0. The Armada rule: Anything I say is good can be bad if overused or used predictably. Anything I say is bad can be good given the right circumstances. The idea is not to create a final text for some matchup that will define the way it is played for the rest of eternity. The idea is to create an index of frames of reference for a variety of common situations in Chaos Control mirrors as they are played in the modern metagame.
1. Shortlist of 2- to 3-card damage output combinations (Changes from Metamorphosis in parentheses):
Asura Priest + Shining Angel = 1400 + 1700 = 3100
Shining Angel + Sorcerer = 1400 + 2300 = 3700 (Dark Blade -100, Ryu Senshi -300)
Thunder Dragon + Sorcerer = 1600 + 2300 = 3900 (Dark Balter/Fiend Skull +400, Reaper on a Nightmare -800)
Sorcerer + Tribe = 1600 + 2300 = 3900 (Dark Blade -100, Ryu Senshi -300)
BLS + Tribe = 1600 + 3000 = 4600 (Gatling Dragon -400)
Sorcerer + BLS = 2300 + 3000 = 5300 (Dark Blade -100, Ryu Senshi -300)
Tribe + Sorcerer + BLS = 2300 + 1600 + 3000 = 6900 (Dark Blade -100, Ryu Senshi -300, Ojama King -2300, Gatling Dragon -400)
2. Jaedong: “To play ZvZ you need a certain kind of confidence. I think I have that confidence.” To play Chaos Control mirrors, you have to strive for this same kind of confidence. You will not see success in this matchup if you are not consistently more determined and more confident than your opponents.
3. One of the most important reasons to play Goats and Metas in your deck is so that you don’t have to be the one to summon the first Sorcerer. If you can choose between summoning either TER or Sorcerer, summon TER first.
4. Hold Sorcerer and BLS for as long as possible until you draw an MST or a Book. Book is the best one because it beats both Snatch and Sorcerer, whereas MST only beats Snatch. Both of these are generally preferable to the Sorc/BLS + Tsuk setup, which opens you up to lone NoCs, uses a normal summon, and gives them a Torrential activation window.
5. When you open with a beatstick (Asura, Tribe, Skilled Magicians, etc), a flip effect (Mimic, Merchant, Dekoichi, Gravekeepers), and a Book of Moon going first for the first time in the match, set the beatstick with the Book. If the situation comes up again, the play depends on how the game unfolded the first time it happened.
6. Know how to use your core LIGHTs (Thunder Dragon, Shining Angel, Skilled White). With Angel and Magician, you can bait a NoC with certain hands and go aggro with others. With Thunder Dragon, you should be trying to hold out for as long as possible for a Charity or a simple gamestate where Thunder Dragon can be an acceptable beater.
7. If you’re playing Thunder Dragon or Airknight Parshath, know how to use the level 5 fusions. You can make Balter to punish important flip effects like Jar or Faith. If they have multiple set monsters and you have reason to believe they have more than 1 important flip effect, you can make Fiend Skull Dragon, which also punches through Sakuretsu. If your opponent wrongly commits to the deckout strategy vs your four Goat Tokens, one way for the Thunder Dragon player to punish this is by making Reaper on a Nightmare with a Tribute Set Thunder Dragon.
8. Every Chaos deck can get mileage out of Metamorphosis on Chaos Sorcerer, and this is one of the reasons to hold Sorcerers for late-game shots in simple gamestates. When they have Goats but no Sakuretsu, Mirror, or Torrential, you can make Ojama King and kill them with Tribe/Asura + another Chaos monster. When they have Book, Saku, Torrential or Mirror but no Goats, or when they have Snatch left but no way to summon BLS or a Sorcerer, you can summon Ryu Senshi, either alone to put them on a clock or with other monsters for a game shot. When they have nothing real in the backrow at all and 3 or less of either LIGHTs or DARKs in grave, you can summon Dark Blade to win the game even if you don’t reduce their LP to 0.
