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 Trading Card Game Tips from fans


February 2006



Subject: Building a deck for Beginners - By Dafrog


Hello all. I have noticed 1 thing in most beginning duelist decks…they aren’t all that good. First and foremost, don’t buy a starter deck and say “No one can beat me.” Buy it and say “I really need to fix this up.” Also, don’t make a really big deck out of every card you find. Think “I need to find an uber strategy that is powerful yet easy to pull off.” Great! With that mindset, let’s fix that deck up.


 One of the most important things in starting a deck is deciding what kind it will be. Possible choices are:


Agro decks: These decks are built of low-level high attack monsters and cards to not let your opponent do anything as you win the game. I have seen only too many of these played.


Combo decks: Another frequently used deck-type. It does just what it’s called, combining different cards to make rather powerful attacks. These decks normally keep a duel going for a long time.


Defensive decks: Much like combo decks, but a bit different. These decks are mainly big and built to take a lot of attacks and stall for time. They are used in combinations of burn-decks a lot, described below.


Burn decks: These decks aren’t played that much, but can be really powerful if you have the right cards. Basically, they whittle down your opponents life-points with magic and trap cards, as well as monster effects.


 Now that you know the basic deck types, it’s time to pick whether you want it multi-type or single type. I mean that it can mainly be one type of monster, (I run a very nice Dragon deck) or not be based on a type at all, only on good cards. I prefer the first one, because it’s a bit more of a challenge (Anyone could put a bunch of powerful cards together!) and normally helps prevent Cookie-Cutters. (Those are waaay overly used cards that allow powerful effects all by themselves, with not that much needed to pull them off.) But remember, if you do make a themed deck, it doesn’t have to be completely one type. Sometimes other type cards could help your main strategy. (Ex: I fusion summon Blue-Eyes-Ultimate, so I use The Light – Hex-Sealed Fusion, even though it’s a rock type. It allows me to substitute itself for one Blue-Eyes.)


Ok, I know what kind of deck I want, and I know if I want it single or multi-type. How do I make it?


It’s not necessary, but you might want to get a starter deck (They are about 10 dollars, and found in stores like Target, KB Toys, ToysRUs, and various gaming stores.) When you do get a deck, however, it might not have the main strategy you wanted. I suggest getting a deck based on your type selection. There are a series of single-type decks, and a short amount of multi-type decks. Or, you could make up a starter deck of your own. A good starting deck is about 40 cards, has around 20 monsters, 10 spells, and 10 traps. The deck’s strategy doesn’t matter when you pick it; you are going to change it.


Alright. I bought/made my starter deck. How do I change the strategy?


Well, that depends on the strategy you want. I’m not going into detail for each one, but I’ll do a favorite one, the combo-deck. Once I explain this, you’ll probably be able to figure out how to make the other decks. (For the purposes, I chose a Joey starter deck)


First, for the combo deck, pick out your most used card. It’s not necessarily your most powerful. (In this case, however, it is.) I’ll use my Red-Eyes Black Dragon.


Ok, what cards power up my dragon? Already we have one – Dragon’s Treasure. However, that’s not too much of a boost. Let’s give him Trample! Trample means that when a monster attacks a defense position monster, it still does some damage. I’ll go and trade to my friend Bob for a Dragon’s Rage. Excellent, now, not only Red-Eyes, but all my Dragons can deal damage when they attack a defense position monster. While we’re giving them trample, let’s also give them some protection. I’ll go see Bob again and trade for a Dragon’s Bead. Say, what if my opponent destroys that!? Better get a Lord of D., just in case. Already, I have powered up my Red-Eyes Black Dragon, given it Trample, and provided some Minor protection.


But that’s not really a combo. A combo is using 2 or more cards to unleash a deadly strategy. Say, what’s that other shiny card in my starter deck? It’s Scapegoat! You might see the strategy already if you’re smart enough, but I’m thinking of using Creature Swap. See it now? No? Well, Scapegoat is a magic card that brings out 4 sheep tokens in defense mode. Tokens are monsters that don’t really attack, and mainly either stall, or serve a specific purpose. These Scapegoats have no defense points. So, I’m going to swap one to my opponent with Creature Swap, then attack with my powerful trampling Dragon! That’s at least 2400 direct damage to my opponent’s life points! If I give him more attack-boosting cards like Axe of Despair and Fairy Meteor Crush before I attack, it will do even more. That’s what a combo is.


Ok, I have my combo. Am I done?


Unfortunately, no. You might have added in a bunch of cards just then. It’s important to take out cards keeping the 20 monster, 10, spell, 10 trap count in mind. Also, consider adding cards to help you get your cards for your combo(s). Such cards are Graceful Charity, Reload, and Magical Mallet. Also, a tip to remember is to put two 4-star or lower monster in for every 5-star or higher one.


Alright, I took out the cards I don’t need. Now am I done?


No. In fact, you never will be. As you duel with others, it’s important to modify your decks when you lose, so you won’t come across that problem again. If you have to add cards past 40 later on, that’s fine. Just remember to make half your deck monsters, one fourth of your deck spells, and the other fourth traps. Keeping to these simple tips will eventually make your deck tournament level.


Well, that’s basically all I have to say. Keep building, and keep dueling!




Note: The strategy given is by no means full-proof. It is just a simple example combo that could be easily undone.


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