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Goat Format Interviews

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Jazz    5332

A few weeks ago I was procrastinating and decided to write down some interview questions about Goat Format. The idea is you get to see how experienced goat players think and maybe learn something new. So I sent it out to a few of the better players I've encountered over the years and compiled their responses (I also answered the questions because why not B}).

 

I think it's cool because the diversity of the responses is really striking. I really didn't expect that. While there are a few core principles that seem to crop up in most of the interviews, everybody has their own philosophy and legitimate theories and ideas.

 

Interview with POLLUTEDxDELTA: 

[spoiler]

How long have you been playing goat format?

I played the format in it's entirety in 2005, and picked it back up in 2012 during the Dragon Ruler format.

 

Why do you play goat format?

I think Goat Control is the best format of any trading card game. Legacy in Magic is similar for cards like Daze, Brainstorm, and Stifle, but all of Goat Control's one-of power cards make games much deeper and complex.

 

What is your overall philosophy of how to win in goat format?

I believe the best way to win in Goat Control is to balance both card advantage and life points. It is easy to point to cards like Sakurestu Armor and call them "1 for 1” trades, but it is important to understand which 1 for 1s are worth fighting for. After two to three 1 for 1 trades, you can start getting an edge on an opponent for the +1 and start forcing them to use power cards prematurely. Managing life points plays directly towards this - being below 3000 life points is incredibly dangerous and changes how both you and your opponent interact with each other. Card advantage doesn't mean much if you are forced into overcommitting to the board.

 

What is the most important power card and why?

I think Graceful Charity is the most important power card, although Ring of Destruction is a close second. Graceful lets you see more cards than your opponent and set up your graveyard for BLS / Premature / Call - all of which can be more important than a +1 from Pot of Greed. Graceful Charity is as dangerous as the player playing it.

 

Are there any power cards that you feel are overrated?

I think Pot of Greed and Delinquent Duo are both overrated. You need to be able to both capitalize on your +1s and come back when you are behind in a game. Most players I see would rather complain about losing to trinity than actually learn to beat it.

 

What are your favorite tech card(s) and why?

I like Cannon Soldier and Des Koala a lot. Being able to put a lot of damage on the board, either by surprise or low commitment, is very powerful (but Magic Cylinder is still a bad card).

 

Are there any tech cards that you feel are overrated?

I think Asura Priest is overrated. Sure it can clear boards, but leaving yourself exposed to Spirit Reaper or any generic form of damage is too dangerous in my opinion. Sometimes you just need field presence, and Asura Priest can't provide that.

 

How do you use your side deck?

I use it differently from 2005 compared to today - 2005 was all about handling rogue burn and stall decks. Today, sideboards can be used almost exclusively for mirror matches.

 

If you had to use an alternative deck (not goat control) what would you use and why?

DMoC Launch. It was a combo deck that looped Dark Magician of Chaos, Cannon Soldier / Mass Driver, Spell Economics, and Dimension Fusion. It was able to use Cyber Jar and Morphing Jar with Book of Moon, Book of Taiyou, and Shallow Grave to draw cards, and Monster Gate and Reasoning to set up the combos. Reasoning was especially strong, because the only four monsters in the deck were leveled 2,3,4, and 8.

 

Could you give an example of a pro play you like to make?

I think pro plays are overrated - sure, everyone wants to bluff Heavy Storm for the +2. I think most actual pro plays come from sneaking in incremental points of damage.

 

Are there any pro plays that you feel are overrated?

Didn't realize this was the next question lol. Yeah, people try too hard with Heavy Storm.

 

What is your strategy when your opponent opens with some or all of the trinity?

Stall the game out as long as possible to either draw my own trinity or wait until my opponent starts becoming inpatient and wasteful of their resources. Also, card advantage does not always win games. This is why I believe BLS and Ring are good for the format - they are able to steal wins from behind, and force the player that is ahead on card advantage to play an honest game.

 

To what degree do you value life points?

Extremely highly. I always assume I start at 6200 for Premature and Duo, and then 5000ish for both my and my opponent's Rings. I allow myself to take 2000 at most after the 5000ish number, because BLS must be respected at all times.

 

To what degree do you value tempo?

Fairly highly, but for similar reasons to life points. Getting free points of damage accelerates game states and forces card advantage out of place.

 

Would you ban any cards in the format if you could?

I wouldn't ban any cards. I think all power cards have similar benefits and costs. I also think card games need variance, so both Pot of Greed and Delinquent Duo can stay.

 

How do you feel about playing with Cybernetic Revolution?

I dislike playing with CRV. I think Cyber Dragon invalidates a lot of the tech choices and innovations of the format. It also accelerates game states to quickly. Cyber Twin Dragon with BLS is also unreal. It is unfortunate because cards like Drillroid and Steamroid were awesome to play with.

 

What are some of the biggest mistakes you see other players make?

I don't think the mistakes that most players make are necessarily their fault. Yugioh has drastically changed from 2005. Just because your hand is capable of winning the game doesn't mean you should go for game. Be patient and take time to work through your opponent's backrows. Respect cards like Scapegoat and Book of Moon. Respect the one-outers like Mirror Force. Don't make excuses like "Oh I can't believe they had that one card" - accept responsibility for the decisions you make.

 

What concept about goat format took you the longest to learn?

It took me the longest to learn how to get the most value out of my unimportant cards. Most every card has the potential to be Pot of Greed if you work hard enough for it.

