The April 11th F&L List: What’s Limited

Doug Zeeff

4/11/2016 11:00:00 AM

I'm pretty sure almost everyone reading this article has already seen the new Forbidden & Limited List, but just in case you haven't, click this link to get the full scope of what changed.

There's a lot to talk about moving forward, that's for sure. While the general consensus from the intermediate players seems to be that the list was designed just to make Draco Performapals unplayable, I believe there's a lot more going on. Today I wanted to analyze each of the seven cards that are newly Limited, excluding the ones that were on the Adjusted List.

Wisdom-Eye Magician
I've read a lot of comments saying “But wait, Pendulum Magicians haven't done anything relevant in months,” and I'm not sure why. If you can remember back before Breakers of Shadow, then you might recall that Pendulum Magicians were one of the best decks in competition, if not the best deck. With Draco Pals pretty much out of the picture, an unrestricted Wisdom-Eye Magician would be a clear invitation to a quick default back to Pendulum Magicians.

Opening with two Wisdom-Eye Magicians is amazing. It's not quite as stellar as the combo of Luster Pendulum, the Dracoslayer and Performage Plushfire, but it's definitely one of the best two-card plays that a Pendulum deck could hope to open with.

 Wisdom-Eye Magician
Wisdom-Eye Magician108804
Set Structure Deck: Master of Pendulum
Number SDMP-EN005
Level 4
Type Pendulum/Effect Monster
Monster Spellcaster
Attribute LIGHT 
A / D 1500 / 1500
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

Pendulum Effect :If you have a "Magician" or "Performapal" card in your other Pendulum Zone: You can destroy this card, and if you do, place 1 "Magician" Pendulum Monster from your Deck in your Pendulum Zone, except "Wisdom-Eye Magician".
Monster Text :You can discard this card, then target 1 card in your Pendulum Zone whose current Pendulum Scale is different from its original value; its Pendulum Scale becomes its original value until the end of this turn.

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It fills up your Pendulum Scales, gets two monsters into your Extra Deck, and puts you way ahead of your opponent. With Wisdom-Eye Magician Limited, the Pendulum Magician theme's definitely still playable, but there aren't any ridiculous Turn 1's anymore.. or at least not any that are so consistent.

It's important to remember that Magicians still have Pendulum Call, and while it's outclassed by double Wisdom-Eye, it's still a strong 2-for-2 to kick things off. With so many other hits to Draco Pals I wouldn't be surprised if people try Pendulum Magicians once again.

Elder Entity Norden
I think a lot of people saw this one coming, though there were some players begging for an even harder restriction on Elder Entity Norden. Some duelists wanted Instant Fusion Limited instead, some wanted Norden Forbidden, and others didn't want anything to happen at all.

Personally, I don't think Limiting Norden's going to make much of a difference. Most competitive players were only using one or two Nordens in their Extra Deck anyways, realizing that one resolved Instant Fusion was often enough to win the game entirely. That eliminated the need for extra copies.

More importantly though, I think it's good to objectively recognize that Elder Entity Norden isn't ruining the game. If you take a look at the top four strategies prior to this F&L List, only one of them was actually playing Instant Fusion, and even then it wasn't a staple. Monarchs, Kozmos, and Burning Phantom Knights all have no reason to run Instant Fusion, and there wasn't always space in the standard Draco Pal deck for three copies. That's not to say a card should never be Forbidden if the top deck's aren't playing it, but it's something to consider.

I mean, sure, there's a lot of hypothetical loops you can accomplish with Elder Entity Norden, but has anyone ever lost to one of them in real life? I've watched plenty of online duels where those loops completely obliterate the opponent, but those strategies are way too inconsistent for any real tournament, not to mention they're usually weak to hand traps. I think the Limiting of Norden might sway people to run just two copies of Instant Fusion in their Main Deck, but I think a better choice is to just run another Fusion Monster. For example…

Thousand-Eyes Restrict
On a semi-related note, I think investing in a high rarity “Goat Control” deck from 2005 is becoming increasingly beneficial since the cards from that format keep returning to the game at insane prices. It happened when Snatch Steal came back, and now it's happened again with Thousand-Eyes Restrict.

Anyway, I'm surprised to see conversations where people talk about this card being irrelevant. Yes, it targets, so it's not an easy out to Kozmo Dark Destroyer, but it's probably the second best Fusion Monster to bring out with Instant Fusion. If you were previously playing two Elder Entity Nordens, I feel Thousand-Eyes Restrict is an easy swap over that copy you just lost. Paying 1000 Life Points to instantly answer a monster is great, especially if you were going to use Elder Entity Norden to go into Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer.

 Thousand-Eyes Restrict
Thousand-Eyes Restrict25377
Set Master Collection Volume 1
Number MC1-EN004
Level 1
Type Fusion/Effect Monster
Monster Spellcaster
Attribute DARK 
Rarity Secret Rare
Card Text

Relinquished + Thousand-Eyes Idol
As long as this card remains face-up on the field, other monsters cannot change their battle positions or attack. Select 1 monster on your opponent''s side of the field and equip it to this card (this effect can only be used once per turn and you can only equip 1 monster at a time to this card). The ATK and DEF of this card become the same amounts as the monster equipped to this card. If this card is destroyed as a result of battle, the equipped monster is destroyed instead.

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Perhaps my favorite use for Thousand-Eyes Restrict is taking Beatrice, Lady of the Eternal. In your End Phase, the Thousand-Eyes Restrict blows up because of Instant Fusion, and Beatrice gets destroyed as well. Luckily, Beatrice's graveyard Special Summon effect only triggers if it was destroyed in your possession, so your opponent won't get to summon Dante, Pilgrim of the Burning Abyss. That's a huge interaction that seems to be largely overlooked, and it could be a deciding factor in dealing with Beatrice going forward.

