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Self-Analysis - Do you do it?

I was listening to an interview with Annie Duke. She was talking about Phil Ivey and why he is a great poker player. She said that after he won a major tournament, he did not celebrate and focus on how great he played. He immediately went in and analyzed his play during the tournament looking for errors in his play.

Are you able to do this after your matches? If so, do you do it only after wins or do you focus on losses? Do you only watch replays from more of your high profile matches?


I am very conscious of this and try to do it after both wins and losses, but

  1. I’m not really able to do thorough analysis with any consistency, sometimes it becomes very superficial or second-guessy (“Of course he was going to play the super, can’t believe I went for the throw there”)


  1. Even when I do derive useful lessons, they don’t necessarily stop me from making the same mistakes over again in future matches, when I get stressed or flustered.

So I definitely have a ways to go in this area.


When I look at my own replays, I sometimes see subtle “tells” that I don’t pick up on in real time. My opponent may drop a hint in their play that they don’t have a dominant throw, dodge, joker, or something else. I think this helps me to hone in on the subtleties of the game.


I would like to add an interesting thing to note that I have found from watching other player’s replays. While still rare, I have seen this happen quite a few times. Player A forfeits the match because player B won combat, and Player A assumes they have a lethal follow-up. Sometimes Player B doesn’t have lethal. I have seen people forfeit matches that they still had a chance to win.


It’ll come with time. The first step in breaking a bad habit is being aware of it, though it definitely stings to lose games to errors you’re already aware of. Luckily, the more an error hurts, the more it will condition you to avoid making it in the future.


I haven’t done this so much with Yomi, but I used to do this a lot playing tournaments for other card games. The trick was always that I’d keep track of life totals on paper, which is a thing each player should be doing so that if there’s a discrepancy it can be resolved more easily, but each time life was gained or lost I would also develop a shorthand notation to keep track of what the source of that change was. That way, when looking back through all the notes taken throughout the day, I have a demonstrable visual indicator of what cards are directly causing my wins/losses (and if post-sideboard made any significant changes).

Yomi’s decision making relies too much on your opponent’s thought process, though. Evaluating past mistakes is necessary to get better against that player far more than it helps your matchups against that character. Looking at a character’s reference card for a minute or two is enough to tell you what their optimal options are during play, but if you assume your opponent will only play at the first level of thought, you’re gonna have a bad time. If there’s one person that you keep playing against over and over, evaluations might help you learn that player’s thought process, but almost none of that knowledge will be useful when you go on to fight against a different player, even if the characters are the same.

I guess what I’m getting at is that most of your useful evaluating with Yomi is going to happen in the middle of a game, rather than afterward.


This is only assuming that valuation is not more important in Yomi than individual combat reveals, which it almost entirely is. Yes, your opponent CAN win by simply winning every combat, even with horrible returns on each win, but maximizing your play increases the amount of times you win across the board, since sometimes you’re just going to get blown up anyway in this game.

In other words, strongly disagree.

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Hunh? I’m not talking about individual combat reveals, but about examining an opponent’s move to figure out why they decided to play what they played and using that information to help inform future decisions against that player. My point is that such information is useful with a set of games against a single opponent, but if you try to apply the same patterns to other players it will probably not work nearly as well.

I guess there are some things about your own plays and combos you can improve on through testing and evaluation of games, but I’ve personally always made more progress in that regard just by taking a deck to the lab - grabbing some paper and a pen and figuring out where the highest damage, damage per card and fastest attack/throw combos are, which cards are needed for those combos and which are better used for pumps, defensive options, etc. I learn those things through math and problem solving, as well as how to apply those rules to variable hands and conditions through theorycraft much easier than I do trying to retroactively ‘solve’ a previous game.

I should note I also spend more time with the physical game than I have with the digital client, which makes looking back on your gameplay into much, much more of a hassle. This is why I prefaced my post by talking about the normal process in a physical game and comparing it to Yomi, which would force you to record far more information to get an accurate summary of what caused you to make each decision and what might have been done differently. Solving sample hands and scenarios to get accustomed to the decision making is much easier in this context than the process of manually noting and preserving the gamestate to recreate each turn before doing what is ultimately the same puzzle.

