Apparently Felidar Guardian x Saheeli Rai is no longer canon (April 24th Banlist Addendum)

Wizards of the Coast literally 2 days after the initial ban and limited list has added Felidar Guardian to its standard ban list.


I agree fully with this ban (long diatribe about the combo preventing diversity and linking it to the old Splinter Twin combo). The only issue is that this entire situation makes the WoC game devs seem bad at their jobs. If they were considering banning Felidar Guardian, there was no reason to wait 2 days after the normal ban announcement. This whole situation was likely just a reaction to the negative publicity surrounding them NOT banning Felidar Guardian in the first place. It also made me have to post two days in a row on the same topic (those fiends).


Anyway, thanks for reading as always. Standard most likely saved now… hopefully…


The Ruin of Magic the Gathering Standard (April 24th Banned/Limited List Reaction)

So yesterday WoC released their Banned and Limited announcement for Amonkhet (the most recent set). You can see the rationales here though I’ll summarize what happened quickly.


Nothing has been banned in Standard. The format has been dominated recently by the Saheeli Rai/Felidar Guardian combo and Mardu Vehicles using Heart of Kiran/Gideon, Ally of Zendikar.


As you can see here from mtggoldfish metagame breakdown these decks represent over 50% of the Standard meta. This is unhealthy for the format and stifling for innovation and new deck design. While WoC seems to claim Amonkhet will provide the answers  to combat these decks, many players remain skeptical (myself included). We will have to wait for the Pro-Tour to see if these decks remain dominant. At that time we may finally see a ban if necessary.

I apologize for the lack of entries this month, college has been rough.


Thanks for reading as usual.

Yugioh April 1st 2017 TCG Banlist Reaction: Is Zoodiac PePe 2.0?

Tfw you try to get your guest writers to do this post for you, but then they’re all busy so you gotta do it yourself.

Anyway, the TCG FINALLY after almost a 6 months got its new banlist. Heads rolled, money was lost, people cried and once again we were forced to bow before the tyrant Komeny.

As you’ve likely already seen and heard opinions about it, let me add my own thoughts to the discussion table:


Majespecter Unicorn – Kirin: And so ends the rain of terror of the one of the best Pendulum monsters ever printed. To be fair, I think Kirin had passed his prime. He used to be a key card in Magician decks, but of late Kirin has only seen play in Metalfoes decks. Despite his lack of current play Kirin was stil a powerful card, that

  • Stunts most removal
  • Lets you reuse pendulum monster effects after bouncing them (See SkullCrobatJoker)
  • Disrupts the opponent
  • Is terrible in its own archetype…
  • Can be Pendulum-summoned back if Kaiju’d
  • Protects itself innately…


You know what…

Screw this card, good riddance. RIP Bunbuku though

The Tyrant Neptune: This card is part of an FTK combo with the Lyrical Luscina fusion monster. It’s interesting that the TCG preemptively banned it, but it’s not that surprising given how much Konami hates FTKs.

Vanity’s Emptiness: Best thing to ever happen. This card has stolen games, caused salt and been relevant for way too long. It’s generally the last piece to any unbreakable board (because don’t let the memes fool you, almost nobody actually plays Ra Sphere Mode). I am very glad to see it go.


Maxx “C”: Whelp I will say that this is a reasonable hit. Maxx C in this day and age has become one of the most powerful cards to open with. If you have an established board plus Maxx C your opponent basically has 2 options:

  • Kill you through Maxx “C”/Take the Maxx “C” Challenge (which seldom works)
  • Pass their turn and die

I will miss this card. There was a time when Maxx “C” was a counter to unfair special summon spam decks, but now its just another card to provide an unfair card advantage while preventing plays. That being said limiting Maxx “C” to 1, just makes it infinitely sackier if you actually open it. I could see it getting banned some day.

Rescue Cat*: Rescue Cat has been errata’d to be once per turn and to negate the effects of the monsters that it summons. This still reads essentially as a 1-card xyz or synchro (as there are a billion beasts that it can summon at this point). Whether or not that’s broken still remains a question.

Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier*: Brionac is now once per turn. Once again if this is broken or not I don’t know.

Brain Control*: Brain Control with its errata to only take monsters that can be normal summoned is terrible. It won’t see any play and will likely go to 3 in no time.

Future Fusion*: This card can mill all of the Infernoids in the user’s deck to the graveyard..

It’s been errata’d to not send until the following turn, but its ceiling is still too high. It will be banned again eventually (I think so at least).

Imperial Order*: Oh boy no more spell cards. Sure you have to pay the 700 life on both standby phases and you can’t turn it off manually, but it’s still an overpowered effect. I see it being re-banned or at the least getting Anti-Spell Fragrance limited to curb spell hate down the road. Actually maybe that’s wishful thinking since once pendulums dies, anti-spell dies with them. Speaking of Pendulums…



Wisdom-Eye Magician: Thank goodness they’re giving Pendulums support before nerfing them to death in Link Format. This won’t do anything except maybe help sell the last pendulum set they’re releasing. I doubt that will happen though.

Zoodiac Ratpier:


Really? This quick?

So you basically can’t build the best deck in yugioh anymore huh? This isn’t as bad as the adjusted ban list, BUT let’s see here.

Perhaps no deck in Yugioh can remain tier 1 (or 0). That being said it’s pretty clear that no deck can be tier 0 for very long these days.

Interrupted Kaiju Slumber:

  • Conceptually one of the strongest cards ever printed (Dark Hole that summons a 3300 beater and can search more Kaiju)
  • Surprising that we would get this hit so soon (It was just hit in OCG)
  • Reasonable since everyone is more or less siding Kaijus to combat established boards.



Sangan*: Errata makes it unplayable. I guess it can finally search Tour Guide again though (long live the power couple)


So all in all, I have but one thing to say about this list…


Norden confirmed as the new Dante

Dodges the ban list yet again…

Thanks for reading as always.

When Zoodiac Finally Dies (Yugioh in the Promise Land) OCG April 1st Banlist Reaction

In hindsight, what if this banlist was all an elaborate joke to fool Yugioh players? I mean an April 1st banlist, that’s just inviting trolling. Anyway, let’s react and stuff:

You can view the list here (though I’ll list all the changes below anyway)

Oh before we get started remember that the OCG is almost 2 formats and multiple packs ahead of us. We won’t see a banlist like this until likely the Winter of this year.



The Tyrant Neptune (Unlimited to Forbidden): This card was being used in an FTK combo with Lyrical Luscina Independent Nightingale. Konami hates FTKs (especially burn FTKs). It’s easy to see why this card got banned.

Zoodiac Drident (Unlimited to Forbidden): The first hit to tilt all viewers is the banning of the Zoodiac boss monster. This has killed the deck’s top end threat. Without Drident, the deck can no longer effectively react on the opponent’s turn.

Zoodiac Barrage (Unlimited to Forbidden): So this was the card I think deserved to get hit. Zoodiac Barrage essentially gave you access to 6 copies of Ratpier. Since that little bugger is a 1-card combo to swarm the board this needed to be stopped. Furthermore, virtually all of the Zoo variants abused Barrage’s destruction effect in a manner not originally intended (one would hope). Barrage also allowed you to keep going after your normal summon or first special summon was disrupted. All in all it was the most infuriating in the Zoodiac deck, which I fully support being banned.


Witch of the Black Forest (Forbidden to Limited, Text Change): We don’t know what the errata is, but it’s likely the exact same as Sangan. That much beloved furball is at 3 in OCG and no one plays him. We can assume Witch will share the same fate.

Zoodiac Ratpier (Unlimited to Limited): Now this was unfair. Without Ratpier, Zoodiac goes from being a consistent, powerful deck to a bizarre entourage of fringe use trash monsters. I mean Throughblade and Whiptail are good, but they don’t come close to what Ratpier does. Now to be fair, I think limiting Ratpier was completely reasonable. It’s just that its limitation alongside banning Barrage/Drident is just incredible overkill.

