Is Yu-Gi-Oh Really a Kids Game?

Is Yu-Gi-Oh Really a Kids Game?

Looking into the hit card game of the 90s that’s still strong today
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A few months ago I began to pick up an old childhood hobby again, playing Yu-Gi-Oh. As a kid I was utterly obsessed, owning a mountain of poorly kept cards that I eventually gave away or threw out because of a lack of interest and the down-casting it caused in the middle and high school years. I had fond memories of pulling the rarest card in a booster set and challenging the best players/duelists on the playground. It was something that connected all the guys at the time and was a blast to play. Not too long ago, when I started the decade of my life most people cherish as their 20s, my younger brother asked if I would play Yu-Gi-Oh with him. He had a deck I gifted him not too long ago but never had anyone to play with, and although I had no interest in picking up the game once more, I eventually gave in and bought a simple deck.

Now, being the obsessive and semi-competitive person that I am, tried to learn more about the game and what tweaks I could make to make the deck of cards I owned more competitive. All that did was hurl me past the casual layer that the game offered and banging my head on a plethora of decks, strategies, expensive cards and rulings I never knew existed. The game changed drastically from what it was when I was a kid. I remembered a simplicity that I child could pick up in a few minutes and found myself confused on how to play with the newer cards in my 20s. Granted, I did learn most of the rules and strategy I had from the anime I watched as a child, which is not the most accurate. Surely, the newer anime delved into the newer types of cards and helped kids learn but it was still surprisingly difficult to catch on to.

With due time I learned the rules and picked up cards I enjoyed using, but I could never imagine playing this properly as a kid. Yu-Gi-Oh is far from a simple kids’ game, at least the newest iteration is. As a kid, the game consisted of five types of cards: Normal/effect monsters, spells, traps, fusion monsters, and ritual monsters. Once I returned they added a few other types: synchro, XYZ, and pendulum cards, all with their own unique set of mechanics. Moreover, the effects and texts of what the card could do were noticeably long and detailed. I am confident that I would have little to no idea how to actually function them as a child, at least not without some sort of help.

Even after learning all the rules, constructing a personal deck that worked efficiently was a monstrous challenge and I often had to refer to Youtube other players’ take on the decks first. To be fair, Konami, the company responsible for producing the cards and regulating the game does provide structure and starter decks for the younger audience and newcomers, often with strategies inside and a direction of what to buy next if you’re interested. These decks are never fully competitive, though, and only manage to be fun with friends that also happen to play very casually. This leads to the next topic: what cards do you buy?

Let it be known that several thousands of unique cards exist in this card game and most are all playable, with a few being banned or of limited use in professional play. The selection is overwhelming and it can be incredibly difficult to know here to go from without having a good understanding of the game and the history of the cards available. No child picking up this game would be able to handle the challenge of selecting all the cards themselves, making the entry point to playing more competitively and creatively significantly more difficult. Even after knowing what to obtain, people run into a whole new realm that they may have known existed in the game: the card price market.

If I had to choose the most staggering and sometimes insurmountable barrier from playing this game the way you would like to play it, it the marketplace to obtain these cards and their prices. While Konami sells and distributes booster packs and tin sets for reasonable prices, it is difficult to get what you need from them since they are almost entirely random from a selection of cards designated for that specific set you bought it from. While many useful cards are common, the one with the most utility, versatility, and potential are rare to obtain. Thus, purchasing single cards from merchants would save players much more time, money and space. While the game encourages trading, not everyone will give you what you want or for a fair trade/price. Thus you must find where to get the cards you want for the lowest amount. Unfortunately for me, I quickly came to realize that I couldn’t even afford some of the valuable cards I needed, some costing $40-60. Some I wasn’t interested in but were very competitive and rate would spike to prices as high as $130 per card.

To be fair, getting the core cards of the deck can be as cheap as 5 cents apiece, but that is not always the case, and it must be considered that at least 40 cards are needed to operate the deck and that’s excluding the 15-card extra deck that is always pricier due to its versatility and usually higher rarities. A functional, somewhat competitive deck can be as cheap as 20-30 dollars, but the ones that compete at the championship level of world tournaments are as pricey as $500. Note that you don’t need to be or have to have the desire to be such a competitive player, but the money barrier is huge for those interested.

