Most players choose archetypes or card designs they really like for their decks. I know players who have decks based around the likes of Crystal Beasts, generic Warriors and there’s even a Kuriboh deck. Of course, this results in quite a few heavy defeats when they come up against real viable decks. A big problem is a player’s budget, most of us simple can’t afford to splash out huge amounts of cash on the latest and greatest cards.
This is where budget decks come in, they can provide you with a powerful deck for a very small price. It’s actually crazy just how many decks there are, it seems Yugioh is in the most fun state its ever been!
Take a look at the ultimate list of budget decks in 2018, see below each entry for a recommended deck-list and price average!
Structure decks are also an awesome way of obtaining good archetypes and useful generic cards.
Starter decks are much cheaper but they don’t really contain anything too great, only worth getting if you’re brand new to Yugioh!
Prices only includes the deck/archetype core, so prices of cards like Monster Reborn/Foolish Burial are left out as well as extra deck cards.
See this list of generic staples (expensive + budget) as well!
Exodia Draw Stall
Of all Exodia decks and strategies available, filling a deck full of stall/draw cards is the best method. You should be able to go through your entire deck in 3-4 turns, if not sooner, all the while you’re preventing your opponent from attacking.
Obviously, absolutely no one likes to face decks like this but Exodia is so hard to complete nowadays that you have to use strategies like this to do it!
Average deck price: $60/£45
Arguably the greatest benefit of a Dragon Lord deck is their Link format competence, you definitely don’t even need an Extra Deck but if you decide on one, the single Extra Monster Zone is enough. This deck’s main cards are Divine Dragon Lord Felgrand (pictured) & Arkbrave Dragon, with Dragon Ravine being the spell that brings them together.
A huge; no, massive weakness to being banished makes the Dragon Lords pretty much useless against certain decks though. If your Felgrands & Arkbraves get banished, it’s GG. You can get 99% of the main deck cards required in the Rise of the True Dragons structure deck.
Average deck price: $86/£65
While this deck is technically budget, Heavymetalfoes Electrumite is pretty much mandatory for the deck to function in Link format. Fortunately, due to the recent ban-list hitting the biggest abusers of Electrumite, the price has gone down by at least 50% so now this deck is much cheaper. Qliphort Genius is another great option.
Dinomists spam heavy hitters with powerful effects, capable of running over anything your opponent can lay out. Appearance wise, this archetype looks incredible and they’re well loved by the Yugioh community. Each card is remarkably cheap, excluding Electrumite of course, and you can tech Dinomists into a number of other archetypes.
Average deck price: $33/£25
Monarchs are the embodiment of anti-meta. Do you dislike people? Do you enjoy seeing people suffer? Do you actually hate Yugioh despite playing it? If you answered “yes” to all of those questions, Monarchs are the only archetype for you. Full of cards to shut down your opponent’s plays & strategies, there’s nothing quite like seeing the other player say “I can’t even do anything” under their breath.
Sure, you’ll have no friends but you’ll have an awesome deck for a small price!
You can literally buy 3 of Emperor of Darkness Structure Deck and get almost all the cards you need!
Average deck price: $53/£40
Very few decks swarm like the Krawlers do, as is fitting for their monster type. The only Flip related archetype on this list, Krawlers fit snuggly into Link format with their support cards. No matter how many your opponent destroys, these Insect type monsters will keep coming back. Flip monsters are pretty slow though, so an experienced opponent will take advantage of such a weakness considerably.
Average deck price: $53/£40
The Amazoness archetype has been in the game for a long, long time. They were always semi-decent in niche situations but a lack of coherency plagued them. Years later, Konami released some exceptional support, you can search the exact cards you need with ease. While they lack heavy beaters, Amazoness monsters utilise their spell/trap support alongside their monster effects to devastate the opponent.
If you enjoy lots of searching and swarming, Amazoness are right up your street!
Average deck price: $58/£43
Cubics can FTK out of nowhere, I’m not even exaggerating. Crimson Nova the Dark Cubic Lord (pictured) combined with Cubic Wave is an extremely potent combination. That’s just a 2 card combo, you have a ton of other strategies available. Add some copies of Eater of Millions for maximum cheese!
A small problem is their bricking capabilities, sometimes you get dreadful hands and lose without playing a single card. If you absolutely despise bricking and want to avoid saltiness as much as possible, avoid Cubics. Otherwise, this archetype is a great choice that’s really fun to use.
Recommended decklist (Replace Maxx “C” with Eater of Millions)
Average deck price: $44/£33
Not exactly cheap but for how competitive the ABCs are for the price, I had to include them on this list. Even now, this archetype sees play in tournaments and for good reason, their main boss monster (pictured) is a nightmare to deal with. It just keeps coming back, even after your opponent has spent all of their resources ridding the field of it in the first place.
ABCs are one of, if not the most competitive deck on the list. You’ll be able to take this archetype into tournaments without an issue!
