Black and White: Prepping for the Winter 2017 Season

Joe Frankino

1/5/2017 11:00:00 AM

With Regional Qualifiers ready to restart this weekend, Joe goes over some tips for all tournament-goers: players and judges alike!

I hope everyone had a good break! Regional Qualifiers took a bit of a break too just before the late-December holidays but theyíll be kicking back up this weekend.

Since weíve had a bit of a lull in Tier 2 events and no new products since early December, there isnít much to talk about in terms of Organized Play or new card interactions. So for this weekís Black and White, Iíll be revisiting some things that players and judges should keep in mind going into Regionals.

For Players
The following is a list of things I usually tell my friends to do regardless of what tournament they enter, but for Regionals, getting all of this sorted before you make the trip will have you save time at the event. If everyone follows these steps, the event can move at a quick pace, completing the tournament at a reasonable time.

Bring all required materials with you.

And those materials are:

- Identification such as driverís license, current-year school ID, passport or other government-issued ID. Youíll need it to register. If you were born in 2004 or later and you want to enter the Dragon Duel, youíll need to bring proof of age as well. A passport or copy of your birth certificate will satisfy this requirement.

- Deck box

- Tournament entry fee: $20 in the US, $25 in Canada. Dragon Duels have free entry!

- Paper and writing utensil for Life Point tracking. (Yes, these are required, even if itís not often enforced. And from a competitive standpoint, itís to your advantage to use paper for LP records anyway.)

- If youíre using card sleeves, the sleeves on your Main and Side Decks must match. Your Extra Deck may match the Main and Side Deck, but itís not required. If you use different sleeves for your Extra Deck, they must be uniform with each other and follow all other rules for card sleeves.

- If you have French, Italian, German, Spanish or Portuguese-language cards, you must have a translation of that card if requested. The translation can be written or printed on a sheet of paper or can be a English version of the card kept outside of the deckbox. Japanese and Korean-language cards canít be used in TCG events.

 Toadally Awesome
Toadally Awesome124750
Set Invasion: Vengeance
Number INOV-EN052
Level 2
Type Xyz/Effect Monster
Monster Aqua
Attribute WATER 
A / D 2200 / 0
Rarity Secret Rare
Card Text

2 Level 2 Aqua-Type monsters
Once per turn, during the Standby Phase: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; Special Summon 1 "Frog" monster from your Deck. Once per turn, during either player's turn, when your opponent activates a Spell/Trap Card, or monster effect: You can send 1 Aqua-Type monster from your hand or face-up from your field to the Graveyard; negate the activation, and if you do, destroy that card, then you can Set it to your field. If this card is sent to the Graveyard: You can target 1 WATER monster in your Graveyard; add it to your hand.

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Itís recommended you also prepare the following items

- Extra sleeves in case some become damaged during the normal course of play.

- A printed copy of your deck list. This saves time at the venue as some Tournament Organizers collect deck lists at registration. You can find a PDF of a blank deck list here. If you have Adobe Acrobat, you can fill in the form before you print it, which is better for all parties involved. (Iíve given out penalties for illegible deck lists before. Itís a super-avoidable infraction.)

- Dice, counters and other miscellaneous doodads used during a game. You should probably have dice on you anyway if your preferred method of randomly selecting who goes first involves rolling dice.

- The Calculator if you need assistance with doing the quick math this game requires. Calculators should only be used for actual calculations and not for Life Point tracking. You need to use paper for that.

Other preparations for players

Knowing what range of decks can show up at an event is always the right way to go when entering a TCG tournament of any kind. Your local metagame can give you an idea of how your matchups can play out in theory, but youíll also want to compare what your local looks like compared to whatís actually being played at your Regionals. Now if only there was way to see whatís been doing well at Regionals latelyÖ

Hey! Wait! There is! Check out TCGplayerís Deck Archive for a compilation of Regional and YCS-topping decks from around the world!

If you were to ask me what to look out for, expect to see Metalfoes variants all around. Be prepared to deal with Metalfoes Mithrilliu, Fullmetalfoes Alkahest and friends, but donít be surprised to see a Yang Zing version as well, since Denglong, First of the Yang Zing accelerates the strategy in ways that werenít possible before. While Darklords are an explosive family of monsters, donít be surprised if you see a few Blue-Eyes White Dragons flying around.

For Judges
Do you want to Judge at a Regional Qualifier? Various Tournament Organizers have their own methods for selecting judges for their events, but nearly all of them start with the judge contacting the TO. Their contact info can be found on the Regional Locations page. An introductory e-mail is standard, then if thereís no response in a week, a follow-up e-mail or phone call is appropriate.

