Hello, duelists and welcome to Meta and Non-Meta Decks Analysis. This is a list showing some of the most popular meta decks right now in Duel Links and why they work against non-meta decks even when they look powerful.
First off let’s define what meta is: it means something that is strong in a game, that could be a character, skill or a card, so in Duel Links meta decks are the strongest decks right now that can easily win against other decks.
Now with that in mind, actual meta is dominated by Relinquished Decks because its core card, Relinquished, can steal an opponent’s monster card and gain its stats to be able to attack, also if you receive damage that involves this card, the opponent receive it too! Moreover, if the card would be destroyed by a battle, only destroys the equipped card.
Combine all these good stats and that can be easily summoned by a wide variety of support cards like Sonic Bird, Senju of the Thousand Hands and Sphere Kuriboh, you can build a deck around this card with the help of a character skill, Switcheroo, to be on the board in no time.
Not so long ago there was an event named Kaiba Cup, a highly competitive tournament that changed the metagame in all forms and the winner of the Asian region, King Halo, used a Relinquished deck that is one (but not the only recipe) of the most reliable, expensive and powerful Relinquished deck to build.
This deck is so powerful because it can steal any monster card from your opponent and that includes: Ritual Monster, Fusion Monster, Normal Monster and Effect Monster. It doesn’t matter if it’s a face up or face down monster and that makes it the fear of any player that duels against this deck, also it has the cards to protect or even destroy the stolen monster to steal another one with the help of Interdimensional Matter Transporter or to avoid an Order to Charge.
This scenario puts any other deck in a disadvantage if the opponent steals your best monster card, the way this deck work, is its built to counter it and that carry’s us to other popular meta decks: The Harpies Deck.
Another of the strong decks that can make anyone reach King of Games with the proper cards is Harpies deck. With Mai skill Harpies´ Hunting Ground you can start with that field spell that allow you to destroy any trap or spell card that is in the entire field (even your side), that includes: Set cards, Continuous cards, Equip cards and Field spell cards.
The mechanic consists of summoning any of the 3 allowed Harpie lady from the deck to use the effect of the field spell and that way gain a huge advantage against duelists that use strong game changing trap cards like Mirror Wall, Metalmorph or even Michizure.
But mostly this deck works very well in high ranks due the direct counter to Relinquished card because the equipped monster is treated as a spell equip card, summoning a harpy while the field is on allows you to destroy it and if the opponent doesn’t have a card to protect the monster, it’s easily destroyed.
That would be a perfect scenario but in most cases, it won’t be enough, so the deck also has Order to Charge to destroy any card that can’t be beaten with the below average damage that the harpie lady cards has.
Recently a new mini box, Wonders of the Sky, was added that supports this deck with cards likeSonic Duck with 1,700 attack damage that it’s also boosted by the field spell and Harpie Lady #1 or the Birdface card that after it’s destroyed in battle adds a Harpie Lady card from the deck to your hand, that way the deck doesn’t only rely on the field spell but also has other ways to keep fighting in the game.
Right now there are a lot of variants of this deck, the core cards will be always 3 Harpie Lady cards, Order to Charge and some Normal high damage beaters, other variants runs Harpie Lady Sisters that can only be summoned with the Elegant Egotist spell only if you have a Harpie on the field and even if the Harpy is stealed by a Relinquished! There are some deck examples:
While these are the most popular meta decks, there are other worth to mention that are also competitive but would be placed as Tier 2 decks right now (it doesn’t mean they’re weak), some examples are:
Weevil Burn Deck
Tea Burn Deck
Bluff Trap Deck
Non Meta Decks
With the addition of Gemini cards in the card trader lineup a Gemini deck can be made spending some gold and stones, but its cost could be a bit expensive due the rarity of the cards.
Mostly the core ones being Super Rare cards (SR) tied as the same rarity and cost in stones as Gravekeeper’s Oracle (a core card for the Gravekeeper’s second tier meta deck), left the player thinking if it would be worth buying Gemini cards mostly for new players that doesn’t have too much resources to spend. Here is a list with the cards that can be found with its cost in the card trader:
Rarity Jewel Cost
Now the problem is that with only these cards you can’t make a competitive deck because it doesn’t have support cards that helps to counter actual meta decks (Relinquished, Harpies, Gravekeeper´s, etc) also its monster attack are below average damage being the highest one Gemini Scorpio with 1,600 damage while there are meta beaters in a range of 1,800 to 1,700 damage without any boost.
If after all these flaws you are still interested in building a Gemini deck not everything is lost, you can use strong cards from boxes and character drop cards that can help you fight against the strong decks, it’s not going to be easy but certainly can work.
Right now there are no competitive deck list but I will share the deck in the left that works for me even against meta decks with some luck!
Due to the nature of Gemini cards, they can be treated as Normal monsters even when they have an effect, that can be handy if you have Order to Charge spell that can be used to destroy potential threats like Relinquished before taking your monster! Also you can use equip cards or trap cards to boost the monsters attack like Metalmorph, Black Pendant or Gravity Axe.
The ideal combo would be summoned Gemini Scorpio to activate its effect to being able to special summon a Gemini monster from hand in the same turn and special summon Grasschopper from the deck using Insect Imitation.
Thanks to the Balance skill, you can start with that spell or a trap card to protect your monster in the field.
While it’s not the strongest deck, it’s certainly one of the most fun decks to play because it includes new mechanics that are not seen in other cards. Now let’s talk about other fun, non-meta deck: the Summoned Skull Deck.
Summoned Skull Deck
With the new addition of the Wonders of the Sky minibox it wasn’t only to boost Harpies Deck but also came along with some powerful cards like: Rising Energy, Big Bang Shot, Desert Twister and Summoned Skull.
The Summoned Skull card it’s the highest attack normal monster in Duel Links among the monsters that need one tribute to summon it.
One curious card that maybe some players may forget and I like to use in my deck is Makiu, The Magical Mist. This spell card can be used along Summoned Skull to clear the board and due to the spell effect, mostly all monster cards would be destroyed.
This combo sounds deadly but it’s limited because you need first to have the Summoned Skull monster on the field that is threatened with meta deck cards like Relinquished or destroyed by an Order to Charge; that any card like Storm of Etaqua or Enemy Controller change it from attack to defense position and be vulnerable to be destroyed due its low defense stat.
To minimize the danger of being defeated by my own monster attack, I use the Adhesive Explosive card to destroy a Relinquished in case that it steals my monster or to deal with any other potential threat.
Also to deal with the low defense problem of Summoned Skull I like to use its fusion B. Skull Dragon, it’s still vulnerable to be destroyed by spells or card effects but at least will survive to any low level card attack, so I use Blue Dragon Summoner to have in hand the other fusion material that is Red Eyes B. Dragon.
If I have a bad starting hand and got some damage, I use the skill Destiny Draw of Yami Yugi. In most cases, one card could give me the key to win like to do a fusion, summon a monster with traps/spells set on the field or to defend a monster. This deck it’s versatile but it’s also a gamble so it’s not always consistent but when it works, it’s very powerful.
We can see that non-meta decks can be very powerful when it’s combo is made but needs a lot of cards that are difficult to get or that are no longer available due the discontinued boxes and on the other hand we have meta decks that are powerful and have a lot of ways to achieve a win that doesn’t rely just by one combo and have a lot of support cards.
So if you want to climb to King of Games in ranked ladder or any other tournament, play with meta decks, but in the end, if you make a deck with their flaws in mind with tech cards to counter them maybe can even compete against the most strong decks!