Breaking The Habit

There comes a time when men have to choose between a life of happiness and a life of meaning. Coincidentally both path leads down different routes and having both is certainly not a common occurrence. A life of happiness means one will remain oblivious to the truth and only live as how others live thus the abstract definition of “being happy.” A life of meaning defines and portrays itself as something ugly, hard to swallow but in exchange offers you answers, strengths, and truth in every aspect of life (sometimes even power.) Much like life, Yugioh is no different when you apply those points and relate it to what you see or know. The question everyone asks themselves is the same even though it is not spoken out. “Why do I play this game?”, “What do I want?” no matter how you put it is undeniably similar to one and other.

I am not implying that we cannot have both but in reality not many have that resolve they need to continue the journey to a point where they can see a picture of both happiness and meaning in it. The fact is to be able to live a life of happiness yet pursue one’s purpose in his or her time on Earth is not as simple as words can describe (most give up without realizing it.) To relate this subject to Yugioh, everyone knows there are casual players and competitive ones. The difference is casual ones play the game under the logic of pure entertainment while a competitive player aims to find success and a higher meaning while playing the same game (both type are “enjoying” the game in their own definition.) Naturally, if you want to be skillful and strong it is hard to see the path of happiness due to the difficult circumstances you put yourself in order to achieve success and improvement. There will always be higher mountains to climb and tougher opponents to beat.

“When you ask you shall be answered”, that line is as simple as it gets. In the pursuit of improvement one has to ask the necessary questions and face the ugly truth. No one is immediately good at what they do (unless you are a genius) and everyone starts from being a “noob”, “jimmy”, or whatever floats your boat. The learning process is unavoidable if one chooses to walk the “path of meaning” and being able to face the ugly truth is a part of it. The truth that you suck, what you are doing is wrong, and you are not as good as you think you are. Human beings are afraid of failure but what many do not understand is it is from failure that we learn and find success. We all know we need to try and fail before succeeding but problem is not many have that kind of balls to go through the shame and humiliation. Once you are able to admit and accept that reality of yourself the whole process of improvement becomes easier to absorb (learn from your losses and mistakes.) Truth is life is easier when everyone is honest.

Victory and defeat is a natural part of any game. You cannot expect to win every game you play. Having said that, every game has a built in luck factor as well. The “habit” I am referring to is the idea that instead of analyzing your losses and pinpointing the mistakes you made one chooses to think that their losses is a cause of an uncontrollable variable. Yes, I am talking about those times when people complain about how broken their opponent open with or how their opponent top decks [insert broken card name here]. Sure, insanely overpowered cards and lucky top decks exist but it is hardly the cause (of course Yugioh happens from time to time.) I was one of those players until I realize how unproductive and meaningless it was to blame my losses on factors that couldn’t be helped compared to analyzing my own plays. I began asking the necessary questions, “would things have gone the other way if I played differently?”, “was that the optimal move to play?”, “should I have done that instead of this?” The more I asked the more I gained and eventually I broke that “habit” of pointing fingers on variable X. 

So, too long didn’t read. Stop going around in a tailspin of blame and excuses. Understand this, once you begin the tailspin it’s as if you lose your footing and it feels impossible to stand but the only reason the situation seems insurmountable is because you make it out to be (the psychological aspect is that big.) Once you decide that it’s all in your head the ground will solidify under your feet. Your decision to put mind over matter is one of the most difficult things and I had to "realistically" dedicate myself to grasp it (not sure how many times I killed myself in the process of achieving enlightenment LOL!) I am not going to sugarcoat anything it is difficult to achieve but the results you experience is as powerful as it sounds. Start analyzing and asking the right questions if you seek to be a better player and understand that there will always be a reason behind everything. Sometimes it could be Yugioh happening, other times it was you who caused it. Do not avoid the necessary questions instead embrace them and who knows maybe one day you might see yourself in the finals of World Championships. In other words, be the change you want to see. I am not sure if this article made any sense but I do hope it has been helpful and informative. Remember to play smart, fight hard, or go home a loser. Thank you for reading!



I spent the last 24 hours waiting for a game that never happened (yes, I’m talking about RO2!) Aside from RO2, my whole yesterday wasn’t unproductive to say the least. I took time to update myself on the coming tides of Yugioh for 2013 and to conclude everything Side-Decking for 2013 is going to be a major headache. Not really but still lots of choices to consider and decisions to be thought of. Regarding today’s post, J-Speed (BAMF!) recently won a 400+ man tournament (6th Tetsu Championship) and if you are interested in watching click the link below. The finals hasn’t been uploaded yet but the rest of the matches are pretty interesting. 

