Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Rauzes' Duelist Level Assessment Scale

Level Zero: Deck with no coherency. Also, lack of any sleeves. Very(hopefully) new to the game, and needs explanation on several basic rules. Equal of the online MMO Newbie. Tends to become level One/One point Five VERY quickly. Quite fun to watch become good players.

Level One: Deck with Coherency/Combos. At this stage, still lack of sleeves. Decks still tend to be bad in many peoples eyes. Decks based off of Structure Decks, or Structure/Starter decks themselves are this level(though deck power usually lets them beat quite higher level players. Thanks Konami)

Level One Point Five: Level One, with deck sleeves. One layer, usually over-sized, but not always. Knows the basic rules by heart by now, but still is oblivious to other decks. May take a while to become level two.

Level Two: Full deck coherency. Things like Alien decks without any random stuff like Marauding Captain. Still without a tournament valid deck, but now capable of playing a few games before dropping in tournaments.

Level Three: Double Sleeves/Triple Sleeves. Also, a secondary deck or even tertiary deck, with different play style. Begins their Collector Album. First few "Power Cards" such as Natural Beast/Palkion, Archlord Christia, Caius the Shadow Monarch in 3s, etc, are used. Character Sleeve Users are usually at least this level. Clear Giveaway: Pro-Storm. Strongest indicator of at least a level 3 is Pro-Storm. Level Threes tend to also use Pro-Storm a LOT after they figure it out.

Level Three Point Five A: The Collector. Complete offshoot of YuGiOh that I am not personally concerned about, but they have impressive files. Tend not to go up in level anymore, but not unheard of.

Level Four A: Depending on the player, may retain their double/triple sleeves, or move to four or five layers. Independent of this, player creates their first "Tier One/One point Five" deck. Now knows the funny rulings that makes no sense about their cards. Possibly "flawed" deck lists, lacking in money cards such as Lightsworn Magician Lyla, Blackwing Armored Master, Dark Armed Dragon, etc., but not necessarily. Knows what a damage step is.

Level Four B: The Innovator. More or less identical to the Four A, except for the fact that this level makes the Tier One point Five decks. Uses only one or two sleeve layers, for reasons unknown. (really. biggest trend in all of this level)

Level Five: Player now has decks with up to six or seven layers of sleeves, depending on the user. Now has completed their "Tier One" deck, and knows the rulings on all/most other cards. Also now uses rules to their advantage, for example, SEGOC. Character Sleeves are almost unheard of beyond this level. Knows the damage step's sub steps.

Level Six: Player makes their deck the highest rarity possible. Expect no Rare Stratos, Super Rare Stardust Dragon, common Destiny Draw, Common Call of the Haunted(Monster Reborn is a bit of an exception, since Gold Rares tend to be on equal par with Ultra Rares in this level in terms of "shininess".)

Level Seven A: Player now makes his or her deck into all TCG. If possible, English First Edition Maximum Rarity.

Level Seven B: Player prints his first playmat. Most of the time, its not well done, and very pixelated(on 2ch we dont have a Playmat design thread, because we dont have a PJ.), and self designed.

Level Eight: Owns a Konami Created playmat. Very well may have gone to the tournament and won it his or herself. Has a full TCG, Maximum Rarity, First Edition, Well protected deck. Long story short, don't expect to win often unless your level is there with them.

Peoples playstyles and reads are not necessarily bound to these levels. Also, this list gives just the biggest indicators, not all of them(because most of this assessment is subconscious)

This is what I more or less use in assessing players within the first turn/before so, to determine how good a player they are, and what kind of reads they will pick up or give. The levels determine their PLAYING and Strategy/Planning, not how much time spent, etc. Hence the collectors are level three point five.

Higher level does NOT necessarily mean better.

Chances are that most National Representatives at least play at a level seven.

Applicable almost only to Japanese Areas(since TCG decks in Europe SURE dont mean your level Seven.)

To be honest, I'm probably Five. Your mileage may vary. Majority of duelists will be around Four to Six.


  1. wow, thats a deep deep lecture man. I was like... man, I know I'm not good, but man, am I that low?

  2. Five and above not really that accurate. Some people can just be plain poor, and got most their stuff through borrowing, and smart trading.

  3. Youve not been to Tokyo, I assume, Anon. These are just indicators of duelist levels.

    Because lets face it. Better players will be more willing to devote more money to the game, thus have better looking decks, for the most part.

