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New player guide: What packs to buy first?

Duel Links, which packs to buy, which decks to build to reach KOG for new players.
Duel Links Breaking News
New LD: Satorius!
update 14/03/2019

Updated Information

  • Blue-Eyes Section, Vampire Section & Koa'ki Meiru Section Updated
  • Main Box & Mini Box Section Updated

Overview

If you have just started playing Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links and you are looking at the Shop, wondering where to start, you might be overwhelmed by how many different packs are currently available. This game has recently celebrated its 2nd anniversary and right now the Shop features 17 Mini BOXes and 18 Main BOXes; investing into every single one of these is definitely not advised as the vast majority contain outdated cards and/or archetypes that are not viable anymore, so in this guide I will try and direct you towards the ones that feature cards that are currently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.

Staples

For starters, let’s talk about some of the most popular cards in the game right now—mostly Spell and Trap Cards that can fit in pretty much any deck. These cards have proven to be a great investment for many players by remaining relevant for a very long time and should be one of your primary foci, if you have just started playing the game.

The cards are sorted by Type and Rarity

Sphere Kuriboh

Sphere Kuriboh
Sphere Kuriboh
DARK Fiend ★1
ATK 300 / DEF 200
The Ultimate Rising [UR]
When an opponent's monster declares an attack: You can send this card from your hand to the Graveyard; change the attacking monster to Defense Position. When you Ritual Summon a monster, you can banish this card from your Graveyard as 1 of the monsters required for the Ritual Summon.

A Hand Trap that is able to prevent OTKs; Sphere Kuriboh has managed to stay mostly relevant ever since its introduction.

Cosmic Cyclone

Cosmic Cyclone
Cosmic Cyclone
Quick Spell
Galactic Origin [UR]
Pay 1000 LP, then target 1 Spell/Trap Card on the field; banish it.

Generic backrow removal; Cosmic Cyclone’s activation cost has great synergy with a lot of Skills.

Enemy Controller

Enemy Controller
Enemy Controller
Quick Spell
Ranked Rewards / Seto Kaiba [SR]
Activate 1 of these effects.● Target 1 face-up monster your opponent controls; change that target's battle position.● Tribute 1 monster, then target 1 face-up monster your opponent controls; take control of that target until the End Phase.

Versatile Quick-Play Spell that can be used to protect your monsters and/or your Life Points or to take control of an opponent’s monster. Enemy Controller is currently Semi-Limited.

Hey, Trunade!

Hey, Trunade!
Hey, Trunade!
Normal Spell
Rampage of the Forest [SR]
Return all Set Spells and Traps on the field to the hand.

Spell Card that bounces Set Spell/Trap Cards back into their controller’s hand; Hey, Trunade! can enable a lot of OTKs. This card is currently Semi-Limited.

Floodgate Trap Hole

Floodgate Trap Hole
Floodgate Trap Hole
Normal Trap
Generation Next [UR]
When your opponent Summons a monster(s): Change that monster(s) to face-down Defense Position. Monsters changed to face-down Defense Position by this effect cannot change their battle positions.

Trap Card that’s generally used to slow down the opponent by locking a monster that has just been Summoned in face-down Defense Position.

Paleozoic Canadia

Paleozoic Canadia
Paleozoic Canadia
Normal Trap
Valiant Souls [UR]
Target 1 face-up monster your opponent controls; change it to face-down Defense Position. Once per Chain, when a Trap Card is activated while this card is in your Graveyard: Special Summon this card as a Normal Monster (Aqua-Type/WATER/Level 2/ATK 1200/DEF 0). (This card is NOT treated as a Trap Card.) If Summoned this way, this card is unaffected by monster effects, also banish it when it leaves the field.

Similar to Floodgate Trap Hole, Paleozoic Canadia can flip monsters face-down, but it’s more versatile and it has an additional effect that allows you to Special Summon it from the Graveyard as Level 2 monster.

Treacherous Trap Hole

Treacherous Trap Hole
Treacherous Trap Hole
Normal Trap
Visions of Ice [SR]
If you have no Trap Cards in your Graveyard: Target 2 monsters on the field; destroy those targets.

