New player guide: What packs to buy first?

Duel Links, which packs to buy, which decks to build to reach KOG for new players.
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update 23/04/2018


If you recently picked up Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links you might be overwhelmed by the amount of boxes that are already released, which makes it very confusing for new players to know what box they should invest their gems in. Currently there are 11 Main boxes and 10 Mini boxes.

If you find yourself in that position, we will explain what box you should first consider investing in and what cards to exchange for the SR tickets that will be given to you to make your first competitive PvP deck. Although some players would say to wait before spending gems, and to farm cards first, this is very discouraging for new players because everyone just wants to have fun when playing this game. So in our opinion it’s best to have a cheap, good PvP deck, and then start saving gems for a more expensive deck that also requires you to farm for other cards.

Recommended start

We would advise people to look into a Sylvan deck (box: Rampage of the Forest) and an Alien deck (box: Abyss Encounter). These decks are both able to reach King of Games easily.

Sylvan seems to be THE deck to play right now because it’s very explosive and very consistent, Alien is a slower deck that tries to control the board state more.

On average you will only need to buy have of the main box Abyss Encounter to have all the alien cards that you need, however for a Sylvan deck you will need to reset the box one or two times to have 2-3 copies of Sylvan Komushroomo.

Example Core Alien Deck

The Core of your Alien deck will be these 14 cards, but since the minimum amount of cards for a deck is 20, you’ll want to add 6 more cards to that. (In most cases an optimal deck only contains 20 cards, this is to raise the consistency of drawing your better cards.)

Example Filler of Alien Deck

Some good picks to fill up those 6 slots will be Alien Kid, Alien Grey, Mysterious Triangle and Enemy Controller. Mysterious Triangle is an SR from the Abyssal Encounters pack and there is a good chance that you picked up at least one while searching for the core R cards, but if you didn’t, do not worry, it is not needed to play this deck. You will obtain one copy of Enemy Controller by completing the bingo missions when you first start playing, but you can obtain more copies by exchanging some of the SR tickets you will receive during the first days that you login, and we highly advise you to get 3 copies of Enemy Controller as it has been a very strong spell since the release of this game.

The core cards of this deck are Rare (R), and there are 6 copies of each Rare card in a box with 200 packs, which means that if you would buy all those 200 packs without resetting the box, you will end up by owning 6 copies of each Rare card (and also 2 copies of each SR card and 1 copy of each UR card). Whenever you buy a pack there will be at least one R or higher card in that pack, which means that on average to get 3 copies of a Rare card you’ll have to buy 100 packs. So depending on your luck, you will have assembled all the cards needed for this Alien deck after buying about 100 packs (100 packs will cost 5000 gems).

A good skill to use with this deck is “Restart”. Bandit Keith can learn this skill by leveling up, however you first need to unlock Bandit Keith as a playable character which could take a bit. For this we recommend you start out the game by picking Seto Kaiba, and while playing PvP with this deck you will have a chance of the skill “Restart” dropping after a duel (it will become available with Seto Kaiba). Yami Yugi cannot learn this skill which is why we recommend starting out with Seto Kaiba, but even if you did start with Yami Yugi, you can still unlock all those other characters and the restart skill later on, it will just take a bit more time.

A great advantage about buying from this box is that it holds a lot of useful and powerful cards for other decks, which you could look into later on.

Example Core Sylvan Deck

A Sylvan deck is pretty easy to build because all monsters except Rose Lover come from the same box, and the most popular spell, Enemy Controller, can be easily picked up with SR tickets and the Bingo Mission.

An optimal Sylvan deck would run 3 copies of Sylvan Komushroomo, however many have hit KoG with only 2 copies. You could add Magical Merchant to try and replace its spot.

Rose Lover is a card from the Card Trader, which can be exchanged for SR tickets as well, however we would advise you to wait and use your tickets on ticket exclusive cards.

Most People only run 4-5 spells/traps in their deck, these spells/traps range widely. Here are some popular picks; Enemy Controller, Ultimate Providence, Divine Wrath, Tribute to The Doomed, Dark Core.

Example Sylvan Deck

Almost all people run the skill Restart with their Sylvan deck as well, because you want to look for a Sylvan Komushroomo in your opening hand to start excavating a lot of cards.

