Any day now, the new Forbidden & Limited List for the TCG could be upon us. The last one dates back to early February and we therefore qualify for the "few months" of wait time Konami usually gives. To put things into perspective, the last update mainly dealt with Swordsoul, Tri-Brigade/Lyrilusc, and Drytron, as well as some out of the blue adjustments to generic cards like Skill Drain and Pot of Desires.
Whether or not we'll get something to that scale of magnitude again, let's go over the dull parts of the competitive format and how they could be taken care of.
Prank-Kids & Eldlich
Two old-timers still contending for competitive success. You might be surprised to find out that Prank-Kids have been around for almost 4 years now, close to double that of Eldlich. Both gained new traction in the current meta of 60-card pile Decks, as either one Golden Land or Prank-Kid card opens up plays for the entire archetype.
The TCG would be following Master Duel and the OCG by limiting one of the fabulous Zombie's Traps, whether it's Eldlixir of Scarlet Sanguine or Conquistador of the Golden Land is up for debate. With Conquistador to 1, Eldlich would lose most of its potential as an added engine to the popularized Cyberse combo it supports.
For Prank-Kids it's not as straight forward. They already have Prank-Kids Meow-Meow-Mu limited to 1, since they need a Link-1 Monster to get started, thus limiting their power in slower paced matchups. The actual Kids all do the same, so one remaining solution would be to ban Meow-Mu and kill the Deck altogether. Even then, someone that's been rocking these pranksters from the very beginning can count themselves lucky for the many years of mileage they've been able to get.
Phoenix Enforcer & Verte Anaconda
If the whole saga between Predaplant Verte Anaconda and Destroyer Phoenix Enforcer (DPE) wasn't already a reboot of what Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon did more than a year ago, there might be more tolerance for this amount of Fusion tomfoolery. Any Deck can fall back on, or even incorporate DPE as a piece of their combo.
As things are at the moment, it looks like we won't see a conclusion to this trend until Verte itself gets locked up. Again, this would be in line with what the OCG did and admit the fact that Fusion Summoning only from the Deck is way too powerful. The fact that Fusion Destiny is already limited to 2 means it's a rare enough occurrence on its own, making the risk of running two useless Fusion Materials less worth it.
Not unrelated to DPE, but still deserving of a separate mention. The ability to disable the Extra Deck has been dangerous enough to warrant Dragon Buster Destruction Sword to be banned at some point. In the case of Buster, the enabler was Union Carrier, which is still banned. So there's arguably a case to be made that Artifact Dagda could now be banned instead of Artifact Scythe. However, unlike Buster, Scythe is far more accessible with Artifact Sanctum.
While it is true that DPE is the most efficient way of activating Scythe, Baronne de Fleur also does a good job on its own. There's just too many potential scenarios to consider compared to handling the problem head on and banning Scythe directly. It would also leave the Link Monster for the pure Artifact enjoyers to have fun with.
In a rather recent development of the meta, the Adventurers found their way in every Deck that can afford to run them. Or at least the two that are worth running. Wandering Gryphon Rider can easily be brought out and assures your plays won't be disrupted before commiting to anything else and Dracoback, the Rideable Dragon makes itself useful as removal at the same time.
Usually new releases have a grace period before they fall victim to the banlist, but their way of being splashed into anything makes them an exception that Konami might want to take care of. It's clear that this amount of impact wasn't expected, seeing how the OCG already put both Rite of Aramesir and Water Enchantress of the Temple to 1, after their semi-limit wasn't enough.
This level of severity is justified, as the two starters fill the same role and can be used when drawn or even reached through something like Foolish Burial. We wouldn't put it past the TCG to leave the adventurers untouched for another format, or see where just one limit gets us.
Despia & Swordsoul
The forerunners of the newly released archetypes and the ones defying the current Whatever-Gets-You-To-DPE-Fastest strategy. There's no clear favorite between the two, and especially Despia gives room for different approaches for the archetype to be experimented with.
If anything, we could see the return of Allure of Darkness and Super Polymerization to one of the limited sections, though that does seem a bit early. On the other hand, an indirect hit to Swordsoul could come in the form of limiting the Tenyis.
Liberty at Last!
To close things out on the least exciting topic, the backlog of cards that were banned ages ago increases with every list, and some of them deserve to be reevaluated. Konami's process for this follows an incremental pattern of setting them to 1, then 2, and finally to 3, hopefully never to visit the banlist again.
That being said, all of Scapegoat, Salamangreat Circle, Destrudo the Lost Dragon's Frisson, Astrograph Sorcerer, and A Hero Lives could be bumped up by one more copy each without dooming the meta the very next day. Additionaly, Night Assailant has been errata'd to no longer be abused as infinite discard fodder and most certainly will return to 3 copies.
When do you think the banlist will drop? Leave us a comment with your expectations!