Hey everyone, it feels good to be back on the Yu-Gi-Oh circuit. I took a break due to personal matters but after 2011 U.S. Nationals I'm definitely hungry for another win in the near future. I will be attending Gen Con Indianapolis next weekend and am extremely excited. I'll be flying into Ohio first and driving to Indy from there with the people from Alter Reality and friends.
I've been playtesting a lot lately and feel very confident in the current metagame. But playtesting can only get you so far. In high level events you will constantly be thrown in to new scenarios and will have to adapt and be able to break down every little detail to make the right play. One small misplay in any game can cost you the win. There is so much to consider when making your moves and in a format like this I am strongly against the 40 minutes of time we are given to play potentially 3 tedious games of plant mirror matches or so fourth. So as unfortunate as it is, it is definitely one of the things you need to always keep track of or you will eventually and probably already have lose games that your technically supposed to win. Haha sorry for the rant on time, but it's definitely my least favorite to lose.
As far as making the right plays go there's a a lot to consider. The number of cards in hand and on field compared to your opponent is obviously one of the biggest things you should always know the answer to. A lot of the game comes down to reads and what you think your opponent has or may have. How do I know what they have or do not have many people will ask? As turns go by and you start making plays you can start ruling out certain cards as the game goes on. Early game it can be really hard to guess what your opponent has. Sometimes I will even play around cards like mirror force/dimensional prison/gorz by just not attacking simply because it's a slower but more guaranteed route to winning. I find myself not making plays where I lose to cards like Gorz especially. There were turns at Nationals I had a stardust/something else on board and just ended my turn to my opponents 3 cards in-hand. I would just pass with no attack and wait for the turn I would be able to deal with a gorz. Sure enough this happened to me multiple times, and I was very proud of my reads and plays every time.
Another key point in playing the best game you can is always keeping track of the graveyard as the game goes on. What's in the grave will give you more information about what your opponent has in-hand and on the field face down. For instance, when cards like torrential tribute are gone, I will feel much safer making a really aggro play knowing that would be the only card that would really ruin my chances of winning. Oppression is also a very scary card to watch out for in this format. If your opponent draws it early sometimes it can be game ending for me(playing plants). Sometimes oppression can be used to your advantage though if you can put your opponent low enough in life and they're also playing it in a deck that special summons.
The main key to winning in YGO is all about thinking ahead and setting yourself up to win many turns in advance. The right plays are a lot of the time very easy for me to make but sometimes very difficult when I'm in a critical situation that could win or lose me the entire game. Sometimes you can take control of the game early and put yourself in a strong situation where you know you are going to win, but many games come down to slowly making small plays and forcing out your opponent's cards while still conserving your best cards for last. I've always been more of a conservative player since I started playing this game and it has always paid of for me.
The current format is very diverse and there are so many decks and possibilities. A lot of of the luck in YGO is about what decks your matched up against. If you're playing plants and you get matched up against a lot of Gravekeeper's then your game ones will be difficult. That's where one of the true arts of YGO comes in, side decking. Having a near perfect side deck is very important. Choosing cards that are versatile and good against multiple decks will help you since you can only have 15 cards. You should know what cards to side in and out, especially for your bad matchups, since that's where your side will shine the most. During playtesting I like trying different plays and different ways to side just to see what works and what doesn't. It's the best way to figure out what the correct choices are. I could write a whole article on side decking alone, so expect something like that in the near future.
I base all my decks around being as consistent as possible. I would never play a deck that I don't think would be able to make it through all of the swiss rounds and top cut from losses due to bad draws. But this game is crazy and unpredictable. All any player can really ask for is to be consistent and perform well at events but not always win. It isn't very hard to consistently do well if you're an experienced and ''Pro'' player, but winning big events is a huge challenge. The luck factor is always there, and no matter how well you play things aren't always going to work out the way you want them to. I have the most tops out of all players but my win ratio is poor in comparison to other peoples sheerly because of the bad luck I have and and I can't even count how many losses were do to time.
I hope some people will learn from this article and my ones to come. If anyone has questions for me just comment on this article and I'll be sure to get back to everyone as soon as I can. I can't wait to be back on the circuit and compete this weekend at Gen Con. Until next time.
Adam Pro Corn