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3 Realities Of YuGiOh

3_flickr_2360600227_c419c5866c_zHave you ever been in a match and everything seems to be going the way you planned it? Then out of no where in a matter of one turn things are not going the way you had planned. All of a sudden you are the one looking for a way to come back. Has your YuGiOh mindset just changed?

The YuGiOh Mindset is a set of attitudes that every YuGiOh player should try to master, regardless of their level of playing, limits, or technical skill. There are realities to be aware of and attitudes to adopt to succeed at YuGiOh over time.

Just like technical skills, the YuGiOh Mindset will help you make better decisions at the table. In fact, in some situations it could be argued that defects in your YuGiOh mindset could lose you more games than defects in your technical game.

Understand and Accept the Realities of YuGiOh

Many players fail to achieve success in YugiOh because they fundamentally misunderstand the game. To understand YuGiOh, an aspiring player needs to understand the Three Realities of YuGiOh.

1. YuGiOh is a game of both skill and luck.
A popular debate among the YuGiOh community is whether YuGiOh is a game of skill or luck. Each time you take your first 5 cards is effectively a new start, so logically it would seem that the way to win would be to try to win each game with the cards you have drawn. A skilled player cannot do anything to increase his chance of winning with the cards he has other than getting his opponents to conceed before dealing 8000 damage.

But there is also a considerable element of skill. At various points in a game, players are asked to make game changing decisions. They must analyze the clues available to them, and then use their judgment to make the best game changing decision. Where there is judgment, there is room for error, and where there is room for error, there is naturally a skill element.

2. In the short term, luck is king.
Although YuGiOh is a game of both skill and luck, in the short term it can be very difficult to spot the skill element at all. The skill in YuGiOh is to lose less games with your losing hands and to win more with your winning hands, but even this is an imprecise science over the period of a match. It is quite possible to make good decisions in a game and be punished for it, or, make bad decisions and be rewarded.

Have you ever seen someone make the right play at the right moment and still lose? I know I have and it’s really fustrating to see that happen. Especially since it was the technically the best logical play, just not the best play to win the game.

Here is a prime example of this between Joe Giorlando and Aaron Noel in Top 32 YCS Chicago:

Game 3: Aaron begins the game with Rescue Rabbit and a set backrow.

I open with Dimensional Prison, Solemn Judgment, Solemn Warning, Dark Hole, Kabazauls and Tour Guide From the Underworld. I decide to set my three trap cards and the Kabazauls because he had respected Snowman Eater the entire second game. This way I will either stall the game out, bait out a possible Raigeki Break which I saw game two, or hammer him with Dimensional Prison before using Dark Hole on Evolzar Laggia.

Evolzar Laggia YuGiOh Card GameOn his second turn he ends up summoning the second copy of Rescue Rabbit (so in three games 3’s in the Top 32 against Rescue Rabbit my opponents have opened a total of 5 Rescue Rabbit… argh). Anyway, I allow him to go into Evolzar Dolkka without flipping Solemn Warning because the way I looked at it. I would be again to bait out Evolzar Laggia with Dimensional Prison and then take the game over with Dark Hole and Tour Guide From the Underworld. Saving both Solemns for the second half of the game.

Things end up working perfectly and I am able to bait out Evolzar Laggia’s negation and resolve a second turn Dark Hole! I drew Sangan for the turn and I wish I had drawn something else to be honest. The Sangan gave me the idea of playing around Effect Veiler and by potentially netting me a monster he would Effect Veiler first. So I hammered in with Sangan and passed. He ran over the Sangan with Sabersaurus on the following turn and I decided to select Snowman Eater because I figured on the next turn he would refrain from attacking and on my next turn if he had Effect Veiler he would use it when I flip summoned Snowman Eater. Then I would drop the Tour Guide From the Underworld and take the game over.

Things work out perfectly. I set Snowman Eater and pass back.

He draws and passes back himself.

So I flip Snowman Eater and Tour Guide From the Underworld! No Effect Veiler in the sight! I am able to establish a field of Leviair the Sea Dragon, Evolzar Laggia and Tour Guide From the Underworld with both Solemn Judgment and Solemn Warning set! Once I attack I am forced to negate his one set backrow Mirror Force with Evolzar Laggia. He then dropped Gorz the Emissary of Darkness– which is fine I had the copy of Solemn Warning. So after all the dust was settled I past to him with Solemn Judgment set. I should have this game right?

He draws to only four cards in hand.

Heavy Storm

Dark Hole

Monster Reborn.

And the game was over just like this.

Another trip to the Top 32 and instead of just being blown out by double Rescue Rabbit in game three I actually came back to take a dominating position… Only to be triumphed by the trinity of power spells in the game.
excerpt from Every Rose Has Its Thorns; Top 32 YCS Chicago

Even over time, things don’t always run smoothly for the skilled player. A good player can have a bad losing streak for quite some time through a combination of drawing poor cards, reading his opponent wrong, or simply being out played by more often than usual. It is easy for those players luck to collect into either a very good or a very bad run for them.

3. In the long term, skill is always going to be king.
The good news for the winning player is that if you play long enough, luck will stop being a factor. Mathematicians know this intuitively, but for those of us less mathematically inclined, imagine a coin being tossed. If you toss a coin ten times, you would expect there to be about five tails and five heads. As we would expect, five is the most likely number, and four and six are also quite likely, but the chance of a more extreme result is still significant. There is approximately a 17 percent chance of tossing seven or more heads.

But what if we toss the coin 100 times? If we now calculate the chance of getting 70 or more heads (the same proportion as before), we find it is now only 0.004 percent. The more times you repeat a random event, the less likely it is that you will get an extreme result.

This mathematical theory, called “the law of large numbers,” has important consequences in YuGiOh. As you play more and more games of YuGiOh, the chances of you being extremely lucky or extremely unlucky decrease. Play enough games, and the luck factor is virtually eliminated, leaving skill alone to determine results.

You can see this in a match between Joe Giorlando and Jerry Williams. Joe really showed his skill by reading what Jerry had. He of course was able to make such a read not by luck, but by skill. By playing so many games prior to this match he developed the skills to make better judgement plays.

A good player both understands the Three Realities of YuGiOh and accepts them. To put it another way, if you don’t like the rules, don’t play the game.

One Response to “3 Realities Of YuGiOh”


I really like your E-Mail and I like how you use the games that the ARG players put on their Articles, and you analyze them, that’s what Theory should be


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