Card of the Day
Witch of the Black Forest Witch of the Black Forest
Dark, Level 4, [Spellcaster/Effect]
ATK: 1100, DEF: 1200
SDP-014, Common

"When this card is sent from the field to the Graveyard, move 1 monster with a DEF of 1500 or less from your Deck to your hand. The Deck is then shuffled."

Card Review
Witch of the Black Forest was one of the two primary cards for deck searching. The other, Sangan, will be tomorrow's CotD. Witch is probably the best of the two, since her limit on defense allows the retrieval of monsters with high attack. Among notable cards that Witch can seek out are all 5 Exodia pieces, Summoned Skull, Jinzo, almost every single 1900 ATK Level 4 beatstick monster, and several Level 4 monsters with higher ATK potential like Slate Warrior. Witch's effect is easy to trigger, since it only requires being sent from the field to the Graveyard. The card can be face up or face down, and it can be destroyed as a result of battle or removed via the effect of a monster, spell, or trap. There are even many ways to send your own Witch to the Graveyard, not the least of which is using it as a Tribute. I have used Witch in many of my decks. I would hesitate to call her or Sangan staples, because I find my decks still work fine without them; all they do is speed things up a bit and cut down on dependence on luck of the draw. I give Witch a strong 8.5/10 rating for allowing direct access to many of the most powerful cards in the game.

Why the Card is Banned
I would assume the card is banned for the exact same reason I gave it an 8.5/10 rating. It allows direct access to some of the most powerful cards, and as a result, finds its way into most decks. However, Witch alone is not winning any duels; you must have cards for it to pull, and those will remain in your deck whether or not Witch is there to pull them out for you. You are also not guaranteed to be able to play the card which you pulled with Witch under any circumstance. Your hand may be emptied before you can play it, you may not be able to meet its summoning requirements, or your opponent may prenegate or set up a combo against the card, since you must show it to your opponent when you pull it. The rise of remove-from-game effects also presents a threat to Witch's usefulness, since she must be sent to the Graveyard for her effect to activate. All of this, when taken together, does not spell "ban worthy" to me.

Best Replacements
There is no worthy replacement for this card. None of the elemental summoners can reach monsters based on their DEF, all of them require the monster to be summoned directly instead of being sent to your hand, and all of them require being destroyed in battle rather than simply being sent to the Graveyard, so none of them can replace this card in any way whatsoever. This is especially true for Exodia decks, where you cannot summon the Exodia pieces to the field.

My Opinion of the Ban
I absolutely abhor this ban. I believe it is 100% uncalled for and is simply a reactionary ban enacted because this card is on most deck lists. This is because it is a genuinely useful tool that helps overcome the complete dependence on luck that this game seems to want to shackle us to completely, not because this card is broken. I think the removal of this card does more damage than it does good, and I want to see it revoked immediately.

Probability of Unbanning
As much as I want to say this card is definitely coming back, it's probably not, because by whatever poor logic it was banned in the first place, it shall remain banned. Good luck running a traditional Exodia deck; you'll have to resort to even cheaper combos like Butterfly Dagger - Elma and Gearfried plus that card that lets you draw over and over. Harder to set up, much less reliable, and of course, requires buying new cards (how clever of Konami and Upper Deck). And of course, if the only logic behind the ban list ends up being the banning of whatever cards people actually use, then those cards will be banned soon as well. Then what?

This is the one serious danger of the ban list. When cards are good, people will use them. When people use the cards, the cards may get banned. So does this effectively mean that there cannot be truly good cards any more? This is one of my chief concerns with the bans, and something I see as a potentially very serious downside. This is why popularity must NOT become the only or even the main determining factor in whether or not a card is banned. If it does, then every time someone stumbles upon a good, strong deck, spending their hard earned cash to get the cards needed to make it happen, they'll find all their work is for nothing once the main theme cards of their deck are banned for being "overused". Let's hope that the list will not deteriorate into this kind of bane to the game, as it is not quite at that point yet.


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