If you have just started playing Duel Links or you simply haven’t opened the game in a while, you are probably looking at the Shop, wondering where to start. After all, this game has been out for over two years, and the amount of options available at this point is quite overwhelming. You do, however, have a limited amount of resources, so I am going to try and direct you towards what’s relevant at the moment.
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|
|WIND Machine ★1|
ATK 200 / DEF 400
|Tour Guides Mission Bingo Event [SR]|
|Activate when you discard this card from your hand during damage calculation after a direct attack. Any Battle Damage you would receive from that direct attack becomes 0. Only once, if you remove this card from the game when it is in your Graveyard, any Battle Damage you would receive from a direct attack becomes 0.|
Another amazing low-Level monster that can allow you to survive an OTK. Kiteroid has been Semi-Limited pretty much right after its release.
Quick-Play Spell used for backrow removal; Cosmic Cyclone’s activation cost gives it synergy with a lot of Skills (like Sorcery Conduit).
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.
Another Quick-Play Spell that is currently Semi-Limited; World Legacy Clash is used to decrease the stats of the opponent’s monsters, stall, or to trigger certain effects.
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.
|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.
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.
Yubel has been sort of relevant ever since its introduction, and, if you’ve been playing this game for a while, you probably have found yourself with a Yubel - Terror Incarnate on the other side of the field and no way of getting rid of it.
Most Decks are equipped with at least a way of removing this Fiend from the field, and most people already know how to get around its floating effect, but this doesn’t make Yubel any less of an annoying or potentially problematic matchup.
If you have just started playing Duel Links and you’re already familiar with this card because of the TCG, you can forget about most of the issues it has in that format. Yubel is easy to play and cheap to build unless we are talking about specific variations of this Deck that involve the “Nephthys” archetype, and, most importantly, it can give you good results.
Triamid is admittedly a pretty complex Deck to pilot, but, with some practice, it will certainly give you good results. This archetype has, especially recently, proven to be able to stand up against popular Decks such as Cyberdark Desperado, Cyberdark Neos, and Six Samurai Synchro. Being a relatively recent addition to Duel Links, none of the main cards used in this Deck can be found in the Duel Links Forbidden & Limited card, giving it an advantage over older Decks and making it easier to build it.
Not long after its debut in the 24th Mini Box Soul of Resurrection, the “Shiranui” archetype has proven itself to be an extremely strong contender in the current meta, being able to compete with both Invoked Elementsabers and Blackwings. Shiranui Synchro is an extremely solid deck that can be built with a relatively small investment of resources, it’s not particularly difficult to pilot, and it still has the potential to grow.
How much of an impact can the release of a single Spell Card have? Well, if said Spell Card gives you direct access to an entire archetype, enough to bring it back to relevance apparently. To be fair, it’s not the first time this happens, and it’s likely not going to be the last one.
We have already experienced this exact situation when Diamond Core of Koa'ki Meiru was released back in Revolution Beginning, and it’s fair to assume that Banishment of the Darklords will maintain Darklords competitively viable for as long as its predecessor did with Koa'ki Meiru. If you have resources to invest, then why not going for what’s hot right now?
EX Structure Decks have historically been very impactful and Full Metal Desperado is no exception. While Desperado Barrel Dragon is not even comparable to Neos Fusion when it comes to versatility, it cannot be denied that it’s a really powerful card. Cyberdark Desperado is a Deck that’s relatively easy to build, since most of the cards you need are either contained in the Structure Deck EX or obtainable without spending Gems, and it’s also pretty easy to pilot.
Which packs should a new player open first? This is the question I want to answer in this section.
While there are certainly a lot of great cards in almost every single one 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 mostly 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).