Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel provides among its starter deck options the inklings of a Blue Eyes meta deck that can win in 2022!
Blue-Eyes White Dragon is easily the most recognizable of all monsters from the Yu-Gi-Oh Trading Card Game, besides perhaps Dark Magician. Both monsters have gained amazing amounts of support over the years, but in 2022, something wonderful happened: Konami released Master Duel on multiple platforms. After not playing Yu-Gi-Oh for almost ten years – albeit while still poking around on Duel Links – Master Duel brought me back to the card game that consumed me for years. So, when faced with my choice of starter deck, I chose the one that was most familiar to me: Blue Eyes White Dragon!
That deck choice didn’t seem to be the best from a competitive meta standpoint, according to deck building guides I perused. Can a Blue Eyes White Dragon Deck even win in 2022? It seemed completely possible to me, as Dragon Link was a pretty busted top tournament deck in its time. Yes, that archetype was neutered by a new banned and restricted list and the pandemic did nothing to help competitive card games anywhere. But, the pieces still remain to now transform Blue-Eyes White Dragon decks into real contenders.
At first, I dabbled my way into a Rank 8 XYZ combo deck seemed the way to go for a Blue Eyes meta deck strategy. As someone who refuses to put money into any online game, it was a struggle but finally I came up with something that could work its way up the ladder in Master Duel. Unfortunately, due to my self-imposed budgetary restrictions, the deck has proven remarkably inconsistent. Fortunately for me, I had not crafted a bunch of necessary cards in vain.
Fortunately, around the release of Master Duel, TCGPlayer Infinite writer Loukas Peterson had just the list I was looking for a baseline, what he called literally the BEST Blue Eyes White Dragon Deck in Yu-Gi-Oh! His article actually featured two lists. The first was a 50-card tuner-focused deck. It’s a neat strategy and interesting take, but as someone who refuses to play more than 42 cards in a Yu-Gi-Oh deck, it wasn’t for me. The second list is what struck me as the deck I would bring to an actual real-life tournament: a 40 card Rank 8 XYZ focused list. Sound familiar?
Let’s dig into Loukas’ tantalizing Rank 8 Blue-Eyes deck list:
- 3 Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring
- 1 Blue-Eyes Abyss Dragon
- 2 Blue-Eyes Alternative White Dragon
- 1 Blue-Eyes Chaos Dragon
- 3 Blue-Eyes White Dragon
- 1 Chaos Dragon Levianeer
- 1 Dragon Spirit of White
- 2 Effect Veiler
- 3 Nebula Dragon
- 3 Sage with Eyes of Blue
- 3 The White Stone of Ancients
- 1 The White Stone of Legend
- 1 Chaos Form
- 1 Monster Reborn
- 1 Overdone Burial
- 2 Return of the Dragon Lords
- 3 The Melody of Awakening Dragon
- 3 Trade-In
- 1 World Legacy Succession
Extra Deck (15)
- 1 Accesscode Talker
- 1 Azure-Eyes Silver Dragon
- 1 Black Rose Moonlight Dragon
- 2 Blue-Eyes Spirit Dragon
- 1 Crystron Halqifibrax
- 2 Hieratic Seal of the Heavenly Spheres
- 1 Number 100: Numeron Dragon
- 1 Number 38: Hope Harbinger Dragon Titanic Galaxy
- 1 Number 90: Galaxy-Eyes Photon Lord
- 1 Number 92: Heart-eartH Dragon
- 1 Number 97: Draglubion
- 1 Relinquished Anima
- 1 Selene, Queen of the Master Magicians
Loukas explains the deck far better than I could, considering my near-decade absence from proper competitive Yu-Gi-Oh. Essentially, there are three win conditions for this deck. The first is one I greatly considered for Master Duel: win with the ritual monster Blue-Eyes Chaos Dragon; while Chaos MAX Dragon is more fun, it’s much more resource intensive. The second is a Link climb into Accesscode Talker, which it seems most decks can do these days. As someone who still resists the linear gameplay necessitated by Link Monster strategies, I find that remarkably boring and dull.
