The Master Duelist

I’ve recently downloaded Yugioh Master Duel to try have a bit of fun with something that I’ve always loved. However I’m old school with Yugioh, I liked the Duel Monsters series where the game was at its simplest.

After flicking through countless confusing menus I used some in game currency to activate the game’s battle pass before trying to arrange a basic deck to fit my style and I launched straight into the online play. I’ve been watching the TV series and playing Legacy Of The Duelist so understand some of the new mechanics.

My first match in Casual play was against a player known as Jacob. I was on Xbox and Jacob had no gamer tag displayed so must have been a cross play player. Jacob’s deck had many similarities to my own and there was a bit of back and forth with us each playing two or three cards per turn. There was some sort of signal disruption so things were a bit slow but having an evenly matched opponent provided a decent level of fun.

Either I had luckier draws or my little deck edit was enough to give me an edge but ultimately I won the duel having taken a direct attack. The game felt fair, fast and (for me) fun. To me – even though I’d just started – this seemed like what Yugioh should feel like. Thank you Jacob if you ever read this.

So, Casual play had potential to work for me, what about Ranked? Taking the same deck into the Ranked section saw me quickly find an opponent. Whoasis, another player who was likely doing cross play but with customised card sleeves and an icon which showed it was likely a long term player. This player likely had a better set up deck which would leave me massively outmatched given my basic cards.

A Photon deck was Whoasis’ choice. I took a turn and set three cards. They took a turn with a Mystical Space Typhoon, two or three special summons, a Link summon followed by more special summons by which point they had a Galaxy Eyes Photon Dragon (I’m watching Zexal at the moment so know it’s a big deal) surrounded by four other decently strong monsters. This was followed by an Xyz summon which was used for another Xyz summon leaving two monsters on their field. Having waited a long time for Whoasis to use half their deck I was getting bored but at last they used an Xyz ability to destroy my set trap before attacking. My monster went down and so did the Xyz mega beast that hit it. Whoasis had one defence position monster against my empty field. My turn next, I summon and attack leaving myself in the stronger position. Their turn and half the remaining deck is used to get a powerful Photon monster out, plus a friend for it. Two turns later I’d lost.

This match wasn’t fun. I spent a lot of time waiting with the knowledge that I couldn’t win. It didn’t seem particularly clever of my opponent to use the deck they did as the archetype had basically built the deck for them. The way the card effects worked took the luck out of the card draws too. No creativity, no pace to the game and no sense of awe at an opponent’s skill makes for something very dull.

Whoasis showed me what’s wrong with the modern game and largely it’s that elite strategies are too easy to learn and copy so the game is no longer for playing. The game isn’t about an exchange where two people have fun challenging one another, instead reduced to attempting a one turn win which is awful to play against.

I’ll admit that I don’t fully understand the game mechanics these days but really good players could always do impressive combos. Now, any old fool can go online for something overpowered and suck the life out of the game. I really want to enjoy Yugioh Master Duel but the fact that people play for easy wins rather than fun is what ruins it for me.

Take Legacy Of The Duelist as an example. I could make a half decent deck to easily beat everything but instead make weird decks or use story decks for the fun of it. As with most games it seems that other people are what ruin online play.

I’ll keep going with Master Duel and try find some fun. Hopefully someone is open to discussion on it. Comment if you are.


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