Joe Giorlando: Playstyles? Of course.

joe giolandoI was planning on writing about a decklist from the Greek Nationals this week, which is why my article was not ready by Monday since the lists were not released yet. But I could not help but notice the series of articles by Patrick Hoban and Sam Pedigo regarding this concept of playstyles. What kind of Yu-Gi-Oh theorizer would I be if I did not toss my hat into the ring as well? Because I know I most assuredly have strong opinions one way or another.

The most basic question we have here is if there exists playstyles in the game of Yu-Gi-Oh. While Sam's article did not specifically explore the dimension of playstyles, his writing alluded to the fact that he believed they certainly exist. Patrick on the other hand had a much more cemented belief that they do not exist in anyway shape or form, and instead there exists the simple question of the most best play.

Simply put, playstyles not only do exist - they have played a tremendous role in determining success of Yu-Gi-Oh players.

Individualizing certain plays can make it seem as though the question of "best possible play" is applicable to all stages of a game of Yu-Gi-Oh. In the perfect world, an omniscient individual may be able analyze each move, from setting a spell/trap to the way in which you react to a draw, and compare that to what would have been the most optimal route to victory. In such a sense Patrick's argument would carry weight because there would always be one avenue with the statistically highest  percentage chance of giving you the victory. The problem I have with this argument, and it extends philosophically outside of just Yu-Gi-Oh, is that there is no such thing as strict perfection. Patrick acknowledged that there is no such thing as a perfect Yu-Gi-Oh player, and in turn, we should just try and strive for whatever will reward us based on the law of averages. That statement holds a tremendous amount of truth, even if your opponent had the "one out," the last time you made a play - you should not stray away from that play if it should have statistically given you the best chance of winning. The problem with what Patrick was saying is that the situation in which he provided is biased towards that line of thinking. Decisions in Yu-Gi-Oh are not nearly that black and white, and often times have a complex level of thinking attached to them. The existence of these influences make it so that such a simplified example does not give the game of Yu-Gi-Oh enough justice.

dark armed dragonHistorically speaking there have been numerous players who have had success in the game of Yu-Gi-Oh, and I have had the privilege of watching numerous ones in person. If you sat behind the likes of Adam Corn and Cesar Gonzalez during Tele-DAD format, you would immediately notice a unique method of play. In terms of the use of [ccProd]Solemn Judgment[/ccProd] and the overall method of attack, they could often times be considered "conservative" players. Granted they were able to deviate from the norm when it was needed, but Cesar himself would consider him a conservative player.  But what exactly does that mean? And does that prove there is a such thing as playstyles in Yu-Gi-Oh? It certainly does.

There may exist a perfect play under every situation, but no mere mortal will ever have the ability to know it under every circumstance.  Patrick was correct to cite a quote about chess, but the differences between Yu-Gi-Oh and chess extend further. We certainly do play in a game where luck is involved, and body language adds a whole new area of attack, but we also play in a game without many absolutes.

Have you ever not sat down and thought to yourself, "Wow, this player is awfully aggressive?" or perhaps tried to bait your opponent into doing something but found out they are conservative in how they allot their spot removal? I know I certainly have, and I have adapted the way in which I was playing the match in order to more adequately attack their weakness. If you know your opponent is willing to ignore the existence of mass removal such as [ccProd]Torrential Tribute[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Dark Hole[/ccProd], you have to switch the way you play - and that may be the perfect play. But if you are making the perfect line of play, and are only doing it in reaction to the way in which your opponent is playing, would that only prove that your opponent has a playstyle?

gravekeeper's spyGoat Control format has seen a resurgence over the course of the last year, simply because how enjoyable play is in comparison to some of our recent formats. The length of games allows you to manipulate the pace and tempo of play in such as way to align with your strengths. If you are the type of player who enjoys the more grueling, slowpaced battles of attrition, there are ways to accomplish that in Goat Control format. Monsters like Gravekeeper's Spy and [ccProd]Exarion Universe[/ccProd] were popular creatures and their defense made them brick walls to most pillars of the format. You can play a certain way because it more adequately fits your playstyle, or preferred method of interaction. You can also aggressively throw down [ccProd]Ring of Destruction[/ccProd] in order to clear the way to early points of damage, hoping to win before the opponent establishes control. That is why there were decks filled with [ccProd]Berserk Gorilla[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Enraged Battle Ox[/ccProd] that format. Some people just want to bring the beatdown - it is their playstyle.

