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For Rent

Mofox's Journey

Mofox’s journey from Newbie to the
UK National Tournament.
February 23, 2005

As Yu-Gi-Oh! players read about the exploits of the most revered players and teams in the game and how they dominate tournaments and Shonen Jump Championships and etch their names into Yu-Gi-Oh! folklore.  In the background there are a huge number of players who have a couple of starter decks and lurk around the message boards of Yu-Gi-Oh! websites, only dreaming about the possibility of being able to actually duel.  They hold their Dark Magician card close to their chests, wishing that one day they could unleash his great power and finish their opponent in the same style that Yugi Moto did in all those anime episodes.  These newbies are the future of this game.  The injection of new blood provides greater competition, new deck ideas and expands the popularity of what is already one of, if not the, most popular TCG’s around.  However there are a large number of these new players whose interest falters and they eventually give up their once favourite hobby.  They sell their Dark Magician on eBay, claiming they are too old to play the game anymore.  In reality though it was all because they could never make that step into the duelling arena.


These articles will help those players take that next step.  I am one of these players.  I am a big Yu-Gi-Oh! fan and had all the same desires as those new players did.  The difference is that I took that next step and stepped into the duelling arena.  5 duels later and I want to share my already limited experience with those players, but also take it further.  I now desire to compete at the top, whether I make it or not will be written about in these articles.  This is my journey from utter newbie to eventually qualifying and duelling in the UK National Tournament.


I guess I should start right at the very beginning, enjoy.



My journey began in May 2004 while sitting on my couch at home.  After getting up early on a Saturday morning I flicked on my newly purchased NTL digital TV service and while flicking through the channels ended up stopping on Sky One where a colourful Japanese cartoon caught my eye.  Being a fan of Manga style movies and my enjoyment of watching a few episodes of Dragonball Z, I decided to stick around and watch what seemed to be a battle between two individuals.  The taller of the two individuals in his long white coat, announced wildly “I sacrifice my two monsters to summon Blue Eyes White Dragon” (cue dramatic music) and upon an explosion of light out emerged this huge white dragon.  I was now hooked.  The battle continued with the taller guy summoning a further 2 white dragons and the smaller timid guy looking quite a bit scared.  ‘This little guy is going to get creamed’ I thought to myself, then the episode ended.  B*****ds!! I hate it when they leave you hanging like that.  I pressed the TV button on the remote to bring up the TV guide (ah the benefits of digital TV) and noticed it was a double episode and the next was on straight away.  Just enough time to make some Weetabix.


The next episode commenced with a summary of the previous episode.  I then watched the intro sequence to what was to become my all time favourite programme Yu-Gi-Oh! As the episode began the immortal words of “its time to d-d-d-d-duel” were already playing over and over in my mind.  The episode began where the last left off.  The taller guy had 3 huge beasts on his side and the smaller guy had nothing, except what he termed ‘the pieces of some puzzle’ in his hand of cards.  I was intrigued to know what the solution to the puzzle was, and I wasn’t to be disappointed as in his next turn he drew the card necessary to complete the jigsaw.  He then proceeded to summon an almighty god-like figure called Exodia.  Who proceeded to blast away all the dragons and also the taller guys points.  It came to light that the taller guy was an undefeated champion in this game of duel monsters and the little guy had not played properly before, and had beaten this champion of champions.  Being a Brit and a sucker for the underdog I was hooked, this was the beginning of a new obsession that would be called Yu-Gi-Oh!  I continued to tune in weekly to get my weekend helpings of this wonderful anime and even if I didn’t get up early enough Sky were kind enough to repeat the episodes on Sky One Mix a couple of hours later.


It wasn’t until my birthday in the September of 2004 that I was purchased some actual cards.  A Yugi Starter Deck and a Joey Starter Deck.  I didn’t even know that you could own the cards that they used on the show.  I spent the rest of the day reading each card’s text and also organising the cards into spells, traps and monsters and then organising the monsters into normal and effect monsters, and then even organising them by ATK values (highest at the top).  I was soon to learn that there were actually more of these starter decks.  A late birthday present ended up being the Pegasus Starter Deck and I went out to WHSmiths and bought the Kaiba Starter Deck, Yugi Evolution Starter Deck and Kaiba Evolution Deck.  My collection had begun.  With 6 starter decks I now had a collection of over 250 cards and was spending most evenings just organising them, reading the rulebook and making some pretty basic decks.


It wasn’t until I changed jobs in December of 2004 that my interest in the game reached a new level as in my new job I had internet access and after a couple of weeks trawling the internet I found 2 sites that I still read avidly today, www.pojo.com and www.metagame.com.  I soon came to realise that this game was in fact a real-life card game that was played worldwide and had a huge following with millions of active tournament players.  There were regional tournaments, national tournaments and even a world championship.  My obsession intensified to new unbelievable levels.



I hope you enjoyed that rewind back to that first episode of the anime.  The next article will discuss how my obsession grew and how I started to meet some of very first obstacles to my love of this game.


Until next time fellow duellists!


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