9. If you have Dekoichi and Tsukuyomi, check for NoC, then set up the loop. If you have Dekoichi and Book, you can summon Dekoichi and attack if you’re going second and they have a set monster. If you have all three and they don’t have enough LIGHTs/DARKs/chaos monsters to just straight up kill you, summon the Dekoichi and set the book if they don’t try to Sakuretsu it. Most of this remains true if you replace Dekoichi with Shining Angel.
10. If your opponent gets to a flip effect + Tsukuyomi loop and you can’t answer it, pay attention to their cards in deck and commit minimally behind single backrows for as long as you can. Use the slow pace of play in these situations to your advantage. A direct Tsukuyomi hit every turn with no other source of damage gives you 8 turns to draw an out.
11. NoC the first set in Main Phase 2 if they use a Sakuretsu or Book to protect it from an attack. If you can’t attack with anything, play around Jar if you can and hold the NoC for the second set. If they Duo’d you on turn 1 and your hand lets you go aggro, summon a dude, NoC the first set, and try to kill them as fast as possible.
12. In mirrors where both players have Scapegoat access, always pay attention to relative deck count and who is currently decking out first. It can be correct to hold cards like Pot of Greed or Graceful Charity solely to prevent decking out, and it can be correct to willingly give them Sangan searches, etc. to reverse a late-game deckout scenario. This is especially important when activating your own Scapegoats. Sometimes, you will have to let MST/Dust/Breaker resolve on your set Goat without chaining it because chaining it will cause you to deck out.
13. If your opponent is playing Thunder Dragons and you go first, you should Duo if you have it every time. If they open Thunder Dragon the first time you go second, consider setting Faith with no other spells in grave backed by a Book of Moon or a Ring of Destruction or holding Duo until you can do this safely. This tends to give you the best chances of resolving a double Duo, since Thunder Dragon lists are often forced to set across sets.
14. While everyone may side differently in the matchup, there are a few core sideboard options that are non-negotiable. If one or both players are playing Thunder Dragons, Mind Control is a postboard staple in multiples. If you play Angel or Skilled White but your opponent plays Thunder Dragons, side in one or two Dustshoots, particularly when you go first. In Angel mirrors, both players usually want to have one or both of Spies + Guard or Roulette Barrel postboard. Thunder Dragon players don’t have a lot of good options against Angel players outside of the second copy of Asura Priest. Lastly, Bottomless Trap Hole is a crippling and underplayed option against Skilled White. The best way for them to dodge it is by summoning Skilled White on turn 1 instead of setting it, and doing this takes away from a lot of what makes Skilled White good in the first place.
15. Mirror Force is not the only reason to keep 1 monster in defense and 1 monster in attack positions. Consider how to minimize the impact of TER on your board with battle positions before attacking into backrows, even when your opponent’s Mirror Force/Sakuretsu Armor are gone.
16. If you have more than 3000 LP or so and your opponent has a BLS, and you have a Tsukuyomi but no way to answer it, but you don’t have a Torrential Tribute in grave, you can summon Tsukuyomi, flip their BLS face-down, set a Spell or Trap card, and try to convince them you have Torrential Tribute. But you’re dead to BLS and another monster, you have to set the Tsukuyomi and hope that they attack wrong. To do this, you have to represent Mirror Force, Sakuretsu Armor, or Scapegoat, depending on which of these are already in your graveyard.
17. When you have a Shining Angel or a similar monster and a set backrow, and you set a monster or you summon something like Tribe-Infecting Virus or Skilled Dark Magician, your opponent can freely MST or summon Breaker, because you can’t chain Scapegoat even if you had it. But when you summon Asura Priest or Tsukuyomi next to these monsters, or when you’re looping a flip effect with Tsukuyomi and no other monsters on field, you can safely poke through TER and Scapegoat while representing a Scapegoat of your own. This is particularly useful for getting mileage out of Sakuretsu Armor and Book of Moon.
18. Don’t do that thing where you set Tsukuyomi because you feel awkward just passing the turn without doing anything. In fact, don’t do anything just because you feel awkward passing the turn without doing anything. Don’t do anything solely for the sake of doing it. Everything is a commitment. There can always be consequences.
