April 1st Forbidden Discussion

Hello everybody! For the past few weeks I’ve been trying to come up with something relevant and interesting to write about, but sadly nothing seemed all that important. The current format went from being wide-open to fairly narrow quite quickly. It’s important to note that the format was still very diverse, and will probably continue to be so at YCS Chicago; however the dominance of Fire Fists, and Mermails will be undoubtable once things are said and done.

Albany Regional Plug/Ramble
So, rather than write about a format that people have come to grasp pretty heavily, I thought I could write about the first ever Albany regional and my experiences there. It was the best regional location I’ve ever been to in my entire Yu-Gi-Oh! lifetime, it was lavish and comfortable (something rarely had at these events).

I lost for the first time in round 2 to a person out of my beloved Connecticut crew in a very entertaining well played Mermail mirror. I went undefeated for the next 3 rounds beating Fire Fists, Fire Kings (a friend) and Wind-Ups (they’re around apparently). My second loss came at the 4-1 mark against Chaos Dragons. I won game 1 with an OTK involving Abyss Dweller (to negate Lightpulsar), Silent Honor Ark, a Mermail Abyssturge, and an Aqua Spirit. Game 2 saw him resolving Dark Armed Dragon after 3 turns of no plays, leading the DAD into a REDMD and Lightpulsar for mega damage. Game 3 was a clincher, he resolved DAD on turn 3 (he drew it as opposed to Wyverning it to my dismay), I was able to fight back and stabilize extremely well. I made two crucial misplays that lose me the match though. I summoned Draco after clearing his board of the DAD/Lightpulsar, however I instinctively summoned it in defense position before realizing that Chaos Dragons can’t reliably make a Number 101. He topdecks into Tour Guide, and summons a Lightpulsar to join it in battle, they make short work of my Draco and in main phase 2 he overlays for Mechquipped Angineer. Okay so the game isn’t out of control, I have Tidal with plenty of Water monsters. I summon Tidal and think for a good 2 minutes before swinging into his Lightpulsar as opposed to the Angineer, I chain Breakthrough Skill from my GY to the effect of Angineer and kill the Lightpulsar which floats into a Darkflare Dragon. This is exactly what I wanted, given that he had only used the single Lightpulsar Dragon, and still had 2 in deck along with 2 Chaos Sorcerers. I did not want to have him M7ing his DAD back to hand under any circumstances, and the play still makes sense to me now but it would bite me later. Come a few turns later, I’ve killed his field multiple times and he’s stopped comitting, however I’m out of Water monsters in grave for Tidal so I begin to crunch numbers. I can make a field of Gunde, Aqua Spirit, and Tidal, or alternatively I could pitch Gunde for Tidal to dump a level 4 and attempt to make a rank 4 to stabilize, but I felt like I would lose next turn if I didn’t do something now. The only problem is that my Gunde, Spirit, Tidal field does 5600 damage and he is at 5800… That’s where the Angineer debacle comes into play. He bricked on draws for 3 turns following my Tidal attacking into his Lightpulsar, had I swung at Angineer instead of LP Dragon his lifepoints would stand at 5100, not 5800. So I decide to commit my newly drawn Light Imprisoning Mirror to the field, and play it safe. Well next turn he Black Rose Dragons me, summons a Chaos Sorc to grab a banished REDMD and summons it to blow me out. Hind sight is a cruel thing. I went to my next round which happend to be a Mermail mirror, I obliterated him game 1 with a turn 3 Gaios+Abyss Dweller and then told him he could have the win, in the hopes that he could get his invite (sadly he didn’t). After that I entered the Win-A-Mat at the behest of one of my judge friends who wanted it, and won it after being Royal Tributed for 4 cards in the final game of the tournament (Full House was the card he didn’t see on top of my deck). The Albany regional was awesome, and I hope to have more in the future, but that isn’t what I wanted to write about I just ended up rambling. Onto the good stuff!

April 1st Forbidden List Single Card Discussion
In case you’ve been living under a rock or perhaps stacks of trading cards, you’ll want to know that the Yu-Gi-Oh TCG Banlist for April the 1st has been officially announced on Konami’s website. The link is here. This list is very interesting, both in it’s contents and because of the period in which it will exist. This is the list that will be in effect come YCS Philadelphia and carry the game through the wake of Primal Origin. If you haven’t heard the hype surrounding Primal Origin, that’s understandable; I’ll cover that in a few weeks, but right now I want to talk about this very awkward format that will exist between April 1st and May 15th by showcasing the cards newly placed on the list.

Newly Forbidden:
Morphing Jar
To see Morphing Jar on the list isn’t all too surprising. When we got our first TCG Exclusive list it was made pretty clear that the western world of Yu-Gi-Oh! was going to strive to make sure that any card that could be completely horribly one-sided would be put on notice. Interestingly enough despite Morphing Jar being usually a completely unfair card, it hasn’t seen play in ages. In a format where a set monster is very likely to never see itself face-up on the field outside of it hitting the graveyard, Yu-Gi-Oh! just hasn’t been Morphing Jar’s game for some time. However it can’t be denied that the card is horribly designed, given that it usually nets the person who resolves it a +3 or more without even having to play something like Dark World.

