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Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel’s current in-game event is the EX-Zero Festival

Special summon haters, rejoice.

The next in-game event for Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel, the EX-Zero Festival, is underway and forces duelists to outwit their opponent without the use of an extra deck.

The EX-Zero Festival limits combatants to just a main deck of cards in a limited-time event within the Yu-Gi-Oh! card game’s extremely popular digital application. Like other events, the EX-Zero Festival will award medals to participants regardless of wins or losses, and those spoils can be traded for in-game currency, deck accessories such as sleeves and other cosmetics. A player does need to see the duel to its conclusion to earn a reward.

The lack of Extra deck is a much bigger restriction than it might seem. This is the zone on the battlefield where some of a player’s most powerful cards are stored. Monsters summoned via various special methods - Fusion, Xyz (pronounced zick-sees), Pendulum, Link and Synchro - live here until they crash onto the battlefield instead of taking up a slot in the main deck. Like the main deck, an opponent can’t search through this as well, so the threats lurking within remain hidden until summoned.

Cover image for YouTube videoAbsolute beginner tries to understand Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel
If Wheels can (sort of, almost) learn how to play Master Duel on his own, you'll have no problem!

Without an extra deck, both duelists will be at the mercy of what they can draw from the top of their deck. This eliminates, or at least severely hinders, quite a few dominant strategies such as those listed in our best meta deck list, which means players should look forward to some wild builds heading into the festival. Much like the anime that popularised the TCG, everyone will be relying on the heart of the cards.

Master Duel has been regularly hosting these events since its launch back in January of this year. It exploded in popularity amongst both longtime players and the digital card game curious, surpassing 20 million downloads in less than two months. While that meteoric rise has since simmered, the player base remains steady, and publisher Konami has regularly added new content and maintained its own Master Duel banlist.

The Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel EX-Zero festival runs through July 27th, and more information about rules and prizes can be found within the digital app. Those interested in starting can check out our guide on how to play and then follow that up with a budget deck list. There’s also an interesting history lesson on five classic formats that shaped the current game’s landscape.

We’ll just play this link facedown on the board and trust you not to click it.

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Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game

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YuGiOh Master Duel

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Chase Carter avatar

Chase Carter


Chase is a freelance journalist and media critic. He enjoys the company of his two cats and always wants to hear more about that thing you love. Follow him on Twitter for photos of said cats and retweeted opinions from smarter folks.