19. Snatch Steal their D.D. Warrior Lady, banish another one of their monsters should be the absolute bare minimum for a Snatch Steal in this matchup. If Snatch would get you less value than that, you shouldn’t use Snatch there, and if it would get you more value than that, you should consider using it. The most commonly correct use of Snatch Steal is at the end of a line of Chaos trades that you ended up losing, i.e. they summoned Sorcerer, banished your guy, you summoned Sorcerer, banished their Sorcerer, they summoned Sorcerer, banished your Sorcerer, and you didn’t have another Sorcerer.
20. Every fundamental early-game interaction becomes a game of weighted RPS throughout a set. If you set a chainable backrow on turn 1 of game 1 and your opponent summoned Breaker to destroy it, you can sometimes get away with setting a lone Sakuretsu Armor or Mirror Force on turn 1 of game 2. If you set a Skilled Dark Magician on turn 1 of game 1 and your opponent Crossed it out, you can sometimes get away with setting Magician of Faith right away in game 2 without bluffing first. Pay attention to how often your opponent deviates from established patterns and the conditions they do it in.
21. Know how to play with and against Crossout based on how many of each Flip Effect you play. For example, if you play 3 Faith and draw 1, you should Crossout aggressively, possibly even before summoning/setting, so that if you hit a Faith, you can banish 2 from your deck and set the third from your hand. On the other hand, when you don’t have Crossout or they aren’t setting things, you can hold your Faith and set or summon other things until you draw your second Faith.
22. Give up on excessively ambitious sideboard plans like RotA+MSLV2+Blade Knight+Exiled Force or Soul Exchange+Apprentice Magician+Mobius+Thestalos. Doing this makes you look cool, but it dilutes your gameplan and takes away from what makes Chaos Control such a powerful deck to begin with.
23. Information is gathered during the early game and converted during the midgame. Endgames should be matters of execution, since by this point, you should be able to determine most if not all of your opponent’s unknowns from public knowledge alone. In other words, reads have expiry dates, and they do nothing for you if you wait too long to capitalize on them.
24. In Chaos mirrors, you can’t really use Morphing Jar to reset the game after your opponent gets ahead with an early Duo/Greed/both. You have to force a long and grindy midgame. Being down 2 cards to their 4 is pretty bad, but if you stay alive without trading cards for three turns, that becomes 5 cards to their 8, which is much more manageable. The best form of advantage to accumulate in these situations is draw phases.
25. Understand that using Scapegoat in response to an attack or during an endphase is essentially negative card value. The card is almost always better when chained for a few reasons. First, we want our opponent’s commitment to be substantial so that TER is impactful when it hits the board. Second, we want to be able to account for as many things as possible before committing to a TER ourselves. Think about why forcing a Scapegoat activation with Spirit Reaper is good.
26. In a lot of ways, playing a third Sorcerer is like playing a third Faith. There are a lot of ways to “get your opponent got” with the third Sorcerer when they aren’t expecting it. But you also have to take into account what happens when your opponent is expecting it. Additionally, the third Sorcerer will also clog, and you will have to fight through more early games and midgames with a dead Sorcerer(s) in your hand. The former weakness compounded with the latter can put you in a particularly daunting situation.
27. People often make the mistake of thinking of Kycoo as a silver bullet sideboard card for this matchup. I think everybody selectively remembers the one time their Kycoo banished a Sinister Serpent and the opponent’s only LIGHT monster and none of the times where their Kycoo was a crappy extra normal summon that died to Tsukuyomi and Sakuretsu and couldn’t get over Parshath or Skilled Dark.
28. Setting Storm is already one of the most overrated plays in the entire format, but it is especially bad in Chaos mirrors. It is only acceptable if you can be absolutely certain they will not punish it with MST/Dust/Breaker/Mobius/a bunch of other cards. At best, it gets you 1-2 cards more out of a weaker opponent.
29. In the Angel mirror, try to be the person attacking when two Angels crash. In this case, the attacking player gives up less information overall and the defending player will generally have to summon D.D. Warrior Lady as soon as possible; if they do not, the attacking player will know they have a DDWL in hand. This remains true if you replace one or both of the Angels in the scenario with Tomatoes.
