Every competitive season, one of the most controversial topics is always that season’s list. With change on the horizon, let’s see how the October 1st, 2021 list will effect our meta.
Table of Contents
October 1st, 2021 – Forbidden & Limited List Changes
- Zoodiac Barrage
- Prank-Kids Meow-Meow-Mu
- Fire Formation – Tenki
- Danger! Nessie!
- Performapal Skullcrobat Joker
- Emergency Teleport
- Double Iris Magician
Zoodiac Barrage is a card that has always been a key part of the Zoodiac engine. It’s one of the most consistent ways to get to a Zoodiac monster and is also a 1-card combo.
In the modern format, Barrage is powerful due its strength as a 1-card starter and extender that does not commit your normal summon. If uncontested, Barrage can lead to a field of 3 XYZ monsters which can turn into more problems down the line. In Tri-Brigade, this combo will also load the GY with multiple Tri-Beasts setting them up for a Link play later on. This makes Barrage a difficult card to deal with since it does so much with little commitment.
With Barrage being banned, decks that play the Zoodiac engine lose one of their best starter cards. While the Zoodiac engine is still okay, their monsters become harder to see and will require you to commit a normal summon to put them on board. This nerfs the strength of the Tri-Brigade deck as it takes away some of their pushing power and utility. This will likely result in most Tri-Brigade decks cutting the Zoodiac engine in the favor of better alternatives.
Eva is a monster that debuted in the Wave of Light structure deck. It’s one of the best FAIRY utility cards for any deck playing Level 2 LIGHT FAIRYs.
In the modern format, Eva is one of Drytron’s essential combo pieces. It can search for both Herald of Orange Light and Diviner of the Herald and also fills the role of accumulating FAIRY monsters in your hand to pay the cost for Herald of Ultimateness‘s negation effect. This results in Drytron usually ending up with 5+ FAIRYs in hand which leads to an extremely oppressive following turn.
With Eva being limited, decks that play Eva lose a bit of their consistency. It becomes harder to search for important FAIRYs and see Eva in your starting hand. Furthermore, Eva can only be used once per game. This hurts FAIRY decks in longer games where both players are grinding for resources and fighting for advantage. For Drytron, while this does make the deck a bit weaker, it’s by no means unplayable. In shorter games, Drytron’s play wouldn’t really change as Eva can be milled using Beatrice and the game will usually end on turn 2 or 3. In longer games, Drytron may suffer a bit more since they won’t be able to always get Diviner of the Herald to their hand. The thing is, most Drytron lists are starting to only play 1 Eva anyways so this change may not even effect the majority of Drytron decks.
Prank-Kids Meow-Meow-Mu is a Link 1 that enables Prank-Kids to start their play using a single monster. It can also substitute for the cost of a Prank-Kids monster’s effect that requires it to tribute itself.
Meow-Meow is powerful because it’s a Link 1. When Prank-Kids were first released, they didn’t have a Link 1 which made them need multiple cards for their combo. With Meow-Meow, Prank-Kids are able to start their play with any Prank-Kids monster which made the deck very consistent. This made the deck difficult to play against because they could consistently generate pressure with continuous follow-up.
With Meow-Meow now limited, Prank-Kids takes a hit to their grind game. While the deck is still strong, players will need to be more careful on how they utilize their resources. One way Prank-Kids can recycle Meow-Meow is by using Prank-Kids Pranks. However, the issue here is if Meow-Meow is now banished, it can no longer be recycled. Although good Prank-Kids players should be able to play through this change, the deck will require more accurate play to consistently obtain good results.
Fire Formation – Tenki
Fire Formation – Tenki is a continuous spell and one of the best consistency cards for decks that play Beast-Warrior monsters.
Historically, every strong Beast-Warrior deck has played Tenki. Why wouldn’t you? It’s a card that significantly boosts the consistency of the deck that plays it while leaving a resource on the field. This made it an essential card in decks like Fire Fist and Bujin. In the modern format, Tenki sees the most play in Tri-Brigade decks where it searches for Tri-Brigade Fraktall. This gave the deck a lot of consistency since you could essentially play 6 copies of one of your best cards.
With Tenki now limited, Tri-Brigade loses some consistency. This makes the deck less persistent since Fraktall was also a way to access a monster by milling Tri-Brigade Nervall. While this doesn’t cut the power level of the deck, it does make seeing the cards to establish the standard Tri-Brigade board much harder. Another thing to note is that with less Tenkis, you’ll also have less cards to pay the cost of effects like Ancient Warriors Oath – Double Dragon Lords.
