Are errata good for Yugioh?

trishula_dragon_of_the_ice_barrierBy creating the game of Yugioh and owning all of its assets, Konami has the ability to errata cards. What is an errata? An errata is a change to a card effective on all copies, even older ones with older text. Changing mistakes is fine with me. Technically, Trishula, Dragon of the Ice barrier technically wasn’t an ‘Ice Barrier’ monster. Dance Princess of the Nekroz still adds back banished ‘Necroz’ monsters. Konami is able to errata cards. They have. Many times. Necrovalley has had six errata and people still don’t really know what the card does. Sometimes cards get an errata to make it clearer how it works, or because of a mistranslation. But sometimes, Konami changes what cards do and how they work. Should they? My gut reaction is a strong no, but let’s see if we can’t find some validity to errata-ing cards.

After 2011, cards were printed with Problem-Solving Card Text. While the TCG PSCT isn’t as good as the OCG PSCT, it’s still better than nothing. Are you familiar with Exiled Force? It’s a pretty simple card. Simple stats and a simple effect. Let’s read its PSCT.

“You can Tribute this card to target 1 monster on the field; destroy that target.”

ExiledForce-LOD-NA-SR-1EBecause we know all about PSCT, it’s clear what Exiled Force does. It’s an ignition effect that tributes itself and targets 1 monster on the field as a cost. Then, when it resolves, it destroys that target. Pretty easy. Let’s look at the original text.

“Offer face-up this card on your side of the field as a Tribute to destroy 1 monster on the field. If this card is used for a Tribute Summon or this card is offered as a Tribute due to other cards’ effects, this card’s effect is not activated.”

In the early days, a lot of cards were worded like this to avoid confusion because PSCT didn’t exist. It also wasn’t clear what was a cost, what targeted, and what could be activated when. Clearly an errata and PSCT helped Exiled Force. This type of errata is perfectly fine and should be done. But what about changing a card to include or exclude it from an archetype?

SummonedSkull-V4-JP-URI don’t know Japanese, but there is some set of characters or something that roughly translates to ‘Daemon’ that the English Yugioh community knows as ‘Archfiend’. Summoned Skull apparently was one of these Daemons, but doesn’t contain the string of characters ‘Archfiend’ in its name, making it not an Archfiend. Summoned Skull, and others, were errata’d to include this line of text on them. Even if it’s a Normal Monster.

(This card is always treated as an “Archfiend” card.)

SummonedSkull-LCJW-EN-R-1EI am also okay with this type of errata. I’m for the unification of the divide between OCG and TCG. Then we can play with Japanese cards and them English. We’d be on the same release schedule, and WP cards would cease to exist. Region-specific promos with alternate art could replace them, as well as tournament packs that reprint cards in different rarities. This isn’t likely to happen because of marketing differences and the hassle of changing over to one system, but I can dream. Yugioh is a Japanese card game localized for my convenience. Some cards have certain connotations that don’t translate so well to the TCG languages. The Trishula errata from ‘Ice barrier’ to ‘Ice Barrier’ is like this. The TCG card was mistakenly printed wrong and changed to be correct. Oscillo Hero #2 is another card changed, into Wattkid. Now a Watt monster. According to the YGOrganization, Cipher, a new archetype, is related to Kinetic Soldier. My prediction is that the English name will just be Kinetic and allow Telekinetic Shocker, Telekinetic Power Well and Telekinetic Charging Cell to be part of the Archetype. Much like how Volcanic Eruption is a ‘Volcanic’ card.

SkyScout-PSV-NA-C-1EWhat’s the opposite of this? When a card is errata’d to not be part of an archetype because the Japanese card isn’t. Harpie’s Brother into Sky Scout is one. Red-Eyes B. Chick is still a Red-Eyes monster and Frog the Jam a frog. Hundred Eyes Dragon was changed. Red-Eyes B. Chick could just drop the hyphen. Frog the Jam could become Frawg the Jam. This circumvents the clunky wording of “Do a thing with -archetype-, except specific card.” I’m unsure, but I think Infernity Archfiend is not even a ‘Daemon’ in Japan. Wikia tells me that ‘デーモン’ means ‘Daemon’ and is the Archfiend name. If the card was not truly meant to be part of the archetype, it’s fine to errata the name to exclude it. This is part of the unification process.

