Sneak Peek 2: The New Challengers

Today I was able to participate in yet another Sneak Peek at my local store.  The New Challengers will be making its official release in the US on November 7th.

Same as the last Sneak Peek, participants received a world premier promotional card and five booster packs, containing nine cards each.  Any regular readers will remember my previous Sneak Peek article and how I went over the rules regarding the sealed format rules.  For those just joining us and those who have forgotten, here’s a quick refresher.

1) Each player receives five 9-card packs and one promotional card- 46 cards total with which to build their decks.  You are NOT allowed to trade, sell, or give away your cards until the tournament is finished, or unless you drop from the tournament.

2) The minimum number of cards your deck can contain is 20 cards instead of the usual 40.  All Fusion, Synchro and Xyz Monsters you receive are placed in the Extra Deck, though I imagine you can put them in the Side Deck if you want.  Pendulum Monsters are placed in the Main or Side Decks.  The 3-card limit does NOT apply.

3) All cards you do not put into your Main or Extra Decks are put into your Side Deck.  The 15-card limit does NOT apply for this tournament.  Your Side Deck can contain as many cards as you like.

4) Most Side Deck rules apply, meaning you can use your Side Deck in between Duels, but with one major exception: You can actively modify your deck by increasing or decreasing its size (but you cannot go below 20 cards in your Main Deck), or by exchanging cards entirely.  You do not have to “un-Side” after a Match.

Now, without further ado, let’s get to the deck list and strategy!  This month, I was as poor as dirt, but thanks to my good friend Bryson over at the YouTube channel Meta Makers, I was able to enter the tournament.  Be sure to give his channel a look-see, Like his videos, and subscribe to his channel!

First, the deck list.

Main Deck: 20
Monsters: 15
1x Lancephorhynchus
2x Elegy the Melodious Diva
2x Lindbloom
2x Serenade the Melodious Diva
1x Performapal Cheermole
1x Performapal Trampolynx
1x Ruffian Railcar
1x Satellarknight Betelgeuse
1x Scrounging Goblin
1x Shaddoll Hound
1x Superheavy Samurai Soulbang Cannon
1x Superheavy Samurai Soulshield Wall

Spells: 3
1x Celestia
1x Magical Star Illusion
1x Wonder Balloons

Traps: 2
2x Punch-in-the-Box

Extra Deck: 2
1x Frightfur Bear
1x CXyz Barian Hope

Side Deck: 24
2x Block Spider
2x Fluffal Cat
2x Shogi Lance
1x Deskbot 002
1x Fluffal Owl
1x Fluffal Rabbit
1x Gogogo Goram
2x Hexatellarknight
2x Oracle of the Herald
1x Laser Qlip
1x Mimiclay
1x Toy Vendor
1x U.A. Powered Jersey
1x Xyz Change Tactics
2x Yang Zing Brutality
1x Different Dimension Encounter
1x Performapal Revival
1x Qlipper Launch

As you can probably tell, the deck was much harder to put together this time around.  Much of my strategy actually focused on defense rather than attack.  But that’s not to say I didn’t attack at all.  If anything, I took a leaf out of the Superheavy Samurai book and turned my defense INTO my offense.  The key card in this strategy was Lindbloom, a new Wyrm-Type monster with a very interesting Trigger effect: During any damage calculation in which one of your monsters is battling an opposing monster, each monster’s ATK is changed to match its current DEF.  As an example, Lindbloom has 0 ATK, but 1800 DEF.  If it attacks a monster or is attacked by a monster, its ATK will become 1800 until the end of the Damage Step.  This powerful ability allowed me to turn many of my high-DEF monsters into heavy beaters that I could use to get around most other monsters.  The one major weakness of the effect was that my opponent could use their own high-DEF monsters to turn the effect against me.  But more often than not, I was actually prepared for that.

