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Which is better: ‘Yu-Gi-Oh!’ or ‘Magic: The Gathering’?


I’ve tried magic for a bit but it’s just way too slow for my taste. I want to summon my “Giant dragon that can negate any monster effect and absorbs my opponent's monster attack power and can’t be destroyed by battle or card effect” on my first turn

Which is better: ‘Yu-Gi-Oh!’ or ‘Magic: The Gathering’?

The whole point of having powerful monster that have to obey your command is only fun if you can actually get them out

In Yu-Gi-Oh! you get several of them out each turn and duels and still have all the back and forth you would expect from a well designed card game.

In Magic, you get them out several turn later and they spend less time on the field as a result.

Even then …..

The names and images have no correlation, if I heard “Arcbound Overseer” I have no idea if it’s a big or small creature.

Frankly it just doesn’t feel satisfying summoning a big creature in Magic

  1. It can’t attack the turn you summon it (delayed gratification)
  2. It mean you weren’t able to a huge number of other things (opportunity cost)
  3. Your opponent doesn’t feel very threatened by it’s presence
  4. You can be afraid to attack because you opponents has 5 squirrels….

But in Yu-Gi-Oh, if I summon Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon he is going to wreck things up one way or another and my opponent immediately starts thinking about what to sacrifice to get it off the board ASAP.


As for those who say “Fewer cards are banned in magic”, wtf is this then: BANNED AND RESTRICTED, I see cards banned left and right,

Maybe fewer cards are banned in magic than Yu-Gi-Oh! but half of those cards banned in Yu-Gi-Oh! are really old cards (10+ years old) that have unintentionally broken effects or cause loops.

And then almost half of those cards on our list could come off right now with no impact on our game. Only 5–10 cards of the latest sets need to be on the list to stop the current deck from being too oppressive at any given time.

But this is case where neither really wins, they both have extensive Banlists

Saying you prefer the shorter Magic banlist is like saying you’d rather be $1million in debt rather than $1.5million: Frankly you’d rather not have either

EDIT: It has been mentioned in the comments that in Modern there are 3 cards banned. Frankly this isn’t a good comparison as a lot of the decks that come out together in Yu-Gi-Oh! are balanced fairly well with respect to each other, True Draco can compete with Zoodiac and so on so if that was all Konami had to balance we would also have 0–3 cards on the banlist.

Actual “Gameness”

Also in Yu-Gi-Oh!, your opponent can have an established board and you next to nothing, and you can still come back and win.

In magic I feel there is a lot of momentum when someone starts winning that it’s difficult to make a comeback. Yes you still “have several turns left” in Magic but if Monopoly taught us anything, it’s that continuing the game after a winner has been decided is not a good design choice.

In Yu-Gi-Oh defeat is either mercifully quick or you have some actual potential for a comeback

It feels very solitaire to play Magic, you have so limited resources, as a result there is often a clear best move to make, sometimes you may have 2–3 good moves.

In Yu-Gi-Oh that would be called a “helmet deck”, as in it requires so little skill and little potential to mess up that anyone can play it.

Try figuring out the best move for a Shaddoll player, the decision trees in that deck are ridiculous.

Skill vs Randomness

In Magic, you get to Mulligan but overall there is very little you can do if don’t a card and it’s not really your fault. you can lose to people who just drew better cards. Even the cards that do search your library use up resources so you may not be able to use it that turn so it ultimately favour the person who drew it without needing to search it. The existence of the Mulligan basically proves this.

In Yu-Gi-Oh, if you can’t get to the cards you need, your deck frankly sucks and it’s your fault There are million way to search cards out of your deck and a million more to dig through it. As a result the more skilled player will usually win as there is much less variation.

Yu-Gi-Oh rewards skill much more than Magic but both skill require skill to do well

Viable decks

In Yu-Gi-Oh, we were just in a format where there were viable 5 decks:

  • Pendulum Magicians
  • Trickstars
  • True Draco
  • Paleaozoic
  • ABC

and these are just the viable ones, we have many more rogue decks than I’d care to list right now

We do get formats where one deck dominates but that because there is far less randomness in Yu-Gi-Oh but outside that everything is very even.

Frankly in both games you can usually play a variety of decks, especially if it’s casual.

All in all both games have their strength just choose the one that appeal to you the most.

Source: Shane Neary

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