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#4473223 The Rules of YCM

Posted by Frunk on 02 August 2010 - 01:37 AM

Hey everyone,

The original rules of YCM were commissioned and written way back in 2007 with some additions in early 2008, and since then the site has obviously changed dramatically. It's about time a new set of rules was drafted and written to replace the outdated rules, and that they be simplified and easy to understand. The amount of rules has been dropped from 24 into 7, making them much easier to read. As a result of this update, the original rules are null and void from this point on, and may no longer be referenced.

If you have any questions about these new rules, feel free to contact myself or any other member of staff. Special thanks go to Tkill93 and Azuh, who helped with the original rules, JoshIcy and Browarod, who were instrumental in the creation of these new rules, and Crab Helmet, who gave some useful feedback post-drafting. If you'd like to use these rules for purposes outside of YCM, please contact me and ask for permission beforehand.

Cheers, Reece (a.k.a. Frunk).

Rule 1: Staff have final say

Moderators of YCM have been appointed to their positions because they have the confidence of the administration. This means, essentially, whatever they say goes, whether it be locking a thread or banning a member. If you are not a moderator yourself, you do not have a say on what the site moderation does - that is called "backseat moderation". If you want to help the moderation team, the best thing you can do is use the Report system, which is done by clicking the "Report" button that appears beneath every post.

You must follow moderators instructions at all times. It's their job to keep the forum running smoothly and if they ask you to do something it is indeed for the good of the forum.

Moderators do, however, have to abide by these rules, so if you feel a moderator has made an incorrect or unfair decision, bring it up with them in a calm manner. Attacking a moderator will likely get you into even more trouble. If that does not work, feel free to contact an administrator.

These rules are purposefully vague as there is no way that every breach of them can possibly be anticipated. Stating something was not precisely covered in the rules will be ignored. Staff do indeed have the final say.

Rule 2: No inappropriate content

YCM is a family-friendly forum home to users of all ages. Members may not post, or link to, anything that a reasonable person would consider far beyond the bounds of PG-13, including, but not limited to, coarse language, any form of pornography, and derogatory or discriminatory material or content. What is inappropriate will be determined by moderators on a case-by-case basis. If you are unsure, feel free to PM a member of staff and ask for clarification before you make your post.

Rule 3: No illegal content

Simply, it is prohibited for users to post any content that breaks any laws or infringes copyright. This includes, but is not limited to, information and resources relating to hacking, promotion of terrorism (including cyber-terrorism), and so on. If you are unsure, feel free to PM a member of staff and ask for clarification before you make your post.

Also, it is strictly prohibited to breach privacy of anyone, whether they be a member of YCM or not. You may not post any real-world information, like full names, addresses, etc., and, notably including, logs of IM conversations, private messages (if a PM breaks a rule, PM a moderator directly - do not quote it on the forum), emails or other such information without express permission of all parties involved.

Rule 4: No plagiarism

"Plagiarism", as defined in the 1995 Random House Compact Unabridged Dictionary, is the "use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one's own original work." On YCM, it is strictly prohibited to post anything that is not your own, original work, and claim it as your own.

Rule 5: No spamming

"Spam" has many definitions and comes in many forms. On YCM, it is prohibited to consistently make short posts, posting twice in a row of the same thread within a 24-hour period, post a thread in the wrong location (i.e. You cannot post your created Yu-Gi-Oh! cards outside the Custom Cards section, etc.), intentionally go off-topic in a thread, flood any part of the board with threads and/or replies, "stalk" another member's threads and/or replies, make threads and/or replies identical or almost identical in nature to ones that already exist, and etc. If you are unsure, feel free to PM a member of staff and ask for clarification before you make your post.

Advertising also falls within the bounds of spam. On YCM, while some things are acceptable, it is prohibited to advertise real-life products or similar, non-internet related goods, services, or information anywhere on YCM, whether it being in a thread, reply or profile field. Additionally, it is prohibited to post threads or replies advertising non-YCM websites, like blogs, forums and online-shopping sites. However, it is acceptable to place links to user-owned blogs, forums and other websites that do not advertise any of the aforementioned real-world goods, and additionally don't infringe the rules of YCM, in profile fields only.

Rule 6: No trolling

Like Spam, "trolling" has many defintions and comes in many forms. Posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages with the primary intent of provoking other users into a desired emotional response and disrupting normal, civil, on-topic discussion is just one definition of trolling on YCM. Essentially, if you are told by a moderator that you are trolling, you must cease that behaviour.

YCM is a place where nobody should feel harassed. Harrassing another member of YCM in any way, on or off the forum, will never be tolerated, no matter what you think that person did to "deserve" such treatment.

Rule 7: No account or feature abuse

Membership to YCM is a privledge, not a right. It is obviously prohibited for any member to abuse any part of their account or other feature of the site, namely profile information fields, avatars, signatures, the calendar, the Private Message system, the Report system, the Reputation system, the Points system, the Yu-Gi-Oh! Card Maker, and/or of course access to the board itself, and/or utilise these privledges in order to break any rules.

Members of YCM are not allowed more than one account. There is no reason for you to have more, and any "double accounts", and potentially your "main account", will be banned.

In conclusion, the sole intent and purpose of these rules is so that every member of YCM can enjoy this great site to the fullest. If you read through them and intend on obeying them to as close to the letter as possible, you have mine and the rest of the YCM staff's personal thanks.



#5885069 Duel Portal - Duel with your created cards [SUPPORT THREAD] [TESTING]

Posted by seattleite on 23 March 2012 - 09:13 AM



We are testing the new version. If you'd like to test too, PM me.


This is the Duel Portal, a Dueling site presented to any and all YCM members. It is great for testing new cards and archetypes!
Currently included features:
* Generate card directly from YCM
* Images
* Mail feature (to message other members through email)
* Deck rating system
* And more


If you're confused about some aspect of the site, and you already read the FAQ, you can post the question here.
Have a Problem?


Hippocampus' Created Card Game (HCCG)
Leo's Created Card Game (LCCG) (Dead, but has many interesting cards)


March 2017: Begin migrating  to Unity. Silverlight version is down.


May 2016: Migrating to Unity version announcement. Silverlight version will not have any new features.


11/17/15 - Update
9/6/15 - Chrome drops support for Silverlight completely.
4/17/15 - Some people are having problems with installing the Silverlight plugin in Google Chrome. See this post

#6129631 Xyz's and Cardmaker Redesign

Posted by Night on 26 January 2013 - 05:52 AM

Yes, the long awaited Xyz's are finally going to be implemented into the cardmaker. It has also been decided that while we've got the support of YCMaker a complete redesign of every template in the cardmaker would be ideal. Besides the change in aesthetic design, YCMaker stated the cardmaker will be re-written to have better text effects, other changes in regards to both the writing and differences in aesthetics are still being conceptualized as we are still in the early planning stages. I'll try my best to update the public with any info I come across pertaining to the former, and will almost surely produce updates regarding the actual design so that the community can play a part in the design of the templates. 


As for who will be designing the templates, I've decided to lead a small team of capable designers to ensure quality and uniformity are prioritized. As far as specifics on the designers, it's still yet to be decided, I've got two in mind but I'm still very much open to the possibility of variation. For more information pertaining to the actual design process or to apply for a position on the team, see this thread.







#6565438 [RELEASE]Yu-Gi-Oh Card Generator Application

Posted by TheProgrammer on 13 February 2015 - 12:01 PM

TCG Editor has been released!
Visit the official website for updates and download links:
Here's a preview of the app in action:
You can view more screenshots in the official website.
Supported Yu-Gi-Oh cards:
All regular monster types (Normal, Effect, Fusion, Ritual, Synchro, Dark Synchro, Xyz, Token) and Pendulum versions of those;
Token (non-monster).

#4366912 The Noob Tutorial

Posted by DARKPLANT RISING on 11 July 2010 - 06:10 PM

=How to not be considered a "Noob"=

This thread has won YCM's "Best Tutorial Award" for Winter 2012. Soon the image for that will be up on here, in this place.


Okay. Don’t press that X button in the right top corner. It’s better to spend 20 minutes on reading than being kicked out of here. I said it. If you don’t listen and go on with making your cards with no backgrounds, that’s fine by me.

The word “noob” sounds a bit offending for some, and usually I don’t use it. However, it cannot be denied the fact that a large number of “newbs” are, at the same time, what most consider “noobs”.

Just being new isn’t the reason one calls someone a “noob”. In fact, I know several members with over 5000 posts that are considered noobs by everyone else. For someone to be called so, he person must have done something annoying, against the rules, etc…

I do not want more people to leave YCM without knowing why they were flamed, thinking that the “bullies” of it were too horrid to withstand. It’s not that they are bullies; they were just being annoyed by you.

What are you? A newb? If so, I recommend you definitely read this. It is far from finished, yet it includes most information I have considered “noobish” so far.

All I want to say is that this is for your good.

All of the list except No. 1 and No. 2 would, unless going over a degree, not ban you. (For those now knowing, this site has a "banning" effect. Any rule-breakers get banned for some period of time. For instance: me for spamming. Yes, it's happened.) Still, regardless of illegal or not, doing many of these would definitely make you look stupid. Or rather, even one of them. It pretty much becomes a mental ban since everyone hates you. I’d recommend you don’t do these.

A more elaborated version comes next of this list.


1. Double accounting (and all those rule-breaking, like posting in the wrong section as well)

2. Necrobumping

3. Grammar and spelling

4. Not reading rule stickies

5. Calling others "noobs"

6. Bashing others when your information is quite wrong

7. Hundred “lol”s / too much smilies / Caps Lock

8. Using too much curse words

9. Confusing "personal opinions" with "facts"

10. Failtrolling
10-1. Whining
10-2. Overreacting to “mean people” and fighting back
10-3. Thinking “I’m cool and the best”
10-4. Posting in TCG without knowing the meta etc.
10-5. Generally acting in a way others say "no" to




1. Double accounting (and all those rule-breaking, like posting in the wrong section as well)



Ah, yes. Double accounts. They are the most horrid form of annoyance one can make besides heavy spamming, since everyone wants to do it, but yet are forbid from doing so. It is extremely hard to make a comeback after doing one, and the only person I know who was able of doing that was Evergreen. After he once got banned when he was a newb, he came back one month later a lot “better”. But most cases would close by the perma-ban, the ultimate weapon Moderators have, that disable your computer from accessing YCM itself. DO NOT DO THIS WHATEVER HAPPENS.






2. Necrobumping

Necrobumping is the act of posting in threads more than a month old (threads you didn't make). The rule that it is illegal was enforced because old, boring threads revived, and caused trouble. If you find a necrobumped thread, I suggest you do not post in it unless at least 3 people posted after the necrobumping. If the necrobumper realizes and deletes the post when you are the person who posted right after, you would be accused wrongly.

Back when I was a "New Member", I did many of these, and Blood Rose (now called Yin) warned me by 20%. The first warning I got. So technically, it’s wrong of me to bash at other necrobumpers, but this is for your good. I advice you do not necrobump. Wouldn’t ban you unless you do it multiple times, but it would look annoying.


The exception is on pinned/stickied topics like this one, they are pinned so that they can be easily accessible at any time, no matter how much time has passed, and are always technically active.





3. Grammar and spelling



In a cyberworld where faces don’t exist, we must rely on posts to create our personality. Whilst some use the right spelling, grammar and stuff, others don’t. So let’s say that you want to write the following.

“Let’s have a discussion about Stardust Dragon.”

“hey guys lets discus on stardust dragon,”


“Hi, Hovering Pizza. How are you doing?”

“hi Hovering Pizza, how r u doing”

Which sounds “logical”? Which sounds “idiotic”?

I recommend that (well, spelling misses may be occasional, but) you at least write “I” as “I”, and “you” as “you”. Capitalizing where it should be capitalized would also make you look less 6-year-oldish.





4. Not reading rule stickies


This is a common mistake a large number of people do. Including the more older members.

Stickies most likely contain the rules, and therefore tend to be important.

In addition, if a newb has a question, it is most likely that the answer is here:

NOTE-In the case you want to do something someone else did, and the answer is not in the Question Stickies, PM the person who did it or ask him in his profile. The person who did it knows how to, so most likely he would answer if you take out a rep bill.





5. Calling others "noobs"



Chaos Modding: Seriously. Someone uses Rainbow Dark Dragon? Just think of the summoning conditions, or get the hell out of this place, noob.


Fantom Poxas: Chaos Modding is right. Rainbow Dark is unneeded.


In this case, Chaos Modding and Fantom Poxas are absolutely right. Dorkplant must have felt rude at Chaos Modding, but nonetheless it would be even more "noobish" to call others noobs. This could be applied to when you call others noobs, when they are actually pretty descent. Amazingly, a lot of members, even LV 4's and 5's, also do the same.






6. Bashing others when your information is quite wrong


Noob 1: My friend used Caius, so I used Stardust lolololol
Fantom Roxas: Stardust can't negate Caius, Dorkplant. Caius removes the card from play. Stardust can only negate destroying effects.
Dorkplant: What the f*** is your problem. Seriously, you've got to be joking. Look at Caius's effect, it says "destroy and remove from play". Idiots shouldn't post in this forum. Bye, and get banned, f***er.

To those who don't know, Caius's real effect is:
When this card is Tribute Summoned, remove from play 1 card on the field. If it was a DARK Monster Card, inflict 1000 damage to your opponent.
And Stardust is:
1 Tuner + 1 or more non-Tuner monsters
You can Tribute this card to negate the activation of a Spell Card, Trap Card, or Effect Monster's effect that destroys a card(s) on the field, and destroy that card. If you negate an effect this way, you can Special Summon this card from your Graveyard during the End Phase. (Copied from wiki.)

Anyhow, don't flame or be mean against someone until you get real information. Also, you shouldn't be mean against anybody till you get 5 stars. I don't care of the level of a member, but some old guys do for some weird reason, and wouldn't like it if they get treated bad by a member with 50 post count.








7. Hundred “lol”s / too much smilies / Caps Lock



Let's take a look at this lovable thread folks.
Dorkplant: lol, i was playing with friends and he got out 2 stardusts in a turn, lol. so i lost :( :( :( So guys, discuss on stardust lol

A general "noob post". While it says nothing wrong or trollish, it uses three "lol"s and multiple unneeded faces.

Well, some argue that faces and "lol"s are a good thing, like when you're mocking someone trying to get out a friendly manner in introductions and the sort.

Wait, what?

No. Hell no.

I advice you. NEVER use “lol” before you've earned your reputation. Even once. I’ve said it. (I occasionally use it, but that's when I'm being the "Idiot Lord" style member.)

And the reason for using “lol” is to skip the step of expressing their emotions using actual words. That’s fine by most, but it makes them look vocabulary-lacking and somewhat idiotic in the "noob" fashion.

Smilies, on the other hand, are fine at 1. 2 or more? Forget it.







8. Using too much curse words


What the f***ing hell b****ing a**hole s***ty c*** is this!?


I’m not saying curse words are the most horrible thing in the world, that that the rule should ban anyone using them, since there are worse problems out there, and I’m not really sure if this can be even classified as a problem. Most people in this forum are 13 or older, and by that age all of us would know curse words anyways. Apart from that, we all hate 4kids for a reason. And I use them too. A lot.

I personally believe there's no problem when you curse when writing right info. But when you're breaking one of the other principles here, AND at the same time you're cursing, it becomes just irritating for us.





9. Confusing "personal opinions" with "facts"



Quite a lot of high-level members do this too. For instance, let's say someone is having an argument with another person about whether OCG (official card grammar) is important for card making or not.

Drunk: IDK about OCG. The effect is bland. But 8/10 since the pic is as awesome as hell.
Dorkplant: OCG is extremely important. The pic is irrelevant to card making skills.

Dorkplant has certainly got Drunk to be irritated in one way or another. Notice how he said "is"? If the thing you're discussing is something that changes from person to person, you shouldn't say "is". Instead of saying "OCG is extremely important", say "I personally believe OCG is extremely important", and it wouldn't get anyone to hate you. “I personally believe” is more commonly known as “IMO” (in my opinion).





10. Failtrolling



This is the most common noobish act seen in YCM. There are several types to it.

NOTE-There are two types of trolling. One type is Crab Helmet, the "good" trolls that are admired. They're also damn hard to achieve. This is the other one, the one that's annoying.




10-1. Whining

Lobster Helmet: I’m going to need a Hopeless Dragon deck recipe. Paying 500 points and a rep. Start, guys!

Grinne: Okay, here. *Posts*

Dorkplant: Here’s mine. *Posts*

Lobster Helmet: Okay, I’ll choose Grinne. Sorry, Dorkplant!


Dorkplant sounds noobish doesn’t he?



10-2. Overreacting to “mean people” and fighting back

Think of your school. Are there no bullies? Are there no annoying people? Really? Are you sure? Hell no. Think back, there must be one.

In fact there are no really jerky members in YCM. Most of them get disgusted and eventually leave. When someone thinks someone else is mean, it’s just that that someone created the reason. Just fix what they told you. You’ve got to live knowing that. If you can't deal with it, then it'll be hard to go on forever in here.

Dorkplant: I made a card, guys look *Posts in Any Other Cards*

Pin: This thing is horrid. First, the pic is extremely overused, and doesn’t have a background. Then, it’s a LV 1 monster that has 9999 ATK, and while its Template is that of a Normal Monster, it has an effect saying…what? Its OCG (Official Card Grammar) is horrid, but seems a bit like “This card can only be summoned by tributing three dragon-type monsters”. Okay, seriously. I’ve had enough of this bulls***. 0/10.

Dorkplant: You’re rude, why can’t you respect others!!!

Dorkplant could have just ignored what Pin said, and gone without overreacting. That would have been much more efficient and better for both people. This includes:

-Flaming back
-Spamming back
-Failtrolling back



10-3. Thinking “I’m cool and the best”

Most of the time, if you make your first card, chances are that it’ll get 6/10 or something. If worse, 4/10 or less are possible. Learn from other tuts, or veteran card makers so that you can get good at card making.

The same applies to other things you create.

Also, it’s a good idea to not call your stuff “awesome” from yourself. It makes you look narcissist. Most likely you are, if you called your stuff “awesome”. So don't name your RC thread "Awesome set made by me".

Similar is when you say something that makes no sense. Making “I am the ultimate dark lord mwahahaha” your signature is just stupid. Another version is when you make your siggy, avi, username and photo all Kaiba (or some other random character) related, claiming to be actually him. Because well, yeah, that it’s as stupid as Barney.