30. What did Big P mean when he said, “mobius is hard to deal with... i win a lot using mobius?” Maining or siding a copy of Mobius can change a lot of the dynamics of this matchup. Even if you don’t play Thunder Dragon, you can still Tribute Summon yourself out of a Scapegoat token lock. Your opponent sees Heavy Storm in the grave and assumes it is safe to set Mirror Force + Sakuretsu Armor, Mirror Force + Torrential Tribute, etc. Mobius is kind of like Parshath, except that the things that beat Parshath lose to Mobius and vice versa.
31. If you’re playing Spies and Guards, know when to get Guard with Spy and when to get Spy with Spy. This depends on whether or not you have a Tsukuyomi readily available and whether or not your opponent is setting monsters of their own. If you resolve a Guard effect on a lone set monster and they don’t Torrential your Tsukuyomi+Guard, you’ve probably won the game.
32. You know who don’t get no respect? D.D. Warrior Lady don’t get no respect, no respect at all. D.D. Warrior Lady does so much for you without you noticing it. It’s hard to be aware of things like “the number of times your opponent had a dead Tsukuyomi while you beat them down with DDWL.” This is only really relevant to Thunder Dragon and Skilled White Magician players, as Shining Angel players don’t really have a choice in the matter.
33. Remember that some Chaos Control lists, particularly ones with Thunder Dragon, play Metamorphosis without any Scapegoats. This can punish players who see Metamorphosis and expect Scapegoat. If you’re thinking about playing Metamorphosis without Scapegoat, review §8 for some brief guidelines on using Chaos Sorcerer with Metamorphosis.
34. Skilled White Magician is the best core LIGHT in a metagame composed entirely of Chaos Control players playing optimally. Skilled Chaos has by far the best side deck options against Thunder Dragon Chaos. When both players are playing at a high enough level, Skilled White Magician begins to outclass Shining Angel in the head-to-head, since Shining Angel essentially becomes a vanilla with bad stats.
35. Stop using Book of Moon and Scapegoats to block trivial amounts of damage in the early game. Both of these cards are at their best when chained to commitments from the opponent. Milk these cards for as much value as possible. If you have Book of Moon but no Chaos Sorcerer yet and their Breaker is gone, it is often correct to just leave your Book in your hand while you set literally anything else. Setting these cards is a commitment that can be exploited under the right conditions.
36. Despite its shortcomings, Morphing Jar is not likely to disappear from Chaos Control matches in any of our lifetimes. If you start with an early lead, you should always be able to hedge against the possibility of Morphing Jar. If a Jar has ever resolved against you for a significant swing in advantage towards your opponent, you probably did something wrong.
37. Know when to leave Goat tokens up and when to chip away at them outside of the classic deckout scenarios. Sometimes you will have to leave them with all four tokens to prevent certain kill combos on their turn, and sometimes you will want to leave them with their tokens to set up for a big Tribe-Infecting Virus, Torrential Tribute, Needle Ceiling, etc.
38. When you have your opponent dead to a Ring of Destruction but you aren’t sure when to fire it off because they still have Book of Moon, wait until they use Snatch Steal, Chaos Sorcerer, etc. and chain Ring of Destruction targeting their target. This puts you in the best position in the case that they do have Book of Moon.
39. Don’t set yourself up for crappy hands like 2 Tsukuyomi 1 Asura Priest. Often, you should be attacking with Asura Priest or Tsukuyomi with the intent of forcing a Sakuretsu Armor or similar answer. The same goes with setting Tsukuyomi (or even Asura) with the intent of trading with a Nobleman of Crossout.
40. Before attacking a Shining Angel, ask yourself one question: do I get absolutely fucked if they search for Magician of Faith here? If the answer is yes, then don’t attack the Angel. Having a Chaos Sorcerer to try to banish the Faith in MP2 usually doesn’t count as an answer because of how badly you get screwed if they have Book of Moon.
