My thoughts on each of the changes to the August 29th banlist.
I’ll keep this fairly simple, I’ll be discussing my thoughts on all the different changes brought about by each individual change on the list and then end with the potential impacts this will have on the format. First, I’ll start with Monarchs:
- Ehther the Heavenly Monarch (Limited)
- Pantheism of the Monarchs (Limited)
- The Monarchs Stormforth (Limited)
- Emergency Teleport (Limited)
Monarchs had easily the biggest hit on the list of all the decks, but that’s really no surprise because Konami typically likes to completely demolish the deck that wins Nationals. Overall, I would describe these hits as excessive if I had to use one word.
Basically everyone agrees with Pantheism of the Monarchs going to one, so much so that most people assumed it would happen before we even knew we were getting a ban list. As MegaCaptialG has said, it’s basically the best draw card ever created. As such, I think it’s suited at 1 because it can still be used a lot and provides an interesting juggling aspect for the deck to have in the future (however grim or unusable that future may be). Of these hits this one least affects Monarchs, but it was clearly the most necessary and logical hit.
I’m completely fine with Ehther the Heavenly Monarch going to 1 because it makes sense, but in tandem with The Monarchs Stormforth going to one it almost completely removes a Monarch player’s ability to interact on the opponent’s turn which I think is bad for the deck in the highest degree and makes the deck really unintersting. With both Ehther and Stormforth to 1 the deck literally cannot do anything during the opponent’s turn, making it reserved to being either a really inconsistent lockdown deck or a bad control deck.
Emergency Teleport, although clearly not meant as a hit for Monarchs inadvertently hits them in the Super Quantum engine department. Because using Super Quantums isn’t nearly as good an option for the deck now this really limits Monarch’s ability to use XYZ builds. That being said, Monarchs also just received Blackwing – Gofu the Vague Shadow which can effectively replace Super Quantums, and also supports the use of the newly unlimited Allure of Darkness.
Notably, Domain of the True Monarchs is still at 3, so Domain lock variant can still attempt to persist, but I wouldn’t expect much. Likely they would run 3 Erebus the Underworld Monarch and 3 Thestalos the Mega Monarch and attempt to ditch your hand while locking the Extra Deck. Also expect any Monarch deck you see in the future to be running 3 Escalation of the Monarchs.
- Kozmo Dark Destroyer (Limited)
- Emergency Teleport (Limited)
- Allure of Darkness (Unlimited)
I’ll begin by saying that the difference between 1 Emergency Teleport and 2 is barely anything, so in the long run this is inconsequential to Kozmos. The only thing that really affects the deck is Kozmo Dark Destroyer being limited.
In the end, this doesn’t do all too much to the deck. Don’t expect to be OTKing nearly as much or being able to always have a Dark Destroyer in hand to tag into whenever the opponent does anything. Instead the deck becomes much more thoughtful and far less hamfisted. Before this even monkey could use Kozmo rather effectively, (though I would still say a good Kozmo player would pilot this deck far better), but now you cannot just mindlessly be a Kozmo player. I have no reason to believe that Kozmos would become less than a tier 1 deck, but I would certainly expect to see much less quantity of the deck on the competitive field. The fact still remains that 2800+ floaters that cannot be targeted can completely invalidate some decks.
The deck also gained 3 Allure of Darkness, meaning you can effectively bet on getting Allure over the course of a game. This opens the deck up for the use of a lot of different cards and makes Kozmo Dark Planet a much more reliable prospect because it’s less likely to be dead. What I expect to see is either a Kozmo variant based on locking down the important effects of the opposing deck using soft locks with 2 of Dark Planet, Dark Eclipser or Dark Lady. That or a Metalfoes Kozmo variant, which I still think is really powerful.
- Cir, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss (Limited)
- Beatrice, Lady of the Eternal (Limited)
I’m both disappointed and honestly don’t really care about the hits to Burning Abyss. As I’ve stated many times before, I never thought this deck was that good, it has a lot of bad match-ups and loses to most deck as long as the opponent played correctly. That being said, a lot of players refuse to play against Burning Abyss correctly and it makes the deck look spectacular. So in that sense, given that the hits from this list don’t affect the deck a ton, I would say that this is a fair hit because I never thought of this deck as threatening to begin with. But, from an outside perspective this deck has been dominating the meta for what seems like forever and hits as minor as these seem really small and underwhelming.
Literally, the deck only has to replace 1 main deck card in order to persist, so in effect the deck is exactly the same as before. So, in regards to Cir, I think this hit is inconsequential. I’m sure many Burning Abyss players would say that this really effects the deck ability to bounce back and the deck’s longevity and those are valid points, but in the end the deck still can do everything exactly the same as before, all that is new is now you have to keep in mind you only have 1 Cir instead of 2.
Beatrice on the other hand is a much more relevant hit. At the same time, it also doesn’t make that huge of difference. Realistically, Burning Abyss players would only need 2 copies of Beatrice maximum if they where trying to run the Extra on slim. So, that means they’re only dropping one slot, similar to Cir. It makes the idea of going into Beatrice turn one less desirable because it’s the only copy, but at the same time you didn’t even use 2 Beatrice in every game to begin with. In essence this just removes the decks safety net.
