Recovery Time: Why Less is More (In Today’s Format)

In the game of Yugioh, different effects are the result of the various plays existing in a duelist’s deck. Continuing with the fighting game analogy from the Bread and Butter Index, consider the types of attacks available for a given player.

There are light, medium, heavy, special and super attacks. The time required for a player to recover before attempting the same action again is what is similar between attacks in fighting games and specific actions in Yugioh.

Recovery time in fighting games is measured in seconds, whereas in Yugioh, recovery times are measured in turns, considering limiting factors such as the draw phase and the ability to normal summon once per turn. However, exceptions to this rule exist in both cases.

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Understanding Deck Types in Yu-Gi-Oh!

Each deck in Yugioh belongs to a specific typing based on a variety of attributes. Zac Hill, former designer of Wizards of the Coast (creators of Magic: The Gathering) outlined specific deck types and their ideal representation within a given format. Such deck-types are aggro, control, combo, midrange, and hybrid. In an ideal format, each type represents about a quarter of all competitive decks.

However, in the game of Yugioh, this is hardly the case, as one deck-type may represent about 35% of the metagame, regardless of format. Popularity rules in Yugioh, which inadvertently creates opportunities for less popular decks to thrive. Why? Each deck-type (if well balanced), has strong and weak matchups against one another.

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2016 World Championship Analysis: Shunsuke Hiyama vs. Erik Christensen

The 2016 Yugioh World Championship featured a Blue-Eyes mirror-match final event between Shunsuke Hiyama of Japan, and Erik Christensen of the United States. This match definitely did not live up to expectations, as both duelists opened with a few sub-optimal hands. However, Christensen opened with two consecutive bad hands, costing him and the United States their chance at winning their first world title on home soil.

The core of each duelist’s decks is largely similar, albeit with one major difference in technical choices. Mathematically speaking, Hiyama’s deck is more consistent. In fact, Hiyama’s Blue-Eyes deck shows mathematical precision, from opening hand success rate, to his choice of a 42-card deck.

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Understanding Pot of Desires

Is Pot of Desires a bad card? Is the card too strong? On the other hand, is it too risky to play? It depends. This is probably the not the greatest answer. However, it is important to explore why this is the best answer to such a question. Most duelists likely already know Pot of Desires is splashable in every deck but is not worth splashing into every deck. In most cases, this card makes the rich richer, and everyone else not so well off. Take a look at the mathematical reasons why.

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Size and Power

In Solving the Trap Card Paradox, Patrick Hoban coins two terms to define two deck types. There are large decks and small decks. Paraphrasing Hoban’s definitions, large decks have many plays at their disposal, and such plays require minimal investment to achieve consistent success. Conversely, small decks have fewer plays and require a significant investment. Larger decks have an advantage against smaller decks. In other words, on average, the deck with the most plays at their disposal will win more duels.

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The Magic Number

There is no single aspect of creating a competitive deck. However, the best decks feature at least five elements elevating it into a realm with few peers. According to Reddit user I_Am_Not_Me, a top tier deck features the following elements: consistency, resource recursion, pressure, defense, and the ability to toolbox its way out of specific situations created by an opposing duelist. How can one individual accurately define such traits or qualities of whatever deck they are building? Unfortunately, there is no sure-fire way of figuring this out, albeit with one exception, consistency.

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