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 Metagame, Priority and other bitching

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Machina Mechanic
Machina Mechanic

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PostSubject: Metagame, Priority and other bitching   Fri Jan 20, 2012 10:24 am

I may be saying stuff about the state of the game, but so long as it's not TCG it's fine by me, at this point, so considering the banlist is OCG mostly, I have nothing to bitch about in regards to how many copies we are allowed to play in the banlist period.
But as a proper yugioh player I have to stay true to the "holiday" spirit of the banlist and bitch about something, so I'll bitch about stuff that people say and tick me, and others who know what's what, off. Let's begin!

The term metagame was not made for the top 32 of the YCS, it was not made for billy brake either and it was not made for rabbits. There are too many misconceptions about the term but the ones that tick me off the most are
1) The nonsensical term "metadecks"
2) "I hate meta"
And of course I'll be explaining why.
Let's start by what the metagame is (which is what you shorten as "meta", whenever you say that word you mean metagame and you simply shorten it, just so you know).
Yugioh.wikia has an excelent article about met- nah, just messing with you, it's utter crap no matter how you look at it. Let's move on though!
The actual wikipedia has a decent definition for what Metagaming is. Not precisely what we are looking for but it will help you understand. Let's look at it
Wikipedia wrote:
Metagaming is a broad term usually used to define any strategy, action or method used in a game which transcends a prescribed ruleset, uses external factors to affect the game, or goes beyond the supposed limits or environment set by the game. Another definition refers to the game universe outside of the game itself.
In simple terms, it is the use of out-of-game information or resources to affect one's in-game decisions.
Step 1. Forget how you use the term
Step 2. Read the above quote
Step 3. Understand it
Step 4. Move on to the rest of this article

Now as I said it's not exactly what we are looking for, but as luck would have it and as google was kind to me I stumbled upon an excelent Magic The Gathering article on "metagame". It may not be the same card game, but it is simply the definition of the term for a TCG so there should be no difference in understanding it. http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtgcom/academy/19
It is in fact an interesting article so I suggest reading through it.
Now let us get back to the simple definition wikipedia gave us
Metagaming is the use of out-of-game information or resources to affect one's in-game decisions.
The metagame in yugioh would be the decks our opponents would use and the chances for them appearing, and again that is a very broad and wrong term in ways but we'll just use it here, for the more extensive understanding read the above linked article. It is based on the fact that our opponents are humans who will use a deck of cards as well, which deck of cards will probably be made for winning, so we would need to make sure it would not achieve its purpose using the additional information that they will attemp to win in a specific way, therefore we need to be predicting what they will use and define the metagame.

The "meta" as we sometimes call it, is not a factor defining a deck, it is decks that define the meta, the word "metadeck" or term "meta deck" uses the word "meta" as a term to define a deck, which is opposite to the function of the word. Even if you do take the term in a way that will actually make sense, which is again a leap, it will only mean "a deck that I/someone predicted will have a high chance to be used". I remember some crazy deckbans in certain wars, tournaments etc. naming in the banned decks "meta". Deckbans are for decks that will not be used, therefore they will have a 0% chance of appearing, therefore they could not possibly define the metagame, therefore you would not be able to call them metadecks, even if you somehow accept the term, which creates a paradox.

The term you are looking for when saying "metadeck" is either "Overused deck" or "OU deck" if you will, "Overpowered deck" or term that you do find much more commonly than "OU", "OP deck", or most likely what you want to say is "Top Tier deck" which is the term used in yugioh.

However there is an origin for the misconception of the term "meta" and the use of the term "metadeck". Let me quote part of a recent article by The Cynical Duelist to demonstrate.
The Cynical Duelist wrote:
AS YOU KNOW in yugioh, there are 2 deck types in the top tier of play. META and ANTI-META
There may not be "Metadecks" but there are "anti-meta decks".
To explain, there are decks who base their entire strategy, or the majority of it, to countering other popular strategies, meaning they do heavy metagaming since instead of using a specific strategy they use a counter one according to the metagaming predictions. Those decks take information based on the "metagame" or "meta" and "anti" it, earning the name "anti-meta". It should be noted that an anti-meta deck can be part of the top tier as well.
Because the word "Anti-meta deck" exists, people assumed that what they "anti" is "metadecks", which means that if an anti-meta deck exists, a metadeck naturally would exist as well, or got similar misconceptions, making "anti-metadecks" the biggest reason for the spread of the false term among less knowledgable players.
Just to be clear, no, the use of the term "anti-meta deck" does not mean "meta decks" exist...

