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The Best Yu-Gi-Oh! Decks
All duelists have seen it before: Some decks reach the apex of ability and become top tier, while others have players scratching their heads, wondering, “Why was this useless archetype made in the first place?”
However, some decks transcend time and trump strategies, yet still survive the ban list year after year. These decks create epic matches among those existing in the same tier, and they give the top strategists trouble or even defeat if a duelist faces one unprepared.
This list is in no particular order, but the following deck types share one rule in common: they are extremely powerful. For those wanting to challenge their skill as a duelist or desiring a unique strategy that's still potent, these decks are for you.
1. Different Dimension (D.D.) Monarchs
What's in the Name?
Combine warriors escaping to another reality before you slash them and Kings that eat their peasants to destroy stuff, and what do you get? Well, you get one of the most persistent strategies in the game. The Monarchs, 6-star tyrants who stomp on others like their Roman equivalents, get their effects by getting tribute summoned. They can destroy spell/traps, remove monsters from play, destroy monsters, you get the idea. Combine this seemingly simple strategy with the D.D. Archetype, a set that gets effects when banished, and you have a consistent system for keeping tribute fodder on the field for the mighty kings to devour. Of course, the trick is using the D.D.s that get Special Summoned when banished (D.D. Survivor, D.D. Scout). Merge them with Macro Cosmos and D.D. Fissure, and you'll always have a monster on the field to tribute, to defend, or to just terrorize your opponent with.
No matter what deck your running, unless it's D.D as well, you're going to need the Graveyard. Since Konami keeps banning draw cards time and time again, the most reliable methods to gaining the cards one needs are to A. Grab a deck that searches like Jimmy Doe and Pamela do when the parents aren't around, or B. Send cards to the Graveyard to recycle them. Considering that the decks that recycle STILL play from the Graveyard, D.D. Decks effectively cripple most strategies by preventing cards from entering the Grave at all. D.D. Monarchs hinder their opponents, they turn that hindrance into their strength, they can maintain field advantage, and they have destructive capabilities. If they weren't dependent on Spell and Trap cards and could toolbox more, the D.D. Monarchs would ascend to top tier status.
What's in the name?
As history has shown, mixing zombies with ANYTHING, which includes historical fiction, movies, boobs and anime, superheroes, westerns, video games, etc. tends to make it better, and card games are no exception to the rule. Similar to their undead brethren, the zombies in Yu-Gi-Oh! specialize in Special Summoning themselves from the Graveyard, and there is no other archetype as adept at it than zombies. Zombie Master is a level 4 that can Special another level 4 or lower zombie from the grave just by the player dropping any card from the hand. If more Zombie Masters exist in the grave, then rinse and repeat. Il Blud is a Gemini that can Special a zombie after it has been re-summoned. Plaguespreader Zombie, a card you'll see in more than one deck type, can Special Summon itself by sending a card from your hand to the top of the deck, and is a level 2 tuner. Zombie World, the Field Spell they rely on, which makes all monsters on the field and in the graveyard Zombies, hinders type-specific decks by transforming all cards into Zombies and makes tributes for non-Zombies impossible.
The Zombie Deck's swarm capabilities have lasted for more than a decade, enabling them to fill a field in one turn if enough are milled to the grave. A player unaccustomed to fighting them will get overwhelmed quickly, no matter what deck type one uses. Zombies also possess unequaled spash-ability. Zombies mix with Plants, Lightsworns, Chaos builds, T.G. Decks, and basically any other build that needs an extra revive engine. Don't have a deck to splash with Zombies? No problem! There exists plenty of Zombie only deck variants: Deck Out Zombies, King of the Skull Servants Zombies, Burn Zombies, Vampires, and many others. Basically, Zombie decks maintain their timelessness because—similar to their Resident Evil cousins—they always find a way to come back for more, no matter how many holes to the head they take or nuclear bombs they receive.
3. Chaos Builds
What's in the name?