SkyScout-AP02-EN-C-UEHERO monsters were errata’d to HERO meaning anything that isn’t all caps isn’t a HERO monster. Heroic Champions and Heroic Challengers are not HERO monsters. This was due to the addition of Masked HERO and Vision HERO monsters from the manga. I believe this leads people to believe that Spiritual Beasts, Evilswarm and Evigishki monsters aren’t Ritual Beast, lswarm or Gishki monsters. This change is fine. It opens up the word ‘Hero’ to other cards, like the Heroic cards. This change is fine. Archetype changing is fine. It’s part of unification.

A few cards have been changed to correct errors. The Wikia gives Two-Mouth Darkruler changing from a Dragon to a Dinosaur and Amazoness Fighter gaining 200 ATK as examples. These are largely irrelevant and Konami has gotten better at not making so many mistakes.

 

While these are functional changes to Yugioh, other cards have received actual changes to how the card does its thing. Lose 1 Turn and Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer are two cards that had incorrect English text that caused them to work differently than in Japan. Lose 1 Turn affected face-down monsters and Pendulum Sorcerer only searched based on monsters destroyed. Both of these were corrected. Konami’s translation team should have done a better job at translating them the first time, but I understand that mistakes happen.

It didn't even have PSCT
It didn’t even have PSCT

Some cards were changed in what they do to change what they do, not to correct the card. Effect Veiler negated that monster’s effect(s) until the End Phase, then was changed to that target’s effects until the End Phase. Then Effect Veiler negated that opponent’s face-up monster’s effects until the End Phase. And currently, Effect Veiler negates that opponent’s face-up monster’s effects until the end of this turn. Usually, Veiler does the same thing under each text, but it’s slightly different. The biggest difference being it lasts until the end of the turn, and not the End Phase. This mattered with cards like Bujin Yamato and Veiler was unable to effectively negate Yamato’s effects. The same is true with other cards that triggered in the End Phase. Now Veiler lasts through the End Phase. This is a small change and I’ll chalk it up to translation and be okay with it. Necrovalley is another card with various errata that slightly change what it does.

So far, all of the errata have been to correct cards. Dark Strike Fighter and Catapult Turtle both received significant nerfs to their effects to make them worse on purpose. Since then, many other cards on the Forbidden list have received errata to make them nearly unplayable, then they become unlimited. Dark Magician of Chaos, Sinister Serpent, Crush Card Virus, Chaos Emperor Dragon – Envoy of the End, Sangan and plenty more. All of these errata are strictly worse. None of them get better or were incorrect. Everyone knew very well that Dark Strike Fighter could activate multiple times per turn and during Main Phase 2. I am for cleaning up the game and cleaning up the F&L list, and this might clean up the F&L list, but it doesn’t give us better cards. If Konami wants us to play with these forbidden cards, limit them for a format, then re-add them to the forbidden list. Snatch Steal format was fun. Why not have Pot of Greed format? Or Cold Wave format? Sure, the format would be a disaster, but Yugioh isn’t the most balanced game to begin with. Should Konami make Chaos Emperor Dragon unplayable? Should it stay forbidden? Or should forbidden cards come back for a format? Many of the cards on the list are irrelevant relics, like Yata-Garasu and Super Rejuvenation. Cards like these could likely come back without any issues. But what about the really good cards? Does Pot of Greed need an errata to come back? Is Sangan really so broken that it can’t just live at limited status?

'yoru'
‘yoru’

No one likes being told they can’t use their cards. No one likes being told that their cards don’t work how they thought they did. I’ve seen so many players quit because their deck was hit with collateral damage. Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon is the first that comes to mind, but I’m sure the forbidding of something like Performapal Monkeyboard would make many casual Performapal players sad. Konami has decided that they’d rather people play with the cards, but at a lower power level than be unable to play them. Unfortunately they go a little too far on pretty much all of the cards they errata. How does this help? Well, Konami can reprint the card, either in a hard to obtain way, or easy, so that they can sell a new product. That’s not wrong of them. Konami is a business, in the business of making money. Product sells better if it has value to players. Most forbidden cards are not very valuable on the secondary market due to being unplayable. Errata’d to-be bad cards are also unplayable, for the most part.

Why would Konami make unplayable cards? Easy. Because these cards aren’t for tournament players playing competitively. These bad errata are for Timmy and Johnny. No one was allowed to use these broken cards before. Spike would use them if they were playable, but then all of the Timmies and Johnnies would complain about how overpowered they are, as they complain about most of the meta. Spike isn’t going to bother playing garbage errata’d cards. Timmy and Johnny can add cards like Dark Strike Fighter and Sangan to their decks with these errata.

