Jori En – A Primer: A Self-Conscious EDH Storm

(Hello. I’m the same guy from the Grenzo thing. Big thanks to TooManyCardGames for hosting this deck tech.)

Storm is fun. For the pilot. This is a constant in all formats in which storm is viable, which is most of them. Better players than I have demonstrated exactly how true this is in Commander, with lists like this one. While all-in Grixis Storm decks may be the most viable way to win with a high storm count, they have some inherent problems for anyone playing outside a hardcore competitive metagame. Specifically:

  • Maintaining a three-color manabase in an archetype reliant on High Tide is not cheap, and can be inconsistent.
  • They can be incredibly intimidating, and immediately become the threat at the table.
  • They don’t play nice with others.

That last point is key. While there is a decent amount of interaction in Jeleva Storm and similar, most lists aren’t designed for the long game, and don’t have a comfortable plan outside of storming off. This is a huge deal, because there are absolutely tables at which an early storm kill is the least fun thing to have happen. So what can you do? Just not play storm unless your meta is purely competitive? I’m here to present another option: play storm in a combo-control shell.

The theory behind this is pretty simple. The deck has two stances: aggressivly play for the combo turn, or be the control player. Why does this matter? Well, the main problem storm has is the raw time it takes to resolve the winning turn. If you’re winning turns 3-5, and most of the early turns are land-go, you’ve just dominated the total time taken by all players with a five minute turn in a ten minute game. Do this an hour in, after controlling the board and keeping a few other players from winning, and this doesn’t seem quite as bad.

Of course, I can’t guarantee that this won’t still give people the feel-bads. Storm is not something everyone enjoys playing against, and for some people, the mere fact that it is your win condition will be enough for them to hate you and everything you represent. Unfortunately, this seems to be true of practically any deck one could play, so I’ll just be moving on.

Okay, so now we just need to figure out how to play control and combo with the same deck. To be honest, the control part on its own is not an easy task. In a four-player game, the only real types of controlling interaction that scale well are stax and board wipes. Stax is probably going to interfere with our storm plan, and board wipes can be dead or ineffectual against a variety of types of decks, so we will have to rely on traditional countermagic and spot removal as well. Both of these scale… poorly. Holding down an entire table is incredibly difficult. We need a commander that can recoup some of the advantage lost from spending our cards defensively. My weapon of choice: Jori En, Ruin Diver.


Jori is unassuming. She’ll generally draw you a card per round, sometimes two, and occassionally none. The interesting thing here is that as you try to control the table, she’ll often be drawing cards in proportion to the number of threats that must be dealt with. Every time you interact on an opponent’s turn, you have an opportunity to spin it into card advantage. This can actually be enough to tip the scales to where controlling three players is possible. The other key points Jori hits: she is not necessary for the storm plan, so casting her is usually not seen as threating; and she has relatively low mana cost, allowing her to be played while players are still developing.

Jori isn’t exactly conventional, so let’s compare her briefly to the other options.


Alternative Commanders

Mono Blue

Baral, Chief of Compliance and Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy are both fairly viable for this archetype. Each filters your draws in some way, getting you to the card advantage needed to control the board, and each contributes to the storm plan (Baral by being a cost reducer, Jace by flashing back a critical spell, often High Tide). That said, they don’t directly contribute card advantage, and being mono blue removes Past in Flames and Yawgmoth’s Will as options, cutting some resilience from the storm plan.

Blue/Black

Dralnu, Lich Lord presents an interesting twist on Jace, but the high mana cost and harsh risk make this option unappealing.

Oona, Queen of the Fae is an infinite mana outlet in the command zone. Aaaand… That’s it. For the archetype we are playing, a commander who is only useful when you are ready to win is not a great commander.

Blue/Red

Keranos, God of Storms provides some of the same goodness as Jori, by either drawing a card or controlling the board each turn. Unfortunately, at five mana, the benefits Keranos provides are not sufficient. The majority of the time, this is a lightning bolt once per turn, which is just not enough.

Mizzix of the Izmagnus, and to a lesser extent Melek, Izzet Paragon and Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind, can be powerful commanders, with abilities that contribute directly towards the storm turn. Unfortunately for the latter, they cost six mana, and unfortunately for Mizzix, he is very much a known quantity. Mizzix is incredibly dangerous to leave in play, and as a result, he dies. A lot. Further, Mizzix is highly build-around, so if he is not in play, the deck becomes significantly worse. This is just not what we’re looking for.

