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It takes a lot for a card to be banned, and I strongly feel that these three hits are justified.
First we have Summon Sorceress, the fourth forbidden link monster; she seems to be involved in every unhealthy link combo. Her presence strongly encourages combo decks, which are historically the most problematic decks in the game (Frog FTK, Dark World FTK, Gouki). You’re going to win more games going second now that she’s gone.
It’s surprising that it took so long for Dark Matter to become so unhealthy, considering it hard tutors three monsters from one of the most supported types in the game. Being able to send Amorphage Goliath, Eclipse Wyvern, and Arkbrave Dragon was the straw that finally broke the camel’s back. Just like with Sorceress, you’re going to win more going second.
Rank-Up Magic Launch is an unfortunate victim of the Knightmare Orcust deck. It was clear something had to give when the Outer Entity Azathot combo began to pick up steam, especially considering it only needed to summon Knightmare Mermaid to access the full combo. If they banned Mermaid, Knightmares would lose their only support card. If they banned Azathot, we would just use Sheorcust Dingirisu to make True King of All Calamities. Rank-Up Magic Launch had to take one for the team.
Lady Debug is an odd hit to Salamangreat. Most people would agree that she’s the deck’s strongest normal summon; she gets to Salamangreat Gazelle, puts a level four on the field for Abyss Dweller, and combos all by herself. While it’s clear that she’s powerful, Salamangreat will be largely unaffected by this. With the release of Cynet Mining, we effectively went from three Debug to four.
One normal summon arguably stronger than Debug is Phantom Skyblaster. At worst, it goes into a link two, AKA a whole Orcust combo; at best, it summons three link materials. It’s an unsearchable powerhouse that turns good hands into unfair hands. While I’m glad this card got hit, it should either be banned or at three. Look forward to a format of losing to the hard-draw one-of.
Wow, they finally hit Sky Strikers, and it only took them winning ten premier events over eleven months! Striker will be remembered, much like Dino Rabbit, as “one of the most-fair best-decks”. While Striker is still playable with one Kagari (thanks to Sky Striker Mecharmory – Hercules Base), whether it’s still viable or not remains to be seen. Now we can attack over their link monsters without Sky Striker Ace – Raye summoning another Kagari every time. I look forward to seeing the innovations Striker players make with one Kagari.
Super Poly just became the fifth card on the semi-limited list, and the implications are huge. The most obvious takeaway is the interaction with Salamangreat. Gone are the days of not respecting unknown backrow; Salamangreat Balelynx can’t save you from this one. Bluffs are going to become stronger, matches are going to take longer, and people are going to get angrier. Now that they’re twice as likely to see Super Poly, Salamangreat players, who were already siding Super Poly for the mirror, will be able to justify playing cards like Predaplant Dragostapelia or Mudragon of the Swamp to break big boards.
Preemptively using Anti-Spell Fragrance or Imperial Order is the only realistic way to escape this nightmare, and considering that they both stop Salamangreat Sanctuary, that might not be too crazy. However, if you run into any madmen playing this card in the main, there’s little more you can do than cross your fingers. What a terrible change to a wonderful format. I hope this card gets banned again.
Dinosaurs might be tier two now. Love this card’s name!
Striker, Thunder, and Orcust took the biggest hits on this list, and Salamangreat is basically untouched. You’re going to see a lot more Salamangreat players, but it’s not all smooth sailing for them. Thunder is still very powerful, and while the days of Amorphage Goliath are gone, people still have to answer Colossus, Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon, and Number 22: Zombiestein. These will more than likely be the top two decks.
Striker and Orcust are going to have to fight hard to remain meta. Striker players may look outside of their engine for answers, such as main decking floodgates, which could put the format in an awkward position. Orcust players have a lot of tools to work with, but they’re going to have to find a completely new combo. Orcustrated Climax and Dingirisu are great additions to the deck, and if someone clever enough piloted this deck, it could do some serious damage.
And lastly, for anyone who may be inspired to play dinosaurs: thank you for padding the prize pool!
- Owsley J. Tanner
Owsley J. Tanner