Updated for January 2019
My first local tournament went very well, I was undefeated until I got to the final round. The last duelist I had to face wielded an actual meta deck, one that would perform well in a national tournament. Needless to say, my half-casual half-competitive D/D deck got destroyed, the match didn’t last long at all.
To avoid this happening to you, a meta competitive deck is required. I hate to be the one to say it but if you use a casual and/or fun deck, you simply won’t win any tournaments that involve a deck on this list.
If you’re just returning to the game and are interested in the competitive scene, this list will tell you 10 decks you can use to perform in tournaments. All of these entries are extremely powerful, fun to use and of course, expensive!
Note: Prices include generic staples such as Infinite Impermanence and Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring. So if you buy 3 of each, you’ll be able to put them into any future decks, so consider them as you’re looking at the prices!
Those staples can be replaced with budget options if you can’t afford them. Like swapping Infinite Impermanence for Effect Veiler can reduce the price by hundreds. Just be aware, budget options aren’t as competitively viable as non-budget cards.
Side decks not included in prices.
10. Boarder True Draco
Upon Master Peace getting rekt by the Forbidden List, many players were screaming “RIP True Draco” but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Players are still devising new ways to pummel opponents with these Wyrm type monsters.
Inspector Boarder is an excellent floodgate, used to stall until you can summon your main monsters. Continuous traps help to shut down your opponent’s Spell and Monster effects.
Filling the deck with draw cards makes this strategy insanely consistent, it’s so easy to summon a bunch of strong Dracos and get floodates on the field!
Average deck price: £96/$122
Considered a cheap, budget rogue option; Altergeists are well loved by the Yugioh community. Well, players enjoy the fact they’re strong without being overbearing but Altergeists are one of the most disruptive decks in Yugioh history.
Altergeist Protocol shuts down any monster effects and stops your opponent from negating your Altergeist effects. I know that doesn’t sound like much but it can be game winning on its own!
Secret Village of the Spellcasters prevents them from using Spell cards, add Solemn cards for maximum negation. Altergeist’s Link monsters are their win conditions though, as they’re easy to summon with good ATK/DEF stats and even better effects!
Average deck price: £433/$552
8. Danger! FTK
Aiming to draw through your entire deck in your first turn, this particular Danger! FTK variant seeks to set up Slash Draw. The manner of which is quite incredible, you try to get all 3 Saryuja Skull Dread effects to make sure when you activate Slash Draw, there’s a 100% chance of drawing another. Slash Draw’s effect will then activate, destroying enough cards to defeat your opponent before they even draw.
To find out more about how it works, see the creator of this strategy describe it in this video.
Average deck price: £329/$419
7. Pendulum Magician
Despite having their main boy Astograph Sorceror being hit by the ban-hammer, Pendulum Magicians are still going strong.
They’re arguably one of, if not the hardest deck on this list to use. So much variety can be overwhelming for new players and while they’re fairly cheap (in comparison to other meta decks), I wouldn’t recommend a new player pick them up.
Average deck price: £156/$199
6. Chaos Thunder Dragons
Any consistent archetype containing both Light and Dark attribute monsters should add the Envoy Twilight cards. Chaos Emperor, the Dragon of Armageddon (pictured) is only available as a prize card but if you set yourself back £1000, you can get one yourself. Obviously, that’s not always reasonable, which is why Chaos Dragon Levianeer exists too.
Batteryman Solar is used to get Link monsters easily, there you’ll have the monster zones to summon the Thunder Dragon fusions and/or other Link monsters. Back them up with Black Luster Solder – Envoy of the Beginning for maximum destruction!
Average deck price: £326/$416
5. Gouki Rhongo Turbo
Until Firewall Dragon was banished to the Forbidden List, Goukis would abuse it for seemingly infinite loops, becoming one of the best meta decks in the game. Players didn’t give up on them though, in fact they’ve devised an even more annoying strategy. Number 86: Heroic Champion – Rhongomyniad (pictured) is an absolute nightmare to deal with, this deck can turbo it out in one turn.
Gone are the days of Knightmare extra links, so this warrior archetype has had to expand its armory. Still a viable choice, the Rhongo Turbo is haunting players all across the world!
Average deck price: £253/$323
Honestly, Prank-Kids are a welcome sight into the Yugioh community. Only recently released in the Hidden Summoners set, this archetype is a fun and playful series of cards, a nice change from what we’ve been seeing in the past year.
Full of fun art and crazy abilities, you’d be forgiven for overlooking them as a viable archetype. To sum up what makes them effective, I’d say is their truly prankster game-play, as their boss monsters have recycling effects when they’re destroyed, or if you decide to tribute them.
Cool continuous spells provide search and draw power, this archetype has everything it needs to be a meta deck for a long time!
Average deck price: £241/$307
Quite similar to the Danger! FTK, only this variant seeks to extra link instead. If you aren’t aware, the Danger! archetype has a tendency to swarm the field while also drawing cards. It’s a win-win situation, as you want Dark monsters (all Danger! monsters are the Dark attribute) in the graveyard for cards like The Beginning of the End. Discard -> Draw -> Discard etc becomes a common theme, it doesn’t take long to get a huge board of monsters!
Average deck price: £357/$455
2. Thunder Dragons
Thunder Dragons have gone from a fairly obscure archetype with little support to one of the best meta decks you can find. Their Thunder Dragon Fusion card allows you to make fusion monsters using any Thunder Dragons in your field, graveyard or even those that are banished face-up!
The Yugioh community is still playing around with this archetype, trying to find the right balance between power and consistency. It seems a Brilliant Fusion engine is very beneficial for summoning Gem-Knight Prismaura, another Thunder type monster.
If you can afford it, go for Thunder Dragons. They might not be topping every event but they’re still arguably the best deck in the game right now, certainly the most fun to use!
Average deck price: £542/$690
1. Sky Strikers
Even after Hornet Drones was limited to 1 copy per deck, Sky Strikers are still going strong as a pure deck. To be fair, while Engage! (pictured) exists, they will never fall out of meta, the plus 1 is just so good. Only 1 main deck core monster is needed, in the form of Sky Striker Ace – Raye, with hand-traps being added in too.
Such a low monster count doesn’t affect this deck’s swarming capabilities though, as they can easily summon boss monsters like Borrelsword Dragon without an issue!
Average deck price: £588/$749