Video Link:

Deck-Lists from Shriek:

Verz is huge and it’s safe to say it will invade Malaysia’s Meta soon enough. Probably by Asia Championship Qualifiers 2013 the majority of the Meta will include Verz in the bunch as a Tier 1.5 deck together with Mermails and Wind-Ups as Tier 1 contenders. Fire Fist will rise as well while Heroes remain uncertain of their spot in the competitive scene (though I doubt Heroes will die off in Malaysia.) The real bad ass mother fucker this format is Deck Devastation Virus! Verz has access to it, Fire Fist uses Vorse Rider for it, and hell even Mermails try to fit into the gang. As for 2013 I’m looking forward to test out Burning Knuckler but that’s a subject to change for now. This is all I have to share today. Thank you for dropping by!


Breaking The Curse, 12

Malaysia Open happened yesterday. It is not a prestigious event but qualifies as one of the four big tournaments Kuala Lumpur has to offer annually. Some considers it an important event the rest have different opinions and for me I just happened to feel like playing Yugioh before the world supposedly ended (RM10 entry fee with chances to win 5 booster boxes ain’t that bad.) Meta-wise, I do not see any changes in the Top Three being Mermails, Wind-Ups, and Heroes but to a certain degree Verz seems like a legit threat and there were signs of Malaysians picking that deck up after it took Singapore’s Top Store tournament. Regardless, RM600 minimum for Verz-only-cards aren’t exactly cheap in my country’s standard plus I wasn’t  so sure anyone would attempt to jump ship unless someone won the event with it on that day and fuck my instincts never go wrong. That certain someone who won with Verz was non-other than the so-called Malaysian God, Sam Kee. Congratulations to Sam for winning the Malaysia Open yesterday! Now let’s go into my side of the story.

Malaysia Open 2012
Format: Single Elimination (Asia Advanced)
Deck Used: Hieratics Exodius

ROUND 1 (Malefic Skill Drain Valley)

Fuck my life seriously! First round coming into this tourney and I have to play some emo match-up. 

GAME 1: Photon Trasher hit the field and I assumed it was Hero Beat. I took a few swings from Trasher and waited until I draw enough back-row removals to go for game. It came to a point where I drew enough triple MSTs but lack monsters to go over the 8000 damage margin. So, I took a change of pace and attempted to apply pressure with M7 combo. The game was as good as mine until he topped a Gravekeeper’s Commandant, searched Necrovalley, and dropped a Sin Cyber End Dragon on me! FUUUUUUUUUU!!! 

That was screwed enough until shit hit the fan when my BLS got trolled by Skill Drain. Eventually a few turns later I died to the monstrosity which was Sin Cyber End Dragon.

GAME 2: Hello friend, Trap Stun OTK!

GAME 3: Goddamn you Game 1 Malefic Cyber End Dragon! Opponent proceeded to eat a TRAP STUN OTK!


ROUND 2 (Wind-Ups)

FEATURE MATCH! Didn’t think I would get the chance to scream that in this country. LOL!

GAME 1: Early M7 provided some much needed advantage and thanks to Maxx “C” and Veiler my opponent couldn’t escalate the hell out of me. I went for the Gustav Max play a couple of turns later with the aid of Trap Stun to clear of his Rabbit and Ship but not enough to kill him. Next turn Gustav Max got home-run by CED because I decided to Damage Step Lance a Tyrus to avoid a turn of tides. Gaia Dragoon and Wattaildragon got the job done later on.

GAME 2: Tragoedia got sucked into the Dark Hole. Garbage hand and had to make some minus play to eventually get a Wattaildragon on the field. Opponent’s set card looked like an Ultra Rare, I assume it is either a Dimensional Prison or Mirror Force since he didn’t activate it when Watt landed, brain decided to defy logic and ATTACK INTO A DIMENSIONAL PRISON! GENIUS! BRB Rabbit laughed the shit out of me.

GAME 3: Fast game from both sides. It came to a point where I bait and he responded but I have enough monsters to end the game. REDMD and Trap Stun MVP of this game.


ROUND 3 (Firefist)

This tournament just keeps getting better and better. I saw plenty of participants playing Wind-Ups and Mermails but I had to meet some random deck which I don’t even remember most of their effects. Y U NO GIVE ME MERMAILS?! My ignorance and negligence towards Firefist is pretty much everything to be pointed at but I managed to go the distance. That was until I ate a Heavy Storm in Game 3 and shit escalated. Those back-rows were important pieces to make sure i end the game in Turn 3 but that wasn't the case i suppose. Note to myself, Thunder King Raioh is good so run three of them.


