Deck Lockdown! Getting your Yu-Gi-Oh! fix during isolation.

Look, we’re going to be in this situation for a bit longer. Playing Yu-Gi-Oh! with family or a bewildered partner is only going to get you so far. Nevermind the bewildering option suggested by Konami Japan.

So lets have a look at ways you can get your game on, when the rest of the world has turned off.

Officially Licensed Options

Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution
Available on Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, Steam, pretty much everything.

Link Evolution first came to the Nintendo Switch some months ago, but has recently had a digital release, now making it available to buy and download on Playstation Store, Steam and pretty much everything.

Giving you access to each Yu-Gi-Oh! Saga right from the start, players can choose duel through every generation from classic Yugi and the Pharaoh right up the virtual world of Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAIN’s.

While cards are limited at the start, you can win better cards and packs by defeating duelists. After an afternoon battling through the VRAIN’s saga and returning to verse Varis and Soulburner several times, I was able to build near enough versions of real life decks, Salamangreat and Rokket.

Pros: Boss Monster Cut Scenes, Offers different formats including online play, Play ANY Yu-Gi-Oh! series.
Cons: Story mode decks suck, switch to your own deck ASAP. $65 price tag.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links
Available on mobile platforms and Steam

Duel Links is Yu-Gi-Oh! designed for your phone or tablet. Using simpler rules and bright shiny mobile game colours, it’s great for kids or if you need a quick Duel fix while you’re out and about.

Where it hurts is how you get cards. Most staple cards required for strategies are made “Ultra Rare” in packs that require in game currency known as Gems.

You could hope to get lucky opening packs using the VERY FEW Gems you are given in game, but to build a consistent strategy you are going to need to purchase Gems using real life money. The Player verse Player competition is fierce, and like most mobile games with micro-transactions, it is definitely pay to win.

If you’re happy to just verse the abundance of AI characters in game, then you can get away without spending anything on your Blue-Eyes, Warrior, Stall, Burn, OTK strategy.

Pros: Good for kids and casuals wanting a Yu-Gi-Oh! fix.
Cons: Spending more on digital cards than real cards to complete a deck.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Those “other” options

Several UN-official options exist for playing Yu-Gi-Oh! at home exist. These are third party options that are not endorsed by Konami, but do offer something else for the At-Home Duelist. Most are free to play, have large online communities and give you access to EVERY card right from the start.

Dueling Book

The standard for online competitive play. DB is browser based requiring no downloads. Offers Rated and Non-rated games for ranked play and is completely manual, allowing players play through the combo’s themselves. This does lead to confusion sometimes with only text chat available and waiting for “Judges” can take longer than most games.

Pros: Good competitive community. No downloads. Clear interface.
Cons: Covid-19 will be over before your judge call is answered.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Dueling Nexus

Another browser based option with no downloads. Dueling Nexus is Dueling Book’s casual cousin. The interface isn’t pretty, but it does what it needs to do, being more laid-back and just there for a good time. It’s best feature is a basic AI but you’ll quickly grow bored of thrashing decks like Yosenju for the 20th time.

Pros: Queen of casual Yu-Gi-Oh! No downloads.
Cons: Paper bag required.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

available via Discord

EDOPro requires a download, but it is well worth it. YGOPro has been discontinued, but EDOPro picks up where that left off. Giving YGOPro a well needed face lift, making everything slick and ready to play. The AI bots have improved, and for Mac users have completely returned! Auto-updates mean no cards are missed, and a NEW Test-Hands option allows competitive players to practise combos. Well worth the download and set-up.

Pros: If it looks great and feels great, do it.
Cons: New platform so servers can be unstable.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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