The Longest-Awaited F&L List

Kelly Locke

3/23/2017 11:00:00 AM

After months of waiting, a new Forbidden & Limited List has finally been announced.

When the previous list was revealed in August I don't think anyone expected to it to last for a full eight months. The Dark Illusion was still fresh, Invasion: Vengeance was over two months away, and Raging Tempest was a far-off release that was mostly unknown. New decks have come and gone over the course of the format, including ABC's, Paleozoics, Dark Lords, and Zoodiacs. Dimensional Barrier didn't exist under the last list, and nobody could have predicted Link Monsters.

The March 2017 F&L List addresses a few troublemaking cards, takes a swipe at the most popular strategy in the game, and returns several previously-Forbidden classics to the game with new erratas. It's a short no-nonsense List that makes plenty of great changes, but there are some glaring omissions that have been turning heads.

Returning From The Forbidden Realms
Sangan's back! After a case of Mistaken identity our three-eye'd friend and fiend has traveled all the way back to the Unlimited List. Its effect is noticeably different now: you can't use it more than once per turn, and the card it searches plus all other copies with the same name can't be activated that turn. Note that Sangan only stops you from activating that monster's effect, or activating it as a Pendulum Spell.

I think this is a great opportunity for Sangan to embrace its new role as a dedicated hand trap searcher; it gets you nearly every popular hand trap including the now-Limited Maxx C. If you can trigger Sangan on your turn you'll have a hand trap ready for the next. The sheer effectiveness of Ghost Reaper & Winter Cherries justifies going out of your way to send Sangan to the graveyard.

With just one Tour Guide From the Underworld that's easier said than done, but it's worth noting that this is the first time we've been able to play Sangan in a Pendulum strategy. Oh, and in a little while you'll trigger that search by using Sangan as a Link Material.

It's easy to dismiss Sangan outright, especially after serving so much unwarranted time on the Forbidden List. I think we'll discover than Sangan's a changed monster, and can still contribute effectively to Pendulum and Link strategies.

 Tour Guide From the Underworld
Tour Guide From the Underworld95358
Set Astral Pack 6
Number AP06-EN001
Level 3
Monster Fiend/Effect
Attribute DARK 
A / D 1000 / 600
Rarity Ultimate Rare
Card Text

When this card is Normal Summoned: You can Special Summon 1 Level 3 Fiend-Type monster from your hand or Deck, but its effects are negated, also it cannot be used as a Synchro Material.

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Future Fusion's been a staple of OCG Infernoid decks for one reason: if it sticks around until your next Standby Phase you can send every single Infernoid in your deck to the graveyard. It's an extremely precise That Grass Looks Greener that doesn't require a 60-card build, but we'll almost certainly see players throwing it in every Infernoid variant out there. At worst it pressures your opponent to destroy it before they end their turn, and at best it's a one-card win condition.

Outside of Infernoids we might see Future Fusion in Cyber Dragons, Blue-Eyes, and other Dragon-heavy builds. It's a five-monster Dragon Shrine after all, even if you have to wait a turn.

Rescue Cat emerges just in time to participate in the Rescue theme support arriving in August. Its new errata includes a once-per-turn clause and negates the effects of the Summoned monsters. I'm not sure what impact Cat will have on the game, other than being a possible replacement for Speedroid Terrortop in some strategies. It's a one-card Meliae of the Trees, Number 64: Ronin Raccoon Sandayu, and Fabled Ragin, but only Sandayu seems to have any long-term potential out of those options. Its effect Summons Tokens that can be used as Link Materials, and effects like that are becoming increasingly relevant as we find out more about Link Monsters.

Brain Control only targets monsters that can be Normal Summoned or Set now. It's an enormous downgrade. Why play Brain Control over Mind Control at a time when nearly every monsters you'd like to steal comes from the Extra Deck? Maybe Links will bring more Normal Summoned monsters back into competition, but until then Brain Control will likely be ignored.

Imperial Order now costs 700 Life Points during every Standby Phase. It will quickly take its controller out of the game if the duel drags on, and there's nothing Twin Twisters or Mystical Space Typhoon can do about it. Imperial Order won't prevent Pendulums from being activated in the Pendulum Zone, so it's an overall inferior choice to Anti-Spell Fragrance in Pendulum match-ups. Decks that can end games quickly and need the stopping power against spell-heavy strategies will enjoy this card, but for everyone else it's quite possibly a bigger liability than asset.

Answering Community Demand
I can't count the number of times I've heard calls to Forbid Vanity's Emptiness and Majespecter Unicorn - Kirin. Emptiness' lengthy run is finally coming to a well-deserved conclusion, and I think everyone saw that coming. Nobody expected it to stick around for this long. Still, Solemn Strike and Dimensional Barrier remain Unlimited.

Will Strike ever get the Solemn Warning treatment and slowly move up the List? A year ago I was positive we'd see it Semi-Limited by December. Now I'm not sure it will ever be hit. Dimensional Barrier's clearly to0 new to see any restrictions, but player feedback seems to indicate that it's already overstayed its welcome.

