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Gem spending guide

Duel Links how to use Gems, the best packs to buy, cards you should get by spending gems, duel links meta decks.
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update 28/11/2017

Because of the Steam release for Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links there might be a big influx of new players this month. This guide is targeted towards those that just started out and are acquiring their first gems but don’t know what to get first. Currently there are 8 main boxes (200 packs/box), 7 mini boxes (80 packs/box), and 4 structure decks available in the game, which could seem pretty overwhelming when you first start out. If you feel kind of lost, this guide might help you get a sense of direction on what to go for first.

The most important question you first have to ask yourself is what do you want to play? In the end it’s just a game, and you should try to get the most enjoyment out of it. If you enjoy being competitive, then you should focus on making one of the meta deck first. If you enjoy the nostalgia this game has to offer, and just want to play with your favorite cards like Dark Magician of Chaos, there is nothing wrong with that. Just look through each of the boxes for the cards that you loved when playing with friends, or in the TCG, and go for them.

If you’ve never played Yu-Gi-Oh! before or don’t have any preference for certain cards or decks, but want to enjoy the PvP aspect this game has to offer, you should first check out what decks are relevant in the meta.

Current meta decks

DeckCostRating

Cyber Angel
ExpensiveS
Ancient Gear
Ancient Gear
BudgetA

REBD Zombie
ExpensiveA
Ninja
Ninja
BudgetA
Sacred Phoenix of Nephthys
Sacred Phoenix
ExpensiveA
Gladiator Beasts
Gladiator Beasts
ExpensiveA

Hazy Flame
Budget-MidA
Parasite Infestation
Parasite Infestation
Mid-ExpensiveA

Venus Red Lotus
F2PB

Ancient Gear

A good example of a free-to-play (F2P) deck is an Ancient Gear (AG) deck, because a good consistent Ancient Gear deck can be made with minimal spending. Take a look at a version that requires multiple UR/SRs from different boxes.

At first this might seem discouraging, however certain cards can easily be replaced. But the core of the deck (AG Knight/AG Golem) is available without spending any gems.

These 13 cards are all available without spending any gems. The only thing you would have to do now is add a few good monsters. With Sergeant Electro being the best of course, but Heavy Knight of the Flame/Twin-Barrel Dragon/Ancient Gear Soldier/Mecha Phantom Beast Hamstrat could work as well. Yes, some of these are UR/SRs in certain boxes, but by going after certain cards, for whatever reason, you’ll stumble on a few of them.

Next you add some of the best Traps or Spells you have available. Again, you’ll pull some from boxes that maybe you weren’t going for in the first place, like Super Rush Headlong/Forbidden Chalice/Wall of Disruption/...

Whenever you see a decklist posted by someone, you don’t have to copy it card for card. Just because you changed a few cards (cards that aren’t part of the core of the deck), doesn’t mean you won’t have any success with it.

Since the core of an Ancient Gear deck was only available during the Crowler Event late October/early November, these cards might not be available for you at this time, and you’ll have to wait for the next event. Don’t fear however, that just means you should go for another meta deck first, and by doing so, you might already collect some good spells/traps for your future AG deck.

Cyber Angel

Another reasonably free-to-play deck, and one of the strongest ones out there right now, is Cyber Angels. Even after getting nerfed, the deck is still at the top of the current tier list.

This is what the core of the deck looks like, which leaves room for 2 tech cards like Enemy Controller, Cosmic Cyclone, Nobleman of Extermination,..

Out of these 18 cards, only 5 cards come from boxes, but you could get away by only running 2 Senju of the Thousand Hands and 1 Sonic Bird, or even replace sonic bird with Fairy's Blessing. Yes you’ll lose some consistency, but the deck will still be extremely powerful for someone who just joined the game. Most players currently use the skill “Mind Scan” when using this deck, but if you play with less Senju and Sonic Birds, it might be worth using the skill Restart to compensate for the consistency loss in opening hands.

