More often than not, the hardest decision any player in Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel has to make is deciding what decks to build and play. For some, this decision comes down to card art or nostalgia. For others, this decision is based on what decks are currently meta.
If you’re unfamiliar with the term, a meta deck is one that has both a high number of players and a high win percentage in competitive play. For this list, we here at High Ground Gaming will explain the 5 best meta decks in Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel as of the release of Dreaded Conspiracy.
The Best Meta Decks in Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel, Ranked Good to Best
We’ll go over each deck, what makes it so strong, and take a look at some of the most notable cards in each one. Let’s get started.
Dragon Link Deck
A very popular deck that has persisted through multiple different formats is Dragon Link. Some might argue that Sword Soul Tenyi deserves this spot a bit more, but we have some pretty good reasons for why Dragon Link beats it out.
The biggest reason though is that the end boards a Dragon Link deck can make are absolutely ridiculous in comparison to those of a Sword Soul board.
As for the other reasons, there are plenty of decks in Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel that are incapable of playing through the number of negates and interruptions a Dragon Link deck can put out on turn one. This deck can also make use of the extremely powerful Bystal cards, which are almost essential for stopping some of the plays from the more powerful meta decks.
The only thing keeping this deck from being in a higher spot is simply the fact that the other decks have an easier time stopping this deck’s plays and have enough resources to play through most of this deck’s interruptions.
Noteworthy cards that a Dragon Link deck can end on include the following:
Borreload Savage Dragon
Borreload Savage Dragon: A level 8 Dark Dragon-type monster with 3000 ATK and 2500 DEF. This Synchro monster can attach a link monster to itself from the graveyard and gains a number of omni-negates based on the link rating of the equipped monster.
Borrelend Dragon: A Link-5 Dark Dragon-type monster with 3500 ATK. The monster can’t be destroyed by battle or card effects, nor can it targeted by monster effects. It can attack all monsters your opponent controls and negate the effect of a single monster on the field (while also reviving a Rokket monster from the graveyard).
There are plenty of decks out there on the ranked ladder that simply don’t have a way to deal with Borrelend Dragon.
Hot Red Dragon Archfiend Abyss
Hot Red Dragon Archfiend Abyss: A level 9 Dark Dragon-type Synchro monster with 3200 ATK and 2500 DEF. This monster can negate a single monster effect on the field once per turn and gains the ability to special summon any Tuner monster from the user’s graveyard after this card inflicts battle damage to your opponent.
Branded Despia Deck
What was once the best deck in the format has now found itself in fourth place on our Master Duel list. This does not mean that Branded Despia has gotten worse; on the contrary, the deck has received a few really powerful pieces of support in the last two sets.
The main problem is that the higher-ranked decks are just so outrageously strong. Branded can still hold its own against them, so if you love the lore and or art of this archetype, it’s still worth picking up.
A Branded Despia deck can play the Bystal cards better than any other deck, since many of those cards have effects that can search out branded spells and traps. The deck’s benefits don’t stop there, where it lacks in negates, it more than makes up for in power, consistency, recursion, and the ability to interrupt your opponent on their turn.
Some of the most notable cards in a Branded Despia deck include the following:
Fallen of Albaz
Fallen Of Albaz: A level 4 Dark Dragon-type monster. This card is the face of the entire archetype and for good reason. Its effect allows you to discard a card in order to fusion some a fusion monster to your side of the field, using Fallen of Albaz and monsters on your opponent’s side of the field as materials. This card on its own can remove some of the most powerful boss monsters in the game.
Mirrorjade the Iceblade Dragon
Mirrorjade the Iceblade Dragon: This level 8 Dark Dragon-type Fusion monster has 3000 ATK and 2500 DEF. It’s also really good at dealing with problematic boss monsters thanks to its effect – by sending a fusion monster that lists Fallen of Albaz as one of its materials to the graveyard, you can banish one monster on the field.
This banish is non-targeting, so it bypasses the protection many boss monsters have. This effect also allows you to often go plus one in card advantage because many of the Albaz fusion monsters have effects that trigger when they are sent to the graveyard.
