There are some similarities between Yugioh and fighting games such as Street Fighter. Two players face off with the objective of reducing an opponent’s life points to zero. However, selecting archetypes in Yugioh is similar to selecting characters. Each archetype has special traits and abilities helping to separate itself from others. Duelists must learn how to take advantage of specific effects and monsters to achieve consistent success. This is no different from learning how to use a character in Street Fighter. In fighting games, each character has specific moves stringed together to form a combo. Some combos are essential tools for a character’s overall playing style. Members of the fighting game community view such combos as the “bread and butter” of a character. Archetypes in Yugioh are no different.
Each archetype in Yugioh has specific plays and combos in which a duelist expects to see at least once out of every three duels. Furthermore, each play represents the heart and soul of the archetype in many respects. Understanding what to expect when using and dueling against such plays may help to reduce any related learning curves. Below is the Bread and Butter Index, listing some common archetypes and their most frequent plays and combos. However, the following tables provide more of an analytical take on plays and combos in contrast to being a tutorial on how to use a specific archetype.
Eligibility here is simple: A play must occur more than a third of the time and is integral to the success of the archetype’s playing style.
Table of Contents
Here is a classification of several archetypes by the level of risk associated with their most frequent plays, from highest to lowest. Several attributes help define the risk factor of such plays such as consistency, footprint, net advantage, and whether the play consumes a normal summon. Here is a key defining each of the terms used in subsequent charts:
|D/D/D||Variable||Seigfried + Crystal Wing||4|
|True Draco||D. Knuckle/Draius + S/T||Searches Trap/Level 9 Wyrm||3|
|Constellar||Kaus + Instant Fusion/Pollux/Algiedi||Constellar Pleiades||3|
|Metalfoes||3 Pendulum Monsters (2 with matching scales)||One Monster on field, two in Pendulum Zones||3|
|Kozmo||Ships and Pilots||Almost Any Level 5 and Higher Kozmo Monster||3|
|Burning Abyss||2 BA Monsters/Tour Guide||Dante||3|
|Red-Eyes||Red-Eyes Fusion||Red-Eyes Fusion Monster||3|
|lSwarm||Rescue Rabbit/Castor/Unexpected Dai + lSwarm Monster||Evilswarm Ophion||3|
|Paleozoic||At least 2 Paleozoic Monsters + Any Chainable Trap||Opportunity to Summon Two Paleozoic Monsters||3|
|Blue-Eyes||Melody of Awakening Dragon/BEAWD + BEWD/D. Shrine||Blue-Eyes Alternative White Dragon||3|
|ABC||Union Hangar + Gold/Silver Gadget/Photon Thrasher||ABC Dragon Buster + Bujintei Tsukuyomi||2|
|Eidolon||Aliester + 7 Monsters||Eidolon Beast||2|
|60-Card Mill||That Grass Looks Greener /Left Arm Offering||Variable||2|
|Bujin||Bujin Yamato/Tenki||Bujin Yamato||2|
|Nekroz||Unicore + Kaleidoscope||Nekroz of Unicore + 1 Search||2|
|Masked HERO||A Hero Lives||Elemental Hero Shadow Mist + Mask Change||2|
|Windwitch||Windwitch – Ice Bell||Crystal Wing||2|
|Zoodiac||Triangle/Rat/Tenki||Emeral + Drancia (Draw 1)||1|
|Zefra||Zefratora Grammaton + Scale 1||Searches Hand Traps||0|
Here is a key defining each of the terms used in subsequent charts:
Minimum Frequency: In order to this play at least once in three duels, what is the lowest frequency allowable? Higher is better. Several attributes help define the risk factor of such plays such as consistency, footprint, net advantage, and whether the play consumes a normal summon.
Maximum Frequency: How frequent can this play occur, provided the user have the appropriate resources available in the deck? Higher is better.
Minimum Footprint: In order for this play to occur once in three duels, how many cards will this play consume within the deck? Lower is better.
Maximum footprint: In order to achieve maximum consistency, how many cards will this play consume within the deck? Lower is better.
Footprint Percentage Increase: How drastic is the jump in footprint in order to maximize frequency? Lower is better.
Consistency Percentage Increase: How drastic is the jump in play frequency from minimum to maximum? Higher is better.