Undeniably, errata are good. However, I disagree with the errata-ing of cards to make them worse so they can be taken off of the Forbidden list. This is because I’d like to hold out hope that the cards will come off unchanged, even if it takes years. Power creep is real. Breaker, the Magical Warrior was forbidden once. Now, Breaker is a joke. Super Rejuvenation wasn’t very good because there was usually only downside to discarding cards. Or you were drawing only a few cards. Once again, Super Rejuvenation would be largely irrelevant. Cyber-Stein isn’t very good, either.

What do you think of errata for the worse? Do you disagree with errata at all? Does it take away from what Yugioh used to be? Let me know in the comments. Come back tomorrow for the March 2013 Dragon Ruler guide. Until then, click an ad, buy up Chaos Emperor Dragons, and share this with your friends.

 

(This post contains affiliate links)

6 thoughts on “Are errata good for Yugioh?”

  1. I’ve thought of a case where I am fine with functional errata that isn’t typo fixing, and that’s with changing how keywords (to use M:tG lingo)/abilities (i.e. Flip/Pendulum/Spirit/Union) work in a game.

    It’s happening now in with how Union Monsters work. (which makes them better and easier to remember) (i.e. no more limit of 1 Union monster equipped to a monster at a time, replaces monster being destroyed by battle or card effect with Union monster as equip destruction).

    It’s fairly easy to educate people on the change, and is rarely done to make cards much worse.

  2. “it” in the second sentence is the act of referring to “Kinetic” and not “Pyrokinetic”, “Telekinetic”, and so on.

  3. As an aside, I don’t think that Konami will include Telekinetic Shocker as part of the Kinetic Archetype. If they can find a good way to refer to the Kinetic word and not due a particular substring match, they might do it.

    Using its English Name, Volcanic Eruption is only usable for being a Volcanic card because Blaze Accelerator Reload doesn’t say “Volcanic” monster, unlike all other support, and it was made much later than both the OG Volcanic cards as well as Eruption, so I think Konami just forgot.

    Cipher Support is explicitly just Cipher monsters, so the name overlap with other cards of a different isn’t a problem (and the fact that it is impossible to get a Normal Trap card into a Monster Zone while still keeping its name).

    Writing around naming matters is also why magician archetype support only works for Pendulum monsters or stuff in Pendulum Zones, because Konami wasn’t particularly focus on determining if they wanted “Magician” cards to be linked together.

  4. I agree with you completely on this.

    How you describe the ideal things is basically how Magic: the Gathering does it currently, while also not having to worry about maintaining partial name text matching. Speaking of partial name text matching, I would change it so that archetype conditions were clearly part of the card’s name so if a monster gains the name of “Summoned Skull”, it’s clearly a “Archfiend” monster, and if a copy of Summoned Skull swaps its name for a new name, it’s no longer a “Archfiend” monster)

    Some amount of Functional Errata can happen (and not be an obvious rule patch) but having cards that look perfectly typo-free exist that work significantly differently when using the latest errata is annoying for everyone. This is particularly weird for effect monsters that aren’t part of an archetype by name.) (Does Chaos Emperor Dragon need its name to do anything?, Do you really need Sanwitch to be fusion summonable with the Sangan replacement?)

    It’s also a lot harder to backpedal on those functional power level errata changes, particularly when you print lots of product with the new power level errata.

    1. My ideal unified game is how Magic does it. Every language gets the set at the same time, just different languages. No worries about the language of the card at higher levels of play because everyone should know what they do. Plus, you can call a judge and get oracle text of any card.

      I do like Yugioh’s Archetypes, though. It’s just one of the things that makes Yugioh a different game from Magic, and fun in it’s own way. It allows for future growth by making cards like Elemental HERO Stratos that can search any HERO. In the future, new HERO cards were created. In the future, more new HERO cards could be created. Magic can only search for specific card types/stats or specific names.

      I’m not a game designer, but I think the archetype problem could be solved by having the archetype name by the type where it says [Warrior/Effect/Elemental HERO] There is still the issue of languages, but most players would recognize Elemental HERO Stratos by the art and stats. So not really an issue. Even in current Yugioh, Stratos EROE Elementale isn’t an Elemental HERO, it’s just Italian.

      1. My actual problem with the archetype condition text is that it is poorly worded.

        “This card is always treated as a(n) “[archetype]” card.”

        Should be

        “This card’s original name is always treated as an archetype.”

        Or

        “This card’s archetype condition is an archetype.” with the rules what this means outlined in the rulebook (i.e. if something gains the name of Summoned Skull, it is a archfiend).

        This is assuming you go by Yu-Gi-Oh! not really using keyword abilities in the same way M:tG does. … Which is a path I don’t particularly need to go down.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *