Opinion: Thoughts on the OCG January 2015 Forbidden/Limited List

The new OCG and TCG Forbidden/Limited lists have just been unveiled, and both of them would take place 1st January 2015. So, for these two days I would be doing a special two-part opinion article on the cards that have been placed on or removed from the lists, giving my thoughts on the OCG List first today, followed by the TCG List another day.

  • See my previous prediction article here: Link 1
  • See the Official Forbidden/Limited List here: Link 2

The OCG List. When I first saw the list, my mouth hanged open. While there are indeed a number of cards that should be placed on this List or become Unlimited altogether, others are surprising or even completely unexpected of Konami.

Let’s talk about one of the biggest, most talked-about changes in this List: the errataing of old-school Forbidden cards and making them playable again. As a player who has been following the game since as early as the Duel Monsters era, I wouldn’t have ever thought that this would happen eventually. In my view, this is not a good move by Konami. While the new effects of cards like Chaos Emperor Dragon, Exchange of the Spirits, Temple of the Kings are still quite similar and I can forgive that, the erratas made to Ring of Destruction and Crush Card Virus have completely altered them, and that’s where I would probably draw the line. This whole hullabaloo begs the question: why change the effects of these “legendary” Forbidden cards when you could have just designed new cards with more balanced effects? It is not the first time Konami has done this, for instance, after the banning of Pot of Greed, multiple doppelgangers with similar but better-designed effects have been released: examples that come to mind are Pot of Duality and Pot of Dichotomy.

I understand that these moves (errataing old cards and releasing them from the Forbidden realm) are made by Konami so as to promote the upcoming nostalgic Glory of the Duelist anniversary pack, however older fans like me would still very much prefer to play with these cards with their classical effects. We would rather play them in Traditional formats rather than seeing them being released for the Advanced format but obviously handicapped. In my honest opinion, this business decision by Konami shows that there are after all, a money-making company and therefore would resort to any move that could maximize their profits as possible, sacrificing part of the fanbase in the process.

Next comes what is probably the most mind-blowing changes: banning Heavy Storm and releasing Harpie’s Feather Duster, with no errata. Really, Konami? Ugh. On the surface, it seems to be nostalgia bait too, however when one considers the fact that no Qli cards are placed on this list as well, one can easily guess the true motive behind this entire hullabaloo. As expected of Konami, desperate for players to purchase their latest Pendulum cards.

And speaking of that, why no Qli cards? Is there some kind of hidden policy among the Konami executives that a new summoning mechanic must not be touched? The Necloths came out one format later than these bloody machines, and they are thrown around like jokes up onto this list: not one, not two, but four (Senju, Manju, Preparation of Rites, Unicore) of their key cards getting Limited for the coming season, heavily crippling this deck. While I do admit that the Necloths are indeed rather powerful and should be restrained, is it really fair to Limit so many of their key cards when Qli clearly should be the priority this banlist? Not even Skill Drain nor Vanity’s Emptiness are on this list, two cards that have proven for the past months that they are very, very unhealthy for the game!

Not to mention with the Limiting of general-use cards like Senju or Manju, it basically means that this is going to be a very tough format for casual Ritual players, save for perhaps Gishki.

But I digress.

Looking on the bright side, it is good to see Konami finally getting their hands on the Blaze Fenix First Turn Kill with the Limiting of Blaze Fenix the Burning Bombardment Bird as well as Symbol of Heritage. I have never been a fan of such decks anyway, since they basically scream “No Yu-Gi-Oh for the opponent at all!”. It’s honestly nice to see Konami attempting to control Elder God Noden by limiting Instant Fusion altogether. Shaddolls and HEROs receive what is probably the final seal on their powers with the Limiting of Super Polymerization.

The Semi-Limited and Unlimited sections depict a much brighter picture of the coming season as compared to the Limited part. Things such as Monster Gate going to 2 for the Infernoids could be easily seen although I personally predicted it going to 3 previously. While I would have liked to see even more support (see my previous prediction article), Synchros are getting a boost with the Unlimiting of T.G. Striker and Lonefire Blossom and it’s definitely nice to see that.

Though perhaps only a small boost, InzektorsFire Fists, Atlanteans do get some love with their respective key cards receiving an allowance of one additional copy. Number 11 – Big Eye also goes to 2, although I would ask “why not let this card go to 3 altogether like in the TCG?”. On the other hand, some good news for Evilswarm and Chronomaly players with Evilswarm Ophion and Chronomaly Nebra Disk being unlimited now!

All in all, a truly surprising list by Konami this time round. While certain moves are understandable, others scream of bad decisions by the company, both game-wise and business-wise. Anyway, all the best for OCG players this coming format and if you have any comments about the banlist, please do comment below as I would be happy to have a discussion about this topic in hand!

*Note: There are a few other cards that I would have omitted from this article because I feel that their changes would not have too big an impact to the game. 


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