Hello yugioh community and happy holiday season! To introduce myself briefly my name is Nicholas Dailey. My local shop is The Next Level Games in Madison,Tennessee. Currently the only credentials that I have in yugioh are two regional tops (1 top sixteen,1 top thirty two). Anyways that is enough about me, today I am going to be submitting my entry for Alter Reality's holiday writing contest. The topic I wanted to touch on today is the importance of test playing and also share some tips to make your test playing sessions the most effective. The reason I decided to talk about test playing is because I feel that it is not stressed enough within the community and it's such an important part of being able to do well.
Why test playing is important - The reason that test playing is important is because you will be able to find whats hot and whats not within your deck before you go to the tournament you are preparing for. Another important reason for test playing is because we all have room for improvement in yugioh,and we must practice a lot in order to be able to do well in this game. Also test playing can help to minimize misplays because rather then making the error in the tournament you can make it in practice and then you will know not to make the same mistake twice hopefully. So with all that being said that should hopefully be enough inspiration to test play before going out and playing in a tournament.
How to make your test playing sessions most effective - Now it is time to explain how to make your test playing sessions the most effective because you have to make the best out of each session in my opinion. First things first I defiantly have to recommend that you test against players who are on a higher skill level then you. The reason I bring up this point is because if you test against players who are on a low skill level then they are more likely to make errors throughout your testing session so your not going to be able to learn as much. Also test against your not so good match ups for example if you are piloting a plant syncro deck and dino rabbit is your worse match up then you should prioritize testing against dino rabbit players,and trying to understand the fundamentals of that deck and try to perfect that match up. The reason I say this is just because something is your worse match up doesn't necessarily have to mean you are going to automatically lose to that deck you just need to practice and understand how to make the best of that match up,and how to play the best. Another way to make your testing sessions effective is if you lose a game try to think back and try to see if there was play or certain move that could have possibly changed the outcome of that duel. Because it's like I said it's good to point out your misplays or errors within your testing so you do not make the same mistakes in the tournament. Also another piece of advice is take your testing sessions the same way you would a round in a YCS. The reason I say this is because just playing casually and not caring is not really going to help you learn. I used to make this mistake often when testing and I'm very thankful a good friend of mine pointed out I was playing "to care free and to casual while test playing" because after I stopped doing this I started learning a ton more from my testing sessions and making less mistakes. One other thing is dueling network is not the most effective place to test. I know most of us love and enjoy dueling network but lets face it a lot of people there are not serious about what they are doing and they usually play decks that are not the best if you know what I'm saying.
What to take from each session - After your testing sessions you should be able take away all kinds of different pieces of knowledge let me explain. First of all like I said earlier you should be able to figure out whats working and what is not working within your entire deck. You also should be able to find out how competitive your deck actually is against your not so good match ups. Also you should be able to find out what your going to be taking out and siding in between games against particular decks. This is important because you need to figure this out before the tournament so you can make a easy transition between games and not have to think for extra long periods of time when deciding what to leave in and what to take out. Also you can get the opportunity to test out ideas you had before going into the tournament which is always nice. You can figure out what your decks advantages are against particular decks and also the disadvantages as well. Also you can figure out what to do in certain situations that find your self in frequently. So there is defiantly a bunch of different things you can take from each session for sure and they are all important in their own ways.
Conclusion - Hopefully with all of this being said I have stressed the importance of test playing. And I hope you will all take something from this article even if you knew these things I touched on today. I would hope you all who do not test play much start because no matter how good you are this game changes so much there will always be something new to learn within this game. And also do not get frustrated because practice makes perfect and that is what test playing is all about folks! Also let me thank Alter Reality Games for everything they do for the yugioh community with these articles so players like me can get better in this game. I would also like to thank ARG for the opportunity to share my thoughts with the community and having the chance to just post an article here is such an honer considering all the high caliber players who post articles here on this website.
The Next Level Games
-Play Hard Or Go Home!-