Hello Yu-Gi-Oh! community! Today I am here to talk about “Going into Time” and how it may lose you the game when you’re in the winning position. When playing in a sanctioned tournament there is always 40 minutes to complete the round. Once the 40 minutes are up you go into a time procedure, which follows:
1. There will be 5 turns starting with turn player as turn 0
2. Whoever has more life points by the end of turn 5 wins the game
3. If tied in life points after those 5 turns, they will continue playing (Sudden Death) until there is a difference in life points at the end of each turn
These are rules to remember when playing in any sanctioned Yu-Gi-Oh! tournament. They are very simple, but many people lose to them because they don’t keep track of time.
I have personal experience with time. I lost on the bubble (last round) of YCS Miami because my opponent kept playing very slow every time I asked him to speed up. I never raised my hand and once time was called and it was turn 4 my last turn I was +5 on him and for sure was going to win the next turn because he was under Number 16: Shock Master for monster effects. Only if I had another turn I would have been able to reduce his life points lower than mine and would have full control. But due to time I ended up losing and not topping YCS Miami. I was so upset because I was in the winning position, but there was nothing I could do at that moment. If I would have called a judge over earlier before time the judge might have been able to make sure he wasn’t slow playing and hive him warnings or a game loss if he didn’t stop. It was partly my fault for not taking action and it ended up with me losing.
Keeping track of time in Yu-Gi-Oh! is very important. It tells you to speed up your game play and/or tell your opponent to speed up their game play. Asking your opponent to speed up their turn sounds like it is being rude, but it is in the best interests of both of them. If your opponent chooses to not listen to you about them slow playing, raise your hand and call for a judge. You might think that’s rude or mean, but if you decide to not do it and you lose in time you shouldn’t be complaining after the fact that you lost in time because of your opponent slow playing. You can control this and make them hurry up with their plays.
Everyone wants to win their match and shouldn’t have the chance of losing it because you didn’t know how to go about being in time. I’m going to go into more depth about tips on how to play in tournaments dealing with time or people you think are trying to stall because they want to go to time.
First, I’ll talk about always keeping an eye on the clock. Make sure you are able to see the clock or if you can not ask a judge how much time is left in the round so you have a general ideal of how fast you may need to play or telling your opponent to speed up.
Next, if you are up a game and while playing game two keep track of the time because you can use this to your advantage. If you in a losing position and you see there are less then 10 minutes left on the clock you may want to scoop up your cards right then and get to game three ASAP so you will have enough time for that game. When in this situation you may want to side cards out if you think you might go into time that may lose you the game. For example cards like Upstart Goblin, Solemn Warning, and even Soul Charge. These cards are life point modifiers and could be a dead draw if you go into time.
Side decking during time very important. If you know you play kind of slow or you’re playing a combo deck that takes a very long time to combo off, you may want to side some cards that may help you get an advantage in time. Like in Satellarknights they can side Satellarknight Alsahm or even Battleguard Howling. For some generic side deck card they may help that can burn your opponent are Ceasefire (which just went to two on the new Forbidden and Limited list) and Secret Barrel. These cards could be put into any decks side deck and could potentially win the game for them.
Next, you don’t want to be the person slow playing or being called the judge on. Getting a slow playing warning is serious and could end up losing you games or even matches. At big events like Regionals and YCS’ warnings do carry on until the end of the tournament and getting a second warning for the same reason the judge is allowed to give you a game loss. Worst case for slow playing and getting multiple warnings for slow playing would be disqualification from the tournament. So make sure you are taking the right amount of time to make your plays and be consistent with your speed. If you take 30 seconds to make a turn it doesn’t give you the right to take 5 minutes the turn after. You have to be respectful to every player you face.
Ruling disputes can come up and in any sanctioned tournament you raise your hand and call a judge over to answer your tournament. At your locals you may not get an additional time extension because it’s a local and not a major event. But at bigger events like Regionals and YCSes, if you feel like the judge took to long to answer your question and they don’t offer a time extension ask for one. I’m not saying if the judge took 30 seconds to make a ruling ask for it, but if the judge took around 2 minutes or over I would say you have the right to a time extension. Getting additional time is always good and could decide the match in the end. So don’t be shy to ask for a time extension because if you don’t ask for it you could lose the match because you went into time.
Something you may want to know when entering time is that playing conservative may not always be the right choice you only have three turns to make it that your life points are higher then your opponents and setting monsters or holding trap cards may not be the correct way to go about playing in time. You have to know when to get aggressive and when to defense up. When you up in life point by a greater amount then your opponent you should probably play as aggressive as possible to make it that your opponent can’t have a come back. When your and your opponents life points are very close or the same this is when you need to make a crucial decision on to play conservative and wait for your moment or aggressive and try to be the first one to deal a blow to each others life points. If deciding to play aggressive you might first want have protection cards anywhere from having Wiretap to stop opponents traps or to even having a back up plan if your monster dies for example cards like Mirror Force or Dimensional Prison. If playing conservative you have to eventually become aggressive or your opponent will. Don’t be so conservative as when you’re holding a Dark Hole or a Raigeki in hand until they have more then one monster. Sometimes you just have to deal with one monster at a time and destruction cards like Dark Hole and Raigeki may need to be used on one monster for you to even make an aggressive play.
How will you approach time being called? Will you be aggressive or conservative when playing in time? Thank you for reading and let me know if I missed anything that you feel is important when dealing with time. Any comments or questions you can leave in the comment box below. Thank you again.