Consistency/Footprint: This value represents the level of consistency based on additional resources added to the play. Higher is better.
Investment: How many cards are required from the hand to initiate this play? Lower is better.
Disruptive: Is the result of this play capable of disrupting the opponent’s plays during their turn?
Normal Summon: Does this play consume the user’s normal summon?
Net Advantage: Will this play provide extra cards for the user, or deplete their hand? Higher is better.
Risk Factor: How costly is this play, considering all other factors?
|Archetype||Requirement||Minimum Frequency||Maximum Frequency||Result|
|D/D/D||Variable||36%||36%||Seigfried + Crystal Wing|
|True Draco||D. Knuckle/Draius + S/T||37%||49%||Searches Trap/Level 9 Wyrm|
|Constellar||Kaus + Instant Fusion/Pollux/Algiedi||37%||51%||Constellar Pleiades|
|Metalfoes||3 Pendulum Monsters (2 with matching scales)||35%||45%||One Monster on field, two in Pendulum Zones|
|Kozmo||Ships and Pilots||37%||82%||Almost Any Level 5 and Higher Kozmo Monster|
|Burning Abyss||2 BA Monsters/Tour Guide||42%||85%||Dante|
|Red-Eyes||Red-Eyes Fusion||34%||58%||Red-Eyes Fusion Monster|
|lSwarm||Rescue Rabbit/Castor/Unexpected Dai + lSwarm Monster||37%||66%||Evilswarm Ophion|
|Paleozoic||At least 2 Paleozoic Monsters + Any Chainable Trap||34%||37%||Opportunity to Summon Two Paleozoic Monsters|
|Blue-Eyes||Melody of Awakening Dragon/BEAWD + BEWD/D. Shrine||35%||47%||Blue-Eyes Alternative White Dragon|
|ABC||Union Hangar + Gold/Silver Gadget/Photon Thrasher||37%||45%||ABC Dragon Buster + Bujintei Tsukuyomi|
|Eidolon||Aliester + 7 Monsters||34%||76%||Eidolon Beast|
|60-Card Mill||That Grass Looks Greener /Left Arm Offering||36%||42%||Variable|
|Bujin||Bujin Yamato/Tenki||34%||58%||Bujin Yamato|
|Nekroz||Unicore + Kaleidoscope||37%||40%||Nekroz of Unicore + 1 Search|
|Masked HERO||A Hero Lives||34%||34%||Elemental Hero Shadow Mist + Mask Change|
|Windwitch||Windwitch – Ice Bell||34%||34%||Crystal Wing|
|Zoodiac||Triangle/Rat/Tenki||34%||74%||Emeral + Drancia (Draw 1)|
|Zefra||Zefratora Grammaton + Scale 1||37%||77%||Celestial Crusade of the Zefra|
|Archetype||Requirement||Minimum Footprint||Maximum Footprint||Result|
|D/D/D||Variable||21||21||Seigfried + Crystal Wing|
|True Draco||D. Knuckle/Draius + S/T||13||18||Searches Trap/Level 9 Wyrm|
|Constellar||Kaus + Instant Fusion/Pollux/Algiedi||13||19||Constellar Pleiades|
|Metalfoes||3 Pendulum Monsters (2 with matching scales)||15||21||One Monster on field, two in Pendulum Zones|
|Kozmo||Ships and Pilots||13||36||Almost Any Level 5 and Higher Kozmo Monster|
|Burning Abyss||2 BA Monsters/Tour Guide||13||34||Dante|
|Red-Eyes||Red-Eyes Fusion||5||13||Red-Eyes Fusion Monster|
|lSwarm||Rescue Rabbit/Castor/Unexpected Dai + lSwarm Monster||8||24||Evilswarm Ophion|
|Paleozoic||At least 2 Paleozoic Monsters + Any Chainable Trap||13||16||Opportunity to Summon Two Paleozoic Monsters|
|Blue-Eyes||Melody of Awakening Dragon/BEAWD + BEWD/D. Shrine||4||13||Blue-Eyes Alternative White Dragon|
|ABC||Union Hangar + Gold/Silver Gadget/Photon Thrasher||16||17||ABC Dragon Buster + Bujintei Tsukuyomi|
|Eidolon||Aliester + 7 Monsters||14||27||Eidolon Beast|
|60-Card Mill||That Grass Looks Greener /Left Arm Offering||5||6||Variable|
|Bujin||Bujin Yamato/Tenki||3||6||Bujin Yamato|
|Nekroz||Unicore + Kaleidoscope||15||17||Nekroz of Unicore + 1 Search|
|Masked HERO||A Hero Lives||5||5||Elemental Hero Shadow Mist + Mask Change|
|Windwitch||Windwitch – Ice Bell||5||9||Crystal Wing|
|Zoodiac||Triangle/Rat/Tenki||4||10||Emeral + Drancia (Draw 1)|
|Zefra||Zefratora Grammaton + Scale 1||17||31||Searches Hand Traps|
|Archetype||Requirement||Footprint % Increase||Consistency % Increase||Consistency-Footprint|