 

Are there any mistakes you still make?

I tend to be too conservative, and end up not going for game when I can clearly win on a particular turn. Playing multiple card games and formats makes me play around cards that don't exist.

 

When two really good players play each other, how does one beat the other?

I think it comes down to tech choices and the angle at which each player attacks the format. Generally speaking, I don't think any two players are ever equal - everyone is influenced by their region's styles. Players react to different cards in different ways, and I think the winner is most often determined by who is able to adapt to more adverse situations. A better player cannot be determined in a best-of-three match.

 

What is your advice for someone who wants to get better at goat format?

Read the old Metagame archives across July and August. Also get more active in the Duelistgroundz Goat Control community - there is a lot of good information in the archives. I do not recommend going to popular "Yugitube" channels - most of them just do videos for attention, and they have no idea what they are actually talking about.

[/spoiler]

 

Interview with OD Superman:

[spoiler]

How long have you been playing goat format?

Since goat format.

 

Why do you play goat format?

Some of my most cherished memories are of when my team and I were atop the game but I just don’t have the time or inclination to take this game seriously anymore. Still, I’m drawn to it so sometimes I’ll play goat format for fun because its card pool is big enough to make unique decks and small enough not to get overwhelmed by a ton of options. Moreover, goat games are slow-paced so the consequences of pre- and in-game decisions tend to favor better, well-prepared players, and I like winning.

 

What is your overall philosophy of how to win in goat format?

Most folks suggest doing whatever you can to avoid giving up card advantage but there’s a lot more to goat format than that. Of course you should put in as little as possible into each play and get the most out of each card, but you have to master timing, bluffs, and setting up game shots too. Success in the format also depends on a mastery of the fundamentals, like knowing where to set the cards you want your opponent to Dust or where to hold the cards you want them to Duo. You also have to throw them off their game by mixing in some non-standard plays. Stay tight, but aggressive, and don’t push hard until you can counter a counter. Have a game plan, but be willing to adapt at all times.

 

What is the most important power card and why?

“Most important power card” is a weird phrase because so many cards can change or outright win a game depending on the circumstances: Pot, Grace, Duo, BLS, Jar, Heavy, Snatch, etc. are some examples. But I guess if I had to choose just one at the risk of going against the herd, I’d pick Ring over Jar just because it’s a standalone ace in the hole and no hand is worse for having it.

 

Are there any power cards that you feel are overrated?

I can’t think of many “power cards” that haven’t earned the title.

 

What are your favorite tech card(s) and why?

A lot of goat format tech just don’t belong in the category anymore: Apprentice, Enemy Controller, Swap, and most other things have been done to death. If I absolutely had to choose a card most folks wouldn’t ever think to put in their goat format decks, it’d probably be Last Will. I’d use it in something with recruiters because Last Will into Spirit Reaper is pretty cool. That, or Greenkappa.

 

Are there any tech cards that you feel are overrated?

There are overrated cards, sure: DDWL, Spy, Book, Tribe, and even Goats are some examples. I’m not sure which of these, if any, qualify as tech. But again, I’m not sure what, if anything, qualifies as tech anymore.

 

How do you use your side deck?

I don’t really use my side deck anymore, to be honest. Back in the day, I focused on countering non-Goat decks and just relied on my main to beat ordinary Goat decks. But now, since most non-Goat decks are frowned upon, I don’t have as much a reason to side. I don’t even bring in Kinetic Soldiers against Warrior decks, or my Jinzo against decks with multiple Sakuretsu, because my main is already geared to beat all that. Maybe, maybe, once in a while I’ll bring in MSLV2 or Blade Knight vs. the flip flop decks but I have to be in a really weird mood to do that.

 

If you had to use an alternative deck (not goat control) what would you use and why?

Pre-CRV, there weren’t a lot of options to choose from aside from all the OTK decks. Goat control was the deck of the format for a reason. I would never have used Monarchs because they all lost out to Tsukuyomi, and had too much potential for horrible hands without Treeborn Frog. Post-CRV, I’m quite fond of Chaos/Recruiters (without Goat/Return/Decree, just 3 Dust).

 

Could you give an example of a pro play you like to make?

T1: Set Jar or Faith, pass. The only way ever backfires is when someone tries to DDWL/Sangan/Exarian into your face-down, but no one ever expects Jar or Faith to be there. They usually think it’s Spy or Exarian and don’t want to attack it, or they want to set their monster to bait a NoC. They also won’t set more than one S/T for fear of Heavy, so generally, huge plusses ensue.

 

Are there any pro plays that you feel are overrated?

Setting Heavy Storm. Sometimes it seems like no one knows how to do this right. You don’t set it to match their S/T. You don’t set it alongside an S/T to match their two S/Ts. You certainly don’t set it when it’s late-game and you’re waiting for a game shot with BLS. You set it, for example, behind a Graceful and Sangan T1, or mid-game when you’re setting up for an Airknight push.

 

What is your strategy when your opponent opens with some or all of the trinity?

It depends on my hand, but generally, and I know a lot of people won’t agree with me, but I try to be as aggressive as I can. I won’t set my Exarions to bait NoCs and post-CRV, I’ll go Cyber Exarion into a single monster, Snatch/Meta be damned. I do this because in the games where I’m far behind on advantage and my opponent has Sinister, live Faiths, and BLS, well, I can’t hope to recover that advantage unless my opponent is insurmountably stupid, so I try to win on life points and set up for a BLS/Airknight/Ring play somewhere down the line. That’s one of the reasons most of my pre-CRV builds nowadays include two Airknight and two Exarians, because the damage they can do opens up a lot of game shots.

