My Yu-Gi-Oh! August/September 2022 banlist predictions

Well, here we are again in banlist season. It’s certainly been a while since I’ve done one of these hasn’t it? Last time I talked about Yu-Gi-Oh! on here was during Pank-Kids Adventurer format – a format which I’m pretty sure is now considered to be one of the worst of all time. Yeah, I certainly don’t miss Destiny Hero – Destroyer Pheonix Enforcer being in every deck, that’s for sure. I’m happy to say things have improved somewhat since then. Not much, but a step forward is a step forward, even if it is made an amoeba.

So, what are my hopes for the upcoming banlist? Personally, I’d like the game to overall feel less like a roulette wheel of deciding which floodgate to lose to. I love Yu-Gi-Oh! and there are a lot of really cool decks in the format right now, it would just be really nice if we actually got to play any of them. I assume I’m not the only one that’s sick of losing to the 500 different variants of Artifact Scythe boards, as well as having games 2 and 3 decided by who was the first player to flip Anti-Spell Fragrance or Dimensional Barrier. Oh, and don’t get me started on Mystic Mine, I could complain about that card for ages! So I will.


Mystic Mine:

To be honest, what more needs to be said about this dogshit card? Mystic Mine wins some kind of award for ‘most universally despised card in Yu-Gi-Oh!’ – a feat which is certainly a great achievement, particularly when you consider the competition (like some of the other cards on this list, for example). The hilarious thing is that if Konami actually bans Mystic Mine, it won’t be because it’s unfun to play against, or that it encourages toxic strategies, or because the entire playerbase hates it and has been asking for Mine to be banned for about 3 years, or that it’s horrible with Konami’s own time rules, or that it singlehandedly wins games by itself, or that it’s carried certain decks to topcut at major events that otherwise wouldn’t have had a hope in hell, but because it’s done irreparable PR damage to Yu-Gi-Oh! One of the senior designers of Magic: The Gathering recently roasted this card on twitter, which is a level of humiliation I’m not sure Konami can ever recover from.

Crystron Halqifibrax or Artifact Scythe, I really don’t care which:

Ok that’s a straight up lie – out of these two hateful cards Halq is definitely the one I want to get axed the most. I’m actually staggered that, of all the broken Link monsters that came out of Duel Overload, Crystron Halqifibrax one that gets to live. Union Carrier is gone. Predaplant Verte Anaconda is gone. Simorgh, Bird Of Sovereignty is gone. But Halqifbrax somehow gets to live? Despite doing arguably more damage to this game than all of those aforementioned cards? People were asking for the ban of Halq during Secret Slayers format, which was almost TWO YEARS AGO by the way! How many more (mostly) harmless tuner monsters do we need to limit or ban before this cardgets banned? Think about it: if you ban Halq, Jet Synchron, O-Lion and Red Rose Dragon could come back to 3 and see little to no competitive play, Glow-Up Bulb could probably come back to the game and not be a huge deal, plus even that Steam The Cloak thing could be unbanned (maybe, I can’t remember what it does).

With all these things said, I’ve learned the hard way that you can’t take your eyes off Artifact Scythe for two seconds without it doing something fucking annoying. I thought that the whole Scythe lock thing would die off with the Verte ban, but no, I was wrong. It seems that I underestimated how determined Yu-Gi-Oh! players were in their refusal to just find a real win condition already. I’d like to think that Scythe shenanigans would die off by banning Halq, but who the fuck knows? I’m starting to become convinced that you could ban Halqifibrax, Dagda, Sanctum and Barrone De Fleur and people would still find a way to perform a consistent Scythe lock.

Deciding whether I hate Crystron Halqifibrax more than Artifact Scythe or not, is like deciding which one of my legs I’d like to have sawn off slowly with a blunt instrument. In a perfect world I’d have both these miserable cards stood before the firing squad, but I’m almost certain that Konami will only ban one of them (on this banlist anyway). Why? Because we can’t have nice things.

