Top 10 Best Yu-Gi-Oh Decks (2019)

Updated on February 12, 2019
Jeremy Gill profile image

Jeremy enjoys dueling in-between working as a chemical analyst and campus building manager.

What Are the Strongest Yu-Gi-Oh Decks?

Thanks to online databases, modern Yu-Gi-Oh players enjoy quick access to trending top-tier decks. This lets us swiftly determine which archetypes are the strongest, but with the dynamic nature of ban lists plus new set releases, the exact rankings are continuously shifting.

We all harbor our own biased thoughts about the most powerful builds, but today we'll go exactly by the data (gathered from yugiohtopdecks.com) to count down and score the best, most popular tournament-placing Yu-Gi-Oh decks available (as of the start of 2019)!

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Trickstar CandinaTrickstar Light StageTrickstar Reincarnation
Trickstar Candina
Trickstar Candina
Trickstar Light Stage
Trickstar Light Stage
Trickstar Reincarnation
Trickstar Reincarnation

Signature Trickstar Cards

Monsters
Spells
Traps
Trickstar Candina
Trickstar Light Stage
Trickstar Reincarnation
Trickstar Lycoris
Terraforming
Rivalry of Warlords
Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring
Pot of Desires
Evenly Matched

10. Trickstar

Whether mixed with Sky Strikers or used on their own, Trickstars are a powerful theme who swarm link monsters while landing effect damage. They carry the excellent field spell "Trickstar Light Stage," which you can search with "Terraforming," and their signature trap "Trickstar Reincarnation" offers a great milling tactic that quickly exiles your opponent's deck.

Since most Trickstar builds share the same monster types and attribute, you can use the traps "Rivalry of Warlords" and "Gozen Match" to restrict your opponent's monster access. Meanwhile, you'll be casting powerful link monsters like "Trickstar Holly Angel" and "Topologic Trisbaena" to exploit their vulnerability.

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Paleozoic OlenoidesPaleozoic CanadiaPaleozoic Dinomischus
Paleozoic Olenoides
Paleozoic Olenoides
Paleozoic Canadia
Paleozoic Canadia
Paleozoic Dinomischus
Paleozoic Dinomischus

Signature Paleozoic Cards

Monsters
Spells
Traps
Mistar Boy
Pot of Desires
Paleozoic Olenoides
Dupe Frog
Scapegoat
Paleozoic Canadia
Swap Frog
Twin Twisters
Paleozoic Dinomischus

9. Paleozoic

Paleozoics can be blended with the Frog or Demise themes, or simply wielded on their own. Unlike most themes, they largely forgo spells in favor of their unique trap cards.

Paleozoic traps first apply various effects to harass your foe, then revive from the graveyard as water monsters when other traps activate, assaulting your foe on numerous fronts. While this makes them vulnerable to banishing tactics like "Macro Cosmos," their unusual trap abundance makes them hard to stop; few opponents carry adequate counters against these trap-to-monster aces.

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Danger! Nessie!Danger!? Tsuchinoko?Danger!? Jackalope?
Danger! Nessie!
Danger! Nessie!
Danger!? Tsuchinoko?
Danger!? Tsuchinoko?
Danger!? Jackalope?
Danger!? Jackalope?

Signature Danger! Cards

Monsters
Spells
Traps
Danger! Nessie!
Allure of Darkness
Infinite Impermanence
Danger!? Tsuchinoko?
The Beginning of the End
Imperial Order
Danger!? Jackalope?
Sekka's Light
Red Reboot

8. Danger!

Danger cards are sometimes mixed with the Thunder series, but also work well independently. Often neglecting traps, these dark creatures activate their effects from the hand, discarding a random card to special summon the activated unit (assuming it wasn't tossed), quickly swarming your field.

Even better, Danger creatures wield a variety of discard effects, so even if they're trashed (whether through their own abilities or other traits), you still access useful effects. Thus, they can be somewhat unpredictable, but they're known for first-turn kills and quick access of rank three xyz monsters.

