Welcome to the world of the Yugioh Trading Card Game. A game in which "kids of all ages" compete to build the best deck. Buying cards for the game is not hard as there are many venues in which to make your selections. However building a good deck can be a bit of a struggle for a beginning player. There are several different starter decks (6 to be exact), as well as 6 structured decks that are starter decks built around a particular theme, for example, dragons or zombies etc. Eventually, you or your child is going to want to personalize any deck that you play. New cards come out approximately every 3 months with new structure or starter decks in between that usually contain 1 or more new cards. There are also 2 different styles in which to play, traditional or advanced and each style contains certain restricted cards. Regardless of which way you begin to play, learning to build a competitive deck will make the game more interesting and fun.
1. Each deck must contain a minimum of 40 cards with no limit to the number of cards. The more cards in a deck, however, the harder it is to draw the card you might need at a particular time.
a. Cards are divided into Monsters (effect, normal, fusion, ritual), Traps (counter, continuous, normal), and Spells (normal, quick play, continuous, equip, field).
b. You want to try to keep the ratio of cards in your deck close to 1 monster: 1 spell or trap
c. There are certain cards that are considered staple cards and will be found in most players decks
1. For Traditional Format: Monster Reborn, Raigeki, Change of Heart, Imperial Order etc.
2. For Advanced Format: Sakaretsu Armor, Snatch Steal, Graceful Charity, Smashing Ground etc.
(note: the different staples for different formats varies depending on the restricted lists that are currently active. These lists are updated and/or changed every 6 months.)
d. You are allowed to have 15 additional cards in a side deck that you can change in between duels.
e. Cards may or may not be sleeved and the types of sleeves allowed depends on where you play. It is recommended that you have some type of sleeves to protect the cards. All deck sleeves must match so that the cards are not considered marked. (Fusion and side deck sleeves do not have to match the main deck sleeves)
f. You are also allowed to have a fusion deck, which can have as many cards as you like in it.
2. Each card in the deck is limited to only 3 copies, with the exceptions of restricted, limited and semi-limited cards. Be sure to ask when you play about restricted cards.
3. Most decks have a theme or a structure, a planned way to win. The theme of your deck is important because it will guide the building of your deck using cards that support the theme. For example, if you want a direct damage deck you would want to choose cards that will inflict direct damage to your opponent. There are many possibilities and combinations to explore, and adding your own personal touch can make the difference in a deck. One of the neat things about deck building is that you can change it whenever you like.
4. There are several ways to win in the Yugioh trading card game. Most duels are 2 out 3 matches.
a. Bringing your opponent's life points to 0 is a game win.
b. Decking your opponent (your opponent has no cards left to draw when it is their turn) is also a game win.
c. Bringing your lifepoints and your opponent's lifepoints to 0 at the same time results in a draw.
d. Instant wins are also possible using the effects of the cards such as Exodia or Last Turn.
Ok, lets build a sample deck:
Our theme will be Dragons. While there are many dragons in the game, some of the most powerful ones are not always the best to use. They can be hard to play with the requirements for summoning. So here we go.
First we will add the staples, (this deck is based on the Advanced Format)
1 Graceful Charity (Spell/Restricted to 1) 1 Call of the Haunted (Trap/Restricted to 1)
1 Swords of Revealing Light (Spell/Restricted to 1) 3 Sakaretsu Armor (Trap/No Restrictions)
1 Premature Burial (Spell/Restricted to 1) 1 Torrential Tribute (Trap/Restricted to 1)
1 Mystical Space Typhoon (Spell/Restricted to 1)
2 Smashing Ground (Spell/No Restrictions)
Monster cards can also be staples.
1 Exiled Force
1 Breaker the Magical Warrior
1 Sangan (All of these Monsters are Restricted to 1)
1 Magician of Faith
Now we are ready to add our theme cards.
2 Lord of D.
3 Luster Dragon
3 Spear Dragon
1 Blue Eyes White Dragon
1 Horus the Black Flame Dragon LV 8
2 Horus the Black Flame Dragon LV 6
1 Rare Metal Dragon (all of these monsters are not restricted)
1 Cyber Dragon
1 Spirit Reaper
1 Kaiser Sea Horse
Now for the rest of our spells and traps.
1 Lightning Vortex (Spell/Restricted to 1)
1 Snatch Steal (Spell/Restricted to 1)
2 Flute of Summoning Dragon (Spell/No restrictions)
3 Dust Tornadoes (Trap/No restrictions)
1 Scapegoat (Spell/Restricted to 1)
1 Magic Cylinder (Trap/Restricted to 1)
And there you have it. A perfectly playable deck based on a theme with 40 cards. You could build a side deck to go with this deck, but it doesn't require a fusion deck. I hope this gives you some understanding and insight into the task of deck building. Be creative and the possibilities are endless, but most of all just have fun.
Note: Some of the cards are Holos and will cost more, however sometimes they are also available in common form. To get the most for your money, be sure to check for common versions as well.