Ritual Beasts are an Archetype that were released in Duel Links in the Spirit of the Beast Mini Box; since their release Ritual Beasts have gone on and off various tier lists as a top tier deck that is very free to play friendly, with all of its core cards being inside its debut box, but also holds a reputation as being one of, if not the, most difficult decks in the game to both learn and master. Since the February 2020 ban-list, which saw the core card of the deck, Loading... semi-limited, Ritual Beasts were initially discounted by many, however in spite of this devastating hit to the deck it has managed to persevere, and remains a frequent contender in the meta to this day, continuing to top tournaments and will likely continue to do so for many days to come!

About the Author

Greetings, my name is Acier and I am the author of this guide to Ritual Beasts. I have been playing duel links irregularly since early 2019 but since late 2019 I have begun playing Duel Links on a more competitive level and have managed to top several tournaments in my short time on the competitive Duel Links stage. There were numerous qualities about this deck that drew me to it, the artwork, the playstyle, the high learning curve e.t.c, but the thing that really enraptured me was the lore behind this archetype, as the successor to the archetype that got me introduced to Yugioh as a child and is still to this day my all-time favorite archetype, Gusto's, I knew instantly that this was the deck for me, and I have been in love with the deck ever since I picked it up!


“Ritual Beasts” are a Fusion archetype that is divided into two “sub-archetypes”, the “Ritual Beast Tamers” and the “Spiritual Beasts”, with both names counting as “Ritual Beast” monsters, but with “Ritual Beast Tamers” not counting as “Spiritual Beasts” and vice versa (save 1 exception in Loading... ); the Tamers are all Psychic Type Wind Attribute monsters resembling humans and the Spiritual Beasts being Wind Attribute monsters of various types that resemble animals. Unlike traditional fusion decks however, this deck does not utilize fusion cards such as Loading... , instead it utilizes contact fusion (similar to Neo Spacians or Gladiator Beasts) by banishing 1 Tamer and 1 Spiritual Beast to special summon an “Ulti-” Ritual Beast monster from the extra deck (NOTE: this is NOT a fusion summon, it is considered a special summon); Also, All of the Extra Deck Ritual Beasts currently in Duel Links share the effect of “During either player's turn: You can return this card you control to the Extra Deck, then target 2 of your banished monsters (1 “Ritual Beast Tamer” monster and 1 “Spiritual Beast” monster); Special summon the in Defense Position” (Will be referred to as the “Tag-Out” effect from here on out for simplicity's sake); it is important to note that the Ulti-Ritual Beasts can tag-out into any banished Spiritual Beast and Ritual Beast Tamer, it does not have to be the monsters that were used in the contact fusion.

As such, Ritual Beasts are a control deck that can quickly flip to an OTK strategy, initially focusing on establishing a strong and unassailable defense by utilizing the powerful floating properties of Loading... to float into herself or any other Ritual Beast from both the main deck or the extra deck to match the situation needed, either an Ulti-beast from the extra deck for more defense, or a Loading... to facilitate an OTK next turn and help control the board by dismantling the opponent's resources. Or, more traditionally, the deck will utilize the effect of Loading... to gain an additional normal summon of any Ritual Beast monster and facilitate a contact fusion opening combo that typically ends in a Loading... on turn 1 and, if used with either Loading... or Loading... , can help set up a large banished pile for the on field Ulti-Ritual Beast to float into. This gives Ritual Beasts unparalleled defensive capabilities and the ability to dodge some of the most played and destructive backrow in the game, alongside just being a giant headache for your opponents to deal with.

Core Cards

As the monsters in this archetype are themselves divided into sub-archetypes, I will be ordering this section in the following order:

  1. Ritual Beast Tamers
  2. Spiritual Beasts
  3. The Extra Deck
  4. Spells and Traps

Another important detail to mention here, is that all “Ritual Beast” monsters share the following restriction: “You can only special summon (X Monster) once per turn”

The Tamers

Ritual Beast Tamer Elder (2x)

Ritual Beast Tamer Elder

Easily the most important card in the entire deck, and one that would be a 3-off if not for it being semi-limited in the February 2020 ban-list, Loading... allows you to normal summon 1 “Ritual Beast” monster in addition to your normal summon or set and is the primary playmaker of the archetype, allowing you to normal summon any Spiritual Beast and follow-up with a contact fusion. Usually accompanied by Loading... as the main follow-up play, Elder is the primary combo enabler of the deck and the well-known “Elder+Cannahawk” opening is the most feared of all of the Ritual Beast openings, being a 2-card combo that at its most basic sets-up a banished pile of 4 differently named Ritual Beasts alongside allowing you to search for any Ritual Beast card in your deck through the effect of Loading... . The sheer amount of combos that Elder kick-starts will be explained in much more detail in the combo’s section of this guide, but for now it is most important to stress that Elder’s effect does not start a chain as it is not an effect that “activates” and therefore cannot be negated with cards like Loading... , Loading... , and as it is not an effect that “activates” cards such as Loading... cannot negate it either.

Spiritual Beast Tamer Winda (3x)

Spiritual Beast Tamer Winda

The next most important card in the deck, Winda serves as an alternative opener to Loading... as a powerful floater that can float into any Ritual Beast monster from both the main deck AND the Extra Deck including herself as long as she wasn’t special summoned on that turn already. Windas importance is not restricted to her impressive floating capabilities however, in fact that isn’t even her most important use in the deck, rather, her name is her most important feature since Loading... counts as both a “Ritual Beast Tamer” and a “Spiritual Beast” for the purposes of fulfilling the fusion requirements for the Ulti-Ritual Beasts. This makes Winda the most versatile card in the deck, not only allowing her to fuse with both Tamers and Spiritual Beasts, but also allowing her to fuse with another copy of herself; This allows for a very interesting interaction when Tagging-out with an Ulti-Ritual Beast - Since Winda counts as both a “Ritual Beast Tamer” and a “Spiritual Beast she meets both requirements, which means that if two copies of Winda are currently banished you choose both Winda when you go to tag-out; despite Winda sharing the restriction of “You can only special summon (X monster) once per turn” with the other Ritual Beasts, you can in fact summon both Winda with the Ulti-Ritual Beasts tag-out effects. This works due to the wording of their tag-out effect, because of the wording both of the tag-out targets are special summoned at the same time; this means that both summons occur and resolve at the same time, allowing you to effectively bypass Winda’s once per turn summoning restriction and making her the best tag-out target for defensive plays. By using this trick to special summon 2 Winda’s at once, it provides for an incredibly defensive “Winda wall” that is extremely difficult for the opponent to get over during the battle-phase without running the risk of facilitating an OTK follow-up next turn by allowing you to end on a board with a Loading... , whether directly from a Winda float or from Winda floating into a Loading... , that then proceeded to tag-out into any Tamer other than Winda and Pettlephin.

Ritual Beast Tamer Lara (1x)

Ritual Beast Tamer Lara

Loading... is typically run as a 1-of, her primary use is to recover Spiritual Beasts that have either 1) Been sent to the grave as fuel for the search effect of Loading... or 2) Been destroyed by the opponent and sent to the graveyard to the facilitate a contact fusion. Whilst Lara is not as versatile as Loading... due to requiring a Ritual Beast monster to be in the grave already, alongside the fact that due to her special summoning the monster it limits how far her combo plays can extend to, she provides the deck with additional recovery options, allowing her to recover a destroyed Loading... or a Loading... and immediately contact fuse.

The Spiritual Beasts

Important Note: Each of the Spiritual Beasts has their own effect that are all “Once per turn” effects, due to the wording they are considered “Soft” Once per turn effect, this means that every time a spiritual beast leaves the board, whether it be banished as a material for a contact fusion or sent to the graveyard, once it returns to the field, such as being special summoned by the Ulti-Ritual Beasts tag-out effects, the card will effectively “refresh”, allowing you to use its effect once again. Understanding how soft once per turn effects work is vital to understanding how the loops generated by the Spiritual Beast cards work, something which will be explored more in the combo section of this guide