Uh, Why Is Yugi So Bad At Playing 'Yu-Gi-Oh!'?
In the hit anime Yu-Gi-Oh!, Yami Yugi is known as the King of Games for his skill at "Duel Monsters." He is depicted as being so skilled, in fact, that not only has he (almost) never lost a duel, but the spirit that inhabits Yugi's body is implied to have held power in Ancient Egypt simply through his sheer competence at playing this card game.
Hmm, yeah, I think I remember reading about that duel in Exodus. But the show's ironclad understanding of Ancient Egyptian politics aside, there is one thing about Yu-Gi-Oh! that always struck me as odd. Both Yugi, and the ancient pharaoh possessing his body, suck at Duel Monsters (or the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game as it is referred to outside of the anime.) Seriously, the show makes Yugi out to be the coolest mother-f-er to ever slap a card down on a table, but in reality, Yugi is so bad that if Duel Monsters were spy work, then he'd be Maxwell Smart tripping over himself to answer his shoe phone.
See, Yu-Gi-Oh! has been a highly competitive card game for a while now and if you were to use any of Yugi's decks in actual tournament play you'd get destroyed. Here's the deck of 2004 Yu-Gi-Oh! World Champion Masatoshi Togawa and here's a breakdown behind the deck's strategy:
It's 40 cards deep, which is the minimum requirement to a deck and every one of those cards feed into the strategy of "chaos control." You'll also notice that every one of Togawa's monsters is an "effect monster" meaning that not only are they capable of defending or attacking, but they serve a utility purpose as well.
Compare that with any of Yugi's decks and you'll notice how often he uses "normal monsters" that serve no other purpose beyond looking cool. Yugi's monsters also often have high summoning costs or intricate summoning requirements because that and a good quip is what make for dramatic anime. Yugi's strategy is essentially to get lucky and just pull the right card he needs at the right time, as he so often does in the anime. But even if Yugi played the game open-faced with every card in the deck at his disposal, Togawa would still probably win because his deck is just that much more efficient.
So how then does Yugi win so many matches in the anime? Well, everyone else sucks harder than he does also he cheats like crazy. For example, (one of many) there's the time Yugi faced off against Ghost Kaiba and allowed the real Kaiba to hack the game in order to drain the attack points of one of Ghost Kaiba's monsters. There's the time he was about to lose to some clown named Seeker but then won at the last moment by activating Lightforce Sword from his hand despite Lightforce Sword being a trap card. (It's just not a thing you can do.) Then there was whatever the hell this is:
I think Yugi just banished logic and reason to the Shadow Realm. Okay, maybe he's the King of Games after all.
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Top Image: Toei Animation