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Is Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel Pay to Win?

Master Duel Pay to win

A surprise release of Yu-Gi-Oh Master duel caught the Yu-Gi-Oh community off guard. Konami had dropped multiple sneak peaks into the game’s foundations, but hadn’t set a release date. But as of January 19, the game is officially out on all platforms excluding mobile. The mobile release is sure to come in the near future. Though the game is technically free to play, a lot of players are rightfully skeptical of Konami’s infamous business model. With the travesty that is Yu-Gi-Oh Duel Links, players wonder is Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel Pay to Win?

Yugioh Master Duel is Pay to Win

Unfortunately, yes. Yes, it is. The entire card acquiring system is built off of gems, which are purchasable currency that are also capped. For those unfamiliar to this term, it essentially means there’s a limit to how many gems a player can realistically earn in a single sitting. The more players play, the less the game returns. In the beginning, players can earn a huge lump sum through story missions and in game events. But these are a one time deal, since replaying the story missions doesn’t yield nearly as much rewards. How important are the gems to playing and having a good time in Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel?

Well, this depends on how serious of a player the duelist wants to be. In the conventional 40 card deck, chances are players will need a lot of UR cards to compete with the best of the best. The rates for an UR is 2.50%. That’s not good at all. Every pack of 10 costs 1000 gems. And according to a redditor, who calculated the currency, it comes out to around $2 per pack. Each pack of 10 therefore costs around $20, and no UR is realistically guaranteed. The plus side is that SR are guaranteed with each pack of 10, but this isn’t enough to make the game f2p friendly on the competitive end.

PSA: Yugioh Master Duel Price Per Gems Analysis from yugioh

F2P Players

For those looking to play casually and just have a good time, this game still has a lot to offer. As the newest installment, Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel is an impressive game. Animations are crisp, and cross-platform dueling is a very nice addition. The crafting system allows players to acquire individual cards that they want. This is great for players looking to build a specific deck. At least that’s an improvement from the money eating system that is Yu-Gi-Oh Duel Links. But is it enough to allow free to play duelists to compete with the rich whales? Though it’s a little early to make the conclusion on this point, since it’ll depend on how Konami treats daily missions alongside gem flow.

What a lot of players don’t seem to realize, as the game just released, is that there will inevitably be diminishing returns upon playing. Many duelists are overhyped with the game providing lots of rewards for playing solo and climbing ranked. But this will slow down as time passes. Every gacha game models the beginning progress in such a way. The longer players play, the harder it’ll become to earn gems. So this is definitely something to keep a close eye on, as Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel continues to develop.

In Conclusion

Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel is pay to win. The good news is for free to play duelists, creating a single deck desired to climb is very much possible. By using the crafting system and the base amount of currency that the game allots, well informed players can definitely build decks to climb the ranked ladder. The issue is that, since the game will be ever evolving, players will likely need to build new decks, especially once more and more ban lists come out. This requires more gems for more rolls. The microtransaction enforced gachapon system, by definition, makes the game pay to win. But it’s definitely not as severe as the likes of Duel Links. For very committed, hard working, informed players, free to play is viable.

Once again, a majority of players don’t realize that the gem earn rate is largely diminishing once hours have been sunk in. Creating a single competitive deck is completely possible with the starting currency and beginning progress. But as the game continues to progress, and more cards and ban lists release, it’s highly likely that players will find themselves lacking gems to purchase and acquire key cards. In other words, to become the king of games, duelists must first become the king of whales.


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3 comments

Carrick January 23, 2022 at 3:53 pm

Of course it’s Pay-to-Win! It’s Yu-Gi-Oh. This game seems very much designed to far more closely emulate the physical version. You know, the one where you have to go to a shop (or online) and purchase physical decks or booster packs. And those packs have only a small chance of containing the best cards. That’s pay to win; it always has been. We’ll sort of.

See, there’s still an element of tactical play. Allot of the pay-to-win players focus on building decks that allow them to pull out and summon at least on our their strongest monsters off-the-bat. We’ll the tutorial literally gifts you a spell that clears the opponents side of the field. If you draw this in the first few rounds you can effectively re-set and even the playing field. And there are many such spells or “weaker” monsters that have effects to remove some or all of your opponents fielded cards.

Actually, the major difference is with the digital game as you mentioned you are guaranteed SR cards if you make a 10 pack purchase. But I can tell you – from experience – if you don’t receive a UR card in those 10 packs you are the guaranteed at least one in your next 10 pack purchase (of that specific pack).

I’ve sunk almost all of my free gems into buying several packs of the hidden decks. Yet only once have I been guaranteed a UR card. That means that only in one purchase so far did I not receive at least one UR.

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Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel Review January 26, 2022 at 2:43 am

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Sean April 25, 2022 at 2:42 pm

Yeah I wouldn’t say it’s pay to win since you will easily lose after paying, to certain decks, and you can easily win with very cheap decks such as eldlich. If you build the top tier meta deck as your first deck, you will have like 70 percent win rate within a couple days of installing without paying. An informed player will usually beat uninformed players at Yu-Gi-Oh, since they are building the right deck to win. And the fact you can reroll 3 ultra rares for an ultra rare of your choice makes them inherently common and not rare unlike the actual card game. F2P players aren’t left behind unless they’re uninformed. However the slow gem rate does affect how fast you can build your non competitive decks.

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