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  #1    
Old January 2nd, 2013, 10:29 AM
Renpuu's Avatar
Renpuu
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Hello fellow duellists!
Side decking is a very important section of Yu-Gi-Oh gameplay and understanding its importance will help you learn to become a better duellist.
Having only 15 cards to choose from to help gain the advantage in your second and possibly third game out of the single match can strengthen your chances of winning the match. Also it can assist you from going from a possible 2-0 defeat into a 2-1 Victory!
Here are some of the key aspects of side decking

What is being played in the current meta-game and what archetypes do you expect to see at this particular event?

The Yu-Gi-Oh TCG is always changing and flowing with new cards, new ideas and every 6 months, a new restriction on what cards you can and cannot play and how many copies of a certain card can be played. Knowing what type of decks are currently seeing play will help you learn about what cards you wish to put into your side deck. The particular event will then justify what cards you may want to side in and how many copies of that particular card.

For example if you are going to a local tournament and you know that a high percentage of the players who regularly attend choose to play “Six Samurai” you may decide to side deck 2-3 copies of “Kinetic Soldier” or “Puppet Plant” or “Gozen match."
All of these cards are aimed towards hurting the “Six Samurai” archetype and will give you a good advantage against this archetype. If you decided to side deck 2 of each of these cards, meaning 6 cards of your side deck is dedicated towards this archetype meaning you have a stronger possibility of defeating them.

However if you are side decking for a larger scale event such as a World Championship Qualifier (WCQ), Battle of the Kingdoms (BOTK) or Nationals, then your side deck will be a lot more difficult to construct. In a larger scale event, you can only go on your gut feeling of what decks you expect to see on that particular event. This means you have to try to make your side deck as universal as possible or have a smaller percentage of your side deck against particular archetypes.

For example you may feel that your deck may struggle against the “Lightsworn” archetype, but the chances of playing against this particular deck are slim. You can chose to side deck 1 or 2 of the following; “Light Imprisoning mirror”, “Leeching the Light”, “Soul Release”. You may even run the risk of side decking 0 copies of these cards and just pray/hope that you don’t face this archetype at the event. However there are universal cards that can help counter that particular archetype.

You may choose to side deck many cards that are “universally” side decked such as “Bottomless Trap Hole”, “Dimensional Prison” or “Smashing Ground”. These cards have no real dedication towards hurting a particular archetype, but are dedicated towards monster removal. Lightsworns not being on the field means that there are less chances of your opponent milling (sending cards from their deck to the graveyard). This will then increase your chances of your opponent not special summoning “Judgement dragon” and leave your opponent with possible dead draws. This will help you in for your chances to victory!

What particular cards that are in my main deck are good and bad against a particular archetype?

The Meta game has a vast amount of archetypes, meaning that there may be cards that are in your main deck that may hinder you or be unsuccessful at combating your opponent. Currently “Maxx C” and “Effect Veiler” are cards that may be in your main deck to combat your opponent from special summoning vast amount of monsters in one turn or reduce the chances of that from happening.

If your opponent is playing an “Anti Meta” or “Stun” deck, they will most likely only be summoning 1 monster per turn and using spell and traps to counter your main deck strategy. This means that your copies of “Maxx C” are bad against this archetype because the probability of your opponent special summoning is very low. Also if you know your opponent is playing cards which banish cards such as “Macro Cosmos” or “Dimensional Fissure”, then your copies of “Effect Vieler” and “Maxx C” cannot be activated.

This means you will side out your copies of “Maxx C” and “Effect Vieler” for cards that you may feel will be better suited against that particular deck.
Also you will need to consider what cards that your opponent will side deck, which may make copies of a particular card in your main deck from being useless, which will be covered in the next segment.

What will my opponent side deck against me?

Knowing what cards your opponent may side deck against you will help you in knowing what cards to side deck to counter them. This means that cards that are in your side deck can have multiple uses against a variety of different archetypes and can serve a different purpose in helping your victory.
For example “Cyber Dragon” could be considered a universal side decked card. It can help you against decks which use Machine types as you can use “Cyber Dragon” to contact fusion into a “Chimeratech Fortress Dragon”, meaning that your opponent’s monsters can be used against them. Since I play the Six Samurai archetype myself, Cyber Dragon has never left my side deck for a good reason. As mentioned earlier “Kinetic Soldier” is a machine type monster, which can be deadly against warrior type monsters such as my Samurais. “Cyber Dragon” can contact fusion with it, meaning it can clear it away for my Samurais to attack other monsters and deal life point damage. Personally I’ve always kept 2 copies in my side deck, so that I can counter “Kinetic Soldier” and any machine decks that I may face.

