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Morpp

One-Ofs, Two-Ofs, and Three-Ofs

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Morpp    3

When the 200th YCS in Columbus concluded roughly two weeks ago, I glanced over at Manav Dawar’s winning Sky Striker list and I couldn’t help but notice how his card ratios and deckbuilding philosophy differentiated so much from what I considered to be “optimal” or “the norm”. While I do not wish to detract from Dawar’s success in any way, it goes without saying that his list played a good number of one-ofs and two-ofs that many other players, including myself, would usually opt to play as three-ofs. This is most notable in his hand trap lineup, in which I believe he played 2 Ash Blossom and Joyous Spring, 2 Ghost Ogre and Snow Rabbit, 1 Ghost Belle and Haunted Mansion, and 1 Effect Veiler. Dawar’s decklist got me thinking about what the core ideologies behind building a good deck are (specifically, defining card ratios), as well as some common deckbuilding misconceptions I see players struggle with in today’s metagame. It is my hope with this article that I can explain the difference between one-ofs, two-ofs, and three-ofs in Yugioh. Without further adieu, let’s begin.


(A small disclaimer: as with any concepts in general philosophy, objections and exceptions will exist; these are just some general rules and guidelines to follow when deckbuilding. This is also by no means a conclusive article; other categories that define one/two/three-ofs may also, and likely do, exist.)

One-Ofs

One-ofs in most decks generally exist in two categories. The first category includes cards which are so insanely powerful they are limited on the Forbidden and Limited list, and as such you can only play one copy of said card in your deck. Cards in the current metagame which fall under this category include Firewall Dragon, Sky Striker Mecha – Hornet Drones, Soul Charge, and Monster Reborn. These cards are usually monsters with powerful effects that lead to one-card Extra Links/unbreakable boards or powerful spells that tend to change the tide of a Duel when they resolve successfully.

 

The second category is a little bit more complicated and are what I would define as “generally searchable/tutorable, (secondary) engine cards you usually don’t want to draw, but do not mean end of the world if you DO draw them”. Examples of cards which fall into this category include Knightmare Corruptor Iblee (which is tutorable off of Knightmare Mermaid), Speedroid Taketomborg (which is searchable off of Speedroid Terrortop), and Altergeist Kunquery (which is searchable through a variety of cards in the Altergeist deck like Altergeist Meluseek and Personal Spoofing). These cards are usually cards that are required for an engine to function effectively, but can be bricks or dead draws if seen at the wrong time. However, even when these cards are drawn, the engine it is a part of can still function effectively enough to not justify playing more copies of the pseudo-brick.

 

It is probably important to note that when it comes to cards in the second category, they don’t necessarily have to be very strong to justify their inclusion in the deck at one copy: so long as the card is powerful enough and has enough synergy with the deck, you can justify playing one lone copy of it. Perhaps the best example of this would be with Flamvell Guard and Dragunity Corsesca during the March 2013 Dragon Ruler format. These cards were essentially vanilla tuners that did nothing on their own, but the ability they had to enable the Dragon Ruler deck to go into generic Level 8 Synchro monsters was relevant and powerful enough to justify playing the lone copy of either one of them. The Tuners could also be banished in a pinch as materials to summon a Dragon Ruler as well.

Two-Ofs

Two-ofs in most decks can be categorized into cards which are powerful enough to be semi-limited; cards that you always want in the deck and are necessary for the deck’s main combo; and cards that are only good at certain stages of the game and/or clog if multiple copies of them are drawn, yet aren’t powerful enough to justify running a playset. That’s a lot to cover, so let’s go over each of the categories one by one.

The first category is rather self-explanatory. Cards like Called by the Grave, Scapegoat, and Terraforming would fall under this category. These cards are powerful because they are strong utility cards that are useful in a wide variety of scenarios: if we take a look at the above examples, these cards either help you push through hand traps; are one card Link 4 monsters if they resolve; or serve as extra copies of an Field Spell starter card (e.g. Dragonic Diagram or Trickstar Light Stage) that helps get your deck going. Other examples throughout Yugioh’s history include Nobleman of Crossout in Goat Format and Solemn Warning during the Plant Synchro format.

The second category of cards includes cards like Gouki Octostretch and Altergeist Silquitous. Octostretch is an interesting case because if the Gouki player played only one copy of Octostretch, they had a 12.5% chance to open him, and if they drew their lone Octostretch in their opening hand, the deck’s main Isolde, Two Tales of the Noble Knights target disappears. However, the chance of opening both copies of a two-of is extremely slim: the probability of doing so is roughly 1.28%, which means that when going first there is a 98.72% chance at least one copy of Octostretch will be in your deck. This was also the reason why most Gouki lists played an extra Equip Spell to send with Isolde: in the odd event they opened with Divine Sword – Phoenix Blade, they could still send a card like Living Fossil, D.D.R. – Different Dimension Reincarnation, or Noble Arms – Arfeudutyr to the GY to summon Octostretch. Another example would be Altergeist Silquitous; Silquitous is a card you always want to have at least one copy of in your deck so that you can summon her off of Multifaker, and much like Octostretch, opening with your lone copy of Silquitous would be less than ideal because it would make Multifaker a much weaker card in general. While Silquitous does suck to draw, drawing one of your two copies of her is better than having one of your deck’s most powerful plays dead if you open with your lone copy of her instead.

