Why Were They Banned? Part 3: Spell Cards

Welcome back to the Yugioh Banlist article series. Hope you enjoyed the previous one on the banned Extra Deck monsters. For this article, we will be going over the banned Spell Cards on the list.

This section of the list contains a total of 29 cards as of July 2019, making it the second largest section. Unlike the Monster section, most of the cards in this section are actually very old.  The most recently-released card on the list is That Grass Looks Greener from Raging Tempest, released in February 2017.

Similar to the Monster Section, I will split up the cards into groups of similar cards, as it would facilitate discussion.

With this quick introduction out of the way, let’s get to the cards!

Cards that Change Hand Advantage

Spoiler alert: Konami banned a lot of these spell cards because they draw cards too easily. Compared to other games like Pokemon or Magic the Gathering, card advantage is extremely important to the game. Even just having the ability to draw 2 cards can turn the tide of the game strongly to one side or the other. For that reason, mostcards that allow you to draw cards or add one from deck to hand with relatively no cost are on the list in some way.

As If Special Summoning from the GY Weren’t Good Enough

Card of Safe Return (CoSR) is a Continuous Spell card that allows you to draw a card whenever you Special Summon a monster from the GY. This card is very old; Konami first released it in Labyrinth of Nightmare, back in 2003. However, due to how primitive the game was back them, almost no one actually used it in their decks.

The first meta-relevant deck that main-decked CoSR was the 2007 Zombie deck. The release of Zombie Master allowed the Zombie deck to become more powerful. By sending a monster from the hand to the GY, you can Special Summon a Zombie-type monster from the GY. Other cards like Book of Life and Premature Burial provided even more Special Summons from the GY.

In 2008, the TeleDaD and Lightsworn decks also utilized this card, since they also tended to Special Summon from the GY extensively.

Konami banned this card in the September 2009 list.

Can It Come Back?

Absolutely not. As the game has evolved from the 2009 cardpool, decks rely on the GY just as much as they rely on the Deck. Orcust and Salamangreat decks basically treat the GY as their “Second Hand”. This card would provide too much power to these decks, as well as any other future decks Konami might release.

Dumb Kids Playing Chicken On Freeway Get Smashed

Chicken Game is a Field Spell card with three effects that both players can use. As a continuous effect, the player with lower LP takes no damage. Then, the turn player can pay 1000 LP to either draw a card, destroy the Field Spell, or make the opponent gain 1000 LP. As an added bonus, neither player can activate any other cards in response to any of these effect activations (colloquially known as “Spell Speed 4”).

At first, it may seem relatively harmless. The card only allows you to draw one card, and you need to pay 1000 LP in order to do so. It is like some sort of backwards Upstart Goblin. What you need to realize, however, is that it is not a hard Once Per Turn effect. What this means is that you can activate another one, and use the effect again.

Terraforming was able to search it out, effectively giving you 6 copies of the card. Not only that, but people also ran Pseudo Space, which by banishing a Field Spell from the GY, copies its effect. This then gives you a grand total of 9 Chicken Games, making decks effectively be 31 cards.

This hyper consistency resulted in the Magical Explosion FTK. By looping Chicken Game over and over again, as well as other draw cards  you get to the point where you draw the two only traps in your deck. Life Equalizer and Magical Explosion are the two cards necessary for the FTK/OTK to work. Magical Explosion is a Trap Card that burns the opponent 200 LP for every Spell Card in your GY if you have no cards in hand. In order to overcome the obvious problem of needing 40 Spells in the GY, Life Equalizer was used. If the difference between LPs was 8000 or more, both players’ LP become 3000. This cuts down the requirement to just 15 Spells.

Konami banned Chicken Game on the April 2016 list.

Can It Come Back?

I believe that Chicken Game can come back, but only to 1. On the most current banlist, Terraforming and Metaverse both went to 1. That means that the most consistent ways to get the card on the field have been dealt with effectively.

Drawing a single card should not be that big a problem, just as long as we do not have more than 1 Chicken Game at a time. It’s also important to note that this card has been at 3 in OCG for quite some time alongside hits to field spell searchers identical to what we now have.

Dark World Dealings, but Better

Graceful Charity is a Normal Spell Card that allows you to draw 3 cards and then discard 2 from your hand.