Nin, the Pain Artist is probably the closest to Jori En, and it would not be unreasonable to run her. At worst, she’s a slow Braingeyser, but when you have other creatures in play, she is repeatable instant speed card draw. Even better, she’s an outlet for infinite mana, and can act as spot removal in an emergency.


Decklist

Let’s assume you accept that Jori En is a viable commander for a control/storm deck. Let’s take a look at such a deck.

Win Conditions

Ultimately, almost every win this deck gets will be through Aetherflux Reservoir. This card makes achieving lethal storm far easier than cards with the actual storm mechanic. This win condition, and to a lesser extent Grapeshot, is supported by two combos, both relatively well-known at this point.

Imprinting Dramatic Reversal on Isochron Scepter with mana rocks gives you arbitrarily large storm, and with mana rocks producing three or more total, infinite mana. Though this does not win the game on its own, in many circumstances, it is easy to transition this into a win.

Having Helm of Awakening, Future Sight, and Sensei’s Divining Top in play will allow you to repeatedly activate top and recast it for free, effectively drawing your deck and building a massive storm count.

Everything else

I’m going to break down most of the deck into several categories.

Counterspells

The countermagic suite includes cards that fulfill at least one of the following requirements:

  • Mana efficient (Mental Misstep, Mindbreak Trap, Swan Song, Rewind, Counterspell)
  • Highly flexible (Disallow, Cryptic Command, Unsubstantiate, Muddle the Mixture)
  • Draws cards (Arcane Denial, Remand)

Keeping roughly to these guidelines lets us split the difference between storm and control. Mana efficient can often mean that Jori En draws more cards, and that velocity is super important.

Removal

The exact mix of removal spells is something I’m constantly messing with, but here’s some examples:

  • Spot Removal
    • Creatures (Lightning Bolt, Pongify, Snap)
    • Artifacts (Dack Fayden, Shattering Pulse, Vandalblast)
    • Flexible (Chaos Warp, Metamorphose)
  • Mass Removal (All is Dust, Blasphemous Act, Cyclonic Rift)

Since it’s rare to get removal mixed into card draw in these colors, I focus on extreme mana efficiency for Jori, with the exception of the more flexible answers in these colors.

Draw/Filtering

There has to be a lot of this, to smooth the divide between combo and control.

  • Cantrips (Brainstorm, Opt, Peek, Quicken, Ponder, Preordain, Gitaxian Probe, Impulse)
  • Tutors (Mystical Tutor, Gamble, Merchant Scroll, Personal Tutor, Whir of Invention)
  • Larger Draw (Fact or Fiction, Dig Through Time, Windfall, Reforge the Soul, Recurring Insight)

These serve drastically different purposes depending upon the circumstance. Cantrips allow Jori En to consistently build card advantage cheaply or velocity when looking for a combo, while deeper digging spells search for either answers or fuel for the storm turn.

Storm

These cards are primarily useful as setup, fuel, or payoff for the storm turn. As always, there is some overlap (in fact, the more useful these cards are elsewhere, the better). The win conditions already listed above are omitted.

  • Mana Production (High Tide, Mana Vault, Frantic Search, Turnabout)
  • Payoff (Grapeshot, Mind’s Desire, Past in Flames)

You may notice that the cards dedicated just to the storm turn are few. This is intentional. There is enough draw and filtering to find them when the time is right, and the majority of the list should be flexible enough to be useful both when looking to combo and when just kicking back.

Ramp

Both forms of ramp are essential to this deck. Cost reducers lead to turns similar to the modern Past in Flames deck, and turn certain spells mana-positive. Besides the general need to get ahead on mana common to all EDH decks, running the Reversal/Scepter win condition requires some dedication to mana rocks.

