F2P Survival Guide

F2P Survival Guide

Original framework by /u/DarkProjectM, refurbished and updated by Gamepress.


Like in every game that gives the option to pay money to advance quicker, being F2P in Duel Links takes patience, determination, and time. This guide goes over topics that F2P players may find useful, such as how to spend your gems efficiently, and which decks to build.

Cost-Efficient Competitive Decks

Cost-Efficient Competitive Decks

F2P players should focus on building one of the following competitive decks. Each have varying playstyles and all have strong mechanics that are capable of reaching King of Games. Most importantly, their cores are each built from a single box, minimizing Gem usage.


Solid, more control-oriented deck built around an event reward, an R-rarity card, and a level-up reward. Aside from the usual backrow staples, Amazoness is almost entirely F2P. Those dedicated to Mai and her events will gain a valuable addition to their arsenal.

Fur Hire

The spiritual successor to Sylvans, these little guys offer similar mechanics, such as swarming, revival, and frontline/backrow destruction. Also built out of a mini-box, Fur Hire is low-cost and easy to pilot, making Clash of Wings a quick stop for PvP competitiveness.


A rogue albeit lower tier deck throughout several metas. Aliens' core cards do not exceed 'R' rarity, a F2P player's dream. Not as easy to pilot as Fur Hires, but can still achieve strong results with careful play.


Another oddball deck that has proven its strength in spite of massive meta shifts. Hazys are defined by their untargetability and OTK ability, being unaffected by most countermeasures and winning games within 1-2 turns. The core monsters are either 'R' or 'N' rarity, and although optimized builds include higher rarity cards, consistent results can still be obtained by using Ranked Ticket and Card Trader cards.

Which Boxes to Pull From

Which Boxes to Pull From
Recommended Boxes to Pull From

These boxes have been chosen for their strong PvE and/or PvP cards. Not every PvP box is needed; some have backrow staples, while others contain archetypes for specific decks.

Card Pack PvE? PvP?
The Ultimate Rising X -
Neo Impact X X
Valkyrie's Rage X -
Crimson Kingdom X -
Dawn of Destiny X X
Generation Next X X
Servants of Kings - X
Blades of Spirits - X
Abyss Encounters - X
Valiant Souls - X
Visions of Ice - X
Clash of Wings - X

How to Start Spending Gems

General Tip: Hoard Gems like a wintertime squirrel. If a deck catches your eye, buy the core in its entirety. The meta is always shifting, and strong decks today could be literally unplayable in a matter of weeks.

Pick a competitive deck from the above list.

Obtain their core cards from the designated box.

Begin obtaining backrow staples (start with mini-boxes):

Servants of Kings:

Dawn of Destiny:

Visions of Ice:

Next is up to you!

  • Build another deck.
  • Dig through full boxes for less accessible staples.
  • Hoard Gems until a new box / meta.

When to Reset a Box

The following is a guide on when you should reset a box, and when you should stop buying packs from that box.

Reset After Getting: after you pull all of these cards, resetting the box is usually a good idea, either because the remaining cards aren't worth it, or because the cards you pulled are important enough to warrant resetting the box for extra copies of them.

Stop When You Have: when you have these cards, it's usually okay to stop pulling from that box, as you'll have enough copies of the important cards to make the decks you need.
Ultimate Rising
The Ultimate Rising
Neo Impact

Reset After GettingMirror Wall

1x Mirror Wall


Stop When You Have

1x Mirror Wall

3x Rai-Mei

Valkyrie's Rage
Valkyrie's Rage

Stop When You HaveThe Unhappy Girl

3x Unhappy Girl

1x Spell Reclamation

Crimson Kingdom
Crimson Kingdom

Reset After GettingDark Paladin

1x Dark Paladin


Stop When You Have

2x Dark Paladin

3x Buster Blader

2x Emblem of the Dragon Destroyer

3x Acidic Downpour

Dawn of Destiny
Dawn of Destiny

Reset After GettingSuper Rush Headlong

1x Super Rush Headlong


Stop When You Have

2-3x Super Rush Headlong

3x Good Goblin Housekeeping

Generation Next
Generation Next
Servants of Kings
Servants of Kings

Reset After GettingForbidden Chalice

1x Forbidden Chalice

1x Wall of Disruption


Stop When You Have

2-3x Forbidden Chalice

2-3x Wall of Disruption

Blades of Spirits
Blades of Spirits
Abyss Encounters
Abyss Encounters
Valiant Souls
Valiant Souls

Reset After GettingAmazoness Onslaught

1x Masked HERO Anki*

1x Paleozoic Canadia


Stop When You Have

2-3x Masked HERO Anki*

3x Mask Change*

2-3x Paleozoic Canadia

2x Amazoness Onslaught

2x Amazoness Baby Tiger

1x Vision HERO Witch Raider

*Masked Heroes require a significant Gem investment: a structure deck and multiple resets of a full-sized Box. Pulling these cards isn't a must.

Visions of Ice
Visions of Ice

Reset After GettingTreacherous Trap Hole

1x Treacherous Trap Hole

1x The Tricky


Stop When You Have

1-2x The Tricky

1-2x Treacherous Trap Hole

Clash of Wings
Clash of Wings

What to Spend Gold On

The Card Trader provides some core cards that you need for building Hazys and other oddball decks. There are also a handful of general purpose PvE cards that you might find yourself needing. In order to buy these cards, you'll need stones, gold, and jewels. Fortunately, a generous amount of gold and SR jewels are handed out while going through the stages. UR jewels may be a little harder to come by, as you only get three from the Stage Missions. Participating in events (Tardy Syrus, etc.) is a surefire way to net more URs.

