Hungry to play a true digital Yu-Gi-Oh! trading card game but still find yourself starving from the puny kids-size Happy Meal that Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links offers? Look no further, Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel is the adult-sized Combo Meal that you’ve been searching for. Announced back in July 2021 and launched in early 2022, the collectible card game finally made its way to mobile gamers after a brief delay.
If you’re brand new to the franchise, Yu-Gi-Oh! is a collectible card game that locks players into sweaty 1-v-1 combat, where you’ll enlist bizarre magical and mythical monsters (or beings) to take down their opponent’s life points (LP). Spell cards, traps cards, monster effects, and your quick-wittedness can turn the tides of the duel at any point – enough to get an adrenaline rush going.
Our guide focuses on how to make the most of your free-to-play experience to set yourself up competitively.
These are the topics we’ll cover:
Luckily for brand-new players, Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel does a serviceable job teaching them how to swim. Opening up the app the first time surveys your Yu-Gi-Oh! background/knowledge and places you in a mini-tutorial. You’re provided a step-by-step lesson on summoning monsters and using spell/trap cards. By the end of the tutorial, you’re expected to win a duel by applying your newfound knowledge.
As a reward for completing the tutorial, you get to choose your starter deck:
You’ll eventually get your hands on all three starter decks, so it doesn’t matter which deck you pick initially.
At this point you’re almost in. After selecting a name, you’re ready to download the full version of the game!
If you previously played Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel on another device or platform, you can bypass these early steps and re-login into the app by using the data transfer feature. All you have to do is create or link a Konami ID and then log in with your credentials.
For more information on how to play Yu-Gi-Oh!, check out the official trading card game rulebook.Note: Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel has its own forbidden/limited card list.
Playing through solo mode
It's strongly advised not to jump into ranked matches straight away, even if you're already a seasoned Yu-Gi-Oh! player. You'll want to take the time to earn all of the beneficial rewards in solo mode (valuable freebies are always lovely).
Solo mode serves as the central hub for your single-player experience: everything is split into ‘gates,’ and each gate incorporates a general theme. The first gate, ‘Duel Strategy,’ is comparatively a tutorial extension to introduce more gameplay fundamentals: synchronization, link monsters, pendulum summoning, etc. – completing this gate is vital to catch you up to Yu-Gi-Oh!’s dueling mechanics.
Once you unlock and play through more gates, you obtain completion bonuses such as Gems, structure decks for an archetype, cards, and elemental orbs.
Using your Gems
Thankfully, Gems are the only in-game currency to keep track of while playing. To no one’s shock, the game’s quite generous, giving out a handful of Gems at the very start but slows down significantly the more you play – you may want to dial back on an early spending spree, or you could face trouble later!
Anything purchasable in the shop uses Gems: card packs, cosmetics, structure decks, and more. To get anywhere in this game, you’ll be looking into using your Gems primarily on card packs, which we will go into detail about in the next section.
How to get Gems
You can only hold 10,000 Gems at a time, any excess gets sent to your gift box.
Starting your first deck
Creating your first deck is an extremely crucial step if you want to be successful at Yu-Gi-Oh! at a competitive level. You’ll eventually run out of single-player content the more you play. So the only option left is to get ready for PvP (player versus player).
With over 10,000 cards in the game, it’s foolish to blindly open up packs without having some idea what kind of deck you’re trying to build. This next section focuses on which staple cards you’ll want to go for, what to buy from the shop first, details on using the crafting card system, and how to unlock secret packs.
Fortunately, two staple cards, Monster Reborn and Raigeki, can be easily obtained just by playing through Duel Strategy in solo mode. The rest requires a few extra steps.
Your first few purchases in the shop should be on three sets: ‘Solemn Judgment,’ ‘Lightning Storm,’ and ‘Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring.’
How to purchase a bundle deal
Once you acquire these cards, they are good enough to be placed in any deck you create.
Using the card crafting system
Cards are split into rarities: normal (N), rare (R), super-rare (SR), and ultra-rare (UR). The rule of thumb dictates higher rarities have lower chances of appearing in your card pack pulls.
The most powerful tool to get the card you want and integral to unlocking secret packs is through the card crafting system. To access these secret packs, you’ll have to craft SRs/URs. Secret packs are only available for 24 hours at a time, so only splurge once you’re ready.
You can generate and dismantle any card to spend or earn card points (CP) for that rarity. Foil cards (shiny/glossy) are worth more CP.
How to craft cards
How to dismantle all extra cards
Secret packs are target-specific packs that focus on an archetype and support that theme. These packs are imperative to deck-building since 99 % of the time you’ll only pull cards from these packs – your last four cards are guaranteed to be part of that pack.
How to unlock and find secret packs
Constructing your first deck
Now that you know how to get cards, you’re ready to construct your deck.
Tips for constructing your first deck
Improving your dueling skills takes time. Preparing multiple decks unlocks more playstyles deepening your level of play. Unfortunately, with more packs released, the chances of power creep on current decks increase. You’ll want to keep on top of meta and construct decks that suit or counter the popular metas. Always spend your resources wisely.
Once you hit the limit for getting free Gems, the Duel Pass becomes your only replenishing source left. Every player gets access to a free Duel Pass and can upgrade to gold from the shop. If you manage to complete the gold version, the pass pays for itself while still earning extra Gems. Remember to redeem all your points on time since nothing gets carried over to the next duel pass.
Keep up to date on Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel events. Events are all limited time only but can net you special rewards just by playing. More content is always welcome!
At any point you decide to take a break from ranked duels, you can always practice with your friends. The beauty of cross-play means you can duel anyone no matter what system they play on. Be sure to follow each other using the in-game social feature. Sometimes trying new decks in a stress-free environment is a nice change in pace.
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There can only be oneRead NextShareTweetEmailRelated TopicsAbout The AuthorFaith Leroux(8 Articles Published)
Faith studied chemistry and later pursued technical writing and gaming journalism. While being morphed into a seasoned gamer, she obsessively yearns to stay connected with the latest tech. Now with an android phone in one hand, and her deep analytical mind in another, Faith is ready to embark on her ultimate quest for knowledge.