Trying to Make Sense

joe-giolandoWait, what?

I would be willing to guess just about every Yu-Gi-Oh player in the world had this type of reaction when they heard Sixth Sense was going to be released in the TCG... and be limited to one. For what it is worth, there are plenty of players out there who wanted to see this card released. The moment I obtain a copy, I am jamming it right into my cube. But that was just about as much game play as I ever wanted to see from that card. The card design of Sixth Sense defies Yu-Gi-Oh logic and makes no sense (no pun intended) in being a legal card. But for whatever reason, Konami has not only decided to print Sixth Sense, we all now know they want it to be legal for at least the remainder of the current format. So I guess we all have to deal with that.

Return from Different DimensionGranted there are no longer any American YCS events for the remainder of the format, but there are in fact a few overseas. We will be dealing with Sixth Sense at YCS Italy, and that is a damn shame because I know plenty of American players which would have loved to travel out to Italy for an event. But with a card like Sixth Sense being part of the format, the incentive to go really isn't there. I have heard some players relate Sixth Sense to an additional copy of [ccProd]Return from the Different Dimension[/ccProd], meaning just another game ending trap card, which is a fairly accurate comparison - but still. The milling of Sixth Sense can be just as beneficial in Dragon Ruler variants, but the variance is incredible. Sometimes it is just a draw 6, other times it mills all spells and then the next time it mills three Dragon Rulers (a pseudo draw three).

But the other area where Sixth Sense will be seen are regional and local events over the course of the rest of the format. This is where I think we can have a bit of discussion about Sixth Sense. Alter Reality Games has already gone forward to say that Sixth Sense will not be legal at ARG Circuit Series Columbus, which is an obvious decision. But I believe all locals should go forward and ban Sixth Sense from their local tournaments. I know, I know... people are there to "test" for regional or bigger events. But what benefit does Sixth Sense have in playtesting?

I am writing this article after over 20 decks in the Top 32 of YCS San Mateo were Dragon Ruler variants! Clearly, any competitive local would be swamped with Dragon Rulers. And if you are preparing for a regional event - you are planning on playing a bunch of Dragon Ruler decks. While Sixth Sense is going to be included in every deck, Dragon Ruler is where it really shines. But it isn't like any of the other decks are changed in terms of playability. You simply add Sixth Sense to what is already by far the best deck, and call it a day. The best deck acquires yet another tool, and all the other decks are left staring up at the top. So does playtesting with Sixth Sense really change the outcome of your testing?

As a matter of fact, I would be willing to venture that playtesting without Sixth Sense is more beneficial for the integrity of acquiring knowledge. Sixth Sense ruins Yu-Gi-Oh. A highly skilled and intensive game of Yu-Gi-Oh is ruined the moment Sixth Sense is flipped. So instead of drawing Sixth Sense, you could be drawing a fringe card worth testing for your upcoming regional. So not only are you playing "real" games of Yu-Gi-Oh not ruined by Sixth Sense, you are getting to test out more cards for your upcoming regional.

If I was actively testing for an upcoming YCS (and granted I haven't touched a Yu-Gi-Oh cards in over a month), I would rather do it without Sixth Sense in my deck. Obviously I am going to jam Sixth Sense in whatever Dragon variant I would play, but the card is simply not fun and interactive... I would rather learn how to win the "close" games than add something like Sixth Sense to distort testing results.

trap stunNot only that, it isn't like there is anything to counter Sixth Sense. What are you going to tech [ccProd]Trap Stun[/ccProd] in something? There is no real counter to Sixth Sense...

We are going to have to live with this card in some capacity, and honestly, the best capacity is the one where it is sleeved up the least. If Konami wants us to play this card at sanctioned events over the course of the remainder of the semester... sure, fine. Enjoy whatever profit is made from selling product, but the playerbase can still try to mitigate the damage. If you are going to a local tournament as the format progresses, I would suggest trying to get the store to ban the use of Sixth Sense. I would venture to guess a majority of players would be on board with that anyway. It was obvious in terms of ARG Circuit Series Columbus, and should be for all games of Yu-Gi-Oh. Sure, when things matter and you have to play in regionals/YCS events, play the stupid thing. But it ruins testing... isn't fun and has no place in legitimate Yu-Gi-Oh.

Joe Giorlando

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