 

To what degree do you value life points?

The first 3000 are important because they’re your cushion, but this period is when card advantage matters more than LP. Exarion hits? No problem. Asura hits? No problem. The last 5000 are when you have to start playing tight. Either way, you never want to be so far apart or so low on life points that BLS or Ring means game.

 

To what degree do you value tempo?

Tempo is a weird word. If you mean pace, then yes, it’s important to stay ahead of your opponent and dictate the pace of the game when your cards allow it. Mostly, the challenge is in recognizing what hands are well-equipped to do this and what hands aren’t because the only way to master this skill is to learn how to judge the quality of your opponent’s hand with very little information.

 

Would you ban any cards in the format if you could?

Duo, but not because I can’t stand getting Duo’d T1 or the idea of making Faith live ASAP. I’d ban it because I just think it would free people from the need to run Sinister Serpent in other decks (like Warriors or Zombies).

 

How do you feel about playing with Cybernetic Revolution?

I’m quite fond of CRV. I think the inclusion of it into the format only makes decks better and matches more skill-intensive. For more, see http://duelistground...45347&p=3741567

 

What are some of the biggest mistakes you see other players make?

Poor card choices (i.e. Skilled White Magician, Gravekeeper’s Spy). Poor in-game decisions (i.e. leading on life and advantage, then using TER on a f/d without a plan to Tsuku/tribute it). Unwillingness to experiment (i.e. always including DDWL in their deck). Oh, and things like this happen all the time: a lot of people go all game without baiting out a Snatch, use their Dust to force an activation of Goat, then drop Airknight.

 

What concept about goat format took you the longest to learn?

I learned a few things throughout 2005 that I didn’t really know before that: 1, to think ahead; 2, DDWL vs. Spy; and 3, time. 1. I was playing in a local and had Cylinder face-down and Jinzo in hand, staring down a Kycoo and an S/T, nothing else. My opponent attacked (I had no monsters in my graveyard) and I used Cylinder. That’s when my teammate Anthony Alvarado stopped me, asked me what I was doing, and I said, “I’m probably not going to get anything more than 1800 from the Cylinder, so what difference does it make?” I had plenty of LP so he told me to wait until it was absolutely necessary before wasting a card. Sure enough, I took back my move, drew Don, set it, protected it with Cylinder, and tributed for Jinzo on my following turn – my opponent drew traps back-to-back-to-back and I won, never having forgotten the lesson. 2. Wilson Luc once asked me for my opinion on whether I’d remove when my DDWL ran into a Gravekeeper’s Spy. Luc was far more of an accomplished player than me at that point and I only wanted to impress him, but my answer, “Probably, yes, but it depends if I have another card to get rid of the second Spy. Otherwise I’ll just wait. Maybe I can TER + Jinzo, or TT later,” didn’t really impress him. It wasn’t until a year or so later that I thought back and realized that no, there are very few circumstances by which you should remove a Spy with DDWL. 3. I lost to Jae Kim at SJC Charlotte because he sat on the side of the table facing the clock and I didn’t, and I never thought about how much time was left in the round. That was the last time I ever lost for that reason.

 

Are there any mistakes you still make?

No.

 

When two really good players play each other, how does one beat the other?

The only way for a perfect goat player to beat another perfect goat player, more often than not, is to have a better deck. But 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.

 

What is your advice for someone who wants to get better at goat format?

In this order: 1. Shadow and play against better players. 2. Question everything. 3. Play a lot to develop good instincts. 4. Control the information your opponent has access to and only let them believe what you want them to believe. (For 1, 2, and 3, my team and I used to play open-handed in front of everyone, and we let everyone judge each move. I’d recommend that to anyone to get better at any format. Also, you’ll never do 4 unless you can master 1-3.)

[/spoiler]
 

Interview with Model:

[spoiler]

How long have you been playing goat format?

Since the format came out.


Why do you play goat format?

I just believe goat format not only was the most skill intensive format to exist but I also had the most fun playing the game around that time.


What is your overall philosophy of how to win in goat format?

Play smart, think multiple turns in advance and trap. I don't think there's a single set way to play the format, I've had countless great players question tons of my plays.


What is the most important power card and why?

Duo, I don't think there's any explanation needed.


Are there any power cards that you feel are overrated?

Not really, I think each card in the format seemed to land where it deserved.


What are your favorite tech card(s) and why?

Enemy controller was always one of my favorite cards to play, I'm sure it was more widely played than I remember but the momentum the card can give you is pretty huge.


Are there any tech cards that you feel are overrated?

Not really.


How do you use your side deck?

I just use my side deck for coverage, giving me key cards against certain match ups and play styles.


If you had to use an alternative deck (not goat control) what would you use and why?

Tool-box. I think the deck was viable and if they didn't start too strong you could usually press an advantage.


Could you give an example of a pro play you like to make?

No idea.


Are there any pro plays that you feel are overrated?

None.


What is your strategy when your opponent opens with some or all of the trinity?

Most people can't even capitalize on trinity so it's not a huge deal, just play through it and make the best plays possible, they'll make a mistake.


To what degree do you value life points?

