On Skill: A Discourse in Favour of the Traditional Format

I am quite often forced, whether kicking and screaming by a brazen assailant, or by my own impulsive reaction to some vulgar, ignorant comment, into a tactical defence of the Traditional Format. While these two instances may appear somewhat disparate on the surface, upon a further inspection one would discover that both share a common attitude from the offending party, that being generally analogous with the following statement: “Traditional takes no skill!”––or some variation thereof. In truth, I am only too happy to protect this amazing format from the torrent of abuse it so unjustly attracts, and, although I find myself responding to the aforementioned crudity with much less frequency, I delight in academically minded, intelligent discussion on this subject. After all, it is by far the format I most enjoy competing in.

Laying all personal preferences aside, however, I have, through my many years of studying the Traditional Format, arrived at the inevitable conclusion (that is, inevitable from my point of view) that this facet of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game is far from being unskilled, and is anything but the luck-dependant, lowly idiosyncrasy that the majority of the player base would so readily believe. The Traditional Format is, I will declare, right now, quite plainly, merely an intensified version of the Advanced Format––an aspect of the game taken to extremes, stretched to its very limits, in terms of both deck architecture and gameplay. But, alas, it is most often brought to light that, due to this amplified, acute phase of Yu-Gi-Oh!, within which many cards long since Forbidden from the current professional game are playable once again, the overwhelming majority of players will and do decry that there is very little skill, if any at all, involved in a match. I should like, if I may, to put forth the notion that this is, in effect and in fact, an erroneous conclusion. It is the purpose of this essay, therefore, to attempt an altering of the perceptions concerning the Traditional Format––which have been long held hitherto––into something of a more appreciable nature. I shall do so by introducing the concept that the modern Traditional Format, with that already noted increase in faculties, requires a proportionately suitable increase in skill in order to successfully participate in––and that, furthermore, such augmentation in skill is, to be sure, an invaluable and respectable asset in its own right.

With the intention of appreciating how much exertion––and, therefore, how much skill––is required to partake with a triumphant record in the Traditional Format, as well as the relevance of such to the professionalism necessary to uphold the values of the game, one must first be able to appreciate the format in general. When I meditate to myself upon the many factors here present which, consequently, guide decision making during deck construction and in-game analyses, I most often rest upon two that are the most comprehensive of all: the first is the level of power present, that of both individual cards and, when combined, of overall tactical possibilities; and the second is the speed of the game––the generally brief period of time wherewith one has the opportunity to claim victory. Both of these, through the aforesaid enlargement in the available card pool, have been together substantially amplified beyond anything resembling those similar components in the Advanced Format, and each perfectly reflects, as has been previously stated, the vastly modified tournament landscape within the subject mode of competition; thus, understanding them is indispensable during the voyage to a better grasp of this individual format.

With these two dynamics––that is, to reiterate, power and speed––firmly rooted in anything and everything that occurs within the Traditional Format, there exists very little margin for error––and, furthermore, when sitting across the table from an equally or more skilled opponent, quite simply none at all. Unlike its counterpart, in which one would have many turns to not only claim victory in a match, but also to transform a losing situation into the opposite, no such luxury can be discovered, here. A single misplay, whether it be in setting up one’s own offensive manoeuvres, or in counteracting those initiated by an opponent, will certainly result in effects disastrous to the critical degree. To state the fact specifically, cards are exchanged at such an alarmingly high rate that a vicious, inexorable tempo is produced from the very beginning of a game which is almost––nay, unquestionably––impossible to regain control of once broken. For this reason, precision is of the utmost importance, equally within the initial deck construction stage and the final tournament performance. This precision, in short, becomes the foundation––the supporting groundwork, if you will, hence essential––from which skilful contention is built.

Now, while there is, and always has been, an impassioned debate regarding the level of skill necessary during the gameplay of Yu-Gi-Oh! (and, indeed, any card game in general), I find forays into this argument from a universal perspective to be vague and ineffective at best. Furthermore, any specified discussion would require, at the least, a modest set of match examples which could be annotated to clearly demonstrate correct decision making, and that collection of a sophisticated nature; unfortunately, no such models exist in any degree of the term. Taking these into account, I shall find it necessary to allow the previous statements to suffice on this topic, and steer this essay henceforth in the direction of deck architectural theory in especial, restraining myself from presenting delicate and incomplete details in order to deal, instead, with that information at my direct disposal.

So let me continue, then, upon this route.

