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+Urthor    10239

"Whereas the only advantage in placing higher used to be that you would theoretically play against worse players because they're lowing in the bracket (although that rarely pragmatically mattered,) now they've added a stipulation that could matter a lot more, and leads us to a questions."


should be something like


"Whereas the only advantage in placing higher used to be that you would theoretically play against worse players because they're lower in the bracket, (although this effect was rarely significant) now they've added a stipulation which will be much more relevant in determining the outcome of your top cut matches."


Lowing should be lower, rarely pragmatically mattered is an ambiguous phrase because "rarely" is adverb (ie: was it rarely pragmatic or did it rarely matter?), "and leads us to questions" sounds awkward and isn't necessary in the sentence.


Taking it to the next level with even plainer language


"The only upside to placing higher used to be that you could play against worse players because they're lower in the bracket (altho this rarely mattered).  Now there's a stipulation which makes it (weasel word, should be something specific) far more important to winning top cut games."


And that's from me as a terrible writer who gets off on conjunctions and basic articles like someone's sprinkled crystal meth on a goat control deck, and thinks to themselves "who needs full stops when you can just have commas."  



It's not like I've warped the message at all here.  Literally the only trick I've used is that I've written the post EXACTLY how I would say it to somebody else if I was having a conversation with them, and it's removed all the pseudo-academic language from the sentance and made it far more readable.  Whereas and theoretically are just not words you should use, or need to use, on an internet forum.  


You need to use words like that when you're using actual formal deductive logic, but there's no need for that kind of formal deductive logic when the aim isn't to provide a formal mathematical proof or a convincing scientific hypothesis.  


The point of posting is to just present the idea in a neato way and get on with winning Yugioh duels, you're not trying to reinforce the rigour of your idea you're just trying to communicate it in the most painless and attractive way possible.   Good writing beats good message every day of the week in the real world.  

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Had another article up while the site wasn't working. I'm going to have to get used to this new layout though. Anyway:


On Timed Testing





I have written before about both testing and the logistics of such but something I had yet to cover, within those logistics, is rather or not you ought to test with formal time rules as they are at events. Our investigation requires we first take a step back and ask ourselves what the only two purposes of testing are.

"Finding situations you hadn't realized in theory" and "practicing your playing habits" are the only things that should result from testing, as I've argued before. Anything else, such as using results from testing to directly influence deck building without going through the middle-man of considering the situation's pertinence and likelihood in theory, along with the proper conclusion of it, are fallible considerations.
Therefore, we must judge rather or not you ought to test timed in accordance to how best they meet those paradigms. What we also must be vigilant in doing is comparing how this would work to other ways of testing effectively the same thing. An application of that in another area of testing is how some people put cards from their deck to their hand at the beginning of the game so they don't have to wait around to draw them.
So, the situations where you would want to play with a match clock will be judged in comparison to using the same idea as the "adding cards" scenario: just forcing situations to either go into time or not into time, or to ask yourself either. 
Let's get a bit more in-depth on this topic though. You have heard it been said that testing with the clock is wise as it's more realistic and practices the skills in which affect your play going in to time.
I am here to convince you of, however, quite the contrary. Let us first address the idea of what makes you play faster. On the one hand, you can say that timing your tested matches allows for a sense of urgency in your playing. On the other hand, actually knowing the right plays for situations means that when they come up, you'll be able to immediately know what to do.
Compare the former to the latter. Whereas the former can allow for you to make the wrong play due to being constrained on time and rushed, the latter is the best of both worlds as it allows you both to play in a timely manner while also figuring out the right move to make in proportion to how thoroughly you practiced. In fact, when the right play corresponding to a situation and a specific set of circumstances becomes ingrained in your mind, you can also make the argument that you'd actually play faster than rushing anyway. 
But, just playing faster doesn't guarantee you won't hit time. You still have an opponent who, no matter how many times you call a judge over or rush them, is volatile in their ability to play at the reasonable pace that we will. This will bring us back to the "adding cards" situation. Consider that you actually have the goal of practicing time (if you don't think you need to for whatever reason, than not playing it would be obvious anyway.)
What is the more effective way of practicing it? Playing games until you reach ones where it happens, or forcing it to happen in your testing? What if you asked at every turn how you would play differently if you were in x turn of time, or x turns before time, vs how you would play otherwise? That seems to be the only concrete way to apply as many scenarios went over in practice with the actual tournaments you play.
There is more we must consider, though. Thus far we have only thought about our practice in relation to the "practicing playing habits" component of testing, not the other one regarding analytics. Will time have an effect on how you build your deck? Of course it will, look no further than Rainbow Lives of the past. But there is more to it than that.
An indictment against using your own timed matches as the anecdotes for basing your theory of how often people go into time, and thus how you should build accordingly, is that there is a better method to find that out all-together. You should poll for that information where you can and average out the results, as you should with a lot of analytics. The reasons for this include: you being a particular slow or fast player, your opponents being particularly slow or fast players, you being an outlier, etc.
I will talk about polling specifics at a later time, but the point here is that the relationship that certain situations you find in testing bear towards deck building are better supplemented by polling in general. Certain situations, but not all. The distinction is sociological factors vs ones you can just figure out the likelihood of on a hypergeometric calculator. That relationship will also be something I'll address in the future.
We have looked at this issue from several angles. From the angle of playing habits we have found that a more efficient way to test timed if you need to is either A. forcing the situations to occur or B. asking yourself in each turn what would be different if you were about to go to time. From the angle of "realizing situations you didn't find in theory," we find that the odds you go into time, due in part to our reasonable pace among other things, are sociological in nature and therefore better found with polling.
Lastly, we looked at it in correlation to you, the player. We found that practicing timed not only isn't the most efficient way to go faster, but also not the most efficient way to make the best moves in the allotted time. All of these things lead me to the conclusion that no, you should not be standard round-clocking your testing matches, and you should practice the methods discussed as a better alternative to doing so. Thank you for reading.

