Yu-Gi-Oh! sucks right now

It’s around this time where I would be doing my Yu-Gi-Oh! banlist predictions, as the Forbidden/Limited is due to be updated “a few months from now”. However, the current format is so apocalyptically shit that I’ve decided a new approach is required. Instead, I’m going to perform a dissection on this Frankenstein’s monster that is the Yu-Gi-Oh! 2022 format. Perhaps I’ll even conduct a frontal lobotomy on Burst Of Destiny and The Grand Creators, so we won’t have to endure Destiny Hero – Destroy Phoenix Enforcer and Wandering Gryphon Rider being in every fucking deck.

So, what is wrong with Yu-Gi-Oh! right now? Well, it’s easy to just point at the DPE and Adventurer engines and go “that”, but I think there’s a bit more to it. That’s why in this article, I’m going to break down individual decks, cards, engines and archetypes and explain why they’re responsible for making the game as frustratingly dull as it is. So join me on this adventure, except unlike other adventures you may’ve been on recently, it doesn’t involve a 1-card combo that makes a omni-negate.

Dragon Link

This is probably a weird one to start off with, but not enough people are complaining about Dragon Link right now so I’ve taken it upon myself to fulfil that role. I recently came to the conclusion that this deck shouldn’t be as good as it is, whilst also being able to run and simultaneously play though every hand-trap ever printed. Just once in my life I’d like to see a Dragon Link player brick, or be unable to extend through multiple interruptions. Not that that’s ever going to happen, as every card in this deck seems to be a starter, extender and also recovery. It’s quite disheartening to see a deck that’s been around since roughly the time Archduke Franz Ferdinand was killed, completely outclass 70% of decks printed in the last 2-3 years. But sure, Sky Striker and Orcust were the “eternal” decks.

The Racism Engine

If you’ve played Yu-Gi-Oh! in the last few months then you’re probably aware of what the Adventurer/Brave/Racist engine does, so I won’t bore you with the details. If you don’t play Yu-Gi-Oh! and you’re reading this, then I congratulate you for making it this far, because you’re either completely enthralled by extreme writing talent, or just really bored.

To say that the Braventurist engine has been bad for the game, is like saying that the Russian invasion of Ukraine was “a bit of a whoopsie”. The strange thing is that I feel like the existence of the Adventurer engine was almost inevitable; Konami has been really big on their generic, splashable engines over the past few years (see Invoked, Eldlich, Dogmatika, DPE, Dragoon etc), and has continually refused to address them via the banlist. With this in mind, are you really surprised that the Adventurer engine came into being, particularly after the success of things like Invoked? You didn’t think they’d try to 1-up themselves by creating the most powerful, splashable engine of all? My disdain for Adventurer wouldn’t be so great if the cards weren’t ludicrously expensive – if you think I’m going to play half a grand for some cards that are going to get murdered by the banlist in 6 months’ time, you can bloody well fuck right off.

Destiny Hero – Destroy Penis Enforcer

Ahhhh, the DPE engine – the other splashable 1-card package that’s in virtually everyone’s decks which you’re pretty much forced to play, because you don’t, you may as well show up to a Yu-Gi-Oh! tournament with some Match Attax cards from 2006. What more do you want me to say about Destiny Hero – Destroy Phoenix Enforcer that hasn’t already been said? I wasn’t too bothered about DPE initially, but this engine combined with the Adventurer cards has made 80% of decks exactly the same, turning Yu-Gi-Oh! into a complete homogenised mess. You can play the “what is the problem card game” with the DPE engine all day long, pointing fingers at Verte Anaconda, Fusion Destiny or even DPE himself, but the truth is that all these cards are stupid in one way or another: Predaplant Verte Anaconda shouldn’t be as generic as it is, Fusion Destiny might be the most powerful fusion spell ever printed, DPE reads like an anime custom card and Destiny Hero Celestial is a big “fuck you” to every balanced ‘draw 2’ card out there.


I’m so bored of this deck man, you have no idea – it’s actually strange to think that there was a time in Yu-Gi-Oh! history where Eldlich wasn’t around. This is partially because this deck has been in the game for 2 years now and constantly refuses to leave the format, but mostly because playing against Eldlich is so monotonously dull, that time itself slows down to an agonising halt, alongside the overall progression of mankind. And yes, I did just accuse Eldlich players of stagnating the evolution of the human race.

