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Dino Guide

Overview/History

Dinos were one of the first meta decks in Duel Links by using the skill Dinosaur Kingdom to boost up their dinos to 1900 atk, but they fell off due to not having enough support. With the introduction of Evilswarm Salamandra in a tag duel event dinos were able to hit the tier list again since they were able to boost Evilswarm Salamandra to 2750 atk with the field spell. Later on they received another card within Black Brachios which helped to get over a Red-Eyes Zombie Dragon. After that there was no real support for them until we got the first Hassleberry event which gave us a really good card that combos very well with the banish effect of Evilswarm Salamandra; Giant Rex. Dinos got a little bit hyped by using the effect of Giant Rex with cards like D.D. Sprite to for an instant Armades, Keeper of Boundaries or Gold Sarcophagus to special summon the Giant Rex very easily. A few months later dinos get their strongest card so far Survival's End which is able to spam dinos from the deck by destroying normal monsters on the field or cards like Swamp Mirrorer or all Paleozoic cards if they were summoned on the field. But one month later the Six Samurai archetype got introduced into Duel Links and dinos fell off again even though Survival's End is able to destroy Legendary Six Samurai - Shi En but only if he is the only Six Samurai monster on the field. Few weeks later, Neos Fusion was released and this was pretty much the death of dinos because the protection effect of Neos Fusion counters Survival's End. At the same time the so called “Neos Koa'ki“ deck became meta which was the biggest counter for dinos due to having nothing against the protection effect of Neos Fusion and Diamond Core of Koa'ki Meiru. With the introduction of Subterrors Survival's End saw some play by using the normal monster of the skill Masked Tribute to have a good interruption in the opponents turn.


Playstyle

The whole deck focuses around the card Survival's End which means that you play a lot of backrow cards especially cards like Paleozoic Canadia and Paleozoic Marrella because those 2 traps can special summon themselves by activating another trap. It has a slow playstyle but this could change really quick if you are able to activate a Survival's End (SE) on the field to summon 1-2 dino(s) from your deck.


Skills

Dinosaur Kingdom – This is probably the best skill that I would recommend because it gives you the opportunity to get over bigger threats; for example your Evilswarm Salamandra or your Giant Rex are able to defeat many monsters with 2200 ATK/DEF or your Giant Rex can get up to 2500 atk which could easily crash into a Legendary Six Samurai - Shi En and your Evilswarm Salamandra can even get over a Elemental HERO Brave Neos after you've banished 2 monsters which its effect.


Sample Decks


Crystron Engine

Duel Links Card: Crystron%20Rosenix
Duel Links Card: Crystron%20Quan
Duel Links Card: Crystron%20Rion
Duel Links Card: Karakuri%20Barrel%20mdl%2096%20%22Shinkuro%22

As you can see the third list contains some Crystron monsters and I tried to build a deck with them because Crystron Rosenix has the effect of banishing itself to summon a token on the field that you can use with Survival's End. But why is there a random Karakuri tuner? Well, he is needed for the 1 card Vermillion combo. That means that if you open with a Rosenix and you didn't draw Crystron Rion or the Karakuri tuner you can go for that combo. The combo works very easily; you normal summon the Crystron Rosenix and destroy the field spell that you start the duel with due to Dinosaur Kingdom, special summon the Crystron Rion from the deck, synchro summon into the Karakuri Shogun mdl 00 "Burei" and then special summon the Karakuri Barrel mdl 96 "Shinkuro" with the effect of Burei. After that you synchro summon for Vermillion Dragon Mech and that's how the combo works. This is a nice combo and the Crystron part adds a lot of speed to the deck BUT (and that's also the reason why i stopped playing the deck) you can also open with either the lv 3 Crystron tuner or the Karakuri tuner and the whole combo doesn't work anymore and you'll have a brick in your hand. This little engine eats up the slots that you wanted to use for more backrow cards as well. But if you wanna have fun and want some synchro summoning action then definitely try out this list. :)


Core Cards

Giant Rex (1x)

Duel Links Card: Giant%20Rex
This is one of the main monsters that you're gonna summon with SE because it doesn't matter if you have to destroy with the grave effect of SE since you're able to re-summon it back onto the field by banishing it with the effect of Evilswarm Salamandra. Also don't forget that this monster CANNOT attack directly.

