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Weej's Different Perspective
Concepts to Duel by:
Obscurity is your best friend
Article #2 | 08/02/05

Before I get started on this week’s article, one thing needs to be made clear: Yu-Gi-Oh!, for the most part, is a conformists game. You are going to have to use certain cards if you want to win. I mean, you could use a deck without Pot of Greed or Call of the Haunted, but you’re only hurting yourself in the long run. In order to increase one’s chances of winning, one must, unfortunately, conform to another persons level in order to match up with said person. Said person, is every competitive player in this game.

I didn’t always have this thinking. I tried to “pioneer” different ways of deck construction and play, but it always ended up with the same result: if you don’t use certain cards, you’re only making it harder on yourself. People who won’t use certain cards just because others use it extensively are not being a hero or some original pioneer; their being foolish and short sided. There are very few decks in today’s game that can stand up to cookie-cutter Chaos decks, and even those than can have some seriously draw back, such as stability issues or even consistency issues. Here, in my opinion, is the list of cards that everyone should run, no matter what:

Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning (It’s simply too good for too little of a drawback – everyone who has enough patience to see others with it should run it themselves.)

Sinister Serpent
Tribe-Infecting Virus
Breaker the Magical Warrior
D.D. Warrior Lady
Pot of Greed
Graceful Charity
Delinquent Duo
Heavy Storm
Mystical Space Typhoon
Snatch Steal
Premature Burial
Nobleman of Crossout x2
Call of the Haunted
Ring of Destruction
Torrential Tribute
Mirror Force

Assuming you run a competitive deck, this is almost 50% of what a 40 card deck should be, or 19/40. Of course, a Stall Deck probably wouldn’t need Heavy Storm in the Main Deck, but Stall Deck’s don’t win consistently enough to be worth mentioning, so why bother. These are cards that any SJC Top 8/Nationals Player would and should play. The filler would be things such as Scapegoat and Swords of Revealing Light, etc.

The fact that you have to run certain cards such as the ones I mentioned, are truly one of the main factors that brings Yu-Gi-Oh! down a notch when it comes to rating it as an overall game. If Yu-Gi-Oh! had the same principles as Magic, then most people wouldn’t be running a set number of “staple/needed” cards in every deck. Yu-Gi-Oh!, however, has much different game play mechanics than Magic, and Yu-Gi-Oh! is nothing like Magic at all. Because of this, people need to get over the whole cookie-cutter factor: if you are running any of the above mentioned cards, you are no different from the cookie-cutter player in that you have to conform and use certain cards in order to win. There is nothing wrong with doing this, it is how the game was made from the beginning it would probably be impossible to reverse it at this point.

If Yu-Gi-Oh! allows any true “originality”, that originality would come from Monster Selection. After all, a Monster line-up filled with Warrior’s would obviously become a Warrior Deck, and a Monster line-up filled with Beasts and the like would become a Beastdown. From that point, you would tack on that list of cards that can benefit any deck greatly, and from there, you would put cards that would reinforce your overall theme, such as Reinforcement of the Army for Warrior’s, or if you were desperate enough, Wild Nature’s Release for Beastdown. (What a horrible card but it proves my point.)

While all duelists have to use certain cards to win, there is still plenty of space for obscurity. You see, having duelists have to use specific cards over and over is a good thing, because then the player can come to expect what the opposing player has coming for them.

Ah, the clincher. If your opponent knows what’s coming, they’ll be able to prepare an attack and ultimately foil your plans. But what if they didn’t know what you had coming? What if they were so surprised at what you threw at them that it foiled their entire strategy, or just made them flat out lose? There’s no doubt that the element of surprise can be extremely powerful, but what if a duelist ran cards that could simply obliterate their opposition no matter what kind of strategy they ran?

Obscurity can be useful in duels. Obscurity can help your deck. Obscurity can win you games, because your opponent won’t see you coming, and they won’t have anything they can use against it anyway. Here are just a couple awesome cards that should see play in just about any deck.

Wave-Motion Cannon

Continuous Spell

Send this card on the field to the Graveyard during your Main Phase. Inflict Direct Damage to your opponent’s Life Points equal to the number of Standby Phases that have passed after this card was activated X 1000 points.