Danger! Nessie! is a monster that was limited back in January of 2020. It’s a key component of the Danger engine and synergizes with discard effects.
Nessie’s place on the Forbidden and Limited list was due to the strength of the Danger engine. In the past, all the Danger monsters used to be unlimited which made it a powerful engine to quickly go through your deck. Since Danger monsters also doubled as extenders, it made the engine both reliable and consistent.
In the modern meta, Dangers really aren’t doing anything since all their generic monsters are all limited. Therefore, Konami has deemed it appropriate to give them a bit more space by returning Nessie to 2. While this is a positive change for decks that want to play Dangers, it’s unlikely to result in anything significant. Since Jackalope and Tsuchinoko are still at 1, the engine needs a bit more before it makes a return to the meta.
Emergency Teleport is a Quick-Play spell and a popular extender for decks that play a PSYCHIC engine. It’s also one of the few extenders that don’t have the once per turn clause.
Historically, Emergency Teleport is a card that made its way into a lot of powerful decks. The card is literally represented in name of the Tele-DAD deck and was also present in decks like Psychic FTK and Kozmo. Since it’s an older card, it also didn’t possess the OPT clause which made it fine to see multiple of. Because of this, Emergency Teleport has been at 1 ever since late 2016.
In the modern meta, Emergency Teleport is one of Virtual World’s best extenders. It can summon any Level 3 Virtual World monster which is quite useful in a deck that wants Virtual World cards present on the board. The great thing about this card is that it doesn’t commit your normal summon. With Emergency Teleport coming back to 2, Virtual World gains some consistency and pushing power. Other decks that can play Emergency Teleport like Phantom Knights also receive a minor buff for similar reasons.
Performapal Skullcrobat Joker
In July of 2021, Performapal Skullcrobat Joker made its return after 3 years of being forbidden. In our October 2021 list, Skullcrobat makes it to 2.
Skullcrobat is renown for the consistency it provides for Pendulum decks. It’s one of the decks best normal summons and supports 3 archetypes at once. Pendulum’s main problem is that the deck is unreliable. While Skullcrobat does increase its consistency, when it bricks, it bricks quite hard. Because of this, Pendulum will probably slowly gain cards back until the deck achieves meaningful results. Due to this, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Skullcrobat back to 3 on the next list unless something drastic happens.
Double Iris Magician
Double Iris Magician is a Pendulum monster that got hit alongside Skullcrobat back in 2018. Recently, it’s one of the Pendulum cards that have came off the list and is now fully free.
Double Iris’s position in the meta is a similar one to Skullcrobat. Therefore, we won’t talk too much about it since we already did earlier. The main problem with the deck is that it’s not consistently reliable which makes Double Iris at 3 less powerful. Another issue is that they don’t have all their cards back yet. The good news about this is since we’re slowly getting Pendulum cards back, we might one day see Astrograph Sorcerer or Electrumite free once again.
Perhaps the most controversial decision of this list is the fact that Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon and Mystic Mine were not included. Both are cards that many players consider toxic to the meta and want gone. Maybe this will change in our next list since the OCG has both forbidden in their format right now.
If the October 2021 list’s mission was to lower the consistency of the top tier decks, then I’d say mission accomplished. The biggest changes to this list is the loss of consistency and recovery cards for Tri-Brigade, Drytron, and Prank-Kids. While this doesn’t effect the ceiling of these decks, it does make them less reliable which makes them weaker overall. Virtual World also gets better with Emergency Teleport going to 2, giving the deck another extender and making them more consistent. The Danger engine also slightly improves but requires quite a bit more before it’s likely to see play again. And lastly, Pendulums continue to gain cards back but also continue to be absent from the tournament tops.
Overall, the October 2021 list does an okay job of power-checking all the top tier decks. The biggest “winner” of this list is probably Drytron since nothing really changed in the deck. While I don’t expect this list to significantly change our meta, it does give mid-tier decks more fighting chances against the top-tier decks. It’s also worth mentioning that Crossout Designator is also on the horizon and may play a role in the construction of this list.
With all this being said, Konami is probably waiting until the meta starts to shift before making any significant changes. After all, the 2021 Mega-Tins and Burst of Destiny are around the corner and will definitely shake up our meta.