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With Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel reaching its one-month anniversary soon, the meta is starting to stabilize. Season 2of ranked just started, and many players may be asking what the best decks to climb in Master Duel with. This tier list breaks down the top 15 decks that players should be playing and looking out for on ladder. This list also explains why each deck is placed where they are on the spectrum.

The top 15 decks listed in order from best to worst. | Provided by Tiermaker.

S-Tier: Tri-Brigade, Drytron, Eldlich and Virtual World

At the top of S-Tier lies Tri-Brigade and its two main variants. The Bird Up variant that utilizes the Lyrlisuc engine puts up powerful first-turn boards with a mix of floodgates and interruptions that include the powerful Barrier statue of Stormwinds, which locks the opposing player out of their strategy unless it’s a wind-type play. As for the other variant, Zoodiac, the deck is extremely consistent and resilient, making it the best deck in the format.

Drytron is right behind them with its powerful Turn 1 combo that ends on Herald of Ultimateness, a practical game-ender unless the opposing player can prevent it from hitting the board, which in a single-game format is unlikely.

Eldlich, meanwhile, is the most powerful stun deck in the game with its plethora of floodgate trap cards.

Rounding out the S-Tier is Virtual World with its mix of disruption and floodgate potential with one of the most powerful cards in the game True King of All Calamities.

A-Tier: Adamancipator and Phantom Knights

Both of these decks are similar to the S-Tier decks as they are heavy combo decks that aim to end the game on Turn 1. However, these decks are more susceptible to hand traps and disruptions.

Adamancipator is one of the most intricate combo decks and is infamous for perhaps being the best deck in the history of Yu-Gi-Oh that never won a tournament due to its rise during the pandemic era, which saw its best cards get hit on the Forbidden and Limited list before it got to see IRL play. However, in Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel that is not the case as it has full access to its main combo enabler, Block Dragon.

Phantom Knights play a lot differently on Master Duel than in real life. That’s because the deck functions primarily as Number 86: Heroic Champion – Rhongomyniad turbo. The card when summoned is a game-ender, but it requires a long combo to set it up.

B-Tier: Prank-Kids, Sky Striker, Madolche and Pendulum

These four decks are powerhouses that lack either powerful turn one boards that are supposed to end the game or the consistency to hit them through disruptions. However, these decks are definitely ladder threats that players will constantly run into.

Prank-Kids is a simple combo deck that doesn’t have the scariest turn one board but its very annoying to out. Prank-Kids Battle Butler is a board wipe on the opposing player’s turn that can activate multiple times making it very hard to beat going second.

Sky Striker is the best control deck in Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel. The deck rarely wins the game on the first turn going first or second but is the best at grinding out resources and taking home victories in drawn-out games.

Madolche is one of the best one-turn kill decks in the game. With many players slowly starting to realize that it’s optimal to go second with this deck, the deck thrives on its multiple one-card OTK starter cards and can surprisingly play through a decent amount of disruptions.

Pendulum is one of the better flex deck options in the game. It can go first or second and have a good chance at winning. However its not the master of either which hurts its standing in a best-of-one format.

Honorable Mentions: Shaddoll Invoked, Thunder Dragon, Dinos, @ignister and Salamangreat

These decks are all strong and are on the come up in Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel

Shaddoll Invoked is a deck that relies on setting up simple but effective turn one boards. Featuring Invoked Mechaba and El Shaddoll Winda. However, in a metagame that features turn one board with more powerful disruptions and floodgates, Shaddoll Invoked is outclassed but can easily shoot up the tier list in a future format.

Thunder Dragon is the quickest rising deck in the current metagame. Taking a page out of the current physical TCG’s book, this deck utilizes the raw power of Artifact Scythe. The card locks opposing players from touching their extra deck thanks to Thunder Dragon Titan. This deck can easily jump ranks with more play.

Dinosaur is another premier OTK strategy that can also go first and set up a strong wall. Ultimate Conductor Tyrano is still one of the most powerful cards in the game and demands respect or players can lose to this deck easily regardless of what strategy they are playing.

@ignister is a fragile combo deck that can put up an unkillable monster that is unaffected by all card effects and has 6000 attack. The only out to the card is something like a Kaiju or Lava Golem. Neither are played by any meta deck on ladder. This deck will steal games if players are not prepared.

Finally, there is Salamangreat. In a meta that features unfair floodgate and board disruptions, this powerful but fair deck just lacks the power to compete. But it’s still an anime fan favorite and it’s still good enough to reach platinum rank with.


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