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New player guide: What packs to buy first? [June 2019 Updated]

Duel Links, which packs to buy, which decks to build to reach KOG for new players.
Duel Links Breaking News
New pack: Cybernetic Rebellion!
update 07/06/2019

Updated Information

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 18 Mini BOXes and 20 Main BOXes; investing into every single one of these is definitely not advised as the vast majority contain outdated cards and/or archetypes that are not viable anymore, so in this guide I will try and direct you towards the ones that feature cards that are currently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

Karakuri Ninja mdl 339 “Sazank”

Karakuri Ninja mdl 339 "Sazank"
Karakuri Ninja mdl 339 "Sazank"
EARTH Machine ★3
ATK 1200 / DEF 1200
Valiant Souls [UR]
This card must attack if able. When this face-up Attack Position card is selected as an attack target, change it to Defense Position. When this card is flipped face-up, select 1 face-up monster on the field, and send it to the Graveyard. During the turn this card is flipped face-up, it can attack your opponent directly.

Sazank is able to get rid of many problematic monsters such as Legendary Six Samurai - Shi En and Elemental HERO Brave Neos, sending them straight to the Graveyard and bypassing various types of protection.

Gale Lizard

Gale Lizard
Gale Lizard
WATER Reptile ★4
ATK 1400 / DEF 700
Chaotic Compliance [UR]
FLIP: Target 1 monster your opponent's controls; return that target to the hand.

Just like Karakuri Ninja mdl 339 “Sazank”, Gale Lizard is primarily used to get rid of monsters that would otherwise be difficult to remove from the field.

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 used primarily to prevent OTKs and protect your monsters; 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 back row removal; Cosmic Cyclone’s activation cost has synergy with a lot of Skills like KaibaCorp Bling.

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.

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.

Recommended Start

Six Samurai Synchro (Budget)

Warriors Unite, the 19th Main Box, has greatly improved the “Six Samurai” archetype, giving it a powerful Synchro Monster that can be Summoned with ease thanks to a variety of Tuners and non-Tuners that can be Special Summoned from the hand or directly from the Deck.

The fact that we are advising both new and returning players to build this deck should come as no surprise: Six Samurai Synchro is strong, consistent and also relatively cheap to build.

Example Core Six Samurai Synchro Deck

  • Secret Six Samurai - Fuma can be Special Summoned directly from your Deck via Shien’s Dojo and be used as Synchro Material together with any Level 4 “Six Samurai” monster to Summon Legendary Six Samurai - Shi En. Any Six Samurai Synchro Deck should run three copies of this card.
  • Legendary Six Samurai - Kizan can be Special Summoned from your hand if you control another “Six Samurai” monster.
  • Legendary Six Samurai - Enishi can return a monster your opponent controls to their hand and/or be used as Synchro Material for Legendary Six Samurai - Shi En.
  • Six Samurai United is used to replenish the resources spent to Synchro Summon and draw into Six Style - Dual Wield and Enemy Controller.
  • Asceticism of the Six Samuraican be used in combination with Legendary Six Samurai - Legendary Six Samurai - Kageki, Kagemusha of the Six Samurai, and the Skill The Tie that Binds to easily Summon a second copy of Legendary Six Samurai - Shi En or to get a Secret Six Samurai - Fuma on the field, destroy it and Special Summon whatever you may need.
  • Legendary Six Samurai - Shi En can negate the activation of Spell/Trap Cards such as Hey, Trunade!, preventing your opponent from getting rid of your back row.

Example Filler of Six Samurai Synchro Deck

  • Legendary Secret of the Six Samurai can be Special Summoned from your hand when you Normal or Special Summon a “Secret Six Samurai” monster (Secret Six Samurai - Fuma).
  • Six Style - Dual Wield has fallen a lot in popularity, but now that Six Samurai decks don’t have access to Treacherous Trap Hole anymore and a lot of decks include Lava Golem to punish swarming, it may rise back up. Six Style - Dual Wield allows you to disrupt your opponent’s plays and can act both as backrow and monster removal, enabling early OTKs.
  • Armades, Keeper of Boundaries is used as an answer to Karakuri Ninja mdl 339 "Sazank" and Cipher Soldier.
  • Giganticastle is used to get rid of Lava Golem. Since you can obtain it from the Card Trader and we now have more space in the Extra Deck, I would advise running at least one.