41. Snatching their Flip Effect monster and summoning your Tsukuyomi becomes viable when one of two things is true: they have no backrow, or their Torrential Tribute is in their graveyard. If you don’t get a good chance to do this, but your hand isn’t so terrible that you need to go for it, you should probably be holding your Snatch for late-game Chaos monsters.
42. If you’re going first in game 1 and you can’t figure out whether or not to set Dark Mimic or Dekoichi first, look at the rest of your hand. If you have Tsukuyomi but no Crossout or Metamorphosis, you should set Dekoichi first. If you have a way to beat their own set monsters, you should probably be setting Mimic first, especially if you need your Metamorphosis to be online on turn 2.
43. Contrary to §4, it can often be correct to summon Chaos Sorcerer early to deny your opponent a LIGHT monster in their graveyard. The best time to do this is when you have Book of Moon and they have already used Graceful Charity. TER can be used similarly, except you’d rather set a Sakuretsu Armor with it than a Book of Moon. If you catch them with weak or no backrow in the midgame, you can summon Chaos Sorcerer to banish one of their LIGHTs, then Metamorphosis into Dark Blade to banish the remaining LIGHTs in their grave.
44. Alekhine: "During a chess competition a chessmaster should be a combination of a beast of prey and a monk." This matchup forces players to think beyond the traditional relative roles of aggression and conservation. In a sense, stuff like “who’s the beatdown” is always relevant. However, in Chaos mirrors, the line between the two is often blurred and the terms often fail to describe important aspects of game situations.
45. One of the reasons why Morphing Jar should not be played at a high level in this matchup is that good players naturally play around it. This alone may not sound like sufficient reason to cut a card, since we still play cards like Torrential Tribute and Mirror Force even though they scale poorly with the opponent’s skill level. However, in this matchup, Morphing Jar scales poorly with both players’ skill levels.
46. Out of the matchups between top decks, this one emphasizes virtual card advantage the most. Understand what exactly is happening when you keep their Chaos monsters from becoming live by managing their graveyard.
47. A threat is always more important than its execution. Mirror Force doesn’t just destroy all your opponent’s Attack Position monsters; it also tells your opponent that you won’t activate Mirror Force for the rest of the game (barring Mask of Darkness lol).
48. Summoning BLS early is a lot like a nut check in the sense that it keeps your opponent honest. You can get away with this when your opponent staggers on a set monster in the early game and you have a Book of Moon. A lot of the time, their answer will include Nobleman of Crossout, which makes it easier for you to resolve Faiths and Dekoichis afterwards. The same applies to a lesser extent with Chaos Sorcerer.
49. Playing Chaos Control mirrors is like playing Chaos Control against Chaos Turbo, except both players have lategames. Thunder Dragon lists that play three Scapegoat tend to have even more of a lategame.
50. “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” Commit without really committing, and make it look like you’re committing when you’re not. The core flow of the Chaos mirror is a lot like a game of chicken, except with NASCAR cars, both players are hammered drunk, and Michael Bay is directing the crash sequences. You have to learn to be one with the fear, like when Ricky Bobby was driving around with the cougar in his car.
51. Cyber Jar, Serial Spell, and Card Destruction can be used as an alternate win condition in passive control mirrors. A lot of the time, you can leave your opponent with 10-12 cards in hand after a Cyber Jar and then randomly steal the game with Card Destruction + Serial Spell. This is particularly effective when you are playing Thunder Dragon.
52. The “Warrior engine” is an archaic sideboard plan that is often overrated by Chaos players. They look at Blade Knight’s attribute and think, “oh, this is sick, I’m going to RotA for a LIGHT.” The problem is that none of the standard sideboard Warriors are the best card at doing what they do. Mystic Swordsman LV2 and Exiled Force are usually just worse Mind Controls. Blade Knight conflicts with Scapegoat and matches up poorly against Tsukuyomi and other beaters in the format. The most underrated Warrior in this matchup is Zombyra the Dark, but he doesn’t really merit playing RotA on his own.