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for some reason urthors post isnt here anymore (i think it has something to do with the new site layout,) but i did want to get back to just one thing in it that sort of bothered me because I dont think he really understood the conclusion of that piece (I could have worded the conclusion more strongly myself though)

basically, when I write I'm not interested in letting you know what you can do, I'm interested in investigating what you should do. so it isn't, paraphrasing urthor "haha just putting up these ideas in a neato way," because in the instance of that particular piece the conclusion is that you should only be doing one of those three in args, not anything else. this is where that conclusion is made:


    We have realized what to do when you're a slower player or your deck is slower, when your deck or strategy can largely benefit from drawing into a certain bracket, and when, if you don't fall into either of the first two groups, you should be otherwise drawing. No player is uniform in that they will invariably only play a deck or have a strategy that necessitates only one of these things so you may bounce around a lot between them once realized, and there can even exist overlap in all 3. 

I'm fine with taking in criticisms to improve my writing skills, and will incorporate them, but keep in mind the aim of my writing is strictly to reach conclusions. I think virtuoso made the same mistake in the latter part of the road of the king thread when he said something similar to urthor like "hes just presenting an idea you might want to consider" as opposed to the literal numbered conclusions patrick had made in the piece.


edit: found urthors post, it got knocked over a page for some reason

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New article up.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Fallacy & Bias



Several have written before about the biases and fallacies rampant within the "community" (for lack of a better term) of this game. They wrote in the hopes that the reader would move past those errors in critical thinking. The problem is that they hadn't articulated the most central of them, especially for those above the literal lowest level of intellectual prowess (the comparative upper echelons of players, respectively.) I seek to alleviate these conditions by presenting you with what, from my experience, I have witnessed as being the most erroneous and widespread logical impurities (predominantly those I think folks have overlooked.)

 I would like you to keep in mind as a precept that I am not completely versed within the realm of what some of these are called in formal academia. So, I have ascribed my own names to them and am not entirely interested in what they are otherwise referred to as (although if you were to note their proper name to me, I would use them in the future.) Obviously me attributing different labels to them does not alter their meaning, although some players certainly are more attentive than they ought to about those semantics. 

1. The Negation Fallacy

We're going to start with the most important one. This is, above all else, the most destructive to how people think about the game (and a lot of things, as with any of these.) A negation fallacy is extrapolating a claim counter to another as completely negating the original claim. I'd like to distinguish that my meaning of the word negation is a bit different from the classical dialecticians, I consider a negation to be the complete overhaul of an idea to where 0% of the idea remains true.

Think of a reason to play a certain card. Do you currently think you should play it? Now think of a reason not to play the same card. Do you now think you shouldn't play it? There are examples of these in practically every contemporary discussion of Yu-Gi-Oh!, but I'll supply some of my personal findings:

A. Burning Abyss is bad because of Abyss Dweller.

B. Secret Village is bad because of people playing Spellcaster Normal Summons.

C. Infernity is bad because of Maxx "C".

I picked some of the low hanging fruit here, but judging by my reading of some recent discussion regarding what the goal of this game is, the Zodiac Duelist crowd is by no means the only perpetrator of this. A lot of fallacies previously discussed are rephrasings of this, but intrinsically amount to the same umbrella. The answer to this is diligence in trying to find both the exact effect that your information has on your other information, as well as analytically finding as many of these points as possible. 

It's what people may refer to as "seeing things from every angle," but goes further than just "seeing them" and actually asks what their relevance is, as a total.