Ignister Prominence, the Blasting Dracoslayer
I've talked to a few Draco Performapal players and almost all of them have said the same thing: this was truly one of the biggest setbacks to the strategy. On the previous Adjusted List, the Draco Pal deck's first turn was usually making two Ignister Prominence, one Dinoster Power, and one Majester Paladin. Then they'd overlay for a Rank 8 to put a lot of pressure on their opponent.

But with just a single Ignister Prominence, you can't throw it out there first turn to make an Xyz Summon because you're screwed if you need it later. For example, it's a fantastic way to get around non-targeting effects, and against Kozmos you'd usually use all three copies in your Extra Deck to push through their spaceships. Now that's a lot harder, and if your opponent has a response to your first and only Ignister Prominence you could be looking at a tough time.

Draco Face-Off
Without a doubt, Draco Face-Off was extremely worthy of being Limited. It was often the best possible draw off of Performapal Guitartle and Performapal Lizardraw, changing average first turns into unbreakable boards.

Interestingly, Draco Face-Off was also the cause for a lot of losses. Sometimes you really need that Luster Pendulum, the Dracoslayer if you're stuck with all low Pendulum Scales. I can't count the number of times my opponent activated Draco Face-Off and said “Okay, 50/50 chance of me losing.” Cards like that aren't inherently bad for Yu-Gi-Oh! because luck is always a factor with any card game, but it's still a little silly. That would have changed with the release of Shining Victories because there's a Dracoverlord that's a Pendulum Scale 5, and it might have made Draco Face-Off a bit too powerful.

In some ways, Reasoning is a toned down generic Draco Face-Off that any deck can use. There's always a chance that it's going to be a straight -1 in card economy, but there's also a chance that it's getting you a free monster. I think Reasoning has seen more success in the last few months than it has in all the prior years since it was released, cranking out monsters in a variety of different strategies. Kozmos, Monarchs, and Super Quantums all use Reasoning to accelerate combos and become significantly faster than they were probably intended to be.

Set Premium Gold: Infinite Gold
Number PGL3-EN080
Type Spell Card
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Gold Rare
Card Text

Your opponent declares a monster Level. Excavate cards from the top of your Deck until you excavate a monster that can be Normal Summoned/Set. If that monster is the same Level as the one declared by your opponent, send all excavated cards to the Graveyard. If not, Special Summon the excavated monster, also send the remaining cards to the Graveyard.

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The only place where Reasoning might have been too good was Infernoids, because it skips over the on-theme monsters to put everything in the graveyard. In that particular deck, it didn't usually matter if your opponent called the correct Level because it was basically just a Painful Choice on steroids. Were Infernoids relevant enough to warrant a limit on Reasoning? Probably not by themselves. But still, it was an unhealthy card in a deck that's had repeated Regional Qualifier success over the past year, and I hardly think Infernoids are completely dead by any means. They just won't have as much access to auto-win cards like Reasoning.

Upstart Goblin
Of all of the changes on the entire Forbidden & Limited List, Upstart Goblin's without a doubt the most talked about. Some people truly believe that it was a direct middle finger to Patrick Hoban, some think it's proof Konami has gone insane, and some think that Upstart Goblin was low key broken. I've thought about this a lot over the past couple days, and I think after careful consideration I've decided I'm in the camp of Upstart Goblin being low key broken.

Now hear me out: I'm not saying a 1-for-1 consistency card is in and of itself overpowered. However, can you really say that there's any other card in the entire game right now that's a theoretical staple three-of in every single strategy? The Upstart Goblin theory is pretty well known, but to summarize it, playing a 37 card deck is good over the course of a long tournament. Having a 3% greater chance of drawing each card in your deck might not seem like a lot on a game by game basis, but over 1000 duels that's an extra 30 games where you're seeing an important card you wouldn't have seen otherwise.

So yeah, Upstart Goblin isn't giving you any crazy advantage, and it's not going to win you the game outright, but when it's the only card in the game that's a staple in every strategy – theoretically, of course – that might be a problem. Even cards like Raigeki, Twin Twisters, Maxx “C” and countless others aren't considered staples for every version of every strategy. I'm not saying that all players believe in Upstart Goblin, but a huge portion of high level competitive duelists swear by 37 card decks, and that's something to consider.

Also, I see people asking if it's even worth it to play the one copy, and I think the answer is pretty clear: if you were playing three in your deck before, the same theory applies to one copy. In other words, a 39 card deck is bigger than a 37 card deck, but it's still smaller than a 40 card one. I don't know if people really will still play the single copy, but I wouldn't be surprised if they did, especially after I talked to some duelists that have used three in almost every deck they've played in the past year.

At the end of the day, I think each F&L List makes one thing more obvious: players will complain about anything. If Konami demolishes all the top decks then people complain their investments weren't secure. If Konami only touches the extremely overpowered stuff and leaves the rest to sort itself out, people complain that they're not doing enough to stop the top strategies. After all these years I've played Yu-Gi-Oh though, I've just decided that it's easier to focus on how you can use Konami's changes to build the best strategy instead of trying to figure out why they made them in the first place. Hopefully you enjoyed my analysis of the newly Limited cards, and please let me know what you think of the new F&L List!

-Doug Zeeff

Doug Zeeff hails from Michigan and is currently an English major in college. When he's not found emailing Konami about why there's not a single walrus card in all of Yu-Gi-Oh! you can find him regularly posting unorthodox, unfiltered semi-Yu-Gi-Oh! related content on his Youtube channel, Dzeeff. In his spare time he enjoys eating cheese, writing term papers the day they are due, and, of course, playing Yu-Gi-Oh. Click here to follow him and his adventures on Facebook!

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