A Few Comments Regarding the Upcoming Changes to the Yu-Gi-Oh! OCG (What does Link Summoning mean for the game?)

Starter Deck 2017 is scheduled to be released in the Yu-Gi-Oh! Official Card Game on March 25, 2017. Along with new cards that will be featured in the upcoming Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS anime, the release of Starter Deck 2017 introduces changes to the rules of the game as well as the introduction of a new Summoning type, Link Summon.

For many, what has just been stated is old news, and the introduction of the new rule changes have been met with mixed feelings from players. However, I will attempt to briefly address some of the ways the changes to the rules and the new Summoning method will affect game mechanics as well as mention some things we need to keep in mind when moving forward with the new rules.

I will be going forward with the assumption that you have at least heard about these changes to some degree, if you have not, please refer to this external source for a light catch-up: https://ygorganization.com/reallypendulumswereverysorry/

I will begin with the concept of “Extra Deck Monsters”. In order to help with adjusting to the new rules, I encourage you to think of monsters not as “Extra Deck Monsters” but as “monsters Summoned from the Extra Deck” and “monsters not Summoned from the Extra Deck”. Monsters Summoned from the Extra Deck must go into either the Extra Zone or a Main Monster Zone Linked to a Link Monster. Monsters Summoned from the Hand, Main Deck, Graveyard, or from being banished would be Summoned to any Main Monster Zone. It is permissible to Summon any monster into a Linked Main Monster Zone, not just monsters summoned from the Extra Deck.

This does raise the question of how the Returning a banished monster to the field would work. For example: if I have a PSY-Framelord Omega which was Summoned from the Extra Deck and I use its effect which would involve banishing itself, could I place it in a Main Monster Zone that is not Linked? Official clarification would be required to answer this question, but my guess based on my understanding of how Returning a banished card works, is that the process of Returning seeks to preserve the game state as much as possible, therefore the Return of a monster Special Summoned from the Extra Deck must be to a Zone that it would be able to occupy based on the rules of the game. Therefore, if no available Extra Monster Zone or Linked Main Monster Zone exists for the PSY-Framelord Omega from the above-mentioned scenario is available; I would conjecture that the correct action would be that PSY-Framelord Omega would then be sent to the Graveyard, and not placed in a Main Monster Zone that is not Linked.

With the introduction of Link Summoning, every single one of your monsters will count, even after they have been used as Link Summoning Material. Remember that Link Monsters can also be used as Link Summoning Material, and the indicated Link value of a monster also indicates how it can be used toward the Link Summon of another Link Monster. Keep the directional arrows that indicate which zones will be Linked by your Link Monsters in mind as each of those will play a part into how you can Link other Main Monster Zones. Link Monsters Summoned from the Graveyard into Main Monster Zones will still Link the Main Monster Zones which their arrows point to. So take advantage of cards that Special Summon monsters from the Graveyard, such as Soul Charge, and Link your Main Monster Zones so that you can utilize Fusion, Synchro, Xyz, and other Link Monsters.

Take advantage of cards that allow you to summon multiple monsters at once, such as Brilliant Fusion, Zoodiac Barrage, and Blackwing – Gofu the Vague Shadow, in order to bring out Link Monsters as fast as possible.  Cards such as Ground Collapse or Zany Zebra may have an interesting role to play when it comes to impeding additional Summons from the Extra Deck. Cards like Dimensional Barrier and Artifact Scythe will also be very strong as we can certainly expect Synchro, Xyz, and Fusion Summoning to become intermediate steps to Summoning the first Link Monster for any game.

I certainly have not touched on every possible scenario that can happen with these new rules, but that’s where a lot of potential lies. Think about the cards that exist and consider how they will change their roles once the new rules come into effect for the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG, and enjoy! After all, the theme of Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS is “Take a step forward, and try!”

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments, and I will do my best to respond.

GaiasabertheVideoKnight-COTD-JP-OP

Submitted by a friend.