The third is a strategy I already figured out on my own: using Number 97: Draglubion to bring out your other powerful Number Dragon monsters to pulverize your opponent. There’s also the one copy of Skill Drain, which if you draw it, makes a lot of other decks very, very sad. With Konami announcing a new banned and restricted list that unlimited Skill Drain, that route was more tantalizing. After all, you have Blue-Eyes White Dragon; why do you care about abilities?
As for the “Blue Eyes Bash” list I’ve been toying around with on Master Duel since its release, many of the cards are the same. Unfortunately, at this writing, I still lack the Effect Veilers, as well as a lot of the other Ultra Rare cards that I simply lack access to as a free-to-play junkie. I did, however, quickly have both Draglubion and Heart-Earth Dragon in my collection.
It was a heck of a grind to get some of the key cards to the Blue Eyes meta deck, such as Melody of Awakening Dragon, but I was successful in getting the vast majority within a few months of playing non-stop. Knowing this deck list exists, I now had a blueprint to work towards. However, over time, I started to drift away from the Rank 8 XYZ plan into one that was much more dynamic of my own making, crafted specifically for the Master Duel meta.
While I’ve eschewed Link Monsters for the most part, I did eventually decide Crystron Halqifibrax was worth playing, especially after I literally opened one in a pack. Unfortunately, it was banned in September 2022, so I had to do some reshuffling. Linkuriboh is probably my favorite Link in the game, and provides several functions for a Chaos-themed Dragon strategy. I eventually got a hold of the best Dragon Link Monster in the game with Hieratic Seal of the Heavenly Sphere thanks to the release of the Dragonmaid Structure Deck.
Then, while watching various Yu-Gi-Oh content creators on YouTube, I discovered a very interesting Fusion monster archetype called Invoked. While typically played alongside Cyber Dragons, thanks to being the LIGHT-monsters needed for the Invoked boss monster, Invoked Mechaba, I decided, why not use the LIGHT and DARK core of the Invoked deck as an engine to fuel a Blue-Eyes deck?
While Invoked Blue-Eyes may not be meta in actual paper Yu-Gi-Oh, this version of Blue-Eyes Bash has been dominating in recent months in 2022. The first official ban list for Master Duel that dropped in August 2022 didn’t touch my deck at all and my deck has been tearing up every event that drops. While I haven’t been playing too much lately, I have little doubt that this Invoked Blue-Eyes strategy could top the ladder at Platinum Rank sooner or later.
3 Blue-Eyes White Dragon
2 Blue-Eyes Alternative Dragon
1 Dragon Spirit of White
1 The White Stone of Legend
3 Sage with Eyes of Blue
3 The White Stone of Ancients
2 Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring
3 Maxx ‘C’
1 White Dragon Wyverburster
1 Black Dragon Collapserpent
1 Chaos Dragon Levianeer
1 Chaos Emperor, the Dragon of Armageddon
3 Aleister the Invoker
1 Harpie’s Feather Duster
1 Monster Reborn
2 The Melody of Awakening Dragon
2 Magical Meltdown
3 Chaos Space
1 One for One
1 Called By the Grave
1 Lightning Storm
1 Forbidden Droplet
1 Infinite Impermanence
EXTRA DECK (15)
1 Invoked Augoeides
2 Invoked Mechaba
1 Invoked Purgatrio
1 Galaxy-Eyes Cipher Dragon
1 Galaxy-Eyes Cipher Blade Dragon
1 Hope Harbinger Dragon Titanic Galaxy
1 Number 46: Dragluon
1 Number 92: Heart-eartH Dragon
1 Number 97: Draglubion
1 Number 107: Galaxy-Eyes Tachyon Dragon
1 Artemis, the Magistis Moon
2 Hieratic Seal of the Heavenly Sphere
Now, for a Card-by-Card Analysis of this 42-card Master Duel Blue Eyes Deck List.
Invoked Blue-Eyes White Dragon Master Duel Deck, Card-By-Card
Blue-Eyes White Dragon is obviously the core of this deck, and while it doesn’t qualify as a starter in and of itself, it’s one of the key beat-sticks in the deck and also part of the deck’s card advantage engine.