Moving right along to the second thing and the thing I keep getting again among less experienced/knowledgable players.
"I hate meta/the meta".
This implies an aversion to metagaming, and while it may seem like an undesirable means to use, it is also something normal and extremely logical to use, to the point that if you do not do metagaming you are a bad player, and yes that is true and I will be explaining why.

Have you ever played chess? I have. I am extremely inexperienced in the game however, I used to beat my parents and friends but they sucked just as bad as I did looking back. Well, at a self entertainment level I was good enough, but of course not on a competitive level. The reason is something I understood after I started playing yugioh. I knew it of course before, it is something every human should understand and I would be a complete idiot not to get it, but I was not aware of how to make use of it and I just got a perfect grasp for it with this game.
In chess there are 2 kinds of players, if you wish to seperate them in 2 massive categories by level. 1 is the useless, self entertainment level players, that think chess is solitaire, only caring about their own strategy unless they hear the word "check" or until a piece of theirs is under direct danger, or at least it is painfully obvious something bad will happen.
Then we have the better players, those who realize they are playing against a human opponent, a human opponent that wants to win as much as they do. Every move that human opponent does has a meaning, with every move he is doing he is trying to accomplish something, and by every move of either player the basic strategy is altered immidiatelly to accomodate the factor of the opposition's plan, even if it does not directly endager a piece, in fact it's better never to come to it.

Now if you put on one side a player like me and on the other side a professional not only reading my moves, but also leading me from turn 1 right into an inescapable situation without me realizing a thing because I'm playing my own game and my own alone, it is obvious who will win.

Your opponents are humans like you, their intelligence is somewhere around yours considering you are the same species and most importantly, just like you, they want to win, and they will try to achieve it. Metagaming accepts that and takes on that opponent, you accept the opponent has a strategy and make sure you survive it. No, he won't sit back while you do your awesome dragon combo you came up with all by yourself. Somewhere along the way you'll get warning'd, because it's a good card, people use it and honestly you should have seen it coming. And no, what you should do about it is not put in a card that will counter Solemn Warning alone, you should either have enough s/t hate in general or make sure your awesome strategy isn't ruined by a single solemn warning. Because if you put more s/t hate in than you need or you put cards to counter solemn warning specifically you will have less cards with which to stop your opponent's awesome strategy, because the opponent will have one too, and if your cards consist of only the pieces needed to do your own thing, what stops the opponent's well balanced deck from unleashing hell on you? The reason the opponent is using Solemn Warning in the first place is neither because it's pink nor because it shows God, it's because he knows you will be summoning monsters and because he knows that a well placed solemn warning will most likely hit your strategy. Yeah, sure, no shit, everyone could have thought of that you can say, but hey, because he did metagaming he knows you will use monster based strategies and that's why he mained those Solemn Warnings. So I guess he doesn't hate meta.

More importantly, if you take away preparing for your opponent and activelly trying to get the upper hand, with what exactly do you plan to win?
If you wanted a game of chance you could have played dice, even DN has them, certainly less time consuming than yugioh, we could paint cool monsters on their sides for your entertainment too if you want. If you don't want just luck then what?
What Intelligence? You didn't even consider your opponent will use a proper deck of yugioh cards, when the basic rules of yugioh clearly state you have to have a main deck between 40 and 60 legal yugioh cards.
Will to win?
Why do you assume you are the only one who wants to win? Why is your opponent playing in the first place?

The deciding factor would be strategy, and if you reject metagaming it is the thing you discarded when you decided to disregard the fact the opponent will be playing yugioh too.

Metagaming is the answer to your issues, and I am not joking here. You are complaining about overpowered decks, about stall decks, about burn decks, about exodia and how unfair they are forgetting that yugioh has a best of 3 system for matches, with a 15 card side deck from which you can take cards between matchups if you dont want to use your main deck for them. I have seen people go as far as to say they hate side decking, they don't like it, it bores them or just disregard it only to complain the next day about how they had their asses handed to them by Dark World. Who would have thought, right?
Don't like Tengu? Main maxx "c"
Don't like Inzektors? Main veilers
Don't like Dark World? Side shadow imprisoning mirrors
Don't like mole's chain burn? Side Royal Decrees or Jinzos and see what happens when he cant use anything.
And yeah, maybe he has msts in his main, but why would you be assuming he would both draw the exact number of msts he needs AND the cards needed to achieve his win condition while you would either not draw into enough decrees/Jinzos or are unable to keep them on the field. And yes, he will eventually draw into those msts even if he doesnt have them from the start. So? What do you plan to do in the meanwhile, sit and watch? You should play yugioh you know, that's what you are there for.