2. The Flip-Flop Fallacy

This one isn't as much something that you can demonstrate by freezing a conversation at a particular moment and illuminating, but rather, something that is representative of a progression of discussion. The fallacy is "when faced with a theoretical problem, switch to practicality; when faced with a practical problem, switch to theoretics." The former is the far more prevalent of the two. Not only is this a blatantly dishonest way to try to reach the truth of a notion, but its problems exceed even that. Let's look at some examples:

A. *You made some good points, but I just don't think it can survive 11 rounds of swiss.

B. It works on paper but not in practice.

C. Isn't that kind of idealistic though? 

D. You're just over thinking it (and all anti-discourse equivalents.)

*Word to the wise, whenever people in conversations start weaseling their way out with things like "I see what you're saying, but...," "you made some decent points, but...," etc, odds are they aren't worth the time of day. Some people really do talk like that while considering something, but most of the time I see people do it just to reaffirm their position without seriously refuting what you said. If you catch them in the future completely ignoring what you damn well know they heard/read you say without refutation, while also arguing earlier points in your debate, you can take that as proof of their intellectual bankruptcy.  

Otherwise, there are two main things to point out about this. First, that the flip-flop fallacy is completely infused with how a lot of people think about the relationship of testing and theory in this game. The second, which logically answers both the first and this fallacy in general, is to hammer it within your head that there is no intrinsic difference between things that you realized in testing and things that you realized in theory, especially in how you ought to go about comparing and working on them. 

Did you find something in testing? Could you have found it in theory? The answer is "yes." Therefore, neither is granted any mystical superpowers over the other and, just like the solution to negation fallacy, the focus is on finding the pertinence and persistence of all points which bring you to your conclusions. We move forward:

3. Appeal to Authority

Other writers have done a decent job at explaining this one but I believe people seldom realize the extent, along with the three forms, of the appeal to authority. For the two people reading who don't know what an appeal to authority is, it's taking one person's argument over another person's on the basis of who they are as opposed to what they're saying. More interesting than telling you things you already know, though, is telling you the mentioned extent of this nuisance. 

The three main appeals to authority among Yu-Gi-Oh! players are: 

A. An appeal to current popular players.

B. An appeal to old popular players.

C. An appeal to popular Magic the Gathering players.

There is a lot of overlap between groups A and B, groups B and C, but not a lot of overlap between groups A and C. When you reach the upper comparative echelons of players in this game, you see a lot less of group A because they're either the popular players within that group, or they have some level of independent thought (even if this thought is hive mind within their "circle.)" It's like the distinction between calling the DPRK internationally anarchistic while domestically autocratic. 

So, due to the marginality of group A within the mediums I talk about this game, it's only natural that I find groups B and C both a lot more obnoxious, and that I encounter them more in general. However, looking at the bigger picture, group A is far and away the most common among players. 

4. Denial of Principle Continuum

To my knowledge, it was filmmaker Peter Joseph that coined this phrase, but I'm sure it has other synonyms. Essentially, it's an error of metrics where you apply a standard to one thing and not another thing, even though they're both applicable to the metric. This goes to the core of a lot of platitudinous nonsense people use to justify their incompetent deck-building. Examples:

A. I don't play 3 copies of X card because I don't want to draw multiples (while playing 3 copies of another card you don't want to see multiple of.)

B. I don't play X because "it doesn't increase my ceiling" (while playing another card that has nothing to do with summoning.)

C. Mathematics told me to play this specific number of X card, oh and I just decided to last-minute throw a Dark Hole in my deck.

I have my reservations about honestly all three of these concepts separate from the following conclusion, but obviously the answer here is universal application of your measures. Or at least, application to the point where you've covered all things comparable, nothing more and nothing less.

5. Contingency

This last note isn't as much a fallacy or bias as it is a contradiction. Let's say that you find reason to make your opponent believe you're a particular kind of player, a bad one will suffice for our purpose. Let's say that you use this rationale to cover your deck box and mat being a certain type that, sociologically, your opponent is most likely to make that assumption about. But wait a minute, what if you're also using the most expensive calculator and calculator case on top of that? Player's Choice white sleeves? Kid Robot backpack (lol?) 

Is it possible for your opponent not to consider them? Sure, but the higher the contradictions are, the more likely they will notice. The resolution here is to acknowledge this contingency and instead of that Kid Robot backpack, maybe bring one of those sacks on a stick that nomads travel around with. Joking, and this is an extreme example, but realizing the contingency not only in these accessory-related things but also deck-building is beyond important, such as one card relying on another to be good. 


