If you're a regular reader of mine, you've probably noticed that like most Yugioh players, I'm not a big fan of alternate win condition decks. (I plan to go more in-depth about why at a later date.) But even though I dislike these kinds of decks, I feel like it's important to address a common bit of misinformation that often gets tossed around in dueling circles regarding them.
Most players say that alternate win conditions take absolutely NO skill. Whether that's because of a lack of desire to express nuance or a sincere belief, it's something that you probably hear often. I'm going to be honest here - most of that comes from the fact that players just don't like these decks. And I'm not saying you have to; obviously I don't either and there are legitimate reasons not to (that you'll hopefully see me discuss soon). But personally, I'm starting to get sick of people trying to legitimize their personal hatred of these decks with ridiculous arguments and statements that don't accomplish much at all.
Which one of these statements honestly sounds better to you?
A) "Ugh, I fucking hate those goddamn noobs and trolls and their stupid ass Chain Burn and Final Countdown. That shit takes NO skill at all!!!"
B) "I really don't like playing against alternate win condition decks. Not only do they take a lot of the fun out of Yugioh, but my opponent is essentially taking the easy way out of having an actual match. It's almost like a legal form of cheating."
If you picked B, then you're in good shape to keep reading this post. But if you picked A, then I think you might need to stop, take some time to reflect on yourself, and gain true insight into how much your emotions affect your better judgment and your actions as a person.
Anyways, the main point of this post is that alternate-win or otherwise "degenerate" decks are not entirely skill-less. They simply take different kinds of skill sets that often aren't required by most mainstream decks, and these skill sets are often less skill-intensive as a whole. The simple truth is that, like it or not, Chain Burn takes planning and a strong understanding of Chain Links in order to use proficiently. Final Countdown takes an emphasis on timing. And Exodia requires knowledge of how to get the most out of your draw cards. There are tons more examples of decks that don't play Yugioh by what's traditionally considered "fair" or "normal," but that's just the tip of the iceberg from what I've observed. Hopefully you get the point.
Does that mean that people can't randomly pick up these decks and win anyways because they just don't take as much skill? No, it doesn't mean that, because things like that can and will happen. But phrases like less skill or different skills are simply not equivalent to no skill, and if you can't see that, then your emotional feelings towards these decks are probably getting in the way.