|ABC||Union Hangar + Gold/Silver Gadget/Photon Thrasher||6%||22%||3.46|
|Eidolon||Aliester + 7 Monsters||93%||124%||1.33|
|Zefra||Zefratora Grammaton + Scale 1||82%||108%||1.31|
|True Draco||D. Knuckle/Draius + S/T||38%||32%||0.84|
|60-Card Mill||That Grass Looks Greener /Left Arm Offering||20%||17%||0.83|
|Constellar||Kaus + Instant Fusion/Pollux/Algiedi||46%||38%||0.82|
|Metalfoes||3 Pendulum Monsters (2 with matching scales)||40%||29%||0.71|
|Kozmo||Ships and Pilots||177%||122%||0.69|
|Burning Abyss||2 BA Monsters/Tour Guide||162%||102%||0.63|
|Nekroz||Unicore + Kaleidoscope||13%||8%||0.61|
|lSwarm||Rescue Rabbit/Castor/Unexpected Dai + lSwarm Monster||200%||78%||0.39|
|Paleozoic||At least 2 Paleozoic Monsters + Any Chainable Trap||23%||9%||0.38|
|Blue-Eyes||Melody of Awakening Dragon/BEAWD + BEWD/D. Shrine||225%||34%||0.15|
|Masked HERO||A Hero Lives||0%||0%||0.00|
|Windwitch||Windwitch – Ice Bell||80%||0%||0.00|
|Archetype||Investment||Disruptive?||Normal Summon||Net Advantage|
Conservative Plays Are Too Powerful
Currently, the game of Yugioh favors low-cost plays by a considerable margin. Outside of personal preference, why consider riskier plays if the result is not similar to what D/D decks are capable of outputting? The data illustrates some of the cheapest plays are capable of outputting powerful boards along with generating positive card advantage. Additionally, most archetypes revolving around one-card plays are splashable within other archetypes featuring riskier, less consistent plays.
Currently, there is an imbalance between the advantages provided for duelists opening first and second. The duelist opening second draws an additional card to gain an advantage in consistency. However, the prevalence of low-risk, high-consistency plays dampens the effect drawing one extra card. The turn one player will still own a largely consistent opening hand with five cards, and output a powerful board. The winner of the die roll is has a significant advantage here.
Provide More Utility to High-Risk Decks
Currently, there are few alternatives available for cards belonging to riskier plays. As the data illustrates, the average footprint of high-risk plays consumes anywhere from a quarter to over half of a 40-card deck. From here, the user will still need to invest into other cards to improve consistency, disruption, and other areas. Providing utility to cards belonging to expensive plays could mitigate this negative side effect. Popular examples include the Nekroz and Darklord archetypes, as some monsters have additional effects providing general utility to the user such as protection, searching, and draw power. However, such effects activate from the hand instead of the field or graveyard.
Providing additional utility to pieces involved in high-risk plays will not reduce the risks involved regarding consistency, footprint, and the number of cards required. However, this will provide the user with more options; a luxury the conservative players enjoy due to being able to play more cards that are non-essential. In the meantime, users of high-risk decks will need a continuous study of the metagame to get the most value out of its limited deck space.
The bread and butter index serves to highlight factors involved with some of the most common plays in a particular archetype. However, analyzing the data illustrates a concern. The current game state provides significant advantages for conservative plays, reducing players’ incentive of choosing costlier decks. One possible solution involves providing additional utility to parts belonging to riskier plays, presenting more options for the duelist.
Expect to see more archetypes and plays added to this list within the coming weeks.
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