Monarchs Guide




Let’s Build a Monarchs Deck! 2020 Version

More banlists, more cards, more engines keep improving monarchs in duel links, and the box Judgement Force introduced a powerful engine we can abuse :D This new way of building monarchs makes every other build obsolete so we won’t talk anymore about very old ways to play the deck in this guide, and just focus on our deck building options and what kind of comboes we will be doing with the deck.


Let’s start with our unique boss monster:

Duel Links Card: Erebus%20the%20underworld%20Monarch

Strongest removal in the game with a powerful non targeting shuffle in the deck effect that also fuels the gy with monarch spells and traps. Nice 2800 atk body but has a small 1000 def stat meaning canadia can go over him. Searchable by Glow-Up Bloom he is best at 3 but in some builds it is okay to play him at 2 copies since it is very easy to recycle him from the graveyeard with his second effect and you will need only one really. In order to have Erebus live let’s talk about what archetype spells/traps we must use with him:

Duel Links Card: The%20Prime%20Monarch
Duel Links Card: The%20First%20Monarch
Duel Links Card: The%20Monarchs%20Awaken
Duel Links Card: Escalation%20of%20the%20Monarchs
Duel Links Card: March%20of%20the%20Monarchs
Duel Links Card: Strike%20of%20the%20Monarchs
Duel Links Card: Frost%20Blast%20of%20the%20Monarchs
Duel Links Card: Restoration%20of%20the%20Monarchs

Prime is the best monarch trap we have and it is quite mandatory to run 3 in order to see it as often as possible. Awesome for tributes and synchro plays but it can have a strong Battle Fader effect. First is quite good too but the first effect doesnt come as often as you would think and it is usually just fodder for cost of other monarchs spells/traps or to recycle Erebus. Run 2-3 copies. You now need to tech some other cards to be sure to have enough different names for Erebus effect to be live so consider teching 1 or 2 copies of the other ones. Usually you get most value from Frost Blast and Restoration, while Awaken, Escalation, March and Strike are sub par.

Lightsworn Engine

Done with the Monarch stuff, we now start adding other engines to make everything work well together, starting with the new insane lightsworn support!

Duel Links Card: Charge%20of%20the%20Light%20Brigade
Duel Links Card: Solar%20Recharge
Duel Links Card: Raiden,%20Hand%20of%20the%20Lightsworn
Duel Links Card: Lumina,%20Lightsworn%20Summoner
Duel Links Card: That%20Grass%20Looks%20Greener

Charge is an insane rota and you should be playing 3 paired with 2 or 3 Raiden as main target. Lumina as 1 or 2 copies are important to play aswell for level 7 synchro plays and unbricking hands. Solar Recharge isnt as good since we play a compact lightsworn engine and a small number of LS monsters but it is okay as a 1x tech if you want. Up it to 3x if you want a more lightsworn heavy deck and add some Wulf, Lightsworn Beast too.

Neos Engine

Yes we play the Neos engine too. No it is not a last resort but it actually helps the strategy A LOT, by putting pressure on board and we really like the foolish effect. You saw it already everywhere and you know this package by know: 3 keeper, 1-2 neos fusions, 1 neos, 1 brave neos are the ratios we want. If you really dont like this then make the lightsworn engine a bit bigger instead or maybe considering frogs or orcust too

Duel Links Card: Keeper%20of%20Dragon%20Magic
Duel Links Card: Neos%20Fusion
Duel Links Card: Elemental%20HERO%20Neos
Duel Links Card: Elemental%20HERO%20Brave%20Neos

Frog Engine

This alterntive engine gives us access to fast tribute fodder and some comboes revolving swap frog bounce effect but it is much more passive than Neos so be aware of it. Play 3 swap frog, 2 ronin, 1-2 treeborns, as many flip flop as you want

Duel Links Card: Swap%20Frog
Duel Links Card: Ronintoadin
Duel Links Card: Treeborn%20Frog
Duel Links Card: Flip%20Flop%20Frog

Orcust Engine

Orcust could be an interesting engine for tribute fodder, thinning and drawing. Sadly using this means losing access to non dark special summons but if built around it the Orcust engine might lead to insane plays. Works well with zephyros and plaguespreader being dark attribute. Play 3 harps, 2-3 of the other orcust monsters, 1 or 2 wands, return can either be 0x or 3x.

