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 Lesson 1 Information

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Shoutaro
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PostSubject: Lesson 1 Information   08/10/12, 11:41 am

What is this?
This is the "lecture" if you want to call it that for Lesson 1. These lectures will usually contain information about the deckbuilding and/or playing of the game. I don't have a set order for which order I'll do things in, most likely as things come to me and in an order that makes sense. I do sometimes use banned cards in my examples, but this is for the sheer fact that they can't be replicated to the same effect with other cards.

Lesson One - Introduction

I think it's probably best to begin at the end. The first thing we need to ask ourselves is how do most duels end? The usual ways are:

1) One or both of the players gradually or quickly run out resources to play with. This may end in a topdecking war. (Topdecking is when a player has no useful cards in hand and is hoping to draw something useful to play with). Or maybe one player has the clear cut advantage, and is building up a field and pressure while his/her opponent topdecks. Often it can be too late for the latter player to do anything useful to come back, and the duel will end soon.

2) Both players have playable hands. One player quickly blitzes the other in a "Heavy Storm, Brain Control, Normal Summon, Monster Reborn a big guy, attack for game" sort of fashion. Most decks can do this once in a while, but some are built around it more often and easily (like lightsworn).

What is the common denominator for success in these two end of game situations?

The answer is very simple, but probably the MOST important concept in competitive yugioh. Card advantage. All of these scenarios are made more likely or more favorable by holding a lot of cards in your hand, or at least more than your opponent. In this game, having more cards typically means having more options available to you. Your goal in a duel should be to make productive trades with your opponent, in order to gain the upper hand and control/be holding more cards than them. After a certain point, life points can basically be ignored. If you have significantly more cards to play with than your opponent, it is likely that you can protect your lifepoints from further harm anyway. This is the logic behind cards like Solemn Judgment.

How to keep track of card advantage:
- Playing Pot of Greed - The most basic +1 in the game. Spend one card to get two.
- Playing Lightning Vortex - Depends. Spending two cards to do something. You would need to destroy two monsters to "break even."
- Playing Card Destruction - This is a -1. Spending say, 6 cards to end up with 5.
- Destroying an opponent's monster in battle - This is a +1. This is a great victory.
- Losing a monster in battle - This is a -1. This is a terrible tragedy.

- Summoning Elemental Hero Stratos - Why is this card considered by many pros to be the best in the game? And believe me that it is, I asked them. It's because like Pot of greed, it is a +1 upon summoning (except you get to search a specific card which tends to be better than drawing a random one). Anyway, when a card nets you advantage just by summoning it like Stratos or a Gadget or a flipped Gravekeeper's Spy, it is called a floater, which means it has already payed for itself and it is just waiting to die to even things out.

Past that, Stratos is relatively powerful with his 1800 atk. He can sometimes win you a battle for another +1, in that you have 1 more card than your opponent than you did before. Cards that can float by battle and float by effect = some very good cards. Volcanic Rocket and Card Trooper are a couple other good examples of this phenomenon.

What does this all mean?


By now, you should know enough about card advantage to be able to make smart decisions in your deckbuilding. Strongly question cards that don't create advantage for you. Things that create 1 for 1 or better trades, especially with monsters who usually need to be normal summoned, are good. Things like Karma Cut, Non-Aggression Area, Equip Spells, most Field Cards, and so on need to be strongly questioned before giving them precious space in your deck.

Advanced Discussion - Implied Card Advantage

So where does that leave cards like Book of Moon, Phoenix Wing Wind Blast, Threatening Roar, and Cold Wave? These are all inherent -1s, yet see play in high level decks quite regularly.

This is where things get a little more complicated. All of these cards may set you back one initially, but tend to prevent situations where you may lose even more cards and/or they may create situations where you can gain back lost advantage by making your opponent more vulnerable.

Examples:
- You have a monster and two face down spells or traps. I activate Cold wave (-1). I then do a Prisma/Test Tiger ---> Gyzarus combo and pop pop your s/t cards (+2), run over your monster (+1) and end with two monsters on the field. Overall advantage count: Spend 3 cards (Cold Wave, Prisma, Test Tiger - [-3]). Destroy 3 cards [+3]. End with 2 monsters on field [+2]. Total +2. It is also of note that cold wave may have made you powerless to counterattack or defend yourself when it gets to your turn.

- Same situation, only I don't cold wave, and I go for a Prisma/Test Tiger --> Gyzarus Combo. Except this time, when I activate test tiger and send him to the graveyard, you chain book of moon and turn my Prisma face/down, making Test Tiger's effect "Fizzle" and do nothing. In this scenario, book of moon has become a 1 for 1 trade with my tiger AND has made the Prisma quite vulnerable to attack, for a possible further +1.

- New situation. I have a phoenix wing wind blast facedown. My opponent summons a weak monster, sets a spell/trap that will presumably defend it. In his endphase, I use Phoenix Wing to spin the backrow (-1). On my turn however, I am free to safely run over his weak monster to even things out. It is also of note that they'll be drawing the same card for a second time, which may or may not be useful this time around.

Whether it's realized or not, implied card advantage is the underlying cause of a lot of the debates surrounding whether or not certain cards are good.

That concludes the "lecture" on card advantage. I started at the end because that's where the changes in advantage that occurred come together to decide who, with skill and luck, came out victorious. If you have any questions, criticisms, or anything like that, post below. If you want help with deckbuilding you can post in my One-on-One request section.

*I will have the first assignment up after people have enough time to read this*
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PostSubject: Re: Lesson 1 Information   08/10/12, 03:12 pm

cool topic and keep the good work

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