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A Handful of Treats…post Halloween
Hello, my loyal fans, and thank you for reading this article that I’ve posted today. I’ve decided to forgo my Friday Deck Fixes for…well, for lack of a better reason, not many decks I get are too original these days. DAD Synchro and Gladiator Beasts are only so refreshing after awhile, and I feel like it’s time for a break. Now, about last week: I’ve had some things going on in my life right now (mainly work, which can be a pain) that have taken away from my time here on Pojo.com, but rest assured that I have not forgotten about you, my loyal followers. Your e-mails and constant reminders of the wonders of this game have kept me going through much worse, but I must warn you now: I may not be all that active in the coming months. With the holiday season fast approaching and the economy continuing to crumble, my family and I (I have a wife and daughter, lest you forget) have had to…well, make a dollar stretch, so to speak, and it’s getting stressful.
But enough about my sob story, you people are here to read about Yu-Gi-Oh!, so I’m going to provide that. As the title suggests, we’re going to be talking about numerous topics today, culminating in the top three winners of the Create-A-Card contest! But I wanted to talk to you all a bit about holiday shopping and what you can ask for to maximize the great stuff you get during this holiday season (we must be politically correct here, let’s not forget). With the amazing amounts of new cards coming out, it’s becoming easier and easier to get the once-sought-after cards that can make or break a deck. Breaker the Magical Warrior, Dark Magician of Chaos (for you Traditional players out there), Gladiator Beasts, Lightsworn cards; they’re all easier to attain access to than ever before, and it makes deckbuilding a lot simpler.
I remember when I first got into the game; it was damn hard finding all the cards I needed to build my deck. When I decided to switch from my Beatdown deck to a control build (along the lines of the World Championship winner in 2003), there were a lot of cards I needed, but didn’t have access to – the main one being Yata-Garasu, of course. Here was a card that I could see but not touch; it was majestic, and I wanted it so badly. That Christmas (for I celebrate that holiday, but there are others who may not) I asked my mom for a box of Legacy of Darkness booster packs (24 in each box).
I got seven packs.
But I opened every one, and every one didn’t have Yata-Garasu in it…until the last one. Like Ralph from A Christmas Story opening up his BB gun last, so did I with my beloved Yata, and ever since he’s been either in my deck or in my wallet. The point of this story is that while before (when I first started playing) you had to get your cards through boosters, now you can just but a structure deck and get it common. For whatever deck you’re looking to build, there are plenty of common varieties out there that can slake your thirst for that card. Hell, even Yata is common!
When it comes to cards, rarity isn’t an issue. As long as you have an Enemy Controller, it doesn’t matter if it’s an ultra rare or not; all three of mine are, and while that’s OK, for the average duelist that’s way too much effort and money to put into a deck. You want the card itself, not the prettiest version of it, and that’s where structure decks come into play. If you’re looking for good Spellcasters, get a couple of the Spellcaster structure deck; they have plenty of cards that can help out your deck. Another great tip is to go online and look up some of the booster sets that are Spellcaster heavy, and ask for some packs of that set. While you may not necessarily get the card you were looking for, some other ones you do get may surprise you, and maybe even give you some trade bait so you can get the card you’re looking for. Make sure you always check out the reprint sets (Dark Beginnings and Dark Revelations) for cards you may need, and always get the most out of what you want.
Switching gears here, I want to talk a bit about tribal decks and how you can make them amazingly good. I see a lot of decklists in my e-mail every day, and while some are good, some are okay, others are lame, and some are downright bizarre (50 commons? Really?), I get a fair amount of tribal decks, and they’re my favorite ones to review. If you’ll notice, my entire repertoire of decks are based around one theme: whether they’re Warriors, Spellcasters, Earth, Water, I pretty much have covered them. Some of them are a bit off (my Amazoness build is particularly weak), some are great (Warriors all the way), and some are meh (mainly the Gravekeeper’s), but all are fun to play. What I’m going to talk about are a few tips to show everyone how to get the most out of their tribal builds.
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Many tribal decks have one or two set builds, and many people don’t venture too far off the beaten path with them. Warriors, for instance, have the Maruading Captain stigma about them, and many players run Command Knight strictly on principle. I’m only going to say this twenty million times: just because it was good in the past doesn’t make it good now. I love Warriors, and I love building Warrior decks. Every deck I build has some aspect of the Warriors: Reinforcement of the Army, Maruading Captain, Mystic Swordsman LV2 – you name it, I’ve tried it in every deck I’ve built. Every deck. And many people don’t realize that even tribal cards are splashable in certain builds; you just need to find the right cards for the right build. But that also goes the opposite way too: just because a card isn’t a tribal card doesn’t mean that it’s not worth running in a tribal deck.