Chaotic Chaos Ruler, The Chaotic Magical Chaos Dragon

It took me a while to realise that Chaos Ruler, The Chaotic Magical Dragon might be one of the dumbest fucking cards I’ve ever seen. I’ve got no idea why someone thought making Painful Choice a generic level 8 synchro was a good move, but here we are. Not to mention that a single copy of Emergency Teleport is able to cheat this guy out without even using your normal summon, which then allows you to perform just about every single combo in the entire game. Ok, maybe I’ve being a little too harsh on Chaos Ruler – being able to utilise it properly requires running cards with good graveyard effects, and it’s not like there are many of those in Yu-Gi-Oh!

Barrier Statue Of The Stormwinds

I don’t care if Floowandereeze isn’t a tier 0 meta destroyer, I hate this fucking deck with every fibre of my being. Besides, I’m certain Konami has hit worse decks with for less justifiable reasons, I mean was Drytron even doing particularly well when Eva got banned?

Floo is essentially a combination of all the things about Yu-Gi-Oh! that everyone hates; you’ve got floodgates, that whole ‘playing on your opponent’s turn’ thing, floodgates, incredibly linear one-note combos and floodgates. I like to imagine that this archetype was some kind of science experiment to create the most unfun deck to play against in the whole of Yu-Gi-Oh! And upon experiencing Floowandereeze in the format for a few months now, I’d like to say “mission accomplished”, because playing against this deck in any capacity in slightly less enjoyable than having quadruple pneumonia, if that’s even a thing.


Swap Frog:

Ah yes, the age-old tale of new brand-new deck accidently making some random old card the most busted thing in the entire game. ‘Suppose that’s one of the drawbacks of having no set rotation, I guess. Don’t get me wrong, I fear the undeniable strength of Paleo-frogs like any respectable Yu-Gi-Oh! player should, I think we can all agree that maybe Spright needs to be kept in check as well.

On a serious note, it turns out that Spright didn’t quite bend the entire metagame over a table and had its way with it, as was predicted. I mean it’s still unbelievably powerful and probably the best deck in the game right now, but maybe going around shouting “the end is nigh, the frogs are coming!” a few months ago was overdoing it somewhat. That’s why I think a somewhat lighter touch is required instead of banning Toadally Awesome, like they did in the OCG. Besides, hitting Swap Frog would stop also stop Spright decks searching hand traps, by being able to summon them from the deck with a certain link 2 monster that may or may not be on this list, then bouncing them back to the hand with swappy boy. Or we could just, you know, ban Crystron Halqifibrax.

Dimensional Barrier, Anti-Spell Fragrance, Rivalry Of Warlords and hopefully some other miserable floodgates:

If we’ve learnt anything over the last few months, I hope the lesson is that floodgates do not “keep the meta in check”. If fact, they arguably help the meta, because it turns out that you can go full Spright combo, then flip Dimensional Barrier on your opponent to give them even less of a chance than they otherwise would’ve. I’m so fucking tired of these types of cards single-handedly deciding the outcome of so many games, particularly post siding. Let me give you a personal example:

A little while back I took my Branded Despia deck to locals and I got pared up against a Swordsoul player for my first match. Game 1 was a quite intense back and forth that could’ve gone either way at any point, but in the end my opponent ended up winning. Game 2, I went first. I sided in Dimensional Barrier. I went full Despia combo. I then flipped Dimensional Barrier, declaring Synchro. My opponent surrendered. Game 3, my opponent went first. They went full Swordsoul combo. They then flipped Anti-Spell Fragrance. I lost.

The point is that these types of cards take all skill and interactivity out of the game, meaning that matches that could’ve been potentially been interesting boil down to “I drew the card that shuts out an entire gameplay mechanic so I win”. But most of importantly thing is that these types of cards are just excruciating boring to play against – I don’t think any Yu-Gi-Oh! player looks forward to an Eldlich player setting 5 and passing, knowing fully well that they’re going to flip Rivalry of Warlords plus Gozen Match at any moment.

