The Yu-Gi-Oh! October 2021 banlist aftermath

Two days, that’s all it took; two days for everything I said in my previous article to be proved completely wrong. Ok, that’s not necessarily true – 3 out of my 11 predictions were correct, which is actually more than most people got, but I don’t think anyone could’ve predicted this banlist. Not to say that this list was particularly crazy, in fact this list changes very little about the current state of the game. Nonetheless, let’s inspect the damage.


Zoodiac Barrage

I have to admit, this ban threw me a little, particularly with Barrage being the ONLY banned card on this list. I mean, of all the cards to for Konami to axe on the October banlist, they chose this one? I don’t recall anyone really crying for this card to be banned last format, so it’s easy to assume that Konami is just fulfilling some kind of grudge against Zoodiac. However, the more I thought about it, the more this ban made sense – Zoodiac Barrage is probably the closest thing you can get in the modern game to a Duel Monster’s staple, without actually being a Duel Monster’s staple (that is, an unsearchable one-of that generates so much advantage to whoever draws it, to the point where it’s basically an auto-win), so binning this card makes sense. I’ve heard the argument that the last couple of banlists have been too hard on Zoodiac, but I can’t say I share the same sympathy; Zoodiac has to be the most horribly designed archetype in the history of Yu-Gi-Oh!, as it’s never been responsible for anything fun, balanced or fair. So yeah, I’m not shedding any tears of the loss of Barrage.


Fire Formation – Tenki

Hey look, it’s one of the predictions I did actually get right! Are any of us really surprised that this card got limited anyway? Tenki could and probably should’ve been hit on the July banlist, but Konami got there in the end. Whilst this is definitely a welcome limit, I don’t think it does enough to keep Tri-Brigade in check, particularly when this was the only true hit to the deck. *Sigh*, maybe they’ll limit Tri-Brigade Revolt next time?


This card is probably the most conflicting hit on the October banlist. On one hand, Eva is a pretty fair hit to Drytron, as it’s basically what Block Dragon was to Adamancipator’s. On the other hand, there’s this ongoing debate to whether or not limiting Eva even does anything, as some Drytron builds were only running one copy anyway. Only time will tell if this was worthwhile or not.

Whilst I’m here, I should point out that my idea to ban Beatrice was probably not a good idea; I wrote in my prediction list that banning Beatrice would be better than banning Eva, as Drytron players wouldn’t be able to easily to send Eva from deck to grave. Unfortunately, I completely forgot that Drytron already has multiple ways of searching and pitching Eva, so banning Beatrice would only slightly reduce the consistency of the deck, at the risk of completely murdering Burning Abyss. It turns out that I just don’t know how Drytron works.

Prank-Kids Meow-Meow-Mu

Although this card wasn’t on my prediction list, it’s a good hit, despite being possibly a little overzealous at the moment. This limit allows Prank-Kids to still combo off as normal, but if they get interrupted or their board gets broken, it prevents them from just combo-ing off from scratch on the following turn. The reason I say this limit was overzealous, is because Prank-Kids arguably got hit harder than Tri-Brigade and Drytron this list, even thought I don’t think it’s as good as either of those decks. But you know how it goes – the fun decks are temporary, only the boring decks last forever. Why else do you think people are still playing Invoked in 2021?


Emergency Teleport

It looks like Konami decided to give Destiny Hero – Malicious a bit more company on the semi list, ‘cause there’s actually quite a bit to unpack here. First up, we have E-Tele, which is actually quite a big deal, not only for being an all-round generically good card, but for arguably being a buff to Virtual World. With that said, I don’t see E-Tele doing anything hugely broken in the foreseeable future, so don’t be surprised if this card eventually comes to 3. Kozmo players are certainly rejoicing though.

Danger! Nessie!

Honestly, I have no idea what to say about this one. I think that the reason why this card was limited in the first place, is because Nessie! and some of the other Danger! cards supported some FTKs back in the day, which I don’t think are even viable anymore, so hooray, I guess?

Performapal Skullcrobat Joker

I don’t want to go all TeamsamuraiX1 on you, but I told you! What did I say about Joker? We all know this card can easily come back to 3, but I knew Konami would play it safe and semi-limit it first. The people in charge of the banlist at Konami just need to get over their irrational fear that, if they take too many Pendulum cards of the list, Yu-Gi-Oh! will be somehow plunged into the dark ages. Expect Joker to be unlimited in January.


Double Iris Magician

Much like the banned section, the unlimits are looking very sparse this time around, with Double Iris being the only one. I’d like to congratulate myself for getting this prediction right, but it was so glaringly obvious that even uncontacted tribes in Africa could’ve guess that Double Iris would come to 3. It’s been a over a year since this card went from banned to limited, and I can’t believe that it’s taken Konami that long to realise that Double Iris isn’t doing anything broken. I’d like to think that this and Joker will set a precedent for other Pendulum cards coming off the list, but considering Electrumite is somehow still banned, I wouldn’t count on it.

The October banlist has been received with somewhat of a backlash from the playerbase, with some even going as far as to say it’s “the worst banlist ever”. This is clearly an overreaction, as it’s not even the worst banlist within recent memory. I mean, who can forget May last year, when the only changes were 3 unlimits during one of the most unbalanced formats in recent years? I’m of the mindset that not a whole needed to be changed this time around, because I think that the game is in a pretty good state right now.

Even though I don’t hate this banlist, I do think it’s a bit of a missed opportunity from Konami’s point of view. I understand them not wanting to bin that many cards, but I think they could’ve used this as a chance to start bringing some old cards off the list that really shouldn’t be there anymore. For example, bringing something like Orcust Harp Horror back might’ve injected a bit more life into the format without changing anything substantial, as well as making the still very large Orcust fanbase very happy. I mean, we’re essentially going to be playing the same format again until Burst of Destiny comes out, so why not take the risk?

I hope you all enjoyed my take on the October banlist. In the meantime, I will be throwing darts at a picture I have of Imperial Order on my wall until January. Adios!

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