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Why Pay To Duel On Yu-Gi-Oh Online?

Posted by Yogizilla on March 6, 2007

This topic is expanded upon in our The Economy Of Gaming: Why Paying To Play Is Better Than Free article. The main lesson is simple: there’s no such thing as a free lunch, no matter where you go and what you do. Video games are no exception so let’s be more reasonable.

The valid question has been raised many times: why pay to duel?  My short answer is that you always pay for a duel.  If you duel in what some people call “real life” (as opposed to online, which apparently doesn’t count to some of the dueling snobs), you have to pay for tourney fees, transportation costs, card protectors, booster packs, play mats, notebooks, collector guides, card binders, and the like; that is, if you really take it seriously. The major distinction here is to note who is more on the collection side and who just wants to play the game. If you are on the latter side, the other determination to make is whether you want to play like a pro or just have fun, which don’t always go hand-in-hand.

Many folks love playing tournament style, which means that many good cards are forbidden and certain combos are not possible. This is fine if you’re new to the game but, if you are old-school, you may want to play house rule games. In that case, neither playing online or playing “in real life” against your typical duelist will work for you. Since we on the YDP-DPO team look to focus on more unconventional Yu-Gi-Oh! play, let’s explore why Yu-Gi-Oh! Online may be a better investment.

It’s time for one of those spiffy numbered list thingies so here goes: My Top 5 Reasons Yu-Gi-Oh! Online Rocks for novice and “pro” duelists alike. Mind you, I say “pro” because that means different things to different people. When *I* say “pro”, I usually refer to more advanced players, while “novice” can encompass beginners and more casual duelists. Truly professional duelists do it for money but that’s besides the point. Here we go…

  1. It is cheaper to duel online. Unless you are dueling hundreds or thousands of times, dueling on Yu-Gi-Oh! Online gives you a better ROI (a higher/better Return On Investment means you spent your money well) if all you care about is dueling but don’t really care to invest in the physical cards. The game is not any less real online so, really, cost becomes the big thing. With the way a lot of duelists play the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG offline, it’s often much more expensive to duel “in real life”. Surely, Konami would love for all the online duelists to convert to the actual TCG but not everyone can afford the time or money for that.
  2. It’s easier to find the “right ones”.  When you duel random people in the traditional face-to-face manner, you’ll often run into people that are either way too advanced or too easy to beat. Playing online provides you with easy-to-use tools that help you determine who will likely be a better challenge while offering you a winning chance at the same time. Once you find people that you like to duel, a simple friend request is all you need to do to keep that connection alive, though you can also trade other contact information and likely forge a great friendship!
  3. You can duel at virtually any time. Some folks have duel groups and pseudo-online Yu-Gi-Oh! play available but with Yu-Gi-Oh! Online you can duel people at any hour, anywhere in the world, and it is much more convenient, to say the least. This is not to take away the value from discussion groups, forums, or any other Yu-Gi-Oh! resource, but this simple fact further supports the notion that YGOO play compliments a duelist’s efforts, if not completely facilitates them.
  4. It separates the duelists from the mere card collectors. It is my humble opinion that a good lot of the self-proclaimed “pro” duelists out there are mere card collectors and many of them are recipe users. It’s all about buying some expensive rare cards and compiling a killer deck that someone with less time or money to get those cards will likely succumb to. It takes a really good duelist to do ballsy things like just throwing together some booster packs to create a deck on-the-fly. I’m not saying that just because that’s my style but also because those are the sort of duelists that I respect and even look up to. Sure, the “C” in TCG means “collectible” but, personally, I am in it for the strategy, not the bragging rights of spending more money on my deck (though I do have some rare cards and many first edition cards, admittedly).
  5. It is really good training. I think it is undeniable that Yu-Gi-Oh! Online is one of the best ways for new players to get into the game. Playing one of the stand-alone console or PC versions is also a good move. In fact, Konami enjoys cross-selling and it makes sense because, as it is, tournaments are being held where people can use their Nintendo DS to play other duelists. That being said, YGOO provides a good balance of providing the challenge of human competition while keeping everyone within their effective capabilities. Many would-be duelists are scared away from Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG because they play the deck stackers and card collectors that totally destroy their basic/starter decks. Few people can handle losing, especially if it is a dominated loss, which is why playing online is great: losses hurt more because the games are faster and you can just keep on moving.