The advantage of going for a Cyber Angel deck is that you’ll be buying packs from Neo-Impact. Which holds cards like Mirror Wall, and Half Shut. The first one being good in a lot of decks (AG/REZ), and Half-Shut being a key card in Gladiator Beast decks. (decks you might want to make in the future)

Ninja

Ninjas is another top tier deck which uses just 2-3 URs (Ninjitsu Art of Transformation) and 1 SR (Armor Ninjitsu Art of Alchemy). However, the box that contains Ninjitsu Art of Transformation (Electric Overload), is currently considered a mediocre box because it doesn’t contain many other UR/SRs that are currently used in meta decks. This means that when you invest in a Ninja deck, you won’t get many other useful cards for other decks (besides Mecha Phantom Beast Hamstrat and Treeborn Frog) that have potential for future decks.

Black Dragon NinjaBlack Dragon NinjaBlack Dragon NinjaRed Dragon NinjaRed Dragon NinjaRed Dragon Ninja
Senior Silver NinjaMasked Ninja EbisuCrimson NinjaCrimson NinjaNinjitsu Art NotebookNinjitsu Art Notebook
Ninjitsu Art NotebookArmor Ninjitsu Art of AlchemyNinjitsu Art of TransformationNinjitsu Art of TransformationNinjitsu Art of TransformationNinjitsu Art of Duplication
Ninjitsu Art of DuplicationNinjitsu Art of Duplication--------

Red-Eyes Zombie & Gladiator Beasts

Decks like Red-Eyes Zombies and Gladiator Beasts are a lot harder to make for new players, as you’ll need multiple UR/SRs from different boxes. And currently, cards like Red-Eyes Spirit and Red-Eyes insight are only available through PvP tickets. Meaning you’ll have to play at least 2 months before gathering enough tickets to exchange for them. I would advise trying to make these decks after you’ve played for a few months, because by that time, you might have stumbled upon a few key cards already and you might not need a lot more to finish them.

Some of these key cards (for REZ and Gladiator Beasts) are Mirror Wall, Gozuki, Wall of Disruption, Red-Eyes Zombie Dragon, Floodgate Trap Hole, Half Shut, Impenetrable Attack, Gladiator Beast Laquari.

REZD example deck
GozukiGozukiGozukiRed-Eyes Zombie DragonRed-Eyes Zombie DragonRed-Eyes Zombie Dragon
Bacon SaverSamurai SkullRed-Eyes InsightRed-Eyes InsightRed-Eyes Insight>Anti-Magic Arrows
Anti-Magic ArrowsEnemy ControllerEnemy ControllerEnemy ControllerMirror WallMirror Wall
Red-Eyes SpiritRed-Eyes Spirit--------
Gladiator Beast example deck
Gladiator Beast LaquariGladiator Beast LaquariGladiator Beast BestiariGladiator Beast BestiariGladiator Beast BestiariGladiator Beast Murmillo
Gladiator Beast MurmilloGladiator Beast DimacariGladiator Beast DimacariHalf ShutEnemy ControllerEnemy Controller
Anti-Magic ArrowsAnti-Magic ArrowsFloodgate Trap HoleMirror WallImpenetrable AttackImpenetrable Attack
Curse of AnubisWindstorm of Etaqua-Gladiator Beast EssedariiGladiator Beast NerokiusGladiator Beast Heraklinos

HOWEVER, a very cheap version of Gladiator Beasts (but it loses quite some consistency in comparison to the optimal version) can be made by only buying packs from the Galactic Origin box. It won’t be an optimal version, but it would allow you to start playing PvP at a decent level in the first week that you start the game.

You could also try the card Half Counter, which is a Rare in the Generation Next box. The advantage of going for this is that you don’t need to farm many cards during the first week you play. (Metalmorph can be obtained by leveling up Bandit Keith and exchanging your first PvP tickets for them, Enemy Controller can be unlocked through the Bingo cards and PvP tickets)

If you are a player that just started out and don’t have access yet to farming decks I HIGHLY recommend you give this deck a try if you want to jump into PvP as soon as possible.

You could also try the card Half Counter, which is a Rare in the Generation Next box. The advantage of going for this is that you don’t need to farm many cards during the first week you play. (Metalmorph can be obtained by leveling up Bandit Keith and exchanging your first PvP tickets for them, Enemy Controller can be unlocked through the Bingo cards and PvP tickets)

If you are a player that just started out and don’t have access yet to farming decks, I HIGHLY recommend you give this deck a try if you want to jump into PvP as soon as possible.