This card is very well known in Goat Format. Players were able to gain a lot of advantage by digging deeper into their decks, and discarding Light/Dark monsters allowed for Chaos plays.

The most infamous deck that utilized Graceful Charity was Diamond Dude Turbo. With the release of Elemental HERO Stratos to only a few people, the deck was considered to be “Tier 0”. Nearly everyone who had access to this card was able to get within the Top 8 cut of nearly all events held in the three weeks before Konami limited Stratos.

By banishing Warriors from the GY with Divine Sword – Phoenix Blade, it was possible to fuel a possible OTK from Dimension Fusion. Graceful Charity facilitated the addition of Warriors to the GY for this to happen.

Konami first banned this card on the August 2004 banlist, before bringing it back twice more. March 2007 was the last time it was banned, and has stayed there since then.

Can It Come Back?

Of all the draw cards on this list, Graceful Charity likely will remain on the list until the end of time. As the game continues to evolve with new releases, decks are beginning to rely much more on the GY. Not only does this Spell allow you to go deeper into the deck, but it allows you to send cards to the GY for later use.

Mirages Not in the Desert?

Mirage of Nightmare is a Continuous Spell that, during the opponent’s Standby Phase, allows you to draw until you have 4 cards in hand. During your next Standby Phase after you use this effect, you randomly discard the same number of cards you drew.

This deck was popularly used in Chaos decks in February 2005. It allowed one to send more LIGHT/DARK monsters to the GY to fuel future plays during your turn.

Although Konami banned this card on the April 2005 list, it is likely that Chaos decks weren’t the only reason. The Dark World deck was released in the OCG in August. The monsters in this deck rely on being discarded to activate their effects. This ban by the TCG was likely future-proofing.

Can It Come Back?

As was the problem with the previous card, likely not. Most combo decks today can end turn on a big board, but usually will remain with no hand. Mirage of Nightmare will allows them to recoup some resources, and with how the metagame is, those cards they draw will likely be handtraps.

Even if no handtraps were drawn, decks today rely greatly on the GY. Thus, I feel it should not come back.

The Choice is Yours

Painful Choice is a Spell card that allows you to choose any 5 cards from your deck. Your opponent then chooses one of those cards for you to keep in your hand, and then you send the rest to the GY.

Similar to Mirage of Nightmare, this card was used in Chaos decks. During your turn, it was possible for you to choose any number of monsters, including LIGHT/DARK, and you would instantly have fodder to summon out your Chaos monsters.

Another deck that utilized this card was the Magical Scientist FTK. Painful Choice would be able to send Scientist or Catapult Turtle to the GY for you to summon it out from the GY.

Konami banned Painful Choice on the April 2005 list.

Can It Come Back?

Absolutely not. Like Graceful Charity, this card is able to guarantee combos for decks nowadays. Compared to decks in the past, players are relying greatly on their GY more than ever before. This allows players to get whatever pieces for their combos they want into the GY.

Can I Recycle My Cards?

Pot of Avarice is a Normal Spell card that allows you to shuffle 5 monsters from your GY, then draw 2 cards.

One of the few decks that utilized this card to further their combo was Wind-Ups. If they opened up Wind-Up Magician, Wind-Up Shark, and Avarice, they were able to hand loop the opponent for 5 cards easily. With just the two former cards, the normal combo was just able to loop out about 3 cards consistently. Pot of Avarice allowed extension to all 5 cards in the opponent’s hand.

Another deck that used this card very well was Mermails, back in February 2013. You were able to recycle your Atlantean Dragoons and other cards in order to guarantee future plays (assuming you didn’t OTK that turn).

Konami banned this card on the September 2013 banlist.

Can It Come Back?

This card is a bit interesting. In the OCG, it is currently at 3 in tournament play, yet not many decks seem to be using it. However, the TCG has something that the OCG does not: Danger! monsters. These cards allow the opponent to randomly discard a card from your hand after you reveal a Danger! monster. If the card wasn’t the Danger! monster you revealed, you can special summon it from the hand and draw a card.

All of the Danger! monsters also have effects that activate when they are discarded. The most popular deck that utilizes the Danger! engine is Thunder Dragons. If Pot of Avarice were to be back in the game, it would allow decks like this to recycle all of their resources for future plays, which is a big deal. Prior to the release of the Danger! archetype, Pot of Avarice would probably be fine at 1. As it is now, I do not see it coming back.

