July was a very important month for the Yu-Gi-Oh TCG community, bringing with it new cards to define the coming formats, a new banlist, and most importantly, new rules, changing the way people play the game literally! There’s been a lot of debate over the effectiveness of the new ”Master Rules”, as they’re called, which came along with the release of Pendulum Monsters & the Pendulum Summoning Mechanic, but let’s take a look at what these rules mean for us players.

The first important new rule concerns the beginning of the duel. From now on, the player who goes first cannot conduct his draw phase, which honestly isn’t that bad. We all know that going first in Yu-Gi-Oh has always been a little overpowered, since the player going first could put out incredible board presence or defense without losing that much card advantage, and put the other player in a position where either they can’t do something or they have to do something to get of a card on board or else. Remember first turn Laggia set 5? Remember first turn Shockmaster? Well with these new rules, these types of plays will be less possible for players to pull off. That sixth card really does make a difference in combo oriented decks, to get to the plays they want faster, and without it these large combo decks can’t get to their pieces right away. That doesn’t mean these first turn combos aren’t going to happen anymore (some people are just that lucky, sorry) but at least this stops people from going ham first turn. It also puts the player going second at a considerable advantage; having six cards AND being able to attack that turn? That’s insane. And yet, it’s not that overpowered, since the player going first still has the ability to set up a good defensive position even with 5 cards. In a word, this new rule makes the game more balanced, which is always a good thing.

The other new important rule involves Field Spells, and it’s pretty out there, even for Konami. Now, both players can have a field spell out at the same time. Bottom line, decks that rely on Field Spell decks just got a massive boost. Before, when two players who played field spells would duel, all you would see was one player placing his field spell over the other player’s, destroying it, netting himself advantage & making his opponent go minus. Those duels were won & lost by these “field spell wars”, and now this doesn’t have to happen anymore, since both players can play their field spells at the same time, with both of their respective effects affecting both sides of the field. It’ll lead to some really crazy duels, let me tell ya.

All in all, these new rules only serve to make the game better for players, balancing it out & making the duels played a little more interesting. Of course, there’s also Pendulum Summoning, but that’s a whole new topic of debate. Every game has rules, and rules are constantly updated for player satisfaction. So don’t hate on the new rules: change can often be a good thing, and only time will tell if it is.

Here’s a link to the new rules!