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Baneful's Column
By Baneful
February 9, 2017

Ground-Zero Thinking

When I form an opinion, whether in real-life or in Yugioh, I try (whenever I can) to view matters as objectively as I can.  I try to see things not just in terms of how they affect me personally, but how they function in reality (independent of how I personally feel about it). 

A long time ago people thought the Earth was the center of the universe just because it appeared that way from direct view and people enjoyed the pride of thinking the universe of revolving around them.  But Aristotle and the church, were both wrong because (regardless of how prestigious they were) they weren’t thinking at ground zero. 

I’ll define what I mean.  Then, I’ll provide examples of how this applies to Yugioh: 

ˇ         Everything should be judged based on current utility – not tradition.

ˇ         If a superior idea is discovered, it should replace the existing one.

ˇ         Just because an opinion is popular doesn’t mean it is right.

ˇ         Hype, rumors, fads and trends should be taken with a grain of salt until they’re analyzed. 

Example #1 

All of my friends were raving over the release of The Lost Millennium because it was the first GX set, it had Elemental Heroes and it had new shiny holos.  I saw the set list and determined that most of the cards in it were actually bad, and I was better off just buying a copy of Brain Control than opening packs.  This happened likewise with Cyberdark Impact and other dud sets.  Popularity dictated that these were huge events, but my common sense told me they weren’t.

Example #2 

The ban list has numerous cards banned which have not been overpowered for several years.  Elemental Hero Stratos was banned almost a decade ago back when an 1800 ATK beatstick and a +1 search effect was very powerful.  But nowadays we have several monsters which essentially do the same thing, yet they’re not in jail with Stratos.  Tribe-Infecting Virus is also banned, despite the fact that it’s a 1-for-1 (possibly -1) that takes up a Normal Summon and the complement card Sinister Serpent received a harsh errata.  There was a time when Dark Armed Dragon was at 3, yet a bunch of other much less degenerate cards (released prior) were still restricted to 1.

Example #3 

Pot of Greed is a perfect example of the willingness of people to defend existing cards regardless of how degenerate they are.  It was an effortless skill-less +1.  But many people reframed the question to “Why should it not exist”.  Simply by already being there, people had to have a strong reason to be against it (regardless of there being no reason for it in the first place).  If there were no Pot of Greed in 2005, would it have been so imperative to have it that duelists all across the world would ask Konami for it?  Not really.  But once the foot is in the door, people tend to just tolerate anything unless it’s really bad.  Once the other Goat era cards went, the argument that much worse cards existed was less powerful.  

Example #4 

Sometimes we add cards to our deck based on wishful thinking rather than utility.  For example, in 2003, logic dictated that running Dark Magician was pointless because Summoned Skull has the same ATK with 1 less tribute (but people ran Dark Magician for emotional reasons: it’s a really cool card).  During the Goat era, I was proud of a holo Creature Swap I pulled so I ran it.  It wasn’t doing well for my deck, it often clogged and the opponent chained Goats to it.  I justified it by viewing a deck list of a pro player with Creature Swap in it (but his deck and strategy were different than mine).  Eventually, my common sense dictated that my personal experience with Creature Swap had been repeatedly bad and running it in that deck of mine wasn’t a good idea.

  


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