I'm happy with my previous article about deckbuilding and
Fire Kings but, while this section is going to contain a
good bit of deck construction, it will never be a full-on
100% hardcore deckbuilding series. It's never going to
a column specifically focused on pro play and metagame
discussion. Rather, I will focus on the enduring
principles which have been true in 2004, true in 2009, true
today, and will probably be true 5 or 10 years from now.
I've been reading other featured writers on Pojo, ones who
have had articles from years back, and I realized that the
articles explaining general principles of dueling have
endured quite well, whereas articles covering specific
tactics or trends of that particular time period haven't as
much. Cards like Tour Guide that we love so much today
could be become obsolete like Snipe Hunter or Injection
Fairy Lily. Standouts of Jaelove's writing were when
he detailed his
growth as a person and a duelist with painstaking honesty.
And I still remember the look the store clerk gave Pook as
he wanted to buy three of the same magazine to get 3 copies
of Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon. I want to bring to my
section something that's timeless, and also touch on aspects
of Yu-Gi-Oh! that other writers haven't commented much on.
I was in the process of writing an article called "What I
Wish I Knew Before I Started Playing". It would've had
mundane but helpful advice such as "it's better to buy boxes
and singles rather than packs", "keep your decks and binders
in a backpack so they don't get stolen" and such. But
then, I had more broad ideas in mind. And I thought of
You're never too old or too cool for Yu-Gi-Oh!
I'm 22 right now and I started playing about 10 years ago in
the 4th grade. It was a popular fad and craze that
probably half of us participated in. In a few years,
the fad wore off, but it stuck with me and I had met a
circle of friends who had just happened to be duelists.
Around 2006, I got really obsessive with the game, but in
2008 I decided to quit because I felt like it's a necessary
part of maturing. The logic was that YGO is for kids -
not adults - and that it was an
unproductive waste of time. However, my logic behind
quitting wasn't necessarily true.
Years after that, I spent a lot of my free time on blogging
and role-playing games instead. Around 2011, I
realized that it was really not all that different.
Whether I spent my time on YGO or the latest video game or
even reading books like War and Peace, it's still not going
to make me any wealthier or more productive. I did
those things because I enjoyed them.
I really enjoyed YGO, and even as I was "retired" on the
surface, there was still a part of me that felt like I was
metaphorically walking outside on a rainy night peering at a
bright window of people partying and having fun. From
08 to 2011, I grew as a person a lot in some aspects, and
not so much in others, but I no longer had YGO to blame.
YGO is not the end-all-be-all of life, and it's hard to see
that if you were as into it as I was in 2007. When I
saw the fights and arguments it caused, it made me realize
that the whole purpose of the game is to have fun.
Whether a ridiculously overpowered card is removed from the
forbidden list, an opponent had a lucky top-deck draw which
won them the match, a series of bad opening hands causes you
to lose games, or you faced up against nothing but
cookie-cutter decks and mirror matches, I found none of
that, in the end, worth arguing for. Years ago, a
judge's false ruling of the card Trap Reclamation being able
to infinitely add trap cards to the player's hand (rather
than just once) infuriated me beyond reason. Now, it
I got back into YGO since 2011, but I don't really attend
tournaments anymore. I just play for fun. But I
have a better sense of moderation than I did when I was a
teenager. I'm able to appreciate the game's strengths
and avoid it's faults by not expecting anymore from the game
than what it could possibly provide. There's nothing
particularly wrong with going to tournaments every week,
though I've just found more enjoyment in writing about the
mechanics of the game than playing it, at this point.
I'm not quite sure I'll care about YGO 5 years from now (I
said that 5 years ago, keep in mind), but I very well could
be married to the game for a long time.
I also want to talk about social skills, popularity and high
school, with regards to how they relate to Yu-Gi-Oh.
In high school, kids can sometimes be rotten and malicious,
though it depends on your luck. Some kids have gotten
bullied for playing, some kids have gotten simply wierd
looks and that's it, and in other cases, people didn't have
a problem with. It entirely depends on the community
and lots of other variables, but looking back, I'd venture
to say that it's really not YGO that would you unpopular (as
long as it isn't all you do or talk about).
You can still be popular and play YGO. If you're a
guy, you can play YGO and still get a girlfriend. I
guess it just depends on who you are, but YGO is not to
blame. And no duelist needs to hide their hobby to
avoid being mistaken for a stereotypical nerd (in a negative
context). So long as you're somewhat good socially,
practice basic hygiene and have other interests, there's no
reason for alarm. In high school, kids are
self-conscious and judgmental, but in college it all
changes. During the middle of high school, I put my
deck away "for good", but in college I discovered a niche of
people who still play and realized that it's not about one's
age or maturity, but rather the mentality that judges when
it's time to call it quits.
At 16, I thought I was too old for YGO. That was so
far from the truth. In fact, I was too young for it.
I cared what people thought about me, and that's totally
understandable in the context, but as we get older we often
lose that trait.
If you lost interest in the game, are really pressed for
time or don't have the money, it's definitely understandable
that you would want to quit (or at least take a break for a
while). But if you truly enjoy the game, never feel
like you have to give it up because you are too old for it
or it will make you less cool. If it works for you,
stick with it. And that's all I have to say
I don't mean for my column to be the "Dr. Phil Show" section
of Pojo, but this is something I wanted to get off my chest
while I still play and I also wanted to offer a bit of
perspective that I think could be very helpful to someone
who was in the position I was in. Thanks for tuning in
and see you soon.