53. Summoning Sangan is more of a commitment here than in other matchups, particularly when your opponent has a good graveyard. If you aren’t getting 1000 damage or a card out of them for summoning it, you probably want to set Sangan instead.
54. Sklansky’s fundamental poker theorem: “Every time you play a hand differently from the way you would have played it if you could see all your opponents' cards, they gain; and every time you play your hand the same way you would have played it if you could see all their cards, they lose. Conversely, every time opponents play their hands differently from the way they would have if they could see all your cards, you gain; and every time they play their hands the same way they would have played if they could see all your cards, you lose.” In YGO, the advantage gained from information is not always immediate or automatic. You have to work to convert the information, by painting a picture in the opponent’s mind that makes them feel like they need to extend when they actually shouldn’t.
55. The problem with GK Spy-based setups is that you can’t threaten to chain Scapegoat to their Heavy Storm. This means that your Spies are best after your opponent has already committed, either with monsters, backrows, or both. On the other hand, GK Guard alone can be good in either situation. If your opponent has both Spies and Guards in their Chaos Control deck, you can bring in Mind Control with sided Guards to have a solid answer to most of their defensive pressure outlets.
56. If you’re going to play Kycoo, you have to make him count every time. In Chaos mirrors, Kycoo works a lot like a watered-down Parshath. It’s difficult to set up direct Kycoo hits, but it can be very rewarding to do so in spite of this.
57. Spirit Reaper is an interesting card because it reverses the traditional dynamics of turn 1 Breaker. If you’re trying to be slick against Breaker by setting Scapegoat or Book of Moon on your first turn and passing, they can punish you with Reaper, but if you set an out to Reaper, it will usually lose to Breaker. The exception is Ring of Destruction, which is probably one of the safest cards to set on turn 1 in general.
58. Pay close attention not only to how many copies of Scapegoat your opponent can play, but how many copies of Scapegoat your opponent thinks you play. This information is most relevant during the last turns of the game. If you play three Scapegoat and you use the third in game 1 of your match, you can often side that copy out and coast on the threat of a third Goat for the rest of the match.
59. If you think your opponent has set Morphing Jar, decide whether or not you want to let its effect resolve. If you don’t have any Chaos monsters left, you might be able to play around it by setting your hand and attacking, then draw into a bunch of gas. But if you already have a BLS or Sorcerer and not so many Spells or Traps, you might not want to let the Jar resolve at all.
60. Tarrasch: “Before the endgame, the gods have placed the middlegame.” In a Chaos mirror, once you have begun to make commitments based on prior information and not just statistics, you have usually entered the midgame. This is where graveyard management matters the most for both players, since in more than half of your games, this will be the phase in which the first Chaos monster is summoned. With all other things held constant, it is probably optimal for the player with more information/less misinformation to do this.
61. Night Assailant is an interesting card that changes a lot of the turn 1 dynamics of matchups involving Thunder Dragon. When the Thunder Dragon player is going first, they can use Night Assailant with Tsukuyomi to punish summons and sets. But when the Thunder Dragon player is going second, Night Assailant provides extra insurance against Delinquent Duo, which the opponent has almost no incentive to hold going first.
62. Barring Dustshoot, which should only come up if at least one player is playing Thunder Dragons, intentionally “forgetting” Sinister Serpent comes up when the following is true: it is beneficial to you for your opponent to believe that the odds that your set monster is Sinister Serpent are relatively low. To understand whether or not this is the case in a given situation, you have to look at what monsters you actually have left (most importantly, which one you’re going to set) and what monsters your opponent knows/thinks you have left.
63. Creature Swap is a sideboard option Angel Chaos can use against Thunder Dragon Chaos in place of Mind Control. It is likely inferior to Mind Control, but it creates a number of interesting lines of play that are worth discussing here. If the Angel player has an Asura Priest or Tribe-Infecting Virus and the Thunder Dragon player only has one monster, they can force a Scapegoat activation with Creature Swap, then clear the Goat tokens and potentially a Swapped Angel with Asura/Tribe. However, if the Angel player doesn’t have Asura/Tribe or a Normal Summon, it’s risky for them to use Creature Swap, since Thunder Dragon Chaos can play up to three Scapegoats and a chained Goat is often a blowout here. Note that every single card on the Thunder Dragon player’s field is relevant here.