A fusion-summoned Mirrorjade will also destroy all of your opponent’s monsters during the end phase of the turn it’s sent to the graveyard by an opponent’s card effect, making it incredibly punishing to take out.
Branded Fusion: The fusion spell all fusion spell cards aspire to be. This normal spell card has the effect to fusion summon one fusion monster from the extra deck that lists Fallen of Albaz as one of its materials, by sending materials from the hand, field, or deck to the graveyard.
This card is the lifeblood of the deck, being a one-card starter for many of the deck’s best plays. It does have its draw backs though. Branded Fusion locks you into only summoning Fusion monsters from your extra deck, and the card is an easy negation target for your opponent’s Ash Blossom and Joyous Springs.
Spright is a deck that may seem pretty unassuming at first glance, but once you see the deck in action you’ll understand why many consider it to be one of the strongest (if not the best) decks in the format. Don’t let its position at number three fool you, much like Branded Despia, this deck was tier zero only a few formats ago.
The Spright deck’s main appeal is its insane ability to spam level 2 monsters on the field. These monsters are then used to make rank-2 XYZ monsters or Link-2 Link monsters. All of these extra deck monsters have powerful effects in their own right or extend into more powerful extra deck monsters.
The deck also has a lot of built-in mechanics that allow it to avoid many of the game’s most powerful handtraps. Spright Carrot and Spright Red can negate monster and spell effects respectively by tributing a level 2 monster. Gigantic Spright locks both players into level 2 monsters for the rest of the turn, while also special summoning a level 2 monster from the deck.
Some of the most notable cards used in Spright decks include the following:
Spright Starter: This quickplay spell card lives up to its name. In many cases it is the deck’s “starter”, meaning it kickstarts many of the deck’s plays. This card can and will often be used as an extender for your Spright plays since you can search it off Spright Jet.
Spright Starter simply lets you special summon 1 Spright monster from your deck, but it then locks you into level, rank, and link-2 monsters for the rest of the turn. Luckily, that really isn’t a problem for this archetype.
Spright Smashers: This is one of the deck’s most powerful pieces of removal. This quickplay card banishes a Spright monster from the hand or graveyard, then banishes one level, rank, or link-2 monster from your field, along with one card your opponent controls.
Unless your opponent’s card says it can’t be banished or it’s unaffected by card effects, Spright Smashers can out it.
Spright Elf: A Link-2 Fire Thunder-type monster with 1400 ATK. This card is so strong that it’s currently banned in both the TCG and OCG versions of the card game. Luckily, Master Duel has it completely unlimited, so if you want to play with Spright Elf, you’ll have to do it here.
During each mainphase, Spright Elf has the ability to revive one level 2 monster from your graveyard. If your opponent controls a monster, Elf can revive a rank-2 or link-2 monster instead. Also, monsters in the zones Spright Elf points to can’t be targeted with card effects.
Other Things to Know About Spright Deck
Spright can very easily play other powerful extra-deck monsters that aren’t part of its archetype, such as cards like:
- Crusadia Avramax, which can win you the game on its own against most non-meta decks.
- I:P Masquerena, which lets you link summon on your opponent’s turn, and when paired with a couple of Melffy cards, the deck can bring out…
- Herald of Arc Light, which banishes any monster sent from the hand or main-deck to the graveyard.
It’s cards like these that make Spright a strong contender for best deck in the format, but the remaining two decks overtake it by just a bit in Master Duel.
Labrynth is a bit of a different kind of deck compared to the other decks on the list. Specifically, Labrynth is a trap-based deck, which leans its playstyle more toward control rather than combo.
The most powerful versions of this deck will be running Floodgate cards that prevent your opponent from using certain elements of their strategy. Labrynth deck lists will often contain blowout cards like Evenly Matched, Eradicator Epidemic Virus, and Dimensional Barrier.
This deck ranks so high because it can effectively shut down every deck in the format with the right cards in hand. The only real downside this deck suffers from is its strong desire to go first, so your success with the deck may often come down to winning the coin toss.
