Freedom of choice in Yugioh is kind of non-existent in the competitive scene, you go with your best deck regardless of whether it’s enjoyable or not, if you want your best chance of winning. Casually though (which is in my opinion, the best way to play Yugioh), you can whip out whatever deck you want for some no-stakes fun.
Monster types are a great way of finding a deck you love, some people find dragons interesting while others prefer fish monsters. With plenty of options available, it can be daunting trying to fit a bunch of random monsters of the same type together. Thankfully, there are multiple archetypes of each type at your disposal.
This list will detail the best archetype of each Yugioh type, so if you’re feeling like you really want a deck focused on a particular type, consult the entries below!
Aqua: Paleozoic Frog
The first and only pure Aqua archetype to reach a competitive meta level. Palezoic Frogs are perfect together, swarming the field with level 2 Aqua type monsters to use as XYZ fodder for Toadally Awesome (pictured).
It’s so easy to summon Toadally Awesome in your first turn, there it’ll disrupt massively by negating any card effect, then setting that card to your side of the field. Combine this boss monster with the Paleozoic traps for devastating effect, those trap cards are hugely versatile, capable of dealing with any situation.
Even in today’s meta, Palezoic Frogs are still one of the best decks, reaching top 32 at Nationals which is absolutely insane!
Unfortunately, the Beast type has been massively under-represented for many years. Few archetypes are released and even fewer generic Beast type support cards are created too. If you really have your heart set on this type, Raccoons are the archetype for you.
Raccoons in Yugioh are similar to those in real life, they’re pesky creatures that are tough to catch. The pictured Raccoon monster is their greatest boss and while it does seem underwhelming, combining it with other Raccoons and Link monsters is relatively effective.
Top of the meta for a while, until the ban list hit them anyway. Zoodiacs lost the majority of their competence when their main cards were either banned or limited but casually, they’re still the best Beast-Warrior archetype by far.
Full of shiny variants with awesome art, they’re a blast to use, which is something you should value in a fun deck. Maybe one day their presence on the ban list will be reduced too!
Cyberse: Pure Cyberse
Despite having both a Starter deck and a Structure deck created for them, Cyberse is still lacking coherency to find themselves meta viable. Konami seems to be on a mission to make them a lot better though, with support constantly being released. Firewall Dragon is their ace card, extending combos and building a board to be feared.
This type is exceptionally fun to use and perfect for those looking to get into Link format. With the entire Extra Deck only needing Link monsters, every player should own a Cyberse type deck!
Dinosaur: Lost World Dinos
The Dinosaur type finally got some leeway to fling themselves out of the forgotten memories of Yugioh. Absolutely no one had bothered to use a Dino deck for many, many years and for good reason, they sucked.
Since the release of the Dinosmasher’s Fury structure deck however, Ultimate Conductor Tyranno and his friends have become one of the best decks in the entire game. Casually or competitively, Lost World Dinos will perform well!
Blue-Eyes White Dragon is still the most powerful Normal monster in the entire game and it will be forever. A combined ATK/DEF of 5500 is crazy high, so imagine having a deck that can summon multiple copies per turn!
That’s exactly what a Blue-Eyes deck does, summon huge Dragons from the Extra Deck to disrupt and control the game, while the original Blue-Eyes White Dragon inflicts heavy damage. So much support has been released over the years and even more is coming soon.
Competitively, Blue-Eyes can feature as rogue decks, they won’t top any nationals but they’ll put up a fight!
Currently the best monster archetype in the entire game, Trickstars warped the meta upon their release, with their constant burning, recycling and swarming being too much to handle. Of course, a Trickstar deck will empty your wallet but it’ll be pretty much unbeatable.
As well as burning and swarming, Trickstar’s have a ton of disruption in the form of spell/trap support. It’s actually quite crazy just how much they can do, with absolutely no bad match-ups or counters.
Fiend: Burning Abyss
I really, really wanted D/D to make the cut on this list but Burning Abyss has been performing so well for so long. Despite being released back in 2014, Burning Abyss has received minimal support yet remained a meta rogue deck capable of beating any other deck out there.
Described as fun yet fair by all Yugioh players, this archetype is a fan favorite for being strong, yet not being boring to play against. New builds are released constantly, players are still figuring out the optimal ways of running Burning Abyss!
Fish: Nimble Fish
If you really, really want a pure Fish deck, look at the deck-list below and try to make alterations if necessary. I put it together myself, because there’s absolutely no pure Fish archetype to make use of. A problem of the Water attribute is the massive amount of disparity between the 3 types of Aqua, Fish and Sea-Serpent.
I beleive Nimble Fish is the closest you’ll get to a decent, pure Fish type deck. They swarm a large number of fish quickly, as these creatures would do in real life, while making use of the Extra Deck for destructive power and win conditions.
Of all Insect archetypes in Yugioh, the Krawler series swarms the fastest. Based around Flip monsters, all Krawlers have either a destructive, searching or recycling effect and summon 2 more Krawlers when they’re destroyed.
As I’m sure you’re aware, Flip monsters are terrible in Yugioh right now. A face-down monster is just a prime target for being banished, destroyed or attacked and having its effect negated.
Ancient Gears are another great Machine archetype but ABCs are just something else entirely. I’d say this archetype is the best union focused deck as well, as they’re the first meta deck to properly use them in what feels like a lifetime.
