but how difficult would it be to get back into the game, learn all the new rules and meta stuff, etc and would you say it's actually a better game now than it was in the early days
I'm going to not Achronos-reply because this may end up as a long answer. Like all difficult questions, the answer is the same: No and Yes. I'll be using Master Duel is the default explanation for the card game cause your experience with the IRL trading card game may be vastly different for a variety of reasons (playing with friends, no money so no crazy OP cards, IRL social etiquette etc.) that you just wont see when you play match after match of Master Duel. But the actual in-game mechanics and rules are 100% 1:1.
Playing from Practice league through Gold League is probably the most fun you will ever have with the card game. You'll see all sorts of rogue/pet decks, whacky plays & misplays. And is the most laid back atmosphere even without any communication with your opponent. About halfway through Gold League the game does a complete 180 and becomes the most UNFUN and Meta CANCER
I have ever had the displeasure of experiencing in any game. If you're looking to just hit Platinum League and not give a flying shit about how to have a FUN game of Yugioh, just run Drytron or Virtual World, your opponent is 99% guaranteed to scoop and surrender the moment they see you shit out an archetype specific card.
Why is this?
The game has evolved to rely heavily on draw power. The more cards you draw, the more things you can do, the greater the advantage you have. Yugioh was always kind of like this, but the power-creep from Pendulums has raised this bar exponentially. A vast majority of Meta games are decided in the first two turns. Pot Of Greed will always be banned because of this and its why all other "pot" cards have some kind of crazy cost associated with them to draw two card; its why one of them (Pot Of Desires: Banish literally a quarter of your deck facedown randomly so you'll never reutilize them for literally drawing TWO cards) is one of the most fiercely debated cards in the game and I have seen my opponent pull a victory out of his ass from using it when I had the game all but won. This is coupled with several archetypes that not only give INSANE drawing advantage to their user, but they can combo out monster after monster with drawing and negating effects.
So how is this combated and why is the game still awful at the top level with these "hard counters"?
Well there's several cards that are outright mandatory staples in any semi-competitive deck. The Ghost Girls are notorious, specifically Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring
because she outright shuts down any card that involves you touching your deck. Infinite Impermanence
, and Effect Veiler
are pretty much the same card that negates a monster effect on the field and II also negates any spell or trap in the same column it's used in. The Solemn cards negate and destroy when an effect is activated for a cost. And the best part is if you're running against all these hand-traps and the opponent seems to always have a counter to your play, there are counters to these counters. Called By The Grave
straight up murders the Ghost Girl cards. And Crossout Designator
will do the same for any
acrd so long as you have that same card in your deck.
You see, the whole point of Yugioh (and any TCG for that matter) is interaction between the players
. You make a move, your opponent makes a counter move, you make a counter to that counter, and this goes on until there is no other counter. A game within a game if you will. But you have to make these interactions meaningful and fair. It's why almost all of these cards have a hard rule in it's text: "You can only activate one [Insert Card name Here] once per turn". Because if you just sit there and shutdown ANY
move your opponent makes, there isn't going to be much enjoyment for them, and your victory will be a bit cheap and hollow. How can you say you "bested" them when they never even had the chance to make a move?
The problem with Master Duel right now is that a lot of cards that were on the banlist for the IRL card game (both in Japan AND the US) are free in Master Duel and some decks are just taking absolute advantage of it. And there are hard counters to these decks that may SEEM
broken at first glance, but the top three meta decks (the ones I called out in my OP) are outright UNPHASED by anything you do.
There are two cards in particular that are meant to shutdown combos: Nibiru The Primal Being
, and Maxx C
Nibiru was considered a Meta killer when it first came out a few years back. If your opponent special summoned at least five times in their main phase, you could wipe the monster field clean and shit out this 3k beatstick and all they get is a worthless token with no effects. Maxx C has been banned for years for its drawing power effect; anytime your opponent special summoned you immediately drew one card. Seems pretty crazy right? These cards are actually not that complex, it was telling your opponent a simple thing with a single move: "Slow the fuck down and let me play too."
So what's the problem? The problem is these counters do fucking NOTHING against Drytron, Virtual World, and that weird Bird deck. Ash Blossom their monster that lets them search the deck? No problem, he's got three other cards in his starting hand that let him search as well (no he isn't going to brick; when almost 3/4 of your deck allows you to do the same thing, the odds of them bricking are simply way too low, even with twelve spots in a forty card deck dedicated to hand-traps). He combo'd too much and you Nibiru him? Lol that's okay, all those monster have effects that activate in the GY that let him continue where he left off. Solemn, bounce back to hand/extra-deck, negate, negate & destroy? Those all only target one and can only be used once per turn, and he'll keep going. In the end, you'll be left to go up against an omni-negate break-my-board that will shut down any move you play. Completely killing the interaction between players. Just sit and watch your opponent play Solitaire for ten minutes before you get to draw a card.
What if you go first? You better be playing Meta cancer too because otherwise no board you make is going to be strong enough. I run Thunder Dragons, Thunder Dragon Colossus shuts down deck searching and is a 2.6k beatstick that doesn't give a fuck if you try to destroy him with an attack or card effect cause you can just banish a Thunder monster in the GY to keep him from being destroyed (which further helps you because Thunder Dragon monsters have effects that pop when they're banished). I could get Colossus out on the field, and have several ways to negate and destroy any card my opponent puts down and I'll still scoop when I see a single Drytron because I know NOTHING I do will ever be good enough to slow that deck down.
Don't believe me? Watch this:
I'll start off by saying this: Yes, I know he won against this combo deck. But it took THREE copies of a card that was considered a Meta-killer to do it. You run three copies in your deck just to increase your chances of getting ONE in your hand, you're not SUPPOSED to NEED to use it THREE times.
All I have left to say is, the game is easy to get into and can be fun as long as you stay the complete FUCK away from the Meta. If you player Master Duel, have fun until you reach Gold/Platinum. Once you reach those ranks, just quit/surrender until you derank back to Silver because you'll enjoy it a whole lot more.