Yogizilla’s Duelist Journal
Introduction: My Yu-Gi-Oh! Duelist Odyssey
Here’s a story about a bear-lizard shapeshifter, who duels, and he has seven children… Wait, no… It’s just some of my stories for those that may appreciate a “normal guy” view of Yu-Gi-Oh! I know that many of my customers have said that the fanaticism, elitism, and nerdy aspects of the game have often scared them away. I’ll be the first to say that I do not care to have a perfect record though at one point I did have a loss-less profile, just for kicks. To me, it’s all about the fun of the game, as cheesy as that may sound.
I want to share my story with you. The story of a dude that enjoys an online game, a sort of hidden gem, and hopes others can join him. Yes, come join me in a world of monsters, magic, and lore. Together, we will vanquish all evil. *waves his sword around frantically, as if it were a magic wand* Okay, well, I guess the “normal guy” stuff depends who you are talking to…
Flashback: My TCG Origins
Looking back on how I got here, to this wonderful place called Yu-Gi-Oh! Online, my mind wanders off to elementary school. Before I even touched MTG (Magic The Gathering) or Pokemon (don’t laugh – it’s quite fun, really), I made my very own TCG and, believe it or not, it was a lot like YGO meets MTG. I remember that my brother and I wouldn’t like to do the same sorts of things. He was never big on video games so playing the Atari 2600 or NES with me wasn’t really his thing, so we made our own games up.
It first started with me taking some Bee or Bicycle playing cards and drawing up card conversions on a sheet of paper. With these conversions, I would change the value and role of each card so that, essentially, we were staging a battle or war of sorts. The next part was figuring out the game mechanics by specifying turn phasing, card timing, turn limits, hand limits, etc. Then we set up the field positioning. Sometimes, we’d use construction paper for this and other times we’d just throw the cards around and see how that’d work out.
My brother may not recall this as well as me because he was really young but my first successful TCG was so awesome that he ripped up the cards into pieces cause I pwned him so badly. LOL… His excuse was that I kept changing the rules, which I sort of was, but that was only because, as we played the game more, I saw exploits and balancing issues that needed to be addressed. Yu-Gi-Oh! constantly evolves in that manner too; just look at the forbidden cards list! These are cards we all once had in our decks and now cannot use. It can be frustrating if you spent lots of money getting the right cards together then are told you cannot use these cards – fortunately, there are house rules tournaments to counter that!
Anywho, this TCG I made was very much RPG-influenced and I thank my D&D, comic books, and fantasy novels for inpsiring that. I believe I was reading some heavy Tolkien and Lewis at the time (WAY before even some of the animated movies came out and it became the in thing to do – LOL). My deck was all about the ogres, goblins, imps, trolls, gnomes, knights, paladins, clerics, mages, etc. When the first Final Fantasy came around, I made more refined rulesets but, alas, being young and too wound-up in playing the games, I did not see what a profitable idea I had there.
Fast forward to present day, I’d say that the marketplace is ripe for more TCG and strategist gaming in general. YGO and MTG certainly dominate the market but they are not the only TCG’s out there (Naruto TCG is really fun as well, for example). Maybe one day I’ll introduce my take on the TCG mechanics but, for now, I am very happy supporting YGO and providing services to the community. I don’t plan on taking YGO’s glory because, after all, it is the King of Games – w00t!
Reflections: Hey Homer – You SUCK!
Every duelist has a fatal flaw, so to speak, and not being afraid to show you warts will help you fix those issues. I am in no sort of denial. My fatal flaws are the fact that I have pseudo-ADD (I multitask too much) and I make silly mistakes. Usually, it’s my mistakes that lose me a duel, not the fact that the person I am battling is dominating. For example, I’ll misclick and attack the wrong monster or I’ll equip a card that actually lowers the effectiveness of a monster. D’OH!!!
My other big weakness is that I don’t really stick with a single deck these days. I constantly change my decks around just to experiment and come back to you guys with my findings. It’s undeniable that knowing your deck helps a lot when you want to run some numbers in your head and figure out what the likeliness of drawing a card you REALLY need can be. It’s all good, tho!
Now, as I always say: making mistakes is a good thing so long as you learn from them! The only true failure in life is giving up, especially giving up on learning. Mainstream folks will argue otherwise but that’s what a more level-headed person will tell you and you’ll see that those are the folks that are happier, having more fun, and not stressing out. I embrace my mistakes and I am having fun with the game of Yu-Gi-Oh!, which is more than good enough for me.
Looking at the people I’ve dueled throughout my many years in the TCG world, people tend to rely on a single strength because they never developed anything else. I say let your inner Homer out. Do some silly things, make people laugh, have fun with it, and roll around in the dirt. In the end, if everyone had fun then it was worth it. Word, yo.