It is possible, in terms of deck construction, to further systematize my hypothesis into a single element: we may call this the accuracy, or the exactitude––the meticulousness with which a strategy is converted from its simple paper and ink beginnings into a fully functioning, faultless and physical machine. Quite simply, there is nought more important than accuracy when considering which forty cards one will utilize in a given tournament, for little point is there in having the most powerful strategy possible, yet at the same time failing to construct such with the precision necessary to fashion the proper working of the deck as a complete entity. This sentiment is, of course, very true, and something which, while clearly very basic (and, therefore, a concept that everybody, methinks, should already be aware of), is essential to mention in any treatise discussing the theory of deck architecture. In direct relation to this, there is the opportunity to maintain such a line of thought with particulars alike to determining the amount of cards a deck should contain, for I feel the need to pronounce my belief that no reason––no reason whatsoever––exists that justifies the inclusion of a number of cards over the forty base minimum; such induces too low a probability of finding key cards when needed, consequently decreasing efficiency and the intended performance of the deck. We can then, naturally, also talk of the importance of selecting the entirety of those forty card slots with the utmost care, ensuring that each and every option is considered to the fullest extent possible, and the most logical conclusions drawn from these deliberations.

In order to further illustrate these points, I shall raid my personal library of decklists to present a number of examples necessary to better facilitate the readers’ understanding. The first of such shall be that of a control-oriented strategy, one which perfectly combines the reflections previously discussed into a single, synergistic mechanism––one which does so with the goal of commanding and responding to an opponent’s plays. While I would never feign to declare that such a strategy, comparable with the proceeding Chaos Monarch deck, could triumph in a large, professional-level tournament (and I would, of course, never attempt to hide the fact that, to speak with complete honesty, one most likely would not), I find it acceptable to present this example as merely a diagram of the hypothesis herein, for it functions as such to so great a result. The decklist reads as follows:

Monster: 19

3 Caius the Shadow Monarch

2 Thestalos the Firestorm Monarch

2 Zaborg the Thunder Monarch

2 Apprentice Magician

1 Magician of Faith

1 Crystal Seer

1 Old Vindictive Magician

1 Black Luster Soldier––Envoy of the Beginning

1 Chaos Emperor Dragon––Envoy of the End

1 Gorz the Emissary of Darkness

1 Dark Magician of Chaos

1 Witch if the Black Forest

1 Treeborn Frog

1 Yata-Garasu

Spell: 14

1 Pot of Greed

1 Graceful Charity

1 Allure of Darkness

1 Painful Choice

1 Monster Reborn

1 Premature Burial

1 Raigeki

1 Harpie’s Feather Duster

1 Change of Heart

1 Brain Control

1 Snatch Steal

1 The Forceful Sentry

1 Delinquent Duo

1 Confiscation

Trap: 7

2 Mind Crush

1 Trap Dustshoot

1 Time Seal

1 Crush Card Virus

1 Imperial Order

1 Ring of Destruction

We can see here that, while the strategy has been tilted in favour of the strength of individual options, the single aim of hand control––an extremely potent ability, as evidenced by many of such cards occupying everlasting positions on either the Forbidden or Limited List––is clearly a dominant feature, with eleven cards total, just over a full quarter of the deck, accomplishing that desired result. Through the use of a plethora of effects to remove cards from the opponent’s hand, backed up then by still further effects which prevent the opponent from drawing new options once deficient in card presence, the strategy is quite capable of taking control of a game very quickly. Thence, a contingent of field control options has also been included, in terms of additional Monster, Spell and Trap Cards, balancing the deck by affording the removal of any threats an opponent is able to produce. With that said, however, there have been no inclusions of cards not pertaining distinctively to either line of attack, with, furthermore, nothing unsupportable, either in terms of strategy-specific cards or tech choices, finding its way there, either. To be brief, anything inflexible––that is, which does not fall into the category of simple, multipurpose, universally functional selections––has been omitted, or not even considered at all. We find, therefore, sitting before us, a highly consistent deck which suffers few unplayable hands, due purely to the absence of narrow, possibly useless cards.

