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 The banlist that will bring back goat control

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PostSubject: The banlist that will bring back goat control   Fri Aug 02, 2013 5:53 am

This has been the longest banlist prediction period I've witnessed, starting as early as february, before the previous banlist was even in effect. That's because some ygo players actually were smart enough to realize an entire set would not be banned 15 days after it was released in the OCG. They were not smart enough to realize you don't ban entire sets anyways, but that's just asking for too much there, getting the first part was good enough, and yeah, it really is considering we had people seriously expecting e-drags and/or books would get hit on march first.

So, what happened this format?
Firstly, was it a tier 0 format? By the exact definition of the term, no, as there were 2 decks competing, but by what a tier 0 format implies, it was very much like one. An appropriate term here is the power creep, those 2 decks pulled so far ahead in power that they completely centralized the game. The rest of the decks had to focus on countering them to have a chance, but of course they wouldn't do much due to the simple fact that a counter can be countered. So instead of a single mirror matchup dominating the metagame, which is the characteristic of a tier 0 format, we had 3 matchups instead, spellbook mirror, dragon mirror and dragon vs spellbook, with everything else heavily leaning to the dragon or spellbook deck in the matchup, inlcuding counter decks like evilswarm (although, as spellbooks are easier to counter, a full anti-spellbook deck would have the advantage over spellbooks, but it would get destroyed by the more popular dragons so there is no point).

Now you may say it was boring, uninteresting, predictable or whatever, but if you say it was a skillless format, it would imply you are not very familiar with card games or that you don't fully understand what the term "skillless" means. This format had two things which would point to the exact opposite.
First of all, a tier 0 format eliminates any rock-paper-scizors relationship matchups may have. Normally, in other formats, when playing competitivelly, you would have to pick a good deck and try to win with it, however with multiple decks around and not much of a power difference some decks just lose to others by matchup, meaning you are at a big disadvantage before the game begins. While predicting and reading the trends is a skill, a big chunk of the skill in playing ygo is removed there, since you may happen to face 5 bad matchups in the beginning of a tournament even if you predicted correctly and end up dropping. For example, you brought your good dino rabbits, but you ended up facing 5 dark worlds in a row, sucks to be you. You can main macro, but macro will be dead in the likely mirror match, which matters a lot in the limited resource game of the stun matchup.

Secondly, there was high deck accessibility, especially in the dragon deck. It was very hard for dragon rulers to open badly, lowest they could open was "ok" if you exclude insane situations or hand trap overload, which was an option exactly because it was so hard to open bad. Generally your deck was laid out for you to use as you pleased as far as your main engine was concerned. Luck of the draw was mostly for secondary things.
Spellbooks were similar, it could take a turn with meh openings, but they could then get started with access to the whole deck. The difference here is, it was possible to open horribly.

You may call this way of playing self touching or solitaire, but what it means is you depended much less on the luck of your opening hand to win in comparison to other formats. There is absolutely no skill involved in drawing good unless you are cheating. Take the previous format for example. For mermail players (including myself) seeing dragoons and teus in your starting hand was a good sign you were going second g2. I'm sure wind-up players of any format could also tell similar tales and so on. You could not however say that for dragons, for the very simple reason, that due to the high accessibility of the deck the opponent was likely to have a hand just as good. The most you could say for spellbooks is, I can make a big judgment search, which is simple to do anyways. From then on, for either deck, the good draws were counters (hand-traps etc.) or cards to access them, which are secondary to the main engine and only become important because you have everything else anyways. At the same time, to stop this from being abused, the ability to OTK was greatly hindered, making for games which at least lasted for a couple of turns instead of constant "I win" openings.

So, what I'm getting at is, did konami make a horrible mistake? No, they did what they intented to do, and this format had its uses. You'll find that a lot of competitive players really enjoyed it. You'll find on the other hand that people who were into "sack" worship didn't. Also people who just want to play specific decks or hipster decks didn't like it, but you know what, those people will hate any format of the game so long as it has people who are actually competitive in it. When it does then those competitive people will use what's best and will figure out which strategies are the best, and those who don't want to be competitive will be annoyed with it, move out to a new game and then repeat the process when that game too gets a real competitive player base.