 

Finally, the last category of cards doesn’t come up too often in the context of modern Yugioh anymore, but was a category that was relevant in past formats. Perhaps the best example of such a card would be Tsukuyomi in Goat Format. Tsukuyomi was a very powerful card in 2005: it was a one-card out to Thousand-Eyes Restrict, prevented powerful monsters like Airknight Parshath and Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning from being stolen with Snatch Steal (Equip Spells cannot target face-down monsters), and could even recycle face-up Flip monster effects and set up “Tsuk locks”, which were soft locks involving Tsukuyomi, a Flip Effect monster, and ideally some form of backrow protection like Book of Moon or Sakuretsu Armor. However, one of Tsukuyomi’s biggest flaws was that she was a Spirit. While this meant Tsukuyomi would always stick around in your hand if you were careful with her, it also meant seeing multiple copies of her when you already had one in hand was less than ideal; any additional copies you saw of her would essentially be dead. For this reason, most decks that play Tsukuyomi only play two copies of her: despite the fact she’s a great card, the chance of seeing her more often doesn’t offset the potential consequence of seeing more than one copy of her in your hand at any given point of the Duel. It’s also worth noting that Tsukuyomi  is also searchable off of Sangan, so the little burger fiend could always fetch her for you if you desperately needed access to her for some reason.

Three-Ofs

Three-ofs generally exist in two categories, similarly to one-ofs. The first category of three-ofs are pretty straightforward: they are cards you always want to open with and act as (themed) starter cards. Cards in this category include, but are not limited to: Sky Striker Mobilize – Engage!, Sky Striker Ace – Raye, Altergeist Multifaker, Armageddon Knight, Dark Grepher, Vision HERO Vyon, Dragonic Diagram, and Trickstar Light Stage. To maximize the chance of opening a playable hand or seeing one of your starter cards, you want to max out on the number of copies you play of said cards – this should be a pretty straightforward concept to understand.

 

The second category of three-ofs are unsearchable, non-engine cards that are powerful enough to warrant playing at three and are cards you always want to open with despite not being a part of your core engine. Cards like these include Pot of Desires, nearly every relevant hand trap (e.g. Ash Blossom and Joyous Spring, Ghost Ogre and Snow Rabbit, Effect Veiler, etc.), and extenders like Junk Forward. What’s important here is the difference between a three-of that sucks to draw in multiples and a two-of that you’d rather not clog with. If you decide to play an unsearchable non-engine card as a three-of, it means that seeing even just one copy of that card is better than potentially opening with two or more copies of it. Conversely, cards that are better when they do not clog instead of being opened more consistently and/or seen more often are better suited to be two-ofs. The line that separates these two categories of cards can often be rather subjective and is also heavily format-dependent, so do keep this in mind when deckbuilding.

 

Having said that, the latter category of three-ofs are what I believe to be the downfall of a lot of decklists in the modern era of Yugioh: they tend to not make use of these category of cards well. People often mistake dead-obvious three-ofs as two-ofs, or in rare scenarios, sometimes even one-ofs. A good example of this being the case would be with Pot of Desires: I wholeheartedly believe that Desires is either a 0-of or a 3-of and nowhere in between. I get upset when I see people play Pot of Desires at 2 in their deck because they don’t “want to open with two copies” or because “they don’t want to draw Desires off of Desires”. The reality is that the chance of either of these two instances happening is so slim that it doesn’t offset the power loss that occurs by playing any less than three copies of Desires: a free +1 is never something you want to pass up on unless you’re about to deck out. Other cards in similar scenarios include powerful combo extenders such as Instant Fusion (William Candia, a Dragon Duel Worlds competitor was playing two copies of Instant Fusion in his deck at Worlds and I was severely questioning how he got as far as he did), as well as essentially every relevant hand trap in the game. Playing any less than three of any particular hand trap is a concept that rarely, if ever, makes sense to me, and should only be done if you can’t find room in your deck for something to cut. Even in this scenario, it is only wise to cut one copy of the weakest playable hand trap against the general expected metagame at that point in time (i.e. if the three most powerful hand traps in the format are Ash, Droll, and Belle, but Belle is the weakest hand trap out of the three, then play 2 Belle and three of the other two hand traps).

