Hello everyone, I’m back this week to talk about the different types of opponents you might come across and how to deal with them. If you’ve ever played in any organized Yugioh tournament you’ve probably come across some pretty interesting people. Often times the way your opponent behaves has a huge affect on how the match will go. If you sit down across from someone and they are nasty towards you, your match is going to be very tense and you will have to play carefully to avoid getting sharked. This past weekend at ARGCS Connecticut, I had the pleasure of facing off against a majority of delightful people. Everyone was kind and very pleasant to play against, but unfortunately that isn’t always the case. Lets examine the vast multitude of opponents that you can potentially come across in organized play!
I’d like to acknowledge the fact that while some of these opponent have annoying quirks, it doesn’t mean they aren’t still going to be good players.
Have you ever sat down across from someone and felt your personal atmosphere being invaded by a horrid stench? Well, you’re not alone! While the amount of players that smell has actually decreased in the past few years, there are still plenty of people who smell quite bad. Playing against these types of people will actually make us play faster because it’s human nature to want to distance ourselves from things that make us uncomfortable. Playing with pace is normally something to take pride in as long as you get positive results, but often fast play can result in misplays. It’s quite fortunate that the players who smell bad tend to be more casual, which means they won’t be that difficult to beat. However if a player smells and is competent at the game, you have a dilemma on your hands. You can’t rush the game, because if your opponent is competent, they will be able to punish for playing in a sloppy manner. Now you have to figure out how to play well, and cope with the bad smell. In past experience I’ve found breathing through my mouth to be an excellent coping mechanism when dealing with smelly opponents.
There’s no worse feeling that sitting across from someone who isn’t pleasant. I’m talking about those times where you wish your opponent “good luck” or try to carry a conversation with them, and they don’t say anything or just smirk. It can be really off putting and set the stage for a tense match. When a match gets tense every play becomes delicate. When I say delicate, I mean you have to be very careful how you actually play your cards. These people will do just about anything to get ahead in the game, and create situations where they feel entitled to some sort of “advantage.”
A perfect example of this came up at the Circuit Series in Connecticut this weekend. I was playing against Burning Abyss and my opponent had two Dantes on the field (what else is new?). I ritual summoned a Nekroz of Brionac and he said “ok.” I then activated my Brionac’s on field effect to return both of his Dantes back into his extra deck. My opponent then said that I didn’t declare my phases and he was going to use Karma Cut before I had the chance to use my Brionac’s effect. I looked at him and said, “Are you kidding me?” I began explaining how he said the summon was successful and how he was being ridiculous. He acted like he was throwing me a bone by allowing my effect to resolve, which aggravated me even more. It’s important not to let your opponent’s bad vibes get the best of you because then you allow them to get in your head. If you let your opponent get into your head, then you will make bad plays and probably lose the match.
It’s important to declare your phases and give appropriate time for your opponent to respond to your plays. If you know your opponent is looking for any excuse to shark you, then you need to play with caution.
There’s no better feeling than be able to feel like your playing against one of your friends in a tournament situation. When you sit down and your opponent asks you how your day has been going, this becomes an indication that your opponent is a nice guy. Sometimes your opponent may be shy, which means you have to be the one to start the conversation. I can’t begin to express how many times I’ve thought my opponent was going to be rude, but after being pleasant towards them, they showed me positivity. Playing matches where you can joke around with your opponent and enjoy the match are always infinitely better than playing against someone who’s rude.
However, the whole “nice” persona can simply be an attempt to get ahead in the match. Often times people will ask you pre-match questions to search for information regarding what deck you’re using. If someone asks you what decks you lost to in past rounds, they are probably trying to figure out what deck you’re playing. Figuring out the losses your opponent has taken can very easily allow you to determine what deck they’re using. If they lost to Qliphort and beat Burning Abyss, you can very easily presume that they’re using Nekroz. Obviously not every assumption is definite, but fishing for pre-match information through conversation is a very popular tactic used by a lot of players. This is not to say that your opponent isn’t still a nice person, but their pleasant personality can just be a tool to guide them to victory.
Can you really Trust your Opponent?
The idea of trusting your opponent has become quite the popular subject matter these past few weeks. Patrick Hoban has stirred up a lot of controversy by tricking his opponents into siding out the Djinn Releaser in the Nekroz mirror match. Patrick received a lot of flack for what he did, and he managed to complicate the Nekroz mirror match even more. At the Circuit Series in Connecticut, players refused to side out the Djinn because they didn’t feel like they could trust their opponents. In reality you shouldn’t trust your opponent unless you actually know them personally. A lot of players thrive on tricking their opponents into believing one thing, and then take advantage of them to steal a victory. There’s nothing wrong with this strategy; it’s important to be able to decipher when your opponent is being genuine, and when they’re trying to get over on you.
It’s quite sad that the only person you can truly trust is yourself, but it’s a harsh reality. It’s a good rule of thumb to play to the best of your ability, and avoid any influence that your opponent may try to place over you. If you don’t know anything about your opponent, then why would you let them convince you to do something in a match? If you really aren’t sure about something, you can always ask a judge. Judges can’t answer every question, which means in order to prevent being taken advantage of it’s important to establish a strong understanding of how your cards interact with the rest of the meta.
Obviously these aren’t the only types of opponent’s that you’ll see, but these are definitely the most common ones. One of the most effective ways to prevent your opponent from getting under your skin is to play without emotion. While creating a tense atmosphere, detaching emotion from your game will allow you to focus more and visualize the correct play. Instead of focusing on your opponent, just look at the cards on the table and focus on making the best play. A lot of people get very intimidated when they see they’re playing against a well known player, and there’s really no reason to feel this way. Just because your opponent has a lot of event tops doesn’t mean you should instantly lose the match. Instead of being intimidated by playing a well-known player, you should instead be motivated and want to beat them. Playing against someone better than you is the only way you’re going to get better at the game, which means you can’t feel intimidated and play differently just because your opponent is on a different level.
Next time you play at an event, pay closer attention to the people you’re actually playing against. Hopefully you get the pleasure of playing against some nice opponents and avoid the mean and smelly ones. I can’t say that I’ve attended an ARGCS where I’ve played a majority of rude players. The Alterealitygames Circuit Series visits Richmond Virginia next and I hope to see everyone there! Along with Virginia, there is another Metro Series that visits Detroit on April 4th, which I strongly encourage as many of you to attend! Until next time, Play Hard or Go Home!