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Beginner's Block
Japanflag.png 基本きほんセット (Kihon Setto)
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Article (metagame)

Beginner's Block is the 1st block of card sets in the Duel Masters trading card game.

List of Sets

It is composed of sets released between May 30, 2002, and March 20, 2003.

DM Sets

DMC Sets

It also features promotional cards from Year 1.


The world was always in peace, but a fateful day changed all of it. starting from the Darkness Civilization, each civilization collapsed and invaded each other.



There are many unbalanced cards, especially cards that provide card draw, such as Astral Reef, Aquan and Cyber Brain. This block introduces evergreen characteristics on cards, such as blockers, shield triggers and evolution creatures. Many of the cards printed here would be used many years later. Due to the beginning nature of the game and first released sets of the game, the metagame evolved quickly as each of the first 5 sets was released. Unlike in later metagames, a "Dragon Deck" is considered the same as a Junk Deck as proper support for Dragons has not been invented yet.

DM-01 laid the foundation of the game. DM-02 introduced evolution creatures, a game mechanic that would become central to the game. DM-03 strengthened monocolered decks. DM-04 would focus on the light and darkness civilizations. DM-05 introduced the new Survivor race, which featured abilities shared between creatures. At the same time, creatures with power of 12000 or more with triple breaker appeared, with greater destructive power than previously seen.

Initially, Duel Masters had a strong experimental feel to it, even for a developer like Wizards of the Coast. Only DM-01 - DM-03 were initially planned for release, but due to the unexpected response, additional expansions were made. By the time DM-05 were released, Duel Masters was accepted as one of the major card games on the market.

Satoshi Nakamura is responsible for the flavor text of the cards from DM-01 and DM-02. Unlike the blocks after this, its name doesn't include the "-Saga" suffix, so many view it as five independent sets rather than series.


DM-01 to DM-03 Stage

Due to the small card pool, as well as the lack of general deck-building information, various deck types weren't as widespread and only seen in individual areas.

The metagame mostly consists of smaller, lighter creatures and spells in this stage despite the advertising used to advertise the larger creatures in the game; this is due to most larger creatures in this stage being Quasi-Vanilla fatties that served no effect save for massive power, and they usually end up getting removed by a spell such as Terror Pit right after they are summoned. As most of these cards are super rares, the impression that Duel Masters "super rare cards are weak" was born.

As a whole, water was seen as strong due to having unblockable creatures as well as a strong overwhelming sense of draw power. Other than the Valborg shown in the manga series, Fire was not seen as a very strong civilization outside of the rush based human decks.

DM-02's release of evolution creatures brought the bigger change to the game in making the races of creatures a lot more important than they were previously. Cards such as Crystal Lancer defined what a powerful evolution creature could be like.

Unlike later stages of the metagame, Dragon (Armored Dragon) decks are considered weak and a representative for Junk Decks due to lack of adequate support and most Dragons at that stage being Quasi-Vanilla Fatties.

DM-04 to DM-05 Stage

With the appearance of Astral Reef, an even larger focus on mono-water decks based on evolving occurred featuring cards such as Marine Flower, Cyber Brain, and Streaming Shaper to easily gain a hand advantage over the opponent.

A deck also appeared mixing the mana acceleration aspects of the nature civilization to the Astral Reef decks to gain an even larger advantage, as well as allowing access to Fighter Dual Fang while still featuring low-cost creatures with high power with Barkwhip, the Smasher.

On the other side of the meta, Aquan began to rise as well in LWD control decks based on getting the most amount of draw from his effect and the control elements and spells from the 3 civilizations.

Survivors appeared in DM-05 but had no impact on the metagame. Several creatures with higher power than most other creatures had appeared at that time as well, but due to the inherent flaws of these creatures, (High cost, Most being Quasi-Vanilla) they made zero impact to the metagame as well, so there is not exactly a Power Creep going on and the metagame continues to be dominated by smaller creatures.

Competitive Decks

  • Mono-Fire Valborg Rush (F)
  • Control (L/W, W/D, L/W/D)
  • Water Rush (W)
  • Turbo Trigger (W/N, sometimes L and D)

Important Cards