I was born and raised in a small town of nearly ten thousand. We didn’t have any locals and our card pool was minimal at best. I was one of the few who, on weekends, would travel to an outside local called Wizards Tower. Needless to say the first time I arrived at Wizards Tower, I had to read every card, including cards as simple as normal monsters and as frightening as Exodia. In the early time before I even was made aware of locals, I had traded my win condition at least once and somehow in the end got it back and something better.
This is a story about how my first locals and my truest friend came nine years apart.
The first deck I ever brought to locals was definitely not legal. It consisted of roughly a big pile, like most little kids. I believe I also ran four or five Summoned Skulls. All of my cards at the time were either from starter decks or a couple of packs for which I managed to save up. My favorite combo to play on people was Aqua Madoor face down and Summoned Skull the turn after. I always thought I was so clever. It was very simple back then. You either played beater or Exodia.
I had seen the show a little bit and when I asked my first opponent which deck he played. I was surprised to hear his answer. Exodia, he told me. This made me assume his deck had Dark Magician and really slow draw power. I figured I had the game in the bag. I started the game as he so politely allowed. I made my regular combo of face down Aqua Madoor and ended my turn. Traps and Spells had not really been of any interest to me. I was more fixated on powerful monsters. He played Pot of Greed and drew his two cards and followed that play with Painful Choice. He selected his five cards in roughly this order, Left Arm, Right Leg, Right Arm, Sangan, and Witch of the Black Forest. I selected his Witch of the Black Forest to be brought to his hand. He summoned the Witch and placed one card face down then passed.
I played the sucker and sacrificed my Aqua Madoor into Summoned Skull. I attacked into his monster and started calculating battle damage for his ‘mistake’. A second later he retrieved a piece of Exodia to his hand with the effect of the Witch, and then triggered Backup Soldier, winning the Game.
My first match ended in roughly the same way as game one. Exodia became etched in my mind at this time. I ended up taking a fairly lengthy break from Yugioh. I returned a couple of years later while working for my father’s business. I invested into a mediocre Zombie based deck and won a couple of matches with it. I believe even my first tournament win. Though, Mr. Ban Hammer and a couple of sets later caused my successes to slow. Surely enough about a year into returning to the game I face another Exodia based deck. This time it was much weaker due to the before mentioned ban hammer and I swiftly defeated it. Somehow, it remained in the back of my head as something I needed to get my hands on.
Eventually, through trades and successful pulls I managed to build my own Exodia Deck. It was not nearly as devastating as the first I had played, but it sufficed. I enjoyed it for a couple of years even though it lost all the time. I had gone from being someone with Zombies, to a real noob with Exodia. It was flashy when I did manage to win though.
I became bored of the game and took another very long break. One day after stumbling upon an old episode of Yugioh 5D’s I found myself slightly interested in the game again. I had already moved into the much larger city nearby and there was a local near with the same name at a different location. Wizards Tower had expanded at this time into another part of the city. I arrived with my old Exodia deck and was harshly defeated by all. Though I quickly gained the support of the other players who helped me learn about how to play at a more effective level.
More importantly, I learned about Synchro Monsters. That was a very large step. About six months had passed and my experience grew. I fooled around with X-Sabers and other decks acquiring a bit of a name for myself. I don’t think even now I stack up against the guys, but every now and then I surprise them with the plays I can pull off and that’s all I need. I don’t expect to beat them all the time. Most of the people at my locals have topped regionals and some have placed very well in nationals. I have my greatest achievement at top twenty in regionals. I am far away from being any sort of pro.
Then came a day I ran into someone at the store with a fairly large collection of cards. He had Synchro monsters and other things that I had required and was seemingly only interested in my Exodia. I traded it to him with some hesitation; but, I knew it would never see play in my hands, and it would possibly see play in his. He and I ended up spending most of the day talking at locals; we had a lot in common outside of card games. I ended up needing a ride home and through the coaxing of one of my friends the collector provided me with that ride. About a week later, the collector and I were together. Our relationship only lasted about six months, but even now after splitting up he and I are still best friends. Eventually he returned Exodia to me knowing the sentimental value it held. It brought me the pain of my first defeat and the best friend I could ever ask for.
Just as I had done in my childhood, I traded my win condition and somehow in the end got it back and something better.
Thank you for reading.