Next, I should like to exhibit a model of what one might call the precise opposite of the previous––an immensely fast, One-Turn-Knockout deck (or, to use the common abbreviation, OTK), which attempts to create victories as early as the pilot’s first or second turn, depending upon whether said person takes the opening turn of the game. It will be possible to observe, in this case, a vastly dissimilar style of play in the modern Traditional Format, although one which certainly still comprises the precision––or, to employ another previous term, the accuracy––of deck architecture necessary to compete with anything resembling a successful record in the subject mode of competition. The below list is said example:

Monster: 14

3 Kuraz the Light Monarch

3 Wulf, Lightsworn Beast

3 Garoth, Lightsworn Warrior

2 Card Trooper

1 Black Luster Soldier––Envoy of the Beginning

1 Destiny HERO––Disk Commander

1 Dark Magician of Chaos

Spell: 26

3 Hidden Armory

3 Solar Recharge

2 D.D.R.––Different Dimension Reincarnation

2 Divine Sword––Phoenix Blade

2 Magical Stone Excavation

1 Pot of Greed

1 Graceful Charity

1 Card Destruction

1 Painful Choice

1 Charge of the Light Brigade

1 Reinforcement of the Army

1 Dimension Fusion

1 Monster Reborn

1 Premature Burial

1 Reasoning

1 Monster Gate

1 Harpie’s Feather Duster

1 Snatch Steal

1 Raigeki

I should hazard a guess that the vast majority of players reading this––or, at the least, quite a few of them––have never seen a perfectly constructed build of the deck known simply as Kuraz-Blade Turbo, although I should further my presumption that most of said people have, in fact, heard the name before now, and know of how it should function. It is, indeed, one of those strategies that finds itself principally handed down from player to player through nought but its title only, with few, as a result, acquiring the information crucial to assemble it. Indeed, I myself was consumed by months of research and testing before finalising the above list, and, as I shall anon describe, the end product is a veritable exercise in precision.

Upon studying the decklist, one would discover, quite quickly, that there has been no space whatsoever spent on options outside of the principal objective––that is, not a single card slot has been wasted on something which is unnecessary to achieve the desired end goal. Verification is as follows: the Lightsworn engine, which facilitates the basic movement of the strategy, comprises eleven cards total––the selections needed to generate the Kuraz the Light Monarch-based combinations encompass a further eleven slots––additional support, in the form of options which, in some way, shape or form, sift through the deck, then cover ten cards––further auxiliary support, this time pertaining to extra Special Summoning capabilities, takes only four spots––the chief win condition is, obviously, included at its single allowed copy––and, to round out the list, the final three cards, each of which we might rightfully term ‘staples’, have been included here to eliminate an opposing board for one’s game-winning attacks. Everything within the Main Deck has been chosen after careful, rigorous deliberation of their merits as concerning the strategy as a whole unit, and anything even remotely conflicting has been rejected––including, as even a swift glance at the above decklist will verify, any and all Trap Cards. For this reason, and this reason alone, a level of efficiency is produced that would prove otherwise impossible to obtain.

It is, of course, then possible to go above and beyond simply the One-Turn-Knockout deck, once again increasing the use of power and speed––that pair of primary features––in order to produce a strategy capable of claiming victory, for the simple reason of never requiring to declare a single attack, on the very first turn of a game. This, the First-Turn-Knockout deck (or, rather, the FTK), by its very nature of containing within its own boundaries of play patterns only a single win condition, expresses faultlessly that notion of meticulous attention during deck construction which is the central premise of the theory explained here. An example of such will now be given:

Monster: 7

3 Armageddon Knight

3 Broww, Huntsman of Dark World

1 Makyura the Destructor

Spell: 23

3 Dark World Dealings

3 Hand Destruction

3 Into the Void

3 Upstart Goblin

3 One Day of Peace

1 Pot of Greed

1 Graceful Charity

1 Pot of Duality

1 Card Destruction

1 Painful Choice

1 Reinforcement of the Army

1 Foolish Burial

1 Soul Release

Trap: 10

3 Reckless Greed

3 Jar of Greed

3 Good Goblin Housekeeping

1 Exchange of the Spirit

I should like, if I may, to take a brief moment, before I go any further, to clear the possibly forming proverbial clouds surrounding the inclusion of a First-Turn-Knockout deck in a discourse on skill. It would certainly be imprudent of me to proclaim that the above build of Exchange of the Spirit, as it stands, would take, by any means, a high degree of skill to pilot to a successful record––in fact, there is no doubt that it would not. The deck simply requires a very basic knowledge of what each individual card accomplishes, which should be followed then by a fully functioning motor ability to place the cards onto the table. While I am certain that less experienced players can and do struggle, in at least some way, to comprehend the minuscule nuances unique to such a strategy (as I myself have, indeed, seen many times while observing at tournaments), little point is there in promoting this small amount of essential skill during gameplay within this, a more scholarly essay. My discourse at this point is, to reiterate, instead regarding the accuracy utilized during its construction as an example of architectural skill, and this skill alone.