 

That about wraps it up for this article. If you enjoy my content, make sure to follow me on Twitter at @Morpp_SSB and check out my streams over at https://twitch.tv/Morpp_SSB. Until next time!

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+Urthor    10220

Dealing with this issue is pretty much the reason most people start thinking about the idea of having a process oriented mindset, clue on to the fact the most optimal path to success in most closed system problems with a small number of variables like card games is a being process oriented (and having a reductive mindset in terms of improving your technical play). 

 

In poker most people think about the process oriented mindset as a coping strategy to deal with tilt because hey their money just went out the door.  For Yugioh I've always found it's been part of why the fuck didn't that guy play 3 maxx in his main and win the tournament.  "this guy in the top 8 is he retarded" is what people start thinking about probably the most importance concept in games involving picking a random card out of a deck of 30ish cards. 

 

The answer is that guy is retarded he doesn't have a postgraduate degree in applied statistics and he's a little bitch who thinks he knows best by playing 2 Maxx C 2 Effect Veilers instead of 3 Maxx 1 Effect veiler.  

 

Anyway people are uneducated idiots because they don't come to prestigious places like Duelistgroundz.com and get told shut the fuck up you little faggot you play 3 ofs of good cards when tutoring/searching isn't involved.   Watching someone with a 9th grade education in math thinks it's okay to play 2 ofs when he's a busboy at Olive Garden 5 days a week is pretty much just a common sight at YGO tournaments.  

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Morpp    3
10 minutes ago, Urthor said:

This is pretty much the point most people start thinking about the idea of the process oriented mindset and the optimal path to success in most closed system problems with a small number of variables like card games is a being process oriented (and having a reductive mindset in terms of improving your technical play). 

 

In Poker most people think about the process oriented mindset as a coping strategy to deal with tilt because hey their money just went out the door, for Yugioh I've always found it's been part of why the fuck didn't that guy play 3 maxx in his main and win the tournament is he retarded is the point people start thinking about probably the most importance concept in games involving picking a random card out of a deck of 30ish cards. 

 

The answer is that guy is retarded he doesn't have a postgraduate degree in applied statistics and he's a little bitch who thinks he knows best by playing 2 Maxx C 2 Effect Veilers instead of 3 Maxx 1 Effect veiler.  

 

Anyway people are uneducated idiots because they don't come to prestigious places like Duelistgroundz.com and get told shut the fuck up you little faggot you play 3 ofs of good cards when tutoring/searching isn't involved.   Watching someone with a 9th grade education in math thinks it's okay to play 2 ofs when he's a busboy at Olive Garden 5 days a week is pretty much just a common sight at YGO tournaments.  

I'm sorry, I'm confused. Are you agreeing with me or calling me an idiot? lol

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+Urthor    10220
4 hours ago, Morpp said:

I'm sorry, I'm confused. Are you agreeing with me or calling me an idiot? lol

 

na you're alright, unless you're working at olive garden, then you've got real problems

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Brandis72    35

I think that allusions to goat format (for this example, meta-based control decks, but also many other archetypes) should probably be kept in a separate argument, as the two formats are so dynamically different that deckbuilding as a whole is radically altered.

 

In goat format you actually have games where you frequently DRAW (and often do not immediately use) most of your deck (as opposed to banishing stuff or searching all your pieces), making the urgency of seeing key cards much lower and giving quite a bit more legitimacy to the argument of drawing multiples (if goat format were like current format, you'd just jam in three tsuks to see it ASAP and suck it up if you draw multiples).

For example, this "grindyness" also to some extent further justifies concepts like threat density (notice how our control decks tend to open hands full of dead power cards early game? well... we just kinda have to run that many because games actually drag on for quite long, and the ability to outmatch your opponent in a long game tends to matter more in mirrors than having slightly more stable opening hands) that are practically nonexistent in current.

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Morpp    3
On 10/1/2018 at 7:14 AM, Urthor said:

 

na you're alright, unless you're working at olive garden, then you've got real problems

I'll have you know I do not :)

 

On 10/1/2018 at 8:30 AM, Brandis72 said:

I think that allusions to goat format (for this example, meta-based control decks, but also many other archetypes) should probably be kept in a separate argument, as the two formats are so dynamically different that deckbuilding as a whole is radically altered.

 

In goat format you actually have games where you frequently DRAW (and often do not immediately use) most of your deck (as opposed to banishing stuff or searching all your pieces), making the urgency of seeing key cards much lower and giving quite a bit more legitimacy to the argument of drawing multiples (if goat format were like current format, you'd just jam in three tsuks to see it ASAP and suck it up if you draw multiples).

For example, this "grindyness" also to some extent further justifies concepts like threat density (notice how our control decks tend to open hands full of dead power cards early game? well... we just kinda have to run that many because games actually drag on for quite long, and the ability to outmatch your opponent in a long game tends to matter more in mirrors than having slightly more stable opening hands) that are practically nonexistent in current.

