Hey all, I’m back this week right after an exciting weekend in Dallas.  This week, I’m going to be talking about a shift in the game and the importance of momentum. First of all, what would you say momentum is? Yu-Gi-Oh is played between two people and the majority of the time, one of them is going to be the winner and the other one is going to be the loser. When you’re playing a game, a lot of the time you’re going to know who is going to win the game before either players life points reach zero. If you are in the winning position, the momentum is in your favor. If your opponent is in the winning position, the momentum is in their favor.

Card Advantage and Momentum

Ever since the beginning of the game, card advantage has been an important concept. Essentially, if I have more cards than you, I’m going to have more options than you. Up until recently, having card advantage would often also mean that you had momentum as well.

Well, I hate to break it to you, but card advantage doesn’t mean nearly as much as it used to. It’s still important, but having a plus 2 does not necessarily mean that you’re winning the game. I touched on this a bit in a previous article where I asked you to consider the following situation. You have a face up Laggia with both materials and four cards in hand to your opponent’s clear field and six cards in hand. Who’s winning? Well, I’d probably rather be in the position of controlling a Laggia. In terms of real card advantage, they are at a -1, but momentum wise, they are doing great. Laggia’s effect will almost certainly make up for the -1 so you are essentially even. But, they have nothing on the field while you still have a 2400 body that is keeping pressure on them and keeping them on a relatively short clock. Even if they are at 8000, they’ve only got 4 turns to deal with that Laggia. The momentum is clearly in their favor.

This shift from an emphasis on card advantage to an emphasis on momentum has been created by one card powerhouses such as Rescue Rabbit, Wind-Up Carrier Zenmaity, and Tour Guide From the Underworld. These power cards have the ability to shift the momentum in one players favor with little care for card advantage. Essentially, instead of card advantage resulting in momentum, momentum now results in card advantage. Rescue Rabbit turns into a walking Solemn Judgment, Zenmaity becomes three Zenmaitys and a Rabbit, and God only knows what Tour Guide will turn into.


As I was saying above, card advantage means less than momentum does in the current game. This means that we are going to have to play differently. We are going to want to keep the momentum in our favor all the time. Flash back to 2006 and you would be ostracized by the dueling community for using an MST on a set card while you had an additional set card before you summoned a monster. Had their set been an MST you would have lost out on card advantage. Today we are playing a very different game. Today if you don’t use that MST before you summon your Rabbit/Zenmaity/Tour Guide, you’re playing it wrong. We need this to go through. This seems completely backwards as then MST was at 1 and now it is at 3, but unfortunately that’s a risk we’re just going to have to take. Yeah we might give up some card advantage, or we might destroy their Solemn Warning and successfully allow our push to go through. Our push will make us card advantage back, but in order for that to happen, our Zenmaity is going to need to resolve.

A Double-Edged Sword

Maxx “C” is a double-edged sword when we are talking about momentum. On the down side, Maxx “C” does absolutely nothing for us when our opponent has the momentum in his favor. Drawing that after the fact is only going to put us further behind.

But Maxx “C” also has a strong upside in terms of momentum. For instance, let’s say our opponent has Rescue Rabbit removed and they summon a Tour Guide. If we can deal with the Leviair and Laggia/Dolkka, then we’re going to want to Maxx “C” on the Leviair’s effect as the XYZs do not affect our momentum. But, if we cannot deal with the Laggia/Dolkka, we can Maxx “C” the Tour Guide’s effect. This will essentially force them to get Sangan and end. While we only got a 1 for 1 off of our Maxx “C,” we stopped a momentum shift in their favor.

The down side to Maxx “C” in terms of momentum is the reason a lot of people are dropping the card. The risk of drawing it after the momentum of the game has already been determined is too great for some. Essentially, we as a community are going to have to figure out the card’s place in the metagame and decide if the risk of drawing it after the fact is worth playing multiple copies of the card.