Using my DEF to fight wasn’t my only tactic, however.  Unlike in the last Sneak Peek, I was actually able to perform a Pendulum Summon!  By using the Scale 4 Performapal Trampolynx, and the Scale 7 Lancephorhynchus, I could Pendulum Summon one or both copies of the Level 5 Elegy the Melodious Diva.  This in turn would let Elegy use her effect to give all Fairy-Type monsters I control +300 ATK.  If both copies of Elegy hit the field via Special Summon, that wound up being a +600 boost for my Fairies.

Comboing off the Pendulum Summon, I would use Trampolynx to return Lancephorhynchus to my hand so that I could Tribute Summon it.  2500 ATK is nothing to scoff at (if you don’t have a Lindbloom, of course).  And if I had Performapal Cheermole in my hand, I could put it in the newly-emptied Pendulum Zone so that Lancephorhynchus its own +300 ATK boost.

Ruffian Railcar and Shaddoll Hound were put into the deck primarily for their Attack Points, 1800 and 1600, respectively.  Railcar had the added bonus of a damage effect I could use on the first turn of the duel at no cost to my turn, or in any situation where attacking would be unwise.

The two Superheavy Samurai Soul monsters definitely warrant an explanation.  I used them primarily for Soulbang Cannon‘s effect, a sort of last-ditch effort if I ever needed to get rid of some problem cards.  If my opponent had a card whose effect activated in the Battle Phase- such as Lindbloom– I could negate that effect’s activation and destroy that card, along with every monster on the field.

The Spells were present to help me gain any kind of advantage over my opponent’s monsters’ ATK.  The Field Spell Celestia, for instance, would turn Lindbloom into a 2100 ATK beater.  Magical Star Illusion was also quite handy, especially against a field full of Set monsters.  My opponent must have at least the same number of monsters as me, but they don’t have to be face-up!

The third Spell, Wonder Balloons, deserves its own paragraph.  This card proved nightmarish in this format.  Without Lindbloom to override it, Wonder Balloons would often spell doom for your opponent.  Once each turn, you can feed it any number of cards from your hand to give it the same number of Balloon Counters.  Each Balloon Counter would take away 100 ATK from your opponent’s monsters.

The only two Traps I used in the Main Deck were two copies of Punch-in-the-Box.  Quite frankly, this card is amazingly nasty, and nastily amazing.  When your opponent attacks while they have at least 2 monsters, you can send a different monster on their field to the Graveyard, then drop the attacking monster’s ATK by the sent monster’s ATK in the Graveyard.  Does this card target?  Yes.  It targets the attacking monster.  What about the other monster?  Does it get targeted?  The answer to that is a resounding NOPE!  You do NOT tell your opponent which monster you’re stuffing into that spring-loaded boxing glove until you actually resolve the effect of Punch-in-the-Box.  Oh, and one more thing: It “sends” to the Graveyard.  It doesn’t “destroy” the monster, meaning a lot of anti-destruction effects will not work against it.  For example: Stardust Dragon.  There is one thing I noticed about this card, though: While you can certainly choose any monster to send to the Graveyard, the ATK decrease is dependent on that monster actually REACHING the Graveyard.  If you choose to get rid of a Pendulum Monster, it will NOT go to the Graveyard, instead going to the Extra Deck.  In that case, the attacking monster loses no ATK.  Ditto any field with Macro Cosmos or similar cards in play.

The Extra Deck…. this was actually more useless than the last Sneak Peek.  At least I had the means to summon Pilgrim Reaper and Cloudcastle.  But a Fusion Monster without the proper Fusion Materials, and a Rank 7 Xyz Monster, well…. let’s just say those cards were only present as a formality.

I didn’t once use my Side Deck in this tournament, though I had given it consideration on many occasions.  Most of the cards were useless to me, but I did ponder using most of the monsters, except for Shogi Lance.  I had only considered using Mimiclay and Toy Vendor.  I hardly even thought about using any of the Trap Cards, and when I did, I only considered Different Dimension Encounter and Performapal Revival.

