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The ability of a Deck to be balanced depends upon the strategy that the player is using.

Usually, it is recommended that players stay near the 40 card minimum and that the Deck is made up of 50% Monster Cards, 30% Spell Cards, and 20% Trap Cards. It is also recommended that a player does not include more than 6 monsters that require Tributes. Exceeding this number will usually cause a player to be clogged up in the hand, and have no monsters on the field to protect their Life Points. It is important to note that some Decks would be better off with a different ratio of cards than the suggested one above. This would be because some depend more on Spells and Traps than Monsters.

Most Decks will include the "staple" cards (Note that there are more staple cards that are only advantageous to a certain Deck-type. The following lists the cards that usually fit into any Deck):

  • Sangan
  • Mirror Force
  • Call of the Haunted
  • Giant Trunade
  • Swords of Revealing Light
  • Bottomless Trap Hole
  • Torrential Tribute
  • Heavy Storm
  • Mystical Space Typhoon
  • Gorz the Emissary of Darkness
  • Black Rose Dragon
  • Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier
  • Goyo Guardian
  • Stardust Dragon
  • Red Dragon Archfiend
  • Mist Wurm
  • Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier
  • Ally of Justice - Catastor

Most Decks revolve around a general theme. It is important that the theme is effective and can be adaptive to changing strategies. Most players tend to throw splashable Tuner Monsters in their Decks, allowing them to Synchro Summon staple Synchro Monsters when needed. This is usually coupled with cards such as Mind Control and Brain Control.

A Deck should be able to adapt to disadvantageous situations. All of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Archetypes available have some form of weakness. It is common to see players with "Anti-Meta" Decks. These Decks are used to specifically counter the currently most popular Deck-types. It is highly suggested to add cards that counter these Anti-Meta Decks in your Side Deck, so that you may be able to switch strategies during the Match.

A Deck should also be able to maintain some sort of control over the opponent. Some Decks, such as the Blackwing series, have massive "swarming" abilities, easily allowing the player to gain Field Advantage. Other Decks may maintain Hand Advantage instead, giving the player more options than the opponents. Other Decks still, could maintain Field Advantage with different strategies, such as the "Gadget Oppresion" Deck.

Each Deck-type has its own advantages and disadvantages. A player's Deck must be able to adjust to different Decks and be able to use the disadvantages of the Decks against themselves. It is important to note, however, that no one Deck is completely unstoppable. As stated before, each Deck has its own weakness.

For example, "Instant Synchro" Decks allow swarming and quick Synchro Summoning abilities. However, as the player continues to Synchro Summon, they use up many resources. If the opponent is able to use a field-clearing card, such as Lightning Vortex, the player would be left at a disadvantage in both the hand and the field, having used up all of their resources to the Synchro Summons. A player must be able to spot weaknesses, such as these.

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Q: What is a well-rounded Yu-Gi-Oh deck?
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