Pojo's Yu-Gi-Oh! news, tips, strategies and more!


Baneful


Card Game
Card of the Day
TCG Fan Tips
Top 10 Lists
Banned/Restricted List
Yu-Gi-Oh News
Tourney Reports
Duelist Interviews

Featured Writers
Baneful's Column
Anteaus on YGO
General Zorpa
Dark Paladin's Dimension
Retired Writers

Releases + Spoilers
Booster Sets (Original Series)
LOB | MRD | MRL | PSV
LON | LOD | PGD | MFC
DCR | IOC | AST | SOD
RDS | FET
Booster Sets (GX Series)
TLM | CRV | EEN | SOI
EOJ | POTD | CDIP | STON
FOTB | TAEV | GLAS | PTDN
LODT
Booster Sets (5D Series)
TDGS | CSOC | CRMS | RBGT
ANPR | SOVR | ABPF | TSHD
STBL | STOR | EXVC
Booster Sets (Zexal Series)
GENF | PHSW | ORCS | GAOV
REDU | ABYR | CBLZ | LTGY
NUMH | JOTL | SHSP | LVAL
PRIO

Starter Decks
Yugi | Kaiba
Joey | Pegasus
Yugi 2004 | Kaiba 2004
GX: 2006 | Jaden | Syrus
5D: 1 | 2 | Toolbox
Zexal: 2011 | 2012 | 2013
Yugi 2013 | Kaiba 2013

Structure Decks
Dragons Roar &
Zombie Madness
Blaze of Destruction &
Fury from the Deep
Warrior's Triumph
Spellcaster's Judgment
Lord of the Storm
Invincible Fortress
Dinosaurs Rage
Machine Revolt
Rise of Dragon Lords
Dark Emperor
Zombie World
Spellcaster Command
Warrior Strike
Machina Mayhem
Marik
Dragunity Legion
Lost Sanctuary
Underworld Gates
Samurai Warlord
Sea Emperor
Fire Kings
Saga of Blue-Eyes
Cyber Dragon

Promo Cards:
Promos Spoiler
Coll. Tins Spoiler
MP1 Spoiler
EP1 Spoiler

Tournament Packs:
TP1 / TP2 / TP3 / TP4
TP5 / TP6 / TP7 / TP8
Duelist Packs
Jaden | Chazz
Jaden #2 | Zane
Aster | Jaden #3
Jesse | Yusei
Yugi | Yusei #2
Kaiba | Yusei #3
Crow

Reprint Sets
Dark Beginnings
1 | 2
Dark Revelations
1 | 2 | 3 | 4
Gold Series
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
Dark Legends
DLG1
Retro Pack
1 | 2
Champion Pack
1 | 2 | 3 | 4
5 | 6 | 7 | 8
Turbo Pack
1 | 2 | 3 | 4
5 | 6 | 7

Hidden Arsenal:
1 | 2 | 3 | 4
5 | 6 | 7

Checklists
Brawlermatrix 08
Evan T 08
X-Ref List
X-Ref List w/ Passcodes

Anime
Episode Guide
Character Bios
GX Character Bios

Video Games
Millennium Duels (2014)
Nighmare Troubadour (2005)
Destiny Board Traveler (2004)
Power of Chaos (2004)
Worldwide Edition (2003)
Dungeon Dice Monsters (2003)
Falsebound Kingdom (2003)
Eternal Duelist Soul (2002)
Forbidden Memories (2002)
Dark Duel Stories (2002)

Other
About Yu-Gi-Oh
Yu-Gi-Oh! Timeline
Yugi Polls
Pojo's YuGiOh Books
Apprentice Stuff
Life Point Calculators
DDM Starter Spoiler
DDM Dragonflame Spoiler
The DungeonMaster
Millennium Board Game

Magic
Yu-Gi-Oh!
DBZ
Pokemon
Yu Yu Hakusho
NeoPets
HeroClix
Harry Potter
Anime
Vs. System
Megaman

This Space
For Rent

Baneful's Column
April 3, 2014

Death of the Staples

We've always defined a staple as a card that virtually every deck must use. Staples were ubiquitous during the first few years of Yu-Gi-Oh, but their role has diminished over the years. Staples have largely died and aren't used nearly much any more.

This is because of a combination of three changes to the game.

1. Overpowered cards (like Pot of Greed and Graceful Charity) have been banned. This went on during the Chaos era and GX era (04-06) where over a dozen powerful staples were banned in the same year.

2. Archetypes have created their own staples (like Six Samurai United and Black Whirlwind) that better suit their deck type than basic, but generic, powerful cards.

3. Power creep has created equal or better options to cards that we have formerly called staples. For example, "Mirror Force" went from a trap card all decks must use to a card that's one of the many great options you could use.

Heavy Storm and Monster Reborn used to be staples before they were banned last year. Many people today consider Mystical Space Typhoon (MST) a staple, but that's just about it. In 2003-2005, decks had like 15-25 staples. Think about that. Half to two-thirds of a lot of decks consisted of the same exact games. Then, years after that, we had like 5 to 10 staples at any given time. Now, we're down to almost none.

A Brief History

The earlier sets had lots of staples. This is because the game was new and it needed building blocks. By creating support cards for specific themes, there may have been too many variables to manage at once, so cards that any deck could have made sense to make.