Boxes not worth investing in

Currently these are the boxes I would NOT advise you to spend gems on if you want to focus on being competitive first.

Although these boxes have cards that might see use again in the future, they currently don’t hold many (or any) UR/SRs that are viable in this meta.

Valkyrie’s Rage isn’t a great box either currently. It holds some good cards like Soul Exchange, and Nobleman of Extermination, but no cards that are actually needed right now in meta decks. So for now, you might want to skip it and maybe buy from it in the future when the cards in that box become more relevant.

I also do not recommend buying any of the structure decks as they simply are not good.

Cards to consider getting before resetting

If you are very new to the game, you might not know this but every card you see on the summary screen of a box with a number written on top of it, is the amount of times that card is in that box, meaning if you buy every last pack from a box you will get every card that you see. This is a great system because it means that you will get the cards you want at some point. Yes there is still a bit of luck involved, but you won’t be that unlucky that you never would get the card (which is the case for other games). Because of this system, you can actually decide when to reset a box and put in all the cards again to try and get multiple copies.

If you are going to go multiple times through a box (for example Neo-Impact to build a Cyber angels deck), I’ll provide a list of cards for each box that you maybe should consider going for in case you are already deep into the box. If you are only 20 packs into a box and got the card you want, you should of course reset. But if there are only 50 cards remaining in a box after you have gotten the card you want, you should carefully consider if it’s worth it to continue for a card you might need in the future. I’ll only include URs for the main boxes as you’ll probably get every SR 3 times when going through a box more than once. However, since mini boxes only contain the SRs once, I’ll also include those in the list.

Additional Notes

  • As you can see there are a lot of cards spread out that have a lot of potential, but like I said, focus on one deck first, don’t try to get everything all at once.

  • Just remember, a new player can currently unlock 19 playable characters, and each character alone gives about 2300 gems just by getting to max level. That’s a total of 874 packs just by leveling up everyone to lvl 40. If you don’t care for current cards available through level up, focus on getting all characters to lvl 30 first to get the most gems in the shortest amount of time.

  • If you first buy a box (when all the packs are still in the box) don’t immediately buy 10 at a time, buy them one at a time. This way if you open a good card in the first few packs, it might already be worth it to reset the box.

  • At the bottom of the screen when looking at a box, there is an option called “bulk settings” , it is best not to tinker with this too much if you don’t buy 30 packs at a time, only use it when buying in bulk like it says.

  • When a new event is added to the game, people will always try and “farm” that character. When trying to farm, people will try to acquire the most points (Duel Assessment) at the end of the duel to get as much rewards as possible (8 being the maximum). To do so, people build special decks that counter the cards used by that NPC and stall until the very last card before doing a combo. These decks often use cards that normally don’t see any competitive play, and require you to buy packs for them. However, because the drop rate of cards from NPCs seems to have been increased, and Konami has added special missions during these events to gain these cards anyway, I do not think it is worth it to spend thousands of gems just to be able to farm one event. GameA will always try and provide the most optimal farm decks and also cheap farm decks. However, if you are not able to make such a deck, just try and aim for a duel assessment of 3-4k and in the end, you will get the cards as well. But it’ll take a bit more duels than the average player.
  • As you can see there are a lot of cards spread out that have a lot of potential, but like I said, focus on one deck first, don’t try to get everything all at once.

  • Just remember, a new player can currently unlock 19 playable characters, and each character alone gives about 2300 gems just by getting to max level. That’s a total of 874 packs just by leveling up everyone to lvl 40. If you don’t care for current cards available through level up, focus on getting all characters to lvl 30 first to get the most gems in the shortest amount of time.

  • If you first buy a box (when all the packs are still in the box) don’t immediately buy 10 at a time, buy them one at a time, that way if you open a good card in the first few packs it might already be worth it to reset the box.

  • At the bottom of the screen when looking at a box, there is an option called “bulk settings” , it is best not to tinker with this too much if you don’t buy 30 packs at a time, only use it when buying in bulk like it says.

