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There have been many playstyles and archetypes through the years, and some were by far the strongest deck in their format. This list will be ranking the best Decks based on their flower in their respective format, preferably than how they would all fare in the current metagame. From first-turn kills to wholly locking your opposition out of the game, these Decks are the best that Yu-Gi-Oh ! has ever seen .
Updated December 6, 2021, by Johnny Garcia : Yu-Gi-Oh ! has seen a giant reorganization in the metagame since the handout of Burst Of Destiny. Destiny HERO – Destroy Phoenix Enforcer is warping the way decks are built, taking flush the herculean Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon out of the limelight. In addition to that, new Archetypes like Swordsoul and Floowandereeze have entered the metagame and have helped to make it a diverse as it ‘s been in years. With paper Yu-Gi-Oh ! so active, a newfangled digital means to play is placid on the horizon, with Master Duel still pending secrete. Master Duel will be one of the first official simulators that are dedicated to the TCG as opposed to being anime-focused.
Key Cards: Apoqliphort Towers, Qliphort Scout, Qliphort Genuis
Qliphort was one of the few meta Pendulum-based Archetypes Yu-Gi-Oh ! has introduced. During its time, Qliphort was such a beneficial deck due to how easy it could bring back its entire field after it was destroyed by Pendulum Summoning them back .
Its Boss Monster, Apoqliphort Towers was thus infamously powerful that a Monster that ‘s unaffected by wag effects is referred to as a Towers. The recursion Qliphort had access to made it incredibly strong against other Decks at the clock time and was part of the argue many people had grown a hate for the Pendulum mechanic .
Qliphort had originally fallen off after the ban of Apoqliphort Towers and specify of Qliphort Scout and Saqlifice. however, Qliphort ‘s restrictions have been completely taken away recently, and are able to be played at full exponent. While they are nerfed due to the changes to Pendulum Summoning, they are calm a solid Rouge option .
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14 Sky Striker
Key Cards : Sky Striker Ace – Raye, Sky Striker Mobilize – engage !, Sky Striker Ace – Kagari
Sky Striker immediately set its place in the meta upon its release, turning into one of the strongest master Decks always. Sky Striker only had one Main Deck Monster in Sky Striker Ace – Raye at handout. The card was easily recycled any time a Sky Striker Link Monster was taken off the Field, which could then be used to Link Summon again .
The Sky Striker Spell Cards have fabulously knock-down effects, most notably Sky Striker Mobilize – betroth which not entirely drew a card but searched out any Sky Striker poster at the lapp time. Sky Striker has gotten fresh cards in Sky Striker Ace – Zeke and Sky Striker Ace – Roze to might up the Deck even more with their restricted cards freed off the banlist .
While Sky Strikers have fallen off recently ascribable to better Control Decks coming up, it ‘s more than likely Sky Striker will make a rejoinder once those leave the metagame. Sky Striker was the best Yu-Gi-Oh ! deck that focused on Spell cards to control the battlefield, and due to how hard it is to interact with Spells, it ‘s due for a metagame rejoinder .
13 Six Samurai
Key Cards : legendary Six Samurai – Shi En, Gateway Of The Six, Battle Shogun of the Six Samurai
Six Samurai was an fabulously powerful Deck in its prime thanks to Gateway Of The Six. The Spell Card broke the Deck, being able to loop Six Samurai cards that could Special Summon themselves to get an space total of counters .
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This allowed Six Samurai to set up fair about any kind of Board they wanted to. legendary Six Samurai – Shi En and Great Shogun Shien were both fantastic cards to shut down the opponent ‘s Spell and Trap card custom. Six Samurai could flood the Field easily which made for absolutely devastating end boards .
The specify of Gateway Of The Six killed the viability in the metagame, becoming besides inconsistent to rely on. Luckily, its newer Link Monster Battle Shogun of the Six Samurai adds much-needed consistency by allowing you to search out Gateway from your Deck. While it has n’t reclaimed its metagame glory, with a new card Six Samurai has the potential to become one of the strongest Yu-Gi-Oh ! Decks in the meta once more .
12 Burning Abyss
Key Cards : Dante, Traveler Of The Burning Abyss, Tour Guide From The Underworld, Beatrice, Lady Of The Eternal
Burning Abyss was a Deck that was released in the fabulously popular Duelist Alliance set. The Deck had incredible permanent baron through the metagame, thanks to its powerful Monsters that could Special Summon themselves. Dante, Traveler Of The Burning Abyss is an incredibly strong wag that dumped Burning Abyss cards into the Graveyard as a Cost, meaning it was guaranteed to do then even if it was negated .
