Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links Bamboo Sword Decks Are Plaguing PVP

dule_links_banned_cards yugioh bamboo sword deck
Is the Bamboo Sword deck a plague in Duel Links? Konami/Player.One

With the release of Primal Burst, Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links players got a ton of new archetypes for deck building , but one archetype has begun to plague the PVP scene.

It’s likely you’ve encountered this archetype already, but if you haven’t it’s only a matter of time. I’m talking about the trio of Bamboo Sword cards that create a never-ending loop. This Bamboo Sword First-Turn Kill (FTK) strategy is increasingly prevalent in PVP and even the Vagabond implements this strategy.

So what does this Bamboo Sword FTK deck look like? If you visit the Duel Links subreddit you’ll see examples of different decks that use three different Bamboo Sword cards and Woodland Sprite, a normal rare plant monster with 900 attack whose only effect is to destroy an equip card attached to it and deal 500 damage.

Check out one example of this Bamboo FTK deck.


bamboo sword deck yugioh duel links
One version of the Bamboo Sword deck that's plaguing PVP. Photo: Konami

This may not seem like a big deal but Woodland Sprite’s effect can be used infinitely on the player’s turn, and the Bamboo Sword cards allow players to get as many of these equip cards out as possible.

With Duel Links’ speed duel format, Woodland Sprite only needs to use its effect eight times to deal the necessary 4000 lifepoints to win. To make it even faster, duelists have stocked their decks with other spells that can deal effect damage, like Black Pendant.

Here’s how it works. Duelists using the Bamboo FTK deck use an ability like Restart or Duel, Standby to ensure they get at least one Woodland Sprite and a Bamboo Sword card.

The preferred card is Cursed Bamboo Sword, which players send to the graveyard using Woodland Sprite’s effect and get a Bamboo Sword card from their deck to their hand.

Ideally, and it happens more often than not, the player will search out Golden Bamboo Sword, which lets the player draw two cards if they control a Bamboo Sword card. Players use the extra cards to draw more Bamboo Swords or Cursed Bamboo Swords and continue to draw the necessary equip cards to use Woodland Sprite’s ability until you are defeated.

Players are finding out the hard way that when this strategy starts off, they are helpless to counter it especially if the Bamboo Sword Deck goes first.

There are cards that can stop this strategy but only if you go first AND draw those cards in your opening hand. Floodgate Trap Hole can put Woodland Sprite in facedown defense position, making its effect useless, while Enemy Controller’s tribute effect can stop this strategy for one turn.

There are other cards that negate effect damage, but they take up crucial spots and really only work against this one deck.

PVP in Duel Links is becoming a slog as more and more duelists are building these decks to try and climb the Ranked Duels and the bulk of the community on forums like reddit are speaking out against the rise of these decks, even more so than when Cyber Angels were at their strongest.

At the height of Cyber Angels, Konami recognized its prevalence and nerfed the deck twice. Because this is a recent release, it may take awhile before they do the same with Bamboo Sword decks.

We have reached out to Konami for a statement on whether they have plans for the balance of Duel Links and we’ll update as soon as we learn more.

In the meantime, let us know if you’ve come across this deck in Ranked Duels and whether you have a consistent counter for them in the comments section below. 

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