“The task of creating the 2-Player starter deck was an interesting one. The idea was to create a product that is fun when they are played against one another, but are simple enough so that someone who has never played Yu-Gi-Oh! has something where they can learn and enjoy the game. The starter decks for the last few years have been a bit too complicated for new players to pick up and enjoy, considering the whole point of the deck is to teach new players we had to keep it simple. If you want a fun game, play the 2 half decks against each other, there is a surprising amount of depth to the match once you have a hang of the basics (or happen to be a core player who wants to teach a friend).”
That was Matthew Bell, a Super Hero from Konami educating the fine duelists over in Zodiac about the type of insight that goes into creating a starter deck.
“They are cards we all had fun with when we started and are good at teaching the strength of card combinations and also Risk VS Reward. Some players may have never played a TCG before in their lives and may have no concept of 2 for 1’s, Maha is amazing since it can easily be the strongest card in the deck while at the same time being the fastest way to lose..”
Sometimes, when designing a product, you are biased and forget that this game still has to attract new players, not convince existing ones to buy the new product. It’s incredibly difficult to make a product people will like that also has a good entry level difficulty curve.
“If you have no entry level products you run the risk of players understanding the basics in the store, but getting lost and confused after they get home to the kitchen table. Different communities benefit from different products and you should choose whats best for yours, it sounds like your new players prefer to jump right in with the structure decks which is great, but there are many players who would get lost doing so and lose interest.
What would be an interesting experiment would be to see what you guys come up with for a Starter Deck list along with a brief explanation for some of the choices. Granted it would purely be for fun and couldn’t be made into an actual product but it would give you guys something to consider.If you need some direction to go by : –
Must be suitable for new players
Contains 0 new cards
Minimum of 40 main deck cards
Please let me stress that this is for fun only and shouldn’t be taken too seriously, work together and try and hammer out a list that you guys agree on.”
He’s asked Zodiac Duelist to throw something together, I say let the commenters of YGOrganization have a crack at it. I know I plan to make my own list, but I’m dying to see what you guys will throw together, and I’m sure he’ll take a look, too.
Some final notes;
“The difficult thing here is defining a good card for a beginner, as it was mentioned before the Djinn is an amazing card in the correct deck, but to the average new player the concept of being hindered by it may be confusing. I guess I could say no card in the deck should exceed a $10 secondary market value if this helps?
Its important to remember that for new players that its not just the cards they need to learn but its also the fundamentals. You have to consider that they need to learn how to place their cards onto the field, what is a summon what is a set, how to Battle Phases work, when can I use a Trap card, why can I use quick play spells cards in the opponents turn, how does battle damage work etc.
For some of your concepts I think you are perhaps throwing the new player into the deep end so to speak. Does your new player really need to understand the concept of “Flood Gates”? While they play an important part of competitive play they are not necessarily something a new player needs to understand in their first couple of games.
You have quite a few Dual purpose cards here which can give this starter deck much re-playability and depth which can be a good thing, at the same time it creates many gaps where new players can and will fall through in their first couple of games and may affect the players decision to keep playing the game.
I don’t know how I feel about having both Synchro and Xyz summons in the Starter Deck, its just more things the player has to be aware of for their first few games that may not come up or result in them sitting on cards to perform the summon without them ever being able to do it.
By not featuring a character you do hurt yourself from a business perspective but that’s something which I don’t think needs to be considered for a fun project.”
Have at it guys! If you’re looking for some examples, be sure to check out Europes most recent example found here.