Reflections: The Door-to-Door Duelist/Evangelist
I’m not your typical dude. I’m not overly competitive or aggressive. I like to keep myself stress-free, really. Of the local tournies I’ve done, I totally prefer the friendly circle duels and “fresh pack” duels. Fresh pack duels are a great way to et new players into the game. Buy a bunch of boosters, maybe even some starter decks for the new players, and visit some friends. Show them the ropes, preferrably have them duel each other and get into the groove. Mix up all the cards and have everyone draw random cards to form their own unique trunks and, eventually, a main deck plus side deck. This gets rid of the frustrations of having a stacked deck, like the ‘ol spoiled kids that have mommy and daddy buy them the first edition, gold foil super rare card of unstoppable nature.
I love doing this sort of thing. I know a few of the local tournament coordinators around USA do this but it’s rare, which astounds me. Most duelists only know how to win with one or two types of decks and, to me, the most fun parts of Yu-Gi-Oh! dueling is the element of surprise and the unique techniques that each duelist brings to the game. That is the message I bring to friends and I sell Yu-Gi-Oh! as a strategist’s game, because that’s really what it is at heart. I love Yu-Gi-Oh! and the TCG’s in general because they are thinking games, much like a good RTS or RP game; heck, some TCG’s can be classified as either or both.
If you look at it, a lot of sports and competitive arenas are ruined by the stackers, overkillers, and hi-tech folks. In paintball, for example, you have people that come in with full-automatic, high-tech markers and backpacks full of ammo. Those type of people have the money to blow but, really, they usually lack the finesse of the game. That’s what I call brute-force winners. They can’t win without their extreme advantages so they over-compensate with better weapons. That’s the same thing that some folks do in Yu-Gi-Oh; again, to each their own!
With the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG going strong for so long, I hope to run more friendly, open tournaments where the focus is on welcoming players of all levels and making sure good sportsmanship resounds through and through. That is one of my missions now that I am taking point with the YDP and DPO projects more. I also hope to connect with more people that share a similar vision for Yu-Gi-Oh! and gaming in general, such as my buddy Steve over at Yu-Gi-Oh World. With Konami’s fresh new approach to YGOO, I see much potential for new levels of competition but they still need to revise their approach and do what Nintendo did for video gaming: bring it back to the masses, where it belongs. The people deserve it!
Until that fateful day, I will continue to travel, bring a few duel decks around, and show people how cool Yu-Gi-Oh! can really be. Some people may throw rocks at me but that’s okay. I am ready for that. BTW… IPr0ute, don’t forget: we will meet again! *pumps fists in the air*
Duel Of Fate: Master Versus Pupil?
I finally got to duel John H, founder of DPO, on Yu-Gi-Oh! Online. Our battles came down to the last rounds more times than not. He beat me a good 6 or 7 times. The guy is good. My unconventional, non-recipe decks certainly kept him on his toes. I enjoy using scraps to put together amazing decks, often without rare or ultra-rare cards (hence, why box-busting matches ROCK – everyone has to play with new cards ad adapt).
Now, this happened a few years back and I meant to write about it in my journal sooner.. I want to say John and I last dueled back in 2007. Yu-Gi-Oh! has changed a lot since then. In those days, synchro monsters weren’t even around!
Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s Decade Duels: My First Encounter With XBox 360 YGO
It’s March 7th, 2011 and, even though it is the 7th, I am not having a very lucky day. Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s Decade Duels is one of the toughest Yu-Gi-Oh! video games I’ve ever played. In fact, it may be second only to the Yu-Gi-Oh! game on the original XBox (yeah, the one where they start you off with a terrible deck). The game is not impossible, far from it, but your NPC opponents certainly have powerful decks to boot.
Maybe I’m just a bit out of touch with my Yu-Gi-Oh! but this game is certainly testing my skill. Thus far, I’ve only managed to beat one duelist quickly (less than ten rounds). Everyone else has been a marathon battle, with my longest battle at around 126 rounds (against a Stall/Mill deck using Necro Face and “Remove From Play” card types). That’s ROUGH!
The good news is that the game does an awesome job of rating your performance and rewarding you, even if you lose (within good reason). I must keep dueling.. I will build better decks and CONQUER!! >=o)
Getting Caught Up With The Yu-Gi-Oh! Universe
After reading some http://twitter.com/#!/search/shonenjump I realized just how behind I am with my Yu-Gi-Oh! exposure. The new 3D movie got a great receiving and the recent slew of expansions shows that Yu-Gi-Oh! is still going strong.. But my skills are diminishing!
I need to see the movie. The little Yu-Gi-Oh! fanboy in me is crying. I need my fix. I figure that, even if it’s not a completely epic movie (which I know it will be), I will at least learn about some of the more current deck builds and strategies. Any real duelist has to see that great potential for inspiration there!
While I live in an area where Yu-Gi-Oh! has essentially become an underground community, there are still some bastions of hopes, places where I can buy, view, and indulge in Yu-Gi-Oh! media. Indeed, the urgency is there. After some recent duels, I’ve discovered that I still “got it” but my reaction times are a bit slower than I’d like. I need to think quickly and keep my opponents guessing about my next move. Like chess, if you think about your next move too long, your opponent will only have more time to consider their next moves (more importantly, their counters).