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Ignis Heat, the True DracowarriorDisciples of the True DracophoenixTrue Draco Apocalypse
Ignis Heat, the True Dracowarrior
Ignis Heat, the True Dracowarrior
Disciples of the True Dracophoenix
Disciples of the True Dracophoenix
True Draco Apocalypse
True Draco Apocalypse

Signature True Draco Cards

Monsters
Spells
Traps
Inspector Boarder
Card of Demise
True Draco Apocalypse
Ignis Heat, the True Dracowarrior
Disciples of the True Dracophoenix
There Can Be Only One
Majesty Maiden, the True Dracocaster
Dragonic Diagram
The Monarchs Erupt

7. True Draco

True Dracos can be paired with True Kings or Monarchs, or simply used on their own. They emphasize tribute summons and let you sacrifice continuous spells and traps in addition to monsters, ensuring you always have fodder for your aces. Once fielded, they search cards from your deck when your opponent activates effects, quickly granting you card advantage.

True Dracos are a versatile group; many of their builds forgo the extra deck to use "The Monarchs Erupt" (which negates effects from non-tributed monsters), while others employ a full suite of extra deck creatures. The former option provides today's cheapest deck list, making it a great choice for budget duelists who still want a competitive theme.

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Chronograph SorcererWisdom-Eye MagicianPendulum Call
Chronograph Sorcerer
Chronograph Sorcerer
Wisdom-Eye Magician
Wisdom-Eye Magician
Pendulum Call
Pendulum Call

Signature Magician Cards

Monsters
Spells
Traps
Chronograph Sorcerer
Pendulum Call
Evenly Matched
Wisdom-Eye Magician
Star Pendulumgraph
Heavy Storm Duster
Mist Valley Apex Avian
Twin Twisters
Infinite Impermanence

6. Magician

From Odd-Eyes to Performapals to Supreme Kings, the pendulum Magicians offer many routes to develop their theme, keeping your opponent guessing even once they see your initial cards. Magicians utilize pendulum summons to swarm monsters up to level seven, often employing "Mist Valley Apex Avian" and "Mythical Beast Jackal King" to negate opposing cards.

Like several series, Magicians tend to neglect traps, but they enjoy one of the best spell searches in the game, "Pendulum Call," which discards a unit (prepping your graveyard) to nab any two Magicians from your deck and shield your pendulum scales for a few turns. But that's just the tip of the iceberg—you can take your spellcasters in whichever direction you want, and their lengthy run among the top decks showcases their lasting power.

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Altergeist HexstiaAltergeist MarionetterSecret Village of the Spellcasters
Altergeist Hexstia
Altergeist Hexstia
Altergeist Marionetter
Altergeist Marionetter
Secret Village of the Spellcasters
Secret Village of the Spellcasters

Signature Altergeist Cards

Monsters
Spells
Traps
Altergeist Hexstia
Secret Village of the Spellcasters
Personal Spoofing
Altergeist Meluseek
Pot of Desires
Rivalry of Warlords
Altergeist Marionetter
Terraforming
Solemn Strike

5. Altergeist

For an easily-grasped theme, look no further than the Altergeist wizards. They generally remain independent of other archetypes and utilize impressive swarming capabilities to summon link monsters rapidly. Additionally, they place nets like "Secret Village of the Spellcasters" and "Rivalry of Warlords" to ensnare your foe, leaving them helpless to counter your tactics.

It's as simple as that; for a devoted spellcaster theme that emphasizes binding your opponent over sheer power, you'll find few better than the Altergeists.

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Gouki SuprexIsolde, Two Tales of the Noble KnightsCalled by the Grave
Gouki Suprex
Gouki Suprex
Isolde, Two Tales of the Noble Knights
Isolde, Two Tales of the Noble Knights
Called by the Grave
Called by the Grave

Signature Gouki Cards

Monsters
Spells
Traps
Gouki Suprex
Called by the Grave
Phantom Knights' Fog Blade
Neo Space Connector
Gouki Re-Match
Evenly Matched
Isolde, Two Tales of the Noble Knights
Twin Twisters
Red Reboot

4. Gouki

Warrior-type Gouki decks offer odd mishmashes of various themes that often exceed the standard 40-card minimum, sometimes opting to builds 60-card decks. Goukis often ally with Danger, Phantom Knight, and Neo Spacian cards, making their main deck members unpredictable.