Dino Survival's End (Free to Play)

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.

Darklord (Budget)

Darklord is a brand new powerful deck that is also relatively easy to build due to the fact that all of the cards needed to play it come from the same Box.

The “Darklord” archetype consists of mostly DARK Fairy-Type monsters and its main strategy revolves around setting up the Graveyard and then swarming the field with various high ATK monsters that can take advantage of the effects of Spell/Trap Cards in your Graveyard to disrupt your opponent’s plays and quickly overwhelm them.

Example Core Darklord Deck

  • Darklord Ixchel allows you to quickly go through your Deck while also setting up the Graveyard without decreasing the number of cards in your hand. Adding more copies of Ixchel will drastically increase the consistency of your deck.
  • Darklord Amdusc works really well in combination with Darklord Ukoback and an argument could be made for running even three copies of it.

Example Filler of Darklord Deck

Now that Six Samurai decks do not have access to Treacherous Trap Hole anymore, Darklord Tezcatlipoca has definitely lost quite a lot of value. You can still play one or even two copies of this card since it does prevent your monsters from being destroyed by battle and not just by card effect.

Geartown Turbo (Premium)

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

Other Interesting Options

DecksCost
Neos Fusion
Neos Fusion
Premium
Steelswarm Neos
Steelswarm Neos
Premium
Steelswarm
Steelswarm
Very Expensive
Yubel Nephthys
Yubel Nephthys
Very Expensive
Buster Blader DNA Surgery
Buster Blader DNA Surgery
Expensive
Darklord
Darklord
Mid-Expensive (Budget Version Available)
Fur Hire
Fur Hire
Mid-Expensive

Aromage
Free to Play

Which Boxes are worth investing in?

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).

Main Boxes

PackCard/Rarity
The Ultimate Rising
The Ultimate Rising

Various Deck

Sphere Kuriboh [2]
Neo-Impact
Neo-Impact
Little to no value.
Valkyries Rage
Valkyries Rage
Little to no value.
Chaotic Compliance
Chaotic Compliance
Little to no value.
Crimson Kingdom
Crimson Kingdom

Various Deck

Gozuki [3]

Buster Blader Deck

Buster Blader, the Dragon Destroyer Swordsman [3], Dark Paladin [3], Buster Blader [3]
Electric Overload
Electric Overload
Little to no value.
Generation Next
Generation Next

Various Deck

Floodgate Trap Hole [2]

Various Deck

Samurai Skull [3]
Galactic Origin
Galactic Origin

Various Deck

Cosmic Cyclone [1]
 Primal Burst
Primal Burst
Little to no value.
Abyss Encounter
Abyss Encounter
Little to no value.
Valiant Souls
Valiant Souls

Various Deck

Karakuri Ninja mdl 339 "Sazank" [1], Paleozoic Canadia [2]
Crusaders Battleground
Crusaders Battleground
Little to no value.
Burning Nova
Burning Nova
Evocator Chevalier [3]
Gaia Genesis
Gaia Genesis

Various Deck

Galaxy Cyclone [2], Drowning Mirror Force [2]

Koa'ki Meiru Deck

Koa'ki Meiru Maximus [1], Koa'ki Meiru Sandman [1], Koa'ki Meiru Urnight [1], Koa'ki Meiru Ice [1], Iron Core of Koa'ki Meiru [1]
Stardust Acceleration
Stardust Acceleration

Blue-Eyes Deck

Silver's Cry [2], Azure-Eyes Silver Dragon [3]
Blackstorm Rising
Blackstorm Rising
Little to no value.
Revolution Beginning
Revolution Beginning

