How important is your extra deck choices you make before a tournament? In most videos I see on youtube or just from people casually talking, you commonly here "I played this card, but I never used it, I think I'll cut it from the deck" or "This card was useless, I summoned it maybe once the whole tournament and it hardly did anything". Why make this happen to yourself during a tournament? Every spot matters! From the second you decide your first extra deck card up until your last, you should put into consideration of all the various matchups you might/most likely will encounter during your tournament. Locals, Regionals, and YCS tournament have a different range of decks being played. I know at my local, its a majority of Fire/Dino Fist. So depending what deck I decide to play for the day, will factor what extra deck choices I make.
What also puts a factor in your extra deck depends on what deck you play yourself. Wind up, Fire Fist, Dino Rabbit, Dark World, Karakuri, the list goes on and on but they all have something different from one another besides their archtype. The extra deck. Back before YCS Indy, I wrote and article about the value of side decking. Well, this is an essential part 2 of that article and its coming in the form of how to value your extra deck. Im going to go into 3 decks that have a general harder time making their extra deck choices because of how much the deck can really combo off. Seem simple? Well, lets begin.
Wind-Up's: We all know how this deck functions. Spamming the board with a whole bunch of "toolbox" xyz monsters who can be used in just about any situation during game state. From rank 3's, 4's, 5's and even your [ccProd]Gaia Dragon, the Thunder Charger[/ccProd]. This deck has the most diverse extra decks from say Dino Rabbit because they have 1 of each "toolbox" exceed they could possibly use during a game/match. I remember during YCS Rhode Island, I played Starlight Road in my version of Wind-Ups to help counteract the opponents [ccProd]Needle Ceiling[/ccProd]. Also when side decking, protecting [ccProd]Dimensional Fissure[/ccProd], [ccProd]Messenger of Peace[/ccProd], [ccProd]Level-Limit Area-B[/ccProd] were all important during various matchups. But what was the hardest part about playing [ccProd]Starlight Road[/ccProd] in a Wind-Up deck? Fitting the [ccProd]Stardust Dragon[/ccProd] in the Extra Deck. At that point in the meta, we had the [ccProd]Wind-Up Zenmaighty[/ccProd] loop and all the Wind-up shenanigans going on so you essentially needed every piece of your extra deck to be on point. The night before the event, I was testing a 17 card extra deck. Not meant to be cheating, but its a simple testing tool I know myself and other players use to help decide what to keep in/keep out of an extra deck. The more testing you do with your deck choice, the more you understand what cards you really do or don't need to have.
Fire/Dino Fist: Gaining your advantage from Tenki, Bear, Gorilla, [ccProd]Rescue Rabbit[/ccProd] into [ccProd]Gene-Warped Warwolf[/ccProd] or [ccProd]Sabersaurus[/ccProd] is the mainstream backbone of the deck. But what about the consideration of the extra deck? I see most builds of Dino Fist packing 2 copies of [ccProd]Brotherhood of the Fire Fist- Tiger King[/ccProd]. Why? Yes, I know how important it is to get your copies of Tenki and Tensu if you are in that certain game state situation. I myself, have been playing Dino Fist for a good amount of time now and realized that [ccProd]Diamond Dire Wolf[/ccProd] was something very important to my playstyle that I saw hardly any other players using in this deck. The "free pop" you could say can be game ending. Can the second copy of Tiger King do that on his own? (aside from the Tenki search to get Bear or Gorilla). Again, this is all based on my playstyle. I never seemed to use the second copy of Tiger King. Does that mean I was playing the deck wrong? Not at all, nobody ever can play 100% perfect 100% of the time so whenever you playtest, try to make the right play YOU think is correct. I use to get in this argument a lot with my best friend Steffon Bizzell. "Joe you could have done this to put yourself in a little better position" Is what I heard ALL the time. Granted it was usually true since sometimes I rush when I am playing because I absolutely hate going into time. But that is beside the point. Whenever he would say this, it was usually dictated to when I went for a Synchro or XYZ play. Why is this? Because I had not thought about my extra deck choices deep enough to where I could expand the game state I was currently in to put myself in a better position. Something so simple as putting together an extra deck from that point on, was something I took very seriously when building a deck.
Gadgets: The rank 4 "toolbox" in itself. Summoning a little floater to search another, using [ccProd]Double Summon[/ccProd]/[ccProd]Ultimate Offering[/ccProd] to get access to usually a [ccProd]Gear Gigant X[/ccProd] is commonly seen. But what about with the new access to Tin Goldfish, Daigusto Emeral, and Lavalval Chain? The extra deck for this deck seemed so tight before with the addition of [ccProd]Abyss Dweller[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Diamond Dire Wolf[/ccProd]. Now their is a possibility of 2 more? I know most Gadget/Machina Gadget players have strayed away from Lavalval Chain and I understand why, but its not all that bad. Throwing a [ccProd]Machina Fortress[/ccProd] to the grave to fuel your in hand [ccProd]Machina Cannon[/ccProd] or if times becomes tough and you get hit with some [ccProd]Effect Veiler[/ccProd]s, [ccProd]Fiendish Chain[/ccProd]s, [ccProd]Breakthrough Skill[/ccProd]s, stacking a Gadget or [ccProd]Machina Gearframe[/ccProd] to the top doesn't seem that bad. The only problem with that? The extra deck room. There hardly is any in there since this deck really does need a basic 1 copy of all the good rank 4 monsters (Except the 2 copies of [ccProd]Gear Gigant X[/ccProd]). Some have 2 copies of [ccProd]Abyss Dweller[/ccProd], [ccProd]Maestroke the Symphonny Djinn[/ccProd], or even a [ccProd]Number 11: Big Eye[/ccProd]. But that is also based on the playstyle of the player. When I played my version of Offering Gadget, I played 2 copies of [ccProd]Number 16: Shock Master[/ccProd]. Why? I found myself in situations where the first one could get destroyed and during a mid/late game push, I would need the second copy to ensure victory. We all know that [ccProd]Ultimate Offering[/ccProd] is the win card for this deck if it successfully goes off. But you can only summon as many XYZ's as your extra deck allows based on which ones you decided to play. That may not make sense, so let me try and explain that. When you reach for your extra deck to XYZ summon, you should already know what monster your going to attempt to summon before you already do. I've seen some players who go to XYZ and they shuffle a few cards back and forth before making their decision. This is not by any means wrong at all and if it works for you as a player and that's what you do, keep doing it! I'm just stating as an example, you should know your extra deck in and out to know what card you want to have in certain situations during game state. This all comes from playtesting with a few extra cards to see what cards really do come up more then others.
Your extra deck is suppose to help you reach victory during your match. When people say "I never used this card" or "this could have been something else" it makes me really think if people took the time to go through each card your deck can essentially summon. When you don't really summon an extra deck card any time through a whole tournament, did you really gain the value of that card? Did you gain the value of having that card sit useless in your deck box while your other XYZ's did some damage? Whenever a deck has the extra deck "room", their are always choices that can 100% be played over others. And it is up to you as the player, to find out what cards suit your playstyle and can help you reach victory. Until next time, Play Hard or Go Home.