But What Does It Do?

Probably the most famous card on the list, Pot of Greed is a Normal Spell that has one of the shortest card texts in the game. It simply reads “Draw 2 cards.”

As I have mentioned before, other games see two cards as small fries compared to other cards. For example, Pokémon has a card called “Hau” that allows you to draw 3 cards. However, this is not the only other card that can do this, and in fact, there are other, more powerful cards. “Cynthia” allows you to shuffle your hand back into the deck, then draw 6 cards. Despite the fact that you can only use one of these types of cards per turn, Yugioh also has similar restrictions on its draw cards as well. You can only activate Pot of Desires once per turn, and that requires a banish cost. Sekka’s Light can only be activated once per turn if you have no S/T in the GY, and locks you out of using any other S/T in the duel.

Konami banned Pot of Greed on the September 2005 banlist.

Can It Come Back?

No. As I mentioned before, cards that draw from the deck for no cost are absolutely broken in this game. We are at the point in the game where two extra cards can mean the difference between losing the duel or winning it.

However, I will admit this: it would be hilarious to see it come back. Everyone and their mother would play it in every deck.

The Counter to Dragon Rulers

When the Dragon Rulers were released in the TCG, they decimated the metagame. No other deck was able to compare to its speed and ferocity. The only other deck at the time that was able to match the tempo of the deck was Judgment Spellbooks. Specifically, the card that allowed the deck to perform so well was Spellbook of Judgment.

During the End Phase, Judgment allows you to add “Spellbook” cards from the deck to the hand up to the number of other “Spellbook” spells cards you activated after this card. After this, you can Special Summon a Spellcaster monster with a level less than or equal to the number of cards added.

With a single card Spellbooks were, at times, able to gain up to a +6 in card advantage and have a Jowgen the Spiritualist on the field at the same time. Jowgen prevents Special Summons, and can destroy all monsters the opponent controls if you discard a card. This was the way that Spellbooks were able to counter Dragon Rulers, especially with cards like Spellbook of Fate and Spellbook of Wisdom to protect Jowgen.

Konami banned Spellbook of Judgment on the September 2013 banlist.

Can It Come Back?

I personally feel that this card cannot come back. Spellbooks are not as powerful as they were back then, but this card would promote a lockdown strategy, which many players strongly disliked.

During the End Phase, Let Me Draw 8 Cards

One of the main reasons that Dragon Rulers were so powerful back in the day was due to how easy it was for them to recur resources and utilize what was given. The Rulers themselves can Special Summon themselves from the Hand or the GY, have effects when banished, and return back to the Hand during the opponent’s End Phase. However, it was the other surrounding cards that truly pushed the deck to the limit.

Super Rejuvenation is one of the main ways that the deck gained much advantage. By using their Discard effects, it was possible to search for specific monsters, then draw the fodder you used during the End Phase to replenish the hand. Not only that, but you can stack multiple copies since it is a Quick-Play Spell. If you draw another Rejuvenation, you can activate it again and draw more cards.

Konami banned this card on the September 2013 list.

Can It Come Back?

At the moment, no. On the most recent banlist, Konami brought back one of the Dragon Rulers to one. This opens up an avenue for which Super Rejuvenation can be utilized effectively, albeit small. Other cards, like Cards of Consonance and  Trade-In also allow for discarding Dragon-type monsters.

Cards that Affect Opponents Hand Advantage

Unlike the previous cards on the list, this group of cards focuses on lessening the opponent’s options by directly affecting their hand count.

Since they all serve mostly the same purpose, I will group them together into one section.

No Cards for You!

Confiscation, Delinquent Duo, and The Forceful Sentry all have similar effects. All of them take cards out of the opponent’s hand in different ways, which will be outlined below.

Confiscation requires that you pay 1000 LP to activate it. After doing so, you can look at the opponent’s hand, then discard one card you choose.

Delinquent Duo, like the previous card, also requires a 1000 LP cost to activate. However, you are able to get rid of two cards from the opponent’s hand, one randomly and the other their choice. Although you do not get to choose a specific card, you get more cards out of the hand.

The Forceful Sentry unlike the previous two, requires no LP cost to activate. When activated, you can look at the opponent’s hand, choose a card, then shuffle it back into their deck.

All three of these cards, although similar, are actually very different in practice.

