- Why should you listen to The Banlist?
Some Yu Gi Oh Cards are very powerful – we’ve all had games that ended simply because your opponent had an amazing card up their sleeve. Some cards, however, are so powerful that Konami won’t even allow you to use them at their full strength in official tournaments – these are the cards on the Prohibited and Restricted Lists.
There are three lists: Prohibited, semi-limited and limited. Each category imposes different restrictions on the number of copies of a certain card you are allowed in your deck. Players rarely refer to each roster individually and instead talk about the collective banist, a merger of the three lists. It might be confusing at first, but don’t worry – everything will be explained here.
The three lists
The first list is Prohibited list. The cards here are banned from any tournament-legal deck altogether – you can’t even play a single copy. This list is usually the longest of the three, as over the years many cards have been printed which would provide incredible power even from a single copy. Among other things, this is due to meta decks’ abilities to search for their combo pieces with impressive consistency, so much so that grabbing one copy of a card from the deck is often much easier than playing three copies and hoping for it. shoot one.
The next step is the Limited list. Every card here is technically tournament legal, though you can only play one copy of each in your deck, Side Deck and Extra Deck combined, compared to the usual three you are allowed. You may be wondering why this is relevant given what has been said above, but, in fact, this list is extremely important. Rather than removing key archetypal pieces from overpowered strategies, this often serves to restrict players’ access to powerful but generic cards that aren’t easily searchable. Also, having a keycard on the limited list might not have a huge impact on first-round games, but it sure will. hamper your deck’s resource play go in the later turns.
Finally, there is what we often forget Semi-limited list. As you might have guessed, a card from the semi-limited list can be played up to two copies. This is a much more lenient restriction than playing a copy, and so it’s rare for a card to stay on the semi-limited list for long without being released as a Unlimited (i.e. playable in triplicate). The semi-limited list is therefore much smaller than the other two, although it usually contains large (light) consistency hits to the best bridges. The primary use of this list, however, is often experimental: Konami will sometimes move a card here from the Limited list to see if it breaks the multiple copy deck and, if not, the card is usually graded in Unlimited. come the next banlist update.
The banlist is updated every few months or so – you can see the latest here.
Why should you listen to The Banlist?
Since the ban list is only strictly enforceable during official Konami tournaments, you might think this doesn’t affect you – and, if you’re happy playing the Yu-Gi-Oh kitchen table with your friends, then you can probably get away with ignoring it. However, if you’re playing in just about any other setting, sticking to the banlist is highly recommended. This is the default option for Yu-Gi-Oh players and so unless you have decided before the match that you are not using the ban list, your opponent will most likely call you if you use an illegal card, whether you play in person or online.
Additionally, official Konami tournaments are more common than you might think: whenever your local store hosts a local tournament, it is considered an officially sanctioned Konami event. This is necessary, as Konami often provides prizes for these tournaments in the form of OTS packs and other goodies. People also use these tournaments as training grounds for larger, more competitive events, so they need to be sure the rules are the same.
Long story short, if you go to a Yu-Gi-Oh tournament, they will almost certainly use the most recent ban list unless they have clearly stated otherwise. Keep in mind that Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel maintains a different banlist from the tabletop game.
Why are cards banned?
Konami doesn’t like to ban cards. Often a card will escape the banlist even though it is known to be a problematic card by the community, because Konami wants to make other hits instead. They also, unlike the outside community, have financial interests in mind, and therefore newly released cards will rarely be banned – no one wants to pick up a product from the store only to find they can’t use the cards inside.
Essentially, Konami has many interests at heart, so it’s very difficult to predict what they will do. That’s why banlist season is such a tense time for Yu-Gi-Oh players: you might be safe, but at the same time, your favorite deck can also be demolished in an instant. Konami is good at understanding its game, however, and so big problems will eventually be solved by the banlisteven if it takes some time before the store shelves are empty.
Ideally, unbalanced cards would never print and we wouldn’t need a banlist. However, you must remember that Yu-Gi-Oh has no set rotation (unlike Pokemon or Magic: The Gathering) and a massive card pool of over 11,000 cards. It’s very difficult for Konami to ensure that new cards won’t have broken interactions with existing ones. Indeed, many cards are banned because of this: combining cards across different eras of the game to create powerful synergies is a very satisfying part of the Yu-Gi-Oh experience, but sometimes infinite loops and other groundbreaking interactions are discovered that require banlist intervention.
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