Yu-Gi-Oh is a card game with a multitude of ways to play. You can throw your favourite cards into a deck and watch where luck and fate leads you, or you can carefully curate cards to build yourself a winning strategy to work towards. Today we are going to look at a simple but deceptively aggressive deck-building strategy: The Burn Deck.

The basic premise of Yu-Gi-Oh involves both players scoring cards from their deck to stack their side of the field. The aim is to obtain progressively more powerful monsters, spells, and traps to defeat the opponent’s monsters and whittle down their 8000 Life Points.

A typical turn involves multiple phases: draw phase (draw cards), standby phase (card effects activate), main phase 1 (summoning and moving cards), battle phase (attack enemy monsters), main phase 2 (post-battle card movements), and end phase (final effects and card discards before transitioning to other player’s turn). Ordinarily, a player’s goal during a turn is to work towards buffing themselves and weakening their opponent so they can clear the field and do as much damage as possible during the battle phase.

At its core, it’s a game of mathematics: the higher number attack monsters destroy the lower ones, and the difference between the two numbers is subtracted from the weaker side’s Life Points. If there are no monsters in opposition, then the attacking monster damages the Life Points directly. But what if you wanted to skip the monster battling part and simply jump to the attacking directly? That’s where a Burn Deck comes in.

A Burn Deck strategy focuses on creating a deck that skips the battle phase entirely, including spells and monster cards with abilities that attack the opponent’s life points directly. It can leave you fairly defenseless since Burn Decks aren’t typically focused on summoning strong monsters, but this can be prevented by having a fair amount of low level monsters to place in defense as fodder, or having cards which restrict battle on the field such as Mystic Mine.

There are two basic Burn Deck strategies: Fast and Stall. A Fast Burn Deck focuses on having powerful burn cards to inflict massive damage and end the game in a few turns. A Stall Burn Deck incorporates Stall cards that will prevent your opponent from attacking, allowing you to slowly chip away at their Life Points or utilize certain burn cards which get more powerful over time.

Here are a few basic burn cards no matter the strategy being used:


  • Lava Golem

  • Exxod, Master of the Guard

  • Marshmallon

  • Volcanic Queen


  • Oozaki

  • Wave-Motion Cannon

  • Cauldron of the Old Man

  • Dark Room of Nightmare

  • Spell Shattering Arrow



  • Just Desserts


  • Secret Blast


  • Blazing Mirror Force


  • Ring of Destruction


  • Fairy Wind


There are plenty of ways to modify a Burn Deck or combine it with other strategies, so look through your existing cards to see which ones have burn effects, or seek out brand new cards to build yourself a scorching deck and win those duels!

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