  • Cost Reducers (Baral, Chief of Compliance, Goblin Electromancer, Helm of Awakening, Sapphire Medallion)
  • Mana Rocks (Wayfarer’s Bauble, Thran Dynamo, Sol Ring, Mind Stone, Izzet Signet, Gilded Lotus, Fellwar Stone, Chrome Mox)

Lands

First thing first: High Tide is a good card, and to use it we need islands. Second, we intend to be relying on not “whiffing” during the storm turn, which can be caused by drawing too many lands with wheel effects and other card draw. As such, we want a low land count. The high density of cantrips and the engine Jori En provides somewhat compensates for this. Everything else should consistently provide two colors and arrive untapped, with the possible exceptions of Izzet Boilerworks (which works very well with untap effects) and at most one basic Mountain. My current list looks something like this:

20x Islands (including shocks and fetches)

8x UR Lands

1x Bounce Land

1x Mountain

Reading the Table

With the list established, it’s time to talk about what I consider the most important part of playing this deck: figuring out what your opponents want. There are players who want to play against the best you have, and others that would rather the game go long and everyone get a chance to play. As the pilot of this deck, you have the opportunity to give both types of players what they want. Figuring out what’s going on at your table is essential to having a good game of EDH for everyone, and it’s worth going into some of the subtleties.

Commanders

As anyone who has played against multiple opponents knows, the commanders your opponents choose can either be highly indicative or highly misleading. Take the information you have, but don’t make hard assumptions. Certain commanders, like Jace, Teferi, and Zur, can be strong pointers that your opponents are trying to win. Others are more ambiguous, like Breya, Jeleva, and Animar, each of which have viable competitive builds and casual fun modes. Still others are indicators that your opponents aren’t trying to optimize to win, like Norin, Kynaios and Tiro, or Kangee (sorry man).

In short, the information you get on turn 0 is the first clue as to what you should be doing. If this isn’t enough information, you’ll have to move on to the next indicators.

Talking

I know, crazy, right? Full disclosure, I’m generally against fishing for information in a tournament setting, but this isn’t quite the same. Everyone’s here to have a good time, and it’s in everyone’s interest that players be on the same page. If the guy across from you shows you General Tazri, allow yourself to show some natural fear that this may be Food Chain Tazri, and you’ll be dead on turn 4 (you won’t be, most likely, we have a lot of interaction to prevent that sort of thing). You may get a response along the lines of “Don’t worry, I don’t play combos,” or “Haha yeah,” and you can feel free to treat them appropriately.

By the same token, if someone asks you what you’re doing, don’t lie. Honesty in your expectations for how the game will be played is the best way to get the game everyone wants.

Card Choices

If all else fails, the cards don’t lie. From the overt (Mana Crypt, ABUR duals, revealed combo pieces) to the more subtle (cards like Preordain are often overlooked by new players in favor of splashier effects), it should be possible in the first 2-3 turns to figure out roughly what people’s decks are like.

When Not to Win

Okay, look, I know this sounds bad. I don’t at all mean to say that this deck is super competitive and has to shoot itself in the foot in order to not utterly overpower your local scrubs, because that is absolutely not the case. What I mean is that there are ways in which you can win that result in only you having fun, and if you’re like me, that probably means you aren’t having fun either. As you play the deck more, you’ll start seeing windows to go infinite relatively fast, because it turns out Dramatic/Scepter is pretty good.Don’t do this if you don’t think the table would be okay with it. By the time you have the opportunity to go for it, you should have an idea whether people are playing fair or not. Ending the game suddenly, especially if most of what the other players expect from a game hasn’t happened yet, will likely not make you many friends.

What I’ve found is that a natural storm turn can actually be more interesting to less competitive players than an easy combo. This is especially true late game, when a couple other players have already tried to push their advantage. As mentioned above, this isn’t always true, but it’s something to consider. The most important thing to remember here is your time. Play fast. Make mistakes. Apologize for taking time, if you have to think for more than a few seconds. You’ll get better at the deck and mess up less eventually, but until then, don’t waste everyone’s time by trying to optimize your every move.

This leads to the most important thing to remember. It’s okay to lose. It’s even okay to lose if you could have won. Unless everyone’s showing up to the table with the explicit intent to compete to the best of their ability, you have nothing to prove. Against non-competitive tables, racing to the kill is like trying to win a figure skating contest by speed skating.