It certainly wasn't all sunshine and rainbows either though. Of course this was not the format to fix every problem with the game. The first and more important issue is money. Say what you want about the game irl, but it is the real game, the reason the game actually exists and the one with actual rewards. Being competitive as a player in this format was not enough, you really had to be competitive with money as well, so without a disposable income or a pre-exsting huge collection, you had to either try to get lucky and practically play to lose, or just not try at all. Spellbooks especially were worth far more than their weight in gold, if we got a special valuable metal rarity for spellbooks instead of cardboard it would be perfectly reasonable. It was funny that in the sets they were coming out, long before judgment, their core cards were getting those insane rarities over and over without the deck actually being competitive to justify it by TCG standards, and then we learned there's Judgment coming out and everything made perfect sense. Nice, Kevin Trollart. And for those who enjoy throwing money at ygo, spellbooks was the deck for them, blindingly shiny from the day it was released. Dragons were more reasonable with the core of the deck being commons and rares, a very, very surprising move. On the other hand, the Xyz necessary for the deck had insane pricing. 3 copies of each of the 2 core xyz, for well over 100$ each. Part of the reason was also that the dragons themselves were cheap, an interesting piece of information for the ygo trading market. Since they were cheap, they were easy to build. Since they were easy to build while being the top deck, their extra deck had huge demand. But because the Xyz were necessary for the deck themselves, then the deck was not easy to build as a result of that demand, so would that demand drop? No, because if it did, the price would become more reasonable, so the deck would be easy to build again, so the price would spike once more. So the price stayed up.

The budget options were anti-decks, mostly verz. The demand for spellbooks and dragons was much higher, since they had the upper hand in all real matchups, including verz, so while Ophion demand was high as well, it was within reason and therefore reachable by the average player. Not that kerykeion was the easiest thing to get, but well, when budget options give you lemons...
Another, kinda unexplored, budget option was synchro dragon rulers. Basically, use dragon rulers, who were cheap, and focus on synchros instead of xyz, by using things like dragon ravine etc. to avoid the costs of the Xyz. You would still have to use one dragossac and big eye, but at least not 3 of them.
A deck not mentioned yet, under this category in a way, is mermails. They were certainly not cheap, but the players who were using them before could carry them from the previous format with 1 sac and big eye by adding stream and tidal. The problem is, they fell short. They did the same thing as dragon rulers more or less, but had limited resources versus the limitless resources of dragon rulers. It would be reduced to a game of advantage which dragons would just draw out until they won. Mermails had the great gaios, forcing the opponent to use up 2 xyz to deal with it, and dweller which could take the game when used well or against an unsuspecting opponent, but the opponent could just use his endless cards against gaios and play around dweller if he was aware, while he had blader to deal with things as well. Their real advantage in the format was the ability to main Imperial Iron Wall to even things, but it was not enough.

In this format I lost about 90% of my remaining interest in ygo and stopped playing (and admin'ing as a consequence). Big part of it is I was playing for too long and reached a point of saturation, probably I'll play in the future. While I will say this format was good (disagreeing with Baha? I feel like I'm losing my fangirl status...), at the same time, part of the reason I stopped, was in the nature of this format. I'd like to say I'm a builder. Yeah, I know, everyone is a builder, but can I assume that for myself? Please? PLEASE?
Anyways, I like to have fun with random stuff in ygo. Most of my playing time is putting together an interesting deck or finding an interesting concept, and working with it. However, I am not the kind that goes "omg, dark magician is awesome, ygo sucks because it is competitive and I can't use dark magician decks, konami sucks, I'll use dark magician deck and lose anyways and then whine about the game sucking". I like making the decks I make win at least under some circumstances and be viable. In previous formats I could do that, competitive decks were good, and if I face them well that sucks, but it was not an utterly impossible situation, and I wouldn't find them that often just because you can't use anything else. So I could have my randomness with the game and try different things. However in this format it was pointless, especially after the decks came to the TCG and they filled DN, no matter what you'd built, it would come back to dragons and spellbooks. That's what we call overcentralizing, so there you have it, I'm saying there was a bad thing in the format.