Set 1: Legend of Blue-Eyes: Swords of Revealing Light, Raigeki, Monster Reborn, Dark Hole, and Pot of Greed

Set 2: Metal Raiders: Magician of Faith, Change of Heart, Heavy Storm, Sangan, Witch of the Black Forest and Mirror Force

Set 3: Magic Ruler: Cyber Jar, Mystical Space Typhoon, Confiscation, The Forceful Sentry, Snatch Steal, Delinquent Duo, and Painful Choice

Set 4: Pharaoh's Servant: Imperial Order, Nobleman of Crossout, Call of the Haunted, Premature Burial, and Jinzo.

Shortly after, for the next year onward other staples started coming out: Graceful Charity, Harpie's Feather Duster, Sinister Serpent, Torrential Tribute, Yata-Garasu, Fiber Jar, Ring of Destruction and the like. Almost all tournament-winning decks in 2003-2005 shared the same 20 or so cards cards between them. Sure, wierd decks like Exodia and Last Turn FTK wouldn't use cards like Delinquent Duo, for example, because hand control doesn't satisfy their main automatic-win goal. But they are wierd anomalies, an exception to the general rule.

In a sense, these common cards united us all. It was easy to learn how to play because you know what most cards do. Learning dozens of different cards from different archetypes today takes a better sense of memory, while opening up lots of new options and gameplay mechanics. Still, the game has become harder to learn due to the fact that every deck requires an entirely different rulebook (metaphorically speaking) to operate from.

Currently

Staples, in the universal sense that we used to know them, are largely dead. But I would say that there are many cards that play a similar (but different) role as staples.

1. Semi-Staples

Cards that the majority of decks use, but not most. For example, Dark Hole and Pot of Duality are versatile cards with widespread application but a player might not want to hurt their field presence with the former or hinder their swarming ability with the latter.

2. Archetype Staples

Cards that specific decks must use. Decks outside of that archetype won't use it. For example, all Madolche decks should use Madolche Chateau but all other deck types shouldn't bother with it.

3. Contextual Staples

Decks that meet certain conditions must use the card. A deck with 5+ DARK monsters, for example, should run Allure of Darkness without question. A deck that is easily capable of summoning LV8 Synchro monsters should use Stardust Dragon.

Spells

Spell cards used to be [arguably] the strongest type of cards, but since Synchro's and XYZ's came out, they have taken a backseat to monster effects and monsters that Special Summon themselves or other monsters. Today, for example, we have lots of good spell cards, but none of them particularly stand out as a staple.

Examples. Book of Moon is versatile, but has difficulty netting you a +1. Dark Hole is great for anti-swarm but will disrupt your field presence as well. Mystical Space Typhoon is easy and effective removal, your archetype may have better backrow-hate. Pot of Duality can both be a great draw/search option and a detriment to your Special Summoning. There's no one Spell card that every deck must use, though it's arguable that the above cards could be called "semi-staples" because a lot of decks use them.

Monsters

Monster staples? Forget about it. I can't think of any. The majority of deck types out there simply only use cards related to their theme and see most other cards as an unwelcome intrusion. There are monsters like Effect Veiler and Maxx "C" that lots of different decks can use, but they are largely a matter of choice. Sangan stopped being a staple after field-presence became more necessary. When Magician of Faith was banned years ago, it was a staple. It was unbanned and now most decks don't use it.

To put it simply, if a monster can't be searched to your hand or special summoned via other cards, it's hard to accomodate. For example, FIRE Beast-Warrior decks have Tenki to search out Wolfbark and Fire Fists, but once-staples like Breaker the Magical Warrior can't be consistently accessed.

Traps

As for Trap Cards, that's a really interest situation because we have so many great options that there's no single clear path that a player can go with their trap line-up. You can pick whatever you want, and of course, whatever works best for the deck as each of the great trap cards out their have their own set of pros and cons.

Fiendish Chain negates effects but doesn't remove the threat. Torrential Tribute is fast removal but destroys your monsters too. Solemn Warning stops any monster but with an expensive 2000 LP cost. You can choose Mirror Force for mass removal or Dimension Prison for banishing, but both are often sitting ducks for spell/trap removal. Bottomless Trap Hole doesn't get around weak monsters but takes care of everything else. Compulsory Evacuation Device is good for aggro and XYZ/Synchro hate but often can be a -1. The list goes on, but you get my point. There's no single trap card out there that can be called a staple, especially since some decks even pride themselves on not using trap cards. Royal Decree for them, then.

Where We're At

So basically, the idea of cards that are best for every deck is not really relevant. Instead, it's moreso a matter of what kind of deck you are running. And accordingly, there are cards that you should use.

Are staples dead forever? They'll come and go over the years as the meta changes, for a wealth of different reasons. But they will always have a significantly reduced role.

And this is where we stand. We will probably always have some sort of staple to cling onto. Right now, that card is MST. But there's one thing I'm almost certain of. We'll never be back to most decks using the same 15-20 cards again.

---

Contact: banefulscolumn@gmail.com

 


Copyrightę 1998-2014 pojo.com
This site is not sponsored, endorsed, or otherwise affiliated with any of the companies or products featured on this site. This is not an Official Site.