Confiscation and The Forceful Sentry seem to the the more degenerate of the trio. Although both only discard one card, what they provide is more damaging. Those two allow you to gain knowledge of the opponent’s hand, which would allow you to plan all of your future moves to perfectly counter it (better than Ultra Instinct).

Although Duo takes away two cards, the opponent is still able to play through it, since they did not reveal any information to you.

Konami banned Confiscation and The Forceful Sentry on the April 2005 banlist, and Delinquent Duo on the October 2005 banlist.

Can They Come Back?


Cards that take away hand advantage from the opponent with little to no cost, or very consistently, should not be in the game. This only promotes degenerate gameplay, especially since hand advantage is very important in the game of Yugioh.

Sentry and Confiscation cannot be in the game simply because they provide too much information for the player to use against their opponent. Delinquent Duo is also scary simply because of the chunk it can take out of the opponent’s hand.

Of the three, however, I feel that The Forceful Sentry will stay on the list the longest, since it has no cost whatsoever to use.

Cards that Are Used in Loops

Moving away from hand advantage modifiers, we move on to another big reason that cards are on the Forbidden List in the first place: loops.

This group of Spell Cards were utilized in some infinite loops and, although it may not be the only reason they were banned, it was a pretty good one.

If there is one thing the Yugioh game does not like, it is infinite (or long-winded) loops.

Infinite Draw Power

Butterfly Dagger – Elma is an Equip Spell that allows the equipped monster to gain a staggering 300 ATK. Although this effect seems insurmountable by 2003 standards, it was the second effect that made it ban-worthy.

If it is destroyed while equipped to a monster, you can return it to the hand. At first, you might think, “Cool. I get to punch over my opponent’s monsters with 300 more ATK.” Although true, you need to think bigger. If you find a way to destroy it continuously, you can activate it over and over again.

Enter Gearfried the Iron Knight. If any card is equipped to it, that card is immediately destroyed. Thus, you can infinitely loop Elma with this monster, since Gearfried will always destroy it.

Infinite Spell Card activations? Sounds like the perfect time to use Royal Magical Library.

If you haven’t guessed it, players used Elma in Exodia decks, or other decks that liked to draw a lot of cards. Elma’s loop with Gearfried resulted in infinite counters for RML, meaning infinite draws to get into Exodia.

Konami banned Elma on the April 2005 banlist.

Can It Come Back?

As it is now, no, it cannot. Cards that can loop with themselves, or with few cards, should not really be in the game; people will find ways to break them.

Although I have made a point to not argue with erratas, I will make an exception with this card. I think Elma can – and should – come back with a hard Once-Per-Turn restriction, if only so Guardian Elma can finally be Summoned normally.

Banished Monsters Aren’t Quite Out of Reach

Dimension Fusion is a Normal Spell card that allows you to Special Summon any number of Banished Monsters by paying 2000 LP.

This card was widely used in Airblade Turbo and the like. By banishing Warrior-type monsters from the GY using Divine Sword – Phoenix Blade, it was possible to have an OTK in a future turn due to the sheer amount of monsters you can summon.

However, I promised you an infinite loop with this card. Because you all asked so nicely, I’ll explain it.

Find a way to banish Dark Magician of Chaos (pre-errata). Normal Summon Cannon Soldier. Activate Spell Economics. Once this setup has been achieved, the only piece left is the Dimension Fusion. When you activate it, you can Special Summon the DMoC, then use its effect to add back the Dimension Fusion. Then, you tribute off DMoC with Cannon Soldier. Because DMoC gets banished when it leaves the field, you can loop the Dimension Fusion over and over again. Spell Economics makes it so you do not need to pay the 2000 LP cost every time.

Although this may not be the reason Konami banned the card, it sure made a good argument.

Konami banned it on the May 2008 banlist.

Can it Come Back?

No, it cannot. The game has evolved to the point where monsters get banished as part of combos. Dimension Fusion would only serve to recur those resources that are supposedly “lost” by being banished. Not to mention, Link Monsters would benefit greatly from this, especially for decks that focus on banished monsters (Orcusts and Thunder Dragons, to name a couple examples).

My Will and Testament

Last Will is a Normal Spell that allows you to special summon a monster with 1500 or less ATK from the deck during the turn a monster is sent from the field to the GY.

