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Greetings! Railgunfan75 here with an editorial of sorts. For some time, there was a lot of chatter on the net with rumors that the English game would get hit with such a list as well. People saw the impact that a restriction list had on the Japanese game and were hoping for the same for English players. Many are disappointed with the state of the game and feel that a restriction list would benefit the English game. Today I am here to discuss whether I feel an English banlist is warranted or not.
The main argument is simple- an English ban list would restore the balance between the sets in English and allow more sets to compete and top tournaments. Many argue for a banlist restriction for Kancolle, Sword Art Online, and Attack on Titan. These three sets top tournaments repeatedly and make up a huge percent of the player base.
I would like to first say that I am indeed familiar with the 3 sets which many people feel warrant a restriction, Kancolle, Attack on Titan, and Sword Art Online. I will also acknowledge that I am a Sword Art Online player and have been since I first started playing the game. In addition I have played and lost against Kancolle numerous times before and do agree with many people that the set can be seen as broken in the context of the English game.I really don’t like playing against the set. If you would have asked me months ago, I would have said yes to a banlist instantly. However, I cannot base my argument solely on my personal feelings towards a set and I will do my best to look at these sets subjectively as I make my argument here.
So what is my stance on this topic? I will first say that I do agree that the English game as it stands (while it is improving) still needs to change. The current status quo for the game is really not working. However, I personally believe that a banlist for English is really not a good idea given the state of the game as it stands right now. I did just say that I did not like Kancolle right? Sure did. Just because I personally don’t like the set doesn’t meant that it should be banned. I personally believe that an English as it stands right now in October 2016 would be a very bad move for the English game and I will not give some reasons why I feel this way.
Banning/restricting cards or sets in English will have a greater impact than in the Japanese game in terms of the sets and player base.
Factoring in sets which can be played with each other such as all of the SAO sets, there are 16 separate English sets with number 17 (Fate/Illya) on its way later in the month. Compare that number to over 60 Japanese sets using the same criteria. In addition there are around a dozen “top tier” decks in Japan while here we really have 3. The Japanese game because it has such diversity. The unbanning of cards such as MisaKuro from Railgun has really had no impact on the game, people are still playing the sets that got added to the Japanese list. But isn’t a greater impact a good thing in this case? No it it not.Since the majority of tournament players play these sets- a banlist would affect a higher percentage of the players in English than it would in the Japanese game.
Some players miss the point of a banlist. A banlist won’t make other sets better it only will balance the gameplay.
The crux of the argument for a banlist in English is the argument that one is needed to make all of the other sets better. A restriction list is meant to balance the sets, to make it so the other sets have a chance to compete. A restriction list removes or inhibits cards or combos which are incredibly strong within the context of the game and to allow other sets a better chance of competing. It does not make weak sets better, it takes broken sets and makes them fair. So a banlist would sound good in theory but there is one huge problem with this…
Even if you ban cards from Kancolle, AOT, and SAO, most of the other sets still can’t compete with these three sets anyway.
To clarify I say most sets here. Madoka , Love Live and Fate can compete with these sets, just not on a consistent basis. Cinderella Girls while it’s player base is growing is still not played nearly as much as the big three. In general these three sets don’t have the player base that the top three do. However, the other sets even with a restriction added still won’t compete. Sets such as Fate/Illya and Monogatari came over incomplete. Nisekoi got nerfed when it was brought over. Haruhi , Fairy Tail, Angel Beats and Disgeaea are just too old and don’t have the tech to compete. Even removing a handful of cards from the big three doesn’t change the fact that overall the three sets are just more consistent than the competition.
So what is the solution if a banlist won’t work? Bring more competitive sets to the English game and give the weaker sets a boost and completing the multiple partial sets which have been released.
For the first point, Bushiroad is already bringing more competition to the meta with the addition of To Love Ru. This is a good start to address this problem but they need to bring more sets to diversify the meta even further. One of the appeals of the Japanese game is the fact that you have multiple options- you are not forced into playing one of two or three sets to win. This type of thing is a detractor for people to play other card games and it is certainly not helping things with Weiss.
In addition to adding more sets, Bushiroad can also address the disparity by completing sets such as Illya and Monogatari and maybe follow what they are doing in Japan with something similar to the power up sets. I’m not saying that each set should be exactly alike as that would lead to a boring meta game. What I am saying is that each set should at least have a shot to compete while maintaining their own flavor. Many of the newer sets while different have a similar base tool set. Let the player base feel that their set has a chance to compete and perhaps it will grow.
So what do you think? Does English Weiss Schwarz need a banlist? Please comment below. If you enjoy my content please leave a like. Also feel free to follow me on Twitter (@Railgunfan75) or Facebook (Railgunfan75’s Geek Blog) for news and updates. Until next time, this is Railgunfan75 signing off. See ya!