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Yugioh Master Duel Deck tier list – Best Decks January

Let's go back to April 2021

Updated: Feb 23, 2022 2:27 pm
Master Duel

So Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel is out, along with its strange banlist. As well as a not up-to-date card pool, this has left players wondering what the current best decks in Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel are. Considering the banlist is unique to the game, and isn’t following the current TCG / OCG banlist… Well not to worry, here is the breakdown of what could be the current metagame. This is slightly speculative as there aren’t any official tournaments going on right now to judge the metagame from. Instead, this will be based on the OCG and TCG formats from early 2021 which had a similiar banlist and available cards and archetypes.

We’ll rank this Tier list in three:

  • Tier 3
  • Tier 2
  • Tier 1
  • Tier 0

Tier 3

These are decks that are not nearly as powerful as the decks above them. They can have good matchups against those tier 1 decks and sneak wins. Currently, for Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel, this is any deck that can run 12 hand traps. Any deck able to have Ash Blossom and Joyous Spring and Effect Veiler have a good chance of beating most other decks you will see. 

In terms of archetypes, here are some examples:

Prank Kids

Prank-Kids are a fun combo deck where one card can explode into a board of multiple field wipes. All Main Deck “Prank-Kids” monsters have effects that trigger if they are sent to the GY as Fusion or Link Materials for the Summon of a “Prank-Kids” monster, and afterwards, allow you to Special Summon from the hand or Deck a “Prank-Kids” monster with a different name than the one whose effect was activated. They might not be the biggest or toughest monsters but their combos can take your opponent by surprise and could disrupt your opponent.


Dragonmaids are another combo deck with easy access to negation and high attacks for turn two kills. The low-Level “human” “Dragonmaid”s are meant to swarm the field, only to then use their effects to amass resources during Main Phase 1, while they then do the aforementioned switching out for their dragon forms during the Battle Phase, and then switching back into the humanoid forms afterwards. 

Along with a fun gimmick about house servants turning into dragons and some beautiful designs, this is a fun little gimmick deck you might see being used. But again this deck had a lot of special summons that Maxx C stops. It is also quite interruptible and not especially reliable if your opponent has some good interruption effects.


The Fluffals are another combo deck that just cannot keep up with the control and stun decks that run this metagame. It does however have some mean the board – when left unchecked – will be swarmed by cute set of cards. This archetype focuses on Fusion Summon tactics, primarily to search out and recycle “Polymerization” while also utilizing cards such as “Edge Imp Sabres” and “Toy Vendor” along with “Fluffal Dog”, giving the player easy access to the necessary cards to Fusion Summon “Frightfur” Fusion Monsters. 

Tier 2

Tier 1 consists of decks that – with the right pilot – can easily win a tournament but without side decking in YuGiOh Master Duel it is hard to deal with the decks at tier 1.

Thunder Dragon

A combo control deck that ends with a brutal boss monster, Thunder Dragon Colossus. While Colossus is on the field your opponent cannot add any card from their deck to their hand. No searching at all really limits most decks. Not to mention that if this card would be destroyed just banish a Thunder monster. A terrifying card that is banned in the TCG for good reason.

The archetype aims to provide card advantage and thin the Deck with various discarding and banishing effects. Almost all the “Thunder Dragon” monsters can discard themselves to activate a particular effect, generally revolving around searching another copy of itself or retrieving “Thunder Dragon” monsters in the Graveyard or that are banished, and a second effect that triggers when they are banished or sent from the Field to the Graveyard.

Sky Striker Ace

A deck with an engine so small you can run every hand trap needed to match the tier 1 decks. Engage is also at two, giving the deck some great consistency. This deck is also very cheap to craft with only 2 UR’s and 3 SR’s most of which are limited. 

The rest are rares so the deck has a wider availability than even some of the rogue decks on this list. Even without these though Sky Striker is built for control, each spell allows it to deal with your opponent monsters in a variety of ways. 

The main theme of Sky Striker Ace monster is to utilize their Main Deck monster; Raye, to quickly summon the Sky Striker Ace Link monsters. Many of their Link Monsters are also highly dependant on Spell Cards to support them. 


Control is the name of the game again, a trap-based deck with a single monster. Eldlich has one of the most powerful recursive resources in the game, meaning you never really run out of what you need. 

Just when the opponent thinks they have broken through your defense, you add 3 cards to your hand during the end of their turn. A formidable deck that really benefits from this slower control-based format.

This archetype is centered around the monster Eldlich the Golden Lord and is supported by the “Eldlixir” and “Golden Land” archetypes. The deck’s playstyle revolves around getting Eldlich to the field as quickly as possible, either through his own effect or the “Eldlixer” cards.

Shaddoll Invoked Dogmatika

Specifically, Shaddoll Invoked Dogmatika or Shid for short. A mix of 3 engines each of which gives you different control tools. “Shaddoll Winda” allows for you to limit summons to one per turn, “Invoked Mechaba” is a negate of any card type. Dogmatika Punishment allows for “Shaddoll Schism’ to be easily searched from your deck for a turn 2 Winda or Construct.

For the “Shaddoll” Effect Monsters activating their Graveyard effects is the quickest way of gaining advantage, especially “Shaddoll Beast” who is usually the first to be sent off of “Shaddoll Fusion” or “Sinister Shadow Games”; with “Shaddoll Falco” soon to follow. And lastly, “Shaddoll Squamata” and “Shaddoll Hedgehog” are best for searching the other two or left be until they are Drawn as the 1st basically acts as any “Shaddoll” when sent and the second usually searches the other of the first two. 

