There are several things I wanted to talk about today because I feel that people are too hasty to jump to conclusions when preparing for a YCS. A lot of these misconceptions deal specifically around hype of one thing or another. This is extremely relevant with Dark Worlds being legal on Tuesday and a YCS this weekend.
The Meta Overreacting
The first misconception that I want to clear up deals with the speed of how the overall meta reacts. The truth is it is very slow to react and overall stable. People often buy into the hype and base their decisions around what is going around on the online boards.
Let me give an example. There seems to be a general consensus online that Solemn Warning will be bad in the upcoming meta. With the card not being particularly good against Dark World and not chainable to the high number of Dark World Lightnings and Mystical Space Typhoons floating around, people seem to think that the card will not be played. Well that’s not exactly true. Perhaps maybe it is correct to not play Solemn Warning in the upcoming meta. What is incorrect is to expect that people will think the same and therefore believe you do not have to acknowledge the use of Solemn Warning at Ohio. I guarantee that the majority of people you play in Ohio will be incorporating Solemn Warning into their main decks.
So if the meta does not shift through online hype, how exactly does it shift? Results. That is really the only way the meta will shift one direction or the other. Continuing to use the Solemn Warning example, there are two ways it can go. Either the people doing well at Columbus will have used Solemn Warning, or they will have excluded it. If 6 out of the top 8 deck lists from Ohio did not include Solemn Warning, it would seem that that strategy had won out and you could bank on fewer people using Warning at the next YCS. Vice versa, if 6 out of the top 8 did use it, I would continue to expect people to use it in Kansas. And for this weekend, since there have been no results to prove one way or the other with Dark World in the meta, I would continue to expect people to use the card.
Number of Rounds You’ll Play against a Deck
Another misconception is that people expect to play against too many of one deck. For example, at Nationals most people would agree that Plants were the best deck. That doesn’t mean that in an 11 round tournament you should expect to play 8 of them. With as diverse as the meta is at the moment, I wouldn’t expect to play against 8 of the same deck in a tournament any time soon and there hasn’t been a time in the game since Tele-DAD where one should expect to play that amount of one deck. At Nationals I would have expected to play against 3 or 4 Plants, 1 or 2 Gravekeeper’s, 1 Samurai, etc. Now let’s apply this to Ohio. You’re not going to play against 6 Dark World decks. At this point I’d guess you might play 2 or 3 max. Overestimating like this leads to over side decking for whichever specific deck and therefore under siding for all of the other decks in the meta. I’d say overestimating the number of matches you’ll play against the best or most hyped deck is the determining factor between x-2 and x-3. 6
Playing the Best Deck
This leads me into my next point, you should always play what you believe to be the best deck not what you think has a good matchup against the best deck. If you are playing a deck that beats the best deck 8 out of 10 times, but has significant trouble against all or most of the other decks in the format, you are not going to top the YCS. This is for a couple of reasons. Firstly, as stated in my previous point, I’d only expect to play maybe 3 or 4 of whatever the best deck is. That means you are going to be fighting an uphill battle the other 6 or 7 rounds. The next reason is it is the best deck for a good reason. Usually that reason is its consistency. It is the best deck because it has the greatest number of tops and it gets that because it beats all the other decks. There is no point in being disappointed about not topping a YCS if you made a conscience decision to play anything other than the best deck.
These don’t so much help you in preparing for a YCS or becoming a better player , but they do still exist, for that reason I wanted to lump a last few things together. Firstly, Yu-Gi-Oh is a money game. Your Plant deck isn’t going to be nearly as good without Tour Guides as it would be with it. If you are not willing to make the investment, there are plenty of decks you can play that do not need Tour Guide (Agents, TG, etc) rather than a watered down version of one that does. That being said, if you are not willing to make that investment, you are essentially making a conscience decision to play something other than the best deck which I talked about in my last point. Such is the game of Yu-Gi-Oh.
Another misconception and a pet peeve of mine is just because you are able to beat someone doesn’t mean you’re better than them, especially if they are more qualified than you. This is a card game and as such, there is an element of luck involved.
That being said, luck is not a predominant factor. It definitely plays its roll, but the game is still highly skill based. If not, there wouldn’t be people like Adam Corn and Lazaro Bellido who have more premier event tops than I have regional tops.
I hope I was able to clear up some of the misconceptions that you may have had and you are now able to better prepare for future tournaments with such information. I’ll be in Ohio this weekend for the YCS, everyone should stop by and say hi. I hope to see you all there! Until next time.