Jeremy enjoys dueling in between working as a chemical analyst and campus building manager.
Card Errata in Yu-Gi-Oh
With most Yu-Gi-Oh cards, you can place up to three copies in your deck, but this drops to two with semi-limited ones, one with limited, and zero with banned. Cards become banned when their effects are deemed overpowered, stagnating the game with lethal combos.
If a card stays banned long enough, sometimes Konami edits its effects to become weaker and get it off the banned list, making it playable, albeit in a diminished form. So, which nerfed cards still deserve mention? Here are ten formerly-banned Yu-Gi-Oh cards you can now harness!
10. Crush Card Virus
Original Effect: Tribute a dark-attribute monster with 1000 or less ATK to destroy all monsters with 1500 or more ATK from your opponent's hand, field, and all cards they draw until their third end phase after activation.
Errata: Now, the effect doesn't check their draws, lets your opponent destroy up to three monsters with 1500 or more ATK from their deck, and prevents them from taking any damage until the end of the next turn.
Boy did this one get hit hard over the course of multiple errata. Losing the ability to check opposing draws dramatically hinders the ongoing danger of the effect, and the fact that your opponent can destroy their deck's monsters lets them quickly stock their graveyard with whatever creatures they need.
But Virus can still be deadly (especially when supported by effects like "Lair of Darkness", and we'll soon see a monster (Sangan) that makes excellent tribute fodder. Try activating Virus after your battle phase, where its damage-preventing effect won't shield your opponent for long.
9. Destiny HERO - Disk Commander
Original Effect: Draw two cards when this monster is special summoned from the graveyard
Errata: Effect can't be used the same turn Disk Commander was sent to the graveyard, and is now once per duel.
Commander basically activates a free "Pot of Greed" (a banned card that remains banned) when revived from the graveyard, giving you two easy draws. That's a lot of card advantage, but you can't use it the same turn he was sent to the graveyard. This delays your chances at using it, and since it's not once per turn but once per duel, you won't be able to spam it.
Pretty big nerf, but still a great candidate for the archetype's numerous HERO-reviving effects.
8. Ring of Destruction
Original Effect: Destroy an opponent's monster and have both players take effect damage equal to its ATK.
Errata: Now, you can only use Ring during your opponent's turn and only once per turn, only target monsters with ATK equal to or less than their life points, and you take the damage first (so if it kills you, you'll lose before your opponent takes any).
Ring undoubtedly took a bit hit, suffering multiple nerfs that restrict when you can use it and slamming you first, turning a potential draw into a loss. Definitely a major downgrade, but still a powerful effect that triggers during any opposing phase and offers instant-speed monster removal plus effect damage.
7. Dark Magician of Chaos
Original Effect: When normal or special summoned, add one spell from your graveyard to hand.
Errata: You now get the spell at the end of the turn Magician was summoned, and only once per turn.
Dark Magician's errata recycles a spell at the end of your turn instead of immediately. Still, he's part of a prominent archetype, wields fierce 2800 ATK, and banishes foes he destroys in battle. I also appreciate that his spell recovery triggers from both normal and special summoning him, meaning it'll work if you revive him from your graveyard or otherwise gimmick him into play.
6. Sangan/Witch of the Black Forest
Original Effect: Add one monster with 1500 or less ATK (Sangan) or DEF (Witch) when this card is sent from the field to the graveyard.
Errata: You now can't activate effects of the card you search for the rest of the turn, and you can only use the effect once per turn.
Sangan and Witch make excellent fodder for other summons since they tutor other monsters from your deck when they hit the graveyard. Nowadays, you won't be able to play those cards that turn, but you can somewhat bypass this by choosing flip monsters and setting them (using their effects when revealed on future turns), or by simply waiting until your next turn. I especially enjoy Witch's synergy in Dark Magician or Pendulum Magician themes, and she costs less than a single dollar!
Both effects can also help find the Exodia pieces, and you can even fuse Sangan and Witch into fusion monster "Sanwitch". Yep, that's a real card.
