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"Yu-Gi-Oh!": 5 Rogue Decks That Can Beat the Meta

Sam Little is an experienced Yu-Gi-Oh tournament enthusiast.

Rogue decks can win against meta. You just need to have the heart of the cards.

Rogue decks can win against meta. You just need to have the heart of the cards.

Meta Is Bad

The world meta in competitive Yu-Gi-Oh! has become disturbing to rogue and budget players. It basically means the best of the best—the hardest-to-beat cards and decks the game has to offer—and, in most cases, that also means the most expensive. Cards like Dragoon and Phoenix Enforcer top this evil list of meta darkness, but this does not mean you can't step out of the meta's shadow and into the ever-present light of rogue and budget decks.

That's right! You too can be an accomplished Yu-Gi-Oh! player without stooping to the meta peer pressure and abuse. OK, so maybe it is not that bad, but it has become a very rough landscape to navigate when you are not playing what everyone else seems to be playing.

I am going to give you five decks that fall into the rogue classification that are super effective at competing against the current meta format.

My Top 5 Rogue Decks for Yu-Gi-Oh!

  1. Chain Burn
  2. Machina
  3. Kragen Control (AKA Sharks)
  4. Exodia
  5. Numeron
Burn always remains a thorn in the meta side.

Burn always remains a thorn in the meta side.

1. Chain Burn

Regardless of the format and what is dictating the current flow of the Yu-Gi-Oh! card game, chain burn is always there in the background poised and ready for action. Having the ability to deal massive amounts of damage without ever putting a single monster on the field is such a powerful tool. Chain also controls certain aspects of the game and makes it extremely difficult for your opponent to play through.

Cards like Just Desserts make your opponent pay for spamming the field with monsters, while cards like Threatening Roar and Waboku stall your opponent's ability to attack. This combination of stall and massive damage through trap cards gives burn players an effective edge.

There is a downfall, as always. Burn has trouble winning game two and three because your opponent may side in for you. This is something each burn player must strive to overcome by finding cards that can accent their deck and make it victorious.

Recycle and beat down with Machina!

Recycle and beat down with Machina!

2. Machina

Machines offer a deck that is budget-friendly but boasts a huge amount of power. The ability to send cards to the graveyard that will come back to the field when a monster you control is destroyed is what makes this deck so effective. You use this effect to make Machina Citadel become your primary beater, but don't forget: If you can get Machina Ruinforce in grave and banish monsters to add to level 12 from the grave, he hits the field with 4600 attack points!

This deck is consistent and has a very profound ability to OTK with ease. Cards like Machina Gearframe and Scrap Recycler let you keep a steady flow of monsters in hand and grave for effects, and cards such as Machina Cannon give you a potential beater on field while getting the monsters you need to the graveyard for summons.

Machines are a deck that can easily compete with the likes of meta.

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Sharks are brutal—unleash the Kragen!

Sharks are brutal—unleash the Kragen!

3. Kragen Control (AKA Sharks)

This deck gives you an amazing set of combos that can easily pummel your opponent. On turn one, you have the ability to put Kragen on field, two Bahamut Sharks, and two Toadaly Awesome; from there, pull out the epic Utopic Draco Future. This level of negates on turn one make this deck such a threat in this format.

The amount of combos that can be pulled off using fish and aqua cards are mindboggling. Sharks allows you to build a board of fierce beaters with quality negates that make it hard for your opponent to build their own board, yet alone utilize it against you.

With the popularity of this deck, I think it may eke its way into the meta world, but for now it's still a good rogue choice.

Exodia Obliterate!

Exodia Obliterate!

4. Exodia

Exodia has always been a big deal in the Yu-Gi-Oh! world, and it is safe to say that it probably always will be. In the current format, it seems to have made a huge comeback with cards like Mystic Mine to protect while you draw to your heart's content.

It's not easy to meet the win condition for this deck, but if you play the cards right, you can unlock the mighty Exodia. I will warn you that game two and three can get dicey with Exodia, as it is a bit easy to side for.

Playing Exodia is all about the draw power, so cards like Shard of Greed and Pot of Extravagance can make a huge difference in the amount of time it takes you to draw into your win condition. It is vital to stall and draw if you want Exodia to work for you.

Let the numbers unleash the pain.

Let the numbers unleash the pain.

5. Numeron

This deck can summon out four XYZ monsters who double in attack with each battle. Talk about an OTK option! Numeron also has the ability to utilize board wipes against your opponent that fuel a condition in which a banished card returns and unleashes 1000 damage per XYZ banished!

Numeron is one of those decks that takes focus to play, but learning it is well worth it! The deck gives you a second aspect that, while hard to accomplish, is one that any player would cherish.

Summoning the Numeronius monsters, one is 10K while the other is 100K. Yes, 100K, and your opponent has to swing into it or they lose. This is one of the strangest win conditions in the game, but it can make this deck a super threat to meta and its dominance over the game.

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