What is really strange about the card is that it is so vague in terms of the timing of the effect. You can Summon that monster at any point during the turn, based on the wording. Does that mean you can summon it in response to an opponent’s effect activation? Can you summon a monster during the Battle Phase? The End Phase? One likely reason that the card was banned is probably the ruling nightmares it caused due to the ambiguity of the effect. Just to clarify, all of this (except summoning as a chain link) was, in fact, legal, but the card explained so little.

One deck that utilized this card was the Magical Scientist FTK. After Tribute Summoning Catapult Turtle (pre-errata), you can use the effect of Last Will to summon Magical Scientist from the deck, and proceed to loop the opponent to death with the tribute-burn effect of Catapult Turtle.

Konami banned this card on the March 2007 banlist.

Can It Come Back?

As cool as this card is, it cannot come back at all. As I have mentioned in previous articles, cards that freely summon monsters from the deck are very broken in the game. In the middle of Link Summoning, you can get out another monster from basically free to help extend combos. Even though it may only summon a monster with 1500 or less ATK, many of those weak monsters have strong effects.

RIP Ronintoadin

If you recall my article on the Banned monsters, you will remember that I mentioned this next Spell Card with the Frog FTK.

Mass Driver is a Continuous Spell that allows you to tribute a monster you control to inflict 400 damage to the opponent. It may seem like slow damage (even Dark Snake Syndrome will have done more damage by turn 3), but the fact that it is not Once-Per-Turn broke it.

After looping through your deck with Substitoad, you should have anywhere between 20-25 Frog monsters in your GY, as well as 1 or 2 Ronintoadin. By banishing a Frog to summon a Ronintoadin, you had infinite fodder for the effect of Mass Driver. This FTK was so consistent, it won Worlds in 2010.

Konami banned Mass Driver on the March 2011 list, a bit after they killed off the FTK.

Can It Come Back?

I feel that this card should stay on the list on principle. All it does is promote degenerate strategies, and I’m pretty sure there exists a loop that can summon out a monster infinite times already. Even if it may not be consistent, the fact that it can be done at all is not good.

Mass Destruction

This next set of cards all share the idea of dealing with backrow in a general way. How they do it is different. Similar to the cards that affect opponent’s hand size, I will group this set together, as they are similar.

Hey, Vsauce! Michael Here. What Really are Set Spells and Traps?

Giant Trunade, Heavy Storm, and Harpie’s Feather Duster are all Normal Spells that deal with backrow. However, they do so in different ways.

Giant Trunade returns all S/T on the field to the hands of each player. Thus far, this is the most effective way to deal with S/T cards. Many S/T cards today have effects that trigger off of being destroyed by card effects (True King and Abyss Actor, for example). What this card does is it gets rid of any disruption the opponent may have, without triggering any destruction effects (this doesn’t stop them from chaining something to it, however). One use that this has that the other cards do not allow is for the reuse of Continuous S/T cards.

Feather Duster falls under the same category that Raigeki does. It destroys all S/T your opponent controls while leaving yours alone. This is pretty good, because it allows you to get rid of any disruptions while keeping your own in play. What is also great is that Harpie’s Feather Storm is able to search this out, so Harpie decks have a small boost with that.

Heavy Storm would be comparable to Dark Hole. It destroys all S/T on the field, no matter who controls them. Decks like True Draco would be able to utilize this card to help get rid of the Opponent’s problem cards (e.g. Monsters), and in general, it could help you deal with Floodgates you left behind but don’t need any longer.

Harpie’s Feather Duster was one of the first cards to be forbidden, making its appearance on the October 2004 banlist. Konami banned Giant Trunade on the September 2011 banlist, and Heavy Storm joined them on September 2013.

Can They Come Back?

Of the three, I feel that Feather Duster would be the only one to come off the list. Just like Raigeki, it helps the player deal with the opponent in one swift move. At the moment, it is legal for play in the OCG, and it does not seem to be that much of a problem. Most top decks today have ways of easily negating this effect.

Heavy Storm cannot return, simply because of the utility that it can help provide players. Giant Trunade would promote degenerate play, because it allows for the recycling of Continuous S/T cards, and in general would not be that healthy for the game.

However, I feel that in the future Heavy Storm might be able to come off. We will just have to see how the game evolves until then.

