Evolution of the Forbidden/Limited List

On September 1, 2011, in Yu-Gi-Oh! Articles, by Earl Allen

It’s September 1st, and we all know what that means. It’s time for the new format to take effect as we bid adieu to the previous one. In my last article I talked about the changes to the list, and how the format will play out. Looking back to when the game began, it’s interesting to see what was on the list at the time. Better grab some popcorn and a drink, cause this is gonna be a long one.

The oldest list I was able to find was the list that took effect in May of 2002. Back then, Labyrinth of Nightmare was the latest set. The whole “Forbidden” aspect of the list was nonexistant, meaning a lot of the Forbidden Cards nowadays were Limited at the time. Cards like Raigeki, Change of Heart, and Delinquent Duo were still fair game to use. Also on this list was Jinzo, everyone’s favor Trap killer. But some of the more eyebrow-raising options here was Upstart Goblin being Limited, and Backup Soldier being Semi-Limited. Another funny thing to note here is that Morphing Jar #2 is Semi-Limited, but Morphing Jar isn’t on the list at all! We also have Swords of Revealing Light Semi-Limited here, as I mentioned in my previous article, as well as Heavy Storm of all things! The card that was Forbidden last format was Semi-Limited ten years ago! Who’d’ve thought, right? Sangan and Witch of the Black Forest were also Semi-Limited at this time, making Exodia decks extremely powerful.

Fast forward a year and a half to September 2003, where the next major change to the list took place. Magician’s Force was the latest set here, and we have a few more surprises here. This is when Sangan finally hit the Limited part of the list. We also have cards like Breaker the Magical Warrior, Injection Fairy Lily, Vampire Lord, and Reckless Greed Limited, while Makyura the Destructor and Last Turn are Semi-Limited. Backup Soldier finally came off the list at this time, as did Slate Warrior, who was Limited at some point during this eighteen-month gap (similarly, Guardian Sphinx was once Semi-Limited, but came off the list rather quickly).

April 2004 was one of the biggest changes to the list, where it finally put use to the Forbidden portion of it, starting with ten cards deemed as “The Original Ten”. These ten cards were Cyber Jar, Fiber Jar, Injection Fairy Lily, Yata-Garasu, Change of Heart, Delinquent Duo, Harpie’s Feather Duster, Painful Choice, Raigeki, and Imperial Order. As for cards that got Limited, Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning and Reflect Bounder were among them. Marauding Captain had come off the list, haven been Semi-Limited for a long time, and Manticore of Darkness was Semi-Limited in its place. Not a whole lot of changes were made outside of The Original Ten, but it defined the Forbidden List for years to come.

September 2004, a.k.a. the Tutorless Format as I call it. This is where both Sangan and Witch of the Black Forest became Forbidden alongside Chaos Emperor Dragon – Envoy of the End. Dark Hole, Graceful Charity, Monster Reborn, United We Stand, and Mirror Force also joined them on the Forbidden List. As such, Cyber Jar, Fiber Jar, and Injection Fairy Lily came off the list, getting a breath of fresh air alongside Change of Heart and Painful Choice. Protector of the Sanctuary made it onto the Limited list at this point for reasons I still don’t understand. Mystical Space Typhoon also became Limited here, as did Torrential Tribute, however the latter was for the OCG. Marauding Captain managed to find himself back on the Semi-Limited list too.

April 2005 put Fiber Jar, Change of Heart, and Painful Choice back on the Forbidden List while adding Magical Scientist and Makyura. Butterfly Dagger – Elma, Confiscation, The Forceful Sentry, and Mirage of Nightmare found themselves on the list too. Sangan came back to us and was joined by Magician of Faith, D.D. Warrior Lady, and…Sacred Phoenix of Nephthys? Graceful Charity, Delinquent Duo, United We Stand and Mirror Force also came off the list while being joined by Lightning Vortex, Nobleman of Crossout, and Deck Devastation Virus. The TCG also adopted the Limiting of Torrential Tribute here. Vampire Lord began to suffer V-Lord Syndrome, joining new Semi-Limited Abyss Soldier, Dark Scorpion – Chick the Yellow, Night Assailant, Level Limit – Area B, and Gravity Bind. Morphing Jar #2 finally found itself off the list after three years.

