Building an effective Burn Deck

First off let me say that there is no perfect Burn Deck. Whether you're using Stall Burn, Chain Burn, Anti-Heal, or any other variety of a Burn deck you can play amazingly or flop completely depending on whether or not you can pull the deck off. That being said, pick a deck that suits your play style. If you don't want a duel that lasts 15-20 minutes on average then Stall Burn is not for you. Keep these things in mind before you even start to build your deck.

Secondly, what you are about to go over is what I think is the best Burn deck. Other people, possibly you who are reading this, are bound to dispute me.

Basic Rules

Rule #1: The goal is effect damage. Your deck will likely have few monsters in it, all of which will be in there for their effects. Unless you have a replacement monster at the ready or are near 100% sure your attack will go through successfully you should not be attacking in any Burn Deck that is not centered around using monsters that attack directly. The deck highlighted in this article contains no direct attacking monsters. Aside from them the only monster to attack with is Sangan since him getting destroyed will only help you.

Rule #2: No card is irreplaceable . If your opponent is going to destroy one of your cards you either want that to happen, can chain it, or can let it go. Counter Traps take up space in a Burn Deck where they aren't needed.

Rule #3: Beware the anti-Burn. The key cards you need to worry about are Prime Material Dragon, Black-Winged Dragon, and Royal Decree. While there are other cards that could cause problems these are the only ones that people tend to run. We will go over cards to counter these later.

Rule #3.5: Piercers can and will destroy you. Using Marshmallon, 3 Spirit Reaper, and possibly 3 Arcana Force 0 - The Fool may seem like a good idea. If you don't have a way to get rid of your wall monster and they summon a piercer you can easily be up a creek without a paddle. Fixes to this problem will be highlighted later.

The Cards to Use


3 Lava Golem (Gets rid of any problem monsters. Unless one of the few cards that stops Special Summons is on the field you will be able to tribute their monsters.)

3 Swift Scarecrow (Plays from the hand, resolves in the Graveyard. This little guy is tough to stop.)

3 Battle Fader (Same idea as Scarecrow, but they Special Summon to set you up for a Tribute, Synchro, or Cyber Valley.)

1 Sangan (He can pull any monster in the deck except Lava Golem to your hand. Ideal for getting a Swift Scarecrow or Battle Fader to save yourself in a tight spot.)

1 Marshmallon (A wall and potentially 1000 damage.)

2 Spirit Reaper (Another wall and if you're really lucky you could make your opponent discard.)


3 One Day of Peace (Gives you a card and stalls your opponent out for a turn against most decks.)

1 Dark Hole (Generic card that works well in this deck.)

2 Mystical Space Typhoon (destroys Royal Decree and other pesky cards an opponent may need.)


3 Just Desserts (Burn damage. Very effective with most other decks swarming or pulling out multiple beatsticks right now.)

3 Secret Barrel (Burn damage. Your opponent will usually build a large hand and field presence as you stall, making this card devastating when timed right.)

2 Ojama Trio (This adds fuel to Just Desserts and Secret Barrel. It can also get Lava Golem out if your opponent is wary of summoning a second monster or can clog up their monster card zones when timed right.)

3 Threatening Roar (A one turn stall. Stops monsters that would still benefit from attacking, such as Gladiator Beasts.)

3 Waboku (More one turn stall.)

You've probably noticed that there are only 33 cards listed above. The rest of the cards are up to you depending on what you want to focus on.

I do not recommend cards that take more than one turn to activate. Commonly used Continuous cards Burn Decks, such as Messenger of Peace, or monsters that need to be flipped, such as Des Koala, have lost a lot of their thunder in the wake of what the game is currently centered around, destruction. I am not talking about Mystical Space Typhoon being Unlimited or Heavy Storm being back. I'm talking about the slew of monsters that can get rid of cards (Scrap Dragon, Brionac, Trishula, Judgment Dragon, Grapha, and Dark Armed Dragon, to name a few). The essential goal of Yugioh right now is to clear your opponents field while swarming your own, usually with Beatsticks, to win in an OTK. If you rest your defense for the turn on a card that gets destroyed odds are higher than lower that you won't have another turn to recover in my experience.

