Posted by : Abdalaziz al-shammari Nov 18, 2010

In Yugi’s Duel against the Pharaoh, he was able to figure out that the Pharaoh had Mirror Force face-down, without even seeing it.
How did Yugi do it? Did he use ancient Egyptian powers? Millennium magic? The power of friendship? No, Yugi didn’t need to use anything more than some basic strategy and the process of elimination. If you can master it as well as Yugi did, you’ll find that knowing your opponent’s cards will give you a huge advantage.
The first thing you’ll want to do is familiarize yourself with the most popular Trap Cards and Quick-Play Spell Cards that lots of Duelists use. Once you know which cards are most likely to be in your opponent’s Deck, you’ll be ready to start figuring which cards he has in his Spell and Trap Card Zone, and which cards he almost definitely doesn’t.
If you can categorize these cards in your mind, you’ll have a much easier time figuring out what’s up. Cards like Dimensional Prison and Mirror Force, for example, are attack-triggered Trap Cards. Cards like Solemn Warning and Bottomless Trap Hole trigger when you try to Summon a monster. These 2 types of Trap Cards are usually the easiest types to figure out if the opponent has them Set.

When Yugi faced the Pharaoh, he went several turns without attacking. Throughout those turns, the Pharaoh had a face-down which he hadn’t activated. Yugi was able to narrow down the Pharaoh’s Set card to an attack-triggered Trap Card, and knowing that the Pharaoh usedMirror Force in his Deck, correctly guess that the Set card was Mirror Force. Applying this concept to a real-life Duel will yield some great results!
If you pass a couple of turns without attacking and your opponent hasn’t been activating his Set cards, he’s probably able to stop an attack with one of them. If you go a while without Summoning a monster and your opponent hasn’t been using his face-down cards, he’ll probably be able to stop your next Summon or destroy your next monster as soon as you Summon it to the field. Sometimes, a successful Summon and attack will allow you to eliminate the possibility that your opponent’s Set card can stop a Summon or an attack. This is sometimes as valuable as knowing exactly which card your opponent has.
Try out the example below:
Suppose you’re playing against your opponent in a Blackwing mirror match. Your opponent has over 2000 Life Points with 1 Set Spell or Trap and Blackwing – Bora the Spear (1700 ATK) in Attack Position. You have nothing on the field and Summon Blackwing – Shura the Blue Flame (1800 ATK). The Summon is successful, so you attack your opponent’s Bora. Your opponent doesn’t block the attack with his Set card, and doesn’t use a Blackwing – Kalut the Moon Shadow from his hand to boost Bora’s attack. Shura destroys Bora in battle, so its effect activates. You Special Summon another Blackwing from your Deck with Shura’s effect. What did you learn about your opponent’s cards after making this play?
If your opponent could’ve stopped your Shura from destroying his monster and letting you Special Summon a free monster from your Deck, he probably would have. Since he didn’t stop your Summon or your attack, he probably doesn’t have Mirror ForceDimensional Prison,Book of MoonSolemn Warning, or Bottomless Trap Hole face-down. You can also conclude that your opponent didn’t have Kalut in his hand, since he probably would have used it if he did. Most likely, your opponent’s face-down card was one that he couldn’t activate.
Icarus AttackSeven Tools of the BanditRoyal OppressionDelta Crow – Anti Reverse, and any other bluffs are all possibilities. It’s also a possibility that your opponent’s face-down card is Solemn Judgment or Torrential Tribute, since he may or may not have used them against your Shura, if he had them. Icarus Attack is the most likely possibility, since most Blackwing Duelists use 3 copies in their Decks, and it would explain why your opponent left a Bora on the field, vulnerable in Attack Position.
Now you just need to know how to use all of this information. Knowing which cards your opponent does and doesn’t have can help you make plays throughout the Duel. For example, if your opponent Sets a second Spell or Trap on his next turn and then passes, you’ll usually be right if you assume that the new card is a bigger threat than the previously Set card, which wasn’t able to stop an attack or a Summon.
It’s also possible that the new card is another desperately Set bluff, which would tell you that your opponent’s defenses are weak. If you have 1 copy of Mystical Space Typhoon in your hand, you’ll probably want to destroy your opponent’s newly Set card before attacking with your Blackwings, instead of destroying your opponent’s older card, which you’ve already determined to be harmless.
The process of figuring out which cards your opponent most likely does and doesn’t have can sometimes be complicated, and figuring out how to use that information can be even more challenging. But with plenty of practice, you’ll be able to master that information to become a champion like Yugi!

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