Boxes not worth investing in

Currently these are the boxes we would NOT advise you to spend gems on if you want to focus on being competitive first;

Age of Discovery, Wonders of the Sky, Chaotic Compliance, Land of the Titans, Echoes of Silence, Resonance of Contrast

Although these boxes have cards that might see use again in the future they currently don’t hold many (or any) UR/SRs that are viable in this meta or hold an archetype around which a META deck can be made.

Valkyrie’s Rage isn’t a great box ether currently, it holds some good cards like Soul Exchange and Nobleman of Extermination, but no cards that are actually needed right now in meta decks. So for now you might want to skip it and maybe buy from it in the future when the cards in that box become more relevant.

We also do not recommend buying any of the structure decks as they simply are not good, except for the latest structure deck, Destiny Rulers which does hold a lot of potential however you’ll have to buy it multiple times, which isn’t possible which just gems.

Cards to consider getting before resetting

If you are very new to the game, you might not know this but every card you see on the summary screen of a box with a number written on top of it, is the amount of times that card is in that box, meaning if you buy every last pack from a box you will get every card that you saw, this is a great system because it means that you will get the cards you want at some point, yes there is still a bit of luck involved, but you won’t be that unlucky that you never would get the card (which is the case for other games). Because of this system you can actually decide when to reset a box and put in all the cards again to try and get multiple copies.

If you are going to go multiple times through a box (for example Neo-Impact to build a Cyber angels deck) I’ll provide a list of cards for each box that you maybe should consider going for in case you are already deep into the box. If you are only 20 packs into a box and got the card you want you should of course reset, but if there are only 50 cards remaining in a box after you have gotten the card you want, you should carefully consider if it’s worth it to continue for a card you might need in the future. I’ll only include URs for the main boxes as you’ll probably get every SR 3 times when going through a box more than once. However since mini boxes only contain the SRs once I’ll also include those in the list.


Some commonly used terms:

King of Games (KoG): This is the highest rank you can obtain on the PvP ladder

Farm(ing): Farming is when you beat a legendary duelist over and over again with a specific deck that can get you a lot of rewards at the end of the duel, which in term increases the chance that a rare card would drop.

UR: An Ultra Rare card, the highest rarity currently in Duel Links. In each box only one copy of each UR is included.

SR: A Super rare card. In a main box (200 packs), each SR will have 2 copies included, while in a mini box (80 packs) there will only be one copy of each SR in that box

Resetting a box: If you are looking to get multiple copies of a UR/SR card from a box, you might want to reset the box when you get it in the first couple of packs, which will put the amount of packs back at 200 or 80 (depending on the box) so you can pull it again.

Backrow: When talking about backrow, it is referring to spells/traps, which are cards that are placed on the row below your monsters on the field. (frontrow = monsters)

Skill: In Duel Links you can link a skill to a deck, which will add some sort of advantage. Each character has their own unique exclusive skills that they can learn from levelling up, but they can also obtain skills through a random drop when you duel against Legendary Duelists or PvP.

Legendary Duelist: A legendary duelist is a character from the TV show, these duelists can drop more precious rewards than standard duelists.

SDs: Standard duelists are the generic duelists you will see in the overworld which you can beat to get keys. The keys can be used at the gate to duel Legendary Duelists.

Card Trader: This character stands in front of the shop and you can interact with him to exchange materials (gold, jewels) for cards he offers. The card trader changes his wares every 8 hours, and the timer only starts when you view him.

Other Guides

How to Get Icon/ Card Sleeves
How to Get Card sleeves/Playmat
How to Get Icon
How to get the Neo Spacian Aqua Dolphin Icon
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Hot New Top
Anonymous 16hour ago
Anyone else wanna take down the people who suggested sylvans as the first few packs noobs buy?

Anonymous 23hour ago
Build Amazon deck for farming LDs, events and currently its tier one. Its a F2P deck for the most part. Best investment of time.
eru 2days ago
how do you get a lot of scores at duel assessment? saw people getting more than 8k scores while my maximum was 4k lol
<< Anonymous(eru)
Anonymous 2days ago Reply
Oh you're a newbie so you don't know. If you let your opponent destroy your monster cards through battle 10x, AND you managed to still win after that, you get extra 5k assessment points.
<< Anonymous(eru)
Anonymous 1days ago Reply
9999 damage is usually how people do it.