We have introduced five transgressions in logical soundness here, as well as their solutions. We have dismissed the negation fallacy as not considering the effect of what it distorts, dismissed the flip-flop fallacy as being intellectually dishonest, dismissed appeals to authority while analyzing their various forms among players, dismissed the denial of principle continuum as the cause of a lot of inconsistencies in deck-building, and went over contradictions in contingency. Emancipate your mind from these, and you're on the right track. I'll end on a haiku:

I'll write less wordy,

In the future, best regards,

Matthew Monahan


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8 minutes ago, Monahan said:

ugh fuck the new site now the entire op is messed up. does anyone know how to get rid of quotes while editing? it used to just be backspacing but now i cant find any way

figured out and fixed the quote problem, but now the spoilers are all within eachother for some reason. ill deal with it later

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+ACP+    34068

This was one of your better articles. I think this is a topic that really needs to be examined more.

Personally, the biggest bias that I see in Yugioh is what I called the "skill" bias, which is this idea that some decks require more skill to play than others, and decks that require less skill should be avoided. This stopped many players on DGZ in particular from playing decks like Lightsworn, Dark World, Rabbit (for awhile), and more recently Domain Monarch.

People seem more concerned with having intellectually stimulating matches rather than winning their matches.

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On 4/29/2016 at 9:12 AM, ACP said:

People seem more concerned with having intellectually stimulating matches rather than winning their matches.

This is definitely true. People place too much emphasis on analyzing matches in general.


I do think people have mostly moved past the whole "skilless = not playing it" thing, though. Obviously the "stigma" of what they call "ignorant" decks (I know you hate that phrase) is still around, but the important part is that they're willing to play these decks they call "ignorant" when they think they're good, at this moment. The point where people wouldn't play decks of that label, I believe, faded out around late 2013 early 2014ish. 

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Missed the part about Domain Monarch, maybe it's still around a bit then. Maybe my issue is I only really talk and read about yugioh through mediums like this and chats with specific players. I don't go to locals, rarely go to regionals, don't hang out on dn, don't read arg/coretcg/tcgplayer articles, and don't read anything from popular fb groups. That could lead me to the false assumption that shifts in the "comparative upper echelons" of players is equivalent to shifts in the lower.

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+ACP+    34068

I did not realize that we got notifications whenever someone quoted us. That's a cool feature I guess.

I think this skill bias is still there. For example, after the adjusted ban list, I don't think PePe was a very good deck, and yet the majority of "good" players were still playing them. I think it has a lot of do with the fact that mirror matches were viewed as being skill-intensive (which admittedly, they were) and the deck had lots of different Xyz plays, which people find interesting.

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matt i know you said youd be less wordy but i cant believe you passed up an opportunity to use the word bindle

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+mark    3105

pinned this as well, because I think newer players should be able to read these articles as they are good, even though the examples are outdated, the way of thinking itself is inspiring 

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alright ive decided to re-write some of the most popular articles to make them more legible and easier to understand. ill start with "on deck building logistics." which ones did y'all like the most? which ones do y'all want me to rewrite?


note though that I'll rewrite them as they were, meaning that even if I no longer agree with the ideas in a particular article I'll still have them in the revised piece. 

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On Deck Building Logistics (Remastered)

0: Introduction

    Macroeconomics deals with the bigger picture of an economy. Microeconomics deals with a more subjective, individual-decision picture of an economy. This article will be the functional equivalent to an inquiry of the microeconomics of deck building in yugioh, what I call deck building logistics.

    Looking at the bigger picture of the game requires general knowledge of the specific cards and decks being used at the time. However, when actually constructing your deck, patterns can be found that transcend formats. In a word, the question of this article is how much to play and why, rather than what to play and why.

    The terms "power" and "consistency" will be used throughout the article, clearly defined by their game theory counterparts of "possible outcomes, chance, and expected value" (the last being the product of the first two.) We'll also assume imaginary quantification of power for now.

1: Concepts

    We have ground to cover in this work. The list of terms and concepts we will investigate are power and consistency, 1 of's/2 of's/3 of's, "clogginess," the "list," the direct comparability of every card, searchability, the side deck, the "one card before another" idea, mathematical considerations, general theory, special cases, and more. 

    While I may not be able to go over every single possible concept related to deck building logistics, as it's possible I'm not aware of all of them, I'll be sure to make note of new realized ideas on other platforms. There is still plenty of content here, though. 

    Finally, I'll make sure to provide opposing views to the ideas advocated here, and then give my arguments against them to reaffirm my position. Let us begin. 

2: Power or Consistency?

    The first point to make is that power is generally more valuable than consistency. This truth comes from comparing it to the overall format. If your deck is has 1% power and 100% consistency, other decks will likely beat it even when they brick.

