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  1. #1
    Senior Member Master_Savage's Avatar
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    Overcoming the Pressure. (An article by whoisSAVAGE.)

    Savage Tarantino
    6/14/2012

    You can feel it. The adrenaline inside of your deck builds. You're playing the final round of a The WCWC2. If you win, your in the top 32 and have assured yourself a place in history. If you lose however, you’re going home with only memories of what could have been. Fast forward a little bit, its game 3. Every correct decision you make brings you closer to the top 32, while every misplay brings you further away. Can you handle the pressure?

    One of the biggest things that allow some of the games greatest players to be so consistent is how they handle playing games when the pressure level is at the highest. At almost every Premier Event you attend, the last round will always be the most pressure filled round of the day, with so many players striving to make it into the finals. Half of the X-1 players will become X-2 players, with only a prayer to make it into the top 32 on tiebreakers.

    I see so many players buckle under the pressure when the time to step up arises. They are so excited, yet so nervous to play in the games that matter the most. I see most panic when they lose game 1 in the last round, something you cannot afford to panic over at such a high stage in a tournament. This got me to thinking, how do the greatest and most consistent players in the game handle that pressure at almost every High-Level Event they attend? I asked Shadow Era's most decorated tournament player, Raphael Majere first...

    Quote Originally Posted by Raphael Majere
    Firstly, no one can see how nervous u are in reality. So I make myself as comfortable as I can before each big match. Pee, hydrate, air con's not too cold, comfy clothes. After each game, especially if it was a loss, request for a pee break, the release of pee eases oneself and there is a change of scenery, grab a drink of water, go thru what went wrong.

    Or what went right. I have a note pad beside me in big matches so that I can record what I did wrong during a game and I re read it before game 2.

    Tbh, while its hard to tell if your opponent is hesitant, there can be some tell tale signs like casting and canceling a card. Or it maybe just a ruse. No one can tell really. I go with my gut feeling.
    iClipse, Shadow Era's 2012 World Champion and member of the A1 Alliance expresses his Opinion...

    Quote Originally Posted by iClipse
    After losing a game, it's very important to think of WHY you lost that game. Just bad luck/a bad draw? A bad matchup? Or, like in most cases, wrong sacrifice choices? If the reason you lost is the last question, it's something that can be handled, and changed in the next game. Basically, it's just getting your head together and making the right saccing choices. If you're facing an enemy with a lot of item destruction, make sure to always keep an extra copy of that draw engine in your hand if you're able to and maybe sac that ally that you planned on playing in a few turns. Chances are, that in a few turns, you'll have a new good ally anyway.
    BlueJet24, Finalist in the World Championship Tournament and Leader of Team Juggernauts gives his input...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bluejet24
    I do a lot of homework when preparing for my matches. I study my opponent very very carefully. Even if they are using an alt account, you can still gather some sort of info based on other scout methods. ie, talking to there past opponents in other events. Also, I do a lot of play testing... At least 10 games per day. I am very familiar and comfortable playing with ALL heroes. This has helped be a great deal understanding and anticipating my opponents next moves. There are very few circumstances where I am surprised about what my opponent is trying to do. This is also because the limited card pool.
    And Finally, Winner of GDC's Le4gue Tournament Season 2, Hatts gives us his thoughts on how to handle the pressure...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hatts
    I try to approach any loss in a tournament analytically and rationally. In the first game in the series you are mapping out your opponent. You have limited knowledge and a lot of guesses as to what is in their deck and you have to guess at the best plays. Sometimes in SE you can lose to a good opening and no matter how well you play your hand you can't swing the game back in your favor. Still, this gives you insight into the ideal start of your opponents deck, which can help you disrupt it in later games.

    I like to think back after a loss and determine what I could have done differently, and how best to play the next two. By thinking over the game in this way I try to remove myself from the initial emotional reaction. If I can adapt my play based on my analytical response instead of my emotional one, I am in good stead for the rest of the match.
    While playing with pressure is one of the best qualities I think a player can have, I dug deeper and found what each of these players thought was the strongest quality that players needed to have. This is what Raphael Majere had to say...

    Quote Originally Posted by Raphael Majere
    Visualization is the strongest quality a player can have right now- for players in the WC. There is a limited Amt of play test time left. If I can visualize that my brutalis is a carni boar instead in a bb deck, would I be better off in the game? Or, my portal maj has md out, it died to a nova, would a bm be better? If I had a aldon instead of a Jas , would that have allowed me to swing the game around. A good player can visualize if 3 jas, 4 aldon is better than 4 jas, 3 aldon.

    That saves a lot of time. Instead of having to really enact the exact plays in a real test game with fellow players/friends.
    Raphael's visualization has brought him a long way. The same could also be said for iClipse, who always strives to think outside the box himself.

    Quote Originally Posted by iClipse
    In my opinion there is no ONE thing that is the best quality for a player to have. The things that are important are closely linked though. The best players are the players that are able of reading their opponent flawlessly. And by that, I mean, being able of identifying the play style, the possible cards he'll play and knowing the weaknesses of your opponent. Being able to play into those weaknesses also means you have to be able to sacrifice cards that way, that you'll always have exactly what you need.

    Often people say: "How did he get so lucky to get that card just when he needed it?". Often they didn't. They already had the card in their hand for the past 5 turns, and knew they were going to be in need of it very soon, so they didn't sac it, even if they had duplicates in their hand/deck.