Various Deck

Karakuri Shogun mdl 00 "Burei" [3], Karakuri Komachi mdl 224 "Ninishi" [3], Karakuri Merchant mdl 177 "Inashichi" [3], Karakuri Soldier mdl 236 "Nisamu" [3], Karakuri Cash Cache [3], Karakuri Anatomy [3]

Koa'ki Meiru Deck

Diamond Core of Koa'ki Meiru [1]
Absolute Inferno
Absolute Inferno

Nephthys / Yubel Nephthys Deck

Cerulean Sacred Phoenix of Nephthys [3], Devotee of Nephthys [3], Disciple of Nephthys [2], Rebirth of Nephthys [3]
Warriors Unite
Warriors Unite

Six Samurai Deck

Legendary Six Samurai - Shi En [1], Legendary Six Samurai - Kizan [1], Six Samurai United [1], Six Style - Dual Wield [2], Legendary Six Samurai - Enishi [1], Legendary Six Samurai - Kageki [1], Secret Six Samurai - Fuma [1], Asceticism of the Six Samurai [1], Legendary Secret of the Six Samurai [1], Kagemusha of the Six Samurai [1]
Blazing Rose
Blazing Rose

Various Decks

Black Rose Dragon [3], World Legacy Clash [2]

Red-Eyes Deck

Black Metal Dragon [2], The Black Stone of Legend [2]

Metaphys Deck

Metaphys Daedalus [2], Metaphys Tyrant Dragon [2], Metaphys Nephthys [2], Aloof Lupine [2], Asymmetaphys [2], Metaphys Dimension [2]

Subterror Deck

Subterror Behemoth Umastryx [2], Subterror Behemoth Stygokraken [2], Subterror Nemesis Warrior [2], Subterror Final Battle [2]

Mini Boxes

Structure Deck

Terms [Updated]

Comments

Hot New Top
Anonymous 4days ago
They haven't even updated with Cyber Dragon Box
Casual
Got back into duel links but i lost my old save (i stopped around the addition of 5ds) now i want to get back into the game and i'm wondering what are the best decks atm?
<< Anonymous(Casual)
the one guy 21days ago Reply
Ancient Gear is really good as mentioned, however I recommend going into the duel quizzes and trying loaner decks until you find a deck that you enjoy playing -- do some research into that deck, and if it fills your needs of fun and meta I would try to farm that :)
<< Anonymous(Casual)
Anonymous 12days ago Reply
I Stopped playing before the addition of 5ds and came back just 2 months ago. I still got my old save and was researching some good decks to build since i got a lot of gem from my old save. I found that 6 sam was the most popular and powerful at that time, so I gave it a try. Turns out to be one of my favorite archetype. Now I'm playing subterror because of budget wise.
<< Anonymous
Anonymous 12days ago Reply
Good call bud :D
<< Anonymous
Anonymous 12days ago Reply
Yeah. I usually switch between subterror and six sam in pvp. Both decks only need 1 reset to be built good enough. Ancient gear, red eyes, neos, and blue eyes are waaaayy too expensive.
Anonymous 24days ago
Nobody reads this section, not a single soul.

