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 17/09/2018


If you have just started playing Duel Links and you are looking at the Shop, wondering what packs you should buy, you might be overwhelmed by the amount of Boxes that are currently available. It has been almost two years since Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links was officially released and there are now 13 Mini Boxes and 14 Main Boxes in the Shop; investing into every single one of these is definitely not advised as the vast majority contain outdated cards and/or archetypes that are not viable anymore, so in this Guide I will try and direct you towards the ones that feature cards that are currently relevant.


Before taking a look at some of the current top tier decks and explaining which ones would make for a good investment, let's talk about the cards that are used in pretty much every deck because of their powerful effects and/or great versatility.

Enemy Controller
Enemy Controller
Ranked Rewards/Seto Kaiba Drop RewardsVersatile card; great offensively and defensively.
Hey, Trunade!
Hey, Trunade!
Rampage of the Forest
Rampage of the Forest
Quick backrow removal; enables OTKs
Paleozoic Canadia
Paleozoic Canadia
Valiant Souls
Valiant Souls
Slows down the opponent; great against current top tier decks.
Treacherous Trap Hole
Treacherous Trap Hole
Visions of Ice
Visions of Ice
Quick double monster removal.

Recommended Start


This archetype performed very well during the KC Cup and it can be considered a pretty safe investment as the only card that could be limited and end up hurting the deck is Samurai Skull.

Vampires are fast and consistent, they have removal in Vampire Kingdom and they can generate a lot of OTKs.

Example Core Vampire Deck

The only cards in this list that are not featured in Empire of Scarlet are Samurai Skull and Vampire Grace, both of which are not particularly difficult to get due to their lower rarity.

Example Filler of Vampire Deck

Crimson Kingdom really doesn't offer much, so, out of these cards, Gozuki is the least important: Samurai Skull is arguably better in the current meta as its effect activates when it’s Normal Summoned, making Floodgate Trap Hole and Paleozoic Canadia useless, and its secondary effect activates when it leaves the field, helping out in the Amazoness matchup.

Fur Hire

Right at the end of August, Fur Hires, after pretty much dominating PvP for three months, were hit for the first time by the Banlist; this archetype was a relatively easy investment for any new player as opening Clash of Wings once was all you needed to start playing with a top tier deck.
It's not impossible right now to play Fur Hires without resetting Clash of Wings multiple times, but, with only one copy of Beat, Bladesman Fur Hire, the monster that can give you access to the rest of the Fur Hire, the deck would definitely be less consistent.

Are Fur Hires a safe, long term investment?

It wouldn't be out of the realm of possibilities to see other cards of this archetype join Donpa, Marksman Fur Hire and Dyna, Hero Fur Hire in the Forbidden/Limited List in a couple of months as KONAMI has already done something similar in the past with Cyber Angels; it would be pretty easy to hit this deck again and even kill it completely as Beat is the only SR in the archetype.

With that being said, Fur Hires are still a top tier deck and they are way less expensive compared to other archetypes like U.A.s and Masked HEROes.

Example Core of Fur Hire Deck

It's completely possible to play this deck even without 3 copies of Beat, Bladesman Fur Hire, you can just increase the number of Recon, Scout Fur Hire and/or Seal, Strategist Fur Hire.
If you didn't already invest in this archetype, I would just avoid Clash of Wings as there is really nothing else aside from Widespread Ruin that is worth mentioning coming from that Mini Box right now.

Example Filler of Fur Hire Deck

These are just some of the most common cards that are used in a Fur Hire deck: Sphere Kuriboh for protection and Hey, Trunade! for the easy backrow removal.


Before discussing this deck I want to preface that Amazons were recently hit by the banlist for the second time and, due to the fact that they were pretty much unaffected by these changes in terms of viability, it's very possible that we will see more cards of this archetype in the next Forbidden/Limited List.

With that being said, Amazoness decks usually feature very expensive backrow, but all of the other cards are either farmable or low on rarity.

Example Core of Amazoness Deck

The deck focuses on taking control of the field with the banishing effect of Amazoness Onslaught, which is easily the main reason why Amazons are viable at all in the first place; Amazoness Princess is pretty important as it can search the semi-limited Continuous Trap, but it can only be obtained during the Super Mai Event or through UR Tickets.

Example Filler of Amazoness Deck

The Trap Cards that you see here are just some of the most commonly used ones, you can go for pretty much any form of backrow.
The Core of the Deck is really not that expensive and, since most of the URs you can pick with the UR Tickets are pretty much irrelevant, going for Amazoness Princess wouldn't really hurt, even if the deck was hit for a third time.

Masked HERO, Silent Spellbook & U.A.

These are currently top tier decks that are also a relatively safe investment as it would nearly impossible for the Banlist to hit them, but they are notably more expensive than the ones I've mentioned so far.
A new Mini Box is coming and the 5D’s Update is close, so it wouldn't be such a great idea to start spending gems and/or money and build any of these decks from scratch.

Which Boxes are worth investing in?

