Last week, one of our numbers infiltrated the sacred ground of the Dueling Arena. Armed with only his notebook, his requisite glasses-and-black-turtleneck writing ensemble, and, of course, his nerves of steel, he quietly sidled in to watch the tournament-in-progress. Clustered around a half-dozen tables at the back of the hobby shop, the up-and-coming elite tried their strength, bartered their cards and traded secrets. Returning from his mission, the agent brought news of his experience for those who may one day wish to play in a tournament themselves. Are you prepared?
Finding the Ring
Use the official Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG website to find your nearest tournament. Try to arrive early and remember to bring to bring the registration fee. If it’s your first time, you’ll also register for an ID. Also consult the current Forbidden/Limited Cards List before you arrive—your Deck will be inspected when you register, and you will not be allowed to participate if it doesn't pass the check.
Let the Games Begin!
When everyone’s registered, the hosts will announce your opponent. You will then play a Match, which operates on a two-out-of-three format. These matches will be timed, so keep a good pace. Players who rank highly will receive Turbo Packs as prizes, and their success will be added to their profiles.
Between the Bells
Tournaments can be a great place to make friends and swap strategies. Many of the other duelists will know each other already, so there’s no reason for you to be the odd Duelist out. Many also bring cards they want to trade; even if you don’t have anything you want to lose, it’s still a great way to see what’s on the table.
No one likes a bully, so unless your opponent is glowing purple and planning to revive Dark Lord So-And-So, show your opponent basic respect.
Don’t just breeze past a confused opponent. Make sure they understand the effects of the cards you play, and give them a chance to activate their own in response.
Never touch an opponent’s cards without their permission. Don’t rifle through their binders or Decks unless they say you can. You wouldn’t want them touching your cards, right?
Now that you've got the basics down, go out there, find a local tournament, and DUEL!
by Chris Turner
About Chris Turner
A casual duelist and former Viz Media intern, Chris has ascended the ranks and now writes for us as a freelancer.