How to Win: Preparing for Tournaments


Hello everyone! This week, I will be talking about something different. I’m going to be talking about the correct way to prepare for a tournament. Preparation is the key to doing well at events.

 “Tournaments are won weeks in advance of the actual tournament itself”

A quote that I always think of when preparing for my next event is, “Tournaments are won weeks in advance of the actual tournament itself”. I really like this quote because I think it’s 100% true. Just like anything else, if you put the time in and work effectively and constantly towards your goal you will succeed. There are many things that should be taken care of before you attend the event such as testing extensively with others, going over siding for every match with others, and taking care of yourself before and during the tournament. Also, I’m mostly talking about Premiere Events, not so much regionals and definitely not locals.

ATeamTrapDisposalUnit-DR3-EN-R-UEFirst off, if you expect to do remotely well at any tournament, you better have tested your deck against the meta. If you do not know what the current meta is or haven’t tested your deck against it, please do not expect to do well. Your hope of beating “meta players” with your beat-down deck is nothing more than a dream. If you want to do well, learning the meta and knowing how to counter it is essential. To learn that, you must test pretty much everything. You will spend constant hours grinding to find the answers you seek. For example, maybe a card everyone was hyping actually turns out to be downright awful and you figure that out before everybody else because you put in the work. That gives you an enormous advantage over everyone else in the room because your deck will obviously not be playing that mediocre card. Also, I highly recommend finding a testing partner or partners of your skill level or if you can, people better than you. Usually, the better people already have their own testing group and their not very open to new players coming in, so you usually have to start with people around your level if you’re only an average player. Anyways, testing with others vastly increases your chances of discovery and I highly recommend it.

MysticalSpaceTyphoonSDMA-EN-C-1EIn addition to testing against the meta, knowing how to side against all of your relevant matchups is extremely important. I see this all the time, people drop games due to them not siding correctly. They either bring a card in that is not very beneficial to them, or they take the wrong card(s) out. Then, after they lose, they say they drew badly because none of their cards really did anything against that specific matchup. Most of the time, one of the cards they drew was one that they were supposed to have taken out of their deck or not sided in, so obviously that card will not do much for you if it’s not supposed to be there in the first place. Learning how to side perfectly for every matchup will lead you to more wins. If you’re making sure all of your cards in your deck are at least viable against the matchup you’re playing rather than have some outright awful cards in your deck, it is obvious that you will do better. Most don’t have the problem on what to side in, but it’s more on what to side out. Usually, players can tell what cards are decent and what cards aren’t against their matchup, but they all have a problem with finding the correct cards to side out. For example, this is something I notice all the time. A deck maining Spell/Trap hate plays against a deck playing little to no backrow. Once Game 2 comes around, you might think it would be obvious to side out your Wiretaps or Mystical Space Typhoons, but apparently it is not. That is a very basic example, but hopefully you get what I’m trying to say. Learn what cards and how many of them you would like to side out of your deck before you decide what/how many to side in. Also, if you do this while building your side deck, it can really help out with your ratios and finding the perfect 15 cards to cover all of your matchups. Again, I really recommend doing this with another person(s), more brains working to accomplish the same task can rarely result in something negative.

MindDrain-LTGY-EN-C-1ENext, you have to have a good amount of energy for the tournament because you will be playing Yu-Gi-Oh for a good 8 hours straight which is both mentally and physically exhausting. Everybody knows what they should be doing the night before a tournament, sleeping and making sure you ate something. Now, I know from personal experiences it is very hard to get to sleep due to you seeing your friends that you don’t get to see very often and wanting to hang out as much as possible, but you have to remember, you spent money to get to this event, you’re there to win and be successful. Therefore, you must make sure you get at least a few hours in before the tournament. Eating usually isn’t a problem for most because everyone likes to go out to dinner the night before a tournament to relax and have a good time. Moving forward to the day of the tournament, please take care of all your hygiene needs. Take a shower, brush your teeth, and slap on some deodorant because it’s going to be a long day. Taking care of your hygiene is pretty important in my opinion because personally, if I feel gross while I’m trying to concentrate on something, it really distracts me, and I know for a fact it distracts others. Nobody wants to smell you from five tables away so please do everyone and yourself a favor, take care of yourself.

ForbiddenChalice-PGLD-EN-GUR-1EFurthermore, making sure your body and mind is ready for the big day is one thing, but maintaining your structure during the tournament is another. Staying hydrated, eating, and going to the bathroom between rounds is very important. I recommend bringing bottles of water, and some sort of food that isn’t terrible for you and is also filling. Since you’re going to be at the tournament for a long time and most convention center food and drink is overpriced and usually not good for you, you will want to bring something from home like granola bars or some sort of fruit. The reason I usually try to eat something healthy during the tournament is because after you eat some junk food, you can feel gross and bloated which can greatly distract you. Apart from eating, another thing to do while you’re waiting for the next round to start is to try and find your group of friends and talk to them about their rounds. This is something I personally love to do because I find it relaxing socializing with my friends. If you ever get antsy like I do during a tournament, this is a great remedy to it. Also, if you ever get upset after a loss, re-creating the gamestate with your friends to see if there was any different line of play you could have taken to potentially win you that game should calm you down as well. I find it that I get less upset if I found out that I misplayed that game because I feel if I misplay I do not deserve to win. Even if you find out that there was nothing else you could have done to win, your friends will just calm you down just by talking. This is extremely important because if you go into the next round upset, you’re most likely going to be experiencing tilt. Being on tilt is one of the worst things that can happen to you, that is, if you let it.

In conclusion, if you’re itching to do well at a certain event, prepare correctly for it and you should be rewarded. Test against the meta, learn the ins and outs of siding, and take care of your hygiene and your preparation will be complete. After you’re done preparing, it mostly relies on how well you play, and if the cards you’re dealt are playable or not.

That about sums it up for this weeks article! Hopefully you all learned something about how preparing for a Yu-Gi-Oh tournament is like preparing for anything else, if you work hard and correctly, you will be rewarded.

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