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Getting In the Game: Local Tournaments

September 10, 2008

The Day The Earth Stood Still
Of course there is no reason to play unless you have a place to play or people to play with. Playing by yourself is not nearly as fun, and rather boring. The Local Tournament is the perfect place to buy cards, trade and play and meet other players. For those who don't know, Local Tournaments are Tournaments not put on by UDE or their subsidiaries. Card shops as well as individuals host these tournaments and they usually happen on a weekly basis. These tournaments are usually less intense than higher level events and are a great place to test out new ideas.
These local tournaments often have a moderate entry fee of 5 dollars. Prizes are usually awarded, either based on attendance or through prize packages provided by UDE's Hobby League. If you ever wondered how people got those ultra-cool looking Hobby League promos, mats and binders, then this is where you can get them. Also, exclusive Champion Packs are sometimes provided, with new Ultra Rare cards as well as reprints in both rare, common and super rare format.
Toto, I don't Think This Is Kansas Anymore...
Local Tournaments are the stepping stone you want to step on in order to become a competitive player again or if you are starting for the first time. Of course the first thing you need to do is to find one. The easiest way to find Hobby League events is to go onto UDE's Yu-Gi-Oh! website and click on search for Hobby League Tournaments under the 'Wanna Play?' category. The list will come up with specified events within a certain regional and time frame. It is simple then to pick the one you want.
Of course, most tournaments are not Hobby League, so they require a little bit more work in order to be flushed out of their hiding place. The phone book is the place to start. No not the phone book in paper form! Yellowbook.com is a great resource. You can search for Card Shops in your area by using key words like Comics, Cards, Collectibles and other such necessary words. once you find a tournament you like, simply call them up and ask if they have a Yu-Gi-Oh! tournament. Many places do not have such an event, as Magic: The Gathering and Pokemon are more prevalent. If at first you don't succeed, try again. ANother Card SHop might have just what you are looking for.
You can also start your own Local Tournament. You might not get Hobby League status, but it is an acceptable way to get started. You just need a place to hold the event, such as a park, private residence, library or other community space. Of course, be sure to ask permission before doing anything, as people might get angry, and the less people that are angry at Yu-Gi-Oh! the better it is for the game. It is a good idea to check out UDE's card rulings or find a judge, as card rulingsare important to the running of a tournament. You can spread the word among your friends, or post flyers or any other creative way to get the message out.
Prepare For Your Destruction!
Once you find a local tournament, it is ideal to have a deck to go with before you get to the event. The card shop or traders may not have what you need in order to build the deck, so it is better to be safe than sorry. You can reference my last article about card choice and deck building for some ideas on how to get started, but I do have some ideas on how you can refine your deck and mindset.
1) Research what is being played, both in your area as well as the National Metagame itself.
2) Try out some wacky ideas, the Local Tournament is the place to test them.
3) Use a 40 card deck, unless the idea requires more cards or you can't bear to make cuts.
4) Try to go into the tournament without hoping to win. You have been out of the game for a whil, so it may take a few    
    events for you to get back in the flow of things.
5) Keep an open mind about younger players, a 10 year old at my local in Elk Grove can kick my butt any day.
6) Go into it to have fun and you will.
Lets Spice Things Up!
One problem with the game lately is that people are starting to lose interest in the game. This is either due to expense or massively overpowered decks. I am going to take a leaf from Wizards of the Coast's (the makers of Magic and the original Pokemon game) book and propose some creative solutions to local tournament boredom syndrome that you can introduce to your local tournament.
1) Bring in more players by having special events as well as flyers and what not. You would be surprised who pays attention.
2) Hold special events to shake things up such as:
    a) Drafts (each player buys 3 packs and then pass those packs around, taking one card each time then making a deck out of said cards-20 card decks)
    b) Sealed Events (like drafts, each player buys 3 packs, but makes a deck out of those cards only-20 card decks)
    c) Highlander (Each player makes a 100 card deck with no duplicates. lots of fun for younger players)
    d) 4X10 (Each player has a deck with 10 normal monsters, 10 effect monsters, 10 spells and 10 traps)
    e) Elder Dragon Highlander (same as regular Highlander, except your monsters have to have the same attribute as a selected 'General' card in your deck)
    f) Traditional (Each player may build a deck as if all Forbidden cards were at 1 per deck. List on yugioh-card.com)
    g) Tag Team (each player teams up with a partner for tag dueling like in the show. Special rules on yugioh-card.com)
    h) No List (any card that appears on the banlist at ALL is treated as banned)
    i) Good Vs. Evil (The players are set up into to teams, one playing LIGHT ONLY decks, the other playing DARK ONLY decks. The team with the most wins overall wins)
3) Make a crazy deck, like mill, burn or tie decks and have fun with it.
That's all I have for you today. You can reach me at raptor1k@hotmail.com if you have any questions or whatever. I love emails, so if you have something to say, say it!
Thanx for Reading!


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