It’s been a few weeks since Predaplant Verte Anaconda has left us in the TCG. The ripple effects can still be felt all to this day. Whether you loved it or hated it, there’s no denying that it was a well-talked-about icon for quite some time now. Today we’ll be looking at our Link-2 friend from an angle of both grief and loss. Now then, let us dive right in and process this experience.
“What? Why did this happen? This has to be a troll list.”
“Nice prank, how about you show us the real banlist?”
Verte’s fate as banlist season hit was uncertain. However, many people including me were expecting it to survive given the TCG meta. Destiny HERO – Destroyer Phoenix Enforcer (DPE for short) was still relatively new to the scene and they wouldn’t want to kill their best money maker, no?
It’s key to remember that post-SDAZ, the best deck of the format was Branded Despia. Did you notice something about it? It was not only getting high usage to push for Tier 1 status, and it didn’t even use Verte! The locks that Branded Fusion have led to that, and duelists would rather use raw Polymerization.
What about the other decks at the time? We have Adventurer DPE Prank-Kids which had steady usage even after Despia stole its thunder in May. Prank-Kids had 18/32 spots at YCS Charlotte, but their numbers took a hit when YCS Bogota and YCS Guadalajara were held.
Additionally, Artifact Scythe usage was low at the time, so Scythe locking wasn’t too big on people’s radars. It’s true that DPE was a threat, but players were used to it by now. Branded Despia easily finessed through these Adventurer Enforcer piles like nobody’s business, not really minding the quick effect pop at all.
Last but not the least, both the Adventurer and Prank-Kid portion of that deck were bigger issues to address. They’ve been dominating for 3 months straight, after all. The Artifacts could’ve also taken the banhammer.
“You’re joking, right? Really, less than a week before Nationals?!”
“How am I supposed to summon DPE/Mirrorjade now?!”
While others were rejoicing at the death of Verte, several people expressed their outrage as the glue that tied their deck together has suddenly met its fate. Both Phantom Knight and Tri-Brigade were competitive TIer 2 strategies that really enjoyed the presence of Verte Anaconda. Be it the coveted DPE, or the promising Mirrorjade, the Iceblade Dragon. It’s not limited to these two either, as several Tier 2/3 to rogue decks heavily relied on DPE for their success just to “level” the playing field. Sky Striker, DIS, Cyberse Eldlich, Drytron, the list goes on.
Phantom Knights took the biggest hit of them all, fading away the moment the Link-2 left the TCG. Even though they still had Adventurer and P.U.N.K, it was too fragile and outclassed to keep up with the metagame. The deck already hates seeing hand traps as is, which Verte eased the pressure from. Only time will tell if they’ll recover from this slump.
Branded Tri-Brigade was another upcoming deck after Albaz Strike came out. It had a lot of promise as it had a ton of unique synergies which really made it a nice combination. Tri-Brigade Mercourier got you mass plusses with Albion the Shrouded Dragon and also turned into a Hand Trap thanks to Mirrorjade. Another benefit is that Mirrorjade gets you back into your Tri-Brigade monsters by sending Brigrand the Glory Dragon, pretty good stuff! The loss of Verte was a heavy blow to its viability and the players’ morale.
A lot of these decks are still trying to find their footing, with some of them not seeing the light of day. It’s an unfortunate sight to see, in all honesty.
“If Halq can have scapegoats to die for its sins, why not Verte?”
“Fusion Destiny is the real issue, you know. Dragoon hasn’t really been doing anything for a while now.”
“Celestial ban. There, I said it.”
It’s a bit debatable, but there were a few reasonable choices to hit instead of Verte which would’ve kept everyone fairly happy. Once again, two of the strongest decks of the format don’t even bother to use it. Tenyi Swordsoul and Branded Despia have no business making Verte in their lives. Both P.U.N.K Therion and Adventurer P.U.N.K Synchro are fantastic and don’t really care about it either.
Considering the gap already present, the DPE package could’ve easily received another “fixing” instead. People argued for Destiny HERO – Celestial‘s ban, which sounds silly at first but it’s not all too unreasonable. This takes away one of the engine’s bombs, the fact that they have a built-in Pot of Greed for the next turn. Drawing 2 with an easy to fulfill condition is a bit too much when everything is taken into account. Ridding this still makes DPE playable and potent, but they do lose some power.