Morphing Jar #2
These guys can’t catch a break it would seem. Unlike it’s counterparts Morphing Jar #2 has a very respected reputation in the Jar world. I love this card, I pulled it way back in the day and really liked the artwork, as well as the cards wacky effect. However it wasn’t until Six Samurai became a thing that I actually started to use the card. Morphing Jar #2’s effect is unique in that if you’re being assaulted by an army of Monsters that were summoned from the extra deck, it’s flip effect becomes catastrophic for your opponent without ever having to “destroy” anything. Morphing Jar #2’s effect will return all the monsters on the field to the deck and in the case of extra deck monsters, the card doesn’t recognize them as going to the actual deck, so they don’t count towards the effect to summon monsters to the field facedown. I sided this thing vs. Sams way back when, and then just last year it came back with a huge grin to tackle Ophions for me. Sadly it’s time has come, though. Recently Konami released a common card called Jackpot 7, which can be used in tandem with Morphing Jar #2, Book of Taiyou, and Creature Swap to get an instant win (there’s other combos that are just as ridiculous/inconsistent). Sad to see such a great card get banned because of an unplayably gimmicky card. You will be missed.

Newly Limited:
Coach Soldier Wolfbark
Well if you’re not going to hit Tenki, you might as well hit this guy. Wolfbark goes to one following the undeniable success of Fire Fists in this format, there’s an interesting catch though. Last year Fire Fist did just dandy without ever having Wolfbark and this was in a fully powered Mermail format. 4-Axis Fire Fist will probably continue to do well enough, even without their most powerful mid-late game card limited.

Mermail Abyssgunde
Mermails recieve more hate from the banlist, but I imagine that pre-PRIO they will continue to endure. Hitting Gunde to one was the best way to hit the deck without absolutely annihilating it (hitting Linde or Teus to one). It limits the extent to which the deck can perform it’s dirtiest of plays (Turge-Gunde-Pike-Atlantean), while at the same time not completely dismantling the whole thing. With the hit, cards like Salvage obviously become a lot more attractive as does the thought of upping your Atlantean count. Just like with Fire Fists, Mermails have gotten weaker but they’re certainly not out of the game, yet.

Rekindling
This one is pretty easy to pin. Rekindling is a horribly designed card that Konami has been seemingly trying to limit for the past 2 years or so, with out ever getting sufficient reason to. Thankfully for them 3.5-Axis Fire Fists got a lot of tops this season, especially in the oversees YCSs. Funny enough the reason this cards got limited, is hurt the least by it’s passing. Rekindling is nice in 3.5-Axis FF, but it’s not needed at all. Sadly I can’t say Lavals will feel the same way about this card being limited.

Infernity Barrier
They did what? Infernity have been on the radar since YCS Meadowlands last year, and despite all of the harsh words thrown their way and ridiculous speculation over “Infernity formats” the deck continued to dodge Konami’s judgment. It would seem the jig is up. Funny enough I can’t say much about this, Infernity really underperformed these last two formats despite there often times being high hopes for the deck. It would seem Konami finally just sat down and were like “Alright guys, let’s just admit it. No one likes playing vs. Infernity.”. This hit is huge, with one Barrier to combo into, the Infernity combo becomes way less threatening. So much so that it may be safe to say that Infernity have been killed (I’d like to be proven wrong here).

Newly Semi-Limited:
Necroface
Aside from the potential degenerate combos involving it (Grinder Golem you’re on notice), Necroface’s limitation has looked really out of place for a long time. This card getting semi-limited should essentially have no effect on the game at all, similar to how Plaguespreader Zombie was limited for years with no reasoning post Card of Safe Return’s ban. Who knows, though? There are some really gamewarping things you can do with this creepy little card…

Hieratic Seal of Convocation
Considering they hit Mermail, which in my experience have a great Hieratic matchup; and hit Fire Fist which have a “less than optimal” Hieratic matchup. It’s only fitting that Konami do something to this deck which has always walked the line between tier 2, and tier 1. Not a huge hit by any stretch, but enough to let people know that Konami is ever watchful and that no deck is safe.

No Longer Limited:
Magical Stone Excavation
If you haven’t played Yu-Gi-Oh! for a long time, you’ll probably look at this card and think that it sucks. That’s because it does; however it’s a key component in many infinite to near-infinite combos involving deck outs, and drawing Exodia. Most of these combos are no longer consistent enough to stand up to the constant stream of pressure that the modern Yu-Gi-Oh! deck puts out, so this card can safely find itself unlimited.

Primal Seed
This card has never been played, ever. Any evidence to refute this claim is imaterial, this card is awful. History lesson time. Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning, the card with the longest name in all of Yu-Gi-Oh! was lifted from the banlist in September 2011 after having been banned for a whopping 6 years. To comemorate this iconic cards revival, Konami limited this incredibly obscure support card to dodge any potential bullets it may have caused. Needless to say Primal Seed is a terrible card, so crisis averted, we can all continue with our lives.

That’s it for single card discussions. All things said this list is very unique. It is by no means gamebreaking, but it made some hits that will at least make things a little more interesting for the next month. I’d say Fire Fist, and Mermails still look very strong under this list, with Prophecy, Hieratic variants, and Bujin all looking better than ever.

None of this will matter in a month and a half however… Come May 10th duelists will be able to experience Primal Origin for the first time, and with it I can guarantee this format will change drastically. The list has given us something to talk about for a month and a half, but it won’t be able to do anything for us once Primal Origin becomes legal. Things may seem normal for a while, but once May rolls around and YCS Philly is just over the horizon expect a completely different game then what we’ve been used to.

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Matthew Kuhnel

My name is Matthew Kuhnel, I've been playing Yu-Gi-Oh since its earliest days and love card games in general.

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