Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel Deck Guide: Best Cards After Banlist

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Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel continues to thrive, since our last banlist guide. With more players joining each month, the game having in-game events that have implemented special rulings, and the continual release of new cards and packs such as the Adventurer Token engine, it’s a good time to be a Master Duel player. This game is the best way to play a digital Yu-Gi-Oh format thanks to the many quality-of-life additions based on card usage, modes, rewards, and more.

Konami does not always provide exact or even vague reasoning for its banlist implementations even in the trading card game (TCG) itself. Hopefully, this guide will grant you a clearer understanding of why certain cards became forbidden, limited, or semi-limited.

Before we start with the forbidden cards, there were a few buffs with an increased rate of use for three cards. Night Assailant, which was at one copy before is now unlimited at three copies. Altergeist Multifaker, which was also previously at one copy allowed, is now semi-limited to two copies in decks. Similarly, Salamangreat Gazelle had been limited to one copy but is now semi-limited to two copies. Cards such as these have had their rate increased due to being power crept out. (Power crept means that older cards are just not as strong as newer cards that have been released and/or cannot contend with the current higher top-ranking or meta-defining decks on the ranked ladder.) To aid in making certain decks more prevalent in the game, in this case, the Altergeist, and Salamangreat archetypes, this provides additional playability with much more efficient synergy alongside combo potential or opportunities to win a duel.

Last time, we had no new additions to the Forbidden section, but now we have five cards marked as forbidden.

Forbidden Additions

Number 75: Bamboozling Gossip Shadow

Number 75: Bamboozling Gossip Shadow

Number 75: Bamboozling Gossip Shadow is a Rank 3 Xyz Monster that is able to negate any Monster effect an opponent activates, and change that effect for both players to draw a card. Though it was only used as one copy for the Extra Deck, if a player went first such as in a Virtual World deck, then they would be able to summon Number 75 with ease alongside having a Monster negation effect with high defense, as well.

Card advantage is incredibly important in card games, so the draw-one-card effect is great by rewriting an opponent’s effect. Rather than limiting the card, it has been banned outright, since it only requires two level 3 Monsters to summon, and could be used in almost any deck as long as the Monsters on the field are level 3. A few Extra Deck Monsters as recommendations that can negate Monster effects are Baronne de Fleur, Number 41: Bagooska the Terribly Tired Tapir, Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon, and Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess.

Imperial Order

Imperial Order
Imperial Order

Imperial Order made it so Spell cards would just not work. Many Spells in Master Duel like Mystical Space Typhoon, Twin Twisters, and Harpie’s Feather Duster are all excellent in destroying continuous Trap cards, but Imperial Order would negate all Spells, even your own. The benefit of Spell cards is that they can be used right away rather than Trap cards that need to be set on the field for a turn before activation. With Order’s Spell negation, it would be a consistent way to also protect your Monsters and Traps from Spells cards, as well.

This card was used in control decks such as Eldlich which leaned more heavily on Trap cards than Spells. Imperial Order is a strong counter to decks like Sky Striker due to the archetype’s heavy Spell reliance. A few recommended cards that can negate Spells or Spell activations on the field, but still allow you to activate them are Secret Village of the Spellcasters, Magician’s Right Hand, and Anti-Spell Fragrance, as long as certain conditions are met with Secret Village of the Spellcasters, and Magician’s Right Hand only working if you control a Spellcaster Monster.

True King of All Calamities

True King of All Calamities
True King of All Calamities

True King of All Calamities would just make it so your opponent could not do anything. Combining this Rank 9 Xyz Monster with Imperial Order would have almost zero possibilities. True King is basically an “I am not going to let you play this game” card. It would not just stop Monster effects, but even Monster attacks.

This was a card that was continually summoned by Virtual World players that went first, and if you went second? You might as well surrender if they also had other cards such as Baronne de Fleur on the field ready to negate your Spells or Traps. The closest substitutes for True King of all Calamities would be Hot Red Dragon Archfiend King Calamity, Invoked Mechaba, and Divine Arsenal AA-Zeus – Sky Thunder.

Vanity’s Emptiness

Vanity’s Emptiness
Vanity’s Emptiness

Vanity’s Emptiness is another card that would make the game’s current state unplayable. Going first, you could create your huge combo, and have numerous Monsters on the field. Then when it is your opponent’s turn, they draw a card, and you use Vanity’s Emptiness. Now they cannot special summon any Monster. If you combined this with Imperial Order and the True King of All Calamities, you would create a board state with little room for a counter or possible reaction.

Surrendering was sometimes the better option, and hoping you do not lose the next match just because you lost the initial coin toss to decide who goes first. Replacements for Vanity’s Emptiness can be Fire Prison, Summon Limit, Kaiser Colosseum, and There Can Be Only One.

Destiny HERO – Celestial

Destiny HERO - Celestial
Destiny HERO – Celestial

Destiny HERO – Celestial allows a player to draw two cards from their hand if they have no cards in hand alongside banishing it and another Destiny Hero Monster from the graveyard. With the use of Fusian Destiny, which we covered in our previous banlist guide, you can send two Destiny Hero monsters from deck to graveyard with many choosing Celestial and Destiny HERO – Dasher for Destiny HERO – Destroyer Phoenix Enforcer.

Being able to draw two cards with Celestial’s effect, when your resources are low can and do turn a match to come out as the victor. Fusion Destiny now needs another target to send to the graveyard alongside Dasher, so the replacement can be Destiny HERO – Denier, Destiny HERO – Malicious, or Destiny HERO – Dynatag. Most players, and I, have been using Denier to replace Celestial.