With the First-Turn-Knockout deck, as I have previously mentioned, fabricated for the sole purpose of achieving its single win condition as promptly as the very first turn of a game, it stands to reason, then, that any decklist founded on such a strategy would contain no form of incompatible card whatsoever. Whereas, in the previous example, there was, according to necessity, the inclusion of certain cards which interact outside of the strategy (that is, namely, the copies of Harpie’s Feather Duster, Snatch Steal and Raigeki, in that they offer no specific merit to the deck in and of itself), there is no such requirement here. The above strategy is designed for the exclusive purpose of using the eponymous card, Exchange of the Spirit, to deplete the opponent’s deck count to zero prior to their first Draw Phase, thereby winning the duel through deck-out; everything unnecessary to this––and the term ‘everything’ is to be taken quite literally––is omitted in favour of accomplishing this goal as consistently and as easily as possible. As case in point, well over half of the deck (twenty-eight cards in total, to be exact) is solely intended to sift through itself in order to locate the win condition, with the remaining twelve slots being filled either by options which facilitate some of the more complicated of said draw cards, or, quite clearly, that stated win condition. Again, nothing superfluous to this mode of victory has been included, allowing the most accuracy possible––the absolute highest amount of precision attainable––within forty cards, thus creating an efficiency as near to total as is realistically accessible in a randomised game.

It is all well and good, I must admit, to annotate the decklists presented previously, dissecting the approach used during their construction in relation to the primary hypothesis, herein, of precision in the Traditional Format, for all of them have fallen into a distinct category of style and technique. They have been, therefore, disregarding any ostentatious form of material contents, rather straightforward, axiomatic examples. I have, for this reason, but one final model which I wish to briefly elucidate upon, one which is, essentially, a corpus of the theory discussed heretofore––one which amalgamates deck-types into a single, synergistic, flexible strategy––one which, taking into account all of the ideas presented up until this point, demonstrates in a more practical, realistic fashion the concept of skill (that is, of precision, of accuracy in deck architecture, and the resulting efficiency) that I have attempted, in this essay, to introduce into the minds of the duelling public when reflecting upon the Traditional Format.

The following DARK Synchro deck has been, as is most common to this archetype, moulded around a Destiny HERO backbone, thus creating the opportunity for the inclusion of the relatively large suite of draw cards necessary to power the strategy through its game-plan. With this engine set in place, the deck becomes capable of drawing through itself with the speed and reliability of the One-Turn-Knockout and First-Turn-Knockout strategies listed beforehand, and can, by the nature of the tactical inclusions, accomplish either of those end goals. However, the pilot is also able, depending upon either the contents of his or her opening hand, or, alternately, certain offensive or defensive manoeuvres executed by an opponent that would have a detrimental effect upon these play patterns, to implement a somewhat slower, more control-oriented line of attack through the use of a retinue of hand and field removal options, in so doing offering a course of action under either of the aforementioned circumstances. We discover, then, that versatility which comes from an integrated approach to deck construction––that method which one, upon an expedition through the history of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game, would discover has proven to be the most successful to date.

One will see, by and by, that each section of the strategy, on its own as well as with regards to the complete unit, has been designed through the described notion of meticulous decision making during the assembly and testing phase. The deck has been considered as precisely as is absolutely achievable, carefully balancing the three aspects of the strategy with consideration to one another (that is, ensuring that each and every card accomplishes its intended purpose without interfering with the deck as a whole entity), while, at the same time, guaranteeing that the threefold plan of attack is complete in all features. Any and all possibly errant cards, it should go without saying at this stage of the essay, have been excluded in favour of other, more appropriate options. The decklist appears thus:

