Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel Deck Guide: Best Cards Following Ban List
It's Time to D-D-D-D-D-D-D-Duel!
Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel has reached more than 30 million downloads and has been one of the most successful online versions of the long-running card game. With over 10,000 cards from all across the different series, many new or returning players have been able to create top-tier meta decks throughout its short, but monstrous live-service release. However, a recent Yu-Gi-Oh update has brought with it a revised ban list, which means several cards and decks have been disrupted via Limited or Semi-Limited changes.
In this guide, we'll go through each of the new Limited, and Semi-Limited changes with the game’s recent update, why these changes have occurred or have been implemented, which decks/engines/archetypes have been hit with these specific nerfs, provide card substitutes, and more.
Thankfully, no cards have been added to the Forbidden List for this update. To look at the list of Forbidden, Limited, or Semi-limited cards in-game, at the main menu click on the top right on the submenu, and you will see “Forbidden/Limited” near the top. Here you can choose the type of regulation, and look at each card individually from its card art to its effects. More than 80 cards have been placed in the Forbidden listing. Many of these issues stem from the trading card game (TCG) itself, so to circumvent that, Master Duel has already had most of these cards banned from release so as to not create the same or more problems.
Limited means that only one copy of a specific card can be added or allowed in a deck. Just because a card is limited in the TCG or original card game (OCG) does not necessarily mean it will also be limited in Master Duel’s format. Two cards have been added to only one copy each for Master Duel’s recent update: Cyber Angel Benten and Conquistador of the Golden Land.
Cyber Angel Benten herself is a great card to help Cyber Angels combo into more Ritual-summoning by adding Cyber Angels from deck to hand such as Cyber Angel Vrash, Cyber Angel Izana, and Cyber Angel Dakini. Being able to provide more options, and searching versatility on an engine focused on light fairy types.
The issue in Master Duel became that players were not using this in Cyber Angel decks, but on Drytron decks. Using the tribute effect of Benten as a Ritual requirement allowed players to pull one of the strongest Ritual monsters in the game: Herald of Ultimateness. Going first allowed Drytron players to easily search, and summon Ultimateness to the field on the first turn. Ultimateness then is able to negate special summons, and all monster, trap, and spell effects so as long as the Ultimateness player sends a fairy monster from their hand to the graveyard.
This combo shut down opponents and prevented them from doing anything. With many duelists even surrendered due to the lack of followthrough against Herald. Lowering the amount of Benten copies allows less of a chance to start opening hands with her, and allows her search ability to be used in tandem.
A large hit to Drytron Ritual decks. Two ideal Monster cards to substitute the lack of two Bentens are Senju of the Ten Thousand Hands or Manju of the Ten Thousand Hands. Both need to be normal-summoned, but will still grab you the Herald of Ultimateness Drytron players desire. You will essentially lose your Normal Summon to summon either Senju or Manju, but at least you can use either of the monsters on your field to Ritual-summon. You can even use Senju or Manju to grab Benten to then tribute Benten for Ultimateness. Drytrons will still be a powerful deck to run on ranked by negating the plays/options of opponents, but they will be less effective than before.
Though Conquistador of the Golden Land was primarily used in Eldlich decks, allowing three copies for this easily craftable and potent card would be able to provide an immense amount of opportunities to Eldlich players. First, you get a monster; but if you have Eldlich the Golden Lord you can destroy one face-up card on the field, meaning you're able to destroy any face-up card while special-summoning a Monster. Destroying an opponent’s face-up Monster, Continuous Trap/Spell, Pendulum Scales or even Field Spell makes this an easily playable and formidable card.
Then, you can banish this card to set another card from the deck as long as it has “Eldlixir” in its name. This summons a monster, destroys a face-up card upon activation, and brings another resource from the deck right to the field--all in one card.
Lowering the amount to one provides a bit more balance to this already strong archetype due to Eldlich players being able to destroy any face-up card with its ease. Eldlich decks are mainly focused on having Traps more than any other card type. Some substitutes for Traps worth considering would be Floodgate Trap Hole, Solemn Strike, Solemn Judgment, Karma Cut, Imperial Order, Red Reboot, Infinite Impermanence, or Grand Horn of Heaven. These options are not Eldlich-specific, but the Counter Traps of Solemn Strike, Solemn Judgment, Red Reboot, and Grand Horn of Heaven can be used to negate and then destroy an opponent’s card.
Semi-Limited means that only two copies of a certain card can be added or allowed in a deck. Just because a card is Semi-Limited in the TCG or OCG does not necessarily mean it will also be Semi-Limited in Master Duel’s regulations. Nine cards have been alternated to only allowing two copies for each deck in Master Duel’s recent update:
Adamancipator decks were slightly hit by a change that takes away one copy of Analyzer. Due to its effects of special- summoning itself, and another monster from the deck, it can create destructive combos. These combos ultimately summon the main cards from the extra deck such as Adamancipator Risen - Leonite, Adamancipator Risen - Raptite, and Adamancipator Risen - Dragite. Having only two copies of Analyzer lessens the archetypes effectiveness.
An addition to bypass this nerf for Adamancipator decks would be to add Doki Doki--ideally even three copies of Doki Doki to allow more chances to summon Analyzer. Doki Doki can discard one rock monster, and special-summon one rock monster from the deck as long as the original attribute/level is the same as the one discarded. Analyzer is an important card to make Leonite, Raptite, and Dragite, being able to use Doki Doki’s effect will allow you to call Analyzer straight from your deck.
