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(If this is in the wrong section, please feel free to move it!)

Goat Format is a community-supported format for Yu-Gi-Oh! that uses the card pool, card text, rulings, and banlist from April 2005 in the TCG (though OCG Goat Format exists as well). The decks are not as lightning-fast as the current game, harkening back to the days when set 1 monster and 1 s/t was an acceptable turn, and despite the age of the format and how much smaller the card pool is, the meta regularly shifts and new decks/strategies are still being developed to this day.

More and more game stores and online dueling simulators have begun supporting the format for players who love oldschool Yu-Gi-Oh! and are either fatigued by or outright dislike the modern game. There is also a large community on YouTube and Twitch for the format, as well!

I personally have no interest in the current hand-dropping "break my board" state of the game (having officially quit shortly after Pendulums were announced), but still love the game for what it was, holding a lot of fondness for the cards I used to play as a kid. For that reason, I've really been enjoying Goat Format myself, and is the reason that I've been able to get back into Yu-Gi-Oh! at all.

Some helpful links for Goat Format:

A Video Introduction to the Format

What Is Goat Format?

https://www.goatformat.com/

https://www.formatlibrary.com/goat-intro.html

https://www.duelingbook.com/goat-format

The Banlist

The Card Pool

One of the Most Recent Online Tourneys

Largest Online Goat Tournament to Date (Part 1)

Edited by Zeppeli Gyro Supreme
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The format is honestly fun for me to watch though there are a few things that prevent me from getting into it as much as I would like.

Was never a fan of "priority" rulings. I get that it weakens the power of chainables like Book of Moon, Compulsory, Bottomless, etc. when faced with BLS and other stuff, and that the idea is that turn player in theory gets the proactive role so even chainables from the opponent according to that rule, need to be reactive to an opponent's action, and that it is apparently accepted in the biggest Goat supporting events IRL for fans, but it is less intuitive as it kind of makes ignition effects look as if they had a higher spell speed than they really do, and chainables would still be reacting to a pure Summon so said rule does not set well with me even after hearing out the reasoning I hear for it. I'm glad the OCG never had it. Means I'm not just delusional with thinking the way it works (or rather "worked") is weird....

Have tested it in the past and even if it doesn't have the same amount of speed as the current IRL game and in the right conditions can very much feel like a chess match with how much players calculate what the other player has already used up in the resources that were all the limited staples decks commonly ran during those days... overally it still does have an element of slippery slope. You falling back in tempo makes it frankly unlikely you'll get to turn things around because of how measured all top level moves are, and I am kind of a fan of a certain amount of backup holding a player (not too much that comebacks are inevtable either but there's a balance and to me Goat Control tryouts haven't been able to strike it).

. . . . Still it is a very interesting phenomenon that it was able to gain such a cult following that still keeps growing and innovating in deck variety, as it is still more than what some modern day players would think of it. I've heard comments like "30 cards in every deck are the same repeated staples like Pot of Greed" and "a bunch of simple cards, it is caveman yugioh like Duelist Kingdom days right?" I give it more credit than that tbh. I'm not in love with the idea of the format but see the way it has grown as a positive thing.

Last time I saw something related to this format I was hearing there's a change into no longer having Exarion Universe as a legal part of the format.

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I do agree that the priority ruling for the time can be problematic, and it does seem unintuitive when we get down to things. Though, interestingly, as of right now, the ignition effect priority ruling has still been part of the game for longer than it hasn't been (having been overturned into April 2012 in TCG).

Staple cards are one thing that people do complain about as well, but even in modern Yu-Gi-Oh! there are staple cards in pretty much every deck, it's just that those staple cards are ran at 3. The existence of staple cards themselves add a dimension to the game where you know what kind of things your opponent could do to counter you, and you can choose to make moves that might seem suboptimal otherwise in an attempt to play around those cards. Cards such as Snatch Steal, Mirror Force, and Torrential Tribute. Which, some decks choose not to run in at all despite their power and "staple" status. The only true staple cards are Pot of Greed and Graceful Charity, for obvious reasons.