  • When a new event is added to the game, people will always try and “farm” that character. When doing such a farm, people try to acquire the most points (Duel Assessment) at the end of the duel to get as much rewards as possible (8 being the maximum). To do so people build special decks that counter the cards used by that NPC and stall until the very last card before doing a combo. These decks often use cards that normally don’t see any competitive play and require you to buy packs for them. However, because the droprate of cards from NPCs seems to have been increased, and Konami has added special missions during these events to gain these cards anyway, I do not think it is worth it to spend thousands of gems just to be able to farm one event. GameA will always try and provide the most optimal farm decks and also cheap farm decks, however if you are not able to make such a deck, just try and aim for a duel assessment of 3-4k and in the end you will get the cards as well , but it’ll take a bit more duels than the average player.

Comments

Hot New Top
Yu-Gi-Oh! Let's Duel 1days ago
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTqDM9_O6SYYkxX7CQzxqLQ
Anonymous 9days ago
To CA players: go worship her boobs.
<< Anonymous
Anonymous 6days ago Reply
I think it's great, if he meant by worship is squeeze it tenderly.
<< Anonymous
Anonymous 6days ago Reply
Eventho i hate CA, i would do it to her
<< Anonymous
Anonymous 3days ago Reply
are we talking about alexis or dakini?
<< Anonymous
Anonymous 2days ago Reply
Both of 'em would be gr8 tho ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
BWC 12days ago
Best deck in this "Meta" would be a destiny draw burn deck with the only monsters being Lava Golem and Fire Princess. Just throw a bunch of burn and defensive cards in the deck and a few Monster Reincarnations to make up for only having 1 copy of the two main burn monsters. Deck would dominate Cyber Angel because that decks entire strategy is based on protecting the monsters with the ritual spell and Dakinis effect of forcing player to remove a monster on their side of the field. With a Destiny draw burn deck that only runs two monsters with neither intending to attack opponent, all that is useless. I won't be playing PVP much aside from the 100 wins to get the 3 SR's for the month until I get the Destiny draw skill so I can dominate. Hopefully they don't nerf the skill by then like changing the life point requirement
<< Anonymous
BWC 9days ago Reply
So the Meta stays the same?. Ok, got it.
<< Anonymous(BWC)
Anonymous 9days ago Reply
Gladiator Beast would absolutely stomp that deck. Stall doesn't work vs it.
<< Anonymous(BWC)
Anonymous 3days ago Reply
Atm, what you said has become true. New ddraw burn is in the meta. Until CA being nerf, it would be top tier deck in pvp
<< Anonymous(BWC)
Anonymous 3days ago Reply
LOL, which part of "if you don't even have that skill and experience it for yourself, you are not qualified to make any statement to conclude D Draw burn deck is the best deck" did you not get?
Anonymous 3days ago
My Ancient Gear deck differs from this one and it works better at shutting down the opponent's back row

Ancient Gear Golem 2x
Ancient Gear Beast 2x
Ancient Gear Engineer 2x
Ancient Gear Knight 3x
Ancient Gear Soldier 3x
Ancient Gear Box 1x
Ancient Gear Tank 1x
Ancient Gear Castle 1x (+1 from Middle Aged Mechs)
Machine Assembly Line 1x
Anti-Magic Arrows 2x
Half Shut 1x
Mirror Wall 1
Wall of Disruption 1x
Anonymous 10days ago
Meanwhile me openning chaotic compliance box just to get Crystal seer. I'm planning to open all box little by little. Maybe i wont be able to do that tho, cuz Im only free player.
<< Anonymous
helper 3days ago Reply
just keep leveling characters you get a lot of gems from just that i have cleared 4 box and i have only been playing about a month and haven't spent a dime build a good beater deck to farm with Warriors and A.Force and level the hell out of your character and unlock as many as possible play the events and the meta decks suck balls dont use them unless your playing pvp the Ai eats them alive
someone who actully 3days ago
Wow these Meta decks suck
Alex the Asshole 8days ago
Greys spend all of their gems to Ultimate Rising box.
<< Anonymous(Alex the Asshole)
Anonymous 8days ago Reply
Ok Magenta
Anonymous 12days ago
The notes part are repeated. There's also some mistake like listing CA and Ninja as "realitively F2P" and budget when both are really expensive while Phoenix, Venus, and Parasite burn listed as expensive and F2P when they're actually budget-mid.

