Deciding on a Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel starter pack is the first major choice you make in the free-to-play card battler.
This is a game all about deck building, so you need to constantly iterate and improve the decks you use in duels if you're going to be successful.
When you start Master Duel you're met with three deck choices - Power of the Dragon, Synchro of Unity or Link Generation - and whilst choosing one might seem like an irreversible and long reaching decision, luckily it isn't.
Even so, we've compiled how you should decide which deck to pick, and what to do once you've chosen it.
On this page:
If you're looking for more help, we explain how to get secret packs in Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel.
Power of the Dragon, Synchro of Unity or Link Generation - how important is the starting deck choice in Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel?
After completing the very basic in-game tutorials, you'll be asked to pick between three decks.
Each deck has 40 cards in the main deck and five in the extra deck. Around half of the cards will be monsters, with the rest split between spell and trap cards. These are the decks you can choose from:
- Power of the Dragon
- Synchro of Unity
- Link Generation
Something useful to know is whichever starter deck you pick, the other two decks can be unlocked relatively easily. You just need to participate in ten ranked duels and complete ten solo gates (small single-player duels you play with pre-made decks or your own).
Whilst you're doing these solo gates, you'll also unlock more structure decks, cards, and gems for purchasing card packs, the last of which you'll need later.
It's less about the cards you're given in each starter deck and more about how you choose to build off of them. To do this, you'll firstly want to go through the 'Deck' option on the menu screen and look at a specific deck.
Then, highlight a card in your deck and press the left trigger, you'll see an option called "related cards". If you're able to open that option you'll see every monster, spell and trap card in the game directly tied to it on the right hand side of the screen.
These cards directly influence the one you highlighted, and finding good cards here is the best way to make some changes to a starter deck and really make it shine.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel best starter deck for beginners
For complete Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel novices, Power of the Dragon is the best starter deck for beginners.
This deck doesn't utilise any of the extra card mechanics, making it by far the simplest to understand. You can focus on getting to grips with the core rules and the basics of each card type whilst using it. Broadly effective spell and trap cards marry up with some solid starting monsters for a good foundation that doesn't focus on obtuse combinations of cards.
What this deck lacks though are set up cards - ones with abilities that interlink to give you truly effective options early on in a duel - but as I mentioned earlier, this where browsing the 'related cards' comes in handy.
As Power of the Dragon gives you two Blue Eyes White Dragon cards, you should look at their related cards. Some of these you might have, and others you won't (you can switch between owned and unowned cards at any time by clicking in the left stick).
For the cards you don't have, you can open up their menu and craft them using points. These points correspond to the rarity of the card (N, R, SR and UR), and if you run out, other cards you own of that same rarity can be dismantled to gain points back.
You can also get a lot of these related cards in a secret pack. If you craft The White Stone of Ancients from the related cards menu for Blue Eyes White Dragon, you'll unlock a secret pack called The Azure in the Ivory.
This pack is dedicated to Blue Eyes White Dragon related cards and it's perfect for unlocking ways to support and morph your Power of the Dragon deck.
Whilst using your gems - you can get a lot from fully completing the duel strategy solo mode - to unlock boosters from this secret pack, here are some basic cards you should look for:
- The White Stone of Legend: When sent to the graveyard, you can add a Blue Eyes to your hand
- The White Stone of Ancients: The turn this card is sent to the graveyard, you can summon a Blue Eyes from your deck
- Kaibaman: tribute this card to summon Blue Eyes
- Maiden with Eyes of Blue: When targeted by an effect you can summon a Blue Eyes from your hand, deck, or graveyard
- Burst Stream of Destruction: if you control a Blue Eyes, destroy all your opponent's monsters on the field
There are many, many more to look out for and use, but those are just some of the key ones. Use Azure in the Ivory to morph the Power of the Dragon deck into something much, much better over time.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel best starter deck for experienced players
If you want a deck that's harder to manage but better in the long run, Link Generation is the best starter deck for advanced players.
As this deck focuses on the Link mechanic - where summoned Link monsters use arrows on the card and their placement on the field to dictate play - having good knowledge of how the base game works is a huge help.
Thanks to the Link mechanic, you'll need to be thinking ahead quite often. You can sometimes make multiple choices around your hand, field, and extra deck at one time. So deciding what to do and in what order can make or break your duel.
Link Generation is filled with Cyberse type cards. Many of the Cyberse monsters, spells and traps in the deck interact really well, making the synchronised nature of this deck a huge selling point.
The Soldiers from the Storm secret pack focuses on supporting Cyberse cards, and you can unlock it by crafting the spell card Cynet Mining. To search for this card simply press the left stick and then Y when in the Link Generation deck editor, and search 'Cynet Mining'.
Once you buy Soldiers of the Storm packs and have Cyberse cards, go back to the deck editor for Link Generation. Press X and go down to the "type" set of selections, select Cyberse, and then press okay. Now you'll have all your Cyberse cards on the right side of the screen, easy to navigate.
I'd also highlight 'link' and play around with which cards you put in your extra deck.
As the Link Generation deck is built around a wide-ranging theme, it's advised that you open Soldiers from the Storm secret packs and experiment integrating your Cyberse cards into the starter deck, as it already has some excellent cards to help your new ones out.