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 ARTICLE: Card Advantage

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Harper7000

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PostSubject: ARTICLE: Card Advantage   Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:22 pm

Hey guys, I decided to post some of my old articles here since CDA doesn't have an article team. Enjoy, and I hope you learn something useful Smile

Card Advantage

Today's article will be about card advantage, one of the most important concepts in the entire game.
How many of you have seen someone new to the game running a 60-card deck? That's pretty nooblike right? Well the concept behind it is actually a good idea: if you have more cards than the opponent, you have more options and are therefore more likely to win. What many new players don't realize is, it's far better to have as little cards as possible, because then you have a much higher chance of being able to draw those cards. Every card that you add to your 40 cards decreases the chance that you will be able to draw into your best combos and best cards. Also, having too many random combos is not a good idea because it hurts the consistancy of the deck. 
But like I said before, their concept is good: if you have more cards, you have a better chance of winning. But what many inexperienced duelists don't realize is: you have to be able to use those cards for it to count. This brings us to the discussion of card advantage.

Card advantage, essentially, is nothing but using basic mathematics to increase your chances of winning. If you have more cards in you hand and on your field, you inherently have more options than the opponent. For this article, I'm going to get mathematical on you guys xD. This is the advantage equation:

Y-O=A

Where Y equals the number of cards on your field and in your hand, O equals the number of cards on your opponent's field and in their hand, and A equals the net advantage. So, for example, let's say you have a Thunder King Rai-Oh on your field, a set spell or trap, and 2 cards in your hand, while the opponent has 3 set spell or traps. Well you have 4 cards to the opponent's 3, so you have a +1 in advantage. It's that simple. Where this really comes into play is applying this to card effects to see if the card is worth it. 
First let's look at a very popular card, Monster Reborn. You're using 1 card (Reborn) and gaining a different card (the monster you summoned). Plug that into the advantage equation: -1+1=0. So technically, Monster Reborn gives you no advantage. Now obviously, Monster Reborn is an amazing card because the monster you summoned will help you far more than Reborn eill just sitting in your hand, but in all technicality, you gain no advantage. Let's look at Solemn Judgement, another limited and broken card. You're using 1 card (Judgement) to negate an opponent's card. So -1+1=0. Still no real advantge is gained here, and you lost half your life points. So it must be bad right? Well...not really. Surprisingly, or perhaps not so surprisingly, cards that give easy advantage are banned or at the very least limited. Even the simple +1 of Pot Of Greed was too broken for Konami. Dark Hole, Mirror Force, and Torrential Tribute are the only cards that comes to mind that aren't banned and can potentially give you massive advantage no matter what deck you use it in. 
So by now you may be thinking: "Well why do I even use cards like Monster Reborn and Solemn Judgement if they don't give me any advantage?" Here, we come to the concept of One For One Tradeoffs

One For One Tradeoffs:the act of using one of your cards to eliminate one of the opponent's cards, thereby giving yourself a +0 in advantage and simplifying the game.

But how does that help you? Sure you got rid of an opponent's card but how does that help? Let's think of the advantage equation in another way:

Y/O=A

Going back to my original illustration, you have that Thunder King, a set spell/trap and 2 cards in hand, and the opponent has 3 set spell or traps. So divide your 4 cards by the opponent's 3 cards. 4/3 equals 1.3, which means you have 130% of your opponent's cards. Or in other words, 30% more cards. Now, let's say one of the cards in your hand is Mystical Space Typhoon. If you activate Mystical Space Typhoon you will have 3 cards and the opponent will have 2. 3/2=1.5, which means you now have 50% MORE CARDS THAN THE OPPONENT. See what I mean? Whenever you use a one for one card (such as Mystical Space Typhoon, Solemn Judgement, Bottomless Trap Hole, Seven Tools Of The Bandit, etc.), you are lessening the chance that the opponent can make a comeback. Some cards are even better than that an they're two for two. The most popular card like this is Icarus Attack. You use Icarus and tribute a winged beast to destroy two cards. Two for two simplifies the game even more, that's part of the reason Icarus Attack is limited. Now let's go back to the illustration and let's say both cards in your hand were Mystical Space Typhoon, and your set card was Dust Tornado, and you activate them all, destroying all of your opponent's set cards. You would only have 1 card left (Thunder King), but the opponent would have nothing. 1/0=infinity. Infinite advantage is definately something you want to have xD. 

