The Art of Luck-Sacking

When it comes to Yugioh, no one seems to care who you are unless you have “qualifications.” What makes players who are well known, or “famous”, for that matter any better than you or me?  There seems to be only one reason that seems to be relevant:  Experience.

My name is Steven Mihalson and I myself am no “pro player.” I’ve been to a handful of regionals and SJC/YCS events. I’ve never done well at the premier events but I have topped a few regionals and have gotten my invite every year since 2008. I also have a channel on YouTube with over 800 subscribers. (I have to be doing something right, don’t I?)

The word pro is defined in many ways, from things such as jobs or expertise, to being paid for what you do. In this scenario, we Yugioh players define it as someone with great or extreme skills. There is more to the game other than skill, as luck and even what you have comes into play here. Look at it this way; if you enter an event with a deck that does not have many staples or even a main focus, you are going to lose.

Now you can try to argue that every deck has a main focus, which would be to win. That is correct, but you’ve got to look at it as HOW and WHY you can win. Can you perform some sort of OTK/FTK? Do you have a strategy that locks your opponent and controls their plays? Are you using some other sort of win condition such as Exodia, Destiny Board or Final Countdown? More than likely you’ll be using either the 1st or 2nd options, where it’s rare to see decks that aren’t aiming to reduce your opponents life points to zero. How often do you see these decks win a Regional or a YCS? How about a local? Not very often. This is why MOST players always build and play with a deck that is strong in the meta. If you don’t know what your deck can and will do, it’s not going to turn out well for you. That’s just the appeal of “net decking.” It’s rare anymore that you see someone with a completely original and innovative deck do well at these events.

However, when a new deck tops an event due to a great strategy, the ability to stabilize quickly or is just a really teched out deck with good meta calls, it’s going to get copied. No one really knew about decks like Quickdraw Plants until Jeff Jones won SJC Edison with it. Look how far it’s come now, evolving with the meta.  But where are other decks at right now? Let’s take a look at Lightsworn.

Everyone knows Lightsworn is a great deck and that it had its big time in the end of 2009 and early 2010. From Twilight, to Zombiesworn, in some rare cases Vayusworn  and many others that have splashed in LS cards. What do these decks have in common? The ability to send cards to the graveyard faster than any other deck; giving an extreme factor of luck. You can hardly control what your deck will mill off at times, just as Forrest Gump has said. “It’s like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.”

Both Quickdraw/Plant Synchro and decks like Lightsworn are both really good decks that can be mixed and matched with a plethora of cards but have an extremely high “sacky-ness” to them. Cards like Charge of The Light Brigade and Solar Recharge add pure speed.  Milling off a random Wulf will put more pressure on your opponent, as they have to now deal with it on top of whatever you just played that turn. You didn’t have to use a card from your hand to get it out; he just came knocking at your opponent’s door.  Getting those random key cards into the grave will let you do so much more than just play with your hand. This is why cards like Necro Gardna and Plaguespreader have become staples in Lightsworn.  You can abuse their effects without ever having to play them from your hand to the field in some way.  This is the importance of luck, it will be a plus in advantage if it’s good and will never be a minus if it’s bad.

Let me tie things up for you. With Quickdraw, the main factor of luck is what gets milled off of Charge/Ryko’s effect. What if you mill off 3 spells or traps or a Caius? Not good but it’s still not a minus.  What if you hit Spore, Dandylion or Glow-Up Bulb? This is where you explode with options of making tons of different plays, sometimes ones that give you control over the game that will lead to winning.  I’ve been playing with Quickdraw for decent amount of time now, using it twice in a few regionals. You can open with a horrible hand, be unable to stabilize but as soon as you get some cards into the graveyard that are not spells or traps, you can take off and come back into the duel. It feels just like Lightsworn at times, doesn’t it?

These are just examples of how luck can sometimes let you win the game. We’ve all gotten lucky at times and sacked our opponents into victory (I have, who hasn’t?). Even most "pro" players will admit to them getting lucky at times.  Just remember, at the end of the day, it’s a game whether you win or lose.

Steven Mihalson

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