Monster: 14

2 Destiny HERO––Plasma

2 Destiny HERO––Dogma

2 Destiny HERO––Malicious

1 Destiny HERO––Disk Commander

1 Elemental HERO Stratos

1 Dark Armed Dragon

1 Magical Scientist

1 Gorz the Emissary of Darkness

1 Dark Magician of Chaos

1 Plaguespreader Zombie

1 Dark Grepher

Spell: 24

3 Trade-in

3 Upstart Goblin

2 Destiny Draw

1 Allure of Darkness

1 Card Destruction

1 Pot of Greed

1 Graceful Charity

1 Painful Choice

1 Reinforcement of the Army

1 One for One

1 Monster Reborn

1 Premature Burial

1 Dimension Fusion

1 The Forceful Sentry

1 Delinquent Duo

1 Confiscation

1 Harpie’s Feather Duster

1 Snatch Steal

1 Raigeki

Trap: 2

1 Crush Card Virus

1 Imperial Order

Extra: 15

3 Dark Blade the Dragon Knight

2 Dark Flare Knight

1 Ryu Senshi

1 Dark Balter the Terrible

1 Thousand Eyes Restrict

1 Steelswarm Roach

1 Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier

1 Stardust Dragon

1 Scrap Dragon

1 Dark Strike Fighter

1 Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier

1 Goyo Guardian

Side: 15

3 Effect Veiler

3 Droll and Lock Bird

2 Mystical Space Typhoon

1 Heavy Storm

2 Dimensional Prison

1 Solemn Judgment

1 Mirror Force

1 Torrential Tribute

1 Ring of Destruction

For this final example (which was to be, as aforesaid, one of a higher comprehensiveness than those presented previously), I have also shown both those Decks of the Extra and Side, in addition to merely the Main. Although this study was, quite clearly, written with a heavy propensity towards the latter, I feel the argument would be grossly incomplete without demonstrating, at least to some degree, the idea of precision as pertaining to these two supplementary aspects of deck architecture. While the inclusion of the Extra Deck was, to be sure, rather an obvious decision (being that the strategy in question boasts an intense abuse of these fifteen cards), the addition of a Side Deck to the above list requires a few more words: not only does doing so exhibit a diagram of a precisely built side-board (that is, every card has, of course, been chosen  after careful thought regarding its effectiveness against an undesirable match-up), it also shows that specified tech cards––explicitly, options which, while undoubtedly essential against certain opposing strategies, have a relatively narrow effect range, and, therefore, the distinct likelihood of displaying a definite uselessness against other decks––have not been entirely forgotten from my thought process. With the requirement for efficiency so great here, and little to no allowance for cards with even the remotest potential for being dead, one must ensure that the most reliable Main Deck possible is achieved for Game 1. I find it is better, therefore, when competing within the Traditional Format, that such tech cards instead be shifted to the Side Deck, to be rotated in when the need arises.

Having thus now given my full discourse, I find myself in need of integrating the argument presented above into some semblance of a comprehensive, fluent conclusion. In order to do so, I shall first remind the reader of the central proposition that I endeavoured, through the arrangement of this essay, to expound upon: this was to bring about a change of opinions within the Yu-Gi-Oh! player base when contemplating the Traditional Format, by showing, with the highest complexity and rationality ever attempted hitherto, the amount of skill necessary for involvement with a triumphant record in this mode of competition. It was my distinct intention, through accomplishing this, to infuse, at the least, some degree of respect into discussions pertaining to this amazing format––which is something, indeed, that has long been lacking from such, and that, without a doubt, I would be hard pressed to restore. I went about my research, however, backed up by a concrete belief in the issue at hand, and we find here the resulting report.

With the aforementioned purpose firmly rooted in my mind, I set about the task by introducing, first and foremost, the notion that the Traditional Format, with its exclusive opportunity to use cards, effects and combinations Forbidden from the current professional game, in no way, shape or form justifies that absence of skill which is most often attributed to it. This was, no doubt, a bold statement, but I then presented the further idea that competing in the subject format requires a supplementation, as opposed to the generally accepted reduction, in a player’s skill sets when a journey there is intended. Through establishing the concept of precision, as pertaining to both deck architecture and in-game decision making, I embarked on a debate to verify this sentiment, forgoing any inaccurate talk about the latter (although still making, at the least, some relevant points on this topic) in favour of a more detailed explanation of the hypothesis with specific regards to deck architectural theory. After carefully studying, through the employment of a distinctive set of example decklists, the concentration of accuracy necessary to construct a strategy that functions with the consistency and efficiency required in such an fast, powerful, unforgiving format, one is able to observe that the Traditional Format does, indeed, involve a high level of precision, and it is this precision––this notion of meticulous attention during deck construction––this act of contemplating, to the utmost level of exactness possible, the suitability of every single card, from the viewpoint of both its own merits and the possible interactions (or, for that matter, counteractions) that it would be capable of achieving––it this accuracy, to be brief, by amalgamation of the ideas presented herein, that denotes the high level of skill required to partake with the certainly desired success in today’s modern Traditional Format.

