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Theme Decks are a Ready-to-Play product that comes already built when you buy it.
It often focuses on a pair of civilizations, specific strategy or themed after a character from the Duel Masters Anime.
In the English game, Theme Decks are generally created using simpler cards, generally those of the Common and Uncommon rarity, with possibly a Rare card printed in foil as a Promotional Holo. The exclusion of rarer or more advanced cards is possibly in order to have beginners learn how to play the game easier and to encourage the player to boost the deck using more powerful cards available in booster packs.
In the Japanese game, earlier Theme Decks were based around more simple cards just like in the TCG, but unlike in the TCG, theme decks were usually constructed with a few rare cards along with uncommon and common cards, and usually have at least one Very Rare in their content. Decks which are themed after anime and manga characters usually have Power-up Packs based around reinforcing the deck. In later periods of the franchise, a type of theme deck known as a "Super Deck" were created. Instead of focusing around weaker and more beginner-oriented creatures, "Super Decks" were based around more advanced creatures and strategies, and some "Super Decks" were even capable of taking care of themselves in the competitive metagame after a few modifications. DMD starter decks followed the same pattern as previous Duel Masters Theme Decks, Which contained both regular Theme Decks and Super Decks alike, but regular theme decks have much more powerful and also have more original content.
While early theme decks were considered weak and lackluster due to compulsory compartments such as Terror Pit and Faerie Life being printed in a quantity of little to none, as well as low synergy between cards, After Edge of Dragon and Mars Flash, theme decks had became more consistent and powerful. This is especially true about Super Decks as Hall of Fame cards and high-usability Cards being printed en masse, and these decks can averagely win 1 out of every 5 battles assuming if the deck is not reinforced with additional cards. However, Despite this, cards in any theme deck still sell for an low price compared to their booster pack counterparts due to the fact that they can be always obtained upon purchasing the deck.
Theme Decks in the English Trading Card Game
- Disruptive Forces Deck
- Block Rockers Deck
- A deck based on the use of Blockers and other forms of defense to slow down the opponent.
- Duel Masters Starter Deck 2
- Rise of the Dragonoids Deck
- Merciless Pummeling Deck
- Hard Silence Deck
- A deck based on the use of Silent Skill.
- Twin Swarm Deck
- A deck based on swarming the field with weak creatures in order to overwhelm the opponent.
- Duel Masters Starter Deck 3
Theme Decks in the Japanese Trading Card Game
- DMS-01 Duel Masters Starter Deck
- The first starter deck which contained all things that beginners need to start a duel masters game, including 2 20 card training decks that can be formed into 1 40 card deck. It also comes with a Gatling Skyterror or Thorny Mandra so the player can spice up their deck a bit. However, the deck contents are mostly weak and the deck should not be played aside for training for 2 players.
- DMS-02 Invincible Soul Starter Deck
- DMS-03 Eternal Arms Starter Deck
- DMS-04 Generation Gear Starter Deck
- DMS-05 Best Challenger Starter Deck
- The last DMS starter set. It is known for it's extremely weak content, containing many Vanilla and Quasi-Vanilla creatures as well as outdated spells such as Aura Blast. The "Trump Card", Hundred Barrel Dragon, is known for being just as weak as Magmadragon Crimson Thunder and Meteorage Lizard. As it is born at the same time where Bolmeteus Sapphire Dragon ravaged the metagame, it contributed to the game's continued infancy and is one of the reasons why DMS discontinued. However, after this deck theme decks started to increase in quality.
Decks released in 2002
- Shobu's Blaze Deck
- A deck based on Shobu Kirifuda. It is often considered one of the weakest theme decks due to the printing of advantage-less Quasi-Vanilla and Vanilla creatures, Advantageous cards are few and far between and Mono-fire should not be ran at all costs in a competitive view, especially with creatures that cost 6 or more.
- Kokujo's Darkness Deck
Decks released in 2003
- Lightning Thunder Deck
- Dragon Strikes Deck
- Eternal Insects Deck
- Endless Black Hole Deck
Shobu and Hakuoh
- Shobu's Dragon Legend Deck
- Hakuoh's Holy Spirit Deck
- A deck based on Hakuoh. It focuses on using blockers to hold the battle zone until Angel Commands appear. It has low synergy between cards and their Races and many base parts such as La Ura Giga, Sky Guardian and Aeris, Flight Elemental are missing. The Alcadeias, Lord of Spirits is also extremely difficult to summon due to the evolution bait being higher-costing than itself. There is also a Power-up pack, but there were no useful cards.
