Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Future of Geargias: Thoughts on the Upcoming F&L List

Most of my Yugioh days have been spent playing rogue, unconventional decks.  That is until Return of the Duelist, when Konami revealed a full lineup of Geargias.  For the first time, I saw my deck showing up on lists of regional and YCS tops.  I got to experience the privilege of flipping a monster and watching my opponent grouse about the deck.  Playing mirror matches became commonplace.  When asked, I could finally give a simple, one word answer to what deck I was playing. 

Now, the little gears are introducing me to a new facet of meta-life, ban list anxiety.  Konami’s insistence on archetype-specific card design has given them the power to shut down entire decks at will.  Bujins and Fire Fists are all one card away from becoming tomorrow’s Wind-ups and Glad Beasts.  Despite the clamor to bring back Bestiari, these cards tend to remain on the F/L list.  Most of the cards that have been brought back are generic.  Konami needs you to put away your old deck and buy something new.  

Fortunately, Geargias have not been completely dominating the meta.  More importantly, they have some new friends coming.  As a result, the little gears will probably be around for another format or two.  Nevertheless, I thought I would share my thoughts on what is to come.  

By each card is a 0 to 4 scale.  The bomb is the likelihood that the card will be restricted by the F/L list (0 = No chance, 4 = extremely likely). The skull and cross bones indicates the effect on the deck (0 = No difference, 4 = Not playable)

This card was not immediately embraced by Geargia doolists.    
Many players, including myself, were hesitant to add level three monsters and were concerned about drawing dead Geargiagears.  Over time, this card proved to be one of the most OP cards we had.  I am happy to sacrifice it to appease the F/L gods.  Removing it will likely bring some innovation and creativity to the deck.  


The heart of the deck revolves around this common card.  Armor or Auger to Accelerator is a + 0 play that can net you most Rank 4 XYZ monsters.  The deck plays quite well with 2 race cars and some players even prefer it.  On the other hand, the deck dies if this card is at 0 to 1.  


Though Auger threatens to supplant it, I think Armor is the better card.   1900 defense is still formidable. More importantly, it can grab more than one Geargia per turn.  Semi-limiting card would be a little sad, but not lethal.  Arsenal can get it out of the deck and Accelerator out of the graveyard.  


I have routinely played with two copies of Arsenal without much problem.  One reason for the card’s limited impact is that most Geargia monsters do not get effects on special summoning. MK-III will be the exception to the rule.  Nevertheless, I do not see the little tank in Konami’s crosshairs. 


Now that Konami has successfully sold their tins of Geargigants, they can afford to limit this card and make way for the rush towards Rank 3 Gears.  Semi-limiting the big cross would have little impact in a side deck that is already stuffed.  Limiting or, God forbid, forbidding it would slow down rank 4 builds.  We may see this happen so that there is room for XG.

Genex Ally Birdman  

Birdman has become the great OTK enabler.  While Geargiaists have come to accept Geargiagear, there are many who still hotly contend the value of this card.  It’s a great card with Accelerator and another Geargia on the field; it’s not if you have a handful of Traps and Spells. I’m happy to put the card away.


For the sake of our machine playing brethren, I hope these cards do not make it to the F/L list.  Konami would have to perform a rather dramatic paring down of the Karakuris to stop the Geargias.  Eliminating Birdman would slow down the deck and these monsters could be left alone.  


Limiting Geargiagear makes touching the Geargianos unnecessary.  Besides, Konami appears to be trying to force adoption of the Rank 3 build.  If so, April 1st will give us another three months of play before we have to live through the angst all over again.    

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