A couple weeks ago we were in Las Vegas for the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG Team YCS tournament as teams competed for what was essentially a three-man championship. The event was cool to see as this doesn't fall within your usual YCS system. For those who are not familiar with it, everyone playing is in a team of three people, playing with specific decks (which you can see here), Trying to get a total of four wins between all of them in best two out of three matches. As part of the experience, the folks at Konami invited members of the press who were covering the event to take part in a special match as a team. We got to play on that team and here's what we experienced.
So right off the bat, let me be clear. I know how to play Yu-Gi-Oh!, but I am far from an expert. I will never claim to be an expert at this game as I have seen the best of the best compete at a few of these. I'm mediocre at best, so when I play, I just play for fun. I let the other two members who were with me, who play occasionally to frequently, choose the deck we ended up going with. Each pack comes with three decks, one for each player, where you have a small-game strategy going up against someone else with the same amount of cards. Health is cut down to 4,000 points, and a lot of the gameplay is fast-tracked since you're playing with decks that are not designed for long-form combat. You can see a couple of them below, including mine which was an Amazon/Harpees combo. It worked out really well for getting creatures out of the gate, but not much for spellcasting.
The three of us went in against three pros who were on their own team. The team was called "Esala Needs This" comprised of Esala Wathuthantrige, Jesse Kotton, and Barrett Keys. So two former YCS champions and one who has been to the dance more than once but hasn't gotten a title yet. Hence the name. The three of us, which was me, Tommy Williams from Geek Tyrant and Tanner Dedmon from ComicBook, faced off against them while the swiss rounds were taking place. I held my own pretty decently against Kotton, as we traded victories for a 1-1 tie, only for me to be slaughtered as I couldn't get anything working. My teammates faired about the same, except Tommy was clearly the best of us with two victories. However, we lost in the end 4-1.
I had a lot of fun with this Yu-Gi-Oh! format. There's a lot of advantages where teammates can speak with each other and get advice, as long as everything said can be understood by everyone. There's great chances to work as a team and strategize to overcome the odds, maybe see something other teammates don't. There are some kinks that need to be worked out, but overall, this is a much better way for people to get into the game than just 1-v-1. At least, in my opinion. Because here you can play with your friends and make it a group effort as opposed to fending for yourself. I recommend giving it a shot if you're interested in Yu-Gi-Oh! but find the standard gameplay intimidating.