There is a disturbing lack Yu-Gi-Oh! around here. Weren’t we the most popular game?
Hello everyone! My name is Christian, but I usually go by Chris. I’ve been a Yu-Gi-Oh! player ever since the original anime aired in my country, Guatemala by the way. I have always enjoyed several aspects of the game, including the anime, the lore on some cards, and being pseudo-competitive. I say pseudo because the player base here in Guatemala is not as big nor as hardcore as it is in other territories, and I do not have a huge budget for the game. I’ve experienced that the community, as a whole, is very divided on how should the game be played and enjoyed. I’d like to discuss this a bit in this article.
I remember a while back there was an article by Patrick Hoban, the star player, about how playing a “lower tier” deck than the top for the format was handicapping yourself and lowering your chances of winning a tournament, which goes against playing competitively. I’m just paraphrasing so don’t quote me on it. The important part is that I agree with the statement to a certain extent. If your goal is to win, you should be playing the best deck possible. It’s obvious. While there are several factors that need to be considered while making a statement like this, the basic idea remains the same: If you want to win you have to play the best deck you can. Again, the best deck that you can. This is what’s truly important.
There are things like the budget and the general look that you have on the game. Maybe you believe that you shouldn’t be wasting time trying things when there are proven strategies out there that constantly top. This seems to be the case for most players. While valid, I consider it to be harmful to the game as a whole. It causes stagnation and netdecking. This, in turn, causes that tournaments are filled with a triad (almost always) of elite decks that are considered the best and other strategies are not represented properly.
The idea that using a non meta deck is a handicap is myopic. It lacks the consideration of several other factors such as the intended purpose of using such a deck, the budget in which a player is, the experience of the player within a certain meta, and even what might be considered “the best deck” to play. Technically, we could call an anti-meta deck as the best option to play in a tournament as it is meant to deal with all the top decks but in practice it isn’t. I’m not trying to argue against using meta decks, I’m defending the not using meta decks from being called a bad decision.
Because of this a lot of players that do not have the proper knowledge of the game, especially online, assume that any other strategy is subpar when compared to the top strategies. Most of us have experienced what comes of this: being called a scrub or a noob when using a deck that is not meta. You might be testing that spell counter build that you just discovered was possible, and it might be a great build but it is not pretty to be called names for no other reason that participating in one of the core skills that players of this game should develop, deck building. I’d dare to say, without trying to offend anyone, that deck building is one of the most underdeveloped skills that the players, all of us, have. We just do not practice it enough.
So players that lack in the building department just use a deck that has shown results before. It isn’t the deck, it is the player, or something like that is what I’ve heard and I think it has a certain point to it. Jeff Jones has shown multiple times that a good player and drive a non-meta strategy to do very good on the competitive scene. While he might not always win, it is pretty huge when he does. And yet a lot of people see crafting your own deck as putting yourself in a losing situation. While it might be in a numerical sense, it shouldn’t be on the practical size. I believe that if the players started working a bit more on crafting decks instead of just focusing on the duels, the skill level and the overall experience of being part of the community would improve considerably.
The last thing I’d like to talk about is another reason why people don’t like to use top decks. The Limited & Forbidden list. It is a very important thing to consider when you are building a deck. People do not want to waste time learning to play a deck, nor do they want to waste a bunch of money for a deck that will eventually be unplayable and could potentially mean a considerable loss of the money invested to get such a deck. For this reason several players choose to play decks that are less likely to be hit, that cost much less money, and they can really master such deck. It is not trying to handicap yourself, it is considering several situations and making a decision to play what is best for you. Again, I sincerely believe that if a larger number of us, the players, engaged in building a deck from the ground up the skill level and the community itself would improve. If you haven’t tried it, you should give it a shot. Try to build a deck from the ground up, even if it is a meta deck and try to figure out the proper ratios, and cards to include like techs. Doing that should give you an interesting insight into the game. I believe deck building is one of the most enjoyable parts of the game and I hope that as the game continues growing, the idea that not using the top decks means you are not a serious competitive player ceases to exist and more of us get into building and tuning our own decks becomes just another way to try to compete to be the best.
So there it is, my very first article here. I’d like to point out that everything said here is merely my personal opinion and in no way represents that of the site owner or the other writers in here. Leave a comment if you enjoyed the read, leave me a comment if you think I am wrong. I’d love to hear what you guys have to say.