Rahul Pandya here back this week with a discussion about some major changes to the new Forbidden list, or changes that I think to be made. I think are the changes or lack thereof are important, and their effects on the current Meta. As the October 1, 2014 format begins within the week, these changes can help define the Meta early in the format, and can help you decide what you want to play. There were some major changes, cards being limited after being unlimited, cards going from forbidden to limited again, and then other cards, which should have been touched by the Forbidden list, being untouched. I am very happy that some cards that I have felt are a problem are finally going to be on the list. I feel that this is one of the best lists that Konami has created in a while, and am excited to play in the new format.
The first major change that I felt was necessary, is limiting Infernity Archfiend, in an attempt to hurt one of the best decks from the last few formats. Infernity became a very good deck upon release of Lavalval Chain and saw a resurgence in play and power when Soul Charge came out. Infernity’s power comes from creating an unbreakable field turn one, and forcing the opponent to play from behind. The limiting of Infernity Archfiend, hurts the deck because Archfiend is the main searcher of the deck, and with it being at one, they cannot continue to loop and search the deck for their pieces, like Infernity Barrier or Infernity Break, making it harder for their field to be unbreakable. The XYZ variant of the deck is no longer as good as it used to be. Archfiend went to one because the deck won the World Championships, and it was the most effective way to hurt the deck. There were other cards that could have been touched by the Forbidden list, but hitting the searcher was the decision Konami made as they do not want the deck to be unplayable. Infernity as a deck are playable still, just not the version that relied on looping your Archfiend, the synchro version is really the only way you can play the deck now, because you are unable to amass the advantage that you could with the XYZ build.
On a Forbidden list where some of the most powerful cards ever to come out were Limited, after being forbidden, we see the return of Raigeki to the advanced format of the game. This card has been banned for countless format because of its sheer power. Dark Hole, has been limited for the last few formats, but has been seeing less and less play, because of the fact that most decks do not fear having their monsters destroyed, and that Dark Hole destroys your monsters in addition to your opponent’s monsters. Raigeki, for all of you who do not know reads “Destroy all monsters your opponent controls,” which is very different than Dark Hole. What bothers me about this card coming back into the game, is that Dark Hole remains limited, even though it does not seem play, but Raigeki comes back when it is much more powerful than Dark Hole. Even though I feel that Raigeki will not do that much in the Meta, as both Burning Abyss and Shaddoll monsters get their effects if Raigeki is used, however it does promote one turn kills or first turn kills of your opponent. It can clear your board to allow you to push for game, or to allow you to take control of the game. Decks like Karakuri OTK or other OTK or FTK decks, can use this card to help them clear an opponent’s field without having to commit their monsters to clearing it. The card is definitely good but currently is not good against the Meta.
The next card I was very happy to on the forbidden list is Super Polymerization, which is going from Unlimited to Limited on the newest incarnation of the list. This card has been out for a while now, but has only recently seen play in the Meta. Shaddoll, which is one of the Meta decks, plays this card and uses it to help make their fusions, Winda and Construct. Super Polymerization has been around, and until recently was played in the Elemental Hero deck, almost exclusively. However, with the Shaddoll fusion monsters ability to be fused into using this card, the card has been very good, even being played as a three of in decks that have done well at events. The reason why Super Polymerization has been so good, is that it cannot be chained to or responded to, so that you can get rid of an opponent’s monster without them being able to respond to your card. However, they can respond when the monster is summoned, but at that point you already have broken their field or their combination of cards. Cards such as Divine Dragon Knight – Felgrand, who have the ability to make themselves unaffected by other cards, are useless because Super Polymerization can be used and they are unable to use their effect in response, making the cards almost utterly useless. This card becoming limited was a necessary hit with Shaddolls getting fusions in all attributes in upcoming sets and with Elemental Heroes and Masked Heroes getting additional support in the future.
Soul Charge finally got touched on this forbidden list and is going to be limited once the new format begins. This card has contributed to many decks since its release in April, as it has been played in almost every deck since then. The ability so sacrifice your battle phase an a few thousand life points to make an unbreakable field, to put your opponent at a significant disadvantage and ultimately win you the game. The power of this card, in my opinion, is that it could be played on your first turn if you go first because it can help you to continue your combination play, or help you set up your field in an attempt to control your opponent’s field and your opponent’s plays. This is devastating to your opponent because often times they are unable to play out of the situation, and usually you win the game. This can be seen in decks such as Sylvans and Infernity, as Soul Charge allowed these two decks to create unbelievable advantage on their first turn, locking their opponents out of the game. This card was even played to devastating success at the National Championships and the World Championship, allowing players to either create a power field, or to recover after a devastating a play that their opponent made. This card becoming limited lowers the first turn power of many decks and in certain matchups makes going second much better, as you are not guaranteed to be locked out of the game. I am happy to see this card limited as I think this is one of the best card released in recent memory, and feel that it will see less play as it will be harder to draw on your first turn.
The January 2014 format was defined by four decks, Mermail, Fire Fist, Dragon Ruler variants, and Bujin. Every deck since then has become weaker than the decks that have some out after them. Fire fist get a huge boost on this list because Coach Soldier Wolfbark, which was limited following the January format, is going to be unlimited again. This brings potency and power back to the Fire Fist archtype, and allows them to be playable again. I am very happy ablut this change because it makes a deck that was irrelevant, relevant again, and I am a huge fan of Fire Fists. While the format is very different than it was in January, Fire Fist will still be a potent deck, as it grinds for advantage, which it has always done. This format is all about grinding to advantage, with the three best decks being able to grind to advantage well, and Fire Fist will be able to keep up. Unfortunately, the main Fire Fist monster, Brotherhood of the Fire Fist Bear, will not be that strong anymore, as both Shaddoll monsters and Burning Abyss monsters will get their effects when they are destroyed by Bear’s effect. Fire Fist will definitely see more play with one of their best cards being unlimited and it will be strong, however, it will struggle against the top decks of the formats.
Changes I would have liked to see on the Forbidden List:
There were a few things that I would have liked to see on this forbidden list that were not on it. The first thing I would have liked to happen was either semi-limiting or limiting of Call of the Haunted which has been a very strong part of the Geargia and HAT decks in the last few months, and more recently a huge part of the Satellaknight deck. The ability to bring back a monster to help you combo out or to help you maintain advantage can be huge as it can win you games. The second card/cards that I would have liked to see touched on the list is Artifact Sanctum and Artifact Moralltach, because the engine is very powerful. I am not a huge proponent for cards that can interrupt plays, so i feel that these cards needed to be on the list, as they can break up your opponent’s plays, and can generate tons of advantage for you. Also the fact that Moralltech does not target is also rough because it forces your opponent to make a decision on how to counter its effect.
The last thing is I thought two cards could have come off of the forbidden list, to limited, and would have had a minimal effect on the meta. The first card is Wind-Up Carrier Zenmaity, which was banned following two formats of Wind-ups being tier 1. I feel that this card could come back to being limited because it would not change the meta at all as the deck would lose to Shaddoll and Burning Abyss because it would be unable to grind for the type of advantage that the two Meta decks can. The other card I wanted to see make a return was Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Spirit going form limited to unlimited. In the TCG we were never able to play 3-axis Fire Fist as the deck was hit before it had a chance to do anything in the Meta, and I would love to be able to play the deck at its full power and explosiveness.
These are my thoughts and reflections on the forbidden list that takes effect later this week. I feel that we are in for a good format and am excited to continue to play this game through it. Just remember to play hard and good luck as you figure out what oyu want to play during this format.