Wednesday, 31 October 2012

How do you define a balanced card?

Here's something worth talking about. The concept of whether or not a card is 'brokensauce' is one of the most subjective topics the game has to offer. Sometimes a card is considered too good by a player when they repeatedly lose to it, which is 100% driven by a sense of 'butthurt'. That is, feeling the need to get personal closure by attacking a certain card in particular, rather than looking at it and understanding what it is about it that makes it so difficult.

Now, while there are very powerful cards in the game, the majority of the cards released in booster sets are outright unplayable. They offer no real benefit and if you manage to find the situation to use it, the payoff is not worth it.

But what this article is about is the middle cards. The very narrow sweet spot that very few cards can actually fill. These are the Balanced cards.

Personally, I define a balanced card as:

"A card that gives an advantage proportionate to the amount of effort and resources used to use it at a competitive level"

In Layman's terms, if it does too much in one card, it's not balanced. Lets take a look at a few examples:

1. The Gadgets

The Gadget trio are a fantastic example of being balanced and playable. Their best ability is to be able to replace themselves when they are destroyed. Im terms of card advantage, It's not balanced since you replace the card in your hand and you have the gadget on your field, meaning a +1 overall. However the gadget you have summoned on the field is incredibly fragile and protecting it is essential for it to survive to your next turn. Simply put, if you want to keep your initial +1 that you got from the card, you have to work for it beyond the actual summon itself. There are other factors that make it balanced, like having to commit 6+ cards in your deck to effectively use them.

2. The Monarchs

All the monarchs can be considered balanced due to their inherent issue of having to be tribute summoned. This means that in a normal deck, you are gambling your field presence by upgrading to a bigger monster, in an attempt to knock a card(s) off your opponent's field. Of course, these days they are not at the highest competitive level simply because of inconsistencies and their inherent inability to keep up with the decks that are not balanced. But aside from that, it's a great example of gaining a nice advantage by using a proportionate level of available resources.

3. Maxx "C"

In my opinion this card is balanced but yours may differ. I believe it is so mainly because of it's main problem of needing to rely on the opponent. But what it does which many other cards cannot do, is turn your opponent's broken tier 1 competitive powerhouse into a level playing field, where skill starts to come into the game again. Unless your opponent is a terrible player who got his/her tier 1 deck paid for by their parents, they will know to stop their summons after you drop Maxx "C". That is the exact reason why it's becoming more and more of a staple. You are discarding a card when your opponent would special summon (the condition and situation needed to effectively use it), and you draw when they resolve their effect (The advantage gained, which at this point is none).

There are many other cards that we all know that follow the criteria of what is balanced. All you really need to do to know whether or not a card is balanced is by asking yourself the definition i stated above. For example, Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning is Unbalanced due to it being incredibly easy to summon, and has 2 very powerful effect that give the player advantage without any prior thought process.

The great thing about that definition is that no matter how the game changes in the future, it can always be applied to new cards to decide whether or not whining about the card is actually justified.

Comment down below what you reckon is the most balanced card in the game. I have a few but I can't choose.

The TCG Lover out!

Friday, 26 October 2012

2x Ninja Grandmaster Hanzo Wave 2 Tin Opening!!!

Very pleased overall. The Tin is amazing!

Don't forget to comment, thumbs up and SUBSCRIBE!

Monday, 22 October 2012

YCS Providence Simon He's Chaos Agent Decklist

Here's Simon He's Chaos Agent build he took to 5th place. More notably, he went undefeated on day 1, which says quite a bit more since only 2-3 people accomplish that feat per YCS.

Monsters: 29
3 Mystical Shine Ball
3 Master Hyperion
3 The Agent of Creation – Venus
2 The Agent of Mystery – Earth
2 Tragoedia
2 Tour Guide From the Underworld
2 Spirit Reaper
2 Maxx “C”
2 Effect Veiler
1 Chaos Sorcerer
1 Archlord Kristya
1 Thunder King Rai-Oh
1 Herald of Orange Light
1 Gorz the Emissary of Darkness
1 Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning
1 Honest
1 Sangan

