Hey there everyone. Hope you all had a great weekend keeping up with the coverage from Cordero on the Alter Reality Games fan page about all the stuff going down at YCS Austin this past weekend. I would personally like to thank Cordero for doing such an amazing job like he always does. He keeps everyone who is not attending the YCS in touch with every single litte thing that is going on which is amazing. I know if I was not attending the event, I would be checking out for the updates from him whenever I could. A congrats goes out to my team mate Sam Pedigo making it to another YCS top cut performance with his Geargia deck. Be on the lookout for his article about his deck choice and his tournament experience. I had the pleasure of speaking with Sam about a week or so before the event and we were talking about deck choices and I mentioned how I was either going to play Mono Mermails like I have been ever since YCS Miami or get out those toys and Wind it Up for the event. Sam basically said to me something that stuck with me while preparing for the event. "Play what you know, play what your comfortable with." These words stuck with me because it reminded me of the time where I chose to play Dino Rabbit for YCS Toronto and followed that event with my article Follow Your Heart. During the long duration of a 10-12 round YCS, you have to be comfortable with what your playing because the more comfortable you are, the easier the plays become and the more "flow" you will have during your matches.
This YCS, I chose to ran Mono Mermails because it was a deck I am very comfortable with and know alot about the combo plays and certain plays to do at certain times during game state. I learned alot of these plays from watching and talking with Billy Brake of course but it also took immense preperation on my behalf learning how to do some of the more complex plays without the help from other people. When you sit down and learn a deck, you have to realize what cards initially hurt the deck so you know how to play against it and how to side deck according. We all know the Macro Rabbit is Mono Mermails or even Undine Mermails inherit bad matchup simply because of [ccProd]Macro Cosmos[/ccProd] being so powerful to every part of the deck. During the YCS, I had to lost rounds 2 and 3 to both [ccProd]Macro Cosmos[/ccProd]/[ccProd]Dimensional Fissure[/ccProd] Rabbit decks because of how Mono Mermails can be crushed by a early/mid/late game Macro/Dfissure. When playing against Macro Rabbit, you just have to hope and pray they dont get the Macro off against you so you have the chance to push back. All three of my losses during the tournament were to just [ccProd]Macro Cosmos[/ccProd]/[ccProd]Dimensional Fissure[/ccProd] alone. Not Laggia, not Dolkka, not [ccProd]Abyss Dweller[/ccProd], but to just those cards alone. Starting off having two losses before round 4 was very frustrating for me because my tournament life was already at risk so early in the tournament that I almost gave up all hope. I was also a Bounty Duelist for the event so losing some packs was not the worst thing in the world, but it still took a toll on me. Knowing I had another 8 rounds ahead of me after losing round 3, I had to keep my head focused and keep my motivation going to not lose another match or even a game for that matter.
Sitting down for round 4, I had to make sure I played the best I can. Same goes for rounds 5-11 if i made it that far. I had to make sure I was on point with my plays, payed attention to in game details from my opponent, and make sure I did not lose again. Another thing to keep in mind when your on the "bubble" you could say so early in the tournament, is took keep a routine. What I mean by this, is when you sit down at the table for your match, keep the same routing. From how you take out your mat, how you shuffle up, how you pile shuffle, how you shuffle your opponets deck, etc etc. Whatever it is that YOU do during a match, keep it the same all the time. Whenever you change up a routine, a snowball effect can occur and keep things rolling downhill. I do the same routine each and every time. I sit down, take out my mat and unfold it, take out my deckbox and calculator case, pile shuffle my deck and rifle shuffle 3 times and cut twice. Then after the match is done, I shake my opponents hand and everything, get up, go to the closest water fountain and rehydrate myself to try and prevent getting headaches during the remainder of the tournament. I have had this same routine since YCS Kansas City and I just have continued it ever since.
Whenever you keep a kind of routine during a tournament, it also keeps your mind at bay as to what your doing next. For example if you change up your routine, it could cause your mind to fall off track and think of different things other then what should be on your mind. Obviously your mind can think of whatever it wants, but say if you change up your routine and fall off track, could your mind fall out of the yugioh state of mind that it should be in? This may seem a little confusing, so I am going to try and patch it up as best I can. Say you just had a long intensive game was Mermails and you ended up winning during time and it was a grind game from start to finish. Your mindset after that match is over will still be thinking of plays/scenerios that happened during that match since its something you were just in depth thinking so hard about looking for the victory. Same could be said if you were in the losing situation during that match, your mind will still be racing about how you could have done a play differently during that match which could alter the outcome in your favor. Little things like that can change how your mind will process information during/after the match is overwith you if you have some type of routine after the match is over, you can easily calm down and collect your thoughts the same exact way each and every time.
Just like in deck building, you want to keep the consistency factor so you can keep from drawing poor hands during the duration of the tournament. The same could be said with a routine your keeping. The more consistent your routine is, the more calm and collected you will be during the tournament. Sometimes unexpected things happen during a tournament that can be out of your control, but staying calm and collected is very important. From my own experience at YCS Austin, keeping calm and collected is what strived me to win from round 4 all the way until round 10 during day 2 when I recieved my third loss to knock me out of contention for the top cut. Another small thing to keep in mind is keeping your composure during a match is important to the outlook on the whole tournament. There will always be a winner or a loser during the match (unless you draw, but that rarely does happen) and no matter if you win or you lose, your composure should remain in tact. We all know sometimes you can get flustered and upset after losing, but its Yugioh. Its going to happen whether you like it or not, you play the game to win but there will always be a person sitting across from you who could win or lose just like you. I hope to see everyone after YCS San Diego because I will most likly not be attending that event but YCS New Jersey was announced and I will surely be at that event. Until next time duelists, Play Hard or Go Home!