With the arrival of Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel, it’s as good a time as ever to pick up a deck and get to battling. A good set of 40 cards can provide countless combos and counters, so it’s something you’re going to want to get right from the outset, and as ever, we’ve got you covered.
Due to the massive amount of cards included, finding a Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel deck to suit you can seem daunting. Luckily enough, the game goes a way to help you out, with starter decks and pre-made decks available from the outset. In this guide, we’ll go over all the pre-made sets available at the start of the game, plus those available for purchase, and see which can set you on your way to taking the throne as king of games.
If you’re still not sold, be sure to read our Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel review, as well as our guide to Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel XYZ decks to see what this new fangled duelling simulator brings to the table. If this card game isn’t your bag, have a browse of our best mobile card games list to find something more suitable to your summoning needs.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel – best starter deck
On signing into Master Duel for the first time, the game will offer you a choice of three decks to get you up and running in the duel monsters arena. The current options are Power of the Dragon, Synchro of Unity, or Link Generation. Rather than opting for a straight-up best deck, you should base your choice on your familiarity with the game, or your play style, so we’ve pointed out which deck suits which type of duellist.
Power of the Dragon
The easiest to use of the pre-made decks, Power of the Dragon, will have a few familiar faces in store for the nostalgia players. There’s not much technicality involved in this one either, and the aim of the game is to go for sheer attack point power. If you’re a brand new player, or returning after more than a few years away from the game, this is probably the deck for you.
Synchro of Unity
Synchro of Unity is the best set of the bunch, and centres around performing synchro summons, turning lesser level two or three cards into their boss-monster equivalents. This one is also a lot of fun, and includes some cards that are good to have in your trunk if you plan on building your own more advanced synchro orientated deck.
Link Generation is a good deck built around cyberse monsters, but it’s also the one that is most reliant on bringing additional cards in to create truly killer combos. This starter deck is our pick for the least friendly to new players, with the link summoning system still feeling slightly foreign to returning fans, let alone newbies still trying to figure out how a fusion summon works.
Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel – best shop decks
There are currently two pre-made decks available for 500 gems each in the shop. These are ideal for those of you who have found some success or drawbacks with the starter sets, but aren’t quite ready for the meticulous world of deck-building. Again, we won’t rank these on our subjective view of the best decks, and instead, we’ll point out which set might best suit your duelling dynamic.
Magician of Pendulum
While we don’t recommend jumping in at the deep end with the slightly complicated pendulum summoning system at the heart of this deck, it certainly is a standout if you understand the mechanic. If you can pendulum summon with ease, we’re going for a big recommendation here, as some of the boss cards included pack the biggest punch on this list.
It’s also one of the most card diverse decks, with at least one of each fusion, pendulum, synchro, and XYZ monsters included in the extra deck, so it’s worthwhile trying it out if you like a bit of variation when you’re special summoning.
This one occupies the Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Master deck middle-ground, with some impressive potential combos based on the XYZ summoning mechanic. Even for new players, XYZ summons are probably easier to digest than synchro summons, and pale in comparison to pendulum cards, so this deck is perhaps the most approachable for nostalgia players looking to broaden their horizons.
Re-Contract Universe aims to quickly summon XYZ cards that can control the game with their powerful effects. There’s also scope to fuse elements of this deck with some of the cards from Synchro of Unity, with a decent amount of crossover in level four warrior cards that can boost your summoning speed.
With that, you should be ready to pick up a deck and jump into either the game’s solo challenge, or test your metal in the ranked PvP mode. While you’re here, why not take a browse of our picks for the best Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links decks, and see what meta movers might leap over to Master Duel at a later date.