Those reasons alone should be enough to convince anyone with some sort of rational thought going for them but there’s more! Consider the deck building. I find it much easier to be able to manage hundreds and thousands of cards when I have filters and queries that help me easily identify cards that can go into new deck builds. Considering that the average duelist only has three or four decks that they’d use for serious play, that may not be a huge selling point but, if you enjoy making new decks every day like I do, that should thrill you!For me, I enjoy deck building and trying out unusual strategies most. Theme decks and recipes are cool but not for me. It’s great when you can pull off a combo that surprises opponents. In this manner, Yu-Gi-Oh! Online makes us into better duelists by training us to adapt and try new things. If you’re looking only to have “unstoppable decks” to win, you’re likely to get frustrated by YGOO for the PC.

The competitors on Yu-Gi-Oh! Online, in my experiences, have been a lot more friendly and come from all sorts of backgrounds. For those of you older folks out there, you can appreciate the fact that you won’t have to deal with cocky, ill-mannered teenagers. When you do run into the younger folks, I’ve been impressed to note that many of them have been pleasant and good sports. Of course, everyone’s experience is different so these are more subjective arguments.

As I have argued before, the automation of the console (XBox, NDS, and Game Boy mainly) and PC flavors of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Online TCG make the game less of a drag. New players can see how the game is really meant to be played because no rules are subjected to interpretation and adulteration. Sadly, when you duel people offline, you will find that people bend the rules conveniently to their favor, which is another thing that leaves a bad taste in the mouths of new Yu-Gi-Oh! duelists.

Now, some may say that I am biased because I, after all, do sell Yu-Gi-Oh! Online Duelpasses (or I did before I realized what an utter headache it was LOL). I assure you, that is not a driving force here. First, selling duelpasses is not my main source of income and isn’t as profitable as people may think. Second, I felt this way long before I started up YDP or even worked with DPO. Lastly, it is just my personal view that online gaming is a great segway and entry point for just about any worthwhile franchise. The main interest I am here to protect is that of folks trying to get into Yu-Gi-Oh! but perhaps feeling reluctant or unsure about it for whatever reason.

Really, I can go on forever about why I feel Yu-Gi-Oh! Online is an awesome game for anyone to try. I think anyone that ever played Yu-Gi-Oh!, wanted to try Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG out, or just likes playing TCGs should really give Yu-Gi-Oh! Online a whirl. You get free duel points to get a feel for the game and, though ten duel points don’t go far if you get into the game, it’s a good little introduction, as much of a tease as it can be. You can also battle NPCs or computer players for free. If you don’t like it, you lose nothing, whereas buying the actual cards can be a bust, especially if the cards you purchased have no market value for resale. D’oh!

It is my personal feeling that the whole dueling via webcam or IM is weird, almost creepy. I think that, if you’re going to do that, you might as well go to a friend’s house or play at a local tournament. I don’t like to half-step things so, if I’m playing online, I am playing online. That means I want a quick fix or I want to get as many good duels going in as little time as possible. I work for myself so my spare time is precious to me, which is why Yu-Gi-Oh! Online not only saved my life but also my marriage and my business – haha, just kidding!

Hope that puts it all into perspective for those that feel that paying to duel is unfair. I do not like pay-to-play online games for the most part either but, here, you only pay for the time you actually play, rather than have to deal with another monthly bill. Nobody likes bills so, believe me, I am with you all there! I can honestly say that Yu-Gi-On! Online is a worthwhile investment but don’t take my word for it: try it out yourself!!

(And, no, it’s not just for kids. Yu-Gi-Oh! is easy to learn but offers tons of depth for committed players.)


40 Responses to “Why Pay To Duel On Yu-Gi-Oh Online?”

  1. […] Why Pay To Duel On Yu-Gi-Oh Online? […]

  2. adam hurst said

    yu gi oh is so fun iv been waching sence i was 6 or7 im 13 now and i still wach it

  3. Whteva-Yugioh4ewa said

    Ok… but when are we going to get thiese duel passes for free? or not

  4. Yogizilla said

    Just wanted to clear this up…

    There are no free duelpasses but Konami does throw in freebies here and there. Nothing has been announced yet but we will keep you all posted. Not sure if some of you are trying to be funny by asking if there are free DP here. It happens to be a question that is asked on the very threads where we say “There is no such thing as free duelpasses.” It makes me wonder how many of you are being smartypants. ;o)

    Adam, Yu-Gi-Oh! rocks and we’re definitely trying to capture the magic of the show here by becoming a more full-featured web site. That being said, how interested would y’all be in us providing reviews of Yu-Gi-Oh! movies and video games? Let us know!

