You guys probably remember me doing an EXTREMELY long banlist discussion earlier this format. That was more of a wishlist, so now with us being nearly two months closer to the actual list dropping I wanted to make some actual predictions instead of just saying what I want to happen. After all, what else do we really have to do right now? Yugioh isn't exactly boring at the moment, but this is definitely the most exciting thing to discuss.
Of course, the tricky part is that with all of the cards in the game, literally no person can completely predict each of Konami's moves on any given list. It's just impossible. So instead, I'm going to just give you guys nine general directions that I think they'd be likely to go in. Let's get started!
WIND-UPS MIGHT GET HIT.
It's no secret that every format, Konami takes a hammer and a pickaxe to the most successful decks, giving players the incentive to "try something new" (also known as "line Konami's pockets"). Wind-Ups have done quite well in America, and the deck's standalone cards are just a little too good. So I'm confident we'll see them hit in some way.
RESCUE RABBIT MIGHT GET HIT.
Rescue Rabbit is the backbone of three different competitive decks: Dino Rabbit, Verz, and some versions of Fire Fist. There's also a million other semi-decent strategies that have a use for it; Harpies and Noble Knights come to mind. It's a one-card Xyz with even fewer drawbacks since the release of Daigusto Emerald, and I think Konami has long since realized their mistake in trying to remake the dreaded kitty.
Honestly, I believe the reason why Rabbit wasn't destroyed last format at their first real opportunity to take care of it was because a) they like the card, b) they don't like killing things suddenly unless they feel they HAVE to, and c) they weren't totally convinced of its power. Also, I don't really think they would want to come out and just flat-out admit that they fucked up by taking care of the card so quickly. But nowadays, they have less of an excuse. I can definitely see Rabbit going to 1 on this list.
SAMURAI MIGHT GET HIT.
Every time somebody speaks out against Samurai, their legion of fans will come to defend them while at the same time lacking a legion of logic. But it's an indisputable fact that loops are not healthy for this game, and even if Daigusto Emerald were to be banned they would still have cards that are just too good. As far as Konami goes though, I personally think they'll be hit only because of the loop, so don't expect more than just one new change.
GISHKI MIGHT GET HIT (AGAIN).
Konami pleased players last format by actually taking care of a problematic deck at the first opportunity, with the limiting of Evigishki Gustkraken. Even though the newest incarnation of "let's not play a real game of yugioh and just use Gishki" seems to have much less exposure in the OCG than the TCG, I wouldn't be surprised to see Mind Augus get Limited. It's a recent deck, but it's been around for a couple of months now and I think they've had the time to hear about it and plan accordingly. Don't let us down!
MERMAILS MIGHT GET HIT.
Although the Mermail Atlantean deck is fairly recent, it has a gigantic presence in both metagames and can do some really stupid plays. And even though the deck's constituent releases are recent themselves, Konami isn't profiting as much from them as they were. Long story short, I think the gates have opened up to see this deck take a small hit.
FIRE FIST PROBABLY WON'T GET HIT.
Tenki is an awesomely powerful card that supports multiple decks besides just Fire Fist, so it's a prime candidate for banlist hate. However, Konami wouldn't want to endanger the sales of new Fire Fist cards coming out in LTGY, or the Constellars and Fire Kings just now coming out in the TCG. So don't expect to see any Fire Fist cards hitting the list.
LAVALS PROBABLY WON'T GET HIT.
Everybody hates this oft-quoted fact of life, but from a business standpoint it just doesn't make sense to limit Rekindling RIGHT before the TCG release of the final piece of the Laval puzzle. So while it might be a good move for the sake of fairness, don't expect Konami to even come close.
STAPLE CARDS MIGHT CHANGE AROUND A BIT.
This seems to happen on every list nowadays, so don't be surprised if a power card has its number changed. It could be anybody's guess as to which one, but people HAVE been asking for Monster Reborn to be banned again quite constantly over the past year or so. Will it finally happen? Who knows. But I would like to say that Mind Control (which is not a staple, but certainly similar to Reborn) probably will NOT be getting banned. That card has been good forever now and Konami still hasn't done anything about it, so I wouldn't expect them to now.
A BANNED CARD WILL PROBABLY COME BACK.
Again, this happens on the majority of lists in modern times, and it's one of the main ways Konami likes to spice up the game while making the list progressively shorter. Once again: it's impossible to tell exactly which banned card will come back, because of the sheer number of banned cards that are perceived to be irrelevant in today's game. But if I had to ask for one, I think I'd like it if Imperial Order came back to one. It's an interesting side choice against Prophecy, but it's not usable in the majority of strategies just for the simple "haha i nagated ur spel card" that it first became notorious for. In modern times, monster cards are the threats you need to prepare for. Spells are good, but they can't punch you in the face after using their effects.
So that's it! Hopefully things will happen on the list in accordance with each of my guidelines, and hopefully you guys found this helpful. Thanks for reading.