Improve your game: You need a win condition

Shock Master's effect doesn't win games. Being able to attack wins games.
Shock Master’s effect doesn’t win games. Being able to attack wins games.

If you want to win a game of Yugioh, you need to actually be able to win. Maybe, if you’re the most charismatic person ever, every opponent will just concede to you. Maybe you are charismatic, but is it enough to get everyone to give you the win? Probably not. Desilentenigma (DPYGO) made a video sometime in 2012 when Wind-Ups were good. His main point was that even though Wind-Ups make a bunch of Xyz and keep you from playing, they still need to attack you to kill you.

So what is your deck trying to do? How are you going to win? Battle damage is the way most decks win. Effect damage, or burn damage, is also a thing. Most commonly it’s bonus burn damage from a card like Barbar, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss or Gagaga Cowboy. I’ve won and lost very few games through alternate win conditions.

Most competitive decks, really almost all decks, win through battle damage. And if some random deck becomes good that happens to win through some way other than attacking, you’ll know about it. Gishki FTK and Monarch FTK come to mind. And, be honest, are you trying to win through something like Exodia or Destiny Board? If not, it’s probably battle damage.

So we’re going to win through battle damage. That’s just the way the game works out. How are we going to set up the scenario in which we can actually attack for game? In Cardfight!! Vanguard, this is known as a winning image. Are you not going to let your opponent do anything at all? Are you going to get rid of everything they have and throw your whole hand at them hoping to deal 8000 points of damage?

This paragraph is about winning image in Vanguard. Skip it if you’re super impatient and don’t want to read it. In Vanguard, ideally, after turn 3, you’re drawing 3 cards per turn, and attacking 3 times per turn. That’s just the baseline. I know other decks do other things and other effects and G-Zone complicate things, but it’s 3 cards per turn. You also need to block with those cards in your hand every turn. If you can’t block 6 times, you lose. Also, you need about 2 to 4 cards to block each attack. So, very quickly, you’re going to run out of cards and start being able to block attacks. The deck I played allowed me to draw 4 cards in one turn if my attack wasn’t blocked, AND my Vanguard had 2000 more power than most, which meant I was able to use less cards to block every turn. That’s how I won. I was able to block longer and get to a point where my opponent couldn’t.

As I’m writing this, Monarchs, Kozmo, Burning Abyss, Atlanteans, Magicians and Peformapals are all at least decent. All six of these decks attempt to get rid of your monsters, then attack for large chunks of your LP. Sometimes all of it. This has not always been true. Summer 2013, Dragons and Spellbooks. Dragon Rulers could OTK, but really, most of the time, both decks were trying to grind you out until you had no cards, then attack for small amounts of damage when they could. Spellbook Star Hall ATK boost and Dracossack’s 2600 ATK helped speed up that process. Evilswarm was not a top dog that format because it couldn’t play the grind game with Spellbooks or Dragons. Evilswarm’s plan was not to grind out Spellbooks or Dragons, but instead simply not allow them to play and stall long enough to deal 8000 points of damage. This type of strategy is often not enough.

This could be an entire article by itself, but monsters beat traps. If you’re able to keep making plays and keep throwing your monsters into traps, they’ll eventually run out of traps or you’ll get two for ones here and there. Yesterday I talked about decks that throw everything into a combo to win, or they lose, such as Ultimate Falcon. That’s the winning image. In Vanguard, my plan was to draw 4 cards with JI ENDO and out grind everyone else. The plan may not be consistent, and while that is a goal, you need a path to victory. Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter how you got there, you just need to know the path you need to take. A reader asked me to write something on D/D/D because they’re cool. While testing them, I find myself unsure of what I want to do. Maybe it’s because I’m new to the deck, but I don’t know my game plan.

CardofDemise-MIL1-EN-UR-1EThere have been many decks that I haven’t really been able to identify how I won my games, and all of them seem to just out grind until we each only have a few cards, or they have none, and I am able to attack small guys for game. Burning Abyss, Nekroz, Fire Fist and Spellbooks are just a few. Burning Abyss and Nekroz were both capable of closing out games quickly, but most games were long and grindy and I ended up winning basically through card advantage.

Speedroid-Ghostricks did good at some small regional somewhere in Ireland, or UK or somewhere over there. I looked at the deck and wasn’t sure how it won. I played it, and through careful maneuvering of flipping monsters up and down, Angel helped to out grind everything and poke for small points of damage here and there. Otherwise, Ghostricks don’t do anything. Historically, the decks that I deemed as ‘don’t actually do anything’ decks, win through pure advantage. Madolche, Spellbooks, Burning Abyss, Nekroz. I thought Ghostrick was going to be one of these decks. They turned out to never be good.

Modified Ghostricks. Deck is still bad
Modified Ghostricks. Deck is still bad

I guess my main point is this: know how your deck wins and know what you need to do in order to do that.

Thanks for reading, click an ad, buy up Dracossacks and make March 2013 post LTGY format, a format people want to play. Don’t forget to come back tomorrow. Maybe I’ll have D/D/D figured out by then.


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5 thoughts on “Improve your game: You need a win condition”

  1. The ultimate deck that could draw/use lots of cards, but can’t win the game would be the All Pot of greed deck.

    Also, I don’t think that winning through cowboy counts as using effect damage to win. He just gives you the option to pretend your opponent has 800 less LP if you can make Rank 4s In order for “pure” effect damage to be good it has to deal ~1k per card at least to get around the fact that mass removal into a single summon can deal ~2k.

    1. Cowboy’s Defense Position effect sure isn’t battle damage. Cowboy is effect damage. So is Barbar. Both allow you to steal games you shouldn’t have won at that time.

      And ‘pure effect damage’ is almost never good. Modal cards are almost always better. Cowboy and Barbar can be used to attack or for the small burn. If effect damage was truly valuable, more people would be running cards like Chain Strike and Magic Cylinder. You also never have to draw Cowboy. If you draw Barbar, you can make an Xyz with it.

      There were two times I saw dedicated burn cards make it into decks were in Bujin during Sept 2013 format and my Satellars when Diamond was released because I couldn’t find D-Prisons.

  2. derp.well at least you stopped me be for i went out to build and test it.As stupid as it may seem,i prefer trying to make non-meta or very fallen from grace decks work.I value creating a deck that works after spend some time researching every time someone else has tried making garbage work(although i consider a lot of stuff i see to be bad)and then winning some games over winning more.(Although I am aware that some meta decks do take a lot of skill to play effectively,especially in mirror matches.)

  3. For a grind win condition,I had/have this idea where goal to get the win codition is the following:

    Get in grave:moja,king of the beasts,2 chain dogs
    In hand:kinka-byo
    In extra:good r4nks+2 daigusto emerals

    Basically, revive moja and tribute for king of the beasts with kinka-byo(will be returned to hand because it’s a spirit,revive chain dogs,spam r4nks and recycle with daigusto.Only problem is I don’t think i can make it consistent.

    1. If you just want to make good Rank 4s, why not just play DracoPals and give yourself access to a Rank 8 or two as well as Ignister? If you give me a full deck list I can try to improve it and maybe start a deck doctor type column.

      The main problem I see with this little loop is that Kinka+King of the Beasts is two Beast-Types, but once you summon the first Chain Dog, you’ll have three Beast-Types and then unable to use the second Chain Dog. And you’ll have a Level 1, Level 4 and Level 6

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