Now let's move over to Konami policy. We've said it before, that konami consciously moved to a power format and made overly strong decks in their design. As a result, they hardly had to deal with previous format threats. At the same time it seems like they still are not heavily considering using the banlist to deal with this format either. Instead the answer is again in cards. Speaking of mistakes konami made, they made a Mistake. What I am refering to is the card Mistake, which seems to have been made as an anti dragon and spellbook card. That seems like their way of dealing with problems. Of course we didn't have a shortage of anti cards, and it being yet another continuous trap card means that no matter what it does, if it is as easy as a continuous card to get over it is still managable and certainly not game changing. But that does not matter when it comes to the banlist, what matters is what konami thinks, and if konami thinks it solves the problems, then they will consider them solved. Can it really happen though, can the answer really come in the form of cards without creating a deck that's just stronger instead. I believe it can. A way is another really devastating hand trap that is affecting specifically them and is less dead otherwise, or similarly, simple to use strong continuous effects (we had a card like that, at least for books, TKRO which was hit for that reason, so cards exist). Another is the CFD option, a splashable extra deck card for simple advantage. A third would be a deck that anti's those two specifically better than verz while being generally usable to create a real rock paper scizors relationship and drop usage. If we consider that what we are looking for is ways to control the game long enough to win instead of gaining card presence, then answers in card design appear.

Moving closer to talking about the actual banlist, in ygo there is the notion that march banlists do nothing, september banlists traditionally solve issues, therefore september will fix everything and everyone will love konami, something that was said a lot these 6+ months. I believe there is a simple explanation for this. What follows the march banlist is the summer season, with just a couple of months before that where the season is ending. Product peaks around there so you sell out and let the game go on as it is. Summer sets (OCG) are generally not huge or game changing, and that's because summer is out of season so sales aren't expected to be big, so with big moves they'll be missing out. Tournament wise summer activity sucks and is mostly preparation for the World championship. You are carrying on with what you have at this point to end the season properly and therefore don't make drastic changes. However after september it's a new season, new season means new sets you want to actually be selling as a whole because people are buying and are active in the tournament scene, so you start making viable things again, want those viable things to be used, so you hit the older viable things in preparation, depending on what you are working with. Because of that, some players get the idea that in September, Santa is in charge of konami, while in March evil coorporation Santa takes over.

While on the subject of evil coorporation Santa, another thing that's extremely surprising, yet went unnoticed, is that this was a format that Kevin did NOT simply run over. It feels kinda sad, TCG exclusives usually gave us so much to talk about, now that we are without them it feels so uninteresting... What if we got some absolutelly broken Verz support for the TCG, for example? Now that would look more like a TCG format. Considering rarities though, it was more likely to get caster support. Still, we got none! Usually, they were either broken, or they sucked, but in this format they just all sucked. The first real macho TCG exclusives appeared in Numbers Hunters and they weren't actually game changing to begin with. Let's talk about that for a bit though. What we got was mirror match cards. Since they were mirror match cards, that meant both players that it affected in the matchup got the exactly same power up so nothing changed in the format. Was that a good thing? No, it was a horrible thing. That's because even though it changed nothing and you were playing the same game, you still have to buy them anyways, because you would be at a disadvantage if the guy at the mirror match has them instead of you, so you are paying extra money just to be able to return to the starting point. Not that they were that good, but still. I call extortion. So there you go, he did something, it's a pretty fuzzy feeling. As a result, we only had minor differences between CGs, them being some mermail power ups, the lack of the chicken engine, which is just an engine for a secondary tier deck, and key beetle locks, which were nerf'd in both CGs anyways already and it was just a verz gimmicky thing to begin with. I'd say the impactful difference only came lately, with the release of the blue eyes structure deck, which surprisingly were Spellcaster support instead of Dragon support, and was used to better deal with dragons instead. Sidenote, that rivalry was pretty interesting, Spellcasters and Dragons, and you guys were saying ygo moved away from its roots...

