Chapter 190 – Yuuki, Looking Back at Gambling Mathematical Waves

So, the finals are starting and we received some interesting information regarding Yuuki’s ability.


So, apparently, if we plot Yuuki’s match results it forms a wave. Meaning for every match that Yuuki plays her performance gets better until she reached the peak of her current ability and then, Yuuki’s performance subsequently declines until she reached rock bottom wherein Yuuki’s performance climbs back again.

From what I could understand, this counts the whole match performance as a single data point in the graph. So that means Yuuki for the whole vanguard match is at the peak of her ability.  This is like Yuuki’s East boost ability written large and spread out through many matches.

The easiest expression of this ability is Yuuki’s tenpai rate in East 1. As Satoha observed, in the national tournament, Yuuki gots a Riichi on the 3rd turn in the quarterfinals. On the semifinals, Yuuki called on the 2nd turn to reach tenpai.

So following that logic, Yuuki should get tenpai on the first turn in the finals!

And what do you know, she did and even got freaking TENHOU!

In any case, while we wait for the next chapter, I’ve decided to go back to Yuuki’s earlier matches and see how exactly this ability works.

I. Quarterfinals


Yuuki’s performance in the quarterfinals follows our hypothesis.

Yuuki’s East 1 is ridiculous here.

For the first round (as Satoha mentioned), Yuuki called a riichi in the third turn. This meant that Yuuki reached tenpai at the 3rd turn of the game!

Said hand is also a bit hard to stop.  Before calling the riichi, Yuuki did not draw any useless tiles and when her opponent tried to disrupt said hand by calling, Yuuki still won (albeit with a lower valued hand than what she should have won).

More than that though and more interesting considering the implications for future chapters, Yuuki’s ridiculous tenpai speed continued throughout the East 1 bonus hands. Heck, in some rounds Yuuki is even faster

  • Extra Hand 1 – Take this round for instance. Yuuki was in tenpai from the very first turn.
  • Extra Hand 2 –  Yuuki declared double riichi for this round which meant she is once again tenpai for the first turn.
  • Extra Hand 3 – Yuuki is once again tenpai in the third turn. This time for a dealer mangan.

Regarding East 2, Yuuki is also in tenpai for the first turn. Though, I’m quite hesitant to include that since keeping said tenpai would have resulted in an aborted draw. Ultimately, Yuuki chose to break up her hand here and got her tenpai back in turn 8.


II. Semifinals

If we follow the pattern, Yuuki should be getting tenpai in the 2nd turn during this match.  And as we know, Yuuki did get a tenpai in the 2nd turn.

Case closed… That is what I would like to say…

But, to be honest, the semifinals result is a bit weird and doesn’t exactly follow the supposed pattern.

As you can see Yuuki’s hand is iishanten at the end of the 1st turn. With effective draws, it would take only two turns for Yuuki to get to tenpai.  Without any disruption, this would naturally fall unto the 3rd turn. 

The same thing could also be observed in the 1st Extra hand, Yuuki called in 2nd turn to reach tenpai and then won by a ron in the 3rd turn.

On the 2nd Extra Hand, we could also see that Yuuki has an iishanten hand at the end of her first turn.  After this, subsequent extra hands were skipped over until the fifth extra turn wherein we know Yuuki reached tenpai at the 7th turn.

This is a bit problematic because the new chapter is hinting that Yuuki is supposed to be faster in the semifinals than in the quarterfinals. Yuuki match records form a wave statistically and Hisa timed it so Yuuki is in the ascending curve.

But, if we compare Yuuki’s tenpai speed in the quarterfinals with the semifinals, I don’t actually see any notable speed increase? In fact, considering Yuuki was actually getting tenpai at the freaking first turn in the quarterfinals, Yuuki could be argued to be slower in the semifinal.

That said, if the pattern supposedly holds true and Yuuki is supposed to be faster here, I know what to blame –the change of playstyle.

 I’ve said it in a post before , but I’ve been a bit dubious about Yuuki’s calling strategy and its benefits for the semifinals. Analyzing the match with this new information, I’m even more convinced – Yuuki got nerfed by the calling strategy for this match.

I’ve observed that in Saki, players especially occult players couldn’t change their playstyle easily.  Beside that, there is also the mundane issue of not being comfortable or used to said style to bring it out to the full potential. Perhaps due to said issues, Yuuki got a bit underpowered in the semifinal than what she is supposed to be.

Another evidence in the table is Rinkai’s post-match analysis that Yuuki’s hand got faster as they went deeper into the game. Which could be seen as a sign that Yuuki slowly got used to said playstyle in the end but not quickly enough for her to benefit in the semifinals.

