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 Trading Card Game Tips from fans


April 2007

The State of the Game: A Personal Analysis - Eddie Lavender aka Diabound Carnel

Since the beginning of Duel Monsters (as I shall, henceforth, refer to it) there has been a distinct categorizing of the type of duelist a person is:

The Innovators: These people are the reason Duel Monsters continues trundling on like the multi-million behemoth it is. Without innovators the game would have died sometime around the first banned / restricted list. Innovators are the duellists who constantly bring variation, and initiative to such affairs as Shonen Jump Championships, Nationals and even World Championship Tournaments. Whenever I think of the word “innovator” a few names leap to mind:

. Jae Kim who revolutionized people’s views of Chaos decks with his use of Slate Warrior, Thunder Dragon and Night Assailant combined with Card Destruction and Lightning Vortex.

. Evan Vargas whose stimulating Soul Control deck produced the largest rise in Netdecking known to Duel Monsters.

. The guy ( I forget his name ) who entered a Championship Tournament with a pure Beast-Warrior deck and made it to the Top 8!

Many more people who have yet to have their deck building prowess and intuitive understanding of the metagame will go unappreciated.

I would like to thank this group known as “the innovators” for constantly breathing life back into Yu-Gi-Oh! and say: “Keep Up the Good Work Guys”

The Cookie Cutters: This category of duelist seems content to bumble from one format to the next with only one consideration in mind: what is most powerful, effective and efficient. This train of thought is ,without a doubt, brutally effective in a business-like manner. The Cookie Cutters ,or CC, are essentially the “heavies” of Duel Monsters. Their decks reflect this nature in kind: they contain little to no theme aside from the utilization of the most powerful effect monsters, powerful spells and traps which jumble together to make a lethal yet boring archetype. This breed of competitor are in the game for one thing: success, glory and prizes. Which, in all fairness isn’t a bad thing to want, it is human nature that we crave the attention and admiration from our peers, and a little success is a nice thing to have every once in a while. However, these people seem to be forgetting the one important thing about this game: it is exactly that, a game. It is better, in my view to try something new and original and be beaten by a “noob” (I hate that term. I mean we were all new to the game once, right?!) than to spend every tournament beating people with the same old tried and tested deck which gives you little to no satisfaction at having beaten half a dozen 5-12 year olds at a mere card game.

The Sheep: These people blindly follow review after review of cards and base their ideas and ethos on some one else’s hard work and investigation. Their decks usually resemble those of the top players in their area or are featured on websites after big tournaments. Yet their ‘original’ decks were their idea and that it was just a coincidence that someone made Top 8 at a Shonen Jump final with a card for card replica of the deck in question.

To these people I say…well what can I say really? You are , of course, the boss of your own life, you make the rules by which you live. Just remember, plagiarizing will get you nowhere and will lead to an inevitable revelation of how little skill you possess later on in life.

The TCG Card Pool

With the slow, inexorable release of previously OCG exclusive cards into the American*

card pool it has become a noticeable trend among many Yu-Gi-Oh! Fans to complain bitterly about what cards we don’t have yet. The first thing I have to say is why complain about something that will happen: however far off it may seem? The only things we will get from the constant protestation that we don’t have access to cards like Crush Card Virus, Marshmallon, the Gadgets etc are:

1. Very sick and tired of hearing the same old grievances being revived as soon as a new promotional card is released

2. A result such as the one we had recently: Shrink. The number of Pojo Forum Threads I have seen with the title “ Which OCG card do you want released?” ( or something along those lines ) are incalculable on the appendages provided to the human body. Shrink was a commonly requested card on many of these threads and ,it seems, our prayers were heard by the big guys at UDE. Thus, Shrink was released to the salivating masses as…..one of the hardest to get promotional cards: A Shonen Jump Championship Grand Prize. People instantly took to the streets ( actually they took to the Pojo forums but you get the idea ) in outrage and indignation about why the card was released as a Holy Grail-esc item when it could and would be utilised in every deck throughout the world. The only answer I can think of is that UDE, like myself and others, got sicka nd tired of the constant bashing they received and thought: “Fine! You want this card? Here! But, Oh wait, you gotta work for it! Mwahahahah! That’ll teach ‘em”. Which in all honesty I would not blame them for. So, in future, instead of whining about what we don’t have why not enjoy that which we do: a card pool which is ever growing and a game which is as fun as it was when we had just Legend of Blue Eyes White Dragon and two Starter Decks.

The Banned List

This title in itself shows how far the game has descended into madness; many people believe that the only way to halt the power of some cards is to have them banned or restricted. This is an accurate summarisation of what is needed to halt the abuse of some overly powerful cards: Harpie’s Feather Duster, Raigeki, Chaos Emperor Dragon-EotE and Black Luster Soldier-EotB.

However, it is not necessarily the case for each and every influential card.

Take ,for example, the biggest debate raging at the moment: “Cyber Dragon-Does it Deserve Restricting?”. Although Cyber Dagon does hold a very prevailing dominance in the game it does not mean that Upper Deck and Konami need to go so far as to change the number of copies allowed in a dueling deck. The simple solution which many people seem unaware of is that the way to counter the abuse of such cards is to allow certain cards into the card pool which would substantially weaken or hinder its effect. For example, the main reason people complain about Cyber Dragon is its ability to essentially negate the “one summon per turn” ruling. By special summoning Cyber Dragon and then another monster the player has instantly been granted field advantage in a devastating way: Cyber Dagon + another monster ( let’s say Don Zaloog)+ Nobleman of Crossout can lead to a drastic change in a game’s momentum and can even lead to an almost impossible situation for the opposing player. The answer, in my humble opinion, is simple: unrestricted cards such as Scapegoat, Book of Moon etc. These cards can, in one swift stroke, reduce the impact Cyber Dragon has during a match. This in turn will lead to a dramatic shift back towards such forgotten cards as Airknight Parshath, Exarion Universe, Spear Dragon, Windstorm of Etaqua, and Enemy Controller. These cards will be kept in check by monsters such as Cyber Dragon. Thus making the game more varied and interesting once again.

In short, the banned/restricted list should not be about banning each and every powerful card in the TCG. This is not solving the problem, it is merely dissolving the problem. True by removing threats from the game it ensures that said threat will produce no further complaints but with the TCG card pool the size it is surely the better option is to provide us with more of a choice on how to counter inconveniences ourselves. 

Well that’s my two and a half cents worth. 

Thank you for your time

                   Yours Faithfully

                                     Eddie Lavender aka Diabound Carnel


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