Life points weren't an issue unless you didn't have an answer for BLS or Ring of Destruction.


To what degree do you value tempo?

I believe tempo is the most important in this format, my entire play style works around the idea of it in the format.


Would you ban any cards in the format if you could?

Duo and Ring of Destruction.


How do you feel about playing with Cybernetic Revolution?

It was only out a very short time at the end of the format, not a huge fan of using the cards regardless of me thinking how much of an impact they would make.


What are some of the biggest mistakes you see other players make?

Too long ago to remember.


What concept about goat format took you the longest to learn?

Patience. Half the format is letting your opponent make a mistake before you.


Are there any mistakes you still make?

Everyone makes mistakes regardless of how good they are.


When two really good players play each other, how does one beat the other?

Patience and momentum.


What is your advice for someone who wants to get better at goat format?

Play the format, record your matches and study them.

 

[/spoiler]

 

Interview with Jazz (myself): 

[spoiler]

How long have you been playing goat format?

I played during 2005 when I was 15. I was stoked to rediscover it on Dueling Network a couple years ago.

 

Why do you play goat format?

Goat format is extremely challenging and every decision you make really matters; luck is truly the least important factor. I play for the challenge and the satisfaction from winning with skill.

 

What is your overall philosophy of how to win in goat format?

Maximize your future plays. Keep your life points as high as possible and your hand as big as possible. This helps maximize the usefulness of every card you draw.  For example if your opponent has 3 S/T on the field to your none, and you have Heavy Storm in hand but no follow up to attack with: why not wait a turn to see if they set a 4th S/T or if you draw an Airknight / Spirit Reaper? It’s also important to recognize the state of the current game: when you are winning, when you are losing, when a specific card could really hurt you, or when you have to take risks.

 

What is the most important power card and why?

Heavy Storm. I think it’s the most important card in a tight game state. For this reason I always hold it as long as possible, and I really don't like setting it because it might get blown away before I can use it.

 

Are there any power cards that you feel are overrated?

Pot of Greed. At the end of the day it doesn’t directly limit your opponent's options. I see too many people grab it with Magician of Faith without thinking. Sometimes it is better to get back something like Nobleman of Crossout that can cut off your opponent's plays.

 

What are your favorite tech card(s) and why?

I really like Magical Merchant and Dekoichi the Battle-Chanted Locomotive. They dig for power spells and set up deadly combos. They also work very well with 3 copies of Book of Moon and give easy advantage when combined with Tsukuyomi.

 

Are there any tech cards that you feel are overrated?

Sakuretsu Armor. For some reason this card never works for me, maybe it's my play style and tech choices. It always seems to get hit by Breaker whenever I set it, so I prefer something chainable. I realize it works for some people, but it’s not for me.

 

How do you use your side deck?

I like to side into Warrior Toolbox and Spell/Trap removal because it’s good against so many rogue decks. I’ve also learned not to be afraid to side out power cards when the matchup is unfavorable (even BLS!) and I know the outcome of the game will be determined in the first few turns. I usually only swap 1 or 2 traps against goat control variants - stuff like Dust Tornado, Ceasefire, Bottomless, or Sakuretsu.

 

If you had to use an alternative deck (not goat control) what would you use and why?

Strike Ninja toolbox with Return from the Different Dimension. It can support a lot of really interesting tech monsters that you normally don't get to play with, like Possessed Dark Soul, Zombyra the Dark, and Dark Magician of Chaos. It’s also a nice change of pace from the more passive version of goat control I run.

 

Could you give an example of a pro play you like to make?

Setting Magician of Faith with no trinity in the Graveyard. This only really works against good players, because they wouldn't pull something on you like a first turn Blade Knight. Being able to unexpectedly play Duo twice on the same turn has won me a lot of games.

 

Are there any pro plays that you feel are overrated?

Pro-Storm. In my opinion it's one of the most valuable cards in your deck and you can't risk losing it that way. I've lost a lot of games because I couldn’t get my Heavy Storm back from the Graveyard. Also if you really want to set up that play, set a card like Nobleman of Crossout instead.

 

What is your strategy when your opponent opens with some or all of the trinity?

Slow roll and don't let them get a Tsuku lock going. It's only a matter of time before you draw your own power cards. You can stall the game by committing fewer monsters to the field and not attacking into traps.

 

To what degree do you value life points?

More than I think other players do. I would say lots of players tend to focus on card advantage too much. Everything in goat format is about trade offs and risk versus reward. Every time I might take damage I consider that a risk, so I have to have a good reason not to activate something like Scapegoat. If you take one attack that seems harmless early it might come back to bite you 10 turns later.

 

To what degree do you value tempo?

Not that much compared to other formats. I generally press with attacks only when I have card advantage or I know my opponent is running out of defensive S/Ts and removal options. As long as I have options to respond and a decent life point cushion, I feel pretty safe.

 

Would you ban any cards in the format if you could?

Only something like Book of Taiyou because it is integral to the Empty Jar OTK (IMO the most unfair deck in goats). I think all other cards and decks, even other OTKs, are inferior to a goat control deck with the proper side deck. No power card actually wins the duel on its own, not even Delinquent Duo.

 

How do you feel about playing with Cybernetic Revolution?

I think it's okay but I prefer the slower tempo of pre-CRV goats. It's honestly not as bad as everyone thinks it is, but I don't like that it makes you hesitate to activate your own Scapegoat and that it lets your opponent put an extra 2100 damage on the board so easily.

