What it means to call someone “Conservative” and “Liberal Oops, I mean Aggressive” & Psychological Advantage Part 1

What is up ARG? It’s been a while but I haven’t been out of it! I’m back here to explain a few hazy subjects that not everyone can explain off the top of their head, and I’ll start with this; we currently are in a time in this game where card advantage has little to no relevance anymore, due to the change of pace of the format. Field presence and control right from the start is the now whereas before making sure you have cards in hand used to be the key to victory, but what cards would you possibly want to be holding now? Dark Hole? Monster Reborn? You’ll end up losing all 8,000 of your life points before you even get the chance to use either one, or your opponent will have an Evolzar Laggia backed up with Forbidden Lance and that same Dark Hole and Monster Reborn become obsolete! The only cards you want in your hand during your opponent’s turn are Effect Veiler, Gorz, Tragoedia, Swift Scarecrow, and D.D. Crow.

Question of the article: If you were thinking on cutting Book of Moon from your main/side deck, what are your reasons for doing so? If you aren’t thinking on cutting Book, how has Book of Moon helped you throughout the time you used it during your most recent duels? Be sure to answer in the comment section below!

This may seem redundant, but it must be mentioned because you haven’t seen me in the past few months. We see dragons wrecking havoc on the championship level thanks to Alexander Reed, and before he topped at YCS Long Beach that was the only deck I was truly afraid of. I knew the vast amount of plays it can make it with only 2 cards, and the ability to play boss after boss monster while have top decks like Reborn, Tour Guide, Lightpulsar, BLS-Envoy, Chaos Sorcerer, and Darkflare, who wouldn’t be guessing it’s a top tier deck, not to mention the first turn future fusion, etc… Besides Mr. Reed, we have rabbits everywhere thanks to YCS Chicago, and the same YCS we had the ARG team using inzektors with Billy destroying the competition. You look at inzektors and you just think how unfair a whole bunch of dark armed normal summon-able monsters are. To an extent these decks take some thinking and if you watch the way people place their cards down you start to take into account when they act a certain way when they are playing cards down or thinking, with any knowledge you have at any given point by the time you sit down to play by the time you start your first game with your opponent, this is the time you need to gain the psychological advantage. If you are Jeff Jones you show little to no emotion, but if you are Jarel Winston he practically tells you what he has in his hand with all those emotions, but he could use that to his advantage at all times which is probably a better choice to be always going down a path where your opponent cannot achieve that mental success where he has you on the ropes and all you can do is sit back and play defensive. Personally, I don’t like mentioning names so this is a first for me, and now onto some examples of the psychology I use in my games to help me win that battle in my mind, because it really does help! Since I’ve played in a regional at L.A. California before heading on over to YCS Chicago I was able to test 9 matches, and at the Ipad tournament on Friday before YCS Chicago I was able to test 7 matches, going 5-0, then losing to inzektors making top 8, and then losing in top 8 to Barrett Keys and his Inzektor deck. Then at YCS Chicago I made it to day 2 and lost in round 10 to Inzektors, you might have guessed that my psychology kinda didn’t help me because my deck wasn’t geared enough towards the inzektor match up but that’s besides the point, they were all good games and most of my opponents played extremely exceptional. Round 7 of the L.A. Regional I was pitted against heroes and he was an over average player judging by his language how he played and what he said. We entered the final game and he was nervous, so I attacked like crazy till he was at a point where any gearframe summon would be the finishing blow, after a while the game was simplified to his 1 card in hand to my Machina Peacekeeper and Torrential tribute set and I had 4,200 LP left to his 3,500 LP, it was my turn and I drew the torrential for the turn, I decided to attack directly with my peacekeeper, he then dropped the final card in his hand gorz the emissary of darkness! Big mistake on my part it seemed, but I stayed calm because I knew I still had machine cannon left in my deck to discard to bring fortress from my graveyard back to my field if he decided to kill the peacekeeper. When he drew for his turn this is when the psychological game began, he used pot of duality and flipped up the cards very slowly, but when he flipped up the first card heavy storm I didn’t care, when he flipped up Mystical space typhoon the next card I wasn’t afraid, but then he flipped up thunder king and my grin went down to a sad face like a flower pedal blooming then losing it’s whim. I had to make to painstakingly obvious so that he would get the hint that I didn’t want him to add thunder king, he did think about it for a second as if he is reading my torrential, but looking at the lifepoints, he felt he had nothing to lose by taking thunder king and I did use torrential the turn before which was in the grave, mirror force was in there too, there was only 3 dimensional prisons left in my deck or face down and he was banking it was there, so he took the thunder king shuffled the other 2 back, summoned the rai oh and torrential finished him off, as I was able to search my Machina Gearframe and finish him off with 4300 attack (Gearframe + Fortress). I did win the psychological game, but I have several other stories to share to help you gain better knowledge, because with this psychological game (a skill on it’s own) you can potentially push people into a corner they can’t crawl out of. Play after play will put them in a deep hole where advantage and attacks are all yours for the taking.

