Monday, 11 February 2013
I've been reading other people's predictions lately for the upcoming March Forbidden/Limited/Semi-Limited list, and I think a lot of them are unrealistic. I don't feel the compulsion to make a list of predictions, but I do want to discuss the merits of commonly discussed card choices for the list. I'll make a second entry for deck-specific card discussions, but this entry pertains to generic cards.
Monster Reborn It seems that everyone thinks it's time for this to cycle out. I disagree. Reborn's been holding steady at one for quite a while, and even though it is a powerful card, it doesn't break the game on its own, and it doesn't give any one deck a particular advantage. I really don't think anyone would be too upset at seeing this stay limited since it helps everyone pretty much equally. If it does go, it's not a matter of improving the state of the game so much as it is changing it up just to try something different.
Black Luster Soldier- Envoy of the Beginning I can see why people want this to go back to being forbidden; it is certainly an overpowered card that's very easy to get out, but I still don't think it's going to get hit right now. Kevin Tewart has explained that cards don't get hit simply for being overpowered; they get hit for dominating the meta. The only decks that have done well in competitive play this format and run BLS are Agents and Chaos Dragons. These are both very strong decks, but I can't really see them getting hit, as they haven't dominated the field. Even if BLS goes away, though, they'll still be strong decks with plenty of boss monsters. He's a lucky topdeck, but he's not a reliable win condition.
Book of Moon I can see this going back to two, and I think it would be good for the game. Book is a good multi-purpose control card that can disrupt an opponent's play, stop an attack, and protect your monsters from various removal effects and such, but it's not overpowered in any way I can see, and it's not dominating the format. Unlike most other limited cards, it's usually a minus one in card advantage, and it isn't a game ender. Most people don't even opt to run the one copy that's allowed.
Macro Cosmos It seems a lot of people want Macro limited. I just don't see that happening. It's been around forever and a day, and I don't think Konami has ever touched it. There have always been decks that rely on graveyard setup, and this has always been a good counter to them. Nothing has changed. No, not nothing, this format probably has the most backrow negation and removal of any ever. Besides deck-specific cards, some of the more popular counters include Heavy Storm, Mystical Space Typhoon, Night Beam, Twister, Dust Tornado, Malevolent Catastrophe, Royal Decree, Trap Stun, Dark Bribe, Seven Tools of the Bandit, Solemn Warning, and Solemn Judgment. That's a whole lot of ways to mitigate Macro, and decks that are hurt by it generally main or side several of them.
Now, while all that is true, the existence of possible counters isn't the deciding factor in what needs to be on the list. There are answers to everything, but the real deciding factor is how much trouble you're in if you don't draw into that answer. There are, for example, plenty of answers to a Wind-Up player making a Magician+Shark play, but if you don't have one (actually, you usually need multiple answers in this case), you're going to lost that turn. Can the same be said of Macro? No. It's not a win condition. It doesn't net any advantage. It doesn't deal damage. It doesn't really do anything on its own unless you're playing a Macro Monarch deck or something based around Helios (those have done nothing competitively this format and would be rendered unplayable by hitting Macro). All it does is hinder grave-reliant decks' plays. That's kinda the point of side deck cards, yes? You might as well limit Gozen match because it's just so unfair when someone plays it against you effectively.
Reborn Tengu I've seen a few people advocating its return, and they must be nuts. It's not a popular or particularly useful card right now, and I don't mind that. It's much better to leave it like that than let it destroy another format, especially now that it's searchable because of Fire Fists.
One Day of Peace Some people will always be salty about playing against decks with alternate win conditions, and this card is taking a lot of that heat. I just don't see any need to hit it, though. How often does Exodia top major events? How about Empty Jar? Countdown? Chain Burn is generally the most successful of these strategies, and even it only ever manages a top 32 here and there at a YCS. Of all those, One Day is most balanced in Chain Burn. It allows the Burn player a turn to set up and dig for combo pieces without worrying about taking damage, but does the exact same for the opponent as well as giving a gain in card advantage.
Sangan There have always been speculations about Sangan being banned, especially now that it's part of the Tour Guide engine, but I don't think it's going anywhere. Tour Guide does make the searching more consistent, but, like all things, it has a cost. Using Tour Guide to tutor Sangan leaves a dead draw Tour Guide in your deck. More importantly, you either have to use it to XYZ, in which case you don't get Sangan's effect anyway, or you leave your 1000 ATK Tour Guide vulnerable on the field (and pray that your opponent doesn't have Guaiba).
Tour Guide from the Underworld I think that putting this to two in September was a good thing, and I don't think it needs another hit. The Tour Guide engine is good and useful, but it does have its weaknesses. I mentioned a couple in regards to Sangan, but there's also the fact that Effect Veiler and other effect negations make it a sitting duck. Chaining Maxx "C" to its effect makes your opponent choose between leaving it a sitting duck or letting you gain card advantage. For a card that's an inherent plus one and a potential instant XYZ, it's pretty balanced, and I think it's fine as it is.
Mind Control This should stay limited. I don't think more copies than one should ever be allowed, but I don't think now is the time to ban it, either. It's good, but it's not so overpowered that everyone is playing it and hoping for it as a miracle topdeck. It's more of a preference card right now, and I don't think it's a problem.
Pot of Avarice I understand why some players push for Avarice to be banned. It's an instant plus one that lets you restock your deck. It's a godsend when you're topdecking in a grind game. It can, however, be terribly dead in your hand if you draw it too early or face a lot of removal. It's a good card, but it's not a major problem card, especially in a meta with so much removal.
Tsukoyomi The one copy allowed has barely seen any play, so I don't see what harm it would be to try allowing another. It can be a useful card, certainly, but it's far from overpowered.
