So you’ve read “What is Goat Format?” and “Why Play Goat Format?”, and you’re interested in becoming a part of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Goat Format community. But how do you actually start playing Goat Format? Because it is an old, community-driven format, the steps are not always clear to some.
Thankfully, we have compiled a list of steps so that you can rapidly get spun up on Goat Format and start playing games. You don’t have to follow these steps in this exact order, but this is generally a good start.
Step 1: Read the Goat Format Rules
You can’t play a game until you know the rules. Most of the rules are similar to the Yu-Gi-Oh! current format, but there are some key differences. In particular, read the rule about priority, as that’s the one that comes up most often. If you’re confused about how any of the rules work, ask a friend, or add a comment below our rules page. We’ll try to answer your question as soon as we can.
Step 1.5: Make an Account on DuelingBook.com
The only viable and popular dueling simulator for the Yu-Gi-Oh! Goat Format is at DuelingBook.com. Most people who duel any format online already have an account there, but if you don't, we highly recommend that you create one. It's very easy to do.
Step 2: Watch Some Goat Format Games
Since Yu-Gi-Oh! can be a complicated game, we recommend watching a few games before you jump in yourself. There are plenty of recorded duels on YouTube if you just search for “Goat Format.” We even have some on our own YouTube channel. You can also watch Goat Format games on DuelingBook.com by finding the “Goat Format” room and switching from the “duel” mode to “watch” mode. If you have a friend that will let you watch their duel, even better. If you’re watching a game and don’t understand what’s happening, ask questions.
Step 3: Join Our Discord and Post in #goat_questions
We have the only Discord server with a channel dedicated to helping new and aspiring Goat Format players. If you can ask any newbie questions about Goat Format in #goat_questions without being judged negatively. If you ask nicely, there’s a good chance that someone there will be willing to personally help you get spun up on the format. It’s always easier to learn something new if you have people helping you out. Click here to learn about Discord get an invitation to our Discord server.
Step 4: Look at Our Tier List and Deck Guides
If you want to be good at Goat Format, you need to understand what other decks people typically use. Read our Tier List to see a hierarchy of the most common to least common decks in the format, and then read each of the deck guides to get a sense of their strategy. It might be a good idea to start thinking about whether you want to play any of these decks yourself. If you have questions about any of the decks, reply to the guide with your question.
(Note: As of now, we have not finished writing all of our deck guides. We are trying to finish this as soon as possible.)
Step 5: Build Your First Goat Format Deck
Now that you have a rough idea of how Goat Format games play out and what the metagame looks like, it’s time to start building your first deck. Don’t worry about it being perfect; it’s just your first one, and you’re still new to the format. You can try building your own original creation, but you will probably have a much easier time by copying one of someone else’s decklists. After you have a more firmly grounded understanding of the format, then you can get creative.
Step 6: Play Some Goat Format Games
Now that you have your deck, it’s time to start playing some games. If you have a friend who will play with you, that’s probably your best bet, as he will be more forgiving of your mistakes. Otherwise, just ask if anyone wants to play a game with you in the #find_opponents channel of our Discord server. Let your opponent know that you’re new to the format. The cool thing about using our Discord server to find games is the fact that we have a rankings system that tracks your record. As you play more games, you can watch your ranking go up or down.
Step 7: Get Advice
DuelingBook.com has a “replay” feature that allows you to go back and watch the duels that you previously played. Our Discord server has a special channel for posting these replays and getting advice called #replay_links_and_discussion. There are always lots of people willing to tell you what you did wrong in your match. This is probably the easiest way to recognize your misplays so that you can play better in the future.
Step 8: Continually Repeat Steps 5 Through 7
These last three steps could be summed up as build-test-learn, which is a common loop that all Yu-Gi-Oh! players go through in order to achieve continuous improvement. Goat Format is not easy by any means, so don’t get discouraged if you’re not doing too well at first. You’ll get better with experience.
Need more help getting into goat format? Comment below, and we'll do our best to help you out.