Duel Links Meta

Duel Links Meta

Monarchs Guide




Let's Build a Monarch deck!

In this article


    During the course of the game Monarch decks have always been considered a bad rogue deck. There were metas were they could actually dominate (i.e. the Gladiator Beast meta) and other ones in which the deck just suffered too much from banish effect. The Treeborn Frog engine was insane and could generate a lot of value and advantage, but nerfs and meta changes made it impractical. The release of good substitutes for it made the deck viable, and now more than ever, it has a chance to be tiered deck that is used in tournaments.

    In the guide we wont focus on a single particular build, but we will point to all the staple cards that can see play to let everyone play the deck how they feel works the best for them instead.

    Key Cards

    Duel Links Card: Angmarl%20the%20Fiendish%20Monarch
    Duel Links Card: Thestalos%20the%20Firestorm%20Monarch
    Duel Links Card: Granmarg%20the%20Rock%20Monarch
    Duel Links Card: Zaborg%20the%20Thunder%20Monarch
    Duel Links Card: Mithra%20the%20Thunder%20Vassal
    Duel Links Card: Berlineth%20the%20Firestorm%20Vassal
    Duel Links Card: Treeborn%20Frog
    Duel Links Card: Sphere%20Kuriboh
    Duel Links Card: Enemy%20Controller
    Duel Links Card: Soul%20Exchange
    Duel Links Card: Paleozoic%20Canadia
    Duel Links Card: Escalation%20of%20the%20Monarchs
    Duel Links Card: Treacherous%20Trap%20Hole

    Updates on the Deck

    Meta Switched to a banish removal heavy for a while and that hurt the deck so much it basically died. For a while, Spellbooks and Amazoness started seeing less play but they are now back at being top tier meta decks. What changed is that the Monarch archetype got enough support to finally have a place in the meta!

    Drawbacks of the Deck

    • It costs quite a lot, both in terms of money and time to level up some characters
    • Its slow so it's not for you if you dont like slow control decks
    • You can get OTK'd by some decks if you call things wrong or have bad hands
    • It's the kind of deck that either dominates or gets dominated
    • We just had a heavy nerf with the loss of consistency skills and Enemy Controller being semilimited.

    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 answers.
    Monarchs tend to be a dominate or get dominated deck because of some brick hands we have to face after losing restart. The deck naturally deals with monsters so you can focus your tributes to deal with backrow, hand disruption,consistency and board presence.

    Core of the Deck


    After the changes to Restart and Balance, picking the correct skill became more difficult for Treeborn decks.

    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 have. Another possibility is Heavy Starter. In the current meta Beatdown seems the best choice to be able to go over Wiz, Sage Fur Hire, Dyna, Hero Fur Hire and Masked HERO Anki and get that extra damage boost. The latest Zane event brought us a very good skill: Cyber Style. Paired with Kuribohs and Cosmic Cyclones to manipulate the LP, it is an insane skill and it seems to be the best one along Beatdown!

    Tribute Fodder:

    Play 5 to 6 tribute fodder cards. Optimal builds are playing 3 Canadias and 3 Mithras, but there are other possible options in different decks, like Fires of Doomsday in heavy dark monster builds.

    Skreech + Treeborn Frog is nice but the whole frog engine doesnt work well in the meta because every meta deck deal with it too easily. Amazoness just Amazoness Onslaught Skreech/Treeborn, Spellbooks can Spellbook of Fate it, Fur Hires can Dyna, Hero Fur Hire banish it in the graveyard.

    Honorable Mentions:

    Note Keep in mind Striker clashes with Angmarl the Fiendish Monarch.

    Spells and Traps (6 - 8):

    Duel Links Card: Enemy%20Controller
    Duel Links Card: Soul%20Exchange
    Duel Links Card: Fires%20of%20Doomsday

    Another very strong spell is Fires of Doomsday, with Angmarl 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.

    Traps (1):

    Duel Links Card: Treacherous%20Trap%20Hole
    Duel Links Card: Escalation%20of%20the%20Monarchs

    Escalation of the Monarchs lets you dodge opponent targeting eff, Econ take during opponent phases, disrupt backrow just set with Granmarg and other fancy good plays.

    We are the best Treacherous Trap Hole deck hands down while playing Treeborn Frog. Play one copy mandatory, you might want more because drawing it early can give you free wins. TTH your own frogs is also a very strong play that makes early tracherous available against opponents that dont swarm the board their first turn.


