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.

 

September 2011 Forbidden/Limited List

On August 16, 2011, in Yu-Gi-Oh! Articles, by Earl Allen

I hate August. I really do. It’s the time of year where the sweltering New England heat is at its peak, there’s no holidays where one can chillax, and there are hundreds of fake Forbidden/Limited Lists going around the internet. And this year, August is just one ****storm after another, what with Xyz Rulings in favor of Sangan and Reborn Tengu, and the administrative scandal currently happening over in the Janime Community Forums.

But enough ranting, we all know why we’re hear today, and that’s to discuss the Forbidden/Limited List for the September 2011 format. And hooboy is it a doozy. A few weeks ago, I posted another article stating my predictions on what would happen. For simplicity’s sake, this is what I predicted:

Forbidden: Plaguespreader Zombie
Limited: Tsukuyomi, Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning, Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier, Formula Synchron, T.G. Hyper Librarian, Treeborn Frog, Ultimate Offering
Semi-Limited: Lumina, Lightsworn Summoner, Dewloren, Tiger King of the Ice Barrier, Marshmallon, Reborn Tengu
Unlimited: Bottomless Trap Hole, Mystical Space Typhoon, Megamorph

 

And now, here’s what really happened. We’ll be going bottom-up this time, starting with the Unlimited cards:

UNLIMITED

Don't fear the reaper.

Judgment Dragon: I said that my choice for Lumina was to give Lightsworn a little extra kick. Doing this instead isn’t a kick. It’s a freaking boot to the head! Never did I expect the nuke-dragon to come back to three!
Spirit Reaper: Instead of giving us a second Marshmallon, they give us a third Reaper. I can’t see the reasoning behind this except for the fact that with the Dark World Structure Deck lurking around the corner, this guy isn’t as strong with his discard effect. Still gives Stall Decks more meat, though.
Overload Fusion: Something I overlooked in my prediction article. This, like Megamorph, suffers from “V-Lord Syndrome”. Still a powerful card, though.
Mystical Space Typhoon: I should note that I was joking when I made this prediction. But Konami went and did anyway!
Megamorph: Speaking of Megamorph, another successful prediction. “V-Lord Syndrome” strikes again!
Gravity Bind: This is clearly Konami’s way of promoting Xyz Monsters, since they’re immune to this card. It also gives Stall Decks more power than ever.
Icarus Attack: Blackwings haven’t honestly been doing much since Konami clipped their wings in March. This gives them something to work with until they decide to start pulling Blackwings out of the 5Ds Manga.

Final Score: 2/3 successful predictions.

SEMI-LIMITED

After a near-decade of waiting...

Summoner Monk: Another card I was surprised to see move around. This feels like another move to promote Xyz Monsters.
Tragoedia: Yet another surprise to me. I honestly can’t think of anything to say about the reasoning behind this move.
Necro Gardna: Another helpful move for Lightsworns, but that’s about it, honestly.
Dewloren, Tiger King of the Ice Barrier: As I previously stated, the OTK caused the neutering of this card without crippling Fusion Monsters in general.
Destiny Draw: A little something to help out Destiny HEROs it seems. Honestly, it didn’t deserve it’s Limited status.
Swords of Revealing Light: Holy hell, I did not see this coming. This card hasn’t been Semi-Limited since May 2002! Stall Decks will be having a field day this format for sure.
Mind Crush: Feels like a push for Dark World, though I can’t say for certain.
Call of the Haunted: I…uh…what? Is this “V-Lord Syndrome” in effect here?

Final score: 1/4 successful predictions.

LIMITED

Back in black! Black Luster that is!

Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning: They did it. They actually did it. Whelp, see you folks in six months!
Legendary Six Samurai – Shi En: I never expected them to hit Six Samurais this way, though it IS cheap with multiples out.
T.G. Hyper Librarian: Called it.
Debris Dragon: Actually saw this one coming. It slows the Plant engine down a lot.
Formula Synchron: Called it.
Lonefire Blossom: Again, the Plant engine is effectively dead as of now.
Heavy Storm: They brought it back? Hallelujah!
Primal Seed: Konami taking a preemptive strike, it seems. Then again, being able to get back ANY two banished cards is rather broken, especially when you consider the fact that, with Macro Cosmos in play, you can loop them.
Shien’s Smoke Signal: Another strike to Six Samurais. Then again, with RotA Limited, why should this be Unlimited?
Pot of Avarice: And with this, the Plant engine IS dead.

Final scoring: 3/7 successful predictions (4/7 if you count Trishula for TCG)

FORBIDDEN

Flushed down the toilet.