Assuming you get picked to judge, thereís a whole different set of things youíll need to do to prepare for a Regional Qualifier.

- Proper attire. This is usually black shoes, black socks, black pants, black shirt. If you have a Judge shirt from a YCS or a WCQ, you may wear that. If the TO has a specific shirt for you, use that instead. Your shoes should be comfortable to walk in since you will be on your feet for hours.

- Notepad. This is a great judge tool. If one of your judge calls gets appealed, youíll need to pass along the necessary information to the Head Judge so they can address the players. As easy as it sounds to remember a few numbers and quick summary of a situation, no oneís recall skills are 100%, and this is especially true in a chaotic environment like a tournament floor with hundreds of people all around making noise. Once a player appeals, write down their table number, how much time was left in the round when you were called to the table, and some brief notes about the situation. And speaking of notesÖ

- Red pen. All judge writings are in red pen, no exceptions. If you need to give a time extension or a penalty, the judgeís ink must be red.

- Proper hygiene. Yes, this has to be addressed. As a judge, you represent Konami, other judges and the TO while youíre working an event. You must be clean and look clean. Guys must have their facial hair properly groomed. Showers are a must. Judges have been turned away on the morning of events because of hygiene. Be aware of this.

Thatís it for physical and material requirements. But thereís a bit of knowledge you need to know if youíre going to judge.


The rulebook tells you how the game works. Thatís important when youíre playing a game, obviously, but tournaments have their own rules, too, and thatís what the Policy Documents are. Judges are required to know whatís in these documents, what they cover, and what they apply to. Lots of frequently asked questions, both in person and on social media, can be answered with the information in these three documents.

One of them contains general tournament policy for any game that Konami Organized Play runs. On the off chance that Konami produces a card game that isnít Yu-Gi-Oh, this document would apply to that game in addition to Yu-Gi-Oh. The second policy document contains Tournament Policy specific to the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG. The third one contains information about infractions and penalties. Judges and staff need to know whatís in all three in order to run an effective tournament.

 Metalfoes Mithrilium
Metalfoes Mithrilium124738
Set Invasion: Vengeance
Number INOV-EN040
Level 6
Type Fusion/Effect Monster
Monster Psychic
Attribute FIRE 
A / D 2600 / 1000
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

1 "Metalfoes" monster + 1 Pendulum Monster
You can target 2 "Metalfoes" cards in your Graveyard and 1 card on the field; shuffle the targets from your Graveyard into the Deck, and if you do, return the target on the field to the hand. You can only use this effect of "Metalfoes Mithrilium" once per turn. If this card is sent from the field to the Graveyard: You can Special Summon 1 "Metalfoes" Pendulum Monster from your Graveyard or face-up from your Extra Deck.

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Since 2011, card text conventions clarify what used to be specified in rulings outside of the card. Ergo, knowing how to interpret text on the card is one of the most important skills to have. The Problem-Solving Card Text series can be found here.


While knowing mechanics are good to know in the general sense, being effective also means anticipating what questions players will ask you, and that means know what theyíre playing.

Know how popular cards interact with other popular cards. For this coming season, be familiar with the Metalfoes effects, Todally Awesome, Bahamut Shark, ABC-Dragon Buster and its three components, the Yang Zing effects, Mermails and Atlanteans and whatever else you think can show up in the field.


If youíre on staff for a Regional, the TO or the Head Judge may send out notices to the judges to get everyone on the same page. Youíre responsible for regularly checking whatever contact you provided to the TO or Head Judge in case an e-mail needs to be sent out for whatever reason. As weíre coming into the brunt of the winter months, weather-related issues may come up, delaying or even outright cancelling some tournaments. Be aware of the situation as the event date draws near.

On Game Day

Remember to get up early, shower, be out the door sooner than you have to, eat a solid breakfast, donít get to the venue late, follow direction but also take initiative when appropriate, stay hydrated, provide good customer servicer, but more importantly, have fun!

If you have any questions about regionals and YCSís, card interactions, game mechanics or tournament, policy, send an e-mail (one question per e-mail please!) to and your question could be answered in a future edition of Court of Appeals!

-Joe Frankino

Joe is a Yu-Gi-Oh! player and judge from Long Island, New York. He occasionally writes nonsense in his blog and occasionally streams video game nonsense at Itís all very nonsensical, I assure you.

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