    Duel Links Card: Sphere%20Kuriboh
    Duel Links Card: Prime%20Material%20Dragon

    In a meta warped by Hey, Trunade! your only viable option is playing some numbers of Sphere Kuriboh in order to deal with opponent attacks efficiently. You have to play 3 to defend yourself from Ankis and Fur Hires otks, and from amazoness attacks if you need to protect your monsters. Prime Material Dragon might be a nice monster to have in some numbers for protection from Donpa, Marksman Fur Hire and other destruction effects. Discarding a frog is also a nice cost we dont care about if you play a frog engine.

    Tribute Monsters:

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

    Backrow Hate

    We finally got Jinzo! And a bunch of other monsters that deal with backrow and on top of this even more monarchs! While it's not mobius, Granmarg is still a decent monarch that can be played, but overall i feel mass backrow destruction is better. Keep in mind Granmarg can be used as a monster removal after flipping down monsters with Canadias!

    Board Control and Presence
    Duel Links Card: Zaborg%20the%20Thunder%20Monarch
    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. Monsters that saw play for this reason are:

    Escalation into Zaborg to pop monsters on summon can be a nice lock that decks with not many special summons really suffer to. Ha Des has good synergy with Angmarl since he is a Fiend, deals with flip effects and other monsters that trigger their effect upon destruction. Glider bounces back problematic monsters and can open otk plays but there isnt much room for him.

    Hand Disruption
    Duel Links Card: Thestalos%20the%20Firestorm%20Monarch
    Duel Links Card: Dark%20Red%20Enchanter

    Enchanter and Thestalos are the only monster that give us hand distruption plays. Discard is such a powerfull 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. Now with the consistency skills nerfed and not many decks that can make good use out of the graveyeard, 3x Thestalos builds can be very strong.

    Duel Links Card: Angmarl%20the%20Fiendish%20Monarch
    Duel Links Card: Dark%20Magician%20of%20Chaos

    Angmarl 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. Play three. After econ semilimited another good consistency monster is DMOC, while 2 tributes might be clunky recycling Enemy Controller is important.

    Other Good Tributes
    Duel Links Card: Destiny%20HERO%20-%20Dasher
    Duel Links Card: Chaos%20Hunter

    Dasher is a Win – Win card. ALWAYS play it in my opinion if you are using a frog build. In non treeborn decks you probably cant make use of him that well and there isnt space for it.

    If the opponent chooses not to destroy him, you get a 3k beater attacking every turn. If he chooses to send him at the grave, you get a free special summon (you do decide when to uses dasher's effect).

    Hunter helps a lot against Spellbooks, Amazoness and Masked Heroes since hunter stops all their engines. Discarding a frog or extra copies of Treacherous Trap Hole is a cost we dont mind so consider even 3 Chaos Hunter decks. If you dont play it in your main 20 it is surely a good side deck card.


    Shouldn't be said to be honest, but remember to toggle ON and E-con take opponent monsters during the Standby Phase so you steal them and you get a second Treeborn Frog activation.

    Against a deck that swarms the board, try this combo:

    1. Soul Exchange
    2. Tribute an opponents monster for an E-con take play
    3. Use the taken monster to tribute summon
      This combo is super strong and it is a 3 for 2 that nets you a big monster on the field. Totally not stolen from Gravekeepers.

    Activate Paleozoic Canadia to flip down a monster, then activate Escalation of the Monarchs and chain Canadia to have a tribute fodder and bring out a Monarch during your opponent turn!

    If you play Monster Gate, always use your opponents monster as the tribute by Soul Exchange or after stealing them with Enemy Controller to get max value out of it.

    You can Soul Exchange and tribute an opponents monster for Dasher, making Soul Exchange a “destroy 1 opponent monster” with no downside.
    Similarly, you can do the same after an E-con take.

    Keep in mind if you Escalate into Witch Raider during a chain he will miss the timing and will NOT destroy enemy backrows.




    A new possibility is to drop Treeborn Frog in order to play different engines. This changes completely the way to play the deck, those are builds still in testing but are nice ways to play a monarch deck that might improve a lot in the future.


    Instead of Treeborn Frog we might switch to a Paleo engine. Canadia is a super hot card right now that can deal well with every top tier deck. Deck thinning and drawing is also nice with Paleozoic Pikaia and Paleozoic Marrella and this engine lets us play other traps like Escalation of the Monarchs or just general backrow. There isnt much room for monsters so Witch Raider and Thestalos are probably the best monsters to play. Some good skills for those builds are Trap Layer, Heavy Starter, Endless Trap Hell, Chain Reaction.


