Guide for Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links – A helping hand for new players
My name is WhatTheFox, im by no means a really good player, but im not here to tell you how to get the title of King of Games. I have over 2k hours ( prolly a lot of those hours are because the game is on the background) My highest rank was Platinum 7, 1 rank away from Legend, which is considered by some players the start of the real game. I made plenty of mistakes when i first started and i still overcame them as a f2p. Im only here to help you not make those same mistakes, so you don’t waste your time, energy and will to play the game.
"Pc game/Phone game"
DL is indeed both a phone game and a pc game.
"But hey, can i play the same account in my phone and pc?"
Yes, you can, you only need to make the data transfer
. You can do it to play on 2 phones, 2 pc’s, phone and pc.
DL isn’t an heavy game, the download of the game itself won’t take you long, what will, is the patching.
The game has started, what now?
If you’re paying DL, you probably watched the anime/animes and know a thing or 2 about the rules, if you don’t, the game makes a good job at teaching you how to Duel, they have great tutorials:
DL is like a weird rpg, (it isn’t an rpg) you have your character, the character lives in a world and you can explore it, although there is not much to explore. DL is based on the anime, therefore, at first, you’ll start the game as the 1st generation did, on Duel Monsters world.
This and every world is separated in 4 sections:
They all serve different purposes, but we’ll skip that.
Now you know where you are, but no idea who you are. At first you’ll be given a choice between 2 characters from the DM anime, i won’t spoil it, but you can probably make an educated guess.
Like i said, this is a weird rpg, and like all rpg’s you can develop your char, in DL you do that by levelling up, that way you’ll receive rewards by every lvl, but in here, even the World has lvl’s, well, stages, as they call them. How do you "stage up"?
Simple, you complete the missions. As you stage up, new things will become available. Mainly, new characters to be unlocked (you do that by completing their missions), you’ll be able to participate in ranked duels, events will become available for you to play them, and new Worlds will open (according to the anime generations)
As you unlock these worlds you can switch between them, certain events will only happen in certain worlds. Every world has a different set of chars, most of them are already available ingame (given you are "staging up") and those that are not, Konami is slowly introducing them (There are characters the game doesn’t tell you about, they’re suppose to be secret or something).
Each character has a set of skills, some skills are specific to characters, others are shared between them (for example: Only Yami Yugi can use the skill *Desteny Draw* but many characters can use *Balance*.)
"Are skills really important?"
Some players say that " a deck should always work without the skill" and yet they always use it. Imho, i think skills are great, i find them to be such a great addition to dueling, some are passive, some are active, but most important, they’re fun.
"Can a skill win you a duel?"
Yes, i mean it, i’ve won and lost duels cause of them!
"But hey, how do i get these skills?"
Well, by levelling up a char, you will always get 3 skills (not random, it’s the same 3 skills for everyone) at lvl 4, 13 and 20. You can get the rest of the skills by dueling, at the end of duel you’ll receive points, by every 1000 pts, you’ll get a reward (mostly garbage) and you might get the chance to be lucky enough to "drop" a skill. Ok, im exaggerating, if you dedicate your time to that character, eventually you’ll drop all skills of said character. Or you can play the lottery using one of the many currencies of the game *Skill chips*. You can find the lottery dude, in the shopping section, once per day, you can pay him a 100 skill chips and he’ll give you a random skill of the char you are currently using. Good thing is, you’ll ALWAYS get a skill, it just might not be the one you want xD.
"Wait, how easy is to get skill chips?"
Im pretty sure is the hardest currency to obtain. But it has an interesting mechanic, whenever you need them you won’t have them, when you don’t, you’ll have plenty! Lemme tell you DL reads your freaking mind…
The make and break of accounts, GEMS and DECKS. F2P BUT P2W??
To start this section, DL is completely f2p, this game is so f2p you don’t even need to buy it!
"Do i need to use money"
I don’t think it’s a matter of need, more like a matter of want, do you want to use money?
You can, it definitely is the easiest way to get cards, but remember even if you pay you are never sure to get the cards you want… "Wait, what? How does that even work?"
To explain why this is the way, i need to tell you how you actually get cards:
1ST: You get cards by leveling up a char, some cards are only obtainable that way and there is only one in the entire game!
2ND: Dueling npc’s, i told you that every 1000 pts you get a reward, one of the rewards is cards (bad cards, but still cards, remember even yugi once said "no card is garbage". He lied). Now, you can play against a legendary duelist, which is a character as an npc
They have spawn times and you can find them at 4 different lvl’s, 10, 20, 30, 40. These legendary duelist might drop specific cards to that char, according to its lvl, different drops for different lvl’s.