My recommendation for filling this space is a little Draw Power and a little surprise. For the former consider Reckless Greed or Card of Sanctity. Reckless Greed can be a good finisher if you're a draw or two away from a win. Card of Sanctity is an "if all else fails" card as good draw power is hard to properly mix into this kind of Burn Deck. With the current trend of clearing your opponents field I like playing with cards that get their effect when they get destroyed. Here I use Mecha-Dog Marron and Wild Tornado. Mecha-Dog Marron will almost always do a bit of damage to the opponent. If you would prefer a Trap over a Monster then Kozaky's Self-Destruct Button is another option but I like Marron better as it has a much higher chance of being destroyed. Wild Tornado can chain to that pesky Royal Decree and if it gets destroyed by a problem monster, say Judgment Dragon or Dark Armed Dragon, it can destroy the monster in question.

Lastly for this section, your Side Deck and Extra Deck. All you need are cards to change the style of this deck a little. If you need to take out some damage dealing cards for draw power, be ready to do that. Beyond that just use Anti-Meta cards. As for the Extra Deck, you don't really need it. The only good Synchro for Burn is Blood Mefist, which is a Championship card that for all intensive purposes is a collectors item. Thus far there isn't an XYZ monster for Burn in the TCG. When Super Dreadnought Cannon Express Gustaph Max gets printed in English maybe he could be squeezed into this Deck.

Combating the Meta

  • Lightsworns: You can mill these guys out easily. Just stall them and it will happen.
  • Plants: You will need to worry about a few Counter Traps which, if timed right, can stop you from winning. Most of the monsters can't stop your Stall and are a Lava Golem away from helping you.

Aside from these three you would duel a Meta deck like you would any other deck. There isn't anything special to do against them with this deck unless you have a Side Deck set up for something like that.


  • People do not expect a Burn deck these days. Most decks are poorly set up to combat against them and players will generally set cards ment to stop attacking monsters before realizing what they're up against.
  • When an opposing player attempts to attack and has it blocked 5+ times in a row they will start to get angry and make mistakes.
  • Lava Golem can get rid of almost any monster in the game and the majority of the time the most your opponent can do is get rid of Lava Golem, sometimes not before taking at least 1000 damage from his effect.


  • There are cards in the game that are specifically designed to counter Burn. If you can't get rid of Prime Material Dragon after putting Lava Golem on your opponents field, God help you.
  • This type of Burn has nowhere near the speed of Chain Burn. There will be duels where not being able to use this deck fast enough will be your downfall.
  • Dueling an opponent who keeps few cards in their hand and/or on their field, such as Infernities or Gladiator Beasts, can make doing sufficient damage with your Trap cards very difficult.

Final Thoughts

I have been consistently editing this Burn Deck for the past 3 and a half years. Originally I was just worried about what would work best against my local friends but with Dueling Network now available my Deck is much more centered at playing against a wide variety of other Decks. At one point or another I have tried every type of Burn Deck I could either find or think of and this is the one that has worked best. My hope, and the reason I did not give a full 40 cards, is that some of the people who read this won't just grab a deck list and use it. Use some of it, for sure, but overall try to make a deck that suits you best, like I said at the beginning of this article. If a Burn Deck isn't for you, don't do it. If this isn't the type of Burn Deck for you, don't do it. At bare minimum you can at least learn what we Burn users look out for from this. But seriously, don't play Yugioh just to win. I've seen fistfights over this children's card game and I just don't understand that. It's a game. Win or lose you should have fun.

I hope you liked this article and I hope it helps you. Peace...

St. Louis. Missouri

Nicholas Watkins

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