Theory, theory… I can’t really write any. It’s all so very theoretical. Instead of that I can give you right here right now, today, a piece of advice that is sure to help most beginner and some intermediate players, and it is about consistency.
What I mean when I talk about consistency in your discards is… be faithful to your logic/style/beliefs/school of thought/theories/experience/that sixth sense for the occult that always helps you win/whatever. I’m not saying you should stick to what you know and never change it, you probably should improve your game every time more, but what I mean is… if you’re going to suddenly change your whole game, don’t do it in the middle of a game. Or even worse, in the middle of a hand. If you’re digital, don’t suddenly go occult because you had a sudden hunch; or if you’re occult, don’t go digital just because you’ve begun doubting yourself due to that mangan you dealt into the hand before.
It’s painful to see a guy switching between aiming for ittsuu or chanta three discards in a row, just to get himself into furiten later on because he couldn’t decide on one when he had to. You should remember that every one of your discards should have a meaning and a reason to it. If you go one way or another “just because” then your results will be substandard.
It doesn’t matter your belief, your system or your method, all discards can (and will) backfire at one point. If you panic at that point and attempt to play it off as if nothing happened, switching courses yet again, in a half-assed way, then your results will be half-assed too. Instead, you should remember the reason why you chose to go one way, and whether straying from that course will be beneficial or not in reality.
If at one point you considered a path to be inferior to another and you destroy that shape, when that shape comes back (if it comes back) it will be a lot weaker than at the time you destroyed it. So you must really think twice whether you wanna switch roads again. Is it really worth of it?
Also, if you happen to lose consistency because you are starting to doubt, don’t! Make sure your discards have a sound reason and intent for them (it doesn’t matter if they’re right or wrong, superstitious or logical, they just need to have a purpose to carry out) and if they manage to carry out their purpose, then you’re winning in a way!
When you learn better strategies, you’ll send your tiles to accomplish better purposes, but don’t just dispatch a lot of your units into quests just to cancel them halfway through.
If anything, think before you discard. Most of the time it’s as simple as that.