The Illustrated Basic Deckbuilding Guide...

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schyshter
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The Illustrated Basic Deckbuilding Guide...

Post by schyshter » Wed May 21, 2008 3:31 pm

here's a step by step guide to create a basic (good) deck...

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A lot of beginning players think that a good Deck Size is whatever size will allow them to include all the cards they want. Some even think that larger decks are better, on the grounds that they permit a wider variety of cards.

Simply put, this is wrong. Smaller decks are superior to larger decks.

The thing about larger decks is that, though there are more cards available, you have a significantly lower chance of drawing any given card. If you are unable to draw the cards you need with some degree of consistency, the deck will be unable to win with some degree of consistency. Furthermore, since you can only have three copies of each card in your deck, and many staples can be run only in one or two copies, your chances of playing your best cards are slim.

This is not just my opinion; this is a commonly accepted standard among better duelist. If you look at large tournaments, such as Shonen Jump Championships, all the best decks have low numbers of cards; most have 40, generally the best number, and none has more than 45.

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Most good decks should have 40 cards; having more is permissible, but 40 is generally ideal. Of course, there are a few exceptions, depending on the decktype being used. Gadget decks, for example, often run more cards to reduce the player's chances of drawing redundant copies of the Gadget monsters; however, even these decks do not run more than 45 cards.

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Each deck needs a theme of some sort. Some new players will simply throw together cards that they like; however, these decks, commonly described as "HOLY PILE OF RANDOM, BATMAN!", suffer from a severe lack of synergy. Synergy is the way in which the cards in a deck work together and complement one another; random decks generally do not have this support, leaving them at a huge disadvantage.

A deck's theme could be anything from a series of cards that were specifically designed to work together as a set, such as the Crystal Beast cards, to cards that all support a specific win condition.

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Each deck needs a win condition, also called a deck goal, or a manner in which that deck is designed to win the duel. Keeping this win condition in mind when building a deck helps to make that deck more focused.

Something like "attack and make the opponent's Life Points zero" is not a specific enough win condition; something like "rapidly gain field advantage to defeat the opponent" for Six Samurai or "use the effect of Crystal Abundance to attack the opponent and win" for Crystal Beasts would be more appropriate. Even though both involve attacking the opponent to obliterate his or her Life Points, the manner of doing so is drastically different.

Of course, some decktypes do not involve reducing the opponent's Life Points. Decks focused on cards like Exodia, for example, win by fulfilling different conditions; in this case, fulfilling those conditions by a certain method is the deck's win condition.

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When constructing a deck, it is important to have a good ratio of monsters, spells, and traps. In a standard 40-card deck whose win condition involves attacking the opponent and reducing his or her Life Points in a non-OTK method, a good balance usually involves 18-22 monsters (16-24 at the outside), with the remainder divided between spells and traps, usually with about 2 spells for every 1 trap.

Of course, there are many exceptions. For example, decks including Jinzo and/or Royal Decree should run low numbers of traps. A deck's win condition can also affect the ratio; DDT decks, for example, usually run about 11 monsters, a large number of Normal Spells, and almost no (if any) traps.

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When constructing a deck, individual card choices can be almost as important as the overall deck structure. As an example, observe the Hero Barrier card above. Many beginner Elemental Hero decks use this card, but it is, in actuality, a very bad card. The following cards serve a purpose that is exactly like that of Hero Barrier, except better:

* Mirror Force
* Negate Attack
* Threatening Roar
* Waboku
* Sakuretsu Armor
* Dimensional Prison
* Magic Cylinder
* Draining Shield

Generally, there is no reason that Hero Barrier should be used, since any one of these cards can do the exact same thing except with an added bonus and no restriction.

Of course, even within the cards that are superior to Hero Barrier, some are better than others. Mirror Force and Dimensional Prison are both superior to Sakuretsu Armor, and Mirror Force is also superior to Negate Attack, Threatening Roar, and Waboku. Since Magic Cylinder and Draining Shield do not provide any advantage and can only negate one attack, they are often considered inferior to the other cards that serve similar purposes (outside of a Burn or Life Point Increase deck, respectively).

