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Whenever a new banlist is about to drop, players are quick to point fingers at the most unfair cards in the game. Despite the cancellation of most events in real life, we’ve been able to get a good picture of the meta through online ones.
The TCG anxiously waited many years for the release of Crystron Halqifibrax. However, I’m sure most would wish for it to remain a Japan-exclusive if they knew the influence this card would have. Even with preemptive hits obviously meant to curb its influence, the card still warped the game around it.
Jet Synchron‘s biggest strength is being a one-card Halqifibrax, who’s searchable with Tuning. By just NS’ing Jet Synchron one can end on Borreload Savage Dragon and Herald of the Arc Light. Of course, people’s attention turned to it, with it being the best legal Halqifibrax enabler.
If that didn’t sound strong enough, this combo’s ceiling scales with how many Extra Deck slots you can dedicate to it. With a bigger investment, one can get a True King of All Calamities and three draws as a return. These are also just its uses as a Normal Summon though. Jet Synchron is also one of the best extenders to get with Halqifibrax too, should you bring it out through another way.
Mecha Phantom Beast O-Lion
The other key parts of the combo which leads to so much value out of a single NS are also new cards. Namely Linkross and Mecha Phantom Beast Auroradon. Which leads us to our next possible banlist target: Mecha Phantom Beast O-Lion. It can be brought out from the deck with either Auroradon or Halqifibrax. Blackwing – Steam The Cloak boasts a similar effect and got banned before it could cause trouble.
Even if they aren’t the main problem cards, a hit to either would slow down those powerful one-card combos. Banning O-Lion would at least put a definitive end to Auroradon degeneracy.
However, there’s a bigger problem surrounding Jet Synchron. Even if it is the easiest way to make Halqifibrax with few resources, there are still other options. Souleating Oviraptor, Deskbot 003, Righty Driver will all make the dreaded Link 2 using only your Normal Summon.
If Konami really does decide to crack down on Halqifibrax enablers, there won’t be a shortage of tuners that SS themselves to put on the banlist. In a similar situation to Firewall Dragon‘s fiasco we might see many innocent cards paying for Halqifibrax’s sins.
The banning of any of those cards would dent Halqifibrax, but not stop him from seeing play entirely. There are still many possible targets, even if they are more niche. Re-Cover and Plaguespreader Zombie would likely begin seeing play. Even if all of those were to get hit, getting a free body out of an easily summonable Link 2 is more than good enough.
Every type wishes it had a monster like this. Easy Special Summoning condition, floats, huge body, protection… For a long time it was a testament to how bad rocks were overall. With the release of Secret Slayers, this card evolved much past what it used to be. It quickly became a central part of the Adamancipator deck.
The Onomatopaira and Unexpected Dai engine alike serve this same purpose: Bringing out a Rank 4. Unsurprisingly, every single Adamancipator rock out there is on one of those. The deck’s first few plays always aim to turbo out Gallant Granite to search their best searcher, Block Dragon. If that gets disrupted, there’s always the contingency option of using Union Carrier too.
Adamancipator Researcher, Adamancipator Seeker, Gigantes, Weeping Idol… The list goes on, one thing it doesn’t lack is targets. The search is almost completely unrestricted. It’s also often used in conjunction with I:P Masquerena. As if searching three cards wasn’t good enough, you can do it on your opponent’s turn as well.
Dragon Buster Destruction Sword
Back to discussing old cards made retroactively broken through new support. Dragon Buster Destruction Sword is a very powerful floodgate belonging to the Buster Blader archetype. A permanent Artifact Scythe wasn’t nearly enough to even make them rogue though.
However, with the previously mentioned Union Carrier, it enables any deck with a Dark Monster in its end board to make use of it. The two best abusers currently in the game being Adamancipators and Orcust. The rock archetype usually equips it to the already threatening Borreload Savage. To make matters worse, it’s combined with Abyss Dweller to make a Dark Ruler No More resistant board. In Orcust, the lock is made even more resilient by protecting the equipped Destruction Sword with Orcust Dingirisu.
Dark is still one of the more abundant types in game, and Union Carrier‘s materials might as well be generic. Union Carrier is obviously the problem card here, the card even has further applicability as a pseudo-Foolish Burial. But it’s most impacful options are currently Block Dragon and Destruction Sword. The card would probably be fine on its own, at least until other broken interactions came into the spotlight.
Aleister The Invoker and his entourage were cards that were much complained about after the start of MR5. The splash-ability of this engine was raised even further after it became unrestricted by the Extra Monster Zone. Even though Jet Synchron would probably net you more interruptions for your Normal Summon, Aleister is still a very versatile option.
Invoked Mechaba provides an easy and powerful negation-and-banish. While Invoked Purgatrio is a board-clearer and OTK enabler. All while being able to recycle itself with Invocation. What better testament is there to this engine’s strength than how it still sees play even when Jet Synchron combos are legal?
It’s important to note how Aleister doesn’t warrant the same banlist response as its peers in this article. It’s a great option for decks that don’t need their Normal Summon, but not inherently broken. The limiting of Magical Meltdown could reduce the engine’s consistency enough to the point where it wouldn’t problem. Invoked Mechaba to 1 could also have a similar effect by hitting their longevity instead.
The release of Secret Slayers and Duel Overload has brought some amazing new tools for decks to use and abuse. Without a doubt, the likes of Crystron Halqifibrax, Linkross, Auroradon and others will see themselves on the banlist in the future. But at this point in time we can be sure others will take the brunt instead.
In a somewhat more pessimistic note, there’s always the chance Konami wouldn’t even acknowledge online tournaments. The CCG, PPG, and others have given us valuable insight into what the meta would look like in real life. But their results might not be as valid for the banlist to Konami as it is to the community. Even so, we cannot do anything but hope that the problem cards will get hit. And with some luck that’ll be enough to improve the current meta.