The Forbidden Relics are a set of Quick-Play spells with varied protection effects. They first debuted in Raging Battle with the release of Forbidden Chalice, while their most recent release was in ROTD’s Droplets.
Today, we’ll be going over them and evaluating their history and impact on the game. All of them are also searchable by Condemned Witch, which is fairly interesting in its own right. It doesn’t have a current home for competitive play, but there’s no doubt that it’s a decent monster.
Special thanks as well to JebusMcAzn from Frozen Card Gaming for helping us with research on this project! Feel free to check out their channel here!
Table of Contents
The Eternal Cup
Chalice was the breakout star of the Forbidden Relics, aging incredibly well for the time. It has remained a decent tech option in the metagame and pops in and out of formats. While it does have competition with the likes of Book of Moon and Infinite Impermanence, this quick-play is more than capable of holding its own.
Historically, Chalice came out in a time where easily accessible monster negates were few and far between. This meant that the card saw fringe play now and then across the old formats. It could pop up and negate a key playmaker whenever needed. Most Spell / Trap cards were pretty good at removing or dealing with monsters, but not so much negating their effects.
FC picked up a lot more steam as the game got faster though, which may sound odd but let’s just roll with it. Yu-Gi-Oh’s shift in focus to monster cards being the key playmakers and threats allowed this card to excel and outlive a bunch of its counterparts.
Zoodiac format was one of its biggest spikes in use. The versatility it provided is simply unparalleled. Negating a Zoo monster meant it lost its stats, and stopping Ignis Heat was pretty good vs Zoo Draco. Not only that, it was a card that also bypassed My Body as a Shield which was very popular at the time.
Flying “C” was another card that could shut down Zoodiac. You could negate it with Chalice, blanking the cockroach that they gave you!
Still to this day, Forbidden Chalice remains a pretty solid card! It’s budget and accessible while covering a good chunk of matchups. Stopping Tri-Brigade effects is a huge deal, and blanking Diviner and Kagari is also pretty sweet. It used to be a lot better as it could help muscle past Dragon Link and Shuraig, but it’s still good in the upcoming format. Being able to out annoying floodgate monsters like Winda is always a bonus, after all.
Not needing to have an empty board is important and gives it some upsides vs Impermanence. Damage Step niches also pop up now and then. Lastly, it’s worth noting that it’s both good going first and second, which is a very high selling point.
Out of all the Forbidden Relics, Chalice has been the most successful and iconic.
Javelin of Protection
Lance was another successful Forbidden Relic and had a strong historical impact in the old formats where it was popular. However, it’s worth noting that we’re strictly talking in the past tense.
In 2014 and prior formats, trap cards were a lot more commonplace and ubiquitous, with most if not all decks packing several of them to deal with threats. Compulsory Evacuation Device, Bottomless Trap Hole, Fiendish Chain, Mirror Force, Breakthrough Skill, the list goes on!
This definitely dictated a slower pace for the game and thus Forbidden Lance shown as a chainable option that allowed your monsters to be protected from such bombs. Decks at the time were quite reliant on their Normal Summon and appreciated the help Lance provided. Examples include Bujin Yamato and Fire Fist Bear plus Wolfbark. Shielding them from the bevy of backrow related answers was great. Even in the time of BA and Shaddoll, Lance was also making waves.
As the years went on, Lance slowly started to lose its luster but still saw some fringe play in some Nekroz lists to help better protect the Djinn lock from being broken.
Barrier Stun in Zoo format exclusively used Lance quite a lot, as the barriers blocked off most Special Summoned monsters from being a problem. This was also the case as Solemn Judgment was still banned, and so this relic filled in.
Nowadays the game is way too fast for it, but it’s not a bad card per se. Just that the game shifted more focus towards monster-related interaction. If you ever give old formats a shot though, you can definitely count on Lance to bail you out.
Dressed for (Short-Lived) Success
Forbidden Dress was a niche pick for its time and fell off the map swiftly after its moment in the sun. Let’s recall how the flashiest of the Forbidden Relics protected one of the most iconic Xyz monsters of all time.