It’s time when you sit down at the table not only to win the psychology game but also to figure out what type of player they are, let’s just say there are 2 types of players, and 5 different skill levels.

Types of players:



Types of skill levels

-Beginner: Still learning basic steps of a chain, basic rulings, and what cards do

-Under Average: Know how to play, but plays for fun makes obvious misplays

-Average: Decent player who takes it a little more serious and does better then most but loses on the bubble and doesn’t know enough about the game

-Over Average: Tops events here and there and is a little recognized but not quite top tier yet

-Exceptional player: These types of players are capable of winning through very difficult situations and terrible draws and they can build or play yugioh exceptionally well, they have multiple tops MOST of the time (not all the time), and they know what cards are great to use with most rulings and card effects, and card text memorized. They play test often and travel often as well.

What does a “Conservative” player mean? What does an “Aggressive” player mean?

A “Conservative” player would categorize as to not waste everything to push for max damage right away, they prefer to hold back to have the momentum always shift their way or push for damage when they absolutely have too, netting plus 1’s (when you have 1 card more then your opponent’s total cards, that is a “plus 1”) here and there every turn. The problem with assuming they are conservative they’ll change the game around in a flash suddenly they have all 5 cards set to their backfield with a huge threat such as Thunder King or Jurrac Guiaba. A particular player could play passive sometimes, but then all out another time. You can’t categorize players like before when the only deck available was Monarchs. Decks like Dragon Chaos, Lightsworn, Six Samurai, Rabbit Dino, could play passive if they wanted, but they have enough power to push for over 8,000 with 2-3 cards, so why wouldn’t they?

An “Aggressive” player is a player who likes to push for damage, not so much caring about the game state as long as they can kill your field off and swing for 8,000. While it may seem players are assuming this route more and more, there has a been showings of final countdown decks, chain burn, and inzektors who can sit back and wait for you to make a play and depending what you do they will react with annoying spells and traps. During any of your game 1 matches, it’s always important to make your opponent assume you have 1 of these particular play styles, that way when you change it up game 2 and 3, it’s hard for your opponent to even recognize what your doing, thus being unable to read you, and making it much more difficult to counter your plays making you 1 round closer to the top!

You want to take your game to the next level? In my next article I’ll point out simple steps to put you ahead of the psychology game and help you win games you otherwise couldn’t! I’ll touch more and “Conservative” and “Aggressive” and point some more examples that I used to help me win games in the important parts of the tournament.

Also, I want to send out to my support to anyone who needs it. If you need help on your deck with consistency issues, or just need techs to make it better, feel free to email me and I’d love to answer your questions or help you with your deck, that’s what ARG is here for, to help you always being 1 step ahead and being able to outsmart and take games from out of nowhere!

Remember play hard or go home!

ARGwriterKevinSilva (DuelingNetwork user name)