 

What are some of the biggest mistakes you see other players make?

Mostly being aggressive when they are behind in card advantage. Bringing out non floater monsters is just asking for me to play Torrential, TER, Snatch Steal, Tribe Infecting Virus, etc. or power over you in battle.

 

What concept about goat format took you the longest to learn?

It took me a while to learn how important life points are. When I played in 2005 I thought it was all about card advantage and that it was unfair when I lost when I had a +2, etc. Now I realize protecting your life points starting at 8000 can act as an insurance policy 10 turns down the road. I've also stopped setting as many S/T early in the game when I know I am safe no matter what my opponent has in hand.

 

Are there any mistakes you still make?

Little mistakes are impossible to eliminate completely. However, the big mistake I often make is assuming my opponent runs a deck that I would run or would play their cards the way I would play them. I find that I get in trouble when I don't consider the possibility that my opponent might run something like 2 Tsukuyomi or a Zaborg. Needle Ceiling can also be really nasty. There are so many playable tech cards in goat format that it is really hard to account for all the possibilities.

 

When two really good players play each other, how does one beat the other?

I think a lot of times it comes down to one play. Whoever makes that first mistake will generally lose the duel since the other player is good enough to play flawlessly the rest of the way. The other major thing that happens is games can last really long and can come down to who is in the best position to go for the "game shot." That's part of why I like to hold Heavy Storm as long as possible. I think luck is rarely a factor, but when it is the game is over in like 4 turns, so you'll know it.

 

What is your advice for someone who wants to get better at goat format?

Question everything you do and learn from your mistakes. If you lose a game of goats, you should be able to look back and figure out how you could have played it differently and won. You might want to experiment with different plays and learn what works and what doesn't. If you can find match videos or watch a good player in real life, you can see all the decisions they are making. Often the most complicated decisions in goat format are deciding what not to do, not what you could do.

[/spoiler]

 

Interview with White-Bordered Swamp aka Pennington:

[spoiler]

How long have you been playing goat format?

I did play in 2005, but I was completely noncompetitive. I was one of the people to really push for the revival of the format about 2 years ago along with people like Ryuuzaki, Model, and Joe Giorlando. That was when I really got started.

 

Why do you play goat format?

Largely because current Yugioh sucks, and it's the only past format that anyone else wants to seriously play. Also, because I love watching people like Kris Perovic and Alistar Albans go on hardcore tilt after I destroy them.

 

What is your overall philosophy of how to win in goat format?

Assuming that every match is a scapegoat mirror, you largely win with tight aggressive play. Once your opponent has to start minusing themselves to conserve their life total, that's when you know that you're winning.

 

What is the most important power card and why?

Ring of Destruction, BLS would be a close second. Trinity is fairly easy to come back from. You can't come back from being dead. I literally focus on playing around these two cards more than any other cards in the format. Sinister Serpent is also ridiculously good. I've literally seen people +4 with this card.

 

Are there any power cards that you feel are overrated?

I don't know if people classify Morphing Jar as a power card, but I would say it's overrated. Tribe-Infecting Virus is also fairly overrated. It's good at going for game, but surprisingly not that great at doing much else.

 

What are your favorite tech card(s) and why?

I don't know if it's considered tech, I value Sakuretsu Armor far higher than most players. I will play 2-3 in virtually every list. If you want an actual tech card, I'd say Dekoichi. It's one of the best ways to pressure your opponent, and you also don't care that much if they Nobleman it. Playing a mini warrior toolbox with cards like Exiled Force, Mystic Swordsman LV2, and Don Zaloog is also a reasonable choice that I don't think gets enough attention.

 

Are there any tech cards that you feel are overrated?

Anything that Jae Kim thought was good. For example, Trap Dustshoot is an actual horrible card. It's normally a situational 1-for-1 that doesn't make it any easier to push through damage.

 

How do you use your side deck?

Siding for the generic mirror is stupid. Virtually every match is going to be the generic mirror, so you should just be maining those cards instead. Your sidedeck should be dedicated to whatever combo decks are legal for the tournament and burn. You can have a couple of cards in your board to bring in if you notice there is something unusual about their goat list, but don't overdo it.

 

If you had to use an alternative deck (not goat control) what would you use and why?

Some sort of combo deck, probably Empty Jar or Ben Kei. Last Turn was reasonably good too, but everyone was maining Book and Ring, and it was almost impossible to beat Elephant Statue of Disaster.

 

Could you give an example of a pro play you like to make?

Beating Alistar Albans after he opens Trinity. Also, flipping down my opponent's Morphing Jar for the second reset is a powerful play that I have done several times. One of the reasons that I think Morphing Jar can be a fairly risky card to play.

 

Are there any pro plays that you feel are overrated?

Well, if it's an actual pro play, then it can't be overrated. Really what I think this question is trying to ask is, "Are there any plays that people consider pro that actually aren't?" In that case, yes, such as not activating Delinquent Duo turn 1. Seriously, they only have a 1/8 chance of having Sinister Serpent, and the longer you wait, the more likely they are to draw it. It's not like you're even down on cards if they do have it.

 

What is your strategy when your opponent opens with some or all of the trinity?