Yugioh Rogue Deck Analysis: Yosenju (Beating Vanity’s Since 2015)

(Submitted by a friend)

Relevant Rogue: Yosenju

Formats in Yugioh tend to change every couple months with new decks controlling the meta.  I started playing in Nekroz format and have continued to play through several formats dominated by shaddolls, monarchs, burning abyss, kozmo, pkba, pepe, blue eyes, paleos, and metalfoes.  Throughout most of it I have played the same archetype: Yosenjus.  I originally chose to play Yosenjus for three reasons 1) I wasn’t sure if I was going to commit to Yugioh and did not want to spend too much getting into the game 2) they were reminiscent of the spirit archetype I used to play as a kid and 3) they were secret rare.  What was surprising to me was that I was able to have success with the deck across all of these formats.  I will try to explain why I think that is below:

Nekroz Format (Nekroz, shaddolls, qli’s, tellars)

Nekroz of Unicore and Shaddoll Winda were cards that dominated the meta because of their ability to limit a player’s extra deck strength.  Though neither monster was that big, it was difficult to find a way to eliminate them without using an extra deck.  The Yosenjus, however, almost never special summon and were able to play through these locks in main phase 1 and follow up with xyz plays in main phase 2 if necessary.  Similarly, when Qli’s were maining triple vanity’s, Yosenjus were able to play through it without any problems.  The fact that Yosenjus could also play limited cards like Macro Cosmos and Dimensional Fissure without any drawbacks further improved the pendulum matchup (as well as several other matchups).  Finally, since tellars usually consolidated resources into an xyz monster, Yosenju Kama 1 could easily cause your opponent to lose lots of card advantage.  In this format I played pure Yosenjus with floody backrows, basically Yosenju Demise without the Demise.

Pepe Format (PePe, pendulum magicians)

This format lasted all of 2 weeks.  However, I believe it provides a good example of how versatile Yosenjus can be.  Yosenjus as an engine is roughly 9 cards (playset of each Kama, 12 if you include Tenki).  Because of this, it can be combined with several different archetypes.  The combination that I had found to be successful in this format was Baby Raccoon Yosenjus.  Pendulums dominated this format and the raccoon engine opened up Naturia Beast to cut off the entire mechanic.  The Yosenjus could easily remove scales to make Naturia Beast even more terrifying.  The raccoons could create a soft lock with Ronin Sandayu.  It was easy to control how many cards you had in your hand with the Yosenjus in order to easily negate cards with Fabled Unicore.  You could use Diamond Dire Wolf to remove problem cards by targeting your own Ronin Sandayus, making Diamond Dire an extremely powerful option.  Furthermore, Ronin Sandayu opened up more OTK’s with the Yosenju monsters.  The synergy between the rank 2’s and 4’s doesn’t end there however.  Cat shark could create OTK’s with Dark Rebellion XYZ Dragon if you didn’t already have a Daigusto Phoenix on board.  Though Pepe was the undisputed deck-to-beat, I believe Baby Raccoon Yosenjus was a good counter to the deck, going first or second.

Monarch Format (Monarch, BA, Kozmo)

Around Pepe format was when we first got Kaijus.  At the time we only had Kumongous and Dogoran and there was an obvious gimmick that could be abused with the Yosenjus (kaiju a monster, bounce it back).  At the time I considered it to be a fun tech to put in my pure Yosenju build.  However, when Breakers of Shadow released Interrupted Kaiju Slumber, I completely changed how my deck was supposed to run.  Instead of opting to go first and setting floodgate cards, I opted to go second and wipe boards for OTK’s.  The deck became nearly trapless.  The only floodgates I kept were Dimensional Fissure and Necrovalley.  Both of those cards could be activated before using Slumber to ensure that your BA, Monarch, and Kozmo opponents negged as hard as possible.  If you didn’t win that turn, there was good chance that those floodgates prevented your opponent from recycling resources to threaten you the next turn.  Kaijus were an absolute godsend for Yosenjus.  They didn’t count as tribute summoned monsters, so you could turn off Domain.  They didn’t trigger Beatrice’s effect.  They didn’t trigger Kozmo ship effects.  They also shut down Kozmo pilots’ ability to tag out as well as making set Kozmojos dead.  Kaijus also removed Kirin, Cyber Dragon Infinity and Vortex Dragon, cards that used to give us trouble.  Since almost nobody played traps this format, Yosenju Kaiju had free reign to just wipe boards and OTK all the time.  The deck was also extremely unpopular during this format and almost no one realized that I actually wanted to go second every game.  To be honest, I believe this was the easiest format for Yosenjus.  OTK’s were way too easy.  Everyone would overextend (since Exciton got banned) and consolidate all of their power into a kaiju-able boss monster.  The only hard matchup was Mermail and it honestly came down to the die roll.

