Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Five Card Draw

My professional life is filled with so much change that you would think I would pick a hobby that is staid and stable.  Golf is attractive.  When was the last time we saw a major overhaul to that game? As far as I know, people have been chasing the same little ball since Thomas Kincaid.  

Yugioh, on the other hand, seems to go through make-overs like second-rate celebrities.  At best, all we can do is click through the internet and ask why?  It’s out of our control.  Either adapt or play poker.  

Most of the buzz about the game is focused on the bringer of the Apoqlypse.  This card is de-Judgment-a-vu all over again.  However, the harbinging of doom may cause some to overlook the substantial change induced by the new turn rule.  It’s not simply a procedural issue, even though drawing six cards on the opening turn is now an infraction. The rule also substantially changes the odds of drawing into your key cards.  

To get an understanding of the impact of this rule, I calculated the odds of drawing a “card equivalent”. As I have described before, a card equivalent includes copies of the card and any card that allows you to search for it.  The current jargon is to refer to such a searcher as a “Stratos”, which is a rather fitting tribute for the fallen hero.  

The odds of getting your card with a six card draw are in the second column; the odds with a five card draw are in the third column.  The last column of the table gives the difference.  
This difference is rather striking.  To put it into perspective, playing three Upstart Goblins yields only about half of this advantage.  In other words, if you think Upstart is worth playing, you must think that going second offers a big advantage.  

So who wants to go first?  Decks with a lot of search power can still benefit from the first turn field advantage.  However, these decks are still dropping the chances of getting their combination pieces by 4 to 6%.  The decks that will flourish are those with substantial draw power.  I saw a Drooler deck go plus three on the opening turn this weekend.  That degree of draw power will have even a greater impact with this new rule.  

My current rule of thumb is to go second against decks with greater draw or plus power and to go first against those with less.

Of course, I still have to win that stupid dice roll.

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