Every so often, you will sit down versus an opponent and they will open so well you don’t even have a chance of winning the game. I know this has happened to me countless times and is bound to happen again. Just the other day I was playing my Water deck versus a Macro Rabbit player and game one my opponent won the dice roll and I opened up with: Genex Controller, two Genex Undines, Atlantean marksmen, and Pot of avarice. My hand had some potential a couple turns down the road; however, early game it could face some problems due to essentially having two dead cards, Genex Controller and the second Genex Undine. It also has the problem that one of the cards in my hand; Pot of Avarice wouldn’t be playable until sometime down the road when I had five monsters in my graveyard. Hopefully a Genex Controller so my second Genex Undine and any others I draw throughout the game wouldn’t be dead.
My opponent immediately proceeds to summon Rescue Rabbit, get two Kabazuls and make and Evolvosaur Laggia and then continue to set five cards to his back row. I draw a Salvage and realize that the odds of me winning this match are very slim and when he decides to flip Macro Cosmos during my standby phase I immediately concede the duel. Why? Well the odds of a water deck, or any deck, dealing with not only a Evolvosaur Laggia , but also a Macro Cosmos and a plethora of other backrow is very slim. I decided my best option was to just concede the duel not allowing my opponent to gain any information on which deck I am playing and hope the fact that I am going to be playing game two with the knowledge of which deck my opponent is playing will be enough to win me game two.
Game two I side decked by smoke screening, which is where I shuffled in my entire side deck into my deck and removed the 15 cards I liked the least in the match up because if my opponent knew how many cards I was siding in it could give them information about which deck I was playing and how many cards I was putting in to hurt them. My opponent decided to put in two or three cards, most likely cards that are better when going second as opposed to going first against every match up instead of ones that could devastate mine. Game two I opened slightly better; however, due to the fact that I was going first, I had cards that were beneficial in the Rabbit match up and my opponent just now learned what I was playing made all the difference in me winning the game. I know just as much as you that sometimes there are matches and games where no matter what you do you cannot win the match. Your opponent just has a combination of the perfect hand, going first or an amazing match up that any player playing any deck can beat the best player piloting the best deck.
By limiting the information available to your opponent in games like these you can turn the game back into your favor for game two and then hopefully pull out game three by hoping your opponent doesn’t open as amazing this time around. While this is not always the best strategy when your opponent has a good hand and you open poorly because this game is still called Yu-Gi-Oh where your opponent can mess up at any stage of the game and you can draw the perfect combination of cards to come back from almost any scenario. I used to use this strategy many times back in the previous format because of the prevalence of Wind-Ups where I realized that one of my best options when my opponent opened some sort of hand loop was to just concede the game, because most of the time when you get looped you don’t have a chance either way and the information they gain can be crucial in the next game.
“But Jeff, there have been times where my opponent opened like that and I still won. I don’t think there is anytime I should just scoop because there is always a chance.”
Most of the time, there is a chance of winning the game, and the skill of the player staring down a tough situation of impressive board will be enough to win them the game or you can draw your one out to the situation. An example of a time where not conceding even though the situation is tough and requires luck would be where your opponent opens up with Wind-Up Magician and Wind-Up Shark proceeds to make a Shock Master and calls spells with one back row when you open up with something on the lines of Marksmen, Heavy Storm, Infantry, Abyss Sphere, Genex Undine and you draw Moulinglacia. You have a very impressive hand; however, it is very possible your opponent just blows you out by having a Solemn Warning and a Mystical Space Typhoon. The odds of you wining the game are still low because your opponent should still have four cards in hand and the ability to make a come back even if his set card was really just a bluff.
Revealing as little info as possible to your opponents is something many people don't think about, or tend to disregard at times, but is highly effective when it comes to playing on a higher level, against players of a higher caliber. When opening with very mediocre hands, sometimes the best play is to quickly analyze your hand, and pass (and to pass quickly) without playing any cards. Hopefully this will telegraph to your opponent that you don't need to make any plays currently, and could leave you're opponent second guessing themselves before launching an attack into a Tragoedia or Gorz, buying you precious time and draws to hopefully get something that will break you're hand wide open. I also suggest keeping a Gorz Token out and clearly visible at all times, even if you do not play Gorz. Against poor players, this could allow them to think that at any point you could have Gorz, and against good players, they will struggle with trying to figure out what kind of game you're playing (Bluffing the Gorz, or trying to TRICK them into thinking the Gorz cannot be there).
Either way, it takes time and patience to actually be able to analyze which situations are unwinable, and which situations you should try and play out of, so next time you're playing a game, keep a mental note of the game state, and how the situation turns out, and if it would have been better for you in the end to just scoop up your cards and go to game 2/3. Remember, in the end the only way to get better is play, play, and play some more. Until next time folks, play hard or go home!