Have you ever looked in the mirror and said, “You can be a much better YuGiOh player?” I know I have several times. I often wonder how the better players get better. The answer came to me when I interviewed Alistar Albans in YCS Philly. He basically said, “Practice!”
When he said that I remembered one of my favorite basketball quotes from former NBA star “Easy Ed” Macauley:
“When you are not practicing, remember — someone, somewhere is practicing, and when you meet him, he will win.”
This idea can be applied to most areas in life, and certainly to YuGiOh. I stongly suggest to everyone the need to continue studying this game. You can never know too much. New strategies and concepts are being developed constantly. If you are still playing the same way you played last year, you have fallen behind. And you more than likely don’t even realize it.
I’m sure many of you have heard, “Of course I know how to play YuGiOh. I have 5 years experience.” It’s true, they have been playing for 5 years, but they probably have 1 year of experience repeated 5 times. Which means they still play the way they did when they started 5 years ago.
How about you? Are you up to date? Would you have thought and made this exact play Joe Giorlando did in Top 8, Game 1 against Jerry Williams playing Dino Rabbit at YCS Philly?
He wins the roll and begins with Evolzar Laggia, 4 backrows. I have a fairly good hand with Solemn Warning, Mystical Space Typhoon, Forbidden Lance, Tour Guide From the Underworld, Rescue Rabbit and Monster Reborn. I am able to grind through his Evolzar Laggia negation and backrows. The first turn I decide to summon Rescue Rabbit and see how he responds. He decides to use a Evolzar Laggia negation on it. From here I get the feeling as though his backrows must be some combination of Torrential Tribute and Forbidden Lance.
I consider my play on the second turn and conclude that if he used Evolzar Laggia on Rescue Rabbit that if I were to Monster Reborn Rescue Rabbit on the second turn it would put him in a terrible position to where he would most likely have to use a desperation backrow such as Torrential Tribute or if he has it – Solemn Judgment. I set all of my backrows to hide the Solemn Warning in case of an endphase Mystical Space Typhoon.
He follows up turn two with Tour Guide From the Underworld – which I am forced to negate with Solemn Warning. He hammers away for 2400 points of damage and passes back to me with one new backrow. I decide against using an endphase Mystical Space Typhoon because having sat next to Jerry in previous rounds I knew he was playing Fiendish Chain in the maindeck.
From here I decide to hold Tour Guide From the Underworld as the card which will go over the top of Monster Reborn. I play the Monster Reborn to which he negates with Solemn Judgment. At this point I am feeling more confident that his backrows are what I assumed so I make the follow up of summoning Tour Guide From the Underworld. He flips Fiendish Chain so I chain my Mystical Space Typhoon. His response to the Mystical Space Typhoon was his own Mystical Space Typhoon targeting my facedown Forbidden Lance.
At this point I was rather confused as to the reasoning of his activation. There didn’t seem like any legitimate reason for me to chain the Forbidden Lance – at this point he was sitting with one additional backrow. I began to fear the possibility that his one backrow was the second copy of Fiendish Chain which he would be able to use when I went into Leviair the Sea Dragon. After determining there was no point in chaining Forbidden Lance I tell him I have no response. Here he flips up his backrow Fiendish Chain on my Tour Guide From the Underworld! Holding off on the Forbidden Lance pays off as I am able to chain it and assume complete control of the game! Tour Guide From the Underworld resolves and next comes Rescue Rabbit and so on.
excerpt from: Number 7: (Not so) Lucky Straight – Top 4 YCS Philadelphia
That was an amazing read on his part. I’m sure he must have trained his brain to think of such things through practice. I’m sure he also learned to think in such a way from all the top level games he has played. So he is always learning and studying with every game he plays.
How much time do you give to studying YuGiOh? Really studying and really thinking about it? Are you observing and learning every time you play? When you are watching a match, are you just as intenly concentrainting on what’s happining, as if you where sitting at the table? Do you have a “book” on the various players you meet? If you play YuGiOh to win, it’s about time you did.
I try to play this wonderful game of YuGiOh everyday. And almost daily I am surprised by the level of play I see. So why do I want to improve this level of play? After all, I’ll probably have to face these improved players across the table. And that’s just fine. I would much rather play with people who are knowledgeable. I enjoy it more. Also often it’s easier to win from good players than a table full of poor ones.
So, how about it. Are you willing to make the effort? Many players are and do. Remember, whenever you’re not studying, someone, somewhere, is studying. Someday you’ll have to play against them. So you’d better get to work.
How much time do you give to studying YuGiOh? Leave your comments below.