This is a good point. I feel like I implied it throughout the article with how much I referred back to past formats, but I suppose saying it explicitly is good to. As Yugioh continues to get power creeped to hell and back, the format will change, and as such it will also change how we build our decks. :)

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»Digbick    7257
Posted (edited)

you play two because you want to see it some of the times but not all of the times

Edited by Urthor
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»ACP    33416

You don't win major tournaments by doing what is considered "optimal" and "the norm." Some people say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. In the context of strategy games, insanity is doing the same thing as everyone else and expecting different results. If everyone does what's "standard and optimal," then the only reason that anyone wins a tournament is because someone has to.

 

Hoban was remarkably good at going X-2 day1 into day2 top cut miss for a long period of his career when he was playing super standard decks. Once he dared to break away from the norm and innovate, he was the best player of his era. Similar thing happened with me on a different scale. From 2010-2011, I mostly played obvious and standard decks like Blackwings, Plants, and Six Samurai, and was remarkably consistent at managing to go X-2 day1 into day2 scrub. Once I started playing what most of my peers considered to be bad decks in 2012-2013 like Chaos Dragons, Gishki, and Domain Monarch, I was consistently top32ing YCSs. In fact, the only premiere events that I did not top in that time period were a YCS and a nationals where I made the mistake of reverting back to playing a standard Rabbit deck. Oops!

 

What happens to most competitive players is that they get stuck in long plateau of being able to consistently do well at locals but falling short of success at the premiere events. This is because the formula for success at locals is the exact opposite of the formula for success at YCSs. At locals, you can almost win just by showing up. With only 5 swiss rounds and a lot of bad players, you will find that by playing a top tier deck and not making any huge blunders, you will walk away with prizes far more often than not. People will be punting you match wins, and you just have to make sure that you don't punt them back. There will also be some competent players like yourself, but not enough of them to prevent you from making top8. For the most part, you'll all be able to stay out of each other's way and share the success.

 

At a YCS, by the time you're 3-0 or 4-1, virtually all of the idiots have been weeded out, and the majority of your competition is people who are playing standard decks and aren't making any huge blunders. You've got several rounds to go, so if you're also just showing up with a standard deck and standard plays, statistically speaking, you're a huge underdog for making the top cut. You'll probably blame luck for not getting there, and you'd be absolutely right to do so! Remember, if everyone does what's "standard and optimal," then the only reason that anyone wins a tournament is because someone has to. But of course, there's another option here, which is just not being "standard and optimal."

 

Want to know how to succeed in business? Know something substantial that your competition doesn't know. Do you think that Apple's strategy to develop the first real touchscreen smartphone was considered to be "standard and optimal"? Do you think that Zappo's strategy to sell shoes on the internet was considered "standard and optimal"? Do you think that Toyota's strategy to forgo the Ford-style assembly line and create a just-in-time production line was considered "standard and optimal"? Do you think that Netflix's strategy to sell people DVDs through the mail was considered "standard and optimal"? Do you think that Southwest's strategy to offer low fares, no fees, and no assigned seats was considered "standard and optimal"? Do you think AirBNB's strategy to create a hotel business without owning any hotels was considered "standard and optimal"? Do you think that Twitter's strategy to create a social network based on hashtags and character-limited messaging was considered "standard and optimal"? The principles here apply to any competition, TCGs included.

 

Stop being lazy and following the wisdom of the crowd. Question your assumptions, abandon your fear of failure, experiment, and find something far better than what the rest of your competition has. You won't be doing what anyone else considers to be "optimal", and that's precisely how you'll crush the competition.

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»ACP    33416

Playing a two-of because you don't want to see it too often is a perfectly legitimate reason for running a 2-of and I don't know why anyone would think otherwise. What evidence does anyone have to support any kind of statement like "You can only play a 2-of under X set of conditions"? People just want to have their shitty "theories" (which are really conjectures, as we'd say in the scientific community) validated by other people and then are so insecure that they get upset when someone dares to disagree with them.

 

I also think that a lot of people put too much weight in certain decisions that have a relatively minuscule impact on their success. No one is going to make top cut because they decided to play 3 Pot of Desires instead of 2. There are pros and cons to both, and this kind of decision might boost your matchup against the field by 1%, if that. There are a thousand other decisions that you will make in that tournament that will be more relevant to your success. I don't think Roland Fang would've gotten 1st at NAWCQ 2017 instead of 2nd if only he hadn't made the huge mistake of playing 2 Pot of Desires.