The rest will be shorter

2 things
1) Don't claim it, don't call it, don't ask for it, don't activate it, don't set it, don't summon it, don't use it as a synchro material monster or send it to the graveyard for emergency provisions. Don't you ever ask for the opponent to do any of the above, because he doesn't have to and is not supposed to. And whatever you do, don't even think of trying to ruleshark your opponent for "not calling prio" or I will teleport right next to you and dq you personally.

Remember priority is something you either have or you don't, if you have it your opponent is to sit back unless hinted otherwise whether you call it or you don't.
Now you may ask "and what if we want to use the ignition effect of our monster *whimper* *whimper*?" And I will answer you with a question, a matter that I have probably brought up before in the past.
You summon a monster, that monster has an ignition effect, it would be beneficial if you used it or in fact there could be little other reason to summon said monster. In this situation what is the most likely thing to do? Is it using said monster's effect or is it passing priority to the opponent so he can use his cards to stop you from using it?
Now if we agree that biggest chances are to use the effect, wouldn't it save a lot of time for both players to only voice your passing priority without actions, which is rare to happen, and therefore you will only need to do the additional action less times, instead of you saying every single goddamn time "PRIO!!!!111!11!oneone". Priority is your right to play yugioh cards, why is it automatically implied you pass that right? Isn't that what you are there for?

So instead of every time you summon that rabbit saying "prio", wouldn't it be much more convenient to just not say "prio" there and just declare the effect activation while just saying in the case of Venus for example "no eff"?

The second thing I want to bring up is acting too soon in regards to priority.
Giving the opponent time to use his effect even though he has not said "prio" when he has not hinted in any way passing priority is not a form of "chivalry", as I read on chat lately, it's respecting his basic right to play cards that you do not have at the time. If the opponent has not hinted in any way passing priority and he has not taken an action which automatically passes it, you'd better believe he still has it. He can play yugioh cards at that time while you cannot and are to wait until you can. If a judge/admin is called, you are in the wrong if you violated that right. And here comes the most important issue, that is when you actually violate that right.

Let's start with the basic, if you activated a card when you were not able to activate it, it was an illegal activation, card is flipped back down and if it was a mistake you get a warning before play proceeds. Now if your opponent performs an action, you know he has priority, you know it would be beneficial to use it, and especially if you know that he only took that action to use it, and you violate his right with a card activation of your own, while being 100% ready to let it pass if he says nothing and accepts it, you are cheating. You may whine but look back at what you did: You knowingly made an illegal activation of a card to make your opponent relinquish a basic right of his and force him into a bad play he would not have otherwise made. That is cheating, you used an outside factor (illegal activation, you may say it's a yugioh card but you were still not allowed to use it) to gain an unfair advantage and is punishable by disqualification if your intent is proven. Of course it is hard to prove your intent, you may not even realize it, but if you know the opponent has priority and you still went ahead and then you still went along with it, no matter how innocent it may look to you, that was probably your intent all along, and even if it is not proven know that you are still cheating, albeit not being caught doing it. So no, you are not "outplaying" those "newbies", you are "cheating" those "newbies", there is a difference.

Actually I'd rather I called the title "Pulling rules out of your *what the call admin button used to be*"
Number 1, important and just to get it out of the way. Just because 2 cards don't work exactly the same, it does not imply in any way they work in the exact opposite way. "Yes, I know those 2 words are different, but can you explain how you went from that to assuming it works in a specific way that happens to be exactly opposite from that other card?" Who knows how many times I have asked similar questions only to receive useless answers. If it doesn't work like that it means you don't know how it works, not that you know exactly how it works.

Now, let's leave complaining aside for a second and explain something basic.
The rules of yugioh are not like rules of nature that are already there and are being simply understood by the observer. In fact there is no order among them or anything like that. At the beggining we have the begginer's guide which is simply guidelines on how we should play, then we have individual rulings. Once an individual ruling is made out of thin air to fit a situation, similar cards in the future are mostly taken care of to be written with the same rulings, which makes us say a general rule exists, while in reality it does not. All they did was make 3 rulings and they just made the last 2 similar to the first 1 to not confuse us. A ruling is not made until a situation actually arises, it isn't pre-existing, they are actually coming up with it on the spot and inventing the ruling. All we do is take the crumbles of information Konami throws at us, called card rulings, assume there is an order between them simply by a game of connecting the lines, even though 2 points can always be connected by a line regardless of their position, call those who didn't fall in the line by accident, exceptions, and call the entire result, rule knowledge.