September 2005 will always be remembered as it was where we lost Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning, Tribe-Infecting Virus, Sinister Serpent, Pot of Greed, Graceful Charity, Delinquent Duo, Mirror Force, and Ring of Destruction. However, we got back Dark Hole and Confiscation. They were joined by Night Assailant, Thousand-Eyes Restrict, Tsukuyomi, Book of Moon, Book of Taiyou, Limiter Removal, Scapegoat, and Metamorphosis. No cards were Semi-Limited at this time, but Chick and Marauding Captain come off the list, as does Vampire Lord, curing him of V-Lord Syndrome.

April 2006 was an interesting time. Forbidden cards were joined by Chaos Sorcerer, Cyber Jar, Dark Hole, Exchange of the Spirit, and Last Turn. OCG Lists got Temple of the Kings and Time Seal added to theirs. Limited cards were joined by D.D. Assailant, Last Will, Level Limit – Area B, Pot of Avarice, and Drop Off. Graceful Charity and Mirror Force were also free from the Forbidden List’s clutches. Magician of Faith and Apprentice Magician both became Semi-Limited, while Reflect Bounder would follow Vampire Lord‘s example and contract V-Lord Syndrome. Abyss Soldier, Book of Taiyou, and Emergency Provisions would come off the list.

September 2006, where Thousand-Eyes Restrict became the first ever Fusion Monster to hit the Forbidden List, while Tsukuyomi joined its Spirit Monster companion Yata-Garasu. Time Seal also joined the list on the TCG’s end. Both Magician of Faith and Spirit Reaper went onto the Limited List, joined by Green Baboon, Defender of the Forest in the OCG. Future Fusion, Gravity Bind, and Ultimate Offering joined the list as well, with Ring of Destruction coming off the Forbidden List. Giant Trunade went Semi-Limited while Exiled Force caught V-Lord Syndrome. Speaking of which, Reflect Bounder finds itself off the list with Lightning Vortex and Drop Off. In December 2006, Cyber-Stein received an emergency ban, putting himself on the Forbidden List.

In 2007, the formats would start a month earlier in March. Breaker and Magician of Faith found themselves Forbidden along with Graceful Charity and Last Will. Dandylion, Elemental HERO Stratos, Gorz the Emissary of Darkness, Neo-Spacian Grand Mole, Chain Strike, Giant Trunade, Dimension Fusion, Gold Sarcophagus, Overload Fusion, and Mind Crush were Limited, joined by Confiscation and Snatch Steal who broke out of the Forbidden List. D.D. Assailant became the next victim of V-Lord Syndrome while Metamorphosis got a brief stint of being Semi-Limited. Exiled Force came off the list with Upstart Goblin, being joined by Injection Fairy Lily and Sacred Phoenix of Nephthys, who didn’t contract V-Lord Syndrome (being a nurse and god respectively, I can see why).

September 2007 righted a few wrongs by putting all cards that came off the Forbidden List the last two formats back on it, along with Metamorphosis. Breaker and Faith broke free from it, however, joining new Limited bunkmates Card Trooper, Destiny HERO – Disk Commander, Snipe Hunter, Brain Control, Megamorph, Fissure, Smashing Ground, The Transmigration Prophecy, and Trap Dustshoot. Destiny HERO – Malicious joined all three Gadgets on the Semi-Limited List, where Jinzo began to short circuit from V-Lord Syndrome. Nobleman of Crossout begins its dance between Limited and Semi-Limited as well. D.D. Assailant finished its stint with V-Lord Syndrome while being joined by Protector of the Sanctuary, Deck Devastation Virus, and Good Goblin Housekeeping.

March 2008 dragged Breaker and Faith back into prison, but they dragged Call of the Haunted with them, but Monster Reborn escaped during the chaos. Raiza became the only Monarch to hit the list while Nobleman of Crossout continues its dance. Cyber Dragon, Light and Darkness Dragon, and Necroface found themselves Semi-Limited along with Book of Moon and Foolish Burial. Mage Power would suffer from V-Lord Syndrome as well. Jinzo broke free from the list, bring his Gadget brethren with him, carrying Pot of Avarice housing Apprentice Magician as a stowaway.