Evilswarm Salamandra (2x)

Duel Links Card: Evilswarm%20Salamandra
While we're talking about the banish effect of Evilswarm Salamandra, this card is your main beater which can get up to 2750 atk with the field spell of Dinosaur Kingdom. This monster also enables the mini loop of re-summoning Giant Rex every turn so you can destroy Giant Rex as often as you want with SE since you can always re-summon him. Also don't forget that Giant Rex can only be re-summoned once per turn by banishing him from the grave.

Babycerasaurus (1x)

Duel Links Card: Babycerasaurus
Last time I said that 2 Babycerasaurus are optimal but I changed my opinion due to bricking with him very often. This is the other monster that you wanna summon from your deck with SE because his effect special summons another lv 4 or lower dinosaur type monster from your deck when he gets destroyed by card effect. This could be either the effect of Survival's End which destroys the monsters that you've summoned with its effect in the End-Phase or if you use the grave effect by destroying 1 dinosaur type monster you control and one card your opponent controls.

Scapeghost (3x)

Duel Links Card: Scapeghost
With the introduction of the new set Curse of Dread we received these little cutties which are not only a tuner that allows you to synchro summon with the deck but also summons up to 2 tokens to the field which you can use for SE to summon 2 dinos to the field. As i already said this card is also a tuner so you have access to some lv 5 synchros. (And let's be honest who doesn't like to synchro summon with a Giant Rex that you can easily re-summon with Evilswarm Salamandra.)

Paleozoic Canadia (3x)

Duel Links Card: Paleozoic%20Canadia
Canadia is one of your main defense options, especially when you have to stop a big boss monster from attacking you. However, it is also useful to summon Canadia from the grave, as it counts as a normal monster and makes your SE ready to activate.

Paleozoic Marrella (1-2x)

Duel Links Card: Paleozoic%20Marrella
Marrella is very good in this deck because it sets up a SE in the grave very fast and in some matches you really want to have that disruption effect as soon as possible. It is also a paleozoic monster, which means that when you summon him from the grave Marrella counts as a normal type monster.

Survival's End (3x)

Duel Links Card: Survival's%20End
This is the main card in your dino deck because in your spell- and trap-zone this card can destroy any number of normal type monsters (including the paleozoic monsters since they're normal type monsters on the field) to special summon a few dinos from your deck. The 2 main monsters that you wanna summon with this effect are Giant Rex and Babycerasaurus because you can easily re-summon Giant Rex with the effect of Evilswarm Salamandra which you're gonna summon off of Babycerasaurus' effect. Now let's get to the major part of this card which includes the grave effect. Its second effect let's you destroy a dinosaur type monster and an opponents card on the field by banishing it from the grave and this also works in the same turn it was sent to the graveyard so you can special summon a bunch of dinos and destroy a card in the same turn.

Tech Cards

Floodgate Trap Hole

Duel Links Card: Floodgate%20Trap%20Hole
This card can stall out your opponent by setting their monsters face-down so that you have enough time to set up your SE's in the graveyard. It also combos very well with a special synchro monster which i am gonna introduce in the Synchro Cards section.

Wall of Disruption

Duel Links Card: Wall%20of%20Disruption
Its low representation in today's meta allows you to catch some people with this card and from some testing against Vendreads this card seems to do a good job due to them not having any major backrow removal besides Vendread Battlelord that can shut down your traps by banishing a Vendread card from the grave.

