All posts in Patrick Hoban

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I was recently debating the comparative skill of “old school” Yu-Gi-Oh and “new school” Yu-Gi-Oh with a friend of mine at locals. The topic came about from a broader discussion on the best formats in the history of the game. Because we had both experienced the two different kinds of Yu-Gi-Oh first hand, we had plenty of insight on the subject. The product of this debate was an excellent discussion that delved into multiple layers of the game’s culture. This discussion is going to be the basis for the first three articles in a new mini-series that will explore and Read more


patrickhoban

My friend and former ARG writer, Johnny Li, once told me about a common practice in Magic where instead of rolling a dice, players had two sets of Rock-Paper-Scissors cards. Each player would shuffle the cards face down and randomly pull a card. The card drawn would then be paired against the card the opponent had pulled and they would play Rock-Paper-Scissors with them as a means of determining who would go first. There was apparently quite a bit of statistical proof that this was a “more random” way to determine who would go first. After thinking about it for Read more


Hey everybody! I want to bring you a conceptual article this week in order to give you some perspective on the mentality I have when I approach play testing and deckbuilding. From what I have seen very few, even among top players, use this approach, yet I would say this approach leads to a considerable number of round wins when we actually get to the tournament. The basic concept is simple: don’t try to win every game, but instead try to prepare for what will win you the most games out of 1000. What’s the Difference? On the surface, it Read more


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Hello duelists! Next weekend starts a series of three back-to-back-to-back weekends of premier tournaments all across the country beginning with YCS Charleston, followed by ARGCS Dallas, and then finally YCS Seattle. Since the last major tournament in Orlando, the set Secrets of Eternity has been released. While the Forbidden and Limited list technically changed with the calendar year, its impact on the meta of the previous format proved to be relatively nonexistent. It is much more likely that Secrets of Eternity will have a much greater impact on the format than the list did. Ever since the release of the Read more


  Hey everybody! I hope you all enjoyed the holiday season and the month off of competitive Yu-Gi-Oh as much as I did! This weekend marks the kickoff of the 2015 season with the ARG Circuit Series Orlando. It is the only event after the recent Forbidden and Limited Limited List change, but before the new set is released.   A friend of mine made an interesting observation. He said that it seems like Konami has given us a block format, similar to that of Magic, but without actually telling us that. Having thought about it, there’s quite a bit Read more


patrickhoban

The Winter holidays provide not only a much needed break from school, but also a break from competitive Yu-Gi-Oh. There are four full weeks in between the last event this year and the first event, ARGCS Orlando, next year. This gives us a perfect opportunity to reflect on the year as a whole and see what we can learn from our experiences this year. This week, I’ll reflect on my own year.   Let’s start by taking a look at the premier events that occurred this year and how I did:   ARGCS Nashville – Didn’t Top YCS Sydney – Read more


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The last time Snatch Steal was legal the original Transformers movie had just been released, everyone was standing under Rihanna’s Umbrella, and George W. Bush was regrettably President of the United States. In all likelihood, most people reading this have never used Snatch Steal in a tournament. In just under two weeks that’s’ going to change as the card makes its return to competitive play as a new Forbidden and Limited List takes effect. Any card that has been forbidden for almost a decade must hold some serious power behind it, right? This week I’m going to evaluate what is Read more


patrickhoban

“Why don’t you switch to Magic?”   “You could make a lot of money.”   I get asked this all the time. It’s a perfectly legitimate question. Magic has tournaments every weekend in cities around the world, prizes that reflect an entire middle class family’s total income, and various other admirable qualities such as a Pro Tour and a Hall of Fame. When you consider we’re playing for an oversized mouse pad, a bus fare home, and a pat on the back, the decision seems more than obvious if you were to compare the two. Despite the inherent differences, I Read more


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Other TCGs have a long history of awarding byes during the early rounds of even the most competitive tournaments. ARG was the first to incorporate byes into Yu-Gi-Oh at its $20,000 Championship at the end of the summer. It didn’t take long for others to follow suit. TCG Player gave byes at its $10,000 Championship in October and most recently Konami has begun incorporating byes at YCSes as well. Is awarding players literal free wins in competitive tournaments a good or a bad thing? Even if byes are a good thing, how can you go about distributing byes? It would Read more


patrickhoban

In recent weeks I’ve heard this format be compared to a game of Rock Paper Scissors in that there are three main decks, none of which of a favorable matchup against the other decks in the meta. It’d be theoretically impossible to consistently perform well in this type of meta; however, the Rock Paper Scissors analogy only accounts for a single level of the meta. This week I want to teach you how to take what you know about a particular triangle format and examine it on multiple layers to overcome the triangle format. This is the approach I used Read more