Musings on the May 2018 List

IT’S late. It’s average. It doesn’t stop Link degeneracy… but it’s really nice to finally see the Forbidden and Limited List drop.

Going into effect from 21 May, the new list has some clear objectives from the outset. Kill off the meta and devastate the rampant FTKs at the top tables.

The way they’ve gone about this is curious. The three main hits to the meta come from the banning of Astrograph Sorcerer, Master Peace the True Dracoslaying King and Supreme King Starving Venom. So let’s boil down the highlights and lowlights of this list even further.

In essence this is a list of strange timing, awkward utility and an overall sense of reactivity instead of proactivity.

Here are the changes on the Yu-Gi-Oh May 2018 Forbidden and Limited List.

FORBIDDEN

Astrograph Sorcerer
Astrograph Sorcerer

Master Peace, the True Dracoslaying King

Phoenixian Cluster Amaryllis

Supreme King Dragon Starving Venom

Ancient Fairy Dragon

Rank-Up-Magic Argent Chaos Force

That Grass Looks Greener

 

LIMITED

Dinomight Knight, the True Dracofighter

Gem-Knight Master Diamond

Chain Strike

 

SEMI-LIMITED

Ring of Destruction
Apoqliphort Towers

Ring of Destruction

 

NO LONGER ON THE LIST

Atlantean Dragoons

Grandsoil the Elemental Lord

Ignis Heat, the True Dracowarrior

Mathematician

Neo-Spacian Grand Mole

Compulsory Evacuation Device

 

Strengths

FTKs are dead. Supreme King Starving Venom and Ancient Fairy Dragon are banned while Gem-Knight Master Diamond has been cut to one. Even the pseudo-FTK of Utopic Zexal is dead thanks to this list with Rank-Up-Magic Argent Chaos Force copping the ban hammer. Pendulum FTK is outright dead while Gem-Knight FTK has become even more fragile and is virtually comatose. The pre-emptory hit on Phoenixian Cluster Amaryllis is a nice way to further stop Plant FTK that we’ve thankfully never had to deal with in the TCG.

This is brilliant. There is no reason why this game should feature that level of Solitaire degeneracy… at least without a responding turn. There is nothing worse than getting FTK’ed and it’s the smartest decision of this list without a doubt. Taking away the worst win conditions in Yu-Gi-Oh remains the jewel of this upcoming format as we’ll get to Turn 2. On a similar note, seeing Chain Strike slashed to one also gives hope for the player-base as the truly absurd decks continue to fade away.

Seeing Astrograph Sorcerer removed from the game is also a fair plus. This was a pinpointed problem the deck creates and to Konami’s credit, they’ve removed it from existence. The Pendulum Magician deck remains a lower tier option – albeit gutted by the lack of a generic plus factory in Astrograph – but at least it remains viable. I feel Double Iris Magician could have come back off the list without Astrograph, but that’s not a major issue at this stage.

That Grass Looks Greener

I also love seeing That Grass Looks Greener cop its whack too. No single card should generate that many plusses or procure that many effects at once. Maybe down the line it can return but for the moment it’s a necessary kill-shot on the sackiest of decks. With that in mind it’s good to see Konami try and expand the horizons and not just leave 60-card decks as a viable mishmash of engines.

Ancient Fairy Dragon is sadly too good to exist within Yu-Gi-Oh and it’s rightly got its whack before truly devastating the meta. Rest in peace sweet Dragon… you’ve served me well throughout the years, especially recently with F.A and Spyral.

The generic unlimiting of Mathematician, Neo-Spacian Grand Mole and Compulsory Evacuation Device are well overdue but certainly appreciated. These cards have clogged the list for far too long and it’s good to see them leave this space after years on there.

We all saw it coming, but it’s nice to see Grandsoil – the Elemental Lord back in the game with a HOPT. This should have happened BEFORE the release of Flames of Destruction to entice players to pick up Elementsabers though, but a win is a win.

