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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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.

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

If you ask around, some people would suggest new players to start by investing in a “Naturia” deck (box: Dawn of destiny) or a “Gladiator Beast” deck (box: cosmic origins). We do not agree with that. First of all, Naturias are very boring to play, the games will almost solely depend on your opening hand, and their power has significantly decreased. Second, although Gladiator Beast is a very strong deck currently, you will more than likely have to buy out almost a complete main box (200 packs), at which point you’ll still be missing important spells/traps to work well with those monsters.

We would advise people to look into a “Six Samurai” deck (box: Blades of Spirits) and an “Alien” deck (box: Abyssal Encounters). These decks are both able to reach King of Games in the right hands.

These two decks will only require you to buy on average half of the box, in which the cards can be found in order to make a good version. Between these two F2P friendly decks, we would recommend the “Alien” deck more than the “Six Samurai” deck because it will be more powerful. However, you will have to invest a few more gems because the Six Samurai cards are in a box with 80 packs, while the Alien cards are in a box with 200 packs.

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.

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 Six Samurai Deck

The core of a Six Samurai deck consists of these 4 Six Samurai monsters, but the amount of each that people run depends on your preference. Because Six Samurai monsters tend to have a weaker attack than other monsters that are currently popular, you will need to defend them with spells/traps.

For the filler cards, we included cards that you might have picked up while looking for the Six Samurai monsters. Great Shogun Shien is a UR in that same Box, Enishi, Shien's Chancellor is an SR (in a box with 80 packs only 1 copy of each SR is included). The SR spells/trap are Parallel Twister, Fire Formation - Gyokkou and Powerful Rebirth, which all have synergy with this Six Samurai deck. Although some people will say Great Shogun Shien and Enishi Shien’s Chancellor aren’t great in a Six Samurai deck, that is true for someone that has access to other more powerful spells/traps, but when you first start out they are very good to compensate for the lack of strong backrow.

Because each Rare card has 5 copies of it in a box with 80 packs, you’ll have to buy (on average) a bit more than 40 packs to pick up 3 copies, but this will depend on your luck. Since some of the other UR/SR cards in this box work well with this deck, you might pick up more of them as well, so do not get frustrated if you have to buy more than 40 packs.

To buy 40 packs you would need only 2000 gems, which is a lot less than for the Alien deck, but we do recommend the Alien deck as it will be much stronger.

Enemy Controller and Metalmorph can be picked up just by completing the Bingo Missions, and Anti-Magic Arrows can be exchanged for one of the SR tickets that will be given to you at the start.

Windstorm of Etaqua and Curse of Anubis can be unlocked by levelling Mai and Odion, but first you’ll need to unlock them.

The preferred skill to run with this deck is “Fields of the Warriors” which is a skill you unlock for Joey Wheeler by playing the Bingo Missions

In the Blades of Spirits box you’ll also pick up some of the “Hazy Flame” cards, which is another possible F2P friendly deck you can look into. You’ll have to buy some cards from the card trader, which could take a while to get the cards you want and the materials that are needed though.


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.


Hot New Top
Jiren 18days ago
Abyss encounters : Aliens
very consistent
Easy to play, and easy to master
Meta maybe tier 1
<< Anonymous(Jiren)
Ojama King 18days ago Reply
every meta deck is easy to play, thats the reason why they are meta, because of simplicity and consistency.
<< Anonymous(Ojama King)
SiakAttack 10days ago 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 16days ago
DO NOT SUGGEST SAMS, especially compared to aliens, Six Sams are useless garbage.
<< Anonymous
Anonymous 15days ago Reply
Except Sams was never good ever since its release. Not even a tier 3 garbage.
Alien and GB are at least good during its release and still cheap enough that most of the deck cores can be acquired from a single box without a reset. Btw GB which are older than Sams are still a decent deck now. Original Sux Sams are that bad. That said, their pack itself is decent. Just don't build Sams, build Hazy
<< Anonymous
Anonymous 10days ago Reply
i got to platinum with six sams last rank reset u sure u know wat your talking bout bro maybe you just dont know how to play them
<< Anonymous
Anonymous 10days ago 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 10days ago 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 14days ago
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 10days ago Reply
and you are probably stuck in platinum
Anonymous 10days ago
I would suggest build aromage, FREE and KoG worthy.
Anonymous 15days ago
Anonymous 19days ago
I do agree with Six Samurai. That deck very cheap and fun to play and it could be very strong but I don't think it will reach to KOG unless you like 500 wins or over with no life outside
Anonymous 20days ago
You may want to suggest rerolling for getting a better start for other decks, like SSA/Archfiend. Otherwise a very good guide for newbies.
<< Anonymous
Anonymous 20days ago Reply
A good start, IMO, is getting Fisherman II, SSA, and Warrior of Atlantis early in the pack, then reset. Even if you have to buy the entire box after reset, you'll then be guaranteed to have the staples like 3x SSA, Warrior of Atlantis, 2x Citadel/Fisherman. If you want Archfiend, I'd look for an early Emperor find, reset, get Emperor again early, reset, then buy up for the last one.
Anonymous 25days ago
this is shockingly coherent and helpful...but no recommendation to tech in speed spell salvage 0/10
<< Anonymous
Anonymous 25days ago Reply
what ? tech in salvage into what deck? are you stupid or just trolling?
<< Anonymous
Anonymous 20days ago Reply
Obvious troll. Best tech for salvage is for the Gishki Shadow/Vision cards which aren't out. Salvage at this point in time is a dead card with no good use for.
Brazilian guy 21days ago
So we can say that the alien deck changed the meta already? At least on gold rank I've been fighting only alien or fortress whales deck. Also lots of Destiny heroes
<< Anonymous(Brazilian guy)
Anonymous 21days ago Reply
Season just has started so it's no surprise encountering tier 1 decks
Anonymous 25days ago
Why would you make this GameA? This clearly took you a lot of time and the rest of your site is in dire need of updating?
<< Anonymous
Anonymous 25days ago Reply
Hopefully, they will update other pages in the near future, but for new player this guide is priceless.
Anonymous 23days ago
New Meta in new box. Keep farming new box.
<< Anonymous
Anonymous 22days ago Reply
It's expensive af tho. Just get Alien core and be done with it.
Anonymous No. 2 23days ago
And the most important abbreviation of all - GAMEA

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I use 3 Counter Counters in case to counter the meta decks that use Counter Counter to counter th...
Low-lifers that harass sjp91: I equip to all of you Axe of Despair because you are all so desper...
he ain't a true nigga. True nigga's wear real afros.
Garbage deck is garbage
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