What's up boys and girls, its T-Time! Its another Thunder Thursday and I apologize for the silliness of my last article. I was sick and figured I would do a fun one. This year, the vast majority of my articles have been about random decks and how they can be played in the current meta. This time I want to talk about an aspect of the game itself that is a must to understand if you ever want to get better at the game. The title is losers always win, and for the most part that is actually true. I don't often bring out my “Theory-Oh!” but I will let this be one of the few times that I do. I feel this is an important concept to understand and a lot of people don't get it. Basically, it is the idea that in anything, even Yugioh, there is somebody out there better than you. It is more likely that there are a lot of people better than you, whether you know it or not. Then again, c'est la vie.
Yugioh is a game where you can lose to people who are actually worse than you. Sometimes this is because of the matchup, but the better player wins about 70+ percent in my opinion. This is an article that should hopefully cure some ignorance, because it runs rampant through players who tend to speak out against “pro” players because they are really just so frustrated with themselves that they become blinded by their own ignorance and thus never get any better. Yes, this is a card game and it is meant for fun. However, a competitive nature is built into the game itself through tournament play and you wouldn't be reading this article if you didn't want to become better. So since you automatically qualify as my target audience, this is secret to how you get better.
You have to lose, make mistakes, play stupid decks, and get frustrated, that is how you get better. In more simple terms, you need to figure out what doesn't work in order to realize what does. You can read articles all day long, but they won't directly make you better. They can help you see what you are doing wrong, thus giving you the tools to become better. However, reading alone will not make you better. Also, losing and deciding that you were “luck sacked” as your constant excuse doesn't make you any better either. In fact, this mentality will doom you to be bad. You have to learn how to pilot bad hands to victory. You have to learn how to survive, even if your opponent has the nuts.
As for building decks, you should use “builds” as a general principal for what you want to run. You can make the decision to run Inzektors and even use a popular list as a starting point. However, you need to make the deck your own. Do you want to run real traps? Do you want to see if Hopper is better than Ladybug? Can you run Veilers, Thunder Kings, and Black Luster Soldier? Maybe. It is up to you to try this out and find out what works and what doesn't. When I first read Memory of an Adversary, I was convinced that this card would be amazing. In practice, this wasn't so. It had all of the makings to be good, but just wasn't. Even players like Billy Brake and Jeff Jones who may fancy themselves some of the best players and deck builders in the game make these mistakes. When Billy won back to back YCSs, he changed his deck by a few cards the second time. That shows that there is always room for continuous improvement. Make decks your own, and don't be too proud to admit when something you tried fails. Just give it another try, something you come up with will work.
In game, you have to learn how to analyze your game. Even for the most competitive players, it isn't the games you win that you remember, its the ones where you lost. You think back to them and remember what happened. Its easy to sit and say that they just drew better cards, but you need to go back and remember what you had. Was there any way at all that the combination of cards you had could have been used to beat them or even stay alive? Probably, you just have to admit that. Sometimes you over extend into Torrential Tribute, even pro players do that sometimes. Sometimes you didn't see that they were bluffing Gorz and could have won all along. Its about getting a feel for the way your opponent is playing their cards and that is something that comes with experience. Just make sure you analyze your games when you are done and don't ever allow yourself to think you played perfectly. There were other options in every game and whether you think you made the right ones or not, sometimes its the awkward plays that win games. Take your wins and take your losses, but analyze them every time.
Don't be intimidated by your opponent. Often times, a less experienced player will be going against someone with a name or just a good local player and quote “It doesn't matter, I'm going to lose anyways”. Well by saying that, they already have. You should feel excited to play against somebody better than you. You get to see how they play and analyze their style even if you do lose. Hell, maybe you will walk away with a victory. Also remember that just because you beat somebody doesn't make their points any less valid or them any less credible. They can still be better than you, you just had the better game. Think about it, the Detroit Lions beat the Seattle Seahawks this year. Does that make them the better team? Of course it doesn't, the Seahawks are leagues better, but it was the Lions' game. Basically, you should be excited by the challenge of playing against somebody better than you. If you lose, you get better. Like I said, you don't examine your wins, so winning is irrelevant. You want to play test against somebody that will actually challenge you.
I think you get the point and I don't want to bore you. I know that reading articles, even when interesting, becomes arduous after awhile. The last point that I am going to make is that most of the name pro players don't actually cheat, it just seems like they do because they are so much better than their opponents. It is as if they know the cards that are in their hand all of the time. They can trick you into thinking they have something or nothing and walk you into a trap where you get upset and think they stacked. There is a level of respect for Poker players because the best players do tend to win the most and they aren't stacking the deck. They also didn't get that far by always having aces or always flopping a set. There is also a respect for Magic pros as well. The other players know that they win because they outplay their opponents and aren't as often accused of cheating. Are their bad apples? Absolutely. However, even the other pro players don't like the people who cheat to get there. It is as if their wins are cheap while the others have to work hard to get them. It also gives a bad reputation to the majority of other high level players.
Don't let ignorance blind your judgment. Understand that you don't know what you don't know, and there is nothing wrong with that. Every day I wake up with the idea that “If I knew then what I knew now”, even 6 months ago! Everyday is a new chance to improve in anything, but only if you let yourself. The better you think you are, the worse off you make yourself. Can I personally be arrogant? Yes, but I am not too proud to admit when I am wrong. I am also not too proud to admit that I think there are players in this game that are better than me. However, I think I am at a very high level and that I can challenge even the absolute best player in the game. Yet if someone truly understands something better than I do, I will admit that. Thats what this game needs more, proud humility. There is nothing wrong with being confident in your skills, but you can be confident and humble at the same time. Even if I may fail at this, I do try my best. Anyways, I hope you liked this article and please comment below. Until next time, play hard or go home!