Which packs should a new player open first and what cards should have the priority? These are the questions I want to answer in this section.

While there are certainly a lot of great cards in almost everyone of these boxes, not all of them are currently relevant: a certain card or even a whole archetype might become very good in the future, but what I will mention here are just the ones that are staples in current meta decks and cards that are extremely versatile in general.

In order to properly understand how important these cards are, I will assign each one of them a number that represents the priority a player should give to them from 1 to 3 (1 being high priority and likely relevant in the current meta and 3 low priority and not currently relevant, but worth mentioning because of its versatility).

Main Boxes

Mini Boxes

Structure Deck

Terms [Updated]

General Terms

SD: (Standard Duelist) Generic duelists that spawn in both Duel World and Duel World GX; you beat them to obtain mainly Gold, Jewels, some low rarity cards and Gate Keys.

LD: (Legendary Duelist) Duelists you can face at the Gate using Gate Keys that can also spawn randomly in Duel World one at a time; you beat them to obtain their unique cards.

Farm(ing): The act of repeatedly beating a Legendary Duelist with a specific deck aimed towards achieving higher scores in order to obtain more and better drops.

PvE: (Player vs Environment) Any type of content in which the player faces an AI.

PvP: (Player vs Player) Any type of content in which the player has to face another player.

KoG: (King of Games) The highest rank you can obtain in PvP.

Card Trader: The character that stands in front of the shop: you can interact with him to exchange materials (Gold, Jewels) for the cards he offers. The cards change every 8 hours, but some of them are always available.

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 (180 packs), each SR will have 2 copies included, while in a mini box (100 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 180 or 100 (depending on the box) so you can pull it again.

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.

Gaming Terms

Backrow: Term that refers to defensive Spell and Traps.

Backrow removal: Cards that can destroy or banish your opponent’s backrow; an example of a backrow removal card is Cosmic Cyclone.

Beatdown Deck: A deck that focuses on applying pressure with high ATK monsters.

Beatstick: A monster likely used just for its ATK value and not for its effect.

Brick: A card that you essentially do not want to draw (but seemingly love to be in your starting hand); examples are Bacon Saver in a Red-Eyes Zombie deck and Wulf, Lightsworn Beast in a Lightsworn deck.

Burn: A strategy centered around repeatedly damaging your opponent with cards’ effects.

Burn Deck: A deck that focuses on burning the opponent.

Deck out: When you run out of cards in your deck and can’t conduct your Draw Phase.

Deck thinning: Generic term that refers in general to decreasing the number of cards in your main deck by adding a card(s) to your hand, sending card(s) from the deck to the Graveyard, Special Summoning a monster(s) from the deck or placing a card(s) in your Spell/Trap Zone from the deck.

Engine: A minimum of two cards in a deck that have good synergy.

Floater: A card that is able to replace itself; an example can be Crystal Seersince the card adds a card to your hand when flipped face-up, essentially replacing itself in your hand.

Handtrap: A card that can be activate from your hand in response to a specific action by your opponent; an example is Sphere Kuriboh, a monster that can be discarded in order to avoid an attack and switch the attacking monster into Defense position.

META: (Most Effective Tactic Available) A term that refers to the current situation in PvP; a META deck is a deck that is a deck that is successful at the current moment.

Mill: Terms that refers to lowering the number of cards in the deck by sending a card(s) from the deck to the Graveyard or banishing a card(s) from the deck.

Mill Deck: A type of deck that focuses on decking out the opponent.

Nerf: Nerfing a card means altering its effect or ruling or limiting its usage.

Recycling: A term that usually refers to utilizing cards that were sent to the Graveyard again; an example can be Sphere Kuriboh since, after being discarded by its effect, it can still be used as tribute for a Ritual monster.

Scoop: Forfeiting a match.

Searcher: A card that can add a specific card or type of cards from your deck to your hand; an example is Gravekeeper's Recruiter, a monster that can add another Gravekeeper’s monster from your deck to your hand when sent from the field to the Graveyard.

Stall: A strategy usually centered around avoiding damage from the opponent.

Stall Deck: A deck that focuses on avoiding damage from the opponent, likely utilizing cards that can slow them down like Floodgate Trap Hole, Paleozoic Canadia or Massivemorph.

Splashable Card: A splashable card is a card that can be used in different decks and boost their consistency; an example is Enemy Controller.

Swarm: A strategy centered around summoning multiple monsters on the field at once; a “Swarm Deck” that’s currently very relevant is Fur Hire.

Tech: Normally refers to cards put in the Side Deck in order to have a better matchup against a certain type of deck, but in Duel Links this use doesn’t exist so it usually refers to single cards placed in a deck to face a certain deck. Example sentence:“Paleozoic Canadia is a good tech against Fur Hire”.

Top-decking: In a very critical situation, drawing the exact you needed is referred to as “top-decking”.

