Yu Gi Oh! Random Nonsense Go! (Backlog Tale)

I have been a fan of the Yu Gi Oh! Trading Card Game (TCG) ever since middle school. Something about the monsters, gameplay, and hair made me really enjoy the struggle of wits between two opponents. While Magic would become the dominant TCG, Yu Gi Oh! would still be my choice of card game since I was most familiar with it and Magic still intimidates me (plus the few people I encountered who play it were arrogant AF).

Playing the TCG in a video game format has been the way I’ve played for years. When you have no friends or acquaintances who have an interest in Yu Gi Oh!, video games become your best way to learn and enjoy new things. From Duel Academy on the GBA to Legacy of the Duelist on modern platforms, I have tried to keep up with the current changes to the game to a point. The introduction of Synchro monsters was the last update to the game that I really got into. XYZ (pronounced X-C), Pendulum, and Link monsters made the game too complicated for me. For that reason, I would keep my strategies close to the third generation and make due there.

Enter Yu Gi Oh! Master Duel; the new free-to-play online Yu Gi Oh! game based on the current TCG. Up to this point, I have mostly played against AI opponents. This game focuses on online battles against real people worldwide. Going in, I expected to get my ass handed to me a couple of times before I found the right deck and strategy that fits my playstyle. My cocky attitude was quickly shattered when I started to lose over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over again. I wasn’t expecting to get destroyed this badly, but this assured me that this was not the same game from my time with Legacy of the Duelist. I had entered the new meta of the Yu Gi Oh! game where getting the most out of each turn and dominating your opponent is key.

In the past, if you were going first, it was a normal play to set up your defenses and prepare for whatever move your opponent was going to make on their turn. The meta now seems to be summoning as many monsters as possible to the field and playing your most powerful monsters at the start. Laying down your strategy at the start with the right countermeasures could mean that victory for you is a guarantee. For a defensive player like myself, I now have to come up with unorthodox strategies that seem strange to me, but are vital if I want a chance of winning my matches. And for me personally, I don’t mind that one bit.

I will fully admit that my struggles come from not keeping up with the current status of the game. The introduction of new monster types and summoning methods was overbearing for me and I never took the time to understand their application in the game. In Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution, I breezed through the first three arcs of the story since I was very familiar with the cards and strategies. When I got to Zexal and XYZ summoning, I started to struggle since I was using my old strategies that were easily overcome by XYZ monsters and their effects. Things got even more difficult with Arc V since every type of summoning method comes into play along with Pendulum summoning (which is still the only summoning method that I try to avoid). The game was no longer something that was easily predictable with the old cards in play. You now have to content with not knowing what summoning method your opponent will utilize the most; not including if they use a mix of all seven summoning methods.

What is this nonsense?

This is the exciting (and frustrating) part of the game for me. The core game that I enjoy is still there, but my understanding and strategies have to change in order for me to win my matches. For some of us, that makes complete sense for any game that has been around as long as this one. The game needs to change and introduce new mechanics to keep the player base interested enough to keep playing the game. In some way, Trading Card Games have been the original Live Service games that continually introduce new content, game modes, and microtransactions that keeps the game living and thriving to this day.

From a mature standpoint, I should take my time to learn new ways on how to play the game and adapt to modern times, but the whiny baby inside of me hates this new kind of play. Old decks that I used to have fun with aren’t as viable since they took some time to set up properly, or contain no abilities to deal with the new bullshit that some of these cards have. You almost have to have cards that can negate abilities in order to stand a chance against certain archetypes. If I see one dragon maid or anime girl wearing an airplane, I almost want to surrender immediately since the people using those decks know how to pull a win out of nowhere. 

This is where my current problem with the game stands. With over 10,000 cards to pick and chose to create a 40 card deck, I don’t have the time to learn and figure out what each and every card can do and try to predict how that will work in my deck. With card descriptions ranging from lite flavor text to terms of service agreements. For me, the simpler the card effect, the better it is for me to use it effectively. This doesn’t work when your opponent uses cards that have multiple effects and you have to read through them carefully in order to not trigger any of them. It slows the game down for me and makes me waste a lot of time trying to understand if I’m going to screw myself over. At least when cards had one or two effects, I could keep track of what card effects to look out for when planning my next move. Now with effects that can be triggered from the hand, graveyard, extra deck, and kitchen sink, I have no idea what I could be going against unless I know the archetype well enough.

Then why don’t I take the easy way and learn how to use “top-tier” decks? Because then I’m not playing using my own skills and playstyle. There is an option in the game to copy deck recipes from other players and use decks that they have created. It is a nice way for new players to test out new decks and get ideas on how to create their own in the future. I am the type of guy who doesn’t like to be handed a game winning deck and feel good about it. At least let me earn it after proving myself first. The decks I create go through many trial and error phases until I constructed something that suits me well. I much prefer this style of play over copying someone else’s work. It may not feel good getting beat down constantly, but at least I’m getting beat with something I believe in.