 

What people also don't realize about card ratios is that other than the obvious decisions (staple 3-ofs), the average player is making these decisions based on emotion rather than fact. For example, I made a pretty interesting prediction after Upstart Goblin was limited: that people would stop playing it because writing down 1 Upstart Goblin did not feel as mentally satisfying as writing 3 Upstart Goblin on a decklist. This turned out to be correct. Despite the fact that the "theory" behind Upstart Goblin being good remained exactly the same, everyone suddenly decided that they didn't like the card anymore. Although again, whether or not you decided to play a single copy of Upstart Goblin not going to be the deciding factor in your performance. But frankly the psychological aspect of deckbuilding is often ignored and very interesting in my opinion. A lot of people get really triggered by "weird" numbers on decklists, but apparently the person who just won this YCS is not one of them.

 

Pro tip: Don't make the mistake that most Yugioh players make and pull theory out of your ass to try to justify what was in reality an emotional decision. It's hard to recognize in the moment that you're doing this, but as soon as you accept the fact that as humans, we're all fallible and subject to emotion, you'll become more self-aware and pick up on it more often. Do you have a hard emotional bias towards 3-ofs or 2-ofs? Then force yourself to try the other one for awhile. It's pretty hard to figure out which ratio is better if you literally refuse to try the other one.

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Morpp    3
On 10/6/2018 at 0:19 PM, ACP said:

You don't win major tournaments by doing what is considered "optimal" and "the norm." Some people say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. In the context of strategy games, insanity is doing the same thing as everyone else and expecting different results. If everyone does what's "standard and optimal," then the only reason that anyone wins a tournament is because someone has to.

 

Hoban was remarkably good at going X-2 day1 into day2 top cut miss for a long period of his career when he was playing super standard decks. Once he dared to break away from the norm and innovate, he was the best player of his era. Similar thing happened with me on a different scale. From 2010-2011, I mostly played obvious and standard decks like Blackwings, Plants, and Six Samurai, and was remarkably consistent at managing to go X-2 day1 into day2 scrub. Once I started playing what most of my peers considered to be bad decks in 2012-2013 like Chaos Dragons, Gishki, and Domain Monarch, I was consistently top32ing YCSs. In fact, the only premiere events that I did not top in that time period were a YCS and a nationals where I made the mistake of reverting back to playing a standard Rabbit deck. Oops!

 

What happens to most competitive players is that they get stuck in long plateau of being able to consistently do well at locals but falling short of success at the premiere events. This is because the formula for success at locals is the exact opposite of the formula for success at YCSs. At locals, you can almost win just by showing up. With only 5 swiss rounds and a lot of bad players, you will find that by playing a top tier deck and not making any huge blunders, you will walk away with prizes far more often than not. People will be punting you match wins, and you just have to make sure that you don't punt them back. There will also be some competent players like yourself, but not enough of them to prevent you from making top8. For the most part, you'll all be able to stay out of each other's way and share the success.

 

At a YCS, by the time you're 3-0 or 4-1, virtually all of the idiots have been weeded out, and the majority of your competition is people who are playing standard decks and aren't making any huge blunders. You've got several rounds to go, so if you're also just showing up with a standard deck and standard plays, statistically speaking, you're a huge underdog for making the top cut. You'll probably blame luck for not getting there, and you'd be absolutely right to do so! Remember, if everyone does what's "standard and optimal," then the only reason that anyone wins a tournament is because someone has to. But of course, there's another option here, which is just not being "standard and optimal."

 

Want to know how to succeed in business? Know something substantial that your competition doesn't know. Do you think that Apple's strategy to develop the first real touchscreen smartphone was considered to be "standard and optimal"? Do you think that Zappo's strategy to sell shoes on the internet was considered "standard and optimal"? Do you think that Toyota's strategy to forgo the Ford-style assembly line and create a just-in-time production line was considered "standard and optimal"? Do you think that Netflix's strategy to sell people DVDs through the mail was considered "standard and optimal"? Do you think that Southwest's strategy to offer low fares, no fees, and no assigned seats was considered "standard and optimal"? Do you think AirBNB's strategy to create a hotel business without owning any hotels was considered "standard and optimal"? Do you think that Twitter's strategy to create a social network based on hashtags and character-limited messaging was considered "standard and optimal"? The principles here apply to any competition, TCGs included.

 

Stop being lazy and following the wisdom of the crowd. Question your assumptions, abandon your fear of failure, experiment, and find something far better than what the rest of your competition has. You won't be doing what anyone else considers to be "optimal", and that's precisely how you'll crush the competition.

See, there's a difference between innovating and not being a fucking retard about your card ratios. IMHO you described innovation while barely touching upon objectively correct ratios in your first response. But hold on, let's get to that:

 

On 10/7/2018 at 11:52 PM, ACP said:

Playing a two-of because you don't want to see it too often is a perfectly legitimate reason for running a 2-of and I don't know why anyone would think otherwise. What evidence does anyone have to support any kind of statement like "You can only play a 2-of under X set of conditions"? People just want to have their shitty "theories" (which are really conjectures, as we'd say in the scientific community) validated by other people and then are so insecure that they get upset when someone dares to disagree with them.