Add that making your avi spongebob wouldn’t make your first repute good either.



10-4. Posting in TCG without knowing the meta etc.

In short, I want to say that if you think Blue-Eyes Shining Dragon is the best card ever, and Battle Ox is great, don’t post in TCG. Many people in TCG have good humor, but they’re also known for being slightly nasty against people who don’t know what cards are really strong. Many others are the same. So beware if you’re not that good at the game.

There are easy ways of checking whether you’re suited for posting there. One is posting your deck in “Decks” and seeing how people react. Or, you can take this simple test.
(1) Why was Rescue Cat forbidden? Think using cards from the X-Saber Archetype.
(2) Which deck is stronger, Exodia or Gravekeepers?
(3) Think of a way to summon 3 LV 9 Synchros on the first turn. You can use cards in the limited list.
(4) Is the card card Yata-Garasu good?


If you couldn’t get at least 2 right, then study more about meta before you come.

Some of these similar things can also get you in trouble:

1. Posting horrid cards in contests

2. Posting Fan Fics with at least two of: (i) horrible grammar, (ii) spelling, (iii)plot and (iv) detail

3. Posting horrid GFX

I’ve had some things with 3. My advice: don’t use Kid Pix in GFX.

There’s also a

4. Suggesting meaningless suggestions



10-5. Generally acting in a way others say “no” to

This is a common thing many noobs do in the TCG.
For instance, let's say someone thinks that "Wave-Motion Cannon" is a great card that should be ran in any deck.
For those of you who don't know:
Wave-Motion Cannon
Continuous Spell Card
During your Main Phase, you can send this card to the Graveyard to inflict 1000 points of damage to your opponent for each of your Standby Phases that have passed since this card was activated.

Basically, win in 8 turns.
On first glance it's awesome, and so many mistake this as a "staple" (a card that should be run in almost any deck because it is very strong. Mystical Space Typhoon, Torrential Tribute, etc). However, in most decks this card will disrupt the concept and most likely result in having your dedicated deck go less smoothly. In addition, most chances are it'll be destroyed by the opponent before you activate in this quick meta. Besides, most good decks can end the game in like, 5 or under turns either way.
The TCG players of YCM tend to be fussy on this matter.
It's ok to say something others take as wrong - in fact, that's how we learn. But if you're going to stick to your first (and most likely wrong sort of) TCG theory, chances are you'll be called a failtroll. You need to be tractable. This goes for not only internet sites, but for the general world of now.
...Whoa, what am I talking about in a children's card game forum...

Hoping this would reduce the number of “noobs” and increase the number of “newbs”…

-End Game / =The End Gamer= / Evangelion / Darkplant / Darkplant - PAIN / Darkplant - FEAR / Darkplant - VENOM

If you have anything to add, please reply. Reps as prizes. I know this is undone. JG, many others, thanks for the grammar help. Phantom Roxas, thanks for the stickying.

#4976631 {HD} Cards: Over 1,000 downloads! Thank YOU!

Posted by Judαs on 31 January 2011 - 09:38 AM

Last update: 11th September, 2011

High-Definition Yu-Gi-Oh Card Template v1.4
High quality, XYZ templates, holofoil, fake attributes and stuff!


1.a. For Photoshop Users
1.a.i. Add-ons
1.b. For GIMP Users
1.c. Fonts (required)
2. Information
2.a.i Examples
2.a.ii Cards/sets by others
2.b. Version History
2.c. FAQ (All your questions answered already!)

I hope this will help you get around. Posted Image

Updated: 4-18-2011 (Links below)

These templates are made by me, for Photoshop users.
You will find examples for them in the EXAMPLES section.
Password if any: Touma

Monster Card v1.4 (25mb ZIP) Includes XYZ template and Holos!
Monster Card v1.3 (19mb ZIP) Includes XYZ template!
Monster Card v1.2 (18mb ZIP)
Monster Card v1.1 (14 mb RAR)
Spell/Trap Card v1.2 (10mb ZIP)

• • •

>> Under this sections are Photoshop modifications of my template

Japanese Monster v1.2.5 (24mb PSD) by ¤ßϯ¤

Japanese Monster v1.3.1 (24mb PSD) by Phoenix19 includes BT's Exceed Link taken down on request of Bt
Japanese Spell/Trap v1.2.5 (24mb PSD) by Phoenix

7 new fake attributes added.

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image
Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

Updated: 9-11-2011

11th September update:

GIMP templates were reuploaded by the sexy ANBU. Thanks a lot!

(Version unknown, they downloaded it around February)

English Template

Japanese Template


Monster Card v1.4 for GIMP (40mb XCF) also includes Ra template,
made by Deathly Fiend of YMC

Newly Edited Monster Template (26mb XCF) by Deathly Fiend of YMC

I edited this from BT's GIMP template and Pheonix19's Photoshop Japanese Template. Give them the credit, but I am the one who created the RANKS. This template contains Exceed Monsters. Hope this is helpful.

• • •

Monster Card v1.2.5 (24mb XCF) made by Bt
Japanese Monster Card v1.2.8 (24mb XCF) made by Bt
Spell/Trap Card v1.1 (13mb XCF) made by Bt
Japanese Spell/Trap Card v1.1 (13mb XCF) made by Bt
No password!


ITC Stone Serif (free, required for normal card lores and Spell/Trap card custom types.)
ITC Stone Serif (Mirror) (Mirror for the above link.)
Matrix fonts (Link not by me. I take no responsibility for the contents of this link.)

Not posted as images since they were too big. Click on the respective links to view a type of card. Tags next to links are mostly self-explanatory

Exceed Monster Card By gokuthepower
Normal Monster Card
Effect Monster Card GOLD
Ritual Monster Card
Fusion Monster Card
Synchro Monster Card
Dark Synchro Monster Card
Custom Colored Monster GOLD By ≈ƒizz≈
Token By ≈ƒizz≈
Normal Spell Card
Continous Trap Card
Holofoil Test


Zextra's set
Spoon's set
A Card by iFantasy

If any of the threads listed here is too old, please do not necrobump. Thanks.

Updated: 4-18-2011

Pre-alpha:Supported only effect monster cards, LQ
v1.0: Supported all official types except synchros and exceeds HQ
v1.1: Synchros and dark synchros added
v1.2: Spell/Traps also supported
v1.3: Exceed monsters added. Gold foil bug fixed, default card is exceed
v1.4: Holosheets have been added, default card is now Effect Monster again
v1.4.1: 7 new fake attributes added as an add-on.

Thank you for your support throughout the development process! Posted Image

Help + FAQ
Updated: 4-18-2011

If you don't, here's a guide for Photoshop users:

Open photoshop, click File->Open and choose the template PSD.

To edit~
Name: click on the name layer in the layers panel, choose text tool (the "[T]" icon) and click on the card name in the window. then type the new name
Circulation, Set ID, Password, Type, Effect, ATK, DEF, Creator (exceed only) also follow the same procedure.
Level: Open the level layer group by clicking on the arrow next to the Layer Group. Then disable the level layers you don't want by clicking on their eye icons. If a layer doesn't have the icon, it won't be seen. e.g. If I want LV4, I will remove the eye icons from LV5,LV6,LV7...LV11
Picture: Paste the picture onto the template, press Ctrl+T to resize it to fit insize the frame box exactly, then click on any tool on the tool bar and make your choice at the dialog box that appears.
Holo sticker: Use the eye icons to enable the sticker you want and disable the other(s)
To make Exceed Cards: Enable (click the empty box next to the layer icon to bring the 'eye') all green layers (some are in layer groups)

What type of monster cards are supported?
All that I know of: Normal, Effect, Ritual, Fusion, Synchro, Dark Synchro, Token, Exceed + an additional recolorable background is supplied, which by default comes in Slifer Red color.

What type of Spells/Traps are supported?
All known types are supported Posted Image

I don't have the right fonts!
All required font links are provided in this post.

Some elements seem choppy.
Since I could not find HQ images of WATER attribute or Dark Synchro level stars, they are upscaled and look choppy. They will be fixed if in later versions someone can provide HQ images of such icons.

I don't think this alignment of [card part] is correct.
All layers can be moved Posted Image It's recommended that you do not move the non-text layers. Creator can only be Edited for Exceed Monsters.

So this is free? Or maybe it's too good to be free
*sigh* Yes it is. I did put in at least 10-12 hours of total effort into making this, so I hope you like it. Payment is not required but reps/donations/thankful comments are very much appreciated. Read for rights below. Posted Image

What about rights? So I can't do anything to this since it's free?
Do whatever you want to this PSD, just don't do two things:
1. Don't claim it as your own (you don't have to always credit if you use it, although that would be nice.)
2. Don't sell it in a shop. Please refrain from selling individual elements from this template too, I have ripped them ALL myself (unless otherwise stated).
3. You can mirror this link but don't post it outside this thread.

Permission to use elements has been given to: Zextra
(Requests can be made, but I reserve the right to decide whether permission can be given or not.)

I don't think I require such a huge template...
After finishing your card, merge all layers and use the Image Size command and then use Save As jpeg or whatever, OR save a copy of the template itself resized [without merging], which you can use to make your cards.

Can you guarantee updates?
Patience is the key, no 'guarantee' as such though. Posted Image

Suggestions, questions and constructive criticism is very much welcome Posted Image

#6582931 ITT: Striker challenges CowCow

Posted by Holy Cow on 21 March 2015 - 12:05 AM




Mooo Moo




#7004305 forum.yugiohcardmaker.net

Posted by (Φ) on 25 April 2017 - 11:53 PM


#4631738 Use the Report Button.

Posted by MarbleZone on 16 September 2010 - 12:15 PM

This feature is known to most of you - if you see a thread or post you consider to be spam or any other infraction, use the Report Button to warn the mods.

While this is certainly not an obligation on your part, not adding to the spam is. So in the future, anyone who replies to that sort of posts with more spam of their own will be warned.

Instead of posting to point out a thread should be locked, or to remark that a certain post is spam, just report it and move on, else you're breaking the rules yourself.

This was already implemented in the past and should go without saying, but seeing as all General stickies were deleted with the server change, I'm reminding you all.

Bottom line - report, don't reply.



#6244747 A Guide To Making Cards + Card Art Sources

Posted by Aix on 24 July 2013 - 12:05 PM

I know this guide is seriously long, but it is worth the few minutes to read it. This contains the basics of what people are talking about when they review your card so you aren't left completely in the dark. I suppose if you have a understanding of something already then you may skim over that section.
Scroll down to Finding Pictures for Card Art Sources.


Course Prerequisites
Before reading this thread, you should fulfil the prerequisites and learn the basics as they are not covered in this course.

This course goes by the assumption that you already know how to play the game itself and that you are able to behave yourself maturely on this forum. Making good cards is also much easier if you have experience with playing the actual game at a meta/competitive level. If you are unable to afford cards and/or cannot attend tournaments to play at a competitive level, you can Duel online on Dueling Network. Feel free to ask for a Duel with someone in the status bar, people here on YCM would be happy to help you if you ask politely.

Course Outline
Below is a Table of Contents for this thread and what this course covers.

  • Foreword
  • Making the Card
  • Tools and Templates
  • Finding Pictures
  • Card Balance
  • Usability
  • Levels and Stats
  • Card Advantage
  • Possible Drawbacks
  • Abusability
  • Card Design
  • Fair Matchups
  • Player Interaction
  • Thought and Skill
  • Card Flavor
  • Making Archetypes
  • Additional Tips

Please note that Cardmaking, like anything else, requires much time and practice. Reading this thread will not instantly turn you into a magnificent Cardmaker, you will need to actually make cards, post them and receive and accept feedback from others and over time your Cardmaking skills will improve.

~Professor AixDivadis

Making the Card
So, what do you need to get started before anything else? What do you need to make a card? In reality, you don’t really need anything other than text for a card, you can simply write down the name, Attribute, Level, Type, effect and ATK/DEF and then you have a written card which can be posted in the Written Cards section. But, we all know that actual cards with a picture look better.
Tools and Templates
First, we need a way to make the card. Sure, if you’re skilled enough, you can create your own template and/or cardmaker, but for those of us who can’t, there are plenty of tools out there for making a Yu-Gi-Oh! card. Of course, first and foremost, we have the cardmaker on this site, probably the first thing you saw when you came onto this site. It can be accessed again by clicking the “Cardmaker” button in the top right of this page. To use the cardmaker to make a card, you simply have to fill out the form and then click Generate. To post it onto this forum, you click on the card and a bit of code and a URL should pop up beneath the card, maybe after a bit of loading. Just copy and paste that into your post. But, the cardmaker here is far from perfect. For one thing, it can’t make Xyz Monsters. I frequently use a different site called Yugico to make cards because they are able to make Xyz Monsters, I prefer their template to the template here on YugiohCardMaker and they have a quick and easy way for you to crop your card images so they don’t looked squashed. Making cards there is pretty similar to making cards here on YugiohCardMaker.
However, if I want to make a really good looking card, I use Judas’s or Zextra’s Photoshop/GIMP template. It’s a bit trickier and less convenient to make cards with Photoshop or GIMP, but the result is a much better looking card. Just go to one of their threads and download the template and then download GIMP if you don’t already have Photoshop or GIMP. (Photoshop costs money while GIMP is free)
Finding Pictures
Here are some sources I use.

  • deviantART - The world's biggest art site and community, I believe. There is a huge variety of art, however, there is a lot of not-so-good art to sort through to find pictures you want.
  • JazinKay's Albums - JazinKay was a member on this site who compiled a large collection of art and even cropped them so that they are perfectly square and easy to use. Note that the art is sorted into albums on the side.
  • Safebooru - An anime art site. Plenty of users use this site, but there is just as much not-so-good art to sort through.
  • Danbooru - Another anime art site. Pretty much the same as Safebooru, but larger, however, warning there is hentai (anime porn) on it.
  • Sword-Summoner's Albums - This album belongs to our former Custom Cards Moderator, Koko. She has a smaller collection all tailored for Yu-Gi-Oh!
  • Magic Deck Vortex - A large collection of cards from Magic: the Gathering. You might not like it because they are already used on cards from another card game, but these pictures are obviously suited for cards.
  • Pixiv - A Japanese art community, there's plenty of anime art, but there's non-anime art as well. I personally have started to use this site, because there is some really high quality and absolutely gorgeous art here. However, it is hard to navigate in the first place (they won't let you sort by popularity unless you pay), made harder by the fact it's in Japanese (thankfully I have automatic translation on) and that you have to sign up to properly browse. I personally find the really good artists and then browse through their bookmarks.
  • Kyng's Card Art Dump - belongs to Kyng, of course. Has a total of 1474 pictures.
  • Toyo's Art Vault - Have you figured out the pattern? Belongs to Toyo.
  • Axi-sensei's Collection - belongs to me. Gathered from the various artists I follow.
  • Legend of the Cryptids Card Gallery - Because so many of our images come from Legend of the Cryptids anyway, I decided to put up the card gallery. Note that they all have the card frame on them.
  • Kingdom Hearts Keeper's Card Images - Kingdom Lombax/Samhain's gallery.
  • M M - I dunno who this one is either.
  • Zanda's Imgur - Zanda Panda's card art collection.
  • hunduel's Deviantart - a gallery of custom images made by the member hunduel.
  • J-Max's YCM Archives - an archive made by J-Max. (duh)

Official Card Grammar (OCG)
Official Card Grammar is the way that cards are supposed to be worded. I won't cover that here and turn you over to Zazubat's OCG Thread, Common Terms and Phrases & Other Useful Tips.

Card Balance
How can I make a card both fair while powerful enough to be useful? This is a question asked by many an aspiring Cardmaker. There is no simple way of doing this, it involves carefully analysing a card and it's applications, something not easily done by Cardmakers who are just starting off and requires a great deal of experience in Yu-Gi-Oh! itself. However, there is a way of breaking down this process and some general rules to follow to retain some balance in a card.
To make a card useful, you must think of its purpose first. It should fit nicely for a specific use, don't just go making a random card. Then, after thinking of its use, think of the cards that have a similar use, will your idea make a more suitable card for that use? Is it actually something that is needed. Of course, this requires knowledge on the game to know what would be useful and what would be a good use for a card.
When thinking of the power level of a card, it is a good idea to relate it to a similar pre-existing competitive card and come close, but don't match or surpass (because Konami is horrible at making balanced cards) its power level. For example, if you were making a Rank 6, you may look at Photon Strike Bounzer and how useful it is.
Often a card's power level is very much related to the card advantage it generates so look below to the card advantage section.
Levels and Stats
There are some lenient rules to deciding the Level and Stats (ATK and DEF) of a monster. First of all, a monster’s Level and ATK and DEF are usually, supposed to be, correlated, the higher a monster’s Level, the higher their ATK and/or DEF, though this is not always the case. Often, higher Level monsters will have low ATK and/or DEF as a drawback because they have such a powerful effect, but we’ll discuss effects and drawbacks later. A general rule is that Level 3 and lower monsters have less than 1700 ATK, Level 4 monsters have less than 2000 ATK, Level 5 and 6 monsters have less than 2500 ATK, Level 7 & 8 monsters have less than 3000 ATK, Level 9 & 10 monsters have less than 4000 ATK and Level 11 to 12 have less than 5000 ATK. If a monster has high ATK, it should not have high DEF and vice versa. Many of these rules have exceptions, but it is best to follow them.

It is also dangerous to have high-level monsters be easily Summoned/Special Summoned because there are powerful high Rank Xyz Monsters who are only balanced because it’s supposed to be hard to bring them out.
Card Advantage
The most basic way of keeping a card balanced is to keep it from giving too much card advantage and to keep it playable, one prevents it from taking away too much card advantage. Allow me to first explain what card advantage is: It is the number of cards a player has on their side of the field and in their hand -- the number of cards they currently have accessible to play with, use and/or pay costs with -- compared to the number of cards their opponent has on their side of the field or in their hand. Obvious, a player wants to have a lot of card advantage and there is no real such thing as too much card advantage. Some cards give or take away card advantage -- increase or decrease the number of cards a player has on their side of the field and in their hand compared to the number of cards their opponent has on their side of the field or in their hand.