Duel Links Card: Orcust%20Harp%20Horror
Duel Links Card: Orcust%20Cymbal%20Skeleton
Duel Links Card: Orcust%20Brass%20Bombard
Duel Links Card: World%20Legacy%20-%20%22World%20Wand%22
Duel Links Card: Orcustrated%20Return

Graveyeard Goodstuff and other Techs

Duel Links Card: Glow-up%20Bulb
Duel Links Card: Glow-up%20Bloom
Duel Links Card: Jet%20Synchron
Duel Links Card: Plaguespreader%20Zombie
Duel Links Card: Bacon%20Saver
Duel Links Card: Blackwing%20-%20Zephyros%20the%20Elite
Duel Links Card: Treeborn%20Frog
Duel Links Card: Mecha%20Phantom%20Beast%20O-lion
Duel Links Card: Crystron%20Rosenix
Duel Links Card: Tackle%20Crusader

Glow-Up Bulb is hands down the best tuner in the game right now and you have to run it. Also OK as tribute fodder if you need so. Jet and Plague are really good too and you should be running them aswell. Zephtros lets you do come nice comboes and bacon saver is always a nice gy trap to have around to stop otks. The rest of the GY techs are optional and you dont have to play them but sometimes they can be cute mills. Include Glow-up Gloom if you feel you dont see erebus enough but usually charge + raiden will consistenly mill it

Duel Links Card: Sphere%20Kuriboh
Duel Links Card: Tragoedia
Duel Links Card: Kiteroid
Duel Links Card: Jinzo
Duel Links Card: Enemy%20Controller
Duel Links Card: Galaxy%20Cyclone
the usual suspects

Extra Deck Toolbox

Duel Links Card: Star%20Eater
Duel Links Card: Crystron%20Quariongandrax
Duel Links Card: Mist%20Wurm
Duel Links Card: Vermillion%20Dragon%20Mech
Duel Links Card: Giganticastle
Duel Links Card: Scrap%20Dragon
Duel Links Card: Stardust%20Spark%20Dragon
Duel Links Card: Thought%20Ruler%20Archfiend
Duel Links Card: Fortune%20Lady%20Every
Duel Links Card: PSY-Framelord%20Zeta
Duel Links Card: Samurai%20Destroyer
Duel Links Card: Brionac,%20Dragon%20of%20the%20Ice%20Barrier
Duel Links Card: White%20Aura%20Dolphin
Duel Links Card: Old%20Entity%20Hastorr

We can play the best generic Synchros with no problems, having access to plenty of different levels easily. Black Rose Dragon and Brionac are the ones you will use more often but there is space for whatever you prefer! A level 9 is really useful to out lava golem with jet/bulb so try to include vermillion or giganticastle in every list


Spell Specialist is probably the best skill to run even after then nerfs in mid march. Sometimes it will give you weird hands opening frost blast or restoration of the monarchs but in general you will be happy with it. Another contender is Neo Space!, making brave neos bigger and more threatening and making Zephyros happier for comboes! Experiment with both and play which one you prefer.

Possible Final Build

Duel Links Card: Elemental%20HERO%20Brave%20Neos
Duel Links Card: Vermillion%20Dragon%20Mech
Duel Links Card: Black%20Rose%20Dragon
Duel Links Card: Brionac,%20Dragon%20of%20the%20Ice%20Barrier
Duel Links Card: Thought%20Ruler%20Archfiend
Duel Links Card: PSY-Framelord%20Zeta

Combos and Sinergies to Know

// coming soon




Let’s Build a Monarchs Deck! 2019 Version


Monarchs were playable as a rogue deck in basically every meta since the release of Treeborn Frog and Angmarl the Fiendish Monarch in Eletric Overlord back in July 2017. The extremely high cost and the presence of strictly better decks always kept them as an anti-meta option and over the course of the last two years different versions were played. Multiple Engines to have tribute fodder were tested and more and more monarch support was released, sometimes being relevant and other times having no impact whatsoever.