What about when you decide what deck you are playing? Have you not looked at the format and decided, "Well I am going to play deck x because it fits my playstyle." I personally enjoy grindy decks which do not rely on a certain combination of cards for victory, and also are not shut down by a singleton card from the side deck. That may not always equip me with what people consider the best deck, but it simply fits what I am trying to accomplish. It is why  I decided to run Dino-Rabbit forever and Hero-Beat at YCS Long Beach. Inzektors were shut down by singleton cards. Wind-Ups had to play through [ccProd]Gozen Match[/ccProd] and Maxx "C". So on and so forth.

Individual decisions in Yu-Gi-Oh is not the only arena in which playstyles exist. I know they have had a tremendous effect on how I decide what deck I am going to run going into events.

No one plays perfect Yu-Gi-Oh, and a lot of that has to do with the fact that we are not playing chess. Patrick is correct in saying that we should be making plays which give us the best percentage chance of winning. But what if that means positioning ourselves into a gamestate which best suits our playstyle? Conservative, aggressive, control, all over the place - they all exist and affect the way we try and counteract our opponent's moves. How can you deny that playstyles exist?

 

Joe Giorlando

Latest posts by Joe Giorlando (see all)

Discussion

comments

  • Jeorg Talbert

    It is very simple logic that there are absolutely play styles. I am the logical proof. I go out of my way to be as aggressive as I can. I never play defensively. Though my play style causes me to lose quite a bit, I make a conscious choice to play that way. because of me and me alone, because I play aggressively on purpose, then one person on earth has a play style. And if one person on earth has a play style, then play styles exist. There is not rebuttal to that. Is it best to employ a play style? I don’t know. But if I exist, then they most certainly do as well.

  • wats up nigga

    I was plannin on freestylin on some thugged-out decklist from tha Greek Nationals dis week, which is why mah article was not locked n loaded by Mondizzle since tha lists was not busted out yet. But I could not help but notice tha seriez of articlez by Patrick Hoban n’ Sam Pedigo regardin dis concept of playstyles. What kind of Yu-Gi-Oh theorizer would I be if I did not toss mah basebizzle cap tha fuck into tha rang as well, biatch? Because I know I most assuredly have phat opinions one way or another.

    Da most basic question our crazy asses have here is if there exists playstylez up in tha game of Yu-Gi-Oh. While Sam’s article did not specifically explore tha dimension of playstyles, his wild lil’ freestylin alluded ta tha fact dat his thugged-out lil’ punk-ass believed they certainly exist. Patrick on tha other hand had a much mo’ cemented belief dat they do not exist up in anyway shape or form, n’ instead there exists tha simple question of da most thugged-out dopest play.

    Simply put, playstylez not only do exist – they have played a tremendous role up in determinin success of Yu-Gi-Oh playas.

    Individualizin certain skits can make it seem as though tha question of “best possible play” be applicable ta all stagez of a game of Yu-Gi-Oh. In tha slick ghetto, a omniscient individual may be able analyze each move, from settin a spell/trap ta tha way up in which you react ta a thugged-out draw, n’ compare dat ta what tha fuck would done been da most thugged-out optimal route ta victory. In such a sense Patrick’s argument would carry weight cuz there would always be one avenue wit tha statistically highest cementage chizzle of givin you tha victory. Da problem I have wit dis argument, n’ it extendz philosophically outside of just Yu-Gi-Oh, is dat there is no such thang as strict perfection. I aint talkin’ bout chicken n’ gravy biatch. Patrick bigged up dat there is no such thang as a slick Yu-Gi-Oh playa, n’ up in turn, we should just try n’ strive fo’ whatever will reward our asses based on tha law of averages. That statement holdz a tremendous amount of truth, even if yo’ opponent had tha “one out,” tha last time you done cooked up a play – you should not stray away from dat play if it should have statistically given you tha dopest chizzle of winning. Da problem wit what tha fuck Patrick was sayin is dat tha thang up in which he provided is biased towardz dat line of thinking. Decisions up in Yu-Gi-Oh is not nearly dat black n’ white, n’ often times gotz a cold-ass lil complex level of thankin attached ta em. Da existence of these influences make it so dat such a simplified example do not give tha game of Yu-Gi-Oh enough justice.