5. Rescue Cat
Original Effect: Send Cat to the graveyard to special summon two level three or lower beast monsters from your deck, but they're destroyed at the end phase.
Errata: Cat's ability is now once per turn, and the summoned monsters have their effects negated.
Cat's a great swarming tactic for beasts, spending one card to get two. Sure, it's unfortunate that you can't access the new monsters' effects, but if you use them for link material, you'll get a fresh monster with effects intact avoid losing the beasts at end of turn. And again, I appreciate that Cat's effect doesn't care how he's fielded; you can use it whether normal, special, or even flip summoned.
4. Goyo Guardian
Original Effect: When this card destroys a monster by battle and sends it to the graveyard, you can special summon it to your field in defense position.
Errata: Same effect, but now Goyo Guardian requires an earth-attribute tuner to summon (rather than any tuner).
Goyo provides one of the most interesting erratas; his effect remains intact, but he becomes a little harder to summon, now requiring a certain type of tuner (the non-tuner material can still be anything). Sure, this takes him out of some decklists, but there's plenty of competitive and generic earth tuners to pick from, including "Glow-Up Bulb" and "Masked Chameleon".
Plus, he's still ridiculously strong for a level-six card, wielding 2800 ATK, and has one of very few erratas that didn't become once per turn, so if you control multiple Goyos, they can each activate in the same round.
3. Sinister Serpent
Original Effect: You can add this card from graveyard to hand during your standby phase.
Errata: Now it's once per turn, and if you use the effect, you banish a Sinister Serpent from your graveyard during your opponent's next end phase (if present).
Serpent's easy retrieval makes him amazing fodder for discard-requiring effects or link/tribute summons, but now you'll want to time it carefully. When you recover him, you can immediately use him for other effects if you like, but doing so will soon banish him from your graveyard, preventing you from accessing the effect again.
So, wait until your next turn to reuse Serpent, hiding him in hand to avoid banishment and letting you safely use him on following rounds. I like this errata, giving you a tough choice about short vs long term effectiveness when playing Serpent.
2. Chaos Emperor Dragon - Envoy of the End
Original Effect: Must be special summoned by banishing a light and dark monster from your graveyard. You can pay 1000 life points to send all cards in the hands and fields to the graveyard, inflicting 300 damage to your opponent for each.
Errata: The effect is once per turn, and you can't activate other cards or effects the turn you use it.
Making Chaos's ability once per turn isn't much of an issue since it's a mass-nuke, the real detriment comes from restricting your ability to do other things that round. Nevertheless, he's a menacing 3000 ATK beatstick who can easily clear the field and hands, resetting a losing duel if the effect damage doesn't outright kill your opponent. You're also still allowed to summon monsters in the same turn, you just can't access their abilities.
1. Future Fusion
Original Effect: Send fusion material monsters from your deck to your graveyard, fusion summon the appropriate monster at your second standby phase after activation, and destroy it when Fusion leaves the field.
Errata: Now, the materials aren't sent immediately but during your first standby phase after activation (your fusion monster is still summoned at the second).
Unlike most fusion spells, Future Fusion pulls materials from your deck, maintaining hand advantage while summoning a fearsome titan. But it's just as useful for quickly stockpiling your graveyard, especially with monsters that need more than two materials, like "Five-Headed Dragon" and "Quintet Magician".
Now, you'll need to wait a turn before getting the materials into graveyard, unfortunate but still an awesome ability, especially with the looming fusion monster. In short, the longer your opponent takes to deal with Fusion, the more trouble they'll be in.
Should Banned Cards be Errata'd?
Erratum remain a controversial policy, with some players appreciating them while others feel cheated out of their original abilities. Personally, I enjoy them: better to have a weakened card available than a monstrous one you'll never be able to use.
Plus, errata can change over time, potentially giving cards more power, and I'm eager to what alterations other long-banned cards take. But for now, vote for your favorite and I'll see you at our next Yu-Gi-Oh countdown!
© 2020 Jeremy Gill