    On the other hand, if your deck is 100% powerful and 1% consistent, you're winning 1/100 games as opposed to an assumed 0/100 games in the former case. This exemplifies power being generally more valuable than consistency, although an increase in either with the other remaining constant is always preferred.

3: Incorrect Positions on 1 Of's, 2 Of's, and 3 Of's

    Some positions that I consider incorrect are held in regard how many of a card to play. These ideas include: 

"I didn't draw it enough at 1, so I'm going to play 2."
"I didn't draw it enough at 2, so I'm going to play 3."
"It wasn't good at 3 so I'm going to bump it down to 2."
"It was really good at 2 so I think I'll bump it up to 3."
"I prefer 2, but 3 is fine."
"It's too cloggy at 3 so I play 2."
"You never want to draw 2 so you play 1."
"3 and 1 isn't a good ratio, 3 and 2 is a better one."
"I want to see it sometimes, but not always, so I play 2."

    About half of these can be refuted as non-theoretical, on grounds that they refer to anecdotes as justification. The other half, on the other hand, presents the guise of theory. In truth, however, almost all considerations of "clogginness" bring you nowhere. That is the next point.

4: "Clogginess" and Diminishing Returns

    You can divide the term "cloggy" into 2 popular uses. One is concerned with drawing multiple of a card from practice, the other are concerned with drawing multiple of a card from mathematics. The latter mostly speaks in terms of individual cards, but sometimes they speak of groups of cards collectively (such as, "I don't wanna draw too many spells.")

    In the situation where they speak collectively of cards, they have a point. You might have too many of a group of card, like Traps. However, not all "traps" are purple cards. There are hand traps, monsters left on field that act as traps, and so on. So cards should firstly be divided by function rather than arbitrary type. 

    Further, this brings us to a major distinction. There exists rational fears of clogginess and irrational fears. For example, a Trapless BA deck from 2015 might play a lot of monsters, so one would ask, "doesn't that become cloggy?" In this case, the phrase cloggy itself isn't useful because those "cloggy" hands may be actually preferable, and the word loses its negative connotation. 

    One should be careful not to take this "doesn't matter-ism" to the extreme, though. This is due to the issue of diminishing returns, which in reality is synonymous with "clogginess." Since diminishing returns are more severe at higher number of cards than lower numbers, it generally shouldn't be considered a real issue until you reach those higher numbers of cards. 

    The conclusion of diminishing returns is that it may be a valid reason not to play the 20th copy of something, but isn't so for the third copy of something. A modern example is Zoodiac Ratpier. 

    Since diminishing returns only becomes an issue at higher numbers, the "clogginess" reason for not playing the 3rd or 4th copy of a card is overblown. The odds of drawing all 3 of a card in a 40 card deck is 0.1%. The odds of drawing 2 of a 3 of are 3.6%. 

    The conclusion is that not playing a card because it's "too cloggy" does not make sense unless you reach higher number of a card, and using anecdotes to reach the same conclusion is even worse because it has nothing to do with the actual chance of it happening. 

    Finally, you can apply this understanding also to the "you never want to draw 2, so you only play 1" logic. There are two problems with this. First, the chances aren't high you'll see both. Second, if a reason as weak as this can dictate you don't play a card, the card itself probably isn't that good in the first place. 

5: Ratios Part 1

    Players use the term "ratios" three different ways. One group says "2 Karma Cut and 2 Raigeki Break is a good ratio," a second says "3 Myrmeleo and 1 Traptrix Trap Hole Nightmare is a good ratio," and the third says "I think this is a good ratio of Monsters, Spells, & Traps."

    The problem with the first group is that they're comparing two individual non-searchable cards, whereas since every card is comparable in terms of power and consistency, you could do the same for any two cards. It is therefore a completely arbitrary distinction.

    The second group deals with searchable cards. The problem here is that, while you technically have 4 Traptrix Trap Hole Nightmare, you also have 3 Myrmeleo which is its own card with other effects and functions. This is how the second position subtly makes the same mistake as the first. 

    Once you make that abstraction of 3 Myrmeleo and 4 Traptrix Trap Hole Nightmare, you're truthfully still comparing two cards that have nothing to do with each other. This is because the first is implied in the second. It doesn't matter if your deck goes beyond 40 or 60 in this abstraction, the concept remains a constant. Hence, you're still looking at an arbitrary "ratio."

    The third immediately draws parallels from the "clogginess" section. First we make the distinction, of course, that cards should be grouped by function rather than Monster, Spell, & Trap. The rational kernel of this claim is also revealed in both the concept of "one card before another," with a limit of "diminishing returns." To understand this, "one card before another" must first be explained.