Budget Concessions

As with Grenzo, this is not a fully optimized list. Obvious additions given a higher budget include Volcanic Island, fetches, Mana Crypt, and Wheel of Fortune (though Reforge the Soul does have interesting synergy with Jori En). Other more marginal omissions include Ancient Tomb, Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy, and Jace, the Mind Sculptor.

Wrapping Up

TL;DR: It is possible to play storm at tables where nobody wants storm and come out not looking like a jerk. I think this is a pretty good way to do that.

Thanks for reading, folks. If you enjoyed this, consider checking out my youtube channel 1600 Horsepower or my website here.

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Elder Entity Norden has finally been BANNED! (Yugioh June 12th Banlist Reaction)

Apparently, the only force capable of getting me to post is the ban hammer.

Banned:

The only thing that really matters 

NordenBanned

I have been calling for a ban of Elder Entity Norden for years. It would take Zoodiac variants winning all 32 spots of YCS Pittsburgh last weekend to finally seal the coffin of this blight on the game though. Fusion Substitute broke Norden in Zoodiac by letting them recycle his use (which invalidated limiting him to 1 copy per deck). Norden has been the key piece in degenerate combos since his printing. This is one of the best ban lists in ages just for this one hit. I am biased I admit. I’ve personally thought Norden deserved a ban so much that I never bought another copy after selling it with my ABC deck.

 

Limited:

Speedroid Terrortop

Terrortop is one of the best one-card combo starters in the game. A lone terrortop leads to more plays than any one card should, especially without using your turn’s normal summon. This darn toy while loved by all, deserves to finally be shelved.

That Grass Looks Greener

When grass actually resolves, it generates enough card advantage to win games by itself. I like that Grass made playing more than 40 cards a viable option, but the blowout potential of this card is just too great. It engendered a brief period where people played 60 card decks just to make their opponent’s copies of grass dead. No one card should affect deck design this much. Limiting grass to 1 per deck is yet another good hit.

 

Unlimited:

  • Performapal Skull Crobat Joker
  • Wisdom-Eye Magician
  • Pendulum Call

All of these are just Konami letting full-power pendulum decks be a thing before the rule changes of Link Format kills the mechanic. I’m certain that devoted Pendulum Magician fans are happy that they get one last hurrah with their deck though.

And that’s it. I think these hits were great. I generally hope that they beat back Zoodiac. The deck feels like the new Burning Abyss. Limiting Ratpier to 2 did nothing to stop the deck. Zoo also just seems better than everything else that the game has to offer. Anyway, that’s enough of my bias/salt.

NordenBannedJail

Where you belong old man!

Thanks for reading as usual.

Apparently Felidar Guardian x Saheeli Rai is no longer canon (April 24th Banlist Addendum)

Wizards of the Coast literally 2 days after the initial ban and limited list has added Felidar Guardian to its standard ban list.

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I agree fully with this ban (long diatribe about the combo preventing diversity and linking it to the old Splinter Twin combo). The only issue is that this entire situation makes the WoC game devs seem bad at their jobs. If they were considering banning Felidar Guardian, there was no reason to wait 2 days after the normal ban announcement. This whole situation was likely just a reaction to the negative publicity surrounding them NOT banning Felidar Guardian in the first place. It also made me have to post two days in a row on the same topic (those fiends).

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Anyway, thanks for reading as always. Standard most likely saved now… hopefully…

The Ruin of Magic the Gathering Standard (April 24th Banned/Limited List Reaction)

So yesterday WoC released their Banned and Limited announcement for Amonkhet (the most recent set). You can see the rationales here though I’ll summarize what happened quickly.

CaptureApr24

Nothing has been banned in Standard. The format has been dominated recently by the Saheeli Rai/Felidar Guardian combo and Mardu Vehicles using Heart of Kiran/Gideon, Ally of Zendikar.

CaptureGoldfish

As you can see here from mtggoldfish metagame breakdown these decks represent over 50% of the Standard meta. This is unhealthy for the format and stifling for innovation and new deck design. While WoC seems to claim Amonkhet will provide the answers  to combat these decks, many players remain skeptical (myself included). We will have to wait for the Pro-Tour to see if these decks remain dominant. At that time we may finally see a ban if necessary.

I apologize for the lack of entries this month, college has been rough.

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Thanks for reading as usual.