Average deck price: $90/£67
For many years, Dinosaurs were a laughing stock. They were exactly where they belonged, fossilized in time, forgotten by all. This all changed when the Dinosmasher’s Fury Structure Deck was released, suddenly they’re a forced to be feared. Ultimate Conductor Tyranno is the flagship Dinosaur, so much so that other decks are adding dinos specifically to get this card onto the field easily. Being able to flip all of your opponent’s monsters face-down during either player’s turn is crazy good. A pure Dinosaur deck will do you wonders both casually and competitively.
Average deck price: $77/£57.5
On their own, Gouki’s are a formidable archetype with plenty to offer. Acquiring a decent Gouki deck will provide you with a fun to play, semi-viable budget deck. The actual Gouki core is insanely cheap and can be tech’d into a number of different decks if required. Combine Gouki’s with Knightmares to transform your decent budget deck into an expensive deck that can win tournaments with ease.
The price of this archetype will likely increase over time so get your hands on them while you can!
Average deck price:$51/£38.50
As if the Zombie type didn’t have enough support, Shiranui introduced yet more cards to boost their power. Combining Shiranui support cards with generic Zombie cards is a great idea, as they can swarm Extra Deck monsters whilst retaining card advantage. Shiranui Spectralsword (pictured) is their only Tuner monster, you can use it to make a Synchro monster whilst it’s on the field then do the same next turn!
Average deck price: $77/£58
Not to be confused with the closely related Steelswarm, Evilswarm’s are Dark attribute monsters with powerful abilities. Swarming level 4 monsters for Rank 4 XYZ monsters is what this archetype aspires to do, with Steelswarm Origin being a great Link monsters as well. With how fast they swarm the field, Evilswarm’s can get a good amount of Link monsters on the field to make way for their Rank 4 XYZs.
Average deck price: $61/£43.30
Insanely cheap for its power, Phantasm Spiral Dragon is a great choice for newer players, or experienced players looking for a cheap fairly-viable option. Summoning beat-stick normal monsters to whittle down your opponent is the aim of the game for this archetype, with some great support cards to make sure these normal monsters can actually do their job. So many variants of the Phantasm Spiral archetype can be created, it’s completely up to you how viable or fun you want to make it!
Average deck price: $40/£30
Imagine a level 1 monster with 18,000 ATK, just take that in for a moment. Filling your graveyard full of Skull Servant cards is so easy because of the support they’ve received in recent years, a ton of cards have been released that are classed as Skull Servant in the graveyard. They work really well together, strategies flow naturally and other generic Zombie support cards fit in well too.
Unfortunately, a huge weakness to hand-traps and negation boss monsters makes this budget deck horrible in competetive play. Use it casually though, that way you and your opponent will have an insanely fun duel!
Average deck price: $104/£78 (Wightmare takes up almost half of the budget so try and get it cheap somewhere)
Just read the pictured card’s effect, I mean dear god, what a card. Obviously, those fusion materials look difficult to achieve. Looks can be deceiving though, cards like Fusion Tag and Lunalight’s very own Kaleido Chick make summoning Leo Dancer a breeze. As well as summoning boss monsters easily, Lunalights have a ton of recycling and graveyard effects. Variety is key, this archetype has so many monsters with different effects that no bad situation can be solved!
Average deck price: $67/£50
Over the years, Konami has given plenty of old archetypes some loving touch-ups. Roids are no exceptional, being given a few nice support cards based around the Vehicroid series. Mixeroid was a brilliant addition, giving you more options to summon your Vehicroid fusions. There’s something satisfying about facing huge dragons, experienced warriors and complicated machines with cartoon vehicles!
Average deck price: $92/£69
Technically not archetype specific, this budget deck revolves around summoning Number 86: Heroic Champion – Rhongomyniad (pictured) with 5 materials as soon as possible. So many Warrior type monsters can be summoned easily, a combination of different archetypes, such as Empowered Warriors and Heroic Challengers, is a good way to start.
The below deck-list is one I’ve put together and I can get Rhongomyniad on in 2-3 turns but I’m sure others will find easier ways to summon it. This boss monster is one of the most awesome Warrior type monsters available and it deserves its own deck!
Metalfoes Fusion is included as Empowered Warriors discard a lot of cards, discarding Metalfoes Fusion allows you to shuffle it back into the deck and draw a card.
Average deck price: $53/$40
Yet another archetype that’s received significant support over the years, only they weren’t in dire need of it. Gladiator Beasts have always swarmed quickly with powerful destructive effects, now they do it even faster with more destruction and more boss monsters to choose from. Revolving around battling, Gladiator Beasts are quite powerful while also giving your opponent ways of playing around them. At least, the illusion of fairness, Gladiator Beasts have all the tools they need to be deceptively good.
Average deck price: $65/£49
Of all the Machine archetypes in Yugioh, Ancient Gears are arguably the coolest. Debuting in Yugioh GX by Dr. Crowler, they’ve since received a tremendous amount of support, Konami is hell-bent on making them viable. Chaos Ancient Gear Giant is one of the craziest boss monsters in the game, being absolutely monstrous on the field, immune to pretty much everything and capable of OTK’ing with ease.
