Yu-Gi-Oh! deck building rules and tips

Get started building your Yu-Gi-Oh! deck today.

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To confidently build a deck in Yu-Gi-Oh! you will need to have a basic grasp of what goes into a deck. This includes knowing the maximum card numbers for each deck and how to construct archetypes. This guide will walk you through the rules and tips you need to know to build a powerful Yu-Gi-Oh! deck.


Main Deck

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Each Yu-Gi-Oh! Main Deck consists of 40 to 60 cards. You can only have a max of three copies of the same card in your Main Deck. Most players stick with the 40 card minimum to keep the Main Deck consistent. Keep in mind that a handful of Forbidden and Limited cards cannot be used in official tournaments.

Extra Deck

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The Extra Deck is made up of Xyz Monsters, Fusion Monsters, and Synchro Monsters. These can only be activated if you meet certain requirements during the game. The Extra Deck has a 15 card maximum. Both the Extra Deck and the Side Deck cards do not count towards the Main Deck limit.

Side Deck

This is essentially your backup deck that you can use to swap cards with your Main Deck. The Side Deck has a maximum of 15 cards. You must have the same amount of cards in your Side Deck after swapping as you did before.


Build your deck around an archetype

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The first step is to choose a theme and playstyle you want to build your deck around. Let’s say you enjoy overpowering your opponents with rare attack power. In that case, the Dinosaur archetype is right for you. Be sure to experiment with different archetypes and groups of cards to see what you like.

Choosing your Monsters

Monsters make up the bulk of your Main Deck, with each Main Deck having roughly 12 to 17. Find low-cost monsters that support your archetype, and in some cases, monsters that can be summoned by your higher power cards. Once your archetype is in place, you can fill your Extra Deck out with Xyz monsters to further strengthen your deck.

Choosing spells and traps

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Spells are your second most abundant cards in your Main Deck. Most players put about 15 in their Main Deck. These spells can combo with and support your monsters on the field. Pick spells that fit your archetype, like attack power spells benefiting Dinosaur decks. Traps act as your backup cards that cover your weaknesses. These don’t synergize as well as spells, but they can help you round out your deck.