Earlier today I realized that we're about halfway through the current format now; all of March, all of April, and now about halfway through May so we're at about the 3-month mark. I remember during the crazy banlist time period we had last February, it was said that the banlist is basically made around 3 or 4 months into the format, to allow time for it to be put into the V-Jump magazine and the magazine then put into mass production for release. Whether this is true or not, I do not know, but it seems plausible. Judging by what our current list looks like, I'd say that is a very fair deduction for the most part. I know it may seem pretty damn early to talk about banlist stuff, but I actually think it's getting close to the ideal time. By the time we get Return of the Duelist, pretty sure the banlist would've been made by then. The OCG tourneys between now and the middle of June will probably be the most important ones.
So I took it upon myself to go through all major tourney results that I found on Shriek OCG, keep track of which decks and how many made it into the top 4, and see exactly what was happening. There are a lot of team tournaments in OCG, so I just had to make a judgment call to include all the decks of a particular team for the total count of how many decks placed in top 4. I thought about not including team results at all, but some of these tournaments are pretty large so I didn't want to just ignore them.
My criteria for including a tourney was as follows:
- have at least an attendance of 60.
- attendance information was present; can't just assume based on tourney name/number of decklists.
- not conflict/be confusing; there were a couple of tourneys which seemed to happen on the same day but had completely different lists, so I omitted the more-confusing/less-detailed listing.
(Click the pic if it's too small to read)
Some things to note: the first tourney, on 02-26, was a March format tourney, and the Haneman Championship (on 03-24) allowed TCG cards to be played, hence the Dino Rabbit listing for 3rd (included Tour Guides and Dolkka, which are obv TCG exclusives).
After counting up all the decks that made top 4, my simplified table looked like this:
As expected, clearly Inzektor is the most-dominant deck in the OCG. Hieratic and its Hieratic Ritua variant were combined into a single category, as well as Hero Beat and A Hero Lives Heroes. Whether this was the best thing to do or not, I'm not sure, but either way the tendency is still going to be the same; lots of Bugs, and lots less of everything else, with a gradual decrease down to Gadgets. Any decks that made fewer tops than Gadget variants were omitted (Six Sam, Windup, DW, etc).
Currently, Inzektors remind me a lot of how Blackwings were in the OCG. It may not have been the current top deck in the TCG at the time, but everyone ran it in the OCG and it continuously got things taken away from them via the banlist. My guess is going to be that Inzektors will get something taken away come September, and the amount of play they will see afterwards will depend on the severity of the hits. If it's something like Dragonfly and Hornet to 2, I think it'd still see lots of play, seeing as I've seen some builds only run 2 Hornet anyway. I remember after the hits to BW thinking to myself: "alright, they're done now", but no, they still got played and were still viable! The interesting thing to take into consideration though is that Inzektors are a very good enabler of the XYZ mechanic, at least anywhere from Rank 3 to 6. Help sell dem XYZs right? They're still a fairly new archetype as well, so it's not like how Plants were where they've been around for forever and a half. As Konami provides more support for other decktypes and XYZs for them though, I can imagine them hitting Inzektor a bit so that their new stuff doesn't get wrecked by the old and thus make it harder to sell.
Transitioning to the TCG, the first thing that comes to my mind is what happened to good ol' Tengu. As a TCG exclusive, it was very clear that our game had an impact on the overall banlist. The next thing that pops up is the ever-infamous Tour Guide- will it get hit this time around? With its reprint in Battle Pack, a mass release followed by a hit would not be something I'd be surprised to see. It'd actually keep up with the trend almost perfectly. However, there is still the huge profit possibilities of including it in either the Wave 1 or 2 tins for this year, which I'm sure they wouldn't want to throw away. She is also the perfect XYZ-enabler all on her own, so seems like a win-win for Konami's pocket. The difference between Tengu and Tour Guide here, is that Tengu represented the "old" way the game was played, AKA Synchros. As long as Tengu, Bulb, and Spore were around, players would be free to easily churn out various different Synchros. I believe they had to nip that in the bud so players wouldn't have that strong of Synchro capabilities and thus look toward XYZs.
So what about our other current top decks, in the form of Dino Rabbit and Chaos Dragon? What about Wind-Ups? Well, in OCG the only deck Rabbit gets played in is Verz Laggia, which basically spams Rank 4's. It's not really at the top in the OCG, so it might be safe to say that there won't be a hit on Rabbit. Eventually they will be pushing Verz/Evilswarm on us, so keeping it around may be good since it brings out the 1950 'niller that the archetype has (Heliotrope). Chaos Dragon is an oddity as it hasn't shown up in any of the major tourneys in the OCG; does Hieratic simply outshine it? Will Heroes ever get a hit? I believe they are also a representation of an "old-school" way to play, even though they do have a few good Rank 4's to choose from. Wind-Ups are very affected by Tour Guide and Shark, and seeing as how they OCG doesn't have them yet and the deck has been on the decline for the TCG, I don't see them getting hit too hard either.
To conclude this, I just wanted to remind people that still holding onto Hornets around July probably isn't the smartest play in the book. For the OCG, this format's Inzektors are basically the same as last format's TG Agents. It topped the majority of events the first few months of the format, and it was clear that they intended to hit that deck by putting Striker and Earth to 1. Likewise they may only get the "BW treatment" though and just get a minor slap on the hand to still be a viable deck, and picking up dirt-cheap Hornets around that "crazy banlist time" may not be a bad investment either. Everyone will fear the worst, but "not so bad" may happen. Coupled with eBay's oh-so-easily-abusable return policy, there is a good potential for profit here.