The Art of Building a Deck: Part 2 – Perfecting the Main Deck

Well, hello there duelist. It is nice to see you again. I am back with part two of my article on The Art of Building a Deck, and this time around I will be discussing how to perfect the deck. Before you get too far into this article, I want to point something out. It is going to be very hard to fix your deck if you do not understand it. It may be hard to know what is good and what is bad in your deck if you are playing it incorrectly. So with all that said and done, make sure you understand your deck before you go and try to perfect it!

Here, I have a list of the six things I like to keep in mind when fixing my deck, so lets just get right into it.

Keeping Track of the Meta

The meta has shifted a decent amount this format. It went from Dino Rabbit, Hero, and Wind-Up being the best three decks to Dino Rabbit, Wind-Up, and Inzektors, to Inzektors, Dino-Rabbit, and Chaos Dragons, to Chaos Dragon, Final Countdown, and Dino Rabbit, to Wind-Up, Dino Rabbit, and Chaos Dragon. People were fearful of mostly those top decks in their specific times in the March 2012 format.

Keeping track of the meta has always been one of my favorite things to do when editing my deck. It is pretty simple, really. All I do is pay attention to what is winning in the competitive scene and I think of cards to beat those decks. For example, right now with Chaos Dragons, Wind-Up, and Dino-Rabbit being the decks to fear, I personally think Snowman Eater is an excellent main-deck choice. It is one of the best removal cards versus rabbit and also extremely powerful versus Wind-Up. Even against Chaos Dragons, It can wall Lyla and destroy Chaos Sorcerer without being removed! I would definitely main Snowman Eater in my own Wind-Up or Rabbit deck where I could also abuse its level for some crazy XYZ plays.

Laying it out
I’m not sure how useful this information may be to someone else, but something that really helps me understand my deck is laying it out on a table. This is extremely useful to me because I get to analyze each and every one of the cards in my deck. I like to take a look at my deck and just fiddle with it. Sometimes I put the combos together; sometimes I put the removal together. I just like to understand why I run each of my cards. It isn’t as simple as “Oh, I run Dimensional Prison because it is a good removal staple.” I am usually asking myself lots of questions for most cards in my deck, “Oh, I run Dimensional Prison, but why? And how many should I run, if any at all? What is it good against? What is it bad against? Does it even work in my deck?” Sometimes I am sitting down for over an hour asking myself these questions, and it really does help me cut some of the cards from my deck.


There is no better way to fix your deck than to see how it works against the top decks in the meta! Now don’t go testing against decks like Cyber Valley turbo or Blackwings. You need to test against some of the format’s top tier decks, because this is what your deck will be interacting with in the larger scale tournaments, like YCSs, Regionals, or World Championship Qualifiers. After each match (or at least after a few matches) make sure you take note of what did exceptionally well and what didn’t do so well in your deck. This is a good way to slim your deck down or even replace cards for different options.

Ideas and Advice

I love it when my friends criticize my decks and my plays. It shows me my weak spots and in turn helps me improve as a player. I suggest you listen to your friend’s advice and make good use of it. It is also important to listen to their ideas. They may just have the next Soul Taker tech on their mind. Just before nationals, my friend Josh Graham was trying out 3x Gold Sarcophagus in his Chaos Dragon deck over the 3x copies of Solar Recharge. At first I thought he was crazy, but after he was done explaining himself, I thought he was genius. Now I’m sure you are thinking that it would be impossible to cut the mill cards from a graveyard-reliant deck, and trust me, so was I. Josh explained to me that Gold Sarcophagus was mostly there to search for Future Fusion. Future Fusion provides a safer and more consistent way to get those lights and darks into the graveyard. I for sure know I hated milling Heavy Storm with my Solar Recharges. It all made sense to me in the end.

Finding the Correct Amount


Okay, Mr. President! I get it. Tour Bus from the Underworld is “good.” Do you really want to run three, though? That is an excessive amount of Tour Busses. I don’t even think I would run one.

Okay, the truth is… Barrack Obama didn’t really say that… I just made up a quote to prove some sort of a point…

Finding the correct amount for each card in your deck may seem hard, and trust me it is. Now you may be asking yourself, “How in the world am I supposed to know if I want to run 1, 2, or 3 Smashing Ground in my deck?” Well, I have got an answer for you! I like to keep a few factors in mind when deciding how many of each card I am going to run:

Clog – If multiples of this card will clog in your hand, you probably shouldn’t be playing too many.

Space – If you are low on space in my deck, and you are not sure how many of a certain card you should be running, you could cut a copy or two.

Test – If the card hasn’t been testing well in your deck, you know it is time to cut the amount of copies down.

Switching Cards
There may be a LOT of cards you want to try in your deck, but not enough space to put them in, and that is fine! There are a few options you can use when wanting to try new cards:

Add them in! – I wouldn’t recommend this in decks over the size of 42, but if you want to make your deck 42 to try out some new cards, go for it! It isn’t that much of a difference from 40, but it will help you test out your ideas

Cut some useless cards – Do you have any cards that haven’t been doing so well in the deck? Just cut those for the newer cards

Cut the 3-ofs – I wouldn’t recommend cutting your important 3-ofs like Tour Guide or Inzektor Hornet, but cutting 3-of cards like the Forbidden Lance or Dimensional Prison shouldn’t hurt much.

Please keep in mind that you are doing this only to test these cards. I wouldn’t recommend keeping your deck at 42 or cutting some of those 3-ofs. Cutting the useless cards is obviously fine though!

That is it for the article this week; I hope this helped! Tune in next week where I talk about perfecting the Side and Extra decks! Like always, play hard or go home!