I figure it’s about time I’ve addressed the changes to the actual game introduced with Master Rule 3:
Pendulum Monsters are another unnecessary change to the game, but this time, it couldn’t only exist in the Fusion Deck (later changed to the Extra Deck). Why does every new series need its own new Monster type as a gimmick to up the ante from the old one? Synchros are all but gone nowadays; it doesn’t add to the game, it just make one more useful than the other. The rules are still pretty confusing to me, so I’ll leave my thoughts on Pendulum Monsters at that. Better buy a new game mat if you want to Pendulum Summon.
Next is the removal of First Phase drawing for the first player. Honestly… it makes sense! A complaint I’ve heard about Yu-Gi-Oh! (mainly from non-players/new players) is that there’s really no advantage to going second; you’d be a fool not to go first. Arguments can be made about “revealing your strategy,” “setting the field,” “catching your opponent off guard” (my favorite one), or just attacking first, but it never quite seemed to even out. Now, this at least tries to bring balance to the first turn. Now, in a perfect world, it would have followed the actual card game; there is no draw phase the first turn, just play with the five cards you have in your hand.
And then, there’s the fact of two simultaneous Field Spells. What were they thinking? In the logical sense, a Monster is powered up by the field that it’s standing on. But how the hell do you figure a Monster is standing on two terrains at the same time? It boggles the mind, and the only argument for it is that it makes it easier. Field Spells are sparse enough as it is, the instance of one destroying the other is rare, but satisfying. But above all, it just makes sense.
Now we’re onto simplified Zone Names. I don’t think I’ve ever been more indifferent about such a minor change in my life.
Finally, I’m not going to go on about the Damage Calculation, because honestly speaking, that was one of the more confusing topics even back in the heyday. Good on them for trying to make it easier, we’ll just have to see how it works out in action.