Go-YGO: Conversion Strategies | The Irish Duelist

Go-YGO: Conversion Strategies


Jae Kim's recently posted another article on his blog, go-ygo.com.
You can find the article here.

The biggest distinguishing factor between top pro player and solid to intermediate, to me, is conversion. There are a few stages to YGO development I see consistently.

Beginner: Does not yet see the concept of card advantage. Can be found making plays like using Book of Moon before it’s “necessary.”
Intermediate: Has developed a full understanding of card advantage.
Expert: Realizes the concept of card advantage is useless without the accompanying idea of conversion.

A Brief Anecdote
Conversion is just my arbitrary term for building a deck that can turn extra cards into actual field presence or a dominating position.

The match that drove this point home for me actually happened in 2005. My good friend and teammate, f00b, was playing a match versus an average player. f00b was one of the best players at the time at generating card advantage (his favorite card was Metamorphosis) but he had consistent issues with converting it.

There is an infamous story of f00b and 4 Airknight Parshaths. At one point in the duel, f00b had 4 Airknights (one was Snatch Stolen) on the field. He eventually ended up losing the game to a Morphing Jar and Tribe-Infecting Virus despite having perhaps +5 cards in hand.

Unfortunately, there were a number of situations I saw in the game where simplification and conversion of advantage was not made. An example was flipping Magician of Faith for Pot of Greed instead of Nobleman of Crossout, while having +4 cards in resources and dominating the game.

To win a Yu-Gi-Oh! duel, you can’t simply focus on getting more cards than your opponent. The judge does not simply walk over, say “hey you have a +3!” and end the game in your favor! In fact the majority of bad beat stories (I call it players crying) at a premier event involve some exaggerated variant of “man I had +4 and the guy ripped Judgment Dragon!!!11″). A lot of times I think the loss could have simply been traced to a mediocre player unable to convert advantage to something productive.

Win Conditions and Conversion
During my work at Metagame.com, Jason Meyer (the managing editor) consistently talked about win conditions. While YGO is a different game from other trading card games, YGO does indeed use the “win condition” term to refer to certain aspects of a strategy that can win games. Examples include:

“LS’s win condition is Judgment Dragon”

“My win condition is to protect Royal Oppression”

The idea of a win condition is not brand new and it’s not inapplicable to YGO either. Your deck definitely better have a few explosive ways of ending the game. Otherwise, your card advantage will probably be useless.

The Golden Rule of YGO:
When you develop a lead in card advantage, you want to force trades and push the tempo. When you are behind in card advantage, you want to build resources back to equalize.

Convert convert convert! Do not be content to sometimes just poke for small amounts of damage when you should be unloading upon the opponent!

I want to post a few examples of plays you *should* be making but probably are not.

There are rare cases where it’s actually a good thing for you to eat a 2 for 1 Heavy Storm or 2 for 1 Torrential Tribute. The reason is that the opponent’s situation is so dire (you dominate the field completely) that the very premise they drew one of those cards is bad for their situation.

An example: I have Dark Armed Dragon and Colossal Fighter on the field with a set bluff and Bottomless Trap Hole. I draw a Book of Moon. My opponent has two cards in hand. Should I set it?

A lot of conservative players here are scared of getting Heavy Stormed. It’s a “3 for 1!!!” they reason. But think closer. Presumably, the opponent did not have Storm last turn (or he would have 2:1ed with it). So given the circumstances, a Storm would be a topdeck.

But think of the situation! You have 5600+ damage on the field. If your opponent does indeed draw that Heavy Storm, he will almost certainly lose the game. Yet BoM will help you stymy losses from Brain Control, Synchro Summons, and other manuevers. You should set the BoM for the -2 from Heavy Storm because the fact your opponent drew the Storm means he lost the game!

Another example: You have a +2 on your opponent. He has two s/t’s and is getting low in life. You have 4 monsters in hand.

Here, you need to realize that the finite resource for you is not monsters. Your finite resource here is normal summons. Your goal should be to put a normal summon on the board once per turn, no questions asked. If you take your foot off the gas, fearing a Mirror Force or Torrential Tribute, you are really dropping the ball. Force conversions (even 2:1) when you have a big edge.

Real life example: I was watching Dale Bellido duel a Canadian player. He understood the entire format was based on who flipped the first Dekoichi (because Dekoichi can swing over other set Dekoichis and acts as a 1400 floater). With a Book of Moon in hand, his first play against his opponent’s t-set was to summon his own Dekoichi and attack.

The tempo and field presence from “flipping” the first Dekoichi was worth it to him to summon a flip monster in attack position rather than set it and have his opponent take control. Of course, he won a few turns later.

In short, I’m a big believer in “poking” for damage especially from situations where I have control. Each normal summon you waste in YGO is potential damage, or card advantage, that has been leaked.

When you have the advantage, force the conversion! It’s the biggest tool in your arsenal to become one of the best.