Calculating how much card advantage a card gives or takes away is simple, you count how much card advantage a player would have before and after activating an effect. We refer a card that increases card advantage by one as a +1 and a card that increases card advantage by two as a +2 and so on. We refer to a card that decreases card advantage by one as -1 and a card that decreases card advantage by two a -2 and so on. A card that ultimately does not increase or decrease card advantage is a +0.
In terms of card advantage, losing cards that get used up (I mean like, Spell Cards are sent to the Graveyard after being used) are counted as a cost for the effect. For example, Pot of Avarice is a +1 because it lets you draw two cards while at the same time, when it is used up, it itself is sent to the Graveyard, so if you started out with 5 cards in your hand, you end up with 6 when the card resolves, the fact that it affects your Graveyard is irrelevant to card advantage. Monster Reborn is a +0 because it Special Summons a monster from either Graveyard, making a monster come onto your side of the field, but is also ultimately sent to the Graveyard when it resolves, so if you started off with 1 card on the field and 4 cards in your hand for a total of 5, you end up with 2 cards on the field and 3 cards in your hand for a total of 5. Dark World Dealings is a -1 because it lets you draw a card and then discard a card as well as sending itself to the Graveyard, so if you started out with 5 cards, you would end up with 4 cards. It is to be noted, however, that a card like Broww, Huntsman of Dark World is a +1 because it does not use itself up, its effect activates when you are supposed to lose card advantage, and you lose none instead since you draw, so what was supposed -1 becomes +0.

Usually good cards are +0 or +1 but have a very specific use and can't just be used at any time. Otherwise, they should be -1. The ability to properly judge whether the restrictions are sufficient is something that comes with experience, but +1 should be only something that happens very rarely in a turn.
Possible Drawbacks
Some possible drawbacks you can have for powerful effects include:

  • Discarding is a very standard cost and directly relates to card advantage. Notable examples: Number 22: Zombiestein, Lightning Vortex.
  • Banishing a monster(s) from Graveyard is another common cost, however, note that it often isn't much of a cost and doesn't relate at all to card advantage
  • Preventing Special Summoning for a turn. This is for more powerful effects, usually those that can help with pulling off powerful combos. Notable example: Pot of Duality.
  • Preventing attacking or preventing you from conducting your Battle Phase. This is used for destruction/card removal effects or powerful effects that help comboes. Notable example: Number 61: Volcasaurus, Hieratic Dragon King of Atum----------
    The other thing to consider when making a card is whether your card can be abused -- used in a way that would make it far more powerful that it is intended to. I can't really help you with this, you simply have to think of ways that this card would be used. It's something that comes with experience with Dueling. Some cards can create loops with other cards and result in OTKs.
    Dangerous Effects and Mechanics
    There are some effects and mechanics that are quite dangerous or abusable and aren’t to be used without big restrictions or drawbacks. These include:
    • <a data-ipb="nomediaparse" data-cke-saved-href="http://yugioh.wikia.com/wiki/Battlin" href="http://yugioh.wikia.com/wiki/Battlin" _boxer_sparrer"=""> Drawing: Drawing is dangerous because it can be easily abused, even if you add a cost, like discard a card to it. Lots of draw cards allows for you to turbo through your Deck and acquire the cards you need for an OTK. Notable examples: Dark World Dealings, Trade-InAllure of Darkness.
    • "Bouncing": Returning a card from the field to the hand, especially, returning a card you control to the hand. Returning a monster your opponent controls to the hand is already quite powerful because it bypasses any sort of effect destruction, but returning a card you control to the hand simply gives room for abuse, especially when you return a Spell/Trap Card to the hand. Stuff like Fire Formation - Tenki and Call of the Haunted are meant to only be used once, but if you are able to return it to the hand, it can be used again and again. Notable examples: Compulsory Evacuation Device, Genex Ally Birdman, Blackwing - Zephyros the Elite.
    • "Milling": Sending cards from your Deck to the Graveyard may seem like a cost to newer players, and it was a drawback during the good old days of Yu-Gi-Oh!, but really, it just thins your Deck so that you can acquire your combo pieces, not to mention that some combo pieces need to be in the Graveyard. There is a reason why Foolish Burial is Limited despite being a -1. This mechanic allows for really big and powerful plays or even FTKs and OTKs. A lot of Decks right now want monsters in the Graveyard, so "milling"/sending cards from the Deck to the Graveyard is not a cost. Cards that draw and discard are also sort of milling. Notable examples: Lyla, Lightsworn Priestess, Bugintei Kagutsuchi, Dragon Shrine.
    • Sending: Sending to the Graveyard is quite powerful because it bypasses from cards such as Maestroke the Symphony Djinn. Notable example: Number 50: Blackship of Corn.
    • Banishing: Banishing (from the field) is very powerful because it bypasses destruction immunity and also prevents cards from hitting the Graveyard, as many cards in the Graveyard can be retrieved or Special Summoned again quite easily, such as Grapha, Dragon Lord of Dark World. Some Decks don't mind getting their cards banished, while other Decks, like Dark Worlds, can hardly stand getting Grapha banished. Notable examples: Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning, Chaos Sorcerer, Spellbook of Fate (third and most-used effect).
    • "Spinning": Returning a card from the field to the Deck is like banishing in that it bypasses destruction immunity and also prevents a monster from hitting the Graveyard. Pros to this compared to banishing is that some cards don't mind to be banished and can be retrieved/Special Summoned, but they have a hard time coming back from the Deck. However, some cards would like to return to the Deck. There's also the fact that returning a card to your Deck, such as a Limited card, let's you reuse a card that isn't really meant to be reused. This is an uncommon effect. Notable examples: Madolche Queen Tiaramisu, Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Cardinal, Phoenix Wing Wind Blast.
    • Not targeting: Targeting is something that many cards that only affect 1 card are expected to do and there is protection against targeting. However, cards like Spellbook of Fate which doesn't target bypasses such protection. Also, not targeting means that if your opponent chains/responds to your effect and protects their card somehow or removes the card from the field, you can choose to apply the effect to a different card, making this extremely powerful. Notable examples: Madolche Queen Tiaramisu, Spellbook of Fate.
    • Negation: Negation is really powerful, particularly Quick Effect negation effects or Counter Traps. As many cards and effects have costs, if you chain and negate the card, not only have you made your opponent waste a valuable card that they evidently thought worth using, but you've also made them pay a cost for no reason. Other negation renders cards useless for a certain duration of time and allow you to bypass annoying effects like destruction immunity, which is still really powerful.

    Card Design
    What's just as important, probably more important, than Card Balance is Design. Design is all about the very concept of the card, while cards can be toned down in terms of balance, usually a simple matter of adjusting the amount of card advantage, they often cannot be toned down in terms of design, because to change a card's design is usually to change the fundamental concept of the card, so you'd effectively be creating a whole different card.
    Design is all about keeping the game smart and fun, all about how to make the game smarter and more interesting or amusing and better in general. The goal of Yu-Gi-Oh! is to have fun (okay, that's not strictly true from Konami's viewpoint, but f*** Konami, they are horrible card designers). There are the do's and don't's of design, while there are almost always exceptions to the rule, if you are starting off, it's best to stick to them.
    However, figuring out if a card is bad design requires you to actually think (oh my god, I can't believe it) about what a card does and what sort of applications it has, but there are some general ways to avoid some forms of bad design.
    Elements of Fun
    Okay, I've just said that Design makes Yu-Gi-Oh! fun, but what are the design elements of the game makes it fun? Let's look at Yu-Gi-Oh! as a game, it is a relatively fair game played with two (or more) people that incorporates a combination of luck and skill.

    • Fairness. All games have to be fair for all participants so that everyone can have fun and there's no less soreness over losing. While it is not entirely possible to keep it 100% fair in a Trading Card Game, there are some design elements that can keep it as fair as possible.
    • Player-to-Player Interaction is what makes Yu-Gi-Oh! a two player game, otherwise, we could just mind our own business and do something on our own. I will elaborate later in the Player-to-Player Interaction section, but there are many Decks and cards which inhibit this crucial element of the game.
    • Luck keeps the game more amusing and unpredictable, the unpredictability puts the spice and excitement in life and in games, with luck even a newcomer to the game as some hope of winning, unlike in Chess where the player with less skill is pretty much guaranteed to lose and the player, unless they are very diehard and stubborn, will decline from games against more skilled players. Luck also means comebacks, which brings a certain degree of drama into the picture. How epic is it when you turn the tables on an utterly hopeless-seeming situation? However, too much luck removes skill from the picture, and skill is also something that makes the game fun.
    • Skill keeps us in the game with the desire to improve and also, for all you parents out there :3, improves our thinking skills in real life... somewhat... It adds depth to the game, it adds a fun, strategic element and increases our elation upon having outplayed our opponent because we have just won something fair and square with partially our own skill, we feel like a war commander who applied his tactics to bring a glorious victory, we feel like a deviously cunning and smart person like Lelouch vi Britannia (okay, maybe neither of these examples, but I gotta make this sound cool, you know?), however, while you may not know it some cards destroy that strategic element and thus are badly designed.

    These elements are integral to Yu-Gi-Oh! and extremely important to consider when making cards. I will explain each of them in greater depth in the sections below and explain how to incorporate them into your cards and how to stop your cards from hampering these elements of design.
    Fair Matchups
    Pretty much any game has to be fair for it to be fun, both players should have an equal chance at winning. True, it's nigh impossible for a Trading Card Game to be completely fair as some Decks as somewhat better than others, however, that doesn't mean we don't try to make it fair. I'm not just talking about balance here, balance is a whole different topic, there are some things that shouldn't be done that affect how fair a Duel can be. What I mean is that some cards and Decks specifically counter or fare especially well against another Deck or play style meaning that one player has an especially high chance of winning and this leads to a game state known as Lame Duck, where the Duel drags on but it's obvious that unless a miracle happens a specific player is going to win.In this kind of Duel, one player can't do anything whether because their cards have been wiped out with ease or a card effect is preventing them, removing the Player-to-Player Interaction part of the game covered in Section IV.
    Stuff that do this are cards like Macro Cosmos, Dimensional Fissure, Skill Drain and any of the other Drain cards, Light- and Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror, and Evilswarm Ophion. These cards destroy your opponent's options, a Zombies player can't do anything against Macro Cosmos, unless they manage to topdeck Mystical Space Typhoon or Heavy Storm. A Synchro-oriented Deck can't do anything against Evilswarm Ophion. And then there's System Down which allow you to utterly obliterate Machine-Type Decks. If you are running a Deck that can effectively utilise any of these cards, against the right opponent, you are almost automatically guaranteed a win, which is unfair and not fun at all.
    How to stop this? Don't make cards that pick on a specific Type, Attribute, Level, kind (as in Ritual Monsters, Fusion Monsters, etc.) or play style. Simple as that.
    Player Interaction
    I'm going to quote Griffin, the previous guy to speak about design, on this: Why do you think Soltaire is not played at parties? That's because if you're going to be playing a game with someone else, it's more fun if you are actually interacting and doing something with them rather than sitting across from each other, each to their own. Player-to-player interaction also makes each game unique, and thus interesting, as different things happen each time, your opponent may react differently each time and you can't just follow a pre-thought-out routine and repeat it game after game.
    Decks that decide the game in one turn, often decide the game by the opening hand, destroy player-to-player interaction as only one player does anything and the other can only watch as they lose. These Decks with cards, such as Exodia Decks, Blaze Fenix Decks, Shooting Quasar Dragon Decks, hard lockdown Decks, Stall and Burn Decks and Decks that just follow a pre-determined routine, such as Spellbook/Prophecy, don't require interaction with the opponent. Cards that promote these kinds of Decks are badly designed. You got to think on this one, think about how your card would be used and if it would promote such play.
    Cards that have player interaction are cards that react to your opponent or do things depending on what your opponent does or has done or even give your opponent a choice to make. There is also Battle Interaction, which is making cards and effects trigger off of monsters battling.
    Luck keeps each game different and gives players of all skill levels a chance to win. This game really doesn't need any more luck than it already has, so stay away from it. All the luck needed to keep this game interesting is in the drawing and opening hard part of this game. Too much luck decreases the amount of skill in this game. However, if you really want to do a luck card, don't give it a negative effect.
    Thought and Skill
    What if I told you... games that require skill and thinking are more fun? Don't tell me it isn't, because that would just shine bad light on you. Strategy is another part of this game, it engages you and your mind. Skill lets us improve and get better, it gives us something to come back to the game for as each time you get better. It gives you something to be proud of when you win. So how do cards increase the skill and thought to be put into this game? Skill is all about judgement, decision-making and choices, putting thought into each move you make, so to put skill into a card, you have to make it so that the person has to think before using the card. This is frequently accomplished by giving a card good costs and/or drawbacks and make the player decide whether the cost is worth the pay-off.
    One particularly infamous card that requires no thought would be the banned Pot of Greed. There is no thought that is required to use it, you simply play it the moment you draw it, there are no drawbacks, no reason not to and all the reason to use it when you can.
    On the other hand, we have Pot of Duality, which is more often than not a card that requires thought to play with its drawback that prevents you from Special Summoning and the choice it presents you. Pot of Duality reveals three random cards from the top of your Deck and quite often it can be a hard decision, skill dictates how well you make the right decision for the situation. There's also the drawback. If it didn't have the drawback, there'd be no reason not to use it, just like Pot of Greed, because who doesn't want a deck-thinner that presents you with a choice of what you want to draw? Many Decks nowadays require Special Summoning and yet still use this card. Why? Because it's so good. However, now you are also presented with the decision between sacrificing your ability to Special Summon for a moderate chance to draw something awesome.
    Costs and Conservative Playing
    Conservative playing is a big part of Yu-Gi-Oh!'s skill component. It's about using the least amount of cards to take care of a situation, whether it's removing a particularly card from your opponent's side of the field or surviving your next turn, you don't want to squander your resources, no one uses a cannon to slay rabbits because that would be a waste, and you want to save cards to use next turn. Cards with costs make you think more about choosing what to do and what not to do that turn because it limits the number of things you can do. If you can only do a certain number of things, you want to make sure you do the best things possible.
    Using too many resources or doing too much in a turn, unless you are putting yourself in a situation where you can win, is called overextending and is a bad idea because you are doing unnecessary things when you could be saving your cards for when you really need them.
    However, some cards, like Spellbook of Judgment and Super Rejuvenation promote and encourage overextending. You no longer have to make hard choices, you no longer have to manage how much you do in a turn because Spellbook of Judgment and/or Super Rejuvenation will let you regain all your resources again, thus they are really badly designed. Spellbook of Judgment makes a Spellbook player just think about how many Spellbooks they can activate in a turn and Super Rejuvenation gets a Dragon Rulers player to try to do as much as possible, overextend as much as possible.
    Punishing Unskilled Play
    Punishing unskilled play and bad choices forces players to think more. Cards like Dark Hole and Heavy Storm are great for this because if your opponent overextended and filled their field for no particular reason, you can just play one of these cards. The reason they may be bad and they are Limited is because they also clear the field so you can easily OTK. If you can make cards that punish unskilled play without allowing OTKs, then kudos to you.
    Skillful cards are hard to make and require a lot of thought into how the card works and its applications, but basically, you want to have costs and present the player with hard choices.
    Card Flavor
    Less so in Yu-Gi-Oh! and more so in other games, there is a backstory to the cards and a reason they do what they do. For example, WIND and Winged Beast-Type monsters return to the hand because they can fly back into the hand. FIRE monsters often inflict damage directly to your opponent's Life Points, which is called Burn, or they get stronger in ATK, like adding to the fire and making it bigger. Warrior-Type monsters often have effects that relate to ATK and DEF and the Battle Phase or Equip Spell Cards because Warriors fight and use weapons. Spellcaster-Types generally have a lot of effects that have things to do with Spell Cards. Make sure to give your card a name and picture that is actually relevant to its effect, so a card called "Kill" that shows a guy getting killed should not Special Summon a monster from your Graveyard.

    Making Archetypes
    The first thing to do when making an Archetype is deciding its gimmick and flavor. Gimmick refers to its general theme in its effects or play style as well its win condition, for example, Lightsworns mill (send cards from the top of your Deck to the Graveyard) in order to get four Lightsworn monsters into the Graveyard for Judgment Dragon, Bujin revolves around protecting Bujin Yamato, Dragon Rulers spam Special Summons by banishing other Dragons and etc. Archetypes that revolve around simply Special Summoning each other (such as Wind-Ups and Umbralis) are boring and overdone so you should stay away from those. Another thing that is overdone, as well as being bad design, is turning what would be costs into effects, like Dark World and Fabled, where one would think discarding is a cost but its not, and Atlanteans, which do almost the same thing except they can be triggered from anywhere as long as it’s a cost. I’ve seen more than enough of these archetypes which do this, except instead of discarding, they banish, or they Tribute (ahem, Hieratics), or they shuffle themselves into the Deck and etc. Turning costs into plusses is bad design because you are effectively nullifying or removing the cost. Costs are an important part of skill and design, managing costs is a part of skill and forces you to make harder choices.
    Flavor refers to the aesthetic theme and what your archetype is, it should tie very heavily to what your Archetype does and may in fact dictate what your cards do, for example, Lightsworns are some sort of religious order seeking to bring down Judgment on their foes, turn after turn they accumulate power (faith and/or followers?) until they are able to Summon Judgment Dragon, and Gladiator Beasts are anthropomorphic pit fighters who switch out after a round of fighting (presumably to rest and prepare for the next round), the player is rewarded when their gladiators successfully battle.
    With this decided, now it’s time to actually make the members of your Archetype. You only really need up to 10 cards possibly excluding Extra Deck monsters. Any more and people won’t review it because it’s so big and you are bound to have a bunch of unnecessary cards. Think about what your Archetype is meant to do and remove any cards that don’t help with what it’s supposed to be doing. The following is types of cards that Archetypes generally tend to include:
    -          The Searcher – Searching is something very common and is very important to contributing to a Deck’s consistency as well as giving you a choice thus contributing to an archetype’s design and skill. Without enough consistency, a Deck may be too luck-based and thus less skill-based, but too much consistency can make an archetype overly linear or too powerful. Try to stay away from the typical Stratos-esque searcher that searches a monster upon being Summoned (Stratos is especially overpowered because he can get his effect from being Normal Summoned or Special Summoned) and stay away from the typical Emergency Call-esque Spell searcher. These cards are Limited/Semi-Limited for a good reason, they are extremely fast and set you up immediately, they also thin the deck very well, so you are effectively running a Deck with less than 40 cards. Try to vary it and slow it down by making a Trap searcher instead or maybe a searcher that only searches upon being destroyed or when it destroys a monster by battle. Better yet, tie in your searching with your archetype’s gimmick. You may even not have a searcher as some Archetypes are consistent enough without.
    -          Card Removal – Almost all Decks have a form of card removal for getting rid of problem-some cards. However, it is not actually completely necessary in the archetype. Mind also that many Decks have access to card removal and such in the form of the Extra Deck monsters they are able to access including none-Archetype specific Extra Deck monsters. Archetypes that can go into Rank 7 can get Dragossack for example and Rank 4 Decks can use Diamond Dire Wolf if they really have no other way around.
    -          Special Summoner – Special Summoning has become a very big part of Yugioh and it gives you access to Extra Deck monsters on turn one. As I have said before Decks that only Special Summon are overdone and boring and they usually have a very linear play style, beware also that a lot of Special Summoning can lead to loops. Special Summon effects should typically be once-per-turn.
    -          Beatstick – The monster that is easy to Summon and has high ATK or is able to boost its own ATK so that it can defeat your opponent’s monsters. After all, the main way to win in this game is to battle.
    In the current game, Decks must either have speed or defensive capabilities to fend off opponents with speed or a bit of both. By speed I mean how soon they can make big plays and pull off combos to destroy your card advantage and/or bring out powerful monsters, Decks like this include Dragon Rulers which can easily pull out a bunch of beatsticks or Dracossack and Big Eye for massive damage and Mermail which can destroy your cards quickly and attack with a bunch of monsters, often OTKing you. However, there are Control Decks like Evilswarm, which sits on Evilswarm Ophion and has Infestation Pandemic to protect it, Decks like Constellar with Constellar Pleiades blocking off all of your plays and Constellar Omega protecting it, Decks like Bujin which protect Bujin Yamato so you can’t do anything against them. Properly judging how well your Deck compares to these Decks requires you to have knowledge of these Decks and how they play as well as being able to imagine what sort of plays and combos your Deck can make (experience playing Yugioh itself is irreplaceable, if you are new to Yugioh feel free to call up any YCMember onto DuelingNetwork or YGOPro), but you can still look at your cards and see how much card advantage your cards can create and how much you can do in a turn. Typically, make your cards work together and once per turn create a +0 or +1, make sure that by the end of your turn, you should have LESS cards in your hand than what you started off with even if you are a conservative player, think of the combos that can be made with your cards.
    Additional Tips
    Never give up or get angry. Be sure to take criticism and try to understand the reasoning behind anything anyone says. If you do not understand something, just ask. Also, be sure to check out other people's cards, learn from cards other people have made and try to figure out a card's good points and flaws. Reviewing a card can be just as beneficial, if not more beneficial, to you as making a card.
    I'm sure I've missed stuff in this thread, and I apologize. If there is something that I have missed, please point it out to me and I will try to fix it as soon as possible.

