All posts in Frazier Smith

Mind games are one of the best parts of competitive Yu-Gi-Oh. If a player knows how to use them correctly, he/she will have an intrinsic edge over the competition. While there are many forms of mind games at our disposal, I feel that one of the most used and least understood is the ability to bait your opponent into doing what you want. Let’s go over a few steps and a real-life example to help illustrate. Understanding Your Win Condition First and foremost, in order to properly bait someone, you will need to understand your current win condition. In a Read more


In recent tournaments, Shaddolls have been gaining popularity thanks to the rise in Burning Abyss players. This has led to many innovations, most of which have stemmed from Jeff Jones, and most recently Paul Cooper. Since I’m an avid fan of Shaddolls over Burning Abyss and Qliphorts, I can tell you that nothing makes me happier than seeing this deck perform well again. In this article, I will be analyzing Cooper’s HAM Shaddolls, and explaining why it’s a strong pick against the current meta. Monsters: 23 3 Denko Sekka 3 Mathematician 3 Shaddoll Beast 2 Shaddoll Dragn 2 Shaddoll Hedgehog Read more


frazier smith

So Konami released the latest Forbidden/Limited List last week, and much to our surprise, the major decks were left virtually unscathed again. I think there are plenty of things they could have done to balance the game while also ensuring that they sell future products, but business is business. This is probably the most blatant way of saying, “We only care about the bottom line.” Super Polymerization banned This card getting banned is completely understandable. It is one of the few cards in the game that says you literally cannot respond to it, and its effect happens to be very Read more


frazier smith

There are plenty of things about the game that you should know before playing in a major event. When I was watching the live stream from ARGCS Atlanta, I noticed that not everyone realizes the importance of rulings knowledge, or how end of round procedures can affect your match. While being an amazing deck builder and an amazing player can carry you far, you will certainly want to have the full package to perform well on a consistent basis. I am going to go over a real-life example and provide some advice on how you should prepare beforehand. I will Read more


frazier smith

Today, I’ve decided that I wanted to talk about one of the more subtle fundamentals in Yu-Gi-Oh–how not to side. Side decking can be a very complicated thing, but it doesn’t have to be. I often see players lose entire games because they don’t know how to do it. Incorrect siding includes putting in cards that are less than stellar when going first or second, siding too many cards for a specific matchup, which effectively ruins the foundation of your own deck, and siding the wrong cards altogether. I’m going to delve into each of these problems, and provide some insight Read more


frazier smith

The most frequently asked question in Yu-Gi-Oh would have to be, “How do I become better at this game?” If you ask any good, well-known player, he will tell you that this question pops up in his social media inbox several times throughout the course of the year. Coincidentally, that happens to be the hardest question to answer, too. The best players didn’t get there using the same exact methods. Some players are better deck builders than they are at actually executing plays, and some are better at executing plays than they are at building decks. 99% of the Yu-Gi-Oh Read more


frazier smith

With two more ARG events in the books, we now have a defined meta. Burning Abyss and Qliphorts are leading the pack, taking most of the top spots, while Shaddolls struggle to keep a foot in the game. Even though it’s quite obvious, I will say that Burning Abyss is the best deck and I will be going over why that is, but I will also offer a counter argument, too. As you all know, Burning Abyss received five new cards in the last set, and all five of them are being put to use. Fire Lake is obviously the Read more


frazier smith

Hey duelists, I’m excited to announce that I will be returning to competitive play this weekend at ARGCS Raleigh. I haven’t played in an event since YCS Toronto at the beginning of September, so it’s been a little over 2 months for me. In that time, a new pack has been released and it adds quite a few tricks to the decks that are already on top. Shaddolls and Burning Abyss were both strengthened from New Challengers, which means you will have to know how to play against their upgraded strategies from here on out. I will start things off Read more


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The Geargia starter deck recently hit shelves, and it packs quite a punch with the new 4-star Machine monster, Geargiauger. The first thing I thought about when I saw the card was how I loved the olden days when we played Troop-Dupe-Scoop. If you’re unfamiliar with the phrase, it comes from a 2006 format where Card Trooper was allowed at 3 per deck, and Machine Duplication was considered overpowered. Since then, the game has changed a lot, so what was once considered overpowered is now only slightly unfair (see Raigeki). However, Geargias have always been a naturally solid and consistent Read more


frazier smith

The format has become pretty stabilized with Shaddolls and Burning Abyss leading the pack. When it gets to this point, I usually start trying out fun things to make the game interesting again. Recently, at ARGCS Columbus, Josh Everly piloted a Madolche Artifact deck to the Top8. In the weeks leading up to that event, I kept pestering Sean McCabe to playtest a Madolche deck with me because I felt it had a decent enough matchup against the top two decks. Though we never quite got around to it, I was certain that there was something there to be discovered, Read more