It is by no means a perfect format. I don't think there could be such a thing in Yu-Gi-Oh!, but it's still a lot of fun to play to me. I also only play games casually, so that is a factor for me as well. In Goat Format, everyone is on equal footing at the start of a game and the first couple of turns, unless the opponent just got super lucky with a combo deck like Reasoning Gate and blows you out.

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17 hours ago, Sleepy said:

Last time I saw something related to this format I was hearing there's a change into no longer having Exarion Universe as a legal part of the format.

Yeah, that's because the community decided to play the format with the cardpool available at US Nationals/SJC Seattle/Indiana and there never was a time period where Exarion Universe was legal and CRV (which the community had barred because it wasn't out at the time of the aforementioned events) was not, considering that card came out AFTER CRV.

Edited by ~British Soul~
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Didn't Dark Magician Girl's second art, Exaeion Universe, Obnoxious Celtic Gard, and Blade Knight all come from the same set of tins? (At work at the moment so I can't go verify myself). I see Blade Knight in the format iirc. Though I agree the format seems to play better without Exarion so not really a complaint. 

 

On a different note, is there a "best deck"? The format is named after Goat Control but I do remember Warriors, Beasts, Gravekeepers (as a Deck), Legendary Ocean, and DARK/ Chaos Decks being pretty prominent.

 

Even something people don't really bring up (it DOES sound more casual after all) is Dragons, with Luster Dragon being at the top of ATK Stats in vanillas and its Level 6 counterpart being pretty big itself, and King Dragoon's extention + protection and them having their own Heavy Storm and 1 4 1 S/T removal at 3.... and Spear Dragon for punishing goats. They even had a continuous Trap that made them all Pierce and one that protected from targeting Traps. XD

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4 hours ago, Sleepy said:

Didn't Dark Magician Girl's second art, Exaeion Universe, Obnoxious Celtic Gard, and Blade Knight all come from the same set of tins? (At work at the moment so I can't go verify myself). I see Blade Knight in the format iirc. Though I agree the format seems to play better without Exarion so not really a complaint. 

 

On a different note, is there a "best deck"? The format is named after Goat Control but I do remember Warriors, Beasts, Gravekeepers (as a Deck), Legendary Ocean, and DARK/ Chaos Decks being pretty prominent.

 

Even something people don't really bring up (it DOES sound more casual after all) is Dragons, with Luster Dragon being at the top of ATK Stats in vanillas and its Level 6 counterpart being pretty big itself, and King Dragoon's extention + protection and them having their own Heavy Storm and 1 4 1 S/T removal at 3.... and Spear Dragon for punishing goats. They even had a continuous Trap that made them all Pierce and one that protected from targeting Traps. XD

Blade Knight was in Tin Series 1 in 2004, while Exarion Universe was in Tin Series 2 alongside Rocket Warrior and Panther Warrior etc. Which those two are sadly not included in the card pool, either. Most People in the goat community agree that even if you argue that maybe Exarion is legal, when there is no card legality precedent, it is a format shifting card due to its high stats on both ATK and DEF and the ability to pierce through things like goat tokens. There are already cards people run to remove tokens, and Exarion would mostly outclass them all.

 

As far as a best deck goes, as I mentioned, the meta shifts a lot and people come up with new innovations for decks. However, Goat Control was considered to be the deck to beat, though nowadays it sees very little play in tournaments. Most people seem to favor Chaos Turbo/Thunder Dragon Chaos, getting darks and lights in grave quickly and spamming chaos monsters.

 

Some other decks that see meta share, and this is based only on what I've seen results for, are:

Chaos Control (goat control with chaos sorcerers)

Reasoning Gate

Chaos Warriors

Anti-Meta Warriors

Panda Burn (using Gyaku Gire panda)

Gravekeepers (usually sided into from a different deck)

Zombies

King Tiger Wangu/Zoo

Steins Gate (Reasoning Gate with Cyber-Stein)

Library FTK

Empty Jar FTK

Soul Control Monarchs

Edited by Zeppeli Gyro Supreme
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4 hours ago, Sleepy said:

Didn't Dark Magician Girl's second art, Exaeion Universe, Obnoxious Celtic Gard, and Blade Knight all come from the same set of tins? (At work at the moment so I can't go verify myself). I see Blade Knight in the format iirc. Though I agree the format seems to play better without Exarion so not really a complaint. 