 

I also think that a lot of people put too much weight in certain decisions that have a relatively minuscule impact on their success. No one is going to make top cut because they decided to play 3 Pot of Desires instead of 2. There are pros and cons to both, and this kind of decision might boost your matchup against the field by 1%, if that. There are a thousand other decisions that you will make in that tournament that will be more relevant to your success. I don't think Roland Fang would've gotten 1st at NAWCQ 2017 instead of 2nd if only he hadn't made the huge mistake of playing 2 Pot of Desires.

 

What people also don't realize about card ratios is that other than the obvious decisions (staple 3-ofs), the average player is making these decisions based on emotion rather than fact. For example, I made a pretty interesting prediction after Upstart Goblin was limited: that people would stop playing it because writing down 1 Upstart Goblin did not feel as mentally satisfying as writing 3 Upstart Goblin on a decklist. This turned out to be correct. Despite the fact that the "theory" behind Upstart Goblin being good remained exactly the same, everyone suddenly decided that they didn't like the card anymore. Although again, whether or not you decided to play a single copy of Upstart Goblin not going to be the deciding factor in your performance. But frankly the psychological aspect of deckbuilding is often ignored and very interesting in my opinion. A lot of people get really triggered by "weird" numbers on decklists, but apparently the person who just won this YCS is not one of them.

 

Pro tip: Don't make the mistake that most Yugioh players make and pull theory out of your ass to try to justify what was in reality an emotional decision. It's hard to recognize in the moment that you're doing this, but as soon as you accept the fact that as humans, we're all fallible and subject to emotion, you'll become more self-aware and pick up on it more often. Do you have a hard emotional bias towards 3-ofs or 2-ofs? Then force yourself to try the other one for awhile. It's pretty hard to figure out which ratio is better if you literally refuse to try the other one.

The difference between 2 Desires and 3 Desires might not mean the difference between winning a YCS and not winning a YCS (technical play is slightly more important than correct deckbuilding imho) but if I can take that miniscule 1% boost to my win rate over the course of a near-20 round YCS then there's really no reason not to take it.

Also the point about Upstart is just plain wrong: many Striker lists still play the 1 Upstart to this day. If people cut it back in 2016 it probably wasn't due to the "emotional" reasoning you discussed but more than likely because there were actually 40 cards they needed to play in their decks and Upstart would've either been the 41st card or worse than that.

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Brandis72    35

To the arguments on 2 or 3 desires, keep in mind that this legitimately depends on the deck - something like magicians should always be running three because it's a very turn 1 centric deck, and because it has no mass draw engine... meanwhile something like draco would be better off running two because it is incapable of resolving the second desires (the deck needs resources to keep on playing, and typically ''grinds'' over at least a few turns) and because it has a huge collection of draw engines that, together with the increased game length, make drawing multiple desires that much more of a problem.

The most common arguments are:

- Can your deck resolve the second copy of desires (MR4 Zoodiac could, as once you got to a certain point your deck was pretty much all just one card plays that don't rely on anything else being in your deck).

- Does your deck frequently draw multiple copies of desires (at 3), be it from draw effects, game length, or both.

 

To the arguments on upstart; people cutting it back then was, for the most part, silly (health almost irrelevant, engine consistency crucial, no real reason to over 40c for ratio fixing/engine size) - but now people play upstart for more than just the old reason of it being a deck thinner, they also play it because it gets you a spell in grave for your striker spells' additional effects.

Edited by Brandis72
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Morpp    3
12 hours ago, Brandis72 said:

To the arguments on 2 or 3 desires, keep in mind that this legitimately depends on the deck - something like magicians should always be running three because it's a very turn 1 centric deck, and because it has no mass draw engine... meanwhile something like draco would be better off running two because it is incapable of resolving the second desires (the deck needs resources to keep on playing, and typically ''grinds'' over at least a few turns) and because it has a huge collection of draw engines that, together with the increased game length, make drawing multiple desires that much more of a problem.

The most common arguments are:

- Can your deck resolve the second copy of desires (MR4 Zoodiac could, as once you got to a certain point your deck was pretty much all just one card plays that don't rely on anything else being in your deck).

- Does your deck frequently draw multiple copies of desires (at 3), be it from draw effects, game length, or both.

 

To the arguments on upstart; people cutting it back then was, for the most part, silly (health almost irrelevant, engine consistency crucial, no real reason to over 40c for ratio fixing/engine size) - but now people play upstart for more than just the old reason of it being a deck thinner, they also play it because it gets you a spell in grave for your striker spells' additional effects.

