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Thread: How does this game actually work in the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime/manga universe?

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    Registered User citrus's Avatar
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    Question How does this game actually work in the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime/manga universe?

    I was reading Play to Win, and around the Deception section, I started thinking about what it takes for us play this game competitively and succeed.

    At the bare minimum, we need to know about what cards do, how they interact with each other, and how other players take advantage of these interactions. A metagame is basically defined by a series of card interactions that--now, more than ever--are powerful and highly consistent. The power of an interaction can manifest in many different ways (depriving/creating resources, restricting plays, inflicting huge damage, etc.), but the interactions in themselves are typically highly predictable, especially in a mature (some may call stale) metagame. This allows us to build decks around these interactions: to consistently produce them, overpower them, and/or counter them.

    How does work in the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime/manga universe?

    For the sake of discussion, ignore the fact that writers need to create duels that lead to high tensions and back-and-forth action. Think about all of the duels that must necessarily happen in a world that revolves around card games. How do the people in this world build their decks? Play this game?

    From what I can gather, there seems to be a nearly infinite card pool in that universe. It must be finite, of course, because someone makes them, but there are so many more archetypes. And yet, so many players choose to play cards that so incredibly situational that they're often strictly worse than cards we already know. Perhaps all the generic staples we have are banned or no longer produced... In any case, this isn't the main concern.

    In a world with so many different decks to build, and all seemingly boosted and nerfed to be similarly competitive, how does anyone build their decks? It's not hard to pick an archetype or strategy to play--you just choose what you like--but what about the rest of the deck? Do they build their decks just to be the most optimal in a complete vacuum? How do they know what to include for incidentals? What happens when duelists meet, where one of their decks simply hard-loses to the other?

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    Registered User Dread Kaiser's Avatar
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    fist thing to know, in Universe this game is to them what Fighting in DBZ would be. You can really extrapolate the rest from there. the Deck is representative of the character and the game is in place of actual combat, using that DBZ Analogy, it would be their Techinque list, they "learn" more cards (usually extra deck stuff) when needed and can get better through training. This is where Yuzu's Fusions came from, she "Learned Fusion" and bam she has an extra deck now. Ditto with Enlightenment Paladin, he couldn't have possibly been given that beforehand, but he got his hands on a tuner and that Synchronization thing taught him Synchro, so bam.

    in short, the card pool actually is Infinite since people create cards though training or sudden insight into some Friendship/Bonds/Entertainment or some other philosophic matter.....oh and magic. some cards coming and going as they please (Majestic Dragon, Sabatiel, Eldritch stuff of the season) is a thing too

    it should be obvious given that many people don't know the effect of 99% of their opponents cards (Pot of Greed!) and run right into them (things like Pegasus' self made cards don't help) that they simply CAN'T prepare for anything. they build their decks within their theme/Archetype and stick with it (Rex n Weevil stuck with their Dinos and bugs despite having "Every card in the game" Available to them via Doma) and whenever they run into a counter strategy, Adapt and make a workaround within theme to deal with it (Team 5D's vs Meklords)


    to summarize, they don't have a Metagame. At all. Nearly every character has a unique deck, you can't really make a metagame around things like that
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    Registered User Volteccer's Avatar
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    Occasionally characters have been seen commissioning cards; if I2 or it's equivalent does make custom cards for anyone, then that explains why there are millions of different cards, and yet everyone has a coherent deck of just stuff on theme for them, that also fits their personality.

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    Registered User KingJinzo's Avatar
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    Pretty much everyone has a "bad" deck. Each character has cards inside them nobody in real life would put them into a competitive deck. Some characters use their own will or magic to draw the card they want, hence why Yusei drew five Tuners in a row (he abused the power of the Crimson Dragon and nakama no kizuna). And most character seems to shuffle really bad, and maybe their Duel Disk have bad shuffle systems. Lotten always draws his OTK hand, while most other character draws the same cards again and again without any indication of multiple copies. We do see Yuzu having MST, but she never draws it whatsoever. Speaking of shuffling, she didn't shuffle in episode 83 at all, hence she drew the same card she had during her previous duel.
    I FUCKING HATE DUB NAMES! I HATE DUB NAMES SO MUCH!