Now for the opposite. It feels so good when you outsmart an opponent and win a match. My low self-esteem will make me cautious with every move I make, but that doesn’t stop me from throwing it out the window when I know I have someone beat. It is a genuine good feeling when you are playing against another good player and emerge victorious. I feel like all of my hardwork has paid off when everything goes according to plan.

A good example of this happened when I was going against someone who was using a Kaiju deck. Kaiju monsters are special in that you have to use monsters on your opponent’s side of the field in order to summon them. After realizing this trope, I had to find a way to get around this condition. After noticing that my opponent was tossing cards out of their deck in order to find what they needed, I knew exactly what I needed to do. I began to do absolutely nothing. When my turn began, I would draw my card and then end the turn. My opponent had fewer cards in their deck than mine, so all I had to do was wait until they were out of cards in their main deck and I would win. I took this gamble anticipating they didn’t have any low level monsters to summon and chip away at my life points; which to my luck they didn’t. As each turn went by, I imagined my opponent would think I would get cocky at the last minute and summon my strongest monster to finish them off quickly. But no, I took the most megamind approach to defeat them and just watched as they ran out of cards to draw. I give mad props for them not surrendering through all of that and accept their defeat to the dumbest of all plays. They might have had a winning move on my final turn if I actually did summon a monster, but I didn’t take that chance and laugh demonically over outsmarting them. Hopefully, they adjusted their deck afterwards to fix such a blind spot in their deck.

So how do I conclude my time with this game (from daily bases to a here-and-now game)? Originally I wanted to reach Platinum I in rank duels and call that a victory. Seeing as I could never get out of low Gold V, I wasn’t going to get there anytime soon. With other games to play and me not wanting to strangle every Kuribo I saw, I thought it was best to add this game to my casual game rotation. There’s still plenty for me to do and one of these days I will settle with a second deck to add to my rotation. If you are a long time fan of the series or someone new to the TCG, then this is a game worth playing. It may not teach you everything that you need to know about the game, but the tutorials give you a great start and you can obtain structure decks just to get you started. I do wish the game had an unranked mode where you could challenge random people without having to create a room and hope someone joins it. I also wish they would fix the damn timer for each player so that it actually goes down during each turn. If Konami continues to support the game, I could easily see this as the go to online Yu Gi Oh! game for the next few years. If all the changes feel alien to you, I could recommend Rush Dueling since it takes out all the complications of the main game. It was literally created because the main game was getting too complicated. Other than that, nothing is stopping you from playing older games in the series if seeing a link card sends you into a dark place.

Play Time Stats:

Game Started: 1/19/2022
Game “Ended”: Ongoing
Number of Cards Obtained: 2529
Highest Placement in Rank: Gold 3
Trusty Deck: Sync-In (Synchro deck focused on summoning Synchro and Stardust monsters)
MVP Cards: Satellite Warrior, Junk Speeder, Clear Wing Synchro Dragon
Favorite Summoning Method: Synchro
Least Favorite Summoning Style: Pendulum

Bonus Gallery

Backlog Report – January 2022

New year, same-ish format. This month has been busy and slow for me as I’m still trying to figure out what I am doing this year. I don’t currently have, in a depressing way of saying it, something that excites me each day. I go with the flow of the day. I have come to learn that I am the type of person who needs some type of exciting project to get my motivation going. It is a character flaw that has negative effects. Eventually I will find something, but things are really dull without that “thing.”

On the writing front, I have slowed down on releasing posts just so I can have extra time to polish them. As I try more and more to reflect my voice in my writings, I also want to make things clearer on what I am saying. If my speech impairment already makes my normal speaking voice hard to understand, then I want to make sure that my writing is as clear as it can be. The old goal used to be to have a post ready every week, but now my goal is to post something every other week and make it the best that it can be. There are some games that I have finished that I haven’t talked about yet, some thoughts on gaming that I want to talk about, and a series that I’ve wanted to include for the longest time that I haven’t written anything about. This is the year that I want to produce the most content that I have since starting, and I want to see how far I can take it.

Now moving onto the games:

Finished This Month

Dynasty Warriors Gundam 2

There was only one game that I finished this month. I choose Dynasty Warriors Gundam 2 as the first game to finish on the first day of the year. It has been a tradition to finish a game on day one for a while now, and I chose this game since I didn’t have time to prepare the week before. Dynasty Warriors Gundam 2 has some of the best locations in the series with actual destructible environments that the later games do not have. I will say that I am not a fan of this game for different reasons. I don’t like how you acquire skills in this game, and the amount of times your gundam feels like a ragdoll gave me multiple rage moments. The fact that giant gundam fights are still hard even on the easiest difficulty made the process much longer than it needed to be. Overall, I don’t see myself returning to complete all the achievements, but if I’m bored one day I may consider it.