Decks released in 2004
- Crimson Armorloids Deck
- Eternal Dragons Deck
- Guardian Blue Deck
- Dark Warriors Deck
Shobu and Zakira
- Shobu's Holy Dragon Deck
- A deck based on Shobu Kirifuda. It Focuses on a balance between offense and defense.
- Zakira's Dragon Commander Deck
- A deck based on Zakira. It focuses on Disrupting the opponent by discarding their hand, Destroying their creatures as well as swarming them with low-cost creatures.
Decks released in 2005
Shobu and Hakuoh (White)
- Shobu's Fullmetal Fire Deck
- Hakuoh's Angel Kingdom Deck
Decks released in 2007
- Mars Flash
- Edge of Dragon
- Beginner Beat Slash Deck
- Heaven of Dragon
- A Super Deck based on swarming the battlefield with powerful dragon creatures. All cards are processed in foil. It is based on Shobu Kirifuda.
- Violence Angel
- Castle of Demon
- Victory Soul
- A Super Deck based on Mana Acceleration and Mana Burn. It is based on Shori.
Decks released in 2008
- Heavy Death Metal
- Never Ending Hero
- Endless All Delete
- Battle of Yamato Soul
- Arcadias Knights
- Wild Kingdom
Decks released in 2009
Shobu and Hakuoh
- Force of Dragon
- Perfect Angel
- The Samurai Legend
- The God Kingdom
Decks released in 2010
- Mad Rock Chester
Shobu and Kokujo
- Samurai Ambitious
- It is focused on Mana Acceleration in order to summon high costing creatures.
- Eternal Death
- It is focused on the Reaper archetype of creatures.
Shobu and Mikado
- Ultra NEX
- Lunatic God
- It focuses on the god link of the Emperor of the Gods.
- The Movie Deck: Ultra Fire Spirits
- Start Dash Deck: Fire & Nature
Start Dash Deck: Water & Darkness
- Strong Metal Deck: Explosive Dash & Strong Metal Deck: Strongest National Sport
- Rising Dash Deck: Infinite Attack!
Rising Dash Deck: Counterattack Block!
- Deformation Deck Set: Ogre DX Angel and Deformation Deck Set: Ogre DX Dragon
- These are decks which enable the player to build a deck based on one out of two character sets along with a Core Set. The Ogre DX Angel deck is based on Light Angel Commands or Darkness Angel Commands, while the Ogre DX Dragon deck is based on Red Command Dragons or King Command Dragons. These decks tend to have powerful cards such as Codeking Mozart and Auzesu, the Demonic Holy Spirit, making them better than most non-superdeck theme decks.
- 1st Deck Outrage Dash
1st Deck Oracle Dash
- These two decks are based on the new Outrage and Oracle races in Episode 3, and are supposed to teach players how to play the game. The 1st Deck Outrage Dash is favored over 1st Deck Oracle Dash as it contained Crossfire, Millionaire, a creature which is infamous for it's sheer speed and offensive prowess.
- Forbidden Transform Deck: The Book of Outrage
Forbidden Transform Deck: The Book of Oracle
- These were decks which feature a tome like packaging and were thus more expensive than most theme decks. They were designed to be built using one out of two different strategies along with a core set.
- Super Deck MAX: Katsuking and Treasures of Legend
- Marking the return of the "Super Deck" series which were absent in Episode 1 and Episode 2, It is based on using Eureka Program to spam massive amounts of finisher level creatures. It also releases some creatures from the DASH Golden List such as Bolbalzak Ex and Ryusei Kaiser, the Eternal, making them easier to access by newcomers.
- Super Deck Omega: Treasures of Pure Wicked God and Izumo's Counterattack
- A deck based on the God Links of Izumo, Super Godkind and other God Nova OMG. This deck, while still powerful, proved to be weaker than Super Deck MAX: Katsuking and Treasures of Legend, as it had over half of its deck consisted of God Nova OMG creatures with little support and is also lacking in flashiness. The only card released from the DASH Golden List in this deck is Cyber N World which proved to be detrimental as this deck somehow used the Graveyard to its advantage.
- Beginning Dragon Deck: Battle Passion Dragon
Beginning Dragon Deck: Crystal Memory Dragon
Beginning Dragon Deck: Heavenly Justice Dragon
- These decks intend to teach newcomers how to play the game and are respectively based on Armored Dragons and Flame Commands, Crystal Command Dragons and Liquid People, and Angel Command Dragons and Justice Wings. They also only costed 500 yen and were pretty powerful compared to this cheap price, making them a much better way to start playing the game than most previous theme decks.
