Friday, 11 May 2012

[Battle Pack] Deckbuilding 101

DISCLAIMER: As the pack has not been released yet, the following may not work for everyone. If these tips turn out to be useless...well, I tried

I was reading Konami's articles about the Battle Pack, looking for inspiration for something to write about for this blog. While ending up at AlterRealityGames' website, I ran into this article explaining some tips for how to build a deck out of the sealed pool. So from those two sources, I thought that I'd share some personal tips about how to build a deck from a limited card pool.

The main reason why I love sealed play is that it reminds me of when I started playing Yugioh when I was just 8 years old. Back then, I only had ~100 cards to work with, not to mention the internet was not the source of information for netdeckers as it is now. That being said, sealed play is very similar to what i've experienced when I was younger: you only have 50 cards to work with, and while the internet can give you tips on what cards in the set work well with each other, its up to you to figure out how to make a functional deck with what you got.

Konami's first article explains the composition of the battle pack. From this article, there are some tips that are not explicitly explained, but those tips could be the difference between winning and losing. For example...

TIP #1: Monsters are the most important part of your deck
How does this show in the article? Remember that the pack was specifically detailed to work for sealed play, right down to the small details such as the print run and controlling the purpose of each card slot in a pack. The article explains the role of the five slots:

  1. Card Slot 1’s card mix includes many of the most powerful cards in the set – the cards that will really make an impact when played.
  2. CARD SLOT 2: These cards either destroy monsters, Spells, or Traps, or else alter the outcome of a battle. But Spells and Traps with other effects can also be found here. 
  3. CARD SLOT 3: These are your higher-ATK monsters
  4. CARD SLOT 4: These are lower-ATK monsters that are included for their utility
  5. CARD SLOT 5: Wild-Card Slot
Do you see what I see? Two of the five slots are guaranteed to be monsters. None of the slots guarantee a spell or trap card. You could possibly open a pack containing only monsters, and in my opinion that would not be a bad thing. Without monsters, you cannot damage your opponent, and you cannot win.

TIP #2: Spells and Traps push your deck to victory
You might be asking "Isn't this the opposite of Tip 1?" Well, the first tip explains how monsters are crucial to winning. However, the role of spells and traps are there to help out your monsters achieve your win condition. The scariest monsters in the early days of Yugioh (pre-Pharaoh Servant) were Blue-Eyes, Summoned Skull, and La Jinn. The scariest spells and traps? Raigeki, Dark Hole, Heavy Storm, Solemn Judgement. Hey wait, those spells and traps I just mentioned are in the Battle Pack. This goes back to the previous paragraph on when I played Yugioh when I was younger. They had the scariest spells and traps, but it was still a monster-oriented game. The spells and traps were there however to pave the way for your monsters

Look at the first two card slots. These slots, along with the unpredictable wild card slot, contain the most powerful cards of the set. It also contains spells and traps, which show just how high the power level the spells and traps are relative to the monsters.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

[Cube] - An Intro

If you have seen my old blog, you would know that I own a Yugioh Cube. A Cube, which is more popular in Magic: The Gathering, is a collection of cards with the purpose of playing limited formats, such as sealed play a la Battle Pack, or via draft similar to the Retro or Classic drafts Konami holds in their side events at YCS's. It's like creating your own Battle Pack set, you decide how "balanced" the cards in the set are, and you decide how large or small the set is.

Basically, the owner of the Cube controls the meta of the limited environment. If the cube owner wanted a meta where stall and burn was the best archetype, then his cube would be filled with cards that do just that. If he really wanted zombies to be the best archetype, then his cube would be filled with zombies and zombie support. My personal cube is 660 cards, with the most powerful cheap cards throughout the history of Yugioh. Since I don't necessarily rake in money, and I do not buy much sealed product to begin with, I cannot add all the really expensive cards that come out (*cough* Card Car D) so I limit myself to $10/card via Trollandtoad, unless I can pick up the card through trades.