Sphere Kuriboh

Duel Links Card: Sphere%20Kuriboh
This card has been relevant since it came out, and with the new Sphere Kuriboh offer you can easily pick up one copy of this card. It's also very good against a lot of decks since it can stop cards like Elemental HERO Brave Neos or Legendary Six Samurai - Shi En from destroying your dinos. This card is also very good against Vendreads due to their ritual monsters having 0 def.

Dimensional Prison

Duel Links Card: Dimensional%20Prison
Its banish effect can play around a lot of things such as the protection effect of a Neos Fusion or Revendread Origin and it can also prevent the summon of a Desperado Barrel Dragon since you banish the DARK machine type monster.

Cosmic Cyclone

Duel Links Card: Cosmic%20Cyclone
The main use of this card is to stop either Ancient Gear Fortress or Geartown if your opponent tries to destroy one of those cards to summon a Reactor Dragon. It is also a very good side deck card against a lot of decks like Subterror or you can banish an equipped Cyberdark Cannon.

Enemy Controller

Duel Links Card: Enemy%20Controller
You can very easily use the tokens that you summoned with Scapeghost to “econ-take“ an opponents monster. Also this card can be very situational since you don't always have a monster that you wanna tribute to use this cards effect.

World Legacy Clash

Duel Links Card: World%20Legacy%20Clash
The banish effect of this card combos very well with Giant Rex since you can easily re-summon him back onto the field to attack one more time. Also this card is really good for the Desperado matchup since the effect of Desperado Barrel Dragon doesn't target so you can banish one of your monsters (the best scenario is when you've got only 1 monster cause then he has to destroy his own Desperado if the opponent doesn't control another face-up monster) to dodge the destruction effect of Desperado. Only negative side of this card is that you do not really have that many monsters which you can banish with this card.

Recommended Synchro Monsters

Vermillion Dragon Mech

Duel Links Card: Vermillion%20Dragon%20Mech
You won't summon this synchro that often in the pure version because you need 3 monsters for it but it's still a great lv 9 synchro that can destroy a card on the field by banishing a tuner from the graveyard.

Armades, Keeper of Boundaries

Duel Links Card: Armades,%20Keeper%20of%20Boundaries
This monster will be your best friend in the Desperado matchup and against a face-down fuma since it stops the summon of a Desperado Barrel Dragon from the hand as well as preventing the opponent from summoning a Six Samurai monster from the deck.

Crystron Ametrix

Duel Links Card: Crystron%20Ametrix
Its effect of putting the opponents special summoned monster in defense position can be situational but also helps against decks like Blue-Eyes. Its 2500 atk is also able to get over a Cyberdark Edge equipped with a Cyberdark Cannon

Jurrac Velphito

Duel Links Card: Jurrac%20Velphito
As i already said there is a synchro monster that can combo very well with Floodgate Trap Hole as well as Paleozoic Canadia. This card right here has the effect to instantly destroy the face-down monster that you attack with this card without even flipping it face-up which means that you can easily play around protection effects of cards like Neos Fusion or Revendread Origin.

Underworld Fighter Balmung

Duel Links Card: Underworld%20Fighter%20Balmung
Balmung is just used if you open with Scapeghost but no dino or SE and you have a Paleozoic monster on the field.

Mist Bird Clausolas

Duel Links Card: Mist%20Bird%20Clausolas
This card is like Balmung just used if you open with a Scapeghost and no other monster or if you're able to have another monster on the field besides Clausolas so you can get rid of bigger monsters like Cosmo Brain or Desperado Barrel Dragon since it lowers the atk to 0 and negates the effects of the monster you've targetted.

HTS Psyhemuth; Celestial Wolf Lord, Blue Sirius

Duel Links Card: HTS%20Psyhemuth
Duel Links Card: Celestial%20Wolf%20Lord,%20Blue%20Sirius
I don't recommend to play a lv 6 synchro in this deck since you would need Scapeghost, a token of Scapeghost and a lv 4 monster but if you wanna play a lv 6 synchro then i would advice you to play one of these 2 lv 6 synchros since Psyhemuth can banish a monster that you're not able to get over for example a Reactor Dragon. Celestial would lower the attack of a monster your opponent controls if it gets destroyed by battle or card effect.

