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GeneralZorpa's Monster Point Ranking System
By GeneralZorpa
March 19, 2013

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!
 
One of the things that has confounded players for a long time is whether a card is good or not. I know it sounds silly, but amazing cards like Trap Dustshoot, Smashing Ground and M-X-Saber Invoker have all been completely underrated at one point. There is no fool proof system to weed out the bad cards from the good ones, most players just look at a card and if it has a good effect or ATK points then it is a good card and worth playing. What most players do not recognize is that there are 9 different things that go into whether a card is good or not and helps to explain why cards like Monarchs are no longer played whereas cards like Cyber Dragon still are.
 
So I developed a ranking system based on these nine areas that players should check most. This is very useful to newer players who are unsure if that secret rare that they just got from their birthday pack is worth a lot of money, or even to a seasoned player looking through their commons shoebox for the next $3 common or rare. I will note however that even though this does say whether a card is good in playability, it does not replace price guides for cards. This ranking system does not take into account rarity, edition or demand and should not be used exclusively to determine value. Use ebay and/or online retailers for that.
 
So the nine points are:
-ATK or DEF
-Summonability
-Type and Attribute
-Effect
-Advantage
-Archetype
-Versatility
-Consistency
-Potency
 
These nine points are then organized into two groups, stuff that is printed on or inherent to the card and things that depend on the metagame. The printed group rarely changes and is the core of the playability of the card. The only exceptions are banning and card errata, which has happened to neuter a card (Green Baboon) as well as to update wording and the release of new cards that makes an older card playable. The second group depends on what is being played at the time that you are ranking the card. In a counter format with 3 Solemn Judgment, that is really going to hurt the playability of certain cards.
 
You will notice that Spell and Trap cards are not really going to fit well in here, that is because they are very different cards than monsters and require their own ranking system, which I will release to you guys when I write it up.
 
Inherent Value
 
These are the values that are inherent to the card regardless of when you are playing them. This makes them the most important values as a card like Skull Servant has a low Inherent Value but a mediocre Playability Value. If you haven't guessed it, they are the first 5 points on the list and actually the easiest to evaluate. We will use an older "good" card to evaluate both the Inherent Value and Playability Value as it is very simple: Exiled Force.
 
Attack and Defense- This value is based upon EITHER the ATK or DEF stat. Some cards are designed to be defensive, which is great and they shouldn't be unfairly penalized for how they were designed. A card gains a point in this category for every 700 ATK or DEF points it has. If it is in-between, then it gets the lower value. Exiled Force has 1000 ATK points, so it gains 1 ATK and DEF point since it does not reach the next requirement for a point. Obviously if a card has a value of 0 then it gets 0 points in this category.
 
Summonability- This is a bit of a tricky one to use a scale on, as we need a point of reference. So i went ahead and made a scale for you to rate your card's points on.
0 points- This card cannot be summoned (Such as Mystical Beast Serket)
1 point- This card can only be Special Summoned (Such as Red Eyes Metal Dragon)
2 points- This card cannot be Special Summoned (Such as Darklord Desire)
3 points- This card does not have a Special Summon ability (Such as Sabersaurus)
4 points- This card has limited Special Summoning (Such as Cyber Dragon)
5 points- This card is easily Special Summoned (Such as Spell Striker)
 
Use this scale when deciding how to rate your card's Summonability. Now we account for Tribute Summoning by removing a point for each tribute it requires for a Normal Summon. Believe me, there are times when a Normal Summoned Archlord Kristya has won the game but it does make a card that much harder to play. Exiled Force receives a value of 3 for this category, as it is able to be Normal Summoned and Special Summoned but has no Special Summon ability on its own.
 
Type and Attribute- This is a bit of judgment call on your part. If the card has a good attribute and type, you can usually fit it easier in an archetype. So as an EARTH Warrior monsters, Exiled force gains 2 points as there is much support for both of those stats. A card like Harpy Lady would receive no points, as WIND and Winged Beast are not considered being inherently good attribute and type.
 
Effect- Again we have to use a scale for this one, as just eyeballing it is not good enough.
0 points- Detrimental Effect (Such as Jirai Gumo)
1 point- No effect (Such as a Kabazauls)
2 points- Mediocre effect (Such as Mermail Abysslung)
3 points- Good combo effect (Such as Wind-Up Shark)
4 points- Solid Effect (Such as Thunderking Rai-Oh)
5 points- Broken (Such as Master Hyperion)
 
Again this scale is up to interpretation, but most cards will fit solidly in one of these point brackets. I place Exiled Force with 2 points as it is a mediocre effect that is unlikely to drastically chance the game state in most games where it is played.
 
Advantage- This is yet another tricky rank, as card advantage can change drastically with how well the game is going, so we have yet another scale for how to rate the card advantage of a monster. For those of you that don't know, card advantage is the ratio of cards you have to use to get rid of opponents cards. Smashing Ground is 0 card advantage as you are using your one card to get rid of another card so they cancel each other out. A Heavy Storm play with two opponents cards on the field and none of your own is a +1 in card advantage as you are using your one card to remove two of your opponents.
 