What makes these hits mostly meaningless in my opinion though is that the deck has A LOT of alternate strategies and cards to fall back on. hitting these cards only gives the deck an opportunity to adapt and hone the skills of players wielding the deck. Not to mention this deck can easily utilize future support cards we don’t even know about yet, as well as new Phantom Knight cards. As is the case with a lot of the time in Yugioh though, when things get hit people back away, and also if things aren’t new they lack novelty, making them less fun. These two things combined could make the deck see a lot less play, but if someone was to make a big impact at a high level event with Burning Abyss in the near future there’s a very high possibility they’ll stick around.
- Performapal Monkeyboard (Banned)
- Majespecter Unicorn – Kirin (Limited)
- Pendulum Call (Limited)
Performapal Monkeyboard seemed a little out of left field to me. I mean I understand the card was really good and putting it at one literally meant nothing, so the only way to realistically effect the card is to ban it, but Konami rarely makes decisions in that way so I thought this was rather odd. First, I agree with the hit, second, I think it has no impact of Performapals, so it’s irrelevant and can be ignored. The only thing I can really come up with is that Konami is trying to send a message saying you have to use new Pendulum decks. Which you should, because they’re better than Performapals anyways, especially now with Monkeyboard banned.
Kirin was pretty much on everyone’s hit list and was the crux of the entire pendulum mechanic last format. It came at a weird time because it really diminishes the value of Metalfoes, but that also makes the decision to make all the Metalfoes cards low rarity make more sense if they knew Kirin would go to one in advance of choosing rarities. Kirin is an absolutely broken and terribly designed card. It brings to the forefront everything wrong with the inherently flawed Pendulum mechanic, and honestly I think Kirin should just be outright banned instead of being limited, because it’s so easy to search anyways and is almost permanently in the game once it has been searched due to the flaws in the Pendulum mechanic. Hitting it to one will certainly effect the card and is better than nothing, but there’s no reason to not just run 3 Majespecter Racoon – Bunbuku and 1 Kirin in every Pendulum deck going forward.
Pendulum Call is really just kicking a man while he’s down. I have no idea why they did this and it shouldn’t have been done. Pendulum Magician where already bad, but now they’re basically unusable. Aside from a future support card making this broken, this is just Konami doing the grab and go with your money and literally forcing you to use new cards.
- Kaiser Colosseum (Banned)
I’ll be frank, I don’t understand this at all. Perhaps something in the future will make an absurd scenario with this card? That’s the best answer I can offer. This card wasn’t even on anyone’s radar for getting hit in any fashion, and it also wasn’t in anyone’s deck either. Now it’s definitely not in your deck.
- Maxx “C” (Semi-Limited)
I’m not really sure what they’re trying to do with this semi-limit. I understand that people are maining this cards in 3-ofs all over the place, but that just serves to show Konami how stupid the game has become that running a card like this becomes a necessity. I have no qualms with it going to 2 and I really don’t think it will have any effect on the metagame either. More often than not if it was in my side I would only side 2 in anyways.
- Thunder King Rai-Oh (Semi-Limited)
Just put this card to 3 already! This card is honestly just good for the game at this point.
- Wind-Up Magician (Semi-LImited)
Wind-Up Magician is bad, Wind-Ups are bad. Wind-Up Magician should be at 3.
- Thousand-Eyes Restrict (Unlimited)
Had no impact at 1, will have no impact at 3.
- Allure of Darkness (Unlimited)
I really really like Allure of Darkness going to three. With 3 copies that means you can bet on the card meaning you can run dedicated support for banished recursion such as D.D.R. or Escape From the Dark Dimension. It also increases the consistency of deck which is great because no one likes bricking in any deck. Like in Pokemon, I think the game is more interesting if both decks are capable of enacting their main strategy in every duel and then they players actually get to duel each other.
This does pose the threat though of creeping into a lot of what could be deemed “bad Yugioh decks” such as Magical Explosion and Exodia, so take this going to 3 with a grain a salt.
- Gold Sarcophagus (Unlimited):
This card has been begging to be at 3 for a while now, so it really deserves to finally be here. This is a little questionable though begins once again it gives ammo to a lot of the janky Yugioh decks that try to win with an alternate win condition.
It has potential synergy with Kozmo, which could be interesting, though I wouldn’t expect anyone to try it.
The Future Meta-Game:
What we can really expect to see in the future is just a whole lot of Blue-Eyes. The deck may brick, but the decks left over to combat it aren’t nearly as good as it at full power. I personally am offended by this Blue-Eyes deck because it’s so meat headed and uninteresting in what it does. Perhaps we should all break out our copies of Grave of the Superancient Organism and put them in the main deck?
In slightly more distant future expect Metalfoes to take the stage once all there new support comes out, which turns the deck into a real behemoth. Without a maximized Kirin engine at the moment I wouldn’t expect it to be good currently, but we’ll see what happens with that.
I also would predict Subterrors to become absolutely bonkers with the next pack’s support. I’ve been testing around with this deck, and when it goes off it goes off incredibly hard and fast. It’s currently in the TCG Exclusive Love Slot so I wouldn’t expect it to receive anything but the best new support.
Written by: Kyle Oliver