Welcome to the inaugural YGOscope analysis article!
I would like to begin by exploring the limitations and biases of the data so we can get a better understanding of how to apply it. As explained in the site’s introduction, these statistics are only applied to the games that a card is seen (revealed, summoned, activated, sent to grave, or banished), not all games in which they are present in a deck. This means that you will only see a majority of these cards’ stats change when a deck is actually playing, and bricks will not usually count detrimentally towards a card/deck’s win rate. This can both help and hurt, as we may get a more accurate look at the power of a deck, but also may not get an accurate picture of a deck’s consistency. This will be made clearer when we look at this week’s highest win rate cards. The other limitation is where the data is collected; it is important to note that Duelingbook will not have the exact same meta as a real tournament, and all levels of play will see a different meta game. Your local meta game will not be 100% the same as your regional meta game, which will not be 100% identical as the meta game of a YCS, and so on. This is not going to be completely indicative of your precise tournament experience, but the data can still be useful if viewed through the correct lens.
For future articles I will mostly be going over notable changes from previous weeks, but with this being the first week, I will go over how and why cards garner the popularity and win rates they do.
Pot of Desires, Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring, and Terraforming unsurprisingly round out the top 3, as they are very generic cards that can be slotted into almost any deck. The most popular archetypal card is Dragonic Diagram, followed closely by True Draco Heritage. Other than Ignis and True King’s Return, which are limited to 1 and therefore seen far less often, the least played True Draco card falls at 16th, before any other archetypal cards appear on the list. True Draco is far and away the most popular deck on Duelingbook right now, and the most recent events have been catching on to these trends. True Draco saw the second most entrants and second highest representation in top cut at YCS San Jose, Costa Rica last weekend, closely following Pendulum variants. This uptick in popularity is likely due to the introduction of Amano-Iwato (which clocks in at 38th in popularity), which gives True Draco a means to protect their powerful draw spells like Heritage and Card of Demise from hand traps when going first, as well as completely shutting off the monster-based negation boards created by Pendulum Magician.
Win rate can be deceptive, as it only counts when cards come into play. If you were to create a deck based exclusively on win rate, it would look something like this:
Clearly, this deck would not be effective, even though every card individually has an incredibly high win rate. As explained above, win rate is a good indicator of a card’s power, but not a card’s consistency, nor its consistency with other engines. If we take Mistar Boy and Toadally Awesome for example, they have the two highest win rates among the top 200 most played cards on Duelingbook, and for good reason. Toadally Awesome is an absurdly powerful card, and Mistar Boy is generally summoned immediately before you summon TWO copies of Toad. It is easy to see why cards so powerful have such a high win percentage, but if that is the case, why is not the deck more popular or claiming more top cut spots at events? The answer to that is quite simple: you do not get to the point these cards are summoned often enough. Other good examples are the one-of Mekk-Knights, Red Moon and Indigo Eclipse. These cards have such high win rates, and such low play rate, because they generally only touch the field if you are in a position to resolve the effect of Mekk-Knight Blue Sky’s effect to search two cards, and therefore are generally winning the turn Red or Indigo touch the field. The win percentages of these cards a testament to how good Blue Sky is, not Red or Indigo. The Pendulum and True Draco decks are a bit harder to evaluate so linearly because most of the cards in those decks search each other or draw additional cards, so you will have access to most cards of the archetypes very often, as long as you have drawn one or two of them. Most of the cards from these archetypes, especially the True Dracos, have very similar play rates and win rates because of this, which is a far better indicator of consistency.
True Draco seemed to be the clear winner on Duelingbook this week, but only time will tell if it will usurp Pendulum Magician as the deck to beat for the remainder of the format.