Top 10 Best Yu-Gi-Oh Starter Decks for Beginners: Reviews and Complete Buying Guide

best yugioh starter decks for beginners

Yu-Gi-Oh starter decks are a great way to start playing if you are a beginner or completely new. Structure decks have their uses as well and are far more viable in the competitive scene, but may be a little too complex or confusing to newcomers.

A starter deck is a highly recommended for players just starting out because they come with all the cards you need to learn how to play the game. With so many different starter decks on the market right now, it can be difficult to know which decks are the best bang for your money spent.

Picking up several starter decks can even give you a nice pool of cards to start out with to build multiple decks while having plenty of spare cards to brainstorm with. Some starter decks are so good that even veteran players have purchased multiple decks of one type to add to their arsenal of cards.

In our comprehensive guide to the best Yu-Gi-Oh starter decks, we’ll show you the best starter decks on the market and give you some advice when it comes time to choose. Let’s get started.


NameOur RatingPrice

Top Pick: Link Strike Starter Deck
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Dawn of the XYZ Starter Deck4.5/5
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Saber Force Starter Deck4.5/5
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10- Duelist Toolbox Starter Deck

This starter deck is an essential starter deck which is exactly how it is marketed. This deck comes with 4 foil monster cards. It has a good variety of effect and Synchro monsters to help new players learn the ropes.

The monsters in this deck are mostly Machine and Warrior type with supporting spells and monsters to help boost these monster types to make a solid starter deck.

Duelist Toolbox Card List

Noteworthy Cards: Junk Destroyer, Synchron Explorer, Rapid Warrior, X-Saber Wayne, Giant Trunade, Dust Tornado

What we like

  • Syncho monsters
  • Effect monsters
  • Tuner Monsters
  • 4 foil cards

What we don’t like

  • Pretty basic starter deck

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9- V for Victory Starter Deck

This is a Super Starter Deck as it comes with the standard Starter Deck with two Super Starter Power-Up packs which contain a few great cards. The V for Victory Starter Deck is based around two Rank 4 Utopia monsters which makes this deck great for learning about XYZ summoning.

This is a must have deck if you are new to XYZ summoning as it provides a good basic engine to summon them along with some great supporting cards.

V for Victory Card List

Noteworthy Cards: Number 39: Utopia, Number C39: Utopia Ray, Call of the Haunted, Wonder Wand, Kagetokage, Goblindbergh, Dark Bribe

What we like

  • Easy to play deck
  • Introduction to XYZ monsters
  • Super Starter Power-Up Packs

What we don’t like

  • Limited to two rank 4 Utopia monsters

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8- Yuya Starter Deck

The Yuya Starter Deck Introduces Pendulum monsters into the mix. A few other awesome features that this Starter Deck brings is a playmat, and 5 foil cards, and even some token cards.

Pendulum monsters can be confusing even for advanced players since these cards are essentially half of a spell card and half of a monster card combined. This is the perfect deck to slowly introduce yourself to Pendulum monsters.

Pendulum monsters are very common in a lot of decks so its important to know how to use them.

Yuyu Card List

Noteworthy Cards: Performapal Longphone Bull, Book of Moon, Performapal Momoncarpet, Performapal Parrotrio, Performapal Sleight Hand Magician, Performapal King Bear, Dark Bribe, Ceasefire

What we like

  • Introduction to Pendulum monsters
  • 5 foil cards
  • Token cards

What we don’t like

  • Pendulum monsters can be confusing for new players

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7- XYZ Symphony Starter Deck

The XYZ Symphony Starter Deck comes with five XYZ monsters to add to your arsenal. There are also a ton of support cards to help you get these beasts out onto the field, as well as introducing a few new archetypes into the mix.

Getting well versed into the many different archetypes in the game is a worthy time investment since it can help open your mind to the endless possibilities of deck combinations out there. It also gives you more options and fluidity when putting together decks yourself in the future.

XYZ Symphony Card List

Noteworthy Cards: Maestroke the Symphony Djinn, Melomelody the Brass Djinn, Muzurhythm the String Djinn, Temtempo the Percussion Djinn, Number 39: Utopia, Seven Tools of the Bandit, Call of the Haunted, Swords of Revealing Light, Mystical Space Typhoon, Goblindbergh

What we like

  • 5 XYZ monsters included
  • Great spell and trap cards
  • New archetypes

What we don’t like

  • Common cards can be better

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6- Space-Time Showdown Starter Deck

The Space-Time Showdown Start Deck is another Super Starter which comes with two bonus power-up packs. These cards are what every player should have in their collection because they are some of the bread and butter cards for a lot of decks.

