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Baneful's Column
A History of Competitive YGO
Pt. 2 (2004-2006)
By Baneful
December 8, 2015

Welcome to Chaos

 

Today were going to be going over the long infamous Chaos era of light and darkness.  This is, arguably, one of the most nostalgic times.  It was early enough to be considered part of the game's foundation, but also, unlike 2002 and 2003, competitive metagames were starting to be established.  

 

Normal Monsters are gone in favor of more complex effect monsters.  Other LV5-6 quality monsters have been competing against Jinzo.  In many ways, the start of this era was a rebirth for the game.  Although, you'll notice in 2006 how things start to stagnate.  

 

I'm not covering World Championships 2004, as Japan enacted a Forbidden list far before the Americans.

 

February 2004 (Pre-Chaos Deck) -- by Baneful

 

The year is 2004, Magician's Force and Dark Crisis came out.  With strong LV4 effect beaters (like Tribe and Breaker), Gemini Elf became obsolete.  Vampire Lord was a beast at its time, immune to most removal (though you had to watch out for DDWL).  If you notice this build, it's getting really similar to the deck builds in the upcoming Chaos era ; the seeds are planted.  Tsukuyomi was also released at this time, but people were still sleeping on it.  

 

This deck list is very similar to what serious players in local tournaments ran.  With so many powerful cards out, few archetypes and no Forbidden lists, most cards in this deck are a staple and most competitive decks were the same.

 

1 Vampire Lord

1 Jinzo

3 D.D. Warrior Lady

1 Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer

1 Breaker the Magical Warrior

1 Tribe-Infecting Virus

1 Injection Fairy Lily

1 Witch of the Black Forest

1 Sinister Serpent

1 Cyber Jar

1 Exiled Force

1 Magician of Faith

1 Spirit Reaper

1 Fiber Jar

1 Sangan

1 Yata-Garasu

 

1 Raigeki

1 Dark Hole

1 Change of Heart

1 Snatch Steal

1 Nobleman of Crossout

1 Heavy Storm

1 Harpie's Feather Duster

1 Mystical Space Typhoon

1 Pot of Greed

1 Graceful Charity

1 Delinquent Duo

1 Confiscation

1 The Forceful Sentry

1 Mirage of Nightmare

1 Monster Reborn

1 Premature Burial

1 Butterfly Dagger Elma

 

1 Bottomless Trap Hole

1 Torrential Tribute

1 Imperial Order

1 Call of the Haunted

1 Ring of Destruction

1 Mirror Force

1 Sakuretsu Armor

 

April 2004 (Yata-Lock Chaos) -- by Baneful

 

The extremely powerful Envoys dominated and decks began to become conscious of their LIGHT/DARK count.  Some good cards like Smashing Ground were released in Invasion of Chaos, but were obsolete out the gate to an already tight Spell line-up.  Painful Choice became broken overnight.

 

The notorious combo of this deck was to use Chaos Emperor Dragon to blow up the field/hand (while you control Sangan or Witch).  Then, you search out Yata and attack with to essentially disable them from making any plays.  It was a very overpowered tactic which convinced UDE/Konami to start applying Japan's Forbidden List to North America even sooner than anticipated.

 

1 Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning

1 Chaos Emperor Dragon - Envoy of the End

1 Vampire Lord

1 Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer

1 Breaker the Magical Warrior

1 Witch of the Black Forest

1 Spirit Reaper

1 Cyber Jar

1 Sangan

1 Airknight Parshath

3 D.D. Warrior Lady

1 Magician of Faith

1 Shining Angel

1 Tribe-Infecting Virus

1 Sinister Serpent

1 Fiber Jar

1 Yata-Garasu

 

1 Raigeki

1 Dark Hole

1 Change of Heart

1 Snatch Steal

1 Nobleman of Crossout

1 Heavy Storm

1 Harpie's Feather Duster

1 Mystical Space Typhoon

1 Pot of Greed

1 Graceful Charity

1 Delinquent Duo

1 Confiscation

1 The Forceful Sentry

1 Mirage of Nightmare

1 Monster Reborn

1 Premature Burial

1 Painful Choice

 

1 Torrential Tribute

1 Imperial Order

1 Call of the Haunted

1 Ring of Destruction

1 Mirror Force

1 Sakuretsu Armor

 

North America's First Forbidden List

 

LINK: http://yugioh.wikia.com/wiki/August_2004_Lists

 

In August, it was first decided that the following 13 cards were banned: Chaos Emperor Dragon, Sangan, Witch of the Black Forest, Yata-Garasu, Dark Hole, Delinquent Duo, Graceful Charity, Harpie's Feather Duster, Monster Reborn, Raigeki, United We Stand, Imperial Order, Mirror Force. 