The main staple cards of a Labrynth deck include the following:
Lady Labrynth of the Silver Castle
Lady Labrynth of the Silver Castle: A level 8 Dark Fiend-type monster with 3000 ATK and 2900 DEF. This monster can special summon itself in defense mode from the hand if a Labynth effect or normal trap effect was activated this turn.
This card cannot be targeted with card effects or destroyed by card effects, as long as there is a set card on your side of the field. When a normal trap card is activated, Lady can set one other normal trap card from your deck.
This card is fairly difficult to deal with for a number of decks. Couple that with the powerful effects of normal traps, and you have a setup that would make even the most passionate duelist surrender.
Lovely Labrynth of the Silver Castle
Lovely Labrynth of the Silver Castle: A level 8 Dark Fiend-type monster with 2900 ATK and 1900 DEF. Lovely generates the most advantage for this deck out of any other card.
She can set normal trap cards from your graveyard, including cards like Dimensional Barrier and Eradicator Epidemic Virus. She can also destroy a card on your opponent’s field or in their hand whenever a monster leaves the field by the effect of a normal trap card.
Finally, your opponent can’t activate monster effects in response to the effects of your normal trap cards. Despite all of these amazing effects, she does have a glaring flaw in the fact that she doesn’t have any inherent protection.
Dogmatika Punishment: This card isn’t actually a Labrynth card, it’s a Dogmatika card. Even so, Labrynth debatably uses it better than Dogmatika does.
This normal trap targets and destroys one monster on your opponent’s side of the field, then it sends a monster from your extra deck to the graveyard that has ATK greater than or equal to the attack of the targeted monster.
When this card is paired with Lovely and extra deck monsters like Elder Entity N’tyss, you can end up destroying three cards off the effect of a single Dogmatika Punishment.
Tearlaments is hands down the best out of all the decks in the current format of Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel. Tear is all about Fusion summoning, deck milling, and graveyard shuffling. If you don’t have a way to stop or interrupt one of those three things, you’re probably going to lose against this deck.
This deck is crazy consistent and what makes it even more terrifying is the fact that the deck can play most of the best cards in the game. Maxx ‘C’, Fairy Tail – Snow, Underworld Goddess, Zeus, Time Thief Redoer, Spright Elf, and the list goes on.
If you’re truly looking for an easy-rank climb, it’s hard to recommend any other deck in the format. The only thing to watch out for is future ban lists, as many of the Tear cards are limited or straight-up banned in the TCG and OCG.
The most notable cards in a Tearlaments deck include the following:
Tearlements Kitkallos: A level 5 Dark Aqua-type Fusion monster with 2300 ATK and 1200 DEF. When this card is summoned you can add one Tear monster from your deck to your hand or send one Tear monster from your deck to the graveyard.
This card can also send itself to the graveyard to special summon another Tear monster from the hand or graveyard. When this card is sent to the graveyard, mill the top five cards from the deck to the graveyard.
The Ishizu Cards (Kelbek, Keldeo, Mudora, Agido)
The Ishizu Cards: This set of cards refers to Kelbek, Keldeo, Mudora, and Agido. These Fairy-type monsters all have the effect to either mill cards from both players deck to the graveyard, or shuffle cards from either player’s graveyards into the deck.
These cards allow their user to interrupt their opponent’s graveyard plays as well as mill key combo pieces of their opponent’s strategy out of their deck. They also facilitate the effects of the main deck Tear monsters.
Main Deck Tear Monsters (Rulkallos, Kaleido-Heart)
All of these monsters have the effect to fusion summon a fusion monster from the extra deck when they are sent to the graveyard by a card effect by using themselves and cards from the hand, field, or graveyard as fusion material. As a plus, these cards all send the fusion material to the bottom of the user’s deck.
These cards are what allow the deck to consistently go into their two powerful fusion monsters Rulkallos and Kaleido-Heart. Both these fusion monsters have high ATK, powerful effects, and come back to the field once when destroyed by card effect.
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That wraps up the list of the strongest decks currently in Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel. These things are subject to change with the release of new cards and ban lists so keep an eye out for updated lists in the future!
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