Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links continues to rise in popularity as a mobile game app, now accounting for millions of downloads worldwide. To me, the app showcases classic gameplay before the mechanics became too confusing and convoluted (looking at you, Pendulum Summon). Of course, this aspect may change down the road as particular card archetypes make their way into the app. Inevitably, expanding the card pool will be necessary for Konami at some point.
Until then, I wanted to share some general tips and tricks to bolster your current deck for success. In no time, you will duel with the best of them (both against AI and human opponents) with simple concepts to keep in mind.
1) Keep Your Deck Size around the Minimum
Because Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links utilizes Speed Duel rules, your minimum deck size is 20 cards with a maximum of 30. First and foremost, I highly recommend sticking to around 20 cards for your deck. From a consistency standpoint, drawing into the cards you need becomes more necessary when both players have fewer cards to work with in a game. The average game ends in a few turns, mainly because a bad turn or two spells defeat quickly.
I realize many players want to throw their favorite cards into the same deck. However, taking up precious deck space eats away at the probability. Even putting in 25 cards gets dicey from a math standpoint. In other words, focus on putting in just the cards you need as opposed to the cards you want. At least, this is true if you want a consistent deck.
2) Be Wary of Adding Difficult Monsters to Summon
This notion may be a touchy subject for some players, but many high-level monsters are a “noob trap” in my book. At least, this is the case for this game’s current card pool. Players want to use the anime’s signature cards like Dark Magician, but tossing these cards in by themselves is grossly inefficient. They will often end up as “dead draws” that you will stare at in your hand because you have no feasible way to play them.
Conversely, incorporating cards to help you summon these powerful monsters is a different story. For instance, Big Wave Small Wave is an excellent card for calling out high-level Water monsters, such as Levia-Dragon – Daedalus.
3) Respect the Standard Deck Ratio
In classic Yu-Gi-Oh!, a standard deck ratio of 1:1 existed (one-half monsters with the other half being Spells/Traps). Though not quite the same in Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links, the same general idea exists. You usually want more monsters than the other cards. Ideally, you want enough monsters to fight with and other types of cards for various effects you would want (e.g. augmenting the power of your monsters).
Respecting this balance will ensure your deck has the right amount of certain card types to function properly.
4) Have a Strategy in Mind
Perhaps a no-brainer, but it is still a fundamental nonetheless. Putting together an eclectic deck equates to mixed results. But building a deck with a clear strategy leads to having a purpose. For instance, many players consider Rex Raptor’s Dinosaur Kingdom deck as tier-one material.
Why? The deck is redundant, but redundancy is what you want from your deck in card games. In a nutshell, you just play Dinosaurs and overrun your opponent with sheer force. Thanks to Rex Raptor’s skill, you begin each game with the Field Spell called Jurassic World to power up your Dinosaurs. Nothing fancy, but this is all the deck mainly needs to work, and more importantly, win.
Far too often, players try too hard being clever, when simplicity goes a long way with card games. But personally, I do prefer making creative decks as they are more fun for me.
5) Card Quality Counts
Just like in real life, if you want to power up your deck, you do so by upgrading your cards. Eventually, you will want to switch in stronger variations of cards you come across in Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links if you want to match the competition.
Every bit of power matters when you want to take on the best decks out there, so keep adjusting your deck.
So I hope these tips help you on your way to becoming the best Duelist ever. See you all in Duel World.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links and Yu-Gi-Oh! card images/content belong to Konami.
Also published on Medium.