A Trap Card with a minor activation requirement and the ability to destroy two monsters on the field. Treacherous Trap Hole is currently Semi-Limited.

Wall of Disruption

Wall of Disruption
Wall of Disruption
Normal Trap
Servants of Kings [SR]
When an opponent's monster declares an attack: All Attack Position monsters your opponent controls lose 800 ATK for each monster they control.

A powerful Battle Trap that can punish the opponent for swarming the field.

Recommended Start

Koa'ki Meiru

Although it’s true that both Koa'ki Meiru Maximus and Iron Core of Koa'ki Meiru are soon going to be featured on the Semi-Limited and Limited List respectively, this is still an incredibly powerful deck. Sure, Koa'ki Meiru decks don’t have access to Hey, Trunade! and Treacherous Trap Hole anymore, but thanks to Diamond Core of Koa'ki Meiru, they are still incredibly consistent.

Example Core Koa'ki Meiru Deck

  • Koa'ki Meiru Maximus is the strongest monster of the deck: it has 3000 ATK, it can be Special Summoned from your hand and it has the ability to, once per turn, destroy a card on the field;
  • Koa'ki Meiru Urnight allows you to swarm the field and Special Summon exactly what you need from your Deck;
  • Koa'ki Meiru Sandman is a great card in the current meta because of how reliant certain decks are on Trap Cards;
  • Koa'ki Meiru Ice is able to destroy Special Summoned monsters. In certain situations Koa'ki Meiru Ice can wipe away all of your opponent’s monsters by itself;
  • Koa'ki Meiru Wall is able to negate Spell Cards. Use this Koa'ki Meiru Wall to negate Spellbook of Fate, Vampire Kingdom, Diamond Core, and other powerful Spell Cards;
  • Diamond Core of Koa'ki Meiru gives you access to any of your monsters and even to Iron Core;
  • Iron Core of Koa'ki Meiru is the Spell Card your Deck revolves around: most of your monsters require it in order to activate their effects and/or be Summoned.

Example Filler of Koa'ki Meiru Deck

  • The deck lacks a reliable Turn 1 play, so Sphere Kuriboh is generally a great card to keep in your Deck, unless you want to run the Balance version;
  • Winged Kuriboh is a fantastic card in the mirror match. You can use this card, together with The Flute of Summoning Kuriboh to stall until you have the right combination of cards and then OTK your opponent;

Vampire

Vampires are still one of the best decks around: they are fast and consistent, they have searchers in the form of Vampire Retainer and Vampire Familiar that can give them access to pretty much the entirety of archetype, they have removal in the form of Vampire Kingdom.

One of the things that really sets Vampires apart from other decks is how well they are able to handle removal thanks to Gozuki and Samurai Skull: these two monsters can potentially float into another one when they are destroyed and leave the field respectively, taking out a lot of value from cards like Treacherous Trap Hole and Spellbook of Fate.

Example Core Vampire Deck

  • Now that Samurai Skull is Semi-Limited, Gozuki has become a lot more important since you need a way of consistently getting your Retainer and Familiar into the Graveyard. Vampire's Desire can sort of substitute Gozuki, if you don’t want to dive into Crimson Kingdom.
  • Vampire Retainer and Vampire Familiar are the two searchers of the deck, they are pretty much a necessity, but it’s still possible to play the deck without two copies of each.
  • Vampire Vamp, considering how often you’ll have to face Koa'ki Meiru and Geartown Turbo decks, is highly advised.
  • Vampire Grace is the easiest way to trigger Vampire Kingdom’s effect. It’s unfortunate that you will have to dig through a Mini BOX that currently holds little value in order to get it.
  • Samurai Skull is the fastest and most consistent way to get Retainer and Familiar into the Graveyard, it’s not subject to Paleozoic Canadia and Floodgate Trap Hole and, even if it’s banished by a Spellbook of Fate, it can still Special Summon something from your Deck.
  • Vampire Kingdom increases your monsters’ ATK while also giving more value to Vampire Grace’s “bleed” effect;
  • Vampire's Domain allows you to get a full board with a Level 5 or higher “Vampire” monster on your first turn and it can also get back some of the Life Points you have spent to activate your monsters’ effects.
  • Vampire Takeover puts Vampire Kingdom on the field straight from your Deck and it can also Special Summon one of your “Vampire” monsters from the Graveyard.