6: One Card Before Another

    One card is better than another and should be played before another up until the point where consistency (diminishing returns) becomes an issue. This is because all cards are directly comparable on the axis' of power and consistency. Shaddoll Fusion & Fiendish Chain, Zoodiac Ratpier & That Grass Looks Greener, etc. 

    A counterclaim to this is that some cards are "50-50." No such thing exists. there may be "49.9-51.1," but never "50-50." Why? Because they would otherwise be the exact same card. Their names would even have to be the same. This is because power and consistency are all-encompassing, meaning they take account of every possibility, even unlikelihood like Prohibition.

    It should also be noted that each copy of a card is considered its own "card." 1 Reborn Tengu functions completely different from 2 or 3 Reborn Tengu. We now take these concepts and apply them to the conclusion of ratios.

7: Ratios Part 2, Conclusion

    Having first made the distinction of non-arbitrary groups, and combining the conceptions of "one card before another" and diminishing returns, we reach the following fundamental conclusion about the claim "I think this is a good ratio of Monsters, Spells, & Traps":

You should play as many of one non-arbitrary group of cards as possible that is better than another non-arbitrary group of cards until you reach the point where diminishing returns becoming an issue. 

    Of course, the implication here is that you can extend "one card before than another" into "one group of cards before another," and finally, "one deck before another." This is obviously true, since they all retain comparability of power and consistency. Additionally, groups of cards can of course overlap, which is then factored in to which you decide to play before another. 

    The conclusion of ratios is that we have refuted two of the three popular uses of it, and retained the rational kernel of the third, creating what is the only correct interpretation of both ratios and clogginess. We are now ready to conclude on 1 of's, 2 of's, and 3 of's, but we must first note an important exception.

8: Important Exception

    Sometimes the status of a card belonging to a particular group or combo can outweigh the individual card itself. Genex Controller and Gem-Knight Garnet are terrible on their own, and you might find better cards to play than them in a vacuum, but with cards like Genex Undine and Brilliant Fusion in the picture, they can then outweigh the card you're considering playing over it.

    This is important to note because it can apply in every area from 1 of's, 2 of's, 3 of's, and so on. It's a trivial thing to note, but not mentioning it would leave a glaring hole in the theory about to be read. We will work in order of 2 of's first, then 3 of's, then 1 of's.

9: 2 Of's

    The nature of playing one card before another shows that you're generally going to end up with 3 of's and 1 of's the most, but there exist at least five particular reasons to play 2 of a card. 


(1) A searchable card is found to come up multiple times in a game often, where it is relevant to your win-rate and not "win-more."
(2) Banlist concerns. This is a constant for all categories.
(3) Cards that you need to use another copy of itself to play. An example of this would be when people played just 2 Tour Guides when it was at 2, with no other targets.
(4) Special exceptions such as spreading out BAs as much as possible.
(5) Since you play one card before another, you can reach a situation where you played 38 other cards before another 3. In this case, if you've decided to play 40, you can only play 2 of the card.

    A note before the 3 of's section is that conceptually you only have to grasp two of the three of these categories (1 of's, 2 of's, and 3 of's,) because any card you'd otherwise play and isn't in 2 of the categories is automatically in the third. It's obviously no excuse not to learn all three though. 

10: 3 Of's

    The central question to pose to yourself regarding 3 of's is "if I wasn't to play 3 of a card, why even play it?" In many cases, you're otherwise conceding that it isn't as good as another card. In other cases, a card simply not meeting the exact criteria of the other two categories could make it a 3-of, or the aforementioned special exception. 

11: 1 Of's

    These should consist mainly of searchable cards and cards that are at 1. One card being better than another makes natural that most cards shoot up to 3 copies. 

    The position of being searchable allows for one of the most powerful concepts in deckbuilding. That is, playing 4+ of something when it's good but only 1 of it when it is bad. This is especially useful in diverse formats because you might opt to main deck cards that are good against some match-ups and bad against others. 

    The final way that you can decide to play a 1 of is that it's the 40th card in your deck and 39 other cards were better than it. Some cards can be played only in packages like "3 Reborn Tengu," so those cards are pushed further back in the concept of "the list" in this case (the list being a concept we'll go in to next.)

    Concluding the entirety of the section on 1 of's, 2 of's, and 3 of's, we see that the analysis changes based on whether we're looking at individual cards or groups of cards. The theory changes accordingly. Mastering both of these is the key to becoming a strong deck builder. 

12: The List, Combos, and the Extra Deck

    Imagine a list of extra deck cards. Multiple copies of the same card are listed as different numbers, and they are in order of most powerful and consistent to least powerful and consistent. Combos of extra deck cards are considered cards here as well, since they're directly comparable in terms of power and consistency.

    Unless some outside force like Re-Cover affects this, the top 15 cards (or cards and combos that total 15 cards) are the best extra deck. 