Funnily enough in the OCG they had access to Exarion Universe in the format given the card came out there in 2001 with a reprint in 2003, and I believe that's the reason why people initially included it in the cardpool (still barring CRV). I know that was the case in 2016 when I built my first Goat deck before removing it later on.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Same, it'd actually would be a shame to let this thread die out. Even if the format has some deal breakers for me, it is still an interesting subject. 

Guess it is good we never got the LE6 set over here then. Iirc thats where the Gadgets premiered as ultras (can't verify at the moment but there's a chance that was for king/queen/jack's knights and that gadgets came in LE7). If gadgets were tier 0 we pretty much dodged a bullet.

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The thing about gadgets is, they consistently generate a +1 every turn, which in a slower format, that is extremely huge. I am sure people know about the infamous Fifth Gadget deck that came later to the TCG which was 3 of every gadget, some other monsters, and then like 30 removal spells and traps. All the Gadget player had to do was summon a Gadget and use a removal card each turn to eventually win the game.

EDIT: Oh yeah, and there are a lot of other legacy formats that people have been getting into lately, and alternate formats online. I don't care for them, but people apparently like to play TeleDAD format, what they call "Edison Format" which was when Blackwings were on top, Yugi-Kaiba format where you play only using the original starter deck cards, and Critters format where you play using only cards released up to Metal Raiders.

Edited by Zeppeli Gyro Supreme
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1 hour ago, Mr. Best Male 2008 said:

Edison format is the best popular old format change my mind

Actually, I agree. Synchro era to me is golden age IMO. Though I'd personally rather play the period of Extreme Victory. That list put DAD/Darks, Frogs, BW, LS, T.G., Six Sams, Zombies, Plant Synchro, Synchro Fish, XSavers/Rescue Cat turbo.... etc. Eveything in check without fully killing the decks. Casually speaking, you could still see DM and GX era decks feeling like they had a chance with some Ojamas, Crystal Beasts, HERO, Legendary Ocean, Gravekeepers, Gladiators, etc. 

Maybe I'd even vote towards including the first ZeXal deck for Utopia and remembering Gachi Gachi in Agents.

Idk.... nobody ever mentions those days of the game so it might just be me.

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I came back into the game when Duelist Alliance first dropped and I fell in love with that Shaddoll/BA/Tellarknight format.  It's too bad it was relatively short lived (Qlis were introduced the following set and Nekroz came soon after), but those were a good few months.  I wish that format had time to develop a little more.

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Most of the early XYZ were fine, though the closer to the end of the XYZ era it became, the more insane the design for XYZ became. Of course, the same happened for every mechanic added to the game, and that's how we got to where we are now.

 

Here are some lists from a recent tournament

https://www.goatformat.com/home/goat-format-championship-8-top-8-decklist

Edited by Zeppeli Gyro Supreme
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On 1/21/2021 at 9:49 PM, Zeppeli Gyro Supreme said:

Most of the early XYZ were fine, though the closer to the end of the XYZ era it became, the more insane the design for XYZ became. Of course, the same happened for every mechanic added to the game, and that's how we got to where we are now.

 

Here are some lists from a recent tournament

https://www.goatformat.com/home/goat-format-championship-8-top-8-decklist

To be honest, I think most of the Xyz design of the era was fine and even generally a little more tame than Synchros before them, but the bigger issue was the engines that supported them. It was often the Main Deck engines that swarmed and enabled all that junk. The Wind Up Loops, the Inzektor's extending more the more they popped, Satellarknights dropping like 4 Level 4s every turn, etc. Though yes it can't be denied there was a very strong bump of powercreep at that point in the game, and it really did become tradition that every new generation/series/mechanic would begin with a month or so of "this isn't so bad" followed by an immediate kick past the curve. 

