4 Tips to Avoid Deck Penalties


As both a player and a judge, deck error penalties are a pain to deal with. Split sleeves, a decklist error, or warped cards can result from a warning to a game loss, which ruins both a player’s record and experience.

Here are some tips to help you avoid complications from the Judge Deck Team.

1. New Sleeves

First, old sleeves can often have corners bent, resulting in the appearance of marked cards. Intentional or not, you will have to replace them if noticed. Avoid a penalty by buying a fresh pack of sleeves before the event. It is much better to avoid a potential complication rather than risking one.

If you have to ask if you need replacement sleeves, you probably do.

2. No Extra Cards in the Deckbox

It sucks when I receive a fancy UltimateGuard deckbox to inspect and see a Goat Format deck or another deck inside, resulting in an immediate game loss. Even though it is clearly a different deck to be used outside the event, any cards outside of what was written in your decklist are considered extra cards. Unfortunately, the best solution for storing two decks is to get two deckboxes.

On a similar note, do not put your entry pack pulls inside your deckbox. Those cards will also be considered extra cards, and will also result in a game loss. Tokens and Field Centers, however, are fine.

3. Avoid Shortening Names

Although judges at registration will often correct your decklist, it is not their responsibility to write down the correct cards for you. Shortening names is fine if a player knows for sure that only one card can be identified. For example, Gameciel, the Sea Turtle Kaiju shortened to “Gameciel Kaiju” is fine. However, if one puts “Firewall” in place of Firewall Dragon, judges may register that written name as that one Trap Card nobody uses.

Furthermore, an illegal name registered in the decklist will result in a game loss and restricted use of that card. In one case, a player registered Heavy Storm instead of Heavy Storm Duster in his Main Deck, and not only did he receive a game loss for it, he had to replace the Dusters with cards from his Side Deck. If you’re unsure about shortening names, it is better to avoid the risk by writing the full name of the card.

4. No Warped Cards

This last one may be a bit obvious, but the astonishing amount of warped cards I have encountered makes this an issue to be addressed. There were many cases of American players playing European Ashes in their decks, only to be asked for replacements because they were warped. Also, expensive warped cards risk game losses for possible intention of cheating, so avoid the Euro flex if possible.

To check for a warped card, put your deck sideways and look for any inconsistencies. If the card can be sniped multiple times, it’s time to replace it.


Most of the time, players don’t encounter any issues at an event. However, it is useful to know how certain situations can be avoided. These tips don’t cover everything, but they will reduce a lot of trouble from both the players and the judges at an event.

Yugioh is meant for fun, not dishing out penalties!


YGOPRODeck Writer and YuGiOh Enthusiast.

Lives in Southern California as an active player and judge.

Favorite Color: Blue

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YGOPRODeck Writer and YuGiOh Enthusiast. Lives in Southern California as an active player and judge. Favorite Color: Blue

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