Forbidden/Limited List & Skill Balance

Forbidden/Limited List Update

The Forbidden/Limited List will be updated on March 25 with multiple new cards:

Skill Changes

The changes to skills will be made along with the update to version 3.5.0 of the game, expected to release between March 17-19. However, the skill text will not be updated with this version release.

  • A Trick up the Sleeve has been changed to forbid players from Special Summoning Effect monsters during their first turn.
  • Last Gamble has been changed so that it cannot be used until Turn 7, and the 2 cards are shuffled back into your deck instead of being discarded.

Top Player Council Thoughts

“What are your thoughts on the new Forbidden/Limited List?”


The new Forbidden/Limited List pushes Ancient Gears and Dinos to Tier 1 and cards like Cosmic Cyclone and Bad Aim to become staples in other decks. This is going to be a really interesting meta.


Lowering the chances that Koa’ki can pull of an OTK and preventing them from using Hey, Trunade! in their deck is very good for opening up a new meta. Also a slight hit to Vampires as now they are more vulnerable against Paleozoic Canadia and Floodgate Trap Hole. Don’t think the Spellbook of Eternity hit was needed and haven’t found Spellbooks oppressive recently.


Spellbook of Eternity: Limited. It was in Konami’s best interest to hit Spellbooks again even if the deck wasn’t seeing large scale success after the KC cup. This is because the players capable of playing Spellbooks well are generally playing decks that can win tournaments whereas Spellbooks are a deck great for KC cups as the potential to brick, get side-decked against, or lose to random OTKs is not an major issue because the number of games played evens out the unfortunate RNG. If Spellbooks were not hit again it is likely that they would show up in a future KC cup, and it still is possible, to be honest. This nerf hurts bad Spellbook players much more than it hurts good Spellbook players since bad Spellbook players will almost always burn through their Spellbook of Fate and use Eternity on Spellbook cards other than Fate while good players have better resource management and planning. The last 2 Spellbook nerfs have been focused around this; making the deck terrible for bad players while having less of an effect on good players.

Koa’ki Meiru Maximus: Limited; Iron Core of Koa’ki Meiru: Semi-Limited. Since both cards are from the same deck I don’t feel the need to separate them. Koa’ki has been oppressing the game since its release and it is incredibly linear. I don’t think the deck is dead but it has been nerfed enough so that it is not floodgating Konami from releasing newer decks or keeping a degenerate meta afloat. Koa’ki being the best deck promoted Buster Blader as a viable deck which made the meta more unpleasant since Last Gamble is unhealthy by nature. Thank you Konami.

Samurai Skull: Semi-Limited. While I do enjoy Vampires I understand that nerfing them was a smart decision by Konami because the deck has evolved into a deck that abuses Enemy Controller. Semi-limit status on Samurai Skull means the deck can’t run powerful cards on the Semi-Limit roster without consistency issues.


Banlist is great, there’s still a tiny little window for Koa’ki to be played but they lost all of the important Semi-Limited cards like ECon, Trunade, and Treacherous Trap Hole. It’s sad to see Vampires go though, they desperately need ECon/Trunade. About Spellbooks, the deck is irrelevant right now but they might play 3 Spellbook of the Master instead.


A good list in my opinion. It makes Koa’ki a lot less degenerate and it can still be viable as a good control deck. It was pretty obvious that they would hit Vampires because they have been top tier for a long time. They are still viable, but they might have a hard time in this new meta with Sealed Tombs, Dinos and Ancient Gears. I’m glad they nerfed Spellbooks again because it’s an unhealthy deck on the ladder and in KC cups. The only thing I’m missing is DNA Surgery to 1 because it’s a very unhealthy floodgate card which shuts down many decks by itself.


FINALLY. This is the banlist we’ve all been waiting for. Koa’ki desperately needed a hit and I’m glad to see they got it. I’m expecting this to be a similar situation to when Fur Hires were hit the first time however, where Koa’ki will still be able to compete at a high level, their immediate OTK potential is just reduced. The build will adapt and survive for the time being though until a stronger banlist hit happens.

Samurai Skull taking a hit to 2 is unnecessary in my opinion. Vampires have always been a balanced and fair deck and the loss of even a single Samurai Skull to the build (let alone 2 if you want to run another Semi-Limit) hurts the deck dramatically. Samurai Skull was the deck’s way to play though all sorts of powerful backrow by still having its effect resolve on summon. Without that, the deck will have to fight much harder to get its plays set up. If Konami wanted to reduce the deck’s ability to abuse KaibaCorp Bling for easy access to Enemy Controllers, then they should have hit KC Bling, as this will likely be an abused skill again in the future and the problem isn’t solved here.

“What are your thoughts on the skill changes?”


Last Gamble: The cards should have been shuffled into the deck from the beginning of Duel Links; it’s good they have changed it. Only being able to use it on turn 7 or later makes sure Buster Blader would need something to stall with in the mean time which would decrease their consistency.

Trick up the Sleeve: Konami making sure no one is picking up Blue-Eyes after the banlist and instead encourages new players to buy the AG structure deck.


Last Gamble: This skill was deserving a nerf for a long time. Any skill that can net gain card advantage is inherently dangerous; on average you will net gain +1.5 in card advantage, not to mention that you are discarding cards from your hand, often the useless cards. As the game progresses we will get cards with graveyard interaction and having a skill that can discard 2 cards with grave effects and draw cards is important to stop.

Trick Up the Sleeve: This skill was not seeing any high-level competitive use, but I believe Konami decided on this nerf for 2 reasons: (1) Arkana is a Dark Magician player and using this skill in an actual Spellcaster deck often revolves around Magician of Dark Illusion; the inability to special summon effect monsters turn 1 is not an issue because the playstyle of decks running Magician of Dark Illusion involves setting backrow turn 1 so that you can special summon on your opponent’s turn. This nerf is able to hurt Blue-Eyes decks while leaving Dark Magician decks unscathed. (2) With Koa’ki and Vampires taking hits, Blue-Eyes would have a chance to see play. The deck has the ability to get over 3000 ATK with Cosmo Brain and banish key combo cards such as Geartown and Survival’s End by summoning Dragon Spirit of White. Combined with Blue-Eyes having little regard for Canadia or Floodgate after turn 1, these strengths make it clear that a Blue-Eyes nerf had understandable backing. That or Konami was tired of people complaining about Blue-Eyes in Platinum.


A Trick up the Sleeve’s nerf is irrelevant right now because only Blue-Eyes decks used it. I doubt the changes to Last Gamble will be what makes Buster Blader worse; the deck was naturally used to counter Koa’ki and since they’ll be gone it won’t make a difference.


I’m very glad they nerfed Last Bamble because it is way too good as it is now. Gambling into a 5 or 6 and stealing the duel is disgusting. After the nerf it will be at least less consistent and harder to activate. Buster Blader and Stall, which are also very unhealthy decks, got nerfed by the Last Gamble hit – great news for Duel Links! Also it was pretty obvious that they would nerf Trick up a Sleeve in the future and now Blue-Eyes is even worse than it was before. I hope they will nerf KC Bling because it will cause more “pay-to-win” issues in the future. Also a Sealed Tombs nerf is needed because it shuts down many decks and they’re not able to even set up their combos.

Tell us your thoughts on the new Forbidden/Limited List and skill changes in the comments below!

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