We’ve all heard about the new Forbidden & Limited List for the January 2014 format. It was released weeks before its actual effectiveness, which gave players the benefit of seeing what decks they would or wouldn’t like to play anymore. The only drawback was that we couldn’t actually play with the newly limited or unlimited cards, except in a few events in local stores. Now, however, the January 2014 format is upon us, and this means we’re going to be seeing A LOT of new stuff, thanks to this new list. Let’s break it down and see what the banned list did to the metagame.

Dragon Rulers

Dragon ShrineFirst and foremost, Dragon Rulers are virtually no more. With the banning of Sixth Sense, Return from the Different Dimension and Dragon Ravine AND the limiting of all the Dragon Rulers and Sacred Sword of Seven Stars, the deck as we knew it will no longer be viable. Thank goodness. Now we might actually see some diversity in the decks that’ll be topping this format. And maybe the Dragon Rulers will be used as tech cards in Attribute-based decks, like they were supposed to be.

But, notice I said that Dragons are “virtually” gone? Basically, I’m pretty sure that Dragon Rulers aren’t dead yet. Even with all these measures taken by Konami to ensure that this deck will never see the light of day again, the cards are literally just too good to put down. The Dragon Rulers work with Dragons, period; meaning that you can put them in any dragon deck, and as long as you have Dragons to banish for them, you can still make the same ridiculous plays we’ve seen before in Dragons. Sure, they’re not going to be as consistent, or as fast as they were before, but if you put, for example, the Mythic Dragons along with a Blue Eyes engine consisting of Blue Eyes, White Stone of Legend, Trade-In, Cards of Consonance and Dragon Shrine, you have yourself a deck that can bust out Rank 7 and 8 XYZ monsters and level 8 and 9 Synchro monsters virtually every turn, with decent draw power and consistency. We’re going to have to face it guys; Dragons AREN’T dead. They’ve slowed down, but they’ll never be dead.

The return of the Magician of Faith

Magician of FaithOn that sad note, let’s get to some good news! There’s one card that’s actually been RE-Limited for this format that’s a reason to celebrate, and that would be Magician of Faith. Yes, this card has been banned FOREVER. Yes, it’ll be so great to get back that key Spell from your graveyard. NO, it’s not broken. Let me tell you why. First off, it’s a really, REALLY slow card. It needs to be set, then Flip Summoned to get its effect. Not even flipped face-up, FLIP SUMMONED. There are sooooo many things your opponent can do to get rid of a set card on the field without flipping it face-up in this game, it’s hard to say if Magician of Faith will even get its effect if you Set it. Then again, if they attack into it, you’ll get its effect. And what will you get back? Dark Hole? Mystical Space Typhoon? Book of Moon? Let’s face the facts, there aren’t that many broken Spell Cards this format, so Magician of Faith doesn’t have that many targets for your average deck.

Now, I’m not completely dissing the card. It’s a decent card, but it’ll be fantastic in a couple of decks, the first one obviously being Spellbooks. Spellbooks were already a great deck in the past, and now with this, they’ll get an even bigger boost. Imagine, you could topdeck Magician of Faith after you’ve used up a lot of resources, get back a Spellbook of Secrets and proceed to come back. And it doesn’t stop there, Magician of Faith can get you ANY Spellbook Spell you want from your graveyard, so it’s good in any situation! This is why I think Spellbooks are going to be very popular this format. It doesn’t even matter that Spellbook of Fate is at 1, Magician of Faith GETS IT BACK.

Another deck I think could benefit from Magician of Faith being Re-Limited is Gravekeepers. Gravekeepers are a decent deck, able to bring out decent monsters, maintain advantage and lock down the opponent with Necrovalley. With new support coming out for this archetype in Legacy of the Valiant (coming out January 24th), a lot of people are going to want to play this deck, and Magician of Faith is a perfect fit. It can get back Necrovalley, which Gravekeepers mostly need to play well, or Gravekeeper’s Stele, to get back other Gravekeepers, or even Royal Tribute. The synergy between this card and Gravekeepers is amazing, and I’m sure people are going to be playing it in this deck this format.

Plants

I also expect Plants to see some more play this format, because of the Semi-Limiting of Lonefire Blossom. Obviously, it’s not as great as Glow-Up Bulb (and trust me guys, that’s never coming back), but it’s a big boost to the Plant Archetype. Plants kind of fell off the map when Plant Synchro wasn’t viable anymore, but thanks to this, we might just see people playing pure Plants, with Gigaplant and Tytaniel, Princess of Camellias. This is also a big boost to the Sylvan Archetype, a new archetype of Plant-type monsters coming out in Legacy of the Valiant, so expect to see some play from them.

Look who’s making a big return

Tour Guide from the UnderworldNow, the big shocker; Mezuki, Plaguespreader Zombie AND Tour Guide from the Underworld ALL GOING TO THREE. I still can’t believe it. But, I can definitely believe that Zombies are going to be topping this format, without a doubt. The deck is pretty damn good; you have Goblin Zombie & Pyramid Turtle to basically get you any monster from your deck, Zombie Master for easy Synchro & Xyz plays, and now that Mezuki’s at 3, you can just keep bringing back your Zombies for more plays. Tour Guide being unlimited only makes this worse; Zombie players can now easily bring out Leviair the Sea Dragon, to keep their Mezuki & Plaguespreader plays going. All in all, the deck has A LOT of potential and capabilities thanks to this new list, and I’m sure it’s going to be competitive.

Finally, Fire Formation Tenki becoming unlimited is sure to cause a stir. A lot of decks benefit from having thre Tenkis; Fire Fist, Constellars, and especially Bujins. All these decks are very good, but now that they have three searchers for their key cards, they’re all going to be extremely good. I especially think Bujins are going to do well, because they can run a lot of anti-meta cards without generally being hurt by them, and now that they can instantly search out Yamato, they’re going to be very hard to deal with.

So there you have it. Spellbooks, Gravekeepers, Plants, Zombies, Fire Fist, and Bujins are all getting boosts from this new list, and they all have the potential to do well competitively. That being said, there’s no way to tell how well any deck will do until the next YCS. Till then, keep your fingers crossed and your hopes high; this format is going to be a fun one indeed.