    Historically bustin lyrics there done been a shitload of playas whoz ass have had success up in tha game of Yu-Gi-Oh, n’ I have had tha privilege of watchin a shitload of ones up in person. I aint talkin’ bout chicken n’ gravy biatch. If you sat behind tha likez of Adam Corn n’ Cesar Gonzalez durin Tele-DAD format, you would immediately notice a unique method of play. In termz of tha use of Solemn Judgment n’ tha overall method of attack, they could often times be considered “conservative” playas. Granted they was able ta deviate from tha norm when dat shiznit was needed yo, but Cesar his dirty ass would consider his ass a cold-ass lil conservatizzle playa n’ shit. But what tha fuck exactly do dat mean, biatch? And do dat prove there be a such thang as playstylez up in Yu-Gi-Oh, biatch? It certainly do.

    There may exist a slick play under every last muthafuckin thang yo, but no mere mortal will eva have tha mobilitizzle ta know it under every last muthafuckin circumstance. Patrick was erect ta cite a quote bout chess yo, but tha differences between Yu-Gi-Oh n’ chess extend further n’ shit. We certainly do play up in a game where luck is involved, n’ body language addz a whole freshly smoked up area of battle yo, but we also play up in a game without nuff absolutes.

    Has you done eva not sat down n’ thought ta yo ass, “Fuck dat shit, dis playa be awfully aggressive?” or like tried ta bait yo’ opponent tha fuck into bustin suttin’ but found up they is conservatizzle up in how tha fuck they allot they spot removal, biatch? I know I certainly have, n’ I have adapted tha way up in which I was playin tha match up in order ta mo’ adequately battle they weakness. If you know yo’ opponent is willin ta ignore tha existence of mass removal like fuckin Torrential Tribute n’ Dark Hole, you gotta switch tha way you play – n’ dat may be tha slick play. But if yo ass is makin tha slick line of play, n’ is only bustin it up in erection ta tha way up in which yo’ opponent is playing, would dat only prove dat yo’ opponent has a playstyle?

    Goat Control format has peeped a resurgence over tha course of tha last year, simply cuz how tha fuck enjoyable play is up in comparison ta a shitload of our recent formats, n’ you can put dat on yo’ toast. Da length of game allows you ta manipulate tha pace n’ tempo of play up in like fuckin way ta align wit yo’ strengths. If yo ass is tha type of playa whoz ass rides hard fo’ tha mo’ grueling, slowpaced battlez of attrition, there be ways ta accomplish dat up in Goat Control format. Monstas like Gravekeeper’s Spy n’ Exarion Universe was ghettofab creatures n’ they defense made dem brick walls ta most pillarz of tha format. Yo ass can play a cold-ass lil certain way cuz it mo’ adequately fits yo’ playstyle, or preferred method of interaction. I aint talkin’ bout chicken n’ gravy biatch. Yo ass can also aggressively throw down Rin of Destruction up in order ta clear tha way ta early pointz of damage, hopin ta win before tha opponent establishes control. That is why there was decks filled wit Berserk Gorilla n’ Enraged Battle Ox dat format. Right back up in yo muthafuckin ass. Some playas just wanna brang tha beatdown – it is they playstyle.

    What bout when you decizzle what tha fuck deck yo ass is playing, biatch? Has you done not looked all up in tha format n’ decided, “Well I be goin ta play deck x cuz it fits mah playstyle.” I personally trip off grindy decks which do not rely on a cold-ass lil certain combination of cardz fo’ victory, n’ also is not shut down by a singleton card from tha side deck. That may not always equip me wit what tha fuck playas consider tha dopest deck yo, but it simply fits what tha fuck I be tryin ta accomplish. Well shiiiit, it is why I decided ta run Dino-Rabbit forever n’ Hero-Beat at YCS Long Beach. Inzektors was shut down by singleton cards. Wind-Ups had ta play all up in Gozen Match n’ Maxx “C”. Right back up in yo muthafuckin ass. So on n’ so forth.

