With banlist season for the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG nearly underway within the next couple of weeks, several players have spoken out on what Konami may or may not change on the upcoming Yu-Gi-Oh March 2021 TCG banlist, and in this article, we’re going to be breaking down on all the changes that players have predicted may come from the company and how it will impact the competitive metagame as a whole! Let’s jump right in and talk about my personal TCG March 2021 banlist predictions!
Before we can dive in on what may or may not get hit on this upcoming list, we first need to analyze the current competitive metagame and what players have observed Konami is expected to address to balance the overall health and state of the format entirely based on previous iterations of the banlist. As of the time of writing this article, the most popular top tier decks based on everyone’s analysis is Drytron, Virtual World, and several variants of Eldlich including Eldlich Invoked, Eldlich Dogmatika, and Eldlich Zoodiac being the more potent and popular variant amongst all the other ones. Other lower-tier decks that players are expecting to also be addressed on the next banlist include strategies like Dinosaur, Dogmatika, and even the Invoked engine that has managed to stay relevant for several different formats throughout the years without being touched by the banlist at any capacity, but with recent changes in the OCG on the deck, more specifically with Magical Meltdown being Semi-Limited to 2, this may be the first time the deck may actually see some changes. Beyond that, the format, in general, has been well received by most players and some have even called this one of the healthier formats this game has seen in a while. Now that we know what decks and strategies may be on the chopping block of the next Forbidden & Limited List for Konami, let’s discuss briefly how I feel they are expected to approach them individually based on each section of the list.
Touching first on Drytron, more specifically the Drytron Herald variant, players have complained about cards like Cyber Angel Benten being legal in the format at 3 copies, decks like Drytron are able to generate loads of advantage off of this one card since it does not have a hard once per turn, can easily be Special Summoned from the GY with Meteonis Drytron, and that it can also be used as Tribute fodder for a floodgate card like Vanity’s Ruler. With that in mind, several people have called out Cyber Angel Benten to be Forbidden, however from my point of view, being that Drytron is a relatively new archetype and that it’s expected to receive a new Xyz Monster in Lightning Overdrive, banning a card like Benten would put a huge dent in the consistency of the strategy, therefore making players less enticed to build and innovate on the deck any further, which is why I honestly cannot see Konami wanting to hit the strategy just yet. Next on peoples’ list to also get banned is for True King of All Calamities to be Forbidden due to Virtual World. Before Virtual World was introduced into the game, outside of rogue decks that can make a card like this with ease such as Blue-Eyes or even Generaiders, True King of All Calamities was held back severely on how many resources a player needed to commit to Summon out such a strong threat for most top tier decks, but now with its overwhelming representation in top cut for several major tournaments, and also seeing that most build can even Summon out 2 copies of this insane card, the true power of this powerful boss Monster has now reached new heights, and quite frankly, I personally do feel a card such as this really should be addressed on this next upcoming list to help promote better interactivity and gameplay amongst the player base and to overall maintain the format in good shape. Some have also predicted with the rise of Dragon Link as a solid rogue contender in the meta, Konami may want to put in check cards like Guardragon Elpy to also be Forbidden, however, I don’t agree with this sentiment enough, especially since this deck has only started to peek its head into the competitive landscape and on top of that, many Dragon based strategies need a card like Elpy to help maintain a good level of competitiveness, even in much lower tiers. Besides these two cards, and of course excluding cards like Mystic Mine and Number S0: Utopic Zexal for obvious reasons, most players do not see anything else they would want to be hit. With that out of the way, let’s proceed on what may be hit on the Limited section.
With the community split on the decision on how this deck should be addressed, several players have called out for Miscellaneousaurus to be Limited, while others have even said it should be banned completely from the game. While I do feel the latter seems a bit too much for the deck considering this card is what brought back Dinosaurs into relevance, I don’t necessarily feel that this deck needs to be touched at any capacity due to the fact that since the rise of decks like Drytron and Virtual World, an aggro deck such as this hasn’t been able to have as much success in this current format and given Konami’s track record with Dinos in general, they most likely do not have any interest in messing with the deck as well. As a preemptive hit on the list, players are also expecting them to put Crystron Halqifibrax and Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon to being Limited, however, given that these two cards have not had such a major impact on the metagame in its entirety, with the exception of Dragoon being splashed in some Eldlich variants and some lower-tier rogue decks, I personally don’t believe these two should not be addressed for the meantime but could be a point of contention if they prove to be problematic in the upcoming format. Others have also had talks about old cards like Thunder Dragon Colossus, Heavymetalfoes Electrumite, and Orcust Harp Horror to be Limited, and while I do agree with most of the player base’s sentiment that these cards have many more counters to them nowadays and are much easier to deal with compared to 2019, Konami is probably not in the neighbourhood to be releasing them off the list anytime soon since there is still a small minority of players who still feel oppressive floodgates and high-value extenders such as these are still able to generate too much advantage. At least not until they get new support like the Metalfoes archetype did. Now that we covered all the cards that may be Limited, we can now discuss what we can predict to be Unlimited.
Since the Semi-Limited section virtually doesn’t serve a great purpose in most players’ eyes, except for cards like Destiny Hero – Malicious, if we follow Konami’s trend with that specific section of the entire banlist, they are expected to release Double Iris Magician and True King’s Return to be Unlimited given that they have not seen much, if any, competitive play since being Semi-Limited on the previous list. Players are also hoping they will release Called By The Grave to be Semi-Limited or Unlimited to have better answers to handtraps, and quite honestly, I can also see them doing so given that this Spell card has been moving on and off the list since its release. On top of that, since it has been confirmed that it will be receiving a reprint in the new Ghost from the Past set, the legendary Firewall Dragon will most likely be either Limited or Unlimited, however at this point, given that the new errata has been confirmed for the TCG as well, I do feel they may just follow previous trends by first Limiting the card, then, later on, releasing it completely from the list if it proves to not be problematic, which I don’t foresee happening knowing its effect. Speaking of erratas, players have also talked about Dewloren, Tiger King of the Ice Barrier and Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon from being Limited to going Unlimited, but until they have a better decision business-wise to do so, I don’t predict that these two will be moving up the list anytime soon, except maybe for Dewloren since it just got reprinted in the new Freezing Chains structure deck. There are certainly many other cards the community has discussed in general that the company can and may be interested to come off the list to help diversify and change the format to assist with breathing new life into it with more decks to come into play, but these are just few of the many cards that they’ve discussed in recent memory that has a reasonable chance of making a change on the upcoming banlist.
The banlist has always been a point of contention and hype for a majority of the playerbase because we’re always anxious to see whether or not the Konami will address the most problematic cards of the given format, how they may make other legacy decks playable again even at a rogue level, and just to see how more players will adapt to the new changes regardless of what may or may not come out as top tier, but regardless of how you may look at it, I think we can all collectively agree that there’s always a good spark of interest surrounding it around this time that helps fuel the hype and excitement of when it’s actually released, and considering that this current format has received somewhat more of a positive feedback from most players since this is one of the more balanced and control heavy formats we’ve seen in quite some time, which honestly cannot be said for most past formats, it’ll be quite an interesting move to see whether or not the company will break this trend on the upcoming list entirely, or possibly maintain it in its current form, while also not making it completely stale for the next 3-4 months to come.