Wednesday, May 1, 2013

News: May 11th Restricted List Brings Back the End, Dragonic Descendant Restricted

Updated May 4th, 2013: Bushiroad has issued a statement through their official blog that the below restrictions were made due to more than 50% of the top decks in the Asia Circuit Memorial Tournament, Fighter's Cup and Fight Royale 2013 having used Dragonic Descendant, while the cards that were unrestricted did not appear in great numbers within the top 16 of the Royale. The Royale operated under special rules in which the Fighter's Rule restricted list did not apply; it can be inferred from these statements that Majesty Lord Blaster and Tsukuyomi did have such a presence justifying their continued restriction. It has been stated that Descendant was added to "prevent the deck builds from heading towards only one direction".

Heads turned this morning as Bushiroad put out its new restricted list, effective May 11th 2013. Stated by Doctor O to "provide a more interesting fight environment," the list will bring sweeping changes to professional play just five months after its predecessor. According to the new list, Eradicator Dragonic Descendant, Majesty Lord Blaster and Goddess of the Full Moon Tsukuyomi have all been restricted to a maximum of two copies per deck in any combination. As with all previous lists, Barcgal cannot be set as the first vanguard. The previous list that took effect four months prior will be annulled by the new one, meaning that Tsukuyomi may now be run at 2 copies instead of just 1, the original Alfred and Wingal Brave may be used freely among other cards on the list, and most alarmingly of all, Dragonic Overlord The End has been completely opened up for free use once again.

The news is shocking to many because The End is generally regarded as the most controversial card in the history of the game, surpassing even Barcgal in notoriety for his enduring versatility as a self-standing vanguard and for still having a deck of his own with the previous restricted list, due to Dauntless Drive Dragon being such an effective support card in his restricted incarnation. Dauntless' break ride skill lets any Kagerou ridden over him stand again by discarding three cards after an attack, if it has not stood already in that turn. While crossriding The End was impractical in Dauntless because of the hard setup of the break ride, it is now once again possible for fighters to have a consistent 13000 power base on their self-standing vanguard. Bushiroad may have decided to free up The End precisely because of the break ride's valuable support, as many fighters now feel compelled to run Dauntless instead of the original Overlord.

Most telling of all is Descendant's presence on the list. This is very clearly a reaction to the results of the Asia Circuit Memorial Tournaments, where Descendant dominated as the new pro deck of choice. Like The End--and in the English format, Spectral Duke Dragon--Descendant's great strength is his self-standing skill, which in this incarnation can only be activated when his attack did not hit, and gives him an extra critical to ensure that if the first attack is guarded, so must the second.

Previously the list had only been modified once per year, with the September 5th restriction (announced August 3rd) of 2011 putting Barcgal behind bars, and the January 1st list (announced December 10, 2012) of 2013 putting an end to The End, as well as the Tsukuyomi and Majesty Lord Blaster decks that had dominated for the entire year up to that point. This is the most rapidfire response Bushiroad has ever made. While some appreciate the swift reaction to the change in format, others consider the sudden change a sign of instability and more cynically, an artificial incentive to compel fighters to buy BT11: Seal Dragons Unleashed, a booster set that was just released in Japan five days ago and contains the aforementioned Dauntless Drive Dragon as well as new Narukami units. Along with the Electric Shaper Dragon break ride from the upcoming Fighter's Collection 2013 extra booster, Sweep Command Dragon from BT11 is predicted to succeed Descendant as the new Narukami deck of choice, this time focusing on completely wiping out the opponent's field rather than on standing the vanguard.