May 2008 had a few emergency hits to the list, with Dimension Fusion getting Forbidden and Return from the Different Dimension taking its place on the Limited List. Allure of Darkness would get Semi-Limited as well, making it the only TCG-Exclusive card on the list.

September 2008 wrangled up Dark Magician of Chaos and Disk Commander, letting Breaker free for good behavior. He would join Cyber Dragon, Monster Gate, and Reasoning on the Limited List. Dark Armed Dragon and Judgment Dragon would find themselves Semi-Limited alongside Rescue Cat. Nobleman continues to dance. Allure is briefly taken off the list for OCG purposes, joined by LaDD and Malicious. Mage Power works its magic to cure itself of V-Lord Syndrome.

March 2009 had no cards thrown in jail, instead opting to release Chaos Sorcerer, joining Brionac (OCG), Goyo, DAD, Bestiari, Mezuki, Plaguespreader, E-Teleport, and RotA. Green Baboon gets Semi-Limited, catching V-Lord Syndrome with Raiza. Malicious finds himself back on the Semi-Limited List with Allure, Goblin Zombie, and Gold Sarc. Nobleman breaks free from the list completely, ending his dance. Twin-Headed Behemoth finds itself off the list thanks to new rulings from Konami, adapting text similar to that of Spore and Glow-Up Bulb. Manticore of Darkness finds itself free from the list as well, spending a long five years there.

September 2009 was the coup de grace for a number of cards. Dark Strike Fighter found itself Forbidden amongst Monster Reborn, Card of Safe Return, and Crush Card Virus. A lot of cards found themselves on the Limited List, such as Black Rose Dragon, Demise, Gale, Mind Master, Rescue Cat, Summoner Monk, Cold Wave, One for One, Mind Control, and Solemn Judgment. Call of the Haunted broke free from the Forbidden List as well. Chaos Sorcerer, Mezuki, Lonefire, Dewloren (OCG), and Bottomless find themselves Semi-Limited. V-Lord Syndrome victims Baboon and Raiza get their cure, joined by Breaker and D.D. Warrior Lady, the latter who was Limited for five years.

March 2010 saw no new Forbidden cards, instead opting to add a bunch of Limited cards instead. Brionac converts from OCG Lists to TCG, joined by Mezuki, Chaos Sorcerer, Lumina, Necroface, Necro Gardna, Tragoedia, Allure, Burial, Destiny Draw, Charge, Foolish Burial, Mind Crush, and Magical Explosion. Dandylion, Honest, Black Whirlwind, Oppression, Skill Drain, and Decree get Semi-Limited, joined by V-Lord Syndrome’s latest victims: Cyber Dragon, United We Stand, and Treeborn Frog. Mask of Darkness and Smashing Ground come off the list.

September 2010 brings about the end to Rescue Cat, Heavy Storm, Brain Control, and Substitoad. OCG Lists get Trishula added to their Limited List, while both OCG and TCG Lists gets Whirlwind, Dark Hole, Launcher, Reborn, and Oppression. Dewloren converts in TCG Lists, joined by MST, Snipe Hunter, and Chaos Sorcerer, the latter two being V-Lord Syndrome’s latest. CyDra, Treeborn, and United We Stand cure themselves of V-Lord Syndrome, joined by Black Rose, Decree,  and Goblin Zombie.

And that brings us to last format, March 2011. Goyo, Cold Wave, and Mass Driver kick the bucket, while the Limited List gains Kalut, Dandylion, Honest, Book of Moon, and Gateway. Semi-Limited new recruits consisted of Trooper, Krystia, Debris, Royal Tribute, Icarus, and Warning, along with V-Lord Syndrome victims Reaper, Megamorph, and Overload Fusion. Chaos Sorcerer and Snipe Hunter are cured and are joined by Demise, Dewloren, Skill Drain, Gold Sarc, and Offering.

It’s been a wild ride down memory lane as we look back at what cards were Limited and Forbidden at the time. It really gets one thinking on how the metagame would be now if some of those cards weren’t on the list where they are now. Next time, I’ve decided that I waited long enough, so I’ll go into full detail on “V-Lord Syndrome” and what it really is. Until then, this is MystikX, signing out.

 

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