  5. jorge said

    hey do any of you guys know any websites where you can duel online for free

  6. Yogizilla said

    Hi Jorge! For free dueling, your best bet is to check out MySpace and Yahoo groups. There are tons of people dueling via webcam and e-mail. I’ve tried a few of the “free” web-based duel sites but they are either very buggy or provide limited access. Hope that helps! 8)

  7. mitchell said

    if you have to pay im not playing

    • Drew said

      I agree. The game of yugioh is supposed to be fun, not make you go bankrupt

      • Yogizilla said

        Very true but at least it’s not as costly as Magic The Gathering, where you need to be rich or not have any bills to pay in order to be highly-competitive. Pay-to-play is annoying, I know, but Yu-Gi-Oh! Online offers free duels now against NPCs. Plus there’s always the XBox LIVE and Nintendo DS games for free online play.

        Still think paying to play Yu-Gi-Oh! is unfair? Think about it like this: if you fixed someone’s car would you do it for free even if you had to buy the parts? Of course not. You’d want to at least recuperate the losses. Konami is no different. I prefer a pay-as-you-go rate as opposed to a monthly subscription fee, so Konami is doing fine by me! 8)

  8. adam said

    Hi everybody can anyone tell me how can i get free duelpass or codes please tell me…

    And my MSN is adam_cheaib@hotmail.com add me and tell me.

    And thanks very much.

    Made By Adam Cheaib

  9. adam said

    Yugizilla can you tell me how to get how much i want duelpass points

    Please tell me okey?

  10. adam said

    And big thanks for Yugizilla and Yu-gi-oh! scams,Myths and free duels

  11. adam said


  12. adam said


    Yugizilla can you tell me Duelpasses codes please tell me.

    When your going in please tell me.

    Made By Adam Cheaib

    And My Email Is adam_cheaib@hotmail.com

  13. Clloud said

    Konami are too greedy to make a free yugioh.Well i cant be mad at warcraft or L2 because there are private servers.And besides there would be ten or even a hundred times more players if this game would be free but with extra features.

  14. Clloud said

    If im wrong well send a respond to my email which i dont think i will live long enough to get that email.

  15. Clloud said

    Oh here i a thouth of my friend he says:
    “Make a game of cards on your own.Fuck Konami.Fuck trade marks.If you will be fined well its only your own fault because you warent careful enough

  16. Clloud said

    And Konami is pushing the hackers to try to find or create duelpass generators on things like that

  17. madmel said

    2. It’s easier to find the ”right ones”.
    the duelist selection setup on YGO online is absolutely godawful..its so badly coded that you are simply paired up with a random duelist, and sometimes even an NPC :@
    apart from this theres nothing wrong with your post

  18. Paul said

    where can you buy individual cards? please email me


  19. Alphagame said

    Why Pay to Duel Online…

    [html] I’d first like to start off by saying that Yugizilla’s logic and reasoning are completely……

    • Yogizilla said

      Darn, I can’t tell if that was a flame or a compliment since the web site is down. Folks, I know the video game industry is broken but some of the gamers out there have unrealistic expectations. There’s no such thing as a free lunch. The hate the player, hate the game. The video game industry needs to widely-adopt microtransactions and flexible subscription rates so online video games can be more flexible. I don’t write the rules to Yu-Gi-Oh! Online, I just play by them. =o]

  20. ebe013 said

    Or You can play KCVDS:


    • Yogizilla said

      As I’ve mentioned time and again, yes, SetoKaiba.com or KCVDS is a decent alternative but…

      1. The average person will not be able to get it working properly.
      2. It introduces significant security risks.
      3. You’re on your own if you use an unofficial “fan site” like this.

      I know times are tough but why not pick up Yu-Gi-Oh! for the XBox 360 or DS at least? With the DS you play Yu-Gi-Oh! online for FREE without all the hassle and it’s a fully-supported platform. It seems silly to go through more hassle otherwise.