I now recall hearing about Chaos with Thunder Dragons, but a few years prior to hearing that I think I heard somebody talk about the beast beatdown beating goat control. Some time before that in a different year I recall hearing that Warrior Toolbox was actually the deck that was better than goats.
Now I think the Chaos bit is pretty solid on its placement, but it's interesting to hear all those opinions/changes. Maybe I just heard it from dumb opinions and they were just never king for the rock but I'd say those themes had at least some sort of relevancy. I for one hated Warrior Toolbox, and am surprised to see how little Phoenix seems to be in these things.
I recall a lot of people using Horus LV8, but the lack of its presence in these things makes me now think it was just playground Yugioh that used it.

 

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15 hours ago, Sleepy said:

To be honest, I think most of the Xyz design of the era was fine and even generally a little more tame than Synchros before them, but the bigger issue was the engines that supported them. It was often the Main Deck engines that swarmed and enabled all that junk. The Wind Up Loops, the Inzektor's extending more the more they popped, Satellarknights dropping like 4 Level 4s every turn, etc. Though yes it can't be denied there was a very strong bump of powercreep at that point in the game, and it really did become tradition that every new generation/series/mechanic would begin with a month or so of "this isn't so bad" followed by an immediate kick past the curve. 

I now recall hearing about Chaos with Thunder Dragons, but a few years prior to hearing that I think I heard somebody talk about the beast beatdown beating goat control. Some time before that in a different year I recall hearing that Warrior Toolbox was actually the deck that was better than goats.
Now I think the Chaos bit is pretty solid on its placement, but it's interesting to hear all those opinions/changes. Maybe I just heard it from dumb opinions and they were just never king for the rock but I'd say those themes had at least some sort of relevancy. I for one hated Warrior Toolbox, and am surprised to see how little Phoenix seems to be in these things.
I recall a lot of people using Horus LV8, but the lack of its presence in these things makes me now think it was just playground Yugioh that used it.

 

True, a synchro is only as good as the cards you can use to summon it, and there were a lot of cards that allowed you to abuse synchro spam. What became a problem was when every boss had to board wipe, be untargetable, and/or be impossible to destroy.

For Goat Format, as I mentioned before, the decks that are on top are constantly evolving. Forever, everyone thought that Goat Control was the top deck, then people started using Chaos Turbo and Anti-Meta warriors more, then it moved on to Thunder Dragon Chaos, and now what is referred to as Flip Turbo Chaos which runs a lot of flip monsters alongside T-Drag, Night Assailant, and Card Destruction for value. Lots of different kinds of decks win each tournament, though about half of the representation is Chaos of some variant lately.

Here are more deck lists from a recent 44-man tourney: https://www.instagram.com/p/CKb16guFzn3/?igshid=1nqspk7shwclb

Oh, and handily, here is a list of past 1st place winners: https://www.goatformat.com/home/goat-format-championship-1st-place-deck-lists

Edited by Zeppeli Gyro Supreme
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Was Night Assailant semi'd during Goat Format? because that first list to me looks like something where I'd run Assailant over Serpent any day, addressing the same issue of being a Delinquent Duo counter but with instant gratification that could not only loop into itself but onto a different FLIP.
EDIT: Or do like the second list and run both xD
Actually the second decklist overall looks more effective to me... maybe bar the distinction of main vs side for the Solemns.

Nice to see Mask of Darkness in a deck list though, decks usually gave it more of a cold shoulder and I've tested enough decks over the years to figure out why in practice it happens that way much of the time xD
Interesting how most players didn't really deem Solemn the greatest back in the day because it was a slow "chips away at LP" format so a single negation in exchange for what your opponent should take like 2 to 6 turns worth of pushes to take from your LP didn't seem all that great.  
Of course nowadays players have better understanding of the rules (PSCT helped) and more access to these cards that back in the day an optimal build took like 20 thirty-dollar staples to build. Those play a factor on why it is probably played more now than back in its own time xD

 

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Yeah, Night Assailant was at 2. Serp was an always-out to Duo and a free discard with Charity though, whereas Night Assailant required other flips in hand or grave to be effective.

Solemn is seen as useful in Goat Format only in decks that can reliably end games in a couple more turns, that rely completely on their backrow, or in lists that run Mask of Darkness to recur it. Otherwise you're spending half your LPs to get rid of a single card in a format where a T-set is considered viable, and the opponent is probably going to follow up with a Chaos monster or Snatch Steal your own monster and kill you for it.

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