My Yu-Gi-Oh! December 2023/January 2024 banlist predictions

Another banlist season to mark the end of another incredibly average format. You know, sometimes I lie awake at night and think about how much better Yu-Gi-Oh! would be if say, Konami suddenly decided they weren’t going to release any more cards after Power of the Elements, ‘cos it’s all been downhill since then. Sure, we’d miss out on some cards I actually think are cool, like Blazing Cartesia, or The Bystial Lubellion, but I’d trade that all away if I never have to look at another copy of Kashtira Fenrir again.

Feeling like I’ve started this off a little too negatively, I should state I don’t this format has been thaaaaat bad – well, it definitely wasn’t as shit as the last one, as it’s a cold day in hell before I play against full-power Kashtira again. With that said, this format hasn’t been great either, due to over-prevalence of what I like to call ‘penis cards’, to which the entire game feels like its balanced around.

“Tom, you majestic stallion of a human being!” I hear you ask. “What in Darwin’s name are ‘penis cards?’” That’s a good question, person I just made up, so allow me to elaborate: a ‘penis card’ is a particular card that isn’t necessarily tied to a specific deck or strategy, (usually meaning its generic as fuck), but completely decides the outcome of the game whenever it shows up, because of how unnecessarily overpowered it is. Remember Crystron Halqifibrax? I certainly haven’t forgotten him – the voices won’t let me – that’s a penis card. Pot Of Greed is also a penis card, and might be the first instance of a penis card in Yu-Gi-Oh! history. Then you’ve got Imperial Order, which might’ve been the most penisy of penis cards or have ever penis’d. So you get the kind of cards that I’m on about, right…… right? I don’t know how I could’ve possibly made that any clearer.

It makes more sense now than ever before to go after these penis cards, because with a format as diverse as this, what’s the point of trying to nerf specific decks? Ah yes, lets ban a card from the second-best deck, only to have its place taken in the meta by one of the 15 other decks that could also qualify as the second-best deck. So let’s get on with it, shall we?

BANNED CARDS

Red Hot Dragon Archfiend King Calamity

Ah, our first penis card on the list; I don’t care if Centur-Ion isn’t the best deck and Manndium isn’t even playing this shit anymore, no-one likes the 20th reincarnation of Outer Entity Azathot. Ban it.

Kelbek the Ancient Vanguard and Agido the Ancient Sentinel

Ok, so you know about 2 paragraphs ago when I said I wouldn’t really be going after specific decks this time around? I lied. Though to be fair, if there’s one deck that just needs to fucking die already, it’s Tearlaments. After enduring tier 0 formats across the OCG, TCG and Master Duel, then having the deck still be good after a thorough culling on the banlist, I think I speak for everyone when I say that we’re all fucking sick of Tearlaments. Well, except for Tearlament players obviously, but their opinions don’t count, as they’ll still try and convince me that the deck is skilful after milling the one-of Kelbek off of the one-of Agido that was milled off of the one-of Havnis during MY fucking main phase. God I hate this annoying sack-fest of a deck.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Konami also agrees with me that this deck has overstayed it’s welcome, ‘cos imagine trying to promote new product, when the second most represented deck in top-cut of the most recent YCS came out a year and a half ago.

LIMITED CARDS

Kashtira Fenrir

I don’t think there’s anything in this game that embodies what a penis card is more than Kashtira Fenrir. Why is this one card by itself single-handedly better than entire decks? Why does it have the strongest form of removal in the entire game? Why can it search another copy of itself? Why is its special summoning restriction non-once-per-turn? Why does it supply you with free discard fodder? Why is it a free body for extra-deck plays? Why is it an extender in a bunch of decks, as you can search cards that aren’t Fenrir off of it? Why does it trade for 2 cards in the battle phase? Why can it be used going first as well as going second, unlike Dinowrestler Pankratops or Cyber Dragon? Why is it still at 3, over a year after its release? Why does it do your taxes and feed a family of 7?

EMERGENCY!

Dealing with Rescue-Ace is a bit of a pickle; even though it’s probably the best deck in the room right now, its also sort-of…. Fine? I dunno, I just don’t really find myself crying myself to sleep over Turbulence set-4. Besides, the reason R-Ace is top tier right now feels like it’s due to of all the other shit you can run in the deck, rather than just the actual Rescue-Ace cards. The main culprit of course being Diabellstarr and company, but those cards won’t be appearing on the list because A) Diabellstarr the Black Witch is my wife and I love her, B) the Sinful Spoils cards are far to new and C) A playset of WANTED: Seeker of the Sinful Spoils cost roughly the same amount as a medium-sized yacht, so EMERGENCY! Going to 1 will have to suffice for now.

Pot of Prosperity

Having Prosperity in your opening hand is the equivalent of starting the duel with an 11-card hand. Fuck this card.

Triple Tactics Talent

Considering that you’re more-or-less forced to run hand-traps in modern Yu-Gi-Oh! just to not get pseudo-FTK’d by Mannadium, Centur-Ion or Infernoble, maybe cards that punish you for running them shouldn’t exist.

Majespecter Unicorn – Kirin

Oooooh look, it’s another shitty Pendulum card clogging up the F/L list, which probably could’ve been unbanned 2 years ago. Do you think the TCG is so afraid of Pendulum that they’ll release the new Majespecter support before they unban Kirin?

Tidal, Dragon Ruler of Waterfalls

They just unbanned both this and Redox in Master Duel, so we may as well follow suit. In fact, that’s just given me an idea – why don’t we just use Master Duel as a playground for testing what can/can’t be brought off of the banlist in real formats?

Runick Tip

It’s not necessarily that Tip is a penis card, it’s that Runick as a whole is a penis archetype. You know how 3-ish years ago every other deck in the game was an Invoked variant? Runick feels like the modern equivalent of that; we’ve had about 15 different variants of Runick Spright, we’ve now got Runick Bystial running around, there’s Runick Generaider (which to be fair, is lore accurate [I think]), there’s Runick Kashtira, for the kind of people that eat toenails, we had Runick Naturia for a bit – a deck that I assume was devised by the person in charge of the Imperial Order errata a few years back, then there’s Runick stun, a deck played exclusively by absolute weapons-grade cretins, whose only happiness comes from saying the N-word to 12-year-olds in Call of Duty multiplayer lobbies.

SEMI-LIMITED CARDS

Performapal Monkeyboard and maybe Astrograph Sorcerer or something, idk

Pendulum sucks. At best, it’s just a worse way of making a Mannadium end board via combos that die even harder to Droll and Lock Bird.

Tearlaments Scheiren and Merrli

Ok, so this is the trade offer I’m making with all you Tearlament enthusiasts: You receive some extra copies of Scheiren and Merrli, I receive free tickets to the public execution of Kelbek and Agido.

Blaster, Dragon ruler of Boulders and Tempest, Dragon Ruler of Storms

These cards are mid actually.

UNLIMITED CARDS

Red Rose Dragon

Halq is banned.

Kashtira Unicorn

Ariseheart is banned.

Sky Striker Mobilize – Engage!

Sky Striker sucks.

Denglong, First Of The Yang Zing

Denglong sucks.

Well that’s everything – if Fenrir doesn’t get limited and Calamity doesn’t get banned, I’m considering it a violation of the Geneva Convention. Fuck you and goodnight.

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