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  Alpay Engin on Game Psychology – “Event Preparation”

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PostSubject: Alpay Engin on Game Psychology – “Event Preparation”   Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:01 am

Dear Yu-Gi-Oh Community,

If you have wondered how to prepare for a large-scale event in order to top it, this article might provide you with the necessary tips and hints, especially if you are doing your first steps to become a competitive player.

In this article I will explain you the most important points to prepare for an event, which are “Play-Testing”, “Deck Choice”, “Metagame and Ruling Knowledge” and “Focus within the Game”.

Play-testing
The first and most important point on the list to prepare for an event is “play-testing”. One should test all deck options for a large-scale event and thereby gain an overview on the strongest decks of the current metagame.

The best way to do so is online via different websites like Duelingnetwork or devpro. When doing so, it is important to play a lot of matches against the current Tier 1 or Tier 0 decks. The term “matches” really means matches, as you should also test your side-deck in those matches and how different interact with your main deck. Tests should also include so called “non-meta decks”, because it is very likely that you are paired up against some of those during the early rounds of a large-scale event.

Additionally, you should also switch your play-test partners from time to time, in order to avoid situations in which you can read them easily due to having played against them for a long time.

So called Tech-cards provide you with the opportunity to better your match-ups against certain decks, however they should be tested even more thoroughly, as they might appear good in theory, but their power never wears off in reality.


Deck Choice
After thorough testing, it is foremost also important, which deck you choose for an event in the end.

Important factors to consider are, how good the match-ups of that particular deck are against the metagame and if it loses automatically to a certain deck or floodgates. As a result you should build your main AND side deck in a way to tackle those issues you recognized while testing. Consistency of your deck and the combos your deck tries to do is the key to success in a large-scale event, as you usually play several rounds of Swiss at those events. Nevertheless, you shall not neglect the power of certain cards or combos in order to make your deck more consistent.

The Deck-choice rate of other players is important as well, because this will define the metagame at the event you plan to attend. If you realize that a certain deck is played by a lot of players, because it is cheaper than other decks and operates at the same power level, but you are having a bad match-up against those decks, you should build your main and side-deck accordingly to cover that match-up, as it relatively likely that you will have to play against that deck.

In a worst case scenario, you should consider to switch your deck, if the match-ups expected are that bad, like I did at the European WCQ. I had been testing Frog-Monarchs for a whole month together with Norman and Eugen, due to Norman’s success with it at the German Nationals and its excellent match-up against HAT. We were expecting HAT to be the most represented deck at Euros as well, but the metagame changed and people began to play decks like Mermail, Spellbook and Sylvian more and more. Additionally, Lightsworns were just released and proved to be a bad match-up as well for Monarchs. As a last minute test of our hypothesis Norman wandered around in the Hall on Friday and counted 100 players and which decks they were playing at the last chance qualifiers. The results indeed revealed what we were expecting. Roughly 50% of the decks were either Mermail, Sylvian, Lightsworn or Spellbooks. It is always good to check out the decks being played on Friday at the event hall in order to extrapolate the metagame for the next day. Given this, we both changed our decks and luckily both of us topped as well. We are sure that, we would not have topped, if we would have played Frog Monarch.

Metagame and Ruling Knowledge
The next point on the list you should prepare for is the overall metagame. This means not only to prepare for the decks being currently played, but also for the cards each deck plays. By this you can read which cards your opponents might have set face-down or in their hand. By reading your opponents cards, you can plan accordingly and prepare a back-up plan to hinder your opponents comebacks. As stated in the play-testing part your preparation should also include non-meta decks, especially specific card rulings. The best example, how powerful non-meta decks can be, if no-one knows their rulings is the Prophecy Deck during the YCS Lille 2013 format. Mermails were the dominating deck at that time, however, some Prophecy decks could sneak themselves into the top cut. Despite having a great match-up against Mermail, most of the Mermail duelist did not know that Spellbook of Fate does not target or that Tower could miss its timing, resulting in them making the wrong plays. Updating your current ruling knowledge before a large-scale event by asking one or ideally both Head Judges is also important, as for example at YCS Milan it was ruled that if an Extra-Deck monster is flipped face-down by Book of Moon, while your opponent uses Shaddoll Fusion, your opponent cannot fusion from the Main Deck.

Focus within the Game
Last but least, when playing at the event you are attending, it is important to focus on the match and to exclude all external influences. This is only possible, if you get enough rest before the event. So make sure that you get enough sleep and food as you need and organize everything you need as early as possible, as playing at large-scale events can be very stressful and energy consuming. Loss of concentration can lead to being easily distracted from the game by small-talk or other external factors, which also might results in you making mistakes during game or during side-decking.

This was my first article and I would like to hear your feedback in the comments!
Best regards and hope to see you at Hannover!

Author: Alpay Engin
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