The official online simulator we’ve waited years for might finally be here. Hello Pojo Readers, Crunch$G here to talk about the Master Duel game. On January 19th, the game servers were live for all players of various platforms like Steam, Nintendo Switch, Xbox, and PlayStation could play on. It’s your standard online simulator where you can play on the competitive ladder, against friends in casual duels, or on your own in Solo Mode to learn the lore of several archetypes. Overall, I wanted to give my experience in the 13+ hours of the game I’ve played before writing this to give my thoughts on the game, so here we go.

My Experience

So first off, you basically have to start with the tutorial, which is mandatory. I’m not a fan of mandatory tutorials, but they do at least give rewards like Gems, which is more than worth it. After said tutorial, you get 3 Starter Decks to pick from between Dragons, Synchros, and Links. I chose the Link Deck mainly cause Link Spider was the card I felt like I’ll most likely use, but either way you can easily unlock the other Starter Decks with the missions in game if you want the cards from them without crafting any of them. Colossal Fighter might be useful in a format with Maxx “C”

So of course after I finished the tutorial and the game loaded to get my account going, I made my name and instantly went to the shop to see if I could get some packs. First thing I saw was the extremely cheap Duel Pass, which is 100% more than worth it and should be a top priority for anybody going on the ladder. I also saw the bundle deals where you can get Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring, Lightning Storm, and Solemn Judgment alongside 10 packs for 75% the gems you’d normally use, which were another top priority. There were 2 Structure Decks in the game to purchase with a 3x limit on it, one for Utopia and the other for Pendulum Magician, which I might go in on later for when I want to build those strategies.

After I went through the bundles, I looked at the main packs, which you have 3 of currently. Two of them are only for a limited time while the Master Pack is there forever and should have every card in the game. Based on what you pull from the packs, you can unlock Secret Packs for a day which can help you focus more on archetypes you might want to build. You can also get tickets for a Bonus Pack through dueling, but from what I noticed, the pack really isn’t that great with just 2 cards in each pack, but more free cards to use for crafting I guess. I did look at the gem prices as well. I chose not to buy any yet, but if I do decide to purchase gems, I’ll most likely get the special deals well before I get the regular gem packs.

So once I went through the packs, I went to the Deck Edit to try and see what I had to work with. I instantly took the cards I wasn’t going to use immediately and converted them to points to get other cards instead. Accesscode Talker was one of the first URs I created since it’s a powerful Link Monster you only need one of. Within a few hours, I had a pretty competent Dinosaur Deck built through the packs and conversions. There are a ton of good N and R cards in the game I made by breaking down the cards I wouldn’t use since those are the points that’ll most likely be easy to get. I did see we were using a modified OCG list, so we get to play with stuff banned in the TCG like Heavymetalfoes Electrumite, That Grass Looks Greener, Thunder Dragon Colossus, and mainly Maxx “C”. You do lose out on some things with cards like Altergeist Multifaker, ABC-Dragon Buster, and Toadally Awesome at 1 though.

I went and checked Solo Mode first to see what I had to pick from. The first two options were Monarchs and Elemental Lords, but you unlock a ton other storylines the more you finish in Solo Mode. This was the first chance I got to Duel in the game outside the tutorial as well. The animations do move fast enough to where it doesn’t feel like the game is too slow. It could be faster, but that’s a nitpick really. Learning the lore of these archetypes and the story told from the cards is something I’m always interested in, so I’ll probably explore Solo Mode a ton and hope they keep adding to it as we get more archetypes.

I did also explore the ladder somewhat. Being at a low rank, you don’t really feel the need to try and finish your Deck completely since you’re more likely running into players with incomplete Decks at the start. It does seem to have seasons, which means more rewards every once in a while. I wanted to play the ladder to work on my Duel Pass rewards and get some mission rewards as well, since more gems does help get more packs. The servers seem to be running smoothly as I barely noticed any real lag on the ladder against other players.

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In Conclusion

Coming from someone who wasn’t really as hyped about the game as the rest of the community, I love it so far. I can see myself getting addicted to this game and playing it, being my first real exploration into competitive Yu-Gi-Oh in about 7 years. The graphics look great, the pacing is really good, solo mode is extremely fun, the accessibility of cards is nice. It’s a well done game by Konami. It won’t replace real life play, nor will it replace other online simulators like EDOPro and Dueling Book, but it’s an alternative for players that’s very free to play friendly. I love it.

Thanks for reading,