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 Building A Competitive Deck

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Advanced Duelist
Advanced Duelist

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PostSubject: Building A Competitive Deck   Thu Feb 02, 2012 3:00 am

Well I'm working on an article team for ADA, so it's my job to teach you guys more about advanced yugioh. So let's start with possibly the most important part: building a competitive deck. What are the best decks out there? Rabbit Laggia, Inzektors, Synchrocentric, Dark World, and Agents may come to mind. So those are the competitive decks I have to choose from if I want to make a competitive deck, right? Well, not really. They're not even necessarily the best decks to choose from. Dark World is really inconsistant and isn't very combo based, so it not only bores me as a player who likes combos, but I can't stand the inconsistancy factor. Its always important to make a deck that suits YOU, not just what the meta is. If you want to make a META deck, the aforementioned are the decks you have to choose from. Making a COMPETITIVE deck...well, that's something else entirely. To me at least, a competitive deck is when you take the potential out of an archetype or deck idea, and make it to be the most consistent it can possibly be, and use cards that will fare well against the meta matchup. That doesn't require a lot, does it? When making a competitive deck, you will usually choose one of two ways to do so: Picking an archetype, or making the deck based on several different engines that have good synergy with each other but aren't necessarily related to each other by name or type. An example of an archetype deck is Blackwings, and an example of a combo deck is my Divine Wind deck that I made a video of a little while ago.
There are a few archetypes that no matter what you do with it, it will simply never be competitive without better support, such as Ninjas before ORCS came out. And some combo ideas just end up working terribly, and you have to scratch it. But there are a wide variety of decks that can be made competitive. In this article, we will break down just how to accomplish this, step by step.

Step 1: Choose A Deck Idea

This seems kind of self-explanatory, and it is. This is the early stage of a deck, where you think of a new combo that you hadn't thought of before and want to make a deck out of it, or pick an archetype that you would like to use. Sometimes you will end up mixing archetypes, but I don't advise doing that until Step 4 unless the similar support is really obvious, like Lavals and Flamvells, which both work well with Rekindling and are both synchro spam decks.

Step 2: Analyze The Strengths of The Archetype

An easy way to do this is to look up the archetype on DN or Wikia, and read all of the support cards for the archetype. Once you read and carefully consider the possibilities of each card, you come to an important question that you MUST ask: Which support cards are useless? I realize some cards get better with the release of new cards; for example, Elemental HERO Burstinatrix is a somewhat viable tech in some HERO builds because of Rescue Rabbit. Before, it sucked really bad, so it's always important to reconsider some techs when new direct or indirect support comes out. But there are just some cards that you will never, EVER use because they are just that bad, such as Black Thunder in a Blackwing Deck. Don't be afraid to call out terrible cards as terrible cards. ONLY USE GOOD CARDS. I can't stress that enough. After you have analyzed each individual card, analyze the archetype as a whole. Some old archetypes, like Amazoness, are just beaters, so an easy way to make them competitive is to make it an anti-meta deck. Karakuri, on the other hand, function terribly as an anti-meta deck. They are all about speed and plussing off of synchro summons. In general, you can classify decks into fast decks, slow decks, and alternate win decks. Fast decks, obviously, are about running the opponent over with a barrage of monsters, Slow decks are about using traps and other cards to slow the opponent down to your level. Instant win...well those are just dumb so I won't even talk about them. OTK Decks refer to REALLY fast decks, while anti-meta, stun, and control all refer to slow decks. Find out what kind of deck the archetype would function best in, and then move to Step 3. In some circumstances, there are two or more plausible ways to play it, such as HEROS. There are TONS of ways to play HEROS. If this happens, pick which way you want to play it and move on to Step 3. Sometimes Step 3 and Step 4 help you decide which way to play the archetype.

If you are basing this new deck off of a certain combo or several combos, skip to Step 3.

Step 3: Analyze The Format

Going hand in hand with analyzing the cards is analyzing the format. "The format" refers to both the banlist and the metagame. Obviously, if you want to use 3 of a good card like Kalut, you have to check the banlist first. When you do, you realize it's limited, so you obviously can't use 3. But the banlist changes so much more than that. Trap Dustshoot sucked last format because people set everything they had on turn 1. Now, it's a staple, because Heavy Storm is back and Mystical Space Typhoon is at 3, so people will set 2 cards max. Control decks can still work in this format, but they're simply just not as good because of Heavy Storm, 3 Typhoon, and Inzektors. That's something you have to consider before actually building your deck. Even if you decide to make a control deck after all, it's important to use techs that will help alleviate those weaknesses, like Starlight Road for Heavy Storm, and Fiendish Chains and Effect Veiler for Inzektors.