D.D. Dynamite was mainly used in one-turn kills and first-turn kill decks--referred to as OTK/FTK decks, respectively. After setting down two or three D.D. Dynamites on the first turn alongside Banquet of Millions, the player was then able to use Banquet to banish 30 cards in total from both extra decks then activate the face down D.D. Dynamites to inflict more than 8,000 direct damage to the opponent, thus winning the duel without even letting your opponent play. Most of these decks were used by bots, so reducing the amount allows fewer bots to rule over ranked mode.
If you were a player using this deck, you can still use it, though it is harder to grab D.D. Dynamite. If you still enjoy using a deck focused on inflicting direct damage, you can add cards such as Cauldron of the Old Man, Ring of Destruction, Ceasefire, and Wave-Motion Cannon. These cards are slower, but they provide more options to inflict direct damage to make up for having fewer copies of D.D. Dynamite. Using cards such as Threatening Roar, Battle Fader, and Scrap-Iron Scarecrow can stall the duel, giving you enough turns to inflict effect damage.
Fusion Destiny is used to summoning one of the strongest cards in the entire game, Destiny HERO - Destroyer Phoenix Enforcer. Two copies of Fusion Destiny are ideal since after summoning Phoenix Enforcer, your other copies of Fusion Destiny will be dead cards in the deck.
Rather than substituting the third copy with another fusion card, adding cards that increase the likelihood of drawing Fusion Destiny are beneficial to summon Destroyer. Upstart Goblin, Pot of Prosperity, and Pot of Extravagance can be used to draw or excavate Fusion Destiny from the deck.
Virtual World Roshi - Laolao
Virtual World Roshi - Laolao is a main staple in Virtual World decks with it being able to Synchro-Summon high-level Synchro monsters such as Virtual World Kyubi - Shenshen, Geomathmech Final Sigma, or Ultimaya Tzolkin with ease.
Rather than substituting another Virtual World monster to make up for Laolao’s third copy, adding Pot of Desires will allow you to draw two cards after banishing 10 cards from the top of your deck. Having three copies of Pot of Desires lets combos flow more efficiently with Virtual World decks, since banishing cards places you in a more opportune position to use Virtual World Gate - Chuche’s effect to destroy face-up cards.
The Phantom Knights of Torn Scales
The Phantom Knight of Torn Scales is able to complement the Phantom Knights archetype by sending any Phantom Knights card from deck to graveyard. It helps in both thinning out the deck and using a Phantom Knights card’s effect in the graveyard.
Rather than substituting a specific monster, you can improve the deck by adding the Raidraptor archetype due to cards such as Raider’s Knight or The Phantom Knights of Rusty Bardiche. Expand a Phantom Knights deck by adding cards such as Raider’s Wing alongside Raidraptor - Strangle Lanius. By adding cards from the Raidraptor engine, you can easily bypass Torn Scales being added to the Semi-Limited list.
Prank-Kids as an engine uses Link and Fusion Monsters while providing level 1-4 Prank-Kids to be summoned right from the deck to create more fodder for more Link and Fusion Monsters. Rocksies being only allowed for two copies right now has no harsh effect on Prank-Kids decks since most decks were already solely using two copies of Rocksies, while the others Prank-Kids: Lampsies, Fansies, and Dropsies were all at three copies each.
You can add more cards with drawing capabilities like Upstart Goblin. Since you will already be special summoning Rocksies from the deck due to the other Prank-Kids’ effect, the nerf does not tamper with how formidable Prank-Kids as an archetype has been and will continue to be in the meta.
Sekka’s Light allows the player to scavenge into the deck for three cards and is beneficial for decks heavy on monsters such as Superheavy Samurai since after using Sekka’s Light, Spell/Trap cards cannot be used.
Cards with drawing capabilities can be used in any deck with three copies each are Upstart Goblin, Reckless Greed, Pot of Extravagance, Pot of Duality, Pot of Desires, and Into the Void. These are all much better than Sekka’s Light and still allow duelists to use Spell/Trap cards afterward.
Tri-Brigade decks have been sweeping the meta, and being able to combine the already strong archetype with the Zoodiac engine has created a balance of Extra Deck boss monsters with Xyz Zoodiacs beside Link Tri-Brigades.
Fraktall going to two copies does hurt the capabilities of Tri-Brigade slightly, but using Fire Formation - Tenki will still allow you to grab Fraktall from your deck to then use its discarding effect to send another Tri-Brigade such as Kitt or Nervall to the graveyard. If your Tri-Brigade deck has solely been of that archetype, you can look to combine Zoodiacs Main Deck cards such as Zoodiac Whiptail or Zoodiac Thouroughblade to the already dominant Tri-Brigades.
Lyrilusc - Cobalt Sparrow
Lyrilusc - Cobalt Sparrow has caused frustrations for players going up against Lyrilusc decks. Attaching Cobalt Sparrow to Wind Xyz monsters such as Lyrilusc - Recital Starling, Lyrilusc - Assembled Nightingale, and Lyrilusc - Ensemblue Robin will provide protection from any targeting effects.
This nerf makes it easier to deal with Lyrilusc boss monsters since it reduces the chances that Cobalt Sparrow will be attached to another monster preventing card targeting, which stops most card destruction or negation such as with Infinite Impermanence. Just be warier of the specific Lyrilusc Xyz monsters with which you choose to use Cobalt Sparrow to Xyz summon. Lyrilusc - Bird Call is still one of the quickest methods to add Cobalt Sparrow from deck to hand.
Though this is Master Duel’s first Forbidden and Limited List, knowing Konami’s involvement in the TCG/OCG, there will definitely be more additions in this game’s cycle.
Each card above can still be dismantled for extra card material until June 9. Be sure to take this opportunity to collect the bonus crafting material on any/all of these 11 nerfed cards before then.
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