Spells: 10
3 Mystical Space Typhoon

1 Enemy Controller

1 Forbidden Lance

1 Creature Swap

1 Dark Hole
1 Heavy Storm
1 Mind Control
1 Monster Reborn

Traps: 1
Treacherous Trap Hole

Extra Deck: 15
1 Armory Arm

1 Ally of Justice Catastor

1 Gaia Knight, the Force of Earth

1 Black Rose Dragon

1 Stardust Dragon
1 Number 96: Dark Mist
1 Gachi Gachi Gantetsu
1 Daigusto Phoenix
1 Wind-Up Zenmaines
1 Leviair the Sea Dragon
1 Number 17: Leviathan Dragon
1 Temtempo the Percussion Djinn
1 Number 30: Acid Golem of Destruction
1 Gem-Knight Pearl
1 Hieratic Sun Dragon Overlord of Heliopolis

Side Deck: 15
3 Gemini Imps
2 Gozen Match
2 Electric Virus
2 Royal Decree
2 Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror
1 Chimeratech Fortress Dragon
1 Effect Veiler
1 Cyber Dragon
1 System Down

Overall a very nice deck. 4 Agents made it into the top 16 so it looks like a great meta call. With the ability to churn out beaters with powerful effects, the deck has a great match-up against most rogue decks, which is something worth considering when playing 10 rounds with the possibility to play against anything.

Most Importantly, he decided to play a lot of hand traps, which says a lot about the game more than the deck itself. It's really important to be able to drop maxx "c" and veiler while being able to press on with big monsters. It's a really simple plan and it works really well.

Lastly, his Side deck made sure that he wouldn't have any problems against Wind-Ups (Gozen, Veiler), Geargia (CyDra, Chimeratech, System Down, Electric Virus) and Dark World (SIM and Gemini Imps). The other matchups can be taken care of with the already mained generic cards.

So yeah. Well done to the best duelist the UK has to offer!

TheTCGLover Out!

       PS. Buy this game, It's so awesome!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

I Hate Dark World

Seriously, I'm sick of losing to them. I've played them dozens of times and 9 times out of 10, I lose because of the exact same field.

I have nothing left, and they have 1 or 2 Graphas at 3000 each.

I'm sorry, but while the deck is very innovative and unique, the deck's ability to really hit the meta where it hurts is what gives it the edge beyond the point where it's unfair. But it's inherent ability to +1 whenever it summons a 2700-3000 beater and pot of greed every turn with it's field spell, means it can take down any Rogue deck with ease and most meta decks can't handle it in game one.

At this point, in my side deck I'm having to commit at least 4 cards specifically for Dark World matchups. If I'm playing Gravekeepers, then I'll use Gravekeeper's Watcher (Discard it to negate an effect that discards) since I can reuse it with Stele. But with Evols and Agents, I'm stuck using Gemini Imps and Shadow Imprisoning mirror, provided that I've already maxed out MSTs and whatnot.

It's the only deck that I can think of where a well thought out Side is the only real way of being able to come out of the match with the win. 4 out of 5 times you have to win your games 2 and 3 and that requires a consistent drawing of your sided cards at the right time. While the reason why they fall short is because "They lose to themselves" i.e. they have bad draws when the field spell is not up and they can open really badly, that reasoning only applies to a YCS setting where you are playing 8-10 rounds and your deck's consistency can really shine or shit on you.

But for Locals, Regionals and just casual dueling, the deck is outstanding. I know the rulings about how and when to use certain cards to beat them. For instance, I know that if you have MST/Dust Tornado set, you should wait until they banish a Fiend in their Graveyard for the field spell before chaining MST to destroy it, since Banishing is a cost. That can turn the game in your favour, but only for a turn or two until they draw another discard outlet and discard Snoww.

I put most of the blame on Grapha. The deck was inplayable before it, and Grapha gave the deck a huge push. It's the only boss monster in a structure deck where you'll get scolded by other players if you run any less than 3. It gives you advantage in more than 3 ways and that can't be compared to any other monster. The deck is built around it and that's why the best builds don't run Goldd or Sillva.

Regardless of how much I dislike that stupid card, It's not going to get hit unless the deck starts doing really well, which it wont simply due to the hilarity of the mirror match. But for someone who doesn't live in the US and their only way to play is by Locals and DN, Dark World is by far the number 1 most annoying deck to have to face.