Atlantean Dragoons going to three – especially with Crystron Needlefiber on the horizon – is a nice boost to Mermails. Sekka’s Light started off the month with the first Mermail toy and now with Dragoons back they can extend that little bit further and really combo off. I wouldn’t be shocked to see a Mermail regional top… in 2018. #WhoWouldHaveThought

Weaknesses

They just announced the reprint of Dragonic Diagram in the 2018 Mega Tins… and ban off the deck’s win condition. That would make it two years in a row for Konami, but even worse they savaged the deck BEFORE the Tins dropped! Last year they at least had the decency to give us a couple of weeks before the banlist destroyed Zoodiac. Instead they’ve made a chase card fairly irrelevant in one of the best releases of the year. We will forever wonder what other cards could have got that reprint (Wind Witch, Spyral – looking at you) instead of seeing something banned or pseudo-banned in the case of Diagram thrown in there. If they were going to ban Master Peace but keep Diagram, then Lithosagym should have been taken off the ban list.

Firewall Dragon

I know they have to tread carefully with Yu-Gi-Oh VRAINS dropping soon, but Firewall Dragon is too toxic to stay in the Advanced Format. It really should have been banned. If it wasn’t an anime protagonist signature card, then it would have been savaged on the Grandsoil/Lithosagym list instead of being Limited. The fanboys could suck it up and deal with it being banned – especially since it has already been out in the game since August last year.

Opportunities

While they’ve removed the threats to the meta, they haven’t re-established any fan favourites by bringing them off the Forbidden list. #FreeMyConstruct will become the next meme for the next decade at the rate she’s trapped in ban hell. Qliphort Scout? Denglong, First of the Yang Zing? Tour Guide from the Underworld? How about the Inzektors and Ehther the Heavenly Monarch? Everything about this list is driven by past results and has no direction towards the future. Seeing the support that Qliphort, Inzektors and Monarchs have received as of late… wouldn’t it be worth loosening the restrictions on the core pieces of those decks?

If you’re going to unlimit Ignis Heat, then at least semi-limit Dinomight too. I maintain Dinomight was just a victim of Master Peace’s reign and without Master Peace the True Draco deck is pretty fair. What can you really do without Master Peace besides set up R5/R6 plays? Just give them back everything else. I hope Dinomight falls off the list entirely when August rolls around as it’s not going to do a thing between now and then anyway.

Hop on board the Trickstars that said – nothing will ever touch the loli-agenda.

Threats

I hope you picked up your Knightmares in the first two weeks of FLOD because now they’re straight to the top. What can really stop Gouki Knightmare, ABC Knightmare, Spyral Knightmare… just any of the nightmares associated with Knightmares? The deck does too much and has been given a free swing by Konami for the next three months at the very least.

Knightmare Goblin

I can’t see anything really clamping down on them at this rate, especially since the natural enemy of the Knightmares in the OCG – Maxx C – remains forbidden in the TCG. It is odd to see the most open format since ABC-D/D/D/etc in 2016 give way to yet another Tier 0-style format. The way in which we achieve Tri-Gate Wizard triple-linked or “The U” is up to the style of the deck-builder but be fairly warned – this is now Knightmare territory. Better stock up on your Sphere Modes and Ghost Reapers to knock over Isolde because otherwise this deck will just go on the warpath no matter what. Maybe tech some spicy Metaverse into Summon Breaker or Summon Limit to curtail this going first but the options going second are severely scarce.

The only deck with consistent tops that wasn’t helped or hindered by the list is the various forms of Shaddoll Dino or Pure Dino. That said, Ultimate Conduct Tyranno can’t crack the Knightmare Extra Link and the deck would need to bait Tri-Gate on alternate boards so I don’t know how viable it is to stand up to the might of Gryphon and Unicorn. Invoked-Mekk Knight also escaped but any deck reliant on the Extra Monster Zone is not going to flourish against the Extra Link.

I don’t know if I like this list or just begrudgingly respect it. I like the FTK hits and believe the derestriction of older list entries is for the best… but the rest of the list doesn’t add up.

 

Pottski

Superheavy Samurai for life. Occasionally Spyral and D/D/D as side-life.

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Pottski

Superheavy Samurai for life. Occasionally Spyral and D/D/D as side-life.


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