The Rank Up Magic Cards

Relatively new to the list, these cards have effects that allow you to summon Xyz monsters with higher ranks than the one you would target with their effect. However, despite this shared effect, Konami banned each card for different reasons.

No Yu-Gi-Oh For You!

Rank-Up-Magic Argent Chaos Force is a Normal Spell that allows you to target a Rank 5 or higher monster. Doing this allows you to Special Summon a “CXyz” or “Number C” that is 1 Rank higher than the monster you target. This summon is treated as an Xyz Summon. If any of you are a fan of summoning your “C” monsters, this is one of the cards to do it with.

The second effect is what allowed players to abuse Argent Chaos Force, however. If a Rank 5 or higher Xyz monster is summoned to your field, you can add this card from the GY to the hand. Beatrice, Lady of the Eternal allows you to send this card from the deck to the GY. Summoning out a Gaia Dragon, the Thunder Charger on top of the Beatrice allows you to add back the RUM, since you summoned the Rank 7 monster.

Where are we going with this?

On July 2016, Number S0: Utopic ZEXAL was released as a Jump Promo. This card can be summoned on top of a “Utopia” monster by discarding any normal RUM spell. Its summon cannot be negated, and the opponent cannot activate cards or effects in response to its summon. It gains 1000 ATK for each material attached to it, and during the opponent’s turn, you can detach a material; the opponent cannot activate cards or effects that turn.

The deck that was able to consistently bring out this monster was Pendulum Magicians, especially after the introduction of Heavymetalfoes Electrumite. This card allowed you to access the lvl 6 monsters you needed for the Beatrice, which kickstarted the combo. The fact that Pendulum decks were easily able to amass lvl 4 monsters for the Utopia made this strategy strong.

Konami banned the RUM on the May 2018 list.

Can It Come Back?

At the moment, likely not.  This card is freely able to recur itself from the GY relatively easily (even if it is once per duel), and would provide powerful monsters for basically free of cost, since you can use it multiple times per turn.

Not only that, but Utopic ZEXAL still exists in the game, so it would be a no-go for this card to come back without banning Utopic Zexal first.

The Phantom Knights’ Banned Launch

The Phantom Knights’ Rank-Up-Magic Launch is a Quick-Play Spell similar to the previous RUM. By targeting a DARK Xyz monster with no materials, it allows you to Special Summon another DARK Xyz monster that is 1 Rank higher. While in the GY, you can banish it to attach a “Phantom Knights” monster from your hand to a DARK Xyz monster.

Prior to the advent of the Link era, this card helped PK players summon a Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon on top of their The Phantom Knights of Break Sword. This would allows them to do more damage after having dealt with problems.

It wasn’t until the release of The Phantom Knights of Rusty Bardiche that this card became a problem. Bardiche is a DARK LINK-3 monster that requires at least 2 DARK monsters to summon.

Orcusts just so happen to be able to bring out enough DARK monsters to summon Bardiche with their normal combo. However, instead of setting the Phantom Knights’ Fog Blade off Bardiche’s effect, you would set either the RUM or The Phantom Knights of Shade Brigandine. All this would allow you to summon out a DARK Rank 4 Xyz that can lose all its materials, usually Evilswarm Thanatos or Time Thief Redoer.

Doing this allows you to summon Outer Entity Azathot during the opponent’s turn, locking them out of any monster effects. The release of Dingirsu, the Orcust of the Evening Star in DANE allowed this combo to end on True King of All Calamities as well.

Konami banned this card on the April 2019 banlist.

Can It Come Back?

For now, I am leaning on a maybe. Although this card was really broken in terms of usage, the card that enabled its degeneracy has now been banned: Bardiche. Now, there really isn’t an easy way to search out this card, so I feel it can come back again.

The Spell Grab Bag

For this last section, I will just talk about the rest of the Spells not mentioned in the other sections. There really isn’t a relevant way I can group them together, so I will just go trough them alphabetically.

This is Now My Monster

Change of Heart is a Normal Spell that allows you to take control of a monster that your opponent controls until the end phase. This is very similar to another card: Mind Control. The difference between the two cards, however, is actually quite large.

Mind Control allows you to take control of an opponent’s monster, but you cannot Tribute it or Attack with it. Change of Heart has no restrictions on it whatsoever. Thus, you can take control of a strong monster, do damage with it, then use it to summon something out yourself.

