Getting Ready for Competitive Level

Hello Yugiog community!!! My name is Erick D. Campos, yugioh latin American Spanish writer.  Well today in my debut English article, I will write about how to be prepared for a competitive level.  Many people spend a lot of money in order to have a competitive deck, so we hope that we can get results with the money that we spend in the game. Many people have expensive cards but they don’t like to use them in tournaments -as a luxury hobby-, but many of us spend the money because we want to get good results, top at big events and then get some of the investment that we did. So there are some steps and tips in order to achieve the goal.

1.       Choose a deck. Well if you have enough money, and you have the “big cards”, it is better to play the best decks of the format.  If you can’t afford to have the hot cards, you can create a build that would be competitive in the format.  Running an “antimeta” deck is always a good option, since it can have some advanteges against regular decks.  This is a deck that I ran last year and got 1st place, in a format dominated by Plants and X-Sabers


Monsters: 18
3 Red Gadget
3 Green Gadget
3 Yellow Gadget
3 Machina Gearframe
3 Machina Fortress
2 Cyber Dragon
1 Machina Force

Spells: 11
3 Smashing Ground
2 Mystical Space Typhoon
2 Solidarity
1 Dark Hole
1 Monster Reborn
1 Pot of Avarice
1 Limiter Removal

Traps: 11
2 Solemn Warning
3 Dimensional Prison
2 Bottomless Trap Hole
1 Solemn Judgment
1 Mirror Force
1 Torrential Tribute
1 Royal Oppression

At that time I realized that one of the best antimeta deck was gadgets. I have ran gadgets since they were realeased, and I was very familiar with the deck. Something that you need to consider, is to run the deck that you feel more comfortable with.  Also you need to consider to test the deck enough, and build a sideck based on the actual meta of your region. At this time, you can see that many all the cards are very accessible of the deck, while at that time I didn’t have pot of duality. Gadgets are very versatile deck, that you can side in any other antimeta deck with cards such Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer, Thunder King Rai-Oh and many others. In fact many of the games that you win are based on the side deck that you use. I tested the deck plenty of times, and after the tournament I just regretted running 3 copies of every gadget, since you don’t want to open with more of one copy per hand.

2.       Getting ready for the “big event”

It is necessary that you make a list of the decks that you are face in the tournament. You can write the name of the deck, and then the side options that you can use with your deck. Then you can use a number of decks that you may face, giving perceteges (you can do it with Microsoft excel) Then based on the percenteges, you can give priority to every card in your side. If Tg’s are many on your locals, you can give more priority to cards agains Tg’s, since there is a higher percetange of probability to face the deck. Also you have to consider that the side options won hurt your deck. Then you can start testing against every deck, and then consider cards in the main deck that can give you advantage in game one. I made all my side options based on the meta at that time, it looked like:

2 Dust Tornado
2 Thunder King Rai-oh
2 Banisher of the Radiance
2 Breaker the Magical Warrior
2 Zombie World
2 Crevice from the Different Dimension
1 Blackwing - Gale the Whirlwind
2 Trap Hole

3.       Don’t run unnecessary cards

You know people run many deck OTK and FTK orientated, even though they are inconsistent and depend on “specific cards” to win. We need a deck that would be able to overcome bad hands, and versatile to every situation that we may face. As I said running 3 gadgets can be a dead drow, but the fact of running machinas helped me a lot.  I have seen many decks running Ancient Gear engine with Geartowns. It is a cool deck that makes easies OTK’s – I don’t doubt- but it is still inconsistent. I have heard many players complaining about the bad hands, and that’s why many times they don’t top the events. Remember, just one card is not essential for your deck, the most important thing is that your deck may be well-structured and have a good side.

4.       Know the time to play every card.

Even though this deck has the possibility to open with OTK hands  with -Limiter Removal- I tried to play always in a conservative way. The reason? Because I went in an Otk only if I was sure that I could win with that play, or if I didn’t have anything to loose.  Gorz is still a very common card in every deck, and even Battle Fader was able to end my battle phase, and then destroy all my machines during the end phase. I have seen player wasting a fissure in a Gadget, having a big monster in the field able to destroy the gadget in battle. I though the guy wanted to inflict an extra damage, even though that didn’t make the difference. I can see this play in another scenario, where that direct attack can reduce the opponent’s life points to 0. Good players know the timing to activate every card. You cannot waste a MST in a face down card against TG, knowing that a Skill Drain would be devastator to your deck.

5.       Know the rulling and effects of every card you play.

A good yugioh player is always investigating, reading, asking for advices, asking questions to the judges. If you play a card in your deck, please know the rulings and mechanics of the game!!! It can be disappointing if you realize in a tournament that the effect of your card is not what you know, and the same for the ruling.  It is also good to know the timing for every card, for example that you cannot chain a quick play spell card to a counter trap. There are groups in facebook and forums where you can ask any question, and as I told you, PLEASE READ!!!.You can find in wikia rullings for every card and even tips.

6.       Stay calm, learn from the mistakes.

Is is important to stay calm while you play. You can’t get carried away by the emotions when we think that we are about to win. It is better to stay calm in order to play intelligently. When I misplayed I used to drop, so in that way I can learn not to fall in the same misplay. Everyone misplays, but good players learn from the mistakes, and then we try not to commit the same mistake. I know that it is very important for us to win, but playing we don’t need to take it that serious, so in that way the loss won’t disappoint us. Never show your opponent that you have a bad hand, the body language could have influence in what your opponent thinks about you. I have seen players losing just with the psychological factor when they have to face “x”opponent or “x” deck.

7.       The secret.

Asking Karl Arbeiter about what is the secret to to in a YCS, he told me “there is no secret”, you just need to enjoy it, take every step and never look at the big picture”. Players who get mad lose more than players that play calm and accept the losses. You are not going to win every game, you lose even against bad players, and that happens. A good player sees every opponent as his equal, and don’t underestimate them.  Being calm means that you can see things better, and then read better your opponent plays. Being nervous means that you don’t feel confident with yourself and you worry about other things. So just focus, don’t get mad, take it easy and give a handshake to your opponent. We all have good and bad days. And remember you are like a pitcher, even though you like the game, you need to take some rest and so some other stuff.

As a summary

1-      Chose a competitive deck that you feel comfortable with

2-      Test your deck against every deck you may face

3-      Analyze the meta

4-      Choose your side

5-      List “pros” of your deck and “against”

6-      Don’t run unnecessary cards

7-      Test every card in your deck after any change

8-      Look for rulings of every card that you play

9-      Know the timing of the cards

10-   Don’t fall in the pshycological pressure of your opponent

11-   Play in a calm way

12-   Don’t get carried away by emotions

13-   Sleep enough before the tournament and have good food

14-   Never show weakness

15-   Enjoy what you do and the most important thing, believe in yourselves!!!

This is Erick D. Campos, hope you enjoy my article and share your positive feedback. And bear with me, I’m not a native English speaker so this may not be perfect. See ya!!!

Perez Zeledon, San Jose, Costa Rica.

Revolution Space

Erick Campos

Latest posts by Erick Campos (see all)