In Yu-Gi-Oh!, a Duel starts long before the first turn. It starts when you decide what cards to put in your Deck. Building a Deck is half the fun of the game, and coming up with new strategies to surprise your opponent with is always entertaining.
To get you started on the right track, I'm going to give you a few pointers. If this is your first time making a Deck, I suggest you start with one of the four Structure Decks.
They are built to have cards that work well together, and each one comes with a customized Dueling Guide with suggestions for what cards to add next. Play a few games with your new Deck, you should have a good idea of what it needs to become more powerful.
For example, if you started with Dragon's Roar, you may find that it needs some more monsters to keep up with the competition, so you could add a third "Luster Dragon". If Blaze of Destruction was your starting Deck, you have monsters with some great effects; but could use a few more with high ATK values, such as "Blazing Inpachi". Just remember, for every card you add, take a card out, so you keep your Deck at 40 cards, adding more just makes it harder to draw your best cards.
After mastering your Structure Deck, you are ready to construct your own Dueling Deck. Regardless if you already have an idea in mind, or if you are waiting for creativity to strike, I suggest spreading out all your cards so you don't overlook good cards. If you do not do this, you will continue you to play with cards that you are accustomed to, and could miss out on some great combos.
The Structure Decks all have themes based on Monster Types and Attributes, but your Deck doesn't have to, some of the best combos are created by combining monsters of different types. You will want to have 15 to 18 Monster Cards in your Deck, so you will always have one, but not too many, since you can only Normal Summon 1 monster per turn. I also suggest having no more than 3 monsters that are Level 5 or higher, since they require Tributes. It can spell your doom if you start with a hand full of them. After you select your Monsters, its time to pick 22 to 25 Spell and Trap Cards to round out your Deck. You'll want to pick cards that go well with your Monsters, and that can protect you from your opponent's attacks. When making your Deck, make the best of the cards you have.
Your friends might go on-and-on about how good "D. D. Warrior Lady" is, but if you don't have one at the time, think creatively with the cards you do have. Maybe you have a "Yomi Ship" to destroy your opponent's monster. You can always trade for other cards later, or maybe you'll discover a better strategy and make a new trend. There's no harm in trying out any combination. The more you practice, the better Duelist you will become!
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