Blue-Eyes Alternative White Dragon is a great starter if you have a normal Blue-Eyes in hand, and also gives the deck an extender and defensive option by picking off a problem monster. While two copies seems bricky, and it can be, there are enough ways to cycle the second copy if you happen to draw into it. Many players opt for a single copy, and when Jet Dragon comes to Master Duel I may consider that instead. For now, the second copy has been a great target for both effects of Chaos Space.
Dragon Spirit of White has been in the deck almost from the beginning thanks to being an early pull of mine in Master Duel. For a long time, two copies seemed fine, as it proved versatile. Dragon Spirit’s effect of banishing a spell or trap card on the field is key, thanks to many spells and traps wanting to be put into the graveyard. Not only does it seem a good metagame call, but being able to one-for-one a problem field spell or back row is important. It’s especially useful versus Toon Kingdom, since the effect of Dragon Spirit doesn’t target.
Also, while it doesn’t come up often, the ability to tribute a Dragon Spirit for an in-hand Blue Eyes can come in handy, blanking targeted removal and giving you a bigger body in return, while fueling your graveyard for Invocation, Chaos Dragon Levianeer, and Chaos Emperor. Eventually, one copy was cut, thanks to becoming one of my biggest brick draws with the deck.
The White Stone of Legend is a good card, but one copy is more than enough, thanks to only having three targets in the deck. If I were running Dragon Shrine or Dragon Ravine, this card may actually come out. However, getting the Blue-Eyes White Dragon to hand from the deck is a good effect and comes up a lot. Being a tuner is somewhat less important, with no Dragon Synchros in the deck, but it’s a Halq target.
Sage with Eyes of Blue is one of the best cards in the deck. Not only can it seek out a LIGHT tuner with its Normal Summon effect, but it can tribute an effect monster to bring out a Blue-Eyes monster. That second effect is typically better, but now with Artemis in the Extra Deck, the Normal Summon isn’t as costly. Also, we have One for One to bring out a copy once we don’t need its in-hand effect any more. It’s a decent starter if we need a White Stone and an OK extender from the hand. Most importantly, once it’s in the graveyard, it’s perfect fuel for the Invoked engine.
The White Stone of the Ancients is the best Tuner in the deck, allowing us at end of turn to bring out one of our four Level 8 boss monsters in Blue-Eyes White Dragon or Dragon Spirit of White. It brought out Blue-Eyes Abyss Dragon more often than not in the past, but sometimes, no Blue-Eyes (or Alternative) was on the field or grave. Also, we drew the Abyss too much where Ancients usually just brought out a vanilla Blue-Eyes. The effect you should never forget about Ancients is that you can banish it to get a Blue-Eyes back to your hand, which comes up more than you might think.
Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring is one of the best YuGiOh hand traps ever, if not the greatest. There are only two copies due to my proclivity for drawing both copies in many Duels. It’s a great going second card, keeping your opponent off of a key card. Having both in your opening five can bring your opponent’s first turn to a screeching halt, unfortunately at the cost of your ability to go off on your turn thanks to two-fifths of your hand being gone right away.
White Dragon Wyverburster and Black Dragon Collapserpent serve the same role in the deck as extenders. They can often search one another out and help facilitate the few Link Monster plays my deck has. Strangely enough, they often serve as the last points of damage in a push for game, not something I expected them to do. They are a neat little card advantage engine, so solid I considered playing two copies each, but the single copies of each seem optimal as top contending Dragon meta decks have found.
Chaos Dragon Levianeer may be my favorite card in the deck, thanks to its ability to blow out an opponent by taking out two of their best cards on field, but the resurrection ability can be hilariously good and unexpected; it brings back ANY Light monster from your graveyard, including the Invoked fusions. The third ability, banishing all cards to shuffle away a card from the opponent’s hand, has never come up but I feel it could be useful under some circumstances.
Chaos Emperor, the Dragon of Armageddon, for all its card text, has not impressed me. It has won me exactly four games, only two of which with its effect. For all it can do, it’s often getting discarded for Melody or Chaos Space, just to get a DARK attribute monster in the grave for Wyverburster or Levianeer, plus Invoked engine fuel. The OG Chaos Emperor Dragon, even with its errata, was more impactful for me in the past within Master Duel. I understand why the card is good, and it has gotten me a Dragon or two back from exile before. But, outside of a Pendulum strategy, it just feels somehow lacking. I simply can’t cut it, though, due to its power level and being a part of my card advantage engine.