I think it's time to take another look at my side deck before going to locals again.

The TCG Lover out!

Friday, 19 October 2012

YCS providence's top candidates

On a train back home so ill try and be clear and concise. With the next YCS coming up this weekend, we have almost next to 0 change in what to expect the best decks will be. Of course depending on the turnout, the amount of representation of a particular deck really helps it secure as many top 32 spots, where it really matters.

Of course having pro players piloting the deck among them pushes that chance tenfold.

So ideally it makes sense to look at what the best players are going to play to really get an idea. If they have all chosen to play grave keepers then it doesn't really help the chances since the deck is very linear. But a consistently good player will choose a deck that allows for some wiggle space when a scenario comes up and they have multiple ways to deal with it depending on what they're up against

Anyway my main prediction as to the top decks are wind ups, geargia and inzektors.

Wind ups due to their over saturation of players and mainly because of their showing in regionals leading up to this YCS. They seem to be claiming 2-4 top 8 spots in every one.

Geargia because there are some good players who have been trying the deck and I think this could be the YCS that really sets the good geargia players from the bad ones. However it's been a month and a half since the format started and the amount of side cards you can use to beat them is retarded. To summarise, any player can take game one, but it takes a good player to carry it through two and three.

I also picked inzektors because Billy Brake sets trends for fun. Everytime he does something, the playerbase hops onto his dick until he moves onto a new deck.

Anyway that's my prediction. My next video on my channel will be a video analysing the top 32 and downwards, most likely on Monday when I return to campus.

Stay pro, TCG Lovers!

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Feelings Toward the Future | Episode 1 | Oyacorn

Hey readers. Here's my next video up on my channel. I've decided to group all future card reviews (On my Channel, not my blog) that are of cards that are not currently out in the TCG called Feelings Toward the Future.

Please comment below on what you liked/disliked about the video. It would be a really great help for me to take this segment in the right direction.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Radiant Photon Paradios | Card Review

Expect all posts to be shared onto my blog from now on. Please watch and give a like!

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Noble Knight Decklist (Suggest Fixes!)

Here's a deck I've been playing around with, switching cards in and out and trying new approaches. Here's my first draft.

Monsters - 20
3x NK Artorigus
3x NK Gawayn
3x Alexandrite Dragon
2x Rescue Rabbit
3x Elemental HERO Neos Alius
1x Elemental HERO Stratos
1x Gorz the Emmisary of Darkness
1x Maxx "C"
2x Effect Veiler
1x Honest

Spells - 14
2x Gemini Spark
1x E-Emergency Call
1x Reinforcement of the Army
2x Miracle Fusion
1x Heavy Storm
2x Mystical Space Typhoon
1x Monster Reborn
1x Dark Hole
1x Pot of Avarice
2x Pot of Duality

Traps - 7
2x Solemn Warning
1x Solemn Judgment
2x Torrential Tribute
1x Dimensional Prison
1x Compulsory Evacuation Device

Extra Deck - 15
1x Blade Armor Ninja
2x Heroic Champion Excalibur
1x Maestroke the Symphony Djinn
1x Number 16: Shock Master
1x Number 32: Shark Drake
1x Number 91: Thunder Spark Dragon
1x Number 39: Utopia
1x Number C39: Utopia Ray
2x Elemental HERO The Shining
1x Elemental HERO Gaia 
1x Ally of Justice Catastor
1x Stardust Dragon

Comment on fixes or what you like about the deck. Once Ignoble Knight Laundsallyn gets put on DN I will find space for it.

TheTCGLover Out!

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Yu-Gi-Oh Card Review: Ignoble Knight of Black Laundsallyn

Hello readers. The Abyss Rising Sneak Peek has been announced, and with that, the Promo card which you will receive per entry into the sneak has been revealed too.

Check out my channel on the right side of this blog to see the video. But if you prefer to read, then stay awhile and listen. Presenting, Ignoble Knight of Black Laundsallyn

"You can send 1 Face-Up Light Normal monster you control to the graveyard; Special summon this card from your hand or graveyard. You can tribute 1 "Noble Knight" monster: add 1 "Noble Arms" card from your deck to your hand. You can only use the effect of this card once per turn. You can only control 1 of these on the field at a time."

