Bridging the Gap. | The Irish Duelist

Bridging the Gap.

While discussing decks and whatnot for SJC Orlando, I raised the following question:

What's the one thing that players who go x-0/1 have that players who go x-3/4 don't have?

What followed were some pretty decent words of advice and general Yu-Gi-Oh! Theory that might be of benefit to some people:

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by "AJ Tiplady"
You know when I sit down at a table these days I expect to win no matter who I am playing, I think that confidence has made me a better player.

Also over the course of a long tournament concentration is key, so drink lots of water and make sure you eat and go toilet inbewteen rounds, anything that makes you lose concentration in the latter rounds against the better players will cost you.

Never rush, dont rush for anyone even if your opponent is moaning.

Always always pile shuffle decks, the amount of top players in England who still don't do it amazes me.

by "Living Legend"
this is a really important distinction, and yeah it probably should be another thread.

It's not exactly just one thing, it's a combination of things. Just playing at a different level of skill. An x-3 player probably doesn't think about his opponent's outs too much and thus complains when he gets sacked. x-1/0 players can get solid reads. i think the biggest factor in really reaching that upper level of skill is knowing when to use mindgames and how to use them effectively. little things to throw your opponent off, like pretending to think about setting a bw, summoning it instead, and setting some backrows to bluff icarus. knowing how to force your opponent into misplays.

a theory i have is that players can consistently do well because of intimidation. obviously players like levitin, jerry, jae etc are leagues better than the average player, and so when an average/below average player is matched up with a pro, they get intimidated and thus are more susceptible to misplays and mindgames. so the named players consistently top because their mindgames work better, and they get to practice them more.

there's also the very important factor of deckbuilding, almost all top pros can build a good, consistent deck, capable of winning a tournament rather than going x-2 or losing first round of top 16/8.

if you've ever watched any really good player play, you'd notice they all sort of play in the same way... i can't really explain it, the only way i can describe it is 'pro' lol. but it's just the vibe they give off, and the way they play their cards. that's not to say if you mimic the pros you'll be as good, but if your skill is good enough, it will.

and ofc knowing how to break stacks and be attentive to stop cheating

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by "DTC"
Simple answer skill.

Personal experiences though. I'll admit I probably fall under the "average" player, or "above average" but underneath "good" or "pro" players. My last 3 events, which I'd say was probably when I was at the top of my game, and the last event where I qualified.

When I qualified I qualified as top seed x-2 losing at table 1 to the undefeated (who topped a one-outer breaker to what otherwise would've been a win for me, and who I ended up playing in top 8 and winning 2-0 against due to misplays on their part). I recall that entire day just having confidence in the deck I was running, and playing to the best of my abilities. The confidence factor really helps because if you're not confident you will make the right play, chances are you won't.

The next thing is knowing the expected metagame. Right now it's very easy, test as much as you can against GB and LS, since those are more or less the top tier decks at the moment. If you can get the chance also find people to test against running other potential top table decks such as Valley/TeleDAD variants, Chaos variants, PCZ, Synchro Cat, Blackwings, anti-meta variants, and gadgets. Not to mention if there's even more testing, test against rogue decks and n00b style decks. Not a regional has gone by where I don't play something random and never expected at this level. You gotta know how to play out of these decks too since there's a chance you'll face one.

On that note, use the theory that 90% of players are bad. In a regional of 200 people that means 180 people are bad, at least half of them are even terrible...that's 90 people, and almost half the field that may not know what metagame means, or is...or that take this logic and figure because people play on autopilot, they won't know what to do in the matchup. These pro players are usually on teams, or play online a lot and test against EVERYTHING. It really helps to be prepared.

You need to be able to read things, play mind games and bluff. Some of the best yugioh players I've met are big into poker, or play really well at poker. This helps when they play YGO since they can manipulate their opponents into second guessing moves, and often tell what they have simply based on the way people use their cards. If you see someone look at their FD and then GY they could have call. Also having knowledge of their GY and depending on their deck (such as if they're running a tier 1 deck) you can tell what they may or may not have as possible outs.

Also helps to try and bait out moves. Force your opponent into specific situations where they are more likely to misplay. I get caught up and misplay in these situations at times second guessing what I could have done. Take the extra time to think out your moves so you don't let your opponent get control. Instead force them to use up their DEF or bait out their key cards when you have answers around them.

Also part of the problem with x-3/x-4's is the pressure. When playing against someone good, or even in the losing end, a poor player will lose control and feel pressured. There's no reason to. Even if the person on the other end of the table has topped multiple SJC's, it doesn't mean you can't win. I've played against a lot of good players at both regionals, sjc. Won some matches, lost some matches. No matter how good at this game you are, you will lose games.

by "gamemaster"
You guys need to get up on some Pareto Principle, ie: the 80-20 rule.

In Yugioh, just like everything else, 20% of the causes are responsible for 80% of the effects. The top 20% of yugioh players are the always X-2 (& X-3) at jump guys, they're good. Of the top 20%, there's a top 20%, the top 4% of all players, they're great. These are the players with multiple jump tops.

As a result, a player in the top 5-6% of players skill wise could never top a jump but find himself consistently X-2'ing. The difference between him and your "pros" is a tiny one, on the margins. However, a tiny difference many times over will mean the difference between winning 18 games of YGO and topping and winning 17 games of yugioh and getting 17th place. The difference between "good" and "great."

That tiny difference over the course of time translates into a huge disparity between the two players as far as success. But the actual difference in one to one skill is likely minuscule.

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by "slick"
The difference between the x-0/x-1 players and the x-3 players is a combination of factors.

Skill - the difference between the groups is not "how good you are with your deck". You have to know how to run your deck to go x-3, thats a given. The dividing factor is having a complete understanding of the game, including memorizing decklists of every main deck type, making strong reads based on this information and knowing other decks weaknesses. This means playtesting a lot

Mentality - the best players can think with clarity under all situations. They dont get distracted, they dont go on tilt. They have an aura of confidence - not cockiness. They dont overthink or over second-guess themselves (but you do have to second guess yourself a bit)

Deckbuilding - No deck is absolutely perfect. The best deck is always dependent on the builds of the decks it plays against. Therefore, the best deck changes with every tournament, and cannot be realised until after the tournament, in hindsight. Every deck must be tuned to optimize its performance vs the expected match ups. IMO "tech" is actually under-rated (most people think its over-rated).

Luck - No player can top every event consistently (without cheating). The most consistent a legit player can go is 50% top rate imo. If you honestly think you have a better than 50% chance of topping an event, you are fooling yourself and likely that overconfidence will result in you losing.

The main factor that determines the likelihood of topping is not player rank order, but this seperation of the x-1 player and the x-3 player
You can be the best player in the room, but it doesnt guarantee you will top
However, the 30 GOOD players will have way more success than the 470 NOT GOOD players
You can pretty much count on the top 16 consistenting of 10-12 of that group of 30, while only 4-6 out of the 470 will top

The only way to become one of the GOOD players is:
-you have to have a minimum baseline of cognitive and reasoning skills
-practice, practice so much that you know every deck of the format, how they will play every hand, and how to exploit their weaknesses
-a comfort level, where you can play against anyone anytime with full confidence that, at worst, it will be 50/50


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