I basically run two copies of Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring to play Invoked Purgatrio without my opponent having to bin a FIRE attribute monster for me to Invoke it. Hilariously, in many cases, Ash has been more useful for getting Purgatrio than as an actual hand trap, believe it or not. I could run the full three Ash Blossom just to run Purgatrio out more consistently; it’s that good. Also, it can be made with your opponent’s Ash Blossom’s – how about that?
Maxx C seems like an eventual ban in Master Duel, but since I have three copies, I had to make cuts just to include them. I mean, they are freaking Maxx C and they draw you cards when your opponent Special Summons, so you have to play them. These win me games simply by drawing me cards to keep up with whatever my opponent is doing.
Lastly for the monsters, the best card in YuGiOh, Aleister “the A-lister” the Invoker. Talk about a nasty starter, extender, and overall nuisance. There are few times that I don’t end with a board of at least two Invoked monsters plus something else if I draw him. Since I also play both legal copies of Magical Meltdown and two copies of Invocation, he’s at full power inside of this deck. It seems like an odd match, but not only does he not interfere with the Blue-Eyes game plan; he actually compliments it by giving me negation options I wouldn’t otherwise enjoy. Invoked Mechaba is this deck’s poor man’s Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon, which isn’t in Master Duel anyway.
For spell cards, the staples include Called by the Grave, Harpie’s Feather Duster, Lightning Storm, Monster Reborn, and Raigeki. All of these should be self-explanatory and Monster Reborn, despite not being all that great overall in today’s YuGiOh is surprisingly good in this deck. It’s often going to reborn something that helps us push for game or helps us extend our turn in the midst of an otherwise weak board state. Hilariously, it works really well with recurring our Invoked Augoeides, as many opponents forget his effect activates whenever he’s Special Summoned, not just Fusion Summoned!
We can also reborn an opponent’s boss monster we happened to topple, which has forced many scoops, and this is actually the best mode for this spell. The others simply speak for themselves, and in fact, Lightning Storm would be in the side deck, not the main, were there an option. Most of the time, it’s a dead card for us and often becomes fodder for Mechaba’s negation effect.
Melody of the Awakening Dragon is an awesome card that breaks even, but often discards a White Stone anyway. Chaos Emperor is often one of our two targets, despite it rarely coming down in many board states, but typically it’s a Blue-Eyes and an Alternative we’re getting to hand. Strangely enough, I’ve found three copies of Melody to be too much, which is why the count has been two copies for some time. Also, thanks to Invoked Mechaba, a dead copy of Melody without two targets just becomes spell negation fodder. Even though you really want to draw Melody, the full three copies led to some brick hands that led to some sad losses where I simply couldn’t get going, I had to trim a copy.
Two copies of Invocation is all you need, thanks to it being able to return to the deck by targeting a banished copy of Aleister. As much as I’ve thought about trimming the count to a single copy, once that single copy is gone, it can be a game-ender, and your Aleister becomes an F-lister. The Magical Meltdowns would be complimented by a Terraforming, if the damned thing weren’t an ultra rare. Yet, I draw them so often, who cares.
The fusion summon protection of Magical Meltdown is extremely underrated and getting an Aleister straight to hand is an effect many players will Ash Blossom, allowing me to then go off, since I likely have one of my three copies of Aleister anyway – he seems to love me an awful lot and I love him, too. Also, Invocation allows me to not run Polymerization, since I can drop a Twin Burst Dragon (and previously even Neos Ultimate Dragon) from my hand out of nowhere and win the game; it does happen!
Chaos Space is a somewhat awkward card to run at three copies because of how restrictive it is in what it can search. It searches the two little and two big Chaos Dragons, the two copies of Alternative, and that’s about it. However, once Chaos Space is in the graveyard, it can return any monster that I have banished that can’t be Normal Summoned. This includes Fusions and Link monsters, which yes, comes very much in handy.
