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General guide about optimal play in Yomi

Hi !
By reading players’ comments on the Steam shop Yomi page, I was surprised about how distinct are players’ ways to play the game. Many players complain about pure random and I wondered if explaining how I play Yomi could help people figure out why I love this game so much ! This guide is not intended to be as useful as character guides to help you getting better at Yomi. Of course a general optimal play guide is a stupid idea especially on how match-ups play differently each ones from each others and how the yomi part of Yomi is the essence of the game. I’m assuming you’ve already read this article from David Sirlin about solvability.

Playing “optimally” is your referential before determining what is donkeyspace and if you should dive in it. To determine what is your optimal mixup, we’ve got to enumerate what information you’ve access to and how pertinent is each of these elements.

  1. Health Points

  2. What’s in your opponent’s hand

  3. What’s in your hands


  1. Health points
    You’re incentivised to gather resources early in the game to widen your options and to potentialize your wins with pump-ups and combos. Blocking is an obvious way to draw cards but card-efficient options are an excellent way to diversify your mixup. Normal attacks can make you draw a card but they sometime are more useful saved for a knockdown, powering-up for an ace and pumping-up special moves. If you want to play a combo, think twice about it being card efficient (is searching for an ace enough ? does this extra-damage worths a card in less ?). In the late game however, you’re incentivised to burn your ressources with dodges and big combos. Look for the winning move, zero health and minus thirty are worth the same on your tournament report. Don’t forget that you need to influence the pace of the game because some characters can snowball better than others (Gloria and Arg want long games and Setsuki and BBB shorter ones).

  2. What’s in your opponent’s hand

Previous moves, what’s in discard and what’s opponent’s handsize are of course a source of information about what’s in your opponent hand. Predicting a big combo or a Rewind Time is really important to determine what’s your optimal move. Don’t forget that jokers are more drawn by Gwen and Grave than by DeGrey and Jaina. The psychological aspect of opponent’s hand is overexploited by most players but in this part we’re thinking about optimal play and not mindtricks. Don’t forget that some character have a far more balanced RPS triangle (Valerie and Troq) than others (Lum and Onimaru).

  1. What’s in your hands

Own’s hand valuation can seem trivial but it isn’t. You’ve first got to value what’s the reward of your options considering the health points and how much you can get from a KD. Then, the trickiest and most important is to weight it by the predictability of your options for this turn. Last, is your predictability punishable ? Is your opponent susceptible to be depleted from one type of card like Zane or Midori or has he so many options that leaves him the opportunity to play the same RPS element ten times in a row like Quince and Persephone ?

Your move choice should take into account the resources spent, the risk incurred, the reward you’d get from a win and the predictability of your move.

Figuring out what optimal play can be is a thing but you’ve to dive into donkeyspace to win tournaments. For this, the DrFaustus’ guide is a reference.

Thanks to have read, by the way I’m not a native english speaker so please help me correct my mistakes and weird sentences !