May 2022 ban list for Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG He arrived, with a handful of new Banned and Limited cards, although the most notable change comes from what was changed from Banned to Limited. The Change of Heart card, which has been banned for 17 years, is finally back. This special card is from the early days of Yu-Gi-Oh! And the anime, it’s been a strong staple in the game for a long time and has been one of the banned cards for the longest. Now that it has found its way into the players’ hands, what effect will it have?
The change of heart has a simple effect: “Target 1, control your opponent’s monster; control it until the end stage.” Unlike other cards with similar effects, such as Mind Control and Brain Control, this card has no restrictions, making it the most powerful card to control the opponent’s monster. It was initially set to ban status back in April 2005 and remained there until the last ban list, much to the surprise of many fans of the game.
An important step in addressing the return of the change of heart is to explore why the TCG blocked the card in the first place. The card allowed players a +1 advantage in the card easily because it not only gave them a resource in the form of their opponent’s monster, but also robbed that resource from the opponent. Moreover, in the early days of Yu-Gi-Oh!, each monster had more weight because the combos were much simpler and the game wasn’t won in a few innings as it is today. Until now, one could use this card to control an opponent’s monster, possibly using any effects of the monster to their own advantage, before using it for their own link, synchronization, or xyz plays. This tactic is a form of takedown that does not destroy the target, and is one of the most common forms of protection a card can have.
In regards to whether the card will see competitive play, in today’s format, this card is just a second card as it is clearly not usable during the first duel turn. One should compare the card to other common second goer cards, such as equal match or lightning storm. Both these cards have amazing effects when the player using them has no cards in their field. Lightning Storm allows the player to destroy all his opponent’s monsters or spell/trap cards, while “Evenly matching” of the hand is activated when someone has no cards on the field to force the opponent to turn all their cards face down. Compared to staples like these, the change of heart is surprisingly modest.
There are some other important points about changing the heart. First, it targets the card, which means it cannot be used on target immunity cards. Another important point is the prevalence of negatives in the metagame. With competitors ending up with cards like Borreload Savage Dragon, Herald of Perfection, and other negation cards, a card can easily be locked away, even without spells or trap cards like Solemn Judgment.
What should also be kept in mind is that the only difference between Mind Control and Change of Heart is that Mind Control does not allow the user to honor the monster or declare an attack with it. However, this is not a huge problem, in that none of these things are something one would generally do when controlling an opponent’s monster. Mind Control currently sees little or no competitive gameplay. All of this together means that while Change of Heart will always be a good card, it’s less likely to be an ID or even a basic card in people’s side decks.
While you’re not likely to see much play, the fact that the card found its way off the block list along with other cards from the early days, such as Yata-Garasu and Time Seal, could be an indication of what’s to come. These cards set to “Limited” may mean other cards that are banned from the first days of Yu-Gi-Oh! They can find their way. Many of them have slipped into power to become far from dominant.