Blackwing – Gofu the Vague Shadow (Unlimited to Limited): It’s been a long time since a Blackwing graced the banlist. After watching a few link summoning combo videos online I can safely say that Gofu is more broken than ever perform. Thank goodness they limited it.

Interrupted Kaiju Slumber (Unlimited to Limited): From a card design standpoint Kaiju Slumber is absurd. It takes the one of the best cards in the game (Dark Hole) and essentially adds get a 3300 attacker. The fact that you have to summon a weaker Kaiju to your opponent’s field generally doesn’t matter since you just theoretically wiped their board. To play devil’s advocate for a minute, like with Brilliant Fusion Kaiju slumber forces you to play multiple non-synergistic cards. If you open multiple Kaiju, even if you summon both to the field the kaiju slumbers in your deck become dead. However, even with that Kaiju are a polarizing subject in Yugioh. Many (like myself) believe they’re a godsend preventing unbreakable boards, while others think they’re ruining the game. Anyway, Kaiju Slumber is still dumb and it’s being banned is reasonable.


Elemental HERO Stratos (Limited to Semi-Limited): We’ll never have Stratos free. If you think he will be, you’re lying to yourself.

Armageddon Knight (Limited to Semi-Limited): It’s a good card. It’s a combo piece. I’m sure there are ways to break it, but Dark Synchro is probably dead in Link format (I’d assume).

Fairy Tail – Snow (Unlimited to Semi-Limited): This card is broken. With this card limited, it pretty much nerfs Lawnmowing/Lightsworn decks. Snow is very powerful as it provides both disruption and a body. Try killing your opponent through a Fairy Tale Snow… try even making a board through a Fairy Tale Snow. Good hit Konami.

Goyo Guardian (Limited to Semi-Limited): Who cares… Literally who cares…

Ignister Prominence, the Blasting Dracoslayer (Limited to Semi-Limited): This card is powerful, but Pendulums are dead now so it doesn’t matter.

Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier (Limited to Semi-Limited): It’s a good day to get back this iconic card with an errata that doesn’t make it unplayable.

Fire Formation – Tenki (Limited to Semi-Limited): It’s ok, killing Zoodiac had to come  with killing Yosenju, Fire Fist and literally all other Beast-Warrior decks.

Brain Control (Limited to Semi-Limited): With the errata, it’s unplayable.


Artifact Moralltach (Semi-Limited to Unlimited): Bring back this mans in TCG, he’s no longer broken. Artifacts are literally just him, Scythe and maybe Lancia. I don’t even think it’ll see play at 3.

Magician of Faith (Semi-Limited to Unlimited): We all love her, we’ll all never play her. Nuff said.

D/D Lamia (Semi-Limited to Unlimited): I guess D/D/D had to be freed? I don’t think this matters, but I guess it’s here.


And that’s the list. I feel bad for Zoodiac. The deck is totally dead after being tier 1 for months. Like Dragon Rulers, Nekroz and Burning Abyss it’s going to fade into Yugioh history.

Zoo Prison smol

Thanks for reading as usual.

A Few Comments Regarding the Upcoming Changes to the Yu-Gi-Oh! OCG (What does Link Summoning mean for the game?)

Starter Deck 2017 is scheduled to be released in the Yu-Gi-Oh! Official Card Game on March 25, 2017. Along with new cards that will be featured in the upcoming Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS anime, the release of Starter Deck 2017 introduces changes to the rules of the game as well as the introduction of a new Summoning type, Link Summon.

For many, what has just been stated is old news, and the introduction of the new rule changes have been met with mixed feelings from players. However, I will attempt to briefly address some of the ways the changes to the rules and the new Summoning method will affect game mechanics as well as mention some things we need to keep in mind when moving forward with the new rules.