You want to run cards that will help to enhance the strengths of the particular tribe you want to play. Say you’re playing Gravekeeper’s, and you’re looking for a little more speed out of your deck. A great addition to the deck is Mystic Tomato; all the GK cards are Dark monsters, they’re almost all searchable, and the two combined have perfect synergy. But…he’s not a Gravekeeper, right?
Mystic Tomato in a Gravekeeper build should be standard, because he helps to balance the deck and make the deck better. All tribes have their strengths, sure, but while you need to build around those strengths, you can’t just forget about their weaknesses. You need to find out what the deck’s weakness is, exploit it through testing, and fix the damn hole. Every deck has loopholes that make it easy to take down, and you need to find those loopholes and close them up before someone does take your deck down. Also, don’t forget that many tribes are not one attribute; many have Light, Dark, Earth, Fire…they all have different attributes, so playing a field spell like Gaia Power in a Warrior deck is not maximizing the effectiveness of your deck. A great way to start building a tribal deck, if you’ve never built one before, is to search for every single monster, spell and trap card that even remotely is part of the tribe. You need to search for those, then go through each one and pick out the cards you think will have the most synergy and provide you with the most oomph, then build a deck around it. When you’ve gotten your list together, go over it and find any mistakes or places you can exploit the weaknesses, and fix it.
Tribal decks are really fun, but they can be a pain to build. If you’ve never built one and have never seen one in action before, talk to some veterans of the game and ask them how they would build the deck, and listen to them. Too many newer players think they’re better than everyone else, and it only serves to hurt their reputation and make people not want to play with you. You become the kid at the back of the bus who eats his own boogers; don’t be that guy.
Which is actually another thing I wanted to expound upon: the local card shop, local duelists and just about anything else local you can think of. The card shop is where everything happens, from trading cards to building decks to winning tournaments: it all happens here, at the local card shop. Regionals and Shonen Jumps are fun to go to, but at the end of the day you’re still just another guy at the shop, playing the game you love. It’s where every single pro duelist got their start, and where many more in the future will too. These card shops are the heart and soul of this game; they make people want to play the game, because they’re the ones that host the tournaments and give out the prizes and they’re the venue where you become a better duelist. Going to a regional once a month is not going to make you a better duelist; playing at the card shop, with regular veterans, is where the real gold is made.
Because you can’t win money in this game. You want that, go play Halo 3 or VS System or something. Yu-Gi-Oh! is built on reputation and skill; you get to be known by being knowledgeable about the game and being good at it. But no one is naturally good at the game; some people may have more tactical skill than others, but there’s still a learning curve. When you’re at the card shop (this is for newer players), be sure to listen to veterans when they talk about the game. Don’t be afraid of them; they won’t bite.
There’s a difference between a “n00b” at a game and a “newb” (I steal this from FPS terminology, but it still applies). A “n00b” is a person who thinks that they are amazing at the game, yet possess no real skill or talent. They talk trash, badmouth, curse, and make the card shop unpleasant to be in. You will often see these players with owner’s boots up their you-know-what as they are viciously removed from the premises. A “newb,” on the other hand, is an actual new player at the game. These players should be helped in every possible way; they are courteous, polite, and never say “you got owned by my Blue Eyes, b***h!” They offer their hand graciously in defeat and they will ask questions; do not be afraid to answer them.
This is something that really makes my blood boil: veterans who are stuck-up beyond belief. It’s one thing to be proud of your abilities and your top-8 at regionals (and it does well to make newer players fear and respect you), but it’s another thing to act like you’re Terrell Owens and be obnoxious as hell to people. That doesn’t earn respect, and that’s what this game is built on: respect. If a new player asks you questions, don’t brush them off like they were flies, but answer them in a nice manner. If they ask to play, play them; you don’t need to go easy, but after the game offer some helpful advice. If that kid with no sleeves is desperately looking for a card and has virtually no trade whatsoever, help him out. Give him that crap super rare for some of his commons, then help him buy some sleeves or something. Help him with his deck; offer to fix it for him. Give him some dueling theory lessons and help him to get better; that’s all he wants is to get better, and you may make some new friends along the way. This will build you up as a great guy in everyone’s eyes, you’ll become a local celebrity (especially if you’re a great duelist), and you can possibly attract more business to the store.
