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Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links Rush Duel Hands-on Preview- A Casual Fan's Dream

Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links Rush Duel Hands-on Preview- A Casual Fan's Dream

Yu-Gi-Oh! Rush Duels will arrive in Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links very soon, check out our thoughts via our hands-on preview!

Recently, I was flown out to the beautiful city of Paris to attend a preview event for Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links, is a free mobile game that’s ideal for long-time fans of the Yu-Gi-Oh! card game and new players who have no idea what a Pot Of Greed is or why it’s banned.

As someone who loved Yu-Gi-Oh! as a kid and tried to get back into it as an adult, Duel Links was a perfect reintroduction to the series. The game has significantly changed over the last few years, introducing thousands of new cards, and several new ways to summon them, from Synchro Summons, Pendulum Summons and Link Summons.

For players who have stuck with the game since it first released, these changes would have been experienced gradually, allowing ample time to learn alongside the huge community, but for new players who just want to sacrifice two monsters to bring their Blue Eyes White Dragon out, it’s an entirely different game.

While Duel Links slowly eases you into the game, teaching you the basics and giving you a near-endless amount of cards and NPCs to experiment with, even if you even think about joining an online match with anything but the latest meta, you’ll likely be stomped by a Yu-Gi-Oh! veteran who’s honed their skills over years of intense duelling.

It’s enough to turn away from the game forever, as nobody wants to be a third-rate duelist with a fourth-rate deck, but luckily, the good folks at Konami have a solution, a new game mode that aims to restart everybody’s duelist journey, and give even the most casual players a fighting chance at victory, and it’s called Rush Duel.

I got a first-hand look at the new mode while I was in Paris, and I think it’s going to be a game-changer for new and old fans alike, so buckle up, because I’m going to tell you all about it.

Credit Konami
Credit Konami

Rush Duels is a new, fast-paced way to play the Yu-Gi-Oh! card game that provides a simplified and seamless experience that’s still fun for veteran players. In stark contrast to the standard format of the game, Rush Duels allows you to summon as many monsters you want on a single turn, meaning if you have three low-level monsters in your hand, bring them all out at once, or if you have two low levels and one high level that requires a sacrifice, send out the low levels first and then bring out your big gun straight from the word “go.”

Both players have five cards in their hand at all times, meaning instead of drawing one card per turn, you draw as many as you need to have a full hand, even if it means drawing all five at once.

It sounds chaotic, because it is, but it’s a good kind of chaos. Monsters are constantly being summoned and destroyed, whittling away each other’s life points until someone emerges victorious.

I absolutely loved playing it, as it truly felt like you were fighting on an even playing field. The word I frequently heard during the event was “swing” which was how the gameplay of Rush Duels was frequently described. It referred to how one minute, you could be winning, having wiped out all monsters on your opponent’s side, only for them to swing it back in their favour and pull out several high attack monsters and turn the tide of the duel.

While losing in the standard format could be demoralising, especially when you’re simply outmatched by the opponent’s deck, Rush Duels made losing feel fair, as even when it seemed like all hope was lost, you could very easily pull the game back with a good hand.


It completely evens the competition, meaning new players won’t have to catch up on years of Yu-Gi-Oh! strategies and techniques, and returning players have something new to play if they fancy a change from the standard format.

After playing a few games, it was everything I could have wanted after years of not playing the game competitively. I especially loved how it actively encouraged you to use as many cards as possible on a turn. In normal play, you’d want to hang onto your cards in case some are needed for counters, or if you have a combo in mind that needs certain cards to be executed. In Rush Duels, you’ll always start a turn with a full hand, so you can worry less about sending your high-level cards out as you have a better chance to get others on your next go.

The cards featured were all Rush Duel variants as well, meaning they’re designed and balanced specifically for that game mode, and there were some incredible cards on the table. My personal favourite was the Multistrike Dragon Dragias, which as its name implies, can strike twice on a single turn, making it ideal for clearing your opponent's monsters or chipping away their life points.

Special cards like Dragias had unique introduction cutscenes when summoned as well, all of which were beautifully animated and depicted the power of the monsters perfectly.

While there’ll be plenty of new cards to play with, it wouldn’t be Yu-Gi-Oh! if it didn’t include some old favourites, many of which will return as Legend cards. If you’re like me and adore the original Yu-Gi-Oh! series, you’ll want to keep an eye out for cards like Dark Magician, Summoned Skull and of course, Blue Eyes White Dragon.


I was also given the opportunity to speak to Akitsu Terashima, the producer of Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links, and ask him some questions relating to the new mode.

One of my big questions was whether or not skill and strategy were still important despite it being a simplified version of the game. Anyone who’s familiar with the current TCG gameplay will know that while luck plays an important part in what cards you draw, the skill to use them effectively is what’ll get you the win. Luckily, Terashima confirmed that while Rush Duels is a beginner-friendly game mode, the skill will still play a vital role, as well as an understanding of your deck’s cards and how to use them, not just blindly throwing out monsters and hoping for the best.

Terashima also reiterated the importance of keeping the game accessible to a new audience, especially since Yu-Gi-Oh! Sevens, the anime the new mode is based on, features a significantly younger protagonist than previous iterations of the series, Yuga Ohdo. This was reportedly a conscious decision to encourage more young people to give the card game a go.

Finally, Terashima said that the inclusion of Rush Duels won’t overshadow the base game of Duel Links and that while updates to the Rush Duel format will be rolled out over time, the same can be said for Speed Duel. The two formats will seemingly have a symbiotic relationship with each other, allowing the player to switch between the game modes they want to play whenever they want.

Rush Duels will arrive in Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links on 28 September, which is currently available for mobile devices and PCs via Steam.

Featured Image Credit: Konami