 

This list did not take effect until October, giving players ample time to adjust to them.  It also meant that the meta stayed largely the same for the majority of the year.  Needless to say that these changes profoundly changed the meta, getting rid of numerous overpowered cards and allowing many previously ignored cards to be given a re-appraisal.

 

Later that year, Ancient Sanctuary and Soul of a Duelist were released.  Both set had a handful of good cards between then, but were weak sets which failed to impact the game as much as the first 10 sets (LOB-IOC) did 

 

Now, we finally lead into the major event known as Shonen Jump Championships (now they're called YCS) to where a concrete metagame was established.  With results being posted online, a lot of people 'netdecked' and just copied tournament winners.

 

December 2004 (Chaos Deck) -- by John Umali

 

John Umali goes down in history with his win in SJC Anaheim.  This deck is a teaser for what is to come in the future.  His deck is overall balanced with both 2000 ATK monsters like Gorilla and Blade, but also uses an array of small effect monsters too.  He uses Scapegoats and Metamorphosis to create Thousand-Eyes Restrict.  He uses Dark Magician of Chaos (easily discarded by Raigeki Break or Painful Choice, and then revived for a really strong beater with a +1).  All around quality deck.

 

1 Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning

1 Dark Magician of Chaos

1 Jinzo

1 Airknight Parshath

1 Fiber Jar

2 Magician of Faith

1 Blade Knight

1 Tribe-Infecting Virus

2 D.D. Warrior Lady

1 Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer

1 Magical Scientist

1 Breaker the Magical Warrior

1 Reflect Bounder

1 Berserk Gorilla

 

2 Scapegoat

1 Book of Moon

1 Mirage of Nightmare

1 Confiscation

1 Mystical Space Typhoon

1 Emergency Provisions

1 Change of Heart

1 Creature Swap

1 Premature Burial

1 Pot of Greed

1 Heavy Storm

1 Swords of Revealing Light

1 Snatch Steal

1 Nobleman of Crossout

1 The Forceful Sentry

1 Painful Choice

1 Metamorphosis

 

1 Raigeki Break

1 Bottomless Trap Hole

1 Ring of Destruction

1 Torrential Tribute

1 Call of the Haunted

 

Side Deck: 2 Dust Tornado, 2 Mystic Swordsman LV2, Mask of Darkness, Exiled Force, Mobius the Forst Monarch, Book of Moon, Nobleman of Crossout, Magic Drain, Bottomless Trap Hole, Magic Cylinder, Ceasefire, Hallowed Life Barrier.  -- (His side deck was equipped to deal with rogue stall/burn decks.)

 

April 2005 Ban List / Goat Control Era

 

LINK: http://yugioh.wikia.com/wiki/April_2005_Lists

 

Rise of Destiny and Flaming Eternity came out at this point, and they continued the trend of overall weak sets with a handful of good cards.  April 2005 brought about a very significant ban list, restoring back some power cards but also hitting cards which resulted in impeded or plain annoying game states.  And, the holy trinity (Pot, Graceful, Delinquent) is back. 

 

Banned: Fiber Jar, Magical Scientist, Makyura the Destructor, Butterfly Dagger Elma, Change of Heart, Confiscation, Mirage of Nightmare, Painful Choice, The Forceful Sentry

 

Limited: D.D. Warrior Lady, Sacred Phoenix of Nephytys, Sangan, Delinquent Duo, Graceful Charity, Lightning Vortex, United We Stand, Deck Devastation Virus, Exchange of the Spirit, Mirror Force, Torrential Tribute

 

Semi-Limited: Abyss Soldier, Dark Scorpion Chick the Yellow, Night Assailant, Vampire Lord, Emergency Provisions, Level Limit Area B, Nobleman of Crossout, Upstart Goblin, Good Goblin Housekeeping, Gravity Bind. 

 

This effectively resulted in the infamous Goat Control era, which players to this day, still play in retro tournaments.  90% of the winning decks based their strategy around Chaos and Scapegoat/ Metamorphosis abuse.  But there were still other non-Chaos decks which had a chance.