3RD: The Lottery dude
also has a card shop, well, 2 different card shops, both can only be used once per day. First you are introduced to 16 cards the moment you click on the lottery dude, those 16 cards come from a stock many cards, every 24 hours those 16 cards will change and another set will be presented, like a rotational system, every now and again new cards are added to the stock. On the lottery dude menu, to your left you’ll have the 2nd shop named "regular inventory" once per day you can buy one those cards. "Are these cards any good?" Ehh, they’re good if the deck you want needs them, which most of the times your deck won’t!
4TH: Every day there are events going on,
some of them are passive (increase exp from duels), some are active (Attack of the Dark Signers) but the most important is, there are cards that you can only obtain from events. These events are cyclic meaning, eventually they will reappear to be played again. You only need to wait.
5TH: Tickets! Are they good? Most of the times, no, but there tickets for every rarity (N, R, SR, UR) BUT, there is indeed one ticket, that is probably the most valuable item in DL, the Dream Ticket, but we’ll get there soon enough.
6TH: Structure decks, 20 card decks already made and ready to be bought. These decks follow a theme, and are advised to be played with a certain char using a pre determined skill. I’ve seen many online debates discussing how good they really are, ranking them up. Most conclude in the same manner, they can be good, but you need to buy them at least 3 times, which won’t be viable for f2p players cuz of this
The first time you buy it, will only cost you gems, but after that… you have to pay cash. Some cards of the structure decks can be found in boxes but others, are structure decks exclusive.
7TH: The big one, the one that is all about them gems or €€€. In the shopping section, you have access to the shop (big surprise), in here you can buy boxes, now, there are 2 different boxes, a main box and a mini box.
A main box will have 200 cards.
A mini box will have 100 cards.
Both boxes have cards of all rarities ( Normal, N ; Rare, R ; Super Rare, SR ; Ultra Rare, UR )
Boxes can share N & R cards, but not SR & UR.
A main box will have 9 unique UR (only comes in a set of 1) and 11 unique SR that come in sets of 2.
A mini box will have 3 unique UR (set of 1) and 10 unique SR (set of 1)
A pack costs 50 gems, 10 packs = 500 gems and then you have the p2w features:
Despite using money to buy packs, at the end of the day, it’s still luck based, you can’t buy a card, you need to buy packs, leaving the game at chance, which has upsides and down sides, (from a f2p perspective, obviously) on one hand, it’s good that, even though you’re paying there is still luck involved, on the other hand if you’re only willing to use a small sum of money, you might get unlucky and end up using more money than you were initially willing to use.
When you first load into the game, you will be gifted a lot of gems ( giving you a sense of abundance, of false security) due to game’s birthdays and special dates, but you have to remember something vital, if you want a UR from a main box, you may end up using 10k gems, just for that one card. "What if i need 3 !?" The moment you buy a pack from a box, you are allowerd to *reset the box* and all cards go back to their original number. Having that in mind, there is a chance you’ll need 30k gems just to get 3 copies of one UR (highly unlikely tho) but it all comes down to chance.
"As a f2p, is it viable to play a tier 1 deck?"
Yes, more than viable, for example, i started going for a Dark Magician deck when it was tier 1, by the time i finished the main deck, it was already tier 3 and when i finished min-maxing it, was already off the tier list, but players were still using it to get King of Games. This makes it seem like it takes a long time to build a tier 1 deck, which is false, cause my dumb self was focusing on multiple decks simultaneously, wasting my gems on stupid decks, delaying my subconcious goal.
"As a f2p, can i build a tier 1 deck for every meta shift?"
No, don’t try that, don’t even think about it, you don’t need to be a meta slave in DL to be good, quite the opposite actually.
"I used everything i had on this deck and the banlist ruined it, what now?"
We’ve all been there, remember my Dark Magician deck? Ye, they killed it. I think it’s one of the main reasons, why going for a tiered deck needs to be a well thought out decision, the deck can be hit by the banlist or, out of nowhere, the deck can leave the tier list and not be as good as it was.
"Are there any f2p decks?"
I’d say, primarily you need to understand what a f2p deck is in DL, from what i have gathered, a f2p deck is a deck that uses cards that do not require gems (obviously), but that’s not actually viable deck, now is it? The other part of a f2p deck is, you can buy packs from a SINGLE box as long as you don’t need to reset it. Having that in mind, yes, there are f2p decks, not many, just a few (Konami is money lover afterall)
"Are those f2p decks really good?"