Alternatively, Crystron Halqifibrax should’ve taken the blow a long time ago. A lot of the game’s degeneracy is owed to this menace, and it’s had many Tuners and other victims take the fall for it. While Yu-Gi-Oh still wouldn’t be perfect if Halq left, it’d be in a healthier state. Because of their unbanning of Jet Synchron, players are abusing the Scythe lock route into Baronne thanks to Artifact Dagda and T.G. Wonder Magician.
P.U.N.K Therion on the other hand goes for consistent and protected Hot Red Dragon Archfiend King Calamity. They’re easily able to board Therion “King” Regulus, Hot Red Dragon Archfiend Abyss, + the necessary tools to go into King Calamity on your turn thanks to Halq. This play isn’t new as it’s always been seen as a meme, but that deck takes it to a whole new level due to how safe and very little counterplay it has.
A future threat is yet to unfold as well, as P.U.N.K Tearalaments looms around the corner. That deck is even more ridiculous, as Ze Amin leads to them setting up Baronne de Fleur, El Shaddoll Winda, and several Tear cards all on its own. A big part of that is because of Halq, of course. It’s extremely hard to stop and is poised to take over the metagame by storm come August.
What Verte does isn’t fair, but it’s a lot tamer than what public enemy #1 has been up to. It could’ve at least stayed for one or even two more formats.
“I can’t, it’s so hard now with Cyber Dragons…”
“Ah right, I don’t have an out to that game 1. Verte into DPE would’ve been nice to have.”
And thus, we’ve reached quite a low point for some players in the wake of the banlist. Other fan-favorite decks such as Dark Magician, Cyber Dragon, Adamancipator, and Beetrooper were crushed by the execution of Verte. They’re still vaguely “playable”, but it’s not going to be a great time in their crippled state.
Cyber Dragon in particular has lost both its primary OTK tool and board-building piece. Cyber Dragon Infinity + Cybernetic Overflow pass simply does not cut it anymore. Cydra greatly enjoyed the presence of either Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon or DPE and Verte for easy Chimeratech Rampage Dragon was one of the few things keeping them decent.
Beetrooper is also in an incredibly abysmal state. That deck revolved around DPE + unique Insect Hand Traps to function. Without DPE well, tough luck. Bee has a lot of empty card advantage without anything good to end on as a result. I’ll be quoting Herman Hansson here, who is one of the best players in recent times.
“Random shower thought but have you considered how bad the competitive side of the format would be without DPE/Verte legal? The engine just gives life to so many cool rogue picks to play.”
Another slump that duelists have been dealing with is the terror of Mystic Mine. DPE is an excellent way to stop it from terrorizing people and without easy ways to get to it, its dominance has been hard to stop. Winning YCS Hartford was just the first step to its reign, and it’s unlikely to fall out of favor anytime soon.
“Guess I’ll play something else.”
“Hey, maybe this could work.”
At this point, there’s nothing that can be done about Verte’s banning. It’s not coming back for a very long time from the looks of it, possibly staying there until the game’s end of service. After giving duelists their time to grieve and process the loss, some decks are able to move on with their lives and find new ways to thrive.
The Branded Engine is still a popular choice for most decks to flock to due to its ease of use and low commitment. Some loyal Branded Tri-Brigade players opt to activate the spell and bust out Mirrorjade, sitting on hand traps. Another fun tech that people are trying out revolves around Muddy Mudragon! With the help of The Fabled Cerburrel and some routing, you’re still able to get Mirrorjade without being weak to Super Polymerization! Lyrilusc is a suitable alternative if one truly wants to shift away from Fusions.
P.U.N.Ks and Adventurer are at full power at the time of writing this piece, and they’re also promising options to explore for most decks that have lost Verte. Phantom Knights may be able to reclaim their glory thanks to the Adv package. Therions are worth looking into if your deck can accommodate them. Last but not least, Fusion Destiny with Pot of Prosperity is definitely an expensive option, but it is one way for some decks to still get access to the DPE engine.
We’ve reached the end of the article, completing the five stages of grief for the loss of Verte. How do you feel about Verte? Do you think the ban was justified, or are you part of the group that sorely misses it? Whatever it is, feel free to let us know down below in the comments! I hope you enjoyed this new style, as I plan to continue this in the future. Until next time folks, Renren out!