Does it matter if you're likely going to be banishing 1 copy of Desires off the first Desires activation anyways?

And yeah, Upstart being an extra spell is relevant, but it's not the only reason the card is played. I see that as more of a bonus if anything.

Edited by Morpp

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Brandis72    35

Banishing desires off desires is irrelevant, but banishing the majority of your monsters and in-engine S/T, leaving you with little to play with IS relevant.

 

I would see the 39 card deck as the bonus and the extra yarded spell as the main draw, although I'd obviously be running upstart regardless in decks where LP isn't a deal-breaker (which is to say most of them because that's just how the game is nowadays).

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»ACP    33416

"Objectively correct ratios" - I'll send you a $1000 if you can prove that literally anything in your OP about ratios is anything other than opinion. You have no evidence to indicate whether 2 Desires or 3 is better, neither theoretical nor empirical. Like this phrase actually triggers me because you're trying to pass off your pseudo-intellectual nonsense as if it's some ground-breaking game theory. There's no shame in admitting that your opinion is your opinion, and stating otherwise is a toxic attitude that indicates that you care more about looking smart to people on the internet than being intellectually honest. Like I know you think I'm full of shit, but believe me, none of the stuff that you've posted holds any value or is relevant for doing well at tournaments. There are never going to be any deckbuilding rules that you can blindly follow to real success, and when people think that those rules do exist, success is most often found with figuring out how to get away with breaking them. The stuff that was deck-building theory gospel 10 years ago is completely outdated now, and the same will be true in another 10 years. 90% of premiere-tournament-winning decks get derided as being "shitty in theory." In fact, seeing a tournament-winning deck with no big surprises in it is like sighting a unicorn. People would really just like success to be much easier than it actually is.

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+Urthor    10220

It still seems like the default should be that if you have 3 copies of a card you love to draw and there is no externality like tutoring involved, you should be playing 3 copies of the best card. 

 

https://stattrek.com/online-calculator/hypergeometric.aspx

 

5 card hand, 3 copies in deck, 30% chance of getting exactly 1 copy, 3.6% chance of getting more than 1 copy.  

 

6 card hand 5.4% chance of getting more than 1 copy.  

 

IMO any argument that "taking three copies is bad" is wrong for cards that are *individually good draws* like  the Maxx C vs Effect Veiler setup is completely wrong.  Obviously to truly understand this whole system you have to measure the odds your game just in fact ends if you draw doubles next to each other, which is probably impossible except if you are Blizzard or someone else who can perform ridiculously large scale data mining on thousands of human games.  

 

 The argument that "you don't want to draw two" only makes sense if you automatically lose 100% of those 3.6/5.4% games by drawing doubles, which is probably incorrect.  I would guesstimate that drawing doubles probably has a fairly minor impact on your overall win rate for many instances of drawing doubles considering most decks still play a large portion of their deck as "non-combo pieces" and are supposed to be able to function happily if you draw multiples of those non-combo pieces. 

 

Obviously though, not all doubles are equal.  Drawing 2 maxx going first in a 5 card hand fucking sucks, drawing 2 maxx going second generally rocks.  You have to average the win rate out across all your game 1s, and I can definitely see a world where it's game 2 and you KNOW you are going first it's mathematically correct to play 2 Maxx Cs.  The thing is you actually have to form a hypothesis and to the math to figure out if that is true or not, which in an ideal world would be running some statistical model on the data of a bunch of DN games to make a confidence interval of what your win rate is if you draw 2 maxx Cs going first.  

 

If you actually don't do that math and don't study statistics in college and don't have a bunch of data on your win rates for Maxx C going first, I think the "wow you should play 3 Maxx Cs" shorthand is pretty much the best shortcut when deckbuilding.  

 

"Mostly" though, I think that unless you card that you draw doubles in your hand says "if you draw this card next to each other you will lose" you can probably play through it in a lot of cases, and the expected value of playing the 3 of at 3 instead of at 2 and a substitute 40th card in your deck usually outweighs the hit to your win rate in those 3.6/5.4% of cases in which you draw doubles in your opening hand.  Improving the quality of the 40th card after all improves your deck across all subsequent turns, whilst the impact of the doubles issue is only felt in the first turn.  

 

Anyway this is just my 2 cents, it's not the same as whether you should play for example 3 useless holy shine ball type things, this is about optimal untutored draws like Maxx C or Monster Reborn.  

