Monday, October 28, 2013

Mist Valley Harpies

Here’s my list for “Mist Valley Harpies”, which are not be confused with “Divine Wind Harpies”.  Just as one would not want to confuse a Chateau Climens with a Chateau Coutet, so one should not confuse the subtle varieties of Yugioh decks.  DWH plays Divine Wind of the Mist Valley as a means of getting out more Harpies.  MVH uses Divine Wind to make its Mist Valley plays.  Most of these plays revolve around Mist Valley Falcon’s need to return a card to the hand before she* can make an attack.  The classic is to equip Big Bang Shot to your opponent’s monster. When the card is returned, the monster is removed.  Wash, rinse, and repeat.  

The problem with the Mist Valley monsters is that their support is terrible.  Mist Valley Shaman, Baby Roc, and Windmaster are little more than pack fillers.  And why does Executor say “Return face-up spell a trap cards”?  Would it have killed Konami to have written “Return all spell and trap cards”?  As a result, Mist Valley monsters have been forced to play with Blackwings, Ninjas, or other unholy dark monsters.

Enough ranting… here’s the deck I played with this weekend: 

 A couple of notes on choices:

  • Two MV Soldiers: I started playing with just one.  The card is something of a dead draw.  However, I wanted this deck to make more level 8 synchro monsters and two Call of the Haunted’s were not enough.  The card does combine with Safe Zone to form a pseudo-Grand Mole.
  • No Pet Dragons: I wanted a deck that focuses on plus one plays and avoided dead hands.  The Channeler into Pet Dragon into Dracossack is a great play.  If I had a Dracossack, I’d probably work in Pet Dragon because this deck needs a good turn one play.  On several first turns I found myself saying, “Great, I can XYZ summon into … uh …” 
  • One Summoner Monk: I’ll be honest – Summoner Monk is not one of my favorite cards.  A Neg 1 summons is a good way to lose the game.  However, this deck needs some means of getting rid of Hysteric Sign.  Monk serves that purpose.
  • Two Magic Planters: It’s a good time to plant some magic!  The only card that really stops this card is Macro Cosmos and that card is not seeing a lot of play.  This card was rarely dead because I play eight targets. 
  • Summon Limit instead of Vanities’ Emptiness:  MV Harpies have the chance to great real havoc, but they can be inconsistent.  Summon Limit is much more stable and usually slows down most decks.  When it’s time for the whirlwind of feathered chaos, the card can be ditched with Magic Planter or destroyed by Hunting Ground.  I should point out that Hysteric Party is a single summon. 
  • Two Swallow’s Nest:  This card doesn’t see much use but it works really well with this deck.  Swallow’s Nest lets you get to Falcon and Soldier quickly while putting a Harpie in the graveyard for the upcoming party. 

The Verdict
I think this build is comparable to most Harpie decks.  The deck has good match-ups against nearly all decks with the exception of the Dragon Rulers <*sigh*>.  One should probably consider adding Trap Stun to avoid getting burned by chainable traps.  Trap Stun and Hunting Ground really gives you tremendous advantage against anyone running more than a handful of traps.  

The future of the deck going into next format depends a great deal on what happens to Divine Wind.  Limiting that card would pretty much put an end to this deck.  Pure Harpies, on the other hand, may do quite well.  Builds featuring Triple Magical Hats are quite solid.  In fact, if you shackle the dragons and release the Noble Knights, you could see a Harpie deck top a YCS. 

Hey, Artorigus! Why don’t you give King Phineus a call and find out what he thinks of the Harpies. 

* Yes – I said she ... ok, she's a little cut but haven't you seen a buff woman before? 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Calculating a Yugioh Deck's Turn Bias

So if you have been playing this game for anytime at all, you know that there is an advantage to going first.  You should also be aware that some cards are better when you go first and others when you go second.  For example, Thunder King Raioh is a great opening play.   Your opponent won’t be able to search and will have to expend some resources if they want to perform an inherent special summon.  Hand traps, in comparison, are better when you go second.  

So here’s the question – does your deck have a first turn or second turn bias? In other words, does you deck win more often when you win or lose the dice roll? 

This quality of your deck can be quantified in the following way.  Assign one of the following numbers to each card in your deck:

                                                                                       1 = If it is a good first turn card 
                                                                                                   3 = If it is a good second turn card
                                                   2 = If it really doesn’t matter
Now calculate a weighted average for the entire deck.  You can do this easily on a spread sheet by adding up the following:

where B is the “turn bias” or the number you assigned the card, n is the number of that card,
and N is the total number of cards

By way of example, I have calculated this number for three of my Geargia decks.  The turn bias for each deck is given at the bottom of the table.

You may feel that the turn bias number B is arbitrary.  I wouldn’t disagree with you.  I assigned a number by simply thinking about my own reaction when I pick up 5 cards at the beginning of the game.  You may also doubt the validity of this metric.  Fair enough.  Though establishing validity would take a lot more testing, I can offer the following table:  

As you can see, the numbers of good second turn cards increases as you look at these three decks from left to right.  As a result, the turn bias increases from 1.78 to 1.93.  You would think that a turn bias that was equal to 2.0 would be ideal.  My experience suggests otherwise.  My decks perform better when they are biased a bit towards the first turn. 

This fun little exercise doesn’t really bring rigor to deck metrics.  However, it should get you to think about the ways that card choice plays out in the game.  You should also give this some thought when siding because you may be taken adding cards that pushes the deck’s bias in the wrong direction.  You would be better adding hand traps after a win and adding the purple cards after a loss.