    People (and I'm one of those) often make wrong saccing choices, as in: I have multiples of this card, so I'll sac them so I only have one left. Great players know when to do that without problem, but also know when NOT to do that. For example, if you know you're opponent has a lot of item destruction, and you start with 3 of your draw engine in your hand, it might not be a good idea to sac those. Maybe it's even best to keep them ALL in your hand, so that you never run out of that one card you need, your draw engine.

    In general, great players are those that can see in the future and anticipate on what will be coming by making the right sacrificing choices and play choices.
    Jet shares his beliefs on what makes a great player...

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueJet24
    The Strongest quality to have is...don't make a lot of mistakes. Carefully calculate every move. Especially at the most critical times of the game. In this game, you can't really control what your opponent is going to do. So, I just try to make the best play every turn. Then, let luck take it's course. Most games at the high level are decided by 3 reasons...
    1. who makes the least about of mistakes.
    2. Who is luckier that game.
    3. Hero matchups. At the highest levels, everyone has highly tuned decks. No one is playing trash cards. So, the deck isn't really the deciding issue. You can't control the matchups or the luck...but you can control your mistakes. Does that make sense?
    Hatts on the other hand, feels that a analyzation is what separates the Vets from the Rookies...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hatts
    The best quality for a player to have is an analytical mind. It's important to be thinking about all the possible plays for both you and your opponent, which of those are most likely, and which will lead to your victory or defeat.

    Me personally? I feel the best quality a player can have is dedication. Dedicating enough time to preparing yourself to play in these events is key. Raphael Majere doesn't just load up a Boris deck and take it to a Premiere Event in hopes of winning with it. All the players above have a strong enough dedication to the game to playtest their ideas and train hard for every event they attend.

    I hope you were able to take something of use from this article to help you become a better player. In conclusion I would just like to extend an extra "Thank You" to Raphael Majere, iClipse, Hatts, and my fellow teammate BlueJet24 for taking time out of their days to give me enough information to write this article.

    Ending Note: as of Today, I will be posting my Articles on a Weekly basis, so every Thursday check in to the forums and look for that weeks article. (I may do other short articles in between this schedule but the main ones will be on Thursday.)
    Last edited by Master_Savage; 06-19-2012 at 10:21 PM.
    IGN: Master Savage
    - 1st Place in 7/26/13 BP Challenge Tournament #7
    - 1st Place in 6/13/12 Pop-Up Tournament.
    Un-official Tournament Organizer.
    Ranked 2nd in Minnesota for Yugioh.
    Warriors of the Blue Phoenix, Greatness Reborn.

  2. #2
    DP Visionary Preybird's Avatar
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    Great read. It's good to hear what some of the best in the business think and how they deal with the game. I've learned a lot here today.
    Extra Tough Claws - Proud Member of ETC

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  3. #3
    Senior Member Master_Savage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Preybird View Post
    Great read. It's good to hear what some of the best in the business think and how they deal with the game. I've learned a lot here today.
    Yeah I'm glad I was able to finish this today, I wanted to it to be done before the Wild Card & Grand Finals.
    IGN: Master Savage
    - 1st Place in 7/26/13 BP Challenge Tournament #7
    - 1st Place in 6/13/12 Pop-Up Tournament.
    Un-official Tournament Organizer.
    Ranked 2nd in Minnesota for Yugioh.
    Warriors of the Blue Phoenix, Greatness Reborn.

  4. #4
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    All I have to say is +1 for the post. Great read, thank you.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Master_Savage's Avatar
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    No Problem. Thanks for reading.
    IGN: Master Savage
    - 1st Place in 7/26/13 BP Challenge Tournament #7
    - 1st Place in 6/13/12 Pop-Up Tournament.
    Un-official Tournament Organizer.
    Ranked 2nd in Minnesota for Yugioh.
    Warriors of the Blue Phoenix, Greatness Reborn.

  6. #6
    Member Ozymandias's Avatar
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    Feel pressure while playing Shadow Era?

    I must be doing it wrong. I don't feel any pressure at all, maybe I should take this more seriously...

  7. #7
    1.27 Tournament Champion Raphael Majere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ozymandias View Post
    Feel pressure while playing Shadow Era?

    I must be doing it wrong. I don't feel any pressure at all, maybe I should take this more seriously...
    SE is a game, enjoy yourself, sheesh!

    About me: An Interview
    About my guild: Warriors of the Blue Phoenix

  8. #8
    DP Visionary Preybird's Avatar
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    Have a pee
    Extra Tough Claws - Proud Member of ETC

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  9. #9
    Senior Member Icebear's Avatar
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    could you please share the links to the pages where you found mentioned quotes?

    and thnx for another good read!
    A1 Icebear: A1's Glacial Claws of Fury

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  10. #10
    Senior Member Master_Savage's Avatar
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    I didn't find them, I interviewed the 4 players who helped me make this through PM.
    IGN: Master Savage
    - 1st Place in 7/26/13 BP Challenge Tournament #7
    - 1st Place in 6/13/12 Pop-Up Tournament.
    Un-official Tournament Organizer.
    Ranked 2nd in Minnesota for Yugioh.
    Warriors of the Blue Phoenix, Greatness Reborn.

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