Let’s talk about it.
Eclipse Wyvern is a change that almost nobody saw coming, but it makes sense. The most powerful Thunder Dragon combos involved tutoring this out with Guardragon Elpy and Pisty, for two hard searches for the most powerful combo pieces in your deck. If you were fortunate enough to get your hands on Chaos Emperor, the Armageddon Dragon the combos got even crazier. This won’t kill Thunder Dragons by any stretch of the imagination, but I welcome any change that’ll make games less hopeless going second.
Bardiche is gone! The way we currently play Orcust won’t fly anymore. Being able to search two Phantom Knights’ Fog Blade off of one card was bad enough, but enabling the fabled pop-send combo with Orcustrated Babel and Dingirisu, the Orcust of the Evening Star was just too much. Duelists are going to have to, for a second time, find a completely new way to play Orcust.
Altergeist Multifaker is surprising, considering how poorly Altergeist has done recently, securing only one spot in the top 64 of the 2019 NAWCQ. However, with the release of Salamangreat Almiraj and its interaction with Sangan, we have an additional three cards to search for Multifaker. With this in mind, Altergeist duelists have objectively more ways to open Multifaker than they did before this last week. This was a preemptive hit on Konami’s part; only time will tell if it will be enough.
While Konami didn’t address the actual Thunder Dragons (looking at you, Colossus), they DID address the baby chaos dragons, the combo centerpieces. Seeing how far Wyverburstar paired with Batteryman Solar can get you, this is hardly surprising. However, with the advent of the Crusadia engine in conjunction with the Guardragon links (thanks, Crusadia Draco), I don’t see this change holding the deck back much.
Man, these hits to Salamangreat HURT! While nothing was done to address the combo potential of the deck (ie. banning Jack Jaguar or Balelynx), the deck lost four starter cards, making it MUCH less consistent. That being said, I don’t think this deck is going anywhere anytime soon, as there is no shortage of extenders the deck can utilize, such as all the random level three monsters that can make Miragestallio.
In 2013, the Dragon Rulers came to the TCG and turned the meta upside down, resulting in every single direct-support card being banned after just two formats. Six years later, they’re giving us one back. When the OCG got Tempest back, it immediately enabled an FTK. That FTK doesn’t work in the TCG because of our slightly-different rule-set, so I’m looking forward to seeing how we incorporate it here.
Daigusto Emeral was banned shortly after Master Rule 4, and before the release of Gaia Saber, the Lightning Shadow. The interaction between these two and Firewall Dragon was absoluitely degenerate, and since Emeral was on their watch-list already because of its recurring involvement in FTKs, they played it safe and banned it. Now that Firewall Dragon is gone, Emeral might just be here to stay. Also, indirect Nekroz support? Nice!
Multirole went to one! This hit to Sky Striker might just be what it takes to finally do away with the deck. Multirole is arguably the only unfair card in the deck, but honestly, I’ve been wrong about Striker before. It always seems to find its niche; perhaps this time they’ll focus on a Mystic Mine-heavy build? Who knows!
The Trickstar cards saw some play in the Orcust deck, using Light Stage to freeze a trap while simultaneously giving you the two monsters you need to start your combo (Candina and Corobane). Konami must not like seeing us use Trickstar monsters this way; they’re meant to be a value/burn deck, not an engine for combo decks.
Terraforming and Metaverse are somewhat necessary consistency hits. It seems like every field spell tutors something now (Trickstar Light Stage, Oracle of the Zefra, SPYRAL Resort, Union Hangar, Prankids Place blah blah blah…), making Terraforming and Metaverse some of the most generic searchers in the game. Metaverse in particular has been up to no good, popping up in conjunction with Mystic Mine. See ya, Metaverse. Good riddance.
Dang, they semi-limited some Danger monsters. Now we can only play 24 copies of the same card instead of 27! Jokes aside, semi-limiting the most consistent Danger monsters will only do so much to hinder the engine. I guess this is their way of keeping decks like DARK Warrior Danger from dominating another format with new support, but honestly, don’t expect anything to change. Which brings me to the rest of the changes to the semi-limited section.
All of these cards are vastly underrepresented, as are their respective decks. I was sure Konami was well on their way to abolishing the semi-limited list with the last update, but it appears that they intend on using it as somewhat of a limbo-zone where they can test the waters for cards they intend on bringing back to three or restricting to one. For instance, Luster Pendulum and Super Polymerization were deemed safe enough to come back to three after a few months of data, while Terraforming was decidedly too powerful at two.
Many of these changes do little more than strengthen the rogue decks of yesteryear and clean up the list, and I’m all for it! Throw Inzektor veterans a bone! Bring back Nekroz! What do Gravekeepers even do anyway? Who cares? There’s nothing wrong with unrestricting some harmless cards for the casual community. I look forward to more changes like this in the future.
Why was Trishula limited again? Moving on.
Qliphort Scout, Luster Pendulum, Monster Gate, and Rekindling are all relics of the past that have been restricted for far too long. The former two lost their menace with the advent of Master Rule 4, while Monster Gate and Rekindling fit best in Infernoid and Laval, two decks that have failed to stand the test of time. While an extra copy of Luster Pendulum will undoubtedly strengthen Pendulum strategies, I highly doubt it’ll be the push the deck needs to break through. Rekindling may see some tech play in Salamangreat with Fowl and Fennec, but other than that, I don’t see these cards-of-old making an impact on the meta.
Dark Hole, Solemn Judgment, and Super Polymerization were all banned at some point not too long ago, and are now at three with NO errata. That’s kinda wild. Dark Hole wont get you too far in a format infested with Sky Striker Ace - Raye, Salamangreat Balelynx, and Thunder Dragon Colossus, but I can certainly see it as a side-deck staple in the future. Solemn Judgment is a nice boost to trap heavy decks like Subterror, Altergeist, and True Draco, which is welcome considering how these types of decks have underperformed in the last few months.
Lastly comes Super Polymerization, a card I feel conflicted about. It breaks boards going second, serves as a trap card going first, and makes mirror matches like Salamangreat difficult. Decks like Altergeist and Subterror don’t require too many extra deck cards, so they can afford to put copies of the card in their main deck along with a versatile suite of fusion monsters in their extra deck, such as Mudragon of the Swamp, Starving Venom Fusion Dragon, and Salamangreat Violet Chimera. While I’m not a fan of cards the opponent can’t respond to, I have to admit, this is exactly the kind of tool control decks needed to combat the increasingly oppressive combo decks we’re used to seeing. I’m worried about letting this card stay at three, but I can only hope for the best.
This is going to be a fun format. I enjoyed the last format thoroughly, and without having to worry about Bardiche, I think this is going to shape up to be an even better format. At the first few regionals, I expect there to be a TON of Thunder Dragon players, a handful of dedicated Salamangreat players, some desperate Sky Striker players, and a surplus of creative rogue players. These next few weeks are going to be very rewarding for strong deck builders that can adapt on a dime and predict trends. Have fun deck building!
- Owsley J. Tanner