#6179230 Huntik Yugioh Cards

Posted by Kokohru on 10 April 2013 - 07:02 PM

I am contemplating banning you. And this topic is locked for slander. c:

#6576188 Rescue Hamster

Posted by Toffee. on 06 March 2015 - 05:27 PM


#6363866 NO NO NO! The Arc-V retarded Pink Hippo is a carddddd (Entermate Discover...

Posted by DARKPLANT RISING on 04 March 2014 - 11:04 PM

The color isn't the problem with the card, it's the facial expression






#6356858 [Zextra] Pendulum Template [V2 Download Available! PSD and XCF]

Posted by Zextra on 21 February 2014 - 03:44 AM

With the official release of Pendulum monsters, I was able to adjust the proportions to match pretty closely to the real thing. With that said, the V1 of the template is now available for download; huge thanks to Sakura Haruno for providing the GIMP version. As of now, the template is fairly basic and includes no special features; hopefully that will change soon when I have the time to experiment with it more.


The template may be used how you see fit (aside from ripping, of course), and though not required for use on this forum, credit would be appreciated. However, I would like to ask for credit if used outside of YCM.




• § • § • § • § •


Effect Pendulum Example:



Normal Pendulum Example:



V2: Photoshop PSD Download

V2: GIMP XCF Download



V1 Photoshop PSD Download

V1 GIMP XCF Download


Update Log:

April 2, 2014: Template V1 released

April 17, 2014: Template V2 released - Normal Pendulum Frame added

Beta Showcase

#6233200 Guide to Advanced Cards (Please read this before posting)

Posted by Discord: Toyo#5410 on 04 July 2013 - 10:02 PM

Table of Contents
I. Foreword
II. Basics of RC
II.1 - What is RC about?
II. 2 - What kind of cards should I post in RC?
II. 3 - What kind of mindset should I adopt in RC?
III. General Rules
IV. How to Respond to Criticism
IV. 1 - Differentiating CnC and Flaming
IV. 2 - Responding to "Harsh Criticism"
IV. 3 - Responding to CnC
V. What to do if your thread gets locked
VI. Do's and dont's
VII. How to properly review cards
VII. 1 - What should be reviewed
VII. 2 - Making the AC less of a burden
VII. 3 - Example Review
VIII. The Multiple Cards Section
VII. 1 - General Etiquette and Tips in Multiple Cards
IX. Reviewing Archetypes
X. End

I. Foreword
First and foremost, hello and thank you for taking the time to open this page. Now, don't go and click the big red X button on the top right corner of your screen yet, it's better to take 10 minutes or so to read this guide instead of getting flamed when you post a card. Are you still here? Good. As you can see from the title, this is a guide for the Realistic Card Section on the Yu-Gi-Oh Card Maker Forum. This place is your one-stop destination for posting cards which you think are good enough to show to the world. Without further adieu, the first section of this guide.

II. The Basics
II. 1 - What is RC?
RC is short for "Realistic Cards", AKA the section you are viewing right now. Throughout this guide, Realistic Cards will be referred to as RC so keep that in mind. Now, you may notice that there are two sections of RC in this forum. The first is RC - Single Cards and the other is RC - Archetype and Sets. RC - Single Cards is strictly for posting one cards only. No more, no less. Archetypes, multiple cards with similar strategies, or a bunch of random collection of cards go to RC - Archetype and Sets. What sets RC apart from the other Created Card sub-forums is that RC is made so that you can post cards which are realistic, meaning cards that look like real Konami cards and balanced cards.

II. 2 - What kind of cards should I post in RC?
As previously said, cards that are realistic and balanced. Pop Culture Cards are also welcome here, provided you designed them with balance and realism in mind (or at least make an attempt to design them at a level suitable for Advanced/RC).


Putting it into words can be difficult, so instead, I'll give you an example of the kind of card that should be posted in RC.
Should be posted in RC
This is an example of a card that is RC-worthy. It is realistic, in that it has stats proportional to its level, an effect that isn't completely overpowered and broken as well as a Yu-Gi-Oh-esque picture. This is the sort of standard RC cards should follow. Realistic, balanced enough effect as well as overall quality that resembles an acctual YGO Trading card.

Shouldn't Be Posted in RC
"But Toyo!" I hear you cry. "It IS a realistic card! In fact, it's even more realistic than the above card!" Well... Yes. In many ways, it is a realistic card. However, RC isn't just for realistic cards, it's for BALANCED realistic cards. This mistake of a card clearly violates the "Balanced" aspect of RC. The card steals every monster while it is face-up on the field, which is not only broken and badly designed, it's also not very realistic. Basically, if you're creating a card with the intent of heavily changing the game state, don't post it in RC. Reconsider its effects, or post it here anyways and watch as it get ripped apart by critiques. 
II. 3 - What kind of mindset should I adopt in RC?
RC is not exactly the place for rainbows and frilly unicorns, it is much more professional than that. What I'm trying to say is that you should never expect your card to get perfect reviews all the time, and that you have to brace for criticism and even harsh ones. Basically, don't act overreact to criticism and actually listen to it instead of hating them for it.

III. General Rules

IV. How to Respond to Criticism
IV. 1 - Differentiating CnC and Flaming
CnC is short for "Constructive Criticism", and is usually what you would expect when somebody reviews your card. I am bringing up this topic because there has been a lot of new members who are chased away from RC because they thought they were being flamed, when really, people were just criticizing their card. The difference between CnC and flaming can be summed up in this one situation:

AxeDivider: *posts card* Guys, this is my newest card. I want CnC, okay?
Toyota: This card is a piece of s**t. It's horrible and you're a horrible cardmaker. I hope you leave this site forever, f**ker.
Zazubird: Well, the card is pretty bad. The effect could have been better and the OCG is really lacking. I think that you should fix the effect up a bit and learn about OCG for a bit.

In the above situation, Toyota's review is generally considered as flaming, as it offers no insights on the card and rather focuses on hating the maker itself. If you do get flamed, do not fight back. Seriously. Ignore and move on. Or, if you feel that it broke the rules, you are more than welcome to report it to the moderators using the "Report" button on the lower left-hand corner of said post.

IV. 2 - Responding to "Harsh Criticism"
Harsh Criticism is the term which is used to describe when someone is being overly critical on your card. Usually, this isn't a problem for more experienced members who actually want harsh criticism, but this seems to a problem for newbies on this subsection. An example of harsh criticism is as follows:
AxeDivider: The card is really bad. Like, seriously bad. It's so unbalanced and is really bad design. You should really fix up the effect to prevent abuse or just throw it into the bin. This is probably just gonna be locked for bad design.

While it is true that Axe is being harsh, it's not so much as flaming as he is just being critical about the card. When you do get replies like these, listen to what he has to say, and argue his points if you feel that his review is wrong. Whatever you do though, don't ever, ever respond like this:

Toyota: F**k all of you! You all don't know anything about Yu-Gi-Oh! This site is full of morons, I'm leaving forever!

Just... just don't.

IV. 3 - Responding to CnC
The logical step would be to fix the card according to their suggestion. However, if you feel that their review is wrong, feel free to argue them. However, do differentiate CnC and "Criticism". Don't listen to people who goes "10/10 great card" because most of the time, they're stupid and you should just ignore them.

V. What to do if your thread gets locked/moved to AoC
If you have read the rules, you should know that your threads may get locked or moved to the Any other Cards section. When this happens, the moderator who locked/moved it will state why it is locked, either due to it belonging in the wrong section, or far more likely, being unbalanced and broken. If it is broken/and or unbalanced, think about your card for a brief moment and look at other RC threads and analyze why it is broken/unbalanced. If you can figure out why and fix it on your own, good for you! You can now re-post that card in RC and prepare for the reviews. If you can't, well, think harder or ask more experienced members. Having the thread moved to AoC isn't the end for your card, because it can still be reviewed by other people.

VI. Do's and don'ts in RC.
Do: Read this guide until it's over
Do: Read and follow the rules
Do: Read the cardmaking and OCG guides
Do: Listen to CnC
Do: Have a positive attitude
Do: Be creative with your cards
Do: Learn from other cardmakers
Do: Help other cardmakers with CnC
Do: Know a thing or two about competitive YGO and the metagame

Don't: Flame
Don't: Flame back at someone
Don't: Whine when your thread is locked/moved to AoC
Don't: Write bad reviews
Don't: Ignore CnC and focus on "10/10 good card" type reviews

VII. How to properly review cards
VII. 1 - What should be reviewed
Ah yes, reviewing cards. The backbone of RC. The cards are the brain and the reviews are what keeps it going. Being a part of RC is not just about making cards, but also about reviewing them. However, a lot of new members' reviews tend to be bad and sometimes just wrong. Now, assuming you have knowledge about competitive YGO and how cards should work, this is what you should review, or at the very least, what you should keep in mind in your review:
1. The balance of the card
2. What happens if it were to be released IRL?
3. What possible uses would it have IRL?
4. What you think is possibly broken/abusable.
And many more. Translating into words can often be difficult, so feel free to move to section VII. 3 to look at an example review.

VII. 2 - Making the AC less of a burden
AC is short for Advanced Clause. If you have read the rules, then this shouldn't be your first time hearing about this. Advanced Clause was created to help reviews get better, not to suppress reviews. However, a lot of people, myself included, have once thought: "Man, what a bother this AC is." Well, this section of the guide is dedicated to you guys. The first step to make AC less of a burden is to detail your reviews more. For example:

"The card is broken."
Can be re-worded into:
"The card is possibly broken, because it's effect can potentially..."

See? Not too hard, right?
The next step is to fully understand said card and properly think about what it can do in the long run, not just in hindsight. This is why it's called Review and not Preview, because it's about a proper analysis of the card, not a first-look kind of deal. For example:

"Well, this could be useful in some deck, I think."
Can be re-worded into:
"This could be useful in X Deck, since its effects support said deck and could prove useful to them."
And the rest is just simple really. Repeat step 1 for each sentence of the review you make. However, this does mean that you shouldn't fill it with padding and/or useless bits of trivia. Unless your review already passes the word count needed for the AC.

VII. 3 - Example Review
Effect for Card



The card is pretty good, it covers most bases on it's negate effect, but still retains a somewhat low ATK (for a Rank 8 or higher that is) and is a OPT so it's possible to get around it and doesn't have anything to powerful to it. It can keep everything alive, but also makes you unable to combo with Spells/Traps, but as well keeps your opponent from doing the same for quite awhile because of it's effect. Not quite sure what it does as Psychic when it looks more like a Rock-Type monster, but that's it's your choice I suppose. Not half bad, a nice addition for Rank 9s with nice DEF stats to boost, but also kinda generic and doesn't have anything to really top it over the edge, but still a nice staple. Now what is bad is your OCG and the fact that you put a Continuous Effect as a Trigger Effect instead, which makes no sense at all. Look at this, and you should see what I mean. There's also a part at the end that you kinda messed up on. Anyway, OCG fix on the way!

When this card is Xyz Summoned (no reason for that, as saying it or not makes no difference at all), neither player can activate Spell and Trap cards until the next turn (way simpler said my way). Once per turn, during either player's turn, when your opponent would activate a Spell or Trap Card that would remove a card(s) you control: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; negate the activation of that card and destroy it. (I changed this completely as you made it quite confusing, you see the wrote it, you make it seem like it's for every card and by battle at first, but later you say "the activation of that card" which means that this would only apply to Spells and Traps being activated, not to effects of already face-up Spell and Traps and Monsters. If you actually mean it to be that way, you should consider rewording your card, but for now, I have written it with the way it would work if you just looked at it).

Above is an example of a good review. Why? Because it explains what the individual effects could do IRL, an analysis of the stats (ATK/DEF), and a proper OCG fix. This is the kind of review you should strive to write, not, for example, this one:


Nice looking card, not sure if I understand it but I am drunk. I do applaud you for Popoff , that made me laugh. I do hope that you make a card named "Supernatural Card Cancellation". Could be a trap card or a magic card or something

....Yes. This barely constitutes as a review. Not only did it break the Advanced Clause, but also because it makes mentions of things that are not relevant to the card. As I said earlier, it's okay to incorporate a few jokes and/or things unrelated to the card, but please, for the love of everything, fulfill the AC before you do any of it.

VIII - The Multiple Cards Section of RC
As some of you already know, the second half of RC is for posting more than one card. Generally, you can post any string of cards, with or without relation to each other. Archetypes, multi-card combos, heck, even compilations of your own cards be posted here. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD YOU POST MORE THAN ONE CARD IN RC. If you need another card you previously made for your card to work, simply link to it's original thread, don't post it again. The rules that apply in RC also apply in this section, including the AC to an extent. This means that you shouldn't throw around one sentence reviews in bulk, and actually critique the card as you would a card posted in Single Cards.

VIII.1 - General Etiquette and Tips in Multiple Cards
-As there is no written rule about how many cards you can post in Multiple Cards, you can technically post any amount of cards as you wish, including your entire card gallery if you so wish. However, do take in consideration that this is a public forum, which means that giant card sets can slow down those with bad internet.
-It is generally understood that: More cards in an archetype = Less professional reviews. Large card sets are a big drag for a lot of people. Nobody wants to review 20 cards at once, especially if they are all cards with not-so-interesting effects.
-It is okay to post a few cards from your archetype and then add on more cards to the original post. If you have a massive 30 card archetype, you are better off posting 5-10 cards first, let those get reviews and then post the rest of the cards in an orderly fashion. This way, you have a better chance of having all of your cards critiqued.
-Small archetypes with a focused gimmick is far more interesting to review than a massive, HERO-style archetype with no clear gimmick. This should be more detailed in the Cardmaking Guide written by A I X, also found in this page.

IX - Reviewing Archetypes
Before we get down to things, please keep this in mind: This section is only to help you in reviewing archetypes, not reviewing multiple cards with no relation to each other. You got that? Good, now we can begin my most favorite bit.

First, find the gimmick of the archetype. Sometimes, the thread creator can detail how the archetype works in the first post, but if not, just take a glance at the cards and find a common effect that binds them together. If you can't, then it's either: A badly designed archetype or, well... It's a badly designed archetype.

Then, review each individual card like you would review a single card in RC - Single Cards. But incorporate your opinion on how the card interacts with the rest of the cards in the archetype. The AC here is less tight, but you should still incorporate the basics of card reviewing, such as balance and the lot.

Once that's done, and you have a rough idea of how the archetype would work in real life, you can critique the archetype itself. Begin by mentioning how it would work in relation to other existing archetypes, or by commenting on the gimmick itself. Sometimes, an archetype can have fully balanced individual cards but is actually broken with the right combinations and draws. Critique on that too.

X. End
Whoo, that was a mouthful, wasn't it? Well, I applaud you for sticking this far into my guide. I hope this has been useful to you, the reader as this is my first tutorial. I hope to see you and your cards soon in RC! Thank you and have a good night/evening/morning.

Further reading:


Rules of Realistic Cards - Written by Sakura (current CC moderator)
Guide to OCG, otherwise known as Official Card Grammar - Written by Zazubat (Zaziuma)
A Guide To Making Cards - Written by the lovely, lovely A I X.

Card Design Guide - Written by .Saber, our ex-Custom Cards moderator

#5427129 Harry Potter is awful and you suck for liking it.

Posted by on 09 August 2011 - 02:51 AM

I was making a post about Quidditch over in a topic in General and it kind of spilled over into other aspects of Harry Potter, and since this forum hasn't had a topic about the series in months, I thought I'd come here to post.

Now, I should make something clear before I proceed: contrary to what the title says, I liked the books when I was a kid. They were a fun fantasy romp, and I enjoyed them. Looking back on them afterward, though, it's very clear just how much was wrong with the series, which really makes me wonder why this is probably the most popular series ever when only nerds have even heard of the brilliant A Song of Ice and Fire (though hopefully its televised adaptation will help to fix that). Some problems only became clear in hindsight, but others I noticed even when I was little, like this first one:

Quidditch is a really stupid sport.