If his name is Alistar Albans, then remain calm, proceed as normal, and push his shit in. Otherwise, try to make the game go as long as possible and try to persuade your opponent into not valuing your life total. Pot of Greed and Graceful Charity are actually more powerful in the later game, so if you can get to that stage of the game, you might actually win because you were the second person to draw trinity.

 

To what degree do you value life points?

I'm always watching them. I'm not going to Mirror Force a Sangan or anything, but you really shouldn't be too liberal with your life total. Of course it really depends on what kind of game you're playing. Life points might be extremely important, or not important at all. You have to view the life totals a lot differently depending on who has or hasn't used their Ring of Destruction.

 

To what degree do you value tempo?

Tempo is almost non-existent in this type of format due to the snail's pace at which the game is played at. In fact, the entire concept of tempo was not really applied to the game of Yugioh until the 2006/2007 era.

 

Would you ban any cards in the format if you could?

I would ban a lot of combo-related cards. I feel like if people were more open-minded and explored the format more, it would have the potential to degenerate into combo mirrors. I also would consider banning Sinister Serpent. It doesn't take any skill to open Sinister Serpent and sit there and +1 off of it several times.

 

How do you feel about playing with Cybernetic Revolution?

It takes Limiter Removal from a fringe playable to one of the best cards in the format. With CRV, you'd see a format a lot closer to the Chaos Return format of 2006, except more copies of Limiter Removal/Metamorphosis/Scapegoat would take the place of Return from the Different Dimension and Smashing Ground.

 

What are some of the biggest mistakes you see other players make?

Playing Yugioh over Magic. Being Alistar Albans. This question is entirely a joke setup, right?

 

What concept about goat format took you the longest to learn?

I'm not sure. My theory and fundamentals were always my strongest point as a player, so I caught on to everything pretty quickly.

 

Are there any mistakes you still make?

Yeah, sometimes I make the mistake of playing actual goat control instead of a degenerate combo deck. (Of course there are).

 

When two really good players play each other, how does one beat the other?

By reducing a player's life points to zero (or deckout).

 

What is your advice for someone who wants to get better at goat format?

Reevaluate how you're spending your free time. In all seriousness, self-reflection. If you lost a match, there was probably something you could've done differently to put you in better position to win. It's on you to figure out what that was.

[/spoiler]

 

Interview with InfusionsCap:

[spoiler]

How long have you been playing goat format?

I played it in 2005 but I didn't understand nearly as many of the ins and outs of the game as I do now. I think that's probably the case for 90% of the people who play this format now so I apologize for the seemingly generic answer. I started looking back into this legendary format last year. As an old school player I'm not a huge fan of where the game has gone. That's in no way meant to be an insult to any old school players who are having success in the modern game, such as Patrick Hoban. Everyone just likes what they like.

 

Why do you play goat format?

Why would I not? This is an amazing format, in my opinion the best this game has ever seen. There's a lot to think about and no two games ever go quite the same way. Ironically enough I think that in modern day formats where several decks are considered “playable” at least to some degree there's actually more variety in this format. The lines of play can twist, split and turn on a dime with each new draw.

 

What is your overall philosophy of how to win in goat format?

Conservation is the key. Play tight, don't be wasteful. Try to get as much value as possible out of everything you do. Save power cards as long as possible. Those are all fairly obvious. The subtle key is the one for ones like Sakuretsu Armor. Don't be in a huge rush to use your cards just because you have them. Perhaps you can deal with that monster in battle if you just take a little damage in exchange for saving your removal. Planning ahead and making good reads are crucial. Granted there is only so much you can predict, and simply predicting it is only half the battle, you still have to be able to deal with it. That being said, knowledge is power any way you look at it.

 

What is the most important power card and why?

There are certainly a lot of them to choose from. Everyone knows the Trinity. Everyone knows Metamorphosis, Mirror Force, Snatch Steal, Premature Burial, Call of the Haunted and Heavy Storm are extremely solid and valuable cards in pretty much any format. However, if I had to choose one card to call the most important power card, I would have to give it to B.L.S. I debated saying Sinister Serpant, but he's not technically a power card, he's more of a combo card. Don't get me wrong, that card is completely busted, but Black Luster Soldier can win games on his own, and often out of nowhere. Players constantly have to tiptoe around this card, often times forcing them to second guess attacks or usage of their power spells such as Snatch Steal.

 

Are there any power cards you feel are overrated?

Not really. Power is power. I'm never really sad to see any of the “bomb” cards in my hand. Out of all of the cards that would be considered staple in this format, I actually think Torrential Tribute is the weakest. Good players won't walk into it, and drawing it after a threat like BLS or TER have already hit the field doesn't provide an immediate answer to the problem. I'm not advocating cutting it from the deck or anything, you can certainly still get value out of this card. I wouldn't really consider it overrated, I would only consider it to be the weakest of the power cards.

 

What are your favorite tech card(s) and why?

I remember seeing an interview with Evan Vargas once where he said something about the term “tech choice” that always stuck with me, so before I answer that question, I want to clarify what the term “tech choice” actually means according to Evan “Sandtrap” Vargas. Running a single copy of Creature Swap or Chaos Sorcerer just because you like it in your deck does not constitute a tech choice, those are just one-ofs. A card isn't a tech choice unless it is being played for the specific purpose of countering a particular card(s) or strategy. Asura Priest is an example of a tech choice, as the primary function of the card is to counter the popularity of Scapegoat, as well as floating level four monsters like Breaker or Blade Knight. So, my favorite tech choice...? Exarion Universe. It's not hard to find good dark monsters, that isn't why he is played. This guy really shines in this format. Trampling over goats, snakes and purple haired girls that recycle magic cards is nice, but the 1900 defense is what really makes him a star in a format overloaded by Book of Moon and Tsukuyomi.