64. Within 5 years, this matchup could evolve to a point where three Solemn Judgment are considered staple (at least postboard) and deviation from this is seen as “aggressive.” This is the exact opposite of what is the case right now.
65. When Magical Merchant mills one of your Chaos monsters, you are losing position, not just threat density. The threat of one less Chaos monster can enable aggression from your opponent that would not have otherwise been a viable option for them. This effect is most noticeable when the milled monster is BLS.
66. If your opponent has already chained Scapegoat to something like Breaker the Magical Warrior, Mystical Space Typhoon, or Dust Tornado, you can still create a game shot without Asura/Tribe by Snatching a Goat token, turning it to attack position, and using Heavy Storm. This is like using Enemy Controller on a Goat token to attack for game, except you don’t have to be playing a terrible card.
67. Treat D.D. Warrior Lady like a mini-Sorcerer in order to stop her from getting eaten up by real Sorcerers and TERs. Be careful about committing a second monster alongside DDWL and try to use her when you have at least one Book of Moon.
68. Chaos Sorcerer is the best answer to itself. This means that you gain whenever your opponent has to use Chaos Sorcerer as an answer to something that isnt a BLS/Sorcerer.
69. Understand when you want to have backrow and when you don’t want to in a general sense. With cards like MST or Dust Tornado, you might often feel safe setting them on your first turn going first, “because they’re chainable,” but they really don’t count as chainables until your opponent has set something as well, which they aren’t likely to do before destroying your backrow with Breaker/Heavy Storm on their own first turn. On the other hand, if it’s extremely late in the game and the only Trap you haven’t used is Mirror Force, you might have to set something -- literally anything at all -- simply to give your opponent the impression that you could have Mirror Force.
70. Keynes: “In the long run, we are all dead.” Raw statistics are not enough to inform every single decision alone. Every game you play will take place under certain conditions at a certain time in a certain place against a particular opponent and all of these will never be exactly the same for any two games. In some cases, the same game 1 turn 1 play could be correct against one opponent and terrible against another opponent with the same decklist and opening hand as the first.
71. I think as time goes on, people will end up replacing their Skilled Dark Magicians in this matchup with Fusilier Dragons. Fusilier Dragon works a lot like SDM in that it trades well with Crossout and Sakuretsu, but unlike SDM, it works as a pinch combo piece with Tsukuyomi and a powerful niche Metamorphosis target. If your opponent’s Mirror Force and Torrential Tribute are gone and you can block a BLS attack, a King Dragun can often win the game on its own. If you need to push for game through a Scapegoat but you don’t have Asura/Tribe, you can Meta for Last Warrior as well, which kind of works like an Ojama King that can attack.
72. Unlike the other two builds, Thunder Dragon Chaos should side in this matchup primarily against the opponent’s sideboard as opposed to their mainboard. Spell Shield Type-8 is an answer to Mind Control that also enables aggression with Chaos Sorcerer since it negates Snatch Steal as well. Soul Exchange can be used as a pseudo-Crossout that doubles as an answer to Kycoo and similar cards. Royal Decree is especially nasty if your opponent sides in multiple Trap Dustshoot.
73. Asura + Big Bang Shot as an alternate win condition originally fell out of vogue on DGz because people stopped chaining Scapegoat to Heavy/Trunade when they didn’t need to. The emergence of Chaos Control forced everyone to re-learn this skill when Detox started decking out people like Francis who weren’t playing any tribute monsters. If you find yourself losing to either of these, you don’t need any particular sideboard card, you just need to play better.
74. Draw for your turn. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath and clear your mind of everything other than that breath. Then do it again. Open your eyes and look at the board, then your hand. Now figure out the best play.
75. Kris Perovic: “If both players are using the same deck and both players play it perfectly, well, the only way someone can win is because someone has to.” It’s not a “random” matchup just because you feel like you played as well as your opponent but still lost.