With Neos Fusion added to the game Monarchs got an incredible boost that made them playable at competitive events aswell with decent results and some tops, serving both as a way to summon a 2600 ATK beater and as a way to set up Treeborn Frog. It also made the deck go from being the most expensive one in the game to also be behind a paywall, so you can flex even more you are ~~addicted to duel links~~ a monarch player.

How to Play:

You grind early/mid game in order to out resource your opponent and aim for a late game win while your opponent has no way to answer your threats.

Monarchs tend to be a dominate or get dominated deck because of some brick hands. We sacrifice some consistency in order to gain power.

The deck naturally deals well with monsters so you can focus your tributes to deal with backrow, hand disruption, consistency and board presence. Having accesso to a lot of different strong tributes, We can adapt our build to every meta and hit the meta decks weakspots!

Core of the Deck


Skills you might consider are Beatdown and Baggy Sleeves, also playing some copies of Cosmic Cyclone and Switcheroo might work out since this deck can be prone to some bad hands and Switcheroo is the only consistency skill we got. Another possibility is Heavy Starter. In the current meta Beatdown seems the best choice to be able to go over big bodies every meta deck can easily summon and getting that extra damage boost is needed. Some Genex Monarchs decks might like Labyrinth Builder and the Genex Undine engine!

Monarch Cards

Duel Links Card: Mobius%20the%20Frost%20Monarch
Duel Links Card: Thestalos%20the%20Firestorm%20Monarch
Duel Links Card: Angmarl%20the%20Fiendish%20Monarch
Duel Links Card: Zaborg%20the%20Thunder%20Monarch
Duel Links Card: Granmarg%20the%20Rock%20Monarch
Duel Links Card: Delg%20the%20Dark%20Monarch

Our big boys and the main focus of the deck! Coming directly from our childhood we got quite some good monarchs. Sadly we still dont have caius or raiza but in duel links we have more than enough good tributes to build a good monarch deck. The only real bad one is Delg which never saw play, even if the banish effect can be strong in some metas. Choosing which ones to play and in which ratios depends on the current meta and what strategy you want your monarch deck to have. Be ready to switch your builds often!

Duel Links Card: Lucius%20the%20Shadow%20Vassal
Duel Links Card: Mithra%20the%20Thunder%20Vassal
Duel Links Card: Berlineth%20the%20Firestorm%20Vassal
Duel Links Card: Escher%20the%20Frost%20Vassal

The only vassals that are worth playing are Mithra and Berlineth. That being said, they are far from being mandatory and there are just better ways to get tribute fodder for our monarchs. if you wanna play some, Mithra is hands down the best one.

Duel Links Card: The%20First%20Monarch
Duel Links Card: The%20Monarchs%20Awaken
Duel Links Card: Escalation%20of%20the%20Monarchs
Duel Links Card: Strike%20of%20the%20Monarchs
Duel Links Card: Frost%20Blast%20of%20the%20Monarchs

Only Escalation of the Monarchs saw play, paired with Paleozoic Canadia before the Cyber Style nerfs. The Monarchs Awaken is also a good monarch card but there are better ways to deal with traps anyway.

Tribute Fodder Engines:

There are multiple ways to get tribute fodder for our big monsters. Some are better than others, a few are mentioned more for a historical reason rather than actual competitiveness but things might change in the future. You usually want 5/6 or more ways to get your engine going so feel free to splash some of them and go up to 8 cards if you feel your decklist bricks too much

Neos Fusion Engine

Duel Links Card: Elemental%20Hero%20Brave%20Neos
Duel Links Card: Elemental%20Hero%20Neos
Duel Links Card: Neos%20Fusion
Duel Links Card: Treeborn%20Frog
Duel Links Card: Plaguespreader%20Zombie

This is just the strongest engine available for monarchs. You might not like it, but that’s what peak performance looks like. Sending treeborn from the deck to the graveyeard while putting on board a high atk beater with built-in protection that also gives you follow up plays after searching another neos fusion. It’s everything we needed and there is no reason not to play Neos Fusion builds of monarchs. Plaguespreader Zombie is one of the best tuner in yu gi oh and having easy access to it improved monarchs A LOT. Should always be played in any Neos Engine and maybe non neos builds too.