I use an Aromage-Ra deck for farming, so a lot of my score comes from the 9999 damage + summoning DIVINE monster + tribute summon + special summon + having low amount of cards left in deck.

You can also use the Vassal + Secret Pass + Union Attack deck for 9999 damage farming.
<< Anonymous
Anonymous 1days ago Reply
9999 damage + winning duel = 5000 points already. And you should also have points from stuff like tribute summon, special summon, activating spell and trap, that it should be enough for at least 7k duel assessment.

There's LP on the brink duel assessment too if you use Ra, since you'll want to activate Ra's effect when it is summoned, which is paying all but 100 LP for Ra's ATK.
DO NOT SUGGEST SAMS, especially compared to aliens, Six Sams are useless garbage.
<< Anonymous
Anonymous Reply
^lol, that exactly why sams are garbage. Only plat? Alien and GB can easily reach KoG with less than 50 wins even with some unlucky matchup. Even Hazy can do so with maybe more more wins needed. Plat are shit tier dude, even unga bunga vanilla deck with somewhat decent backrow can reach plat with no problem
<< Anonymous
Anonymous Reply
i got to kog in a few days on a new account with six sams, i admit it takes a better player to get to kog with six sams than with aliens though
<< Anonymous
No1 Reply
Considering how getting to Platinum is so ez and its 100% possible to achieve with just random monsters and decent spells/traps, that doesnt say much about the 6sams...
<< Anonymous(No1)
Bakura 9days ago Reply
Have to agree with No1
What's the site's opinion on the Dragonic Knights structure deck: Buy it or skip it?
<< Anonymous
Anonymous 27days ago Reply
Telling people how to enjoy a game, it’s pretty comical.

Why not just play with the cards you like?
<< Anonymous(Xain)
Anonymous Reply
because many people play and want to play competetive
<< Anonymous
Xain Reply
I doubt that. Most just want the tickets for cards you can only get through ranked.

Still doesn't negate my point. I find reaching KOG with a meta deck is hollow (even just reaching KOG is hollow).
<< Anonymous(Xain)
Anonymous 30days ago Reply
Because there are optimal strategies and this will get me more cards to play with?
Where do I get dragons mirror
<< Anonymous
Anonymous Reply
Chazz exclusive skill only for now, if you already unlocked Chazz in GX world you should get the mission to unlock the skill
Hi guys. I'm new to duel link. And I'm very interested on using sylvan deck for my first pvp. I can get most of the cards from shop except rose lover. Is there anywhere else i can get that card aside from card trader? If not, what cards can i use to replace rose lover? Thanks. sorry for my english.
<< Anonymous
Anonymous Reply
its not playable without rose lover.
<< Anonymous
Anonymous Reply
You can actually make a somewhat functional sylvan deck without Rose Lover. I used something very similar to this to get to silver 3 or so. But this probably won't get you farther than gold, because RL is THE card that makes the deck tier 1.
Thank you so much for this as a new player to the game this information is very helpful
Abyss encounters : Aliens
very consistent
Easy to play, and easy to master
Meta maybe tier 1
<< Anonymous(Jiren)
Ojama King Reply
every meta deck is easy to play, thats the reason why they are meta, because of simplicity and consistency.
<< Anonymous(Ojama King)
SiakAttack Reply
Objectively false, meta isn't meta for being easy look at Nekroz in the tcg at full power, it was a complex skill deck but meta because of the power
<< Anonymous(SiakAttack)
Hi! Reply
Well, that's tcg.. But here in duel links being meta also has simplicity. Especially now that tier 1 decks are very simple and easy to master.
Mean while I’m still running blue eyes with triple kiba man triple triple vanguard dragon and double Econ and double anti arrows
<< Anonymous
Anonymous Reply
and you are probably stuck in platinum
I would suggest build aromage, FREE and KoG worthy.

Commens and feedback


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Comments (updated every hour)

You two are perfect for each other you both have extreme brain damage I hope you two become a hap...
That’s what I was thinking
I think They will release more GB support as done with Six Samurai but we will see .... The only ...
well i took it asa victory within 6 turns i hope its given in quick victories
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