The problem is that, since Harry is a Mary Sue fantasy persona, he needs to have the single most important role on the team that lets him win the whole match single-handedly. In order to make this possible, Rowling made the game hideously broken by making the Snitch worth so many points that whoever catches it pretty much autowins. This means that the rest of the team (the Keeper and Chasers, as well as anything the Beaters do other than attack the opposing Seeker) is entirely worthless, which pretty much defeats the purpose of it being a team sport.

It's like having a baseball game, except off on the sidelines one player from each team meets to play a game of chess, and whoever wins the game of chess earns an extra twelve runs for their team. And this is a special chess variant that makes draws impossible. Technically, it is possible for the rest of the team to decide the game, but that really won't happen unless one team is completely incompetent.

It's particularly awkward because Rowling tries so hard in the Goblet of Fire to convince us that the Quaffle really does matter by having Ireland win even though Krum got the Snitch, but for Romania's Chaser/Keeper team to do so badly, there are really only three possibilities:

1) Romania is completely incompetent and got to the World Cup purely based on Krum's awesomeness despite the rest of their team being awful. This proves my point that the rest of the team is irrelevant, since they were able to become one of the top two teams in the world despite having only one half-decent player.

2) Ireland is so amazingly good that the second-best team in the world is absolute putty in their hands. Or, more likely, Ireland is cheating. The former seems unlikely, and the latter implies that the system is laughably easy to break and all the officials involved are either corrupt or stupid.

3) There is no in-universe reason; Rowling just wanted desperately to prove that the Quaffle mattered and didn't spend a second thinking about what this result would imply about the world she was supposed to be trying to build.

None of these possibilities does anything to refute my point.

Now, I have heard diehard fans try to justify it by saying that the Quidditch system takes into account total number of points scored, so while the Chasers and Keeper don't matter for winning individual games, they do matter for overall tournament ranking. And, to be fair, we do see this being important in Hogwarts' own House Cup. The problem is that the House Cup is a flat round-robin, highest total wins setup, whereas the professional World Cup, by virtue of having a final, clearly has some sort of single elimination mechanic that once again renders the Keeper and Chasers irrelevant; as long as you can qualify for the playoffs, all you need is a good Seeker.

tl;dr: Quidditch is a 1v1 sport with twelve other spectators who for some reason are on the field.

But since we're arguing over the quality of the Harry Potter series as a whole here, let's address some other issues with the world:

Deus Ex Machina

For those not familiar with the term, go read a book, but since I know you won't, I may as well explain that deus ex machina (Greek for "God from the machine") refers to a problem being solved not by the characters taking logical actions to overcome obstacles but instead by the sudden intervention of some outside force that resolves the plot for them. For more information, refer to your friendly neighborhood Wikipedia or TVTropes.

Now, the backstory begins with Harry being saved by his mother's love, which doesn't seem to be how magic normally works and which lets him survive an unstoppable killing curse through no action of his own, but we'll allow that because he's an infant at that point. So let's skip ahead to the end of the first book, once he's had a year of schooling and has decided he's ready to confront the villain and generally be heroic.

Harry gets owned. Badly. And he deserves it. He marches into the room with the villain with no plan whatsoever and clearly having a much lower power-level than his opponent, so to the surprise of absolutely nobody, he doesn't even really put up a fight. So, the villain has Harry at his mercy... but suddenly, Harry's hands can magically melt his face off, and as Harry falls unconscious, Dumbledore swoops in to clean everything up.

Um, what.

The problem here is that Harry didn't earn that victory at all. HE had no plan, no skills, and was only saved by a sudden power-up with no foreshadowing and precious little logic behind it. But hey, he's only been at Hogwarts a year; surely he'll improve with time, right?

Fast-forward to second-year, when Harry and Ron decide to do more heroic adventuring into the Forbidden Forest to meet a giant spider. Once again, they go in with no plan and far weaker than their massive opponent, and once again, they are completely overpowered. but then, suddenly, an enchanted car not seen since the beginning of the book (and which has received no maintenance for months) appears to rescue them despite having no motivation to do so (what with them being responsible for crashing it) and no real reason to show up now at all. Well, okay, we can forgive Harry here; it's not the end of the book yet, so he still has time to improve.

So, what does happen in the climax? Our heroes, having learned that Lockhart knows nothing of value and has no skills other than betraying heroes and wiping their memories, decide to take Lockhart with them to confront the final boss... for some reason. To their great surprise, Lockhart betrays our heroes and prepares to wipe their memories. Fortunately, as our hero, Harry springs into action and is able to save the da- wait, no, my mistake, Lockhart just stupids himself into oblivion. Well, he wasn't the real villain, so all that matters is that Harry defeat the actual opponent properly, so let's take a look at that.

Harry wanders into the underground lair containing the supervillain and his incredibly powerful monster, hopelessly underpowered compared to his foe and with no allies or plans prepared. You know, the same as in the climax of the first book. Fortunately, he's able to defeat the villain when... a phoenix appears out of nowhere, and cures him of poison, and hands him a hat somehow containing a sword, and carries him out of the otherwise inescapable dungeon, and what is this i dont even

This is a good example of how something can be a Chekhov's Gun and still be a Deus Ex Machina. Yes, we saw Fawkes in Dumbledore's study earlier, and yes, we heard Dumbledore describe its ability to cure poison, carry heavy weights, and survive being killed. And that would have been fine if Harry had remembered this conversation and gone up to fetch Fawkes to bring with him to the final battle. But that's not how it happened: Harry charged in blindly like an idiot, and the author decided to intervene by sending Fawkes down to save him from a well-deserved death. (Of course, it also contains an excellent example of how a Deus Ex Machina is especially painful if it is entirely unforeshadowed and comes absolutely out of nowhere - suddenly, out of nowhere, former sorting hats can conjure giant swords?)

Prisoner of Azkaban is my personal favourite book in the series, and making this list actually helps me see why: it's the book in which Harry actually fights his own battle. Having learned that he is weak against Dementors, he goes out of his way to train to fight them so he'll be able to defeat them in the future, and in the end it is our heroes' plan that saves Sirius and Buckbeak. There is quite a Deus Ex Machina in the form of the time-turner, but a) at least it was set up well in advance that Hermione had it in her possession, and b) it's still ultimately Harry who saves the day, just three-hours-later-Harry rather than current-Harry. Sure, he still initially rushes into a dangerous situation with no plan and loses, and the time-travel element is a major plot hole given how useful that would be in circumstances other than taking more classes, but Harry's still taken an important step forward toward being a proactive hero.

Pity Goblet of Fire reverses all that.

This year, Harry is a complete screw-up who can't even get through the standard tournament challenges without the villain, the Tenth Doctor, holding his hand and rigging the game in his favor every step of the way. Going into the final trial that he knows has to be a giant trap, Harry marches blindly in with no plan and hopelessly outmatched by his opponents. (Sensing a pattern here?) Fortunately, he's saved by a combination of two factors: first, Voldemort is a colossal moron who refuses to let his followers help him kill Harry, and second, apparently nobody ever bothered to mention that when twin wands are used against each other they create a giant reverse-magic glowing web thing that suspends the battle and lets Harry escape because the ghosts of his parents are popping up what the frak am I even reading!? Oh, and then the mole reveals himself for no good reason like an idiot, so Harry is able to easily defeat him. And by Harry, I mean Dumbledore, because there's no way Harry would do anything competent on his own.

On to book five, in which... Harry out of spite refuses to learn the necessary skill as instructed, falls right into Voldemort's trap even after Hermione explicitly tells him it's a trap, walks into said trap once again outmatched (six kids against all the Death Eaters?) and with no plan in particular, and is saved only when the Order and Dumbledore appear. And his stupidity still gets his godfather killed. Nice going, moron. Why are you our protagonist exactly?

Well, by book six, Harry is sixteen, a very standard coming of age year. He's old enough to drive, to get a proper job, to consent, to get married, to drop out of school, and to generally be treated like an adult. So, having passed his Sweet Sixteen, let's see how Harry has grown into his role in the climax of this book: Dumbledore holds his hand through dungeon of doom, disarming all the traps for him. He gives Harry only two instructions - "don't touch the water" and "fire kills zombies" - both of which Harry ignores, which would have gotten them both killed if Dumbledore hadn't luckily recovered quickly enough to use fire himself because his idiot student couldn't do anything right. They return to Hogwarts, where a battle is raging, and Harry spends the battle... stunned and unable to move, watching events unfold in front of him but taking no action. OUR HERO!

Well, it's book seven, it's the end of the series, Harry is officially of age in-universe, his mentor is out of the picture, and it's time for war. So let's see what our glorious hero does.

Well, he starts by... rejecting Lupin's offer of help, because having a fourth party member and an actual grown-up ally is apparently not useful. Then he comes up with a plan to infiltrate the Ministry... but forgets to come up with a plan to get back out. And he spent a month on this brilliant "plan". Then he wanders around in the woods for months with no plan, which makes Ron give up and leave because even by Ron's standards Harry is incompetent. He says Voldemort's name after finding out that doing so is Very Bad, and it's only because the author intervenes to stop him from saying it for no convincing in-universe reason (after spending the rest of the series saying it without qualm) that he hadn't tripped the taboo sooner. Fortunately, their incometent jailer lets them out and Dobby appears to sacrifice himself to save them, so they're able to plan a raid on the bank (with most of the planning done by their goblin ally that they plan to betray), only to completely fail in their betrayal and lose the one thing that can destroy the Horcruxes. Luckily, Crabbe decides to help them with a spell that backfires and destroys the next Horcrux for them (Hermione knew of this spell that had never been mentioned before in the series but decided against using it because it was dangerous, whereas having an immortal evil Hitler-inspired super-wizard overlord ruling the country is apparently pretty safe). Then Harry dies, but is able to unexpectedly come back to life because, um, the author saves him (it's due to no plan of his own, certainly). Then he one-shots Voldemort without a fight - because he had a plan, which is something, I suppose, but the plan was stupid and nonsensical and contradicted the established rules of wand ownership and relied on Voldemort being an idiot and attacking with the wrong wand even after this plan was explained.

Even in the last book, Harry doesn't fight his own battles (and indeed actively turns away help); other characters and the Author's Divine Hand need to intervene to save him. He never grows out of being saved by Deus Ex Machina.

Harry is Everyman Jesus?

A big reason for all of this, and a problem underlying much of the series, is that Harry is supposed to fulfill two roles simultaneously. First, he is supposed to be an Everyman, an ordinary student protagonist that any reader can relate to and even project themselves onto. Second, he is supposed to be the Chosen One, the hero who saves the world from the ultimate evil every May and acts as the resident Christ figure.

Now, combining these roles is not impossible. If you're on YCM, you probably know that this is pretty much standard for anime, and fans of the excellent Buffy the Vampire Slayer will recognize that this is Buffy's role right down to the "every May" part. However, making these two contrasting aspects fit into a single character does take effort to do well, and Harry Potter... does it badly.

First, Harry doesn't want to be a hero. He doesn't think like a hero. A telling decision comes late in the series, at the start of the sixth book, when he must choose between two extracurricular activities: he can train the other students to defend themselves in the coming war against Evil Magician Hitler, or he can play the world's most broken sport. Now, any hero, or even anyone with the least perspective on life, would choose the former. But Harry chooses the latter, because Rowling wants him to be a relateable ordinary high school student, and Rowling prioritizes that over making his actions make sense and making him a strong character. Now, Buffy also started out doing stuff like that and needed to learn to focus on her important Slaying... but that whole character arc happened in the first season (only half as long as the others), whereas Harry is still like this after five years. Buffy grows into her role as a hero, but Harry never does.

But it's not just that example. Harry is consistently a lazy and incompetent student. Outside of going out of his way to learn the Patronus in Prisoner of Azkaban, he never does anything proactive to acquire important skills despite knowing that he is destined to fight the Dark Lord. In school, he coasts and cheats through his classes, never putting in any real effort unless he knows in advance a specific reason for learning a specific spell (like Accio in Goblet of Fire) - and even then, as with Occlumency, he might still not take it seriously. He's not proactive like a proper hero, going out hunting vampires each night; he's reactive, charging into danger when it's already upon him but otherwise content to waste time sleeping in class without even bothering to pester Slughorn for a memory. In contrast, while Buffy never does learn to magically sense the presence of vampires, she spends lots of time training and patrolling to protect Sunnydale and become a better Slayer. Harry needs to be relateable, and to do that, he can't seem to be "better" than the average reader - and so he comes off as incompetent.

Because Harry needs to be relateable, he also isn't allowed to do anything at all morally ambiguous, nor is he allowed to suffer realistic trauma regarding the massive abuse he received as a child. Sure, he can do some teenage angsting, he can throw tantrums, but when it comes right down to it, he needs to appear as a pure white-hat, and he can't suffer serious psychological scars.

Consider this progression of events: Harry spends his childhood with no friends and abused by his foster family that hates him. Yet even on the train to Hogwarts, he has no trouble opening up to people and, as evidenced by his first interaction with Malfoy, already believes in the Power of Friendship. Um, what? Okay, it's for kids, but even causing the death of the only person who really loved him five books later doesn't really impact his personality (indeed, he angsts LESS after that), and that's after the series supposedly grew up.

As for Harry being contractually white-hatted, consider this: In Book 1, Harry burns off the villain's face with his bare hands. In Book 2, Harry duels a massive death-gazing snake with a sword. In Book 3, Harry swears he will kill the man who betrayed his father. In Book 4, Harry learns the Killing Curse and other aggressive spells and confronts the Evil Wizard Hitler who killed his parents and ruined his life, and so the spell he uses is... Expelliarmus?

Even when he's an adult, he still acts like this. Deathly Hallows begins with Harry endangering himself and his friends (and getting Hedwig killed) by using Expelliarmus instead of Stupify or some other more aggressive spell, which lets the Death Eaters identify him as the real Harry because only the real Harry would be that stupid. His justification is that he doesn't want to kill and stunning is de facto killing when you're flying, but a) Expelliarmus has been shown to cause knockback in the past, so that could easily kill them too, and b) They're Magic!Nazis and you're at war.

Returning to the Buffy analogies, you'll recall that Buffy does not kill humans, even when doing so seems useful or even necessary. However, this is consistent with her personality; there's a Slayer code against killing humans; she's consistent about it (only even considering killing a human while under the influence of mind-altering magic); she has traumatic experiences in high school when she is involved in or thinks she committed the killing of a human; and it's explicitly addressed in the story that her role as a hero holds her to higher moral standards, and the efficiency of those standards are called into question. ("She could have killed me." "No, she couldn’t. Never. And sooner or later [bad stuff will happen as a result]. Buffy even knows that... and still she couldn't take a human life. She's a hero, you see. She's not like us." "What do you mean, 'us'?").

With Harry, however, it's not clear why he suddenly gets an aversion to killing. His moral standards aren't consistent, either; a year before using Expelliarmus on the broomsticks, he uses the Cruciatus Curse, and very soon after the broomstick scene, he uses the Imperius Curse, two dark spells considered just as bad as the Killing Curse. He bounces back and forth between what he's morally allowed to use, and while the Cruciatus Curse is portrayed as a one-time emotional overreaction (that for some reason fails because he wasn't hating enough, even though he seemed pretty hating to me), the morality of the Imperius Curse use is never seriosuly considered.

It's all okay because he goes back to using Expelliarmus again for the finale, which brings us to the next problem: Rowling seriously jumps through hoops in order to make sure Harry never kills anyhow. In the final battle between Harry and Voldemort, Harry still uses Expelliarmus. Of course, Harry has to win and Voldemort has to die, so Rowling creates a convoluted explanation for why Voldemort's attack backfires and kills him that really doesn't make sense given what we know about the rules of the universe. And Harry knows this will happen - he attacks expecting to successfully kill Voldemort, but because he says Expelliarmus instead of Avada Kedavra to achieve the exact same effect, we can still sympathize with him. Rowling goes to a lot of effort to make Harry kill Voldemort without making Harry a killer, and the contrivance involved is quite jarring.

It doesn't even work on a thematic level. As anyone who recognizes the phrase "Summers blood" will know, Buffy sometimes suffered from plots with poor explanations, but they at least worked very well thematically and fit with the show's overall themes and ideas. In Harry Potter, Harry is repeatedly stated to be better than Voldemort because he uses Love where Voldemort uses Hate (not that Harry really demonstrates much love - friendship, maybe, and a bit of lust toward Ginny and Cho or whoever the heroine of your current fanfic is, but not love), but in their final confrontation, Harry wins not because his Love beats Voldemort's Hate but instead because only he was able to go through Rowling's absurd mental gymnastics to figure out how the basic mechanics of wand ownership work.

I've heard a lot of people say that the Harry Potter series got significantly worse after Goblet of Fire, and I think that a large part of the problem is that the threat escalation from "Something sinister is going on" to "An evil overlord is alive and plotting to kill us all" makes it harder and harder to accept Harry's continued insistence on being an ordinary high school student instead of stepping into his role as a hero.

The Deus Ex Machinas factor into Harry's failure to grow into a true hero. Harry needs to be able to win, but he can't be too good or else he'll stop being an ordinary high school student. Because of this, Deus Ex Machinas are employed to hand him victories. Also, another handy way to have a hero win without effort is to have a villain defeat themselves by being stupid, and this shows in full force in Harry Potter. Lockhart blows his own brains out; Diary!Riddle sits back and laughs instead of finishing Harry off; Barty Crouch Jr.'s plan is unnecessarily convoluted, and he reveals himself as a villain for no reason; the Evil!Ministry lets Harry escape easily even though he has no escape plan; ditto Malfoy Manor after Harry breaks the taboo; and then there's Voldemort.

But before I address Voldemort, I want to wrap up the extended Buffy comparisons with a simple question: Buffy is our protagonist where Xander is not because Buffy has Slayer powers; what sets Harry apart from the others to qualify him to be our hero? Sure, there's a scar on his forehead, but after the first book it doesn't do anything useful; most of the rest of the cast is more competent than he is, and Neville grows much better as a character and develops into a far better hero. The one explanation offered is that he's brave, but his constant charging headfirst into autolose situations without any sort of thought or plan isn't bravery, it's stupidity, and it only works because the author constantly intervenes on his behalf. When he insists to the proto-DA that he's not really as good as he seems and he's just gotten lucky a lot, he's not being modest, he's being honest: the only reason he's not dead is that Rowling has held his hand every step of the way.


The Law of Bruce, coined by Bruce Willis, says that any story with heroes and villains can only be as smart as the intelligence of its biggest villain, and as the lead villain, Voldemort is a colossal moron. He goes along with Barty Crouch Jr.'s unnecessarily complicated plan; he makes the pieces of his soul very obvious and thus easy to find and destroy; he tells his minions not to kill Harry when they easily have the chance; he attacks Harry in their final battle even after Harry has explained why his attack will backfire.