At this time, Yosenju Demise was pretty popular.  I still think that deck sucks in comparison.

ABC Format (ABC, Metalfoe, Paleo)

I wish I could say more about this format.  Unfortunately, I had picked up Paleozoics during this format and left Yosenjus in the deck box.  The sheer number of trap cards in this format scared the hell out of me and I didn’t want to deal with never being able to summon any Yosenjus.  I thought Yosenjus wouldn’t be viable this format.  However, I was proven wrong when Yosenju Kaiju got first place at the Portrush Regional.  As I said, I thought backrow was the death of the deck.  The person piloting the first place deck must have also realized that since his deck profile listed 3x twin twisters, 3x MST, and 2x Nightbeam.  I only wish I had the balls to try that first.  That being said, I am not upset about playing Paleozoics…the deck is just too good.  It just feels so powerful playing a meta deck.

Looking Forward (Zoodiacs)

Add zoodiacs.

Closing Remarks

Through my own playtesting and tournament success, I would confidently say that Yosenjus have been a relevant rogue option since 2015.  The fact that the Yosenju engine is extremely small makes it incredibly flexible when mashing it with other engines.  The reliance on normal summons is a huge weakness, but it makes for that in its ability to swarm without the use of special summoning.  The fact that they return to hand means it becomes much harder for your opponent to remove your card advantage with board wipes, and makes it even more profitable for you to use board wipes like Torrential Tribute and Dark Hole.  Yosenjus play using game mechanics that are outside the set used by meta decks, while also providing enough wiggle room to include answers to the problems that meta decks can put up.

I realize I had forgotten to write about Blue Eyes.  The only matchup that was easier than Blue Eyes was Kozmo.  Your opponent would lose so much if you kaiju’d their spirit dragon.  Even if they used soul charge on turn 1, you could break the entire board with just 1 kaiju and 1 slumber.  Out of all the events I went to, I only lost to 1 Blue Eyes player ever and he was playing the cheesy Chaos Max turbo version.  To be fair, the Blue Eyes matchup was also a matchup I had had plenty of practice with.  Outside of events I would playtest with a friend who loved the deck.  He’s a good player, but I believe that he was only able to take a couple matches from Yosenjus because he became very familiar with what options Yosenjus have (while the typical Yugioh player at a regional, at the time, had no idea how the deck worked).  Therefore, I could abuse the fact that my opponent didn’t know how to stop me.  At an event, a match against blue eyes, kozmo, or BA was a free win.

yosenju

Thanks for reading.

The Tragic Invasion of Vengeance (One of the Worst Yugioh Sets of 2016)

So to distract myself (and hopefully you too) from the impending potential end of America here’s some mindless drivel about Yugioh cards.

The Box, The Story and the Future…

sdc19009

So I’m about to make the questionable business decision of telling you all the reasons why not to buy the product I’m about to sell.

So I pre-ordered a box of INOV when Toadally Awesome and Dimensional Barrier were spoiled. However, after looking at the prices of the rest of the cards in the set I realized that this set has very little value outside of the those specific secret rares. I’d liken this to the Secrets of Eternity set in that:

  • It’s value was limited to a few secrets: Qliphort Monolith, Soul Transition, etc.
  • It primarily introduced non-meta archetype(s):  Infernoids out of SECE were not a deck and neither are these Crystrons or Chemicritters (and worse yet neither are likely to become meta decks down the road)

Now to be fair, this set has one huge advantage over Secrets and that’s Dimensional Barrier.