Magic the Gathering “Competitive” EDH Primer: Breya, Etherium Sculptor Artifact Combo?

(The following article was submitted by a guest)

I’m here to talk about my favorite commander to build around in EDH. Breya, Etherium Sculptor might be the most flexible combo/control commander in the game right now. Her flexibility comes from various elements: (1) unconditional removal at instant speed, (2) an infinite mana outlet, (3) a value engine, (4) and life gain (write something snarky). Beyond this you get access to the colors that an aspiring artificer dreams of, giving you cards like thopter foundry (esper card) and scrap mastery/daretti (monored cards) in the same deck is absolutely fantastic. In addition, Breya is also just a really great body–4 mana for a 4/4 with 2 1/1s is so above rate in EDH that once you cast Breya it’s very unlikely for you to get attacked after that. Also look at that art. In this article I will talk about how I like to build breya (more inconsistent and janky), and a non competitive thopter tribal build at the end.

Here is the main deck list so you can follow along

http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/27-11-16-breya-control/

Firstly let’s go through Breya herself.

Image

Breya is a 4 color (non green), artifact creature, that summons 1/1 thopters when she enters the battlefield. She has 3 abilities that require an activation cost of sacrificing 2 artifacts: deal 3 damage to a player, give a creature -4/-4 until eot, and gain 5 life. The most common play pattern with breya is play her on 6 mana and leave up mana to kill a creature at instant speed, looking at one of the previous deck techs on this blog, Grenzo, Dungeon Warden almost just folds to that play pattern. But there is so much more. Her next ability, deal 3 damage to target player, is the win condition of this deck,. This is where it gets a bit complicated. You see breya herself is an artifact creature, so she can sacrifice herself. This means that with infinite colored mana the deck wins on the spot, because you can just sac breya and a thopter to recast breya and deal infinite damage to every player. It also means that combos like nim deathmantle with Ashnods Altar/Krak Clan ironworks are also instant wins. Her last usefull ability is her enters the battlefield effect, make 2 1/1 thopters. This is a massive effect for cards that care about hitting your opponent, providing chump blockers (which often gains you more life than if you sacrificed them), and most importantly sacrificing them to skullclamp, essentially turning breya into a 6 mana draw 4. Her final ability, gain 5 life, is situational at best, only really good when you have a card like necropotence or ad nauseam.

Image (1)Image (2)Image (3)

How I build the deck.

The biggest concept that makes my breya deck unique is my focus on one huge theme, making salvaging station and artificer’s intuition appear not just good, but broken. Essentially the combination of these two cards in this deck is equivalent to survival of the fittest plus recurring nightmare, a massive recursion plus tutor engine that wins games by itself. As such, there is a large focus in this deck on artifacts that cost 1 mana or less with around 10-15% of the deck being made up of these trinkets.

The next biggest concept in the deck is this set of cards (open the vaults, faith’s reward, scrap mastery, second sunrise) Yes, this is an eggs deck, albeit a tame one. Lots of wins will come from sacrificing your whole board, and then casting a massive open the vaults that nets you like 20 mana 6 draws, and hopefully a way to recur your mass reanimation spell. I personally love this way of winning the game, it feels powerful to grab your graveyard and just dump all of it onto the battlefield, the perfect combination of a timmy feeling with a johnny combo.

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Another key element of my version of breya is its control elements. The deck runs six counterspells, four board wipes, 4 targeted removal spells (including breya herself), That’s around 25% of the spells in the deck being devoted specifically to disruption. And if you count the approximately 10-15% of the deck that’s devoted specifically to card draw and tutor it’s pretty reliable that you can stop the opponent from winning. Standouts from these categories include Merciless Eviction, which is the second best boardwipe in EDH outside of Cyclonic Rift in my opinion, mostly because of how often it’s a one sided mass exile for the most problematic category of permanents that you are facing. The counterspell suite is geared towards either costing one mana (mostly so you can force through whatever it is you are trying to do even with constrained mana), hitting every type of spell possible, or at the very least drawing a card(because if you set yourself and an opponent back you are oftentimes helping the opponents you aren’t countering more than yourself, at least with Arcane Denial and Dream fracture you aren’t setting yourself back).