I ended up taking 3rd place in the tournament.  It wasn’t exactly my best day, though.  I had an awful crick in my back- still present as I write this- which made concentration difficult.  I also couldn’t remember some essential rulings with regards to ATK modifiers like Lindbloom and Wonder Balloons.  This and a balloon-based stall strategy cost me the first round.  The next two I won with some effort, though.  The fourth and final round, however, was sheer luck, plain and simple.  I got paired against the one guy who pulled Herald of Ultimateness.  And wouldn’t you know it, the Ritual Spell was a COMMON.  Short of depleting his hand and using Superheavy Samurai Soulbang Cannon, there was no way I would have won against that…. but his wife showed up and he decided to drop and go home, giving me the win.  I have no doubt in my mind that I would have lost, though.  I’m not going to pretend I could defeat Herald of Ultimateness.

I still ended up with a mat, though.  So I’m pleased.

I’m going to go ahead and wrap this article up, folks.  However, you should know that I’ve got two more articles in the works!  The first will be discussing Prohibition and how it interacts with cards like Harpie Queen.  The second will be a (hopefully simple) guide to ATK/DEF modifier effects.  I’ll also try to do a few card reviews if I can get the time to research some of the more interesting cards in The New Challengers.

Until next time, Duelists!  Duel fair and have fun!

UPDATE: Deck list now has links to the cards on the official database!

Sealed Strategy: Sneak Peeks

For my newest article, I’d like to focus on something else: Strategy.

This past weekend was the Duelist Alliance Sneak Peek event. At my local store, I participated instead of judging. I’m proud to say that I won the sealed event and earned the prized playmat.

But how I won may come as surprise to many of my readers- it certainly surprised many of the people I defeated, and they are some of the best friends I’ve ever had. You see, I didn’t get very lucky with my pulls. In fact, the shiniest card I got was a Hypnosister, a mere Super Rare and not one that’s likely to be very popular in the tournament scene. Every other pack contained only a single rare card and eight commons.

So how did I win the Sealed Event? Well, I should probably preface this with the rules of the event. In this tournament, you are allowed to build a deck with the cards you received from the packs as well as the promo card. You have 46 cards total to work with. But you only need to have 20 cards in your Main Deck. Any Fusion, Synchro, or Xyz Monsters you get must be placed in the Extra Deck. Any cards you don’t put in your Main or Extra Deck are placed in your Side Deck, ignoring the 15 card limit. Players are also allowed to ignore the 3 card rule for deck construction, meaning if you pulled four or more copies of a single card, you are allowed to use all of them. Between Duels in a match, you are allowed to utilize your Side Deck in ways you never could in normal Matches: In addition to switching cards between your Main and Side Decks, you are also allowed to increase or decrease the size of your Main Deck (so long as you never go below 20 cards).  And from my understanding, the changes you make can be permanent.

I took advantage of this format in a way that no one else in the store considered: I stuck to the absolute minimum deck size at all times. You see, I firmly believe in a philosophy when constructing decks: The fewer cards you have, the closer you are to what you need. It’s a simple matter of statistics, really. By using only 20 cards in my Main Deck, I was always much closer to the cards and plays I needed than my opponents were.  On top of that, running only twenty cards would dramatically increase my odds of pulling off certain combos sooner.

But this was only half of my strategy. The other half was to use the most generic cards I pulled, cards whose abilities I could use in the most situations, combining them with one another as well as playing them on their own. I had many cards to consider, both for my own strategy and in accounting for opposing tactics. My main concerns were actually common cards: Superheavy Samurai Swordsman, Superheavy Samurai Blue Brawler, U.A. Perfect Ace from the new Ultra Athlete series, and certain Spells and Traps. The archetypal cards I simply didn’t fear because they could only be best used in a full deck based on the cards they supported.

With all of these things in mind, I chose the following cards for my deck.

