How to Build Winning Yugioh Tournament Decks

Published: 11th April 2008
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Let's start from scratch. We all know that a basic deck must contain at least 40 yugioh cards. Although the rules allow you to have more than 40, tournament worthy decks are 99% made up of exactly 40 yugioh cards. In some cases, experts do play with 41 or 42 instead of 40. However, they usually have a very good reason for doing so. That is an advanced topic and will probably be best suited for another article altogether. Any new deck starts with 40.

The best reason for building a core of just 40 yugioh cards is simple mathematics. Yugioh decks are allowed no more than 3 copies of any one yugioh card. It doesn't matter if it's common or an ultra rare. No more than 3 -- that's all you get. So basic arithmetic shows that the chances of drawing a particular card from your deck is 7.5% (3 divided by 40). Compared to a 50 card deck, your chances decrease to 6.0% (3 divided by 50). The 1.5% difference may seem small now, but that only applies at the start of the game, when you're drawing your opening hand.

When you find yourself needing that one spell or trap card to win the game, the difference actually increases. Compare the edge mid-game with 15 cards already drawn from your deck. Assuming that you haven't drawn any of the 3 copies of your key cards, the difference is apparent. 12% (3 divided by 25 cards left) versus 8.6% (3 divided by 35 cards left). Imagine if you and your opponent are racing for a specific yugioh card in your respective decks. I've seen games like these. Whoever draws their key card first usually locks up the game. Sure there's luck, but you also have to sway luck towards you by building in the best chances into your yugioh deck.

The next key item is to find out any additional banned or restricted yugioh card list that the tournament has listed. Some tournaments restrict some rare yugioh cards to 1 copy per deck. The reason for any banning or restriction is because the card is too strong and/or easily exploited. What we're going to focus on is the restricted list. If a restricted yugioh card fits the theme or goal that your deck is trying to accomplish, then you definitely want it in your deck. If you know of yugioh cards that will eventually be banned or restricted, it's best to work those cards into your current tournament deck. If you can and if it makes sense, include 3 copies.

The final aspect of core deck-buidling is the metagame. The metagame is simply the breakdown of the types of decks your competition uses. A good estimate of the current metagame will allow you to build your deck to properly counter your competition. Let say that you estimate the current metagame in your area to be 40% beatdown decks, 40% turbo-combo decks, 5% dragon decks, 5% gadget decks, 5% spellcaster decks, 5% other. Most metagames lean towards 1-2 winning deck types from previous tournaments or a winning list published in a recent magazine. In this example, you will most likely run into a beatdown deck or turbo-combo deck. With this in mind, you can begin building your deck with specific yugioh cards that will help you against these types of decks. You will most likely end up building an antithesis of these decks or simply a better version of the decks because you will fare better in a mirror-match.

Caleb McLellan is an avid gamer and hobby writer. Aside from actively trading yugioh cards , he also teaches new hobbyists in his local game shop. He's been known to be a fan of foil rare yugioh cards and loves building all foil decks for tournaments.

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