 

Are there any tech cards you feel are overrated?

Since I mentioned Asura Priest before I'll go back to it here. It really don't think the card is all that strong. Retaining field presence is huge in this format. The only reasons Tsukuyomi makes the cut is because of all of the combo potential between it and Thousand Eyes Restrict, as well as the flip effect monsters. Tsukuyomi also has the chance to win in battle against floating level four monsters, monarchs, Thousand Eyes, and it turns Nobleman of Crossout on. Asura Priest does none of those things. On an optimal use you get to wipe the field of Scapegoats. There are plenty of other cards that do the same thing, and there are other ways for the opponent to access Restrict plays without Scapegoats. On a somewhat related note I'm not a fan of main decked Blade Knight. For his flip cutting effect to be active he has to stand alone, which means your own card is placing restrictions on you, and he has to destroy the monster, which means he does not cut the Spy/Guard engine. He's fine as a side deck card since he does answer Night Assailant, Magical Merchant, Morphing Jar and other small ball flip monsters, but you already have Nobleman of Crossout to fit that bill. Blade Knight can just be an awkward card sometimes, not to mention it dies to Tsukuyomi.

 

How do you use your side deck?

Between games typically. Just kidding. Most of the time you're playing the mirror so siding extra stuff for the mirror doesn't make much sense. It's fine to include a little bit to answer specific tech choices or engines (cards like Mystic Swordsman Lv.2, Exiled Force, Ninja Grandmaster Sasuke and Bottomless Trap Hole come to mind,) but for the most part when it comes to siding I try to be focused on burn and anything that can be used as a counter for specific problem cards while still having a high enough utility to be usable in a generic scenario as well.

 

If you had to use an alternative deck (not goat control) what would you use and why?

There are a few that I think are really cool in this format. Manticore/Card of Safe is nifty. The Mask of Darkness control deck originally piloted by Mike Rosenberg is cool. There's always the super annoying burn deck to fall back on. That being said, the deck that I think would be the most fun to play around with would involve Reasoning, Monster Gate, The Creator, multiple Airknights and chaos monsters, and my personal favorite, Dark Magician of Chaos.

 

Could you give an example of a pro play you like to make?

The term “pro play” seems loose, overrated and overused. Pro plays out of context don't mean much. Playing like a pro is making the correct decision, not the flashy one. Whether you arrive at the correct conclusion with math or a good read, the end result is the most important thing. That being said, seeing Austin Kulman set Mirror Force and Torrential Tribute together with perfect timing for maximum value has always stuck with me.

 

What is your strategy when your opponent opens with some or all of the trinity?

Pray for Sinister, pray that they do not have Sinister, and play tight until I can pick the right moment to take advantage of the board state and stabilize long enough to get back in the running. It's tough to come out of turn one trinity, but not impossible.

 

To what degree do you value your life points?

It's obviously important being the primary win condition and all, but it varies depending on the board state, what power cards are still available to be drawn, etc. Ring of Destruction, Black Luster Soldier, Snatch Steal and trample effects always have to be taken into consideration, especially as the game goes later and later without the opponent using them. For the most part I'm not too afraid of taking a little damage, but I think somewhere in the neighborhood of 3500 remaining LP is the “danger zone,” and 5000 is the “caution zone.”

 

To what degree do you value tempo?

I value it pretty highly. While I preach conservation in this format, there is still a time and place for going on the aggressive. I've seen many players have a huge advantage where they should have taken a more aggressive role in the match but instead they decided a more defensive approach was the correct answer and ultimately they lost the game because they gave their opponent time to find BLS or Snatch Steal. You can't be reckless but you can't be scared either. Tempo is all about seizing the moment and the opportunity.

 

Would you ban any cards in the format if you could?

Shockingly enough, no. I think the one-of power cards are part of the magic of the format. Sure, everyone gets a little frustrated from time to time and it usually involves turn one trinity. Just keep in mind that on a long enough timeline you'll do the same to someone else, and I guarantee that you won't feel bad about it then.

 

How do you feel about playing with Cybernetic Revolution?

It's fine, provided that's all clearly communicated far enough in advance to the match for both players to be adequately prepared for it. I prefer pre TLM goats honestly, but that's just me. I'll play it either way, pre TLM is just my preference.

 

What are some of the biggest mistakes you see other players make?

That's hard to say. I don't proclaim myself to be an expert in this format or this game, I only claim to be experienced. I've never really subscribed to the theory of judging other players because their level of skill has no direct bearing on my own. Picking their game apart does nothing to improve my own. However, for the sake of answering this question, I will say that a common trend I've noticed in a lot of people who play this format is that they would rather complain about losing to the trinity or a specific power card than find a way to beat it. The magic of this format is that there is always a way to solve the problem, it just requires some thought and patience. Practice is vital. Theory only gets you so far, you have to get out there and put the theories to the test.

 

What concept about goat format took you the longest to learn?