These decks focus on link monsters, both summoning powerful aces and placing Gouki materials into the graveyard (which activates their search effects), and they offer several battle damage traits to maximize your martial prowess. At a glance, the builds sometimes look like haphazard messes, but they form surprisingly competent smorgasbords that blend the best elements of several strategies.

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Dante, Traveler of the Burning AbyssOrbital HydralanderSekka's Light
Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss
Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss
Orbital Hydralander
Orbital Hydralander
Sekka's Light
Sekka's Light

Signature Burning Abyss Cards

Monsters
Spells
Traps
Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss
Sekka's Light
Evenly Matched
Orbital Hydralander
Twin Twisters
Red Reboot
Fiendish Rhino Warrior
Card Destruction
Wiretap

3. Burning Abyss

Burning Abyss decks employ fiend-type monsters with powerful graveyard effects. Since many rely on not controlling spells/traps, Abyss decks are almost exclusively made of monsters, and they don't contain many duplicates, letting you access powerful cards like "Orbital Hydralander" that reward you for diversifying your theme.

Your goal is to stock your graveyard with as many members as possible, accessing their graveyard effects and overwhelming foes with your self-reviving cards. As icing on the cake, Abyss units aren't especially reliant on the extra deck, making them surprisingly affordable for such a competitive structure.

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Thunder DragondarkThunder DragondarkAllure of Darkness
Thunder Dragondark
Thunder Dragondark
Thunder Dragondark
Thunder Dragondark
Allure of Darkness
Allure of Darkness

Signature Thunder Dragon Cards

Monsters
Spells
Traps
Thunder Dragon Colossus
Allure of Darkness
Red Reboot
Thunder Dragondark
Brilliant Fusion
Evenly Matched
Thunder Dragon
Gold Sarcophagus
Summon Limit

2. Thunder Dragon

Classic "Thunder Dragon" finally scores his own archetype, and boy does it impress. The main deck monsters quickly fill your graveyard by discarding themselves to search other cards; meanwhile, fusion monsters like "Thunder Dragon Colossus" impose powerful penalties on your opponent. For instance, Colossus prevents them from adding cards to their hand except by drawing, a brutal snare that completely shuts down most searches.

Thanks to the light and dark attributes of Thunder Dragon beasts, you can banish them from your graveyard to summon the powerful Chaos monsters, and they also mesh well with the Danger cards.

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Sky Striker Ace - RayeSky Striker Ace - KagariSky Striker Mobilize - Engage!
Sky Striker Ace - Raye
Sky Striker Ace - Raye
Sky Striker Ace - Kagari
Sky Striker Ace - Kagari
Sky Striker Mobilize - Engage!
Sky Striker Mobilize - Engage!

Signature Sky Striker Cards

Monsters
Spells
Traps
Sky Striker Ace - Raye
Sky Striker Mobilize - Engage!
Evenly Matched
Sky Striker Ace - Kagari
Sky Striker Mecha Modules - Multirole
Heavy Storm Duster
Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring
Sky Striker Mecha - Widow Anchor
infinite Impermanence

1. Sky Striker

This spell-oriented series rewards you for stocking your graveyard with magic cards, offering bonus effects when you have at least three. Thus, you'll quickly harass your foe with multi-part spells that essentially offer two effects in one. Additionally, the Sky Striker monsters are easily summoned (their numerous link units only need one material), and they're adept at swarming.

What can I say; with nearly every member in the archetype a winner, it's no surprise the Sky Strikers are king of the hill. Keep an eye on those ban lists, as the Striker aces may eventually see some bans or at least limitations to curb their enormous potential.

Which archetype do you prefer?

See results

More of the Best Yu-Gi-Oh Decks

Remember, in addition to today's list, archetypes like Cyber, SPYRAL, and Mekk-Knight still see usage and are worth considering (especially in terms of value). And with the topdecks website and ban lists continuously updating, we'll be back before long to tackle a whole new set of top-tier decks.

Still, change is good, preventing a single theme from stagnating at the top and allowing new cards a chance in the spotlight. But for now, as we eagerly await Konami's next set of tournament-winning decks, vote for your favorite series and I'll see you at our next Yu-Gi-Oh countdown!

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    © 2019 Jeremy Gill

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