Monsters: 17
1x Battleguard King
1x Superheavy Samurai Big Benkei
1x Dragon Horn Hunter
1x Performapal Kaleidoscorp
2x Aria the Melodious Diva
2x Performapal Hip Hippo
2x Sonata the Melodious Diva
1x Gaia, the Mid-Knight Sun
1x Hypnosister
1x Performapal Skeeter Skimmer
1x Performapal Turn Toad
1x Performapal Whip Snake
1x Shaddoll Squamata
1x Superheavy Samurai Swordsman

Spells: 1
1x Hippo Carnival

Traps: 2
1x Battleguard Howling
1x Battleguard Rage

Extra Deck: 2
1x Cloudcastle
1x Pilgrim Reaper

Side Deck: 24
1x Artifact Chakram
1x Artifact Lancea
1x Batteryman 9-Volt
1x Djinn Demolisher of Rituals
*1x Dogu
*1x Gaia, the Polar Knight
**2x Nefarious Archfiend Eater of Nefariousness
*1x Re-Cover
1x Shaddoll Hedgehog
*1x Satellarknight Unukalhai
1x Curse of the Shadow Prison
2x Dracocension
1x Feast of the Wild LV5
2x Hymn of Light
2x Stellarknight Alpha
1x U.A. Stadium
1x Yang Zing Prana
1x Chain Dispel
1x Stellarnova Wave
1x Yang Zing Unleashed

Cards in the Side Deck are marked with stars if they had been swapped in or out during the tournament, with one star per copy used.

When it comes down to it, I didn’t really pull any money cards. I didn’t care that much. I was there to win me a mat, and win a mat I did. Despite lacking any ability to Pendulum Summon, I outperformed everyone there, taking first place and the coolest mat Konami has released thus far. Not that I didn’t earn it, oh no- everybody I faced gave me a run for my money. They all played well and every duel was incredible. So if you’re reading this and faced me, do NOT be discouraged- you were great and made me work for it.

The core strategy was beatdown with a sort of control element. The key cards were the Performapals, with each one giving support to the overall consistency of the deck. Performapal Whip Snake and Performapal Turn Toad both allowed me to take out plenty of monsters in a single turn. Performapal Skeeter Skimmer gave me a solid defense, as well as extra offense when combined with Whip Snake or Turn Toad. Performapal Kaleidoscorp gave a power boost to Gaia, the Mid-Knight Sun and the Melodious Divas, which was very important in this format. Even Performapal Hip Hippo was important and allowed me to recover my footing in many duels by allowing me to sacrifice a monster that had lost its ATK and DEF to Superheavy Samurai Swordsman’s effect for either Superheavy Samurai Big Benkei or Battleguard King, without costing me another monster that hadn’t lost its strength.

Dragon Horn Hunter was always played as a monster, while Kaleidoscorp and Turn Toad were always in the Pendulum Zones. Without a Flash Knight, I had no reason to use Hunter as a Pendulum Spell, but 2300 ATK for a single Tribute was still handy, especially when a Swordsman had weakened one of my monsters. Hypnosister herself was a beatstick, shooting up to 2100 ATK every time I played her by simply having a card in a Pendulum Zone. Squamata was in there primarily to handle Superheavy Samurai Blue Brawler, but 1800 ATK wasn’t a bad move either if I could Flip Summon it. I pulled a single Swordsman, and he served as both defense and offense (when combined with Snake or Toad).

Seventeen monsters to one Spell and two Traps. It might not seem like the most fantastic ratio, but let’s not forget that most of my Spells and Traps just weren’t meant to be used on their own. Take Feast of the Wild LV5. How many Level 5 monsters do you see up there? Two, right? There’s a problem, though: They’re both Fairy-Types, as are all the Artifacts. Incompatible with Feast of the Wild LV5. Another example is Hymn of Light. It’s the Ritual Spell for Saffira, Queen of Dragons. Not a single copy of the monster showed up, so the Ritual Spell was relegated to the Side Deck.

