Winning on a Budget

Hello fellow Yu-Gi-Oh players! First off, I would like to thank Alter Reality Games for giving everyone the opportunity for a chance to write for them. Although many people know me in my area, many of the other serious players may not know who I am because, well, I’ve never exactly been to a YCS (unless you don’t count the one SJC I’ve been to) Like most Yu-Gi-Oh players, I am on an extremely tight budget, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t be competitive.

With many of the “top decks” around, it’s becoming more and more difficult to keep up with the current meta’s “standards”, it’s to the point where the skeleton cards of many decks start off at $680+ and the worst part is that you’ve only gotten through 7-8 cards. Even Karakuri, the deck that was suppose to be the “alternative to plants” price rose, with Genex Neutrons going for $20 and rising. Not to mention you still have the rest of the extra deck to get through. While I do admit, it’s not the price of a Tour Guide, all of those numbers could add up and end up costing you a nice feeling in the back of your wallet.

Although lacking, there are some alternatives to keeping that price tag low, and at the same time, giving you a great advantage, the element of surprise. Most side decks are built to fight the current main decks being played, plants, Dark world, Dino Rabbit, Chaos ect. Essentially if you play a deck that your opponent is not prepared for, he/she will lack in one of the most crucially parts of the game and that’s side decking.  For example, Alex Vansant recently made an article about chain burn, aside from the Maxx Cs you can basically get the deck for almost close to nothing. The deck is fast, crippling and just like Alex said, no one ever side decks for it because of the fact that it’s not necessarily expected at big events. If you want to play Alex’s chain burn but can’t afford the Maxx C, a good choice can be Poison of the old man, or even take out 1/8 of their life with tremendous fire.

Another good alternative choice is slightly changing the play style of a deck, plants. One deck that’s slowly deciding to see more and more play from players on a budget is “Sky Blaster plants.” Although it does not do what Tour Guide can do, Phantom Skyblaster, can let you special summon a number of level 4 fiend tokens up to the number of monsters you control. Although you can’t use the tokens as XYZ material, the deck can still do hefty damage with plays of its own, with the ability to overwhelm you with their ability to take your monsters with “Enemy Controller” for what is basically free and synchro or XYZ summon. With almost similar plays as plants, this deck should defiantly be something you look out for.

One deck that most people have forgotten about use to be one of the hard to beat decks of the format, Blackwings. Although many people have simply don't care much about it, they forget why the deck was so hard to beat in the first place. The engine was stable and aside from consecrated light, the deck was extremely hard to side against. Many people have moved on because they say the deck lacks the control it once had. With Blackwings getting hit ban list after ban list, we’re use to seeing the deck play conservative with Royal oppression, search for black whirl wind, and keeping control of the game from start to finish. With all that gone, and Thunder King main decked in just about everything to stop your one Whirlwind, people assume the deck is dead. However, I think that the deck is just being seen in the wrong light. When I first started playing competitively, Dark Strike Fighter was just released. Although Synchro Cat was considered the best deck at the time, I would have much gladly played against Rescue Cat Decks then play against Blackings. Maybe we just need to play the deck explosively again, taking an old idea with a more modernized tone, using your Shura to your advantage and fetching tuners to later on use them with your Bora, or even with a more crazy idea, Instant Fusion. Just a little creativity is just what the game needs at this point and no ideas should go untested. Who knows, it might even become the next best thing!

Although this may not have to do with cheap deck building tips, it has to do with money saving tips. A couple simple well known things could be the things getting you from getting the last few expensive things needed for competitive play. One of the biggest things, and a personal pet peeve of mine, is binging out things that don’t necessarily need to be binged out. This includes staple cards like monster reborn, dark hole, foolish burial ect. They come in common and do not need to be in your deck if you cannot afford the rest of your extra deck. Many people complain about getting bad hands when their decks are filled with nothing but the highest rarity and to me, it's no surprise. It’s not necessarily stacking, but more common sense, the heavier the cards are, the more likely it is to cut at that region. The more commons are put into the deck, such as common the more likely it would shuffle it with a wider range of cards. I do admit even at times it’s hard for me to resist the look of a Duel Terminal Brionac, its one of the things that can end up either costing you, or saving you an extra $40.

I hope this article has given you a tip or two about cheap deck alternatives and ways to get the rest of the cards needed for your decks. Feel free to leave comments. Happy holidays and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone at my first YCS in Long beach!

Vacaville California

Olde World Games

Jackie Bernal

Latest posts by Jackie Bernal (see all)