Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Choosing Cards in Yugioh: Lessons from the Cyber Gears

I took the Cyber Gear deck to two locals and finished with a combined record of 8-3.  Sure, I had a few wins against RKD*s, but I also beat some experienced players with tier one decks.  The losses were to Infernities, Bujins, and Lightsworns. Overall, I was pleased but not satisfied.  So, I immediately went back to the garage to tinker some more.

The process led me to consider the criteria for good and poor card choices.  I can summarize my standards with the following two questions:

1.      Will it be live? Live cards have few if any conditions.  They are flexible and serve multiple purposes.  Usually they work as stand-alone cards or combine with nearly every other card in the deck.  Most of all, they are the cards that you want to see late in the duel.

2.      Does the card advance or interfere with the game plan?  This question presupposes that you have a game plan. Many people appear to build decks without them.  The plan for the Cyber Gears is to get rid of your opponent’s monsters with Chimeratech Fortress Dragon or overwhelm them with a large attack point monster. 

Applying these principles to the Cyber Gear deck led me to the following changes:

The Trap Trinity: Bottomless Trap Hole, Compulsory Evacuation Device, and Torrential Tribute are considered “staples”. Removing summoned monsters by banishing, without destruction, or in their entirety interrupts most plays.  These cards come with no cost and their resolution will likely make your opponent a bit salty … and by salty I mean prone to mistakes.

The three cards are always live and are generally welcome late in the game.  Of the three, Compulse is the most useful since it can get rid of a threat at the beginning of your opponents turn.  Compulse and BTH also advance the game plan by keeping Armor on the field.  Torrential, on the other hand, causes problems.  This deck wants your opponent to have a monster. It’s the summoning condition for Cyber Dragon.  Torrential removes this condition.  Therefore, it is a poorer choice.  BTH +1, CED +1

Return of Limiter Removal: Most players see limiter as a win-more card.  In other words, it won’t turn the game around.  However, this card sets up the game plan well.  Suppose they have several monsters poised to attack Geargiarsenal.  Limiter boosts Arsenal’s attack to 3400 insuring the loss of one of their monsters.  It is unlikely they will have another that can get over 3400.  At the end to the turn, Arsenal dies and the summoning conditions for Cyber Dragon are met.  Since there are 19 monsters in the deck, the card is usually live. Limiter +1

Shards over Planters:  My experience with Magic Planter has always been better in the abstract than in real life. This dichotomy is the result of the conflict between drawing with Magic Planter and letting the continuous trap do its job.  You don’t want to get rid of DNA Surgery when it’s active.  Planter does work well with Cyber Network, but that card also gets rid of DNA Surgery.  I removed all three.

Shard of Greed, on the other hand, is quite different.  Not only is it live all the time, it advances the game plan by drawing out your opponents MSTs.  Once the Planters were out, I had the freedom to remove other subpar continuous traps.  Removing Cyber Network left me with only 1 target for Cyber Core Dragon.  That problem was easily remedied by adding another Cyber Repair Network, a superior card until Cybernetic Fusion Support is released.    Shard +1; Cyber Repair Plant +1; Magic Planter -2; Cyber Network -1; Safe Zone -2

Flexible Draw Cards: Much has been said about Hobanization or the addition of Upstart Goblin/Reckless Greed.  In general, I am not a big fan.  Drawing Upstart late in the game gets you to the next card in your deck by giving your opponent 1000 points. Its only worth it if your deck only needs 37 cards.  Otherwise, you get to the next card for free. 

If you drop Swift Scarecrow, you will have a 38 card deck and Upstarts may be worth a try.  I went with CardCar D.  This card offers the flexibility of being fodder for Chimeratech and Power Bond.  However, I admit that these are the weakest cards in the deck.  Currently, the Scarecrows are in the side deck.  Hopefully, further tinkering will resolve this issue.

Here is Cyber Gears 2.0

Cyber Dragon x 3
Cyber Dragon Core x 3
Cyber Dragon Drei x 3
Geargiarmor x 3
Geargiaccelerator x 3
Geargiarsenal x 2
Cardcar D x 2

Power Bond x 2
Forbidden Lance x 3
Shard of Greed x 3
Cyber Repair Plant x 2
Limiter Removal x 1

Fiendish Chain x 3
DNA Surgery x 3
Call of the Haunted x 2
BTH x 1
Compulse x 1

 * RKD = Random Kid Deck

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