Hey guys, today I’m going to be talking about player classifications. First off I want to establish what I aim for you to take away from this article. What I am not going for is a scale of players ranging from noob to pro so that everyone can overrate themselves as just under a pro. Instead I want to classify players according to playstyle so that you can identify how your opponent is playing in a match and how to play accordingly. Additionally if you are on the lower end of the classification, I want to give some tips that may help you in moving onto a higher tier.
The Icarus Attack Example
First off let me start by giving an example of a card that you can play multiple ways. This will give a better understanding of all the types of playstyles. The situation is this: You just set Vayu and Icarus attack and ended your turn. Your opponent set a monster and two other spell or traps cards and ended your turn. How do you play Icarus attack? Do you play it immediately; do you hold it, what is the correct play?
The Aggressive Playstyle
The extremely aggressive player is typically bottom of the barrel in terms of playing correctly. They play their cards immediately with little regard to what you have or might possibly have and have little reasoning behind why they played them like they did.
There are a couple of things to address about the overly aggressive player. One is that you can’t bluff them. You can’t pretend you have Mirror Force if they don’t care whether or not you do and still plan on swinging with 4 monsters. Another thing is that you can’t really read them. They don’t have much reasoning behind their plays so it is often times difficult to determine what they have.
Unfortunately being on the bottom of the list does not mean that they are the easiest to beat. If you have two set spell/traps and they summon Kageki, Hand, Kizan, and Grandmaster with no fear and you didn’t draw your Torrential or Mirror Force, well you’re probably going to lose. Playing like that will certainly not win them any YCSes, but it does suck to be on the opposite side of the table on a one on one level with a player like this.
In the Icarus Attack example, the aggressive player would be the one to play Icarus Attack in the opponent’s End Phase to destroy the set spell and traps to ensure that his push goes through the following turn.
The way to beat this type of player is to force them into a longer game. If you are able to do so, they will have blown all of their recourses in the early game and have very little left.
The Conservative Playstyle
The conservative player is the total opposite of the aggressive player. They are the person who thinks that you will have the perfect out to whatever they do. They do not consider the concept of risk vs. reward as there is very little risk involved in their plays. If you have one set and they have two monsters, your set is automatically Mirror Force, and they’re going to play like it is just that. If they were able to summon something else and make Stardust, your set would have been Torrential, so they wouldn’t do that, but they’d still play around Mirror Force. To them it’s always going to be the perfect out.
One of the upsides for you when you’re playing against this player is that it leads them to be very predictable and easy to read. Another advantage is that they are easy to bluff because to them, you always have Gorz, Mirror Force, Torrential, Starlight, and Heavy. So if you give off any indications of a specific one (Draw 6 and pass even though you don’t have Gorz), they’re going to assume that you do and not play into it even if they have an out to it.
In the Icarus Attack example, the conservative player would be the one who waits until they play something like Bottomless Trap Hole so you can chain Icarus Attack for a plus. This player is definitely a step above the aggressive player, but it is still not the right playstyle.
The Right Playstyle
Yu-Gi-Oh isn’t a game that is straight forward. There is no one right playstyle. The right playstyle is being able to switch between being conservative and being aggressive when the time calls for it. This begs the question, “When does the time call for it?”
When to be Aggressive:
You’re going to want to be aggressive when you’re winning (in terms of card advantage). If you’re up two cards on your opponent and have overall better field presence, don’t give them time to mount a comeback. Keep the pressure on.
Another time you’re going to want to be aggressive is when the matchup calls for it. I’m sure most of you will remember Fish OTK from earlier this year. In that matchup, the best thing to do was push for as much damage as possible and hope to kill them before they drew to OTK. Occasionally there will be matchups that call for this.
You’ll also want to be aggressive when you have outs to your opponent’s outs. Don’t be scared to attack into Gorz or Mirror Force if you can deal with those cards and have other plays.
When to be Conservative:
The correct time to play conservative is when you are in an attrition war. An attrition war is essentially a waiting game with both players trying to bait the other’s cards and gain slight advantage before pushing. This is a situation that often occurs between two players of similar skill. It is also very common when both you and your opponent are playing the same type of deck.
Conversely to the aggressive playstyle, there are some matchups that call for conservative play. Mystic Piper is a deck that aims to take advantage by making an opponent’s push fail and then capitalizing off of the failed push. If you played aggressively into a Battle Fader into Caius play, you’ll likely lose against this deck.
Lastly you’re going to want to be conservative when you don’t have outs to potential things your opponent may have. If you lose to Gorz if they have it, but can just not attack into it, why attack?
In the case of the Icarus attack example, the player using the right playstyle would make his play based on several things. If it were game one against an unknown deck, he’d probably wait on the Icarus and make a play similar to that of the conservative player. However if it were game 2 and he were playing against Dark World and he knows that the only monster Dark World sets is Morphing Jar, he’d probably opt for the aggressive play of end phase Icarus on the set monster and one of the two other cards.
I hope that everyone was able to take away something from this article whether it be helping you move into the next tier or simply helping define what you have already been doing and perhaps brushing up on it. You may have been playing the right way, you may have just never have thought about it. Until next time guys.