 Solemn Strike
Solemn Strike111178
Set Breakers of Shadow
Number BOSH-EN079
Type Trap Card
Attribute TRAP 
Rarity Secret Rare
Card Text

When a monster(s) would be Special Summoned, or a monster effect is activated: Pay 1500 LP; negate the Summon or activation, and if you do, destroy that card.

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Did Majespecter Unicorn - Kirin take a needless hit? It was in nearly everyone's crosshairs last year, but the Metalfoes match-up seems to be the least of our worries these days. Zoodiac Metalfoes will either disappear from tournaments, or run a different engine to compensate for the weaker Majespecter suite. I imagine that if you were playing Metalfoes before you'd most likely move your Zoodiac core someplace else. If you're a dedicated Majespecter player...tough luck. I can certainly sympathize with losing a key card because another theme teched it.

The preemptive forbidding of The Tyrant Neptune is exactly the kind of F&L List change we've been asking Konami for. If you're unaware, it was used in an OTK involving an upcoming card in Maximum Crisis. If a loop or overpowered interaction is on the horizon, Konami should be restricting those cards before they get out of hand. Neptune was easily among the best-received changes on the list.

Good job on this one. Seriously.

Tackling The Biggest Deck
I'd argue that you can lump the Semi-Limits of Zoodiac Ratpier, Interrupted Kaiju Slumber, and the Limit of Maxx C into one category: restrictions put in place to hurt Zoodiacs. Ratpier's obvious, and Interrupted Kaiju Slumber seems to be targeted at Kaiju Zoodiac hybrids. Maxx C also impacts the Zoodiac line-up by forcing them to play another card and robbing them of an outstanding hand trap. Still, some of those changes are more effective than others.

The OCG just flat-out destroyed Zoodiacs with their latest List, but nobody seriously expected similar changes here just a couple of months after the theme was released. Instead, Zoodiacs received the Nekroz treatment: a Semi-Limit to a key card. Ratpier was an excellent middle-of-the-road choice that doesn't kill the deck, but does mitigate a bit of its explosiveness. With no changes to Fire Formation - Tenki or Zoodiac Barrage I wouldn't expect the deck to be any less consistent, and it will likely continue to be the most popular deck in the game.

Maxx C was polarizing with half of the player base feeling they lost an answer to Zoodiac Special Summon spam, and others seeing it as an opportunity to play decks with an even higher volume of Special Summons. It's definitely a boost to Synchro strategies, but it's also an important change as we head into the Link era. Yang Zings, Windwitches, and Zombie Lightsworns might see more play now.

I'd like to see Maxx C Forbidden next, but a Semi-Limit at least removes the possibility of drawing into a second copy with the first's effect. I've argued for a long time that Maxx C is too strong for a hand trap, even if it's sometimes the only answer to Special Summon-heavy themes. I think those days are behind us now thanks to a series of new hand traps released over the last couple of years.

Remaining Questions
A second Wisdom-Eye Magician's certainly a welcome addition to Pendulum Magicians, but Pendulum Evolution is still pretty far out. We'll be waiting until May to see the theme fully completed, and in the meantime I'm skeptical that duelists will move away from Metalfoes to play Magicians and Odd-Eyes monsters. Wisdom-Eye's perfectly fine Semi-Limited, and honestly, I think they could have easily gotten away with taking it off the List.

How did Paleozoics emerge unscathed despite winning multiple YCS events? When will Infernoids or That Grass Looks Greener take hits? Will we be waiting another eight months for the format to change again?

Will Dragon Ravine EVER go back to three?

I'm a fan of this List for now, but I think updating it immediately following the World Championship will be necessary to ease our pain of dealing with Infernoids, True Draco Zoodiacs, and Paleozoics for another three or four months. The next F&L List should prepare us for Links, so keep that in mind as you plan for August and September.

Until next time then


Kelly​​ ​​Locke​​ ​​is​​ ​​a​​ ​​West​​ ​​Michigan​​ ​​gamer,​​ ​​writer,​​ ​​and​​ ​​college​​ ​​student.​​ ​​​​ ​​In​​ ​​addition​​ ​​to​​ ​​writing​​ ​​on TCGplayer,​​ ​​Kelly​​ ​​writes​​ ​​​​personal​​ ​​blog​​​​ ​​covering​​ ​​Yugioh,​​ ​​Destiny,​​ ​​and​​ ​​other​​ ​​hobbies.​​ ​​You​​ ​​can follow​​ ​​him​​ ​​on​​ ​​​​Twitter​​​​ ​​and​​ ​​check​​ ​​out​​ ​​his​​ ​​​​Youtube​​ ​​channel​​.​​ ​​​​ ​​He​​ ​​is​​ ​​currently​​ ​​studying​​ ​​marketing​​ ​​at Western​​ ​​Michigan​​ ​​University,​​ ​​and​​ ​​hopes​​ ​​to​​ ​​graduate​​ ​​before​​ ​​​​Dragon​​ ​​Ravine​​​​ ​​is​​ ​​Unlimited.

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