    While not actually a macro deck since we dont have access to macrocosmo 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 Angmarls, Chaos Hunters, DMOCs, 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 Sarch + 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 testing deck that can cicle well and summon monsters easily but you completely lack interaction. We need impactful dark monsters with enter the battlefield effects. Still a good engine that might be the way to go in the future.



    If you can stop them from banishing your frog, the matchup is totally winnable with all the backrow hate you should play. Chaos Hunter super strong here. Witch Raider along with Soul Exchange wins you the game on the spot clearing the board even turn 2 if you have a trap in hand.

    Fur Hires:

    Like every swarm deck, your way to win is to go Soul Exchange into Econ take. Wiz, Sage Fur Hire is annoying and Dyna, Hero Fur Hire banishing frogs is probably too much. You have to rely on Paleozoic Canadias and maybe Invader of Darkness. Sphere Kuriboh is very important here.

    Destiny Heroes:

    They dont pack much protection, Econ take plays are usually how you close games. Not much to say more than that to be honest. We dont fear Hey, Trunade!s or Cosmic Cyclones and they can go over Invader only with Beatdown.


    If you can set a Fenghuang it's basically game. That thing is absurd against Aliens. Not much to fear from them if not some swarms but nothing too difficult to deal with. 1800 def from Feng is awesome since only Alien Overlord can get over it.


    Like Aliens, Fenghuang makes the matchup very easy. Remember to attack over Oyster Meister so they dont get tokens outta it.


    Soul Exchange, Sphere Kuriboh, Econ take plays makes you win against the Sylvans. If you feel you need even more Sylvan hate go for some Tribute to The Doomeds.


    Somehow 50-50, if they pack Sphere Kuriboh it might be a bad matchup, otherwise Econ takes are very good. Feng juan can sometime hit them too.


    If they start with Ties of the Brethren it's going to be difficult but if you can disrupt their own gias effects, its a fun matchup easily winnable.

    Sea Stealth Attack:

    One of the few poor matchup recently added in the game, B.E.S. Tetran is probably better than Feng. You kinda wanna force the opponent to remove their monsters so they clear the board for your otks but its a bad matchup.

    Ancient Gears:

    Cards to fear: Rare Metalmorph and Ancient Gear Golem piercing through a froggy. Ancient Gear Beast too can be annoying. Kaiser Glider, Tetran, discard effects are good against AG. Easy matchup overall.

    Gladiator Beasts:

    They really need their monsters to survive, Soul Exchange and Econ take do most of the job in winning the matchup.

    Temple Burn:

    Discard and Fenghuang are sper good against burn. You dont really care about Massivemorph and Lava Golem because of all your tribute monsters. Up to you if playing around Destiny Draw or not. I usually do better if i do not play around it because there isn't much they can tutor for to auto win against treeborn.


    With no backrow you just do not care about Phoenix effect. Wild Tornado might be something to watch out for tho. Kaiser Glider and discard effects come in handy against Phoenix players. Kaiser Glider especially to crash into phoenix. Beatdown is bad for us.

    Hazy Flame:

    Try to hit the non hazy monsters so they do not get a chance to summon Hazy Flame Sphynx unless they draw Soul Exchange. If they do summon Hazy monsters your only way to win is with Chaos Hunter blocking Beast Rising.

    Cyber Angels:

    If you can predict the opponent is playing Cyber Angels, hope for an E-con take play and for them to not OTK you. Piercing from Cyber Angel Dakini hurts a lot.


    If they summon even lvl 6 it's basically gg. Nothing you can really do.

    Red-Eyes Zombies:

    You can out resource them. Deal with Mirror Wall and backrow with B.E.S. Tetran, which is a decent stall. If they get fast hands they might just OTK you but it is a winnable matchup. Hamstrat, Kaiser Glider and Chaos hunter help in this matchup.


    Sometimes you get OTK'd by all the swarm they do, other times you have no problems winning against Dinos. It is quite a 50-50 matchup like Red-Eyes Zombies. Hamstrat is definetly good in this matchup.

    KC Cup February Top 100 Treeborn Decks:

    Zeppelin, NA 37k

    Matsu, Japan 66k

    More updates will come as they are needed.
    Feel free to leave a comment below on any questions you have.
    Thumbnail designed and created by SpoonCats