- Super Victory Deck: Blaze Up Dragon Sword Gaial
Super Victory Deck: Annihilation Dragon Sword Diabolos
- These decks were based on Katta Kirifuda and Kojiro respectively and follow a monocolored theme unlike previous Super Decks. Gaial is a Mono-fire beatdown deck and Diabolos is a Mono-Darkness control deck. These sets were famous that they were the first decks introducing Victory Rares. However, all Victory Rares aside of Gaial Kaiser are original. Each deck contains 2 Victory Rares. Additionally, It also reprinted numerous high-usability cards such as Diabolos Zeta, Annihilation Awakened, Bolshack Möbius, Victory Awakened and Darkness Ganveet, the Assassin Awakened, making them more accessible to newcomers. The aforementioned Gaial Kaiser is also very difficult to obtain and is considered the highest pricing card in Episode 1 which makes it a treat to newcomers.
- DMD-20 Super Victory Deck: Victorious Rising Dragon Sword Gaiohburn
- A Fire/Nature (Actually Quasi-Mono Fire as all Nature cards in the deck are Multicolored) deck based on Katta Kirifuda's new Super Victory Deck. It is based on ramping enough mana to summon powerful finishers such as Glenmalt "Head", Dimension Dragon Edge and Onimaru "Head", Victory Rush. This deck is much more powerful than the previous Super Victory Decks and had 4 Victory Rares instead of 2. It also reprinted many previously high-rated cards from the DASH Golden List such as Onimaru "Head", Victory Rush, All three parts of the Gaial Ore Dragon, the Vainglory Psychic Link, Ryusei Kaiser, the Eternal, and Forever Princess, Eternal Ruler, making them more accessible to newcomers. It also featured one original Victory Rare: Gairaioh, Victory Head. This deck is also often seen as a foreshadowing of Onimaru "Head", Victory Rush entering the Premium Hall of Fame due to its reappearance which shocked many players. While a re-manufacture is intended, it is later canceled which causes this theme deck to greatly inflate in price.
- DMD-21 Due-ma Start Deck: Invincible Fire Civilization
DMD-22 Due-ma Start Deck: Destroyer Darkness Civilization
DMD-23 Due-ma Start Deck: Miracle Bringer Light Civilization
- A series of 3 "Start Decks" which introduce beginners to a series of Evolution Creatures with simple yet powerful effects, as well as having a high power and a low cost compared to past evolution creatures. The main command dragon evolution creatures in these theme decks tend to outclass a variety of other evolution creatures, such as Miracle Star, Lord of Dragon Spirits completely outclassing Craze Valkyrie, the Drastic save for race, making them a good idea to start with if the beginner in question wants powerful and easy to use creatures.
- DMD-24 Masters Chronicle Deck: Bolmeteus Returns
DMD-25 Masters Chronicle Deck: Romanov Rises from Purgatory
DMD-26 Masters Chronicle Deck: Survivor Evo-Theory α to Ω
- A series of 3 theme decks that are designed to attract returning players by reintroducing classic creatures and strategies, namely Bolmeteus Control, Romanov Sign and Survivor decks, as well as introducing new Bolmeteus, Romanov and Survivor creatures and support. The decks are also famous for their reprinting of useful and high-rarity cards, such as Johnny Walker, Exploding Mask, Prometheus, Splash Axe and Dondon Vacuuming Twist (With Dondon Vacuuming Twist in DMD-26 having 3 copies as a bonus), making them easier to access by new players. All cards are also printed in the classic old format in order to whip up nostalgia, but the texture of the paper used by the cards and the alignment of the card information in the lower right corner are the same as new cards. DMD-24 also had the largest types of cards to be contained in one theme deck, but most of these cards are not valuable cards which has caused slight criticism by players.
- DMD-27 Custom Transformation Deck Revolution vs. Invasion: Explosive Passion Fire Civilization
- Released alongside DMD-28 Custom Transformation Deck Revolution vs. Invasion: Dragonic Polaris Light Civilization, this deck is based on the Revolution control strategies of Katta Kirifuda and the Invasion rush strategies of Basara. As it's name suggests, the deck is separated by 3 20 card sets, including a Katta set, a Basara set and a core set. It is suggested that the player runs the core set and chooses either the Katta or Basara set to construct a 40 card deck. The selling point of this deck was the intense reinforcements of Redzone, namely in the form of powerful invasion bait such as The Zet, Lightning Sonic, Redzone Z, Passionate Invasion, which is a powerful finisher that easily gets around Shield Trigger and also has excellent synergy with Redzone, Roaring Invasion, as well as a way to get around shield trigger creatures in the form of Magnum, Shortshot, turning the Mono Fire Redzone decktype into a powerful metagame competitor. In the other ha, Katta's revolution deck is much weaker and did not make it to competitive play, causing players to doubt if the officials had a bias for invader-related strategies. Batocross Battle, Passion Dragon's reprint is also greatly welcome.
