Sunday, 30 December 2012

Common-Haters, heres Bling Bling for you - Part 4

Wind-ups, wind-ups, wind-ups everywhere!!

So with the release of extra pack 2012, wind-ups have swept the shores of OCG land, bringing with them "Tour Guide", "Wind-Up Rabbit" and "Wind-Up Shark". With the arsenal set and ready, is it possible for Wind-ups to be bling bling as well?

Yes! Below is a decklist obtained from Shriek OCG which won 2nd place:

Lets see how this deck can be blinged!

Monsters (19):
[1] Sangan   (OCG Japanese Gold Rare) -   GS01-JP006
[3] Wind-Up Rat   (TCG English Super Rare) -   ORCS-EN023
[1] Wind-Up Hunter   (OCG Japanese Super Rare) -   PHSW-JP024
[3] Wind-Up Rabbit   (TCG English Secret Rare) -   PHSW-EN083
[2] Spirit Reaper   (OCG Japanese Gold Rare) -   GS02-JP004
[2] Tour Guide Of The Underworld   (OCG Japanese Ultra Rare) -   EP12-JP005
[1] Wind-Up Warrior   (TCG English Starfoil Rare) -   BP01-EN170
[3] Wind-Up Shark   (OCG Japanese Super Rare) -   EP12-JP033
[3] Wind-Up Magician   (OCG Korean Secret Rare) -   *set number unconfirmed yet*    EV12-KR009      

Spells  (12):
[1] Heavy Storm   (OCG Japanese Ultra Rare) -   BE02-JP068
[2] Pot Of Duality   (OCG Japanese Super Rare) -   DREV-JP062
[1] Monster Reborn   (OCG Japanese Ultra Rare) -   Volume 2, no set number
[1] Pot Of Avarice   (OCG Japanese Ultimate Rare) -    EEN-JP037
[1] Dark Hole   (OCG Japanese Ultra Rare) -   BE01-JP098
[3] Mystical Space Typhoon   (OCG Japanese Super Rare) -   BE01-JP027
[3] Wind-Up Factory   (TCG English Super Rare) -   GENF-EN054

Traps (9):
[2] Torrential Tribute   (OCG Japanese Ultra Parallel Rare) -   DL3-063
[2] Bottomless Trap Hole   (OCG Japanese Gold Rare) -   GS01-JP019
[2] Call Of The Haunted   (OCG Japanese Ultra Rare) -   BE01-JP069
[2] Solemn Warning   (TCG English Ultimate Rare) -   DREV-EN077
[1] Solemn Judgment   (OCG Japanese Ultra Rare) -   Volume 6, no set number

This deck can be fully blinged!!

Thats all for today's post!

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Verz, what I see

By now, most people should already be farmiliar with the build of Verz that has been going around. For those who still have no idea how its like, the build that J-Speed used to win the 6th Tetsu Championship is shown below:

Although I do admit that this build that J-Speed come up with is remarkable, but after play-testing with it, I see several potential problems that this deck pose.

Firstly, this deck does not function properly if you do not draw into Verz Castor

Effect: During the turn this card is Normal Summoned, you can Normal Summon 1 "Verz" monster in addition to your Normal Summon or Set.

This deck runs by using massive exceed summonings, preferably going into "Verz Ophion" first so that you can get "Infestation Pandemic Infection" from your deck that acts as a "Forbidden Lance" for your Verz monsters.

However, other than "Verz Castor", there isn't really much opportunities for you to perform an exceed summon on the first turn to get "Verz Ophion". Well, you could always wait till the next few turns. However, looking at the deck line-up, ignoring the fact that there are more monsters than spell/trap, the protection you have for your monsters is not abundant and it is hard to get 2 monsters to exceed if you do not have "Verz Castor".

There is always "Verz Mandrago", which allows you to special summon it if your opponent controls more monsters than you. However, Mandrago is still not as efficient as Castor as if you are the player who is going first, there will be no monsters on your opponent's side of the field to special summon it.

