• Reading the Rainbow Yu Gi Oh Draft Episode 4 Constructed Bias

    Welcome back folks! Last time we talked about Player 1 making a tough choice between different archetypes, and using the Rainbow to help make that decision. Today, we talk about something a bit more "meta", Constructed Bias. In Dice Masters, there are often times where we need to ignore what we know from how cards are played in the unlimited constructed format and how cards play in a draft format. One of the better examples we have is high cost characters, or Total Fielding Cost (TFC) 6 characters. Without Professor X's Global, these things can get a bit cumbersome to pay for, and we tend to value them less. Today, we're going to be discussing some other Constructed Biases, and how we remind ourselves that draft is simply different.

    Here is our friendly Rainbow:

    Well, before we can be biased about any cards, we need to see them, so let's take a look at that first pack:

    Well, this is a pretty amazing pack for choices. Specifically there are some choices that we see in the highest tiers of constructed decks. Let's take a look at those and see how they might handle for us in a draft.

    Lord of D. 5, In a format that has slightly reduced targeting answers you would think that his ability would be less useful, but his stats are well valued for his cost, and the protection he provides your dragon cards is actually rather important in this limited format. We are unlikely to see him paired with his favorite piece of jewelry, since there are only 2 in the rainbow, but if we decided to go for a dragon archetype, he would be a great choice to give us some muscle and protection if we did encounter an opponent who had some targeted removal choices.
    Mystical Elf 4, This version of this card is actually one of the best wall building cards in the set. She does great things for stopping your opponent's attacks, and if they do push through her, you get 2 dice ramped, and gain two life, meaning you are likely going to have a good retaliation turn if they can't kill you. The problem with walling up though, is that we don't see a lot of direct damage or evasiveness in this set, so walling up just leads to an unnecessarily long game.
    Millennium Puzzle 1, Speaking of targeted removal choices. This card is one of the best removal choices in the game, and removal is ALWAYS something you need. There needs to be a big reason NOT to take this card, otherwise this card should be an instant grab. Even if we get a team that can win without needing to buy this card, taking it does two things. First it prevents our opponents from taking it, and second, it gives us the option to buy it each game, even if we don't actually do it.
    Black Luster Soldier 5, This guy could be useful glue to a fist team's strategy, but without some low cost fists to use for him to bump, or fuel his ritual summoning, he's not a quality early grab. His stats are pretty amazing for his cost though, let's not forget that.
    Sangan 5, This is the best ramp card in set. it gives you relatively reliable ramp if you have a way to get him killed. If you had a Blue Eyes rare, you'd be in heaven, but even then, just attacking with him repeatedly can be enough for you. You either get some damage in, or you opponent blocks (and you pump his sidekick with a global from a BAC) and Sangan is most likely to get knocked out, prepping two dice for you.
    Harpy Lady Sisters 5, The Yu Gi Oh version of Tsarina/Cheetah. As you can see, not quite as efficient as those other two, but for this set these ladies are one of the better difficult choices. Do you take 2 and lose a blocker, lose two blockers or take 5 to the face? Decent choices for a mid range aggressive card, but definitely not a Tsarina.
    Time Wizard 4, We have talked about this guy being all around good. His stats are rather terrible for his cost, but his effect is a full PXG usage. He also is half of the Thousand Dragon Fusion, which can be a wonderful ramp and aggression maneuver if you can pull it off. However, if we take a look at the Rainbow, there is only one Thousand Dragon, and we already see Sangan, a possibly better source of ramp than Time Wizard. I would hold off on this guy to see if we get lucky enough to get passed a Thousand Dragon.
    Breaker the Magical Warrior 5, Slightly under statted for his cost, but his ability is a great counter for Millennium Puzzle, Ring of Magnetism and Imprisoned. He might be worth picking up, late in the draft as a just in case filler for your 8th slot.
    Gaia the Fierce Knight 3, This guy is expensive, and while his ability makes your opponent have to make a tough choice, his stats are mediocre for his cost.
    Sangan 5, Common Sangan is great low cost foundation, hopefully this one wheels.
    Kuriboh 4, decent stats for cost, and removes a sidekick during your opponent's turn if you block with him. not too shabby. Also, 2 drops are super important in Draft.
    Harpy Lady Sisters 5, Great evasiveness, good stats, all around decent pick up, but not something to take first pick.

    Alrighty, looking at this first pack, we have some good options, some decent wheel hopefuls, and some cards that aren't worth taking. Looking at the primary choices, we are talking Lord of D. for a dragon team, Millennium Puzzle for removal and Sangan for ramp. Let's reiterate that the reason we're picking up Lord of D. is not for the same reason we would take him in constructed. We are looking to take him as a support piece for a Dragon themed deck. While he is a great card to take just to have a body on the board, there are enough things in this set that are bigger than him, and not enough targeted removal or manipulation that we MUST get his ability. However, spreading that ability to our whole field with a dragon theme and his burst effect... that we can build for in draft.

