Wednesday, December 17, 2014

OCG Erratas Continue: Iconic Banned Cards Return (Review)

You guys have probably heard by now that the OCG just made a major shift with its latest banlist. So major, in fact, that several formerly banned cards have become Limited now. The reason for this is that each of these former powerhouses (with one exception) have been errata'd, meaning that their text has been updated and they are now not quite as overwhelmingly powerful as they were before.

I won't actually be going over the entire 01/01/15 OCG banlist on this blog, as it's a very long set of changes and likely isn't completely relevant to us here in TCG territories. However, actual card text being inconsistent between the two game territories seems unlikely, and so I feel we TCG readers can gain something from going over the errata changes since they may cross over one day. So let's do this thing.

(Source for all of the new text is []; all images are from the Yugioh Wikia.)

1. Chaos Emperor Dragon - Envoy of the End

OLD TEXT: "This card cannot be Normal Summoned or Set. This card can only be Special Summoned by removing from play 1 LIGHT and 1 DARK monster in your Graveyard. You can pay 1000 Life Points to send all cards in both players' hands and on the field to the Graveyard. Inflict 300 damage to your opponent for each card sent to the Graveyard by this effect."

NEW TEXT: "Cannot be Normal Summoned/Set. Must be Special Summoned (from your hand) by banishing 1 LIGHT and 1 DARK monster from your Graveyard, and cannot be Special Summoned by other ways. During the turn you activate this card’s effect, you cannot activate other effects. (1) Once per turn: You can pay 1000 LP; send all cards on the field and in both players’ hands to the Graveyard, then inflict 300 damage to your opponent for each of your opponent’s cards sent by this effect."

Two major changes here: this is now the only effect you can use in a given turn, and your opponent only takes damage for the cards sent from their control, not yours also. I'm honestly not sure that this card is a balanced addition to the game even after these changes (a nuke button is obviously still kind of a big deal), but at least it's only Limited and at least we have cards to stop this now that didn't exist back in 1875 (or whenever this was last legal).

2. Sinister Serpent

OLD TEXT: "During your Standby Phase, if this card is in your Graveyard: You can return it to your hand."

NEW TEXT: "You can only use the effect of “Sinister Serpent” once per turn. (1) During your Standby Phase, if this card is in your Graveyard: You can add this card to your hand. During your opponent’s next End Phase, banish 1 “Sinister Serpent” from your Graveyard."

Alright, so now the card has a built-in control mechanic. At first I thought this would only encourage people to try and abuse it more, but now that I think about it, there aren't that many ways to constantly escape the self-banishing thing. I think a lot of players will complain that this thing is useless now, but I don't think it's that bad honestly.

3. Temple of the Kings

OLD TEXT: "The controller of this card can activate Trap Cards the same turn they are Set. If you control "Mystical Beast of Serket" and this card, you can send both to the Graveyard to Special Summon 1 monster from your hand, Deck, or Extra Deck."

NEW TEXT: "You can only use each effect of “Temple of the Kings” once per turn. (1) You can activate 1 Trap Card you control during the turn it is Set. (2) You can send both this card and 1 face-up “Mystical Beast Serket” to the Graveyard; Special Summon 1 monster from your hand or Deck, or 1 Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck."

Even after being nerfed, this card still looks pretty capable to me. The second effect is obviously hard to use since Serket is kind of trash (thanks to its self-destruction effect and the fact that you have to tribute for it), but I could totally see some kind of deck being able to abuse what is effectively changing a Trap to a Spell once per turn. The problem is that you can't reliably take advantage of that while the card is still Limited, so maybe it can be useful if it becomes Unlimited one day. Really takes me back to the little kid days where people were always impatient as hell and the biggest challenge with using Traps was that you had to wait before using them.

4. Ring of Destruction

OLD TEXT: "Target 1 face-up monster on the field; destroy that target, and if you do, inflict damage to both players equal to that target's ATK."

NEW TEXT: "You can only activate 1 “Ring of Destruction” per turn. (1) During your opponent’s turn: Target 1 face-up monster your opponent controls whose ATK is lower than or equal to your opponent’s LP; destroy that face-up monster, and if you do, you take damage equal to that monster’s original ATK, then, inflict damage to your opponent equal to the damage you took."

Now this is one hell of a nerf. The biggest changes are obviously the "only during the opponent's turn", "only kills an opponent's monster", and "stop forcing games to end in a fucking tie, you noobs." It still seems like a powerful piece of removal and burn damage rolled into one, it's just not as capable of ending games as before. I really like this change, and I think this will see a lot of play in the OCG going forward; removal like this doesn't come up every day.

5. Crush Card Virus

OLD TEXT: "Tribute 1 DARK monster with 1000 or less ATK. Check all monsters your opponent controls, your opponent's hand, and all cards they draw (until the end of your opponent's 3rd turn after this card's activation), and destroy all monsters with 1500 or more ATK."

NEW TEXT: "(1) Tribute 1 DARK monster you control with 1000 or less ATK; check your opponent’s hand and all monsters they control, and destroy all monsters with 1500 or more ATK, then, your opponent can destroy up to 3 monsters with 1500 or more ATK from their Deck. After you activated this card, all damage your opponent takes until the end of the next turn becomes 0."

No more checking draws and you also can't deal damage to your opponent for a turn. The card still lets you check their hand and reveal the identities of any facedown monsters they might have, which is not bad. However, it is definitely more difficult to get a return on investment for it now - remember, you are giving up two cards from your overall advantage to get this effect.

6. Exchange of the Spirit

OLD TEXT: "Activate only while there are 15 or more cards in your Graveyard. Pay 1000 Life Points. Both players swap the card(s) in their Graveyard with the card(s) in their Deck. Then, both players shuffle their Decks."

NEW TEXT: "You can only activate 1 “Exchange of the Spirit” per Duel. (1) If each player has 15 or more cards in their Graveyard: Pay 1000 Life Points; both players swaps cards in their Decks with cards in their Graveyards, then shuffle the Decks."

The main change here seems to be that your opponent has to have at least 15 cards in addition to you, so no "haha i dumped a truckload of crap in my grave while u had nothing so now u can't draw and i win!!!1!!" bullshit anymore. It seems awfully slow to rely on your opponent like this (for any use of the effect), so I don't think this card will see play anymore.


Ironically, the one card they brought back without changing is also one of the most fearsome: Harpie's Feather Duster. I can't imagine what kind of fuckery could compel somebody to do that, but hey, it's Konami. (Also worth noting is that they banned Heavy Storm at the same time. Well... alright then.)

I know a lot of people are upset that Konami decided to take the Dark Strike Fighter path with these older cards instead of the BLS path, but I personally don't really mind that much. (Kind of easy to not care when you don't play anymore!) These changes seem awful to us because we grew up with the more powerful versions, but the funny thing is that I can't even imagine them releasing brand-new cards this powerful without first attaching them to some kind of theme or something. Anyways, that's been my review, hope you enjoyed it!

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