Step 4: Build Your Engines

This is arguably the most important step of them all. The order in which you do these steps will differentiate pros from noobs. Noobs will often skip from Step 1 straight to Step 6, or just do Step 6 (Step 6 being adding techs). Some inexperienced players will be like: "Hey, Mage Power is a cool card, I think I'll add that!" or even something that makes more sense: "Hey, Neo-Spacian Grand Mole is a good card, I think I'll add that." DON'T DO THAT. Your deck engine(s) are FAR more important than random cards you like. But what is a deck engine, exactly? Engines are 2 or more cards that work together to accomplish something. Here are the most common engines:

Synchro Engines
XYZ Engines
Fusion Engines
Toolbox Engines
Draw Engines
Search Engines

But really, engines are anything that work together to accomplish something productive for you or disruptive for the opponent. Not all engines will fall into 1 of the above categories, and some will fall into more than 1. Like Inzektors. The Inzektor engine is:

3 Hornet
3 Dragonfly
3 Centipede

This could be considered a search engine because of Centipede, a destruction engine because of Hornet, a toolbox engine because of Dragonfly, or even an XYZ engine since by the time you're done killing stuff, you have 2 level 3 Inzektors to overlay. Some engines are rather large, like the Agent Engine of 12 cards. Some engines are small, "mini" engines like the infamous Tour Guide Engine or Summoner Monk Toolbox Engine. Even when making a deck based on an archetype, you can never skip this step. You cannot simply throw together all of the decent archetype support, you must always consider how those cards will interact with one another. Depending on what deck it is and how big the main engine is, you will often be able to have more than 1 engine in your deck, especially if you consider mini engines. The reason Tour Guide is so popular is that's it's extremely powerful, but takes up only 4 card slots. You can quite literally put it in everything. If you are making an archetype deck, the engines will generally be relatively obvious. In combo-oriented decks, they are obvious in a way since an engine is what you're basing your deck off of, but you have to make the different engines work together well. For example, let's say you thought of a possible engine of Gearfried The Iron Knight and Smoke Grenade of The Thief. Both of those cards on their own suck, but together, they can rape the opponent's hand while giving you extra information about their options. That's a decent deck idea. But that's only 6 cards, 7 if you count Reinforcement of The Army which you will probably use, so what engines should the rest of the deck be made of? Well I'll tell you this: A Lightsworn Engine is a bad choice. A much better choice would be anti-meta cards that also affect the hand, like Thunder King Rai-Oh, Drastic Drop off, and Mind Crush. For engines, maybe the Wind-Up Hunter Engine, or Inzektors, or make the rest straight up stun cards.

Step 5: Add Staples

You've already analyzed the format and added your engines, so you can do this now. The banlist changes what staples are, so that's why you analyze the format first, but why add engines first? Well, because some staples are less of staples than others, and some staples interfere with your engines. For example, even Monster Reborn in Gravekeepers or Macro is a bad idea. Other times, you just have so little room, you don't need all the staples. Like with Agents, you don't need many trap staples, if any. Keep in mind that these are subject to change with the banlist and changes to the format when new cards are released. But generally, use these cards no matter what you run. They're called staples for a reason.

Monster Rebom
Dark Hole
Heavy Storm
Mind Control
Book of Moon
Mystical Space Typhoon
Mirror Force
Torrential Tribute
Trap Dustshoot
Solemn Judgment
Solemn Warning

Step 6: Add Techs

Finally, we come to the final step of making a competitive deck. Techs are cards that aren't necessarily staples, but good cards. Note that some cards are staples in certain decks too, so it's important that you make room for them too. For example, if you don't run Allure of Darkness in a dark-heavy deck like're an idiot. Other techs are less obvious, and the tech section is what sets you apart from everyone else. This section is entirely up to personal preference, since all the important things have been taken care of. Here's a list of almost-staples that you can use if you have room and it combos well in your your deck:

Black Luster Soldier - EoTB
Gorz, The Emissary of Darkness
Neo-Spacian Grand Mole
Maxx "C"
Effect Veiler
Thunder King Rai-oh
Pot of Avarice
Pot of Duality

Well, I hope this article helps you guys! Peace for now.

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Intermediate Duelist
Intermediate Duelist

Posts Posts : 427

PostSubject: Re: Building A Competitive Deck   Thu Feb 02, 2012 7:13 am

very interesting article Very Happy

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Article Team
Article Team

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PostSubject: Re: Building A Competitive Deck   Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:25 pm

well, now I understand why my chaos fairy deck still works when I expect it not to


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The Crocodile
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ADA Leader

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PostSubject: Re: Building A Competitive Deck   Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:50 pm

Thanx for the article harper (read it) im sure its gonna help most of people who didn't pay attention at these things


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PostSubject: Re: Building A Competitive Deck   Sat Feb 04, 2012 3:46 pm

nice article, i think its the 1st time i actually read a whole article Smile

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Life Stream Dragon
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PostSubject: Re: Building A Competitive Deck   Tue Mar 27, 2012 10:54 pm

pro....... pro...... and one again, so @#$% PRO!
this will help alot, but srsly alot of ppl with their decks.

of course there will be ppl like: hmm i already knew this stuff why the fck did i read it?
well i knew this stuff and yet it was very interresting to read. why? it lets me know you better ^^
your way of thinking in the beginning bothered me (a looooong time ago Razz) but the more i read your comments the more i noticed that you really know what your talking about, from your own perspective. not many players think that way thats why i started to like you *no homo*.........

ppl these days are so meta obsessed. and when they lose to a non-meta deck they are like: you are lucky i had a bad hand. and me trolling: b*tch please, meta noobs always fall for me ;3

the way i see it is that the meta isnt made by itself and konami but by the players themselves. some ppl knew how to use them properly to do good with them and adventually top with it. its the same with every other so called meta decks. they are just overused decks. and once one manages to top with a non-meta deck its going to be overused as well and will be considered meta too.

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PostSubject: Re: Building A Competitive Deck   Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:02 am

wow nice one.. keep it up.. Smile

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