Another example is that you are playing the “Lightsworn” archetype and you expect your opponent to side deck “Leeching the Light”, so you may decide to side deck “Threatening Roar”. This means that when your opponent plays “Leeching the Light”, they will not be able to attack with all their boosted monsters attack. Also it can aid you against the “Gladiator Beast” archetype since they cannot battle that turn and it can still be used if you want to keep your “Lightsworns” and possible side decked monsters such as “Thunder King Rai-oh” from being destroyed in battle.

Also your opponent may side deck cards such as “Macro Cosmos”, “Banisher of the Radiance” and “Dimensional Fissure”. This means that your copies “Beckoning Light”, “Necro Gardna” and “Monster reincarnation” are less likely to be successful. In this case you would take these cards out of your main deck and replace them with cards that can assist you such as “Mystical Space Typhoon”, “Imperial Iron Wall”, “Dust Tornado” and “Royal Decree”.
All those cards can help you in different methods, each having their own advantages and disadvantages. You may feel that “Royal Decree” may help you since it shuts down your opponent’s traps that they may side in against you such as “Light Imprisoning Mirror”, “Bottomless Trap Hole”, “Dimensional Prison” and “Fiendish Chain”. However “Mystical Space Typhoon” and “Dust Tornado” destroys both spells and traps, meaning that you can destroy both “Macro Cosmos” and “Dimensional Fissure” with this particular card. Also it can be used to destroy face downs which could be any particular card. In the end it’s all down to your own personal judgment of what cards you want to side deck.

What should I always side out?

This is probably one of the most frequent questions I hear from other duellists. Once you have an understanding of what your opponent is going to side against you and what cards may not be good in the upcoming 2nd and 3rd games, then you will have an idea of what to side out.
Siding out can be difficult, but here is a good way of learning of what to side out.
First of all look at your main deck’s strategy of what it is trying to accomplish, its strengths and weaknesses against particular match ups or even particular cards that your opponent may have in his or her main and side deck.
Also consider what cards that you are going to side in to counter your opponent, this may make other cards in your main deck less effective and may need to be side decked.
For example if you are playing the “Lightsworn” archetype and you are deciding to side deck “Shadow Imprisoning Mirror” to counter your opponent’s deck, then there will be cards in your main deck that are “Dark” attribute. “Sangan” and “Necro Gardna” are both dark attribute monsters which effects cannot activate if you have “Shadow Imprisoning Mirror” in play. However if you are only side decking one copy of this card, do you risk keeping them in your main deck?
Personally if I was playing “Lightsworn”, I would side out all the dark monsters which effects cannot be activated in the graveyard or field, as well as “Gorz, the Emissary of Darkness” since he cannot be played if “Shadow Imprisoning Mirror” is face up on the field. The “Dark” attribute monsters would be taken out of the main deck and replaced with cards from the side deck which are more effective and are not affected by the “Shadow Imprisoning Mirror”.
“D.D. Crow” would be a great addition alongside “Shadow Imprisoning Mirror”, even though it is a “Dark” attribute, it’s effect activates in the hand, so that it can banish a monster from your opponent’s graveyard and is unaffected by “Shadow Imprisoning Mirror”.
If you decide to side deck “Royal Decree”, then you may side out the majority of your trap cards, which reduces the chances of you drawing into trap cards whilst your “Royal Decree” is active on the field.
There may be combo cards in your main deck that may not as useful during games 2 and 3. “Pot of Avarice” and “Pot of Duality” are both cards that may be in your main deck that are used to help draw into your combo pieces. However if your opponent side decks “Thunder King Rai-oh” game 2, then your “Pot of Duality” cannot be activated and your combo will slow down. Also if you are going to side deck into your own “Thunder King Rai-oh”, then you may wish to side out this card.

Am I going first or second in this game?

Knowing if you are going to begin the 2nd or 3rd duel may affect what cards you wish to keep in your main deck and what cards you may swap around from your side deck.
Particular cards may be better than others when you are going first or second. Some cards can be reactive, which they are better when you are going second and others may not be as flexible meaning that you want to go first and hope to draw into them to help you.
For example when “Trap Dustshoot” was limited to 1 in the previous forbidden/restricted list it was a card which many players would side out if they had won the 1st duel and possibly put back into their main deck if they had lost the 2nd game and beginning game 3.

“Thunder King Rai-oh” is a prime monster that is used in many players’ main decks or side decks. Usually you wish to play it 1st turn if you draw into him with added protection with your spell and traps. This means that you are less likely to let your opponent have a first turn synchro summon or XYZ summon and at 1900 attack points, he is a solid monster.
However if you are going 2nd, “Thunder King Rai-oh” cannot prevent a special summon, since he is not on the field. So it is a great first turn play for you if you are going first, but not as good if you are going 2nd.