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    Registered User LolsterXD97's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingJinzo View Post
    Pretty much everyone has a "bad" deck. Each character has cards inside them nobody in real life would put them into a competitive deck. Some characters use their own will or magic to draw the card they want, hence why Yusei drew five Tuners in a row (he abused the power of the Crimson Dragon and nakama no kizuna). And most character seems to shuffle really bad, and maybe their Duel Disk have bad shuffle systems. Lotten always draws his OTK hand, while most other character draws the same cards again and again without any indication of multiple copies. We do see Yuzu having MST, but she never draws it whatsoever. Speaking of shuffling, she didn't shuffle in episode 83 at all, hence she drew the same card she had during her previous duel.
    Timelords, Numeron... These aren't bad, these are broken to infinity and beyond. People would kill for a Giant Trunade that shuffles in TCG land.
    Last edited by LolsterXD97; 24th December 2015 at 01:00 AM.

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    Registered User ScionStorm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingJinzo View Post
    Pretty much everyone has a "bad" deck. Each character has cards inside them nobody in real life would put them into a competitive deck.
    We've seen what the competitive meta thinks of deck building. The anime/manga would be so horrifically awful if it resembled competitive play in even the slightest. That would end the franchise right then and there.

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    Registered User Thanako's Avatar
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    Within the universe of the YGO media; your deck comes from your heart. Arc-V for example has scoffed off rare cards that don't fit your theme but just cost a lot of money for being good. They are nice to have, but not needed. Recognized as good, but they have no heart.

    The people within the universe generally run a theme that resonates with them; and almost every theme in that world has some means of expanded support. New cards come all the time, and mixing that with both suspension of disbelief and the fact that we never see all of the cards in their decks.

    You want to build a deck that suits your own little card type. Some people are given the exact same decks to act as one unit; but the game in universe is an every day part of life, and thus is treated as an extension of yourself. If you could choose from a much more expansive array of decks that all worked (they do in the anime, ignore actual consistency) you would use a preferred theme.

    It has less to do with using the most powerful cards, and more to do with using the cards that mean the most to you well enough to overcome the people like Sawatari Shingo that begin by just buying their decks off and having no soul with their duels. We have seen even villains in the main series care about their cards, and are more upset at losing them, rather than losing the duel. There are serious bonds between card and duelist, sometimes shown off in obnoxious ways.

    A good comparison would be to compare it to your fashion sense; assuming you could have any type of clothes you wanted with no monetary restriction.

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    Registered User KingJinzo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LolsterXD97 View Post
    Timelords, Numeron... These aren't bad, these are broken to infinity and beyond. People would kill for a Giant Trunade that shuffles in TCG land.
    Yeah, but these guys are basically cheating with their broken decks. At least the protagonists have to cheat to defeat them. 20,000 ATK Sephylon, and 100,000 ATK Nummeronious Nummeronia. Trap Cards from the hand, Spell Cards as Xyz Material substitutes. Those guys aren't people, they are more deities. At least Don Thousand is a legit deity.
    I FUCKING HATE DUB NAMES! I HATE DUB NAMES SO MUCH!

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    Registered User Icematoro's Avatar
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    This topic is pretty case sensitive:

    YGO DM: Players have to get their cards through normal means, either by buying, receiving or stealing their cards. Rare cards = "Good" Cards (I Still struggle to believe Red-Eyes and Dark Magician were anything like good, even on anime standards), heck, even the god cards had to be hand made by pegasus, and passed over like they're Kuribohs! Most people center their deck around a theme, mostly a thing of personal tastes, usually something to match their ace cards.

    YGO GX: Mostly the, Cards are still obtained through normal means, but you see players like Bastion actually building (or at least modifying) their decks to counter their opponent's. The fact that they're on a duel academy could be why their decks are usually different, they trade/buy new cards and test them to get better results on tests (and, you know, staying alive, 'cause shadow games). Jaden's Neo-Spacians were printed by Kaiba Corp and sent to space (How'd he retrieved them again? I really don't know...) so they wouldn't necessarily count as asspulls, his fusion monsters tho, they seem awfully convenient, but I digress. Needless to say, from season 3 onwards, it all went to trash lol

    And I'll leave it at that for now, I'm too sleepy to finish this. Feel free to correct me here, my memory isn't by any means sharp, so it's pretty darn possible I made a mistake somewhere. I'll get to 5D's tomorrow if no one beats me to it
    Last edited by Icematoro; 24th December 2015 at 04:12 AM.
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    Registered User Dread Kaiser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Icematoro View Post
    This topic is pretty case sensitive:

    YGO DM: Players have to get their cards through normal means, either by buying, receiving or stealing their cards. Rare cards = "Good" Cards (I Still struggle to believe Red-Eyes and Dark Magician were anything like good, even on anime standards), heck, even the god cards had to be hand made by pegasus, and passed over like they're Kuribohs! Most people center their deck around a theme, mostly a thing of personal tastes, usually something to match their ace cards.