You even have to search this page with the engine. Only people trying to vent trash at the game post here lol
King Anon 24days ago
Random beginner tips: Get a structure deck, you will need 2 spend real money at least once to to have a complete the deck. (2 copies). Ancient Gear deck is significantly stronger than any other structure deck in the game. If you want Red eyes deck then buy blazing rose packs. Only get older boosters when needed. Use gems primarily for packs. Spend real money on SR & UR guaranteed packs (for chance to get a copy of a needed card and on 2nd-3rd copy). Use tickets for cards you can't easily get by beating a legendary duelist. Check card catalog for how to get them. You can make a strong deck cheap by opening mini boxes like Shining Lords and you'll have a complete strong deck with commons, rares & SRs that are very strong. Don't waste gems on packs you won't complete the set for and possibly reset box for! Also you can farm by trying to summon Obelisk or Slifer and getting about 5000 or more damage in a game, you don't need the expensive farm decks found online! Lol.
Anonymous 25days ago
Beginners take it slow within 3 months youll be super strong build blue eyes white dragon deck..
FIRST : BUY THE DECK STRUCTURE WHITE DRAGON OF LEGEND..
Save all your gems for the Stardust accelereation ..you will nee azure eyes , stardust , white stone of legend and silver's cry...
then move to minibox -Lord of shining ..I would suggest you to get 2 white stone of ancients there ...
Then get few good traps and You are done!!
Captain Obvious
Take my advice: just buy structure decks. They have cards already, 2 are meta or need small fixes to be at least competitive, and you can save for what you want for the next meta
<< Anonymous(Captain Obvious)
Anonymous Reply
What are the two metas? Im also new
<< Anonymous(Captain Obvious)
Helpful Troll 26days ago Reply
Yep, he's right. You can just change some of the cards on structure decks. Add Enemy Controller, Wall of Disruption, etc. For new players, it's nice to get cards for Farm Decks (7-8k Duel Assessment)
Shen
I'm new in Duel Links, and i have the max ammount of gems. I don't really want to spend money until I'm sure the game it's worth it, and of course I don't need a top tier deck.
So can someone tell me how to build a simple deck with 9000 gems, that can not only beat lv.40 Duelists, but also win some pvp duels?
Again, i don't want to get to top tier in rank, just don't get destroyed but everyone.
<< Anonymous(Shen)
Anonymous Reply
the blackrose box is not bad and so is the warriors unite one.
<< Anonymous(Shen)
Micromegas Reply
Return of the Red-Eyes structure deck with some supports from the Blazing Rose box is very nice for a beginner, but you'll need some other F2P cards to complete the deck (and possibly spend some money on a second and third copy of the structure deck if you want to be really competitive).
<< Anonymous(Shen)
Hell Kaiser Fan Reply
Save that amount of gems and wait for Cyber Dragon box
<< Anonymous(Hell Kaiser Fan)
Anonymous Reply
Don't advise people to wait for CD. We don't know what supports are coming along with it and if the supports are not good, that deck won't be meta. And we don't know if it's really going to be in a box. Some people say it's gonna be in an EX SD. You're only advising that because of your name.
Caroline Elizabeth D

This was even faster than I could dream of, Dr Noble (templeofjoyandprosperity1@gmail.com) Thank you for taking time to listen to me and answering all my emails. I feel emotional strong again. My confidence is back and I see my future clearly. I am forever grateful for your help for re-uniting me with my old love.
Contact him via templeofjoyandprosperity1@gmail.com
Whatsapp Number +1 {405}990-5764
Caroline Elizabeth

This was even faster than I could dream of, Dr Noble (templeofjoyandprosperity1@gmail.com) Thank you for taking time to listen to me and answering all my emails. I feel emotional strong again. My confidence is back and I see my future clearly. I am forever grateful for your help for re-uniting me with my old love.
Contact him via templeofjoyandprosperity1@gmail.com
Whatsapp Number +1 {405}990-5764
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(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
Newbie Reply
Can you share full deck for farming please mate
<< Anonymous
deathtogays Reply
Why are any of these good?
<< Anonymous
Anonymous Reply
Farming now is easier with yubel. It's works with almost all Legendary Duelist.
Attack Mode
I Just started the Game and Put all my money into volcanic packs.just so i can get mad every game that scattershot and blaze acc. reload are not a thing. Totaly Worth It.
<< Anonymous(Attack Mode)
Anonymous Reply
You should tried to invest in lands of titan packs.
Anonymous
Some other dudes have recommended Aromages but now... the best f2p deck is definitely DINOS
<< Anonymous
Anonymous 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 Reply
I just reached KOG with Amazoness

<< Anonymous
Bahar bin Smith Reply
Shi en says hi!

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