YOU ARE HERE: HeraldMail HomeCollectionsDeck

Players use magic, monsters at library's Yu-Gi-Oh! tourney

February 19, 2006|By DON AINES

Magic, monsters and traps were employed by 22 players vying to deplete each other's life points and claim victory Saturday in the Yu-Gi-Oh! trading card game tournament at the Washington County Free Library.

To the uninitiated, Soul Exchange, Magic Cylinder and Zure, Knight of Dark World, are meaningless, but each has a power to exert and a role to play in the world of Yu-Gi-Oh.

"Soul Exchanger automatically destroys your opponent's monster so you can summon a stronger, higher-level monster," said Bryce Yeakle, 15, of Clear Spring, a tournament semifinalist who has been playing for about six years. Magic Cylinder, he said, "blocks your opponents attack and directs it right back at them."


The rules are Byzantine in their complexity, but well-deciphered by the tournament contestants, almost all of whom were teenage boys. Just two players were girls, said Lisa Key, the library's teen activities coordinator.

The library's first tournament last fall drew 13 players, Key said.

The credit, or blame, for the card craze goes to Japanese cartoonist Kazuku Takahashi, who in 1996 created the stories of a boy, Yugi, with mystical game-playing powers, according to the official Yu-Gi-Oh Web site. The comic book was the seed for the animated series, which spawned the trading cards, which gave birth to the game.

Player Joshua Royer, 17, of Funkstown, said there are thousands of cards to choose from, but match play begins with two players each armed with a deck of at least 40 cards. Players put together decks they believe will work to their best advantage within such categories as fiend, beast, machine and warrior decks, but the permutations seem endless.

At its most basic level, a game begins with each player having 8,000 life points and ends when one player's points are depleted.

The tournament came down to a face-off between Chris Connolly, 18, of Hagerstown, and Keith Ware, 16, of Halfway.

"I couldn't do anything. He beat everybody pretty bad," Ware said after losing the final, 8,000 to zero. "It was insane. Kind of scary, actually."

Connolly, a veteran of as many as 50 tournaments, used what he called a "beat down" deck to decimate his opponents. His strategy was simple.

"It's hit hard. Hit fast," he said. "Most of the cards I used are high-powered attack monsters. Other cars have the ability to disrupt my opponent's attacks."

As the champion, he walked away with a T-shirt and a box of new trading cards.

The Herald-Mail Articles