Yu-Gi-Oh! Bluffing Guide

Yu-Gi-Oh! Bluffing Guide by bigwin408

I did a guide earlier about “The Power of Knowledge” and it was pretty popular. So, I decided to do a sequel about bluffing. If you haven’t read the first guide, click here.

Uh… Bigwin408, I already know about bluffing, what could you possibly teach me?

Well, maybe you know that Artifacts are pretty sneaky, but do you know how to bluff in ways to make your opponent misplay in such a way that could cost them the game? Do you know how to recognize obvious bluffs? Can you incorporate The Power of Knowledge into your bluffs?


Oh, sorry for wasting your time. Have a nice day.

Uh, no.

Well, luckily I’m going to teach you the mastery of the bluff! Let’s start at the beginning…

I’m a newb; what is a bluff?

A bluff is an attempt at giving a perfectly logical opponent an incorrect perception of the state of your field. Here’s a simple bluff I’m sure everyone has tried/will try at one point or another:

  1. Draw Dark Hole while there are no monsters on the field.
  2. Set Dark Hole.

This extremely simple bluff gives your opponent the impression of you having a dangerous trap card like Bottomless Trap Hole while in reality the card is completely useless.

More examples?

Well, here’s an example of a monster bluff (also pretty simple)

  1. Activate Gear Gigant XG’s effect to add Superheavy Samurai Swordsman.
  2. Set Giant Rat.

Because you just added a monster to your hand, your opponent will be under the impression that you had the intent to use it immediately. This will make them think that your face-down monster is the Swordsman, so when they attack it with a monster that has a low enough attack stat so they won’t be seriously affected by the cripple, they’ll watch in horror as your Giant Rat summons Superheavy Samurai Big Benkei! Use the Benkei to attack over the monster and deal serious damage.

Remember, your opponent isn’t stupid; if you use Reinforcement of the Army to add Goblindbergh and set something else, they won’t assume that’s a Goblindbergh. Your bluff play should be a good enough of a play so that your opponent is fooled; if you make an obviously bad move, they’ll assume a bluff.

Commenting on the last guide, Pigknight made an excellent point about shuffling your hand. If you add a card from your deck to your hand, shuffle your hand afterwards. If your opponent sees the card in your hand, they can track the position of the card. Facing an opponent who does this makes a good bluff nearly impossible! By shuffling, you can “protect the knowledge.” Another way to protect knowledge is to not set cards until the end of your main phase 2, so your opponent doesn’t know what’s in your hand until the last possible moment.

Bluffs are pretty tricky. You said I could learn to spot them?

On an even field (you’re not sure whose winning), it’s pretty hard to spot a bluff, even for the experienced. However, if you’re not in game 1, infer what you know about the opponent. If you saw him activate Royal Decree last game and he sets 4, then he’s probably bluffing.

However, if you have control over the field, it becomes pretty obvious, especially in today’s format. This is a time where everyone is under the mentality that you should set all of your traps immediately because the “nuke” cards (Black Rose Dragon, Exciton Knight, Judgement Dragon) are all irrelevant in the meta game. So, with this mentality, unless your opponent drew a ton of cards at once, then he should only be setting one back row per turn at most. If he’s in a desperate situation (his cards in his hand can’t stop the next turn’s slaughter), he may set all of the cards in his hand to scare you. If someone does this, don’t be afraid; push hard for game. In fact, if you’re in a desperate situation, I recommend that you only set one card. This play will raise a lot more red flags than if you set 3. It’s even better if it’s the card you drew; don’t shuffle your hand and immediately set it to the field. A watchful opponent will immediately think you drew a game-changing trap and play extremely cautious.

But if everyone knows a bluff, can I really bluff?

If you’re feeling daring, you can try some major bluffs. Major bluffs are essentially playing with cards you don’t have. Let’s see an example:

  • Life Points: Both are at 1000.
  • Opponents’ Field: Number 39: Utopia
  • Your Field: Galaxy Serpent
  • Your Hand: Herald of Orange Light and Cloudian – Smoke Ball

If this was the field, my recommendation is to attack the Utopia with Galaxy Serpent. This will make your opponent paranoid of an Honest in your hand, so they will activate Utopia’s effect to negate the attack. Chain Herald of Orange Light to negate the effect and attack for game. It’s a risky move, but I can almost guarantee that you will be in a situation where this type of maneuver is useful.

Awesome! But, you said I can abuse The Power of Knowledge?

This may take some deck preparation, but a skilled duelist can bluff in such a way so that their opponent thinks they have The Power of Knowledge, but in reality they’re playing the wrong cards. I think an example is the best way to prove my point:

Here’s my Dark World deck.

Assume you play this deck and go first (Game 1) with this hand:

  • Terraforming
  • Malefic Stardust Dragon
  • Dark World Dealings
  • Broww, Huntsman of Dark World
  • Ring of Destruction

Well, you could draw with Broww and Dealings, but that gives your opponent The Power of Knowledge. With The Power of Knowledge, your opponent will feel comfortable making the Abyss Dweller that stops you dead in your tracks. Instead, let’s bluff our entire deck! Activate Terraforming to add Chicken Game, activate Chicken Game (and its effect of course), then summon Malefic Stardust Dragon. Set the back row and end. Your opponent now thinks you’re playing Malefics, which Abyss Dweller is useless against! Huzzah! Your opponent’s turn starts, and they’ll spend resources towards cards like Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer and not that dreaded Abyss Dweller. Your opponent made a bad move because they thought they had The Power of Knowledge, when in reality you just skillfully bluffed.

If you’re feeling cool, you can combine the previous strategy with the surrendering strategy in Guide #1 to make your opponent side in the wrong cards. It’s situational and devious, so props to you if you can pull it off.

I hope these bluffing tips make you a better duelist.

TL,DR Set Dark Hole and end.

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