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Two of Yu-Gi-Oh!’s most powerful cards have been unbanned after almost 20 years

Yata-Garasu and Change of Heart were put on the Forbidden list in 2004 and 2005.

A man holding Yu-Gi-Oh! cards while placing a card on the table
Image credit: wachiwit/

Two of the most notorious cards in Yu-Gi-Oh! history are once again legal to play in tournaments after almost two decades on the TCG’s Forbidden list.

Yata-Garasu and Change of Heart were among the most notable cards included on Yu-Gi-Oh!’s May 17th update to its Forbidden and Limited lists. The Forbidden and Limited lists determine which cards can be used in official Yu-Gi-Oh! matches; forbidden cards can’t be used at all, while limited cards are restricted to a single copy across a player’s main deck, extra deck and side deck. Semi-limited allows two copies maximum.

Yata-Garasu was originally banned as part of the TCG’s very first Forbidden list in March 2004, after gaining infamy for its ‘Yata-Lock’ strategy. The notorious deck was built around using Yata-Garasu’s ability to force the opponent to skip their draw phase after attacking, eventually leading to an endless cycle where an opponent could be forced to skip their turn every turn due to a lack of cards in their hand, allowing the Yata-Garasu player to whittle their life points to zero without opposition.

Change of Heart, meanwhile, was banned a year later in April 2005. The spell allows a player to take control of one of their opponent’s monsters for a turn, making it a truly formidable card to come up against. (Thanks, Polygon.) The card also gained some popularity through its appearance in the second season of the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime, where it’s used by main villain Yami Bakura against protagonist Yami Yugi.

Take a look at Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel, the latest digital outing for the TCGWatch on YouTube

Both Yata-Garasu and Change of Heart have been changed to Limited cards as of the May 17th Yu-Gi-Oh! banlist, joining other notorious cards that can now be used - albeit only in a single copy - in players’ decks. Other unbanned cards include monsters Jet Synchron and Performapal Monkeyboard, along with trap card Time Seal.

The updates to the Forbidden and Limited lists follow the success of Yu-Gi-Oh!’s latest digital app, Master Duel, which has been downloaded more than 30 million times since it launched back in January - leading a revival of sorts for the trading card game as it approaches its 25th anniversary.

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