Having that cleared out, just because something feels right ruling-wise, in no way does that imply it is correct. If you want to argue about a rule, or base your strategy around a rule, make sure it is done by actual facts and not by trying to twist already existing rules. If you use simple logic you solve most issues, while guides like this http://www.worldduelingacademy.com/t2783-turn-based-structure-of-the-turn will help you with understanding that when you can do what is not something that is randomly dictated by twisting yugioh rules and adding them to laws of nature (because about half those issues are made from trying to activate something when you cannot), but there is an actual correct time to help you with your logic. Above all, if you don't know something, don't argue with someone that probably does, if you don't know you don't know, it won't come to you and you won't make it up on the spot, it's either one way or another and in situations you will come across, not up to debate, while of course, what the card says or what the ruling says or what konami says is aaaaaaaaalways much more credible than what your friend says, or what strangers say, or what a supposed judge said or what you heard at a tournament or how you used to play, if it's the former against the latter, don't even try and accept what you are being told.

Specific Terms

"Target" is a game specific term, and even in there it is a mechanic specific term refering to how only certain cards function. Why would you ever use the word "target" for cards that do not target? Is it a word that you use in everyday life to refer to acts of selection so when you have to select in yugioh it slips because of the similarity? Do you "target" the clothes you'll wear in the morning? Do you "target" the strawberry jam between the 3 other flavours? Do you "target" the shorter way to school? Did you "target" that blonde?
Or do perhaps your acts of selection involve actual targetting? What do you mean you target the card in his hand? Are you pointing at it with a gun? Please don't shoot, a guy is probably holding those, carton can't hold bullets, you'll kill a man.

Chaining and Responding
Say it with me. Re-spond, I know it seems like a long word but it's just two syllabi in reality. Chaining to something only happens if you use an effect which uses the chain while an already existing chain is being formed. In yugioh we have the weird use of "chain" as a verb, but you also need to be "chaining" TO something, if you are using the term. To chain to something an effect which uses the chain must be existing, so your opponent activates an effect and you chain to it. If the effect you are activating is chain link 1, you are not chaining to anything and therefore should not be using the term to avoid confusion.

When you say you are chaining to a summon you are implying the summon occupies a chain link for you to be able to chain to it, and by yugioh rules on chains, they resolve backwards, that would mean your effect happens before the summon of the monster, which is of course completely wrong. It is however this wrong usage of the term that leads players to believe you can Trap Hole a Jinzo and are having a hard time to see the logic in being able to use Solemn Warning but not Trap Hole, while it also applies to many other similar cases. Look at rjuto's sig for example.

The word you are looking for is "Respond to". Chaining to something is in fact a sub-category of responding to something (because chaining is also responding, but responding is not chaining). So when you are not looking to chain to an activated effect but what you want to do is activate it for an event that occured, such as the summon of the monster or the declaration of an attack, don't beat yourself over to find the correct word, just remember that you are responding to it, that's the word to use at the time.

I have actually seen DC, if I remember correctly, "chaining to" a summon and "responding to" an effect activation in the same duel...

Missing the timing
Again, mechanic specific term that refers to when the trigger of a "when..., you can" trigger/trigger-like effect occurs when a chain may not be formed. That and nothing else. No your bottomless trap hole did not "miss the timing", it's activation timing has passed but "miss the timing" is not the term you are looking for.

Now that that's all out of my system, I can go to sleep. For now, I'll probably be updating with more bitching in the future. Loy.

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Last edited by Al-Bhed on Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:58 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : errors...)
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PostSubject: Re: Metagame, Priority and other bitching   Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:51 am

Ha, I loved this. Made me giggle cause it's all true. Sadly, I've already had all of this beaten into my skull by Al some time ago so I didn't learn from it. I suggest everybody else tries to pick this up as well.

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PostSubject: Re: Metagame, Priority and other bitching   Mon Jan 23, 2012 4:51 am

Nice article, Al! =D
I always wonder how you can write so much useful information about so few things. :P

I knew almost everything, but you taught me one thing:
I'll never say I don't like meta ever again.
I'll say I don't like use overused decks. :D

Yuna: aliens shud be banned..they are too good
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PostSubject: Re: Metagame, Priority and other bitching   Sun Feb 12, 2012 4:05 pm

Somehow I knew I was gonna be in this post. Great thread though. I felt like I learned a little. I feel like I've taken one step from noob to actual duelist.
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