I mentioned obscurity in this article, because most players would be a bit surprised if your cookie-cutter Chaos deck suddenly whipped out one of these bad boys. Wave-Motion Cannon is everything a person could ever need in Yu-Gi-Oh!, as it accomplishes several tasks in one single card – something many Yu-Gi-Oh! cards simply wish they could achieve. The first thing Wave-Motion Cannon does is be horrible. Seriously, this card takes about two turns worth of Standby Phases for it to pick up steam. Once it does that, however, is when it’s time for it to truly shine. Wave-Motion Cannon puts pressure on your opponent. Any card that forces your opponent to act in response to you playing the card is always a good thing. It makes you control the tempo of the duel, and it always makes you one step ahead of your opponent when it comes to setting the standard of play on the field. Wave-Motion Cannon forces the opponent to use valuable Spell and Trap removal on it. This is simply obvious: if they don’t get rid of it, it’s going to get rid of them, so they’ll eventually have to respond to it. Most players that I’ve seen face this card will let it collect a couple of counters and then take it out. The ideal time to launch Wave-Motion Cannon is after the third Standby Phase, as 4000 will make them respond within their next turn, and 2000 is too little for the card. 3000 is an ideal number – it’s better than launching a field full of Sheep Token with Cannon Soldier, and a 3000 damage shot with one card is just amazing.

The second thing Wave-Motion Cannon does is pave the way for your other Spell and Traps to be activated freely. Think about it, when Mystical Space Typhoon was available in three’s, this card was bad. But now we have enough controlled Spell Removal to where it can really work: Heavy Storm, Mystical Space Typhoon, Breaker, and the occasional Dust Tornado are usually all you’re going to see during that first Main Decked duel. If they use these while Wave-Motion Cannon is on the field, your other Spell and Traps are going to have a far better shot at activation further on down the road. This is a good thing.

The third thing it does is simply kick butt! With this single card, you can do a lot of damage, and if you are able to hold out with this card and take the opponent out, you can let them main in their Mobius, Chiron etc from their Side Deck, while you side this out for more chainable cards! It doesn’t take very long for Wave-Motion Cannon to grow in power. With Scapegoats and Thousand-Eyes Restrict out in full force, games can slow to a crawl. This allows the duelist using Wave-Motion Cannon to exploit it in full.

While most people consider Wave-Motion Cannon to be a burn card, I have this to say to those who do consider it so: WHY?! Pot of Greed could be considered a drawing card, but if you set it (and yes, setting good cards as bluffs can be a great strategy), then it’s obviously bluff card. If you run a beatdown deck, your ultimate goal is to drop the opponents Life Points to 0. Alongside attacking with Monsters, this is just one more way to make your opponent lose life faster. People must open their minds and look deeper into the cards if they wish to tap into powerful strategies and concepts such as these. Standards and main stream ideas can be broken, they must be broken. Look at Taylor Braswell’s deck in the SJC Charlotte (or was it Jersey?) Championship. He tossed a Wave-Motion Cannon into his beatdown deck. To say it didn’t help him climb into the Top 8 is ridiculous – the card won him games, and it can win any duelist who is willing to try something new will games as well. All a person would have to do is put it in their deck, it would take over from there.

Different Dimension Capsule

Select 1 card from your deck and remove it from play facedown. During your 2nd Standby Phase after activation, destroy this card and add the selected card to your hand.

Different Dimension Capsule is essentially a super-Sangan in this format. You aren’t limited to just Monsters, however. You can search for ANYTHING. This card, like Wave-Motion Cannon, can put pressure on your opponent. Personally, I use two of these in my decks. I’ll play one, then search for the other, eliminating any bad top decks in the future. Then I play the second one, searching for the key card I need, while the opponent will think I’ll be searching for my third capsule.

When you think about it, two turns really isn’t that long in the first place. Turns come and go quickly – the player may not always have the removal needed to take it out. Even if they did, wouldn’t it be better using it on something potentially more dangerous, like a facedown card? That’s the beauty of Different Dimension Capsule – your opponent doesn’t get to see what you remove from your deck, which makes the card itself a great tool for bluffing. If you run a combo specific deck that needs certain cards in order to work, playing a couple of these to search for the pieces to your combo may not be too bad of an idea.

The Focal Point

Anybody can run Pot of Greed, Graceful Charity, Scapegoat, etc and do well with them. Remember, your opponent is expecting you to run these cards, as said cards are some of the best and most usable cards in the game. If you surprise your opponent with unpredictable cards, it can throw them off and/or force them to alter their strategy, and controlling how your opponent responds to your cards can be a useful strategy. Obscurity can be your best friend – who knows, obscurity might be the key to unlocking true originality in this game.

Send questions and comments to mrweej@gmail.com.





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