Hello interweb, Nate here! Now as I’ve been stating recently, I’m kinda expanding this blog a bit to include “geek” related topics on here. But because I built my audience around superheroes and comic books, I’m not sure how many of my readers are actually fans of Yu-Gi-Oh! or not. Either way, I decided to make a post about the TCG (Trading Card Game for you normies out there) because a somewhat recent development has been made to my beloved game that I wanted to discuss. Still working on Everything Wrong With: “The Dark Knight Returns” Pt. 3 and hopefully I’ll get that out early next week!
Now before I discuss Link Monsters, I feel like I should talk a little bit about my backstory with the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise. I got into the game partially because of my best friend at the time and partially because of my cousin. It was around the Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds era that I initially started playing the game (despite this, Yu-Gi-Oh! GX will always be my favorite series). Around this time, I was really big into the game and I had several friends that were also into the game that I played with. However, around the time Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal came out, some of my friends started getting tired of the game and slowly began to quite. One of my friends because they didn’t like XYZ Monsters, my cousin I think just got bored with it, and because they stropped playing the rest of us stopped as well. A few years later and my cousin not only got into the game again but began playing it competitively, even going to a few tournaments. Because of this, I decided to get back into the game myself fairly recently using the site DuelingNexus.com as a way for me to play online and with the new cards I don’t currently own.
Now that you understand where I’m coming from, let’s discuss Link Monsters. Now because I quite playing once Zexal started, I actually was surprised when I learned about the last addition to the game being Pendulum Monsters. However, because I just got back into the game and Link Monsters aren’t out in America yet I figured I don’t have to be worried about them until they get brought over here and Dueling Nexus updated their system. BUT, I decided to look into them anyways and wasn’t exactly pleased with what I learned. Because of how complicated Link Monsters are, I’m not going to explain what they do here. If you really want to find out than check out this video where the Link Monster mechanic is explained in full. If you don’t know anything else I’m talking about here then you might want to consult Google.
Now here’s the thing. Both Yu-Gi-Oh! and Yu-Gi-Oh! GX contains the same gaming format with Normal Monsters, Effect Monsters, Ritual Monsters, and Fusion Monsters being all you had to worry about. Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds was the first to introduce a brand new type of monsters with the inclusion of Synchro Monsters. After that, every series seems to be adding new kinda of cards to the game with XYZ and Pendulum. However, these cards were ADDING to the game with new features and new mechanics you have the option to play with. Hell, Pendulum Monsters are the only ones who even effected the field and all they did was include the Pendulum Monster Zones (which in the upcoming format apparently is shared with the Spell and Trap Card Zones). However, Link Monsters are restricting the game and forcing players with an Extra Deck heavy deck to use these cards in order to operate.
This is especially difficult for me because my favorite deck to use is my Gem-Knight deck which uses a lot of fusion summoning. I even have strategies where I can get my entire field full of my strongest fusions in only a couple of turns. However, if the new Link Monster format restricts decks like mine too much then I won’t be able to use it. That being said, a huge part about TCGs like this is that some new mechanics just makes certain strategies unusable as the game progresses and players just need to adapt. Who knows, maybe I will find a way to use my Gem–Knight deck once Link Monsters come out! Or maybe I’ll just have to ditch them for a new deck.
Link Monsters were made to slow the game down which I actually do appreciate. I miss the days of Yu-Gi-Oh! where intense games can pretty much go for an hour if both players are good enough. I remember spending the whole afternoon playing this card game with my cousin and playing the game online just tells me that new mechanics have pretty much sped up the game to the point where you can win within 2-3 turns. I’ll continue to play the game but Extra Deck heavy decks such as my Fusion-heavy Gem-Knights or maybe a Synchro-Heavy deck might need to adapt or get ditched completely. In summary, I like that they’re trying to slow the game down a bit but I don’t like how restrictive the new format is.
Again, I don’t know how much of my audience are Yu-Gi-Oh! fans or even how many of you know what Link Monsters are if you haven’t kept up with the game in recent years. But if you do still play the game, what are your thoughts on the new mechanic?