Posted by : Abdalaziz al-shammari Jun 30, 2010

ast time around we talked about how to build the perfect Side Deck, helping you pick 15 cards to take on the top 4 or 5 Decks you expect to Duel against.  A lot of Duelists get to that point and call it a day, not realizing they’ve only done half the job.  Just building your Side Deck isn’t enough: you also have to know how to use it.
Step 4 – What To Side Out
Knowing what to Side in for each of your big matchups is great, but you don’t just add cards from your Side Deck to your Main Deck – you need to rotate cards out of your Main Deck to make room.  That can be tricky: you won’t want to Side out the same cards in every matchup.  Consider the following for each Deck you plan to Side against:
-Which cards are so important to your strategy that you can’t Side them out?  Those cards need to stay.
-Which cards are less effective in this matchup?  If a card isn’t as good against a particular Deck, consider removing it once your first Duel is over.
-Which cards are flexible?  Which are good, but not as good in this matchup as cards from your Side Deck?
Those three questions should be enough to help you figure out which cards to Side out.  If you don’t have answers for a specific Deck, then the easiest solution is to just practice playing that matchup until things are clearer.  Don’t be afraid to experiment: try Siding out different cards until you find a combination you’re happy with.
Step 5 – A Complete Plan!
Once you decide what to Side in and out for each matchup, you take all the guesswork out of using your Side Deck.  Ever sat there between Duels wondering what exactly you should change?  It’s not a great feeling – trying to create a Side Decking plan in the 3 minutes between Duels isn’t easy, and time pressure causes bad decisions.
By creating your complete Side Decking plan in advance, what would normally be a difficult set of decisions becomes simple reflex: grab the cards to Side out, grab the cards to Side in, and get shuffling.  All you have to do is remember the right combination of cards for the 4 or 5 Decks you’re Siding against, and with a little practice that’ll be easy.  You’ll never make a bad decision, because you already made those decisions days (or weeks!) before you sat down to Duel.
Step 6 – Adapting On The Fly
Of course, just because you have a plan doesn’t mean you always have to stick to it. Sometimes your opponent may have a unique playstyle, or he might run cards that you didn’t expect.  The good news?  Your plan isn’t useless just because you have to switch it up.  In fact it’s quite the opposite: your plan gives you a starting point that you can adapt on the fly.  It’s way easier to adjust a plan, than to come up with a new one while time is ticking down.
Follow these 6 steps and Side Decking for your top matchups will be a breeze.  Bad matchups can become good matchups, and good matchups get even better!  Because you have a complete plan for how to use your Side Deck, you’ll also have an easier time adapting to new twists within those matchups.  When a new Deck surprises you, you’ll be able to compare it to the ones you planned for, and then rework your plans to fit the new situation.  Side Decking doesn’t have to be hard, and if you master it you’ll see a huge difference when you Duel.  One of the biggest things that sets good Duelists apart from great Duelists is their Side Deck, and now you can make the most of yours.

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