Also missing stuff like DDraw OTK and control decks which are decent. Also should've listed Secret Pass to the Treasures from Ultimate Rising is crucial for farming decks and should be get early.

That said, this article is much better than most other articles on this site. Just keep it up to date
<< Anonymous
Anonymous 11days ago Reply
yea.. ok so you shouldn't inform a new player about the good decks and what they should run to even have a slight chance at being succesful in PvP early on? you think new players that don't know how to beat meta decks and are sitting in gold are happy? no they aren't, most of them are frustrated and would quit the game because of it.
<< Anonymous
OP 11days ago Reply
Those decks aren't bad. Yes, they're tier 2 but its not like they don't do well in the meta. Many of these decks do reach top 200 in the KC cup which flooded with CA and ninjas. Problem with the top 2 decks(expecially CA) is they require lots of UR from bad packs that is questionable to spend on. While tier 2 decks are enough if you just aim for KoG while being much cheaper to build. Your choice.
<< Anonymous(OP)
Anonymous 11days ago Reply
but you can actually make cheap versions of them that still would be better than tier 2-3 decks (and then later players can decide to continue to invest to make it better or not) . also tier 2 and 3 decks (to have an optimal build) are very expensive as well , so your argument doesn't make any sense
<< Anonymous
OP 10days ago Reply
Cheap version of CA and ninja is worse than suboptimal tier 2 decks cause they're really prone to bricks without the core cards which are UR. Good tier 2 decks like AG and GB is actually quite cheap since there's no need to reset on big box to get their core cards. And the cards to make them optimal are staples S/T that is useful for other decks too and possibly for decks in the future as well
Anonymous 12days ago
I agree with AG being good for new players. But CA, Ninjas and REZ which are way too expensive decks. Also Phoenix is not really expensive, it is mid budget at most. Pulling 3 Phoenix is way easier than making CA, Ninjas or REZ. Also you will get SRH and Heavy Knight which are always awesome. Besides that, the deck only needs cheap Yaksha and Island. You can jam ECon, SRH, Heavy Knight and get a cheap tier 1 deck with just 1 pack.
<< Anonymous
Anonymous 12days ago Reply
That would have been true a few months ago, phoenix is not longer a meta deck now
<< Anonymous
Armend 11days ago Reply
Still got KOG with Phoenix though
<< Anonymous
Armend 11days ago Reply
Still got KOG with Phoenix though
<< Anonymous(Armend)
Anonymous 11days ago Reply
pretty much any deck can get kog (especially at the end of the month when all the good players are already kog), doesn't mean that it's top tier
Anonymous 12days ago
Really hard to get over the recommendation of an Ancient Gear deck as the best option for new players, since the only means to get those cards is having Vellian Crowler unlocked as a playable character which could only be done during the event BEFORE duel links was on Steam. . . seriously you folks put all the effort into all the write up for this page, and you can't sort out that hang up...
<< Anonymous
Anonymous 12days ago Reply
hm if only that exact thing was written in the guide and what to go for if you missed that event :thinking: , maybe try to actually read it next time
Breno 12days ago
Muito boa a matéria, com certeza auxiliará os iniciantes que lerem com atenção. E eu adoto esse mesmo pensamento sobre jogar duel links de modo racional. Comecei o jogo, mais uma vez, no evento do Crowler e peguei o deck de mecanismo, tendo, por isso, conseguido pegar KoG na mesma temporada e na seguinte, isto é, dois kogs em 15 dias de conta.
IndoPride 13days ago
What is the S of the CA deck's rate???
S for shit like singapork????
wkwkwkwkkwwkkw
<< Anonymous
Cheyenne 12days ago Reply
Glad we singaporean don't talk with filth f2p, so most of us doesn't even bother.
<< Anonymous(Cheyenne)
Anonymous 12days ago Reply
I'm seeing the issue as, you don't know how to talk to people either? Singaporeans are big-time snobs and can't communicate, and very rude to foreigners too! 2nd-rate Chinese fuckers wannabe!
<< Anonymous
Cheyenne 12days ago Reply
No, we're just high class and prefer to play the actual game than posting random stuff on forum.
<< Anonymous(Cheyenne)
Anonymous 12days ago Reply
It's not random. It's communicating to the world how dumb singaporeans are.

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