Now let's check the final rankings and see what gets hit.
First came dragons. Tournament results say so, decks say so, and most importantly builds say so. Let's look at a spellbook winning deck for example, that being the European championship winning deck (win for Greece, yay). It was more or less an anti-deck. As we went along in the TCG format spellbooks started dropping pieces from their core in favour of a lockdown core centered around Kycoo and Jowgen, and that's what the top spellbook TCG builds utilize, keep alive the lockdown monsters and win the dragon matchup that way, with Star Hall aiding the cause. Thankfully, they were not dead in the Spellbook matchup either, so they could manage without giving up on the mirror match. I'll admit it was a wise choice for those who went that way, you are maining answers for your 2 main matchups while admitting you have issues with the rest that way, but considering spellbooks is a powerful deck against everything else, even if you cannot beat them game 1 somehow, games 2 and 3 are likely enough, while you can't say the same about giving up game 1 against dragons or the mirror match. Thus Lockbooks were born. As solid an idea as it is though, it implies that spellbooks are inherently inferior and have to largely depend on anti-decking options to manage instead of their main engine (which is the answer they've had since the beginning with jowgen). The main concern of dragons on the other hand was stopping themselves from being locked, or getting an auto-win with something like EEV since Spellbooks are relativelly simple to anti.

Second were spellbooks. Obvious because of (A) them following the infinite search and presence playstyle while (B) being able to lock down big matchups. I can say they were close behind for you spellbook fans if it's any consolation, I don't really care.

In power, third was mermail. However, since they were mostly just inferior dragon rulers, there was no real reason to go that route and they were not really third. What was the third place finish instead is Evilswarm, which were there to represent stun, fail at locking the big decks and evolve a tiny little bit with key beetle.

Then it would be ok to just say "everything else" which wasn't really much. Fire Fist and Mermail, then stuff like Dragunity and other dragon abusers. I'd say remind me if I forgot anything important, but actually, no, don't, because it's probably not important.

So now on to the meat of it, banlist changes. What I predict will happen is, like every time: NOTHING OF PARTICULAR IMPORTANCE!
Sorry, I don't think dragons and books will die come September, I know, it's like I am hurting your hopes and dreams. I feel Konami was conscious of everything, if they change things in the banlist it will happen very gradually, otherwise it will be through the use of countering cards, or, maybe, decks that can compete on the same level. Sure, if those decks stay it is likely Konami will not sell a lot, but at the same time let's consider something. You could only play with Tachyon decks in this format, that means that competitive players that went in a tournament went in with Tachyon decks. We didn't have that for a while, so players went full into buying Tachyon to get their new top deck cards. From all that Konami sold A LOT. In fact they probably sold so much Tachyon that the market reached a certain kind of saturation. That means that you as a customer who went knee deep into buying Tachyon, will not be as inclined to abandon what you just went full into just to do the same with the next set, because, well, you probably aren't made of money. Konami is probably aware of that which is another reason we have been getting crap sets. At this point they can't sell as much, and they can afford to sit back for a bit after those earnings, so it would be reasonable to give lighter releases now and let people keep their decks, prompting them to just boost them with some new cards instead of giving them something entirelly different, or even just giving out the ability to compete with those decks in a different way that easily.

Let's get into actual hits though because they'll probably happen.
For Dragons I'll follow everyone's main prediction and explain it. Super Rejuvenation. It's old, easy to find (?) and works not as intented, while there is a new substitute for it in the form of seven star sword thingy. However, will that make much of a difference? Generally, dragons are a deck which have constant access to their resources and don't have issues with fodder mainly due to the babies, so as far as the core is concerned, extra draw power is uneccessary, especially if you are already using baby effects. What they can't access as easily which they need are counters. Now, let's get this out of the way, dragons don't need to counter lesser decks, lesser decks need to counter dragons, while dragons manage with their main engine. What dragons need to counter the most is dragons. When you use Super Rejuvenation what you are looking for mostly is the hand traps, maxx c and veiler. What you need the hand traps for, after turn 1, mostly is the dragon mirror match itself, meaning Super Rejuvenation is mostly a mirror match card, not because you draw off of your opponent's dragons, but because you find those counter options with it. When it comes to spellbooks instead, if you are using baby effects you are already free from jowgen anyways and are making plays as you are, what it's most useful for is using it turn 1 before the spellbook turn to find a droll and lock bird. In other matchups instead, Super Rejuvenation, while big, is a win-more card, largely uneccessary. So what dragons mostly lose from losing Super Rejuvenation is mirror match options. Losing mirror match options has particularly small impact in the metagame, because if you lose it, your opponent loses it as well and we are all back to the starting point. That means that the deck remains in the place it was before, meaning that Super Rejuvenation being hit is not a real metagame change, but more like an excuse and a way to fill decks with newer cards.