None other than Evilswarm Ophion of course! During the Dragon Ruler heavy formats, Ophion was able to shut down any plays Rulers were capable of doing. Not only that, but Infestation Pandemic also meant that most Spells / Traps weren’t able to faze you either. However, there was one problem with this.
Blaster, Dragon Ruler of Infernos had an effect to pitch itself and a FIRE monster to pop a card on the field. This resulted in many games lost on account of your win-condition being lit ablaze by the destructive force of Blaster. Enter Forbidden Dress! With the low price of reducing Ophion’s ATK for the turn, you were able to survive the flames without much worry. After all, it protected you from both destruction and targeting for the turn. The targeting part was a small bonus, as the destruction protection was a lot more important.
It also had some minor utility in being able to beat over monsters in a pinch, though that was just a small bonus. Other decks also tried it out, ranging from Tribute stun to Bujins to Dino Rabbit. Destruction effects were a lot more common back in the day, and so the dress was alright.
Despite being reprinted in the Egyptian God Structure: Obelisk, these clothes have gone out of fashion a long time ago. Still, a fairly memorable one-hit-wonder for sure.
The Impractical Book
As cool as Forbidden Scripture is and how the effect could come up, it hasn’t really blown up in competitive or even casual play. This relic is simply too specific, and other cards fulfill their job a lot cleaner. Still, it managed to sneak one top in the Side Deck in a HAT list, so there’s that.
However, this effect has found a spiritual successor in the form of Update Jammer. Jammer is readily available in the Extra Deck and is able to make some clutch plays now and again with the help of Transcode Talker in some Cyberse Decks. Salamangreat in particular likes it a lot!
I wouldn’t recommend giving this one too much of a thought. Possibly the worst of the Forbidden Relics out there.
Cream of the Crop
And here we are at the final frontier. The best of the best, the most eye-catching of the Forbidden Quick-plays by far. Forbidden Droplet is a card that can make or break a duel. People are divided on how to feel about this card, as others claim it’s an extremely potent force that can outright win you the game. Others beg to differ and say it’s nothing but a paperweight.
Regardless of what you may think, there’s no denying that it’s a thought-provoking card. How about we check out some of the cool interactions you can do with it?
First things first, it’s important to note that you can offset the cost a bit by sending cards that would be sent to the GY anyway. This works great with Normal Spells in particular.
Decks that are also able to plus from the send might give it a look. Phantom Knight, Burning Abyss, Plunder Patroll, and so on. It’s also stellar at dealing with most problematic monsters as it neither targets nor allows for responses if the costs are handled.
You’re also able to use it as a pseudo-trap card to stop your opponent from getting their plays in order, in a similar way to Chalice.
Big boards are often what Droplet wants to see, though it does require a large amount of thought and proper decision-making to make the most of it. You wouldn’t want to send all your resources only to run out of gas and still fail to deal with the problem. It’s a good idea to assess what you’re dealing with and then decide what to Droplet and what to send. An informed decision goes a long way!
The last thing to note is that there’s no denying it can be a clutch tool at the right moment. One good example is in one of the early Remote Duel Invitational Finals a few months back. Invoked Shaddoll Dogmatika put Dragon Link on the ropes under Mechaba and Winda. This was after Rokket Tracer was already Special Summoned. At that point, you may conclude that it’s nothing but a dead end. However, Forbidden Droplet was able to save the day and allowed the D-Link player to push and take over with Savage.
All in all, Droplet is firmly a good card, but expensive for sure. The strongest of the Forbidden Relics no doubt, but also one of the hardest to use. This quickplay’s power and value tend to change within formats.
And that concludes our write-up and review on the Forbidden Relics! I would rank Chalice slightly ahead of Droplet for the most part as the former has proven itself over the years and has the results to back it up. Droplet’s impact when it does land is a lot higher though, of course. Until next time folks!