My God, Eldlich won’t just fucking die already, will it? It seems like every time I’ve booted up EDOPro since early-mid 2020, the first deck I run into is some random shit with an Eldlich core thrown in to make it playable. This deck might not have stuck around for so long if Konami had stopped taking every opportunity to indirectly buff Eldlich. Think about it: Red Reboot got limited and Solemn Judgment got put to 3 shortly before the release of the deck, rules regarding monster traps got changed at the beginning of master rule 5, Called by the Grave got limited, that fucking Lord of the Heavenly Sky Prison card got released in Burst of Destiny, because someone at Konami decided that backrow decks weren’t infuriating enough to play against, then there’s Skill Drain. Fucking Skill Drain. How many crayons do you have to consume in order to think that unlimiting this card was a good idea?


Come on. It’s been 5 years. Please, I can’t take it anymore. Please. Make it stop.

Artifact Scythe

Whilst I think this card is overrated, it’s still incredibly annoying. My gripe with Scythe is less about what it does, but the fact that it’s completely ruined rogue decks. Let me asked you this: how many times have your friends said “check out my cool new deck”, only for them to do the generic DPE, Dagda, Scythe combo, usually backed up my an omni negate to make sure said Scythe resolves. I’ve been joking around recently about how we should have a specific name for end-boards that involve a set Artifact Scythe, a card to pop it (usually DPE) and at least one negate. I was thinking of calling them “Twattsandwich boards”, what do you think?

Crystron Halqifibrax

Fucking hell, why didn’t they just call it Crystron Needlefiber? It’s a great name! I’d call my son Crystron Needlefiber if I could! Halqifibrax rolls of the tongue like a Sea Urchin. Anyway, Crystron Halqineedlefibrax has probably broken some kind of record for number for “number of cards banned to keep it in the game”. With that said, Needlefiber did manage to keep a low profile for about a year-and-a-half after the banning of Jet Synchron and O-Lion. Unfortunately, Konami recently made the mistake of printing a slightly good level 3 tuner in the form of Roxrose Dragon, now the fragile house of cards has fallen down once more, so expect another card to get murdered in Halqifuck-offs name shortly. It’ll probably be Mecha Phantom Beast Auradadauadadon or whatever the fuck it’s called. To be fair, that card is stupid anyway – apparently, we need to relearn the lesson that generic token generators will never be a good idea in a post master rule 3 world.

Fairy Tail – Snow

As my drawing would suggest, I was quite indifferent to Snow when it officially came off the forbidden list. In fact, there was somewhat of a rejoice amongst the playerbase when it was released from banlist jail. However, with the power of hindsight I realise now that Fairy Tail – Snow coming back was a horrible idea and here’s why:

The issue here is not that Snow couldn’t have come back, but that Konami picked the worst possible time to unban it. If Snow had been unbanned say, a year ago, it would’ve been perfectly fine, as I don’t recall of that many decks at the time that could’ve abused it. This format on the other hand is a completely different story; since loads of people are playing 60 card pile decks, Fairy Tail – Snow as almost immediately seen a fuck ton of competitive success in those strategies.

I’m normally happy when Konami releases old cards from the forbidden/limited list, but Snow coming back has been like an incredibly loud fart in an overcrowded elevator – if you’ve going to let one rip, maybe pick a time and a place that’s less conspicuous.


I know literally nothing about this strategy, but I’m going to complain about it anyway, as Branded as at the forefront of everyone’s mind right now, with the new structure deck and whatnot. Besides, not knowing anything about a subject never stopped white people in their mid-twenties complaining about things before, so why buck the trend now?

I don’t actually hate Branded, nor do I even think it’s particularly bad for the game, but forgive me for thinking that another highly splashable 1-card engine isn’t exactly what Yu-Gi-Oh! needed right now. I think we have enough of those. Also, the existence of Branded Fusion as absolutely hilarious to me, as it’s essentially Konami saying, “please play Fallen of Albaz in something! We’ve made so much support for him! Will printing the most powerful fusion spell in history change your mind?”

