Hey everyone, this is The_SynchroGuy, and I’m here to give out some tips on how to play on a budget. Now real quick, let me just say, I have not played on a budget before. The tips I’m going to give you are not things that I’ve done, but stuff that I’ve learned, or heard, from other people. When I look through the stuff they talk about, I can honestly agree with what they’ve said, so I thought I would share with you the things they’ve taught me so you can become a better player. But still, take what I’m about to say with a grain of salt. Anyway, let’s get into it!

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1. What’s Your Budget?

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Right away, if you’re planning to play on a budget, you need to figure out how much you’re willing to spend. It can be a weekly budget, monthly budget, whatever works with you. Just ask yourself how much you’re willing to spend. It can be like, $10, $50, $100, $1,000…okay, that last one might be a bit too much, but if it’s in your budget, then kudos to you.


Once you’ve figured it out, do not try to break it. Now sometimes you may have moments where you go a little over budget, and that’s okay. However, you need to remain vigilant. Or, in other words, do your best to not break your budget mark. I know for some of you, that shouldn’t be a problem since you’re not “made of money”. Still though, you will have moments of temptation.

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Also, when you have reached the end of the week or month, and your budget re-stacks, you can do one of two things. One thing you can do is add onto it. That means, you can take the money you didn’t spend previously and add it to the current one. This way, you can try to get some of the more expensive cards you’re after. However, I am not certain about this one, so take it with what you will.


The other one you can do, and this probably the more preferred one, is just save that excess money for something else, like put it into your savings account or something, and just stay at your original budget line. If you ever want to get more stuff though, you can always increase your budget, or have a little cheat day, but please, be sure to check on how your income is before you make that decision. Do not put yourself in a financial situation. (The media would probably make a crazy story about that though. “Local resident now broke due to trading cards”.)


2. Choose a Deck Where You Can  Replace the Expensive Cards

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We all want to play the decks that we think are cool and awesome, but not everyone wants to pay for cards that will cost them an arm and a leg. So, naturally, they will try to find ways to replace them. Well, here are some things I’ve learned that might be helpful.


First off, don’t choose a deck where the expensive cards are required. What do I mean by this?  I mean, if you’re looking to play a deck, but they need a card that is expensive, maybe you should avoid trying to play that deck. For example, if you’re planning to play a deck that uses the Dogmatika engine, one of the cards for it that will most likely be required is Nadir Servant, and, at the time of writing this blog, that card is going for around $85 a copy.

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So yeah, maybe you shouldn’t go for something like that. Instead, find a deck where you can replace the expensive cards. Say, if the deck you want to play uses Pot of Prosperity, you can replace it with something like Pot of Desires. Or, if it uses an Extra Deck monster like AA-ZEUS, you can try replacing it with something like Evilswarm Exciton Knight. While doing this won’t make the deck just as powerful with those expensive cards at times, it will still make your deck playable, and a lot cheaper to build.


Another thing you should consider when choosing a deck is picking a deck that you can upgrade over time.

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One of the fun things about Yu-Gi-Oh is being able to change your deck overtime. Sometimes it can be a little change, like making the deck more consistent, or big, like changing the deck’s strategy altogether.


My point is, everyone always wants to put in some new stuff into their deck to mix things up a bit at times. Also, if you’re playing a budget deck, you’ll obviously want to try to make it stronger somehow. Plus, adding new stuff to your deck can be fun to do. Especially if you get a really good card for your deck.


One last idea I will recommend for this part is to consider getting a structure deck.

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Structure decks are, in my opinion, one of the best things you can get to help you get started in Yu-Gi-Oh. Every card in one, you’re guaranteed to get. And they may even have some good reprints that you can use for other decks in the future. However, I do recommend that you try to get three of the same structure deck because you will want to play multiple copies of the same card. At least, for some of them.


Do note that I would recommend you get one of the more recent structure decks, since those are really cheap to get. Like, $10. So, if you get three of them, it’s only gonna cost you about $30. If you choose to go for one of the more older ones, however, there’s a good chance that they will cost more than $10 a copy. And obviously they may cost way more than what your budget is, but like I said, sometimes you may have to bite the bullet. Once you get it though, you can then start going on your strict budget line.


Not to mention, structure decks don’t normally have anything expensive, so you don’t have to worry about substituting anything in them with other cards because it’s cheaper. Also, these are decks that you can upgrade over time. Take a look at Machina Infinitrack (aka Earth Machine).

Deck EARTH MACHINE (Machina Infinitrack) + Análisis :chart_with_upwards_trend: | (Abril 2021)


It’s simply a deck made of the Machina support from the Mechanized Madness structure deck, with some of its other support released in booster sets, mixed together with Infinitrack (and some Train and Ancient Gear cards too). In a way, this can be a goal you can build your deck towards.


3. Buy Singles

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I have heard this a lot, and it’s something I constantly agree to. If you want to get a new card for your deck, just go and buy the card. Don’t buy the pack that it comes in! While opening packs is pretty fun, the reason why this is said is because you are not always guaranteed to get the card you want. Sure, sometimes it’s cheaper than just buying the card, but if you don’t get the card within the first couple of packs, then you will probably have to buy more packs, and before you know it, you’ve just spent more money than for what the card is currently going for. If you were gonna spend that much money either way, you might as well just get the card itself and save yourself the trouble. This is especially true if the card is in a high rarity.


Now I’m not gonna say you should never open another pack again. Like I said, sometimes they’re fun to do. If you want to open packs, try winning some at your local card store’s tournament. You’ll at least be guaranteed to get 1 pack. But if you do well at it, you can get more than one. Or if you just have some extra money left over on your budget, you can choose to spend that on some packs.


