March 2020 State of the Game – Standard Legality and Ban List Update

Good day, UFS and UniVersus fans!

What a wonderful start to this year! Thank you to everyone who joined us in Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago for the final UFS World Championship event. We had a record-breaking attendance of 43 teams and 150 players for Singles! 

As we close one book, so opens another. UniVersus as a format will begin its first competitive season later this month. The standard format will stay intact and progress normally. That being said, we have some updates and information to share with you.


Standard Legality



The cards in the DLC packs will be Standard format legal on the day of the commercial release of that pack.

    2020 Worlds Promo Cards

The 2020 UFS World Championship promo cards ‘Soul Calibur’ and ‘A Moment of Rest’ are Standard format legal currently. They will be available for Pack Redemption in the upcoming months. When we’re ready to offer these cards, we’ll let everyone know with an announcement.

    Combat Ash

The Combat Ash promo included in the Evil Dead 2: The Board Game kickstarter pledges will become available following a complete fulfillment of the kickstarter project. We expect this to be finished by the end of April. This means that tentatively, we will be offering Combat Ash for redemption sometime in early May. With this timeline in mind, Combat Ash will be legal in the Standard format on June 1, 2020.



Full Art Select Format Characters

Players have been asking for this for some time now. In the past, Full Art Select format character cards were not allowed for tournament play for multiple reasons. To begin, the concept behind these cards is that they are for stores to keep in order to host sealed or draft events. The second reason is that the the normal character fronts can be seen through many card sleeves if used in decks. However, because we have begun to enforce the use of fully opaque sleeves with the incorporation of 2 different card backs into tournament play, we see no reason to continue to limit the use of Full Art Select Format Characters in tournament play. As of Friday, March 6, 2020, players will be able to play using the full art Characters.


Ban List Update


Effective immediately, the following cards are banned in the Standard Format:

  • Shield Big Bang
  • *Gill*
  • **Jedah**
  • **Quan Chi**
  • *Shinnok*

    Shield Big Bang

Shield Big Bang was designed with the intent of possible being able to be played 2-3 times in a turn through use of the Form ability. It is clear, after the overwhelming success of Shield Big Bang decks at the recent World Championships, that Shield Big Bang has the potential to be played a staggeringly high number of times, and in a deck that is easily able to have the tools to protect it at hand. While there are answers to the card, it is clear that they are not numerous enough or widely accessible. The inability to mount even a passing attempt at defense against the Attack turn has proven to be far beyond our expectations. With Shield Big Bang being as effiicient as it is, we see not other reasonable solution than to simply ban the card.


Gill has had staggeringly great success in the recent past. His speed Enhance alone would be very good, but gaining Vitality in addition on a large number of attacks means that he plays a very unfair game. When creating attacks for new sets, Gill impacts the decision of many attacks as too few keywords can make the Attack just more fuel for the Gill machine.


Being able to build out a Staging Area in order to defend against your opponent is a core aspect of this game. The massive amount of pressure that Jedah puts on his opponent in antithesis of this aspect is overwhelming considering the tools that he currently has available. When considering action on Jedah, it was wondered if removing some of his tools might instead be the correct answer to the problem. However, though multiple discussions we’ve decided that it is less impactful to what is mostly a healthy format to just remove **Jedah** from legal play.

    **Quan Chi**

Quan Chi’s second iteration was an attempt to fix what was thought to be the most egregious issue he presented. The previous version of Quan Chi had unlimited use of his Response ability and could use his enhance for any number of Attacks during a turn. It was thought that limiting the Enhance to twice per turn and the Response to once per Enhance step was enough. 

Unfortunately, Quan Chi’s ability makes far too efficient use of strong [Once per turn] abilities. We want to continue to design and print 5 Hand-Size Characters as a style of play in this game. However, the existence of **Quan Chi** directly inhibits our available design space, as we must keep him in mind. Clearly, this is not always able to be held in the forefront of design, and would result in much less powerful (and thus less desirable) 5 Hand-Size Characters. We here at Jasco Games all agree that it is better to be able to have more options during design than to keep a single problem Character around.


Shinnok has not had any problem performing well at events. While he has not won 1st place at any event, this Character is an issue due to the lack of interaction he allows. Not only are any abilities he plays not able to be cancelled, but he punishes opponents for attempting to put together a proactive gameplan. In the end, we believe that the current state of the game is better off without Shinnok in it.

New Term!


The term “build” is being added to the LGR.  You have probably seen it appear recently on a few cards in the past few product releases. Lo, and behold, here is the new entry for the term.

K.4.6 To “build” a card is to add that card to your staging area.


Both the Living Game Rules and Standard Legality and Errata documents have been updated to reflect these changes.

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