- Breaking the Bad Hand
- Adding cards that would be useful in many different instances.
- Adding cards that help you manipulate your hand.
- Adding cards that help you draw more cards or retry for a new hand.
Every card is important, and means you have more options in the game to do. At the beginning of the game, you can do a multitude of different things, regularly 6 not counting attacking. As your cards are reduced, the amount of different things you can do are limited as well. This is a system called Card Advantage, comparing how many cards you have vs. your opponent has. The less things your opponent can do, the more easier it is to apply yourself towards the game and gain an upper hand. While it's not directly important to worry about card advantage if you have strong cards that can stand by themselves, it's an easy way to calculate how many different avenues you have to winning and how many possible risks that are involved when trying to figure out when to make the best move for yourself.
This is the part where you think "I have more cards than they do, this means I have more of a chance of gaining the upper hand" and "The opponent has more cards than me, is this the best time to activate this?" You can address this by:
- Adding cards that allow you to maintain the amount of cards you have on the field and in your hand.
- Removing cards that make you lose too many cards with little ways to regain them back.
- Adding cards that would reduce how many cards your opponent has.
- Cards that switch around field advantage and hand advantage, depending on your needs.
- Removing cards that allow your opponent to gain tremendous advantage while you gain none.
It's difficult to continue in the game if you are allowing your opponent to slowly build up their defenses, especially when they are getting their strategy done and letting them focus completely on their deck goal. The worst situation to have is when your opponent has everything they need ready and they are bombarding you with attacks while you are still trying to build up your own strategy and defenses. This is, of course, Normal and part of the game. You can do it to the opponent as much as they can do it to you, it just matters on timing, key cards, attack, defense and card urgency.
Card Urgency is defined by the opponent, on how much of a risk said card is to the opponent. Say you run 1500 ATK monsters, and you must get 3 to get your awesome effect. They summon a 2000 ATK monster and begin to attack you. The opponent is now applying pressure on you now that they have a monster capable of inflicting damage to you and you must focus some resources in getting rid of it or being able to handle it's attacks. While they do this they can continue to build up their defenses and gaining cards while you try and find an answer to this card. You then activate a Trap Card that negates the Battle Phase, allowing you to build up your effects. This is now applying pressure to the opponent to get them to remove that Trap Card.
When it comes to cards that apply pressure, the most effective ones on a scale of Strongest to Weakest are Field/Continuous Spell/Equip Spell/Trap cards, Effect Monsters, Counter Traps, Normal Trap/Quickplay Spells, Normal Monsters, and then Normal Spells. While Effect monsters can inflict damage and destroy other monsters by themselves, Effect monsters cannot attack Spell/Trap cards, making them rely on other effects or their own effect to get rid of said card, while most Continuous cards can already do that.
This is the part where you want your opponent to think "Uh oh, I need to get rid of that card, now."
Ways to apply pressure to the opponent include:
- Getting a high ATK monster out against the opponent while they have all lower ATK monsters.
- Getting a high DEF monster out against the opponent's monsters who need to attack you urgently.
- Getting a monster with a strong removal or control effect that would distract them from their own strategy.
- Activating a Continuous Spell/Trap card that would redirect their attention from their own strategy to this card due to it's effects (side deck cards, continuous burn, effect enabler/disablers).
- Building up your defenses while your opponent is waiting to build up their own.
- Playing cards that your opponent cannot properly deal with right now.
Never forget that destruction exists, and in well selected amounts. Every card you put on the field is destined to go to the graveyard or be removed from the field, every card you play will wind up in the Graveyard. Your opponent can undo and destroy your strategy, annihilate your monsters and ruin your spells and traps. If you don't have the highest ATK on the field, your monster may not survive. If there are plenty of face-downs, prepare to get hurt the moment you play a card. Are you prepared to lose your most important cards or have the opponent slowly wittle you apart, card by card, until you have nothing? Always have a way of recovering from the damage your opponent inflicts to you. Always have a way to regain advantage when your opponent takes it from you. Always be able to have a monster to spare and a spell or trap extra. Don't expect your opponent will let you keep out the cards you need to win, or to offer you a free pass when it comes to setting up the perfect strategy. Fight for it, and assert your deck over theirs when they try and stop you.
This isn't the part where you think "I have no more cards, I am not going to win this."
This is the part where you think "I have no more cards, now how will I get them back?"
- Have cards that allow you to recover important key cards from the Graveyard, either to add them to your hand, place them back in the deck or get them on the field again.
- Manage and retool cards that ruin your strategy or make it impossible to win without them.
- Increase your defenses to removal so that said key cards won't be annihilated off the face of the earth too easily.
- Have cards that help prevent removal or hinder it.
- Always have backups of important cards, and always have a way to get to them when you need them.
- Have monsters that can come back when destroyed. Refrain from ever making or using Nomis, or cards that are impossible to regain when lost.
- Always be prepared to lose cards, and be able to continue even when they are negated or destroyed.
Since the fact that we are not playing against computers, and other people, this means we can take advantage of the psychological factors of playing games against each other. When your opponent don't know what is going to happen next, don't know when you will unleash your best cards, or when you will counter their perfect attack, it causes a lot of anticipation, self-delay and carefulness. People will be less likely to overextend their monster zones if they know you can wipe them out in a single blow, and will be less likely to set their important spell and traps immediately if you are capable of destroying them almost instantly.
This is the part where you want the opponent to go "I don't want to play this yet, what if they blow them all up before I can do anything?"
Things you can do to take advantage of Psychological Wards are:
- Run cards that have a tendency to ruin the opponent's strategy when activated.
- Use cards that are capable of wiping out key cards before they can be used.
- Use cards that are put face-down. In addition, set a lot of cards. Even having a menagerie of face-downs makes people worry about possible removal.
- Use removal to destroy the opponent's cards one by one.
- Use plenty of quickplay spells and Trap cards. Not feeling safe to get away with effects on their turn is important.
Keeping these key factors in mind will help you build a good deck that will be assured to have a chance at winning and gaining tremendous advantage over the opponent.
Due to the fact that the basis of Yugioh is based on shuffling the deck and drawing 6 random cards, there's no definite way to ensure your victory, even if your strategy is perfect. This is a blessing and a curse, due to the fact that a dead draw or the loss of key cards means that victory can be extremely quick, or impossible, depending on who gets what at the beginning of the game. This is the part where you think "I have a bad hand. How do I change it?" The last thing you should be doing is waiting for those unuseful cards to go away. You can address this by:
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