Card advantage is a very important concept in this game. Most decks, whether you realize it or not, are about gaining card advantage, and that's how they win. Scrap decks, for example, are a kind of deck that focus a lot on one for one tradeoffs. Scraps try to gain early advantage like a +1 somehow, and then summon Scrap Dragon and simplify the game by 2 cards each turn. After a few turns of that, there are very few ways the opponent can recover, especially since Scrap Dragon has 2800 attack points, and it revives a fellow Scrap to take its place when destroyed. If you have a Scrap Golem in the grave and the opponent has only two cards left, even the best topdeck like Dark Hole is useless because Golem will simply be revived if Scrap Dragon dies and you can use his effect to summon a tuner and synch it up again. Gadgets work much the same way, except they plus more often than Scraps. Just by moving a Gadget from your hand to the field (normal summoning it), you can add another Gadget from your deck to your hand: a +1. One for one cards and sometimes Solidarity take care of the rest.

IMPORTANT NOTE: one for one tradeoffs only help if you ALREADY HAVE ADVANTAGE. Now let's pretend your opponent has 5 set spell or traps instead of 3. The opponent has 5 cards to your 4, making him/her have 125% of your cards, or 25% more than you. If you activate those Mystical Space Typhoons and Dust Tornado, they will have 2 cards to your 1 card, making him/her have 200% of your cards, or 100% more cards than you. THAT'S BAD! DON'T DO IT! Just because you CAN activate something and kill and opponent's card doesn't mean you should. Always pay attention to where advantage is. If you keep the advantage equation in the back of your mind, it will make you a better duelist. It wins duels, and like I said before, it's one of the most important concepts in the game.

Even though advantage is extremely important, there are right times to intentionally minus yourself. Usually, you should only do this when you're about to go for game or go for such a strong hit that the opponent can't recover. Giant Trunade is my favorite minus 1 card. True, you are using 1 card to basically hurt yourself advantage-wise. But it gives you the freedom for one turn to not have to worry about spell or trap interference, and that's very important since it's the only card left unbanned that does that. Trap Stun is almost like that, but there's always those nasty quickplay spells like Book Of Moon to worry about. Brionac Dragon Of The Ice Barrier is limited for a reason. Yes, it's usually a bad idea to activate his effect and bounce 3 cards when the opponent has 8000 life points. But if you can otk, he is extremely helpful in clearing the field of any problems. Brionac's effect can also turn into a one for one when used on fusions and synchros. In addition, there are many cards that work well in the grave, so it isn't always a total loss if you fail to otk. It's a good idea to have a backup plan though.

But take care fellow duelist, advantage isn't everything. In this format, many of the top decks can otk, some quite easily. In addition, there are several more rogue decks that can easily otk you if you wait around too long. If you don't know what I mean by rogue decks, watch some of Percival's Tag Force 5 videos on Youtube sometime. If you wait around too long just to build more advantage, you might lose. Risks must be taken in yugioh, you will very rarely have that coveted situation of infinite advantage. Not only that, but by the time you accomplish infinite advantage, you will often have only 1 or 2 cards left that can be killed by a topdeck like Reborn. So remember, focus on gaining and keeping advantge, just be careful: you're not a math robot xD

Well, I hope you all enjoyed this article and I hope it helped you. Ask if you have any more questions about card advantage.
~Harper7000  
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PostSubject: Re: ARTICLE: Card Advantage   Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:27 am

Cool ! I like it Smile
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PostSubject: Re: ARTICLE: Card Advantage   Wed Jun 29, 2011 2:26 pm

Very nice article dude. I always apply many of the concepts here, but never thought of it mathematically. Now it makes even more sense why I do some of those moves.

Harper7000 wrote:
Even the simple +1 of Pot Of Greed was too broken for Konami  
lol, I always argued that Pot of Greed is the best YGO card Konami every created (that and Graceful Charity as a close 2nd). It was the only card that gave a free +1 advantage as far as i know. Six Sams United has the ability to give that +1, which is a big part of the reason why Six sams do well and are very fast (which is also my reason for why an unlimited united is unfair).

Again, thanks for the post.
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