Which is another thing I wanted to talk about: big retail chains vs. the little guy, a.k.a. the card shop owners. When you buy the cheaper packs from Wal-Mart or Target, you’re taking money away from the Yu-Gi-Oh! community and putting it in the hands of giant corporations. You’re allowing the big guys to win, the guys who don’t host tournaments and don’t give out prizes. They want your money, nothing more, and nothing can hurt this game more than the giant retailers. Those places are not for the die-hard players of the game; you buy the packs at the card shop for a dollar more because you want to help that card shop grow and become a successful business, so they can hold larger tournaments and give out bigger prizes. Sure, Wal-Mart may be having a sale on Yu-Gi-Oh! tins, but the five bucks you save won’t save your local card shop, will it? And when that shop goes under, where are you going to play and get better? How are you going to trade the crap rares you pulled out of your tin for cards that can help your deck? The answer, plain and simple, is that you won’t be able to anymore. Without the local card shops, this game will die, and we’re seeing the mass commercialization of the game even now, with special two-for-one deals at Wal-Mart and structure decks for eight bucks at Target. This is not what the spirit of this game is, and too many duelists are caught up in the game itself to realize that without your support for the local shops, this game fails because there’s no other place to get together and play with friends. It’s important. So next time you’re at Wal-Mart, contemplating buying that structure deck, go to the local shop that you play at and pick it up there. Pay the extra buck or two, because that will help. Every little bit helps, and we can’t lose the local shops.
So, we’ve talked for quite some time now, but now it’s time for me to reveal the create-a-card winners!
In first place, submitted by Mike, we have:
Pay 500 Life Points to activate this card. When this card is activated, select 1 card on your opponent's side of the field. Your opponent then chooses one of the following effects to activate:
-The selected card is destroyed.
-The controller of this card draws 1 card.
This car is amazingly good in so many ways, that there was no other card that came close. 500 LP to either destroy a card or draw a card…and you get to choose which card to destroy! This card has a perfect cost which really helps the card to stay balanced in the long run, and its effect isn’t too terrible. You can destroy one card on the field (like Mystical Space Typhoon or Smashing Ground) and you get to draw a card (like Good Goblin Housekeeping). While this would probably be restricted to one-per-deck, it’s a great card, and a must in every deck.
Now then, in second place, submitted by Dread Mera Porte, we have:
Declare 2 Monster card types. Your opponent then selects one of the 2 Monster card types. You can then Special Summon one level 4 or lower Monster from your deck of the selected type.
Can you say amazing? This card is the ultimate recruiter card, and it’s amazing because it’s a Quickplay, able to be played whenever. It’s perfect for hybrid decks, and Gladiator Beasts and Lightsworn can both find a use for it. I feel like this is a watered-down version of Painful Choice, which is something that we’ve been lacking as of late, and I’ve wanted to see that card make a comeback. The great thing about this card, and what makes it not-broken, is the fact that you can only select monsters, and you can only special summon a level four or lower monster to the field. It’s a great way to swarm the field quickly, but its main drawback is the fact that it’s reserved for a certain number of decks and that can hinder its playability. If it were only one type of monster, I wouldn’t have considered it (it would be way too broken), but because it has two types to choose (and your opponent chooses too, which makes it even more playable) it isn’t considered broken (at least by me). I would say this is restricted to two-per-deck, should it ever be released.
In third place, submitted by Myles Manzano, we have:
Hehven, Lightsworn Priestess
600 ATK/300 DEF
Once per turn, you can send one "Lightsworn" monster from your deck to your graveyard. This card becomes the level of the monster that was discarded using this effect. When this card is destroyed and sent to the graveyard, send the top 4 cards from your deck to the graveyard.
What I love about this card is the sheer playability that it gives the Lightsworn deck. With a tuner in their arsenal, Lightsworn has become more powerful, and with the ability to change the level of the monster (for a very high cost: a card from your hand), the combos begin to add up and you can see the versatility of this card. I love it, and I would honestly consider running Lightsworn with this card in my deck. A great tribal card, and frankly one of the best submitted.
There were plenty of cards that were just as worthy, but didn’t make it due to criteria (attached, bad grammar, similar effect to another card in the game). I want to thank each and every one of you for submitting cards to me, and believe me I will definitely do this again sometime in the future.
For now, though, rest assured that the create-a-card contest is over, and it has been over, and I’ll let you all know when the next one starts up. For the winner, please submit whatever decklist you’d like me to fix, and I shall (I won’t post it on the site unless you want me to), and the runners-up will receive a special decklist including their cards (which is why I included how many per deck each card was restricted to) sometime in the near future.
As always, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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