Even though we're just barely into the new year, I'm guessing in about 5 weeks we'll have leaks of the March ban list. Last year scans came out on my birthday, Feb 16, and they've been coming out around that time for the past few years now. As with every "leak season", I'm sure there'll be some fakes I fall for since it seems like people really invest time into Photoshop'ing good looking fakes. I can still remember the debacle that we had for our current list, with reputable guys like Cordero and CapitalG posting Youtube videos about the ones they'd find, only for them to end up being fake. I remember being very frustrated for like a week and a half straight lol.
So, what do I envision happening on the list?
First thing, the elephant in the room, Wind-Ups. Realistically what can they hit for Wind-Ups so that they are hurt but still remain competitive? Or, will they just not give a damn and try to nerf them outright? I feel that if the hits aren't too severe, they will still remain a viable deck. As a Wind-Up player of course I want it to stay a viable deck, but if it's no longer meant to be, I can very easily move on. Many thought Inzektors were dead in the water after the list was revealed, and I think I play against more Inzektors now than I did last format! Indeed, at the local scene, it feels like a re-hash of what we had last format; Dino Rabbit, Inzektors, Wind-Ups, Chaos Dragon, Samurai, etc. Many don't own Water due to Megalo's pricetag, even though it is falling from week to week. Madolche and Prophecy just didn't quite make it to "that" level, so those decks have gone by the wayside. I'm not sure what route they'll take in hitting Wind-Up, as there are many different ways to approach the beast, but I'll be optimistic (as possible) in trying to still make the deck work after March. But, if it's not meant to be (ie they use 2 hammers to hit the deck), it's not meant to be.
OCG side, it seems that Verz is quite the popular deck. Since Dino Rabbit is quite popular on our side, one hit that touches both decks is obviously Rescue Rabbit. As a deck that had its day as both an expensive deck and a budget deck, it feels that it's about "that time" the deck would be rotated out by the banlist. However I don't see them outright banning Rabbit, and simply putting it to 1 still allows both Verz and Dino Rabbit to be viable. So, this will be quite interesting to see how they approach the decks. Perhaps Rabbit and Laggia to 1? Of course, Rescue Cat is banned, so will its furry cousin see the same fate? Time will tell.
Newer decks like Water and Geargia, I don't imagine seeing any sort of hit. For water, the only real candidates are Undine, Salvage, and Diva. Undine seems like the most problematic card of the bunch since it nets so much advantage so easily, so perhaps it could be put to 1 or 2. At 2, the deck would still be really sick and I'd imagine it as the best deck of the early format especially if Wind-Up and Dinos get the hammer; not specifically Dinos, but what they represent, being a deck that is completely unhindered by the use of maindeck Macro Cosmos (Verz as well).
Inzektors present a very awkward scenario. They already "got nerfed", but clearly roaches can survive a nuclear bomb. What can they actually hit beyond this point? All I can see is Hornet to 0, but I don't see that happening at all. Centipede to 1 or 2, or Dragonfly to 0, just feels really excessive and I don't imagine them doing that either. Perhaps putting Call back to 1 is the needed fix? I don't know. If none of those happen, will Inzektors continue to present an underlying threat to the meta though if appropriate sidedeck considerations aren't made? Most likely so.
It's funny how just 1 additional Earth took Agents from seeing no play to topping YCS' (notably Simon He and Alistar Albans). A part of me feels that this deck gets kept in check simply with Evilswarm/Verz Ophion being a card though, which is probably why I haven't seen Agents top much in OCG decklists. They will probably leave Agents alone as well as Chaos Dragon, so a sigh of relief for you guys is fine, but do realize that Ophion hinders the whole concept of 'big boss monsters' all on his own.
Beyond that, we still have the BS cards that seem to dodge the bullet, list after list. Cards such as Reborn, Card Destruction, Gateway, Avarice, Rekindling, BLS, you know, those cards your opponent topdecks and you're just like "wow did you really just draw that?" At this point, I can't really hold my breath in seeing any of those cards hit/banned. Some people may be like "what's wrong with Rekindling? Lavals don't top. Neither do Sams so leave Gateway alone", but this is just such a poor way of looking at the game as a whole. Rekindling is basically a Return from the DD in spell form, with no LP cost! That is not OK to have 3 of those in a deck, especially when their graveyard-dump will be even quicker here pretty soon with HA07 (why is this not out yet?? -_-). I've seen Gateway completely change the tide of a duel, games that the Sam player had no business winning prior to simply drawing into Gateway.
Hopefully, just hopefully, Konami will "get it right" and we can finally see less sackiness in the game. I think they don't have a problem with "sacky" though, because that can simply be promoted as "heart of the cards" bs. "Anyone with the heart of the cards can win!" kinda stuff :/ I don't think there's anything else in this world that has this amount of bs associated with it, but is something that I still love.