Picture yourself in a duel tournament adrenaline rushing through you with thrill and excitement from the match but suddenly you are cornered into a rocky situation you are stuck in the duel with little to almost no way out of your opponent’s will you are doomed as a result you lose. Oh no! game two you are sweating,and freaking out what do you do?Wat can you do? The only reasonable thing to do at this desperate moment my friend is time to side deck and trust in the heart of the cards for that is your only hope. (After all in reference to the Yu-Gi-Oh! abridged series you are not a billionaire like Seto Kaiba you cannot just summon a bunch of monsters in one turn and expect to win he has a lot of money and green hair so he can twist the rules like that.)
The side deck is crucial to the game like the main deck it is just as important because it will help determine the player's round advancement in the meta game format. In order to make a good side deck competitive a a player must first take a look at the meta. He or she must know or find out what are the top tier one decks that people are playing whether is at locals regionals or championships. Currently the format in Yu-Gi-Oh! most commonly consist of lock down and one turn kill (OTK) which is special summoning swarming with back row popping cards to the occasional field wiping decks for direct damage. Some of the most notable top tier decks capable of this include X-Sabers,Elemental Hero Variants,Grave Keepers, Fish OTK, Six Samurais, Dragunities, Formula Monarchs, Gladiator Beasts, and plant hybrid based decks like Dandy, Tengu, and Dopple Warrior.
With decks like this in mind the next step is to figure what cards you can put in your side deck that will hurt those decks in order to shut them down. Not only does a card or cards in the side deck (how many repeats of it you decide to play) have to hurt a certain deck archetype but in order to take full use of your side deck the card(s) must hurt several other decks as well. By doing this the card(s) becomes more versatile after all your space for the side deck is limited to fifteen so make the best of it. Things to consider in the side deck can also counter side deck cards your opponent could possibly use against you. What I mean by this is your opponent is going to side deck against you at some point in the game to increase his chances of winning over you right? so why not put a card(s) that will make their side deck useless. Thus making their chances of winning more futile because they took cards out from their deck to side against you so the advantage goes back to you because you have got a response to counter theirs, basically their deck is thinned from getting luck of drawing something that can cost you the game or match. This makes sense because Yu-Gi-Oh! like many other card games is based on luck and skill just because you have got a better hand does not guarantee you are certain to win unless is a really broken hand that could make you win instantly. My point with this argument is that by doing this (siding against their side deck) you have made your opponent’s side deck less problematic to you. Field control gives advantage to keep oppressing the opponent during the game, that's why they had to side deck against you in the first place because their main deck cannot handle yours.
In my quest to find the best universal side deck cards I have done some research by looking at the YCS Charlotte, Orlando and Anaheim side deck card choices from the players and play testing them and found the following to be so of the most helpful:(I bolded and underlined important things and where the card is useful for)
Chain Disappearance—–This card kills Dragunities, and Fish OTK also affects Fableds,Plant Hybribs,Formula Monarchs,Six Samurais.
Prohibition——Anti Side deck card and great for calling anything that could cost you the game like effect veiler or problematic cards.(use wisely as it requires knowledge of how decks work and what they run to be able to call those pesky cards)
Malevolent Catastrophe—-Gets rid of those intimidating back rows that oppressing decks can have like Gladiator Beats for example.
Skill Drain—–Like Prohibition this card is an out choice that can almost always help just make sure it doesn't make things worst for you because if you negate monsters effects your beaters have to be stronger while siding this card to win. Best against Dragunities, Fish OTK, Plant Hybrids,Formula Monarchs,Six Samurais,Gladiator Beasts, X-Saber and GraveKeepers.
(Do not use against Blackwings and Elemental Heroes because they got higher beaters and do not seem to care much about it, Blackwings can still special summons from the hand and synchro from the grave)
Discord—Shuts Down Synchro spam decks and stops OTK like Flanvell Lightsworms, X-Sabers, Tengu/Dopple Plants,Dragunity,Formula Monarchs also anything that abuses Synchros like the feared HYPER LIBRARIAN FORMULA which abuses the effects of hyper librarian and formula synchron to draw an entire hand and then synchro again to OTK you or lock you down trying to summon all or most of the Naturia Beast Synchro Monsters which can be done with level eater and DNA transplant.)
Mirror of Oaths/Corridor of Agony—-Kills Gladiators Beasts and stops special summoned monsters from the deck cards like mystic tomato, Pyramid Turtle, Giant Rat, Mother Grizzly, Shinny Angel, Nova summoners and etc.
Closed Forest—Kills Dragunities and Grave Keepers and other decks using field spells like possibly Elemental Heroes for better results side or main an Ancient Fairy Dragon to destroy a field spell gain life point and fetch Closed Forest then hold on to it to destroy the remaining field spell once it get placed on field.
D.D. Crow/ Crevice into a Different Dimension/Big Burn—-Remove From play monsters in the grave to prevent the opponent from doing shenanigans. This can affect Black Wings, Light Sworm variants, X-Sabers, Fish OTK, Dragunity, Formula Monarch and anything that relies on the graveyard to special summon.
Super Polymerazation and Dragon knight Draco -Equiste—–Think about it this can affect x-saber, six sams, elemental heroes(also light gemini beat variant), malefic skill drain(malefic dragons),hopeless dragon,dandy warrior,dragunity, not to mention that almost all the good generic synchros are dragon like stardust, black rose, scrap dragon,trishula and etc so stealing them with poly is pretty cool and once in a while players to run or side deck their own other non themed warrior like dd warrior ladies. so teal your opponents warriors or dragons to prevent from having fied advantage and turn the game around. also the dragon draco does not mention the warrior has be a Synchroor Non-Synchro so you coul either .Colossal Fighter, Drill Warrior,Goyo,Gaia Knight,Junk Archer,Junk Warrior, Nitro Warrior, Road Warrior, T.G. Power Gladiator , Turbo Warrior and etc. So get their synchro dragons and either a synchro or non synchro warrior mons. specially red nova and shooting star and upcoming quasar dragon
Cyber Dragon and Chimeratech Dragon—–Well this most players know but with cyber dragon on any side of the field along with another machine monster lets you fusion Chimeratech Dragon. Like Dragon Synchro Monsters there is a lot of machine type Synchros and in the Synchro Spectrum only a level one and eleven is need to finish all of the possible levels. All of the Ally Justice Synchros are Machines type and chances are most people have an Ally Justice Catastor in their extra deck along with Formula Synchron and possibly T.G. Halberg Cannon or T.G. Blade Blaster. Also this cards Kills Karakuries and Machina Gadgets.
Hopefully this helped you or guided you in how to make a better side deck please note that these are cards that are universal and that you do not have to follow my advise you can side deck whatever you want to as long as is in there for a reason. After all the side deck gives a reason for your deck to remain alive for harder match ups and boosts your chances of winning or gives you game advantage. Just follow my tips, side deck a card(s) that go against multiple decks to make the most out of your side deck and have multiple use. Also if you have extra space left in your side deck use it to put card(s) against your worsts match up (decks in the meta that you can bump into that really mess you up). Remember the objective of the game is to win but the point is to have fun.