A Shift

Some of the other great writers for this site have recognized this shift from card advantage to momentum. Some of them and I think that this shift will cause another shift, this time in deck choice. Due to the shift, I think that Inzektors will see more play than they currently do. They have the ability to steal the momentum of the game better than any other deck in the game. They have more cards than all the other decks that can shift the momentum of the game in your favor. For this reason, Inzektors seem like a very viable choice heading into this weekend and Chicago just two short weeks away.

Play hard or go home!

Patrick Hoban

Patrick Hoban

Patrick Hoban

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  • AJ

    I can’t say i agree with how you’ve worded this. It should be noted that these powerhouse cards that you said ignore card advantage can be argued to give momentum THROUGH card advantage. I understand the point you are trying to make, that having resources is only important if you can use them to shift the game-state in your favour, but cards like Laggia are going to net the player a plus one at least of it’s effect, and the same goes for other cards like zenmaity, which allows you to loop and gain card advantage. I think It should be noted card advantage is still highly important in this game. Aside from that, i enjoyed the article, and the message you are sending.

  • Nikki

    Great read u made some solid points and in my opinion inzektors are the best deck of the format granted I droped early in dallas due to match up namely chain burn that went off when I poped lol and rabbit with straight nut draws but thats how it goes that deck creates major card advantage and can shift the game to your favor in a moments notice

  • David

    in the almighty 3…u forgot bls… which would make 4

    just saying he is busted….and will always be busted

  • superfish

    good article. too bad about getting 33rd, hope to see you do well in chicago

  • Cody Johnson

    Really great job! You could have also talked about the relation of momentum to different playstles because most often there are many different factors that force paradigmatic shift in a person’s playstyle.

  • Person

    I have to agree. Although, I’m not in favor of this game change. It doesn’t fit my conservative style well. The winner tends to be the player with the successful push and counter push. I feel that this shift has allowed for more reckless plays. I always get frustrated when I lose while having a +2 or 3 on my opponent. I play E-Hero, and I can’t tell you how many times I have lost while maintaining card advantage!

    I enjoyed your article.

  • Belgian Blue

    I’m not sure I agree on there being a factual rift between advantage and momentum. In your first example, the ability of the laggia is a virtual card, because it will almost certainly strip a card from the opponent. So you are basically 6-6 but you have a card on the field pressuring them. The question is, would you still rather be the laggia player with 3 cards in hand, while your opponent has 6 in hand ?

    The same applies to the momentum shifting cards you name. Rabbit, tour guide and zenmaity are all easy +1 plays. One card turns into two cards (or more), then usually consolidates in a stable, protectable board position, or a virtual extra card like with laggia, shi en and what not. It’s also painfully obvious these are all the cards that most people feel should have been adressed on the last banlist. MST’ing before dropping these does not lead to losing advantage, you risk a -1 which is then quickly rectified by a +1 from any of these cards, along with favourable board position. It’s still the same theory it has always been. Broken power cards just allow one to play more reckless because of the easy advantage they grant, both in pure and virtual card advantage.

    • Person

      Agreed.Stop the free plus! Petition for the Sept. 1 banned list! Lol.Although, this format is very diverse. I’m not sure how much I like that though. It makes construction of a side deck far more difficult.

  • Alex Flamer

    Im kinda confused. What would be another good example of momentum other than maxx c?

  • Tyler

    Solid article, this change in the way the game is played is something that needs to be realized for succes in the current format and the upcoming new cards to come out. Hope to see you in Chicago, and don’t sweat Dallas your day will come soon seeing as how much work you put into the game.

  • Kainoa

    I really like your articles.

    In my opinion, momentum is determined by life points and field presence. If you have more or bigger beatsticks on the field, you have more momentum than your opponent, because you will win if you’re opponent does not get rid the monsters attacking them. If you have more life points, you have more momentum, because you will win if your opponent does not do something to decreased your life.

    Card advantage does not determine momentum, but having or gaining card advantage should make it easier to change the momentum of the game.

  • Ivan

    Joseph Giorlando rules

  • jake haar

    good job pat

  • Great article!