As per request, this week we’ll be talking about what you should pack before going to a major tournament. I’ll also be talking a bit about the things you should prepare yourself for in your packing, as well as what you should generally avoid in case of troubles.
Now, we’re going to start this off on a little bit of a down note. As many of you know, major tournaments bring out all types of people. And by that, I mean literally, all types of people. Every major tournament event in every type of card game, people have their things stolen when they aren’t paying attention. These people are also devilishly creative in the ways they will steal your things too. People have had bags stolen from between their legs, underneath the tables, even in the split second you turn to look at something. It is extremely hard to catch these people, and once your things are gone, they’re gone. The best way to prepare yourself for this possibility is to make sure that you don’t bring your most valuable things. In other words, that Shadow Paladin deck you worked really hard to get the SPs for? Leave the SPs at home. The thieves will be watching your games, and seeing things such as SP cards will only draw them to you. Don’t bring multiple decks with you. Only bring your traders and the deck you plan on playing. Basically, limit the amount that they can steal from you and don’t have SPs in your deck. Also, always make sure you know where your stuff is. When you are playing a game, make sure you have the bag securely underneath the table, between your legs where you can feel it. That way, if they try to take it, you will feel the tugging.
On to the happier things, packing for a tournament is actually pretty important. You have no idea how long the tournament will go on for or how far you’ll personally go in the tournament. Because of that, always make sure you have snacks packed, and try to make sure they are the high energy, highly filling type of snacks. Bananas with peanut butter, almonds, walnuts, and hard boiled eggs all fill this criteria, giving you the bursts of energy you need and are also highly filling. Also, make sure you bring plenty of water with you. While it is tempting to bring things like pop, those end up causing you to crash later in the day, making it harder to concentrate. Drinking water refreshes your thirst and helps to alleviate your exhaustion. Make sure to pack more than you think you’ll need in the day. That way, if the tournament ends up going longer than you thought it would, you are already prepared for that eventuality.
A quick thing to remember for vanguard, you’re not allowed to use anything outside your deck and a playmat in a fight. You’re not allowed to use dice, take notes, flip coins, any of the usual things in a card game. This is to prevent cluttering at the various tables and should be followed, no matter what your personal feelings are. This frees up a lot of the usual space that would be taken up in your bag.
Speaking of playmats, if you don’t have one I would suggest trying to get a hold of one. It provides a really nice surface to play on and is definitely worth the investment. The site I have used in the past for my playmats is . It provides a really high quality mat, although there are a few restrictions. Most noticeable, they are mainly a Yu-gi-oh playmat site, meaning you would need to get a custom playmat if you want to have card zones. When making your playmat, there are a few restrictions that Bushiroad has made. Make sure you don’t use any copyrighted materials. This includes their official card zones, as well as any of their official art. There are a few variations of the cardzones online that you can use to design your mat.
All in all, as long as you pack smart and take into consideration all possibilities, there won’t be any unpleasant surprises waiting for you. Just make sure you stay hydrated and that you always know where your stuff is and you’ll have a great tournament experience.