Declare 1 monster card type (Ritual, Fusion, Synchro, Xyz, or Pendulum); this turn, neither player can Special Summon monsters of the declared type, also negate the effects of face-up monsters on the field of the declared type while they are on the field. You can only activate 1 “Dimensional Boundary” per turn.
Debuted in Invasion: Vengeance in the OCG, and arriving soon for the TCG, Dimensional Boundary seems to be brewing with potential. Having been in the OCG for weeks, players here (like me) got to test it in actual gameplay situations. Today, speaking from experience, I would like to use this article to share with you readers, my analysis of this card, as to whether it does indeed live up to the theoretical expectation of players.
Let’s consider the popular deck choices here in the OCG as we go down the list:
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From personal experience, I would reason that it is terrible against Blue-Eyes. Dragon Spirit of White would attempt to clear backrow threats, and then you will be forced to chain it, declaring either Xyz/Synchro. And with the help of cards like Return of the Dragon Lords/Silver’s Cry, they will just go for the alternative – the type of card you haven’t called. Meaning, you call synchro and they will try to aim for an xyz summon play, likely to end up with Number 38: Hope Harbinger Dragon Titanic Galaxy on the field before they end their turn, or a theft performed by Galaxy-Eyes Cipher Dragon. Call xyz and they would simply enter into a synchro play for Blue-Eyes Spirit Dragon. Quite by the book and standard option.
My point is, due to the relative ease of Blue-Eyes embarking on either route, should you choose to, or be forced to activate Dimensional Boundary early in the turn, before your opponent even dedicate resources into it (e.g. Normal summoning a tuner like Effect Veiler), you might find yourself losing out and Boundary losing its effectiveness.
ABC has access to both fusion and xyz, both of which are inherent summons, due to ABC-Dragon Buster‘s unique summoning condition. Do note that I am talking about the R4NK ABC build which is the most common option piloted in the OCG now, and not the decklist which incorporates a Rank5 engine involving Transmodify and Galaxy Soldier. You are free to argue how much you think Cyber Dragon Infinity is undefeatable (yes there are people who really think so), but the results speak for itself – The R4NK engine is more consistent. Anyway…
The inherent summoning procedure mean that opponents would have to use this card once they have noticed the relevant materials are in place, and it wouldn’t result in a loss of resources on your opponent’s side. They will just not, as they can’t, enter the summoning method you declared. It resembles a situation whereby Maxx “C” is discarded and it discourages them from further plays. So towards ABC, Dimensional Boundary is sub-par in my opinion. I would side it out in such a matchup, if I do main Boundary, as it is just a ‘stall for a turn’ and doesn’t really make the ABC player waste their resources.
D/D/D is also another troublesome foe. The previous two mentions has an Extra Deck filled with two types of cards. D/D/D brings Reiji’s name as master of all summoning levels to the next level – they can do Xyz, Synchro and Fusion summon, and their Extra Deck contains at least two of each type, which they can summon with relative ease. So what to call then? Well your best bet is to declare fusion once D/D Swirl Slime activates its effect, since their combo usually starts off from D/D/D Flame King Genghis. Some player choose the unorthodox method of annoucing synchros, upon the summon of D/D Lamia, leaving the D/D/D vulnerable midway into their combo. I disapprove of this method as D/D/D Flame King Genghis would be allowed to be summoned onto the field. It is too much of a threat – leave it on the field and its effect can be triggered next turn for a special summon; destroy it and on top of fetching a card, it serves as a fusion material for D/D Necro Slime in the grave.
Among all four mentioned decks though, Dimensional Boundary is probably second best against D/D/D as you can use it to escape their lockdowns, since it is centered around synchro monsters like Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon, D/D/D Hexblood King Siegfried and PSY-Framelord Omega. Bait Siegfried’s effect and you can resolve this card without worries. Omega remains annoying as ever, but be that as it may, it can’t escape Dimensional Boundary since banishing itself isn’t a cost, so Omega is likely to stay rooted to the field.
So if D/D/D is second best, what is it best against?
