One of the biggest problems faced by certain players is the problem of deciding which tech is best for that one spot in their deck.
Some players run 41 cards, and prefer to, because it adds variance to the deck while allowing the deck to access more plays, and also because you have an easier time sidedecking because the 41-st card would be easy to sidedeck out.
For example, when i was tuning my deck a while ago, i couldnt choose between Dimension Prison or Effect Veiler. As you know, these two are incredible cards, and both has benefits and its cons and its generally impossible to say which is the better card.
For example, here's a basic lineout on the two cards
1) Extremely unpredictable. Cards that drop themselves from the hand are VERY good
2) Can act as an emergency tuner at times
3) Doesnt remove the monster pemanently.
4) Thus, it isnt a guarantee that you can remove that monster the next turn, your opponent could shut down your plays.
5) Restricted to the opponent's main phases
6) Extremely good against Kageki, Coelacanth and boss monsters
7) Adding one more monster into the deck could upset deck balance. However since its almost never played, Effect Veiler isn't technically a monster, it functions more like a quick spell or a trap, except it comes from the hand
8) More monster = more painful with Royal Tribute
9) Can create mind games with it. I can add Veiler to hand via Duality and worry my opponent. Its really something like Shi-en, its negation. Since my opponent did not want to commit to any big plays, i otk-ed next turn with Faultroll + Gottoms Emergency Call.
1) Easy to play around. Cards with built in negation like Shi-En, Trap Stun, Thought Ruler Archefiend, Natural Barkion.
2) Removes the monster permanently, guaranteeing you ease of mind.
3) Godly against Stardust Dragon
4) Easily destroyed, just like Mirror Force
5) Extremely specific. Meaning you can only activate it in response to monster's attack
6) Unpredictable (this statement is subjective)
7) Can create mind games with it.
I'm sure there are many other situations commonly faced by players, like
"which is better? Trap Stun or Seven Tools of the Bandit?"
Of course in a Malaysian OCG meta,where multiple set cards are almost guaranteed fully traps, Trap Stun is incredible because it makes your opponent entire backrow dead.
However, you cant deny that Trap Stun renders all cards under it in the chain link powerless, meaning your card COULD be powerless too, while Seven Tools guarantees you the end of the Chain link.
Seven Tools guarantees a one for one removal and it can negate Solemn Judgment, the most powerful counter trap card in the game, but it has a life point cost, and in Malaysian meta, you cannot guarantee your opponent to have no Mirror Force or trap waiting for you face down.
So what do you do?
In times like this, making the correct decision of maining the right card, is very very crucial in a tournament. Assuming you have done testing and both work really well.
While we all wreck our heads to decide which card to run, the answer can easily be divided into two main factors. I have to admit its hard to main a card because it fits your playstyle more, while knowing that the other card gives you more advantage in certain important matchups.
The first factor is the meta. This means that going into a tournament is not just taking your best deck and learning to play with it well. Good players will have the ability to predict the top decks and having access to communication (in US they have DuelistGroundz) , is a sure advantage.
Making the right reads in the tournament isnt all that hard, you just take a look at the previous tourney's winning decks and you can easily predict what the popular deck is. In Malaysia, it has always been BF, and will always be BF. Players cant accept the fact they spent rm400 on 3 Sirocos, and a Vayu, and they decided to spend rm200 more on 2 Vayuus to play Cemetery BF. Similar to Samurai, whom people have almost spent rm1000 on !
(estimate i last heard from Sean last year with triple Gateways was about rm800)
Which brings us back on topic, by choosing the card that will give you more advantage in those popular matchups. People take risks with strategies like even maindecking Gozen Match (duelist LGQ), and other various strategies which i cant remember.
So, you will have to think "is Effect Veiler gonna save your ass in the Grave Vayu matchup, or slightly slow down Samurai for you?"
Never before have we faced such a diverse meta :)
The second factor are bad matchups. Basically, you analyse what are plays your deck cannot afford to play against. It sounds really easy, but this is something many players do not even do (its not that they dont know it, they dont realise it)
For example, in my case, Effect Veiler is gonna be helpful against Fish, boss monsters like Trishula, Dark Arm, Hyperion, and stopping Kageki from summoning Shi En, which will then turn into a shaky matchup for me (i'd have to play extremely carfully to trump samurai)
While Prison is better against big cards like Stardust Dragon and removing the monster from play is very good because it means they dont come back anymore. Eg: E Hero The Shining, and other big guns.
Both cards have a surprise factor.
So i'll have to take a look at which matchup will trouble me more. Stardust Dragon or Shi-En/ Coelacanth?
Which one can i not afford to allow to resolve successfully?
This factor is probably the more important of the two, but since its so so self explanatory, i dont have to explain more.
I hope this article will help some players to solve these problems. Testing is one thing, but theory-oh matters too, and if you test the cards out and achieve equal results, this step could really help alot.
I've made my decision already ;) Have you?
I'd also like to wish the best of luck to fellow bloggers Michael Bonacini and Light Grunty for YCS Anaheim. Remember to keep your stuff safe with you and don't misplay. Since nobody knows LightGrunty's name, if you make the top 32, we'll all know who you are. It'd be good if you guys could get a match feature or a deck feature. I think LG will probably get a feature, because of the unique lineup his deck runs.
Thank you for reading.