Master Duel Metagame Report S1

Welcome to Season 1 of the Master Duel format.

This report will tabulate 60 top-performing decks from 9 tournaments that were held during Master Duel Season 1 (19 – 31 January 2022).


Metagame Breakdown

  • 17 Tri-Brigade (14 Zoodiac Tri-Brigade, 3 Tri-Brigade)
  • 10 Virtual World
  • 6 Eldlich
  • 5 Zoodiac
  • 4 Adamancipator
  • 4 Drytron
  • 2 Prank-Kids
  • 1 Chaos Thunder Dragon
  • 1 Cyber Dragon
  • 1 Danger Dark World
  • 1 Dinosaur
  • 1 Dogmatika Invoked
  • 1 Junk Doppel
  • 1 Phantom Knights
  • 1 Sky Striker
  • 1 Tri-Brigade Lyrilusc
  • 1 True Draco
  • 1 Utopia
  • 1 Zefra



Aroma (アロマ) went 7-0 (including 1 bye) and finished 1st in “1st 5Ds Cup” which had 124 participants.

The best-of-one format in Master Duel calls for a change in mentality regarding deck building. The classic Zoodiac Tri-Brigade build from OCG 2021.04 format fares quite badly against backrow heavy decks such as Eldlich since the Spell/Trap removals are left in the Side Deck. So in Master Duel, players are now adapting by running 1 Harpie’s Feather Duster and 2 Lightning Storm directly in the Main Deck. Lightning Storm is favored over Twin Twisters as it has the flexible to destroy monsters if the opponent’s deck is light on backrow.

Running 3 Forbidden Droplet has also been gaining traction as a reliable answer to breakthrough opening setups. It is great for disabling Herald of Ultimateness, Herald of Perfection, Number F0: Utopic Draco Future and Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess. Being a Quickplay Spell also allows Forbidden Droplet to be chained to Tri-Brigade Shuraig the Ominous Omen which is Link Summoned via Tri-Brigade Revolt.

Lightning Storm would sometimes become a dead card in hand while Fire Formation – Tenki is face-up on the field. Forbidden Droplet can be used to send Fire Formation – Tenki to the graveyard to enable Lightning Storm.


Virtual World

tt9911 went 10-1 and finished 1st in “Swagkage $1000 Master Duel Weekend Championship” which had 256 participants.

Crossout Designator was fantastic in the OCG 2021.04 format since tech cards can be played in the Side Deck to counter the opponent. But in a best-of-one format, Artifact Lancea and Skull Meister are too cumbersome to run in the Main Deck. Though in comparison with PSY-Framegear Gamma, Crossout Designator has the advantage of being able to negate Nibiru, the Primal Being.

Virtual World Gate – Chuche has the flexibility to be used as a removal against Monsters, Field Spell and Continuous Spell/Trap cards, allowing Virtual World to perform fairly well across a variety of match-ups without having to run backrow removal in the Main Deck.



Sagisawa (鷺沢) went 6-0 and finished 1st in “1st Hey! Cup” which had 64 participants.

Lava Golem is typically ran in the Side Deck in the OCG 2021.04 format, but has moved into the Main Deck as Eldlich adjusts for the best-of-one format.

Paleozoic Dinomischus is a very flexible card that can banish a face-up card, allowing it to be used as a removal against Monsters, Field Spell and Continuous Spell/Trap cards.



The Master Duel Season 1 metagame bears a striking resemblance to the OCG 2021.04 metagame. Zoodiac Tri-Brigade takes the lead with its overwhelming consistency, being the only deck that made the top-cut in all 9 tournaments. There were also some differences, Zoodiac being taken down a notch without their Zoodiac Ratpier and Zoodiac Barrage, while Eldlich thrived much better in the best-of-one format.

As most tournaments are sticking to the best-of-one format, with only a few switching over to best-of-three in the Top 8/16 onwards, the emphasis on deck construction would still be largely based on the best-of-one format. Many players are used to deck building with the Side Deck in mind, the best-of-one format forces players to step out of their functional fixedness mindset and reevaluate the viability of running certain cards in the Main Deck to improve some match-ups.

Master Duel Season 1 is a fairly short span of 2 weeks and this is definitely not the de facto state of the current Master Duel metagame, but merely a starting point. We could expect to see more techs and innovations in Season 2 when everyone becomes more acquainted with the format.

If you enjoyed these Master Duel Metagame Reports, consider supporting Road of the King on Patreon. Cheers!



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13 Responses

  1. Altest says:

    This was a nice surprise. I always enjoy reading your reports.

    A couple of questions:
    1. Is there a minimum sample size like your typical reports?
    2. Does this include tournaments that feature fan-made Side Decks? It seems like it would affect the tournament results (for instance, Eldlich and Drytron would be weaker).

    • Akira says:

      1; The minimum participant count for the Master Duel reports are set higher at 64.
      2; Yes, they are included. They would indeed affect tournament results, but in nominal amount. DLE were the only tournaments that allowed a Side Deck, but Bo3 is only applied at the later stage of their tournaments in Top 4 and Top 32. The prior Group Stage and Swiss were played using Bo1, hence the decks that made the top-cut did not use their Side Deck for a good portion of the tournament.

  2. Franjo says:

    Lol I clapped all of these decks with my super secret ‘non meta deck’

  3. Guy says:


    notice Dragonmaid isnt present

    Are you sh*ttin me

  4. Joe says:

    Is there somewhere you can see these decks? Would love to see that danger dark world deck. I’ve been mailing dark worlds for years and it’s nice to see one top.

    • Jack says:

      You can click through the tournament decks in the References section. Usually only the top 4-8 decks are displayed from the referenced tournament on twitter but in some cases you might find all of them.

  5. T says:

    Im curious and new to yugioh master duel, i have built the zoodiac tri brigade deck that was seen on this article, but i dont understand the workings of why its so good as well as the win condition for the deck. do you have any resources for this? i would like to improve

  6. Tom says:

    When can we expect a Feb report? Guessing w/c 28th Feb but wanted to check

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