Have you ever wished you can go back in time, even if it’s 10 seconds, after you made a play? You know the moment you realize you just made a mistake. It’s safe to say that most players have this fear of making a mistake. And they should not! Beginning players are afraid to make mistakes because they don’t want to look like a beginner. Experienced players are afraid to make mistakes because they also don’t want to look like a beginner.
In fact, many YuGiOh theorists say the main goal in YuGiOh is to minimize your mistakes, or at least minimize making the big ones. Many players focus on wins and losses when it would be better to focus on the one thing over which they have control: minimizing their mistakes. While this is true, there are also some merits in making mistakes. Even though your aim is to minimize them, it can be a mistake to be afraid of making them.
The first thing to understand is that there is something you can do that is worse than making a mistake. There are many situations in which you have to throw out all of the YuGiOh strategies, and all of the so-called correct strategies, and focus on one thing: your YuGiOh instincts. Note that I am referring to your YuGiOh instincts, not other types of instincts that you may have learned away from the dueling table.
When I talk about YuGiOh instincts, I am referring to that voice inside your head that is trying to give you guidance as to what your opponent is holding and how he might react to different situations. Sometimes this voice can’t give you reasons for its advice, yet it is still there and can be heard. For many players, this is the very first thought that comes to mind once their opponent has acted, or plays a certain card.
You can have solid fundamental technical skills, but you will never be a good YuGiOh player if you don’t learn to trust your YuGiOh instincts. Note that this does not mean that you make plays that go against logical odds, but simply that you use your instincts to help narrow down the range of cards that your opponent might be holding or to tell you what you think your opponent might do in a certain situation.
Making mistakes is human nature; going against your YuGiOh instincts is inexcusable. This isn’t the easiest thing to do, however, especially in big-time tournaments when a lot is on the line. What kinds of things might your YuGiOh instincts be telling you?
I don’t believe he/she has a very strong hand, and I ought to play very aggressive.
Even though he/she has 2 back row cards, I think I can get him/her to not use them and go for the kill.
I’m not exactly sure what he/she has in their hand right now, but he/she would have a tough time dealing with this monster unless he is sitting on a set monster removal. I should summon my boss monster now!
He/She is bluffing, and my boss monster is good here.
I suspect that your instincts tell you these types of things all the time, yet how often do you follow them? Every time you ask yourself these types of questions, you might find other questions that tell you why you shouldn’t trust your instincts. It generally isn’t easy to push for game if your opponent has some back row set, so you decide to not to push even though you think that in this particular situation, your opponent would probably don’t have anything set that would stop you. If you’re wrong in pushing for game when you suspect that he/she is bluffing, you will hurt your game position or feel embarrassed. You will feel embarrassed if you push for game on a bluff and your opponent catches you. You could wait a little longer for a bigger hand before you push all in for game.
Do you see what I’m talking about? Simon He gave us a perfect example of this when he played against Norberto Leon in the Top 8 in YCS Tacoma.
He explains what was going through his mind during this match.
Top 8 vs Leon
I played both well and awful in this game and it is the latter that cost me the match. Either way, this match was really epic!
Feature match, all of our friends gathered to watch.
I gathered a lot of momentum, there was a point where he had 1 card in hand and was forced to set 2 backrows and a monster ( I guessed this was Genex Undine, he searched it earlier). I had Gachi Gachi Gantetsu with a material, Master Hyperion and Thunder King Rai-Oh.
I thought about this for a second, then switched my Gachi Gachi Gantetsu to attack mode (if Thunder King Rai-Oh kills the face down then Master Hyperion and Gachi Gachi Gantetsu attack was enough for game).
It was a mis read on my part, his body language was not of someone who was in trouble and the thing he said was too obvious of a bluff…I sighed and carried on. If I had ended and waited to kill the other backrow next turn then it was my game, I was too rash and impatient.
I smoke sided ( I didn’t side a single card)
I summon Tour Guide From the Underworld getting Tour Guide From the Underworld and making Leviair the Sea Dragon, remove The Agent of Creation – Venus from hand for Master Hyperion, Leviair the Sea Dragon grabs The Agent of Creation – Venus and summons 2 Mystical Shine Ball, make Daigusto Phoenix to allow Leviair the Sea Dragon to attack twice, and finally summoning Black Luster Soldier Envoy of the Beginning. That was too much!
I had a really average hand and he Mermail Abyssmegalo and Moulinglacia the Elemental Lord me, I thought I had lost. At this point he cracks jokes about Moulinglacia the Elemental Lord very loudly with his friends in the crowd, I didn’t appreciate this to be honest, it was like an amateur playing and very unsportsmanlike.
I then start making small comebacks with The Agent of Creation – Venus, pushing him back. At one point I drew and started taking my time to look through both graveyards to see what was left, he flips over Mind Crush and calls Monster Reborn! I was not expecting that at all, I show my hand of Dark Hole and Master Hyperion.
He face literally dropped, he wasn’t so noisy anymore.
The situation turned completely in my favour when I had Dark Hole in hand, Master Hyperion on the field and Thunder King Rai-Oh. He has nothing in hand, nothing on field, a lot of cards used including Pot of Avarice. He tops Dark Hole! I was so shocked! But ok it happens, he ends and if I draw a monster 1300 or higher I win, I top deck Herald of Orange Light and before I even took time to think the word ‘end’ exited my mouth.
Yes I should have set Herald of Orange Light, and if I top decked a monster I can use Dark Hole and attack for game. I didn’t even look at my top card, I was so shook up after that Dark Hole and the crowd ( his friends) being so loud, I wasn’t thinking straight.
I have learnt to block out external noise very well but it cannot be completely ignored and the amount of things that has happened in this match shook me up to my core.
I shaked his hand, he seemed happy, even though I didn’t appreciate his heavy boasting.
excerpt from: Ycs Tacoma report Dark Magic Attack…
So you see whether you are right or wrong, abandoning your YuGiOh instincts is a bigger mistake than trusting them and finding out that you were wrong. The best players have developed two critical skills that separate them from the rest. First, they have developed solid YuGiOh instincts, which are generally right most of the time. Second, they have learned to act on them.
If you don’t trust your instincts and follow them, you will never learn if they are right or not. The less confidence you have in them, the less often you will follow them. Unfortunately, that can be a vicious cycle. Once you start following your instincts, you will learn from your mistakes and improve as a player, which, in turn, will give you the confidence to follow your instincts on a regular basis.
The other thing to realize about making mistakes is that each time you make a mistake and learn from it, you are actually giving yourself long-term positive expectation. Think about this: When you make a mistake and learn from it, you should never make that mistake again during your entire YuGiOh career! Rather than getting depressed from your mistakes, embrace them! You have just learned something that will help you win more games over your career. One of the worst things that can happen in a YuGiOh tournament is to sit there for several hours and not learn anything. As long as you learn each time you sit down at the table, you should be in for a long, profitable YuGiOh career.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Develop your game and your YuGiOh instincts, and when the time comes, trust them. Follow them, and your game will improve dramatically. And when you make mistakes, embrace them and remember that you have just learned something that will make you a better player. Even the better players make them and learn from them, remember Simon He.
What mistakes have you made that have made you a better YuGiOh player? Leave them down below.
image from cogdogblog