Voldemort is just too strong to fight on his own merits because he would win too easily. He's one of the strongest wizards in existence and is opposed by a bunch of meddling kids with no special skills. He can make himself invincible as long as specific objects are not magically destroyed, which would make him absolutely impossible to defeat if he decided to make, say, a random pebble (or, as one fanfic suggested, the Pioneer Plaque - have fun fetching it from outside the solar system) into a horcrux. He has a legion of followers. He is willing to use the most powerful spells to control, torture, and kill people. He eventually takes over the government and gains even more power as a result.

He's just too strong to be fought fairly, which means the author needs to throw in a massive handicap to stop him from insantly winning. One handicap is to give Harry an endless series of Deus Ex Machinas to save him, but another his to make Voldemort not use his obscene power to its full effectiveness by making him incredibly stupid. But making the big villain so stupid just demeans the story as a whole.

A lot of his strengths are merely informed to have taken place offscreen. We're told that Voldemort planned the Sirius Trap from Order of the Phoenix, but this scheming ability doesn't mesh with the stupidity he displays every time we can actually see him. We're told that Voldemort seemed innocent and charming as a student, but whenever we see him he comes across as a caricature of a mustache-twirling villain; even when we see him as a child in Dumbledore's pensive, he's a sinister, obviously evil creepy child. Sure, he fools Slughorn, but only because Slughorn is also an idiot; asking detailed questions about ultra-secret ultra-dark magic should have tripped some mental alarms.

The story blames some of his failings on his pride, but even that varies, and while it might have made sense at first, his assurance that he can defeat Harry single-handedly should have wavered after his sixth defeat. And what's the point of having an evil army and evil government at your disposal if you're going to insist on doing everything personally?

Of course, though Voldemort and Harry are the primary protagonist and antagonist, they're hardly the only characters I take issue with. And since we're on the topic of idiots, let's go on to...


Why was Ron in this series?

The last time I remember him being of any use was at the end of the first book, when a chess game appears beneath the trap door as a contrived excuse to give him an excuse to be useful - sort of like how Justice League has a disproportionate number of crimes occur in places where talking to fish is useful to make Aquaman look a bit less laughably underpowered next to Superman and Green Lantern. After that, he sits around moping about how he's not as strong and cool and useful as Harry.

He often provides emotional support, but he's also prone to turn against Harry, such as when he runs with an Idiot Ball and thinks Harry cheated in Goblet of Fire, or when he abandoned the group in Deathly Hallows. More often, it's Harry trying to support him to make him feel less insecure - and, given that being best friends with the Chosen One is one of the sources of his insecurities, frequently failing. He can help on the sidelines, but in the end Harry ends up going into the climax of each book without him - the only real exception is book five, and even then Ron is with four other sidekicks, and is the only one to get his brains eaten.

Even Dumbledore recognizes how useless Ron was, as evidenced by his final gifts to the core trio. Harry receives one of the three most powerful artifacts in the universe; Hermione receives a key to learning about said artifacts; and Ron receives a thing that lets him rejoin the group after abandoning them.

Ron's ultimately just there because Harry needs a male friend in comparison to whom he can appear favorably.

The Female Characters

The Weasley family consists of six brothers and a single little sister. This is a nice microcosm of the series as a whole.

Though Rowling is female (a fact that she deliberately hid on the cover by giving only her first and middle initials), the series was written with a male audience in mind, and so most of the characters of importance tend to be male while female characters take a backseat. The leader of every significant faction is invariably male, and though several of them hace female second-in-commands (Hermione to Harry, McGonagall to Dumbledore, Belatrix to Voldemort, etc), the leadership and the majority are both going to be male (The Order has, what, three female members? Tonks, McGonagall, and Mrs. Weasley?). Even in more narrow groups, the male characters tend to have more effect; for example, in Gryffindor's Quidditch team, Oliver Wood receives far more characterization and focus than his female replacement, whose name I can't even remember.

Female characters also tend to have a much weaker effect on the story than males, frequently being nothing more than love interests. This is obvious when considering minor female characters like Lavender Brown, but it even applies to the more important female characters. For example, in the flashbacks to the previous generation's time at Hogwarts, we see very little of Lily's character; her role is primarily as an influence on and motivation for James Potter and Severus Snape. The past isn't about Lily; it's about Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs. Meanwhile, in the present, Ginny is supposed to be an accomplished fighter who is very skilled with the "Bat-Bogey Hex" (whatever that is), but though we're told that she's good at fighting, that all happens offscreen, so all we see of her is as a damsel and later as a love interest for Harry. Funny, if she's supposed to be so good at fighting, why couldn't she go with Harry, Ron, and Hermione in Deathly Hallows?

The only major exceptions are Luna Lovegood, who is plot-irrelevant comic relief instead of plot-irrelevant background filler or love interest, and Hermione Granger, who is actually a legitimate main character.

But I can complain about more than just characters! I can complain about inanimate objects too!

Chekhov's Guns

A Chekhov's Gun is an object that appears early on but becomes important later; the phrase is named for Chekhov, who said that if a gun hangs on the wall in the first act, it must be fired in the third. However, you will notice that Chekhov did not say that if a gun hangs on the wall in the first act, it must be revealed to be a cunningly-disguised hybrid of a potato slicer and an iPod in the third and used to prepare dinner while playing Ziggy Stardust.

Rowling loves Chekhov's Guns. She loves introducing background elements and making them important later in the story. However, she isn't always good at making their eventual function correspond to their initial form at all.

I've touched on one of these earlier. Chamber of Secrets introduces the old Sorting Hat in Dumbledore's office, and sure enough, it becomes important later. But it doesn't become important by doing anything a Sorting Hat has ever been shown to do before - it doesn't read minds, it doesn't judge character, and it doesn't even sing. Instead, it... produces a sword. Contrast this with Fawkes, who is introduced as being able to lift heavy objects and cure poison with its tears, and whose role in the climax is to lift heavy objects and cure poison with its tears. You can see the difference between these Chekhov's Guns; one does exactly what we know it's able to do, while the other suddenly produces new unforeshadowed abilities that have nothing to do with what it is.

Another good example is the Deluminator. In the first book, it's introduced as a device that can put out lights and later put them back on again. In the last book, it's used... to make Ron hear Harry and Hermione's voices and be dragged around the country with them whenever they teleport. The new use is completely unrelated to the form and function it had when it was introduced.

There are other Chekhov's Guns that aren't quite so obnoxious, but still don't work that well because we never knew what they were supposed to do in the first place. In the classic example of a gun sitting on the wall, we don't know who will use the gun or on whom, but we do know one thing: guns are used to shoot people. And in a well-done example, that's how a Chekhov's Gun will work: we won't know the circumstances of its use, but we will have some general idea of its effect. But in Harry Potter, a lot of Chekhov's Guns - like the Horcrux Locket that first appeared in the fifth book as a piece of clutter in the House of Black, or the necklace in Knockturn Alley that showed up way back in the second book - don't have the same impact because, being based on magic, we are given no idea in advance of what sort of magical abilities they may have, if any. It would be like if Chekhov told us "There was a THINGYMAJIG on the wall!" and in the third act said "And then Pavel picked up the THINGYMAJIG, which was in fact a gun!" That's not clever; that's just silly.

Rowling knows that good authors use Chekhov's Guns, and she makes an effort to use them herself, but she doesn't always seem to be able to do them at all well.

But we started on the subject of Quidditch, so let's end on the same underlying problem:


This is not a story about the wizarding world. This story is about Harry sitting around while the Deus Ex Machinas defeat Voldemort for him defeating Voldemort. The setting is there for the convenience of the plot; it is not designed to actually be consistent and logical.

I've already touched on some of the issues above. Quidditch isn't there to be a serious sport; it's there to be a venue for Harry to show off his awesomeness. The time-turner is there so Rowling can have a generic time-travel plot; the actual implications of having time-travel in the setting and how useful it would be are completely ignored. These elements are casually introduced without any real thought given to how they impact the universe.

Here's a question: Why do wizards go to work and have jobs? Can they not just conjure whatever food, housing, or money they require? The very last book mentions that it is impossible to conjure food, but why? And we know it is possible to conjure other objects and to transfigure other objects into (presumably edible) animals; how exactly does this rule work? It would have been possible to justify this in the style of Star Trek's Federation - "we work to better ourselves!" - but Rowling doesn't bother to do anything interesting like that. She just wants to have a perfectly ordinary economy despite the setting that differs so heavily from our world, and doesn't bother to think through what maintaining such a system would entail; at best, we get one half-baked hand-wave explanation to part of one objection, and this explanation is weak, vague, and easily overridden.

Rowling just isn't interested in building a cohesive, interesting fantasy world like a good SF&F author. She just wants a Like Our World But MAGICAL! setting in which our hero can have a simple battle of A Good Guy Versus A Bad Guy.

Let's have a look at wizard society as a whole. The government is paranoid, withholding information from its citizens. The wizards are proud, too high and mighty to even consider using Muggle technology (even though even Rowling admits that any wizard loses to a Muggle with a shotgun). The society has widespread racism, both against other sentient life like the centaurs and against other wizards with the wrong parents. Wizards hold slaves in the form of house elves. And Voldemort's group reveals that there is a sizable Neo-Nazi faction in their society - which, if Slytherin House's position in Hogwarts is any indication, makes up almost a quarter of the wizards int he country.

How much of this is seriously addressed over the course of the story? How much of it changes? How many of these issues are resolved? Sure, Voldemort was defeated, but his followers live on. There's no indication that the government will become less paranoid and isolationist - as Fudge's replacement proved, deposing one corrupt regime doesn't guarantee that the new one will be any better. During the course of the books, the "good" wizards seem less effective than Voldemort at making ties to magical creatures. And the issue of whether enslaving House Elves is wrong or not is never given any serious debate or resolution - Hermione's attempts to help them are played for laughs, and that's all we see of the topic.

This particular crisis may have been averted, but the wizard society is still as corrupt as ever, and there's no reason to think that another dark wizard won't follow Voldemort just as Voldemort followed Grindelwald. Harry has failed to effect any real change on the decadent society in which he lives.

Even the issues that Rowling emphasizes seem to lead to particularly little change. Sure, there's the House Elves, which get a lot of focus from S.P.E.W., but she gives more serious focus to the Houses, with constant reminders that the Houses need to put aside their differences and stand together in the coming battle - and, in particular, Gryffindor must reconcile with Slytherin. In the end, though, only three Houses of students defend Hogwarts in the final battle; not a single Slytherin student remains to protect the school. Slytherin is ultimately proved not to merely be the House of Ambition. Instead, it is what it had seemed to be all along: House Black-Hat. Slughorn is a decent example of how Slytherin could have developed, but he is one semi-decent person from a House whose members are otherwise pure villains. Rowling wants to tell us that these groups need to work together, but in the end she decides that the last one really is evil to the core and leaves it out. Way to defeat your own point, Rowling.

In the end, though, that's not what we're meant to focus on, because Rowling really doesn't care about the world she's supposed to be designing. All that matters is Harry versus Voldemort, and that's all the readers are expected to pay attention to.

The battle's done, and we kinda won, so we'll sound our victory cheer. But where do we go from here?

#5901994 Hey guys. This is important.

Posted by CDDRodrigo on 04 April 2012 - 07:52 PM


#5158490 http://yugioh.wikia.com/wiki/Gaia_Drake,_the_Universal_Force

Posted by Azuh on 22 April 2011 - 01:07 AM

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#5959419 March 2012 Format Basic Deck Building Tutorial

Posted by DARKPLANT RISING on 19 June 2012 - 05:04 PM

Hi folks, it’s Darkplant. The http://forum.yugiohc...kbuilding-faq/' class='bbc_url' title='External link' rel='nofollow external'>last Basic Deck Building Guide Thread was made back in 2010, and I feel that 4 formats are quite enough to change stuff. So, I decided to go for this to help you newcomers of this site. Lick my feet.

Now, let me say this before anything: Unless you happen to be the champion of all of the shop tournaments near you (which most of you aren’t), I suggest you read this. No, actually, you’ve GOT TO read this. I 100% guarantee, this guide will help you become much skilled at building powerful decks.

=Table of Contents=
I: The Importance of Choosing a Deck Goal
II: The Importance of Staples
III: The Importance of 40
IV: The Importance of Multiples and Searchers
V: The Importance of “Absolute Inferiors” and “Situational Unusables”
VI: The Importance of Monster/Spell/Trap Ratios
VII: Building the Extra Deck
VIII: The Importance of Card Advantage
IX: The Importance of Consistency
X: How to Modify Your Deck
XI: Building the Side Deck
XI-I. Siding to Take Advantage of your Opponent's Weaknesses
XI-II. Siding Against Deck Makeup
XI-III. Siding to Build on Your Deck's Strengths/Cover Weaknesses
XI-IV. Siding to Counter Your Opponent's Side Deck
XI-V. General Side Deck Construction
XI-VI. Siding
EXTRA XII: Is Netdecking a Sin?
EXTRA XIII: Using Dueling Network

I. The Importance of Choosing a Deck Goal

Now, the first 3 sections of this guide are majorly aimed to lead beginning duelists towards the right way of thinking, to slowly take apart the bricks of wrong beliefs they believe in and in its place stack up piles of pure gold. First I’ll start with this: The Importance of Choosing a Deck Goal. This Deck Goal, also known as a Win Condition, is what the deck should be aimed for. It’s quite crucial for decks.

Why’s that?

Decks exist to…well, duh, win. If a deck can’t win, it sucks, and I think anyone with a working brain can understand that too. Unless you’re going for Self-Destruct Button or Self OTK (both nothing but troll decks), every deck needs its own way to gain victory. For instance, if you’re going to build a deck based around Uria, Lord of Searing Flames, its win condition is to summon Uria and annihilate the opponent with its massive ATK. Or, if your deck is going to be based around Final Countdown, its win condition is to activate Final Countdown, stall for 20 turns, and win. You get the point.
But then, you might think, does that mean that my deck is bad? Well, my deck runs many powerful cards like Swords of Revealing Light, Magic Cylinder, Gene-Warped Warwolf and other stuff. I think it’s better than those decks focusing on a single theme because they’re too reliant on that single strategy.

Well, my answer is: No. A common mistake seen in many beginning duelists is that they randomly throw cards they thought were cool into a pile of 40 to 60 cards, and call it a deck, but this is, simply put, the wrong way of doing stuff. (No, listen! Don’t press that Red X! Keep on reading!)

This, the fact every deck needs a win condition, isn’t just my personal opinion; it’s a 100% officially confirmed fact. It’s virtually the same thing as how headaches ache and geniuses are smart. That sort of “deck” isn’t really a “deck”; it’s a pile of cardboard. Long ago, in the dawn of the game, there was a time when those types of deck ruled, but ever since the rise of Effect Monsters (which could be like, an event that happened before YOU were born, if you’re in elementary), decks that don’t have a win condition have sucked. Hard. Why is that?

That is because, very simply put, if a deck doesn’t have synergy, it loses. If a deck has synergy, it wins.

What is synergy, then?

Synergy is, according to the Oxford Dictionary:

Pronunciation: /ˈsɪnədʒi/
Noun [Mass Noun]
The interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects.

In the case with Yugioh, Synergy is basically the use of two or more cards that produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects. One very easy example of this is Dark Hole and Monster Reborn. You nuke the field with Dark Hole, and then use Monster Reborn on the powerful monster that was just killed so that it’s guaranteed a direct attack. Of course, these two cards are very powerful on their own, but by combining them, they created synergy and resulted in a game-turning move.

The best example of when synergy creates madness is probably in the case with the tournament-level deck known as Inzektors. Inzektor Dragonfly and Centipede activate their uber-powerful effects when cards equipped to them are sent to the Graveyard, and Inzektor Hornet and Ladybug can send themselves to the Graveyard to activate equally uber-powerful effects. This is the reason Inzektors are tournament-level: They have amazing synergy with each other.

If you use a 60-card deck with no win condition (let’s say that aforementioned deck running Swords, Magic Cylinder and Gene-Warped,) chances you can pull off a combo like Inzektors can are EXTREMELY slim. While these cards may be powerful on their own to an extent, they lose before the power of synergy.

On the other hand, decks aimed at a particular Win Condition have many cards that synergy with each other. An opening hand of 6 cards can unleash powers equal to that of 10 normal cards. Isn’t that quite splendid? And see, that’s exactly why those decks win.

Well, they often say in anime that friendship can beat anything. Okay, so maybe normal friendship can’t, but friendship between card effects CAN.

Speaking of anime, anime characters play decks that don’t have synergy but win. I’ve even heard someone say that’s proof decks with no concepts are good.

…Are they stupid?

It’s an anime. It’s entertainment. If the main character keeps on using the same strategy over and over again it becomes boring, so the writers give the main character random cards and stuff. That’s why anime characters almost never use the same strategy twice and…

…Oh, Yuma with his Utopia Ray OTK?

…Forget it.

Anyhow, now care to see why I said that synergy is important, and every deck needs its Win Condition?

Now then, now that you’ve (probably) understood that Win Conditions are necessary, let’s move onto a different level.

After hearing the above stuff, maybe some people will think “Okay, let’s make a deck that has a good win condition!” and go make a deck with a concept – let’s say, Machines. But this guy seems to have done it wrong. Take a look at it:
…Well, see the problem with this? Well, four to be exact. One is directly connected to something I already talked over, so I’ll explain it now.

I decided to waste my time writing that terrible decklist because many beginning duelists do this type of mistake too: They think “Machine deck” “Dragon deck” etc. is considered a valid deck. THIS IS WRONG.

Why? Well, I said that “a deck needs synergy”. The above decklist maybe a “Machine deck”, but it doesn’t have a single card that supports Machine-Types, so it doesn’t have synergy. In a way, it’s even worse than normal cardboard piles given how it restricts the things you can throw in. If you’re making a “Machine deck”, there should be a reason it’s a Machine Deck, instead of…let’s say, Sea Serpents.

Well, if it’s a Machine Deck, Machines have tons of good support, so you should be running them unless you’ve got a reason not to. Limiter Removal, Machina Fortress, etc. Also, DARK Level 4 Machines have synergy with Black Salvo, one of the best Tuners ever.