A very reasonable hit in the Xyz arsenal for good reasons is Big Eye. Not only is Big Eye pretty strong, allowing a player to get over most "can't be destroyed" situations and opening up OTKs while hurting boss monster strategies, but it also creates a form of looping with a Big Eye stealing another Big Eye which steals another monster. It is also old enough to at least be touched by the banlist, so I would see it as reasonable gameplay wise to see Big Eye at 1 and at least make people more conservative with using it, instead of going big eye to steal a big eye to steal another big eye. There's a big issue (pun not intented) with that though. As explained, the money in a dragon deck is not in the main deck, but instead is the extra deck. When we are talking about that we are talking about 2 cards, dragossac and big eye. Putting big eye to 1 means demand gets divided by 3, which means price significantly drops. That means the deck becomes really cheap. Now it could also mean that since the deck is cheaper it becomes more accessible and demand for the newer Xyz, Dragossac, rises, leading to more tachyon boxes sold, but one card decks is certainly not good business practice. Of course we had a rather filthy effort with numbers hunters at selling more extra deck monsters, but they weren't good enough to be absolutelly neccessary and justify dropping one of the extra deck cards. Now is the hit completely unlikely? No, that's just assuming konami understands what we want for our extra decks and assuming they don't release new useful cards, which is a false assumption. So depending on their plan, a big eye hit could happen. But what that means is that it depends on their plans as well, so it is also likely that no matter how many big eye clues we get, it still doesn't get hit, and there being a real reason for that to happen other than "omg, konami is high".

I feel spellbooks will lose cards for a reason. Those cards could be as out there as Toon Table of Contents because bad design, or they could even be actual search cards like secrets or magician. The reason I feel it will happen is because Spellbooks actually have a massive cardpool at their disposal. Over the course of the format, they would change actual core techs more often than Phill Spencer changed t-shirts. I'm not talking about extra techs, I am talking about actual engine pieces that they would use to thin the deck, get to their cards faster or even have main options. Toon table of contents with Toon Gemini Elf, Upstart Goblins, Libraries, Blue eyes engine, to name a few. Then you can add the anti decking core switches of jowgen, kycoo and lily, then consider priestess and justice ultimatelly main techs, with the choice to keep them or not and you have an adequate list. What this means is, they can make up for losses. They can even make up for losses in searchers with deck thinning. So, despite them being extremely straightforward, it is possible to hit spellbooks without actually changing much, and actually managing to sell cards on the side.

Other than that I can see mermails getting hit, this format or maybe the next because they didn't get the use they deserved for the cards they got (rightfully so, they were fully overshadowed). That's because they are starting to reach that point where they ran their course, even if they are not dominating, so a mermail hit feels likely. Again, main suspect is diva. At the same time, if konami still favours power decks, we may be seeing the opposite with mermails being untouched or boosted.

I don't see Fire Fist getting hit or Tenki leaving. I know Tenki is a very popular prediction, because Buujin too, but I'll say it stays also because of Buujin. Maybe it gets semi'd to address the complainers, but it is not very likely. I can on the other hand see Verz getting potentially hit. Again, low on the likely list, for many reasons, but I won't write off the good possibility.

