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!
Note: it focuses on archetypes only. There may be generic cards of a type that fit together to make a more competitive deck.
The first and only pure Aqua archetype to reach a competitive meta-level.
Paleozoic 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, Paleozoic Frogs are still one of the best decks, reaching the 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.
Released in late 2020, Tri-Brigade mix well with other Beast, Beat-Warrior, or Winged Beast type monsters.
A combo deck specifically around creating Link monsters, Tri-Brigade main deck monsters exist solely to recycle cards and summon more powerful monsters.
Due to this, they can be considered an engine to include with other powerful archetypes.
Fairly expensive, you may want to wait for a Fraktall reprint before investing in them.
Otherwise, they’re a package that’s well worth picking up.
Cyberse: Code Talkers
Available in many different starter & structure decks, a simple Code Talker deck is a great introduction to the world of Link monsters.
Pure Cyberse based decks have tons of support to search, draw and recycle your way through strategies.
Code Talkers enjoy U-linking, taking up both Extra Monster Zone spots to prevent your opponent from Link summoning completely.
That being said, the combos are difficult to master and can brick very often.
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!
You dump a lot of dinosors to the graveyard and do your best to summon the big boss featured above.
Backed up by hand-traps and powerful trap cards, Ultimate Conductor Tyranno is unbeatable.
Rokkets are a Dark attribute Dragon-type archetype, based around combining special summon/destruction effects to destroy your opponent’s field and summon big Link monsters.
Pure Rokkets are semi-competitive but most players utilize a myriad of dragon cards to create a Dragon Link deck.
If you want one specific archetype to create an entire deck (and extra deck) around, Blue-Eyes is your go-to. However, Blue-Eyes decks aren’t nearly as competitive as Rokkets are.
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.
Unchained is a very capable budget archetype, based around destroying cards on both sides of the field.
They destroy each other to summon more from the hand or deck, with the Link monsters forcing an opponent’s monster into a Link summon with them.
Many cards cannot be destroyed by card effects so straight up using them as a Link material is epic.
You do need some big boss Link monsters, which can be expensive, but plenty of budget options exist.
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.
Currently one of the top ranked decks in Yugioh, Drytrons hit the competitive scene hard.
Each Drytron monster has a ton of powerful effects, either to special summon cards or recycle/search the cards you need.
Such consistency is invaluable in the competitive scene and the crazy thing is, they aren’t even expensive!
Even the level 1 monsters have 2000 ATK. Insane.
As far as Plant archetypes go, Sunavalon is the best right now. The archetype is shared with Sunvine cards.
Another deck based heavily on Link summoning, there are several Link monsters available.
They all either summon another monster or are special summoned with Sunvine Link monster is destroyed.
As you can imagine, this provides tons of fodder to summon powerful Plant-type Link monsters.
Some of their support is yet to arrive from the OCG so they aren’t full power just yet.
Psychic: Virtual World
Tons of summoning and searching, Virtual World are a strong competitive archetype with plenty of versatility.
The main deck monsters are level 3 or 6, allowing you to include matching XYZ monsters. Or level 6/9 Synchro monsters.
Such consistency is crazy, not even hand-traps stand a chance, as the cards can easily be recycled, whether they’re banished or in the graveyard.
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!
With Secret Village of the Spellcasters & Altergeist Protocol, your opponent won’t be able to activate any spell or monster effects.
That’s just 2 cards, Altergeist Hextia is their main Link monster who can also negate spells/traps.
Plenty of huge combos allow for a ton of search power, you’ll almost always get the cards you need to get a good start.
They’re pretty cheap, too. But be warned, your friends will hate you if you bring this deck out.
Thunder: Thunder Dragons
You can’t help but love re-trained archetypes, Thunder Dragons have recently become a great anti-meta deck in the Soul Fusion set. Considered one of the best competitive decks you’ll find in today’s game, Thunder Dragons seek to swarm the field with powerful fusion monsters.
Recycling, great searching and destruction protection make them a scary deck to deal with!
Warrior: Phantom Knights
One of the most confusing combo decks out there, Phantom Knights are all about sending their knights to the grave to special summon and create huge boards of Link & XYZ monsters.
They can be tech’d into a variety of other archetypes to allow bold strategies, summoning so many monsters its hard to keep up with.
Available in the Legendary Hero Decks, they aren’t even expensive to acquire.
At the same time, Phantom Knights require a seasoned duelist to be successful.
If you’re a new player, you’ll have to invest significant time into honing your skills and learning the correct card combinations.
They’re now a fast combo deck that works well with the Simorgh archetype (another great Winged-Beast variant).
Based around swarming the field with Harpies, boosting their ATK, and summoning extra deck monsters.
They’re not competitive yet, lacking the firepower to keep their board once it’s created.
Support is due soon though, as the OCG has a bunch of cards the TCG is waiting for.
Recommended deck list
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.