Matchups

Desperado

Their boss monster Desperado Barrel Dragon which is able to wipe your entire board makes this matchup almost unwinnable. Except if you play slowly against the deck by using your backrow cards wisely especially Dimensional Prison, Paleozoic Canadia and Floodgate Trap Hole because Desperado only triggers if a face-up DARK machine type monster gests destroyed which means that you have to destroy them face-down to prevent the summon of their boss monster. Another way how you could prevent the summon is by using Armades, Keeper of Boundaries since your opponent cannot activate any effects when Armades attacks. Overall you have to stall and keep an eye on those DARK machine type monsters. Also don't be too aggressive with your SE's since dinos are not an otk deck instead they're a control deck. But what do if there is already a Desperado on the field? If this happens then you're in a lot of trouble since they are easily able to wipe your whole board. You've have to use everything you can do to get rid of that Desperado by flipping him face-down with Paleozoic Canadia so you can destroy him either with Armades or with a SE in the grave. But why should i destroy him face-down and not just face-up? Well, since you're gonna be happy to get rid of a single Desperado you don't wanna have another potential Desperado summon of your opponent because you never know how many Desperado are in his hand.

Recommended side deck cards:

Duel Links Card: Floodgate%20Trap%20Hole
Duel Links Card: World%20Legacy%20Clash
Duel Links Card: System%20Down

Triamids

This right here is probably one of the excited matchups since 2 control decks are dueling against each other. The main rule here is: Who is able to destroy the opponents board first. It depends on who goes first and also how you open with dinos. Since your monsters are likely gonna be able to get over the Triamid monsters you would have the advantage there, but be sure to destroy their field spells in THEIR TURN so they're not able to swap him with another one from the deck. Another card that you have to get rid of as soon as possible is Triamid Dancer. This monster can very easily win the opponent the game especially if he has Triamid Fortress on the field which prevents you from destroying their monsters with SE in the grave. So be sure to flip this monster face-down with Canadia as soon as possible. Triamid Master is also a card that you have prevent from using its effect if you have a face-down Scapeghost on the field. So how am I gonna win against Triamids? You have to keep an eye on Dancer and you have to destroy their field spells during their turn so they cannot change them for another field spell. Also very important is to get rid of their backrow since cards like Triamid Pulse and Treacherous Trap Hole can destroy your whole monster board and you don't wanna lose that against a deck like Triamids.

Recommended side deck cards:

Duel Links Card: Cosmic%20Cyclone
Duel Links Card: Floodgate%20Trap%20Hole
Duel Links Card: Bad%20Aim

Ancient Gears

Ancient Gear's main theme is to prevent the opponent from using cards when you're attacking with them. Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon prevents you from using cards like Sphere Kuriboh or Dimensional Prison while Ancient Gear Wyvern can only stop monster effects. Since you don't have any monsters in your deck that has 3000 or more atk you have to go over and use your SE to destroy the Reactor Dragon. Floodgate Trap Hole is a major card that you should use since Ancient Gear Fortress only stops cards that targets an Ancient Gear monster and Floodgate Trap Hole doesn't target. Also Floodgate can give you enough time to set up as many SE as possible. Another way on how you can destroy a face-down Reactor Dragon is by synchro summoning into Jurrac Velphito since his effect destroys the face-down monster immediately. This is one of those matchups where you have to set up your SE as quickly as possible because your opponent can always have more than 1 Reactor Dragon on the field. Also don't forget that you can prevent the summon of a Reactor Dragon by destroying a Geartown on chain link 2 that means you have to chain your SE in the grave to an effect that tries to destroy the Geartown for example cards like Galaxy Cyclone, Double Cyclone or Breaker the Magical Warrior.