Here are the cards you should save your gold and stones for:

Card Quantity
Polymerization 3
The Earth - Hex-Sealed Fusion 3
Thunder Dragon 3
Hammer Shark 3
Blue Dragon Summoner 2
Wonder Wand 2
Jar of Greed 3
Riryoku Field 3
Hazy Flame Sphynx 3
Mausoleum of the Emperor 3
Atlantean Attack Squad 3

It's recommended that you go for the cards to build your farming decks first, such as Riryoku Field and Jar of Greed.

Converting Cards

No matter how tempting it may be, you should avoid converting any cards unless you have three or more copies of it. You should also never convert limited-availability cards, such as Insect Queen (only one copy of this card is obtainable in-game - by leveling Weevil). If you keep farming and participating in events, you should eventually acquire enough SR and UR jewels to make the cards you want, with minimal conversions.

Card Farming

Card Farming

Farming is another important source of cards. Do note that many of these cards can be easily obtained via PvP Ranked Tickets (see below). For suggestions on farming decks, view our list of budget farming decks.

Ultimately, you'll want to farm these characters:

Seto Kaiba Lvl 40
Kaiba Lvl 40
Joey Wheeler Lvl 40
Joey Lvl 40
Tea Gardner Lvl 40
Tea Lvl 40
Yugi Muto Lvl 40
Chazz Princeton Lvl 40
Aster Phoenix Lvl 40

Skill Farming

Skill Farming

Example Skill Farm Deck

In addition to cards, you'll also want to unlock particular skills on each character. Here are those skills, and the character you'll want to unlock them on:

Character Skill
Yami Yugi Destiny Draw
Tea Gardner Duel Standby!
Paradox Brothers Labyrinth Builder

Level-Up Rewards

Level-Up Rewards

Leveling up characters is another good source of cards/skills. Best of all, it's absolutely free, albeit grindy. A good strategy is to get a group of friends to send each other two-three star Vagabond challenges. Another option is to auto-duel against weak SD decks like Insect Fortress or Naturia United with the 3x multiplier active.

The main cards you'll want to get this way are:

Card/Skill Source
Windstorm of Etaqua Mai Valentine Lvl 25
Amazoness Queen Mai Valentine Lvl 45
Gravekeeper's Vassal Ishizu Ishtar Lvl 3
A Cat of Ill Omen Ishizu Ishtar Lvl 18
Curse of Anubis Odion Lvl 21
Temple of the Kings Odion Lvl 23
Mystical Beast of Serket Odion Lvl 25
  Beatdown! Seto Kaiba Lvl 13
  Elements Unite! Paradox Brothers Lvl 4
  Holy Guard Tea Gardner Lvl 3
  A Trick up the Sleeve Arkana Lvl 20
  Fusion Time! Jaden Yuki Lvl 13
Ojama Country Chazz Princeton Lvl 10
Ojama Blue Chazz Princeton Lvl 14

Ranked Tickets

The introduction of ranked tickets has given players a huge incentive to jump onto the PvP ladder, with the grand prize for each season being the UR ticket awarded after 100 wins. Here are the cards you should be eyeing by rarity:

N (can ignore for the most part)

Virus Cannon

May have some niche PvE uses.


Astral Barrier

Part of the impenetrable Astral/Spirit Barrier farm deck.

The Sanctuary in the Sky

Staple for Counter Fairy decks.


Double Cyclone before it was cool. Used in Dimension Gate farm decks.

Covering Fire

Budget Damage Step backrow, but requires you to have 2 monsters out.


Enemy Controller

For the longest time, Ol' ECon was your go-to backrow to splash in most any deck. Many tears were spent farming Kaiba for 3 copies, but times have changed. With the latest banlist, you'll be spending 2 tickets at most on ECon.

Legacy of Yata-Garasu

Another Jar of Greed for turbo PvE decks such as Elements United!

Solemn Scolding

Very strong blanket negation at the cost of 3000 LP. Decks such as Life Cost 0 rejoice since their HP threshold is brought just low enough to use their Skill.

Shield & Sword

If you're lazy to farm Joey, just grab S&S here. Used in Labyrinth Builder farm decks.

Black Brachios

Staple for any Dino-based deck. Its built-in ECon effect on summon makes Brachios a strong backbone monster.

Amazoness Sage, Amazoness Tiger, Amazoness Willpower, Amazoness Archers

Alternative tech options for Amazon decks, though Tiger and Archers are less widely used.



Essentially free tribute fodder. Working towards 3 copies will greatly bolster your Hazy deck.

The Big Cattle Drive

Decent draw power for decks such as Fur Hires, who aren't too hurt by a turn of backrow lockout.

Amazoness Paladin

For those who don't have Amazoness Queen yet, Paladin serves as an alternative beater to pad your monster reserves.


After a short grind, you should have farmed yourself a strong PvP arsenal without spending a dime on card packs. All are King of Games-worthy, so the rest is up to you. Good luck on the ladder!