Take it from one beginner to another - starting another hobby can be daunting. Especially if that hobby features any sort of long-running RPG with a massive online community spanning multiple countries and platforms. You know you want to get into Yu-Gi-Oh. So where are you supposed to begin?
Yu-Gi-Oh began circa-1996 as a manga story featured in a Japanese shonen magazine about a fictional gambling game played by a boy named Yugi Mutou who awakens an alter-ego spirit within his own body after solving the ancient Millennium Puzzle. The manga was so popular that it was soon after adapted into two anime programs, first airing in October of 1998. The premise of the series centres around the fictional trading card game known as Duel Monsters, with players using cards to "duel" each other in a fictional world full of fantasy battles and monsters. Along with later releases of anime spin-offs and video games, the series spawned its own real-world trading card game based off the fictionalised one.
There's a reason it's become one of the highest-grossing media franchises ever. The game itself has a real appeal among gaming fans worldwide. Originating in Japan and now appreciated all over, it's a collectable battle card game developed by Konami. Players combine spells, traps and monsters to battle and take down their opponents. With 25.2 billion cards sold worldwide by 2011, Guinness labelled it the top-selling trading card game in history, beating out other industry giants such as Pokemon with ease. With players of all backgrounds and age groups enjoying the game since 1999, it's no wonder that there's more lore, info, and rules out there than ever, and getting started can be a tricky gig. Well, here's how you can start!
1. Do your research
That's what you're doing here, right? How to play articles can be a great starting point for figuring out where to get started, but like I said above, there's a tonne of information out there. Forum and social sites like Reddit, Facebook or Twitter are full of real players who'd be happy to offer their advice. We recommend reading the actual Yu-Gi-Oh rule book first, as well as brushing up on where your local community groups are situated to find likeminded individuals to play with.
2. Stock up
You're gonna need some materials to get started. Most importantly, the cards! Retailers like Ozzie Collectables have specialised categories just for the latest packs and cases of these cards, as well as accessories that can help you on your gaming journey. One of the most crucial things to understand is that there is no one deck style for everyone. Have someone in your local gaming community walk you through a game or two so you can get a feel for how different decks work for you. Whilst it's not necessarily to stock up on a full-blown collection before you get started, it's useful to have at least some of the basics, as well as enough cards in your deck to play a full game, so you don't go in unprepared.
3. Watch the anime
And read the manga while you're at it! No, not the whole thing. (Well, unless you have hundreds of hours to spare and won't be needing a break for work or a social life any time soon.) But brushing up on the basic plot and lore of the game can help you establish your own playing style. Not only that, but fans of the story typically report that they find the game more enjoyable, since they've seen their favourite characters play it on the screen. Couldn't hurt to watch a few episodes, right? (Cue the binge...)
4. Find somewhere to play
Your local card or hobby shop is a great place to start. For Melbourne dwellers, especially those in the south east, you'll be pleased to discover that Ozzie Collectables is actually an official tournament store. Not only are you able to stock up on supplies and merchandise, but going this route can help you find an actual community of people willing to play. Sign up for our newsletter to keep up to date with all things Yu-Gi-Oh, game nights and more!
Sound like a plan? Here are some quick bonus tips before you get started!
- Yu-Gi-Oh is considered to be a quick game, especially compared to RPGs like Magic the Gathering. Be prepared to sharpen your wits and stay on your toes!
- There's a YouTube community known as Yugitube full of passionate players and enthusiasts - a great starting point for your journey.
- It's not as costly as many other similar games. If you're looking to bust your boredom but save a buck, Yu-Gi-Oh is probably the way to go.
- Don't be afraid to tell people it's your first time! Once you're ready to head to your first casual tournament, you might feel intimidated by all the other players. Just remember you're there to have fun, and there's no harm in speaking up and asking for help or advice.
Ready to play? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!