So, I ended up in Top 32. This will probably be the last tournament I play in for the rest of this year but that is undecided yet since there is still another large scale event in Penang later this week. 2012 has its perks and a single digit Top remains elusive to me this year in major tournaments. Hopefully my results will be better in 2013. The rest of the day was spent joking around with LGQ, Shahmir, and Sherwyn while watching Sam’s auto-win in the Finals (Shock Ruler FTW!) Coming to the end remember to play smart, fight hard, or go home a loser!

Quotes of the day:

Shahmir eat pork please!
by Sherwyn and everyone else

Mom dropped him when he was a baby.
by Sherwyn


Human In The Loop

A big part of a duelist’s career revolves around deck construction and play-testing. While according to some Yugioh players actually play-tests the least in comparison to other gamers (interesting food for thought), whether you are a competitive duelist or a casual one the fact that we will spend more time preparing ourselves or trying out new innovations or to outplay others is nothing new. Being contenders it is naturally to find ourselves doing all that we can to tilt the odds to our favour and create grounds where we fight best. Beyond all the technicalities and victory influencing theories, the one factor we can manipulate is our decks. Deck construction and individual card choices are a huge element of competitive play and while that may sound really obvious I am here to tell you that even now there are a lot of players who do not take it as seriously as they should. No, we are not here to talk about net-decking.

When it comes to deck construction the first question that should come to mind is to know what you want the deck to do. It is important to have a specific route to where you are headed so you do not confuse yourself with expectations instead of realistic results. A major problem with players while building their decks and strategies is that they do not truly understand what kind of results to expect. While putting a bunch of cards together and decide what to cut afterwards seems like a good idea in reality it is something every duelist should not do (I honestly don’t think that’s the best way and it does seem like a waste of time.) Having said that, there are times when we need to re-asses our goals. If your deck isn’t functioning the way it should you best go back to the drawing board. In a nutshell, know the core of your deck’s strategy and aim to bring consistency to that strategy. Solidifying your strategy early will allow you to make critical card choices that will help ensure a strong performance. From there on it will be easier to make choices that fit your central strategy.

I understand that deck construction in today’s Yugioh is rather simple due to the fact that almost every competitive top deck belongs to an archetype. However, it is still important for players to understand and think before making certain card choices. For example, is it a must to run the Solemn Brigade or do I really need every so-called “staple” in my deck. Yes, it sounds simple and all but many are still reluctant to do so. Though that is understandable due to all the success certain cards has seen in competitive plays it is even more important now to make choices that are optimal instead of suboptimal ones. We all want that “edge” in our game and sometimes going out of the common loop is the answer we are looking for. You never know when a Compulsory Evacuation Device will do you more good compared to Solemn Warning unless you give it a try before effectively kicking it out of the list. Weigh your choices in accordance to your core strategy and, again, understand what is going on in your Meta environment. Once you know how to deal with all that information it shouldn’t be hard to add versatility in consistency. Remember everything is calculated and quantified nowadays.

After all that’s been said, a large population of the competitive community has yet to understand the importance of everyone’s magic number, 40. Now I am guilty for doing this as well. The superiority of a 40-card-deck is of no comparison to decks containing 41 or 42 cards. The idea of playing that extra one or two card doesn’t make a difference is inaccurate in so many levels. Of course one can argue about theories like better ratios or adding in extra techs and so on but the truth of the matter is playing that one or two extra card changes everything when it comes to consistency. Remember those times when you lost and proceed to check your next draw only to find it is the card you need or a card that could go as far as closing the game for you? Yeah, exactly my point here. As mentioned earlier, I am a fan of playing 41 cards and there has been a lot of times when my draws are one step slower to my strategies so I have been spending time to truthfully prove myself wrong about that one extra card not making a difference. Here’s what I did, place an important piece of card to your deck’s primary strategy face up and shuffle it and check the consistency of your draws (pretty sure others have done this before.) In my case, I often find myself a couple of cards away from what I actually needed thus reducing the consistency of my deck's central winning condition.

A lot like risk management and underlining priorities, knowing how to manage your deck is key to how well it will perform. Not being able to differentiate which card is optimal and suboptimal only shows how incapable and inexperience a duelist is. So, my advice, cut the excuses and learn how to manage priorities better. Less bullshit translates to better results. Once you are able to make critical evaluations the rest is pretty much simple. I have come to the end of my first refresher post. I hope readers have enjoyed reading this article and have found it useful (or interesting.) Thank you for dropping by!