Can I Play 3 of a Flip?
Yu-Gi-Oh!'s Goat Format has a lot of minor deckbuilding decisions that are seemingly inconsequential but can make a substancial difference in terms of a player's long-term winrate. While the consensus current format deckbuilding theory dictates that one should play three of all the good cards in order to maximize the chances of seeing them quickly, that rule of thumb does not apply especially well to Goat Format. Why? The fact that Goat Format games can last 20 turns rather than a few changes things a lot. This can be confusing to less experienced players in the format. Playing 3 copies of a flip effect monster in Goat Format presents a significant risk: Nobleman of Crossout.
Nobleman of Crossout vs Pot of Desires
Those who come from current format Yu-Gi-Oh! likely understand the risk/reward associated with Pot of Desires, a card that was initially released to great controversy. Depending on the circumstances, Pot of Desires is either free draw-2 or a card that loses you games. Although card advantage is not really a "fundamental" for current format, there was a great deal of silly debate regarding whether Pot of Desires was card advantage. While resolving Pot of Desires results in an increased hand size, your deck will also be depleted of 10 resources that cannot be accessed for the remainder of the game. This is huge. Recall from my "Who's Winning?" article that every game element can be considered a resource. The relative value of each of these resources is directly related to how that game actually plays out. Longer games that involve lots of searching will likely result in Pot of Desires hurting your chances of winning.
Nobleman of Crossout presents a similar dilemma. While Nobleman of Crossout will always be a 1-for-1 trade in terms of raw card advantage, there are certainly some Nobleman of Crossouts that can be much more painful than others. Consider the following scenario: Your opponent activates Pot of Greed and sets a monster on the first turn of the game. Next turn, you activate Nobleman of Crossout. It's a Magician of Faith. Your opponent banishes a second Magician of Faith from his deck. You banish 3 copies of your own Magician of Faith. On the one hand, you are certainly relieved that your opponent will not be recycling Pot of Greed. However, you have had to banish three key threats from your own deck, which could definitely impact your ability to play the late game. This is the risk of running 3-of flip effects.
Viable 3-Of Flip Effects
Other than Morphing Jar, Cyber Jar, and Night Assailant, every flip effect in Goat Format can be played as a 3-of, if you want to. These flip effects that are commonly played in the format are the following (in no particular order):
They all see play in different decks for different reasons, but the most commonly played one is definitely Magician of Faith.
Decks That Play 3-of Flip Effects
Most Goat Control decks do not play any 3-of flip effects, but some may take the risk of playing 3 copies of Magician of Faith. You can see this by comparing the two example decklists in our Goat Control deck guide. The second list plays a lot of 3-ofs in general and is more built around exploiting the deck's power cards, whereas the first list takes a more risk averse approach. The second list is not trying to reach the super-late game as often as a conventional Goat Control deck, so it makes more sense to play 3 Magician of Faith here. With the growing popularity of aggro and combo decks, it could be argued that this strategy makes a lot of sense in the present Goat Format metagame.
Flip Control is another deck that certainly could play 3-of flip effects, although our example decklist does not choose to do so. This deck is heavily under-explored, especially considering the good results that it put up in our last tournament. Interestingly, his list also does not play any 3-of flip effects, but some would make the argument that Mask of Darkness is too good not to max out on.
Lastly, historically speaking, some Thunder Dragon Chaos decks have played 3 copies of Magician of Faith or Dekoichi, the Battlechanted Locomotive, although many would argue that the risk/reward is not worth it in this particular deck. However, playing 3 Dekoichi in a chaos deck can be quite synergistic with Dimension Fusion or Return from the Different Dimension (if hit by a Nobleman of Crossout), so that is definitely something to consider.
Lastly, Gravekeepers will almost always play 3 copies of Gravekeeper's Spy due to the fact that it is the deck's best monster. It can protect them from Nobleman of Crossout through Compulsory Evacuation Device, Solemn Judgment, and sometimes Spell Shield Type-8 or My Body as a Shield.
Like many questions in complex strategy games, the answer to "Can I play 3 of the same flip effect?" is, "It depends." If the flip effect is a key piece of your deck and/or you have ways to hedge against Nobleman of Crossout, it's going to be a good idea to do so. However, you can't just throw 3 copies of Magician of Faith or Magical Merchant into a deck because they're generally good cards. You'll often get punished for doing so. Not only will Nobleman of Crossout hit you harder, but it'll also make your sets easier to read.
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Some of the Goat Format fundamentals that I allude to in this article are discussed in more detail in "Who's Winning?" - Goat Format Fundamentals.
If you want to find more out about Goat Format strategies that are built around flip effect monsters, check out our Flip Control deck guide.
9/29/2019 05:23:44 pm
This post is kind of old, but why does it matter whether you play 2 or 3 of your flip monster? You still lose all copies of it in your deck, so what's the difference?
1/6/2023 09:49:45 am
The desires analogy is a good answer. A noc'd 3 of flip costs you 2 potentially playable cards from your deck, while a noc'd 2 of only costs 1 future resource.
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