Over the last couple of years there has been a trend to side out powerful cards in mirror matches. We saw cards like Return From the Different Dimension, Vanity’s Emptiness, and Djinn Releaser of Rituals be offered to be sided out to make the game more fair. This trend has continued into the Pendulum era with the offer to side out Wavering Eyes. I have always been a fan of offering to side out cards to make the games more fair, but Wavering Eyes is something I disagree with siding out. I’m back today to tell you why I don’t offer to side it out and why I tell anyone who offers me ‘no.’
Wavering Eyes distinguishes itself from other cards that are commonly sided out by the ability to actively play around the card. For starters you can destroy your scales with Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer. Most people do this, but then search Performapal Guiturtle and Lizarddraw to draw two cards afterwards. I think this play is incredibly subpar, as it leaves you with a scale on the field. There is a big difference between Wavering Eyes for 2 and Wavering Eyes for 3. Leaving the scale on the field leaves you exposed to being hit with Wavering Eyes for 3. It isn’t worth two random draws for that to happen. The basic idea is that you thin your deck out of Performapals and then hopefully draw into traps because you have better odds. This is redundant as you can access traps in your extra deck without the need to draw into them. It’s also subpar because it leaves you without a follow-up play. You have to hope to draw into a matching scale if you make this play. If you just search matching scales you don’t leave yourself exposed to Wavering Eyes for 3, you still have access to traps via your extra deck, and you give yourself a follow-up play.
While the adjusted list makes it a little harder to play around Wavering Eyes due to Damage Juggler getting banned, it’s basically possible to play around it at all times unless the opponent draws it off the top. This is unique from the other cards that people previously asked to side out. If the opponent drew Return From the Different Dimension or Vanity’s Emptiness you couldn’t play a specific way to avoid losing to them. You either had the out or you didn’t.
Being able to actively play around the card and needing to makes the mirror match much more complicated. If there is no need to fear Wavering Eyes, the opponent can disregard your sets without much thought and easily OTK you. If there is a card set they can be punished for not playing around it. Since I feel like I’m not going to stop playing around Wavering Eyes and will typically be able to regardless of my hand, I am perfectly okay with giving my opponent the chance to stop playing around it and being subsequently punished for it.
The ever-present threat of Wavering Eyes also makes it so you can create the illusion of defense even when you don’t have any. I think one of the biggest reasons I won Vegas was because I knew to set dead cards like Instant Fusion to bluff Wavering Eyes. Since Wavering Eyes has so much impact on the game, your opponent is forced to acknowledge it. They don’t know if your set is Wavering Eyes or Instant Fusion, but they have to Diamond Dire it because it might be Wavering Eyes. Once they do there’s a good chance you’ll live, because they just had to lose two real monsters for no gain to their board just because of the threat of Wavering Eyes. If those two monsters didn’t have to make Diamond Dire Wolf and could have been left on board to disregard your set, then there’s a good chance that they would have been able to kill you.
If the card were limited to one I would probably be more willing to side it out. Then it would just be like “well you drew it and I didn’t” or “I drew it and you didn’t,” but being at three means that we’re both going to see it often enough to be forced to acknowledge its presence and subsequently have to play around it or be punished for not doing so.
Wavering Eyes is good going first and going second. It is almost always correct to play it offensively when you have it instead of setting it as a defensive card that negates the summon of Diamond Dire Wolf. A lot of people don’t know that and will set it, effectively wasting it. By playing it first turn you can extend your plays significantly more and end with a much more impressive field.
Having it in the deck going second makes going second in general much more bearable. Going second without Wavering Eyes in the deck is like going first in Nekroz mirror match. That’s just something you don’t want to have to do. Having it in your deck when you go second gives you a much greater chance at being able to break their first turn board.
The final reason I don’t agree to side out Wavering Eyes is because people don’t know how to side deck when we don’t take it out. It has become so standard to take the card out that people are outright counting on it when they go to side deck. They have practiced with it sided out and basically only know what to side in and out when the other person has agreed to side it out. When you tell the person that you won’t side it out you get a huge advantage. They end up trying to side the same number of cards in that they would have been siding in if you had told them yes, but now they have three less cards to take out of their deck. Not knowing what to do they cut engine cards for what they are siding in. The number one rule of side decking is to not take out engine cards for non-engine cards, but because they don’t know how to side when we don’t agree to take out Wavering Eyes they end up doing this and make their deck worse overall.
Wavering Eyes is a card that can be actively played around at pretty much all times. You really only can’t play around it when someone draws it off the top, but the times it can be played around and aren’t played around are much more likely to occur. If you play around it at all times, you can count on winning a good amount of games based on your opponent not doing the same. It makes the mirror more complicated because you’re forced to acknowledge it. It’s one more level you have to consider when making your plays and siding it out only serves to simplify the mirror match. It extends your plays going first and breaks boards going second. Finally it tricks your opponent into mis-siding because they don’t know how to side when we don’t agree to side it out. I hope to see everyone at the Circuit later this month in Dallas, Texas. Until next time, play hard or go home!