Yu-Gi-Oh! Cross Duel: Deckbuilding Guide

Quick Links

  • Cross Duel Deckbuilding Basics
  • How To Obtain New Cards
  • Tips For Building Your Deck

Yu-Gi-Oh! Cross Duel, the latest entry in the Yu-Gi-Oh! spin-off games line, presents a brand-new experience for all players, no matter their degree of familiarity with the classic card game. It will see you battling in four-player duels on a cross-shaped field, and carefully positioning your monsters along lanes to achieve victory.

An essential part of the experience is deckbuilding. Just as it is in the TCG, you'll need to build your deck to use in your many battles, which will often evolve as you gain stronger cards and monster skills. It's a lot to get used to, especially for a completely new way of dueling, but we'll go over everything you need to know.

Cross Duel Deckbuilding Basics

Don't let the cards fool you: Cross Duel is an entirely different beast from other Yu-Gi-Oh! games out there. As such, much of what you know about deckbuilding in the TCG isn't relevant here, so forget (almost) everything you know about putting decks together for other games. Instead, start with a basic deck and build up a more cohesive strategy as you become more familiar with how the game plays and what cards you particularly enjoy seeing in your hand.

That said, there are still a few rules you need to know before you hit the deck editor. In particular:

  • You need to choose an Ace monster, who will automatically appear in your starting hand every game.
  • Your deck needs to contain exactly 20 cards, including your Ace monster. No more, no less!
  • Every card in your deck needs to be different – you can only have one copy of each.

You should pay particular attention to which Ace monster you pick since this will shape your strategy as a whole. The game heavily leans you toward high-level monsters such as Dark Magician and Black Luster Soldier, and with good reason: Attack and Defence stats matter a lot more in Cross Duel than in the regular TCG, and so guaranteeing a high-stat monster in your starting hand is a fantastic way of turning the tables on your opponents. However, you can choose any monster as your Ace if you have the strategic justification for doing so.

How To Obtain New Cards

Cross Duel gives you two main ways of adding cards to your collection: the Card Gacha and the Shop. Although the Shop guarantees you the specific card you want, you need to exchange other cards to get them, so the main way of widening your collection will be by praying to Slifer and pulling on the Card Gacha.

There are three different types of Card Gacha in the game: there are special Gachas that are purchased with Crystals, regular Gachas that are bought with Gems, and the Ticket Gacha which is where you redeem your tickets. Which currency you have will dictate which Gacha you pull on, but all three work in the same way in that you roll a certain number of times and receive a randomised set of cards available from the Gacha on each roll.

Crystals are the game's premium currency, whereas Gems are a currency earned by completing missions and Ranked duels. Don't get them confused!

Each pull on the Gem and Crystal Gachas will get you a pack of three cards where one has a chance of being either a Super Rare (SR) or an Ultra Rare (UR). The ticket Gacha, on the other hand, will give you one card per ticket, but it will be of a guaranteed rarity – so, for example, using a UR Ticket will guarantee you a UR card.

The Shop works similarly to crafting systems in other games: you can pick any card you wish, but you'll need to trade four cards of the same rarity as that card to receive it. Additionally, you can only trade cards from your Vault, which is where all of your duplicate cards from Gacha pulls get sent automatically.

You might think that cards from your Vault don't matter, since you can only have one copy of each card in your deck, but this is not the case. Duplicate copies of a card can be used to unlock more Skill slots for that card, meaning that you should hold on to duplicates of your favourites to make them even more powerful.

Tips For Building Your Deck

The most important thing you should remember about deckbuilding in Cross Duel is to always be open to new ideas. During your matches, keep an eye out for interesting strategies you come across and think about how you might replicate them in your deck. Experimentation is also key, since it is the only way you will learn what works and what doesn't, and more importantly what fits your playstyle.

That said, there are a few other things that you should bear in mind to squeeze the most out of your deck:

  • Pick your Ace monster carefully – it is the linchpin of your strategy. While your favourite high-level monster is an admirable choice, don't count out the little guys either, since with the right tactics they could prove to be valuable cards to guarantee in your starting hand. For example, picking an Ace monster with the Superspeed ability means that you can place it in the centre lane on your first turn every game, essentially guaranteeing you first dibs on the valuable prize card in the middle of the battlefield.
  • Make sure you don't forget to kit out all of your monsters with Skills – not just your Ace. The more easily-attainable Skills such as ATK Boost can in themselves provide important strength boosts for your deck, but some of the more unique Skills can turn weaklings into game-saving heroes. You might not be scared of Winged Kuriboh now, but if it has the Curse Skill equipped then it can take your Ace monster out of action for a long time.
  • Optimise the number of Monsters, Spells, and Traps in your deck as effectively as you can. Since monsters act as your main form of defence and your only form of offence, these should take up most of your deck; at least 12-15 of your cards should be monsters. Spells and Traps, on the other hand, are not that different from one another – both act as surprise mechanics in the Battle Phase – and so which you decide to pick here will be down to your personal preference.
  • Double-check that your deck makes sense before you unleash it into the world. If you're playing Elemental HERO Flame Wingman with his unique Skill, do you also have enough Warrior-type monsters to consistently be able to summon him? Is there any point having Scrum Force in your deck if you're only playing a handful of low-level monsters? Considerations such as these will help you to make your deck feel more cohesive and will aim it towards a sharp strategy.

Finally, you should change your deck based on what you're doing. Having separate decks for Raid Duels and Ranked Duels is an excellent idea since the two modes work on very different mechanics. Additionally, your Raid Duel-only monster Skills aren't going to help you in Ranked, and neither are cards like Butterfly Dagger – Elma which impart Raid Duel effects.

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