New Additions

Yu Gi Oh! Forbidden Memories

I had the chance this month to attend an event where I could scout out some retro games. The first game I acquired was this; Yu Gi Oh! Forbidden Memories. I remember as a kid seeing this game in a promotional disk and wanting to play it. Alas, the game was only for PlayStation and I was a Nintendo kid. Getting this game now after it being off my radar for a while is like completing a task for younger me. I will give it a go in the near future and embrace all the jank it probably has.

Advance Wars: Dual Strike

I saw this and decided that I should finally add this to my collection. I had some good times playing this game back in the day on band trips. We would play the multiplayer mode where we would pass the DS around for everyone to make their move. I don’t think we ever finished a match, but it was a good game to pass the time. I have never played the campaign mode in this game, so I’m looking forward to it.

Yu Gi Oh! The Falsehood Kingdom

I have never heard of this Yu Gi Oh! game before. I stumbled upon it while browsing a vendor’s wares, and my curiosity kept drawing me back. It doesn’t play like other Yu Gi Oh! games and seems to play like a team building strategy game. I don’t know what to expect, and I kinda want to keep it that way.

Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen

I was allowed to splurge on one item. Out of everything that I saw, I decided to splurge on this game. The Dragon Quest games on the DS escaped me when I didn’t have an interest in the series. I would have been content playing the mobile version one day, but I decided to treat myself for once and buy the complete copy they had. The only one missing out of my collection now is the sixth game, and I believe that is the rarest one of all.

Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny

I didn’t have any real plans on getting this soon, but when I was helping my brother buy a new game, I found this for a really good discount. I haven’t finished the last two Disgaea games, but I’m hoping this and the Makai Kingdom rerelease in a few months will get me back into the series.

Yu Gi Oh! Master Duel

I’m sensing a theme here. This free-to-play game came out to basically everything current gaming device out of the blue. It is a fun and frustrating game if you are a fan of the TCG and haven’t played in a while. I’m now just getting the hang of the new meta and finding a playstyle that works best for me and not just copying the best decks out there (you freaking unoriginal POS). I don’t know when I will consider myself “done” with this since content will keep coming out for it, but it does provide a nice secondary game when I need a break from what I’m currently working on.

Pokémon Legends: Arceus

I have a lot to say about this game. While I was left disappointed by the Diamond & Pearl remake, this game has exceeded my expectations from a gameplay perspective. The visuals and graphics could definitely be better, but it doesn’t offend me. If I don’t finish Trials of Cold Steel IV it will be because of this game and the fact that I am having more fun playing this over that.

Currently Playing

I am getting closer to finishing The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV. It is my own fault that I’m taking so long to finish it since I am trying to get as much done on my first playthrough as possible. This will help when I replay all four games to get all the achievements. Turbo speed and skipping cutscenes that I don’t need to see again will help make that process go by quicker. I have to get this done before Horizon: Forbidden West comes out and Kat kicks me off the PS5 so she can play it.


As I mentioned before, Yu Gi Oh! Master Duel will continue to be my secondary casual game when I need a break from the current list. I will probably play it less often once I reach the highest ranking and drop in and out as events and new seasons get started. Pokémon Legends: Arceus will definitely get done this month and that will prepare me for the next two games on my list.

I also forgot to mention at one point I was playing SaGa Frontier: Remastered. When my in-laws came to visit during the holiday season, I couldn’t hide myself in my gaming room. So I brought my Switch downstairs to play games with the family, and for some reason I started SaGa Frontier. My father-in-law was interested in watching me play it, so I did and finished one character’s story while they were visiting. Since each story doesn’t take long to beat (just some grinding to prepare for final boss), I am going to count this game “finished” when I go through all eight stories. Seeing as it took me a week to finish one character and you get to keep stats and weapons to the next story, I don’t see this taking a lot of time.

Plans for Next Month

My plan after finishing Trails of Cold Steel IV is to start Tales of Destiny. This is the first Tales of game that I want to play to finish off my Tales of games. I have a tendency to finish older JRPGs faster, so I’m hoping that it will take me less than a month to finish this.

While I’m banished from the PS5, I do have the next big release already planned out. Elden Ring comes out on the 25th of February, and I will be enjoying that on my PC. I’ve asked a friend of mine if we wanted to play it simultaneously that day and share our experience since we have not been keeping up with the details. We are really looking forward to it and I can’t wait to experience this new hellhole.

Now that the PC crowd has had a chance to play Monster Hunter Rise, I kinda want to get back into playing it. I finished the game real fast when it came out on Switch and haven’t had the drive to keep playing afterwards. With Sunbreaker coming out in the summer, this seems like the time to gear up and do some farming before G Rank/Master Rank/Whatever they are calling it this time comes out. Still don’t know if I’ll switch to the PC version if Capcom doesn’t want to add cross save.


So that was January. Tune in next month when something else has taken over my life that prevents me from finishing Trials of Cold Steel IV. Until then,