    Traps and effects in general were insanely rare, at the early stages of DM the entirety of the game was Monster+Power-up spell combos. Things like Battle Ox were mentioned to be among the most powerful cards and a friggin master of the game, Kaiba, used Saggi the Fucking Clown, Monsters that DID have effects were relatively weak. Flash forward to KCGP and Leon was mentioned to have 100% Effect monsters, which was apparently ...you know, worth mentioning.

    Once Normal Monsters stopped being the mainstay powersource of everyone deck (didn't happen til LATE in the series, and not at all in the Manga), it was already established that those kinds of cards were powerful so they were stuck with it. worth mentioning that it doesn't exactly mean the card on its own, but probably includes the things that go with it. Remember all of the shit you can do with Red-eyes or Dark Magician for example and it makes much more sense. Then there was that Memorable scene of Pegasus shitting his Pants when Yugi summoned the Magician of Black Chaos

    In short, with Destruction effects hard to come by, Big sticks were much more effective then they would have been in any other scenario, doubly so since the game was MUCH slower then it is now. No Omnipresent removal, No Synchros or Xyz, nearly no searching power and only MAYBE 2 summons in 1 turn if you have Monster Reborn around, all that makes 2400 ATK is a LOT scarier.


    YGO GX: Mostly the, Cards are still obtained through normal means, but you see players like Bastion actually building (or at least modifying) their decks to counter their opponent's. The fact that they're on a duel academy could be why their decks are usually different, they trade/buy new cards and test them to get better results on tests (and, you know, staying alive, 'cause shadow games). Jaden's Neo-Spacians were printed by Kaiba Corp and sent to space (How'd he retrieved them again? I really don't know...) so they wouldn't necessarily count as asspulls, his fusion monsters tho, they seem awfully convenient, but I digress. Needless to say, from season 3 onwards, it all went to trash lol

    And I'll leave it at that for now, I'm too sleepy to finish this. Feel free to correct me here, my memory isn't by any means sharp, so it's pretty darn possible I made a mistake somewhere. I'll get to 5D's tomorrow if no one beats me to it


    The Capsule containing them somehow found its way to Neo-space. Jaden somehow found his way to Neo-space and picked them up, then beat an Alien with them as a test run.......What? GX isn't known for its stellar writing you know

    on GX, you will also note that Bastion not only considered his opponents, but actually had multiple decks. you will then note his track record. Then there was Dimitri. Had Yugi's Deck and still lost? because it wasn't HIS deck. Jaden tried to use Strategy against Zane, it blew up in his face. A lot.

    Moral of the stories, Doing your own thing the way you like is apparently THE best way to do things. you can prepare and netdeck all you want but it won't be nearly as effective in the end. It'd be nice if it worked that way IRL instead of everyone using a card for card identical deck

    Fun Fact: Fusions were NOT Physical cards originally, they actually just stacked the 2 cards on top of eachother and the system did the rest. Originally you could probably fuse damn near anything you wanted. They were effectively just cards under the effects of another card, kinda like Red-eyes Black Metal Dragon. and again it was GX, nearly everything Jaden did was awfully convenient.


    As for 5D's, that was a clusterfuck. Stardust Aside everything Yusei had was literally someones trash at some point, atleast at the start. meaning SOMEONE threw away several Synchros, which were apparently stupid hard to get since JACK FUCKING ATLUS only had...what 5? Cards that weren't magic'd were trash at some point and aside from Ushio getting a new deck handed to him, they didn't really depict anyone getting new cards. Team Taiyo dug up theirs too. Then we had Zushin, who EVERYONE and their grandmother had, a incredibly rare instance of more then 1 person owning the same card, (Same MONSTER card anyway, everyone had fucking pot of greed and Reborns....cept 5D's, only series that DIDN'T use Reborn)
    Last edited by Dread Kaiser; 24th December 2015 at 04:51 AM.
    I don't have a Problem, I have a Hobby.

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