This is just one example of how card choices can weaken or strengthen a deck, depending on whether they are done properly.

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Situational cards can only be used under specific circumstances. For example, Amplifier can only be used while Jinzo is on the field. Situational cards are generally considered weak, as unless specific conditions are fulfilled, they are completely useless dead draws.

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Nomi monsters contain the text "This card cannot be Normal Summoned or Set. This card cannot be Special Summoned except..." with a summoning condition described on the card.

A Nomi's usefulness depends on the balance between how easy its summoning condition is to fulfill and how powerful its effect is. For example, Dark Armed Dragon is easy to summon and has an extremely powerful effect, so it is considered a good Nomi, worth running in a compatible deck. Perfectly Ultimate Great Moth, on the other hand, is extremely difficult to summon and is nothing more than a beatstick once it hits the field; it has no useful effect at all. This makes it not worth running in most cases.

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Normal Monsters, sometimes called Vanilla due to their yellow background color and bland lack of effect, are sometimes added to decks due to their ATK points and possibly their names; however, these can often hurt the deck goal. For example, Gladiator Beast Andal has good ATK and has "Gladiator Beast" in its name, but it lacks a Special Summoning effect common to the other Gladiator Beasts, which means that it doesn't support the deck goal.

Of course, there are some situations in which Vanilla monsters make sense. Elemental Hero Fusion-based decks usually use Elemental Hero Sparkman and Elemental Hero Clayman, since they are needed as Fusion Material. Similarly, some Spellcaster decks have a focus on Dark Magician due to the large amount of support available, ease in summoning, and high ATK.

Vanilla monsters are fine, but only as long as they make the deck stronger.

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Polymerization is widely considered one of the worst of all cards that can perform a Fusion Summon, as it costs at least three cards to summon one monster, a net loss of at least two cards of advantage, and provides no extra effects.

Some Fusion cards, such as Vehicroid Connection Zone, come with an added benefit, while others, such as Miracle Fusion, can use Fusion Material Monsters that are already in the graveyard, and therefore do not result in a loss of advantage. When possible, these alternate Fusion cards are preferable to Polymerization; however, some Fusion Monsters, such as Dark Paladin, cannot benefit from any of them, and so Polymerization must be used.

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If you are using Ritual Monsters, the regular Ritual Spells are not very good; Advanced Ritual Art is the best way to summon them, as this does not cost as much advantage as regular Ritual Spells.

Since Ritual Monsters and Ritual Spells are useless if one does not have the other, it is important that you be able to search them out to make them more usable. Therefore, most decks that run Ritual Monsters will include Manju of the Ten Thousand Hands for its search effect.

Obviously, to use Advanced Ritual Art, Vanilla monsters are also necessary; this is one of the cases where their use is acceptable.

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Staples are highly splashable cards that will make most decks stronger when included. Heavy Storm, Mystical Space Typhoon, and Mirror Force are the most splashable of these; however, many others, though not quite as universal, can benefit decks just as much.

Many staples are Limtied and Semi-Limited cards on the banlist; however, not all Limited and Semi-Limited cards are so splashable. For example, Night Assailant was Limited because two copies of it could be used in an infinite loop.

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In Traditional Format, all of these rules are even more important. Since decks are incredibly fast and powerful, a good balance with strong cards and many staples in a 40-card deck.


Summary: Decks should be 40 cards, have a win condition, and be focused on some sort of theme or strategy. Good cards and staples should be included, while Normal Monsters should very rarely be used. Situational cards that require specific circumstances or specific other cards to be used should be omitted. In Traditional format, all of these rules become even more important.

