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This Space
For Rent

Hahn on Yu-Gi-Oh!

The Conservative Playstyle
December 16, 2005

Hello, and welcome to my article on the conservative playstyle. This article will be looking at a few different strategies to maintain a sizeable hand. Having a large amount of cards in your hand means having a large amount of options at your disposal, which has proven to be a key element in today’s format. Duels often turn into a topdecking contest between the two duelists; that relies solely on luck. More skill is integrated if you’re not just relying on whatever card is on the top of your deck.

Using the conservative playstyle has been around ever since the introduction of Control elements to the game, way back in the earlier days of the Traditional Format (This was obviously run over when the Chaos Monsters were rampant, but returned after the first ban list). Now, you may be asking yourself, “What exactly is the conservative playstyle?”
Basically, all it means is using as little resources from your hand as possible. The entire playstyle itself focuses on more than that, but they all tie into using as few cards as you can. For now, we’ll be looking at how to use only as many cards as you have to.
First, know what’s going on in the duel. You have to know what your opponent has on the field, what each of you has in the Graveyard, and how both of you have been playing throughout the duel or match. It also involves a hefty amount of guesswork; you have to take into account that you don’t know what your opponent has in their hand or face down on the field (if either are applicable).

Second, consider statistical advantage. You want to avoid using up two cards to destroy one of your opponents at all costs; we call this a two for one advantage, or a -1 advantage for you and a +1 advantage for your opponent. Statistical advantage is a key element in this format, and you always want to maintain the advantage. Now, how do you avoid statistical disadvantages?
You have to take into account every single option you have. More often than not, when you have to resort to a two for one, you’ve overlooked some other option you have for a one for one (One card used to destroy an opponent’s card) or a one for two (One card used to destroy two of your opponent’s cards). If you’ve reviewed your options carefully, and you truly see no alternative, go for the two for one. Please bear in mind that this is with the assumption that your opponent has a critical threat to you on the field.

Moving away from statistical advantage, you need to be able to recognize what type of deck your opponent is running and plan accordingly. If your opponent opens up with a D. D. Assailant, it’ll be rather hard to assess what type of deck they’re running; if they start out with a Brron, Mad King of Dark World, it should be fairly blatant that they’re running a Dark World deck, which means you want to be careful while attacking with Spirit Reaper or Don Zaloog, if you run either of them. Also, make sure your side deck is built to counter the common deck types in tournament play; it’ll help far too much to overlook.

These are only the major elements of the conservative playstyle; if I wanted to list them all, I could probably go on for fifty pages. However, to get started, this should be a good beginning, and the rest will unravel itself as you play. It may seem like it would take a lot of time to consider all of these aspects in the midst of a duel, but you get used to it the more you play. Eventually, you’re able to consider all of these points in about a second, and then make your move accordingly. I met a player online named Talib Kweli once, and he was a master at it. He played five times faster than anyone I had ever met, and he played extremely well even while going so fast.

So, in conclusion, the main idea of playing conservatively is to consider the entire duel and all aspects of it; what has happened, what is happening, what will happen, and what could happen. I hope you enjoyed my article!

-Hahn
 


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