Example Filler of Vampire Deck

  • Gozuki is not necessary to play the deck, but it can’t be denied that it can make it more consistent.
  • Back row removal is sort of a controversial topic: it’s pretty much useless against Blue-Eyes, but it’s very good against other decks. Cosmic Cyclone has synergy with a certain popular Skill that is being used at the moment with this deck, but Hey, Trunade! definitely offers more against backrow-heavy decks since it’s very easy to generate OTKs with Vampires. Unfortunately Hey, Trunade! is Semi-Limited, so you will have to sacrifice one or both copies of Samurai Skull in order to run it.
  • Enemy Controller is versatile and it has added synergy with Gozuki, Retainer and Familiar, but it’s also Semi-Limited.
  • Mirror Wall helps you deal with Masked HEROes, it may avoid by itself an OTK on turn 2, but it not advised to invest in Neo-Impact as a new player with a limited amount of Gems.
  • Treacherous Trap Hole has the ability to destroy two monsters on the field. You could potentially use this card to get rid of an opponent’s monster while also getting your Retainer or Familiar into the Graveyard. Treacherous is currently Semi-Limited..

Dino Survival's End

It has certainly been a while since the last we’ve had an event that was actually worth farming, but it’s nice to know that now, thanks to Tyranno Hassleberry, there’s a brand new competitive deck around that is also fairly easy to build for any player.

If you got your hands on at least two copies of Survivals End, you might want to give this deck a try before diving into Gaia Genesis or purchasing Ancient Gear Awakening.

Example Core of Dino Survival's End

  • Evilswarm Salamandra has great synergy with Giant Rex: its effect allows you to increase its ATK by banishing a monster from your Graveyard, which will trigger Giant Rex’s effect and Special Summon it. This card is used to quickly establish a presence on the board.
  • If Babycerasaurus is destroyed by Survival’s End, it will allow you to Special Summon a Level 4 or lower Dinosaur-Type monsters from your Deck. Take advantage of this effect to get more value from your main Trap Card.
  • Megalosmasher X is the Level 4 Normal Dinosaur with the highest ATK, it ties with Koa'ki Meiru Urnight and Ancient Gear Wyvern under Ancient Gear Castle and it can get over Koa'ki Meiru Sandman, Koa'ki Meiru Wall and Koa'ki Meiru Ice.
  • Fossil Dig gives you direct access to any of your Dinosaur-Type monsters.
  • Paleozoic Marrella can send Survival’s End from the Deck to the Graveyard: it thins your deck and it also gets your main Trap Card exactly where you want it. “Paleozoic” Trap Cards have additional synergy with Survival’s End because, when they are Special Summoned from the Graveyard by their own effects, they are treated as Normal Monsters.

Example Filler of Dino Survival's End

  • Enemy Controller gives you an alternative way of dealing with high ATK monsters, it can be used to stall or to make an aggressive play. You can combine Enemy Controller with Survival’s End Graveyard effect to take control of an opponent’s monster while also destroying another card on their side of the field.
  • Canadia and Hallucigenia can disrupt the opponent’s plays and allow your monsters to get over Koa'ki Meiru Maximus and Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon.
  • Leanchoilia allows you to recycle Survival’s End or any of your “Paleozoic” Trap Cards, giving the deck a bit more durability and/or an additional destruction effect.
  • Swamp Mirror can be used to Special Summon one of your “Paleozoic” Trap Cards from the Graveyard, it can be used to activate Survival’s End since it is considered a Normal Monster and it can also be used for its Graveyard effect if you make it a Dinosaur.

Geartown Turbo

Ancient Gear Awakening, the recently released Structure Deck EX, has had a huge impact on the meta: a brand new competitive deck has entered the scene, quickly overpowering the competition.