This deck comes with two Pendulum monsters to add to your collection and to help further your skills the Pendulum archetype.

Two of the most notable mentions in this deck are Ultra Rare variants of Odd-Eyes Dragon and Dark Hole which are included as a cool little bonus. These cards will be found in the bonus power-up packs, not in the original deck itself.

Space-Time Showdown Card List

Noteworthy Cards: Magic Jammer, Timegazer Magician, Stargazer Magician, Seven Tools of the Bandit

What we like

  • 2 Pendulum monsters
  • 2 Power-Up Packs with great cards

What we don’t like

  • Not the greatest deck, most cards are useful to add to other decks

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5- Codebreaker Starter Deck

The Codebreaker Starter Deck came out after Link Strike and is a great set to add to your Link Monster collection. There are a total of 5 included Link Monsters and 2 of which are foil cards. There are also a decent number of Cyberse Monsters which makes this set a must have.

There is a lot of controversy on whether or not this set is better than Link Strike, but Link Strike is an all around better first deck choice.

If you haven’t already purchased Link Strike, then I suggest that deck before this one, although you can’t go wrong with any of these two.

Codebreaker Card List

Noteworthy Cards: Decode Talker, Cyberse White Hat, Transcode Talker, Cynet Recovery, Widget Kid, Pentestag

What we like

  • 5 foil cards
  • 5 Link Monsters
  • Cyberse Monsters
  • Great Deck Synergy

What we don’t like

  • Similar to Link Strike Deck

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4- Dark Legion Starter Deck

The Dark Legion Starter Deck is a great Beat-down deck. A beat-down deck is a strong offensive deck filled with many high attack monsters that are able to swarm the field easily. There are also trap and spell cards that help aid in quickly increasing the power of these monsters.

Beat-down decks are great for beginners because it still lets you use intricate combos and strategies, but they aren’t too confusing to understand such as the Pendulum archetypes.

Beat-down cards use simple, but effective, abilities that will help you win duels based on brute strength.

Dark Legion Card List

Noteworthy Cards: D/D/D Dragon King Pendragon, Call of the Haunted, Exploder Dragon, Dark Hole, Mirror Force

What we like

  • Secret Rare monster included
  • A few good core spell and trap cards
  • Easy to use beat-down deck type is great for beginners

What we don’t like

  • Beat-down decks aren’t able to go toe-to-toe with some of the more advanced deck types

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3- Saber Force Starter Deck

Saber Force came out at the same time as Dark Legion, as to compete with one another. The Saber Force set packs a harder punch than Dark Legion, and comes with quite a few more noteworthy cards.

One of the most noteworthy cards is Odd-Eyes Saber Dragon that is featured on the cover of the deck box. This is an incredibly strong Level 7 Monster with 2800 attack that can easily be summoned with the support cards in this deck.

Saber Force has earned its spot in the top 3 starter decks for beginners. On top of having Odd-Eyes Saber Dragon, this set also comes with a lot of very useful monsters, magic, and spell cards that make previous decks in this list almost a joke.

Saber Force Card List

Noteworthy Cards: Odd-Eyes Saber Dragon, Odd-Eyes Dragon, Dark Hole, Smashing Ground, Mirror Force, Magic Cylinder, Call of the Haunted, Pinpoint Guard, Cyber Dragon, Mystical Space Typhoon

What we like

  • Odd-Eyes Saber Dragon
  • Lots of useful magic and spell cards
  • 6 foil cards

What we don’t like

  • One trick wonder deck with Odd-Eyes Saber Dragon

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2- Dawn of the XYZ Starter Deck

Dawn of the XYZ takes our number two spot in this top 10 list, and for good reason. XYZ are very strong monsters and this deck gives you a ton of support cards for the XYZ that can be used in many other decks.

The main purpose of this deck is to rush your opponent by swarming the battlefield with low level monsters that are then powered up by support cards.

All the cards in this deck synergize well to help boost each other’s attacks to give you some pretty easy to summon heavy hitters.