This is a friendly reminder that the thread’s question was ‘Do you do it?’ You might find that different methods work for you, and that’s fine. But please do not tell me that I am wrong on my opinion of my own thought process and what works best for myself. While I admit that my language could have been more clear, I never meant to claim that no one can learn anything from post-match evaluations. I merely assert that there are other ways of figuring out that information which I personally find more effective, which means that outside of that study period, any evaluation I perform is player-specific. There’s no need to start a war, here.


Disagreeing with someone is not starting a war. You said “most of your (ED: universal statement) useful evaluating with Yomi is going to happen in the middle of a game” and I disagreed. If you intended it to be a personal statement, you should have said “my”.

Valuation is not limited to deciding what your max damage combo is. It’s being able to detect the optimal play based on what the opponent has played, not by making guesses, but by assessing their remaining strong options based on what they have done. This is the hardest thing to get better at in Yomi. Since you haven’t played online much, note that the best players in the game still only win 60% of their games, but this margin is attained by valuation over a long period.

So maybe you don’t personally do this self-analysis (I sure don’t; I know my mistakes almost as soon as I make them in-game) but improving in this sort of valuation is really the best way to increase win-rate in the long term.

You should come join some of the events we have here on the online client. It’s a great way to play.


Ah, but I never said you only take your own deck to the lab. I’ve done this with the majority of the cast (admittedly never got around to a couple), and doing this certainly helps give me an idea of what the other player’s game flow is like. Of course, not every player will look at the numbers and draw the same conclusions, and they’re also trying to play around my own choices, so how the opponent behaves won’t always fall along the nash. Player-specific evaluation and pattern recognition is the final piece of that puzzle, but the rest of the homework can be done beforehand and it just becomes a matter of watching their discard for insight of what their hand may hold.

Also, Yeah, I noticed discussion elsewhere of peak player win percentages, and that sounds about right. I actually used to work a few years ago as developer of one of those card games we aren’t allowed to talk about here which happened to have a digital client we could pull a bunch of statistics from and the numbers were fairly similar for that game’s tournament scene. I am fully aware that as much as every little bit helps, all the planning and pre-meditation in the world can only do so much. It just ruins the fun when you say it out loud. :slight_smile:

I probably will try to hop in to an event at some point, schedule permitting, just to see how well I hold up if not for anything else. I’m sure I’ll get utterly trounced, of course, as these things go, but it will be interesting to see things play out nonetheless.

Oh, and my apologies on the war comment, which I admit was a bit extreme. I read your post far more personally directed than you probably intended. Again, I wasn’t trying to make a generalized statement. It was more of a royal ‘we’ situation, like when streaming and you phrase statements that way even if you’re the only one actually doing anything. Or like in the previous sentence, where ‘you’ is describing my own personal experience that others might share, rather than you specifically or the general you which assumes a universal truth.


I do some amount of self-analysis just by virtue of the way I commentate my own games. I tend to do self-commentary by “playing along” with the match in progress, for the most part. The main takeaway from this has been: (1) I don’t check my opponent’s discard very often, (2) I don’t check my own discard nearly often enough.

More focused and consistent valuation of my opponent’s hand would improve my game a lot, I’m sure. Simultaneously tracking my opponent’s likely valuation of my hand would also serve me really well in a lot of cases.


Raise your hand if you have ever played an Oni face card without checking for the proper suit for Final Authority. Raises hand. How pathetic.


Oh hey, I lost a tournament match because of that mistake! :smiley:


Not me. I I don’t generally make that kind of oversight. My mistakes are usually more of overthinking/not playing the “obvious”, Layer 1-good options enough, and with some characters, going too low hand early and/or spending options I’ll need later for mediocre returns.

Not that I’m bragging, the upshoot of this is that I can’t win a close endgame to save my life (or my matches at any rate).

Yeah, those are pretty typical mistakes for people as they start playing.

I woudn’t stress out too much about losing end-game coinflips though. As much as possible, your goal is going to be to not reach a coinflip scenario at all. Once you’re in a coinflip situation, you make the best decision you can based on what you know, and sometimes you still lose those.

Now, if you can identify a real pattern in why you lose coinflips consistently, that’s all well and good. But I would caution against assuming that a pattern exists. Sometimes you just get unlucky more often than you would expect.