All Burning Abyss cards had herculean Graveyard effects, which could be triggered on the opponent ‘s turn thanks to Beatrice, Lady Of The Eternal. many cards in the Burning Abyss Archetype were put on different parts on the banlist due to how powerful it was .
Burning Abyss is n’t at the circus tent of the metagame like it was in its flower, however, it maintains a good Yu-Gi-Oh ! deck that can stand on its own in the modern game. In holocene banlists, all Burning Abyss Monsters except for Beatrice, Lady Of The Eternal have been inexhaustible, allowing it to be played at near full exponent .
Key Cards : Spellbook Of Judgement, Spellbook Of Knowledge, Spellbook Of Secrets
Spellbooks were so hard, they were the individual thing that prevented Dragon Rulers from being a Tier Zero Deck. This was thanks to Spellbook Of Judgement which provided the Deck with an harebrained amount of batting order advantage, being able to add multiple Spellbook cards to the Hand .
The Deck utilize Jowgen The Spiritualist to wholly lock the opposition out of special Summoning while destroying all particular Summoned Monsters on the Field. Spellbooks were incredible at building up resources that were then used to dismantle the opposition ‘s Field .
The ban of Spellbook Of Judgement would kill the give Deck, though a Spellbook engine however sees play nowadays. namely, a small locomotive featuring Magician of Prophecy and Crowley, the First Propheseer in club to thin out your deck and draw cards .
Key Cards : The Monarchs Stormforth, Pantheism Of The Monarchs, Eidos The Underworld Squire
The winning Deck from the 2007 World Championship, Monarchs was when Yu-Gi-Oh ! started to make the shift from a mix-mash of cards to focusing on Monsters apart of Archetypes ( meaning they share a theme, american samoa well as a name conventionality ). Monarchs were all about tribute summon which would then allow them to use their herculean effects when they were summoned .
monarch Decks utilized cards that could special muster themselves, such as Treeborn Frog and Cyber Dragon to then use their normal mobilize for the protection of a Monarch card. It was one of the first Archetypes in all of Yu-Gi-Oh, and for good reason. It was the best Yu-Gi-Oh ! original at the fourth dimension and remains one of the most potent Decks for its meta .
Monarchs dominated the early days of Yu-Gi-Oh ! however, they ‘ve become far excessively decelerate to be a consistent threat, despite their banned cards becoming in full restricted. Their effects are hush solid, but protection mobilize is not something a Deck can handle as their main catch anymore .
Key Cards : El Shaddoll Winda, Shaddoll Fusion, Shaddoll Hedgehog
The Duelist Alliance fixed of Yu-Gi-Oh ! was a game-changer in 2014, and Shaddoll Decks were at the vanguard. The Deck had access to two of the most knock-down fusion cards in the game in the way of Shaddoll Fusion and Super Polymerization. Shaddoll Fusion allows its drug user to use materials from the Deck if the adversary had a Monster special summoned from the Extra Deck ( which is very coarse ). Super Polymerization fuses from either side of the field, and no poster in the game can react to it .
El Shaddoll Construct and El Shaddoll Winda are both incredibly herculean Fusion Monsters, both of which can be easily made. Shaddoll silent sees play even to this day, with holocene support in the Shaddoll Showdown Structure Deck with the Invoked engine .
Shaddoll cards had a history bouncing on and off the banlist, with all of them now outright. They offer a long ton of consistency, and thanks to how splashable they are as an locomotive, they are one of the best Yu-Gi-Oh ! archetypes. They can handle their own in the stream meta, and while presently Rouge, can fair as easily become fully meta once again .
8 Frog FTK
Key Cards : Substitoad, Mass Driver, Ronintoadin
Frog FTK was one of the most coherent FTKs in all of Yu-Gi-Oh ! An FTK ( first base turn kill ) is a Deck that defeats the opposition before they have a probability to play ( hence the name ). Substitoad and Ronintoadin made it fabulously easy to loop Frog cards to get them onto the sphere. once there, cards like Mass Driver were used to do Burn damage to your adversary ‘s Life Points until they had no more .
