Jonathan Moore here, back with another article on things that are common to the community and things that seem to distract from the game both within and out of the actual game of Yu-Gi-Oh!. These are things a lot of you all, and admittedly myself, do from time to time.
The first one is going to be more of a longer rant more so than an observation, and while I understand the appeal of having a matching set of a card… WHY, WHY, WHY do so many of you have to “bling” the deck out? I feel like it’s almost more so pressure to conform than anything. Sure, getting mid-holofoil rarities of cards such as Mystical space Typhoon in a set of secrets or supers isn’t that costly, and they look so much better than the common, but that doesn’t mean you need to be using a set of first edition MRL versions of the cards. Those things are over ten plus years old, hard enough to find mint, and probably only going to get damaged during a regional when your opponent shuffles your deck. Also, don’t you ever get tired of telling your opponent to shuffle your deck more gently?
Maybe it’s just obsessive compulsive disorder, but I see people go so far as to make decks not just holo’d out to where everything is the highest possible rarity, but try to make it all the same rarity too. I see people where the entirety of their deck is super rare, or at least every card that is possible to be super is super. I don’t understand this compulsion to make everything match. I like all rarities personally. Some rares look awesome. Ultimate rares, while bendy, look awesome to me as well. Supers and secrets can look stunning. Ultra is honestly the most bland to me. While these are all personal taste, the cost-effective measure to this game would be to play with as many commons as possible, and trade your shiny stuff in a binder to keep trading it up, and not play with it. Everyone seems to ignore the possible cost-effective approach though, and sink so much more money than needed into their decks, then wonder why they can’t scrounge up enough money when the next big thing comes out. Like seriously, a deck like Lightsworn can be the easiest budget deck, or the most expensive deck in the the game. How does that make sense? It’s one thing to want your deck foil, but it’s another thing to drop an extra $500 to do it. If you have the money and it makes you happy, go for it, but don’t cry when you realize how hard it is to resell that stuff when it’s high in price only because of how few copies exist, and not because of the demand.
The second thing that’s common within the game that players seem to take to is hand shuffling. Almost no player seems immune to it. I’d call it the equivalent of chip-shuffling in poker, where players have to constantly be doing something with their chips. Stacking, restacking, thumbing through them in their hands. True, it might help a player think, and on rare occasions rearranging cards in the hand to see some part of the game you might not have put together before, but for the most part, it’s bad. I’ve seen kids drop a card from hand and show the opponent on accident, tilt their hands too far and show everything, and if you’re playing with some ghost rare, it’ll probably cause it to shine against your shirt. It brings nothing but potential trouble, damage to your own cards, and potential reads to your opponent depending on how you hold the hand and look at cards. Not to say you can’t learn to maybe psyche an opponent out and pretend to have Effect Veiler or Maxx “C”, but most of the time you’re just going to end up making a mistake with it that you didn’t even realize you were making.
The “Playtest anywhere syndrome” is pretty strong in this community. Would you play on the floor? Would you play through an open bathroom door? Would you play on the bed? How about out in the old tool shed? How about in the car? That YCS is pretty far. Would you, Would you, playtest with me?
Real talk though, I’ve never seen any other card group play in so many different fast food joints, coffee shops (I personally like this one even though I don’t drink coffee), and places that don’t make sense. I don’t think I see many grown ass men play on the floor at a MTG event, but they litter the floor at a YGO event. McDonalds, WhatAburger, Raising Canes, and all these different fast food joints get trashed post-locals in my area by loud, noisy, and of course, trash-talking duelist ready for more action.
I’m not really sure that this is uncommon to other games, but I see a lot of post-tournament rage quitting happen in Yu-Gi-Oh!. Just because the deck didn’t work at one regional and all your playtesting lead up to that event, doesn’t mean you should make the rash decision to drop the deck right then and there, but I see a lot of people do this in order to fund obtaining the top deck of the format, or to “quit”, only to come back three days later. It may be only a few wrong cards with the deck or the pilot’s playstyle, but giving up on a deck is a pretty big decision and should take more though than “Rage quitting”.
This one is unfortunate, as I have been to MTG, Pokemon, and Yu-Gi-Oh! tournaments alike. Yu-Gi-Oh! seems to be the only theft-prone TCG community around. At the Pokemon event I attended, every single lost Nintendo DS was returned with the game cartridge and even binders returned with all the cards to the front counter. In MTG, the community seems to know each other well and thefts are rare, and when they are, they’re usually premeditated and well thought out for very large collections or a store’s inventory. A few of them have made the news. Yu-Gi-Oh! is the only card game where I hear of and see examples of constant theft. Ever since Konami put into effect the matching wristband to backpack rule, and one bag per person, theft has gone down considerably but still seems to happen all too often at regional events. Judges even have to warn players before a YCS or regional to watch their belongings. While this is pretty sad, it’s up to you, the player, to always be on guard and watch your own stuff. When you duel, leave a strap of your backpack under your chair leg so it doesn’t go missing, and always beware of your binder while it’s out for trading. It’s easy to look around and talk to other people, and *poof*, your binder is gone with no one to blame but yourself.
“Trades? trades? Trades?”
Pokemon players really don’t seem to do this as much unless they’re looking for something for their collection. The Magic community is so cut throat on prices that it’s hard to trade for profit, and most people will only give a little bit of gain for things that they need. The Yu-Gi-Oh! community tries to obtain every card ever for every deck ever “just in case” they want to play a deck, or for profit. Almost everyone has a trade binder, and everyone is willing to show it either in hopes that they have what you need and can make a decent come up, or in hopes that you have what they need. I personally keep my trade values the same most of the day unless a card is spiking hard as a hot tech. I don’t jack my prices up just because it’s before round one and someone needs a card to play. I hear the terms so often “Yeah, but it’s worth this much before the tourney”, yet the kid walks away with that card still in their binder. Trading is fun, and it’s a good way to obtain what you want if you have the time to dedicate to it outside of playtesting, but typically if you’re going solo, you don’t have the time. In a team, either designate or swap out between your best traders, and if your whole team is competent at it, then the first to drop should focus on trading for what your team needs. Pooling resources is a great way to get everybody what they want for both your team and the people trading you for cards. The more variety you can offer, the more likely you are to be able to trade up, and then take a small loss to trade into what you want. (Yes, it’s okay to take a loss in trade value if you need to play the card or want it for collection purposes. That’s part of life, and you don’t get a gold badge or cookie just because you plan to make every deck ever for every format ever, even though that is pretty bad-ass and cool to have).
So what are some things that you like or dislike that seem to pertain mostly to the Yu-Gi-Oh! community and aren';t really present in other card games? Are there things unique in your area that only seem to happen with YGO players and not the MTG/Pokemon scenes? I’m pretty sure you’ll find B.O. in any card game event, so in before that one. Crack Kills is also in the MTG scene, and thankfully not really present in the Pokemon scene since kids just say the darndest things (PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE WEAR BELTS IF YOU KNOW YOUR PANTS ARE LOOSE).