Usually if I am going 2nd in a particular game, I will side deck into cards which are reactive so that it forces my opponent to waste resources.

For example “Ryko, the Lightsworn Hunter” is a reactive card, as you can set the monster and it forces your opponent to usually attack into it and you can destroy their monster. This can be a great card for countering strong first turns and has the flexibility of destroying both monsters and spell/traps. If your opponent has a monster on their field with 1 set spell/trap and they attack into your face down “Ryko, the Lightsworn Hunter”, you can destroy their spell/trap which allows your next summon to be more successful or you may want to destroy their monster as it may hinder your next play.
Other reactive cards which you may wish to consider can be “Gorz, the Emissary of Darkness”, ”Tragoedia” ,”Snow-man Eater”, ” Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo”

Remember that your side deck is all down to your judgment and your ideas of how to counter your opponent. I hope that you enjoyed this article and any feedback/comments and questions will be answered.
Renpuu
  #2    
Old January 2nd, 2013, 11:27 AM
Cirrus's Avatar
Cirrus
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Useful guide for new players, but some of the cards mentioned are sub-par while other excellent choices are ignored ... things such as System Down, Soul Drain, Soul Taker, and Night Beam. Additionally, including a section on how to side into different game plans may be useful (as would typical side deck choices versus the most popular decks).

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  #3    
Old January 2nd, 2013, 12:11 PM
Renpuu's Avatar
Renpuu
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Thanks for your comments Cirrus. I wrote this article back in the format of Hand looping Wind ups and 3 hornet/dragonfly hence the "main decking" of hand traps such as Maxx C and Effect Vieler.
This article is aimed at beginners to understand the basic concepts of why a side deck is used, how it is important and how to effectively use your side deck.
I am trying to avoid articles which are the following:
You build your deck like this
You side deck like this
You will win


Articles that are designed like that to me are:
1) Stale because everyone is doing the same such as Yugi-tubers, Duelingnetwork forum, Duelist groundz etc.
2) Less thinking, more just mindless agreeing or arguing


Side decking in general is all about what deck you are using and I would rather have an article that makes people "think" rather than just straight up telling them the answer. I used Light-sworn as an example since it's a deck which has fallen out of favor and it won't give people all the answers for the current meta-game.

What cards people wish to use to construct their main deck, extra deck and side deck is all down to their personal preference.
I don't wish to tell people what cards they SHOULD be playing.
  #4    
Old January 3rd, 2013, 12:13 AM
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Cirrus
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I'm not saying that Lightsworn is a bad example to use - it has clearly defined strengths and weaknesses, so it is easy to understand how to sidedeck versus such a deck, but cards such as "Leeching the Light" are terrible sidedeck choices period, and using "Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror" as an example for Lightsworns is not a great idea (because the card is useless the majority of the time in that matchup). Additionally, re:thought-provoking article, the article doesn't really educate the newbie on all of the reasons he or she is sidedecking in the first place. Two extremely important principles of sidedecking is that ideally, your sidedeck should cover as many decks as possible as well as serve as a "patch" of sorts against decks you have negative matchups against; neither of these is mentioned here, while you do spend quite a bit of time talking about cards that are sided against different decks (why not just use one or two decks consistently throughout the article as an exemplar?).

But quite a bit of my beef is with the fact that you used Leeching the Light and Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror (vs Lightsworn) as examples - this is likely to be highly misleading for any newbies who have read / are reading / will read your article. Yeah. (Soul Release is pretty bad vs LS too, actually ... but oh well.)

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Last edited by Cirrus; January 3rd, 2013 at 12:32 AM.
  #5    
Old January 3rd, 2013, 10:17 AM
Renpuu's Avatar
Renpuu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renpuu View Post
For example if you are going to a local tournament and you know that a high percentage of the players who regularly attend choose to play “Six Samurai” you may decide to side deck 2-3 copies of “Kinetic Soldier” or “Puppet Plant” or “Gozen match."
All of these cards are aimed towards hurting the “Six Samurai” archetype and will give you a good advantage against this archetype. If you decided to side deck 2 of each of these cards, meaning 6 cards of your side deck is dedicated towards this archetype meaning you have a stronger possibility of defeating them.
However if you are side decking for a larger scale event such as a World Championship Qualifier (WCQ), Battle of the Kingdoms (BOTK) or Nationals, then your side deck will be a lot more difficult to construct. In a larger scale event, you can only go on your gut feeling of what decks you expect to see on that particular event. This means you have to try to make your side deck as universal as possible or have a smaller percentage of your side deck against particular archetypes.
This quote states that if you are going to a locals, you'll probably have more cards in your side deck towards certain archetypes of which the stronger players are piloting. At a locals you tend to have a % of stronger players who will always do well, so you want to side deck against them or at least have options against them. Not every locals player will change deck every locals, so you can have more of an opportunity to do better in the 2nd and 3rd game. The only reason why at a large event people will possible dedicate a good % of their side board to a particular archetype is that they feel the deck is the most popular and the one they wish to defeat more easily.