So by giving up a light normal monster, you can put a 2000 beater on the field. It doesn't have to be a Noble Knight so it does have versatility outside of the deck. By summoning it from the hand, you take a -1, but that's okay if you have to do that to get over their Thunder King.

Now you can tribute it or another Noble Knight to add a Noble Arms card. So far there's only one, Gallatin. It's not that great but I'm 99% sure that Abyss Rising will pack some Noble Arms cards as TCG Exclusives. Hopefully something that will make use of this card.

The best way to get it on the field without taking too much of a neg is by using Rescue Rabbit. It puts 2 monsters on the field in one card, then you tribute it to summon this, then tribute the other Noble Knight to add Gallatin. So overall you make back 1 of the two cards you had in your hand, and you have a 2000 beater on the field. It's not great but getting it on the field efficiently is the only way this card is going to find itself in any deck.

But once it dies, it's true power comes into play. It's ability to turn all normal summons into 2000 beaters is nothing to scoff at. 2000 is a magical number. It goes into 8000 four times and almost any normal summon can't get over it. So being able to summon this card over and over again can be devastating against an open field. It's just that initial "getting it out the hand and into the graveyard" means you should only run 2 of them maximum. 

So yeah, this is a very interesting card that will surely get better once we know what the new TCG Exclusives are. Definitely watch this space!

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Good Side Deck cards for this format

Hey. It seems that there are a lot of people who may be having trouble understanding what cards you should be putting in your side deck this format, due to the increased diversity and many side deck cards not being able to hit a broad range of decks. While you can just look up pros on google and see what they have been siding, there is never a really good explanation for those cards. But there are other cards that may not be used right now. I'll go over some of them and talk a bit about each one.

Nobleman of Crossout
Strong Against: Geargias, Gravekeepers and Ryko

Nobleman has slowly started creeping up in side decks. Geargia's main search card, Geargiarmor has proven to be one of the best flip effect monsters ever made. It's inherent spamability with stuff like Book of moon and Karakuri Strategist means you can get it's effect off multiple times a turn. While Nobleman of Crossout only banishes monsters from the deck if they have the "FLIP:" effect, the fact that it kills it and banishes it means it can't be retrieved with Geargiaccelerator. And it's better than shield crush since if you hit a face down Geargiaccelerator, then you will have probably helped them more than you would have liked. Aside from Geargia, Gravekeepers creep up and Ryko in Chaos Dragons is one of their main dumping methods. If you hit the Ryko, they are forced to rely on drawing Lyla (Which is way slower) or Card Trooper.

Needle Ceiling
Strong Against: Wind-Ups, Six Samurai 

A few of the pro players have started playing 2-3 of these in their sides. If you analyse the most optimal wind-up play currently being used, you'll realize that before any xyz summons happen, the wind-up player will have 1 Wind-Up Shark, 2 Wind-Up Magicians and another Wind-Up (Either another Shark or Rat). That play will always put 4 monsters on their field and Needle Ceiling can clear the board. It's a really good example of a bad card suddenly becoming good just because of a player's tendencies when playing a certain deck. Six Samurai are not really likely to put 4 monsters on the board without making Shi En first, but after a resolved Double Edged Sword Technique, it may suddenly become live and generally, if you summon 3 monsters and your opponent has not activated their face down, it's most likely something that triggers in the battle phase or a bluff. You can imagine their surprise when they overextend by one more card and suddenly they lose it all.

Super Polymerization
Strong Against: HEROs, Gladiator Beast or any deck if you're playing HEROs

Every Omni HERO is out so no attribute is off limits for this card anymore. If your extra deck can fit 3-4 HERO Monsters, then it can really pay off running this card. It's no response ability against HEROs hurts them so hard. Chainable traps and spells are so good right now and to take their Gemini Spark target away or forcing them to Compulsory an Absolute Zero (you may see this once Atlanteans come out) is too good not to pass up. I mentioned Gladiator Beast because people still play that deck and when it works, it works very well. Super Poly on their Prisma takes their precious normal summon away.