Orcust Harp Horror:

Are we really afraid of Orcust in our lord’s year of 2022? I don’t even particularly like the deck and I’ve been advocating for Harp to be unbanned for around a year now, particularly when both Salamangreat and Sky Striker have had some of their best cards removed from the list, with Salads being basically at full power now. It’s only fair that all the TOSS format decks get the same treatment. Except Thunder Dragons of course; anyone who thinks Colossus can come back to the game eats crayons and glue.


Rite of Aramesir and Water Enchantress of the Temple:

Couldn’t be asked to create two new drawings, so this will have to suffice.

The Adventurer engine and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race. I’ve been mulling over in my head if Adventurer actually overtakes Zoodiac as “most shittly designed archetype in Yu-Gi-Oh!” And you know what? I think it does, because at least Zoodiac was/is best played as a pure deck rather than just a splashable engine. Did you even know that there are other cards in the Adventurer deck rather than just, Rite, Enchantress, Dracoback, Fateful and Illegal Knight? The deck even has multiple field spells which can be searched off of Enchantress, but no-one ever does it, because they suck ass.

Adventurer is a prime example of how you don’t design Yu-Gi-Oh! cards in the modern age – by having them be completely overpowered in countless other strategies, whilst simultaneously being completely worthless in the deck they were supposed to be played in.

Mind Control:

Considering that Change of Heart got unbanned on the previous list and no-one ended up playing it, maybe it’s time to unlimit the worse version of that card? I’ve heard that the argument for Mind Control being limited is because it would make everyone’s side deck the same, but can this cardeven hold a candle to modern powerful staples? I can’t see that may people trading out their Dark Rulers, Lightning Storms and Evenly Matches for this card, not to mention everyone’s side deck already features the same few hand traps, board breakers and floodgates anyway, so what difference would moving Mind Control off the list even make?

Servant of Endymion, Astrograph Sorcerer, or some other old shitty Pendulum card:

It’s been kind of routine lately for Konami to slowly move some old Pendulum cards off the list every few months, so these seemed like some likely candidates. There’s probably a lot of other Pendulum cards that could come off of the banlist that I’m forgetting about though. For example, I recently read the card Draco Face-Off and I swear it’s just a worse version of Emergency Teleport, (a card that is at 3, for some fucking reason). You know when Monkeyboard gets unbanned and no-one plays it, the deck kinda sucks.

Sky Striker Mecha Modules – Multirole:

This might seem like a dumbass idea since Sky Striker just won a YCS, but I think we can all agree that the deck’s entire success at recent events was because of a certain field spell that’s certain to get banned soon, rather than the Striker’s fearsome end-board of Shizuku pass. Not to mention there’s new Striker support on the horizon, so it would make sense for Konami to milk this anime waifu deck for all its worth. Raye is 13, by the way.


Yata Garasu and Time Seal:

These cards are old and shit, moving on.

All the currently semi limited cards apart from Destiny Hero – Malicious:

Yep. Actually, I’d rather not have Fusion Destiny come back to 3, because DPE still gives me PTSD. Also fuck Nadir Servant for some other reasons.

Red Reboot:

If you think this is a bad idea, then I completely agree with you – Red Reboot coming back to 3 would be unhealthy for the game. With that said, unlimiting Reboot instead of banning all of the floodgates that are currently ruining the came seems like such a Konami thing to do. Strangely enough though, I’d be kind of ok with it. Hell, I’d take anything that upsets Eldich players, no matter what the repercussions.

Well that’s everything! I’m happy that I don’t have to endure much longer of my opponent’s opening exactly Terraforming into Mystic Mine every game, but there’s always a large number of other floodgates to lose to in the Yu-Gi-Oh! trading card game. Ciao!

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