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April 2007
Grand Format Deck Building Guide version 2.0 - Johnny Tek

If you're a devoted player of the game but still need a little more help understanding the complexity of the Grand Format card restriction system, here is a guide to take you through building your Deck step-by-step.

~Only those with patience and determination can strive to be the best - Johnny Tek

Grand Format Deck Building Guide Version 2.0

Chapter 1 – The Trials of Transition

The biggest mistake that a player usually makes when taking a look at Grand
Format is treating it as another version of the Advanced Format. In reality,
the two Formats are worlds apart on a fundamental level.
The Advanced Format mindset is for a player to make a look over of the
restricted cards with an understanding that one section is for banned cards, one
section is for 1 copy cards, and one section is for two copy cards. In Grand
Format however, each section of the restricted cards list other than Forbidden
Cards has special instructions that are not present in Advanced Format.
The second biggest mistake that a player usually makes is trying to take on
every section at once. In order to use the format, a player must have patience
and go over each section one at a time.
The third biggest mistake that a player usually makes is not reading the
instructions at the top of the first page. This mistake is self-explanatory once a
player goes back and actually reads the instructions.
The fourth biggest mistake that a player usually makes is assuming that the
Grand Format is too hard for anyone to make heads or tails of. This is only if
a player doesn’t READ THE INSTRUCTIONS and also realize that each section of
the restriction list is in ALPHABETICAL ORDER. (~except for non-romanic
translations such as Japanese~)
Quite often players can not understand the logic of certain cards being
placed in certain sections of the restriction list. In order to see the reasoning
behind the list, one must first understand that the special rules and
restrictions that set Grand Format apart from Advanced Format have a profound effect on
the strengths and weaknesses of many cards in the game.
By restricting the total number of destructive cards such as Heavy Storm or
Lightning Vortex as well as the number of copies, (3 Limited Cards, 5
Semi-Limited Cards) the entire metagame is changed.
With the absence of Decks stacked with card effects that destroy other cards,
strategies that focus around the use of Two-Tribute Summons, Fusion Summons,
Ritual Summons, Special Condition Summons, Equip Spell Cards, Continuous Spell
Cards, Continuous Trap Cards, and Field Spell Cards become much more relevant
towards achieving victory. (The cards will stay on the field long enough to
make a difference much more often.)
The absence of field removal also increases the number of actual monster
battles where ATK and DEF become a game-deciding issue. Players are thus able to
take more risks with card combinations that require giving the opponent a card
number advantage. During testing, players were able to use two-Tribute
Summons, Fusion Summons, and Equip Spell Cards without worrying every time about
running into a "Sakuretsu Armor" or getting "Fissured" the next turn.
In order to give Ritual Summons a truly competitive boost, the act of Ritual
Summoning has been redefined as Special Summoning the Ritual Monster from the
hand, Deck, or Graveyard instead of just the hand. This allows players to
effectively "splash" Ritual Monster strategies into their competitive Decks and
makes cards such as Relinquished and Shinato, King of a Higher Plane powerful
enough to warrant restriction, especially with the lack of field removal.

Chapter 2 – Building the Deck

Step 1 – Read the instructions at the top of the first page under the title
of the format. These instructions will tell you about the four different
sections, the Ritual Summon amendment, and the ability to Normal Summon in face-up
Defense Position.
Step 2 – Look at the Forbidden Cards and make sure none of the cards you’ll
be using is a Forbidden Card.
Step 3 – Read the instructions for the Condition-Limited Cards. Remember that
you can only use 1 of the Condition-Limited Cards and decide now if you want
to use a Condition-Limited Card. If you choose to use a Condition-Limited
Card, you must then read its prerequisite condition for use. For example, "Black
Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning" has the condition that you can’t use
any Limited Cards in your Deck and Side Deck combined. That means every card
in the Limited Cards section becomes off-limits if you use a copy of "Black
Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning" in your Deck and Side Deck combined.
Every Condition-Limited Card has a maximum number of copies that can be used
if the prerequisite condition for the card has been fulfilled. No copies of
the card can be used if the prerequisite condition for the card has not been
Step 4 – If your choice in Step 3 does not prevent you from using Limited
Cards, then proceed to choose which Limited Cards you will be using in your Deck
and Side Deck combined. Since you can only use up to 3 Limited Cards total,
choose wisely because different Limited Cards work better in different
strategies. An example of Limited Card selection is provided in the instructions for
Limited Cards.
Step 5 – The approach in choosing Semi-Limited Cards is about the same as
Limited Cards except that up to 2 copies of a Semi-Limited Card and a total of 5
Semi-Limited Cards may be used. Some people misinterpret this so please look
at the examples given in the instructions for Semi-Limited Cards before
Step 6 – Now you must construct the rest of your Deck and Side Deck combined.
This is the part that can turn away a non-dedicated duelist because it is
tedious. Every card that you add has to be checked so that it is not a
Condition-Limited, Limited, or Semi-Limited Card. Since the restriction list is in
alphabetical order, this part shouldn’t be very hard.
The simple way to do this especially if it is your first time is to first
pick out the 32 more or less cards you need to add to your Deck (and/or the cards
for your Side Deck) and then check them off one-by-one. Remember that many of
the cards that are on the restriction list are field removal cards such as
Fissure or Mobius the Frost Monarch.
Step 7 – After completing Deck construction, make an overview of your
strategy configuration and ask yourself how well the cards you have chosen work in
combination with each other. If you then choose to replace certain cards, don’t
forget to check off the replacement cards with the restriction list so that
you don’t wind up with an illegal Deck configuration.
Step 8 – It’s now time to play-test your Deck. Remember that the Grand
Format metagame is profoundly different from the Advanced Format metagame so the
only true play-test for a Grand Format Deck is against another Grand Format
Deck. Players will find that winning against a truly skilled player takes much
more thinking in Grand Format than in the two other Formats. And so any duelist
who claims to be a good player will have to prove it by taking on the challenge
of Grand Format.



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