Now, what about Curse of the Shadow Prison? Or Chain Dispel? Surely I could’ve tried those, right? I had considered swapping in Curse in the event that I ran into someone actually using U.A. Stadium, but I highly doubted I could ever utilize the ATK decrease effect, so I didn’t put it in the Main Deck. Chain Dispel was also put to the Side Deck because I wasn’t confident I would ever run into a deck actually running multiple copies of any Spell or Trap Card, and if I did, it wouldn’t be more than two copies.

As for the one Spell and two Traps I DID run, well, it should be fairly obvious why.  Hippo Carnival makes for a fantastic defense, forcing my opponent to attack tokens during the turn that it’s played.  Very handy if I didn’t want a certain monster to be destroyed right then.  And the Traps?  They both support Warrior-Type monsters, and there were actually very few compared to the rest of the deck.  In fact, aside from those in the Side Deck, there were only three Warrior-Type monsters in the Main Deck, and two of them required Tributes to summon.  In spite of this, those two Traps were never dead draws.  Why?  I have the small deck size to thank for that.  Three cards may not seem like a lot, but in 20 cards instead of 40, it’s actually a pretty large number.

Now for the deck size itself.  I know the obvious criticisms.  In fact, one of them was in my Extra Deck: Pilgrim Reaper.  Look, I wasn’t worried about the Reaper because it requires two Level 6 monsters to summon.  I only had two myself.  What were the odds of other people actually being able to summon it?  Not much higher than mine.  And as for actually decking out due to stall, well, I wasn’t worried about that either.  I had Shaddoll Squamata for that.  The only thing that could have been my undoing would have been two copies of Superheavy Samurai Blue Brawler.  I only ever encountered one.  My only other major problem was U.A. Perfect Ace, but I already knew how to deal with that.  It shared a weakness with one of my favorite cards in the game.  I simply had to bluff it out and then destroy it.  Failing that, I could always hit it with Battlegaurd King.

But what if I HAD encountered a Blue Brawler lock?  Well, it’s likely I would have lost that duel, assuming my opponent had more cards in their deck than I did.  I believe I could have come back from it, though.  One duel isn’t the whole match.  I would simply have to try to be faster next time.

I hope you found this article insightful and helpful, and I hope it helps you in the next Sneak Peek event three months from now.  Trust me when I say this: The New Challengers is going to be a REALLY good set!

As for me, stay tuned.  My next article will be covering probably the most confusing card in Duelist Alliance: Superheavy Samurai Big Benkei!

Card Sleeves – The Late Update

By now, most of you have probably heard the news about the update to Konami’s policy regarding card sleeves and the Extra Deck. If you have not, you can find all relevant Tournament Policy documents here: http://www.yugioh-card.com/en/gameplay/index.html.  You’ll find them in the section labeled “Duelist Resources”.  These documents can be viewed in your browser, but can also be downloaded for free if you like.

The rule that card sleeves had to match for all three of your decks- Main, Extra, and Side- has been in place pretty much forever.  It only recently came to light when a lot of people were complaining about their Extra Deck cards getting mixed up with their Main Deck.  While I can certainly understand the frustration, anybody running 15 cards in their Side and Extra Decks should not have this problem.  Have I done made the mistake of shuffling a Synchro Monster into my Main Deck?  Of course.  It still happens to this day.  But as I said in my previous article talking about sleeves, anyone who can count to 15 shouldn’t have this problem very often.  In a tournament, this can also be a bad thing.  If you happen to draw an Extra Deck card from your Main Deck, you must reveal that card to your opponent and call a judge.  In most cases, the card is placed in the Extra Deck, you get a warning, and you draw a new card.  If you suspect that more than one card is in there, you should count your Extra Deck and ask the judge to sort through your Main Deck for any other stragglers.

Well, the Powers That Be have decided that the practicality of different sleeves for the Extra Deck outweigh any other significant reason for uniform sleeves.  Are they wrong?  I don’t think it’s my place to say.  A judge I may be, but I don’t write the tournament policy.  I barely have a grasp of how big a tournament can get; I can’t even imagine being in charge of the tournament scene for an entire country or continent.

