Shriek has put up the info for the TCG version of Starter Deck 2012, which has it listed for an April 17th release date. The OCG gets it in March 17th. I find this awesome since I think the release date difference in the past has always been like 2-3 months for products. I hope the trend of decreasing the release date gap continues. I honestly had no idea what was supposed to be in this deck so I decided to look it up. Most of the cards aren't leaked even for the OCG version, but besides the Utopia reprint, this guy caught my eye. I saw a thread on DGz about this guy but I guess I just didn't put 2 and 2 together, in that this card was coming out so soon:
Drum Devil Tenten Tempo (English name will most likely be different)
2 Level 3 Monsters
Once per turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card to target 1 Xyz Monster your opponent controls; detach all Xyz Materials attached to that target, and this card gains 500 ATK for each Xyz Material detached from the target.
This card is basically a Tour Guide-able out to the majority of the XYZs that are currently played. As another powerful generic Rank 3, Tour Guide's playability increases even more. Zenmaines w/ 2 Material? Who gives a shit. Take away the materials, pump this guy to 2700, and swing over.
At Monday's tourney after I had played Sheldon, he said something like "well at least there aren't going to be any more Rank 3's any time soon and Tour Guide will probably get hit on the ban list." Well, the first statement is obviously false as we can see above. In the same Starter deck there's also a guy called "String Devil Muzumuzu Rhythm" who's also a generic Rank 3 but I'd say not as good as Tempo, but still very good.
When it comes to the issue of Tour Guide and the ban list, people seem to be so adamant that it's going to get limited to 1. Now I don't have a crystal ball or anything and can't really 100% say that it is or isn't, but I'll try to look at the big picture and break down my logic as to why I don't think it's going to 1 in March:
1) XYZ is the mechanic Konami is trying to promote
Danny likes to mention this one a lot. We also saw this from our current ban list with the banning of Royal Oppression and probably why Book is still at 1. As long as people have the ability to (somewhat) freely XYZ summon, and they release more and more powerful XYZ, people will buy into it and that equals money for Konami. Tour Guide is undoubtedly the best XYZ-enabler in the game, so why would they hit it, decreasing the accessibility of XYZ Summon'ing? Don't make it harder to XYZ summon if that's what you're trying to sell - common sense.
2) OCG still doesn't have it
This is also an important point, and everyone's go-to response starts out with "But Allure". Looking at Wiki, the TCG-only semi-limit on Allure happened in May 2008. In September 2008 it went back to 3, then to 2 in March 2009. To 1 in March 2010. So the go-to TCG-OCG disparity that occurred was basically about 3 and a half years ago. Has there been any other glaring differences or hits on TCG exclusives after that? Not to my knowledge. So why out of the blue, when the last occurrence was 3.5 years ago, would they do some kind of TCG-only hit, taking into consideration #1?
2b) They haven't had a chance to milk OCG for it
Now a lot of the time they get our exclusives in an easier-to-obtain form via the "Extra Pack" which always releases around the middle of September. Why hit something when the OCG hasn't had a chance to play with it yet? Leaving it at 3, I'm assuming more people will buy this product to obtain them (as easy as they may or may not be to get) so they have their chance to play with 3 Guide. More sales = more money, obviously.
3) "They" make the list
I think this may ultimately be in question, but it "seems" like basically Konami in Japan has the majority of the say (98 cents) in what happens with a ban list, while Kevin puts his 2 cents toward that dollar. A lot of the times this is why we always have the "wtf why'd they hit that?" reaction when we initially see the list. It's because certain cards/decks are impacting the OCG too much.
4) No TCG reprint yet
Tour Guide is the most sought-after card in the game. Now let's think about it this way..if it goes to 1 and they decide to reprint it in the 2012 Collector's tins, how many tins will people have to buy to get the max allowable per deck? 1. How many if it's still at 3? 3, obviously. Which costs more, 1 tin or 3? 3, obviously. The point I'm trying to make is that if they leave it at 3, their potential profits are going to be three-fold and potentially more. If people want two playsets, they'll have to buy 6 tins vs just 2. I doubt people are buying EXVC boxes in order to obtain Guides, so obviously they're going to want a secondary method of "milking" us via a direct reprint. I guess the secondary method could technically be seen in the Warning tins with having 2 EXVC boosters. So I guess the reprint will be their tertiary method. The pattern has always been: make Secret rare broken card -> reprint it a year to 2 later -> hit it
Hitting it now would deviate from their usual pattern.
I think those are the major points in why I think Tour Guide won't get hit this coming list. They can always hit Sangan though, which is Tour Guide's best little helper. I don't think it'll make too much of an impact though as we do have relatively decent alternatives and we're continuing to get more good generic Rank 3's.