Many Chaos decks utilized Change of Heart in their decks, because it allowed them to easily summon out their Monarchs or Airknight Parshath.

Konami banned this card on the April 2005 banlist.

Can It Come Back?

As it is, probably not. We already have Mind Control, which I think was meant to be a replacement for it. Change of Heart is a bit too powerful because it allows you to freely use the opponent’s monster for whatever you want. Because of this lack of restrictions, I think it would be best for this card to remain on the list.

The New Ice Age

Cold Wave is a Normal Spell that can only be activated at the start of your Main Phase 1. When activated, neither player can activate or Set any S/T cards until the start of your next turn.

Immediately, you can see how detrimental this card would be to the game. With how important S/T cards are to decks nowadays, completely locking out nearly 2/3 of the cardpool with a single Spell will give most decks trouble. Depending on the matchup, Cold Wave can outright win the game.

Konami banned this card on the March 2011 banlist.

Can It Come Back?

Absolutely not. As I just mentioned, cards that can completely lock out a player from playing a type of card is unhealthy for the game. But a card that can get rid of 2/3 of most decks in one fell swoop? That is even worse.

For now, we will just need to chain Mystical Refpanel to Cold Feet. This makes it so your opponent is hit by those restrictions instead of yourself.

Mystic Mine? Back in My Day…

Kaiser Colosseum is a Continuous Spell card that, while active, prevents the opponent from controlling more monsters that the controller of this card. Thus, if you have 1 monster on the field, the opponent cannot have more than 1 monster at any time.

The quintessential deck that utilized this card was Bujins. Usually, they only needed to have a Bujin Yamato on the field, and the deck tried its best to protect it with the rest of the Bujin monsters. Kaiser Colosseum limited the opponent’s answers.

After Bujins were powercrept, the other deck that utilized it well was Kozmo. The “Pilots” would be able to tag out into the “ships” during the opponent’s turn, making it so that only one monster at a time was needed.

This card created many ruling nightmares due to different interactions with cards like Monster Reborn, Mind Control, Scapegoat, and many more. Konami banned this card on the August 2016 banlist.

Can It Come Back?

Most likely not. At the moment, players have grown sick and tired of a similar card released recently: Mystic Mine.

Having another floodgate that is similar to this would only anger players, because having to deal with Mine is stressful enough. Even if you can argue that we have backrow removal, that does not remove the problem that these types of cards promote.

Tribute Sinister Serpent, Summon Thousand-Eyes Restrict

Metamorphosis is a Normal Spell that allows you to Tribute a monster to Special Summon a Fusion Monster of the same level from the Extra Deck.

As I alluded to above, the deck best known for using this card was Goat Control. By tributing monsters like Magician of Faith, Sinister Serpent, or Airknight Parshath, it was possible to summon Thousand-Eyes Restrict or Reaper on the Nightmare to control the opponent. Scapegoat was also a very popular method of creating Metamorphosis fodder, hence the name “Goat” control.

Konami banned this card on the September 2007 banlist.

Can It Come Back?

As cool and interesting as this card is, it cannot return. Fusion Monsters have become better as time passed; to easily bring them out would hurt the game more than it would help.

As an example, this card can help summon out a Blaze Fenix, the Burning Bombardment Bird relatively easily. All it requires is a lvl 8 monster, which some decks can easily bring out. I’m pretty sure people will figure out a burn loop with this card.

Infinite Monster Reborn

Premature Burial is an Equip Spell that allows you to Special Summon a monster from your GY by paying 800 LP. This is similar to Autonomous Action Unit, which allows you to summon a monster from the opponent’s GY for a 1500 LP cost.

Although widely used in decks like Goat Control, this card was also very widely used in Gladiator Beasts to help bring back materials or put more damage on board.

However, there was a specific interaction with this card that made it good. Unlike other cards such as Call of the Haunted, if this card leaves the field by other methods instead of destruction, the monster stays on the field. Thus, it was possible to bounce it back to the hand by an effect like Dewloren, Tiger King of the Ice Barrier and reuse it.

Konami banned it on the September 2008 banlist.

Can It Come Back?

Probably not. HERO or other Warrior-type decks run Equip Spells for Isolde, Twin Tales of the Noble Knights. This would be an obvious inclusion in those decks; even drawn, it still has a lot of usage. Not only that, but the fact that it can potentially serve as multiple copies of Monster Reborn limit the return of the card.

