So I've come back, just in time for
the new Forbidden list that took effect March 1st. I
haven't paid attention to anything really since the
Cyber-Stein format (sigh from that to this, pity
me), so forgive me if I gloat or get a few things
I want to start a short list of the
most broken cards ever created in Yu-Gi-Oh!
monsters. You'll notice a few rich, recurring
themes. Before that, I want to give a brief primer
on the floater mechanic.
Brief note: You will constantly see
many amateur writers, including those who provide
Metagame coverage of top level matches, include
ridiculous commentary such as "a 3 for 1! or a 2 for
1!" It's because they're either intentionally
masking the floater effect, or blithely unaware.
Floater: A monster presently on
the field that has already paid its cost in card
This term, popularized by Hugo Adame,
Comic Odyssey, Team Savage, and then Matt Peddle and
Team Canada on Metagame.com, is a perfect piece of
Yu-Gi-Oh! vocabulary. It describes a unique mechanic
that isn't really found in other games I've
We call these +1's. Monsters that
have obtained their effect, or taken a monster down
through battle, have suddenly gained you a card of
advantage. They are said to "float" on the field.
Any resources your opponent uses to remove this said
floater, is a -1 for them.
The attack or star level of your
floater is irrelevant. All that matters is that it
has paid for its cost. Let's work through
increasingly more complex examples.
1. I summon Sangan. Any effect that
destroys Sangan (that isn't through battle) will
give me his search. You lose your card effect, I
lose Sangan, I gain the search.
2. I play Rota for Stratos. I summon
Elemental Hero Stratos. I retrieve Dasher. You play
Smashing Ground. You lose Smash, I lose Stratos, I
3. I flip summon Mystic Tomato. I
tribute for Zaborg, aiming for your set monster. You
play Torrential. I lose Tomato, you lose your set
monster, I lose Zaborg, you lose Torrential Tribute.
4. I play Monster Reborn on your Disk
Commander. I draw two cards. I tribute Disc
Commander for Mobius. It hits your Enemy Controller
and Bottomless Trap Hole. I lose Monster Reborn, and
Mobius, but gain two cards. You lose Enemy
Controller and Bottomless Trap Hole.
This broken play is a 4 for 2.
Disk Commander into Mobius.
5. I flip Dekoichi the Battlechanted
Locomotive. I Enemy Controller to take your Zaborg.
I then tribute for Thestalos. You activate pulling
the Rug. I lose Dekoichi, I lose Enemy Controller, I
lose Thestalos. You lose Zaborg, you lose Pulling
the Rug, I draw a card for Dekoichi.
Trick question, the question you need
to ask yourself is "How was his Zaborg summoned, and
what did it destroy?" If he tributed Frog and hit
your Tomato, you're probably losing. If he tributed
Reaper and hit your Frog, you're undoubtedly
winning. But did his Reaper hit for card advantage?
Can you get the Frog out in the next few turns? and
so on. Calculating advantage is very important for
any top player (or at least, it was)
Now that the Brief Floater
Mechanic is Done
The point wasn't to illustrate that
card advantage is everything. It's definitely not.
The point was to show how to rationally calculate
gains and losses of advantage, because these
combinations provide the fundamentals of good
deck-building. While most of my work on Metagame
was deadline-forced, uninspired drivel, it still
stuck to great deck-building concepts. When you see
a writer espouse some ridiculous "competitive deck"
that uses a monster like Enraged Battle Ox in a
Cyber Dragon-infested environment, it really gets my
You need to understand mechanics
of advantage to build good decks. The best players
have mastered this, and can build any themed deck
from scratch. I can build a near top tier deck of
any near competitive theme because of an
understanding of card advantage. Learn it, use it.
Obviously, as you lose cards in hand,
your options become limited. For example, you might
want to take a few 1800 shots from Stratos when you
have an 8 card hand and monsters such as Tomato to
set. But if you're topdecking and at 3200 life
points, you'll probably burn your Smashing Ground
Based off this, you'll realize that
certain players are just misinformed about this
game. Here are a few guidelines you should follow:
1) You do not run quickplay spells
such as Book of Moon and Enemy Controller to merely
block attacks. They are used for their versatile
ability to turn numerous scenarios into advantageous
1 for 1 trades. If you find yourself frequently
bleeding card advantage through Enemy Controller,
stop using it. Three examples:
a) Your opponent summons Mystic
Tomato. You have Enemy Controller. He attacks,
you're at 8000. THE GOOD
PLAYER TAKES FIVE TOMATO HITS OVER USING ENEMY
CONTROLLER. MAYBE 4 IF HE USES DIMENSION FUSION.
b) You have Sakuretsu Armor against a
Sangan. You have 7000 life points.
MATT PEDDLE ONCE SPITEFULLY DIED TO
SEVEN DIRECT SANGAN HITS, RATHER THAN ADMIT DEFEAT.
c) You have Enemy Controller against
Kuriboh in attack position. You have 200 life
points. WHAT ARE YOU
WAITING FOR? OBVIOUSLY USE IT :D.
2) You do not force unbalanced
ridiculous trades when you are behind in either
field presence or card advantage. The only times you
would do so are to clear an opponent's threatening
backfield or monster line.
3) Please do not build ridiculous
deck concepts that have no grounding in
advantage-based logic. Fun decks are fun, I've built
hundreds of them. But fun and effective are not
mutually exclusive concepts. If you're building a
deck without a sound, strategic concept, you are
failing without even starting.
Now because everyone just netdecks
DaD builds anyways, I don't really need to get into
specific deck-building advice. But please understand
card advantage mechanics before screaming "OMG HE
JUST FOUR FOR ONED ME WITH LIGHTNING VORTEX."
Jae Kim is a creative contributor
to Pojo.com. You may contact him (every e-mail will
be answered) at JAELOVE@gmail.com. He can also be
found contributing to the Message Boards and the
Card of the Day.