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Basic deckbuilding and deckbuilding theory.

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Basic deckbuilding and deckbuilding theory.

Post by Kira Yoshikage on Fri Aug 12, 2016 2:09 am

*DISCLAIMER: Everything stated in this article is a compilation of what I know, as well as some points and ideas concerning playtesting cards and ratios that were stated in an old DuelistGroundz article I read years ago (I have never been a part of that forum, nor would I ever care to be).

Not everybody will have the same mindset as me when it comes to these concepts, nor will everybody agree. If you don't feel like reading over a huge wall of text, this is not for you. And finally, this topic was made to help those who struggle with deckbuilding (Casual or competitive) and/or are newer to the game. (In that case, just pay more attention to the basics rather than anything that is more complex).*



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So, deck building in the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game is probably the most important aspect within it. If your deck is not properly built, you generally will not see favorable results in its performance. This article is solely to give people my insight on deckbuilding, and how I usually go through my phases of testing different cards, decks and ratios.


1. Starting off, you have to have a general idea of what kind of deck you want to build. Once you have that figured out, choose what cards and combos you would like to include within the deck. Don't pick a card that serves no purpose in the deck, does not advance your gamestate, or fit the strategy your deck is going to follow. Make sure that these cards and combos are practical and powerful at the same time, and do not require you to put yourself at an inherent disadvantage. When you've gotten your power plays and combos, think to yourself: "What does this deck struggle against?" If it struggles against floodgates and/or disruptive backrow, you may want to side the right cards for that matchup.

If your deck has a bad recovery game and is weak to mass removal, consider playing cards that can recover your board preencelike Soul Charge or Call of the Haunted . Also, consider playing cards like Wiretap, Dark Bribe, Solemn Strike and so on to deal with cards or effects that can hinder your plays. Finally, when everything is all said and done, you want to add consistency to your deck. Cards like Pot of Duality, Reinforcement of the Army, Allure of Darkness, Upstart Goblin, Pot of Desires and Card of Demise make it easier to see the cards you need when you need them, by either drawing them, searching for them or trimming your deck down so that you can draw what you need easier. Why is this important? Because if you don't play consistency cards, you aren't going to advance your gamestate as easily as people who do play them. It lessens the potential to draw a dead hand, and it gives you a chance to get what you need when you need it.


2. Now that we have all of that out of the way, let's get into what is really important; How to optimize your ratios. Generally speaking, you want a balance of power plays, consistency and outs to what you struggle with, but at the same time you want your deck to do what it's best at to it's fullest potential. For example, a Blue-Eyes deck is focused on killing the opponent early on through sheer force and removal. Blue-Eyes decks will generally run an average monster lineup of around 18-20 monsters, a lot of search power, ways to get their cards onto the field quickly and reviving monsters from the graveyard with the rest of the deck normally taken up by S/T removal, due to their weakness to floodgates and backrow.

On the other hand, a deck like Gravekeeper will be more focused on controlling the opponent's gamestate with a large plethora of trap cards, a modest lineup of monsters generally focused on applying field pressure and gaining small +1's  and a small lineup of spell cards that are usually geared toward stunning the opponent or getting to their key cards that keep the opponent going at their own pace. They are usually weak to S/T removal, so they play cards like Malefic Stardust Dragon, Master Key Beetle and so on to protect their key field spell card: "Necrovalley." They also main deck floodgates that are effective against the meta decks, as well as some rogue decks. While these floodgates can sometimes hinder you, they absolutely destroy the opposing player.



What you generally want to do when deckbuilding is highlight what your decks strengths are or that it's performance is optimized, touch up on its weaknesses so that you can combat your match-ups more efficiently, and include enough consistency so that you will get the cards you need without sacrificing too much speed and/or power. If your ratios aren't balanced out well enough, then your deck won't flow properly and efficiently.


3. So taking all of this into account, you will want to begin seeing how your deck functions with the ratios and cards you are currently using. Look carefully for good results in the decks performance. Start by playtesting your current build. A good amount of games to play in each testing phase is about 50 or more. Once you've reached a level of accuracy, you will be able to determine what you want to do next. If you are unsatisfied or you feel like doing something different with your build, you'll want to move to testing different ratios or cards in the deck from the results of your testing. Don't just play 5 games and make a change to your deck based on those 5 games, because you may have lost simply due to bad luck, and making that change to your deck could leave a negative impact.


Well, that's all that came to my mind while typing this out. This is pretty much how I build/work on decks (Unless the deck is just for the lolz.) I hope this post helps people who are newer or less experienced with the game, or who have difficulty building decks in general. Let me know what you all think about the topic! I'd love to hear comments and criticism(So long as it is constructive) ^_^

And yes, this is mostly geared toward competitive deckbuilding and topping events.


Last edited by Alint on Fri Oct 14, 2016 11:55 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Basic deckbuilding and deckbuilding theory.

Post by Flint on Fri Oct 14, 2016 11:55 pm

Bump. Formatted.

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Re: Basic deckbuilding and deckbuilding theory.

Post by Flare on Sat Oct 15, 2016 12:48 am

I would have liked to see if you used a sample deck and go in-depth talking about the measures you're taking in your post and how it is an effective way of building rather than doing the alternative/opposite. Not to say what you're saying doesn't hold ground, I just felt it would have been effective to show the effects of taking these steps.

This suggestion could probably take up a whole post on its own. I thought it would have been an effective discussion on how ratios should be discovered when looking at separate decks and archetypes. Along with taking into account player preference.

I think the advice that would greatly help is to remind the user what kind of metagame they are in. Depending on trends of popular cards and decks, players might want to account for that by properly adding cards in the side or even main deck.

Lastly have you thought of making a post dedicated to talking about side decks?

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