Duel Links Skill Discussion: I Was Quicker Than You

With the release of the Sad Cowboy variant of Kalin Kessler, we’ve received the new skill “I Was Quicker Than You.” It allows you to start the duel with two thousand extra life points, but only if you go first. Otherwise, your opponent gains two thousand life points. Previous life gain skills have required heavy costs for gaining more than one thousand life points, so they were rarely used in a competitive setting. But with the arrival of the chance of two thousand extra life points for nothing in exchange, the question is: Is it worth it? And what kind of decks would benefit from it? Is it really fine to risk giving your opponent two thousand lifepoints?

Extra Lifepoints Don’t Win Games

A sad but true reality is that two thousand more life points won’t buy you that much more time. And unless you have cards that interact with your own life points, you’d much rather have a skill that can aid offensive pressure, or help with deck thinning. For instance, “The Tie That Binds”, a skill that can boost all of your monsters by a maximum of three hundred attack points, is still a better investment than simply two thousand life points for the average deck. Because if your deck isn’t built with life point interaction in mind, two thousand life points won’t help you pressure your opponent, or keep card advantage, two very important parts of Duel Links. The life points will just sit there, doing nothing, until you lose, slightly later than you would have. That’s not even considering that it gives your opponents life points half the time.

But that isn’t to say that “I Was Quicker Than You” is a bad skill, it’s actually quite useful. But you absolutely need to build your deck around it. Or run a deck that’s weakness is life point costs. Or, in the best scenario, both. “I Was Quicker Than You” is a much needed olive branch to cards that up until now were nigh unplayable because of the high lifepoint costs. And if you use those cards in your strategies, you’ll be using the skill well.

Solemn Scolding, and Aromage

Solemn Scolding allows you to negate a monster summoning, or negate the activation of a spell, trap, or monster effect. To use it, it must be the only set spell or trap, and you must pay three thousand life points. Typically, this card has seen very little play. The reason is obvious: You would use it and have one thousand life points left. Plus, its hard to use in backrow heavy decks, due to its only set card requirement. So it was a very limited card in use. Aromage sometimes used it, because they both constantly gain life points, and all of their spells and traps are continuous. In fact, Aromage may even benefit from using “I Was Quicker Than You”, alongside multiple copies of Scolding. I’m not quite sure you’d run three Scolding, because multiple copies of Scolding can brick your hand. But it’s certainly worth testing at three, maybe it’s a good enough card to deal with a slight brick sometimes.


Another deck that has the potential for life point gain, that uses only continuous spells and traps, and even has the weakness of life point cost mentioned before, is D/D/D. D/D/D typically run three of their continuous trap, and multiple continuous spells. This, coupled with the fact that even without Scolding they often have life point issues, makes “I Was Quicker Than You” a great addition to the deck. D/D/D Oracle King d’Arc can boost your life points even further, making Scolding possible. I do admit that many builds of D/D/D rely on the skill Balance for consistency, and “I Was Quicker Than You” may hamper that consistency in exchange for more dynamic card options and greater longevity. But the possibilities of “I Was Quicker Than You” are certainly worth exploring within D/D/D, because there is too much innate synergy

Pay Life Points with Evil Eye

Evil Eye are largely focused on the card “Evil Eye of Selene.” This card that has the potential to rack up large amounts of Lifepoint costs. In this case, we would not run Solemn Scolding, because there is no potential for lifepoint gain in this deck, and even fewer ways to avoid the lifepoint payment. While you do also run “Evil Eye of Gorgoneio”, you should still be using Selene quite often. Evil Eye of Gorgoneio actually has fun “synergy” with the skill if you end up going second, because it gives your monster as much attack as the difference between your life points if your opponent has higher life points. These are admittedly simple reasons to run “I Was Quicker Than You”, and Evil Eye lacks much of the innate synergy that D/D/D have with the skill and the dynamic card options it allows you to play. But nevertheless, just because something is basic doesn’t mean it’s bad. If your deck needs to pay life points to exert offensive pressure, you might as well have two thousand more of it.

Cyber-Stein’s Life Points Cost

This is a mad lad thing to do, but you could throw a singular Cyber-Stein into any deck. And if you’ve decided to use this rad skill competitively, you’re already kind of a mad lad. I’ll go one step further and say that you could still run a cyber stein focused deck. Enter Performapals. Am I looking for any reason to run Performapals? Yes. Do Performapals have the option to cycle through your deck while not going minus, alongside plenty of defensive monsters, and a battle trap that allows you to thin your deck of two monsters? Also yes.

Imagine: You use Performapal Call, negate a direct attack, and add two monsters to your hand. Then, you use Drowning Mirror force cause hey, we really need that removal. Then, the next turn, you use “Performapal Recasting”, putting the added cards back to your deck, and drawing three cards. You draw Cyber-Stein with your roided up magical mallet. You summon it and bring out Ojama King. Your opponent is sad. This only works if you go first. But if you went second then the heart of the cards didn’t want you to win that one. You just have to take that L. Or further dilute your goofy stall deck with bad life point gaining cards, either works.

This is admittedly a goofy concept, but Cyber-Stein in a deck using “I Was Quicker Than You” is not. I believe Aromage decks that plan on running “I Was Quicker Than You” should strongly consider running one Cyber Stein. They can use it either in lieu of Scolding, or alongside it, depending on how well testing goes. Cyber-Stein was an incredibly toxic card when it was inconsistent to use. Now, it can be live immediately. Half the time.


“I Was Quicker Than You” is an untapped skill in terms of potential. I know this skill seems like a meme, and it kind of is. But I absolutely plan on grinding out some games with it on the ladder, I think it’s super underrated. Sure, sometimes it gives your opponent two thousand extra life points. That’s certainly not ideal. But those extra life points aren’t as relevant for your opponent as they would be for you. You’ll have more to gain. And yes, you do need to make sure your deck has capacity for life point gain. This is regardless of whether you’re using cards like cyber-stein and Solemn Scolding. But sometimes you just have to play the odds.

If you’re looking for an unexpected edge, or you just want to use Sad Cowboy Kalin Kessler but you don’t want to use Infernity, “I Was Quicker Than You” is more than worth it. Half the time.



My favorite archetype in duel links is Madolche, but only because Crystal Beast refuse to be funtional. Waiting for Yugioh Sevens with bated breath.

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