The NA WCQ FAQ: Abridged Version

Doug Zeeff

7/4/2017 11:00:00 AM
 Comments

The North American World Championship Qualifier - possibly the biggest event of the year - is this weekend. Anybody that's serious about competing in the main event or the public events should definitely take the time to read through the FAQ that Konami posted, found here.

Today, I wanted to highlight some of the key takeaways from that page, just in case you missed something or didn't have the patience to read through all of it. While this article is helpful for duelists that have never been to a North American WCQ, there are some major changes since previous years that are worth mentioning.

Such as…

They Really Want You To Register On Friday
For most large events, Konami gives you the option of registering on Friday and Saturday. There's usually some incentive to enter early, such as a special Token Card that you can only get by pre-registering. However, the vast majority of players tend to wait until Saturday to finally sign up, and on a smaller scale they tend to wait until the very last minute of registration in the morning.

From a player's perspective, this usually isn't done maliciously. Big tech choices sometimes surface the night before an event. DNA Surgery was a last minute find at the 2013 WCQ, Fiend Comedian arrive late to the 2014 WCQ, and Soul Taker was an at-the-buzzer pick at a 2012 YCS to counter Lightpulsar Dragon. Then there's the issue of deck decisions, which can change depending on metagame shifts seen on the last day. It might be easy to blame players for not testing enough in the weeks before the event, but everyone has their own lives so they might be stuck between two different decks, or two variants of the same strategy.

The problem arises when Round 1 doesn't start until almost 1 in the afternoon, like what happened last year. The late starting time coupled with the plethora of Monarch mirror matches made rounds take forever, putting Day 1's end around midnight. That's insane for players from a fatigue standpoint, but it also affects all the judges and staff negatively that have to be there early and stay late.

So how is Konami encouraging you to register Friday? Two ways. First, the registration time on Saturday is cutting off one hour earlier than normal. The registration hours are:

Friday, July 7th:
12:00pm – 7:00pm

Saturday, July 8th:
7:00am – 8:45am

I don't think a lot of players noticed it, so I feel like I have to draw some attention to the time change. You absolutely will get a Round 1 loss at the most important event of the year if you wait until your usual time to register. This was done to (hopefully) make the event start by 10:00 like it's supposed to. I'm not sure how well it will work in practice, but I think it will help.

The second, and possibly more important way you're being encouraged to sign up early is gifts. One of these gifts is a “World Championship Qualifier 2017 Souvenir CARD GAME ID card, personalized with your name and CARD GAME ID number,” something that I don't think KDE has offered since 2013. These are really cool looking ID cards that you can only get from going to the WCQ, so they're sure to be a hit.

The other gift is truly awesome, and sure to go for a pretty penny on the secondary market. If you register Friday, you get one random die, from a possible six options: one for each attribute in the game. These are semi-translucent dice colored to match the attribute that's etched onto them in place of the 1, and they're going to be regular pre-registration gifts going into the foreseeable future. They're instantly going to be valuable because you'd need six different people pre-registering to get a full set, and that's assuming nobody gets a duplicate.

Will these incentives work? I think so. People seem really hyped about the dice, and the 8:45 registration time on Saturday is pretty rough. I'm sure some of the serious players looking to find that secret tech choice will hold off until the morning to sign up, but overall I think we'll see the highest number of pre-registrations that we've ever seen at a WCQ.

Last Chance Qualifiers
This year will be my fifth WCQ that I've been to, and even though I've always had an invite when I went, I'd highly suggest making the trip even if you haven't gotten yours yet. That being said, on Friday from 10:00 to 4:00 there will be Last Chance Qualifiers; 16-player single elimination flights where the first place winner will earn their invite to the main event.

One point I always make is that if you enter the LCQ when you already have your invite, you forfeit the invite you've already earned. That eliminates any “dream crusher” duelists entering just to keep others out, and it also stops someone without their invite paying 15 of their friends to enter the same LCQ to guarantee a win.

The other huge point is that you have to fill out your deck list for the main event immediately after you win the LCQ. That means if you have any tech changes you want to make, you better come up with them quick. It also means if you were waiting to buy expensive cards until after the LCQ, that you have to be sure you can pick them up before you write them on your deck list.

The other problem that commonly comes up is when friends that don't have their invite borrow their friend's deck for the LCQ, and are then completely blindsided when they win. Assuming they borrowed the entire deck because they couldn't afford Zoodiacs, they'd be in a weird spot. Obviously they can't use that deck for the main event, but they also might not have another deck prepared. If you plan on borrowing a deck from your friend to get your invite, you must make sure you have a backup deck for when you win.

 True King Lithosagym, the Disaster
$7.28
$3.29
$2.00
True King Lithosagym, the Disaster127273
Set Raging Tempest
Number RATE-EN019
Level 9
Type Effect Monster
Monster Wyrm
Attribute EARTH 
A / D 2500 / 2300
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

If this card is in your hand: You can destroy 2 other monsters in your hand and/or face-up on your field, including an EARTH monster, and if you do, Special Summon this card, and if you do that, and both destroyed monsters were EARTH, you can also look at your opponent's Extra Deck and banish up to 3 monsters from it with different names. If this card is destroyed by card effect: You can Special Summon 1 non-EARTH Wyrm-Type monster from your Graveyard. You can only use each effect of "True King Lithosagym, the Disaster" once per turn.


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From a strategic view, LCQ's have a different metagame than the main event. Remember: everyone that's entering doesn't have their invite yet, so you can't expect the best of the best to make an appearance. I know that might sound like I'm stereotyping - I'm positive that everybody has a go-to set of excuses for why they couldn't get Top 32 at a Regional Qualifier in a nine month period. But the reality is a lot of the time people enter LCQ's with suboptimal builds, which opens up the door for more “all-in” themes.

For example, I expect Dinosaurs to be huge in the LCQ's. Many veteran players have moved away from the Dinosaur hype, but the overwhelming sales of Dinosaurs in TCGplayer's weekly Market Watches would suggest that a ton of people are still playing the deck. That might not seem like a big deal, but I'd heavily considering maining outs to True King of All Calamities if you plan on playing in the LCQ's, but not so much for the main event where the strategy will be less popular.

Overall, the North American WCQ is by far my favorite event of the year. Almost everyone that plays competitive Yu-Gi-Oh! seriously makes the trip, and it's a great opportunity to meet any players that you're a fan of. Even after reading this short article I'd suggest taking a look at the official FAQ, but hopefully I outlined many of the major points!

-Doug Zeeff


Doug Zeeff hails from Michigan and is currently an English major in college. When he's not found emailing Konami about why there's not a single walrus card in all of Yu-Gi-Oh! you can find him regularly posting unorthodox, unfiltered Yu-Gi-Oh! content on his Youtube channel, Dzeeff. In his spare time he enjoys eating cheese, Overwatch, and, of course, playing Yu-Gi-Oh. Click here to follow him and his adventures on Facebook!


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