The situation being what it is, I’ve picked up some new expansion packs from some of the latest Yu-Gi-Oh! booster packs (2010 and 2011). Ancient Prophecy and Absolute Powerforce are my favorite booster packs thus far (not counting the structure and starter decks which provide strong Yu-Gi-Oh! deck cores to build around). When I finally bust these packs open and study the cards carefully, I will share my findings. I am uber stoked but, for now, I’ll allow the excitement to “marinate” a bit!
Special Delivery: Boosting My Yu-Gi-Oh! Offline Trunk
Though I’ve been primarily training using online versions of Yu-Gi-Oh!, the temptation of so many new deck recipes and booster packs has finally lured me in. About two days ago I placed an order with YuGiOhMint.com after enjoying their very own box buster, as featured on Beckett Game Strategyst. I did not expect to receive my shipment so soon but everything came in PERFECTLY. I have yet to open booster packs I bought recently at a local retail outlet so the excitement is culminating.
One thing that inspired this special delivery was seeing how beatdown decks are making a comeback. More importantly, seeing old cards returning is very refreshing. For a while, the official tournament rules seemed to be punishing long-time Yu-Gi-Oh! players but now there are new series that are building around classic cards, recipes, and strategies. This is a very good time for Yu-Gi-Oh!, my friends.
The Dragunity series looks particularly promising. I really loved the old Dragon’s Roar structure deck so this is definitely “bringing it back to the old school”. To think that I had a fellow clanmate tell me on IRC that Yu-Gi-Oh! “got old quick” for him. This game is constantly changing without losing it’s true essence. Naturally, his boredom with the game comes from not being able to win a single duel. It certainly helps if you train properly (NPCs on Decade Duels and YGOO are good options here) – nobody likes to be a rag doll for seasoned duelists!
Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s World Championship 2010 (DS) & What We Can Learn
As I duel Chihiro and get whooped a couple of times with my new testing deck, I start to think about a few things. Here’s what comes to mind…
- Is there such a thing as a perfect deck or are some decks more vulnerable to other types of decks? I’ll go with the latter. Every good deck has it’s bad duels, unlike what the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime may convey.
- I think the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG is more balanced now than ever. Even old-school beatdown duelists like me have a fighting chance with our unique styles.
- Chihiro’s DARK deck is pretty darn amazing. I need to get more cards and continue the deck tweaks!
The Yu-Gi-Oh! video games are a great way to try out new strategies and deck builds without investing tons of money. I picked up it for $8 used. I’d say I got my money’s worth. I was going to buy the new game and get the promo cards but I figured I would just get the game and give it a whirl since my last real Yu-Gi-Oh! DS indulgence for was the 2007/2008 GX series, I believe.
Compared with the Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s Decade Duels game for the XBox 360 this game is WAY better. There’s just a lot more variety and you start off with access to better cards to boot. The XBox 360 game is more of a grind but certainly will put your skills to the test. I have yet to play either one online but I can’t wait to (once I get my decks situated a bit, that is).
I wonder how 2010 compares to the 2009 and 2011 editions of Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship. I may have to pick those up soon too.. What are your thoughts on the Yu-Gi-Oh! DS games?
As always, the Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship games for the DS are a great way to train and experiment a bit. I am disappointed that Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship 2010: Reverse of Acardia is still buggy like previous installments. There are cards that don’t behave as they should at times (i.e. Call of the Haunted) but, even more frustrating, I sometimes get stuck when trying to choose a spot to summon or set a monster card, which forces me to restart my DS. It’s a good thing I save frequently!
Playing the DS games always inspires me to get more active here on DPO and the wonderful comments/messages I am getting from you guys only further engages me. Keep the comments coming! Bring your friends too so we can discuss Yu-Gi-Oh! dueling and other geeky stuff. I just created a prototype deck tentatively named “Chaos Rising”. It combines light and dark monsters, with Chaos Sorcerer as one of the key cards. It’s been mostly effective but still needs tweaking. I’m considering tweaking for synchro summons which, right now, it is not built to do. I’ll be posting the cards I currently have in my 60-card deck and see what you think.
For those still on the Yu-Gi-Oh! Online game for the PC (and oldie but goodie), visit DuelPasses.com and use promo code “DPONLINE” to get a special discount just for DPO fans!
Heavy Storm EPIC FAIL
I just dueled an NPC by the name of Annie. She has Scrap-Iron Scarecrow on the field and some unidentified trap cards, which buys her time. I play it safe and toy with her some, slowly whittling away at her life points, only to have her desperately activate Heavy Storm on me. Errrr?
Well, the NPCs in the Yu-Gi-Oh! game are not usually so reckless but I guess this one wanted to get the match over with. I must say, a few simple tweaks to my Chaos Rising deck and it’s even more beastly. I still have a few more things to do with it but the addition of Mystic Tomato alone helped out quite a bit. The Magical Merchants also help me out when I need some real magic to take place (plus the added bonus of dumping monsters into the graveyard to boost Chaos Necromancer or give me good special summon options definitely ROCKS).
I’m really enjoying the game but I should probably get back to work. d’oh