The ones I haven't learned yet. I feel like I know a bit, but I also subscribe to the theory that there is always room for improvement. Of the concepts I have learned I think one that took a long time for me to come to terms with is Bottomless Trap Hole not being an amazing card in this format. I'm a huge fan of BTH, always have been, and in some instances (against monarch heavy decks or post CRV for Cyber Dragon) you may want it, but it's still not main deck worthy.

 

Are there any mistakes you still make?

Of course. Even great players make mistakes from time to time. No one is perfect by any means. I think a lot of the appeal to this format is the almost unlimited growth potential. There's always a new idea, something new to consider. The level of attention that this format is receiving now only enhances the possibilities for new concepts and challenges to arise.

 

When two really good players play each other, how does one beat the other?

Luck can obviously play a factor, but there are other possible answer as well. A lot of it comes down to timing and conservation. The fundamentals really. Whichever player can force the other to use power cards early will typically have an advantage, but they have to do it with as little resource use as possible.

 

What is your advice for someone who wants to get better at goat format?

Don't disregard anything without at least some degree of consideration. There is a plethora of information out there now for this format, and a number of strong players with educated and valuable opinions who are willing to discuss it at length. Be a sponge and see what you can take away from it. Don't automatically assume you know the right answer to something unless you are 100% positive that you do. Ask questions. Obtain information. There are several interesting and complex interactions in this format, learning them is key. Most importantly, get out there and play. Don't be afraid to lose. You have to practice and get the work in. THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO SUBSTITUTE FOR EXPERIENCE!

[/spoiler]

 

List of questions:

[spoiler]

How long have you been playing goat format?

Why do you play goat format?

What is your overall philosophy of how to win in goat format?

What is the most important power card and why?

Are there any power cards that you feel are overrated?

What are your favorite tech card(s) and why?

Are there any tech cards that you feel are overrated?

How do you use your side deck?

If you had to use an alternative deck (not goat control) what would you use and why?

Could you give an example of a pro play you like to make?

Are there any pro plays that you feel are overrated?

What is your strategy when your opponent opens with some or all of the trinity?

To what degree do you value life points?

To what degree do you value tempo?

Would you ban any cards in the format if you could?

How do you feel about playing with Cybernetic Revolution?

What are some of the biggest mistakes you see other players make?

What concept about goat format took you the longest to learn?

Are there any mistakes you still make?

When two really good players play each other, how does one beat the other?

What is your advice for someone who wants to get better at goat format?

[/spoiler]

 

Oh and if anybody else thinks they can give an in depth interview similar to the ones above PM me your responses and I will add them to this post. I know I tried to contact Syko but his inbox is full lol.

 

And before I forget a big thanks to Model, pollutedxdelta, OD superman, and white-bordered swamp for taking the time to answer all these damn questions.

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Sqirmywurmy    744

Are there any mistakes you still make?

No.

 

Best Part, A++. 

 

Gj tho Jazz liked these a lot. 

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Jazz    5332

Yeah that answer was great I lol'd when I read that. Much <3 perovic

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Faint    5869

Really cool interviews brah.

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»ACP    33421

You can interview me.

 

Creds:

Like POLLUTEDxDELTA, I also play Magic.

I'm 6-2 against Kris Perovic in goat format

I once completely crushed Alistar Albans after he opened trinity

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Jazz    5332

Go for it: questions are in OP

 

I suspect Magic is more similar to Goat format than current yugioh anyway

 

OK white-bordered swamp has been added to the interviews

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POLLUTEDxDELTA    1889

You can interview me.

 

Creds:

Like POLLUTEDxDELTA, I also play Magic.

I'm 6-2 against Kris Perovic in goat format

I once completely crushed Alistar Albans after he opened trinity

 

Beating Alistar at Goat Control isn't that big of a deal imo, he's a pretty shitty player. 

 

But he also trinity'ed me once and I got him to rage quit 10 minutes later, so I can appreciate the comedic value.

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+Gojira    1706

Go for it: questions are in OP
 
I suspect Magic is more similar to Goat format than current yugioh anyway
 
OK white-bordered swamp has been added to the interviews

Yeah legacy is more similar to goats than goats is to current yugioh for sure.

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Matt Bishop    2377

Former holder of the title Goat Controller :D

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DarthChocoboz    292

I really loved reading these interviews jazz. It was so interesting to find how some of the best goat players in this day think and to read their opinions on the format and compare them to that of my own. It really helps me get a feel for where i am as a player. Cheers 

 

EDIT: One could actually just go back and read over these endlessly and i think you'd learn something new every time

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Kenzo#2    29
You should interview people who actually topped 2005 nationals. I can get ahold of most of them besides Maxx (the champ) , Bryan cornel, Eric Davis. Yes I topped 2005 nationals as well.

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Kenzo#2    29
You should interview people who actually topped 2005 nationals. I can get ahold of most of them besides Maxx (the champ) , Bryan cornel and Eric Davis. Yes I topped 2005 nationals as well.

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Jazz    5332

You should interview people who actually topped 2005 nationals. I can get ahold of most of them besides Maxx (the champ) , Bryan cornel and Eric Davis. Yes I topped 2005 nationals as well.


That would be cool. Send them the questions if you can, thanks.

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Kenzo#2    29
I have two nationals tops in 05 and 08, so I can some questions as well. Both times I went to worlds.

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Sykotic    7974

did u guys know that dgz user Kenzo#2 has topped nationals and went to worlds

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Sykotic    7974

also i'd be pretty surprised if max had even the slightest bit of interest in thinking about goat format extensively

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