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YuGiOh Deck Strategies and Tips

Updated on August 13, 2009
YuGiOh Guide
YuGiOh Guide

YuGiOh Strategies

To outsiders, YuGiOh may look like a game played by little kids with little strategy:  We’ve had a 12 year old kid as a former US champion after all. To anyone who plays it, we all know it is nothing like top trumps and it is definitely not designed purely for kids! A bit like chess, YGO is easy to pick up and very difficult to master.  It’s learning the YGO strategies and developing them that makes a good player.  The basic rules are fairly long and take a while to get, and you will need about 10 tournaments before you would have a good idea of what you can and can not do. But, it is still easy enough for you to get started after watching a few games.

So what makes the difference between a mediocre player and championship winning one?  Do they know some strategies others don’t?  Is it because they are lucky in terms of drawing the right cards? Is it because they are rich so they have all the really rare cards? Or is it because they are really just THAT good?

To be honest, it is all of the above. At national level, you would need the ‘best’ cards. I don’t care who you are, you will not win a national with a starter deck! In mirror matches, or even bad matches (as in their deck was built to counter yours), a bit of luck could take you a long way. But lets face it, if you play something like 12 matches before the final, that’s up to 36 games, you luck would even out! So the simple truth is, to get to the top, you HAVE to be a good player too.

The Five Crucial Points Every YuGiOh Player Should Know

So what makes a player good? First, you need to know your deck well and know exactly what the good combos are and the chance of getting it. You have an Allure of Darkness in your hand, and a Dark Armed Dragon, should you play it? What would affect that decision?

Second, and this is overlooked by most, is knowing your enemy, and be able to side deck against them efficiently. You should have prepared exact side deck strategies against all deck types that are bad matches for you. You need to know what to take out as well as what to put in. So having decided on what’s in your side deck, you still need to think what you should take out when play against various opponents. 15 cards out of 40 is significant!

Third, the ability to read your opponent’s field and hand, and be able to work out if certain play can be ‘game breaking’ and learn to avoid letting them do that. For example, if you have two monsters out, they have a Spirit Reaper, you have a Caius in hand, should you play it? What should you be thinking about? Over committing is often punished by Mirror Force, Torrential Tribute, Lightning Vortex or even Needle Ceiling!

Fourth, the ability to plan for the future. Unless you are certain you can win this turn, you should always leave a few ‘aces’ up your sleeve. You have one monster out, they have nothing, you have a monster reborn and a dead Monarch, should you play it? What if they Gorz you? Would you have been better off saving that reborn so you can do a synchro later?

Fifth, the ability to adapt your playing style when played against different decks. Playing against Gladiator Beast needs an entirely different mind set for example. You need to practice and figure out when to go on the offensive and when to hold back. Against a control player, you may not want to keep a Health Hand and save up on ‘options’ for later, you could lose it all to a Morphing Jar! Against a Gladiator Beast player, you may want to be more aggressive and not set any bluffs etc. All these only come with experience, and so play testing is a must.

Do you want to learn more YuGiOh! strategies, play testing and examples on decisions making? Go check out


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      Yugi 2.0 11 months ago

      this is very great for defeting peeps

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      Dark Magician 11 months ago

      Should I customize one of Yugi Mottos structure decks so I could win more easily? I can use all the advise I can get! Please help me

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      Erhio The Ace 16 months ago

      Now im kicking ass !!! My cousin has three Blue Eyes White Dragon cards and does not kno how to play well (he beats me every time until i found out about this) he always screws me over with the Ultimate Blue Eyes White Dragon but now i screw him with sum traps and spells ! xD

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      Charles Fortson 2 years ago

      Finally, I became legend. I have been playing for 10 years. I can not be beaten because I am way more invincible.

    • profile image

      charles fortson 2 years ago

      Finally, I became legend

    • profile image

      Yami yugi 3 years ago

      This is the best thing ever ...although I haven"t got my first deck yet

    • profile image

      anno2000 3 years ago

      Can anybody tell me an alternative to the website he mentioned because link is broken

    • profile image

      g money 3 years ago

      I use an exodia deck. I am one of few people in northern part of colorado that uses him. Anyone who is near me and wants a challenge, let me know

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      mateo 3 years ago

      chimaera,the master of beast.when I summon this card I sacrifice 3 beast-trype monsters and I win the duel

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      YGOCHAMP 4 years ago

      i have an aqua, flame and earth armoured ninja. are they any good?

    • profile image

      CameronNiemi 4 years ago

      well that was a good help but i didn't get it

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      yugi moto 4 years ago

      This is defently good. But it will be better with a DARK MAGICHIAN

    • profile image

      4 years ago

      when i one day enter a tournament this will help a lot

    • profile image

      ygo lover 5 years ago

      to glen,

      if u live near st. maries ID, i'm there 4 u, man!

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      yu-gi-oh helper(unofficial) 5 years ago

      Dear LB

      I do not know what type of card 'Magic Cylinders' is , but don't use 'Eye of Truth', with it, your opponent gains 1000 lp per turn; have a trap that destroys 1 card on the field handy.