Frog Engine

Duel Links Card: Swap%20Frog
Duel Links Card: Treeborn%20Frog

You dont wanna open your wallet for a 3x of a Structure Deck EX? FINE. Swap Frog got you covered. Not as good, and Genex Undine is probably a better way to set up Treeborn Frog and also provide access to good generic Synchro monsters. Swap being able to special summon itself with water monsters and finally having Mobius the Frost Monarch made him much better. Bouncing a Monarch to reuse it’s effect can steal games too!

Undine Engine

Having access to easy lvl 7,8,9 synchros makes this engine worth at least consideration. Especially now that after almost a year we finally got some decent synchros that fit well in our deck and gives us a good toolbox extra deck. Labyrinth Builder is a must have skill with this engine to prevent garnets to ruin hands hand have fodder for tributes and synchros.

Paleo Engine

It’s just too hard to play an engine that relies on Paleos and eventually Escalation of the Monarchs but it’s okay to at least mention it. Paired with Thestalos the Firestorm Monarch and Chain Reaction this can be a nice burn version of monarchs and work fairly well in certain metas. Paleozoic Canadia has proven for months to be a great card and getting some draw power in the form of Paleozoic Pikaia fixes a issue monarchs have. Escalation works very well and can disrupt searches when you escalate into a Thestalos.

Dino Engine

Duel Links Card: Giant%20Rex
Duel Links Card: Evilswarm%20Salamandra
Duel Links Card: Fossil%20Dig

Giant Rex can be an excellent fodder for Monarchs and Enemy Controller when paired with Evilswarm Salamandra! Not played often since it doesnt bring anything more than pure dinos, but it’s a fun way to build monarchs that can give you results.

Banish Engine

Duel Links Card: Gold%20Sarcophagus
Duel Links Card: Fires%20of%20Doomsday
Duel Links Card: Escalation%20of%20the%20Monarchs
Duel Links Card: Escape%20from%20the%20Dark%20Dimension

While not actually a Macro deck since we dont have access to Macro Cosmos and Dimensional Fissure, this build tries to use the banish zone as a resource with the Gold Sarcophagus + Escape from the Dark Dimension combo! Backup plan is to go Fires of Doomsday and Escalation of the Monarchs and we do so with Balance, being the perfect skill for the deck since we play 6 spells 6 traps that way. Monster line up might be Angmarl the Fiendish Monarch, Chaos Hunter, Dark Magician of Chaos, Invader of Darkness, Jinzo (if you dont mind the drawbacks) and other DARK monsters. One single D.D. Scout Plane is nice to have if you open Gold Sarc + Escalation. If you feel it, you can also play Magic Planter and Treacherous Trap Hole since it seems they fit well there but it might give you consistency problems. For now, this is a theory deck that can cycle well and summon monsters easily but you completely lack interaction. We need impactful DARK monsters with on-summon effects. Still a good engine that might be the way to go in the future.

Other Cards:

Duel Links Card: Unknown%20Synchron
Duel Links Card: Cockadoodledoo

Some tuners that special summon themselves can be quite good and can be nice techs to play. Totally not mandatory and up to you if you feel you want the Synchro toolbox

Other Tribute Monsters:

Since a Monarch deck naturally deals with opponent monsters well, we can focus those monsters for other control strategies:

Backrow Hate

Duel Links Card: Jinzo
Duel Links Card: B.E.S.%20Tetran
Duel Links Card: Fenghuang
Duel Links Card: Invader%20of%20Darkness
Duel Links Card: Vision%20HERO%20Witch%20Raider
Duel Links Card: Photon%20Wyvern

Jinzo is insane and it’s one of the best tribute monsters we can drop on the board and should always be mained. Sadly the second copy is available only to old players and recent ones can’t get more than a single jinzo. With 2 Jinzo and 3 Mobius you have more than enough backrow hate usually. Fenghuang and Tetran saw a lot of play in the past but now we simply have better ways to deal with spells and traps.

