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February 9, 2016
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Konami Announces Changes to the November 9, 2015 Forbidden/Limited List
by Martin Weiss

Three to four times per year, the “YU-GI-OH! Trading Card Game” updates the forbidden/limited list. This list advises players how many copies of each card a player can use in their deck: up to three copies of an unlimited card, two copies of a semi-limited card, one copy of a limited card, and zero copies of a forbidden card. For advanced constructed tournaments, players are currently following the November 9, 2015 forbidden/limited list.

The first expansion set released in 2016 was Breakers of Shadow. This set added more support cards to decks such as Pepe and Kozmo. The Pepe deck had only been at “full-force” since January 15, 2016. A few weeks later, players were shocked to hear that the Pepe deck would no longer be as powerful as it was after the release of Breakers of Shadow.

On Wednesday, February 3, 2016, Konami announced that there would be adjustments to the November 9, 2015 forbidden/limited list. This would mark the first time in about ten years that there was (as players refer to it as) an “emergency banned list”. Six cards are affected by the adjustments to the list starting on February 8, 2016.

Cards affected by the February 8, 2016 adjustments

Performage Plushfire – Forbidden

Yugioh - IPerformage Plushfire

Pendulum Effect:
If a "Performage" monster(s) you control is destroyed by battle or card effect: You can Special Summon this card from your Pendulum Zone, then take 500 damage. You can only use this effect of "Performage Plushfire" once per turn.

Monster Effect:
If this card on the field is destroyed by battle or card effect: You can Special Summon 1 "Performage" monster from your hand or Deck, except "Performage Plushfire".

Since the release of Performage Plushfire in Dimension of Chaos, Pepe decks used this card as a floater to create board presence. Plushfire’s monster effect could be activated (the monster effect is not once per turn) regardless of being destroyed as a Pendulum scale or in the monster card zone, Pepe players would gain advantage with this card by using it in combination with Wavering Eyes, Luster Pendulum, the Dracoslayer, and Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer. It was also searchable by the effect of Performage Damage Juggler. Without Performage Plushfire, Pepe decks lost a monster with the ability to special summon another Performage monster from the deck.

Performage Damage Juggler – Forbidden

Yugioh - Performage Damage Juggler

During either player's turn, when a card or effect is activated that would inflict damage to you: You can discard this card; negate the activation, and if you do, destroy that card. During either player's Battle Phase: You can discard this card; reduce the next battle damage you would take this turn to 0. You can banish this card from your Graveyard; add 1 "Performage" monster from your Deck to your hand, except "Performage Damage Juggler". You can only use this effect of "Performage Damage Juggler" once per turn.

Performage Damage Juggler has numerous effects that play a key role in Pepe decks. It can negate the activation of cards such as Wavering Eyes or cards that inflicted damage. It also prevents the player from taking any battle damage from the next attack. While in the graveyard, Damage Juggler can be banished to add any Performage monster except itself from the deck to the hand. Pepe decks lose their speed without Performage Damage Juggler’s effect to replace itself. Players using burn decks do not have to worry about the effect of Damage Juggler negating their effects starting on February 8, 2016.

Tellarknight Ptolemaeus – Forbidden

Yugioh - Tellarknight Ptolemaeus

2 or more Level 4 monsters
Once per Chain, during either player's turn: You can detach 3 Xyz Materials from this card; Special Summon from your Extra Deck, 1 Xyz Monster that is 1 Rank higher than this card, except a "Number" monster, by using this face-up card you control as the Xyz Material. (This is treated as an Xyz Summon. Xyz Materials attached to this card also become Xyz Materials on the Summoned monster.) You can detach 7 Xyz Materials from this card; skip your opponent's next turn. During each player's End Phase: You can attach 1 "Stellarknight" card from your Extra Deck to this card as a face-up Xyz Material.

In 2015, Tellarknight Ptolemaeus was generally used in Tellarknight decks as easy access to Constellar Pleiades or Stellarknight Constellar Diamond. After the release of Breakers of Shadow in January 2016, players would use the effect of Ptolemaeus to special summon Cyber Dragon Nova from their Extra Deck, then Xyz summon Cyber Dragon Infinity using Cyber Dragon Nova as the Xyz material. Cyber Dragon Infinity makes it difficult for the opponent to play during the duel; the opponent has to use more resources to make the player with Infinity use its effect to negate the activation of a card/effect. After the February 8, 2016 adjustments to the list, it is still possible to Xyz summon Cyber Dragon Infinity, but players would have to first Xyz summon Cyber Dragon Nova with two level five monsters.

