Dr.Nik: Deck Building and Experimentology | The Irish Duelist

Dr.Nik: Deck Building and Experimentology

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DoctorNik's posted another article on his blog, which can be viewed in its original format here.



All you need to know about deck building can be taken from the Scientific Method of Experimentology

Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering observable, empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning. A scientific method consists of the collection of data through observation and experimentation, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses.

1. Define the question/purpose
2. Gather information and resources (observe)
3. Form hypothesis
4. Perform experiment and collect data
5. Analyze data
6. Interpret data and draw conclusions that serve as a starting point for new hypothesis
7. Publish results
8. Retest (frequently done by other scientists)



Application of the Scientific Method

1. Define the question/purpose
This is pretty simple. The purpose is to create a tournament winning yugioh deck. The ubiquitous goal of every competitive player.

2. Gather information and resources (observe)
This is important and often over-looked. Before starting to deck build, one must define the expected metagame of the tournament they wish to play. A deck cannot be built in isolation (except maybe FTKs, but that is another can of worms). The deck builder must account for the expected match ups prior to making any hypothesis.

3. Form hypothesis
So-called "theory-oh". This is where the creative deck builders shine. The card pool is vast and there are so many ways to build a deck. This is the "skill" component for deck builders. One must have not only an understanding of all the cards in the card pool, but a working knowledge of interactions and rulings of the cards.

4. Perform experiment and collect data
Playtesting. Just like in any scientific experiment, the more results obtained, the more accurate the predictions made from those results. Playtesting should be organised and concise. It should include testing against all expected match ups. It should have enough data to make reasonable predictions. It is here that one begins to realise the decks strengths and weaknesses, but one should avoid making too many changes at this point. It will invalidate previously obtained data.

5. Analyze data
Look at the match up results. I suggest making a list of the outcomes of the deck versus all the expected match ups, and to include some data versus "less-likely" match ups as well.

6. Interpret data and draw conclusions that serve as a starting point for new hypothesis
This is where decisions must be made. If the deck is struggling against the anticipated match ups, one must consider scrapping the deck. If the deck is performing relatively well, one must determine if there are anyways to improve key match ups without compromising the deck's other match ups.

7. Publish results
This is where the deck list is published publically. There are various Yugioh Deck Discussion forums that serve this purpose. One must acknowledge the skill and knowledge of the user base of the forums when posting.

8. Retest (frequently done by other scientists)
People try your deck and leave feedback. Note that only feedback from people that actually played the deck should be considered seriously. Theory-oh feedback should be either ignored or considered only briefly, and only when given by a reliable knowledgeable player.
Sometimes, one may be able to pool results together. This leads to even greater accuracy of match up predictions.

Usage of this method will lead to greater accuracy at predicting results (and success) for deck builders. Having the best deck at a tournament invariable leads one to a great advantage. Of course, one must also possess the skill to ensure the deck is being played properly and to the best of its ability.

Good luck fellow deck builders and happy testing.