Fishborg Blaster: Honestly, I didn’t see this one happening. Though, it’s a better alternative to putting Treeborn back on the Limited List, I suppose.
Mind Master: Part of me is sad that he’s gone, but the other part of me understands why he’s gone. If you can make 3 different OTKs function, something is wrong.
Giant Trunade: So we lose this to get Heavy back? Eh, I guess getting three Typhoons evens it out.
Royal Oppression: Was this card really that problematic? Either that or it’s Konami saying “Don’t stop your opponent’s Xyz Summons!”…

Final scoring: 0/1 successful predictions

Final verdict: I’m surprised at what happened to about half of this list. Cards came back unexpectedly, cards went as expected. Though I’m surprised Konami didn’t do anything to Ultimate Offering, obviously another ploy to promote Xyz Monsters, even if it is through a broken decktype. Though I can see how it wouldn’t help in the TCG, what with the only Rank 4 Xyz we have currently are Utopia and Zenmaister, while the OCG has a ton more that we won’t be seeing until Hidden Arsenal 6. All I can say is that I can expect Twilight to rule once again, and Stall Decks will make a comeback with their new toys. Until then, this is MystikX, signing out.

 

August is just around the corner, leaving just one month left in the format. It’s been a rather interesting format this time where no one deck has been dominating throughout these last five months:

YCS Anahiem – LIGHT Gemini Beat
YCS Orlando – Zombie
YCS Providence – Tengu Synchro
NA WCQ – Tech Genus
SA WCQ – Machina Gadget
CA WCQ – Tengu Synchro

While Tengu Synchro took two of these six events, it also shows that other decks are now fighting for top deck. That said, when September 2011 comes around, it’ll be interesting to see what Konami has in store for us with the Forbidden/Limited List. As such, here are my predictions on what will happen:

Forbidden
Plaguespreader Zombie: Remember how I said that there are Xyz shenanigans with this card? Well, rulings state that if he’s used as Xyz Material, detaching him sends him to the Graveyard, despite what his effect says about banishing him. Therefore, you can loop into numerous Rank 2 Xyz Monsters with him and Quillbolt Hedgehog, provided you have the hand to do it. Hell, there’s an OTK that involves this very combo! But by banning Plaguespreader, that leaves three Synchros unplayable, right? Wrong. Pain Painter was made for a reason, and this may very well be that reason.

Limited
Tsukuyomi: I’ve always been a steadfast believer that this card will come off the list some day, and while there ARE arguments on why it should stay on the list, said arguments don’t hold as much water as they did back in 2006. Aside from that, it helps out in a lot of areas, such as keeping Frognarch decks in check by giving an easy out to getting rid of Monarchs. It also helps the upcoming Wind-Up Archetype, albiet slighty.
Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier: This one is a no-brainer. It’s Limited in Japan, and Unlimited everywhere else. Of course, the limit might take place when Worlds occurs, but I’m putting it here just for the off chance that it isn’t.
Formula Synchron: One of two problematic Synchros that is currently defining the game. Can’t really say much else.
T.G. Hyper Librarian: The other of two problematic Synchros. Anyone who disagrees with me on this one obviously doesn’t play the game.
Ultimate Offering: Gadget Xyz is big in Japan right now, and this is the engine that let’s you get four Rank 4 Xyz in a single turn. Might as well nip this one in the bud before it gets too out of control.
Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning: I’m only listing this card to humor the ones who are steadfast about his reprint in Gold Series 4: Pyramid Edition is an omen to his return. Realistically, though, he’s not as powerful as he once was.
Treeborn Frog: Taking him off the list completely was an absolute mistake. Put him back on.

Semi-Limited
Reborn Tengu: This card suffers from what I call “Malicious Syndrome”, in that it’s too powerful at three, and having it at one defeats the purpose of the card. Thus, having it at two is the only option left. Now I know people are saying “It’s a TCG-Exclusive! It’ll never hit the list until Japan gets it!” Well, Allure of Darkness hit the list before it hit Japan, so the same can apply here.
Lumina, Lightsworn Summoner: Lightsworn hasn’t been all that powerful recently, so something like this could give them a little extra kick, IMO.
Dewloren, Tiger King of the Ice Barrier: There’s a one-card OTK in Japan right now that utilizes Future Fusion that involves looping it endlessly with Elemental HEROs and this card. This card is looped by itself with the help of an Equip Spell called Symbol of Heritage, which only revives one monster if all three are in the Graveyard. Put this card to two and the OTK exists no more.
Marshmallon: If Spirit Reaper was able to sneak his way off in March, then this guy should have no problem in September.

Unlimited
Bottomless Trap Hole: Hasn’t been seeing a lot of play recently, and with a new card in Photon Shockwave locking down “Trap Hole” Traps altogether…well, you see my point.
Mystical Space Typhoon: Do it. Just do it, Konami, and get it over with. You know you want to!
Megamorph: This card has a case of what I call “V-Lord Syndrome”, where a card is Limited at first, then get Semi-Limited, then finally Unlimited in a weening fashion, just like Vampire Lord, who started the trend (later followed by Jinzo and Breaker, among others).

Do make note that all of these choices are mine and mine alone and are in no way affiliated with any other writer here at The MetaGame Report. If you feel that I missed something, or have a problem with some of my choices, feel free to let me know on our FaceBook page. Until then, this is MystikX, signing out.