You should also check out why Card Advantage is so important...

hope this helps...
Last edited by schyshter on Wed May 21, 2008 6:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by Sanatiel » Wed May 21, 2008 3:50 pm

HOLY PILE OF RANDOM, BATMAN! xDDDD

its a........... very useful people, cuz i was just like that with 50 cards on my deck with randomness lol

normal monster rock! I..I

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Post by schyshter » Wed May 21, 2008 4:10 pm

i just hoped this helps to improve your deckbuilding skills...

if anyone thinks that anything should be added, or that something needs more explanation, please don't hesitate to PM me...

i've asked the MR. MOD to sticky this, and i really hope he does...
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Post by Sanatiel » Wed May 21, 2008 4:14 pm

You could make a new post with the basics of the kind of decks that u know
and some advanced strategies for them

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Post by bluebomber2425 » Wed May 21, 2008 4:14 pm

I have to disagree with you saying that Hero Barrier should NEVER be used, as that is bieng limited.

What you should say, is that in most cases you have better options, because I could have a deck that had

Negate Attack
3 Hero Barrier
Mirror Force
3 Sakeretsu

As there may be a reason why I don't want my opponents attacks to go through in that manner...so you can't say NEVER.


I also don't like what you said about siuational cards. There are ALOT of siuational cards that are good. Judgement Dragon is siuational and yet it is far from weak. If you use situational card and it lacks support in the deck, then the card is weak, but if its has support you can't say its weak because its situational.

other than that good job...thumbs up.
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Post by bluebomber2425 » Wed May 21, 2008 4:16 pm

you should go more into detail about support...or flow..or w/e you want to calle it.
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Post by schyshter » Wed May 21, 2008 4:22 pm

bluebomber2425 wrote:I have to disagree with you saying that Hero Barrier should NEVER be used, as that is bieng limited.

What you should say, is that in most cases you have better options, because I could have a deck that had

Negate Attack
3 Hero Barrier
Mirror Force
3 Sakeretsu

As there may be a reason why I don't want my opponents attacks to go through in that manner...so you can't say NEVER.


I also don't like what you said about siuational cards. There are ALOT of siuational cards that are good. Judgement Dragon is siuational and yet it is far from weak. If you use situational card and it lacks support in the deck, then the card is weak, but if its has support you can't say its weak because its situational.

other than that good job...thumbs up.
i have to disagree with the first part of your argument...

7 traps to keep your opponent from attacking ?!?!?!

there is never a reason to put that many traps in your deck for that 1 purpose...

JINZO and DECREE would pwn them all, making them useless...

secondly, they would take up a HUGE part of your deck, and most of them can (SHOULD) be replaced with better cards like...

MIRROR FORCE
AREA B
GRAVITY BIND
SWORDS
MoP

even GORA TURTLE ILLUSION (lulz!)

as for the second part of your comment...
schyshter wrote:Situational cards can only be used under specific circumstances. For example, Amplifier can only be used while Jinzo is on the field. Situational cards are generally considered weak, as unless specific conditions are fulfilled, they are completely useless dead draws.
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Post by bluebomber2425 » Wed May 21, 2008 4:28 pm

schyshter wrote:
bluebomber2425 wrote:I have to disagree with you saying that Hero Barrier should NEVER be used, as that is bieng limited.

What you should say, is that in most cases you have better options, because I could have a deck that had

Negate Attack
3 Hero Barrier
Mirror Force
3 Sakeretsu

As there may be a reason why I don't want my opponents attacks to go through in that manner...so you can't say NEVER.


I also don't like what you said about siuational cards. There are ALOT of siuational cards that are good. Judgement Dragon is siuational and yet it is far from weak. If you use situational card and it lacks support in the deck, then the card is weak, but if its has support you can't say its weak because its situational.

other than that good job...thumbs up.
i have to disagree with the first part of your argument...

7 traps to keep your opponent from attacking ?!?!?!

there is never a reason to put that many traps in your deck for that 1 purpose...

JINZO and DECREE would pwn them all, making them useless...

secondly, they would take up a HUGE part of your deck, and most of them can (SHOULD) be replaced with better cards like...

MIRROR FORCE
AREA B
GRAVITY BIND
SWORDS
MoP

even GORA TURTLE ILLUSION (lulz!)