Sinister Serpent There's been some discussion of bringing this back because it doesn't do anything on it's own, but I think that's a very bad idea. It's easy to get into the grave, and it allows for unlimited free discard costs after that. It essentially makes Raigeki Break, Phoenix Wing Wind Blast, Back to Square One, Lightning Vortex, Divine Wrath and various other cards costless. A lot of cards that don't see much play despite being overpowered because they drain the hand would start to pop up and throw the game off balance.
Mystical Space Typhoon I really hope this stays unlimited. I don't think it's necessarily a staple at three, and there are certainly alternatives if it's hit, but it's always good to have the option. The card is fair in the same way any other staple is fair. It helps almost every deck the same. It does nothing to win you the game on its own or contribute to any particular strategy. It can be a really lousy topdeck when all you really need is a way to bring out a monster. It doesn't even negate anything, so with all the good chainable spells and traps, it has to be played carefully. The only reason to hit it is to try something different, and I personally am not a fan of formats where you can't do anything because you're locked down by backrows with no way to get rid of them. If MST gets hit, be prepared for a lot of annoyance over people stalling you out and playing alternative win conditions.
Heavy Storm & Dark Hole Same as Reborn, I just don't think it's their time to go. Because they're double-edged swords, you have to have them at the right time for them to even be useful, and even at that, you could lose to Starlight Road. In the case of Dark Hole, there's the additional risk that when you really need to use it, your opponent will have a Zenmaines, Gachi Gachi, Maestroke, Tiras, or some such indestructible obstacle. They're powerful and useful cards, but they're somewhat balanced in the current format.
Torrential Tribute, Bottomless Trap Hole & Mirror Force All of these should stay right where they are. The game would be insufferable if you couldn't do anything without losing all of your monsters every turn, but having them at two helps to control the spamming and punishes over-extension, encouraging smart play.
Royal Oppression It might be time to dust it off and try it out, but I'm not sure. It could be fun just to see what kind of impact bringing it up to limited would have for a format.
If you have any thoughts on these cards, I'd love to continue the discussion. You might even persuade me to change my mind. I'd also like to know what cards you think should get the hammer or a bit of a push. I look forward to your thoughts and continuing this discussion in another entry in regards to what decks need to be nerfed or boosted in what ways.
Wednesday, 23 May 2012
I haven't been around here for a while because I don't have any internet at home other than my phone, and it's really not meant for writing anything longer than a text message. I'm at the library right now, so yay for an actual computer to use. Anyway, I'm stressed, so I need to vent here. I got a bad performance review at work a couple of weeks ago for whatever reason, and it was hard to get hours before, but lately I literally haven't been getting any. That would be fine and dandy with me if I were independently wealthy; I would just sit at home playing video games all day or spend time with my wife or something. Unfortunately, what it actually means is that I don't know how we're going to pay rent. I've been looking for jobs, but it's not easy. Everything I've applied for has either not responded at all or responded only with form letters. Generally, the impression I've gotten is that there are a thousand desperate job seekers pouncing on every advertised opening. I can't afford to be in competition with people because I don't have any useful experience.
On the other hand, I got a job this week. Don't get too excited; I still have apprehensions about it. I started training today to be a vacuum salesman. I'm talking about traditional, go-into-homes-and-demonstrate-the-thing-then-ask-for-$2500 sales. It makes me uncomfortable, especially since it's unpaid training, and there's no way I'm getting a real paycheck from them until a few weeks away, which is too late for bills. If it weren't a reputable company, I'd think it was a racket. At this point, though, it's all I have, and I'm desperate, so I can't really quit, but it's not what I want at all. I'm still following up on other leads, and a couple of other things look good. I have a chance to interview next week with one place that I think I'd really like, but they're group interviews, and I wouldn't be surprised if I'm up against dozens of other people. There's another that said they're just waiting on my background check to come back, but I'm not sure if they want to hire me or interview me or what after that. I'm not at all concerned about a background check, but I don't yet have a job offer, so I don't know how hopeful to be.
The point of all this is that I'm stressed out about the possibility of not being able to pay rent, especially since we see neighbors getting evicted all the time. There may be options if we talk with the landlord or the government or whatever, but it's still not a good situation. Did I mention that my wife is going to pop out a baby any time now? Just please pray for us. We're in a tight spot and desperate.
Friday, 20 January 2012
Last summer, Talia moved to Colorado Springs to be a nanny for her cousin, and I moved here to be with her, of course. We lived for a while on my savings and then on my credit card when those ran out. See, she doesn't make much money at all, but at least we've had a place to live. When we got desperate, I finally managed to get a couple of seasonal jobs, but only one kept me on after Christmas.
There have been bits of tension with her cousin, and we were never planning to live with them indefinitely, so we've been trying to find our own apartment. We went to a low-income apartment complex last week, the kind where you have to make under a certain salary to qualify. We found out that we made too little money to qualify to apply for an apartment there. >.< I asked the apartment manager (somewhat as a joke) whether there were any poverty-level apartments in town, and she said that there were, but there's a three-year waiting list for those. We have to be out by the beginning of February (of this year), so... yeah, not happening.
Fortunately, we found a different complex that would cost less, and they approved us, but we'd still only barely be making it (and that's assuming that I get enough hours). We settled on this and made a budget. Everything seemed like it would be okay.
Today, Talia's cousin gave her two weeks notice that she's being replaced by a daycare. Even with the expectation that we'd have some income from her nannying, it was already going to be hard. We'd be living in the cheapest one-bedroom apartment we could find with no furniture or other extravagances like internet service. But living on my one part-time job may be outright untenable.
It would be great if one or the other of us could just find another job, but that was difficult even when people were hiring seasonally; now that all the positions are full and there's more competition for any opening, I don't even know where to look.
I just want to be able to provide for my wife and coming son. *sigh*