Yu-Gi-Oh! and Your Wallet


Yu-Gi-Oh! is a game that requires you to keep purchasing cards, as new and better strategies are introduced, and some cards become staples that you simply can't miss if you want to compete. Here are a few ways to alleviate some of the financial stress while still managing to enjoy the game.

How long have you been playing Yu-Gi-Oh!? Let's say you have been involved in the game for at least two years. How many decks do you have? Do some of these decks contain expensive cards? Do you have some pricey staple cards that you move between decks such as Infinite Impermanence? Were you able to afford all the cards you wanted? The last question is: Do you have any idea how much you spent on the game in total, between buying singles and sealed product?

Odds are you cannot answer that last question. I would be surprised if anyone actually managed to! It is also likely that you will keep buying cards even if only from time to time. The relation between Yu-Gi-Oh! and your wallet is inversely proportional. Some cards are quite expensive yet they might seem like a necessity to have, especially if they are staples. Other times you can pick up an entire deck on the cheap. What you buy is what you feel like buying and can afford.

The question we are posing today is: How do you maximize card value in relation to the amount of money you allocate and are willing to spend?

pot of riches Good Goblin Housekeeping

Of course, if you can afford to buy any card you want without hesitating or thinking about the financial implications, then that is great. But if you want to get better value for your money because you are wary of your budget, then consider the following:

Stick to One or Two Decks …

… especially if you plan to build competitive decks! As a game, Yu-Gi-Oh! keeps evolving and changing. This means that decks that were relevant in the past might not be as powerful going forward. However, most strategies — and I am talking about competitive decks — will usually be relevant for between one and two years. Sky Strikers remained relevant for a long time, Pendulum variants are still very much playable, and dinosaurs have been stealing top-cut spots since their release.

If you invest in one or two meta decks with strong potential for the future, all you will have to do is update the deck from time to time with new cards or different technology instead of scrambling to update a larger number of decks almost simultaneously. Trust me … it is very difficult and expensive. Admittedly some cards will be more expensive than others, but it will be your budget that decides what you can do with your deck. Who knows, you might discover a new way of playing your deck and be successful with cheap cards. Yu-Gi-Oh! is all about innovation, deck building, and adaptation.


Reprint sets such as the Mega Tins for example are great for picking up cards that you previously were unable to afford. Knowing what the main sets are, you can safely guess which of them will be featured in the next Mega Tin — unless of course there is a radical change in the design of the tin as a concept. Also other sets that include reprints are the Battles of Legend Series, sets like Duel Devastator, and the Gold Series. Odds are if there is an expensive card that not everyone can afford, a reprint will appear sometime in the future. Just keep an eye out for these sets and save accordingly in order to purchase the reprinted cards you need.

Card of Sanctity scrounging goblin

Buy Lower Rarities

But it is shiny and looks better than the cheaper version! Yes, that is undeniably true. However, the card's name and effect are exactly the same. Buying a cheaper and more accessible version of a card allows you to play it in exactly the same way as any other version of the card. After all, a common Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring can negate the same things as a secret rare version.

OCG Trends

Since Japan releases cards a couple of months before we get them, it would not be a bad idea to look at OCG sets. Maybe you see a new deck that you like or cards that boost an older deck. Then it might be the right time to either buy cards that will work with that new deck soon to be released, or buy the old deck that the new cards will boost. On release of these new cards, the existing cards that benefit them tend to increase in price. It is true that they will also increase in price as soon as these new cards are announced, but you can still pick them up for a better price the earlier you purchase them — unless certain cards spike hard all of a sudden.

Alternative Cards

With more than ten thousand cards at our disposal, it is a good thing that there are options available and replacements for non-essential components of a deck. For example, Accesscode Talker is an incredibly powerful card that can break boards and finish games all by itself. The only problem is that it is far from cheap. However, there are alternatives that can replace it such as Borrelsword Dragon. While they do not necessarily do the same thing, Borrelsword can hit your opponent hard and finish the game quickly, albeit without the destruction ability of Accesscode. Likewise, if Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon is out of your budget and you are playing a going-second deck, then you might consider the Rainbow Neos package instead.

Similarly, something such as Infinite Impermanence might not be affordable to everyone. There are cheaper alternatives like the ever-reliable Effect Veiler or Forbidden Chalice. These cards essentially do the same thing but cost much less.


This is one of the best ways to give your wallet a breather. If you have cards that you are not using or do not need anymore, you can trade them for those you want. Or you can list your cards on Cardmarket and use the money you make to buy the cards you need.

pot of greed Hard-Sellin' Goblin reckless greed

I deliberately did not mention pre-sales since things are very speculative and cannot really be predicted here. What you do with your wallet is always up to you, of course. But if you want to be able to buy more cards or spend less, then I hope my advice was a little helpful. Thanks for reading!

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily Cardmarket.


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