But, early enough for Yuuki’s change of playstyle to be a factor or even a gamechanger in the Finals.

Which I think what Hisa is counting on.

[su_quote]As Rinkai hypothesized, this style change is going to be useful when Yuuki is actually facing Teru. If you consider it that way, then the style has only advantages. After all, Yuuki’s explosive power mostly comes from the dora that she gets. But, in the finals, all the dora will go to Kuro. If calling not only speeds up Yuuki’s hand but gives Satoha some idea of her hand for cooperation, then yes, this style is worth its weight in gold for surviving Teru’s round.[/su_quote]

Td:lr : Due to other factors such as Yuuki’s change of playstyle in the semifinal, Yuuki’s power might behave here different than what is expected. 


So what does this mean for the remaining rounds of the finals?

At best (using the data from the quarterfinals), Yuuki has the potential to be in tenpai or better (cough Tenhou cough) at the start of the round as long as the match is in East 1. At worst (using the date from the semifinals), Yuuki should at the very least still have the 1st turn buff until the fifth extra turn of East 1.

So for the next chapter, I forsee Teru and Satoha trying to end Yuuki’s East 1 dealership.  Which I think they will succeed in especially if they combine forces.

It is too bad. In her current condition, I could actually see Yuuki fulfilling her badass boast of being the only one to roll the dice for the whole match. Unfortunately, her opponent is the number 1 and number 3 high school students.

Oh well…  that is not the only ace in Yuuki’s sleeve. After all, even when East 1 ends and Teru-time is in full force, there is the calling strategy that Kiyosumi took the risk to set-up in the semifinals is for.



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16 Responses to Chapter 190 – Yuuki, Looking Back at Gambling Mathematical Waves

  1. Cytrus says:

    Yeah, I noticed during the semis Yuuki wasn't getting faster, she actually seemed slower than during the quarters despite switching to the faster-on-average calling style.

    But she was already in double-riichi territory in the quarters, so there is only one way to go faster, that being tenhou/chihou.

    It seems like Yuuki was naturally going to peak during the semis, but Hisa prevented that. Normally, you would be satisfied with her at top condition during the semis, and then slightly slower during the finals, but Hisa does not think like that. She readjusted (delayed) Yuuki's curve with that forced playstyle change and put a lot of strain on Yuuki during the semis in hopes of getting a double bonus during the finals – Rinkai pick up on that suboptimal choice for the semis and realize that somebody in Kiyosumi is "already looking at the finals".

    And while Hisa rightly recognizes that she needs every weapon and advantage possible against Shiraitodai, Teru and the other finalists, you would not usually risk messing up everything with the forceful change and losing both Yuuki's speed curve AND comfortable playstyle in the finals, as well as putting the entire team at risk in the semis. However, for Hisa, this super greedy and risky plan is essentially a "bad wait", and thus a no-brainer for her.

    If you see the first East of the finals as Hisa's peak in the three years' bad bet on the finals layered on top of Yuuki's peak in East and curve, then even a tenhou might not be impossible.

    • nightsentinel09 says:

      So you think that the natural peak of the curve was supposed to be the semifinals but Hisa making Yuuki change tactics delayed it to the finals at the cost of possibly screwing both Yuuki’s semifinal and maybe even the final match (if said strategy didn’t work).

      Well, it is certainly possible. As you’ve said, this type of decision is pretty much in-line with Hisa’s life philosophy.
      I myself thought that the peak is actually scheduled at the finals. And Yuuki’s boost at East 1 looks something like this:

      Quarterfinals tenpai at 3 turns or less
      Semifinals: tenpai at 2 turns or less
      Finals: tenpai at 1 turn or less

      Hisa’s gambit in the semifinals is to obscure this ability and to prepare another weapon for Yuuki to use after the East Wind boost is over.

      That said, it could possibly be both…. It wouldn’t surprise me that not taking/delaying the full boost in the semifinals somehow makes the next boost stronger or something. Kinda like what you’ve said.

      Also, I kinda noticed the stealth hearthwarming at the end of the Vanguard match now.

      Hisa: Thanks for trusting me. You did well in the south second round.
      Yuuki: Prez words is final. I will always do as you say. djey

      And then remember, Yuuki took -17,800 points for this change of tactics. ^^

      • Cytrus says:

        Yes. Either way Yuuki was too slow during the semis – Satoha was consistently in tempai before her. So she was not properly tapping into whatever boost was available at the time because of the style adjustment. (Some magical tug-of-war in Yuuki's heart where the tiles want her to have both speed and power in closed hands, while Yuuki forces them into speed-only called hands.)

