Yu-Gi-Oh! has an incredibly difficult learning curve. Coming into the game, there are hundreds of cards players need to be aware of and dozens of decks that are all viable if not top tier in the current metagame. And more than anything else, players are going to want to win a game even if they're new to playing Yu-Gi-Oh!.
Thankfully, there are still a bunch of decks that are available for new players to try out. These decks are largely straightforward rather than containing complex combos that would take several hours of studying to learn. Even without that complexity, beginners will able to defeat the opponent either with large boss monsters or by altering the pace of the game to fit the player.
Dragunity is one of Yu-Gi-Oh!’s older decks, with a lineage stretching back to 2011. At the time, the deck wasn't quite viable, especially after a ruling change that made one of its best cards drastically weaker. These days, the deck has received so much additional support in booster packs and structure decks that it's impressive even when running it in its purest form. But it’s even more impressive when Dragon links like Elpy and Pisty are added, making it into a dangerous combination of Dragon Link and Dragunity boss monsters.
Dinosaurs make up one of the top decks in Yu-Gi-Oh! right now, and they’ve been nothing less than solid for a long time. The deck has access to some of the most powerful XYZ cards like Evolzar Laggia and Evolzar Dolkka, monsters that are capable of negating literally anything the opponent does. But the most important thing Dinos have is their boss monster, Ultimate Conductor Tyranno. Tyranno is a monster with 3500 ATK that’s summoned simply by banishing two Dino monsters from the grave. But its best ability is changing all monsters the opponent controls to face-down, making them completely useless. This is the kind of boss monster that the opponent has to have an answer to, or they simply lose.
Cyber Dragon has a lot going for it in terms of playstyle. For one, it can deal with some of the top decks in the game. Chimeratech Megafleet Dragon and Chimeratech Fortress Dragon are a pair of cards that take up a lot of room in most decks but fit within Cyber Dragons just fine. With these, any machine card (like Invoked Mechaba) or any Link monster (like Hieratic Seal of the Heavenly Spheres) can simply be fusion summoned away. It’s also just not that complicated of a deck—build Infinity and force the opponent to get over it.
Zombies have one of the best field spells in the game: Zombie World, which turns every monster on the field and in the graveyard into zombies. That means any monster that has an effect relying on its original type is now unable to activate its abilities.
They also have a pretty awesome boss monster in Doomking Balerdroch, a 2800 ATK monster that can negate monster effects or banish monsters from the field or graveyard.
Magical Musketeers make up another back row heavy deck. Having the Magical Musketeer monsters on the field allows the player to activate the Magical Musketeer spell and trap cards directly from their hand. When they are activated, the monsters gain additional effects that allow the player to generate more advantage. Magical Musketeers have the ability to draw cards, disrupt the opponent, and put monsters like Borrelsword and Topologic Bomber Dragon on the field to finish the game.
Subterrors are beginner-friendly because, rather than memorizing a ton of combos, the goal is to hide behind as many traps as possible. The entire deck is based around flip summoning and protecting its monsters via the use of the field spell, The Hidden City. This deck is a good idea for players who don’t want to spend hours trying to learn combos that take five minutes long to execute. Instead, the idea is to simply slow the opponent down to the player’s pace and force them to figure out how to get past their back row.
Want to frustrate every opponent? There’s a deck for that kind of player, and it’s called the Unchained. The deck is based on destroying its own cards to gain effects, but it also involves stealing the opponent’s monsters. Unchained Soul of Rage and Unchained Soul of Anguish have the ability to link summon into the deck’s Link-4 monsters by using themselves and a monster from the opponent. There are very few ways around cards like that, and when combined with kaiju this is a truly fearsome and frustrating deck that will ensure a lot of easy wins.
Thunder Dragon is a lot better than it should be considering the deck lost its best card in Thunder Dragon Colossus. The comeback has largely come as a result of combining the deck with Chaos cards and Red-Eyes Black Dragon. Without needing to spend too much time figuring out combos, players can easily figure out how to get some impressive boards that have Red-Eyes Black Dragon along with Link-4 or Link-5 monsters.
The Altergeist deck has a tiny learning curve to it, but it’s easy to get the point of it because it’s a strategy that involves controlling the opponent. Altergeist plays well over a dozen trap cards, meaning it can slow down the opponent and make it nearly impossible to play the game on their end.
Once a player gains control of the game, they can slow things down and move at their own pace. They can rely on both Infinite Impermanence and Evenly Matched, powerful trap cards that also work with their own monsters.
Heroes is a classic Yu-Gi-Oh! deck, one that’s been around since the GX era and has only gotten better. Being a deck of Warriors means it’s got access to one of the best searchers in the game in Reinforcement of the Army, and being HEROes means they’ve got access to E – Emergency Call and Elemental HERO Stratos. The hardest thing about building HEROes after figuring out the version is figuring out how small the basic engine should be. Other than that, it’s a simple matter of summoning large monsters and claiming victory.