However, do keep in mind that just because you chose a win condition for a deck, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t run things that don’t match with it. Some cards are so powerful they can be ran in almost anything without much thinking and be expected to work amazing. And remember how I said “three problems” with the above list? Well, the second one is that it’s too Highlander (runs too many cards at 1), and the third is the problem with balance, but those are for later. The final problem leads us to the second section of this guide: The Importance of Staples.

II: The Importance of Staples

So, this section is titled “The Importance of Staples”, but what are “Staples” anyways?
“Staples” in this case refers to the cards that can be ran in almost all decks and directly lead to victories. The most major ones are:

1x Dark Hole
1x Monster Reborn
1x Heavy Storm

2x Solemn Warning
1x Solemn Judgment
2x Torrential Tribute

In addition, many decks nowadays tend to run 2 or 3 Effect Veiler. Book of Moon, Mirror Force and 2 or 3 Mystical Space Typhoon are also very important additions to most decks. These cards are quite flexible, and can get you out of situations otherwise difficult to overcome.

However, this rule does not work for all decks. Exodia decks, for example, shouldn’t run any Traps because they want to get all the combo parts as fast as possible. Likewise, decks running Jinzo and/or Royal Decree shouldn’t run many Traps, so they could take out the above Staple Traps during the process of deck building.

Overall, however, you should just remember to run them and you’re fine.

Now, since there’s nothing much more to discuss here, how about I tell you guys exactly what’s so good about the Solemn Trio.

Solemn Judgment and Solemn Warning are known by tournament players as amazing Traps. In fact, many would argue they are the three best Traps in the format.

Many beginning players are puzzled by this. The Solemn Trio require loads of Life Points, and on first glance they MAY seem horrible. However, these three all have effects that make up for it, because many cards in this meta are so powerful you can’t let the opponent even summon it.

In other words, if you let Inzektor Dragonfly or Evolzar Laggia be summoned, it’s pretty much gg*. At least I’d lose 2000 Life Points over 8000. (*gg=Abbreviation for “Good game”. Used often in the online site Dueling Network.) Besides, even if you have only 50 LP left when the duel ends, it’s fine as it’s not 0. So, many duelists try to fit the Solemn Trio into most of their decks.

III. The Importance of 40

Okay, let’s put it nice and simple: If you think 60-card-decks are the best type of deck possible, you’re doing it wrong. And no, this isn’t a random guy from nowhere telling you that you’re doing it wrong. It’s a semi-competitive player who just came back from topping locals. Believe me, there are only a countable number of decks in which there’s an excuse to not making your deck 40 to 45 cards.

Now, the biggest question is: Why?

Simple. Because, if you can draw all the cards you want, you win. …Duh. See why I said “simple”?

In sections I and II, I explained the importance of having a win condition, and focusing your deck on it. Well, let’s look at this from two viewpoints.

Firstly, the chances of drawing a particular Limited Staple in your opening hand with a 40-card deck are without doubt higher than the chances of drawing a particular Staple in your opening hand with a 60-card deck. This makes it easier for you to draw Dark Hole, Monster Reborn, Heavy Storm, and the crew. Staples are called Staples because they win, and the more you can draw card that win, chances you win rise. I don’t think we’re doing advanced stuff here.

Secondly (similarly to above), the chances of drawing 2 particular Combo Parts in your opening hand with a 40-card deck are without doubt higher than the chances of drawing those 2 particular Combo Parts in your opening hand with a 60-card deck. And of course, if you can pull off a combo and activate synergy, chances you win rise. Again, this is pretty easy to understand. If you still can’t understand, try it. That’s the best way.

Of course, there are some irregulars to this rule. However, there are only a countable number of them, and until you become a skilled, tournament-level player, you shouldn’t try to increase the number of cards in your deck.

It can be said that the smaller your deck, the better it is. However, knowing ONLY that isn’t enough. You also need something else, and that’s written in Section IV.

IV: The Importance of Multiples and Searchers

In Section III, I explained how 40 decks are superior to 60-card ones, but that’s under the assumption you’re running the same number of Staples and/or Combo Parts. What do I mean?

I mean that, the chances of opening up with Card A in your hand in a 60-card deck that runs 3 Copies of Card A > the chances of opening up with Card A in your hand in a 40-card deck that runs 1 Copy of Card A. Pretty obvious math, but anyways.

Meaning, you should run the powerhouses and combo-key cards at maximum number. This increases the chances of getting good hands. For instance, most Inzektor Decks run 3 each of Hornet, Ladybug, Centipede, and Dragonfly. Also, a Rescue Rabbit Deck would always run 3 Rabbit and 3 Tour Guide.

Of course, this does not always work. For instance, Uria Decks may not always run Uria at 3 because it can clog at over 2. Also, Gadget Decks may run only 2 of each Gadget because they need only 1 in the opening hand. But, it goes for most decks so it’s something worth noting.

Speaking of Gadgets, effects that search/draw cards win games. There are two reasons for this.

One is quite clear: By searching or drawing cards, you can increase the number of possible moves, and create your combos faster too. For instance, Pot of Duality is often used to search cards you want in that particular situation. Also, if you run 3 cards that can search a specific card that you also run at 3, that’s pretty much the same thing as running 6 copies of it (Take a look at Hieratic Seal of Convocation, which allows a Hieratic Player to pretty much run 6 copies of Tefnuit. Or Su. Whatever he doesn’t have to complete the Hieratic OTK).

Another is, while it seems irrelevant on first glance, simply thinning the deck. If you search or draw, the number of cards in your deck is inevitably decreased by 1. This means, from that second and then on, the chances of drawing stuff you want in normal draws becomes that of when you’re using a 39-card deck. If you get what I mean. If you didn’t, reread it and I think you’ll understand. This might not be a large difference if it’s just 1 card, but the searches and draws stack up till it starts to affect the chances of drawing key cards considerably.

Some of the most splashable draw engines are Pot of Duality and Cardcar D. Upstart Goblin is another option. Decks running 7+ DARK Monsters can also benefit from Allure of Darkness.

IMPORTANT NOTE-The expected value of how many copies of a card you can draw in the opening hand of a 40-card deck is “How many copies of it you run” X 0.15. So, in the aforementioned Hieratic Deck, 3 copies each of Tefnuit and Hieratic Seal of Convocation means the expected value of how many of them you can draw in the first turn is 6x0.15=0.90.

V: The Importance of “Absolute Inferiors” and “Situational Unusables”

Both of these two words are things I made up for this guide, so they aren’t official terms. But I feel it’s quite an important thing for beginners to know.

Let’s take a look at Hero Barrier, an Elemental HERO support card that negates an attack.

Many beginners may want to run this in Elemental HERO decks, thinking it increases the synergy of the deck. However, this is a mistake. This is because there are countless cards strictly better than Hero Barrier in any given situation, such as:

-Mirror Force
-Sakuretsu Armor
-Dimensional Prison
-Draining Shield
-Magic Cylinder
-Threatening Roar
-Negate Attack

…Pretty damn lot, huh?

Hero Barrier requires a HERO, and only negates one attack. Meanwhile, Mirror Force doesn’t require a HERO, and destroys the attacking monster too. Sakuretsu Armor is similar, but destroys only 1 monster. Dimensional Prison is a Banish version of Sakuretsu Armor…and so on. By this time you can probably see that there is not a single reason to run Hero Barrier in any given deck. Let’s call these types of cards Absolute Inferiors. Because, well, they’re absolutely inferior to others.

Absolute Inferiors are never to be ran, unless when you want to run over 4 copies of its Absolute Superior that you can’t search. For instance, even if you feel that you want to run 4 Mystical Space Typhoons, you can’t. You can, however, run an additional Dust Tornado, normally inferior to Mystical Space Typhoon, and cover it up. However, if there’s a card like this:

Additional Wind
Normal Spell
Add 1 “Mystical Space Typhoon” from your Deck to your hand.

Then, you should probably be running it over that Dust Tornado.

Also, at times Absolute Inferiors can be overall better than the Absolute Superior due to support. For instance, Hieratic Seal of the Sun Dragon Overlord may seem like an Absolute Inferior to Rabidragon, but it can benefit from support of the Hieratics, and its low ATK also enables many fun combos.

Now onto “Situational Unusables”.

Let’s take a look at Rainbow Dark Dragon, a card many beginners tend to run in any DARK deck. Rainbow Dark Dragon may look like a very useful card on first glance to a beginner. It’s got a 4000 bulk and can be SS-ed from the hand. But, in fact it’s considered terrible outside its own deck because it’s a Situational Unusable.

A Situational Unusable is a card that can be only used under specific circumstances, and is therefore considered too hard to summon or activate. Rainbow Dark Dragon requires 7 DARK Monsters in your Graveyard to summon, which is quite hard to achieve unless it’s VERY later-game. Unless you use cards like Armageddon Knight or Dark Grepher, a normal 40-card deck running 20 DARKs and no draw/search engines would take approximately 8 turns to even draw 7 DARK decks anyways. Even if you DO run Armageddon Knight and Dark Grepher, the fact remains firm that Rainbow Dark Dragon can often rot in the hand.

Situational Unusables are considered weak because unless their conditions are fulfilled, they are completely useless dead draws; in most cases, you will not be lucky enough to draw them at the same time as the other card that they absolutely require, which means that that particular draw has essentially been wasted. Imagine if you were suddenly told in the middle of a duel by the judge that you can’t draw anything next turn. You’d punch that judge in the face wouldn’t you? But running too much Situational Unusables can very easily create a similar situation. Except, in that case you’ve got to punch yourself.

Not all seemingly situational cards are really situational. For instance, Dark Armed Dragon can seem like a Situational Unusable at first glance, but in fact it’s very easy to summon. At times, you may need to testplay cards yourself to see if it’s a Situational Unusable or not.

Most of the time, it is best to not run Absolute Inferiors or Situational Unusables.

VI: The Importance of Monster/Spell/Trap Ratios

Many beginners already know this, but in most decks, you should run monsters and Spell/Traps at an approx. 1:1 ratio. Of course, this doesn’t go for everything, though.

For instance, Anti-Meta Elemental HERO Beatdown Decks may run 10 or less monsters. This is for two reasons – one, they run Reinforcement of the Army and E – Emergency Call, both Spell Cards that pretty much act as monsters. And two, they run multiple copies of Elemental HERO Bubbleman, which is a card that is useless in decks running many monsters.

Also, Gallis Decks run 40 Monsters and no Traps, to complete its OTK/FTK. And, they run cards like Effect Veiler to make up for the lack of Spell/Traps. As shown in these two cases, the 1:1 rule can be ignored completely in some decks.

If you can’t find enough monsters that fit into your deck, that probably means it’s fine without 20. Likewise, if you feel you don’t need 20 Spell/Traps, you probably don’t.

Some cards like Effect Veiler, Maxx “C”, and D.D. Crow are rarely summoned, and act more like Traps. These are often called Hand Traps, and it could be better to count them in Spell/Traps.

Okay, so up to here I’ve explained most stuff about the Main Deck. So, obviously, the next step is to explain about the http://yugioh.wikia....iki/Extra_Deck' class='bbc_url' title='External link' rel='nofollow external'>Extra.

VII: Building the Extra Deck

In the cases with most decks, A POWERFUL EXTRA DECK IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS A POWERFUL MAIN DECK. This is because while cards in the Main Deck are useless unless they come to the hand, Synchro and Xyz Monsters can be used from multiple situations. For instance, you have to draw Foolish Burial to use it, but Lavalval Chain can activate the same effect as Foolish Burial at any time, as long as you have 2 Level 4 Monsters.

Now, first: I explained in Section IV to run multiple copies of powerful cards. However, save for several irregulars, this does NOT go for the Extra Deck. The reason is rather simple.

Good duelists run multiple copies of powerful cards in the Main Deck to increase the chances of drawing it. However, how many copies of Stardust Dragon you run obviously does NOT increase the chances of summoning it. It does, however, increase the chances of summoning a second copy from 0% to 100%, and this is why I said “save for several irregulars”. If a deck constantly wants to summon over 2 copies of the same Extra-Decked Monster, you should run multiple copies of it. Otherwise, run 1 each of everything. There are only 15 slots for the Extra Deck, and the more options you have, the better your chances of victory are.

Then, most of you will be thinking: What are the best options?

So, for those of you thinking like that, here’s a list of the several best Generic (Generic = “Not having summoning requirements except Levels”. For instance, Constellar Pleiades and Chaos King Archfiend are not generic, while Maestroke the Symphony Djinn and Black Rose Dragon are) Xyz and Synchro monsters for each Rank/Level. Cards already released in the TCG are bolded. Others are OCG only. The higher the place in the section is, the better it is in most decks (for instance, in Rank 3s requiring 2 materials, Wind-Up Zenmaines > Leviair the Sea Dragon > Number 17: Leviathan Dragon > …etc.) However, this is (i) just my personal opinion, and (ii) does not go for all decks. This is just some advice, and does NOT go for everything. Also, Xyz Monsters requiring over 3 materials are generally looked down upon, but depending on the deck, it could be more powerful than a weak Xyz Monster of the same Rank with 2 materials.

Now onto the non-Generics worth using. You may have realized that there are a low number of generic Synchros compared to Xyz – that is because most of the best Synchros are non-generic. Now, the list is very long, and it took me several hours to copy-paste everything. All my wasted computer time.
Non-Generic Synchros (Alphabet Order)
Non-Generic Xyz (Alphabet Order)

…*Pant pant pant pant pant*

…I hope…you…got…the…idea.


VIII: The Importance of Card Advantage

...I’m…back…to…normal. Yeah. Damn, that list was so…yeah.

Okay, back onto topic: When you’re going to create a deck that can win, Card Advantage is a very important aspect. The next several paragraphs are copy-pasted from Crab Helemet’s previous Deck Building FAQ, because I felt it was written perfectly:

Card Advantage is determined by how many cards your hand contains compared to your opponent's hand - your Hand Advantage - and how many cards your field contains compared to your opponent's field - your Field Advantage. Essentially, a player can be considered to "have" cards in their hand and field (but not in their deck and Graveyard), and card advantage is about increasing the number of cards that you "have" compared to the number of cards that your opponent "has".

For example, Two-Pronged Attack requires the user to lose three cards he or she controls - two monsters and Two-Pronged Attack itself - in order to eliminate a single monster the opponent controls. This means that Two-Pronged Attack hurts the user by putting the user two points of card advantage behind the opponent. This is represented in standard notation as a "-2". Meanwhile, cards like Smashing Ground and Destiny Draw, which do not put the user behind at all in terms of card advantage, are called "+0", as the user "breaks even". Most good cards are +0 or better; -1 cards drain the user's card advantage.

Card advantage does not take into account Life Points and is generally considered to be more important than Life Points - thus, cards like Ookazi are -1 in terms of card advantage, as the user gives them up to obtain no more cards and remove no cards from the opponent. This is because a player with more card advantage can expect in the remainder of the game to be able to do much more Life Point damage to the opponent, while a player with low card advantage is unlikely to be as effective. A Life Point advantage, on the other hand, is no nearly as useful, as having higher Life Points does not provide any system with which to gain even more Life Point advantage - the only Life Point that makes any difference is the last one. (Darkplant Note-Remember how I said the Solemn Trio are amazing? Well, this is exactly what I meant.)

Note that analyzing the effect on card advantage of a card is not the singular, final way of analyzing its strength. For example, Thunder Dragon is a pure +1 in terms of card advantage, but the cards it adds to the hand are basically useless, which means that it is not widely used. Meanwhile, Foolish Burial is a -1 in terms of card advantage, but it is capable of setting up powerful plays, so it is still considered a very good card.

Now, back to me, Darkplant.

I said in Section V to not run Situational Unusables. This is because if a card rots in the hand, it’s virtually the same thing as nothing, and that draw becomes useless. Compared to when you drew a useful card, it’s a -1.

Also, many staples can generate mass advantage. Take Dark Hole and Heavy Storm for example.

Now, back to the point.

Powerful decks are normally defined by being able to consistently either (i) OTK, or (ii) generate mass advantage. Hieratics, Chaos Dragons, etc. belong in (i) and are often called OTK Decks (in a way, Wind-Ups can be seen as an OTK deck too, because the opponent is often left with nothing to do after the loop activates successfully and pretty much has to surrender). Inzektors, DinoRabbit, and Dark Worlds etc. belong in (ii) and are often called Control Decks. Most of the time, Control Decks are more likely to top tournaments than OTK Decks, because OTK Decks often throw out most of its protective cards, and are easily steamrolled if their main strategy gets countered in the Side Deck. OTK Decks generally end up in 2nd~8th place, but if its user knows well how to counter the counters, chances of victory are undeniable.

IX: The Importance of Consistency

Consistency is, according to the Oxford Dictionary, “the quality of always behaving in the same way or of having the same opinions, standard, etc.” In Yugioh, Consistency refers to “the quality of always being able to pull off its combos or winning plays, etc.” Of course, consistent decks are more likely to win compared to inconsistent decks, because they can almost always get their combo parts in the opening hand.

All of the tournament-level decks I mentioned in Section VI are consistent. Hieratics and Chaos Dragons can consistently OTK, while Inzektors can consistently complete the hideously overpowered Inzektor Loop (Dragonfly + Hornet/Ladybug). DinoRabbit can consistently summon multiple copies of the dreaded Evolzar Laggia, their win condition ace monster that’s a walking Solemn Judgment. Dark Worlds can consistently rip apart the opponent’s strategies with Dragged Down into the Grave, and gain mass card advantage through Gate of the Dark World and Grapha, Dragon Lord of the Dark World.

Well, now that I explained Card Advantage and Consistency, a question: What do you do when you find your deck can’t generate much card advantage and/or isn’t consistent? Let’s move onto Section X: How to Modify Your Deck.

X: How to Modify Your Deck

Now that you’ve chosen your concept, thrown in the staples and searchers and draw engines, made the deck 40 cards, taken out the Absolute Inferiors and Situationals, and set the Monster/S/T ratio to the ideal form for the concept, you might have a very consistent and advantage-generating deck at your disposal. However, chances are it still needs some fixing.

When you’re editing a deck, keep in mind the obvious fact that you’re taking cards out and throwing cards in. In other words, you’re taking the useless cards out and throwing the needed cards in. Deck Editing is basically an infinite loop version of this.

For instance, let’s say you start your Inzektor Deck like:
First Draft

After several test plays, you realize you often get dead draws. This is because Inzektor Giga-Mantis, Ant, and Verdant Sanctuary are not worth running at 3 in this deck. Giga-Mantis is a dead draw if you don’t have an Inzektor. Ant and Verdant Sanctuary are useless, each because Dragonfly and Centipede’s effects don’t activate in the Damage Step so Ant can’t trigger them, and Dragonfly and Centipede give you enough searching power so Verdant Sanctuary isn’t needed.