There was, finally, one other assertion to this treatise which, while not necessarily revealed to any great extent, has nevertheless been a regular undercurrent throughout its duration. I am talking now of the idea that the Traditional Format is not only a definite part of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game, but also one of worth. This is an essential parallel, I am confident, that must needs be drawn from my closing statement just prior to this paragraph, for that skill which has here been alighted upon most definitely displays this format as a valuable, significant mode of competition.

Discussion

comments

  • Jim

    I respect your opinion Jamie , keep up the good work.

  • Jim

    Great article, as well as your blog Traditional Format Academy. I noticled that neither of
    your decklists includes effect veiler as a main deck card. I believe that it must be in every
    Traditional Format deck as it is the best way to counter an FTK deck if you start the duel
    first. What’s your opinion about it?

    • Thank you for the kind words, Jim.

      On the subject of Effect Veiler: I have a love-hate relationship with it. I would love to be able to Main Deck it, but, as I state in the essay, I currently believe that, because you have no idea what your opponent is playing during Game 1, any inflexible yet required cards should be Sided instead of Mained to increase overall consistency and efficiency across the wide range of possible match-ups. In the final example, however, there is indeed a full set of Effect Veilers (along with that of Droll and Lock Bird) in the Side Deck, all of which would be rotated in during games two and three again an FTK.

      -Jamie

  • Harry

    Am I the only one who found this article unnecessarily wordy? I mean you make good
    points, don’t get me wrong, but there’s no need to use intentionally superfluous language.

  • I hate traditional format, simply due to the Exchange FTK deck. It literally does not lose unless your opponent has solemn judgment.

    • PJ

      Droll & Lock Bird can kill the stream of plays in an instant, and if that Makyura’s already in the Graveyard the game’s as good as over for the Exchange player (barring Avarice/Reincarnation).

      Let’s not forget the Heralds, most notably Purple Light.

      Finally, if you’re playing anything that can power through its Deck, tear through exactly half your Deck and your opponent can’t Exchange you to death.

      • PJ is quite correct. Exchange of the Spirit FTK, while obviously being absolutely incredible and undoubtedly top tier, is no longer the all-dominating force in the Traditional Format. While I do advocate Siding them for maintaining Game 1 consistency and versatility, Hand Traps have a huge impact here just as they do in Advanced.

  • celestial sword

    the exchange of the spirit ftk is good
    but dark world dmoc dimension fusion return is insane
    u can draw out ur deck turn one every game and otk with mass driver or shadpow preitess and spell economics turn one every game

    • Yes, there’s no doubt that Dimension Fusion Loop is an amazing deck; I was a tossing up between that, Magical Scientist, Last Turn and Exchange of the Spirit (the big four FTK decks in Traditional) to include as the example in the essay, but the sheer consistency the latter offers was impossible to pass up.

  • Anonymous

    Highly thought out and intellectual article about a concept people have long since forgotten.
    thoroughly enjoyed it.

  • Kevin T.

    Really good 🙂
    I agree that traditional takes skill and is only 10x faster than advanced. Sure, sometime you might lose if a noob plays the “trinity”, but that is yugioh.

  • Nathan Beasley

    Great article Jamie,
    🙂

  • Ist

    Although I don’t paly traditional format this article got me interested. I hope to read more
    articles from you.

  • James Neel

    I’ve been a huge follower of your blog, and it’s great to see you join ARG.

    • PJ

      I remember when you just started out blogging about Trad format. Good to see you’re still at it 🙂

      • And thank you, PJ; I have a huge amount of respect for what you do, so that means a lot coming from a fellow serious theorist. Promoting Traditional will always be my top priority in this game.

        • PJ

          No problem mate, keep it up.

          I’d advise you to chop the word count down quite a bit though. I’ve showed this article to a few people (via Facebook etc.) and while your argument is solid it gets lost in what may seem an unbreakable wall of text.

          A good benchmark would be to aim for 800 words maximum whenever possible. That may mean breaking your 1 large article into 3 or 4 smaller ones, but it also ensures that people will take the time to read it.

          Article writing, especially for an Internet audience, needs to be readable in about 5 minutes or less. Some people will take longer if they’re really interested and want to make sure they pick up everything, but the majority of readers will close the tab the second they get bored, and you don’t want that.

          If your article has to be long, you should break it up with pictures, titles and so-on. A good example of this would be the Konami Strategy Site, where everything’s broken down into sizeable chunks that people of all ages can sink their teeth into.

          Regardless, you’re producing good content, but you just need to simplify and scale it down a little bit. 🙂

    • Thanks, James. That means a lot.

  • Matt

    Vocabulary level = 9001.