Performapal Skullcrobat Joker – Limited

Yugioh - Performapal Skullcrobat Joker

Pendulum Effect:
You cannot Pendulum Summon monsters, except "Performapal" monsters, "Magician" Pendulum Monsters, and "Odd-Eyes" monsters. This effect cannot be negated.

Monster Effect:
When this card is Normal Summoned: You can add 1 "Performapal" monster, "Magician" Pendulum Monster, or "Odd-Eyes" monster from your Deck to your hand, except "Performapal Skullcrobat Joker".

Known as the Elemental HERO Stratos for Pepe and Pendulum Magician decks, Performapal Skullcrobat Joker allows player to add a key Performapal monster, Magician Pendulum monster, or Odd-Eyes monster from their deck to their hand. Pepe players can add this card from the deck to their hand by the effect of Performapal Monkeyboard so it could be normal summoned the next turn. As a limited card, Skullcrobat Joker may not be as much of a combo piece as it was as an unlimited card, but it can still be a crucial card in Pepe decks as well as Magician Pendulum decks.

Performapal Monkeyboard – Limited

Yugioh - Performapal Monkeyboard

Pendulum Effect:
Unless you have a "Performapal" card in your other Pendulum Zone, this card's Pendulum Scale becomes 4. During your Main Phase, if this card was activated this turn: You can add 1 Level 4 or lower "Performapal" monster from your Deck to your hand. You can only use this effect of "Performapal Monkeyboard" once per turn.

Monster Effect:
You can discard this card; reveal 1 "Performapal" or "Odd-Eyes" monster in your hand, and if you do, reduce the Levels of monsters in your hand with that name by 1 for the rest of this turn (even after they are Summoned/Set).

Even before Performapal Monkeyboard was released in the TCG, players knew that it would play an important role in Pepe decks. Mostly utilized for its Pendulum effect, Monkeyboard can add one level four or lower Performapal monster from the deck to the hand. This effect can set up a player’s field as well as a player’s hand. As a limited card, the advantage is still there.

Luster Pendulum, the Dracoslayer – Limited

Yugioh - Luster Pendulum, the Dracoslayer

Pendulum Effect:
Once per turn, if you have a card in your other Pendulum Zone: You can destroy that card, and if you do, add 1 card from your Deck to your hand, with the same name as that card.

Monster Effect:
Cannot Special Summon Fusion, Synchro or Xyz Monsters using this card as a Material, except "Dracoslayer" monsters.

Luster Pendulum, the Dracoslayer allows Pepe players access to any Pendulum monster they want. They can use Luster Pendulum’s Pendulum effect to destroy Performage Plushfire in the Pendulum Scale to add another Plushfire from the deck to the hand as well as special summon a Performage monster from the deck to the field. As a limited card, Luster Pendulum can still give players advantage to certain pendulum monsters, but the card combos would not be as significant as beforehand.

In addition to the adjustments to the forbidden/limited list, the effect of Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer will be updated on February 8, 2016.

Yugioh - Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer

Pre-Errata Monster Effect:
If this card is Special Summoned: You can target up to 2 cards you control; destroy them, and if you do, add "Performapal" monsters with different names from your Deck to your hand, except "Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer", equal to the number of monsters destroyed. You can only use this effect of "Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer" once per turn.

Errata Monster Effect:
If this card is Special Summoned: You can target up to 2 cards you control; destroy them, and if you do, add "Performapal" monsters with different names from your Deck to your hand, except "Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer", equal to the number of cards destroyed. You can only use this effect of "Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer" once per turn.

The updated effect is not a significant change, but it clears up the confusion of the monster effect.

The adjusted forbidden/limited list will only affect tier 2 tournaments such as regionals, YCS, WCQ, etc. Some Official Tournament Stores may or may not utilize the adjusted forbidden/limited list so check with your Official Tournament Store to confirm if they will be using the adjusted list.

YCS Atlanta 2016 was the last ‘YU-GI-OH!’ Championship Series tournament before the adjusted forbidden/limited list takes effect. It is probable that a lot of players will use Pepe decks at full force for the last time.

What decks will be popular in tournaments after February 8, 2016? Kozmo and Monarch decks seem to be good candidates, but it is possible that Pepe decks will still have potential in tournaments (despite the changes to the deck).

For more information visit www.yugioh-card.com