The reason why Cube is such a fun and different way to play Yugioh is because of how you get to use cards that may not be strong enough to use in a Constructed tournament. For example, My personal cube has cards like Dark Ruler Ha Des, Tribute to the Doomed, Tsukuyomi and Imperial Order. While the first two cards are not good enough to play in an YCS, and the last two cards are so good that they are banned, since I decide what is and isn't legal in a cube, they are all in. My cube contains almost all of the most powerful cards in the history of Yugioh; such as the Trinity (Pot of Greed, Delinquent Duo, Graceful Charity), Heavy Storm, Dark Hole, Raigeki, Harpie's Feather Duster, Yata-Garasu and Exchange of the Spirit, among other banned and great cards.

If you have never tried a Cube, I suggest you do, It is one of the few reasons why I still have any interest in the game.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Battle Pack: Epic Dawn - 7 thoughts

The main reason why I started this blog was the advent of Battle Pack: Epic Dawn, which is Konami's attempt of making sealed play relevant in YuGiOh. Now the actual release is in three weeks, and the set isn't fully revealed yet, but that does not mean that I cannot post thoughts about what I want in this pack

  1. If you are getting this for the reprints, realize that there isn't that many money cards bar TGU and maybe Forbidden Lance and Gem-Knight Pearl that have been revealed for this set. Sure there may be more revealed shortly but TGU is the only money card that can be easily moved. Not to mention they removed Zenmaines from the list because of how good it is.
  2. Forum playerbase =/= Real-Life playerbase. I realize elitist players are more likely to frequent YuGiOh forums compared to casual players, but I can't help to shudder at the whole discussion on Pojo's Battle Pack thread. The whole thread is one big discussion on the "pull-rate" of TGU, the fact that wannabe vendors are pulling their pre-orders because they cannot pull a profit, and the fact that sealed play itself hasn't been discussed that well since the first thread.
  3. Fiendish Chain will not be in this pack... in my opinion because of the Six Samurai structure deck. Just remember that Kevin Tewart never explicitly said that Fiendish Chain is in the set, just that it was a good card for sealed.
  4. Sealed =/= Draft. As a pure limited Magic: the Gathering player (I do not own any MtG cards, all cards I draft or recieve in my Sealed Pool is sold/traded/given to my friends) I prefer drafts over sealed. I admit however that sealed is much better for new limited players over draft because the difficulty level is much lower, but drafting itself is sometimes more interesting and fun than the actual duels itself. I also admit that like myself, the majority of  people who show interest in limited play in Yugioh has experience in limited formats of other CCGs. 
  5. If Konami is serious with this whole limited format push, they will need to release a new expansion pack a few months after the release of Epic Dawn. From my experiences of MtG, sets can get stale as soon as after the 3rd draft, and with the attention span of the Yugioh playerbase, they would need to change things up sooner than later when it comes to the contents of what appears in their sealed pool.
  6. I kinda wish they would have printed some new cards instead of a pure reprint set, but I can go back to point #4 in the fact that it would be easier to learn with familliar cards and not unnecessarily bump up the difficulty level of limited formats
  7. To the people who believe that this format would be expensive: 10 packs at $2 each for a tournament  = $20/tourney. 2 tournmanents/month = $40/month = $140/format (May-sept). I like that price tag over that of a set of Maxx C
These are my thoughts so far about the future release of Epic Dawn. I actually had a eighth point that I wanted to make, but I felt that it would be better to leave it for a future post. Until next time.

A (re)introduction

Hello, if you are reading this then you probably know me as markyguila on the Pojo forums. Those who know me a little better will know my love of Sealed formats for Yugioh and the potential on how well it could work if Konami puts some effort into it. With Battle Pack: Epic Dawn approaching in three weeks, I figured that I should make another blog to show my opinions on not only the Battle Pack, but other casual formats that may not be as well known as others.

My old blog ( was almost exclusively about my Yugioh Cube, a format I may go into in more detail in a later post. I will continue to talk about my Cube and why I believe it is a great thing to try out, but I wanted to expand my horizons and talk about other yugioh-related stuff.

So stay tuned folks, I do not know where this blog will eventually end up, but sometimes the ride is more fun than the destination :D