How to Build a Tournament Winning Yu-Gi-Oh! Deck

Written by amy cox
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How to Build a Tournament Winning Yu-Gi-Oh! Deck
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The "Yu-Gi-Oh" trading card game continues to entertain duelists around the world. Part of this entertainment includes tournaments, where duelists compete to find the best out of the participants. Publisher Konami or independently owned card shops usually host official tournaments, while players themselves host unofficial tournaments. Building a tournament-winning deck involves selecting the right combination of cards.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Yu-Gi-Oh cards

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Choose an effective strategy to use with your Monster, Spell and Trap cards. Read the card's description to help determine which card works best with other cards. Create a strategy by analysing their descriptions and grouping the best cards with each other to form an effective system. Study other duelists' strategies to improve your strategy, and defend yourself in a duel to get a feel for the game and different combinations of cards. Analyse their playing style, the types of cards they use, and the outcome of your duels. Teach yourself to predict your opponent's moves to utilise your deck against any deck type encountered.

  2. 2

    Build a solid foundation of Spell, Trap and Monster cards. A forty card Yu-Gi-Oh deck contains at least twenty Monster cards (Normal, Effect or Ritual Monsters), and twenty Spell and Trap cards. Divide the amount of Spell and Trap cards in your deck by the number of copies you need of each type, according to your strategy, and remembering that you can't have more than three copies of one specific card in a deck. Build an additional Extra and Side Deck, containing at least fifteen cards. Extra Decks store any Fusion or Synchro Monsters; Side Decks assist your main deck during battle. Group Monster, Trap and Spell cards to bring out their advantages and create a "deck theme." Create a theme by pairing cards with similar artwork, descriptions or both.

  3. 3

    Find suitable Monster cards to fit the "theme" of your deck. Most winning tournament decks have a set theme, focusing on one particular type of monster and strategy. Separate and organise the type of Monster cards considered for your deck; Monster cards have several types: Normal, Effect, Ritual, Fusion, Synchro and Token Monsters. Read and analyse descriptions on each card, and set aside a pile of Monster cards you'd like to use. Choose the right Monster cards to shape the foundation of your deck.

  4. 4

    Study other winning Yu-Gi-Oh tournament decks. Successful tournament decks use particular cards considered "staples" for any winning Yu-Gi-Oh deck. Trap cards like Mirror Force, Bottomless Trap Hole, Torrential Tribute, Call Of The Haunted and Sakuretsu Armor all provide adequate support within a winning deck. Tournament deck "staple" Spell Cards include Pot of Avarice, Hammer Shot, Fissure, Mystical Space Typhoon and Noblemen Of Cross Out. Check Konami's "Limited and Forbidden List" to include the appropriate number of copies of these cards in your deck. Tournament winning Monster cards generally reflect a deck's theme and can vary, based on the card's type and attribute.

Tips and warnings

  • Yu-Gi-Oh decks contain at least forty cards, with a Side and Extra deck containing around fifteen cards. Although duelists use decks containing up to sixty cards, official tournament rules generally recommend forty.
  • Konami's "Forbidden and Limited" List contains all the cards either forbidden or limited in official tournaments. "Limited" cards are restricted to one copy, and "Semi-Limited" to two copies.

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