success it will have around the time of the NAWCQ.
Any time Rabbit and other stun decks start to rise up in play, cue the HERO decks and the great equalizer that is Super Polymerization. That’s enough said.
If Hieratics go off and you can’t stop them you already lost and the deck lost exactly 0 cards so their win condition is still completely intact and in my opinion rightfully so, the deck hasn’t done enough here to warrant anything happening to it undeservingly.
Tier 3 Breakdown
Any time Machine variants pick up steam, Cyber Dragon then reminds them that he is a card, steamrolling Machine Players into submission. Many players of the Karakuri Geargia version will argue they just explode all at once and I will offer them a scenario. The KK Geargia player has Starlight Road set so they begin to go off unafraid of Torrential and Mirror Force understandably. They create a massive field of Bureido, Stardust, Burei, and Gear Gigant X to swing for game. Before entering battle phase the opponent activates Threatening Roar. The opponent then on their turn special summons Cyber Dragon, contact fuses their whole field basically and pummels them. Another scenario they do all that with Solemn Judgment, the ultimate protector down so they do not fear the opponents one backrow. Opponent MST’s the face down on attack declaration and KK Geargia player lets this go through so they can still attack for game with the Stardust they need to attack to seal the win. Battle Fader happens. Tribute set Cyber Dragon, contact fuse for game. The second scenario is one I did to someone last format while playing Dragons. The guy was upset of course, but he plays a machine deck and machine decks lose to Cyber Dragon into Chimeratech Fortress Dragon.
Dragunity is actually a pretty good right now. If there wasn’t so much Macro Crap running around right now I’d be a bigger fan of the deck, but that crap is around so I don’t like this as much. Turn 1 Stardust is not what it used to be, but it is still somewhat annoying if you don’t have the right combination of cards to deal with it. Churning out Level 8 Dragon synchros every turn can become very tough to deal with very quickly, and with Emeral the deck will be able to recycle cards better like Dux and Varijyana the way it used to when Avarice was at 3.
Wind-Up and Inzektors are to me very much 1A and 1B. Both can still do nutty things despite the restrictions placed on them by Konami, but they require very specific combinations of limited cards, and thus just lack the same capabilities to make those plays, and especially make them more than once if needed.
I discussed Blackwings above, if you want to see my take just Ctrl+F (Find Function) “Blackwing” on this page and read that area then come back.
Hazy Flames are highly combo-centric and fall victim to mass removal cards. Torrential Tribute can now constitute 4 cards in a main or side deck where they used to only be able to take up 2 slots due to banlist restrictions. This goes along with Dark Hole being a card so players have 5 ways to not target but still destroy Hazy Flames at their disposal. Bottomless Trap and Dimensional Prison should take care of Garunix, and cards such as Gagaga Cowboy Help get opponents around the destruction effect by having it be destroyed by battle. When the deck gets Yaksha we may have problems. The Fire Kings also lose hard to Prohibition on Garunix. Many Fire King advocates will say otherwise, but when played correctly the Prohibition of Garunix is like using Prohibition on Grappha, and to a lesser extent Lightpulsar (thanks to Ryko and Lyla) as it completely kills the one card engine that the deck relies on to generate advantage.
Six Samurai have been discussed before but I will cover them briefly. The success and playability of this deck is directly related to the success of Prophecy and to a lesser extent HEROes. Super Polymerization gets around Naturia Beast and Six Samurai Shi-En, but many of the other power spell cards the deck relies on are shut out by Naturia Beast. If I were playing this deck I would tech one copy of Marauding Captain as he is an earth monster that can be paired with Kagemusha to make Naturia Beast. Kaigeki is a Wind Monster and can only be used to make Shi-En, thus Marauding Captain will get you to the same combination of levels, but with the ability to make Naturia Beast and not Six Samurai Shi-En.
Gladiator Beasts are always a thing, but in my eyes never all that relevant. Bestiari being at one is too much of an uphill battle for the deck to climb. Any more than 1 and the deck would become a high tier option and would become immensely frustrating as Gyzarus are dropped left and right, but at one the access to it is so limited that the deck can’t get enough Gyzarus plays off to be viable as Gyzarus is the card that generates them the advantage the deck needs.
Things to keep your eyes open for
A few new decks will be debuting shortly and I’ll just list the names here as more and more will come out on them and then I would be much more informed and able to speak on their abilities and viability in the meta at the time of their release.
Beastcrafts (Phanton Beasts)
The Light-Thunder Deck (Mahunder, Pahunder, Sishunder, and Thunder Seahorse)
Machines with Goldfish
Hope this was informative and you enjoyed it. You can message anything you want me to address going forward to this page or you can also leave a message in our inbox at our youtube channel as well.
Until next time,