Recently I have noticed a spike in the number of players at our local tournaments and duel days for Kaijudo (partly because of the ARG Open Series, but I’ll talk about that more later). In order for the game to last as long as Magic the Gathering or Yu-Gi-Oh we are going to need to grow the game. Getting new players involved is very important. We should not just be satisfied with the same group of people we play each week. An issue with Kaijudo is that the majority of its player base came from those who played Duel Masters. It is important to get away from that mind set of only trying to get people who played Duel Masters to get in the game. It is okay to branch out to other people. Here are some ideas that might help you get others involved and grow the game.
The Children Are The Future
When Wizards made Kaijudo they were not focused on pleasing all the 18+ year olds that enjoyed the game years ago. They wanted to create a new game that 8-12 year olds would enjoy playing. I know a lot of you guys probably do not have friends from that age group but that is the reason it is important for stores to hold demos and make it an event so people can come in and play it. We have a group of kids that play at one of the stores I go to, they may not win a lot but they have a lot of fun playing and collecting their favorite cards. We should encourage those kids to keep playing and help them out when they need it. I played a kid in a tournament the other day and he was upset that he just could not seem to win so I decided to make his day better. I went easy on him and he ended up pulling out a victory and he was so happy that he won. His satisfaction was much better than the chance of me getting a couple extra packs. It is okay to lose sometimes if it makes people happy to play the game. When we see kids play we should not just view them as easy competition, instead we should do everything to make them better and help them with the game so that they stick with it and do not just give up.
Just telling people about the game is not good enough. Most of the time you are going to have to take that extra step and sit down and teach them. If you show interest in someone they would be more inclined to listen and take the game seriously. Everyone you teach might not like the game and that’s okay just move on and keep teaching other people. Do not let one persons disinterest discourage you from teaching more people. If you are not great at explaining things to others, you can tell them to go to Kaijudo.com and they have a demo to learn how to play on there (though you might need to explain the mana rules to them in more detail).
Demos are your friends
When the game first got started Wizards sent Pre-Constructed decks (Pre-Cons) to stores for them to give out to new players. At the time we did not have any new players so most of our stores just gave them out to whoever wanted them. I think the best way to go about using these Pre-Cons is to hold a certain day at your local store as a Demo Day that is completely dedicated to teaching people how to play and giving out these decks. Put it on the stores calendar and promote it out to people that way you can try to draw in a crowd and get people interested. Put as much preparation as you can into it. If your store does not have the Pre-Con decks that Wizards gave out, and you have cards to spare, try making your own decks to give out as demos! People often struggle getting into Trading Card Games because it sometimes takes a lot of money to get started up. Whenever a new player comes and is interested in the game I try my best to give them a play set of every Common/Uncommon, that way they have a good starting point and do not have to spend too much money getting all the basic cards. When it comes to running demos you have to be okay with two things. First is talking to strangers. Everyone is a stranger until you get to know them so it might be a little awkward at first but if they enjoy playing it will all be worth it. Second is rejection. A lot of people will probably say no and you might sit there all day while no one tries the game. Do not let that bring you down, just try again or ask different people if you decide to hold a demo again.
Triple Strike Decks!
This is probably the best starter deck that has ever come out in Kaijudo and it alone is a great starting tool for new players. The fact that you get so many good cards like Terror Pit, Crystal Memory, Skull Shatter, and much more for only $20 is amazing. If money is an issue for people because they do not want to spend hundreds of dollars to build a deck, they can just buy 3 of these. The weekend these were released I bought 3 of them and built a deck out of them (I called it the Gold Challenge). I ended up going 2-2 with it, losing to 2 rush decks, but I beat Megabugs and Blurple. I was very surprised with how the deck performed and that it could actually contend with the top decks in the format. When someone asks what is the best product for them to buy getting into the game, you should definitely recommend this. I am very happy that Wizards made this product and hope to see more like this in the future.
ARG Open Series
These are a series of tournaments that ARG is doing around the country. There is a 1K cash tournament, a Case tournament, along with Win-A-Box side events. The fact that ARG is doing high level competitive tournaments on their own is a great opportunity and reason for the Kaijudo player base to grow. Here is a link with more information for the first tournament http://articles.alterealitygames.com/event/arg-open-series-fort-worth/
I cannot stress the importance of getting more players involved in this game. We want this game to stick around for a long time and not just die off like many card games do. So let’s start telling people about it and show them how amazing and better our card game is than theirs!
See you on the other side of the veil!