    Along a similar note, the Millennium Puzzle is a really great card in constructed, but in Yu Gi Oh draft it has some serious weaknesses we need to be aware of. Yu Gi Oh has the strongest Continuous action hate in the game, as well as the aforementioned Lord of D. The Puzzle also doesn't give us a body to put in the field, which can often leave you dramatically behind in the draft setting. Don't get me wrong here, the card is still amazing, but these flaws are something we should be aware of when we go to make our final picks.

    Now for Pack 2:

    Well, nothing amazing stands out as a must grab here. Our rares aren't something we build teams around, our uncommons are good pieces of tech, but again not team building. Those commons though, something stands out to me, and it's not the Ring of Magnetism to pair with the Lord of D.

    Injection Fairy Lily 6, Unblockable is really something. And IFL is a great pick up one way or the other, but she's just a bit too expensive in this version to really want to make a team around.
    Morphing Jar 4, I am a total fan of the other two versions of this guy. However, this one is just too expensive to buy for ramp, and his ability is too lack luster to be worth bringing him for.
    Dark Magician Girl 4, This ability is AMAZING!... if we were playing constructed. In Draft, it's going to be such a hit or miss ability that when we do miss it, we've over paid for the card and when we do hit it, we get such a slim margin of advantage, that we won't even notice it. Remember that in Draft, it is MUCH more difficult to manage our used pile and bag ratios.
    Doomcaliber Knight 3, This guy is GREAT. in both constructed and draft, denying your opponent the chance to interact is a solid piece of tech. On top of that, we can field this guy as a good body with an even better ability, all for what we would expect to pay for his stats. With only three dice in the rainbow we should also look at this as the only uncommon in the set. This is a great pick if we think we plan on picking up some early fists to ramp to him with.
    Marshmallon 6, compared to any other textless car in this set, this guy's the worst. his stats break out at even, and his typing doesn't even ramp to any of the major win conditions of the set. he's all and all, meh.
    Curse of Dragon 5, So, we were looking for a dragon to pair with Lord of D. This guy seems like a good choice. His stats are SPECTACULAR for a 4 cost card, with a minimum of 4/4. He also has one of the better churn abilities in the set, allowing you to attack with him at any time and know he's very likely to come back the next turn. get enough of these guys and your opponent just won't be able to get rid of them fast enough. Pair that with a Lord of D. protective ability and that's a swarm of nasty just churning your opponent's wall down.
    Jinzo 3, More of that continuous action dice hate we were talking about. This one is about right stat wise, but given the fact that we can pick up the best continuous action die in the rainbow, and this guy removes ours and theirs, I would perhaps hold off and pick the more aggressive option.
    Black Luster Soldier 5, great stats for his cost, but he is little more than stats.
    Ring of Magnetism 2, Well, the Lord of D. Ring combo just got more unlikely. There are two Rings in our rainbow and we now know that one of them isn't the ring we were hoping it would be. This action is a bit expensive for a static effect that just gets rid of sidekicks. One thing to note though, it does force your opponent into many attack steps, and attack steps are good for the inactive player because they can let you spend any reserved energy with all the information, instead of pointlessly saving some due to lack of info.
    Breaker the Magical Warrior 5, And more action dice hate. This one is a bit expensive for it's stats, but at least the removal effect is one sided.
    Celtic Guardian 2, This ability is so bad. I guess the good news is that he's great anti-overcrush tech, but with his normal stats being so pour for his 4 cost, I'm not sure who would put him on their team just in case there might be some overcrush going on.

    Well, looking back over it all, I think we mentioned a few good cards to look at. Lord of D. and Curse of Dragon would be a good combo. Millennium Puzzle would be a great single pick, as would Doomcaliber Knight. We mentioned Sangan, and to a lesser extent Mystical Elf. The question really, is which one do we pick?

    If this were a constructed build, we would say to pick our win condition first, but the only thing that comes close to a win condition here is the Curse of Dragon swarm. Our second priority would be a way to answer threats, either removal or protection. We have two great choices for that, Millennium Puzzle and Doomcaliber Knight. If we take a look at Dave's Recent advice we notice that our best option is globals when it comes to answers, followed closely by character abilities. This puts Puzzle a step behind Doomcaliber Knight, thins down our decisions just a bit.

    We can't really take DCK and Curse of Dragon, so we need to decide if Curse is really enough of a win condition for us. If we think he is, then we take him and Lord of D. If we don't then we take Puzzle or Sangan and Doomcaliber Knight to start building all the support we would need around a win condition.

    Personally, I love the Curse of dragon swarm idea, so I would probably go that route. It's cheap enough that I can buy it without needing to ramp, and it's safe enough with Lord of D out that it makes blocking decisions from my opponent very difficult.

    On the other hand, grabbing that Sangan can be pretty important for ramping to the large cost win conditions that permeate this set. Again, it all depends on what you think the best things to take are.

    Bonus: For bonus purposes, Player 2 is taking Lord of D and Curse of Dragon.
    Due to that, Player 1 takes Doomcaliber Knight and Sangan.
    Comments 8 Comments
    1. Necromanticer's Avatar
      Necromanticer -
      You accidentally doubled pack one instead of printing pack two. We can still tell what the cards were by the analysis, but this makes it really hard to follow along and come to our own decisions.
    1. Shadowmeld's Avatar
      Shadowmeld -
      Oh, woops. Will correct now.