A truly powerful Control strategy that will make your opponents cry out when you normal summon Alister the Invoker. 

Tier 1 

The best currently under this banlist, are powerful control decks or resilient decks that can manoeuvre through interaction with ease 


Lyrilusc Tri-Brigade or “Bird Up” is a powerful deck, with incredible resource management and a combo that can end on a set of infinite negates or a Barrier statue that means you can only summon wind types. Zoodiac Tri-brigade lets your shred through the opponent’s board like it’s nothing without even summoning a large number of monsters.

It’s hard to say which is better right now since there is little footage of either playing. But Zoodiac Tri brigade has access to AA Zeus, a quick effect board wipe that isn’t once per chain. Either was these bothers will be fighting for the top spot

Interested in learning how to play Lyrilusc Tri-Brigade? Follow this link for the full break down


The deck is focused around ritual summoning monsters from hand or graveyard tributing light machine monsters from you hand or field whose whose attack value equals or exceeds the ritual monsters attack value. It is the first archetype to utilize this new mechanic of ritual summoning, all the others requiring levels and not attack value.

A ritual deck that barely ritual summons, Drytron is the current deck to beat in the TCG Metagame. With access to hand traps most other decks aren’t in the form of Herald of the Orange light, this deck simply says NO. It does have some heavy combo lines that are stopped by “Maxx C”, but who cares when you can negate that with Orange light or Ash Blossom.

Interested in mastering the Drytron deck? Follow this link for our complete guide on how to build and play the deck.

Virtual World

Finally the reason for this format being so slow in the TCG and OCG. Virtual can summon the True King of all Calamities on turn 1. This card stops any monster effects from being activated and monsters from attacking. It’s the ultimate stun tool. Turn 1 make True King. Turn 2 your opponent does nothing thanks to True King. Turn 3 combo them into next week. As a result of this, a lot of decks became slower control decks since summoning 12 monsters a turn wasn’t a good strategy.

“Virtual World” has a focus on banishing and Special Summoning from the hand while sending cards from the deck to the graveyard. Interestingly, all members of the archetype have Levels/Ranks consisting of multiples of 3, ranging from said number to 9. 

Tier 0

Thankfully so far this isn’t a tier 0 format, there are a variety of decks to play. The list here is heavily based on the format that this current banlist is based on in Early 2021. None of this is fully concrete, any deck could be amazing and only tournament play can truly decide what is good and what is bad. We also cannot know how some of these cards will interact and affect deck building as it always does.

For now, this seems like a safe list as to what are currently the best decks in Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel.

As the game progresses new ban list analysis will be here. what decks do you plan on making it though the duel pass with?

11 thoughts on “Yugioh Master Duel Deck tier list – Best Decks January”

  1. Fluffals are a fun deck. I feel your assessment is correct, but now with DPE being so splashable into most decks, maybe it works in fluffals for a bit more competitive advantage? I was wondering how fluffals would fare with Adventure package? Anyone have any experience with this?

    • Sorry didn’t read article clearly. Master Duel does not have engines I just mentioned. My bad!

  2. Azi Dahaka

    TBLL also has access to Zeus via any of their Xyz, especially Nightingale.
    TBLL is the overall better variant because it’s less linear and has a much more annoying 1st turn field with Apex + Thunderbird or Statue + Utopic Draco.

  3. Ryan G Simmons

    does D/D/D hold up? I’ve had a few people mow me down turn 1 once i hit gold

    • Connor Spencer

      D/D/D is definitely is that rouge tier of the game and with the right pilot, it can contest with the other big decks. It can have some of the most terrifying end boards but sadly it’s quite fragile against interruption from hand traps. I will be making a D/D/D guide for Master duel soon since its one of my personal favorite deck and I want to see how it can compete with the likes of Drytron and Virtual world.

  4. Robert

    I’m using a Cyberse Code Talker deck, and planning on making a Lightsworn deck (if and when they’re added to the game).

    • Connor Spencer

      Code talkers are so cool I have it in paper, Cynet Codec would be banned if it was in any other archetype. Lightsworn are also very cool, they are currently in Master Duel, if you craft any of the SR or UR Lightsworn cards you should unlock the secret pack with the rest of them in

  5. AppleSenpai

    Nice list, I would definitely agree Lyrilusc Tri-Brigade and Drytron are some of the best (pretty annoying to deal with tbh) From my own experience tho I would *maybe* add Adamancipators on here (Tier 3?) It can be verrrry explosive with Block Dragon at 3, but Maxx C in the format may limit it to a rogue status

    • Connor Spencer

      Honestly, if you play Maxx C into Adamancipators you might be looking to deck out. It’s definitely in that tier 3 rouge area I 100% agree

  6. Fairies_suck69

    Fucking hate drytron. It’s the only deck I’ve played against in high level games and they’ve all been able to push through multiple hand traps and end on 4 negates. Poor designed cards along with calamitys. they need to go.

    • Connor Spencer

      Drytron is definitely a difficult deck to go against, especially with the ritual fairy aspect giving them easy negate access. The Very Fun Dragon is banned in the TCG for obvious reason, it still being around on master duel is a reminder of why it should remain that way.

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