        While extreme speed can turn into points (double riichi, tenhou), most of the time what Yuuki wants for the finals is probably suboptimal for her style. It only becomes optimal because of the power level of Teru and Satoha being significantly above Yuuki's average and the nature of Teru's power (deployed over several consecutive hands, can be cut short).

        So Yuuki really did well during the semis with something that felt unnatural to her and messed up her luck. Notice that her biggest achievements in the semis all revolve around not playing into a hand or only playing into a cheaper wait – skill reliant things moreso than luck.

        • nightsentinel09 says:

          Yeah. I just decided to glance through the prefecture tournament and Yuuki's judgment ability then and now has certainly improved.

          I also think this wave statistic was noticed between the two tournaments or else Hisa would have arranged Yuuki's games so that she has the same boost in the prefecture.

          • Cytrus says:

            Yes, Hisa noticing between the tournaments seems natural to me. We still don’t know how long a span it is between her peak and lowest low – how long in advance you have to start adjusting for it to matter and how well Hisa understands the rules governing that wave for adjustment purposes.

            With Kuro’s dora drought, Haru is confident it’s about the number of games rather than time, for example. With Sawaya’s cloud/kamui, it seems to be time related. Yukiko has a very precise “once per day” limit etc.. From Nelly’s comments, it seems she has “set up” her luck patterns for the final since before the semis started, and it’s not ever sure if she can adjust those more in the short-term.

          • nightsentinel09 says:

            Heh. We're really collecting a lot of powers that has cooldown effect. Huh. ^^

            That said, I think Yuuki's curve is determined by "the number of games" instead of time. Hisa did say that she will control the number of games that Yuuki play or something to that effect.

          • Cytrus says:

            I agree that for Yuuki, it is number of games. The question mark here is that she "had to" start adjusting during (or even before) the semis. This is obviously suboptimal – you underperform during one important game AND lose the element of surprise. You would much rather adjust during throwaway games just like Haru does with Kuro.

            I see two possible answers:

            1) The number of games involved is so tremendous that there is no way to get them done between match days + trying to slip in one game of a different style would ruin the entire thing.

            2) The "weight" of a true tournament game is different for Yuuki. Kuro's drawback is like a single player game (her personal relationship with the dora/her mother's teachings), so it doesn't matter who or what style she plays when reviving her ability. But Yuuki might need to play games with real stakes to get the adjustment done.

  2. eth3reall0tus says:

    Definitely seems like this is going to be a fun Vanguard match, although so far it seems like Kuro's only role here is to hoard the dora. 10 years down the road should Yuki ever play in a team tournament again she has a realistic shot at surpassing Teru's record for ending a match (it was stated that Teru /could/ end a match on her own as Vanguard but only if the last dealer privileges line up for her, while Yuki /might/ be able to end it with successive East 1 bonus rounds forever.) I guess the real question now is how fast and how far can our little taco girl go in this match before Teru and Satoha come knocking.

    On a different note how many prospective Yakuman do you think we would see in this tournament? Yuki just got one, if foreshadowing is right Teru seems like she might get one off Yuki, Mako has the potential to get one, Takami has a possibility of getting several, we don't know just how strong Hao and Choe are so it's also possible they could do something (maybe Hao gets what would be counted as a Yakuman but only with Chinese rules) and lets not forget the veritable monster fest of a captain's match.

    • nightsentinel09 says:

      Oh definitely, in the future, Yuuki would be a terror of a vanguard. If her opponents aren't Satoha and freaking Teru, there is more than an even chance that Yuuki will be able to end the match in E1. Yuuki has 88k point lead at this point. So yeah…. ^^

      Come to think of it Kiyosumi is pretty much future proof considering that they would only be losing Hisa in the future. And as long as Hisa is still retained as a coach, she'll still be able to benefit Kiyosumi a lot.

      Regarding yakuman…As you've said, Teru has that nine lantern foreshadowing. Mako might have one. Takami due to her ability may have one. …. The Vice-Captain and the Captain is hard to guess though. If Nelly combines all of her boost in a single hand, she might have one. But, she already gave an indication that she'll be spacing them instead of crowding them at the end.

      Kinda dificult. But, it wouldn't surprise me if there is also one or two yakuman in the captain match. I also want to know what is the left hand thing about Nodoka or it might play into the individuals? Who knows?

