Hello boys and girls, it’s T-Time once again. I have taken a bit of a hiatus and I’m glad to be back playing this game competitively and writing articles once more. I have been quite busy with school and other things, which is only fitting that I would be writing about time management. Play testing is detrimental for success in major tournaments, but finding time is often quite difficult. I will show you a lot of ways to find time play testing and then also make sure that your play testing is efficient and not just a waste of time.
1. Finding the time
So you are a normal person with obligations. Whether its school, work, girls, friends, or anything else, they should come before playing Yu-Gi-Oh!. There is no reason to lose your social life or sacrifice your academics or job for a trading card game. So with all of these obligations, you can find time by play testing instead of any other thing that may waste time such as watching television, playing video games, or, my personal favorite, Facebook. These activities create no means to an end, which play testing does. It prepares you as a means to the tournament in which you are preparing which is an end. Going to the tournament sacrifices time and money, so you might as well be ready.
If you still are having trouble finding time, you should use the resources allotted to you. Yu-Gi-Oh! Virtual Desktop is one of the best ways to play test without having to leave your computer. The boards are always buzzing with people trying to find a game. If you have a messed up sleep schedule like me, you are probably going to test around 3 AM on YVD with your friends. YVD does have its weaknesses though. It is a computer program. There is nothing more important than face to face play testing because it helps develop an additional 20% of the game which are reads. tells, and distractions. It is probably best to find a player(s) of equal or greater skill to play test with similar schedules to play test with on a regular basis.
2. Productive Play Testing
You want to go into the play testing sessions ready to play. Come up with your deck ideas before hand and test them. This does include side and extra decks. Don’t play with an imaginary extra deck these days, since there are often good situational options that have to be cut. It is important to play full matches with your side deck. A side deck is just as much a part of your deck as your main deck. Being able to use it effectively is necessary for success in a large tournament. You shouldn’t only be thinking about what you are putting in against certain matchups, but also what is coming out of your main deck to replace them. Also, don’t forget that your opponent will be siding cards in and out too, so being able to predict and counter those cards is very important. Realizing what cards you need less and cards you wish you have more can be discovered only through extensive play testing. As an example, I would’ve never wanted to cut one of my Machine Fortresses for YCS Toronto without that kind of testing. There was awhile when I didn’t even like Allure of Darkness in Blackwings.
Make sure you are getting the job done in your play testing, not just screwing around playing a bunch of game ones. That isn’t to say that you shouldn’t let your partner take back a move or two. It is supposed to be a learning experience for both of you. You wouldn’t want your opponent in this instance to make a bad move, because then it may artificially sway the game in your favor and that wouldn’t be the case in a major tournament. Also, if your opponent doesn’t know a ruling, don’t try to trick them or cheat them. This is practice. You want to be playing people at their best in practice and you want them to be learning just as much as you are.
3. Losers Always Win
Earlier I said to play test with somebody who is as good if not better than you. This is very important because you don’t want to always win. You want somebody who will be making good, strategic moves so that you know what to do and what a good opponent will do when the pressure is on. If you think about it, you learn a lot more from your losses than your wins. When you think about a tournament that you played in, you don’t think about all of those matches that you won. The matches you dwell on are your defeats. Losing helps you understand flaws in your deck and play style. This is only effective if you can analyze your own defeats and see why each match was lost. Yes, sometimes you lose because your opponent drew amazing or you drew awful. Often though, there are a few small deciding plays or card choices that can decide a victory or defeat. Finding and understanding those moments make great players great and poor players poor. Even the pros lose sometimes. The trick is to ask yourself WHY you lost.
Hopefully this was helpful to you and you can now find time to play test and play test effectively. If you are preparing for a major tournament I wish you well and that if you follow my advice you get expected results. Also, feel free to leave a comment with any questions or concerns and I will do my best to address them. On a side note, I will be playing at Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series Orlando, FL in the coming weeks, so I hope to see some of you there! Until next time, live well.