- DMD-28 Custom Transformation Deck Revolution vs. Invasion: Dragonic Polaris Light Civilization
- Released alongside DMD-27 Custom Transformation Deck Revolution vs. Invasion: Explosive Passion Fire Civilization, this deck is based upon the Revolution creature spamming abilities of Lucifer and the Cost 9 Invasion Strategies of Duemouse. It has a core set, a Lucifer set and a Duemouse set each consisting of 20 cards, and it is suggested that the core sets to be used along with the Duemouse or Lucifer sets to form a 40 card deck. While not as powerful as it's counterpart, the Invader set is the basis of Nine Extremes Invasion which lacked a powerful finisher at that time, at least until G.O.D., Extreme Invasion appeared which solidified the concept. The revolutionary side simply reinforces the chaining abilities of Angel Command Dragons. As an additional bonus, Codeking Number Nine, which was extremely difficult to obtain, was now easily obtainable in this deck, having 2 copies as a bonus point.
- DMD-29 Revolution Start Deck: Katta's Whirlwindy Attack
DMD-30 Revolution Start Deck: Lucifer's Time Stop
- These were the starter decks that appeared at the start of Revolution Final and introduces the player to Revolution Change, which is a version of Invasion for the Revolutionary race. While the contents of this deck are quite powerful for a starter deck and easy to use, the package of the decks resembled an instant noodle container which is treated as an in-joke among fans. DMD-29 is a rush deck based on Katta while Lucifer's DMD-30 focuses on preventing the opponent from attacking.
- DMD-31 Field Start Deck: Basara's Forbidden
- This is Basara's Revolution Final starter set and is published in a separate date from the previous two starter decks. Unlike the previous two, this deck featured a D2 Field beatdown strategy that relied on the use of D2 Fields to turn Forbidden Voltron, D2-V into a powerful finisher and allow weak creatures to remove stronger ones easily.
- DMD-32 Masters Chronicle Deck 2016: The Genesis by the Lord of Spirits
DMD-33 Masters Chronicle Deck 2016: The World's End by the God of Devils
- These were the Masters chronicle decks of 2016 and were based on Lord of Spirits and Lord of Demons, and were Light Water and Darkness Nature. While the original cards themselves, especially Alpharion, Lord of Spirits and Ballom Quake, Lord of Demons are highly powerful and might make it to the meta, the reprint cards are sloppily organized for the purpose of nostalgia, with totally outdated cards such as Syrius, Firmament Elemental, Syforce, Aurora Elemental and the original Ballom being reprinted, as well as key parts such as Tigunus, Saint Bell Wings and Milzam, Spirit of Miracles missing while it is not hard to reprint them at all. To top it all off it costs a staggering 3000 yen, mainly because of the leather deck case.
DMC-27 CoroCoro Dream Pack
DMC-35 Beginner Beat Slash Deck
DMC-41 Wild Kingdom
DMC-55 CoroCoro Legend 7
Movie Deck Shock
DMC-65 The Movie Deck: Ultra Fire Spirits
DMC-66 Duel Masters: Super Best
Forbidden Transform Deck
DMD-11 Forbidden Transform Deck: The Book of Outrage
DMD-12 Forbidden Transform Deck: The Book of Oracle
Super Victory Deck
DMD-18 Super Victory Deck: Blaze Up Dragon Sword Gaial
DMD-19 Super Victory Deck: Annihilation Dragon Sword Diabolos
DMD-20 Super Victory Deck: Victorious Rising Dragon Sword Gaiohburn
Custom Transformation Deck
DMD-27 Custom Transformation Deck Revolution vs. Invasion: Explosive Passion Fire Civilization
DMD-28 Custom Transformation Deck Revolution vs. Invasion: Dragonic Polaris Light Civilization
Super Mega Bountiful Premium 7 Deck
DMBD-03 Mega-loaded Premium 7 Decks: Come Together!! Blazing J.O.E-kers
DMBD-04 Mega-loaded Premium 7 Decks: Justice Spark!! DG On!