Hey, why did he play that card anyway?
Yugioh rulings, or, as a matter of fact, rulings period, can be the greatest bane and blessing in any game, whether it’s on a console or a tabletop. For example, you’ll thank your Egyptian god cards Meta Knight and Garchomp with Sand Veil were banned from tournament play in their respective franchises, but you’ll become dead-eyed after I tell you a judge one time told me Apex Avian’s negation could not respond to Monster effects, period (And I had to play the rest of the tournament like that, because then I was a wide-eyed hopeful who didn’t know anything).
Today I’m finally getting around to addressing a controversial ruling not made by a single judge in a comic shop, but, presumably, a panel of judges at Konami in April of 2019, the ruling more controversial than the Flash honestly competing against a group of 1st graders in a foot race. The specific wording is as follows:
This translates to a lot of cards losing their viability because they count on all duelists to play with honesty and integrity, qualities any player who as stepped foot into a comic shop knows runs in handfuls rather than spades (Yugioh was almost banned from my high school when a novice lost an expensive card to a pro whom challenged him to a “friendly” game for it, and we’ve all heard stories of Infernity players “accidentally” setting Monsters in their Spell/Trap zones). The largest casualty dealt with Mind Crush, a card now relying solely on your opponent’s honesty to be usable, considering neither you nor a judge can verify the cards without reasonable suspicion one’s opponent is cheating (like if they’re dumb enough to use the card right after you tried dropping it.). Some duelists theorize the ruling’s creation stemmed from Time Wasters (still hate those bastards…) who run down time in professional settings to stall for victory. This seems to make sense… but I’ve theorized another possible reason for this mostly unbalanced ruling change.
Imagine, if you will, running one of the many cookie-cutter, highly hated OTL (One Turn Lock) decks, and you use Mind Crush or whatever to verify your opponent doesn’t have the target card in their hand. You now know exactly what your enemy can do and can set-up to negate their strategy perfectly. Nothing but Spells in their hand? Make Naturia Beast to end the game or play Number 38 to give them a hard time. Fighting a deck with monster affects like proximity mines? Swing away with Utopia Lightning or another monster that halts battle phase effects. See the potential of a Control deck in your enemy’s hand? Sit on a monster unaffected by card effects (It’s scary how many of those exist now…) and laugh your way to victory. I could go on, the point being the negation-set-up, current style of the game makes knowing your opponent’s hand no longer knowledge granting a slight edge of insight, but a kill-skill easily granting one victory. In my opinion, it may not have been the “best” way to fix the problem, but it’s the method the Konami board of whatever decided.
Or maybe all of our speculation is complete bullshit. Maybe a Konami judge of the highest degree copied Raymond Dai’s Spell Striker deck, but drew a hand full of hand traps + one Engage while facing Wind-Ups or Aqua Chorus Beatdown. His opponent used Mind Crush and called Engage, causing the judge to harbor a passion and ever-boiling hatred for the card that eternally disgraced him. I’m just a writer, but you’ve been a great audience. Peace Out…