Or rather, pendulum decks in general. Majespecter Unicorn – Kirin is the single and most iconic threats of the pendulum cards. The meta pendulum deck Metalfoes, abuses this spellcaster to control the board to act as threat removal. What makes Kirin annoying is however, not just its “let’s bounce” ability, but the fact that it can’t be targeted or destroyed by card effects, making removal a very troublesome experience. Players in TCG has resorted to Unwavering Bond, which is not a common practice here in the OCG.
Dimensional Boundary provide players with what they need, and what they have always been looking for – a non-targeting negation; a direct answer to their Kirin problems. Negating Kirin’s effect reduces half their worries of the card. And it also answers the problem of pendulum decks’ recurring theme. What do I mean? As we all know, the introduction of pendulum summoning mechanics allow the destroyed pendulum cards to enter the Extra Deck face-up. This raises the Extra Deck as a second set of resources, somewhere between the lines of a graveyard and a second set of hand. Boundary stops a pendulum deck user from accessing this set of resources, for a short, but crucial time period – a turn.
But it also stops ABC for a turn, so why is it so different against Metalfoes?
Well, Metalfoes playing style revolves around the destroy-and-set method/mechanic of the archetype. Ignoring the threat of Dimensional Boundary can be costly for the player, as they confidently send their pendulum cards from the field to their Extra Deck, taking their pendulum summoning for granted and assuming they can bring out their monsters from the Extra Deck that turn. Failure to do so will not only leave them exposed and vulnerable to a direct attack on the next turn, but also disrupt their plans.
Which brings us to the topic of Boundary’s best selling point: It can stop the opponent’s special summoning, but not stop the user. Playing against a pendulum deck while a player pilots a non-pendulum deck like ABC, Dimensional Boundary declaring [Pendulums] inflict no cost, backlash or cons to the ABC player at all. It only serves as a direct hindrance to the pendulum player, significantly affecting only a single player, unlike Vanity’s Emptiness.
Also, its utility lies in the card’s status as a Normal Trap Card. Being a Normal Trap Card, spell/trap destruction doesn’t have an effect on it. With Skill Drain and Vanity’s Emptiness, its predecessors and maybe parents, the common Mystical Space Typhoon and Twin Twisters chained to it can get rid of the backrow floodgate threat. But destruction doesn’t stop resolution of a Normal Trap Card. Dimensional Boundary can hence only be stopped by a negation, and the most common card for the job is Solemn Judgment. And boy is the LP cost a costly one… In the TCG where gramps’ divine negation is disallowed, the task falls onto the shoulders of cards like Wiretap and Royal Decree, both of which are being seen less common in the competitive scenes in recent formats. In conclusion, Boundary has a higher probability of resolving successfully, after which your opponent can do nothing to stop its effect from applying, and in most situations, despite its effect applying to both players, the decision will leave the resulting negation very one-sided, especially if it is a matchup between decks focusing on different summoning methods. Lasting for only one turn, it also ensures that its effect can’t linger long enough for it to return to bite its user, leaving it an available option in mirror matches as well.
(Once, I witnessed a Blue-Eyes player failing to win the game, as it is unable to deal sufficient damage to me. His Blue-Eyes Alternative White Dragon‘s effect couldn’t resolve successfully due to his own activated Skill Drain. Had it been Boundary, things would have turned out very differently.)
Of course, up until now, all we have been discussing about is activating it prematurely, when the declared card type hasn’t made its mark on the field yet. Meaning you activated Boundary just for the pseudo-Vanity’s Emptiness ability, and not the Skill Drain effect is has embedded into it. Well, so now let’s talk about the Skill Drain effect:
- Against Blue-Eyes, a Skill Drain like effect may not do much damage to their gameplay, since they usually start with Blue-Eyes Spirit Dragon, and then go into Azure-Eyes Silver Dragon. It is instead the prevention of special summoning, that takes its toll, in the late stages of the game. Using it on Spirit Dragon will render its effect useless for that turn – sure it can still tribute itself for a special summon after Boundary resolves, but will resolve unsuccessfully not because of the effect negation part of the trap card, but because of its inability to call out synchro monsters for that turn.
- Chain it to boundary and Blue-Eyes players won’t accomplish much. They can bring out Azure-Eyes, sure, but it gets destroyed during the End Phase since its inert protection ability will be negated by the non-targeting negation of Dimension Boundary.
- In addition, it gravely hurts their resources if Boundary is chained to Spirit Dragon’s effect.