It is for this reason that I feel it should stay on the banlist.

You Made This? I Made This.

Snatch Steal is another Equip Spell that allows you to take control of an opponent’s monster. During their Standby Phase, they gain 1000 LP.

This card is hilarious, because it allows you to freely take control of a monster your opponent might’ve wasted a lot to get into. It was also used in Goat decks to help get rid of big fields. If you take control of the opponent’s Restrict, it was possible to use its effect to equip one of their monsters onto it, then you can Tribute Summon a Jinzo or Parshath on top of it.

Konami banned it on the September 2007 banlist.

And then for some reason, they brought it back to 1 on the January 2015 list.

Immediately, the metagame of that time went crazy because people started stealing Unicores and Constructs left and right. Seeing their mistake, Konami banned it on the April 2015 list.

Can It Come Back?

Most likely not. As I was discussing above, this card would be ran because it provides a lot of utility. Not only that, but it is better than Mind Control or Change or Heart, simply because the control change is permanent. Having your opponent gain 1000 LP during their turn means absolutely nothing if you can kill them.

Dark Hole? Let Me Get Everything Back.

Soul Charge is a Normal Spell that allows you to Special Summon any number of monsters from your GY at once. If you do so, you lose 1000 LP for each monster summoned. If you activate this spell, you cannot conduct your Battle Phase that turn.

Immediately, anyone can tell that this card is absolutely bonkers. Being able to freely summon any number of monsters from the GY is big when it comes to Yu-Gi-Oh. If you were behind, you can immediately recur all of your lost advantage with one card. In the middle of a combo? Get more pieces from the GY. The number of uses this card had were basically endless.

Sylvans got a very large boost from this card; it allowed them to end turns on multiple negates. The most recent deck that used this card was the Gouki Extra Link. If, in the middle of the combo, you mess up somehow and do not have the full Extra-Link, you can just get more Link materials from the GY. Had your board outed by the opponent? Just summon everything back.

After much time on the Limited section, Konami finally banned it on the January 2019 list.

Can It Come Back?

Absolutely not. This card, like a few others, can single-handedly win you games. It has so much utility, simply because it allows you to get back resources for relatively little. Having to pay LP means absolutely nothing if you win the game anyway, even with the new Time rules.

I’ll admit, I miss ending turns with three Flower Cardian Lightshowers for my opponent to deal with.

Cards Left in Deck?

That Grass Looks Greener is a Normal Spell that is unique in more than one way. By a design perspective, it is hilarious, because for what seems to be the first time, deck size directly affected its effect. If you have more cards in your deck than your opponent, you mill cards until you both have the same number. Thus, if you go first, your opponent has 40 cards, and you have 60 cards, it was possible to immediately get 20 cards into your GY for no cost.

It is this design that made this card have another unique factor. It can arguably be the Spell Card that has had the greatest effect on player mentality in the history of Yugioh. Prior to this card’s release, the optimal deck count of most, if not all, decks was 40 cards. This maximizes consistency while limiting other “tech” options. While this card was in the game, it was a disadvantage to have 20 less cards than your opponent. Soon many players began to play 60 cards, not because they had many engines in the deck, but to specifically counter these “Grass” decks.

Lightsworn and Infernoids were the two most popular decks that utilized this card, even running searchers like Left Arm Offering to get to it. It was very common to see 60-Card Dinosaur Zombie Lightsworn Plant conglomerations in the metagame.

Konami banned it on the May 2018 banlist.

Can It Come Back?

As much as I like this card, I do not feel that it should come back. It gives certain decks too much of an advantage, an in order to overcome this advantage, many players will likely need to increase their deck count in order to combat this. This kind of impact on the game fundamentally warps the entire meta around a single card in potentially unhealthy ways.


Well, we have now reached the end of the Spell Cards. After this, all we have left is the banned Trap cards.
Hopefully we don’t get a random emergency banlist between now and then.

Latest posts by todash19 (see all)


YGOPRODeck Writer.

One thought on “Why Were They Banned? Part 3: Spell Cards

  • August 4, 2019 at 5:58 pm



    I think Premature Burial can come back. It just probably needs a errata a bit. Like make it like Call of the Haunted’s effect.

To post a comment, please login or register a new account.