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Hand Traps were n’t quite in the game either, making the FTK near impossible to stop. While Frogs themselves calm see some play with Paleozoic cards, the FTK version would be taken out of the game with the ban of Substitoad and Mass Driver .
due to how uninteractive FTKs are, they were fabulously knock-down, which is why the Frog FTK was one of the best Yu-Gi-Oh ! Decks ever released. The likelihood of either Substitoad or Mass Driver getting unbanned is zero, as the Frog FTK would dominate even in the a lot faster metagame .
Key Cards : Nekroz of Brionac, Shurit, Strategist of the Nekroz, Nekroz Kaleidoscope
Nekroz is without a doubt the most knock-down ritual Deck in all of Yu-Gi-Oh, and dominated the early 2015 metagame. Unlike many Ritual cards before it, Nekroz had effects that could be activated by discarding them to search for other key pieces to the strategy while placid being amazing cards if they were ritual summoned.
They besides had Shurit, Strategist Of The Nekroz, which could be used for the entire fabric needed for a ritual summon, a well as add a Warrior-Type Nekroz batting order to the hand when used this direction. It besides made function of the fabulously herculean Djinn Releaser Of Rituals which if used for a ritual muster, the adversary could not limited summon Monsters vitamin a hanker as the Monster ritual summoned when Djinn was on the field .
many Nekroz cards found themselves on the banlist which is why the Deck fell off in the first identify. With the exception of Djinn Releaser Of Rituals, every other Nekroz calling card has become outright. It remains a Rouge pack of cards, but a estimable Yu-Gi-Oh ! deck for the metagame. It can however shut down entire strategies with its Floodgate-like effects .
6 Yata Lock
Key Cards : Yata-Garasu, Chaos Emperor Dragon – envoy Of The end, Sangan/Witch Of The Black Forest
Yata Lock was one of the earliest decks in the game and is besides immediately creditworthy for the presentation of the Yu-Gi-Oh ! banlist ( before cards were alone restrict ). It was focused around Yata-Garasu and Chaos Emperor Dragon – envoy Of The end ” The Yata Lock was obtained by having Chaos Emperor Dragon and either Sangan or Witch Of The Black Forest on the field. Chaos Emperor Dragon would activate its effect, which sends all cards on the field and both players ‘ hands to the cemetery. This would trigger the float effects Sangan or Witch Of The Black Forst to add Yata-Garasu to the handwriting. The player would then attack immediately with Yata-Garasu, forcing the opposition to skip their future Draw Phase .
This mean that the victim of the Yata Lock would be ineffective to draw and have no cards in their hand to play with. Yata-Garasu would continue being summoned and attacking to keep the lock going. These contribute to Yata-Garasu being banned and inactive is to this day .
The Yata Lock Deck died with the ban of its namesake. The cards that were used all received erratas making it impossible to perform in the way it once did. even if all the cards were unbanned, it ‘s hush excessively decelerate to compete in the stream meta. however, it ‘s not to be understated just how phenomenal the Deck was and is by far one of the strongest Yu-Gi-Oh ! Decks to ever be in the limelight .
Key Cards : SPYRAL Sleeper, SPYRAL Double Helix, SPYRAl Resort
When Spyral first came into the crippled at the end of the Xyz Era, they were far from anything special. however, when the Link Era began Spyral would become by far the best deck in the format thanks to their herculean Link Monster Double Helix .
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The Deck was capable of setting up fabulously herculean boards with cards that could easily loop their effects. Spyral besides had a boss Monster Spyral Sleeper which if equipped with last Resort, can destroy two cards on your opponent ‘s field during either actor ‘s sour. If Spyral Resort is besides on the field, both Sleeper and stopping point Resort could n’t be targeted, as Spyral Resort prevents targetting to any Spyral wag that is n’t itself .
Spyral would make a comeback with the release of Magician ‘s Soul but would take a hit with the ban of Spyral Master Plan. This limited how the Deck could perform and took it out of the vanguard of the meta. however, Spyral was hush one of the strongest Yu-Gi-Oh ! decks, cope to be top tier in two different formats years apart .
Key Cards : Dark Armed Dragon, Emergency Teleport, Destiny HERO – malicious
TeleDAD is a Deck based around the cards Emergency Teleport and Dark Armed Dragon. The Deck used a Hero engine with cards like Elemental Hero Stratos and Destiny Hero Malicious for Extra Deck Monsters while Emergency Teleport summoned Psychic Type tuners such as Krebons. Doing all of this would stack Dark property Monsters into the cemetery to meet Dark Armed Dragon ‘s summoning stipulate of having precisely three Dark Monsters in the cemetery .