Recommended side deck cards:

Duel Links Card: Cosmic%20Cyclone
Duel Links Card: Floodgate%20Trap%20Hole
Duel Links Card: Bad%20Aim

Blue-Eyes

Blue-Eyes is one of the worst matchups for dinos since they're summoning a lot of big monsters. Dragon Spirit of White is one of your biggest problems in the whole deck because he banishes all of your backrow cards. In theory you might think that Blue-Eyes is an easy matchup since you can easily use their Blue-Eyes white Dragon with your SE but it's the complet opposite since they are never gonna summon a Blue- Eyes white Dragon before they cleared the backrow. So how are you gonna win this matchup? As i said it's not too easy but the only strategy you could run is to use Canadia and Floodgate against the Dragon Spirit of White so they're gonna summon their Blue-Eyes white Dragon. You also have to prevent them from banishing your SE in your spell- and trap-zone since you need them for this matchup.

Recommended side deck cards:

Duel Links Card: Floodgate%20Trap%20Hole
Duel Links Card: World%20Legacy%20Clash
Duel Links Card: Leeching%20the%20Light

Cyberdarks

It's almost the same as the Desperado matchup; you have to prevent them from summoning Desperado Barrel Dragon by destroying their monsters face-down. The Elemental HERO Brave Neos is not a big threat since you can boost your Evilswarm Salamandra up to 2750 atk. You also have to look out for the Cyberdark Edge that can attack you directly which means that you're sitting on a timer.

Recommended side deck cards:

Duel Links Card: Floodgate%20Trap%20Hole
Duel Links Card: Wall%20of%20Disruption
Duel Links Card: Dimensional%20Prison

Spellbooks

With a lot of backrow cards you have enough outs to spellbooks since they're relying on the banish effect of Spellbook of Fate. Canadia and Dimensional Prison are your best cards against this deck since they have to control a face-up Spellcaster type monster to activate Spellbook of Fate. So due to you having so many backrow cards this is actually an easy matchup for you. Also if you open with a Giant Rex and you go second set him face-down so that the opponent might banish him which would activate Giant Rex' effect to special summon back onto the board.

Recommended side deck cards:

Duel Links Card: Floodgate%20Trap%20Hole
Duel Links Card: Dimensional%20Prison
Duel Links Card: Sphere%20Kuriboh

Magnet Warriors

Magnet Warriors is a matchup that you can win but it will take a lot of thoughts. First of all Block Dragon prevents the destruction of Rock type monsters which means that you cannot simply use SE against their monsters. Other than that you have to be able to set Block Dragon and Berserkion face-down so you can destroy those 2 monsters very easily. Another important thing to know is that if you destroy the Berserkion and the opponent already controls a monster he won't be able to special summon the 3 banished Magnet Warriors back onto the field. Be sure to keep your Canadia and Floodgate for Berserkion. Another good tip for this matchup is to destroy their lv 3 Magnet Warriors during their End-Phase with SE since they can only activate their second effect in your turn.

Recommended side deck cards:

Duel Links Card: Floodgate%20Trap%20Hole
Duel Links Card: Wall%20of%20Disruption

Six Samurai

This matchup always depended on who goes first and how fast are you set up your SE in the grave. Since this deck received a limitation of Legendary Six Samurai - Enishi dinos benefit from that since Shi En is not the biggest problem of this deck. A great advantage that dinos like a lot is to destroy a Shi En on the field with SE in the grave since he cannot negate it in the grave and Secret Six Samurai - Fuma cannot protect the Shi En due to SE targetting 2 cards on the field but World Legacy Clash can also easily stop this destruction. Because of that i would recommend to run a few Sphere Kuriboh to put the Shi En into defense position which could then also stop an activation of Six Style - Dual Wield since you have to control a six samurai monster in attack position.