124795_200w

This card is playable in literally any deck. It’s a viable sideboard card that can effortlessly win games against certain decks. Currently, this card is your best chance at profiting off your box.

capturedb

I don’t like those odds so I’m selling my box. I’ll be the lowest listing on tcgplayer in a matter of minutes.

I bought all of the cards pictured from friends who cracked their own boxes. Most if not all of them are new pieces for my much beloved jank decks. I don’t regret this decision especially since I’m stuck in a rut in competitive Yugioh at the moment. Anyway that’s a post for another day.

Anyway, it’s time to hope that the country is still here when I wake up in a few hours.

Thanks for reading as usual.

Why I’m Quitting Force of Will and why you should too!

So as I alluded to yesterday I’m pretty much done with Force of Will. I’ve had 0 desire to invest anymore into this game, much less play it on any competitive level and barely can resist selling my collection. I place all of the blame for these feelings on the terrible decisions that the company managing the game has made over the course of the last year or so, specifically in regard to one obvious card. Let’s take a quick look.

 

Disclaimer: The following is actually just a rant. Read at your own peril

 

Tackling the Nightmare of Reflect/Refrain

ruler-reflect-jruler

Problem 1: Too Many Abilities 

I wasn’t kidding when I said Reflect ruined this game for me (and I assume many others). This card was (and probably is) too powerful for the game. It provides more free utility than any other J-Ruler. While some rulers if they’re lucky have 1 effect on their Ruler Side, Reflect here has 3. Did I mention it J-Activates for 0? Did I mention it can return to the Ruler side also for 0? They had to print a card for the other rulers to have such a luxury. Forget that everything Reflect does it already amazing, Refrain bounces creatures, counters spells and tutors any card from the deck. Sure you need a few magic counters to do it, but we cares? You get counters for using Reflect’s busted filter ability to fix your hand. If you’re not convinced that this is the broken, let me tell you it’s gets worse. They had to errata this card mid-season just because it was so overpowered.

errata

Now I want you to recall all of the stupid abilities I just mentioned (on Reflect) can you imagine doing them on both player’s turns? Then take it a step further and imagine both players using Reflect both tossing broken effects back and forth racking up counters for Refrain. I played this format, it was the highest form of card gaming cancer.

 

Problem 2: A Community Divided, A Meta Controlled 

Reflect warped the competitive scene of this game. The “Wonder Twins” became the only general to consistently win any tournaments (here’s some anecdotal evidence however, please keep in mind that Reflect taking 15 of the top 16 slots at a tournament is a fairly common occurrence). Soon every event was generally 70% Reflect players who easily crushed the one to two scrubs still playing Grimm, Slyvia or Lumia.

Now other rulers saw play and still topped, but an incredible wedge grew in the community. There were the people like me who saw one ruler controlling the meta as a bad thing and called for a ban on Reflect (probably all of those with a ygo background can understand that feeling). However, the rest of the community was divided into players who either didn’t care and wanted to play with their broken ruler or players who thought that Reflect could be beaten by simply “brewing” a better deck. The problem was that Reflect can’t be beaten by “brewing”. Reflect just provides more free utility than any other ruler making it the safest choice for competitive play. Also due to Force of Will ingeniously not putting any freaking mana costs on anything Reflect does, you can play it in any deck shell. Aggro, cool Reflect pumps Lancelot. Control? Cool Refrain bounces creatures and counters spells! Combo? Refrain tutors your combo piece for you.