That wasn't the point, the point is that you can't say NEVER, as some way or somehow that card can be useful in a deck. What if Mirror Force and etc all got banned? what if prohibition became used and it targeted a persons sakeretsus. The card may just be used to create a chain and etc etc...again you should say, you should consider other options as there are much better options, but you can NEVER SAY NEVER. Thats all I am saying.
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Post by schyshter » Wed May 21, 2008 4:29 pm

bluebomber2425 wrote:you should go more into detail about support...or flow..or w/e you want to calle it.
quote me and ill explain that part in more detail...
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Post by bluebomber2425 » Wed May 21, 2008 4:29 pm

schyshter wrote:Situational cards can only be used under specific circumstances. For example, Amplifier can only be used while Jinzo is on the field. Situational cards are generally considered weak, as unless specific conditions are fulfilled, they are completely useless dead draws.
[/quote]

yes, and Judgment Dragon can only be used if there are lightsworns in your gravyeard. thats a specific circumstance. no?
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Post by schyshter » Wed May 21, 2008 4:33 pm

bluebomber2425 wrote:That wasn't the point, the point is that you can't say NEVER, as some way or somehow that card can be useful in a deck. What if Mirror Force and etc all got banned? what if prohibition became used and it targeted a persons sakeretsus. The card may just be used to create a chain and etc etc...again you should say, you should consider other options as there are much better options, but you can NEVER SAY NEVER. Thats all I am saying.
yes, that is all good and well...

but if your plan is to build a competitive, tournament-worthy deck, would you not agree with me...?

and if MF should ever get banned, i will change my stance. until then...
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Post by schyshter » Wed May 21, 2008 4:35 pm

bluebomber2425 wrote:
schyshter wrote:Situational cards can only be used under specific circumstances. For example, Amplifier can only be used while Jinzo is on the field. Situational cards are generally considered weak, as unless specific conditions are fulfilled, they are completely useless dead draws.
yes, and Judgment Dragon can only be used if there are lightsworns in your gravyeard. thats a specific circumstance. no?[/quote]

you're supporting my argument with that post...
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Post by lc9gmb » Wed May 21, 2008 5:01 pm

okay

where did you get final countdown from?

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Post by schyshter » Wed May 21, 2008 5:17 pm

lc9gmb wrote:okay

where did you get final countdown from?
i don't see how this response has anything to do with the guide content or the posts that followed. meh...

look at the card again. it comes from the DARK CRISIS booster...

does that answer your question?
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Post by bluebomber2425 » Wed May 21, 2008 5:21 pm

schyshter wrote:
bluebomber2425 wrote:That wasn't the point, the point is that you can't say NEVER, as some way or somehow that card can be useful in a deck. What if Mirror Force and etc all got banned? what if prohibition became used and it targeted a persons sakeretsus. The card may just be used to create a chain and etc etc...again you should say, you should consider other options as there are much better options, but you can NEVER SAY NEVER. Thats all I am saying.
yes, that is all good and well...

but if your plan is to build a competitive, tournament-worthy deck, would you not agree with me...?

and if MF should ever get banned, i will change my stance. until then...

again thats thinking limited. I am sure you have seen decks, that used cards that you, that you would have never thought of using in a way, or possibly even thought useless. the thing is you don't know. there are infinite ways to make a deck, there are also potentially infinite cards that can come out that could support the card greatly. To say NEVER in a statement usally means that the statement is false, as its the same as saying ALWAYS, because for the most part there is almost always a potential chance that the card can be used in an effective fashion. I am not just talking about Hero barrier here, I am talking about all cards that you are trying to fit in this category.



Yes, and Judgment Dragon is NOT weak. I interpret your phrase as saying

If it is siutuational it is weak. Which is far from true. Heck even with Amplifier, upperdeck is hinting that Jinzo decks may be creatable soon. They released it fromt he limit list and create two new versions. and they already have a deck full of other ideas for Jinzo that was implemented in the anime, if you ever watched Jinzo versus Cyber Dragon dojo you would know what I mean. So , you don't know wheter Amplifier may become a staple in that deck or not, it all depends o wheter it has support in the deck, just like Judgment dragon is easyly summonable because it hasmassive support from lightsworns. it ALL depends on the deck...tahts all i'm saying.
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"You could say....?" - King of Terror
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