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      catrap0 5 years ago

      Returned to Yugioh just recently, is this advanced legal and if so is it any good?

    • profile image

      Lol 5 years ago

      It was mediocre

    • profile image

      Lol 5 years ago


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      johnny 5 years ago

      since monster reborn is banned can premature burial be a good replacement

    • profile image

      river of styx 6 years ago

      thanks! it helped a lot

    • profile image

      wall e 6 years ago


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      P_Jack 6 years ago

      Extra Deck.. my fault

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      P_Jack 6 years ago

      sorry, forgot the Side Deck:

      1x Evolzar Laggia

      1x Steelswarm Roach

      1x Wind-Up Zenmaines

      1x Number 17: Leviathan Dragon

      2x Gachi Gachi Gantetsu

      1x Black-Winged Dragon

      1x Stardust Dragon

      1x Mist Wurm

      1x Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier

      1x Hyper Librarian

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      P_Jack 6 years ago

      Hello who wants to rate my deck?

      Monster Cards:

      3x Metaion, the Timelord

      1x Maxx "C"

      2x Tour Guide from the Underworld

      2x Tour Bus from the Underworld

      2x Rescue Rabbit

      3x Kabazauls

      3x Genex Ally Birdman

      1x Sangan

      1x Plaguespreader Zombie

      2x Reborn Tengu

      Spell Cards:

      1x Pot of Duality

      1x Shard of Greed

      1x Book of Moon

      1x Monster Reborn

      1x Mystical Space Typhoon

      1x Heavy Storm

      1x Dark Hole

      1x Lightning Vortex

      3x Gold Sarcophagus

      Trap Cards:

      1x Sakuretsu Armor

      1x Magic Cylinder

      2x Safe Zone

      1x Metal Reflect Slime

      1x Zoma the Spirit

      2x Imperial Custom

      1x Scrap-Iron Scarecrow

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      Sam 6 years ago

      This is great I was told by a different website to show no mursy it was great advise but I was blinded and forgot to think about the future and my opponent in the game thank for the help

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      Yu Gi Oh Fan 6 years ago

      Cheers, helped me loads

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      card master origin 6 years ago

      I agree with matt's post about the guy that said blue eyes sucks. I have an original blue eyes and blue eyes toon with toon world.

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      card master origin 6 years ago

      I don't use many cards past the yugioh gx series.

      Original cards rock!!! I love strategy.

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      card master origin 6 years ago

      Try this strategy

      place umi or legendary ocean and tornado wall then play aqua chorous then play 2 amphibious bugroth mk-3,and finally mirror force or magic cylinder etc. Then your set

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      tazz 6 years ago

      hey try make a kakurui deck they are the bomb

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      Gary 6 years ago

      Very helpful. Thank u

    • profile image

      noah 6 years ago

      trying to find out how to xyz summon fast any ideas?I need three lvl 4 monsters for my xyz monster.

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      Glen 6 years ago

      I wish that i could find more people that play yugioh.

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      Matt 6 years ago

      Who ever said that Blue Eyes Stinks should be put in a coffin of spikes and have it slowely closed. Blue Eyes White Dragon is one of the most powerful cards in the original series. I have been playing Yu-Gi-Oh! for ever and i used to be really good. I stoped for about 4-5 years. One of my friends told me he had cards, so I thought that it was time to get the dusty box out of the closet. I have a lot of the original cards, but im using a lot of the new cards now. These tips are very helpful, and I really need to start thinking of some straties to beat my friend. He makes some of the most powerful decks I have ever faced. It's an amazing felling when I beet him. Remember, some of the most pointless cards can be used to make some of the most powerful decks.

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      Key2DestNE 6 years ago

      To LB:

      Just use eye of truth, if you know he has that down, then destroy it with 7 tools of the bandit, ect.

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      LB 6 years ago

      I have never Faced more than 2 Decks My whole life I always Lose To Magic Cylinders Can you help me?

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      chris 6 years ago

      hi, dude thnx soo much, this is exactly what i needed to get back into the game... im going to make two new decks with this in mind, THANKS AGAIN!!

      LONG LIVE yu-gi-oh!GX!!!

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      GOdStEpZ 6 years ago

      Thanks dude.Please can you make a guide for fighting blackwing?

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      yami's mirror 6 years ago

      so clear but hard to do

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      staci-dene 6 years ago

      wat does this do i could bet the master

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      Just4fun regular 7 years ago

      don't use ojamas! Blue eyes stink, and use lightning vortex instead of dark hole!

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      kaimen 7 years ago

      wats doing yugiho people

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      joshua 7 years ago

      hey is tis combo good?:

      specia summon harderned armed dragon by throwing blue-eyes white dragon from your hand

      then set a decoy dragon

      then just wait until he attacked decoy dragon and special summon blue-eyes white dragon, is it good enough?

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      oogabooga 7 years ago

      Nice tips, but not enough emphasis on adaption. The ability to change your options on the fly will definetly cahnge your game.

      Deul hard, play fair...


