They'll be back playing in a month or two.
Today, I wanted to discuss why it's so hard to fully rid yourself ofYu-Gi-Oh. I'm aware that there are of course going to be ex-players thatnever picked up the game again, but I feel there's an overwhelming numberof duelists who always come back. I don't necessarily think this is uniqueto Yu-Gi-Oh, but I will say out of all the card games I've played that it'sby far the most common in good old duel monsters!
Even if you've just gone to a handful of locals or a few RegionalQualifiers, chances are good that you've made some friends along the way.I've always admired the way that card games can bring people together. Ipersonally believe that a big factor at play is how Yu-Gi-Oh! players areinstantly given a plethora of small talk subjects just because they're intothe same hobby, which makes things not as awkward for newer acquaintances.
What ends up happening is your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds getfilled with Yu-Gi-Oh! player's posts. I want to clarify real quick that Idon't mean they're filled with Yu-Gi-Oh! posts specifically, just postsfrom Yu-Gi-Oh! players. However, when you eventually do "quit" Yu-Gi-Oh,it's extremely difficult to purge your newsfeed of all the Yu-Gi-Oh!players you've met along the years. That's not to mention that you mightcare about their personal lives by this point, so you wouldn't want to hidetheir posts in the first place.
That catch is that when that happens, it's very likely that your feeds willbe filled to brim with Yu-Gi-Oh! posts during a YCS weekend and whenever anew Forbidden & Limited List drops. In my history, at least, those twooccasions have always been big hits with social media, and that could getyou curious as to what's going on. Heck, just this past September when theF&L List dropped, my good friend Pasquale Crociata messaged me andasked what the changes meant for the game, and he hasn't dueled in over ayear!
It's easy to say "just unfollow all of your Yu-Gi-Oh! friends," but I'dargue that that's not always the best option. Just because you don't playthe same game as your friends anymore doesn't mean you have to completelycut them out of your life, you know?
Also, considering how often and widespread YCS's are, there's bound to beone in your backyard given enough time. It's really, really hard to turndown a fun weekend event with all your old friends if you don't even haveto travel for it, so I regularly see people play for two days just torelive the glory days. There are even some well-known players that do thisexact thing every single year at the same YCS!
I've mentioned before how one of the biggest differences between Yu-Gi-Oh!and virtually every other card game out there is that it doesn't have setrotation. If you haven't heard of that, basically certain card games onlylet you use the most recent two years of cards that have been printed. In agame like Pokemon, important cards that are rotated out are reprinted innewer sets to keep them playable. In a game like Hearthstone, there's abase set of classic cards that are always allowed, but once a set is pastthe two year mark the cards are rotated out indefinitely into theunderplayed "wild" format.
Yu-Gi-Oh! doesn't do that, and instead has a bigger list of Forbidden &Limited cards compared to other games. In some ways it acts as a forced setrotation, especially when the top decks are slaughtered. A good examplewould be the recent hits to the Zoodiac archetype, putting key monsterslike Zoodiac Broadbull and Zoodiac Drident on the chopping block.
What's key here is that even though there are a handful of cards that getrestricted, the vast majority of Yu-Gi-Oh! cards are allowed to be playedat three copies per deck, even years after they were printed. If you wentto a tournament tomorrow and wanted to take Destiny Heros, a theme thatcame out over five years ago, you could.
Would you do well? Probably not. But you'd technically be able to playusing your old cards.
That's great because it gives cards long term value. There are hundreds ofPokemon cards that will never see the light of day again, but withYu-Gi-Oh! that's not the case. The dollar value of those cards might godown over time, but they're always there to be used if you choose to do so.
The other crucial thing about Yu-Gi-Oh! not having Set Rotation is alsoanother factor making it hard to quit for good: legacy support. There's nota strict definition for the term "legacy support," but it essentiallyrefers to older decks leveraging new compatible cards, usually years afterany archetype cards have been printed. Think: Blaze Accelerator Reload orToadally Awesome. Sometimes legacy support can come indirectly, such asPre-Preparation of Rites making Herald of Perfection decks viable again.
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Let's say you played Yu-Gi-Oh! in 2011 and your favorite deck wasSynchrons. You quit that summer, but you always held onto the deck. Fastforward to 2015, and the new Synchron Structure deck is released! Eventhough you hadn't played in four years, you decide to pick up Yu-Gi-Oh!again so you can play with a lot of your older cards. That sparks a renewedinterest in the game for you, and before you know it you're going toRegional Qualifiers every weekend!
Because Yu-Gi-Oh's the most generous with legacy support, it also tends tothe be the easiest game to get back into for a lot of people. I took a twoyear gap between stints in Hearthstone, and the second time I joined thegame it was definitely a painful process. I had to build up an entirely newcollection before I could even muster a few wins in ranked, because everysingle one of my decks was unplayable.
That's simply not the case in Yu-Gi-Oh! outside of a few F&L Listchanges, which makes it very appealing to come back to after a long break.
Of Course, People DO Quit
Despite all these reasons to stay in the game, not everyone stays with itforever. I've noticed that the biggest reason people stop playing doesn'tcome down to metagame shifts, or new mechanics, or even the paywall. A lotof the times it just comes down to moving away from their friends, likewhen you go to college.
It's one thing to keep up with Yu-Gi-Oh! when you've got a handful offriends to spend time with every week to test the newest cards, but it'smuch more difficult if you're two hours away from the nearest locals.There's definitely a lifestyle where you only go to YCS or RegionalQualifiers and never test outside of them, but not everyone can keep upwith that.
Luckily, for the reasons I've just gone through, the game will always bewaiting for you when you get back.
Doug Zeeff hails from Michigan and is currently an English major incollege. When he's not found emailing Konami about why there's not asingle walrus card in all of Yu-Gi-Oh! you can find him regularlyposting unorthodox, unfiltered Yu-Gi-Oh! content on his Youtubechannel, Dzeeff. In his spare time he enjoys eating cheese, Overwatch,and, of course, playing Yu-Gi-Oh.Click hereto follow him and his adventures on Facebook!