The release of Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel caught Yu-Gi-Oh! fans by surprise last week, as Konami gave some details about the game but never set a solid release date. But on January 19, the game officially came out on all platforms. Well, except mobile (at least for now), which is surprising because a game involving cards could’ve been a perfect smartphone fare.
The previous game in the franchise, Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links, was exclusively a mobile and PC game. It was also a free-to-play game, making it easier for players to accumulate enough gems to buy the decks they wanted. Does Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel follow the same model, or is it pay-to-win?
Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel falls under the latter category. Gems remain the in-game currency, but the money players have to spend on gems depends on how competitive they are. Every pack is 1,000 gems, which means you’re spending about $2 per pack. Not exactly the cheapest hobby out there.
Thankfully, there are some elements of Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel that allows free-to-play players access to good decks without needing to spend any money upfront. It features a crafting system that lets players pick any individual cards they want to build a specific deck that will propel them upward in the rankings. The only caveat is the more hours you sink into the game, the fewer gems you’ll get in return. At least you’ll be able to build a competitive deck with the starting base currency.