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The New Extra Deck Rules: Yu-Gi-Oh Just Got Way Better

Jeremy enjoys dueling in between working as a chemical analyst and campus building manager.

Crowley, the First Propheseer

Crowley, the First Propheseer

Yu-Gi-Oh Extra Deck History

Konami unleashed a bombshell of an update that completely changes the dueling landscape, and it's one that most will appreciate, updating the way extra decks work.

The new master rule declares players can now summon fusion, synchro, and xyz monsters to main monster zones instead of extra ones (link monsters and revived pendulum monsters still need the extra zones). So, why is this change so important, and how will it affect competitive play? Find out as we explore Yu-Gi-Oh's updated extra deck rule!

Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon

Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon

Original Pendulum Monster Rules

To properly examine the extra deck update, let's take a look at how things were before the switch. Back when pendulum monsters debuted, they were pretty overpowered since they could be recast from your extra deck (which they head to when destroyed or tributed instead of the graveyard).

This made resummoning them ridiculously easy, leaving most non-pendulum decks in the dust. To alleviate the issue, Konami released link monsters and new extra deck limitations as a sort of patch, which helped but had its own set of issues...

Extra monster zones in Yu-Gi-Oh

Extra monster zones in Yu-Gi-Oh

Alongside link monsters, Yu-Gi-Oh created a new "extra monster" zone, which each player only has one of. At this point in the game, monsters cast from the extra deck had to enter this zone, restricting players to only one extra deck monster at once (which is a huge limitation). However, summoning the new link monsters would turn some of your main monster zones into temporary extra deck zones, letting you play additional extra deck cards.

This rule had mixed results; it provided a much-needed nerf to pendulums since you couldn't just revive them en masse anymore. However, it also had the unfortunate side effect of drastically limiting other extra deck cards, making it much harder to swarm fusion, synchro, and xyz monsters. Doing so now required you to first cast link monsters, which not only required additional effort and materials, but also consumed several of your oh-so-precious 15 extra deck slots.

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That brings us to current duels, using the new rules...

Main monster zones in Yu-Gi-Oh

Main monster zones in Yu-Gi-Oh

New Extra Deck Rules

As mentioned earlier, players may now cast their fusion, synchro, and xyz monsters to main monster zones. Since you have five of them, this gives plenty of room for extra deck cards without needing to delve into link monsters.

I'm heavily in favor of the change. We maintain the pendulum nerf, keeping them viable but not overpowered. We also greatly expand our former summoning options, doing wonders at making prior archetypes playable.

To top it all off, another update lets you include fusion, synchro, and xyz monsters in your side deck, letting you swap out both extra and main deck cards in best-2-of-3 match settings. With these adaptations, we can expect to see many new limited and banned cards, but that's a price I'm more than happy to pay if it means all monster types are now playable.

In my humble opinion, this is how link monsters should have worked from the get-go, and better late than never. Kudos to you for learning from your mistakes, Konami—this policy likely heralds the best, most balanced dueling era since the classic xyz days.

Tournament Changes in Yu-Gi-Oh

By the way, if you're sweating with excitement over our new extra deck freedoms, be sure to remember new tournament policies mandating good hygiene. That's not a joke—the rules now "require all persons attending a tournament to be clean and wear clean clothing" and "if you or your clothing is excessively dirty or bad-smelling, you can be penalised."

Finally, if you battle someone who smells like they haven't showered since "Pot of Greed" was legal, you'll probably win by default, sparing your nostrils that unique tournament odor cocktail and offering yet another welcome change. But for now, as stinky duelists realize baths are a thing, share your thoughts on the new extra deck rules and I'll see you at our next Yu-Gi-Oh countdown!

© 2019 Jeremy Gill


Nordic on July 02, 2020:

My nordic and d/d/d decks are now officially unstoppable.

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