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Saturday, 18 February 2017

Link Summoning: Discussion

This post is the continuation of the Link Summoning review, found here. In this post, I'll be discussing my views on the new rules proposed with the next format.

The Extra Deck Zone & Linked Zones

Overview

As talked about before, monsters that are Special Summoned from the Extra Deck cannot be summoned to the Main Monster Zone (the existing Monster Zone) initially. The new playmat comes with ONE Extra Deck Zone for each player, where these monsters must now be summoned to. Once this zone is filled, no other Extra Deck monsters can be initially summoned.
With the new Link Monsters, more Extra Deck Zones can be created through Linked Zones. By summoning a Link Monster, the Link Markers turn any Monster Zones they point at into Linked Zones. With some Link Monsters, a Marker will point to an opponent’s Monster Zone which will open a Linked Zone, and thus an Extra Deck Zone, for them too.
With the changes from the new rules, any deck that wishes to summon more than one Monster from the Extra Deck MUST summon a Link Monster or be playing against an opponent who summons one with a Marker pointing to their zone.

Pros

I believe the intention for this rule is to be a solution to slowing down the pace of the game. The current state of the game allows players to swarm the field with as many Extra Deck monsters as possible, which can result in a lot of strong monsters to overwhelm the opponent. Restricting the number of Extra Deck monsters that can be summoned through the new Zones will reduce the power of these decks, as well as their complexity.

Summoning a Link Monster is the required way to combat this, but will also use resources that would have been used to summon Extra Deck monsters. With this, Link Monsters aren’t simply an option and will have a big part in the next format.

Cons

As I mentioned before, I think the rule is meant to be a solution for the game’s speed. However I choose to phrase it as “a solution” because, while it may be one, I don’t believe it is a good one. In my opinion the restriction is a poorly designed way they’re implementing not only to render many decks obselete but push their new cards, both of which gaining them profit.

Limiting the number of Extra Deck monsters that can be summoned only hits some of the more powerful decks, and not the worst ones. As of writing this review, the top 8 decks in the format are (in order of strongest to weakest):
Metalfoes, Zoodiacs, Infernoid, ABC, and 5th is shared between Paleozoics, DDDs, & Blue-Eyes.

(In my next post, I'll be breaking down how these rules affect each deck.)

The difference in how the mechanics will affect each deck are drastically different. This trend will be true for all decks in the game: Some will struggle / be virtually unplayable, some will adapt, and some will be mostly fine.

The current meta will change, with some decks being taken out & some remaining. More decks will come to take their place however, but these decks won’t be new. Older decks such as Monarchs, Tellarknights, HEROes, etc will climb up the tier list & appear more often as they lost little to no power. Newer decks like Dinos will also have an advantage as they have their boss in the Main Deck, while rarely summoning an Evolsaur to the field.

Just like some decks, there are also cards that will require Link Monsters on the field to summon them or use their effects. A good example is F0, who’s summoning condition of two Xyz monsters of the same Rank will only be achievable with a Link Monster to open two zones (or bringing back a dead one from the graveyard). Another is Ultimaya, who will not be able to use it’s effect on its own as it will be taking the Extra Deck Zone it needs to summon a new monster. In terms of summoning the harder Synchro monsters such as Stardust Warrior or Shooting Quasar, a Link Monster will be mandatory.

Another problem with only having one Extra Deck Zone is a Link Monster can’t be summoned to it while there’s a monster there. In the case of Evolsaur Laggia, the monster has 2400 attack points and can only use it’s effect once (due to having to detach 2 materials). Afterwards, the opponent can leave Laggia in that zone & not allow the player to summon any other monsters. This would result in Laggia having to crash in order to free the zone up.

Should workarounds for this exist, players may opt to use these instead of summoning Link Monsters. Interdimensional Matter Transporter allows players to banish one of their face-up cards until the End Phase. If the monster doesn’t have to return to the Extra Deck Zone, the zone could be used to summon another monster & thus control them both without using Linked Zones.

Fixing

For all the positives of the new mechanics, there’s only one glaring fault I take issue with. To me, the restriction isn’t necessary in the game to make Link monsters be relevant or fix the game. These are the changes I would make:
The restriction on summoning monsters from the Extra Deck is removed.
The Extra Deck Zones become “Link Zones” and can only contain Link Monsters.

Most Extra Deck monsters that are generic to any deck only serve as options, each being specific for their uses. Being able to summon multiple ones in one turn does allow you to use them and overcome each scenario they’re used for, but that is only if those scenarios for them is available. On their own, most of the generic monsters are useless & summoning them is a waste when they die before they’re used for their purpose. Think of using a crowbar instead of a sword: Still effective as a weapon, but if you lose it you can’t break open doors anymore.

The other Extra Deck monsters are the boss monsters for that deck. By restricting summoning them, the deck is restricted in it’s plays. Meanwhile, other main deck bosses from other decks can be played without limitation. The only disadvantage there is the main deck monsters must be in the main deck, and can be drawn into.

Conclusion

Perhaps the rules change is intentional on killing a fair amount of the other decks, as this may be the direction the game is being changed to. Another idea is, by making many existing decks irrelevant, players will have to buy the new cards and play with them instead. All in all, it can’t be argued that a lot of decks are going to be rendered useless in the new format. The only debatable point is whether this is good for the game or not.

And in my view: It’s not.

Thank you for reading. Whats your opinion on the new mechanic? Comment below and let me know!

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