Building a Geartown Turbo Deck without purchasing at least a second copy of Ancient Gear Awakening is unfortunately pretty difficult, but the value you are going to get from it is undeniably pretty high, especially if you are a new player. Stacking up Gems takes time, but purchasing packs, even during a sale, is ridiculously expensive; Ancient Gear Awakening offers an almost already playable deck for a much lower price.

Example Core Geartown Turbo

  • Pulse Mines is used to prevent OTKs. A few decklists run Enemy Controller instead because it synergizes well with Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon’s effect and Geartown/Ancient Gear Fortress.
  • Ancient Gear Wyvern can search any “Ancient Gear” card: it will give you access to Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon when you only have Fortress out.
  • Planet Pathfinder is used to search Geartown and, since it’s a Machine-Type monster, it also enables Pulse Mines.
  • Double Cyclone is used to destroy Geartown and Ancient Gear Fortress and trigger their effects.

Example Filler of Geartown Turbo

Blue-Eyes

Blue-Eyes didn’t make the cut for the previous version of the New Player Guide, but that was before The White Dragon of Legend Structure Deck was released; Blue-Eyes is very strong and consistent, being able to get out on the field multiple 2500+ ATK monsters on the board very quickly, so we don’t see a reason why it shouldn’t be recommended to new players.

Example Core of Blue-Eyes Deck

  • Dragon Spirit of White offers backrow removal and a pretty big body on the board. This card can take advantage of support for both “Blue-Eyes” and Normal Monsters.
  • Cosmo Brain can be Special Summoned quite easily in this deck and it allows to get a Blue-Eyes on the field straight from the Deck; Cosmo Brain has synergy with monsters such as Psychic Ace.
  • Silver's Cry can Special Summon your Blue-Eyes White Dragon and Dragon Spirit of White from the Graveyard, together with Cosmo Brain, it enables early OTKs.
  • Bingo Machine, Go!!! allows you to add Blue-Eyes White Dragon or Dragon Spirit of White to your hand from the Deck, making it even easier to Special Summon Cosmo Brain.
  • Birthright serves a similar purpose to Silver's Cry, the only issue is that it's a Trap Card and it's also bound to the monster.

Example Filler of Blue-Eyes Deck

  • The White Stone of Legend searches Blue-Eyes White Dragon and has some synergy with Cosmo Brain.
  • Protector with Eyes of Blue can Special Summon Blue-Eyes White Dragon or Dragon Spirit of White from the hand.
  • Majesty with Eyes of Blue is an interesting card that can send a “Blue-Eyes” monster from the Deck to the Graveyard.
  • Enemy Controller, Paleozoic Canadia and Treacherous Trap Hole are great cards in general you can add to your Deck for protection.

Other Interesting Options

Comments

Hot New Top
Oldbutgold
Hey, starting all over again. How to invest the starting 3000 gems wisely if i want to start from 0, and build the vampire deck?
<< Anonymous(Oldbutgold)
Fax 10days ago Reply
Investing wisely is not going for Vampires at all, and just digging through the Valiant Souls box for 3 canadias + masked heroes deck.
<< Anonymous(Oldbutgold)
H. Bahar bin Smith 8days ago Reply
Nowadays the popularity of vampire deck is decreasing but it still not bad enough for pvp I thought
Cibai
i need help....

any recomendation, free to play - low cost
<< Anonymous(Cibai)
Anonymous 16days ago Reply
Aromage
<< Anonymous(Cibai)
Anonymous 10days ago Reply
Valiant soul come with the best pack to offer, get triple canadias and get masked heroes in the process and definetly a great choice also this deck wont get nerf anymore dont worry
<< Anonymous
Anonymous 10days ago Reply
Valiant Souls is the best box in the game even now.