Again though, if you want to get a certain card(s), you’re better off just buying the card(s) itself since you’re guaranteed to get it. If you want to get packs though, you’re more than welcome to do if you have a leftover budget for them. Or better yet, try winning them at your locals.


4. Don’t Always be Afraid to Get Expensive Cards

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Okay, this one may not seem like “the way of the budget”, but let me explain before you start typing. Getting an expensive card may seem crazy if you’re on budget. However, think about it like this: if you get said expensive card, then everything else that’s way out of your budget suddenly becomes cheaper!


Think about it, a lot of decks are expensive because of the expensive card(s) they play. If you were to acquire those expensive cards, then those decks will be much cheaper since you already bought the expensive stuff. Plus, you only have to buy them once! No one said you have to buy them again when building a new deck. Just take them out of whatever deck they were in and put them in your new one. Just make sure you take good care of the cards so you don’t have to buy new ones.


Yes, I know that reprints are a thing, and they are really helpful to new players since it’ll bring down the price of the expensive card. However, one thing you need to ask yourself is, “Can you wait? Do you have the patience to wait for the reprint?” Reprints are not something that’ll happen very soon. They can sometimes take months or over a year or so before they even see a reprint. (Because Konami needs to be able to sell those sets still in order to make a profit.)

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Another thing that can make it worth getting these expensive cards is by winning tournaments with them. Now, this is something I would not recommend if you’re not trying to be competitive, or looking to win a tournament.


Anyway, imagine this: say you are entering a tournament where the winning prize is a booster box. Now you want to win that tournament, but you know there are going to be some tough decks that are gonna be at that tournament, so it’s not gonna be easy. To help increase your chances of winning the tournament, if you can acquire the cards that are expensive, you will have a much better chance of winning it.


Of course, since they are expensive, that does mean you will have to cost up a lot of money. However, if it helps increase your chances of winning, the pay off may be worth it. Say you bought a playset of an expensive card, and they each cost you $25 a copy, so you have just spent a total of $75 altogether. You then enter the tournament and win the whole thing. Well, now that you won the booster box, there’s a good chance that one of the cards you pull will be an expensive card that, by itself, is worth more than what you’ve spent.

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Say the booster box was a box of Rise of the Duelist, and you pulled a copy of Nadir Servant. Well, since that card is currently worth $85, if you sell it at, or around, that price, then you have made back the money you spent, plus more. So, in a sense, since you spent $75 on something that helped you make $85, then you have just made $10 right there!


Admittedly, that is only imagining the best case scenario, and you will not always be so fortunate. Even if you were to win the box, there’s no guarantee that you will pull an expensive card. However, if you were to use those expensive cards you acquired at other events and manage to do well at them, then overtime, those cards will have made you a lot more than what you’ve spent.


In a way, it’s like you’re investing into the stock market. You buy a share of a company, hoping it will do well. If so, then you will make back more than what you’ve spent. The only key difference here is that instead of waiting to see what happens, you have to be the one that makes it happen. Like I said though, this path I only recommend if you’re a competitive player, or are planning to win a big event/tournament.

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Overall, those are my budget tips for you. Again though, I do not rigorously practice all of the things I’ve just talked about, so take what I said with a grain of salt. These were all just ideas for you to think about when you’re planning to play on a budget. Just figure out how much it is you are willing to spend, and do your best to not break that barrier. Of course, you can increase this barrier over time, if you so wish to, but please make sure it doesn’t make you go broke. Can’t play a game of Yu-Gi-Oh if you can’t take care of yourself first.


When you’re choosing a deck, avoid the ones that require the expensive cards. Instead, find ones where you can replace those cards with something similar, but cheaper. It will make your deck less consistent and/or less powerful, but you’ll still have money in your pocket. Also, make sure it’s a deck that you can improve upon over time. Makes it more fun that way. Which is why I suggest getting 3 copies of a structure deck. Preferably one of the newer ones, if possible, but sometimes you might have to bite the bullet.


Don’t always try to buy booster packs. While, yes, they may seem fun, if you’re after one certain card, consider just buying the card online. That way, you are guaranteed to get the card you want. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with buying packs, but maybe save that if you have any leftover money from your budget. Or try to win some at your locals.


Finally, don’t always reject the idea of buying expensive cards at times. While, yes, you should avoid having to buy cards that are required for a certain deck, if you instead buy the expensive cards that you can put into more than one deck, then some of those more expensive decks suddenly start to become a bit cheaper. Especially since you only need to buy those expensive cards just once. (Just remember to take good care of them.)


Not to mention, if you use those cards to help you win an event/tournament, or even multiples of those things, then you can possibly win back more than what you’ve spent. Of course, this requires you to really practice playing this game, but still, the pay off may very well be worth it. Especially if you can make a lot more back.

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Thank you for reading this! I hope these tips help you out in any way. It’s not always easy trying to play on a budget, but it is doable. You may have to make a tough choice sometimes though. It may not always sound that great, but then again, we can’t always accomplish big things without taking some sort of risk. So do what you will, but just make sure you are not putting yourself in some sort of financial crisis. Also, remember that we’re all here to have fun, so make sure that stays as your #1 priority.


Let me know in the comments what you thought about this! Did I open your minds a little? Or do you think I’m talking nonsense? Better yet, if you have any budget tips that I didn’t mention in this post, leave it as a comment down below so that others can see it and help them out! After all, the main purpose of this post is to make sure everyone is having fun playing a game that they enjoy!

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I’ll see you guys in the next one! Hope you have/had an awesome day today! :grin: :thumbsup: