March 2013 Format Rules

MechaPhantomBeastDracossack-LTGY-EN-ScR-1EAre you tired of the current format? Seeing the same decks topping events? Really want to test your skill? Sure, Goat Control mirrors can be skillful, but what about when they open Duo, Graceful, Serpent, Greed and Magician of Faith? That hand is pretty nutty. Might not happen often, but it can. Play the NAWCQ 2013 format. It is one of the most skillful formats in the game’s history. Spellbooks and Dragon Rulers might be the best decks, but there are other options, too.

I’m not going to go into detail about the decks or plays here. That’s for another time. But this format was very diverse outside of Spellbooks and Dragons. Now that we have (almost) all of the information about the format, I firmly believe that Dragon Rulers is the best deck, but it’s not infallible. Below I’ve listed the F&L List, legal sets and important rulings. Leave a comment if I missed something and I’ll add it. This is to serve as a sort of compilation of rules and a primer for the format. Deck guides will eventually go up. 


Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier
Chaos Emperor Dragon – Envoy of the End
Cyber Jar
Dark Magician of Chaos
Dark Strike Fighter
Destiny HERO – Disk Commander
Fiber Jar
Fishborg Blaster
Glow-Up Bulb
Goyo Guardian
Magical Scientist
Magician of Faith
Makyura the Destructor
Mind Master
Rescue Cat
Sinister Serpent
Thousand-Eyes Restrict
Tribe-Infecting Virus
Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier
Victory Dragon
Wind-Up Carrier Zenmaity
Witch of the Black Forest
Brain Control
Butterfly Dagger – Elma
Card of Safe Return
Change of Heart
Cold Wave
Delinquent Duo
Dimension Fusion
Future Fusion
Giant Trunade
Graceful Charity
Harpie’s Feather Duster
Last Will
Mass Driver
Mirage of Nightmare
Painful Choice
Pot of Greed
Premature Burial
Snatch Steal
Temple of the Kings
The Forceful Sentry
Crush Card Virus
Exchange of the Spirit
Imperial Order
Last Turn
Ring of Destruction
Royal Oppression
Time Seal
Trap Dustshoot


Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning
Blackwing – Gale the Whirlwind
Chaos Sorcerer
Dark Armed Dragon
Elemental HERO Stratos
Evigishki Gustkraken
Exodia the Forbidden One
Formula Synchron
Gladiator Beast Bestiari
Gorz the Emissary of Darkness
Inzektor Dragonfly
Inzektor Hornet
Left Arm of the Forbidden One
Left Leg of the Forbidden One
Legendary Six Samurai – Shi En
Lonefire Blossom
Morphing Jar
Neo-Spacian Grand Mole
Night Assailant
Plaguespreader Zombie
Right Arm of the Forbidden One
Right Leg of the Forbidden One
Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon
T.G. Hyper Librarian
T.G. Striker
Wind-Up Magician
Allure of Darkness
Black Whirlwind
Book of Moon
Burial from a Different Dimension
Card Destruction
Charge of the Light Brigade
Dark Hole
Foolish Burial
Gateway of the Six
Heavy Storm
Infernity Launcher
Limiter Removal
Mind Control
Monster Gate
Monster Reborn
One Day of Peace
One for One
Pot of Avarice
Primal Seed
Reinforcement of the Army
Magical Explosion
Return from the Different Dimension
Solemn Judgment
Solemn Warning
The Transmigration Prophecy
Ultimate Offering
Wall of Revealing Light


Archlord Kristya
Card Trooper
Debris Dragon
Destiny HERO – Malicious
Dewloren, Tiger King of the Ice Barrier
Reborn Tengu
Rescue Rabbit
Summoner Monk
The Agent of Mystery – Earth
Thunder King Rai-Oh
Tour Guide From the Underworld
A Hero Lives
Advanced Ritual Art
Chain Strike
E – Emergency Call
Hieratic Seal of Convocation
Magical Stone Excavation
Pot of Duality
Royal Tribute
Bottomless Trap Hole
Mirror Force
Ojama Trio
Torrential Tribute

Any card not on the above list is unlimited unless its release date was on or after July 12, 2013. This mainly means NUMH and JOTL.

Legal sets/cards:

-Starter decks up to and including Super Starter V for Victory
-Structure decks up to and including Onslaught of the Fire Kings
-Boosters up to and including Battle Pack Round 2
-Duelist packs up to and including Crow
-All Duel Terminal cards
-Gold Series 1-4 and Haunted Mine
-Legendary Collection Yugi’s World
-JUMP promos up to and including JUMP-EN065 Zubaba General

Please note that Number Hunters and Judgment of the Light are not legal. The main reason they’re not legal for this retro format is that they weren’t legal for the NAWCQ. While they do complete Fire Fist and give every Rank 4 deck access to Eradicator, Dragons and Spellbooks gain Master of Blades, Star Eater and World of Prophecy. People don’t want April 2005 format tainted by Cyber Dragon. While I wouldn’t mind seeing Fire Fist, the set simply wasn’t legal for that nats, which is the competitive environment being recreated. Additionally, a more defined meta leads to more skillful formats. Goat and TeleDaD mirrors are fun because they’re skillful. With both Books and Dragons, as well as a host of other decks, this format is super fun. Meta changes can still very much happen, even years after the format ended.