 

51 minutes ago, ACP said:

"Objectively correct ratios" - I'll send you a $1000 if you can prove that literally anything in your OP about ratios is anything other than opinion. You have no evidence to indicate whether 2 Desires or 3 is better, neither theoretical nor empirical. Like this phrase actually triggers me because you're trying to pass off your pseudo-intellectual nonsense as if it's some ground-breaking game theory. There's no shame in admitting that your opinion is your opinion, and stating otherwise is a toxic attitude that indicates that you care more about looking smart to people on the internet than being intellectually honest. Like I know you think I'm full of shit, but believe me, none of the stuff that you've posted holds any value or is relevant for doing well at tournaments. There are never going to be any deckbuilding rules that you can blindly follow to real success, and when people think that those rules do exist, success is most often found with figuring out how to get away with breaking them. The stuff that was deck-building theory gospel 10 years ago is completely outdated now, and the same will be true in another 10 years. 90% of premiere-tournament-winning decks get derided as being "shitty in theory." In fact, seeing a tournament-winning deck with no big surprises in it is like sighting a unicorn. People would really just like success to be much easier than it actually is.

 

The thing that gets me is that when you have the off the wall smart meta calls, they are not built correctly because the person creating the off the wall thing that is the optimal choice for the meta-game, even if it is correct, has made some obvious error or flaw.  Objectively good theory like playing the right amount of two ofs and three offs based off the odds of actually drawing doubles of Maxx C can happily coexist with the theory of "wow a hot and spicy meta pick is better than taking standard.deck and hoping you draw well and don't misplay" against a field." 

 

There is nothing that says those two things can't get along.  Obviously stuff like the difference between playing the third Maxx C and the the first effect veiler as your 40th card probably doesn't impact the win rate a lot.  But someone with the right mentality should be spending a cost efficient amount of time making those optimisations from Maxx C to Effect Veiler.  

 

Also, the whole Patrick Hoban theory of "don't take the standard deck in take a hot and spicy meta take" is something that only applies to Yugioh in its current form because technical play is not as determinative.  In other diverse TCGs and systems where technical play IS the determinative factor, the DBZ TCG that Panini was running that got canned was an example of this, the impact of technical play was *huge* and the metagame didn't devolve into "well I have my windups that I can play optimally you have your windups you can play optimally therefore even if I play 51% better than you a win rate of 60% across 12 rounds of swiss isn't good enough."   

 

You have to measure the skill play ceiling of each system and the impact of technical play when you are weighing up your choice.  Obviously the hot and spicy pick makes sense if you do in fact have a hot and spicy pick that players aren't prepared for and misplay more vs, or has an innatve advantage, this is 100% true in Yugioh.  In other games it is not necessarily true at all, if you can build up a huge win-rate in the mirror match just by hitting a crazy skill ceiling that your opponent's can't it's totally different.  Issue is that TCGs and Yugioh and particular ultimately have a very small amount of interactive decisions because there is a smaller number of variables, and the skill gap for controlling those variables isn't as wide.  You just don't have that kind of determinative system coming up. 

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

IMO though my current hot take looking at Yugioh is that the win rate is definitely hugely impacted by playing something that is easy for people to misplay against, and playing for time is obviously  the #1 skill for all tournament players and the most important thing which is depressing.

 

The impact of spending a hours practising allowing yourself to stall for EOMP without getting banned by the judges AND how to speed the game and speed your opponent up when you don't want to go into time is by far the most important skill in Yugioh. 

 

Frankly it's almost depressing that obviously unsportsmanlike play is clearly rewarded because manipulating the match if going into EOMP favours you is just such a strong strategy.  

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»ACP    33416
22 minutes ago, Urthor said:

But someone with the right mentality should be spending a cost efficient amount of time making those optimisations from Maxx C to Effect Veiler. 

Statements like this fail to miss my point. Not because it's wrong, but because the wording of the statement implies that the focus is on "finding optimizations" without specifying how. The how is pretty important. Anyone can say something is optimal and we'd be hard-pressed to prove them wrong. Theory is a small starting point, not an end-game, for optimization, and you never find great breakthroughs through theory. Too many people don't want to test things that are "bad in theory" when in fact the return on investment if you found out that the theory is wrong would be incredible. Obviously I can think of a lot of examples relating to my own experiences here, but most other successful players have their own. People told me that 0 hand traps in Domain Monarchs could never work in theory and never bothered to ask themselves the question, "What if I cut all of my hand traps for more engine cards?" Same with Hoban's Dragon Rulers; he was the only person to ask himself, "What if I just maindecked 3 Vanity's Emptiness?" when everyone else assumed that something like that could never work.

 

TLDR: ACP's Trademarked Super Secret to Success

List all metagame assumptions on 3 factors:

1. How widely held is the assumption?

2. How high are the chances that the assumption is wrong?

3. How big would the consequences be of disproving the assumption?

 

Then empirically test the assumptions that score the highest on this 3-pronged scale. Obviously, in most cases, you'll find out that the assumption was correct, but when it's not, the payoff can be huge. Of course there's an art to good testing too, but we'll assume that you know how to test intelligently. If you list, rate, and test your assumptions in this manner, I guarantee your average placing at high-level tournaments will sky-rocket.

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