Hey everyone, I’m back this week with another article. This time I’m going to be talking about the use of shortcuts. I’m going to be going over what they are and why they are important.

A shortcut in Yu-Gi-Oh is similar to a shortcut in real life, or at least it serves the same purpose. Let’s say you want to skip a song that is playing on your iPhone. What do you have to do? You have to turn it on, unlock it, put in a password, go to music, go to now playing, and then hit the skip button. Or you could use a shortcut and turn your iPhone on, double tap the home button, and then hit the skip button there. That reduces it from six steps to three. This will save you some time. In Yu-Gi-Oh, you have a fixed amount of time to play each round so saving time wherever you can is going to be important.

Another thing shortcuts in Yu-Gi-Oh accomplish is they help you mess up less. Let’s say you open Tour Guide Shark going first. Do you know what you should do with it if you have protection? What if you don’t have protection? Do you do the same thing with it against Dark World as you would do against a mirror match? Not knowing at least a basic generalization of what you should do with some of your most powerful combos before you sit down can pretty much guarantee that you won’t make the right play. It is not possible to sit down and figure it out as you go and hope for the best each time. You should know that if you open Tour Guide, Shark, Warning you should probably end with Zenmaity, Shark, Shock Master and that if you open Magician, Shark, Warning you should probably end with Zenmaity, Shock Master, Papilloperative, with Rabbit coming back. But do you know how to do this? Are you going to have to have to figure it out every time it comes up? If you have to, you are much more likely to mess up. This also ties back in with the first reason shortcuts are important. A combination of cards like Magician and Shark literally opens up dozens of possibilities. Not only is it not possible to see all of them and therefore better to know what to do with it before you sit down, it would also be very time consuming to have to try to figure it out on the fly and again, you have just 40 minutes to complete two or three games.

So, we have established that there are shortcuts when it comes to combos that your deck can perform, but what other times are shortcuts relevant? What about in simple gameplay like attacking directly? Do you know what order you should be attacking directly to best play around a Gorz drop?

What if you had Utopia, Sangan, and Papilloperative against an open field and two cards in hand. You’ve already decided that you’re going to attack with all three, but what order do you attack with them in? Well let’s work it out. You could try going lowest to highest; Sangan, Papilloperative, and then Utopia. So if they drop Gorz on Sangan you can kill the token, but not get over the Gorz itself. So they took 1000 damage. Obviously attacking with Utopia first is wrong as you won’t be able to get over the token or the Gorz. So what happens if you attack with Papilloperative first? Now you can get over the token and they took 2100. That’s the same thing if you had attacked with Sangan first, but you got an extra 1100 damage. This can lead to you create a shortcut like:

“Attack with the second highest monster first directly if you cannot get over Gorz by battle”

Now does this shortcut change if you can get over Gorz? What if your field is Leviathan, Giga-Brilliant, and Sangan all of which have been boosted one time by Giga-Brilliant? Now you can attack over the Gorz the same turn. Alright well let’s play the scenario out again. Once again, attacking with the highest first is obviously wrong as you won’t be able to get over the Gorz or the token that turn in battle. That leaves us to either attack with the Sangan or the Giga-Brilliant first. Well we attacked with the middle one first last time, so let’s try that. If you do that you can attack over the Gorz, but not the token and you will have done 2100 damage. If you attack with Sangan first and they drop Gorz here, you will have only done 1000 damage, but you can get over both the token and the Gorz. If they wait and drop Gorz on the 2100, you can get over the Gorz, but not the token that turn. So now for them to have the same field they did in the second scenario (just a 2100 attack token), they would have to take 3100 damage instead of 2100 damage. This would leave us with the shortcut:

“If you can attack over the Gorz in battle, attack from lowest to highest.”

You can also apply shortcuts to knowing somebody’s decklist. It’s not that you’ve seen their exact Chaos Dragon list, but knowing that most Chaos Dragons don’t main any traps or any MSTs is a shortcut. You don’t have to process everything as the game goes on. Being so used to playing with monsters, spells, and traps, may lead you to not recognize that your opponent didn’t play any traps during game 1 had you not seen a Chaos Dragon deck before. This can cause side decking errors like leaving in Heavy Storm against a deck like this. However, if you have a general skeleton of their decklist in mind while you’re playing, you will know that they don’t play certain cards.

One final shortcut is side decking. It is generally a good idea to know exactly how you’re going to side in and out depending on who is going first or second against each of the top decks. You don’t want to come into a tournament blind not knowing exactly what you’re going to take out and put in against Wind-Ups. If you don’t know, you’re probably going to forget to either take a useless card out or put a good card in.

It is important to utilize all of your resources in Yu-Gi-Oh. Knowing last week’s Top 32 decklists are a resource. Having access to the top cards is a resource. Shortcuts are just another resource that allows you to not be overwhelmed by information.  Both players having between 4 and 6 cards at any given time, all of which have different effects on the game, is going to be a lot to keep up with. Simplifying this by giving yourself shortcuts is only going to improve your chances of making the right play and doing so in a timely manner. Leave a comment down below with any shortcuts that you use and until next week, play hard or go home!

Patrick Hoban

Patrick Hoban

Patrick Hoban

Latest posts by Patrick Hoban (see all)