    Yes, I have faced level 6-7s with minimal rarity through borrowing decks. Just not as many as the ones with the said indicators.

  4. And yes, there are "tiers" in terms of player's thinking, and these are the indicators Im noticing, nothing more.

  5. I am clearly a LV3.5 on your scale (I collect and I think my files are impressive enough =P), but I have a set of JP Lyla, I know rulings (miss the timing, revive restriction, etc) and what can/not be done in Damage Step (although not a master), and I own multiple Konami mats (even the Honest one) and I NEVER went to a tournament.

    What level am I in? =P

  6. I'm not sure how the idea of number of sleeves used FOR the deck is an indicator of level. I have a few decks but only really use one sleeve for each card. I replace sleeves fairly regularly and buy new ones if im going to major events.

    But then again I also try to color coordinate my deck with the sleeves (decks with a large majority of dark monsters are black, Plants are green, etc, etc.) Also I use specific colored sleeves for my fusions/Synchros since i make them deck rotate for every deck, if for no other reason to have meaningless multiples of cards or killing myself to find multiples of hard to get cards.

    Granted I've been on forced Hiatus but here soon I hope to be back in action with a new deck style

  7. Lam thinks on level 4 ish, I guess you could say
    @Jason: Because in Japan, people use several layers of sleeves. Not overseas. Layers of sleeves IS very indicative of player level in Japan.

    @Anon: Your a level 3. In the TCG, you can ignore the part about mats, since those kick in around level 4 or so on average there. If I saw your binder, I would place you on a 3.5 for the first few turns. COllectors tend to also be able to trick people that they are around 6-7. TBH Their plays are never quite as well thought out as 5s or 6s.

    Actually, "FileS" yeah your a 3.5.

  8. I'm level eight because I actually fit all those criteria


    And you aren't allowed to double-sleeve in official tournaments here.

  9. If I prefer to stick with common Japanese cards coz the foil of the TCG is kinda dark (thus not shiny), what level should I be in! (I'm referring to most of the Lightsworn cards!)

    And these scale actually made sense now that I think back of the JP rep in last year worlds where he spent a bomb to create a max rarity TCG lightsworn on the spot to compete with.

  10. People in Japan use the TCG on tournaments? Are they allowed over there?

  11. That's very interesting about the sleeves. I did not know anyone would even think of putting multiple layers on their sleeves, especially any more than two, since in the TCG tournaments here, it's pretty much an illegal practice.

    Five would be my level, and where I would stop in this ranking, as I purposely try to make my deck as NON-shiny as possible. The more common, the better. The game is supposed to be fun, and just one of many, to me, not something I have to sink all of my money into to play and not get dominated from not paying more than $20 for a single card.

  12. @Baha:
    Chances are that MOST National Representatives at least play at a level seven.

    I had to add that one word because i played you lol. You play at a six.

    Yes, TCG is legal here.

  13. I'd be a LV8 then :D

    Also, can you post a pic of some cards that are sleeved in 6-7 layers?

    Over here in the TCG we're only allowed one layer, and usually do with something solid and durable like Ultra:Pro.

  14. I'm level 7, since I've really only represented Nat.'s twice and my cards aren't all 1st Ed.'s.

  15. hmm very very interesting article - quite indepth, well structured and explained article - although looking at your scale - i would place myself between 6 and Seven a

    but still - good article - keep up the good work


  16. I seem to have skipped levels, am I a freak?

  17. @Piprod: "Yes"

    @PJ: I dont doubt that

  18. hey Rau. what levels u think I'm in?

  19. Card sleeves and Rarity: A level 2 damn guy
    Rulings: that's level 5

    Still a week ago someone was arguing with me about Jain attacks Raiou into an Honest

  20. quick Q - showed article to my friend but he doesnt know what level he is -

    he only plays ygo online - YVD mainly - has almost full up to date card collection - is a level judge as well, knows his rulings etc but never plays a real life tournament - only online

    so what level (if there is one at all would he come under)

  21. Level 5.

    Hopefully a job will rocket me towards 8.


  22. I think I'm around lvl 5 to 6.....

  23. Lolzz. Overestimatng myself..... MUST.BOOST.CONFIDENCE

  24. how do i sleeve higher than double?