      Not trying to knock KCVDS but the people that run the site have yet to reach out to DPO or our previous sites and we’ve been around for years. I’d gladly endorse the service if it was promoted properly. 8)

  21. Sequiel667 said

    This is dumb, i rather play World of Warcraft since its a promising game than play this. I play yugioh a lot but not in the price to pay to keep playing is just the same thing, pay online or offline(“real life”). There’s no difference what’s so ever, you are just saying is the same thing as “real life”, your statement may be catchy but for some people that ask for info about the game just don’t get that they spent more money in the game so you can just get more stuff ppl, keygen and generator are not gonna come out anytime sooner, because there’s no need this game doesn’t even match the statics of Runescape, so just keep dreaming of a hacker getting all of you a DUELPASS generator or something because they won’t

  22. Ming said

    …………There is a yugioh server for free but u need hamachi . Go to http://setokaiba.com/ and click KCVDS and download . If you need some tutorials go to youtube.com and search or try googling .

    If you want to thank me , you can stop by my 2 blogs so i can get more clicks Thanks !

    • Yogizilla said

      I hear a lot about SetoKaiba.com but, remember: Hamachi essentially opens up your LAN by establishing a VPN. If your home network is not secure and systems are not hardened, you’ll be a sitting duck. It’d be like not running anti-spyware and anti-virus software just to randomly download warez and porn: you’re bound to run into trouble (not that I encourage such activities)! Be careful: it’s a rough world out there. 8)

  23. Someone said

    Paying isn’t the problem. After all, Konami’s not a charity, Konami’s a business.

    HOWEVER, they went overboard with the duel pass system. If you duel a limited time it’s a normal price, but those who *really* want to play the game are kicked in the balls with prices going over 30 dollars a month (10 dollars a month for unlimited play is a good price, not the way it’s now). They should’ve gone with the same way almost every online game does: you pay for access for a week, a month or a year.

    • Yogizilla said


      I think they’d be smart to implement a microtransaction system all the way. Casual duelists don’t have to worry about another monthly or yearly bill, while the most devoted (and perhaps frivolous spenders) can get vanity items for their avatars or virtual homes. Of course, paying customers can get early access to new theme decks and booster packs, as well as be able to participate in exclusive events. Konami is certainly limiting their profitability and stifling growth with their current business model…


    hey how do i buy duelpoints by using a bank account and if i live jamicA PLease reply

  25. KJK92 said

    I enjoy playing Yu-Gi-Oh Online one thing they should change though is for those people who have already bought cards and play the game, they should allow you to enter the code at the bottom of the card.

    • Yogizilla said

      I agree wholeheartedly! It seems a waste to have to rebuy all your favorite cards and all. Implementing NPC duelists and free duels thereof makes YGOO a lot more accessible but it’s tough to get all the cards you want. Catching all the duel events definitely helps you get the best cards. Do they even do Gunslinger anymore? That was great fun!

  26. lats play yugioh

  27. kingdeem said

    hai i haz no moniz gimme freew duel pass now or vill pee on j00 kthxbai

    wow lol btw I still have YuGiOh Online in the box witha few duel cards =] start the bidding at let me see 50 smackers I kid I kid its not for sale it was a give from my good friend Yogizilla


    • Yogizilla said

      LOL! Good one, old friend. They’ve fixed up Yu-Gi-Oh! Online a bit. We should jump on together when we’re not on XBox LIVE playing Brink or Gears of War 3. I know they screwed you with the DP transfer but that’s what they do with inactive accounts. This isn’t Anarchy Online or WoW, where they keep accounts alive forever. ;o)

      Speaking of Brink, I’m about to go pick it up. w00t w00t!!


  28. ^.^ said

    you do realize that TCG means Trading Card Game… not the “C” doesn’t mean collectable :3

    • Yogizilla said

      Yes, I’m sure most of us know the difference between a CCG and a TCG though, these days, they’re both used loosely. After all, one man’s treasure is another man’s trash. =oX

      That said, I still enjoy collecting Yu-Gi-Oh! cards. It’slike Christmas each time I open up some booster packs, a box, or a tin.. And not the kind of Christmas where everyone gifts you ugly socks. =oP

  29. Someone with more sense said

    Paying to duel online when I’ve already put work and time to make a deck in real life?
    That’s just BS; I’m not going to pay for an online deck AND a real life one. Srs.

    • Yogizilla said

      That’s a fair argument.. I mean, you should be able to enter card codes and add real-life decks to the game.. but then that would not be fair to those that only play online. For me, the value in the online games is testing out new decks and meeting new duelists without breaking the bank. It’s not for everyone so I understand the “lol yeah right” attitude. ;o)

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