Thursday, December 18, 2014

To be Honest: Thoughts on the F & L List

The F&L list is out turning weeks of speculation into weeks of kvetching and komplaining.   Yes, Virginia, Skill Drain is still a thing and no, I will not return your Emptiness.  

Once again, Konami freed one seemingly random card from Forbidden Prison.  Goyo and Raigeki were among the recently emancipated.  This year’s winner is Snatch Steal, a card that will give some 11 year old boy a chance to turn one of his elders into a pillar of salt.  Unlike its predecessors, there have been enough reprints to make it accessible to nearly all doolists.  The card may see some play by Noble Knight doolists using Hidden Armory.  The rest of us are looking for a savior who plays Bad Reaction to Simochi. 

Limiting Moralltach means the Artifact presence will continue to evaporate.  This decision may be a preemptive strike against Satellarknights since their new support will give them access to rank five monsters.  Tellar players will simply have to be happy with Triverr. The rest of us will be free to waste one of those excess MSTs on our opponent’s back row.  

The newly unlimited cards will have a limited effect.  Reborn Tengu may make a top 16 Regional list since it is a Tenki target.  Despite the current Summonpalooza, synchro monsters remain some of the game’s best.  Nevertheless, the strategy will be rogue at best.  Gale suffers from Normal Summonopathy and only the hypnotized would play Reasoning.  Abyssgunde will give Mermail players a lift until the Super Bowl.  After that, Dark Law will make the deck all but unplayable. 

For the most part, the F&L list does little more than provide fodder for the Yugitube and Yubiblog community.  Its impact on the game has been considerably diminished.  Most of the cards taken off the list are irrelevant and most of the limited cards are unsearchable (with my apologies to Iron Blacksmith Kotetsu).  The game is currently dominated by the release of new product.  This trend will continue with the release of Nekroz and Dark Law.  
The section of the F&L list that may have an impact is the Semi Limited list.  The graph to the right shows the odds for drawing a card as a function of the turn.  These numbers are based on a six-card hand (i.e. for players going second) without any deck-thinning*. The results are rather striking. By turn 11, there is a 40% chance of drawing into a singleton compared to a 65% chance of drawing into a card with two copies.  In other words, you have increased your odds by one in four.  

While “Double D Hole” may add some suggestive smirkiness, double Honest will carry some real clout.  The primary beneficiaries of this change will be Satellarknights for the following reasons:
  1. Honest is a difficult card to defend against.  Cards that stop Honest are limited and/or not played.  Debunk fell out of favor with the passing of the Droolers; Mind Crush may help the clairvoyant.  For the most part, Honest will have free reign until Dark Law.
  2. The bluff is real.  Getting over a lowly Tellarknight with one backrow set was generally done simply running over the monster.  In this way, one could avoid getting Nova’d.  Such a strategy can lose you the game if they have Honest in hand. 
  3. He’s baaack.  The trend in Tellars is to play three Oasis and three COTH.  This strategy will allow them to summon Honest and put him back in their hand. 
  4. Double your pleasure.  Honest is one of the most difficult cards in the game when it comes to rulings.  Mirror matches may boil down to which doolist says “Honest” first.  Nevertheless, I think you can play one Honest after another Honest.  In any case, the card is sure to give judges some headaches. 
* A topic I will write about later


  1. I lol'd hard when I saw the footnote on the list lol

  2. Horrible f/l.... Next ban list hopefully it's better
    OCG maybe the same