Gemini Imps
Strong Against: Dark World, Gravekeeper's

This card can put in so much work. Cards like Dark World Dealings always sound like it's going to be a fair trade off. Well it never is and negating their card while replacing the imps is the best way to deal with their retarded Discard/Draw power. It's worth remembering that Sides like this are only to deal with those rogue Tier 2 decks you see on day 1 of a YCS. They will most likely only take 1 spot in the top 32, but if you let your guard down and don't have any sides against them, they will be just as potent as any of the Tier 1 decks. Losing to a Tier 1 deck now and again is fine, but losing to anything else and using "I was not prepared since it's not Tier 1" is not a valid excuse and it all shows up the same on the leader board.

Snowman Eater
Strong Against: HERO, Thunder King, Rock Stun

Another card worth having sided just in case of those random matchups you're not expecting. It's 1900 defense means against HERO, they will more often than not have to waste cards like Gemini Spark to get over it. Miracle Fusion will help them out, but not if they make anything other than The Shining. I put rock stun because they focus around 1900 beaters and their Xyz monsters will generally not be able to handle it either. Even Guardian has to send itself to negate snowman so at the very least it's a 1-for-1.

Maxx "C"
Strong Against: Wind-Ups, Dark World (Kind of), Samurai, Hieratics, Chaos Dragons, Agents

Any extra copies you are not running in your main might as well be in your side deck. It's been a great card for a year now. It hits a wide range of decks and combining it with Tragoedia is now the most effective way of dealing with OTKs. Slamming a 4000+ Tragoedia down after they have gone for broke will probably be enough to win right there. There are so many opportunities to chain it's effect that it's worth maining just as much as Effect Veiler.

These are just a few of the many good Side Deck cards of this format. Whatever takes Precedence in Rhode Island will determine how many spots in your side deck you need to cater to stop a certain deck. It's pretty common sense really, yet people are still putting crap like Warrior Elimination to stop HERO. It just doesn't do enough to warrant the space.

Until next time, The TCG Lover out!

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Yu-Gi-Oh Card Review: Flashing Carat Dragon - Stardust

Hello readers. I hope you enjoyed my LC03 opening. I was thinking about what to post for the last couple of days, but then suddenly this surfaced...

What you are looking at is the manga equivalent of Stardust Dragon, called Flashing Carat Dragon - Stardust. While it looks identical, not just the dragon itself but it's level, attribute, attack, defense and type, it  boasts a different effect. 

1 Tuner + 1 or more non-Tuner monsters
Once per turn, during either player's turn: You can target 1 card on the field; that target cannot be destroyed this turn. While this card is face-up on the field, it's name is treated as "Stardust Dragon"

So how has this change in effect kept it worth reviewing? 

Well Stardust's ability to negate a card once a turn and come back in the end phase meant it was not a sitting duck after it had used it's effect. It could zip in and out of the playing field and stopped stuff like Zenmaines as well as another destruction card earlier in the turn. It's always proven itself to be a powerful tool that can seal games when timed correctly. 

But this card is different, it's not so much about quantity, it's about quality. You sometimes don't want your Stardust Dragon to be in the graveyard. You want it on the field to keep your life points safe. But Carat allows for it to select any card (Including itself) and stop it being destroyed. It means that if a card like, let's say, Dark Hole, activates: Stardust has to leave the field while Carat can just protect itself and any advance made that turn is useless since it can't be destroyed by battle either. In that scenario, Stardust is better when you have a field of 5 monsters, but if you actually managed that and didn't win last turn, then you pretty much deserve to lose your field.

Because of the way the game has become, it's not about amassing an army to beat your opponent to death. We have 2 Torrential Tribute, Mirror Force and Bottomless Trap Hole. All of these cards are played at their max numbers and overextending your field is just not going to happen. However being able to make a single 2500 beater that can't be destroyed will keep putting in work turn after turn.

And we haven't even started on the second effect. Because it's treated as Stardust Dragon, you can use Formula Synchron to make Shooting Star Dragon as well. You can also summon Stardust Xiaolong from your graveyard when it's summoned. It's not a huge deal, but it's better than nothing.

Seriously, I can't wait for this card to come out. While synchros are no where near played as much as they used to, many decks can make it and this card is absolutely brutal. If you've played against Constellar Omega on the Dueling Network recently, you'll understand how frustrating monsters like that can be.

Until next time, The TCG Lover out!