Dawn of the XYZ Card List

Noteworthy Cards: Number 39: Utopia, Grenosaurus, Gachi Gachi Gantetsu, Mirror Force, Seven Tools of the Bandit, Swords of Revealing Light, Mystical Space Typhoon, Speed Bird

What we like

  • Good XYZ support cards
  • Great spell and trap cards that can be used in other decks
  • 3 XYZ Monsters

What we don’t like

  • Only 3 foil cards

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1- Link Strike Starter Deck

Link Strike is still considered one of the best starter decks to purchase for new players. Even veteran players have purchased three of these starter decks due to the fact that this set comes with a ton of useful cards that are good in many decks.

This deck also comes with one of the best budget Link Monsters in the game, Decode Talker. Acquiring this card alone already makes this starter deck worth it. There are a total of 3 Link Monsters included in this set, which is less than Codebreaker, but that’s okay since the other cards that come in this deck make up for it.

There are no other starter decks that include so many rare and useful generic cards. This starter deck is definitely one of the best bangs for your buck.

Link Strike Card List

Noteworthy Cards: Link Spider, Honeybot, Decode Talker,  Battle Fader, Effect Veiler

Over half of this starter deck has very useful cards. This is a must have if you are a beginner or are still building up your collection playable cards.

What we like

  • Surreal amount of useful cards
  • 5 foil cards
  • Cyberse Monsters
  • 3 Link Monsters
  • Powerful starter deck

What we don’t like

  • Only comes with 3 Link Monsters

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What to Look for in a Yu-Gi-Oh Starter Deck

To find the best Yu-Gi-Oh starter deck for your needs, consider the following major aspects before finalizing a purchase.

Deck Theme

Every starter deck has its own theme. Whether the theme is XYZ Monsters, or Synchros, be sure to look for a starter deck that has the cards you currently need or want to continue your deck building.

Don’t just purchase a deck because it is considered the “best” starter deck. If you want to learn Pendulums, then look for a deck that contains Pendulums like the Yuyu Starter Deck .

If you want to learn about XYZ monsters, then grab Dawn of the XYZ to take advantage of the fact that the theme of this deck is focused all around XYZ summoning.

Normal and Effect Monster Cards

I have listed the card list of each of the starter decks. It is always a good idea to check out the entire deck list to see what kind of monsters come with it.

Some decks, like Link Strike, include a ton of useful generic effect and monster cards that can beef up many other types of decks.

Spell Cards

There are spell cards that go well will certain deck archetypes, like Xyz Effect, and then there are spell cards like Mystical Space Typhoon that go good in many decks.

If you are brand new to the game, it would be a good tactic to acquire starter decks that have spell cards that are generically useful. We call these staple cards.

Trap Cards

Similar to spell cards, there are trap cards that are great to have in many decks. Call of the Haunted and Mirror Force are just a few examples of trap cards that are great to add in a number of different decks.

Again, if you are still building your collection of cards, make it a priority to grab starter decks that have a good amount of staple trap cards.

Best Yu-Gi-Oh Starter Deck Brands


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Konami is a leader in the publishing, development, and manufacturer of trading card games and electronic entertainment.

Konami has been striving to innovate and bring new, fresh entertainment sources to their audience since the 1960’s. The 50th anniversary of Konami was celebrated on March 21, 2019.


What Is a Yu-Gi-Oh Starter Deck?

Starter decks are decks that are designed to be playable right out of the box. These decks all usually have some sort of “theme” attached to them which adds adds to their uniqueness from one another.

A starter deck is a great way to learn how to play the game.

What Is the Best Starter Deck for Yu-Gi-Oh?

Link Strike is hands down the best starter deck in the game at this time. Many long-time veteran players have purchased three of these decks when they first came out.

What’s the Difference Between a Yu-Gi-Oh Starter Deck and a Yu-Gi-Oh Structure Deck?

A starter deck consists of a playable deck based on a certain theme. The keyword here is playable. It has enough cards for a new player to learn how to play the game.

A structure deck, on the other hand, has a lot of very useful cards that are used to create or structure a deck. With the right cards added to them, they can easily overpower a basic starter deck.

Final Thoughts

The Link Strike Starter Deck is our top pick for the best starter deck. It’s kit is just unmatched when it comes to the amount of rare and useful cards that this deck has to offer.

The runner up deck is Dawn of the XYZ. This deck comes with a ton of powerful support cards as well as a few awesome XYZ Monsters. Overall, this deck contains cards that can help beef up just about any deck.

Whichever starter deck you choose to start learning Yu-Gi-Oh, we hope this guide has been helpful in your purchasing decision. Thanks for reading!

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