I will be going forward with the assumption that you have at least heard about these changes to some degree, if you have not, please refer to this external source for a light catch-up:

I will begin with the concept of “Extra Deck Monsters”. In order to help with adjusting to the new rules, I encourage you to think of monsters not as “Extra Deck Monsters” but as “monsters Summoned from the Extra Deck” and “monsters not Summoned from the Extra Deck”. Monsters Summoned from the Extra Deck must go into either the Extra Zone or a Main Monster Zone Linked to a Link Monster. Monsters Summoned from the Hand, Main Deck, Graveyard, or from being banished would be Summoned to any Main Monster Zone. It is permissible to Summon any monster into a Linked Main Monster Zone, not just monsters summoned from the Extra Deck.

This does raise the question of how the Returning a banished monster to the field would work. For example: if I have a PSY-Framelord Omega which was Summoned from the Extra Deck and I use its effect which would involve banishing itself, could I place it in a Main Monster Zone that is not Linked? Official clarification would be required to answer this question, but my guess based on my understanding of how Returning a banished card works, is that the process of Returning seeks to preserve the game state as much as possible, therefore the Return of a monster Special Summoned from the Extra Deck must be to a Zone that it would be able to occupy based on the rules of the game. Therefore, if no available Extra Monster Zone or Linked Main Monster Zone exists for the PSY-Framelord Omega from the above-mentioned scenario is available; I would conjecture that the correct action would be that PSY-Framelord Omega would then be sent to the Graveyard, and not placed in a Main Monster Zone that is not Linked.

With the introduction of Link Summoning, every single one of your monsters will count, even after they have been used as Link Summoning Material. Remember that Link Monsters can also be used as Link Summoning Material, and the indicated Link value of a monster also indicates how it can be used toward the Link Summon of another Link Monster. Keep the directional arrows that indicate which zones will be Linked by your Link Monsters in mind as each of those will play a part into how you can Link other Main Monster Zones. Link Monsters Summoned from the Graveyard into Main Monster Zones will still Link the Main Monster Zones which their arrows point to. So take advantage of cards that Special Summon monsters from the Graveyard, such as Soul Charge, and Link your Main Monster Zones so that you can utilize Fusion, Synchro, Xyz, and other Link Monsters.

Take advantage of cards that allow you to summon multiple monsters at once, such as Brilliant Fusion, Zoodiac Barrage, and Blackwing – Gofu the Vague Shadow, in order to bring out Link Monsters as fast as possible.  Cards such as Ground Collapse or Zany Zebra may have an interesting role to play when it comes to impeding additional Summons from the Extra Deck. Cards like Dimensional Barrier and Artifact Scythe will also be very strong as we can certainly expect Synchro, Xyz, and Fusion Summoning to become intermediate steps to Summoning the first Link Monster for any game.

I certainly have not touched on every possible scenario that can happen with these new rules, but that’s where a lot of potential lies. Think about the cards that exist and consider how they will change their roles once the new rules come into effect for the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG, and enjoy! After all, the theme of Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS is “Take a step forward, and try!”

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments, and I will do my best to respond.


Submitted by a friend.

Is it expensive to play Meta? (In Yugioh)

Disclaimer: Submitted by a friend referring to a regional BEFORE Zoodiac was released. I think the story holds true even more so now.


Once again, Yugioh players await the release of a new pack that completely redefines the meta as we know it. And once again, the rarity of the cards for that particular archetype are among the hardest to obtain, and priced the highest on preorders. For a deck that already mandates a minimum investment of $400 of cards both in the main and extra deck, the recent revelation that 3 of the core cards in Zoodiacs are secret rare certainly do not offer much resolve to those looking to play the deck, myself included. The deck has shown extreme success in the OCG, a likely precursor to what will happen in the TCG. Unless Konami issues an emergency banlist, similar to what they did during PePe (Performapal Pendulums), the cards will likely maintain their $50+ value and the deck cost will sit at around $600-800. For anyone, this is an enormous sum of money to put aside for one deck, especially when metalfoes and ABCs cost as little as $200-300 to build. Although it is, there are definitely ways to minimize the initial investment and still have decent success. You can still play meta, at a discounted price, as long as you are willing to accept that you will lose some matches because you don’t have the expensive cards to win.


