Locals in the New Normal: A Returnee’s Guide

Locals are slowly opening back up around the world with high safety measures! This certainly means things are going to be quite different from what people were used. How about we take a look and see the things we can do to prepare accordingly? A lot of the old rules do still apply.

Finding your Locals

First things first is locating stores near your location that are open for in-person play. There are a couple of methods to do this, and all of them have their unique merits.

One of the popular methods is word of mouth. Asking your friends or people near your area for some stores is often a good way to find them, and you can build connections along the way! This will help come into play later, as interacting with regulars is one of the core parts of attending in-person in the first place.

Another thing you can do is search/browse social media/network sites such as Facebook, and Discord to find information about shops. One of the major benefits of this style is that you’re able to find the Store’s page and get a lot more intel on it in particular.

You can see where they are located, what kind of product they might have, business hours, regulations, events they’re hosting, and so on. Searching with the key city + Yugioh often gives you a fair amount of results for Locals hunting.

Lastly, you can make use of the official Konami resources to try and track down OTSes. Both the Store Locator and the OTS / Events Locator are readily available for anyone who wishes to use them. You can find them both here! This method requires some handling of Google Maps but is also quite good for finding more locals that you might not know of.

Once you’ve hit your mark, we can move on to the other steps.


Now you know where to go, the next step is to make sure you’re all set and ready. Here are some key things to prepare before heading out to your locals. Since the pandemic is still ongoing, we want to also take that into account while going over our things to bring and some reminders.

• Deck and duel-related accessories. Deck box, Dice, Coins, a playmat, and a way to track down Life Points! Pen and Paper or a calculator works, but Yu-Gi-Oh Neuron is an extremely helpful app, such as creating a PDF Decklist and translating foreign cards.

• Bringing your binder is recommended, as trades tend to be pretty commonplace! Make sure to have a way to track prices down so no unfair trading occurs. TCGPlayer and Cardmarket for NA and EU respectively often have accurate prices.

• A safe place to store your belongings, preferably something you can keep close to you at all times. It never hurts to be cautious, and you’ll save a lot of heartache this way. A backpack loop around the ankle is a classic.

• Speaking of safety, gearing up properly with face masks and sanitizing is key in making sure everyone’s play experience is smooth. Being hygienic is also a must. Shower before you go!

• Money for food and water, or bringing your own is also a good idea especially if staying for a long period of time or if there’ll be a tournament.

• If friends are also willing to go, that’s a great bonus to bring and may make your experience even better.

Arriving at Locals

You’ve made it, you’ve ventured forth and managed to get to your locals. What’s next? Well, talking to new faces is always a good option to start with, so give that a shot. Make some small talk and don’t be afraid to take it slow if you’re just getting out of your comfort zone. Yu-Gi-Oh is a social game after all, and face-to-face is definitely a different experience than online play.

After you get yourself acquainted a bit, feel free to explore the shop! If you’re just returning to the game, it’s advisable to mention that. Most people will be accommodating of the situation and help you a fair bit. You may even learn a thing or two about your deck or how to play. You can also get some decent deck advice and suggestions if you’re having trouble. With all that said, you can also give playtesting with other people a shot! After all, duels are the core of this game.

Once you’ve tested the waters, you could also fine-tune your deck to be better prepared against the locals metagame. This can be done by adjusting Hand trap ratios or tech cards accordingly, such as Cosmic Cyclone or Skull Meister. Don’t overcommit though, try finding the right balance!

You can take this time to familiarize yourself with common cards and strategies flying around. Don’t be afraid to ask your opponent what their cards do and also if you may read them. Do also ask if it’s allowed to touch their cards though, as sometimes it’s rude to just abruptly do so. If you have any ruling queries, the judges are there to help.

As you continue to play, you’ll slowly but surely get a hold of the game’s mechanics and intricacies. Keeping mind of time rules, playing around certain cards, knowing which cards to use at the given moment, bluffing, side decking, and rulings are just some of the many examples! If you’re playing on a budget, you can also check out various resources for certain tech cards. Lightning Storm may be premium in nuking backrow, but cards like Twin Twisters can also fulfill the role and then some for dirt cheap.

So, how about Tournaments?

Locals tournaments are often one of the selling points of going there, as it provides a holistic experience and is often a fun-filled event. The power levels are going to vary and you’ll be seeing a lot of new faces and regulars. Feel free to give it a go if you’re up for it! For a returnee, you may not perform all that well, but it’s part of the learning experience.

Try to take your losses into account and see what you could’ve done better to improve your play! You’ll also get to see stuff like time rules and side decking to its fullest here. All in all, it’s a good opportunity to learn all things considered.

Who knows, maybe after a few tries or so you can finally take the crown?


And that concludes our write-up for returning players wanting to go back to locals! As they say, the more things change the more they stay the same! Just make sure to practice safety protocols and you should be good with IRL events. For those who still can’t go, online play and remote dueling are always an option.


One thought on “Locals in the New Normal: A Returnee’s Guide

  • Avatar
    July 18, 2021 at 2:15 pm



    This is will come in handy in few months

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