Magicians’ Souls/Illusion of Chaos

Magicians’ Souls is an extremely powerful card that was somewhat balanced out by the fact it wasn’t easily searchable, (outside of Dark Magician cards anyway). Then they made a card that can easily search it. Huh. Well, it’s a good thing that the new searcher has some appropriate restrictions for its search effect, otherwise it would be way too generic, right? Wait, it doesn’t? Huh. Well, it’s a good thing that Illusion of Chaos and Magicians’ Souls are accessible to budget players, rather than just the people who are willing to sell their first-borns for trading cards, right? Right?

Phantom Knights

Yeah, I know this deck has fallen off somewhat since the beginning of the format, due to itonly being maybe the 3rd best deck that can set up a Scythe-lock backed up by an omni-negate, but I’ve always had a bit of a bee in my bonnet about Phantom Knights. Let me ask you this: don’t you find it annoying when Konami releases an archetype with a load of really harsh restrictions, when the cards wouldn’t even be that powerful without said restrictions? Then on the other hand we have Phantom Knights – some dark warriors (being one of the best type + attribute combos in the game), with each one having 2 effects that can both be activated DURING THE SAME TURN. This might’ve been ok if the effects were shit, but they include stuff like special summoning from the deck, which is, you know, really good. Ok, maybe I’m overexaggerating a bit – Phantom Knights can’t be that good, right? I mean, it’s not like they have access to one of the most powerful Link-2 monsters ever printed – a card so insane that it was actually banned for about a year, right? Oh wait.

Mystic Mine

I know Mystic Mine is technically kept in check by Dracoback right now, but holy fuck I hate this card. I can’t think of another Yu-Gi-Oh! card that has been universally despised as long as Mystic Mine. Sure, Imperial Order was arguably more unfun and irritating to play against, but that card only really ended up on people’s shit-list during the last few months of its existence in the game. Meanwhile, the playerbase has been absolutely been begging for Mine to be axed since day one of its release. Can you really blame us though? Mystic Mine is so hated that you will actually get shunned by your peers for playing it – a reputation that I don’t think any other card in the game has. So congratulations Mystic Mine, enjoy your crown made of solidified diarrhoea.


The no.1 deck on my personal shit-list goes to this absolute atrocity. What an absolutely hateful, miserable, boring, un-interactive, unfun, cringeworthy excuse for an archetype. Floowandereeze is what would be created if True Draco and Monarchs played the soggy biscuit game onto a Barrier Statue stun deck, whilst they both made lingering eye-contact with a copy of Orcustrated Babel. The strange thing is that Floowandereeze cards by themselves are mostly fine (well, Empen can fuck off but that’s besides the point), it’s just that they synergise perfectly with every disgusting floodgate ever printed.

A common defence I see for Floowander is that it’s not the absolute best deck right now (even though it’s basically a meta deck at this point), but the problem here is that Floowandereeze shouldn’t be allowed to be good. You see, I’ve always subscribed to the mindset that 90% of Yu-Gi-Oh!’s problems could be erased just by removing floodgates from the game. Sadly, this scenario taking place is about as likely as me not dying in a horrible climate disaster a few decades from now. With that said, I’ve decided that floodgate decks are only OK if they suck, so the fact that Floowandereeze is evenly slightly good, makes the deck sit like an inky-black stain on the game that no-one really wants anything to do with. Unfortunately, we all have to acknowledge the existence of this cancerous deck, because it’s the only budget alternative to not losing to Scythe.

In short, playing against Floowandereeze is about as enjoyable as being castrated with a stale baguette, and whoever designed this deck deserves to be throttled to death with their own entrails.

Well that’s all I wanted to complain about for now; I would say that things couldn’t get any worse, but with tier 0 Splight format possibly on the horizon, I guess we must all continually acknowledge that the bar can always get lower. On a positive note, I think a somewhat decent banlist can at least address some of the problems. For example, I can’t see Verte living another format and Scarlet Sanguine might finally get limited after 9000 years, but who knows? Anyway, join me on a few weeks’ time where I talk about the ramifications of Wandering Gryphon Rider being semi-limited.

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