Personal Example 1: Philadelphia Regional with Metalfoes (No desires, no barriers, no strikes).


I played Philadelphia Regional with a Metalfoes list as seen below. Granted I borrowed most of the deck (Thank you to player who loaned me the cards), I was able to be successful (initially) without pot of desires, dimensional barrier, or solemn strike in my decklist. By the end of round 5, I was undefeated with a record of 5-0 against 1 Brilliant ABC and 4 mirror matches. Although every single one of my opponents activated pot of desires at least twice during each match, I was still able to edge out my opponent because of my conservation of resources and deep knowledge of my deck. Despite them generally having +1 or +2 advantage due to desires, or stopping me for an entire turn with strike/dbarrier, I was able to play around it. I instead played a very Orichalc/Mithrilium/Alkahest turbo version, which utilized my monsters as traps in place of dbarrier and strike. There were plenty of times where I would have won sooner if a summoner’s art was a strike/barrier/desires instead, but I was still able to make it work. At least until the later rounds.


Rounds 6-9 were an absolute nightmare. Round 6 was against an extremely rude mermail frog player who attempted to blatantly cheat me on 4 separate occasions. Game 1 he opened double toad moulinglacia (ban soul charge pls) so I scooped before he could see what I was playing. Game 2 I bricked and he opened with gaios, the equip spell that negates spell cards, and moulinglacia. He tried to attack for game with moulinglacia, but I reminded him gaios had xyz material attached to him and he couldn’t win that turn (despite saying he played the deck for years and is the best mermail player ever). He then tried to use swap frogs bounce effect twice in one turn, and tried to scoop my cards for me when he tried to attack with gaios for game when I had bounced moulinglacia the previous turn, rendering him unable to conduct his battle phase. In the end, I grinded enough to make Vermilion with gofu and cleared his board to put him at 4k life. He topdeck’d soul charge and trish’d me, but I drew eccentric and was able to pop his trish and swing for game. In this case, the presence of strikes and barriers didn’t matter, but desires certainly would have helped me come back game 2 quicker and not get sucked into time, leaving the match in a draw.


Rounds 7-9  truly proved the power of expensive staples. Round 7 my opponent outgrinded me in the mirror because he could desires twice to gain more advantage than I could, and Round 8 my opponent had barrier and strike, calling fusion and then striking my pendulum summon in my last attempt to make a play. Had he been playing any other card, I would have been able to steal it from him. However, the true power of these staples spoke for themselves, and I couldn’t win.

Round 9 my opponent opened infinity kirin and I had no way of outing it easily without strike, so I proceeded to lose that game as well due to low advantage.


The same scenario occurred with my budget ABC deck. I ran it at Yugioh day at Alternate Universes, a pretty competitive locals, opting to play floodgates and chalices over dbarriers, desires and strikes. I ultimately finished top 8 and received a token, but the two matches I lost were because I didn’t have those staples, and my opponent had them instead. The advantage they bring is just too strong to pass up.


What started out well, proved that at the highest level, the fact remains that expensive staples will outright win you games. Any top 8, 16, 32 YCS or regional decklist will reflect that. You can still be competitive, but you will never be able to consistently perform because the fact is you’re at a disadvantage. Unfortunately, the same rule applies to anti-meta decks this upcoming format. As of right now, Zoodiacs will ultimately dominate the format-and the market-until nationals. That doesn’t mean you can’t build anti-meta decks, but if you do, they require the expensive staples to be relevant. Unfortunately, this is not a format for budget players. If you’re a budget player reading this, I’m sorry to say you should take a break until after nationals. Hopefully everything will cool down by then, or just suck up the initial cost and sell the strikes and barriers before nationals to minimize loss. Either way, it’s going to take a huge chunk out of your bankroll.


