This format notably saw the introduction of Card Trooper, Elemental HERO - Stratos, Destiny HERO - Malicious, Destiny HERO - Diamond Dude, Destiny HERO - Disc Commander, Destin HERO - Dasher, Destiny HERO - Fear Monger, Destiny Draw, and Raiza the Storm Monarch. Maxed-out copies of Trap Dustshoot finally broke through as a near staple. Confiscation was legal. Breaker the Magical Warrior was not. Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning and Chaos Sorcerer remained banned. Dimension Fusion was at 1. Return from the Different Dimension was severely weakened. Light and Darkness Dragon and Zombies were not to be released until the Fall 2007 list. Synchros did not exist for another year.
Tier 1 decks:
J-hero (pictured above)
Perfect Circle Monarch
Diamond Dude Turbo
Tier 2 decks:
Nationals Top 16 Lists:
Final SJC of Format Top 16 Lists:
Typical Game Summary:
8-12 turns, sometimes shorter, sometimes longer. As resources: card advantage, life points, and field presence are about equally crucial, but you certainly need to keep your life points high enough for anything else to matter.Carefully planned monster-based OTKs are a common win condition. 5000 lp puts you in vulnerable territory, 3000 lp is easy to do in one turn. Special summons happen from D-hero Malicious, D-hero Dasher, Cyber Dragon, Premature, Call of the Haunted, and infamously Card Trooper + Machine Duplication. Your opponent usually has a Brain Control or a Snatch Steal, too. This is how big damage plays usually go down.
Control of the game is based on setting yourself up for the big play, while also defending yourself against it. Typically, "game" requires a lot of cards to pull off (this is where card advantage matters) and getting through your opponent's unknown backrows and facedown monsters. Snipe hunter, Heavy Storm, MST, Dust Tornado, Raiza, Zaborg, Nobleman, and Ring of Destruction work wonders here.
You can most effectively protect yourself with Torrential Tribue, Mirror Force, Sakuretsu Armor, Scapegoat, and floater monsters to absorb potential damage. Trap dustshoot and Raiza can buy you time as well, and they were absolutely everywhere.
The most common opening moves are (1) Reinforcement -> Stratos -> Malicious/Disco -> DDraw; (2) one set monster like spy/dekoichi/tomato with a set s/t; (3) summon trooper + mill 3 with a set s/t; or (4) a sole set s/t. Saving your power cards like Premature, Call of the Haunted, Torrential, Mirror Force, and Ring of Destruction is great, but not always at the expense of losing life points.
The most common second move was flipping a Trap Dustshoot.
To me, this format represents a nice alternative to goat format. Games are much faster paced, yet the moves you make against your opponent are still critical. Interaction with your opponent and how you react to their moves is still relevant, unlike in today's current bastardization of yugioh. Special summons are important, but they don't happen every turn. By mid-format Return from the DD wasn't a popular win condition like in other past formats (with only Bazoo and no more Chaos Sorc, it was largely tossed aside). Card advantage still means a great deal, though not nearly as much as in goat format. Momentum swings are common, as are big plays. To me, looking back on this format, main decking that one copy of scapegoat is a must, as is keeping a life point buffer, because random shit like troop+dup does happen. This format keeps you on your toes, for sure.
A final notable quirk about this format was the release of Crush Card Virus as the SJC prize card. CCV was incredibly good in the mainstream decks played, especially T-hero & PC. However, it was very rare. I generally favor banning it, but I'd leave that to you guys. I personally don't like playing against it because there is little that can be done to play around it.