I won't let my Veiler prediction go still because I am a stubborn man, and also because we can actually manage without this format, probably, possibly. The fact of the matter is, you are not using Trifortessops because it is simply outmatched by veiler, you bad bad kids. Also, while being a must have it is also a synchro outlet, now more than ever making the lv7 dragons into your favourite lv8 synchros, meaning less space for Xyz in your extra, you bad bad kids. Maybe book of moon coming back, it feels like it's eclipsed this format by book of eclipse anyways (pun intented?) since you can flip down all the lockdown'ers at once, while breaking the attack lock on your rank 7s.

Other than that, we'd have to see what comes up next to sell, which is mostly unknown to us at the moment, so predictions are by a big part random guesses. I can see chaos support pushed again (with new bls and gaias), and it could possibly be the answer of the format with more good support (arguably, gaias are ok by current standards). That could mean some chaos would be returning from the banlist, like chaos sorcerer or allure. However we've seen that konami just wants to forget old engines and cba to deal with them. Instead they make new similar cards which are following their current rules and policies, while leaving old cards where they are now. I can see one card being slightly released (allure at 2 for a surprise?) but more than that is very unlikely, with the higher chances being focus on new support instead. TKRO to 3 seems likely by gameplay, but it is too soon since its semi-limiting, so unlimiting would seem just fickle of konami.

Like always, some obsolete traps could be released a bit, even some like TT and Mirror Force, with BTH having some possibility behind it because of the new mgq cameo archetype of trap hole support. Same for stall cards. On the other hand things that support or open up OTKs are not coming out of there. Now, can I see stuff like magician of faith and DmoC coming out? Well, they are not real spellbook support (their own magician works better like the one of faith since they are all spellbooks anyways, and it's not like they don't have access to their used up spellbooks already), so at least magician of faith seems reasonable. There are also reasonable mermail boosts if things stay at the top as they are, like fishborg blaster (there's archer anyways), but for both that and magician of faith, it seems like konami wants to forget about them. A huge bump for mermails to compete with the rest would be brionac, but boosting mermails that far at this point is unreasonable anyways, this is the time to let them go instead. Maybe Sinister Serpent? Iunno, ynaut.

I'll drop in there some wishfull thinking because of the recent plant support as well and say that we could get back a lonefire (yeah, unlikely, but pleeeeeeease? especially now that we lost sangan, pleeeeeease?) or a dandy or maybe even a bulb (probably not because dragon food but meh, let me hope). While on the subject of wishing, I'll also wish for Trishula, because Trishula is my waifu. On a serious note though, I don't see old decks coming back like always, maybe some plant support because we saw plants in bits and pieces for some weird reason. The rest of metagame changes should come from new sets and cards instead. I'll say no to stupid things like Chaos Emperor, that could easily end up being dragon ruler support, unless they reeeeeally want to push new chaos support. I'll say there's a chance Yata Garasu comes back at 1, and that's because we saw that new Tour Bus card, which seems utterly useless at first glance, but it may very well be Kevin once again running over the format like a GTA working girl, potentially, maybe, who knows.

Yeah, a rant mostly again. Let's call them a format analysis and retrospective plus a prediction instead of just a prediction and call this instead.

So there, to summarise, all dragon type monsters at 1, including Trishula. Adding from the deck to the hand is banned from ygo come september 1st and there is no plant type monster anymore in the banlist, they all go at 3, at least. Also, ygo adopts mulligan rule, right now. Oh, also, Santa comes in September, obviously. Of course tier 0 is the villainous enemy of justice itself and dragons made me quit ygo.

P.S.: I hate my sister
P.S.2: I hate insects
P.S.4: Probably won't buy it

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Last edited by Al-Bhed on Fri Aug 02, 2013 8:42 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: The banlist that will bring back goat control   Fri Aug 02, 2013 6:32 am


true story right there Al. Great post.

Dating my books unfortunatly. I'll read it later.

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Amethyst777 said:Things activate in reverse order. Thus, bottomless targets grannel before he hits the field, and thus before his effect activates (gaining attack). People told me DN was dumb. But jegus.

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Amethyst777 said: I just realized something. The problem with playing a children's card game: You're bound to encounter children, 90% of which are squalling moronic retards with arrogance issues.

^Words of a true close minded moronic ignorant.
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