Also, Dark Armed Dragon turned out not very useful since Hornet destroys everything on its own.

After taking out the 10, you decide to throw in things that can solve problems about the deck. For instance, if you found Inzektor Dragonfly can’t activate all the time because of Solemns and Veilers, you can run Call of the Haunted to solve that problem. If you always got OTK’ed by Chaos Dragons and Grapha was a constant threat, it may be best to run Bottomless Trap Hole. And since Inzektor Ladybug acted as an out when you couldn’t draw Hornet, you should decide to run 3 copies of it.

-3 Giga-Mantis
-3 Ant
-3 Verdant Sanctuary
-1 Dark Armed Dragon

+3 Call of the Haunted
+2 Bottomless Trap Hole
+2 Inzektor Ladybug

Now, there are still 3 slots left. Here, you could run 3 Pot of Dualities, because they increase the overall consistency of a deck. IMPORTANT: If a deck is inconsistent, try running 3 PoD at a start.

Now, revised:
Second Draft

Now the deck is much better. However, after some tests, you realize something.

Giga-Mantis WAS important.

Gigamantis can OTK when combined with Hornet. And, it’s easily searchable via Centipede. You think of running 3 again, but remember how it clogged. Two? No, still not the best idea.

…Running at 1?

Yes, that’s the answer. If a card can have explosive powers, and is searchable by consistent means, but can rot in the hand at times, it’s a good idea to try it at 1. Giga-Mantis is the perfect example of this.

What should you take out now? Well, if you felt you don’t need 3 Haunted, you can take that out. Let’s say you did that.

So, now it’s:
Third Draft

Now, only 1 card has changed, but this is quite enough to raise the win ratio of the deck dramatically given how Giga-Mantis can OTK.

Up to here, I’ve explained how to create your own deck and edit it to make it better. But there’s another approach to building decks.

EXTRA XI: Building the Side Deck

Now that we’ve built the Main and Extra Decks and edited them to make it stronger, let’s move onto the Side Deck.

Unlike the other two, at least I think most people don’t use the Side Deck in duels against friends, and so not many people know how to build it competitively. This is because Side Decks are meant for Matches, the rules set for Official Tournaments. Of course, competitive duelists might test their decks in Matches with friends, but anyways.

Given how I’ve written a lot of stuff up to here, you might be thinking I’m a world-level duelist, but in fact, I myself am far from an expert with Side Decking. Sure, I am an experienced player, and I have enough skills to consistently top the locals nearby, but those locals are far from the best. When I go to the larger ones, I can’t get past the third round consistently. :(

Well, since this is meant to be a perfect guide, I have to make a Side Deck section too. So, to do that, I got some help from another famous member of the TCG Section, Agro. Most of the following in this section was written by him, and then edited a bit by me. Thanks!

NOTE-To make it easier to read, Agro divided this into 6 sections.

XI-I. Siding to Take Advantage of your Opponent's Weaknesses

This is the most important reason why Side Decks directly lead to victory, and arguably, the original thing for which the Side Deck was created. You use the Side Deck to side into cards that attack the weaknesses in your Opponent's deck.

The first thing to remember is that ALL decks have a weakness. Why? Because all the good decks rely on synergy. While synergy may be amazing as I explained earlier, it also means that a deck needs to rely on a strategy, and it becomes utterly useless if that strategy is foiled. A consistent strength always means a consistent weakness. (And if your opponent DOESN’T have a strategy, you should be able to win without siding.)

Inzektors may be able to work with each other by using Dragonfly and Centipede to continuously use Hornet, Ladybug, and Hopper, but that also means that they rely on having those three cards in the hand or Graveyard, where they can be Equipped to other Inzektors. Therein is the weakness of the deck: If they can't fetch Hornet, Ladybug or Hopper, they can’t complete their overpowered combos and their synergy is eliminated. Without those three, Inzektors can’t activate their effects, and become nothing but worthless Vanillas.

In simpler terms, this method of Side Decking is meant to limit what the opponent can do, and, inevitably, stop the deck from achieving its Deck Goal.

Inzektors rely on the Graveyard, so you’ve got to attack the Opponent's Graveyard. The same can be said of Chaos Dragons, Lavals, Dark Worlds, or Hieratics, all of which can be considered top tier-material in the OCG or TCG. Likewise, any Rabbit deck relies on using Rescue Rabbit's effect to bring out their win conditions, so, as you can expect, the idea would be to stop Rabbit from reaching the field. But finding the card to side against Rabbit may be harder than against Inzektors.

If you think about it, Rabbit's combo to bring out their main cards takes a few steps, going first from Rabbit, then to the two Normal Monsters that the opponent Special Summons, then to the monster they intend to use to attempt to win with (most likely Evolzar Laggia or Dolkka). Any of the points up to bringing the final monster out can be attacked by a side deck card.

Even the win condition can be a card that one could side against, mainly to remove it. Snowman Eater is commonly sided against Dino Rabbit because if it's attacked by Evolzar Laggia, Laggia won't be able to stop it from destroying it, thereby eliminating the win condition.

So that's the first idea: Siding against the strategy of the deck to attempt to stop it from doing what it wants to do. Simple enough, right? The more a card does to stop a deck, the better it is as a side option.

XI-II. Siding Against Deck Makeup

I'll make this simple to understand from the get-go. The second way to side against a deck is to attack the structure of the deck.

An interesting thing to note about decks these days is that the cards within may share similarities. Decks like Dino Rabbit or Inzektors use many key monsters with low ATK power, as well as key cards with high ATK power. Either of these traits can be attacked (for example, you can use Chain Disappearance to take out low ATK monsters or Bottomless Trap Hole to take out high ATK monsters)

Other similarities you may see are that a certain deck may use the same Attribute. In those cases, you can use cards that attack the fact that your Opponent only uses one Attribute. Inzektors and Dark Worlds are all DARK, therefore you can side against them by using something like Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror to negate all their effects.

You can do the same thing with Types instead of Attributes. The best example of this is versus Machine Decks, where you can use cards like Cyber Dragon (along with Chimeratech Fortress Dragon) or System Down to eliminate all your opponent's Machine-Types.

The basic idea is that, if a deck uses many cards that are similar in one way or another, you can side in cards that attack that similarity. Similarities can even be as simple as having unusually high numbers of Monsters, Spells, or Traps; even that can be something to attack.

For Spells or Traps, you can have cards like Royal Decree, or for more general backrow removal, any extra Mystical Space Typhoons or Dust Tornadoes. For Monsters, you have Skill Drain to take out effects, or cards like Smashing Ground or Soul Taker to simply eliminate them.

You can also attack a Deck's variety. If your opponent uses many Types/Attributes, it’s not a good idea to use pinpoint-killer cards like Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror or System Down, but you can side in cards that punish “running many Types/Attributes” instead for a devastating blow. There are not many cards that belong in this category; in fact, there are only 2 of them even worth talking about. However, these two, Rivalry of Warlords and Gozen Match (both Continuous Traps that force a duelist to use only one Type or Attribute, respectively), are both extremely efficient against decks with variety.

That’s pretty much it for this section.

XI-III. Siding to Build on Your Deck's Strengths/Cover Weaknesses

Usually, these types of cards are those that can be ran in the Main Deck, but aren’t because they’re useless in some common matchups. There aren't many examples of cards like this, as cards that attack the opponent are much better and more commonly sided, but there are certainly more than a few that address these issues.

A good example of one of these cards is Return from the Different Dimension. Chaos Dragons sometimes decide to run this card, but most duelists will side it. The reason for this is that while it can, many times, bring out many monsters in an OTK scenario, if the matchup won't end up banishing monsters consistently, the card won't be as consistent.

D.D Crow is more generic, and can also be thought of as one of these cards. Crow is very good against many matchups, but it's terrible against others. With that in mind, it’s usually sided instead of main'd, since it's not considered important enough to keep in the Main Deck and can be easily be sided in in a matchup that requires it. Other examples of this type of Side-Decked card can be Super Polymerization in HEROs and Dark Smog in Dark Worlds.

Siding is more than just strengthening your matchup; it's also making sure that your deck doesn't lose to the basic ideas of the matchup. And speaking of which, most of you might have already realized: Just countering your opponent isn’t enough. Why? Because, your opponent will also try to counter you too.

XI-IV. Siding to Counter Your Opponent's Side Deck

Even if you can side against an opponent's Deck, you also need to know what your opponent will try to side against you. Against Chaos Dragons or Inzektors, a Dino Rabbit deck will try to side in Macro Cosmos to crush the win condition of the deck. Given how your opponent will be siding too, you’ve got to side not only against your opponent's Deck, but also your opponent's Side deck.

Many competitive players use this idea when creating their side deck, and it derives from the basis of knowing your own deck. If you don't know your own deck's strengths and weaknesses, you'll never be able to properly side as your opponent will always be one step ahead of you.

This changes with every deck, of course, but an example of what I mean here is along the same line of thinking as what I said at the end of Section III. You're siding to eliminate your deck's weaknesses. In a match-up against Dino Rabbit, Graveyard-manipulating decks such as Dark Worlds, Chaos Dragons and Inzektors will side in Royal Decree or other Spell/Trap destruction because they know what a Dino Rabbit deck will try to do to them (as already mentioned, Macro Cosmos).

XI-V. General Side Deck Construction

While many cards are very good to side against certain decks, they may not all be the best choices. No cards should be sided in if they directly affect your own deck's consistency and can stop your own deck's win condition too. You won't side in Macro Cosmos if you're running Chaos Dragons and you won't side in Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror if you're running Dark Worlds. Why? Because it crushes your own strategy too.

That being said, there are some cards that can be played around. Koa'ki Meiru Drago can be sided into Chaos Dragons even though its effects negatively impact every other monster in the deck because it can easily be removed from the field and then brought back without no trouble at all to the user. (Similarly, back when Royal Oppression was at 1, Blackwings ran it without any problem. The objective was to activate it AFTER you spammed the field, and leave your opponent with no resources to clear the field.)

Much like Extra Decks, remember that having a maxed out side deck doesn't decrease deck consistency and, in fact, only increases your options, so you should always be playing with 15 cards in the side deck. When making decisions on what to use those 15 cards for, your best bet is to focus the majority on cards that attack the win condition of other decks and focus only a small bit, or none at all, on increasing your own deck's defenses. (However, much like Main Decks, you’re better off running multiples of strong cards in the Side Deck. Obviously, because cards in the Side Deck mainly go into the Main Deck and are useless unless you draw them.)

The side cards best used towards covering your own deck's weaknesses are only really necessary if the weakness is extremely apparent. Chaos Dragons and Inzektors almost NEED to side in Royal Decree because of how easily a card like Macro Cosmos, which is run or sided in Dino Rabbits (one of the best and most used decks, I might add), can utterly destroy them.

Remember to look at the decks that you'll normally play and know their strengths and weaknesses when deciding what to side. After all, you won't ever need to side against a deck you'll never see played.

At the time of this article's writing, the top decks (in the TCG) are Dino Rabbit, Chaos Dragons, Inzektors, HEROs, and Dark Worlds, so if you're going to side against ANYTHING, your best bet is to side against these decks.

Another thing to note when looking at those decks is to see if there are cards that work against many of them. Inzektors and Dark Worlds can both be stopped by Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror, so rather than put two different cards into the side deck to deal with the two decks, you can just side in one and have more space for other decks.

Remember though, that just because a deck is topping at an YCS doesn't mean that the decks you will play will be those decks. Each area has its own niche. For all you know, your locals could be filled with a ton of Ninja players! There'd be little point in siding against all the top tier decks if you don't face them, right? So be sure to check out what type of decks you'll facing, to know just what type of decks you should be siding for.

XI-VI. Siding

So now you've built your side deck. Now, how do you use it?

Well, this is actually pretty simple, and all you really need to do is understand a few key principles.

First off: When taking cards out of your Main Deck, take the cards that are least helpful in your matchup.

Sometimes this may come down to you just having an inkling of doubt about whether you should take it out. After all, you spent so much time making that deck the way you want it, if you look at it while siding you may see just a bunch of cards that are too important to possibly take out. That being said, you don't always NEED to side. Sometimes you may not have the resources or your matchup is just that good enough anyway.

For instance, against Hieratics, Heavy Storm is useless. Against Dark Worlds, you should take out your Effect Veilers.

Secondly: Don't throw everything in.

Oh look, all of these cards can be sided against the opponent's deck and be used very well, let’s throw them all in – that’s what most beginner professionals think, but most of the time, it’s not that easy. It's not an exact science, though, really, not much of siding ever is, but it's important to know when siding in certain cards will only work to hurt consistency. If you lose consistency because you throw in too many anti-opponent cards, that defeats the purpose completely.

Most of the time, you should side 7 at most. This is because, as explained in Section IV, the expected value of how many copies of a card you can draw in the opening hand of a 40-card deck is “How many copies of it you run” X 0.15 (yeah, as far as games of luck go, mathematics solve everything). This means, if you side in 7 cards, you’re bound to draw approximately 1 card you sided in. More than that, and it becomes difficult for you to set up your own strategy.

Third: Don’t take out the cards that can increase consistency.

The act of siding itself is a double-edged sword; cards originally in your deck were all there for the sole purpose of winning anyways, and taking them out can result in very dangerous issues. Consistency drops drastically if you side out the wrong cards, and at times, you could have been better off without siding. Yes, consistency. Not again, you groan, but it’s the inescapable truth. The game is basically MADE OF consistency.

Well, some beginners side out Pot of Duality and Cardcar-D against bad match-ups because they think it doesn’t directly lead to victory. Most of the time, this is a bad idea – in fact, consistency-increasing cards like draw engines/searchers act crucially in the second and third duels of a match.

Fourth: Don’t take out too many monsters.

At times, beginners take out many monsters in a side change because they feel they’re unneeded. Again, a mistake. This could lead to many hands that can disrupt the opponent, but never get its combos working. Of course, you can’t win with that.

In some cases, you can even take out the staples when side changing. For instance, against Hieratics and Dark Worlds, you can take out Dark Hole and throw a Bottomless in instead. That’s better than taking out a crucial monster.

Fifth: Obviously, never take out combo parts.

I don’t think I need to explain on this. If you’re taking out your Inzektor Dragonflys to increase your Anti-Macro-Cosmos cards, you deserve to go down a lava pit for stupidity.

Well, those are pretty much it. Good luck with your siding.

EXTRA XII: Is Netdecking a Sin?

Netdecking is the act of copying a decklist you saw on the internet and using it yourself. Now, some may think, “that’s unfair!” But, I personally think this is quite fine in some cases.

One example of what I consider “fine netdecking” is when you want to look at how a particular deck moves – because, the best option is to use it yourself. For instance, if you can’t beat the Karakuri decks dominating your locals, you might want to netdeck it and see how it moves. During the duels, you find what exactly can annoy a Karakuri player most, and likewise, what sort of enemy it can crush with ease. After those test duels, you can edit your side deck and give it a solution to Karakuris. In other words, netdecking a deck allows you to see its strong and weak points. I mentioned in Section XI about how you can you use your Side Deck to destroy the key strategies of the opponents’ decks, but to do that, you’ve got to know how they work.

Also, decks posted on the internet are generally better than those beginning players create. By looking at them, you can learn their techniques and, in a way, basically get advice straight from the pros. If you just copy-paste without thinking, that’s a bad netdeck. But if you think carefully – “Why does this guy run this?” “Should I really run this too?” “Does this fit my playstyle?” – that’s perfectly fine, at least in my opinion. The easiest way to learn is to look at the best stuff.

Finally, when creating a new deck you have no idea how to make, you can first netdeck and then edit it to your choice. When you want to know about an undermeta (non-competitive) deck, this comes in quite handy at times because no one around you knows how to build it right.

Well, but of course you can’t go buying all the cards in the things you netdeck. One way is to use Proxies. Proxying is the act of printing cards out on your home printer and cutting them out, and using them in card sleeves with real (useless) cards under them. Of course you can’t use Proxied cards at tournaments, but it’s fine when you duel with friends as long as you tell them before the duel.

Then there’s Dueling Network.

EXTRA XIII: Using Dueling Network

Dueling Network is…basically a revolution to deck creators. It’s an amazing site that allows you to create hundreds and thousands of decks on its server. For free. With no downloading required. This means Konami’s Yugioh Online is officially s***.

The link to Dueling Network is here.

Before using: There are two problems with Dueling Network that you must know.

One: Some of the people on Dueling Network don’t know manners. If you don’t want to get into stupid fights with people who claim you’re a retard just because you used Evolzar Laggia, the best idea is to duel with your friends only. There’s a “Friend” function on DN, and it allows you to always see your online friends on the site once you add them to your Friend List.

Two: Unlike Yugioh Online, Dueling Network’s Dueling Function is completely manual. For instance, if you want to use Lonefire Blossom, first you hover your mouse over the Lonefire Blosssom in your hand, and click “Normal Summon”. Lonefire Blossom will be Normal Summoned. Then, when you hover over the Lonefire, instead of the “Activate Effect” pop-up commonly seen in Konami’s games, there pops up a bunch of possible things to do above, including things you can’t do in that situation (Change Control, Banish, etc.). Choose “Send To Graveyard”, hover over your deck, click “View”. Scroll through your deck, hover over the Plant-Type you want Special Summoned, and Click “SS” from the options. Finally, the monster will be Special Summoned.

Sounds hard? Well, for the first few duels it might be, but you’ll learn.

Dueling Network allows you to create and test any deck for free. If you want to build a deck in real life, first test it on Dueling Network, and THEN buy the things at your local card shops or Troll and Toad.com. Or, you can simply go test a new deck idea in your spare time. Beware of enraged mothers screaming at you to study when doing this.

I think that’s all for now, folks. Hope you learned lots from reading this, and good luck with your future deck building.

If you have a suggestion, say it here and I’ll fix it. Happy to be a help for one of the largest children’s-card-game communities in the world, and hope the newcomers read this and learn. Again, thanks to Agro for helping me. Also thanks to Rai. for fixing the url coding. And last but not least, jabber2033 who notified me that aforementioned coding problems also made it a giant wall of text and allowed me to fix it. Cheers!


BTW, this is the March 2012 Format guide. The game constantly changes - as long as I’m active, I’ll write a new one every format and update this thread, once we can all say for sure what the best decks are.

#5344543 Mine Mole

Posted by Toffee. on 10 July 2011 - 10:40 PM