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Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel Review

Master Duel Pay to win

The newest Yu-Gi-Oh game, Master duel, has been out for a little while now. Therefore, players may be wondering if the game is any good. The franchise has been around for quite a while, so Yu-Gi-Oh games often become a mixed bag of nuts. There are multiple different aspects that go into a Yu-Gi-Oh game. To help simplify the essential factors, this breakdown will go into the gameplay, target audience, and the economy.

From a seasoned Yu-Gi-Oh veteran, having started from the very first starter deck and having kept up with the newer releases alongside even playing Duel Links rather seriously, here is a Yugioh Master Duel Review.

[Related: Is Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel Pay to Win?]


As a whole, Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel plays rather well. There are two primary play modes: Solo and PvP. Solo play doesn’t provide many rewards, but it’s a great place to kill time and try out new decks. PvP is where the game truly shines. Whether the player chooses to battle for glory in ranked matches or casually in dueling rooms, Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel’s PvP experience is as polished as it can realistically get.

The animations are crisp, adding extra flair while not excessively elongating the game. As a whole, performance and quality of life improvements go a long way. When compared to its third party counter parts, such as Dueling Book, Master Duel performs far better. This is no surprise, but something important to note when creating a Yugioh Master Duel Review.

Keeping track of what exactly occurred, especially on third party games, becomes incredibly difficult. And without the system taking care of the ruling, there’s always such ambiguous player-to-player judgement that occurs. Unless the duelist has a PHD in Yu-Gi-Oh, chances are, every player has some aspect of the game that still confuses them. This is one of the biggest downsides of the modern Yu-Gi-Oh format, creating a huge barrier of entry for the physical card game. Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel greatly curbs this barrier with its wonderfully intuitive system. Simply trust in the game to know all the rulings, without having to read through every individual card effect the opponent throws to keep track of the duel.

Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel easily beats out its third party competitors in regards to gameplay. The game will surely become the new format for competitive online Yu-Gi-Oh. Especially considering the pandemic, with in person tournaments often becoming canceled, Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel itches the competitive Yu-Gi-Oh crave that the community has been yearning for.

Card Selection

When discussing gameplay for a Yu-Gi-Oh game, it’s impossible not to go over card selection. Not every card exists in Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel. But the card selections that haven’t made it are either permanently banned or part of the newer generation, so they’re left out for good reason. The meta is in a pretty decent state in the game, making PvP duels honestly really fun. Whether players spam the strongest builds, or even go for their own favorite archetypes, they can experience success.

The typical hand traps are, of course, very much meta. In addition, Master Duel will almost definitely continue to receive updates, shifting the meta by adding new cards alongside new ban lists. As a whole, it feels really good to build the deck of ones liking in Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel, but some of the crafting selections definitely bog the game down. More on this later, when reviewing the game’s economy.

Target Audience

As mentioned before, Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel stands as the newest competitive platform for duelists. Therefore, as a whole, the game targets the newer generation of dueling, especially those attempting to play competitively. The top level plays in ranked consist of long stringed combos with the extra deck, interrupted by hand traps. Those attempting to run older archetypes struggle to keep up with such decks, making platinum rank very difficult to achieve. But it’s not impossible.

Decks, such as Dark Magician and Tunes, still see play. With the amount of flexibility, non-meta decks can still perform quite well and climb the ranked ladder. Of course, the climb definitely becomes steeper when attempting to break through gold. But from beginner rank to silver, playing well made decks that aren’t necessarily competitive can definitely still yield the duelist success.

Therefore, even players not so familiar with the newest format of Yu-Gi-Oh will find plenty to do. For players completely new to the franchise, the only wins they’ll realistically experience are through solo play against computers. To be honest, the vast majority of Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel players are already very acquainted with Yu-Gi-Oh. The game does have some basic tutorials, but it’s not nearly enough to catch a brand new noobie to the deep sea that is Yu-Gi-Oh.


Okay, this is one of the biggest problems with the game. Building the first one or even two decks is very manageable with the initial burst of gems that the games provides. But this is assuming the player understands exactly what they’re doing. This includes what the specific deck they’re building is, what key cards they need, and how to optimize their crafting currency. Going in blind will screw the player so hard. Researching deck builds alongside secret packs is an absolute necessity. Without doing so, players will undoubtedly run out of gems with no efficient way to farm them back up.


The crafting system is a really good change of pace. Honestly, this alone makes the economy in Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel drastically better than that of Yu-Gi-Oh Duel Links. But there are some very Komoney choices in the game’s loot system. Many of the essential UR hand traps alongside important filler cards to be competitive are hidden in the Master Pack. Why is this an issue?

Well, the master back has literally thousands of cards in it. Therefore, pulling from the Master Pack expecting multiple copies of a specific card is simply unrealistic, especially if they are UR units. Might as well try and winning the lottery instead, it’s essentially the same thing. This forces players to craft the UR units that they require, and considering one UR crafting requires three UR dismantles, three copies of a single UR unit requires nine total UR dismantles. And since multiple meta deck recipes consist of three copies of multiple UR cards that fall in the same category, that’s just a lot of UR cards necessary.

SR units are guaranteed in pulls of ten, but UR are not. This leaves players at the whim of the gachapon system, with a 2.5% pull rate for UR cards. This is really tiny, with no UR necessarily guaranteed for a 1000 gem investment. Of course, luck is a huge factor, so players may receive anywhere from one to four UR units from a pull.

Why Crafting is Flawed

Don’t misunderstand, the crafting system is a huge improvement from the pure gacha system in games like Duel Links. But the issue is a lot of the core cards necessary in competitive decks, like Ash Blossom, Effect Veiler, Maxx C, and Infinite Impermanence can only be pulled from the Master Pack. And as previously mentioned, trying to get a specific card from the Master Pack is pretty much impossible. Almost every deck requires three of each, making twelve UR cards the bare minimum for playing competitively. This is not including the specific archetype’s UR cards, alongside inevitable extra deck UR staples that also require the master pack.

This wouldn’t be an issue if the SR, R, and N crafting material converted to UR material. But as it stands, the UR gems are in a massive shortage in every serious F2P player, while R and N materials are in an absurd surplus. Like, literal thousands in surplus.  The amount of power and priority that the UR crafting material hold creates a bit of a poor balance in Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel’s economy. Hopefully, Konami address this issue as updates continue rolling about.

In Conclusion

Yugioh Master Duel Review

Though Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel isn’t out on the mobile yet, it’s very much built around a mobile game system of gacha rolls. And when considering that, Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel definitely does a great job thanks to the addition of the crafting system. The economy isn’t perfect, but hey, it’s a free to play game and Konami has to earn money somehow too. When comparing Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel to both its official and fan made counterparts, Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel is a very impressive game.

Without crafting, the game would be abysmal for competitive play due to the insane barrier of entry. But even though the crafting system isn’t perfect, the base addition of it allows for great opportunity for both casual and seasoned veterans to build the deck of their liking. Just keep in mind, do plenty of research before dropping those gems. They’re a scarce resource.

And finally to conclude the Yugioh Master Duel Review, the game runs very well. The background, the music, the animation, the gameplay itself is amazing. Personally, the game experience is best on PC. The Switch version definitely lags a little too much for comfort, and the deck building on consoles in general is inevitably slower than a mouse and keyboard. But regardless, since the game is cross platform and will eventually be out on practically every platform, Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel is a 9/10 game. Highly recommended, just understand beforehand what the game is and cater expectations accordingly.

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