Hello again Yugioh players and fans this is Eric Gray giving you all another article for the Alter Reality Games contest. The topic for this article is something more perspective-based called the X-factor. The X-factor is basically a key characteristic(s) that separate you from your opponent such as deck choice, the plays that were made by you and your opponent and the reasons behind them, and how you and your opponent handle certain situations. However in this article I will be talking about 3 other X-factors which are deck choice, tech choice(s), and experience.
To start off, deck choice is one of the main X-factors in the game of Yugioh. There is always the tough decision for players whether to play rogue decks or play meta decks. In reality though, as a player it is best to play what you are already familiar with. For example,let's say that Player A plays a Plant deck and Player B plays a Blackwing deck. However, Player B is more familar with his deck that Player A is with his own deck so even though Player A had the "better" deck , Player B has is more comfortable with his deck, therefore Player B would make the better plays therefore winning the duel.
Also, another component of deck choice is based on the understanding of the current meta. One of the best ways to achieve this is to find out what decks are consistently in the Top 32 of YCS or Regional events. By doing this, you will have a base for understanding what to prepare for and what deck will be the better deck for you to play at the event. For example, if 22 of the Top 32 of the first YCS of a format was Plants, you have one of 2 options either to play against it or play the deck yourself.
Furthermore, a deck building component that sometimes players overlook is choosing a building a deck that can adapt as the meta changes. Usually, this is more often seen in the side deck as opposed to the main deck , but in today's game based on what I have seen and tested against, it feels as though you have to build your main deck with a similar mindset as you would build a side deck. For example, if you are playing against a particular player in game 1 and you see that your opponent is using plants most of the time in game 2 and game 3 that plant player will side out of most of their plant cards and go for more of a control concept or agression concept depending on the player's preference of course.
Just like deck building is important, the tech choice(s) for your deck overall could make the difference between doing well and doing poorly at competitive events. For example, let's say that Player C is and anti-meta player who is matched up against Player D who is using Dino Rabbit. Typically, the Dino Rabbit player would be expect cards such as Doomcaliber Knight, Thunder King, and maybe Fossil Dyna and that's it. Instead of stopping there, the anti-meta player would also main deck 3 copies of Summoning Curse to banish cards from your opponent's hand.Through the use of unexpected tech choices you create favorable situations for the current game and potentially the entire match such as forcing your opponent to waste resources/ throwing your opponent off guard and leaving your opponent wondering "What else do you have in store for me?"
Finally, experience is one of the most, if not the most important of the X-factors. Throughout your life, there have been various things you have had to learn and understand through experience such as falling off a bike, touching a hot stove, etc. trivial things like that help us as human beings grow in everyday life. The same aspect applies to competitive Yugioh because of the fact that if you have played with or against the top decks like plants or Dino Rabbit a multitude of times usually months before a event you are more prepared than someone who has tested only a week before the event.
In addition, another aspect of experience are the number of years the person has been playing this game on a competitive level. This qulaity of experience could make the difference between who tops at large scale events consistently, who has the better understanding of the meta and the changes that happen within it, and who is more prepared. Usually this aspect of experience is shown through the deck choices. An example of this would be a 6 year veteran player vs a 4 year veteran player. In this situation it would seem that a 2 year experience gap would not make much of a difference, however, the more experienced player would typically be more strategic and cautious of his/her deck choices, tech, and plays. Also, the argument could hold true for the lesser experienced player as well since he/she could be mindful of the same things as the more experienced player but not on the same level which could inevitably be the downfall of the less experienced player. Another example of this is a much more significant gap of a 9 year veteran vs a 3 year veteran. Even though the 6 year experience gap is very significant and will usually give the 9 year veteran a slight edge over the 3 year veteran, but the more experienced player must keep in mind the fact that even though he has a more significant amount of experience, he must keep a level-head and remain focused because there is a reason that the 3 year veteran made it to this point.
The purpose of this article was to introduce the term "X-Factor" to the reader through three commonly understood aspects of the game which are deck choice, tech choice(s), and experience which are all supported with examples that help any player of any level understand and apply these aspects to their play
To conclude, I would like to thank Alter Reality Games again for the opportunity to write articles for their contest. Also, another special thanks to the players and fans of Yugioh for taking the time to read this article and to comment it is and will always be appreciated.
As they say at Alter Reality Games: "Play hard or go home!!!!"