For those who don't know, Duel Links is a Yugioh game for mobile devices. My android device can't actually handle the game, so I have been playing using BlueStacks, an android emulator for PC. Duel Links uses the Speed Duel rule, which is a modified rule for the Yugioh Trading Card Game. For those who knows the standard YGO TCG rule but don't know Speed Duel rule, you start with 4000 LP instead of 8000, your deck size is cut from 40~60 to 20~30, your field size is cut from 5 to 3, you start with 4 hands instead of 5, and finally there is only one Main Phase instead of two (you have to end turn after attacking-- there is no Main Phase 2).
Due to the modified rule, it is not really the same game as the standard game (some cards become more valuable, and the others, less so)... plus the game itself still doesn't have a robust card library yet. I can't afford to pay real money either, so I have only put together a deck from the Structure Decks (premade decks which are actually pretty decent) and the Starter Decks (which are frankly worth almost nothing, except for the 1 iconic card it comes with, such as Blue-Eyes White Dragon). Still, it is not too bad, as long as you adjust your mindset to the modified rules. I'm can't say if I'm remembering correctly, but I think I have only lost once (out of about six matches) in the Bronze League, despite my budget deck.
(Strangely enough, I lost pretty often in the Rookie League, which is lower than the Bronze League. Mostly due to strangely-timed disconnect issues from *my* side, apparently, even though my internet was perfectly fine. I know my internet was fine because I could still browse the net, plus I could immediately get my match results without pause or any signs of DCing. Not saying I would have won all of those matches though-- I actually suffered that apparently DC issue once just as I was about to lose anyway. If that wasn't some sort of hack, then I must have looked like a sore loser/rage-quitter to my opponent. Oh well.)
Where was I? Oh yes, so I had pretty good time in the Bronze League, despite all the unfinished duels in the Rookie League. Here is one of my most memorable duels today:
I was playing against someone who was using Paradox Brothers, and with the ability to summon three of the brothers' most powerful monster (Suijin, Kazejin, and Sanga of the Thunder, for those who play) right from the beginning, at the cost of only starting with 500 LP and the three monsters are unable to attack. For those who knows the standard game but not Duel Links, here when you duel you use an avatar-- which is a character from the original series. They also come with their own special ability which you can apply to your deck (such as Kaiba can start with a Mountain field card, and Joey can start with 1000 more LP). I was REALLY surprised back then... I haven't advanced that far into the game, so I didn't know such an ability even existed! I actually wanted to quit at first... but I decided to keep playing, in the spirit of the show (you know, that "never give up!" stuff) and in hopes of pulling off a miracle combo or something. I played defensively at first-- only setting monster and traps, and hoping to draw my key combo cards. Meanwhile my opponent was playing cards that can increase his LP. (That was also when I realized that he can't attack with his starting monsters... I was half-expecting to lose in one turn.)
Although that didn't last long-- it only took a few turns before he tributed his monsters for another powerful monster (Gate Guardian, a monster with incredible attack power, but no real special ability), thus allowing him to attack. I guess he either had enough LP/cards to fight, or realized that I wasn't going to surrender/I was pretty much just stalling. He put me on spot-- I didn't have all the key cards yet. I was facing certain defeat, until I had one of those "It is here!"/"I drew it!" moment, EXACTLY like the ones in the show. Although it wasn't actually here, because I was hoping to draw Blue-Eyes White Dragon... but instead I drew Hieratic Dragon of Nuit. I panicked at first, but then I realized that Hieratic Dragon of Nuit is just as good (it IS one of my key combo cards), I summoned it in attack position, where I can take damage if it was attacked. I bet my opponent thought that I was going to suicide for a second.
Of course I was not, because one of my traps was Dragon's Rebirth, which lets me banish one of my dragon cards on the field to special summon another dragon card from my hand or graveyard-- that's why I wanted to draw Blue-Eyes White Dragon... I could have brought it out right away, if I had Blue-Eyes in my hand. But instead, I used it on Hieratic Dragon of Nuit, which triggers its ability to bring out a normal dragon card from my deck, albeit with its Atk and Def dropped to 0. I brought out Blue-Eyes anyway, except it is completely neutered with its 0 Atk and Def. (I also brought out another card from the graveyard, but I really only played Draconic Rebirth to trigger Hieratic Dragon of Nuit's ability... oh, and to banish it, so it couldn't be attacked, thus I wouldn't take any damage.)
My 0 Def Blue-Eyes was quickly destroyed, but my other trap card happened to be Rope of Life! In exchange for discarding my whole hand (only one card at that time-- not much of a loss), I get to resurrect my freshly destroyed monster with a 800 Atk bonus. Due to the way the game works, leaving the field then coming back also resets my Blue-Eyes' Atk and Def to its original value too. With its original Atk of 3000 plus the 800 bonus from Rope of Life, I had JUST enough points to beat the Gate Guardian! (3800 vs 3750!) My opponents couldn't muster enough attack points to beat my empowered Blue-Eyes afterwards, so I won in the end. (He did play to the end too, instead of surrendering early.) (He had also been incredibly lucky in that match btw. He had three coin flips for three separated occasions [for 3 Cup of Ace card], and he got heads for all three times. I would think he was cheating, except he probably could have made me lose by DCing if he was.)
Now I think about it, I might not have enough cards to play Rope of Life if I had drawn Blue-Eyes like I wanted, instead drawing the Hieratic Dragon of Nuit... This is just one of those things about duels AND life: The card you want isn't always what you need!
(Also now I have the Duel Links GameA site open, I have only now realized that my opponent's starting monster had their effects negated too. I WISH I knew that. Suijin, Kazejin, and Sanga have terrifying abilities... Not that it would help though-- I didn't draw Hieratic Dragon of Nuit until he tributed away those three monsters anyway.)
Too bad what just happened is something that can only be understood by someone who actually plays the game, but that was one of those comeback moments-- just like the ones in the show! It is also certainly not something you can experience from playing against the computer, because the AI just isn't good enough to... actually strategize or read the situation... and unfortunately for me, AIs are my usual opponents, due to my lack of local friends who play YGO. (On the other hand, you also don't need to deal with all the human behavioral problems when playing against AIs. I WILL miss playing against the AIs as soon as I have some bad matches lol.) Of course, I probably wouldn't enjoyed it as much either if I had lost that match-- it is the comeback that makes it interesting. (I probably wouldn't mind if it happened the other way around too... as long as it is some sort of combo, instead of an one-card-negate.)
I had another interesting duel too, but this post has gone on long enough.
Obviously, I don't expect the good time to last-- I am playing at the Bronze League after all, where most people don't have good cards anyway. At higher league I'm sure everyone and their grandma have 3 Mirror Walls and 3 Sphere Kuribos in their deck, or some other ridiculously powerful combo. (Though I should just be glad that stuff like Fissure, Bottomless Trap Hole, and Mirror Force isn't even in this game.) Still, I'm not having too bad of a time so far! Maybe you should give it a try too, if you play YGO? Just don't go too crazy. This kind of stuff can get VERY costly.
(Btw, sorry to those who don't get Yugioh and its rules-- this post must seem like a bunch of nonsense.... Although I don't expect anyone to STILL be reading this if they didn't already know how the YGO TCG is played. lol)