To be fair to Konami, their efforts to make cards cheaper by reprinting them later on and the anime is super appealing to kids and even adults alike. They do their best to cater to kids while maintaining the aspects that make Yu-Gi-Oh fun for everyone, whether it be winning a match with a cool monster or pulling a $60 card from a $4 pack. The company has recently pushed the designing and support of older cards to the forefront as well to reel in fans from across all age groups, especially considering that a huge portion of the fanbase is actually in their twenties at this point.

While the card game still has plenty to offer younger audiences, the barriers present and the effort required to fully understand the card game and the meta that exists in it is not something the average kid can overcome. It’s a double-edged sword that makes it more fascinating and complex for older audiences but more challenging to expand the community and scene. If Konami continues with the efforts to reel in old-school players and making valuable cards cheaper, more quickly, I believe a better balance will be found. For now, the card game is still holding strong two decades since its original release and continues to deliver on nostalgia and fun for all fans alike.

Cover Image Credit: Kiratwig2

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37 Drake Lyrics From 'Scorpion' That Will Make Your Next Instagram Caption Go Double Platinum

Side A makes you want to be single, Side B make you want to be boo'd up.

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We all knew Scorpion was going to be the summer banger we wanted. However, Drake surprised us with two sides of an album and two sides of himself. Mixing rap and R&B; was genius on his part, so why not dedicate 37 of his lyrics to our Instagram captions?

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For when you're feeling blessed.

4. "I promise if I'm not dead then I'm dedicated" — March 14

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The Dallas Cowboys: 10 Things You Need to Be Watching For this Offseason

Without #82 and #88, how will the Cowboys look in this upcoming season?

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Will this finally be the year that Dallas returns to the Super Bowl? It's too early to say, but some fans are hopeful.

1. Dak Prescott

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Dak had a surprising rookie season in 2016-2017, followed by the infamous sophomore slump. Coming into his third season, he has Zeke and the running game solidly behind him again, balancing the pressure that was on him during Elliott's 6 game suspension in 2017-2018. Also, now that Dez is out of the picture, I hope Dak can focus more on his other passing options instead of making questionable passes to the veteran WR desperate to show off what he once was to the franchise.

2. Ezekiel Elliott

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After his time training in Mexico during his suspension, I have high hopes for Zeke's potential in the upcoming year. Fresh and ready to prove himself, with RBs Rod Smith, Tavon Austin, and Bo Scarbrough behind him, I hope to see Dallas' rushing game strong this upcoming season.

3. Cole Beasley

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Beasley's been busy this offseason pursuing other hobbies with the release of his first rap album, The Autobiography. However, I (along with all other Cowboys fans) am hoping that the WR comes into this season aiming high... specifically looking back to his 2016-2017 season that included 75 receptions. Now that Dez is gone, his ranking within WRs may be liable to change up a bit, and he needs to capitalize on it.

4. Jaylon Smith

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The foot brace is officially gone. Seemingly fully recovered from the tragic knee injury that caused nerve damage and drop foot in his last collegiate game at Notre Dame, I am eager to see Smith in his full form. In 2016, Dallas made the gutsy choice to draft the then out-of-commission linebacker in hopes of what his recovery could lead to. I can't wait to see Smith at his full potential this upcoming season.

5. DeMarcus Lawrence

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With 14.5 sacks in 2017-2018 (tied for second best in the league), Lawrence was Dallas' best pass rusher by far. Using their franchise tag to keep him a year longer, Lawrence needs to continue putting pressure on QBs this year.

6. Sean Lee

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Sean Lee led Dallas in tackles last year with 118. There's no doubt that he is not only talented but also a leader of the defense. However, injury seems to plague him. Looking at stats comparing the defense with and without Lee is astonishing. With Lee, the defense allowed opposing teams to score an average of 18 PPG. Without Lee? 35 PPG. Obviously, this defense excels with him leading it. Let's hope conditioning in the offseason allows him to strengthen the faulty hamstring and keep him in the game.

7. New Coaches

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I want to highlight 3 new coaches that Dallas added to their arsenal this offseason. First is Kris Richard, from Seattle, as defensive back coach. He will primarily be in charge of coverages of the defensive backs and linebackers. Also, defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli said that he's a good acquisition, and that's all I really need to hear. Second is Sanjay Lal, the new wide receiver coach. With Dez gone, this is one of the biggest question marks of the whole team, so I'm excited to see what Lal does with this batch of WRs. Lastly is Kellen Moore, the new quarterback coach. Moore is no newbie to Dallas, being a backup QB for three seasons. With the familiarity of offensive coordinator Scott Linehan and his own fresh player perspective, I hope Moore proves to be a good sounding board and mentor to Prescott.

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