    Individual decisions up in Yu-Gi-Oh aint tha only arena up in which playstylez exist. I know they have had a tremendous effect on how tha fuck I decizzle what tha fuck deck I be goin ta run goin tha fuck into events.

    No one skits slick Yu-Gi-Oh, n’ a shitload of dat has ta do wit tha fact dat we is not playin chess. Patrick is erect up in sayin dat we should be makin skits which give our asses tha dopest cementage chizzle of winning. But what tha fuck if dat means positionin ourselves tha fuck into a gamestate which dopest suits our playstyle, biatch? Conservative, aggressive, control, all over tha place – they all exist n’ affect tha way we try n’ counteract our opponent’s moves yo. How tha fuck can you deny dat playstylez exist?

    • yolo420cashmoney

      This just won the internet for today.

      • Philip Kampa

        gizoogle.net

  • Donnell Washington

    I love how you statistic fanatics… Samuel, Patrick and even Joe to an extent are saying “Playstyle dont exist”. (not so much Sam actually)

    Yet you look at someone like Jeff Jones, or even Billy or Mike Steinman or Alex Vasant and you see it is apparent, imo,.

    Playstyles are real. So are Optimal Plays.

  • jojo65

    yes! yes to this article. play styles do exist. pat hoban is just so arrogant in his evaluation of his own ability that he fails to recognize it. thank you joe

  • Yeah

    Is there any proof that Goat Control is seeing a resurgence in play or is that just something we should take your word on?

    • Johnny Site Li

      I have no problem finding a stranger to play Goats with on DN any time of day. It’s definitely seen a resurgence.

      • Yeah

        Anecdotal evidence isn’t worth much, if anything.

        • Seth Rogan OfYugioh

          Go to this new site called YouTube and type in “goat control” and/or “goat deck” and look at the dates of the videos. Most are from 2012 or newer. DubKDad1 is a good place to start if you can’t find any. Have fun!

        • Johnny Site Li

          True, but what I’m getting at is that this is a repeatable experiment for anyone. Just log on and try. It’s easier now than when DN was first released to find Goat players at various times of day. Heck, before DN when we were all on YVD, no one ever talked about playing Goats.

  • Singing Soul

    hi joegio lol i remember wehn u said u hated dino rabit lol now u say u want to get buried wit ur dino rabbi deck lol funny

    I dunno bout playstyles n stuff but i must say i like purple cards lol

  • Bret Corey

    I ask the same question. The thing is there are decks and people who build them play them and win with them because the “Best Possible Play” just happens to fit into said players playstyle because their style of play opened up the game for them to make the best plays to win. When I was playing Chaos control in the years of 2005 and 2006 and lost only 3 times for 2nd place in 2 years of pure wins at 1st place, I grant most of my wins back the to my play style when I faced so many other Chaos control decks running near the same exact same cards.

    Knowing what to play and when to play the right cards or hold them back until you really need them is half the battle. Not just rushing in because the game state grants that to be the best play. I have seen people win playing to the beat of that drum, yet I have seen people lose as well doing the same thing because it made them over extend when the other player was able to counter with their playstyle and over come “the best possible play”. People that know me say I am the best top decker ever and that some times I just have the magic touch because my choice in cards when I build a deck help my playstyle so that I can take a beating and keep on winning.

    Playstyle is one of the best things to have on your side when you don’t want to bank on luck to help you play out of a bad game state or when you want to control the game right out of the gate. I like to let people think they have me beat drawing out their best plays in the mean time building up to my own, then clear the table and swing on them for game. Because even if they take it and live chances are they won’t be able to come back because of drawing out their best plays already. Not many decks have really more than one big push for game, and the ones that do can be played around because we have tech and playstyle.

  • Harrison Nguyen

    Hoban ran infernities at a recent YCS. Choosing not to play the best deck at the time says that playstyles exist.

    • yolo420cashmoney

      No, it says that meta calls exist.

    • Johnny Site Li

      Infernity was likely the best choice for that event. Mermails winning is no indication of what is best because they had disproportionate representation in the field.