 

Problem 3: We screwed up and can’t fix it…

If all of this wasn’t enough for you understand why Force of Will is dying then let me show you the lasting effects of printing Jace, the Mind Sculptor in a Standard set and quietly walking away. No ruler has been as popular as Reflect on the competitive scene nor have they printed a ruler close to Reflect’s power level. I still remember the night my playgroup first read Gill Lapis. We all thought he was broken. I mean he taxes regalia essentially taking 28 regalia out of the meta and he steals up to 3 cards from the opponent’s deck?! That’s broken! He’ll be tier 1 right? No. Gill Lapis is and has been garbage alongside almost every ruler since Reflect. I’m not saying I dislike any of them as cards. I love all of the rulers from Alice block for their flavor and effects, it’s just that Reflect is better than literally all of them.

So maybe Force of Will could print a card that hates on Reflect to give the other rulers a chance? Well they tried that to…

and what we got was this nonsense:

Black_Moonbeam

So on the plus side this can kill Refrain and she can’t flip back! 😀

But it also kills every… other…J/Ruler…

So when we finally get a card that could stop Reflect (by which i mean literally just Refrain if the player using it has gone completely dumb) it comes with the caveat of making literally every other ruler unplayable as they all just auto-die to this trash. I don’t know what on earth they were thinking printing a card like this. It actually makes Reflect better as you can just use the ruler side abilities and never even bother flipping.

And so I’ve come to decent stopping point as to why this game is awful, the direction its taking is awful (This can be a rant for another day as to how all of the new art designs and mechanics are just a joke) and why I no longer want to collect it.

Now just to be clear I really liked this game and still do like it. This is basically just Magic the Gathering with no mana screw and cuter  characters. Still I can’t overlook the damage that one poorly thought out card managed to the entire game as a whole. I hope to continue to play this casually, but that’s about it.

CaptureSP

Misguided Optimism for the Eternal Masters PPTQ

I’m going to an Eternal Masters PPTQ tomorrow. I’m very excited for an opportunity to open some of the best cards in Magic and hopefully have a fun experience. Now there are some things to worry about, namely that this tournament costs a lot to enter and that only a few of the rares/foils pay for each pack. Now the cards that are expensive are absurd (especially cards printed in foil for the first time) so this could be a very lucrative trip. My other regret is missing a Philly Yugioh regional for the first time since coming here.

There are many cards I hope to open for EDH (Any Tutor), many cards I’d love to pull just to sell (Karakas) and many bulk rares cards I pray to never see (Call the Skybreaker).

Similar to that Standard tournament I went to over a year back, I’m just going to wing it and see what happens.

Thanks for reading as usual.

4 Reasons Why Magic the Gathering Modern is just Yugioh, Why I’m quitting and so should you!

As the regrettably click-bait name implies, yes I am effectively quitting Modern and yes after many years of following the format over YouTube, Twitch and at regional events I’m 100% certain that the Modern Format is synonymous to the game of Yugioh. I hope my hastily prepared evidence is enough to make you consider my argument. Using this logic I’m going to try to justify selling out of Modern (since I did the same with Yugioh). Anyway, let’s get this travesty that I’m using to justify selling cards I worked very hard to get.

 

The Top 4 Reasons Why MTG Modern is Yugioh

 

The Speed

Modern is a format where kills by the 4th turn of the game are not only allowed, but seen as fair. As long as no deck can achieve a consistent kill before turn 4 its deemed safe for Modern. That being said certain decks like Goryo’s Vengeance, Storm or Infect can still win on the 2nd or 3rd turn of the game, just not very often. In Yugioh, the game has recently gotten so fast that certain decks win on their first turn going second. Mermail decks for example have an easy  OTK combo by combining Neptabyss, the Atlantean Prince with Instant Fusion. Similar results can be seen with the Kozmo deck that OTKs by using Kozmo Dark Destroyer to destroy itself to allow for extra attacks by floating into smaller Kozmo monsters.

 

The Cost of Staples

Modern is an expensive format. Most of cards needed to build each archetype are very expensive. Similarly Ygo has expensive staples each format, the difference being that Yugioh’s ban list combined with its amazing power creep causes the price of each staple to eventually drop once they’re no longer relevant to the format.