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So, let’s go through how this deck wins. Almost every combo in this deck will involve some combination of Krark-Clan Ironworks and a mass recursion spell (Scrap Mastery, Open The Vaults, Second Sunrise,  Faith’s Reward), mostly because if you have any number of artifacts with a beneficial effect you can often win off of the 20-infinite mana that you generate. Say you have 5 artifacts that draw a card when they go to the graveyard and 3 artifacts that do literal nothing, then Krark-Clan plus a 5 mana mass recursion spell becomes draw 5 cards get (18-5-4=11 mana) then have Krark-Clan and the artifacts back in play getting you another 18 mana and another 5 cards. Now you’ve drawn a 10th of your deck and have 29 mana which means you can likely find another way to bring back all your artifacts or if you find a Codex shredder you just win on the spot because you infinitely recur your mass recursion spell. At that point if you have the colored mana which you should have because you’ve been drawing a bunch of artifacts that make mana you should be able to repeatedly recur Breya and ping everyone to death.

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Key cards that makes this combo nuts.

Artificer’s Intuition-if you have a hand with artificer’s intuition in this deck you keep it no matter what. This card finds you artifact lands, sol ring, nihil spellbomb, skullclamp, artifacts that draw cards, fills your graveyard with reanimation targets, basically if you have this card in play it feels very hard to lose unless your opponent is playing a very hateful deck.

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Ichor Wellspring-An unassuming card, it basically draws 2 cards off of every time you cast a mass recursion spell, this card often times is the difference between your open the vaults comboing off and doing nothing.

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Alternative Combos

Thopter Foundry + Sword of the Meek

Sacrifice the Sword to the Foundry -> Sword returns the battlefield. Basically means that every mana you have turns into a 1/1 flying thopter and 1 life. Combo also works if you have thopter foundry in play and sword of the meek in the graveyard and another artifact in play.

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Salvaging Station + Artificer’s intuition

Basically Gets an absurd amount of value for this deck, getting you a 1 mana artifact that you tutored from your deck every time a creature dies for every blue mana you have

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Salvaging Station + Sol Ring + Skull Clamp + Thopter Foundry-

Tap sol ring for 2 colorless, sac sol ring to thopter foundry (1 colorless, 1 thopter), return sol ring to the battlefield with salvaging station and tap sol ring for mana (3 colorless, 1 thopter), sac sol ring to thopter foundry (2 colorless, 2 thopters), attach skullclamp to thopter untap salvaging station and return sol ring again and tap it (3 colorless, 2 cards, 1 thopter). The combo draws your deck and nets a large amount of colorless mana. This is the main back up plan if your Krark-Clan Ironworks gets exiled.

Nihil Spellbomb+Salvaging Station-

1 player can no longer use their graveyard

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There is a lot more I could talk about but that’s probably enough for now

And here is a fun thopter tribal list i’ve been working on

http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/27-02-17-thop-thop-thop/

Yugioh April 1st 2017 TCG Banlist Reaction: Is Zoodiac PePe 2.0?

Tfw you try to get your guest writers to do this post for you, but then they’re all busy so you gotta do it yourself.

Anyway, the TCG FINALLY after almost a 6 months got its new banlist. Heads rolled, money was lost, people cried and once again we were forced to bow before the tyrant Komeny.

As you’ve likely already seen and heard opinions about it, let me add my own thoughts to the discussion table:

 

Forbidden: 
Majespecter Unicorn – Kirin: And so ends the rain of terror of the one of the best Pendulum monsters ever printed. To be fair, I think Kirin had passed his prime. He used to be a key card in Magician decks, but of late Kirin has only seen play in Metalfoes decks. Despite his lack of current play Kirin was stil a powerful card, that

  • Stunts most removal
  • Lets you reuse pendulum monster effects after bouncing them (See SkullCrobatJoker)
  • Disrupts the opponent
  • Is terrible in its own archetype…
  • Can be Pendulum-summoned back if Kaiju’d
  • Protects itself innately…

Yeah…

You know what…

Screw this card, good riddance. RIP Bunbuku though

 
The Tyrant Neptune: This card is part of an FTK combo with the Lyrical Luscina fusion monster. It’s interesting that the TCG preemptively banned it, but it’s not that surprising given how much Konami hates FTKs.