Regardless of your opinion of "Leeching the light". The card is made and people will use it.
The sole reason why it will never go away is turn 1 or 2 Archlord Kristya/Master Hyperion can still be done. You draw a leeching the light, summon your monster and attack over that Kristya that prevented you from special summoning or prevented your monster/spells and traps being destroyed next turn by Master Hyperion. THAT can be a game changing move.
Also I have heard stories of a Red Gadget + Leeching the Light + Limiter Removal helped a player get into Top 32 with Machine Gadgets at a YCS.
He only had those cards and the life point damage was enough for him to seal game 3. If he didn't have the leeching the light, he may of been dead next turn.

Shadow Imprisoning Mirror is not a bad card to side deck against "Dark World", it will do similar work to "Macro Cosmos", "Dimensional Fissure" without hindering your graveyard.
Light archetypes just like Dark archetypes will always see play in the competitive format.
  #6    
Old January 3rd, 2013, 02:05 PM
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digi-kun
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Actually, a section on "What is side-decking? Why should I side-deck? What should a side-deck aim to do?" at the front of the article is a good way to introduce the guide, over "Hi guys! Side-decking is important, remember you only have 15 cards, here's the article on what you should consider when building it," which is one of the points Cirrus was making, which (i think) was a separate point from the personal choices used in the article.

Basically, the biggest issue with the article progression that I can see is that it ends up kinda melding "Building a side-deck" and "side-decking" at some point, when they should be separate because they're two separate steps (You build the side-deck, then you actually use the side-deck). Personally, I'd probably go like this:

Quote:
What is side-decking?
blablabla

What should I consider when building a side-deck?
blablabla

Sub-Point (What are my main deck's weaknesses?)
blablabla

Sub-Point (What's being played where you plan to play?)
blablabla

Sub-Point (Building to counter opponent's side-decks)
blablabla

...

How should I side-deck while in-game?
Blablabla

What is your opponent playing?
blablabla

...

Example
Let's say this is may main deck, here's my local area's meta, these are its strengths and weaknesses, cards to consider when making a side-deck?
(Insert very mediocre deck here, or even an outdated meta-deck)

Bla

Conclusion
This isn't necessarily "Build like this, Side like this, Win". It's giving your article logical progression and a clear separation between building a side-deck and actually side-decking.


EDIT: Oh right, something else to note. It may be a good idea to link your cards to their respective pages on say, Yugioh wikia. It's probably best to assume that new players aren't familiar with a lot of the cards or archetypes you're talking about, so a brief descriptions on the archetypes might be a good idea too.

Partner in crime and fellow singbot: the devilicious iruchii

Last edited by digi-kun; January 3rd, 2013 at 03:31 PM.
  #7    
Old January 3rd, 2013, 02:40 PM
Cirrus's Avatar
Cirrus
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Re: Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror, I misread the section you wrote on it because the only deck you mentioned was Lightsworns ... it is obviously a fine side deck card, though recently Soul Drain is becoming more popular as a replacement for it due to the recession of Inzektors. Re: Leeching the Light, if you want removal in that sort of situation, something like Soul Taker - or even a card you mentioned, Smashing Ground - is a far superior option because it gives no opportunity for your opponent to use Honest or really respond; and no, even if a card gets you to top 32 of a YCS, if it's weak you probably shouldn't be playing it (one specific situation out of countless situations where the card proves to be powerful? isn't that a symptom that it's usually mediocre?). Re: siding for locals - shouldn't it be named "side decking for locals for beginners" or something of the sort if that were the case?

Re: digi-kun; yeah, I mentioned that as a more holistic problem with the organization of the article. I think that adding a lot more of the mentality on how to side deck and cutting down on the in-depth-ness specific examples in the main article would be a good idea, which also allows you to add variance to the examples because small unobtrusive things about a wide selection of decks can be mentioned in passing. Accompanying this suggestion (like digi-kun suggests) a section on a concrete example could be presented (if you want to keep your numerous examples and combine them into one coherent whole).

~あさきゆめみし君と~




さくらの色 いとしさの花 あさきゆめみし君と
そっとそっと口づけをして 涙あふれてく


pair · in tempore momenti · personal vloid playlist
d.c. ii art assets belong to circus. text: tororo.
 
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