Tarmogoyf is a Modern Staple for Jund/Abzan decks (To be fair, this card also sees play in Legacy and Vintage). This card has seldom cost less than $100 per copy despite multiple reprints.

Gofy

Kozmo Dark Destroyer is a staple for the Kozmo deck. This card reached a height of $140 per copy before a recent reprint demolished its price.

Dark

 

The Price Fluctuations

Whenever a new archetype or combo piece appears in Modern, it can cause older magic cards to spike in price. This same process occurs in Yugioh when an old card suddenly sees play in the current format, usually in a new deck.

This card is seeing play in a new list for Jeskai Control. As a result it’s price has greatly risen.

Wheel

Here’s a card that was released in May 2015 in the Crossed Souls set. On release it was worth a few quarters, but today it’s risen to almost $15 thanks to the recent Blue Eyes White Dragon support.

melod

 

The Ban List

There is no greater relationship between Yugioh and Modern than the presence of the ban list. Now the uses of the ban hammer in both of these games are very different. In Yugioh the ban list is merely a tool to ensure that the older decks cannot fight the newest archetypes that they want to sell. In Magic however, the goal is to keep the Modern format balanced (or as aforementioned to prevent turn 1-3 kills). However, the effect of the ban list is that while the game improves people lose their decks and their investments. I’ve watched close friends lose a great deal of money as a result of the Splinter Twin ban and the Adjusted Ban List to name only a few recent events. Obviously, it’s for the greater good to shake up the format, but people get hurt along the way regardless.

Splinter Twin after being reprinted in MM2, and then subsequently banned in Modern has dropped to about $5 from it’s height of $25.

twin

The Pre-release hype card Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer was $99 during the BOSH sneak peek and remained at $60 until the Adjusted Ban List hit. As a result it’s price dropped to about $30, and now is $18 after an an all time low of $15.

Sorc

 

My Opinions

I love watching Modern matches and the format overall. There always an interesting race and the format is so diverse that there’s usually a cool match-up to watch on YouTube. While many would take from this article that my comparison between Modern and Yugioh is a negative thing, I don’t mean it to be. I personally love watching both formats. The key difference is that I play Yugioh weekly, while I haven’t actually played Modern in almost 5 months. When my friend who played Splinter Twin lost his deck (and also moved away) I had no one to play with. I didn’t think my Elves deck was strong enough to fight my local stores meta and I had absolutely no plans to play while Eldrazi dominated the format early this year. Now I’m at the point where my modern deck has wasted away in a deckbox on my floor. I personally believe that if I’m not using a card I should ensure someone who will use it receives it.

Furthermore, Modern just feels like Yugioh to me. It’s not about cool brews and innovation as much as the same tested consistent decks being used over and over again. Yes there’s an aforementioned diversity in the format, but there’s also a clear tier level. Yugioh is the same way wherein you either play the meta or desperately struggle running a rogue deck. Elves isn’t exactly a meta modern deck. It’s a strategy that resonated with my early days of playing mono green ramp after cracking a 2013 Intro pack. Sadly those days have long past and it’s time to get out once and for all for the safety of EDH (the only magic format I can rely on).

 

My Plan

SDC12105-001

Using these likely hard to move Japanese copies of Ezuri and Heritage Druid I’m going to build Ezuri EDH (or Tiny Leaders). This way I can keep the spirit of my elves deck in a format where I’m likely to actually play it. It also lets me keep the Pendelhaven and Okina that were the gifts from my friend who used to play Twin. This decision actually hurt me more than quitting Standard and quitting competitive Yugioh since this deck cost me almost as much as Nekroz did to build. What I do know is that I still play my Nekroz deck whenever I get the chance even at the risk of easy losses to the meta, whereas I never even bring my Modern deck when I head to Magic events. Anyway I’m on the verge of rambling now so it’s time to stop. I hope you found this list of comparisons if not convincing, at the very least interesting.

Thanks for reading as usual.