 
Vanity’s Emptiness: Best thing to ever happen. This card has stolen games, caused salt and been relevant for way too long. It’s generally the last piece to any unbreakable board (because don’t let the memes fool you, almost nobody actually plays Ra Sphere Mode). I am very glad to see it go.

 

Limited:
Maxx “C”: Whelp I will say that this is a reasonable hit. Maxx C in this day and age has become one of the most powerful cards to open with. If you have an established board plus Maxx C your opponent basically has 2 options:

  • Kill you through Maxx “C”/Take the Maxx “C” Challenge (which seldom works)
  • Pass their turn and die

I will miss this card. There was a time when Maxx “C” was a counter to unfair special summon spam decks, but now its just another card to provide an unfair card advantage while preventing plays. That being said limiting Maxx “C” to 1, just makes it infinitely sackier if you actually open it. I could see it getting banned some day.

 
Rescue Cat*: Rescue Cat has been errata’d to be once per turn and to negate the effects of the monsters that it summons. This still reads essentially as a 1-card xyz or synchro (as there are a billion beasts that it can summon at this point). Whether or not that’s broken still remains a question.

 
Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier*: Brionac is now once per turn. Once again if this is broken or not I don’t know.

 
Brain Control*: Brain Control with its errata to only take monsters that can be normal summoned is terrible. It won’t see any play and will likely go to 3 in no time.

 
Future Fusion*: This card can mill all of the Infernoids in the user’s deck to the graveyard..

It’s been errata’d to not send until the following turn, but its ceiling is still too high. It will be banned again eventually (I think so at least).

 
Imperial Order*: Oh boy no more spell cards. Sure you have to pay the 700 life on both standby phases and you can’t turn it off manually, but it’s still an overpowered effect. I see it being re-banned or at the least getting Anti-Spell Fragrance limited to curb spell hate down the road. Actually maybe that’s wishful thinking since once pendulums dies, anti-spell dies with them. Speaking of Pendulums…

 

 

Semi-Limited:
Wisdom-Eye Magician: Thank goodness they’re giving Pendulums support before nerfing them to death in Link Format. This won’t do anything except maybe help sell the last pendulum set they’re releasing. I doubt that will happen though.

 
Zoodiac Ratpier:

 

Really? This quick?

So you basically can’t build the best deck in yugioh anymore huh? This isn’t as bad as the adjusted ban list, BUT let’s see here.

Perhaps no deck in Yugioh can remain tier 1 (or 0). That being said it’s pretty clear that no deck can be tier 0 for very long these days.

 
Interrupted Kaiju Slumber:

  • Conceptually one of the strongest cards ever printed (Dark Hole that summons a 3300 beater and can search more Kaiju)
  • Surprising that we would get this hit so soon (It was just hit in OCG)
  • Reasonable since everyone is more or less siding Kaijus to combat established boards.

 

 

Unlimited:
Sangan*: Errata makes it unplayable. I guess it can finally search Tour Guide again though (long live the power couple)

 

So all in all, I have but one thing to say about this list…

MLGNorden

Norden confirmed as the new Dante

Dodges the ban list yet again…

Thanks for reading as always.

When Zoodiac Finally Dies (Yugioh in the Promise Land) OCG April 1st Banlist Reaction

In hindsight, what if this banlist was all an elaborate joke to fool Yugioh players? I mean an April 1st banlist, that’s just inviting trolling. Anyway, let’s react and stuff:

You can view the list here (though I’ll list all the changes below anyway)

Oh before we get started remember that the OCG is almost 2 formats and multiple packs ahead of us. We won’t see a banlist like this until likely the Winter of this year.

 

Forbidden:

The Tyrant Neptune (Unlimited to Forbidden): This card was being used in an FTK combo with Lyrical Luscina Independent Nightingale. Konami hates FTKs (especially burn FTKs). It’s easy to see why this card got banned.

 
Zoodiac Drident (Unlimited to Forbidden): The first hit to tilt all viewers is the banning of the Zoodiac boss monster. This has killed the deck’s top end threat. Without Drident, the deck can no longer effectively react on the opponent’s turn.

