With the number of cards, decks, and combos in Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel, it’s safe to say that Konami’s duel simulator might be a little overwhelming for new players. But if you want to be the next king of games, you’re going to need to know your red-eyes from your blue, and your dark magician from your chaos magician. Are you confused yet?
Well, don’t be! Our Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel guide has all the tips and tricks you need to clear the solo mode, climb the rankings, and build the best decks. Whether you’re new to the franchise or a returning player, there’s been enough change in the game over the last few years to warrant a refresher for most. So settle in, because it’s time to duel.
Once you’ve read this and you’re ready to test your skills, be sure to check out our picks for the best Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel starter and shop decks, as well as Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel dragon decks, to put together a set capable of flying up the rankings. Or, if you’re looking for another franchise with fierce battles, and even fiercer hairdos, get familiar with the Kingdom Hearts characters in our guide.
Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel guide to deck building
Before you even think about summoning and setting face downs, you need to build a deck worthy of duelling. We’ve put together the essential tips for crafting a set suitable for both the solo mode, and the ranked online matches, so that you can get a head start.
Don’t go over 40
While the rules allow anything from 40-60 cards in a deck, you always want to opt for the bare minimum here. Building a deck is all about facilitating combos, so pick out cards that best serve your style of play, and cut away anything too scenario-specific.
Don’t waste your gems
You receive a bunch of gems during the first few hours of playing Master Duel, but don’t go spending them all at once. Not only does the gem-well dry up pretty quick, but you can get specific cards much easier by generating them in the deck build menu. Save your gems for when you unlock Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel secret packs, and only buy those containing the cards you need for your deck.
Recycle and craft your cards
If you just can’t resist the urge to splurge and do end up buying packs, be sure to recycle all the cards you don’t need. Each card is worth at least ten crafting points when you recycle it, so you can amass crafting points for building cards necessary for your deck. Card recycling and crafting are available in the deck-building menu.
Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel guide to duelling
Now you have your deck, you need to know how to use it. While Yu-Gi-Oh! was a relatively simple concept on launch, the version you find on Master Duel over twenty years later is slightly more complex. Take our advice on acquainting yourself with the world of duel monsters before learning your lesson online.
Use the tutorials
Master Duel is full of tutorials, and you should make the most of them. Even the most proficient duelists should take the time to jump into the solo mode, and play through the first couple of scenarios. These will teach you about the different types of cards, and how to use them.
Plan your combos
Don’t go into a duel without knowing how your deck works. Even the pre-constructed starter and shop decks have combos littered throughout, so read through your cards to see what potential synergy they have before taking your deck online.
Finish the solo mode
The solo mode in Master Duel is an excellent way of unlocking cards, getting extra gems, and learning more about different archetypes throughout the game. If you’re intimidated by online ranked duels, or have already learned the hard way, solo mode is the place to get to grips with the game.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel guide to ranked duels
With deck-building and duelling basics out of the way, you’re nearly ready to take it to the big leagues. However, online duels are much more challenging than the solo mode, so you’ll need to make sure your deck is up to scratch when facing meta threats, and that you’re not relying on any banned combinations.
Embrace the meta
Despite the number of possible card combinations in Master Duel, you’ll find that there are a lot of similar decks in platinum rank. This saturation is due to the popularity of Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel meta decks. While we’re still early in the meta, a few tournaments have helped to decide which sets are most relevant to the current game, so you should check out our guide to see which suits your playstyle.
Don’t play a rogue deck in ranked mode
For those who don’t know, a rogue deck in Yu-Gi-Oh is a set of cards generally considered outside the meta. These decks can be fun to play in casual mode, or against friends, but if you’re going to take them into the ranked mode, you are more than likely going to face up against meta threats that have the scope to lock out most rogue possibilities. Save your Ojama deck for casual duels, there’s no room to Chazz-it-up here.
Check the banlist
Now and then, Konami changes their forbidden and limited cards listings to make sure the game doesn’t stagnate around certain deck types. So if you build a meta deck, you need to keep up to date with the banlist to make sure you’re not trying to run freshly banned cards.
And there you have it! With our Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel guide, you should be tasting sweet victory and climbing up the ranks in no time. For more duelling fun, be sure to check out our list of the best mobile card games to play once you’re on the throne as king of games.