Yugioh: Why Zoodiac is not PePe and will not be hit by an Adjusted Banlist

As many Yugioh players open cases of the new Raging Tempest set to build the new tier 0 Zoodiac deck, there is a small group who fears that the same thing will happen as last year with the PePe (Performage/Performapal) deck. Konami in order to prevent a tier 0 format released an adjusted banlist that forbid/limited the key cards in the deck roughly two weeks after the release of Breakers of Shadow. Thus, players who invested in the deck lost a large amount of money and faith in the game was momentarily challenged. I for one, do not see this happening again and would like to briefly explain why.


PePe was a Mistake Caused by Unfair Card Interactions

One of the key aspects of PePe was the interaction between Performage Plushfire and the destruction enablers Luster Pendulum, the Dracoslayer/Peformapal Pendulum Sorcerer. Destroying Plushfire for value allowed the player who used them to go a large amount of card advantage from only 2 cards. In addition  Performage Trick Clown and Damage Juggler both fed into this strategy by offering further card advantage through repeated xyz-summoning. You might be asking now “isn’t this just a worse version of Zoodiac?” You might also be asking “isn’t Ratpier much worse since it’s a 1 card combo as opposed to a 2-card combo?” Well therein lies a key difference between the 2 decks. The pay off of the PePe deck was infinitely better than that of Zoodiac (at the time of its release). Pepe made an end board of Cyber Dragon Infinity (and in the OCG Number 16: Shock Master). Despite all of its strength Zoodiac Drident is not as powerful as Cyber Dragon Infinity as negating an effect can likely prevent a player from boardwiping (Dark Hole) which is the easiest way to punish spamming the board.

You now be asking why I started this by saying that PePe was a mistake. Well I posit that almost none of these cards were intended to work with each other. Performages and Performapals despite their similar naming convention only interact with the card Bubble Barrier, otherwise both are separate archetypes. Luster Pendulum, a vanilla enabler for pendulums while being generic pendulum support was just too strong as a searchable source of card advantage (Draco-Faceoff). The biggest offender in the PePe deck however, was Tellarknight Ptolemaeus. This “reasonlessly” generic xyz card gave allowed PePe to summon Cyber Dragon Infinity. This made light of its intended purpose (making Constellar Knight Diamond) and gave rank 4 spam decks the access to a powerful rank 6 monster that they had no business summoning. While it may seem highly presumptuous, I would like to believe Konami R&D doesn’t want unfair card interactions to exist. The banlist, while mostly a method to promote the newer cards does also make up for mistakes like PePe.


Zoodiac (despite all of its absurdity) seems to be working just as Konami intended it too

We can discern that Konami intended Zoodiac to work as it does now from the articles on the deck written on the Konami blog. The 1-card xyz summons (while in my humble opinion and hopefully many others’) are a slap in the face to xyz summoning, which was already the most mind numbing-ly simple summoning mechanic. That being said Konami from the passionate way in which they describe Zoodiac wanted it to be like this.

Another advantage for Zoodiac is that the archetype barely abuses older Yugioh cards. Many of the tier 0 decks from years past all acted in a way that Konami likely did not anticipate or desire. PePe  (as aforementioned) broke Tellarknight Ptolemaeus, which had been released for a few months before BOSH seeing little play outside of Satellarknights. Dragon Rulers broke the card Super Rejuvenation (letting them draw a billion cards) and similarly Nekroz abused the card Djinn Releaser of Rituals (to prevent their opponent from playing). All of these decks were unfair not only for being too consistent, but by also by gaining too much advantage from older cards. In the case of Zoodiac, the only “old” cards that they seem to have broken are Speedroid Terrortop and M-X-Saber Invoker.


And that’s all I have to say on the topic. I for one won’t be investing the $300+ that Zoodiac will cost to build. Instead I’ll be following my own advice and main-decking Raigeki, double Dark Hole and triple Interuppted Kaiju Slumber in any Yugioh deck I play from now until Zoodiac is like all Yugioh decks is inevitably power-crept. Also as a parting thought I want you to imagine for a moment what the deck that powercreeps Zoodiac will look like…

Thanks for reading as usual.