Revolving around summoning ABC-Dragon Buster (pictured) as soon as possible, very few monsters in the game are as difficult to deal with. Constantly banishing and not going anywhere when you try to destroy it, players are still using this archetype competitively.
More commonly used as small engines in 60-card decks, Predaplants have been massively overlooked as a pure Plant archetype. They have a formidable fusion boss monster in the form of Predaplant Chimerafflesia, with another fusion yet to be released in the TCG.
Able to swarm Plant monsters quickly, Predaplants are good for Link summoning too. It’s not too difficult to get a nice board going, this archetype is certainly the best Plant archetype in the game. Just know it’s not competitive in any shape or form.
Comprised of Pendulum Normal monsters, Metalfoes are unique in their playstyle and type/attribute. Of all 12 Fire/Psychic monsters that exist, Metalfoes take up 11 of them.
With a multitude of Fusion monsters available alongside Heavymetalfoes Electrumite (pictured), acquiring a field full of strong monsters is no problem at all. A pure Metalfoes deck is great but if needed, you can tech this archetype into a number of other decks and strategies too!
As you can tell, the Pyro type is in pretty dire need of an upgrade. Absolutely no new archetypes worth mentioning have been released since the Volcanic archetype debuted in 2007. Having said that, Volcanics are still a fun and fairly usable casual fun deck.
Don’t try taking them into any kind of competitive duel but if you have a Pyro itch you need to scratch, this archetype is the best choice.
With most of the Worm monsters being released around 2009 to 2011, you can tell the Reptile type is pretty bad right now. The Alien or Venom archetypes might be more up your street but if you want to the most effective Reptile type deck possible, Worms are the only choice.
Each Worm monster has some nice little effects, mostly situational though. Worm Zero is the card you should aspire to summon as soon as possible, as it contains quite a few very nice effects. Using 6 Reptile type monsters for its fusion summon is almost mandatory though for maximum competence.
Rock: Magnet Warriors
Konami treated the Rock type as the go-to defensive series of cards. It kind of makes sense, Rocks are supposed to be tough and rigid. Magnet Warriors changed everything, becoming a highly powerful deck capable of swarming the field.
The Magnet Warriors themselves aren’t too strong, mostly focusing on searching/special summoning other Magnet Warriors. Their boss monsters however, are awesome. Imperion Magnum the Superconductive Battlebot (pictured) is one of the strongest boss monsters in the entire game!
Sea-Serpent: Atlantean Mermails
Of all the Water archetypes, decks and strategies to exist, a combination of Atlanteans and Mermails is the best, by far. One even got as far as the top 16 in June 2018 (link below), which is ludicrous for such an old combination.
Versatility and reliability are featured in this deck, as Atlanteans fit really well with Mermails and other generic Water support cards. Plenty of Extra Deck monsters can be considered too, allowing you to mold your Extra Deck to the deck you’re facing, with many more options than any other deck!
Spellcaster: Dark Magician
Konami recognises the Dark Magician archetype as one of the leading sets of cards in Yugioh. Used by the ever-popular Yugi Muto, the amount of support they’ve received over the years is justified. Because of said support, a Dark Magician deck is well worth investing in, as it can win duels against any kind of opponent.
Bricking (bad hands) plague them though, it’s not a huge lack of consistency, just not enough to make them competitively viable. Focusing more on control and disruption, rather than raw power like Blue-Eyes, a Dark Magician deck is very fun to use!
Just take a look at their ace card Short Circuit, which is absolutely disgusting. Getting 3 Batteryman monsters on the field is so easy and completely achievable on your first turn. Even without their main spell card, the Batteryman archetype can summon multiple monsters with high ATK stats and effects to clear your opponent’s field.
Right now, Goukis are one of the best meta archetypes in the game. Mind boggling swarming power, infinite recycling capabilities and high ATK stats make them competitively viable. Many players are combining Goukis with other archetypes but on their own, they can still top a local tournament.
Any time a non-Link Gouki monster is sent to the graveyard, you can add another Gouki monster to your hand. Such effects are insane when you consider the support they have, like Gouki Re-Match that can summon 2 from your graveyard!
No matter how bad Blackwings are, Konami will still release support for them. They’ve shown this constantly, with seemingly every other set containing another Blackwing support card. This means you can invest in a Blackwing deck now, knowing it’s future-proofed and could become meta at some point.
There’s honestly no set way to build Blackwings, 11 Synchro monsters exist, giving you a ton of leeway when it comes to making your own variant!
Wyrm: True Draco
Another archetype to get rekt by the forbidden list, True Dracos are still going strong though. While the banning of Master Peace was an enormous blow to True Draco’s competitive efforts, they can still be used competitively.
Their spell support is still insanely good, granting a ton of backrow removal, draw power, ATK/DEF boosts and monster protection. Combine this with monsters who can search your deck easily for devastating effect.
Honorable mention to Shiranui, which is an epic Zombie archetype in its own right. Vampires just beat them to the spot on this list though, with slightly more versatility and better match-ups. Focusing on taking control of your opponent’s monsters, Vampires have no trouble swarming their own Zombie monsters as well.
Plenty of new support, particularly from the recent Dark Saviors booster set, increased this archetype’s power considerably.