Yu-Gi-Oh!: 5 Card Archetypes To Use For A Quick Win (& 5 That Are Slow)
In Yu-Gi-Oh's TCG, archetypes help determine the strategy a player will follow. Some focus on a quick victory, while others play the long game.
A great thing about Yu-Gi-Oh! is that there are plenty of ways to play based on what strategies players like to use. One aspect that can factor into a player's deck choices is the archetype of their monsters.
Monsters of different archetypes can indeed work in the same deck, but for this discussion, the focus will be on how cards of the same type work together, and whether they would lead to a speedy victory, or if they'd take plenty of turns to win. There are still lots of other quick and slow decks out there, but here are some examples.
The Salamangreat cards are good for a quick win since the archetype's Link Monsters are fairly easy to summon with its Effect Monsters. Many of the latter have an effect that relates to the Graveyard, whether that's sending monsters to it or taking cards out of it.
Along with some Salamangreat spell cards, these effects create an easy way to Link Summon monsters, as well as climb up to Link Monsters with higher ratings. The higher the rating, the more powerful the monster, which is a fast way to overwhelm your foe. Opponents might try to negate effects to stop the player from Link Summoning, but with so many effects to activate, this will only work in the player's favor as their opponent's chances of negating them whittle away.
The Ghostrick archetype requires a lot of defense for its monsters to win the game. There are a few cards that have decent ATK but most of them are Xyz Monsters, and they aren't that hard to defeat with other monsters.
The main way that Ghostricks tend to win is by working as a Mill deck, so they make their opponent use up all their cards resulting in a Deck Out win. This is one of the slowest routes to victory, but there is another way to win by attaching 10 Xyz materials to Ghostrick Angel of Mischief. However, she can be sent to the Graveyard pretty easily if an opponent has a strong monster, as she has only 2000 ATK and 2500 DEF.
Frightfur monsters not only look creepy but they are also terrifying for opponents. This archetype mainly includes Fusion Monsters, which can be fused using a Fluffal and an Edge Imp. Both of these other archetypes tend to have effects that make it easier for players to get other monsters and Polymerization cards in their hands.
This is the perfect recipe for success as it makes it easier to quickly Fusion Summon powerful Frightfur monsters. The traps and spell cards under the Frightfur archetype also help defend the Frightfurs or easily get materials to Fusion Summon another Frightfur.
This archetype can be a little confusing. The Weather cards are interesting but also slow because that a lot of their effects are activated by banishing a card. However, these cards can also be Special Summoned back to the field after they're banished.
The Weather cards are slow because of how carefully the player must plan out each move, especially considering the effects of the Canvas spell and trap cards. These cards only give effects to monsters in certain columns on the field. Because of this and the Special Summon conditions, players need to take time to think about where and when they want to play their cards, which makes a quick game with these cards very rare.
6. Quick: Cubic
Cubic monsters have great ways to defend themselves, while a lot of them can also attack multiple times during the Battle Phase. A few of the Cubic trap and spell cards also help with either summoning monsters or increasing the player's ATK power or decreasing the ATK of their opponent's monsters.
One of the powerful monsters that a player can use in this archetype is Crimson Nova the Dark Cubic Lord, which can attack multiple times with 3000 ATK if they destroy a monster in battle. At the end phase, the monster deals 3000 damage to both players, but after attacking multiple times, this can hurt an opponent a lot more than it would hurt its user.
5. Slow: Exodia
While there are some quick ways to win with this deck, in terms of just the archetype, Exodia needs plenty of help that can take a lot of time. This archetype practically requires players to have the minimum amount of 40 cards in their deck if they want the best chance to win through an Exodia effect.
That's still a lot of cards to get through just to get five Exodia the Forbidden One cards, so players have to bide their time. There are a few other ways to use Exodia cards to win a match, mainly by putting pieces of Exodia the Forbidden One in the Graveyard. However, that could still take a while if players don't have good cards that can help them send things to the Graveyard quickly.
Similar to how Salamangreats are easy to Link Summon, Blackwings are really easy to Synchro Summon. Lots of the Effect Monsters in this archetype can be Special Summoned quickly as most only require that another Blackwing monster is on the field.
A few of the Synchro Monsters also act as Tuners on the field, which makes it even easier to Synchro Summon more powerful cards that require a Tuner monster. There's also plenty of support for these cards from traps and spell cards, that usually either help the player destroy their opponent's monsters or increase their own ATK power. All this power combined makes it understandable that this archetype has been popular among Yu-Gi-Oh! fans.
3. Slow: Gusto
This archetype can be pretty useful against quicker decks, like the ones on this list, because Gusto cards are really good at protecting themselves. They mainly use defense instead of powerful attacks, though there are a few Synchro and Xyz Monsters in the Gusto archetype that can help against more powerful enemies.
Besides its reliance on defense, Gusto can also be a slow deck because many of the monster effects, spell cards, and trap cards involve shuffling monsters from the Graveyard back into the deck. If players are worried about losing from a Deck Out, this would be the archetype to use since it would be hard to have an empty deck.
Nordic monsters are pretty easy to use and offer ways to Synchro Summon cards super fast, even on the player's first turn. A big asset to this archetype is the Link Monster Gullveig of the Nordic Ascendant, which only needs one level 5 or lower Nordic monster to be summoned.
After that, Gullveig lets players banish three cards to Special Summon Nordic monsters. They cannot Special Summon after that unless they Special Summon an Aesir monster, which makes up many of the heavy hitters in the extra deck of Synchro Monsters in this archetype. Even if players don't use Gullveig, there are still lots of other cards at specifically help with Synchro Summoning easily, and nearly every Nordic Relic spell or trap card will help to keep those cards on the field.
As new cards and archetypes have been released, Monarchs seem to get slower and slower. This in no way means that this archetype is bad, especially since it still contains many powerful monsters that can give their opponents lots of disadvantages through effects. They just might be slower achieving victory.
This lack of speed is mainly because this archetype relies so much on Tribute Summoning. Only a few cards let Monarchs Special Summon monsters, so the game slows down more when a player has to Tribute Summon, giving them fewer chances to attack. Still, many effects, spells, and trap cards from this archetype do allow these monsters to be protected from nearly anything their opponent throws at them, so the long road to victory might be worth it.