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GeneralZorpa on Yugioh
Getting In the Game: In Preparation for SJC South San Francisco PART 1 By GeneralZorpa

October 20, 2008

Lightsworn Deck, Shuffled, Not Cut
 
Well, it is about that time of the year again. While I am in training for athletics, around Halloween I get training for the one Shonen Jump Championship a year that I can go to, SJC NorCal (the specific location changes almost every year). I can tell you it is not easy balancing athletics, college, a hobby, a social life and keeping all of this craziness from driving me even more insane than I am now. I say that I go into "training" because to be honest, my gameplay skills are not really that great. I am a good deckbuilder, but find it hard to anticipate my opponent's unless the move is REALLY obvious.
 
For training in this, I go to my deck testing team, Keenith and Michael who are rather great players in their own right. The first thing that I do before I start training is that I pick a deck that I like and stick with it. The last two Shonen Jumps that I went to, I dropped a solid deck right before the event and picked up something crazy instead. In San Jose, I dropped Stein-OTK for a Macro-Cosmos build that sided back into Stein-OTK. I couldn't side back fast enough. In San Mateo, I dropped a rather good D-Raida deck for a highly promising Demise/Zorc/Blue Eyes White Dragon build. It actually worked about 50% of the time and I was 2-2 before my 0-4 friends forced me to leave because they had gotten game losses at the top tables for being late.
 
So this year I have vowed to stay with my chosen deck until the tournament. This year I am going to be going with Lightsworn, probably one of the most frustrating and unpredictable decks that are currently in the hunt for the honors of this format's Top Dawg. I must say though, it has very bad days and sometimes I do plays like get Lumina and Garoth first turn and mill 3 Wulf and a Saber and draw 2 cards (if ur counting that is +6 without counting Card of Safe Return). It is this reason that I love the deck, it's FUN to play! You remember fun, right all you Tele-Dad players?


 
Well enough about the deck, this is about preparation, and so I will go over with you what I am going to do to prepare for pretty much my last chance to do anything amazing in this game.
 
No Mr. Zorpa, I Expect You To Die!
 
First things first, once I have all of the cards I want for the deck, I am going to email my colleague (I love that word!), Tomas Mijares, to see if he has anything in his bag of tricks that will help me or at least prepare me for anti-my deck stuff that will likely see play. As I am from NorCal, I get little to no experience with the National Metagame at large, so someone who is experienced with it is definitely going to help me out a lot.
 
The next part is the grueling task that makes me want Goldfinger to kill me: playtesting. Playtesting against the top decks in the format with a competent testing team is one of the best things that you can do to preapare for an SJC. Unfortunately, it is also the most labor-intensive. I estimate that it takes 100 matches to become fully aware of all of the strengths and weaknesses that your deck has. Then after that you have to playtest against other decks that your research and sources have confirmed are going to be the dominant archetypes for the SJC.
 
As far as I know, I can expect a lot of Tele-DAD and Zombies, as the new Crossroads of Chaos set and Zombie World Structure Deck will be legal in tournaments by that SJC. There will also be a smattering of Lightsworn, Big City, Little City and Middle City as well as other anti-meta decks. the next contingent will be Gladiator Beasts, the cheapest deck this format and one of my favorites.
 
So I will build/proxy netdecked versions of these decks, as I can expect to find them at the top tables of an SJC or even Regional. Once I do that, I will test out EACH DECK 50 matches. Woah, so we're at over 200 matches between now and January and averaging 30 minutes a game (roughly) that's 1000 hours of gameplay! Which is way more than I can do between now and then, with all of the stuff that I do in a normal day. That does not mean I am going to give up and stop testing, I am going to simply do as much as I can.
 
You are not going to fail because you did 190 matches out of 200, or even 150 out of 200. I am just saying that that is the threshold for going over gameplay options and matchups in your sleep. Cue Rocky theme music, training montage and GO!
 
For Yugioh Zorpa? For Yugioh.
 
Well I am going to say that the next part of the preparation and training process is going to be the most fun. You should take your deck to a few smaller tournaments first. Regionals or locals are a great way to test out your deck with completely random opponents. This not only tests your deck, but tests you as well. Can you respond to an E-Hero deck? What would you do against Counter Fairies? The answers are going to be found in the decks that people bring to these events.
 
Also, they are a good stepping stone to what you want to achieve, a Trophy, laptop and brand spankin' new Doomcalibur Knight. The prizes might not be as intense as an SJC, but the rewards are often worth it. I got 5th place ONCE at a Regional back in the Troop-Dupe-Scoop format. I was cheated out of a possibly higher finish by an unfortunate judge error. I received so much apologies over this though that I no longer have any more hard feelings (especially since I got 10 extra packs for my trouble).

There is also the emotional reward that comes with having accomplished what I set out to do. My next goal is to win a regional/Top 16 an SJC. I already have earned an invite to nats (last year) but could not go due to money constraints. As such, my goals are rather lofty, with only a couple hundred people in the nation ever doing such a thing. It is a daunting task, but as I say Go Big Or Go Home! I am not saying that you WILL accomplish your goals, just that if they matter enough to you, there should be nothing that would stop you from trying again and again. Be unstoppable in your success and no one will be able to stop you, even if they wanted to.
 
I don't care if you have to beat Adam Corn, Cesar Gonzalez and Dexter Dalit in a row to get what you want, but you should never let anything stop you. That is what I am doing. I am almost literally starving myself so that I can buy new cards. That might be a little extreme (it's hard to do stuff when you're hungry), well ok, it's a lot of extreme, but if I want this, then I have to be prepared to give up some things in order to accomplish it. Nothing ever worthwhile in live was ever given to you except for life.
 
This ends my preliminary preparation for SJC SF, but I will be back with another installment a week before the SJC and right after. This 3 part article will conclude my Getting In the Game Series, so enjoy! You can reach me at raptor1k@hotmail.com if you have deck fixes, questions, ideas for articles or whatever.
 
Thanx for reading!
GZ

 


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