      • eth3reall0tus says:

        One big thing about Nodoka is that she plays better when she's comfortable and more relaxed (actually doesn't the whole Kiyosumi team follow this pattern?) It could just be a "left handed person doing things left handedly is easier for them". At the same time it might also not be relevant, at least in the short term considering she was taught to play right handed since she was a child and might feel more awkward suddenly playing left handed.

        • nightsentinel09 says:

          Now that you mention it, Kiyosumi does have that sort of pattern? I wonder if it means anything?
          Regarding whatever it is that Nodoka's left hand would do, even if it won't come into play in the finals, I think it will come into play in the individual rounds.

  3. Moxxmix says:

    So, Teru did her mirror trick on Yuuki, and apparently didn't like what she saw (from her teammates' comments). It feels like Hisa set up two traps for Teru, in training Yuki.

    1) Perfect optimization of Yuuki's E1 speed. In particular, Teru's power doesn't come into play until the second round, so the longer Yuuki can push the bonus rounds, the more she can push Teru back. I expect that, for drama's sake, Teru is going to get a full yakuman run, but that Yuuki's earlier buffer will be enough to absorb the hit.

    2) Hisa got Yuuki to train in her alternate style, long enough to get used to it and claim it as her own. And on a related not, the one thing that can break Teru's trap sequence is fundamentally changing your style mid-game, such that the information from the mirror is no longer applicable. My prediction is that Hisa instructed Yuuki to go back to her original style later in the game, to completely undermine Teru's ability.

    Essentially, East 1 gives Yuuki a massive lead. This buffer is step 1. The remaining east will go to Teru, probably getting a yakuman in her own bonus rounds. Yuuki soaks that damage using her buffer, and then, as step 2, switches back to her original playstyle, which breaks Teru's ability to force the hand. Kuro's past experience with the same thing may also give her an edge in doing the same thing, though I'm not exactly sure what new change she's going to introduce. I also expect a step 3, because Hisa is too much of a pocket Xanatos to not plan that far ahead. Probably something related to the book Teru always seems to be reading.

    • nightsentinel09 says:

      I agree with you. Hisa is certainly not underestimating Teru – one whit!

      1} In many ways, I think despite how scary Yuuki is at E1, Hisa doesn't expect it to last considering if she did she would not have prepared the calling strategy for the semifinals. Which is kinda good? I don't think making a strategy that assumes you can take down the opponent at E1 is a good idea. You should always get a backup plan. I also agree that Teru hitting Yuuki with a yakuman is more than likely coming. We already have a preview of it after all. It might even be related to the whoo-whoo-whee thing that Awai said.

      2) This match would be a perfect litmus test for me if planned "game style" changes affect Teru. Most of the things that stopped Teru time is something that her opponents really couldn't conceive of at the beginning of the game. Toki doesn't know she can see three times ahead and Kuro isn't planning on letting go of a dora.

      • Cytrus says:

        Like you mention in point 2), I expect that no "planned game style change" can throw Teru off. Top players in this universe can often switch between playstyles mid-match, and we know it was never enough against Teru. What she sees in the mirror is not your current playstyle but your true nature as a person. So what you need to throw her off is mid-match character development – growing as a person.

        If Hisa wants to overturn that with a crazy gambit, she has to have left a "seed" in Yuuki's mind. Like finishing a strategy meeting with a: "Oh, one last thing. When push comes to shove, I allow you to have fun playing mahjong." And Yuuki is like "Huh?" at the time. Then, when Kuro discards a dora and everyone's hand values shoot up like crazy, Yuuki looks at her dora 5 iishanten opening hand and realizes: "It's okay if I have fun with this, right prez?" Or something like that xD.

        • Moxxmix says:

          That’s actually a good point, and we actually have the seed for exactly that, noted by nightsentinel09’s post, above: Yuuki will always follow Hisa’s instructions. She trusts Hisa completely and implicitly. The ‘break’ would be Yuuki doing something either counter to Hisa’s instructions, or just coming up with her own idea, rather than relying purely on doing what Hisa said.

          For double drama bonus, Hisa’s plan is as I speculated, but it doesn’t work (a deliberate failing on Hisa’s part?), and Yuuki is forced to improvise on her own. I would even really respect that, because Hisa is graduating after this year, and can’t be expected to be around in the future for Yuuki to rely on.

          Most ironic twist in Yuuki’s playstyle: Picking a bad wait to counter Teru.

  4. Pingback: Semifinals Side-B Vanguard Match Analysis Part 1 – Shenanigan and Some Setting Exploration – Randomwalloftext

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