General discussion about Yu-Gi-Oh!
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#72060
Hello there,

I would like to discuss which mechanic, Pendulum or Link, is the more problematic one for YU-GI-OH!.
These two are the newest summoning mechanics introduced by Konami and both had a rather difficult influence on the game.

Pendulum was, from the beginning, not much appreciated by the community, due to its complex and overpowered design. Konami nerved Pendulum with Master Rule 4 and since then, the mechanic received not much love.

Link was meant to slow down the game. (So is my interpretation of the events)
YU-GI-OH! has a problem with powercreep so that cards get more and more powerful by design and the game proceeds to get faster and faster in result.
By connecting the older summoning mechanics to the Link mechanic, Konami hoped to hold this process in check.
The result was that Link dominated all the other mechanics and a lot of older decks and strategies became unplayable which angered the community again.

With Master Rule 4.5 Konami reverted the changes (except for the Pendulum mechanic), yet resulting in the next problem. To make the Link mechanic viable and don't kill the other mechanics completely, Link monster had to have rather easy summoning conditions from the beginning, in fact they have the easiest summoning conditions of all the mechanics. After Master Rule 4.5 YU-GI-OH! evolved back to its former tempo, adding now the fastest summoning mechanic to be ever created to this point.

Now we have two mechanics, one has to handle with great care to not break the game. Do you think, Link will receive the same treatment as Pendulum from Konami? Will Konami introduce a new mechanic to the game to hold the powercreep in check?

I am curious for your thoughts! :D
#72087
  • I don't think Konami's intention was to slow down the game. That was just an assumption based on the EMZ and how underwhelming the initial batch of Links were.
  • I don't think either were problematic, but I also think that Pendulums are seen as something akin to what TV Tropes dubs a "Skill Gate Character". Where casuals and noobs get stomped by Pendulums but more experienced or meta players learn to exploit their weaknesses. This was eventually combined with card design that exploited the strengths of Pendulum cards and mitigated their weaknesses to create a Pendulum Deck that can compete with more than Table 500 decks. Using Yuya's cards as the basis.
  • Again, I doubt MR4 was meant to slow down the game, instead I think it was made to ensure that the new hotness would sell by creating a dependency on them. It did however serve to rout the ceiling of pendulum decks slightly...until Electrumite blasted onto the scene, allowing history to repeat itself again with another facet of Yuya's deck, the Magicians.
  • As for links, I must reiterate that I don't think they were busted on paper, but I must also point out that card design made then more favorable due to being more generic than Xyz, initially being necessary to use more than one of the other types of ED monsters, and often having powerful effects for extension on top of that. The same thing that also affected Pendulums
  • For reasons that should be obvious, whenever a new summoning mechanic is introduced, the initial cards would be mostly low leveled to ease players into the mechanic. Int he case of Pendulums, that mean t that people see it as inconsistent and win more, and unnecessary considering that the top decks were Stellarknights, Shaddolls and Burning Abyss. The opposite happened with Links, seeing them as necessary but also leading to the misconception that they were meant to slow down the game instead of to sell product. Both were disproven by the very next set which introduced Qliphorts and SPYRAL Double Helix, respectively, and were completely discredited once PePe and Knightmares appeared in their respective formats. The point is, that the mechanic shouldn't be judged by how the first few cards were designed as they were meant to be generally weak on purpose.
  • Related to this was the OCG's Link Vrains Packs, meant to introduce cards that compensate for the hurdles MR3 forced on older non-link focused decks. This gave players specific links that became the face of the mechanic and especially of its use for extension. Isolde, Halqlifibrax, Jasmine, Electrumite and Salacia were introduced there and they were designed to help more than their decks (and some went above in beyond in that).
  • My general point is that it boils down on card design. Both Pendulums and Links were well balanced on paper, but specific cards were made to deliberately exploit and break the mechanic and accelerated the Extra Decks' metamorphosis from purely a toolbox of utility cards to a way to get combo pieces and extenders for combos, that I think is the actual source of the game's acceleration, the ED's used for housing extenders and starters
#72092
Thanks for your reply! :D
Hyperion-OMRGA wrote:
  • Again, I doubt MR4 was meant to slow down the game, instead I think it was made to ensure that the new hotness would sell by creating a dependency on them
Yea, that sounds better than my explanation. Money is always the driving force of all of Konamis decisions. But to earn money, they need to maintain a somewhat enjoyable game. Enjoyable is of course defined differently by every person, but I boldly assume a majority of the player base enjoys to play more than one or two turns each game. Sooner or later, Konami needs to find a way to keep the current development for YU-GI-OH! in check. 
#72095
Kcoby3198 wrote:
Fri Jun 25, 2021 5:02 pm
Thanks for your reply! :D
Hyperion-OMRGA wrote:
  • Again, I doubt MR4 was meant to slow down the game, instead I think it was made to ensure that the new hotness would sell by creating a dependency on them
Yea, that sounds better than my explanation. Money is always the driving force of all of Konamis decisions. But to earn money, they need to maintain a somewhat enjoyable game. Enjoyable is of course defined differently by every person, but I boldly assume a majority of the player base enjoys to play more than one or two turns each game. Sooner or later, Konami needs to find a way to keep the current development for YU-GI-OH! in check. 
I agree, but I must also point out that they did take steps to address that such as the recent banlist hits or the existence of hand traps and cards like Dark Ruler No More. They could stand to make them more accessible though.

The OCG also has a more control-focused meta due to the presence of one handtrap in particular, make of that what you will :P

That said they can't really try to reign in their recent card design mistakes. That's a bell that can't be unrung without hitting or erratating dozens if not hundreds of cards to remove negation and spam effects. Including the extenders that led to the ED's current status and a place for combo pieces
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