Posted by : Abdalaziz al-shammari Feb 18, 2011

The Yu-Gi-Oh! TRADING CARD GAME is a game of strategy.  That means you’re going to plan your victory, and then choose the right cards and the right moves to turn that plan into reality.  Your plan is going to be made up of goals: things you want to accomplish that’ll let you win.  Choosing the right goals, and understanding how you can reach them, is really important.  Unless you know exactly what you’re trying to do – and how to do it – your Deck won’t work.

Picking the perfect strategy and building the right Deck might sound tough, but as long as you look at it in terms of goals, it’s actually pretty easy!  The first step is to…
Choose Your Goals
In order to choose your goals, you have to know a little about each of the Decks you could play.  Every theme (like Blackwings, Scraps, or X-Sabers) does different things.  They each have different strengths and weaknesses, and they win in unique ways.  In other words, they all have their own goals.  Here are some quick examples.
-The Blackwing Deck wants to be aggressive with superior Special Summon effects; control the Duel with Icarus Attack and Blackwing – Kalut the Moonshadow; and take advantage ofDark Armed Dragon and Black Whirlwind.  It wins by overwhelming the opponent with attackers and control cards.
-Scraps want to get Scrap Beast to the Graveyard as early as possible; Special Summon it with Scrap Chimera to make Scrap Dragon over and over; and clear the field of monsters to make big, direct attacks.  Scraps win by repeatedly Summoning Scrap Dragon, attacking hard and fast.
-The X-Saber Duelist wants to block early attacks with cards like XX-Saber EmmersbladeXX-Saber Darksoul, and XX-Saber Fulhelmknight; build their Graveyard to take advantage ofXX-Saber Faultroll and Gottoms’ Emergency Call; and threaten the opponent’s cards withXX-Saber Gottoms and XX-Saber Hyunlei.  X-Sabers win with strong defense that buys them the time to make deadly combos.
Once you understand how different themes work, you’ll want to choose the one you like most, and then explore the cards in that theme.  Take some time and make sure that you understand everything the theme can do, before deciding which goals you want to aim for.  There are often lots of different ways to build a Deck for 1 theme – the goals you set will determine what your Deck looks like.
Build Your Deck For Your Goals
Once you’ve decided on your goals, you have to use the right cards to match.  First, you’ll include the themed that are directly related to your goals.  Those cards will make the skeleton for your Deck.  Next, you’ll want to consider 2 things: which cards can help support your strategy, and which cards may interfere.  You’ll want to use cards that help you reach your goals, but you’ll want to avoid cards that interfere with them.  And if a card seems really good, but isn’t directly related to your goals, it may not be as useful as it looks.  Test it out, but once you’ve used it for a while ask yourself if it’s really worth it.
Remember, there are lots of non-themed cards that can often help a Deck do what you want.  Cards like Dark HoleMonster Reborn, and Book of Moon are good in almost any Deck, while there are plenty of other useful cards like Mystical Space TyphoonEffect Veiler, and EnemyController that can help your specific plans.  Once you choose the cards for your Deck’s skeleton, flesh it out with both themed, and non-themed cards.
Playing To Meet Your Goals
Building your Deck is really just half the process – once you’ve got all the right cards, you’ll need to play the right way to get the results you want.  If you’re playing a Deck with great defense, don’t throw all your monsters out in Attack Position.  If you’re playing an aggressive Deck that needs to win quickly, you can’t play slowly and let your opponent guide the Duel.  If you play cards like Mystical Space Typhoon or Giant Trunade to make sure your big plays work, don’t waste them on little plays that aren’t as important.
This is where your understanding of your goals really starts to pay off.  As long as you know what you’re trying to do, and how you’re going to do it, you’ll be able to go into every Duel knowing which moves to make and which to pass on.  If you know “This card is good, because it lets me do this and that,” you’ll know just what to do when you draw it.  You’ll understand how to survive when you draw a weak hand, and you’ll know how to press the advantage when you draw a great one.
Playing To Stop Your Opponent
Knowing your goals and playing accordingly is one thing.  But to really dominate, you’ll need to know your opponent’s goals too, and how to stop them.  While you’re making your plans, your opponent is making his own, and if you shut those down you’ll have a strong shot at winning.  At the same time, your opponent will try to do the same thing to you, too: they’ll try to figure out your strategy, and make moves to stop you from accomplishing your goals.  This can be the toughest part of goal-driven Dueling: it’s alot easier to understand your goals than it is to grasp your opponents’, because you never know what they’re going to be playing.  It could be a Deck you’ve never seen before.  Experience playing against lots of different Decks can help, but you can also read tournament coverage here on the official website to see different decks in action, and read about different strategies right here on the official strategy site.  The more you know, the more you’ll win!
Exploring new themes and choosing how to build your Deck can be a ton of fun.  There are thousands of cards out there, and each one helps you reach different goals.  Figure out what you want to do, pick the cards that’ll let you do it, and then make the moves to bring it all together.  Victory will follow!

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