 
Zoodiac Barrage (Unlimited to Forbidden): So this was the card I think deserved to get hit. Zoodiac Barrage essentially gave you access to 6 copies of Ratpier. Since that little bugger is a 1-card combo to swarm the board this needed to be stopped. Furthermore, virtually all of the Zoo variants abused Barrage’s destruction effect in a manner not originally intended (one would hope). Barrage also allowed you to keep going after your normal summon or first special summon was disrupted. All in all it was the most infuriating in the Zoodiac deck, which I fully support being banned.

 

Limited:
Witch of the Black Forest (Forbidden to Limited, Text Change): We don’t know what the errata is, but it’s likely the exact same as Sangan. That much beloved furball is at 3 in OCG and no one plays him. We can assume Witch will share the same fate.

 
Zoodiac Ratpier (Unlimited to Limited): Now this was unfair. Without Ratpier, Zoodiac goes from being a consistent, powerful deck to a bizarre entourage of fringe use trash monsters. I mean Throughblade and Whiptail are good, but they don’t come close to what Ratpier does. Now to be fair, I think limiting Ratpier was completely reasonable. It’s just that its limitation alongside banning Barrage/Drident is just incredible overkill.

 
Blackwing – Gofu the Vague Shadow (Unlimited to Limited): It’s been a long time since a Blackwing graced the banlist. After watching a few link summoning combo videos online I can safely say that Gofu is more broken than ever perform. Thank goodness they limited it.

 
Interrupted Kaiju Slumber (Unlimited to Limited): From a card design standpoint Kaiju Slumber is absurd. It takes the one of the best cards in the game (Dark Hole) and essentially adds get a 3300 attacker. The fact that you have to summon a weaker Kaiju to your opponent’s field generally doesn’t matter since you just theoretically wiped their board. To play devil’s advocate for a minute, like with Brilliant Fusion Kaiju slumber forces you to play multiple non-synergistic cards. If you open multiple Kaiju, even if you summon both to the field the kaiju slumbers in your deck become dead. However, even with that Kaiju are a polarizing subject in Yugioh. Many (like myself) believe they’re a godsend preventing unbreakable boards, while others think they’re ruining the game. Anyway, Kaiju Slumber is still dumb and it’s being banned is reasonable.

 

Semi-Limited:
Elemental HERO Stratos (Limited to Semi-Limited): We’ll never have Stratos free. If you think he will be, you’re lying to yourself.

 
Armageddon Knight (Limited to Semi-Limited): It’s a good card. It’s a combo piece. I’m sure there are ways to break it, but Dark Synchro is probably dead in Link format (I’d assume).

 
Fairy Tail – Snow (Unlimited to Semi-Limited): This card is broken. With this card limited, it pretty much nerfs Lawnmowing/Lightsworn decks. Snow is very powerful as it provides both disruption and a body. Try killing your opponent through a Fairy Tale Snow… try even making a board through a Fairy Tale Snow. Good hit Konami.

 
Goyo Guardian (Limited to Semi-Limited): Who cares… Literally who cares…

 
Ignister Prominence, the Blasting Dracoslayer (Limited to Semi-Limited): This card is powerful, but Pendulums are dead now so it doesn’t matter.

 
Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier (Limited to Semi-Limited): It’s a good day to get back this iconic card with an errata that doesn’t make it unplayable.

 
Fire Formation – Tenki (Limited to Semi-Limited): It’s ok, killing Zoodiac had to come  with killing Yosenju, Fire Fist and literally all other Beast-Warrior decks.

 
Brain Control (Limited to Semi-Limited): With the errata, it’s unplayable.

 

Unlimited:
Artifact Moralltach (Semi-Limited to Unlimited): Bring back this mans in TCG, he’s no longer broken. Artifacts are literally just him, Scythe and maybe Lancia. I don’t even think it’ll see play at 3.

 
Magician of Faith (Semi-Limited to Unlimited): We all love her, we’ll all never play her. Nuff said.

 
D/D Lamia (Semi-Limited to Unlimited): I guess D/D/D had to be freed? I don’t think this matters, but I guess it’s here.

 

And that’s the list. I feel bad for Zoodiac. The deck is totally dead after being tier 1 for months. Like Dragon Rulers, Nekroz and Burning Abyss it’s going to fade into Yugioh history.

Zoo Prison smol

Thanks for reading as usual.