3 Years of Growth: As a person, a player, and a game.

Welcome YuGiOh! players!  Many of us have played the game since the start, and plan to continue until well into the future. I, myself started along with my brother when the first series began and along with that the first Starter Decks: Yugi and Kaiba.  I cannot pinpoint exactly when I stopped playing, about 2005-2006.  For 2-3 years I never even thought about the game, didn't bother pulling my cards from wherever I chose to store them and just looking at them for the fun of it.  It wasn't until the end of my freshman year of high school I even saw a Yu-Gi-Oh! card outside of the house.  It was that day that I re-entered into a world I forgotten about.  Just walking through the lunchroom and seeing 2 guy's playing strange and different strategies I never even thought would exist.  Now needless to say I was that kid who thought: "Hey now!  I could totally trash these guys!" only to be the one trashed the next day.  It was at that moment I was sucked back into the world of Yu-Gi-Oh! And boy has it been a great 3 years so far.

Year 1: The start of the scrub

So when I came back into playing Yu-Gi-Oh! as a game I had not a clue what I was doing.  Yu-Gi-Oh! is not a bike I could just climb back on and start my riding over again.  Playing again takes time and patience to become a better player.  It also took money which at the time I did not have, only being a 16 year old kid with no time for a job I had to make due with trades and hopefully getting a good deal out of it.  So to start a game that was about money and who had it, as I just happened to get right in the middle of Tele-Dad format, I improvised.  First playing a scrub Spellcaster deck that I loved and built myself, to Jumangi, then Macro-Mill.  As I started to play more and go to the local card shop more, I became an overall better player.  I discussed different  strategies with different people and watched my friends play out tough matches, that I learned from just as much as they did.  I grew to enjoy the game and still be majorly competitive.  That is by far one of the things I want to stress above all, even if you are trying to be the best have fun doing it!  There is no reason to get stressed, because you lost to a" broken" combo that you have never heard or seen before.  When I first started playing at the Dragon's Den I was fortunate to get demolished by Tele-Dad.  I saw the goal of where I wanted to be, a player who knows what to play and when to play it.

Year 2:  Skills begin to evolve

Over the last year of me playing, I witnessed a couple things:  My first Tele-Dad thrashing, Ban-list (That I knew about), Meta and what exactly it was, and my first Regional top.  This year was the year I felt I became a better player overall in deck making.  Even a little while after I had started back up my decks sucked.  I only became better by going through my deck, not being satisfied with something and trying out different formulas to come up with the best ideal deck type.  Thus my first real competitive deck was born: My Daddy's Psycho.  Basically Tele-Dad with psychics to counter the lack of cards after the ban list.  I played my first Regionals with it that year and had to play my best friend the round before top 8 and it has to be my favorite match as we both thought we were on the bubble.  However we still made it into top 8 out of....27 people who all got invites as Konami was trying to get as many people into nationals at the time.  It was shortly after that that key cards in my deck were banned  or limited and thus I had to come up with a new deck:  Gladiator Beasts.  The lesson I obtained from playing with such a control based deck was being as conservative as possible and picking my plays to get full value out of my cards.  It was a skill the game taught me and I try and keep that in mind when playing today, getting the full value out of each of my turns, plays and individual cards.  I played GB's for the rest of the format and didn't change it up until by far the best set since I started playing came out.  Duelist Revolution.

Year 3:  The mere baby "pro"

Duelist Revolution, is by far one of the fastest sets that has sold at my local store, with Photon Shockwave beating it just recently it seems.  DREV was the set I play tested with long before it even came out and it didn't take that much time to get used to the deck that I fell in love with and still am today: Scraps.  Scraps is the archetype I started to truly become a great player in the mid-west.  It was last year where I played in the Regionals here in town where DREV was first legal.  I'm not going to give you a detailed story of the day, however that was the day I felt far more accomplished in any other tournament before then.  I lost my first round and worked my way to the top 8 for that tournament, beating out my friend who beat me first round who came in 9th.  Remember earlier when I was thrashed by Tele-Dad well this is where I meet a new goal.  My top 8 match was with someone who I had no idea existed...Ryan Newburn.  He was using the Worlds mat he had gotten that previous year and honestly I believe my only comment on it was neat.  I got thrashed of course 2-0 mainly due to dead hands, but to also amazing plays done by him, ones I couldn't bounce back from.  When my close friend came up to me after the match he asked: "Do you know who you just played?"  I just stared blankly and commented on how great of a player he was.  Realizing who exactly he was put a new goal for me hopefully to be accomplished this next summer at nationals.

Year 4: Overview

Three Years have come and gone and I am ready to continue on with my adventure in the game of Yu-Gi-Oh!  Over the years I have become a better player with making the right choices, a better person by welcoming in new friends to the community and seen the game evolve over the last 3 years with faster and more controlling decks out there.  I am hoping that this next year I am lucky enough to go to Nationals with the invite I earned 2 months ago at Maplewood and start on my pro career.  My goals have evolved as a player and as the game has changed as well.  It is one thing that I expect everyone to do set a goal, a reasonable goal.  Reaching the newest threshold is the only way we as players can better ourselves, and we as people better ourselves.  For now this is just a brief introduction to who I am as a player and soon I will be talking about a recent goal I accomplished: Judging.  Till then peace out guys, this is "Cyclops" (get it?) catch ya'll next time.

Scott Sommers

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Dragon's Den