In practice, three copies seems like the best course of action. Unfortunately, for quite some time, I would draw two of them, and they can only be played once per turn. Again, that could be Mechaba fodder. I used to run three Trade-In in place of these, but Chaos Space is much more versatile and helps me extend turns in ways I wouldn’t have expected had I not seen it occur with my own eyes on multiple occasions. It’s back to the full three copies, although with an additional Infinite Impermanence or Forbidden Droplet in my Master Duel collection, I’d probably cut one.
One for One is one of the last ultra rare pieces the deck needed, and it’s one of the best extenders in the game. It can swap a dead monster for a tuner into play, allowing for easy Hieratic Seal Links, as well as other more situational plays. It’s a shame the card is so expensive in the Master Duel economy as an Ultra Rare, but it’s a key piece for any deck building toolbox.
Forbidden Droplet is an absolutely bonkers card, so when I got a cheap copy as part of one of the special package deals in the Master Duel shop, I put it straight into the deck as a 41st card. It’s literally wrecked more than a few opponents’ days, crashing their massive boss monster into a vanilla Blue-Eyes because its ATK was halved and its effect was negated.
Rounding out the traps is a single copy of Infinite Impermanence. It’s my only copy as of this writing, and a second copy would be a 42nd card. A third copy would probably take the place of the third copy of Chaos Space. Negating monster effects is just absolutely critical, and people who aren’t careful in how they place their Spells and Traps can get massively punished. Hilariously, I own three copies of the Super Rare printing in real life, in case I actually decide to play Yu-Gi-Oh for real; that’s probably not happening, but they’re just worth having for the collection. These are my priority right now to acquire.
In the Extra Deck, we’ve seen a lot of changes over time as I pull better options organically and discover what strategies work best to combo off effectively. Blue-Eyes Twin Dragon was literally a place holder for Blue-Eyes Tyrant Dragon, whenever it makes its way onto Master Duel. It did come up on a rare occasion for its effect to destroy a monster that it battles which wasn’t destroyed by that battle. But, Hope Harbinger Dragon was just way better once I had one. The omni-negation effect is just that good.
The Invoked core is extremely solid, and I only need four monsters: two Invoked Mechaba for negation, one Invoked Augoeides for consistent monster destruction, and one Invoked Purgatrio to come back from a certain defeat. Augoeides was much easier to summon when Dogmatika Punishment was binning one of my big fusions going to the graveyard, but it still comes up often. Chaos Space can even recycle all of my Fusions from banishment, so four Invoked monsters are all I’ve ever needed. I’m so glad I decided to put these Invoked guys into the deck, even if they put stress on my Extra Deck count and forced me to make tough decisions with what I play.
Before Crystron Halqifibrax was banned in Master Duel, I was running it and two Synchro Monsters are Formula Synchron and T.G. Wonder Magician as Halq targets for its secondary effect to banish itself to bring out a Tuner Synchro monster. As far as Blue-Eyes support, Azure-Eyes Spirit Dragon proved too tricky and situational to summon and not worth the hassle.
So, now let’s look at the deck’s Rank 8 & 9 XYZ package, which was boosted by the banning of Halq. It contains a bevy of Number monster Dragons. These include Number 46: Dragluon,
Number 92: Heart-eartH Dragon, and Number 97: Draglubion. There’s also Number 107: Galaxy-Eyes Tachyon Dragon‘s effect to stop monster effects is mighty useful. Also, its effect to gain ATK points and an additional attack when a mandatory effect of your opponent’s resolves has won me games.
Hilariously, I’ve had a lot of success with the Galaxy-Eyes Cipher Dragon and Galaxy-Eyes Cipher Blade Dragon, starting with the XYZ Festival. Cipher Dragon stealing a monster is actually quite strong and can facilitate a push for game in the right board-state. More importantly, Cipher Blade Dragon pops a card, and when it dies, brings back the original Cipher Dragon with itself as a material.
While many would argue these Cipher XYZ monsters aren’t actually that good, they’ve simply put in too much work for me to let them go. Yes, eventually they will go when Blue-Eyes Tyrant Dragon forces me to rearrange things, and perhaps even a second copy for good measure, but we have to work with what we’re given.
Artemis, the Magistis Moon has a useless effect in my deck, but it’s a perfect Link away for both Sage and Aleister, and it’s a LIGHT attribute. It gives me more fuel for the secondary effect of Chaos Space, too. This card I also pulled at random.