- But frankly, I rarely find myself in these type of situation, unless my opponent neglects backrow removal, which is very unlikely in experienced players piloting top tier decks. Boundary is usually forced to be activated or it will be destroyed/banished; either way, removed from the field. Boundary comes late – you draw it, set it, and Spirit Dragon would have activated its effect during your End Phase.
- Of course, the set Dimension Boundary can stop Azure-Eyes during your opponent’s next standby.
- In short, I don’t think this is the best card to side against Blue-Eyes, although it does its fair share of damage to work against the deck. You are better off banking on punishing them with Mirror of the Ice Barrier and Light-Imprisoning Mirror, and they can’t play around the latter like how they play around Skill Drain.
- Against ABC, your greatest enemy and problem will be non other than their boss monster – ABC-Dragon Buster. Buster, too, can also escape the negation of Boundary. Activating Boundary will merely force the activation of Dragon Buster’s “tagging out” effect. Even if they do not chain the ”tag out” to Dimension Boundary, they can still use their discard-and-banish and “tag out” effect in the same chain, to play around the negation. Thus, resulting in a successful resolution of Dragon Buster’s effect.
So is Dimension Boundary that bad, and underwhelming, despite all the attention and hype players gave? Well, not really. Dimension Boundary works best against the new
As you would probably figured out by now, Dimensional Boundary doesn’t hold a candle to decks which focuses on effect monsters, like Kozmos, Monarchs and Darklords. These deck do not rely too heavily on their Extra Deck or Ritual monsters, and is thus spared from the wrath of Boundary. The former two are mostly unaffected by it, since the main offensive core of the decks are effect monsters, which is not a viable option to be declared by Dimensional Boundary. As for Qli, the negation ability not only doesn’t faze them, but aids them instead. Even in a mirror match. An early activation would of course, work against them as well. But rarely will Qli’s special summoning procedure occur on the same turn as the opponent’s.
- Use Boundary declaring pendulums during your opponent’s turn and the inability to special summon shouldn’t harm you. Since you are unlikely to do any special summoning in a Qli deck during your opponent’s turn.
- Use Boundary on your turn after your special summon from Qliphort Disc/pendulum summoning, and you should be capable of rendering Metalfoes Counter useless, since no pendulum monsters can be special summoned.
- Of course, if you trigger an opening window for Metalfoes Counter early in the turn, like a Mystical Space Typhoon in Main Phase 1, and you chain Dimensional Boundary in response to that, then ya, you are definitely facing a situation whereby Boundary will work against you.
- But all in all, it is still a good card with effects that work in tandem with Qli’s playing style – Anti-Meta via negation.
Interestingly enough, a ruling dispute in the OCG recently occurred regarding this card.
Q: Swirl Slime activates, then Boundary is chained. How does the situation resolve?
Most declared that Swirl Slime and its relevant materials will be discarded and dumped to the grave, but the attempted fusion monster wouldn’t be summoned. In short, fusion materials will be sent, but a fusion summon will not be performed. Others, however, argued that it should resolve similarly to Vanity’s Emptiness. However, there also lies the argument that since it is worded differently, a different ruing arising won’t be too much of a jump. I have yet to obtain an official ruling as reference, but this ruling conflict is something interesting to take note of.
Boundary has its merits, and of course, its shortcomings. I believe that while it may not be the best trap available, despite its floodgate and anti-meta capabilities, players will find more use for it someday. The most likely situation I propose is when Solemn Strike meets with a limitation. By then, players should be able to find a good replacement in the form of this normal trap card. It won’t be a perfect substitution, but can still serve the same purpose as Strike did – stop special summons. It may be a normal trap card, leaving opportunities for more cards to chain to it, due to game mechanics. But Dimensional Boundary doesn’t have any cost. When the time comes, and the meta calls for it, we will go more into detail about the comparison and discussion of Dimensional Boundary once more.
That’s all for now, thanks for reading.
Along with a group of friends, I founded the blog [Dueling Cancer]. I am from Singapore, and have been playing competitively in the OCG since 2012, although I started playing the game casually since 2007.
Fav decks: Junk Doppel, Chaos Dragons.
Fav archetype: Yosenjus
Fav card artwork: Destiny Draw