Board Control and Presence

Duel Links Card: Amazoness%20Queen
Duel Links Card: Dark%20Ruler%20Ha%20Des
Duel Links Card: Kaiser%20Glider
Duel Links Card: Blowback%20Dragon

Not really needed but you might want some tributes to deal with opponent monsters. Amazoness Queen can be a great wall that stops any deck that doesn’t have removal or can at least give you some turns to establish a board again if you had troubles. Dark Ruler Ha Des has been used in the past in flip effects metas and can be a nice tech in similar ones.

Hand Disruption

Duel Links Card: Dark%20Red%20Enchanter

Enchanter and Thestalos the Firestorm Monarch are the only monster that give us hand distruption plays. Discard is such a powerful effect you can see people quitting after you hit something they were saving for some big play. Enchanter offers repeatability of the effect over the match and she (yes it is a she, our waifu) can become quite big if you dont need the discard. Thestalos on the other hand can burn the opponent a bit. Not really needed but you might like that extra damage too. Now with the consistency skills nerfed and not many decks that can make good use of the Graveyeard, 3x Thestalos builds can be very strong.


Duel Links Card: Dark%20Magician%20of%20Chaos

Angmarl the Fiendish Monarch fetches for more Enemy Controllers and Soul Exchanges. While it does not impact the board, it does setup up good follow ups and thins the deck aswell. After Econ got semi-limited another good consistency monster is DMOC, while 2 Tributes might be clunky recycling Enemy Controller is important.

Other Good Tributes

Duel Links Card: Obelisk%20the%20Tormentor
Duel Links Card: Beast%20King%20Barbaros
Duel Links Card: Destiny%20HERO%20-%20Dasher
Duel Links Card: Chaos%20Hunter

Obelisk the Tormentor is a insane auto win card when the opponent doesnt have any way to answer it. You can play without him if you don’t like a heavy three tributes monster but it can give you a lot of satisfaction. Dasher has been great in the past as a 3000 beater that provided a nice special summon effect, but these days we are playing more monarchs and the draw back of switching to a poor def position makes dasher hard to play. Still a nice tech in some builds. Latest box god like tech comes as a Ojama Delta Hurricane!! on a stick! Barbaros is super nice and can help breaking insane boards. 3 tributes still not a problem just like Obelisk and it’s still a nice 1900 beater eventually.

Spells and Traps (6 - 8):

Duel Links Card: Enemy%20Controller
Duel Links Card: Soul%20Exchange

Enemy Controller is a staple 2x in every monarch deck and you can play with some soul exchanges too, but most builds tend to cut it or just tech it as a 1x.

Another very strong spell is Fires of Doomsday, with Angmarl the Fiendish Monarch recycling it you should be able to always have some sort of defense on the board. Consider playing some numbers but remember its downsides.

Honorable Mentions:
Duel Links Card: Monster%20Gate
Duel Links Card: Tribute%20to%20the%20Doomed
Duel Links Card: Dark%20World%20Lightning
Duel Links Card: Super%20Rush%20Headlong
Duel Links Card: Cosmic%20Cyclone
Duel Links Card: Frost%20Blast%20of%20the%20Monarchs

Monster Gate can be a broken card as well as a terrible option. IF you include it, remember you might topdeck into a Treeborn Frog, Sphere Kuriboh or a monster that loses its effect if it is not summoned via tributing. Alternatively, ITS BONKERS when you topdeck Dark Magician of Chaos or other tributes like Kaiser Glider or Jinzo.

Cosmic Cyclone works well with Skills like Switcheroo


Duel Links Card: Sphere%20Kuriboh

With Treeborn Frog basically removing our access to trap cards your only viable option is playing some numbers of Sphere Kuriboh in order to deal with opponent attacks efficiently. It’s too important and every deck should run 3 except in Neos versions where you can cut some, especially if also running Bacon Saver.


More updates will come as they are needed.
Feel free to leave a comment below on any questions you have.
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