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.
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!