I learned to play Yugioh years ago. I only had my friends to play with. My parents were completely disinterested. At some point, I learned there were tournaments and started attending. I realized I was awful at this game and that my deck was awful. These people were on a completely different level than I was. I wanted to be like them. I wanted to be good at this game. I wanted a better deck. I wanted to know what priority meant. The decks that were used against me weren’t fair, but obviously, they were legal and anyone could play these unfair decks, making them fair. I learned a lot on my own and part of the reason I started The Big Eye was to help new players. But what I hadn’t realized was that a lot of new players are young and a lot of parents have kids that like Yugioh and don’t know anything about it. Let’s get into the parents’ guide to tournament Yugioh. Everything here also applies to any new players of the game.
First off, what is Yugioh? Yugioh is a card game and nearly everything is done by Konami Digital Entertainment. There are multiple divisions of the company, but in terms of Yugioh, there are two games. TCG, or Trading Card Game, and OCG, Original Card Game. Likely you want to know about the TCG. The TCG regions are North and South America, Europe and Australia. Yugioh is in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian and Portuguese. You’re allowed to use any copy of a card from any of these languages. The rules can be found here. You can also read Konami’s parent guide.
If your child is interested in Yugioh, please don’t squash their enjoyment of the game. Almost all of my current friends I made through Yugioh. I was never into sports or other ‘manly’ things. Growing up in the U.S., this was always an issue. I was not the best in gym class, but Yugioh tournaments were places where no one judged me for not liking football and my age didn’t matter. I was 13 years old and would sit down across the table from someone who was 23 and we would play.
Depending on how old your child is and how they learned to play, they will be at various rule comprehension levels. I’ve met many young/new players who thought the game started with 4000 LP. Please, read the rulebook if you’re going to play, and make sure your child has read the rulebook. Then, once you have a deck, make sure it’s legal. You can check the F&L list which restricts certain cards in tournament play and provides the information of how many copies of each card you can play. Somehow new players always end up with older forbidden cards that haven’t been reprinted in several years. Check to make sure your deck(s) is/are legal. If a card isn’t on the list at all, you can play three copies in a deck.
Usually, there are only a couple best decks at any given time. The F&L List ensures that if players want to win consistently, they need to buy new cards. Usually, the good new decks are good for 4-5 months and playable for 3-4 more months after that. It sucks, but if winning is the goal, you’ll need to buy/trade for new decks several times a year. And, unfortunately, new decks can cost anywhere from $100 and $500+. If you have the budget to spend and want to, I suggest that you do. Sometimes you won’t need to buy much because you can trade the old cards, but cards usually go down in price. While less expensive than other hobbies, Yugioh still is a hobby and still requires money. If there isn’t a desire to be truly competitive, then don’t worry about buying new cards. I previously wrote about how to make budget decks. And remember, buying packs is a bad way to get the cards you want.
Okay, you/your child has the necessary gear – deck, deck box, sleeves, paper+pen and a playmat. If this is the first time you’re going to a tournament, you probably don’t have a good deck in terms of what the rest of the players are bringing. But first, you need to find a store. After you’ve found a store, talk to the people inside and figure out when the tournaments are and what time it starts. Be a little early and be ready. You’re going to get absolutely crushed, but that’s okay. Ask the players doing the crushing what decks are good and not the most expensive and let them know your budget. Most of the time experienced players are willing to help out. Even if unplayable, the local players will be willing to at least point you in a direction you can take.
As for the actual tournament structure, it’s not elimination. Or at least, usually isn’t. It’s some number of swiss rounds if there are 6 or more people. What that means is round one everyone is paired randomly. Each player who wins gets awarded three points, and each player who loses gets zero points. Then for round two, you’re paired against someone you haven’t played who has the same amount of points as you, if possible. It gets more complicated, but that’s done within the software and you don’t have to worry about that. Some small stores do a top cut where the top 4, 8 or 16 play a single elimination bracket. Then, when that’s over, prizes are awarded. Some stores don’t do top cut, but most do.
Here are some suggestions for tournament prep:
Go to this site or this site and look at the recent tournament decks.
You can play them online against other people here.
The official database.
Several other strategy sites to read.
Yugioh-Card.com is the official site and has both upcoming tournaments and a store finder.
Finally, you can send me a message. Follow me on both Facebook and Twitter and feel free to reach out to me with your questions on those platforms as well. I’ll help out how I can. Yugioh is a hard game. And if you’re a parent, parenting is hard, but remember, being a child isn’t always easy, either. If you want to know something, I recommend googling it because you don’t have to wait for a response from me, but I’ll still be happy to answer questions. Of course, you can leave a comment below, too.
If you felt like I have been helpful, you can help me out in several ways. You can click an ad or check out any sponsors I have. I have a Patreon if you want to support me directly for my content and if you use Amazon, bookmark my link. That tells them I sent you and I get a small commission on sales from that. Also, if you’re playing casually, there are usually lots of structure decks available.
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