      Fixed. Sorry I duplicate the first line to generate format and usually go back and change them, but today I was just struggling to do the article in one solid push so that step go lost in between procrastinations.
    1. Necromanticer's Avatar
      Necromanticer -
      For my money, I want consistency in my draft team. The heavy hitters are always going to be there and you can make any big body into a win condition. However, the real utility cards are not always going to be available. As such, I'd grab the Sangan as one of the strongest cards in the setting and the Injection Fairy Lily purely for dice. There's enough injection fairies that we're likely to be passed one of them somewhere, but having only one isn't going to do anything for us. Taking the Rare means we're building up our dice to make sure we can make good use of her when a better iteration comes our way.

      Curse of dragon can be good, but he's expensive to field and can really hurt to have to field over and over. And while Lord of D. is good, we'd need his burst face which can be difficult to roll and require more resources to acquire. I'm never a fan of drafting characters for globals since they're going to be available to both me and my opponent. My best bet is to take advantage of whichever globals I'm faced with and simply get more functional cards than my opponent since I'll have more slots and draft choices. As such, DCK never really even makes it onto my radar. If my opponent brings him, I'll have it too, if they don't, we're still on a level playing field. The only time you should worry about globals is if your opponent has a team built around taking better advantage of them than you do, and since we're drafting here, that's a fairly unlikely situation. The only truly scary globals are those that can be brought with BAC's since you get to directly control which ones you take after drafting your team and have multiple sets to choose from if you're playing in that sort of setting.
    1. Shadowmeld's Avatar
      Shadowmeld -
      I wasn't considering DCK for JUST his global. He's a 5/5 for 5... or bigger, that has the same non-burst ability as Lord of D. That's pretty impressive.

      That aside, those are some good analyses Necro. I definitely think Sangan should be a first pick, but when it comes to the first pack, I think I'd still pick up the Curse of Dragon over IFL. I agree that you need her dice, but I feel like, in draft, you never really NEED more than one or two of any die. To be honest I'd almost rather JUST get Sangan to ramp with instead of Sangan and IFL.

      That is one thing about Yu Gi Oh drafts that definitely differs from DC drafts. There is much less of a "right" answer syndrome going on.
    1. Necromanticer's Avatar
      Necromanticer -
      Definitely. The meta isn't really "solved" in Yu-Gi-Oh and I don't think it's constructed in such a way that it can be. However, you're underestimating Injection Fairy if you're just looking at her as ramp. Given her costs and effects, she's more than capable of being part of a swarm win condition and decent for walling up. Another synergy that is good, if hard to pull off successfuly, is to combo Sangan with the Rare Injection Fairy herself since there's going to be very few ways to deliberately knock out your own characters. Finally, we know there's 1+ Uncommon Black Luster Soldiers in play and he can turn an already scary swing with 3+ Injection Fairies into an absolute massacre, all for a single sidekick. We have a decent chance that he'll wheel back to us in our first pack, or that we'll pick one up from someone else's castoffs, meaning that characters are going to be really strong. If we can get our hands on some Breaker the Magical Knights, especially the uncommons, we're going to be in a very good spot to take advantage of a build alongside Pick your Battles.
    1. Shadowmeld's Avatar
      Shadowmeld -
      Injection Fairy Lily doesn't knock out when you make her unlockable, otherwise that would be a GREAT combo.

      I do respect IFL for her offense capability, don't get me wrong. But I do feel like the same could be said for grabbing the uncommon Lord of D. He is a BEAST of a 3 drop die and we get the option to do the dragon theme deck, which will also hopefully get us some baby dragons too.
    1. Necromanticer's Avatar
      Necromanticer -
      Oops, I may have misread that effect slightly. That said, she's decent for giving Sangan good targets and reactivating "when fielded" effects if that's what you're into and I can't wait to get a hold of that Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. and combo those two in Unlimited. As far as Lord of D. is concerned, I just don't rate him without the Ring of Magnetism since he ends up being a crappy version of Spider-Man since they're both 4-costs with 3/3, 4/4, 5/5 stats and he costs more to field. Heck, give me a die with Green Goblin's or Scarlet Witch's stats for 3-cost and I'll eat him up over Lord of D.'s average statline. I'm just unconvinced that getting a 3/3 die you want for the burst is worth the 2+ resource investment and double the cost of Injection Fairy. Especially since that drives us away from a strategy that I know works effectively and we can grab the right dice for in search of a dragon strategy with an uncertain future, high fielding costs, and semi-specific requirements.

      I'm not knocking your decision, just throwing my own in as well. I'm especially keen on drafting any Injection Fairy dice away from my opponents as well since it's still very unlikely for me to be faced with the option to draft more than 4. Yu-Gi-Oh is lacking in AoE clearing, so Injection Fairy spam is a very feasible strategy.
    1. Shadowmeld's Avatar
      Shadowmeld -
      Oh yeah, I gotcha Necro, it's just every time you bring up why you like your decision i see more reasons to like mine more :P Man if that Injection Fairy KOed one of your guys to go unblockable though, that's be great.