Important Rulings:

Trigger effects must remain where they need to activate, until they activate, in order to activate, even if the trigger is met. This is controversial, and you’ll find me coming down on the other side every other time. But this is the way it was ruled at the 2013 NAWCQ. Even if it’s mandatory. This primarily matters with the Atlanteans and D.D. Crow.

Unless a card is continuously negating all monster effects before Evilswarm Castor/Constellar Pollux are Normal Summoned, their effects set a condition for that turn and you can use the extra Normal Summon. This means that if you activate Effect Veiler targeting a Castor/Pollux, you’ve wasted your Effect Veiler. This Normal Summon also ‘stacks’ with Evilswarm Kerykeion/Constellar Sombre. That means you can use both the effect of Castor and Kerykeion in the same turn. (See my good friend RedShift’s article)

You draw a card during every Draw Phase and don’t skip any Draw Phases (unless a card effect says so). This was 2013, which was before the rule change in July of 2014.

There can only be one Field Spell face-up at a time. If another Field Spell is activated, on either side of the field, the first is destroyed by game mechanics. You can still set Field Spells. They don’t interact with face-up Field Spells.

Spellbook of Fate has a cost of banishing 1 or 2 or 3 Spellbook Spell Cards from your Graveyard. None of the effects target.

Super Rejuvenation can be resolved at any time during the End Phase and counts every Dragon you discarded and tributed that turn – both before and after activating the Rejuv, but only before the resolution. You don’t get to draw more cards if you discard Dragons after you resolve the Rejuv. It does not start a chain during the End Phase.

Spellbook of Judgment only counts Spell Cards activated after it resolves. That means nothing on the same chain counts towards your searches in the End Phase. It does not start a chain during the End Phase.

Jowgen’s effect to destroy all Special Summoned monsters cannot be activated if Dimensional Fissure, or the like, are face-up. The card has to go to the Graveyard, and since it’s ‘random’, even if all the cards in your hand are Spells, the game doesn’t know that because it’s not public knowledge.

A Stardust Dragon that was Special Summoned using Starlight Road cannot be Special Summoned from the Graveyard/Banished Zone.

Evilswarm Bahumut’s cost is detaching one Xyz Material. Discarding the lswarm is part of the effect.

Crimson Blader must remain face-up on the field to activate and resolve. Its effect also doesn’t affect the rest of the current turn, nor any of your own turns. Crashing your Colossal Fighter into an opposing Crimson Blader is safe.

Number 11: Big Eye cannot attack if the effect is negated. Big Eye can attack if the activation is negated. Provided that the Big Eye stays on the field. Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror is one example.

Redox’s Special Summon from Graveyard effect cannot be activated unless there is already a legal target in the Graveyard. This effect also targets after discarding, which means Redox can target itself or the other EARTH you discard.

Swift Scarecrow has to negate the attack to end the Battle Phase. This means if the monster that was attacking is no longer attacking (Book of Moon) the Battle Phase will continue.

Tsukuyomi’s effect targets.

Droll & Lock Bird prevents drawing cards as well as searching.

Read everything here before asking questions about Psi-Blocker.

Ignition Priority doesn’t exist, but Turn Player Priority sure does.

Be okay with people using whatever language card from whatever set. You too can use Japanese Ultimate Rare Dracossacks or Secret Rare Dragon Rulers from the tins. Neither were legal for the NAWCQ, but all of the cards have official text here and you’re not playing in sanctioned tournaments.

Bonus points for using cards that were all printed before the NAWCQ (July 14-15 2013)
Extra bonus points for using cards all from their original sets.
More extra bonus points if everything is 1st Edition or from a tournament pack.

Have fun. Seriously. We’re recreating a competitive environment from the past to have fun. Don’t take it so seriously. Don’t try to shark people. Play your best, but this isn’t a format supported by KDE anymore.

Viable Decks

In no particular order here are the decks that were playable during this format. Spellbooks and Dragon Rulers were the best, but the other decks are still playable. Shock Master, Lavalval Chain, Solemn Judgment, Super Polymerization and Monster Reborn were all legal. All help the rogue decks and not so much the big two. I will have written a guide on each of these and link them eventually. Likely no more than once a week. Don’t forget that if your deck isn’t mostly LIGHT/DARK monsters, you can probably run the Dragon Rulers. The extra muscle helps close games and Redox and Blaster have especially useful discard effects.

Pure Dragon Rulers
LaDD Dragon Rulers
High Priestess Prophecy
Reaper of Prophecy Turbo
Bad Religion
Blaster Fire Fist
Tidal Mermail
Tempest Dragunity
Redox Gadgets
Machina Geargia
Geargia Karakuri
Pure Geargia
Electrum OTK
Light Hero Beat
Bubble Beat
Dark World Turbo
Six Samurai
Fire King
Thunder Family
Dragon Draw Exodia
Mecha Phantom Beast
Frog Monarchs
Gishki FTK
Battlin’ Boxers

If you’re really lost on where to go, check out these archives. Just search between May 17, 2013 (release of LTGY) and August 31, 2013 (end of the format) If you’re looking for a specific deck, search for a card that is only found in that deck, but it has to be the full name. Mermail Abyssmegalo and not Mermail Megalo. There are plenty of articles out there on pretty much every other site that was around during the format.

I really hope you have fun with this format. Playing it again is a blast. Leave a comment if you have ruling questions or deck suggestions (that aren’t listed above) and I’ll add them. Click an ad and if you don’t have the cards, most of them are pretty cheap because they’re mostly irrelevant now. (Shock Master, Dragon Rulers, Spellbook of Judgment)

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