Recommended side deck cards:

Duel Links Card: Sphere%20Kuriboh
Duel Links Card: Wall%20of%20Disruption

Subterror

This matchup can be decided very quickly; if you are able to set up a SE in the grave you are pretty much safe since the opponent tries to use the effect of Subterror Nemesis Warrior to special summon either Subterror Behemoth Umastryx or Subterror Behemoth Stygokraken. If you're able to destroy one of those 2 monsters you're gonna be in a great position since the opponent already made a -1 by using the skill Labyrinth Builder. If you aren't able to set up a SE in the first 2 turns then you've pretty much lost because subterrors doesn't really care about if you're gonna flip their monsters face-down since Subterror Final Battle can easily flip them up again.

Recommended side deck cards:

Duel Links Card: Cosmic%20Cyclone
Duel Links Card: Bad%20Aim
Duel Links Card: Parallel%20Twister

Crystrons

Due to Crystrons being a Synchro deck and Canadia/Floodgate being big threaths since they can stop synchro summons this turns out to be an easy matchup. Crystrons try to summon a Crystron Citree in their first turn so you just have to wait until they wanna synchro summon so you can flip their monsters face-down. Even better if you go first and you can set up a SE you can then just destroy the Citree on the field to prevent the synchro summon.

Recommended side deck cards:

Duel Links Card: Floodgate%20Trap%20Hole
Duel Links Card: System%20Down

Tips & Combos

  • If you play against AG and the opponent wants to attack with a Reactor Dragon while you have a normal monster on the field and a SE set face-down, you have to set your toggle button to ON to chain the grave effect of SE on the effect of special summoning a dino from the deck and destroy the Reactor Dragon before he attacks.

  • SE in the grave can be activated even if a Reactor Dragon attacks.

  • When your opponent declares an attack with an Ancient Gear Wyvern and you have a Babycerasaurus on the field and a SE in the grave, you have to activate the SE in the grave before the attack because when you chain the SE in the grave to the attack of Wyvern you won't be able to special summon a dino from the deck with the effect of Babycerasaurus.

  • Another thing that you should do when you banish a Giant Rex with your Evilswarm Salamandra is to banish another dino from the grave first, so that Giant Rex gains 200 atk when summoned.

  • Against Six Samurai you only wanna use your SE on a Shi En if they don't have another Six Samurai monster on the field to protect him.

  • A nice little strategy with Scapeghost and Survival's End is to use the tokens of Scapeghost for the effect of Survival's End, special summon Babycerasaurus and Giant Rex from the deck, activate SE in the grave to destroy a card your opponent controls and the Babycerasaurus, special summon Evilswarm Salamandra from the deck, synchro summon into a lv 5 Synchro by using Giant Rex and Scapeghost. After that banish Giant Rex with Evilswarm Salamandra to have a board of Giant Rex, Evilswarm Salamandra and a lv 5 Synchro.

  • The last tip I can give you is to not overcommit with your SE in the grave so use them wisely and only destroy cards that are problems for you like a Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon, which you cannot destroy by battle because none of your monsters has enough atk to get over him.


Final Thoughts

Dinos have some nice matchups in this meta since there aren't any decks that play Hey, Trunade! and not too many decks play massive backrow removal. Survival's End is still a very good card for dinos cause it gives the deck its ability to change the playstyle really quick from stalling to destroying cards and going for game. I hope that this guide is gonna help you on how to play dinos in todays meta :) .


Acknowledgements:

  • RandomPl0x – I would like to thank RandomPl0x for reviewing the update guide and helping me format it for the website.
  • SpoonCats – I would like to thank SpoonCats for reviewing the guide and helping me format it for the website.
  • Dkayed and Duel Links Meta – an excellent gathering place for the community to come together.

Formatted, edited, and uploaded by SpoonCats and RandomPl0x.
Thumbnail designed and created by SpoonCats.