Players seldom reach KoG while playing the real f2p version. But you can min-max your deck, invest your gems on it, a f2p deck in its OG version can get you far, but not as far as you want, if you like the deck then don’t be afraid to invest in it!
"Are f2p decks ever meta?"
Not that i have seen, BUT, different metas will favour different f2p decks.
"You talk about GEMS, but how do get them??"
Your main source of Gem farming, will definitely be Character levelling, some lvl ups will give you gems. Then you have quizzes, they give you some gems (not as much, lol, not even comparable xD). Your final source of Gems will be Events, which are underwhelming quantities to say the least.
You can still earn Gems by completing some World missions and staging up will always give you 50 gems i think.
"So, if levelling up chars is our main source of gems, won’t we run out of chars eventually? What happens then??"
Yes, when the time comes, you’ll run out of chars, but that is a long process, it will take you time, much more than you think. Im probably only a bit more than half way through all the lvl’s. As to what will happen when the inevitable happens, from what people say, gems become a really scarce resource, there is no ingame market, there are no trades with other players. You’ll still have gifts from Konami from time to time, whenever a new box comes out, you’ll get 500 gems, but it most likely is as bad as you think.
It is time to talk about the one and only (not really) Dream Ticket. This ticket comes in UR & SR and it’s a gift from Konami, we usually get them on the game’s birthday, maybe christmas, we got one celebrating 5 Billion duels ( but not 1, 2, 3, 4B, no idea why) Some players say we get one each 4 months, im not really sure, in the latter half of 2020 we got many Dream Tickets.
A UR Dream Ticket allows you to choose any UR from any box, any structure deck, it’s worth 10k gems or 400$. Due to their greatness and cyclic rarity, they need to be well spent, it’s an awfull feeling to regret a use of a Dream Ticket. There are plenty of videos on youtube on how and when you should spend them, my only advice is:
Don’t use them to start building a deck, but to finish one.
So, now you have a deck that you think is good enough, you can try PVP duels that are unranked, you can even try them out in events based on PVP.
You’ve tested you deck, you think it’s good enough to do some damage and climb the ladder,
In DL, you start off as Rookie 1, to rank up you need to win 3 times consecutively. The ladder proceeds as this: Rookie 1-3, Bronze 1-7, Silver 1-7, Gold 1-7, Platinum 1-7, Legend 1-5, King of Games. Between Rookie and Platinum you will not be demoted by losing, only by the end of the season ( for example, if at the end of the season you’re Gold 5, at the start of the new season you’ll be Silver 5) From Legend onward you’ll start being demoted untill Legend 1, you can’t fall from there.
You also have the KC Cup, which is an interesting Event, it starts off as a levelling system going from LVL 1 to LVL 20, win 3 times and you lvl up. Your starting LVL is based on your rank of the previous season ( For example, as a Plat player your starting lvl will be 13 if im not mistaken). If you get LVL 20, you’ll be automatically moved to the 2nd phase, the elo system phase, competing against everyone else. Should you be the one to gain more points, you’ll be invited for the World Cup.
This is the end of the guide, i just wanna give you some finals words, as you probably know by now there are a lot of content creators on Youtube and Twitch to help you, the community is very embracing. But there is one website, that i wish i knew back in 2017 when i first started playing this game, the site belongs to a content creator from Twitch and Youtube, im not being paid to do publicity but i wish someone had told me about his website. I find this site amazing cuz if i had known about it back then i would’ve never quitted the game 2 weeks in. I only started playing this game seriously at the end of 2019 and it’s been a hell of ride.
It is also the name of his Twitch and Youtube, his website is one the most vital tools you’ll have at your disposition, it has everything, except this type of guide 😉
Streamers will hold a ton of Tournaments with cash prizes, they’re fun and interesting, even if you’re not playing, watching them can very insightfull.
Now, to really finish this guide, i only wanna say thank you for your time, it’s my first guide ever and i only decided to make it because all my friends that tried this game out, quitted because they didn’t now what was going on and i can’t blame them, Duel Links isn’t very intuitive. So here i am extending my hand, should you have any questions feel free to ask, i’ll try to answer them swiftly, should those questions be a bit harder to answer in text, don’t worry about hitting me up on steam, we can have a private discussion or even hop on discord and have a talk.
Hope i was helpfull, this was a fun experience and may you enjoy this game!
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