Linkuriboh is probably my favorite Link monster ever and I think he’s still better than people give him credit for; plus, he’s a DARK attribute, which is a lot more relevant than you might think. Eventually, I will likely retire him, but for now, his spot is safe.
Lastly, we have two copies of Hieratic Seal of the Heavenly Sphere, who is probably the best Dragon Link Monster there is. Yes, Accesscode Talker is a billion times better. But, the Hieratic Seal bouncing a card on the field, then getting a Dragon tuner out of the deck when it hits the grave is just bonkers. He’s also very easy for this deck to summon with all of the Dragon special summons.
What Cards Have Been Cut Over Time and Why?
Blue-Eyes Abyss Dragon was a key cog in the deck for some time, and in some builds, it’s still quite strong. However, without the fusion boss monster Blue-Eyes Tyrant Dragon being in Master Duel, and the CHAOS MAX engine good, but highly inconsistent, Abyss Dragon was often a 2500 ATK beater with an unreliable, though very strong card advantage effect.
Nebula Dragon provided the deck with a Rank 8 XYZ option, by playing out otherwise dead Blue-Eyes White Dragons in hand. But, as the Rank 8 XYZ strategy has fallen by the wayside as the deck has evolved, these finally got cut.
The Neos Ultimate Dragon was the companion for Blue-Eyes Twin Burst Dragon in the Extra Deck for quite sometime, and even proved effective during my early ladder grinding, coming into play off of an Invocation of all things multiple times. Really, it was just a target for Dogmatika Punishment most times, but it’s a legit finisher, hilariously enough. I used to run Five-Headed Dragon along with Dragon’s Mirror, but it was just too bricky. I did actually win a game with Five-Headed Dragon once, but only once. If I had room, though, it would still be in the Extra Deck.
Dogmatika Punishment once rounded out the deck as the only two traps. These would have been Infinite Impermanence if I had them, but the Punishments actually proved their worth for some time. Since I was rarely bringing out the big Blue-Eyes fusion monsters anyway, Punishment could stop an opposing combo in its tracks by picking off a boss monster without Trap protection; hilariously, that includes Hope Harbinger, and when I flipped it, my opponent scooped. The other benefit is I can negate Traps with Mechaba if I’m holding one, and that Trap gets banished; so long, Golden Land traps! I’ve considered running three copies, but when it came to having to play the Maxx ‘C’ that I acquired thanks to lots of grinding, these had to go. The extra card draw was better than the one-for-one removal.
Before introducing the Invoked engine to the deck, I tried to play 3 Skill Drain, but couldn’t get the deck down to 40 cards. Since there is currently no sideboard in Master Duel, it’s been left out for now, along with potential many other strong sideboard options to improve my deck’s chances against certain match-ups. Nibiru, the Primal Being would be in the sideboard, as well, as I find it extremely hard to include even just a single copy in this deck as is.
Is Invoked Blue-Eyes Actually a Meta Deck in 2022?
While Blue-Eyes decks can be meta, such as the Rank 8 XYZ spam deck championed by Loukas, I’m not sure that the Invoked Blue-Eyes strategy would work in “real” Yu-Gi-Oh as well as it does in Master Duel. There’s so much more Blue-Eyes support that’s not in Master Duel, such as Blue-Eyes Jet Dragon, Blue-Eyes Tyrant Dragon, Dictator of D, and more. In real life Yu-Gi-Oh, I’d probably cut the Invoked engine in exchange for the Dictator of D playset, two copies of the Blue-Eyes Tyrant, and reintegrate Blue Eyes Chaos MAX Dragon and Abyss Dragon back into the mix. Obviously, Maxx ‘C’ would have to go, thanks to still being banned on the TCG list, as it should be!
In any case, it’s extremely exciting that despite how much Yu-Gi-Oh has changed from the early 2010’s going into the 2020’s, I can still play a deck that feels a lot like the old game. While it will take me time to finally play the best Blue-Eyes White Dragon deck on Master Duel in 2022, it’s good to know I was on the right track. Finally, I can find some fun times in Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel, even if Yu-Gi-Oh in many ways is just as busted and frustrating, because in this game, you really never know what might happen.