 

ZOMBIES -- Pojo's own Jae Kim won with a recruiter-Zombie deck (which scored 2nd place in SJC Charlotte).  Turtle searched Vampire, which became less vulnerable with DDWL's limit and people's aversion to running 2-3 Bottomless.  Book of Life generated advantage and Book of Moon protected his battle-only searchers.

 

ZOO VARIANT -- This deck came up recently in hindsight during retro formats.  It uses strong aggressive monsters (like Berserk Gorilla and Exarion) to force the opponent to use their removal.  Abyss Soldier with Sinister proved to be a good aggro combo.  Goats/Metamorphosis were cut in favor of a heavy trap line-up including Dust Tornados to help aggressive pushes and (the hindsight discovered) Trap Dustshoot to control the game early on.

http://yugioh.tcgplayer.com/db/deck.asp?deck_id=10767

 

But onto the standard deck of the Goat format.

 

June 2005 (Chaos Goat Control) -- by Anthony Alvarado

 

Surprisingly enough, the competitive era of 2005 didn't really run much more Goats/Metamophosis than the one of late 2004 (despite a huge ban list), though he kept another Morph sided.  Tsukuyomi also made its big debut around this time, which allowed the player to re-use Thousand-Eyes Restrict, as well as their flip effects.  This was the deck that won SJC Charlotte.  

 

1 Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning

1 Jinzo

1 Airknight Parshath

1 Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer

2 D. D. Assailant

1 Asura Priest

1 Breaker the Magical Warrior

1 Tribe-Infecting Virus

1 D. D. Warrior Lady

1 Tsukuyomi

1 Sangan

1 Morphing Jar

1 Apprentice Magician

2 Magician of Faith

1 Sinister Serpent

 

1 Pot of Greed

1 Graceful Charity

1 Heavy Storm

1 Mystical Space Typhoon

1 Premature Burial

1 Snatch Steal

1 Delinquent Duos

1 Swords of Revealing Light

2 Nobleman of Crossout

2 Scapegoat

2 Book of Moon

1 Lightning Vortex

1 Creature Swap

1 Metamorphosis

 

1 Ring of Destruction

1 Call of the Haunted

1 Mirror Force

1 Torrential Tribute

1 Bottomless Trap Hole

1 Sakuretsu Armor

1 Ceasefire

 

Side Deck: Mobius the Frost Monarch, King Tiger Wanghu, Cannon Soldier, Exiled Force, Mystic Swordsman LV2, 2 Royal Decree, 2 Chain Disappearance, 2 Cursed Seal of the Forbidden Spell, Dust Tornado.

 

The Regressive Era

 

Late 2005 thru 2006 was what many people called "the dark ages" and "Regressive Era" of Yu-Gi-Oh.  Many of the GX era booster sets (like Elemental Energy) were plain bad and housed very few worthwhile cards.  Most of the cards used in this format were from 2002-2004.  With BLS gone, Chaos decks still existed with Chaos Sorcerer.  And Monarchs became popular too.

 

Late 05' thru 2006 wasn't the worst time in Yugioh history.  The format was quite balanced and there was never anything as ridiculous as in the TeleDAD or Nekroz eras.  But players looking for new powerful exciting cards were underwhelmed, and while excessive power creep is often a problem today, too much stagnation isn't good either.  The regressive era was more boring than degenerate.

 

September 2005 F/L List

 

LINK: http://yugioh.wikia.com/wiki/September_2005_Lists_(OCG)

 

Forbidden: BLS Envoy, Sinister Serpent, Tribe-Infecting Virus, Delinquent Duo, Graceful Charity, Pot of Greed, Mirror Force, Ring of Destruction.

 

Limited: Magician of Faith, Night Assailant, Thousand-Eyes Restrict, Tsukuyomi, Book of Moon, Book of Taiyou, Confiscation, Dark Hole, Limiter Removal, Metamorphosis, Scapegoat.

 

This was a very significant list.  It reined in on the BLS era the same way the 2004 list reined on the CED era.

 

The Scapegoat/Metamorphosis and Flip-Effect abuse ended here.  Other cards in the Chaos Restrict era were hit to 1 so they're playable but not abusable.  The most powerful cards in the format were banned in order to inspire more creativity in deck building (though Dark Hole came back for some compensation) and Confiscation was seen as being less nasty than Delinquent Duo.  Cyber Dragon also came out at this time, an easy to summon 2100 beater which needed to be overcome by strategy rather than brute force.

 

October 2005 (Chaos Warrior) -- John Jensen

 

He won SJC Atlanta with a build that was pretty standard.  His deck consists of lots of removal to get rid of monsters and then he has monsters which gain him card advantage when they attack directly.  Chaos Sorcerer is almost a side strategy at this point but a good very good one.  