0 points- Card disadvantage (Such as Desiny Hero Defender)
1 point- No advantage (Such as Gilasaurus)
2 points- Even advantage  (Such as Mystical Space Typhoon)
3 points- +1 Advantage (Such as Dark Armed Dragon)
4 points- +2  or +3 Advantage (Such as Scapegoat)
5 points- Field Clearers (Such as Black Rose Dragon)
 
Our friend Exiled Force gains 2 points here as he costs himself to get rid of an opponents card. These effects were very good in the olden days as there were far more big card advantage cards like Raigeki and Pot of Greed and destroying monsters with effects was a rare thing to have, especially on another monster.
 
Playability Value
 
This value is based off the values of a card that can really change due to how in vogue the card is or how awesome the playability is at the time. These values change and often drastically. Maxx "C" is a perfect example. There was a short window after it's release where it was almost unplayable due to the slowness of the format. The value of the card dropped and I was able to pick up many copies for relatively inexpensive. Then the formats sped up again and suddenly I was sitting on a gold mine. The point is that card playability can change drastically overnight due to a new release, a new idea or a shift in the metagame.
 

Archetype-A great card in a bad archetype can completely kill it. If you do not know what an archetype is, it is the groups of cards within type and attribute. Gladiator Beasts, Blackwings and Wind-Ups are examples of archetypes. Now some cards like Rekindling are underused in their own archetypes and find use in another deck but most just gather dust until newer cards make them better. Skull Servant was widely considered the worst card in the game and became such a joke with players that the designers of the game actually designed an archetype around it, thus making it infinitely more playable than it had been before. 

This is a simple value. A point if it has a good archetype, zero points if it has an irrelevant archetype and minus a point if it has a bad archetype that doesn't see play. Like most playability values, this has to be updated and revised constantly to keep it fresh and relevant. Exiled Force scores no points here as the "Exiled" Archetype has not quite taken off. Yet. 

Versatility-This is also a value relevant to the game state. This means that again it is up to interpretation. First off, Versatility in this case will be a measure of how often the card effect(s) become relevant to the game. Thunderking Rai-Oh has great versatility as any deck can play him, each of his effects can seriously put a damper on a deck and he is a level 4 beater to boot. Exodia is not very versatile, as his effects only apply to one rarely attained situation and otherwise it is a drain on the resources of your deck. A versatile card will usually have many answers to a given situation, which increases the likelihood that you would like to top deck a card. If you almost always want to top deck a card as an answer in your deck then it is a versatile card.  

You also need to take into consideration thje deck intended for use with this value. If in the deck there are better cards than the one you are ranking that cover more situations, then it is one that deserves a point. We award no points if there is some versatility to a card, but not a whole lot. A minus point allows us to classify cards that need their own deck or just are not cut ut to be played in any deck. Exiled Force receives a point in this value as he is easy to use and add to almost any deck you require. 

Consistency-This value is based upon your opponent, which is kind of hard to gauge until you are actually in a game. basically this is a measure of how easy or hard a monster is to counter, either its summon or its effects. As an example the effects of Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress are easily countered by Bottomless Trap Hole, whereas it is very hard to stop a rampaging Obelisk the Tormentor. You also need to see what kind of cards are in the format that are commonly played counters. dandylion is eas=ily countered by macro Cosmos or Dimensional Fissure, common side deck choices for the current game. 

You award a point if the effect/summon are hard to counter, award no points if it is average (like any four star monster) and subtract a point if it is easily countered by many ards in the game. Exiled Force receives a point here as well as he is very easy to both summon and get his effect off without your opponent being any the wiser. 

Potency-This is a measure of how potent the card is in the game, basically how much does it affect the game state when it is played. Black Rose Dragon or Judgment Dragon are very potent, often affecting huge numbers of cards and lifepoints when they are played. A card like Smashing Ground is not so potent, but often effective at accomplishing what you want it to do. A card like Gold Sarcophagus is not very potent as it actually loses you cards in the short term as well as not doing anything to the game state by itself. Potency is again a judgment call, so you can award a point if you feel a card is very potent, no points if it is mediocre (usually one for one cards in card advantage) and take away points if it requires other ards to affect the game at all (like Magical Stone Excavation). 

Exiled Force receives no points for potency as his effect rarely will tip the game in your favor or affect the game in a huge way.  

Fin 

So that is my article on this point ranking system. If you have any questions on how it works, or have any ideas, deck fixes or whatever you guys have for me, please email them to alarbios@live.com and put YGO in the subject line so it does not get spammed. Do not email Pojo with my mail as he is very angry when that happens. I am still looking for my left foot after the last time a guy sent him my email.  

So until next time,

Thanks for reading,

GZ

 

 

 


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