This effect was not once per plow, meaning if you had three Dark Armed Dragons in your hand you can summon all three. Dark Armed Dragon besides could banish Dark Monsters after it was summoned to destroy cards on the field .
The Deck would die out after the banlist hits to both Dark Armed Dragon and Emergency Teleport. Emergency Teleport remains limited, but Dark Armed Dragon has become amply unbanned. While the Deck is n’t playable anymore due to bans, it was by far the best Yu-Gi-Oh ! Deck of its format .
Key Cards : Zoodiac Whiptail, Zoodiac Drident, Zoodiac Barrage
Zoodiac is a serial of Monsters with an interesting catch where any Zoodiac Monster could be used as the entire fabric for an Xyz summon of any Zoodiac Xyz Monster. Being able to skip an stallion measure in the Xyz summoning procedure was begging to be broken. Zoodiac Ratpier could special mobilize other copies of itself from the Deck if attached to an Xyz Monster which could then be used to Xyz muster into more Zoodiac cards .
Zoodiac Barrage could besides be used to especial summon any Zoodiac Monster from the Deck. Zoodiac Broadbull searches out any Beast-Warrior monster in the game ( that can be normal summoned ). Zoodiac Drident can destroy any tease on the field during either player ‘s bend, proving to be much excessively knock-down for the game to handle .
Zoodiac has been all over the banlist, with certain cards being legal determining Zoodiac ‘s exponent in the metagame. presently, there are excessively many important cards banned to keep Zoodiac in the metagame. All of Zoodiac Broadbull, Zoodiac Drident, and Zoodiac Barrage are banned, with Zoodiac Ratpier being limited .
2 Dragon Rulers
Key Cards : Blaster, Dragon Ruler of Infernos, Super Rejuvenation, Tidal, Dragon Ruler of Waterfalls
draco Rulers were by far the best pack of cards in its prime, with only Spellbooks being able to stand a probability against them. The Deck was madly herculean, with Dragon Ruler cards being very generic and incredibly easy to recycle on top of being able to build a long ton of card advantage .
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All of the Dragon Rulers had baby versions of themselves that could special summon the adult Dragon Rulers from the Deck to easily start flooding the discipline. They were all level seven, and able to go into potent Xyz Monsters, a well as other Synchro Monsters, flush eight and up. All of the Dragon Rulers are presently banned, with only the Wind Type Tempest being limited .
Dragon Rulers are wide considered to be one of the best Yu-Gi-Oh ! Archetypes of all prison term, and if they were all unbanned would likely dominate the meta all all over again. The Dragon-Type is one of the most back ones in the game, many of the best Yu-Gi-Oh ! decks are Dragons, such as the Dragon Rulers .
Key Cards : Performapal Monkeyboard, Performapal Skullcrobat Joker, Performage Plushfire
PePe is short for Performapal Performage which was a series of Pendulum Monsters. therefore many cards in the PePe Deck were able to be searched out thanks to cards like Performapal Monkeyboar and Performapal Skullcrobat Joker. The Deck was able to flood the sphere with horizontal surface four Monsters to go into all sorts of Xyz Monsters, and even rank up into Cyber Dragon Infinity with Tellarknight Ptolemaeus as a begin point .
PePe was then commodity that an emergency banlist had to be made to keep the meta fun and healthy with six different cards in the Deck hit by it. PePe has gone down in Yu-Gi-Oh ! as the best pendulum Deck in the game ‘s history, and the best Yu-Gi-Oh ! deck released .
While some cards from the PePe Deck have been released from the banlist, the deck would become Tier Zero once again should it always go back to entire might. The two parts of PePe proved to be some of the best Yu-Gi-Oh ! Archetypes, and made the strongest Yu-Gi-Oh ! Deck ever .
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About The Author
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Johnny Garcia is a long time crippled and writer based in cheery California. Having worked many curious jobs, including article write, he is immediately a list writer for TheGamer.com. Having grown up around video games and being raised on them, his cognition of video games is angstrom high as it can be. Aside from video games, he besides has an avid interest in trading poster games, namely Yu-Gi-Oh and Magic the Gathering .
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