Let’s be clear about this rule, however: This rule only allows players to use different sleeves for their EXTRA DECK.  Your sleeves for the Main and Side Decks must still match.  Even if you have Fusion, Synchro, or Xyz Monsters in your Side Deck, they must still have sleeves that match the rest of your Main and Side Deck cards.  Furthermore, if you DO use different sleeves for your Extra Deck, they must all match.  So you can’t use ten black sleeves for your Xyz Monsters and five white sleeves for your Synchros.  It’s either fifteen of the same black sleeves, or fifteen of the same white sleeves- or no sleeves at all, if you prefer.

So what does this mean for you as a Duelist?  Well, for newer players, this is a godsend and I won’t argue with anyone who says that this helps them.  Young or old, newer players have a lot of things in the game to get used to- three different decks with their own set of rules is one of them.  More experienced players might also find this to be a great convenience to them given the time constraints of tournaments.

However, there are some players who might still prefer to have uniform sleeves all around, and for any number of reasons.  It could be that they want their Extra and Side Deck sleeves to match because they have Extra Deck monsters in their Side Deck; having the same sleeves means you don’t have to take cards out of sleeves and switch them, saving precious seconds (no, that’s not sarcasm; every second counts in the tournament scene).  There might also be strategic reasons for this, such as concealing the number of Extra Deck monsters that are actually in the Side Deck.  That is, hiding this information from your opponent.  To a certain extent, this IS legal; and you don’t want to give away too much information.  You never know what they might use it for.

I mentioned in the last article a little card called Magical Hats.  This card wasn’t seeing much tournament play, even in Geartown decks.  However, it IS seeing tournament play in Harpie decks thanks to their favorite new Spell Card: Hysteric Sign.  In most cases, you won’t be hiding an Extra Deck monster anyway, and if you do, it’ll be an Xyz Monster, so the Xyz Materials will be placed underneath the monster once you’re done mixing up the hats.  Yeah, I know, it sucks.  But this is still a good strategic reason to use uniform sleeves, at least in the event that you happen to summon a non-Xyz Monster from the Extra Deck, or you hit an Xyz that has no more Xyz Materials attached to it.

This is only advice and opinion.  If you don’t want your Extra Deck to match your Main and Side Deck card sleeves, you no longer have to (just so long as the Extra Deck sleeves you use are all the same).  This might make your tournament experience much easier for you.  In all honesty, I hope it does.

Until next time, folks, keep dueling!

Card Sleeve Conundrums: Uniformity

The first big tournament that I judged at was a Regional Qualifier in September 2013.  It was the best thing I’d ever gotten to do.  Between helping players and learning how to improve as a judge, I also got to see things that were rare in tournaments or that I hadn’t considered.

But there was one issue that was highly controversial during the entire event, and that was the issue of card sleeves.

According to the tournament policy documents, players must use the same card sleeves for the Main, Side, and Extra Decks.  This is not a new rule and has been there for a very long time.  It seems that players (and judges) were only just now noticing it due to recent enforcement.  A lot of players were wondering why it even mattered.

Believe me when I say that it matters a lot.  There are a few very good reasons why this rule is in place.

Argument from cards

The first argument I’d like to present is one that uses specific cards as examples.  Let’s start with Magical Hats.  This is a Normal Trap that is activated during your opponent’s Battle Phase.  You select two non-monster cards from your deck and shuffle them with one of your monsters, then Set the three of them in face-down Defense Position (the non-monsters are treated as Normal Monsters with an ATK and DEF of 0, but no Type, Attribute, or Level).  Your non-monsters are destroyed at the end of the Battle Phase.

Now, suppose you have a Synchro Monster in play.  Your opponent attacks it and you activate Magical Hats to hide it.  If you’re playing with different sleeves for your Extra Deck monsters, your opponent’s going to know what it is anyway and destroy it.  Strategically speaking, this puts you at a disadvantage.