    You can apply the same concept to the main deck and side deck, but the extra deck is the most simple and easy to see how such a thing works. This is a useful tool in deck building to show where the cutoff point at decks is for when you're playing the 39th, 40th, etc, card in your deck.

13: Monsters > Traps

    Monsters, or Traps that are essentially Monsters like Paleozoic, are generally better at solving boards than hard traps because you retain the Monster when you attack or use effects over their board with Monsters. You can also then use them multiple times in contrast to using Traps once. Obviously this is liable to change with a given format but it's something often applicable in card theory.

14: The Side Deck

    There are two main ways to look at the side deck. One as a problem-solving mechanism, the other as an entire strategy. It can also be a mixture of both depending on the amount of cards one of the two necessitates. 

    The advantage of conversions and other strategy-siding is that you can often have the same functionality as problem-solving. People who conversion simply to made the opponent's side useless are doing it all wrong because usually the opponent is using the problem-solving mechanism siding meaning they'll only now have a few dead cards.

    Rather, the focus should be solving intrinsic problems in a matchup when you side. The potency of being able to do this at many times throughout many formats is why I often become an advocate of it. Conversion siding and other entire strategies also are better than counter-siding cards for their cards, because then you're running an even lower chance of overlap.

    Moving further from how you decide you go about strategizing your side-deck, though, there is also the question of whether or not the rules of 1 of's, 2 of's and 3 of's from the main deck apply to the side. The answer is yes and no.

    On the one hand, it applies as a constant in the vacuum of a specific matchup, but when overlap with another matchup comes, you must consider it the same way you consider overlap in groups of cards. As a result, a group being more important than an individual card can again apply. 

15. Conclusion

    I have demonstrated when it is proper to play 1 of's, 2 of's, and 3 of's. I have also gone over incorrect reasons people have for each. In addition, I've mixed in some general concepts that are great for deck building whether you're looking at the logistics or the overall picture of what to play in a format, because there is some common ground there. I believe I have satisfied the question of how much to play and why. Thank you. 

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The only thing current me would add to this article from 17-year-old me is that sometimes a deck has so much draw power that it skews the "clogginess" thing regarding low numbers of cards like 2 of's and 3 of's. This was learned from an argument in the Monarch thread last year and is something I've generally retained. 

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+mark    3105
3 hours ago, muh 100 godzillion said:

alright ive decided to re-write some of the most popular articles to make them more legible and easier to understand. ill start with "on deck building logistics." which ones did y'all like the most? which ones do y'all want me to rewrite?


note though that I'll rewrite them as they were, meaning that even if I no longer agree with the ideas in a particular article I'll still have them in the revised piece. 

On Testing
Comparative Thinking

Definitely the best ones. Popular deck is legit but has been covered enough already. The ARG things etc are a bit too specific. 

You may want to do a new 'Cards in deck' with a special focus on 'That Grass is Greener', although that wouldn't be remastering - but rather a new article entirely tbh.

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+ACP+    34068

Power and consistency still don't exist, and are just "spirit animals" that bad ygo theorists use to avoid having to explain why good decks are actually good.


"The terms "power" and "consistency" will be used throughout the article, clearly defined by their game theory counterparts of "possible outcomes, chance, and expected value" (the last being the product of the first two.)" - No, they're not clearly defined at all. You're using arbitrary numbers like 1%, 2%, 100%, etc to represent power and consistency, which makes no sense by your own definitions. The deck has a 1% possible outcome and 100% chance? What does that even mean? Where do these numbers come from? What do they actually represent? You're just doing a lot of hand-waving of "Oh this is obvious" but not actually explaining it at all. Because it's not possible to explain, because the entire nature of what you're talking about is built upon intellectual laziness and general nonsense. You don't just get to decide that something is the building blocks of a branch of theory without actually explaining how the fuck it works.


I can't just say "Everyone knows that lettuce, bacon, and tomato are the foundation of deck building theory. Their definitions are obvious. Suppose for example that a deck consists of 2% lettuce, 40% bacon, and 100% tomato. Then we could see that this is better than a deck that consists of only 1% lettuce, 20% bacon, and 80% tomato."

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+ACP+    34068

Take for example this paragraph. It is entirely meaningless, because you have never explained how to determine (or even approximate) a card's power and consistency.


"Imagine a list of extra deck cards. Multiple copies of the same card are listed as different numbers, and they are in order of most powerful and consistent to least powerful and consistent. Combos of extra deck cards are considered cards here as well, since they're directly comparable in terms of power and consistency."