Secondly, this deck has the problem of too many dead cards, the first one being "Rescue Rabbit"

This little bunny works well for Verz Raggia decks because there are multiple targets that "Rescue Rabbit" can go into. However, for this deck, the only target that it has is "Verz Heliotrope". This means that once 2 of the copies of the nomi is gone from the deck, the 2 copies of the bunny will be pretty much dead. Although there is "Daigusto Emeral" to recycle the Heliotropes back, there is still too much inconsistency in using bunny in this deck. There are 3 copies of "Verz Heliotrope" with 2 copies of "Rescue Rabbit". The probability of drawing into "Verz Heliotrope" and leaving the player with no use for "Rescue Rabbit" is pretty high.

The next card is "Verz Cercyon"

Effect: You can banish 1 "Verz" monster from your Graveyard to target 1 "Verz" monster in your Graveyard; add that target to your hand. This effect of "Verz Cercyon" can only be activated once per turn. Once, during your Main Phase 1 of the turn you use this effect: You can Normal Summon 1 "Verz" monster in addition to your Normal Summon/Set. (You can only gain this effect once per turn.) During the turn this card is sent to the Graveyard, you can Tribute Summon 1 "Verz" monster with 1 less Tribute than required.

Don't get me wrong now, I'm not saying that "Verz Cercyon" is a bad card. On the contary, "Verz Cercyon" is an amazing card for this deck. However, the problem with it is that it is a only a mid-game hero, and an early-game burden. Similar to "Verz Mandrago", when you start first, this card has no purpose because your graveyard would not leave you with enough targets to go for any play. It only works extremely well in mid-game. Drawing it in early game means that "Verz Castor" has to be in hand for you to pull something off, which goes back to the first problem that this deck not work well if you don't draw "Verz Castor".

To round off, the playability of this deck revolves around the fact that "Verz Castor" helps to boost big plays, but without drawing it, the deck seems to lose its wings to soar.

Thats all I have for today, please leave comments if you want to discuss/ disagree with my comments from this post. Thanks.

Friday, 28 December 2012

End-of-Year Surprises

As 2012 draws to an end, lets see what Konami has in store for all duelists in preparation of 2013

OCG Japanese:

Jump Fiesta 2012 Promotional Pack (release: 22nd and 23rd Decemeber)

22nd Dec Pack Cardlist:

1) Haze Beast, Hippogriffo
2) Scared Beast of the Forest, Alpacaribu
3) Holy Spirit of the Forest, Eco
4) BF - Damascus the Polar Night

From left to right

5) Bright White Dragon, Wybuster
6) Kodomo Dragon
7) Fishborg Archer
8) Beast God Volcan
9) Sanctuary of the Spellcasters

23rd Dec Pack Cardlist:

1) Snowdust Dragon
2) Snow Dragon
3) Uminotaurus
4) Fishborg Launcher
5) BF - Damascus the Polar Night

From left to right

6) Darkness Dragon, Collapserpent
7) Fire Dance Long Sword
8) Nine-Snakes Peacock
9) Armor Kappa
10) Token Christmas

Credits for source:

OCG Korean:

Yu-Gi-Oh! Korea Winter Festival 2012

Promotional Cards:

EV12-KR007  Tragoedia  (Secret Rare)
EV12-KR008  Deep Sea Diva  (Secret Rare)
EV12-KR009  Wind-Up Magician  (Secret Rare)   -  first world-wide release of holo version!!
EV12-KR010  Card Trooper  (Secret Rare)

*Card Set Number is only speculation now

                                           Yes, we are coming in secret rare rarity soon!!

Credits for source:

Monday, 3 December 2012

Schumpeter's Theory Of Creative Destruction

Nope, this is not a post on economics (although I am an economics student). After playing Yu-Gi-Oh! for so many years, the rate of how the game is changing is beyond imagination if we were to put ourselves in our own shoes years back when we first started this game.

Indeed, when we first started playing this seemingly easy-to-play card game where vanillas were the absolute power, it would never cross our minds that one day the game would evolve into its current state. Nowadays. its no longer as easy for young kids to pick up this game as it was years back, the game rules are more complicated than before.

