Friday, December 5, 2014

Receding Waters: The F & L list for 2015

I once read a Pojo Forum thread entitled “What do you tell your friends when you go play Yugioh”.  Answers ranged from Poker to rock wall climbing. Only one intrepid doolist said he played Yugioh. While the game is enthusiastically embraced by the young, older players are imbued with a sense of guilty pleasure. Hence, there is a degree of irony when I say I feel guilty about my fondness for certain cards. I have found guilty pleasure in a part of a game that gives my guilty pleasure. 

Skill Drain is a card universally decried by most experienced players but secretly loved by me.  The card reduces the game to a mano a mano slugfest with no frilly effects and girly-man dodges.  It creates old fashioned duel monsters.  Besides, some of my most effective anti-meta strategies have revolved around this card.

Unfortunately, my advocacy will do little to keep the card viable.  Like many commentators, I suspect it will wind up on the F & L list since it cripples profitable archetypes and give Qlipharts a cheap advantage.  After all, advantage must come with a premium payable to Konami.  
Say Good Bye to an old friend

The most likely announcement will limit the card to one, which is the equivalent to banning the card.  In a game where searching accelerates the game state, limited unsearchable cards are useless.  This adage can be substantiated with a quick perusal of current crop of limited cards. The two most potent cards in the current format are Raigeki and Soul Charge. Yet, these cards are used only by tier 2 decks trying to make a run at God’s triangle.  Soul Drain is arguably one of the best cards against Burning Abyss, but it barely gets a mention.  If you can’t search for it, it’s not there.  Even at three, unsearchable cards are somewhat unreliable.  At one, they are non-existent.  So be prepared for Skill Drain to join Eradicator Epidemic Virus, Geargiagear, and Macro Cosmos as great but irrelevant cards. 

The dooling community has equal enmity for Vanity’s Emptiness.  Perhaps a portion of their ire is due to the high cost of the card.  Reprint hype gave a brief glimmer of hope for those who believe in equal access for all cards.  Unfortunately, that reprint only lowered the cost by $20.  It is still rather pricey.  This card may get the same treatment though it is not as great a threat.  Personally, I think its self-destruction clause makes it reasonably balanced.  As a result, it will likely get semi-limited and remain viable for most decks.  

The new  Emptiness?
Do these changes mean the flood tides are receding?  Not entirely. Floodgate cards will remain popular anti-meta strategies.  The mechanics will likely shift to monster effects like those used by Monarch decks.  However, one flood gate card is poised to emerge and that card is Mistake.  

The needle on the Whine-O-Meter spiked pretty high when Mistake was revealed.  Commentators across the Yugiverse talked about this card as if it was the end of dooling as we know it.  However, the release of the card was little more than hiccup.  After spiking in price to $30, it is now in the $4 range.  

The problem with the card is that it locks out both players.  Unlike Emptiness, one cannot easily get rid of it.  Playing Trap Stun works though this is a rather inconsistent two-card combo.  Burning Abyss players should consider it against Nekroz since the card allows you to add from the graveyard.  

Currently, I have it sided in Satellarknights.  While the card eviscerates Deneb and ROTA, the deck remains quite playable.  I’ve made life a little more bearable by playing three Trap Stuns and two Magic Planters.  Besides, the ubiquitous presence of MST means that the card is not around for long.  However, the card causes real problems for Qlipharts.  Who knows?  With Skill Drain and Emptiness at one,  Satellarknight players may get a real though brief boost. 

If I was a pragmatic person, I would sell Emptiness and buy Mistake.  But, I am more sentimental than pragmatic.  Reason flees where guilty pleasures thrive.  


  1. I really wish they would just fix the whole floodgate problem altogether by giving them time limits, but I'm pretty sure Konami wouldn't want to get into a massive undertaking like that. Plus, for all we know they might even believe that the status quo is actually a good thing. I wouldn't put it past them.

  2. Do a post on the mighty necloths. Easily the best deck around. Stronger than qliphorts and shaddolls.
    Excellent posts, I read them often.
    More tournament reviews would be fun too.
    My yugioh posts :

  3. Your remarks about skill drain are bang on. I hope it remains at 3.