"Imagine a list of extra deck cards. Multiple copies of the same card are listed as different numbers, and they are in order of most lettuce, bacon, and tomato to least lettuce, bacon, and tomato. Combos of extra deck cards are considered cards here as well, since they're directly comparable in terms of lettuce, bacon, and tomato." - See how ridiculous it sounds now? But logistically, there's no difference. You're creating heuristics, algorithms, and theorems based on undefined terms.

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+mmf    23267

ugh, yeah, i can't take any "power vs consistency" theory seriously anymore after watching allen's road of the king video.


those words worked when the big problem on every theorist's mind was figuring out what upstart goblin did or didn't do for your deck. it was indeed a useful theory for this class of problems, but i don't think it describes current yugioh as well as some people want it to.


the way the game is now, we don't need ideas like power or consistency to have a good theoretical account of the way a matchup works now. when was the last time you really needed to compare "power levels" of one deck to another to make an informed metagame call? did anyone seriously pick metalfoes last format because they thought kirin was significantly more powerful than toadally awesome or abc? those all seem like ridiculous cards to me. whatever their "power levels" are, i certainly don't care very much, if at all, about the differences between them. in fact, the only difference in overall "power" that i can see is the consistency with which a deck can open with each of them going first. thesis, antithesis, synthesis, blah blah blah. the dichotomy no longer accurately describes reality. the lines have become too blurred.

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+ACP+    34068

I don't think it has anything to with the context of today's format; I just don't think that it was ever a good theory to begin with. First of all, I don't think individual cards can ever be described by power and consistency, because it's all relative to the context of the format. Thus a card's power and consistency would always been determined in terms of other cards' powers and consistency and thus you have a circular definition. It would be like defining a rational number as being "a number that is not irrational" and an irrational number as being "a number that is not rational."


In regards to decks being powerful or consistent, this might be something that you could try to define, but I have not seen anyone successfully do so in a way that I find to be clear and consistent. Of the two, consistency would probably be the easier one to evaluate. You could probably do some sort of variance calculations. But I don't even think that a straightforward definition like this would be very useful in terms of the advancement of Yugioh theory.


A deck consisting of 40 LV4 vanilla monsters with 1800 attack would be the most consistent deck in the game, but this is clearly not a positive trait in this context. One might try to argue that the consistency of this deck is not what makes it bad; it is in fact that the low power level that makes it bad, but I would argue otherwise. Too much consistency is a bad thing because then your deck becomes "too linear." There is some amount of variance that is inherently good. The ability to often draw fundamentally different hands actually makes your deck harder to counter and decreases the EV of your opponent's sidedeck cards from a matchup improvement standpoint.


You would need to invent some sort of other variable and then define consistencies as being the variance of that particular variable. But then whatever variable you choose, you would then open yourself to criticism that you have chosen the wrong variable (which would almost certainly be valid), and in many cases you would have to define the consistencies of different decks differently if their strategies are drastically different from each other. It would be quite complicated to create a definition for consistency that is both clear but also useful. Again, power for decks is relative, so we then have decks' powers being determined in terms of other decks' powers, which presents us with the circular definition problem.


This is why I've been (since 2012 I think?) advocating for metagame analysis to be the focus of both deck building theory and deck selection theory, and it is both clearly useful and easy to define in a way that makes sense.

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+ACP+    34068

Even when you ignore the problems with actually defining power and consistency, there are still some other problems. For the sake of the argument, suppose that we have defined the terms "power" and "consistency" in a way that is clear and consistent. The next step, before we do anything else, would be to find the motivation for the application of these terms. That is, ok, we know what power and consistency are, but why should we care? The answer, hopefully, would be that they have something to do with your winrate.


Understanding the motivation for the application is important for any theory. Take for example, the theory of card advantage. Card advantage is generally not difficult to define, so there was no problem there. The reason why it became so instrumental in a certain era of Yugioh was that using the theory of card advantage greatly contributed towards winning matches (to what extent is of course debatable). The reason that no one talks about card advantage today is because this is no longer true. The definition is still valid, but the motivation for the application has been lost.


So after we come up with our clear definitions of power and consistency, we now need to explain how it ties into winning and losing games, which I think could prove to be a challenge to do in a meaningful way. I would argue that, at some point, what most people think of as consistency has negative returns in regards to a deck's match winrate. But I could be wrong! Someone would need to sit down and clearly explain why this is or is not the case. Then you'd have to do the same with power. Intuitively, we'd all think that more powerful decks would win more, but how do you know that from the definition of power? These are all things that you need to explain. If you can't, then it tells you that there are problems with your theory.


Of course I would prefer to just avoid all of this by taking a top-down approach by starting with examining how winrates themselves actually work, rather than just pulling some terms out of my ass, convincing myself that they somehow relate to winrates, and then having to sit down and prove it.

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