Of course, there are various other reasons such as emerging card games like Vanguard, parental pressure on studies (not a significant factor though) and etc. However, it is obvious that even without these other factors, Yu-Gi-Oh! does not appeal as a new hobby to the younger generation today as it was before. In Singapore, you hardly see any young players anymore, majority are in their teens who have already started playing way back.

This poses the problem that there will be a small proportion of younger players coming in to replace the older players who have quitted, i.e the replacement rate does not suffice to equate the quitting rate. In due time, Yu-Gi-Oh! might become a game like Magic The Gathering where younger players find it hard to integrate into the gaming society that is dominated by the older players (this is of course with reference to Singapore context only as I am not sure on the situation in other countries).

However, all these conclusions are only deductions based on the current game trend, anything remains an uncertainty until it actually happens. Who knows, Konami might come up with some mega recruitment programme to entice the younger generation to pick up Yu-Gi-Oh! and we could find these deductions being overthrown.

Moving on today's topic, although the game state can be easily altered, some things are not as easy as ABC, exactly like how the game is progressing, it seems to imitate Joseph Schumpeter's Theory of Creative Destruction. From years back when Dark Armed Dragon was first introduced in Phantom Darkness:

The instant fame of Dark Armed Dragon seemed to pull all the players into a frenzy craze to acquire this card, and we saw the game changed siginificantly with Dark Armed Dragon leading this revolution. However, no a lot of players minded this change because it was, at that time, a solution for players to win with the sheer power of this card.

Then the initial period ended, and players started to find Dark Armed Dragon too powerful. Players complain, then came the Gladiator Beast era which showed promise and players jumped onto this new bandwagon and people were contented for a short period of time. But alas, synchros were soon introduced into the game, and Dark Armed Dragon found its way out of the accumulated dust in trade binders and returned as TeleDaD. Players were once again, glad for this change, and saw TeleDaD as a solution against Gladiator Beast.

However, the same problem arised again, and soon people were complaining about TeleDaD being too powerful and then came the usual forum rubbish about people saying they will quit the game if no change is implemented (but how many of these players actually quit? Not a lot, they were just ranting for the sake of ranting). Therefore, Konami had to introduced new deck themes or use the banlist to control this disaster. They would normally use both methods and the gaming community would once again witness the entrance of these creative-destructive forces that force the destruction of the current format and find its rebirth as a new format.

Up to this point, everything seems fine. A problem arises, a solution is implemented, everyone is happy. However, how long and how far can these creative-destructive forces actually command the stability of the game? The problem now is that decks are becoming increasingly fast and powerful, innovation is simply not a deriative anymore if you want to maintain dominance. Mermails, Wind-Ups, and the new Firedance and Fire Lord themes are wrecking the pace of this game.

Its a good thing that Konami used the term 'Structure Deck' instead of 'Starter Deck' because the cards in them are simply not as before. Look at Garunix from the upcoming new Strcuture Deck and compare it with Red-Eyes Zombie Dragon from SD1. The game is changing to a state where creative-destructive forces are now simply destructive forces to kill the balance of the game. Sooner or later, this will cease to be a solution. Decks will become so powerful that the banlist will not help to ease the burden of the players.

Inzektors may have feel the hit of the banlist, but few years down the road, whenever a new card is hit, it might not do any siginificant damage to the deck theme itself. Banning multiple cards is not a solution either as this will burn a big hole in the pockets of players and people will just become more discouraged and disgusted with the game.

Konami needs to re-stabilise the game, preferably back to the state of the Gladiator Beast era to ensure that these creative-destructive forces will continue to work their charms, being solutions for a short-time period rather than being permanent threats. If Konami continues to implement this ridiculous "Stronger beats strong" trend, it will find the game going down to the extent that it can no longer be resuscitated.

Vanillas, primitive as they are, were actually the charm of the game back in the past, Konami needs to rework and rethink what is beneficial for the game.