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Tomas's Duel School

The Game Once Played With Class, Now Fallen From That Tier

23, 2008

    Well it's been a while again everyone. A quick update to all. I was actually able to qualify for nationals, yay me! I actually started officially playing a month ago after 9 months away from the game, so it felt really good to come back strong. There are a lot of people to thank, Mike and Jay for a big boost in cards, Team Fusion for helping perfect the deck that I used to qualify for nationals, either called Middle City or Middle Earth (Kevin Wang says Middle Earth sounds better). And most importantly Bianca, I know sometimes it's hard, but thank you for letting me come back and play, I love you. =]

    Integrity, Dictionary.Reference.Com defines it as: "adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty." This means to have morals, showing your character through morals, and honesty. The thing about this game, is that it started once as a fun game that was based off the cartoon. With Yugi and his gang, Kaiba and his brother and everyone else that got in the way. From Duelist Kingdom, to Battle City, to GX and now 5Ds, the TV show and the game itself have evolved. Yet from a thriving and evolving game we have, there are many bad characters in the game. We saw in Season 1, when Weevil Underwood threw Yugi's Exodia pieces into the water to give himself an advantage, that, in that show, he was a main villian, just for that split second, he made a huge difference in the show. Now let's take into consideration, Regionals and Shonen Jump Championships. So many times does a person play a villain. If I had a dollar for every time i heard someone's deck got stolen and now they're disqualified because they couldn't make their round in time, I could probably buy an iPod right now (not just a shuffle or used one either). This game has gome from good to bad to worse.

    Before I get into game play and how bad that has been, but getting better. Theft. Theft is by far one of the biggest concerns of everyone at an event now. Unless you're packing heat, which I don't think people should do at a trading card game event. One this is for sure, there are countless of people there, not only to play, but to benefit themselves with the stealing of someone else's binder, deck, or specific card. I know this first hand, at a local tournament, there were two people who worked together who tried to steal my Crush Card Virus. I was trying to trade them for theirs, as my friend needed one, and then as I was about to finalize the deal with them, i noticed that my Crush Card Virus was missing from my deckbox. Luckily for me, Mike, and a few other people in the store, were able to watch the guy, when i turned my head to talk to other people about the trade. The one thing for sure of that story, it would have been MY fault if I got my Crush Card Virus card stolen. The mere fact that for a second I turned my head, there could have went 250+ dollars right there. A great thing to have whenever you go places, is friends. Going to an event by yourself, isn't always the best idea. Well yes now I have learned to watch my stuff even more carefully, but still, there is always a small feeling of paranoia around when I have higher end cards on my person. The thing is, NEVER and i mean NEVER stop watching your stuff, the second you do, it could be gone. From one random foil card, to even a full Dark Armed Dragon deck, i've heard of being stolen.

    Remember everyone, there are a lot of consequences for theft. Not only are you looking at 2-3 year suspension by UDE, but also, there can be things done to you by law enforcement. Is it REALLY worth it, to try to steal a few cards from a few people? Sure you may think, hey, I've done it before and never got caught, but do you want to get caught one day and look ridiculous? How would you feel if you ended up getting your stuff stolen as well? It's not nice at all. Also, another big thing is that, a lot of people, are watching trades just to watch. Judges don't walk around for nothing, a lot of times they will see shady and shifty things going on and they can catch you. People watch all the time, like at my last regionals, won't go into detail, but finally some thieves were caught and taken away from our gaming area and events. The thing is, it's a game, play for fun and to win, but don't be deceitful and try to steal your way to the top. The upside, is never worth the downside. And when judges specifically tell you to watch your stuff, you should understand, all the thieves lurking around waiting for the second you slip up.

    Now to integrity of gameplay. This one is even harder to explain to people. But really, why cheat in a card game. Stacking your deck is even harder now with the "Shuffle, Shuffle, Cut, Cut" rule, but to all honesty, I have never ever seen it. As a former Vs System player, even at Pro Circuit, I used to not shuffle or even cut my deck, because with a high prestige tournament, I knew people would have the honor of playing fair. That all changed a week after Pro Circuit Los Angeles, when I played in Shonen Jump Championship San Jose, no need to put out names, but my friend watched my opponent and knew for sure he stacked, knowing that I don't touch my opponent's deck. That was the LAST time, at a big event I didn't shuffle or cut someone's deck, unless it was a friend. People still stack to this day, and it's evident. It's not just always luck to have the hands that some people get, but sometimes, their own premeditated actions that can push a game or match into their favour. the "Shuffle Shuffle Cut Cut" rule should always be used, especially in a big event, Regionals or Shonen Jump Championship. You can quickly pile shuffle your opponents deck, or just shuffle it regularly like you would your own a quick few times. Make sure you both cut the deck, and then just play. I know this game should be fun, but you should also keep in mind, it's never fun to be cheated out of anything.

    Then there are those who just stall, it's sad really. To have to win a match because you play slow, yes, a win is a win, but unless you're playing a stall deck, like slow burn or a deck with Self-Destruct Button, you shouldn't be so far long into a match, yes, some matches do take a while, I would know, one of my rounds at Pro Circuit Los Angeles took over an hour because my opponent played a loop deck and it took him over 20 minutes on turn 7 to do his part of the turn. People should be weary of players like this, where they will take forever to play, play fast as time is winding down, then go ahead and side into stall or burn to keep him or her in the match and potentially win because of it. It's not that often for players to do this anymore, but many still do and many have. (Though the Self-Destruct Button deck is a really fun deck to play and watch). Just keep a lookout for stallers, and if anything, calling over a judge for someone taking longer than 3 minutes to do anything is never bad, but always ask politely to your opponent first to try to play a bit faster, that usually helps the most.

    Rule sharks. Now there are many of those. I have talked to so many judges over the years and that's a huge thing, even to this day, Rule Sharkers and those people who try to catch you on every little technicality out there just so they can win that game or match due to various warnings and gameplay issues. Yet, many judges have become aware of players like this, and don't always rule with them, more players I see getting warnings for this action, than the other player. Sometimes mistakes are made, and they are reversible, some aren't and have to be called out for a game or match loss, but the small things, don't always be such a prick and call a judge for it. If it's really game changing, then yet you can, but don't tell me that every little thing needs to be called. That's like in football, EVERY play has holding, yet they call it only when its totally blatant and obvious it happened. Like how both the receiver and cornerback/safety are pushing off of each other for the ball, yet Offensive Pass Interference is rarely called. Don't just put it on others for the fact you can't win on your own, or with your own skill. use your skill and use what you can. play to win, but don't play to win like that. Where's the fun and joy of just getting your opponent to leave the table with a loss because of a few technicalities?

    This is a fun game, when everyone makes it fun. Everyone should be playing with high class and honour. I'm not saying let's all play like it is in Japan, where when people lost to Victory Dragon they lost to it and didn't concede before the game was about to end, but at least make it fun and fair for all. It can be fun to lose as well, if you played your hardest and it was a great match, you'll remember it for the great plays both players made, and be proud of yourself for a great match played. Just make sure to watch your stuff, and have fun playing and hanging out with friends. You won't always have the opportunities to all your life to do it, and while you can, make the most of it. There are a lot of nice people out there. Meet them, talk to them, have fun. This game doesn't need to be a bad game or looked down upon at all by anyone. We should bring this game to the top of the honour and prestige tier of gaming.

- Tomas Mijares






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