Lord Nagafen Raider
What is Yu-Gi-Oh?
If you don't know what Yu-Gi-Oh! is, you probably aren't a millennial and don't have kids. Yu-Gi-Oh! is a trading card game made in the late 90's that started off as a terrible Japanese MTG ripoff but quickly developed into its own highly competitive card game. It is the second most popular TCG in the world, right behind MTG and in front of Pokemon TCG. In Yu-Gi-Oh!, two duelists battle each other with a variety of monsters, spells, and trap cards in order to achieve victory over their opponent.
Yu-Gi-Oh! also has an anime series that has been running since the late 90's and a manga series that has been running since even before then. There have been five Yu-Gi-Oh! shows so far with each show comprised of over 100 episodes.
Why Should I Play Yu-Gi-Oh?
The thing that separates Yu-Gi-Oh! from most other card games is the lack of a strict resource system. In MTG and Hearthstone, you are limited by your amount of mana and once you have expended your mana for that turn, you're done. Yu-Gi-Oh! on the other hand does not have any kind of resource system; you can more or less keep playing cards as long as you have cards. This opens up potential for long and complex combos that you won't see in other card games, making games between players much more fast-paced and exciting than other card games while still promoting a large element of strategy.
Pros and Cons of Yu-Gi-Oh!
- If you like combo decks, Yu-Gi-Oh! has the most complex and rewarding combo-based decks of any popular TCG. Many decks can search (or tutor) many cards in their deck and summon an impressive board of powerful monsters on their first turn.
- Instead of being locked to certain "colors" like in MTG, Yu-Gi-Oh! uses archetypes, which are groups of cards that can be as small as 5 cards or as large as 30 cards. If there is an archetype you really like, you can play a pure version of it, or you can find a bunch of archetypes that work well together and hybridize them to make some godly OP mutant deck that no one has ever thought of.
- No format rotation, frequent reprints, and guaranteed rare cards in every pack keep the game affordable. Certain meta decks can cost as low as $60.
- Anime artwork.
- To play Yu-Gi-Oh! at a competitive level, you basically have to learn the card game's language, known as PSCT (Problem-Solving Card Text). Yu-Gi-Oh! does not have a glossary of terms like in MTG, so it's not uncommon to find a paragraph of effect text on a card. You also need to learn how certain grammatical notations (such as including a colon versus a semicolon in card text) can change interactions between cards, and even then, some cards are not consistent with the game's own language. This can make for a very steep learning curve when getting into competitive.
- Prize support is garbage. There are no official Konami Yu-Gi-Oh! events with cash prizes. When you make the top cut at large events, you are awarded booster packs and sometimes additional prizes depending on how big the event was. World Championship and Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series (YCS) top cut winners receive "prize cards," special cards that do not have any other distribution. Collectors tend to purchase these cards for anywhere from $500 - $2,000, depending on how rare the card is, but nobody plays Yu-Gi-Oh! to make money, they play it for fun (or due to a crippling addiction).
- Random banlists. Konami gives zero warning regarding when they're going to drop a new banlist. Usually they happen every 4-5 months, but rarely there can be "emergency banlists" that break this cycle. When a banlist drops, it usually goes into effect within 4-5 days. It is entirely possible that you can pick up a meta deck during "banlist season" to have it made unplayable the next day.
- Anime artwork.