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
A.Dolphin Icon


Hot New Top
Anonymous 6days ago
I miss old Duel Links where people got KOG using Two-Headed King Rex, Daedalus, Relinquished, Gravekeeper, Harpies
<< Anonymous
Anonymous 6days ago Reply
I miss old duel links where people got KOG using unga bunga decks
Anonymous 7days ago
Fur hire pretty good. Though not as great as it used to be for pvp but it's still competitive and can also be used for farming decks
Anonymous 7days ago
With the up and coming 5D's being added the meta will drastically change more than likely especially if konami releases a new box to coincide with the launch
Anonymous 7days ago
Build fur hire and be an asshole. pretty cheap and high win rate.
Anonymous 8days ago
crusader and primal have a good card example for primal dark world and some cloudian and gem knight and crusader has noble knight it actually decent deck.
<< Anonymous
Anonymous 8days ago Reply
Dark World is waaay too expensive, the best Cloudians are from Gaia Genesis and Gem-Knight are way too inconsistent.
<< Anonymous
Anonymous 8days ago Reply
Dark world is expensive and its brick city, you either OTK or brick then surrender
Anonymous 8days ago
I recommend Clash of Wings because Fur Hire is not only competitive in PVP but also useful for farming LD (double Wiz + Shield & Sword work very well with Vassal & Union Attack). Ultimate Rising is also important because it contains essential part in farming deck : Secret Pass to the Treasures
This is the real mask hero deck
If you a f2p try fur hire or other crap deck
<< Anonymous
Anonymous No. 2 Reply
I'm putting him down for being a P2W Konami whore and at the same time admiring his expensive and awesome deck.
<< Anonymous
Jolly 29days ago Reply
My deck only missing 2 flood gate and 2 canadia.. :D
<< Anonymous(Jolly)
Anonymous 29days ago Reply
Me deck only missing 3 Anki :)
<< Anonymous
Anonymous 14days ago Reply
The best thing about your journey to KoG with that deck is the deck itself
SUPER BROLY 18days ago
how to get obelisk the tormentor
<< Anonymous(SUPER BROLY)
Anonymous 18days ago Reply
you cant
Listen noobs, don't listen those meta slaves. Buy Dragon structure deck and be a legend!
<< Anonymous(Kaiba-sama)
Ali Reply
Yea, but they need Card Trader as well to get kaibaman and that Kidmodo dragon. either than spending 500 gems just to get dragon structure.

Also keep in mind, never use SR. UR. Tickets.

Keep for events.

also one more thing, never-mind just buy whatever you want.
<< Anonymous(Kaiba-sama)
Anonymous No. 2 Reply
If you buy 3 dragon structure packs, get 3 white night dragons and a bunch of other stuff, then yeah, you can have a decently competitive deck.
Honestly, I feel that DarkProjectM's guide on the wordpress is much better than this guide.It promotes spending on meta decks which will leave you drained if you're not carful.
<< Anonymous(Yang)
Yang Reply
I learned this the hard way, honestly speaking. I was around in the sylvan era when sylvans and aliens were relatively cheap and then suddenly, we got nerfed. Now I am stuck with rerolling for techs, while the KOG list is dominated by only payer-qualified decks. To add insult to injury, Konami's latest introductions to the game(FHs and banlist) doubled the cost. Just saying that this is my view
<< Anonymous(Yang)
Yang Reply
However, from my reserach of Standard Duelist and Legendary Duelist decks up to the highest stages, you often don't need a PVP deck as long as you can get the specific cards to farm/beatdown them. That is all. For the moment, I would suggest F2P players to try to compete in events as much as possible for gems, but to exercise caution when trading gems over for meta decks.
Many people will hold on to there gems for 5Ds.
<< Anonymous(Jonny)
Anonymous Reply
5Ds will not be coming for awhile. The leaks were just to create a distraction to keep players from quitting Duel Links when Konami nerfed the gems, guaranteed SR/UR deal, etc.
<< Anonymous
Anonymous Reply
I think 5Ds will come before the end of this year.
So funny how 80% of the boxes have "little to no value".stop ADV cancerous decks that will be nerfed in 1 months .
<< Anonymous
Anonymous Reply
Yea that escalated for me as well. I mean, what's the point of getting one copy of each Fur Hire? For da feels? So you can get teased as a newbie? What? GameA fix this sh-t.
<< Anonymous
Anonymous Reply
The note for Valiant Souls didn't even mention Anki despite mentioning Mask Change.

Yeah, let's get Mask Change for no reason because none of the Masked Heroes are worth it? Lol
<< Anonymous
Anonymous Reply
They probably just forgot it, it looks like a mistake. WHy stressing over it so much? I see jsut a bunch of salty players here.
<< Anonymous
Anonymous Reply
People don't like fur hires so they say the guide is shit.
Honestly fur hires are very f2p firendly, I can see why they are suggesting using them for new players.

Commens and feedback




Comments (updated every hour)

Luna 62
ty bro
I'm having the same bug :(
the friend list shows up any time u duel the vagabond, its not hard to check
meta, i need this card i need that card. just have fun or focus on specific cards, picking up eve...
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