A Letter to Yugi (from One Duelist to Another)

Dear Yugi,

I have to say, I’m a long-time fan, first-time writer. When I was younger, I followed your duels like most people follow baseball or football. I didn’t go so far as to take notes, but I kept your playing style in mind even before I bought my first starter deck. It was yours, by the way.

Once I started collecting, I kept lists of useful cards I had seen you and your friends (and even some of your enemies) use during Duelist Kingdom and Battle City. Sometimes years went by before a card you had became available where I live. Even now, the Seal of Orichalcos, first used by Dartz ten years ago, is a recent release. But, if I’m to complain about that, I had better write to Pegasus.

You always played with confidence, and I admired that, longing to play in the same manner. I would even pretend that I had an alternate ego that took over when I took part in major duels. I’m sure many people did that. I even began hosting my own tournaments, inviting friends from school to compete.

I’m ashamed to say it’s been a while since I had the opportunity to watch you duel. But I found some of your duels posted online, so I re-watched several of them. And I have to say, I was naïve.

I watched that first duel you had with Seto Kaiba, and I noticed that there wasn’t a whole lot of strategy put into your grandfather’s deck. Honestly, beyond your Dark Magician, Summoned Skull, and Gaia the Fierce Knight, there’s not a whole lot to write home about. When you finally realize you have the chance to summon Exodia the Forbidden One against Kaiba’s Blue-Eyes White Dragons, the only support card you have is Swords of Revealing Light. And you randomly drew it.

You have this uncanny ability to draw whatever card you need by faith and will alone. Shortly after Swords of Revealing Light expired, freeing the Blue-Eyes White Dragons, you managed to draw the final piece of Exodia you needed to win the duel. But up until that point, you were completely out-matched and effectively dead where you stood.

On top of your underdog win, several people made the comment that no one had ever managed to summon Exodia before, and to that I say malarkey. I came across a set of Exodia cards and added them to my deck, along with several support cards that would make it easier to win with it. I used Sangans and Witch of the Black Forests in addition to Pot of Greed and Graceful Charity. These cards made it incredibly easy to win with Exodia multiple times. In all the duels I ever used my Exodia deck in, I probably ended up summoning him a dozen times at least. Your grandfather owned a card shop; I know he had access to at least some of these cards.

This “heart of the cards” you swore by didn’t end in your match with Kaiba. It carried you through all the events of Duelist Kingdom as well. You got new cards and managed to make it to the finals, but you struggled in every duel you had. But, like before, you drew exactly what you needed exactly when you needed it. How was it that you overcame duelists who seemed to have strategies from the beginning of the duel when you only developed situational strategies in the last few turns of the duel?

You had no chance against Kaiba’s Ultimate Dragon or Pegasus’s Thousand-Eyes Restrict and Toon monsters. There was no way you could overcome the Rare Hunters that plagued Battle City, even managing to defeat the Egyptian god card Slipher the Sky Dragon.

How did you overcome the odds every time and manage to become the greatest duelist who ever lived while playing with the strategy of a child?

No duels ever really end the way that yours did. There was never any glorious, perfect card combination that led to a stunning and beautiful victory. They usually end with a couple of mid-level monsters eating away at the opponent’s life points until they hit zero. It’s not glorious. It’s crude and brutal, like war. In fact, the only time my duels (without Exodia) ended like that was one time when I managed to use the Flute of Summoning Kuriboh to summon Winged Kuriboh, and then using Transcendent Wings to summon Winged Kuriboh Level 10 when my opponent continued to attack. Its effect drained my opponent of his last life points in a duel he had otherwise won. I was down to 500 points, and would have lost without this combo.

If I really thought you were capable of it, I would call you a cheater. But that’s not what you are. I wish that’s what you were—at least your success would make more sense. But you’re not a cheater. You’re just a really lucky kid possessed by the ghost of an ancient pharaoh.

Yours Truly,

Glen S. Miller

P.S. I’m up for a live duel anytime. Your A.I. in the video games isn’t very good.

  • Geoffrey Warhammer

    I’d like to see more of these! How about Paul writing a similar letter to Ash about just how naive he was to rely on a bunch of mostly unevolved Pokemon in the first season?

  • Lima Zulu

    Bwuahaha, this was awesome.

  • neil

    Love this article. Just proves to me further how you are probably my long lost twin separated at birth. To have the balls to write an article about the Yu-Gi-Oh series and a real appreciation of it is commendable