Plenty of spell cards are capable of summoning the other Ancient Gear boss monsters, sometimes it feels like it’s easier to summon a 3000+ ATK boss than any other monster!
Average deck price: $113/£85
Well, Kuribohs aren’t competitively viable in any way, shape or form. They are exceptionally fun to play though, as well as considerably cheap. The element of surprise is what Kuriboh is all about, these level 1 monsters are incredibly weak by themselves but after a few turns, you can get out some epic boss monsters that your opponent never sees coming.
Everyone loves Kuribohs, no doubt you can throw together a fun deck using your spare cards. They won’t win any tournaments but you’ll have so much fun and also have the perfect deck to use against new players or lower tier decks.
Average deck price: $46/£35
If you acquire a Deskbot deck, get ready for a ton of mis-plays and bad calculations. Deskbots swarm the field with ease, playing multiple cards to boost ATK & DEF stats. Keeping track of such boosts is a huge part of the deck as it has insane OTK potential. Deskbot Base (shown above) is particularly useful, granting you a free Magical Mallet for Deskbot cards each turn, as well as a nice ATK/DEF boost.
Average deck price: $40/£30
In some ways I didn’t want to give chain burn decks any recognition by putting them on the list, they’re absolutely horrible to play against. If you’re desperately struggling though, chain burn will alleviate your concerns as they can pull out a win against almost any deck out there. It’s not uncommon for you to win even without summoning a monster, something your opponent will not appreciate as they barely got a chance to play!
Average deck price: $35/£26
Over the years, Lightsworns have continued their meta relevance, although many of them are outside of pure-Lightsworn deck-lists. Not only is it well worth picking up a bunch of Lightsworn cards because a pure deck is awesome, you can port such cards over to other decks in the future, like Zombie-Lightsworns. This archetype is exceedingly fun to play with, fair for the opponent yet effective!
Average deck price: $100/£74
I will always recommend Fluffals to any Yugioh player, there’s something so satisfying about winning with these little creatures. With a focus mainly on Fusion summoning, you have a ton of options at your disposal as you choose which cartoon-like monster to summon. Fluffals do have their weaknesses which can be exposed quite badly but overall, they’re a strong deck with the cutest art in the game!
Average deck price: $75/£56
Take a look at the linked deck-list below, I’ve written a huge guide behind the D/Ds using my personal deck as a reference. Put simply, D/Ds are one of, if not THE hardest archetype to use in the entire game. The extra deck consists of Fusion, Synchro, XYZ and Link monsters. Even with a fairly bad hand, you’ll have a huge variety of combos you can pull off, the skill ceiling is incredibly high.
At the same time, this makes the deck effective against players who are unfamiliar with their cards & strategies. Also, D/Ds are one of the most fun and satisfying decks in the entirety of Yugioh, no duel is ever the same!
Average deck price: $80/£60
Link format hit HEROs quite badly but they’re still going well, Masked HERO Dark Law (shown above) is the key monster you want to use. Summoning this guy first turn almost always guarantees a victory, single-handedly shutting down your opponent’s strategies. He isn’t the only Masked HERO available though, there are others available for niche situations. To summarise what this deck is about, you need to get Dark Law onto the field and protect him as much as you can!
Average deck price: $125/£93
Props to Konami for their main character series of cards in recent years, the Utopia series was great but Odd-Eyes are even better. With plenty of extra deck summoning capabilities, you’ll have a card and a combo for every situation you come across. Not only is the linked deck list great, there’s so many other deck strategies you can make and investing into an Odd-Eyes deck now is investing in the future.
Average deck price: $75/£56
For a long time, SPYRALs were undoubtedly the best deck in Yugioh. After many of their cards were hit by the Forbidden List, they’ve fallen from grace yet remain relevant. No longer able to easily steam-roll over anything it comes across, SPYRALs now require another turn or two before they win. Prices are ramped up by the SPYRAL Super Agent card, other than that it’s considerably cheap to build.
Average deck price: $75/£56
The majority of decks appearing on this list are considered unfair, boring and tedious to play against. Not Burning Abyss though, in fact your opponent will have fun even if they get destroyed. Rarely do we see such a strong archetype with so many methods of your opponent having a chance and Burning Abyss can be combined with a number of other archetypes. Considered a fan favorite archetype, Burning Abyss are a great choice for any duelist.
Average deck price: $50/£37
The ultimate budget deck, you can’t go wrong with Paleozoic Frogs, such seemingly weak monsters can topple even the greatest of dragons and fiends. Toadally Awesome is the cream of the crop, becoming a meme since its release yet it’s absolutely nothing to laugh at. Palezoic XYZ monsters are also formidable with support from their trap cards. For how cheap this deck is, its effectiveness is truly bizarre!
Average deck price: $50/£37