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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sacked vs Outplayed

How many times have you been in a tournament and heard someone exclaim, "ZOMG, I got sacked soooo hard!" or "Good job, you outplayed me sir!"? I'm pretty the amount of times you heard the former far outnumbers the times you heard the latter.


  So what exactly is outplaying or sacking your opponent.  Why is it so difficult for people to understand the difference?  Let's first start by defining each of the terms.  Getting outplayed or simply outplaying your opponent requires skill first and foremost.  Getting sacked usually involves opening with several powerful limited cards or a combination of cards that generate advantage without any effort. So many people puff out their chest when they win games due to their deck doing what it does.
  When you are playing Six Samurai and you open Smoke Signal x 2, Six Samurai United x 2, Gateway of the Six, and Reinforcement of the army and you are going first, you sir are probably winning that match, not because you are so amazing, but because your deck produced the perfect opening hand to potentially counter ANY situation thrown at it.  Your opponent can legitimately claim that he was sacked or God Handed.  Yes, it is true that a Six Samurai player can open with those combination of cards on a regular basis, but on the other hand the combination of extremely bad openings FAR OUTNUMBER those combinations of good hands.  Losing this way sucks, but it is not the fault of the Samurai player, as the deck just did what it was supposed to do.
  To really understand what it means to get sacked would be to follow this scenario that happened to me a locals some time ago.  On a rare occasion I decided to play at locals to test out a fun deck I had just built (Nordic Chaos, with Junk Synchron).  Round one I'm paired against a Machine deck.  I win the dice roll, set Hamster, Solemn Warning, and a bluff Pot of Avarice.  My opponent blind Typhoons my Pot of Avarice, hits my Warning with Nobleman of Extermination, then Sheild Crushes my Hamster. Next he summons Cyber Dragon Zwei, reveals Power Bond, then activates and sends his last card in hand, Cyber Dragon to the grave.  Now that folks, is getting SACKED.  What if I summoned a Monster instead of set?  What if my facedown card was Royal Oppression that was hit by Extermination?  How amazing would my opponents hand would've been?
  Outplaying someone is a totally different animal.  It requires you to set your opponent up to make false reads on your set cards and cards in your hand.  It requires you to have an excellent read on what your opponent has.  Finally, it requires the ability to adapt quickly to any situation.  Remember, this isn't about just opening with a decent hand, this about working with what you are dealt.
  Let's take a look at another situation from a fun game I was playing on Dueling Network.  My opponent is playing Tech Genus and goes 1st and summons Warwolf and sets four backrows.  When you have an understanding of how most decks work, plays like this should be easy to read.  From this opening I could safely make the following assumptions:  Warwolf is a substandard opening summon, therefore he must have TG1-EM1 set to counter such a weak opening.  Also, since he set 4 cards, one of those cards has to be Horn of the Phantom Beast to thwart Tengu because TG1 is best used on threats and not floaters.  The other 2 cards can stay unknown because Warning, Torrential, Skill Drain, Fiendish and Dimensional Prison are all standard fare in this sort of deck and are more easily played around.  My opening hand is One for One, Sangan, Gorz, Mystical Space Typhoon, Limit Reverse, and Pot of Avarice.  Not the most optimal hand in this situation,  but very playable if I take my time. I know I have 3 dead cards, One of One, Limit Reverse, and Pot of Avarice.  My saving grace is that I have the MST / Gorz combo and I have a Summonable monsters.  I summon Sangan, he warnings.  That's one card down.  Next, I set MST and Limit Reverse.  On his turn, he draws to 2, summons Rhino and attacks with Warwolf, I activate Limit Reverse targetting sangan, hoping to draw out another backrow, he lets it go.  He resumes attack with Warwolf and activates Horn of the Phantom Beast in the damage step. Two cards down.  I search Dandylion to mate with One for One.  Finally, he attack's with Rhino and I activate Typhoon on one of the remaining backrows and he chains the other backrow card, Dark Bribe (I draw Ryko)  I now know not to drop Gorz because that is either the TG1-EM1 or Solemn Warning.  If it is oppression, I can bait it with the One for One on my turn.  Also, I learn that the card drawn off of Horn is useless if he felt it necessary to protect he set card from my Typoon.  He sets one more card in his backrow and ends his turn.  On my turn I I draw Solemn Warning. Then I play One for One / Dandy and he activates TG1-EM1(final set card from turn 1) to take my resulting Spore. I attack it with the Rhino he swaps me.  Mainphase 2 I banish Dandy for Spore's effect and run into torrential.  Now all of his backrows are gone, he's searching 2 monsters but I have Ryko, Warning, and Gorz to stymie any attempt for him to get back into the Game.  Ryko's effect ensures that my Pot of Avarice will be live soon, Warning will prevent Tengu from hitting the field and the fact that I held onto Gorz for this long will make it impossible for my opponent to read I had when I had an open field, making my earlier MST play look like a scrub move.
  Needless to say, I won that game with Gorz and Stardust.  The amount of thinking that goes into plays like this have to be made turns in advanced.  Yes, it seems a bit complicated, and sometimes I do over think scenarios.  But, more often than not I make the correct reads, and it pays off in the long run.  Next time you are at an event and someone is complaining that they got sacked.  Be sure to MAKE them explain the situation, because more than likely they got outplayed!

3 comments:

  1. Six Sams bother me for this exact reason. I really appreciated this insightful article. I've been having the same trouble online in WC'11. I've been sacked too many times by six samurai and (believe it or not) Stardust Assault Mode. As always, you impress.

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  2. sacking i feel is more towards drawing the one card they need out of the 25 or more so left in their deck ftw...like a trunade when they scrap chimera or debris trish plays...

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  3. I hope more ppl see this post. I hate it when ppl say I sacked them. Listen sir, im a broke ass man. I have no scrap dragon, no trish, no warnings, and 1 veiler. If I beat you, god damn it, I outplayed you by a long shot lol. Then again, super solar plants can have some sacky hands. I also consider playing certain cards like dustshoot at all makes someone automatically outplay you. card choice is everything.

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