 

2 Airknight Parshath

1 Breaker the Magical Warrior

1 Chaos Sorcerer

1 Cyber Dragon

2 D. D. Assailant

1 D. D. Warrior Lady

1 Don Zaloog

1 Exiled Force

1 Jinzo

1 Magical Merchant

1 Magician of Faith

1 Mystic Swordsman LV2

1 Sangan

2 Spirit Reaper

1 Tsukuyomi

 

1 Book of Moon

1 Brain Control

1 Confiscation

1 Dark Hole

2 Enemy Controller

1 Heavy Storm

1 Mystical Space Typhoon

1 Nobleman of Crossout

1 Premature Burial

1 Reinforcement of the Army

1 Scapegoat

1 Smashing Ground

1 Snatch Steal

1 Swords of Revealing Light

 

1 Bottomless Trap Hole

1 Call of the Haunted

1 Ceasefire

1 Dust Tornado

2 Sakuretsu Armor

1 Torrential Tribute

 

Other Very Strong 2005 Decks

 

TOMATO CONTROl -- (Oct 2005) Bellido took SJC Chicago with this build.  It's almost the same as the standard deck except it uses Mystic Tomato to search out whichever DARK monster was needed at the moment.  As the format went on, people used more trap cards to defend themselves from Reaper/Zaloog/Airknight attacks so Bellido puts an increased emphasis on Spell/Trap removal.

 

LINK: http://yugioh.tcgplayer.com/db/deck.asp?deck_id=24098

 

BAZOO RETURN -- (Nov 2005) Paul Levitin used Bazoo the Soul Eater as 2500 ATK powerhouse and then Return from the Different Dimension to summon back his army of monsters.  It also helps that the D.D. monsters banish themselves.  GK Spy creates a double defense wall which stalls and makes the opponent waste removal.  Drillroid was a solid option for breaking through defenses (stronger than MSLV2).

 

LINK: http://kperovic.com/metagame/yugioh2773.html?tabid=33&ArticleId=6223

 

April 2006 Forbidden List

 

LINK: http://yugioh.wikia.com/wiki/April_2006_Lists

 

Cyber Jar, Dark Hole and some FTK cards are banned.  Graceful Charity and Mirror Force are back.  D.D. Assailant, Mask of Darkness, Treeborn Frog, Pot of Avarice and Drop Off were limited.  All in all, not huge changes but they made sense and overall dictated the terms of the 2006 format.

 

Monarchs Format

 

While the year of late 2005 initially started with Chaos Warriors, it transitioned into Monarchs (with some Chaos), as people discovered how powerful they were.  As the year went on, more people abused Cyber Dragon and more people used a defensive trap-line up with Widespread Ruin.  Monarchs were useful in clearing out strong setups.

 

The online user REGNR8 was the first one to invent the Monarch deck (since Mobius came out).  Evan Vargas brought it to the national stage with his Soul Control deck (with Apprentice Magicians and Soul Exchange to help tributes).  But now that the Envoy/Goat era is gone, Monarchs were good again.  

 

They had numerous ways to Tribute Summon the Monarchs whilst still gaining card advantage.

1) Using Soul Exchange to tribute the opponent's monsters instead.

2) Setting Dekoichi and flipping him next turn for a draw.

3) Using 2 Gravekeeper Spies as a double defense wall.

 

And here's a sample deck list:

 

2 Zaborg the Thunder Monarch

2 Mobius the Frost Monarch

2 Thestalos the Firestorm Monarch

1 Chaos Sorcerer

2 Cyber Dragon

3 Dekoichi the Battlechanted Locomotive

2 Gravekeeper's Spy

1 Breaker the Magical Warrior

1 Sangan

1 D. D. Warrior Lady

1 Spirit Reaper

 

2 Smashing Ground

1 Snatch Steal

1 Graceful Charity

1 Heavy Storm

1 Premature Burial

1 Mystical Space Typhoon

1 Nobleman of Crossout

1 Enemy Controller

1 Book of Moon

2 Soul Exchange

1 My Body as a Shield

1 Pot of Avarice

 

1 Mirror Force

2 Sakuretsu Armor

2 Widespread Ruin

1 Bottomless Trap Hole

1 Call of the Haunted

1 Torrential Tribute

 

Next time we will discuss how the release of new cards resulted in more powerful future metas.

 

 

 


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