These five cards were all additions to the Forbidden List. Outside of Celestial, the tactic they have in common is to create an unplayable situation for your opponent. Being on the receiving end of that, and not being allowed to play Spells, Monsters, or even activate effects made it so the game was decided solely on if you went first or second in many cases. Konami rightfully banned these cards, which is a huge step considering the first banlist had zero forbidden cards added.

Limited Additions

Fusion Destiny

Fusion Destiny
Fusion Destiny

Fusion Destiny went from three copies to two copies before Destiny HERO – Destroyer Phoenix Enforcer’s release, and now is at one copy allowed in decks. Almost every single deck was able to throw in a Celestial, a Dasher, and two copies of Fusion Destiny to Summon Destroyer. The archetype or even the engine didn’t matter and using cards to draw one of the two copies of Fusion Destiny was possible through Upstart Goblin, Pot of Duality, and more.

With Fusion Destiny sitting at one copy, it would be effective to still use drawing options such as Pot of Duality or Gold Sarcophagus. The best replacement is the Extra Deck Link 2 Monster, Predaplant Verte Anaconda if you do not already have one. Its second effect allows you to pay 2000 life points to use Fusion Destiny from the deck without the need to search the Fusion Destiny with other cards to maybe draw it–just Verte it.

Prank-Kids Meow-Meow-Mu

Prank-Kids Meow-Meow-Mu
Prank-Kids Meow-Meow-Mu

Prank-Kids Meow-Meow-Mu going from three copies to one copy was a massive nerf to Prank-Kids decks. Prank-Kids were in the tier one category, and Meow-Meow-Mu was able to extend combos to other Link Prank-Kids cards. Meow-Meow-Mu can still do that, but after using its banishing effect in the graveyard, then your sole copy is gone. You could add cards to retrieve it from the banish zone back to the extra deck, but that would clog your main deck with dead cards only in use for bringing out Meow-Meow-Mu again.

There really is no substitute or even a replacement for Meow-Meow-Mu. Prank-Kids do not have another Link 1 to start their combos. What you can do, if you have not already, is add the Adventurer Token or Destiny HERO – Destroyer Phoenix Enforcer engines to your deck. This will allow you to have more divergent win conditions that both work effectively in combination with Prank-Kids.

Crossout Designator

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Crossout Designator was used to negate any main deck card as long as you yourself had a copy you could declare, and banish. Crossout Designator went from semi-limited to limited. Using this to negate Nibiru, the Primal Being, Maxx “C”, Effect Veiler, or Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring were amongst many Crossout completely stopped. Handtraps such as these will flourish in the game since there are fewer opportunities to negate–expect to match up against handtrap activations without impediment.

Some replacements of Crossout Designator are Solemn Judgment, Call by the Grave, Solemn Strike, Gravedigger’s Trap Hole, and Divine Punishment.

Pot of Prosperity

Pot of Prosperity
Pot of Prosperity

Pot of Prosperity lets a player look up to the top six cards of their deck, then can choose one to add to their hand. This is a very powerful card, and even though you cannot draw more cards by card effects and any damage your opponent takes is halved for the turn, you would play this after you used your other draw cards. Now you will have to have two other draw cards to make up for the two fewer copies of Pot of Prosperity.

Replacements for Pot of Prosperity are Pot of Extravagance, Pot of Duality, and Pot of Desires.

Semi-Limited Additions

Skill Drain

Skill Drain
Skill Drain

Skill Drain was mainly used in Eldlich decks because after you summon Eldlich the Golden Lord, it did not matter if you needed to activate your other monster effects. Your entire deck was suited for the Golden Lord being a monster with a high attack that would just beat down. Combining Skill Drain with Imperial Order protected it from being destroyed by Spell Cards, and your Eldlich could run amok.

Thankfully, two copies of Skill Drain are still ideal and do not harm previous decks too much. Some replacements for your one missing Skill Drain copy are Ultimate Providence, Magician’s Right Hand, Dark Ruler No More, and Forbidden Droplet.

Fire Formation – Tenki

Fire Formation - Tenki
Fire Formation – Tenki

Fire Formation – Tenki was an excellent card used frequently with three copies in Zoodiac and/or Tri-Brigade decks. Being able to play Tenki, and add any level 4 or lower Beast-Warrior monster from the deck to hand gave you the ability to search for exactly the monster you needed. Card drawing of any kind is always the pivotal strategy to gain additional resources than your opponent. It does also give a nice small 100 attack boost to all Beast-Warrior monsters.

For replacing the third copy due to this card being semi-limited now, these replacements will be to seek out Tenki such as Pot of Duality, Upstart Goblin, or Pot of Desires.

Hopefully, this guide gave you a better understanding of why Konami limits or even ban certain cards. Many cards on this list excelled in tandem with each other and created an unstoppable board state for the person going first to say, “Nope. I am not letting you play Yu-Gi-Oh,” which Konami has similarly tried to avoid in the TCG since cards like True King of Calamities had already been banned several years prior.

Each of these cards can be dismantled for a crafting material refund until September 29. Be sure to take this chance to collect the bonus material for any and/or all of these 11 cards–especially the five cards that are now forbidden.

Please, check out our previous banlist guide, and our how to play Adventurer Token engine for more ways to be the best duelist in Master Duel!

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