(Unfortunately, Xyz Monsters aren’t as easy to hide since the Xyz Materials must be put underneath the monster when you’re done shuffling the three “hats”.  This ruling is still being debated by some judges, but it makes the most sense with regards to the rulebook and other cards.)

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “But nobody plays Magical Hats!  Using that as an argument is like saying you shouldn’t mess with the Graveyard in case someone plays Question!”

And to that, I have a few things to say.  First off, I’m genuinely surprised that Geartown decks don’t play this card.  It would be a very fast way to instantly summon two copies of Ancient Gear Gadjiltron Dragon.  Under ideal circumstances, your deck becomes thinner by four cards, and you have two huge monsters in play!  Ojama decks can also benefit from this card with Ojamagic.  Two copies get sent to the Graveyard, and your hand size suddenly increases by SIX CARDS.  Granted, they’re all relatively weak Normal Monsters, but Ojamas have their own tricks.

Second, Question is a perfectly valid reason for not messing with the Graveyard.  So what if it never tops?  If we only took into account the cards that topped, a lot of judges would be stumped on less powerful stuff when it inevitably came up- because not everyone has the money to play meta, and some folks just don’t want to anyway.

Third, as I hinted above, we have to take everything into account.  The rules must encompass all situations.  Using cards as examples for why a rule is in place is a perfectly valid argument, no matter how obscure it is.  Why?  Because the card exists and is tournament legal.  That means it CAN show up in a tournament, and occasionally it will.

Argument from expediency

Did you know that you can put Fusion, Synchro, and Xyz Monsters in your Side Deck?  That’s right.  After the first and second duels, you can swap out cards in your Extra Deck for other such monsters in your Side Deck.

But if you’re playing with different sleeves on your Extra Deck, this is going to take up extra time that could be used for other things, like shuffling or finishing the match before time is called.  You have to take your Side Deck monster out of its sleeve, your Extra Deck monster out of its own sleeve, and then switch the two, putting them into each other’s sleeves.  This is an enormous waste of time.  You might not think so, but those seconds really add up.  If you have to do this twice in a full match, you could end up using several minutes’ worth of time.  It would be far better spent SUMMONING those monsters instead of having to switch their sleeves.

Argument from uniformity

It’s actually rather rare for two opposing duelists to have the same sleeves on their cards.  With this in mind, mixing them up is often a simple thing to fix.  If your opponent takes control of one of your monsters with Number 11: Big Eye, or maybe switches one of his for one of yours with Creature Swap, then it’s most likely going to be an easy thing to get these cards back to their owners after the duel is finished (if they didn’t end up in the Graveyard during the duel anyway).

I won’t deny that sometimes two people dueling each other will have the same sleeves.  If this happens and your cards get mixed up, my advice is to use your deck lists to sort it out.  Before going to any tournament that requires deck lists, write up a second copy for yourself.  I advise that you also write the Set Numbers and rarity of each card on the list to further help in case of a mix-up.

Argument Against: That Card Doesn’t Go There!

The most typical argument- and really the only one I’ve ever seen- against this policy is that Extra Deck monsters can easily get mixed up in the Main Deck if all of your cards have the same sleeves.  Yes, this happens, but it is still your responsibility to make sure that it doesn’t.  You cannot blame the tournament program’s designers for this.  It’s happened to everyone, even people who don’t have uniform sleeves.  In the end, it is YOUR responsibility.  So take my advice and CAREFULLY sort through your Graveyard, your banished pile, and your other cards before shuffling your deck.  Make sure that your Extra Deck and your Side Deck both have the correct number of cards that they started with and you should be good to go.

I hope that this article is both enlightening and helpful to you.  I’m researching other things right now, but if I don’t find anything, then I’ll just write up articles on the TCG exclusives from Shadow Specters when they are announced.

Until next time, keep dueling!