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      Dylan Cronin 7 years ago

      I've been playing yugioh for 8-9 years now and it is hard to win but easyier to win with the new synchro monsters

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      justin 7 years ago


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      ntyd 7 years ago

      i as a experieced player still learned from that

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      Yami-Yugi 7 years ago

      I have a good tactic:

      1st place "Skull Invitation" on the field

      then activate "Card Destruction"

      Its GREAT!!!

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      KEN 7 years ago

      ihave found out that the best spell card to have is a card everyone looked over like the dude with the exodia problem well the card is dark hole it is an old card but a GREAT!!!! card to have it eliminates every card on the field so prob solvd

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      albinolegend 7 years ago

      good tips their dude

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      axon kicker 7 years ago

      im a beter player thancks to you

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      YGO collector 7 years ago

      Nice work. Any suggestions for a deck containing mostly original ygo cards? ie Gandora, XYZ, Blue eyes, Relinquished, Kaiser Glider etc + some synchros

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      GregxDxZ 7 years ago

      Thax this does help :)

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      black majestic end 7 years ago

      I am trying to find the strategy to win first turn, Ive done it before, but I was playing 4000 life points only.Im getting closer to finding great ideas, but its still really hard to find strategies. any suggestions?

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      QWERTY 7 years ago

      So good but what happens when you 've got 2 cyber dragons in your hand and 1 proto cyber dragon on the field and you have magicians library should you play it and get Polymerization and summon Cyber End Dragon or should you add something like Mystical Space Typhoon? Great Tips:):):):)

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      cookieface1 7 years ago

      Hey! I looked at your post just now. It was awesome, but I didn't know a lot about most of the cards you mentioned. I'm looking for ways to tell me ifI should either improve my gravekeeper deck or make a new, better deck. Hope you can help

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      amugiv 7 years ago

      i bult a deck with e.i.chacu challhua & malefic stardust d. it has some oevist cards lick stardust & field spells & tuners but its not as good as i wunt it to be any asggestions

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      9deaths 7 years ago

      a response for the guy who was talking about exodia, spell counters, and hand removal. if u can tell hes near getting exodia or pritty sure hes close use that then dump them in the grave.

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      kyle 7 years ago

      sorry for misspellings above but also please respond to it :)

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      kyle 7 years ago

      i have been playing yu gi oh since i was 4 i am now 11 i ove the game but i cant find anyone to play against and so i cant find out if my new stratigest are good or not any advice????

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      Yami Soxas 7 years ago

      well for last night i made a best friend who gave me advice might be similar to this but he helped me construct a zombie deck which i give him a hard time trying to pass up my monsters i will keep this deck very well in handy when i come across duelist who love friendly duels of not taking cards away from each other

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      you dont need to know who I am, you might be a stalker. 7 years ago

      Its always great to have fail safes and "just in cases" like, my opponent has exodia nearly finished or, they have 2 magician's valkyrias. Be prepared!

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      kris 7 years ago

      hey i have a wicked avatar any stratagies i should know

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      kyle 7 years ago

      great guide=)

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      ojamighty 7 years ago

      These are great tips but i'm looking for another deck and trying to find good strategies for it, but so far its really hard. I've used my ojamas for a year. I'm just tired of'em. Any suggestions?

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      Person 7 years ago

      I followed thought about this, rebuilt my deck, and now I OWN

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      Tommy 7 years ago

      Nice I started playing yu-gi-oh in year 1 but now I realised its not about good powerful cards its about how to use than and last thing do not for get the heart of the cards and respect the 0000 atk to the 4000 atk.

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      Areil 7 years ago

      I have got Dark Magician and Magician of Black Chaos plus Obnoxious Celtic Guard,but I don't know how I should use them in a duel against my brother.I need your help. Sinsearly:Ariel

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      Pharaoh Atem 7 years ago

      You guys have excellent cards. Now you need right combos on how to use them well. For instance you have "Blue Eyes Toon Dragon" but you need "Toon World" to summon it. But if they wipe out your "Toon World" your toast.

      You should think of including a lot of defensive magic and trap cards like mirror force or scapegoat. Try picking strong monsters that also have good effects. And always have these 2 cards in your deck: "Polmerization" and "Monster Reborn"

      Hope you guys succeed in your battles.

      / -Atem


      L L

      L L

      L L

      L L


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      Better than Yugi(Way better) 8 years ago

      Are these good cards: Mystical Elf,Gift of the mystical elf,Blue eyes White dragon,Dark Magician,Infernal Flame Emperor,Monster Reborn,Blue Eyes toon dragon,Black horn of heaven

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      duelist Andrew 8 years ago

      great stuff!!!but what cards should I includ in my deck????

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      thomaster 8 years ago

      This was a very helpful piece of info tyvm

    • profile image

      taco 8 years ago

      i am going to take this advice and hopes it wroks but it seems like it does

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      mills 8 years ago

      it helped me out tons

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      This is Chuck Norris 8 years ago

      This is amazing! This really will make me think on how I should construct my deck carefully.

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      yu-gi-oh fan 8 years ago

      this helped me a lot!

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      This is not Chuck Norris 8 years ago

      Awesome! I like the way you said this whole thing.

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      8 years ago