No matter what literature you're reading, video game you're playing, or movie you're watching, if the villain and protagonist come together to take out an enemy, you can bet he's as dead as a man having a tackling contest with a truck. Chaos, the combination of Light and Darkness, gives way to ultimate power and destruction, and there's no exception to the rule in Yu-Gi-Oh!. Key cards this Yin/Yang build throw around are Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning and Chaos Sorcerer. They may only be two cards, yet the ease in which they can be summoned (just banish a light and dark monster in your Graveyard) and their powerful effects make them bosses in any deck, even if placed in ones running few lights and darks for the heck of it. The emergence of the Chaos Dragons, an archetype that revolves solely around the quick summoning capabilities of the monsters dancing in twilight, reinforced the power symbolized by Chaos builds.
Let's face the facts: Chaos Decks are simple to make. It's still tricky to get the right mix together, but with Gorz – Emissary of Darkness, Tragoedia, BLS – Envoy of the Beginning, and Chaos Sorcerer, who cares what else you're running? This simple recipe makes Chaos Decks timeless. Just combine a choice Light Archetype with a Dark Archetype, along with boss Dark monsters and ones from the classical chaos club, and you have a deck that'll give anyone trouble. You name it: Lightsworns/Zombies, Light and Dark Fairies, Chaos Dragons, Counter Fairies/Fiends, and you can win with it. The boss cards of Chaos decks, unlike most other builds, can be adapted to any deck holding the scepter of boogie men and holy rays, making any idea for a Chaos deck an undertaking worth trying.
What's in the name?
In Harry Potter, one thinks of wizards. In Lord of the Rings, one thinks of elves. In Yu-Gi-Oh!, one thinks of dragons. If the writer had a quarter for every time some jerk who never touched the game approached him and said, “Hey man, my deck has that Blue-Eyes White Dragon, and it'll kill all your monsters,” then he'd be a very rich man. No one can deny it: at least every boy, and most girls, have always dreamed of owning their own dragon, which is why all Yu-Gi-Oh! archetypes have adopted their own as a lethal pet. Judgment Dragon, Dark Armed Dragon, Rainbow Dragon, Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon, Stardust Dragon, Trishula – Dragon of the Ice Barrier, I could go on and on. Basically, if you own a winning deck, 9 times out of 10, a dragon will meet your opponent at its end. Oh, and if you want a top tier deck, why stop there? A deck full of dragons will have your opponent screaming “MERCY!” quicker than a midget fighting a sumo wrestler. However, that will depend on whether you develop a strategy to get them to the field quickly, considering the beat-sticks of the archetype require more than two tributes or special conditions to summon.
One word describes the timelessness of dragons: power. There exists no archetype which has a higher attack and more brutal effects than the Dragons. If you're running these behemoth lizards with wings, you'll have little fear of your monsters losing by battle. A strategy even exists that revolves around their overwhelming omnipotence: Hopeless Dragon. The tactic? Simply summon a bunch of high powered dragons quickly to crush your opponent in a single turn. It's as easy as getting the lid off a factory tightened jar, moderately difficult if you don't know how, baby-easy if you do. Three strong dragons are all one needs to bring down an opponent, and more powerful archetypes released to support these mutated flamethrowers aren't making their job harder. Dragons remain ageless in Yu-Gi-Oh! by a single fact: If you find yourself staring down... I mean staring up a Five-Headed Dragon, the only thing that'll save you is a card with a destructive or banishing effect. You Dark Magician might as well be a card trickster at a kid's party, your Ultimate Tyranno one of those Compsognathus from Jurassic Park, your Ultimate Axon Kicker a pinata purchased for your little cousin's birthday, your Blackwing Armor Master roasted duck on a stick, because the uncontested power of Dragons will endure forever as long as Yu-Gi-Oh! as a Y in it.
And That's a Wrap
D.D. Monarchs remove your burial grounds, Zombies adapt no matter what, Chaos strikes hard and fast, and Dragons just strike too darn hard. Timeless decks have endured so far, but the chance always exists they may go the route of the Pharaoh's statue in Percy Shelley's poem, "Ozymandias." All timeless decks exist because someone took the courage to assemble them, yet they endure from the efforts of duelists who modify and evolve their basic strategies to meet contemporary challenges. In the end, it's the skill and love of Yu-Gi-Oh! enthusiasts that make the game timeless.
© 2013 Zeron87