It has Masked Hero stuff, Canadia, Amazoness Onslaught, and Geargia stuff.
<< Anonymous(Cibai)
Anonymous 9days ago Reply
I would go for an Aromage Deck with Akiza Azinski skill, Mark of the Dragon
Anonymous 14days ago
Some other dudes have recommended Aromages but now... the best f2p deck is definitely DINOS
<< Anonymous
Anonymous 14days ago Reply
The issue is, Dino deck in today's meta runs triple Survival's End, which is only from the already passed Hassleberry event. New players joining after the event would not be able to play the deck.
<< Anonymous
Anonymous 14days ago Reply
I just reached KOG with Amazoness

Anonymous 16days ago
If you are f2p, all you need is build Acrobat Monkey deck
yubel in MARCH 27days ago
to all who miss this deck - its coming back into the game, maybe best deck to battle harder LD and wont cost gems ;)
Anonymous
I'm surprised Aromages aren't on here- they're one of the cheapest to build yet still viable competitively decks, with most of their cards being simple rares you can get from the card trader.
<< Anonymous
Anonymous Reply
I think you might have forgotten about RL in the banlist
<< Anonymous
Anonymous Reply
Rose Lover being semi-limited doesn't really affect the deck by much.
<< Anonymous
Anonymous Reply
Also, Aromage is listed there now.
Anonymous
If you are F2P player who don't want to spend a single cent to Konami, you should focus on building a farming deck rather than competitive deck if you want to enjoy all the events on this game for a long time. Here are cards you should consider to get :
- Secret Pass To The Treasures
- Golden Ladybug
- Neo Spacian Air Hummingbird
- Unhappy Girl
<< Anonymous
Airmanitelan Reply
That's true. Focus more on farm deck first then pvp.

If wanna conquer platinum and below should just play 18 Hazy and fire monsters with 2 beast rising. Skill Beatdown from Kaiba. This way you don't have to spend alot gem for expensive backrows.
<< Anonymous
Any Guy Reply
You can replace the:
- Secret Pass To The Treasures with Burst Stream of Destruction + Ancient Rules.
- Golden Ladybug with Solemn Wishes
- Neo Spacian Air Hummingbird with Dancing Fairy
- Unhappy Girl don't use this for farm because is useless
<< Anonymous(Any Guy)
Anonymous Reply
^
Umm, no, you're wrong

1. Secret Pass is necessary for Gravekeeper's Vassal to work
2. Gold Ladybug is better than Solemn Wishes as GL doesn't clog the field and is immediately usable after you draw it
3. Air Hummingbird and Dancing Fairy are both fine
4. Unhappy Girl is one of the best farming deck around since it makes use of the game's AI not attacking her under certain condition
Anonymous
Six samurai is a good option for a beginner
<< Anonymous
Any Guy Reply
Nope. This is pretty bad for a beginner. Cipher DNA is good and cheap.
Anonymous
How likely will koa‘ki decks be nerfed and are they still worth investing? Thoughts?
<< Anonymous
Anonymous Reply
Koaki may get nerved around May timeframe as the limited list seems to update in the span of 3-5 months with the most recent being Spellbook of Fate and Silent Sword Slash.

However I doubt it will get hit anytime soon as some of the cards are still brand new.
Nephtys
TBH this Guide is pretty useless a New Player will not understand what u should play if even u dont know... Its clear that u don't play competitive cause this Guide is completely garbage in Terms of indepth look into an Archetype. If u dont play the Deck u cant write a Guide about it
Anonymous
Meta is an anagram... guess you learn something new everyday
<< Anonymous
ValleCula Reply
I often confuse the terms as well, don't be too harsh on the guy.
<< Anonymous(ValleCula)
Anonymous Reply
Example filler of "KM" deck is wrongly named as filler of "vampire" deck
<< Anonymous
ValleCula Reply
Completely forgot to fix it, oops.
<< Anonymous
Nephtys Reply
Meta=Atem the Pharao
Anonymous
I am ftp and have all those staples 3 copy each.

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Looks like a good card to get rid of tuners, but doesn't seem to be very good
Terraforming but we don’t have that in duel links
Yeah. How degenerate are you to think that Konami will read this mess and come delete comments XDD
this site is likely to be closed because people are just bumping dumb porn and nobody cares about it
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