This episode introduces a popular mascot card for Yuri, Dark Magician Girl ! Boasting the ability to gain ATK for every Dark Magician in either player’s graveyard, Yuri manages to grab a win because the opponent doesn’t know how to read cards properly.
But regardless of the odds, Joey actually puts himself in a perfect position to win...but passes out before he can finish the duel. This was the most epic duel in the entire Battle City arc, so it’s not surprising this episode ranks so highly.
This time he actually gets to converse with the main villain Mark, who talks him into joining the Battle City tournament and making his way to the finals. That’s pretty much what viewers expect, but if anything the most impressive part each time is the exact moves he’ll make.
This time, Yuri manages to break multiple rules but destroys Strings’ combo by trapping him into an infinite loop that forces his opponent to draw cards until he decks out. Yam Sakura’s strategy is sound, and he even manages to steal Mark’s Egyptian God Card for the sake of giving him the victory, but when Mark is able to protect himself from an attack, Sakura tributes Ra away and tries to get the victory through his own cards.
Yuri meets Isuzu Ishtar and learns about his destiny to restore his memories and the need to collect all the Millennium Items to do so. And elsewhere, Kaaba gets to be his usual cool, yet incredibly over-the-top self by defeating an AI that summons Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon with the power of Obelisk the Tormentor.
At least, it certainly was in the original series, where many battles resulted in the loss of one’s soul, or a chance that the main villain was going to plunge your best friend into the ocean if you didn’t throw a duel and give him a card he wanted. Despite never really putting in work during the entire tournament, Kaaba manages to collect ten-Star Chips to challenge Pegasus by taking advantage of Yuri’s better nature.
Kaaba has both one of the most powerful monsters in the game in Blue-Eyes White Dragon, and one of the best traps ever in the original Crush Card Virus, but as it turns out, none of that matters when facing someone who can read minds. But Mark was out here mind-controlling Yuri’s friends to get him into a duel where the loser would get yanked into the see by a giant anchor and drown to death.
On top of being incredibly creepy with it’s beginning (the introduction of Zorn Macrophages), it also features a young Solomon Auto as he attempts to solve the Ultimate Game of the Nameless Pharaoh. Despite Mark’s ability to make even Joey’s closest friends work on his side, that doesn’t mean he’s capable of winning the day.
As a result, Mark fails to break Yuri once more, and they narrowly survived to go on to face him in the finals. After multiple failed attempts to take down Yam, Mark finally lands on something with this combination he uses, bringing out the full power of Slider the Sky Dragon.
Fortunately, Kaaba inspires him to keep on fighting, which leads to this episode, where he comes up with his own way to interrupt the combo...that can’t actually work, but is an impressive watch nonetheless. Everything looks pretty bleak for Yuri, as he manages to look down all three of the Egyptian god cards which Item was able to summon in a single turn.
But ultimately, Yuri manages to get rid of all three god cards by the usage of the one trap, which tops all of them: Mirror Force. It’s a bit hilarious considering it took one trap to get rid of three powerful monsters, but that’s also the closest the game’s ever been to real life.
This episode is filled with multiple callbacks to cards both Yuri and Item have used over the course of the series, from Gazelle to Curse of Dragon all the way to Gaia and Dark Magician himself. This episode helps us learn just how far Yuri has come, while also showing Item’s status as King of Games is real.
With this fact in mind, it's no secret that there are many types of duels in the series, there are levels to their quality, per se. He infused Joey's deck with plenty of powerful magic cards that would help him to beat his friend.
Yuri's goal the entire time wasn't to win, but rather to find a way that both of them would manage to stay safe, as both of their lives were on the line. Eventually, Yuri and Joey were able to work together to end the duel in a draw, and both barely made it out alive.
Joey manages to do the unthinkable and stand up to the power of Ra, much to the disbelief of everyone, including even Kaaba. While he, unfortunately, wasn't able to call out his final attack to win the duel, his brawl against Mark showed off just how powerful of a duelist Joey really is.
While the mechanics of her summoning is laughable at best, the fact that she debuted in this duel while managing to take down Ar kana's second Dark Magician is nothing short of iconic. Staying on the Yuri and Kaaba train for a minute, and actually cheating a bit because this isn't technically part of the series, the duel between Kaaba and Yuri is action-packed, and the improved animations in the movie make it an absolute sight to behold.
Plus, the two have vastly improved their decks since the list time we saw them, and watching them volley the power back and forth is wonderfully nostalgic for fans. Sure, the labyrinth duel between Para and Dox might make no sense, but it's still a ton of fun to watch go down.
In it, Yuri and Joey are forced to navigate their monsters through a labyrinth that they're unfamiliar with, while Para and Dox pull out all the stops to beat them and leave them trapped below Duelist Kingdom forever. Eventually, Yuri and Joey manage to combine their forces and take down the brothers at their own game.
Yuri and Leon's duel in the finals of the KC Grand Championship is absolutely insane. Joey was forced to contend with Weevil's tricks and most powerful cards, and was still able to take him out.
It was the first, it hit during the childhood and early teen years of millennials everywhere, and it also contained a cast of relatable high school kids who happened to exist in a world where, despite revolutionary tech advances and the existence of shadow magic, card games were more important than anything else. The series was still trying to figure out the rules of what would come to be a game that would exist for nearly two decades after the show aired, but despite that, it still managed to have some great matches in its 200+ episodes.
It was obvious the show’s game didn’t have any rules, and things pretty much worked off creativity. This duel features Yuri trapped for much of the game because of his Spell Card Full Moon, which created more water for Make’s Monsters and almost no land to Summon his own.
He gets out of it by blowing the moon up, eroding the tide, and leaving Make’s Monsters stranded. Afterwards, he destroys them with Burning Land and wins with a single attack from Curse of Dragon.
Pegasus is wasting time trapping people in Beta max tapes and Kaaba’s trying to talk Yam out of winning, but Mark? Mark starts with games where losing means getting your legs cut off, then graduates to brainwashing Yuri's best friend Joey, forcing them into a tense duel where the loser is dragged to the bottom of the ocean by an anchor.
This allowed us to see both of the show’s main characters go at it against one another, leaving us wondering who was going to survive at the end. Though this duel is responsible for about half the memes that come from the first season, it’s frustrating to watch for anyone who knows anything about how the game is played.
The rules are basically non-existent at this point, so Kaaba’s Summoning three Blue-Eyes in the same turn, which would’ve been literally impossible. The Paradox Brothers rely on the Monster Labyrinth Wall to create a literal labyrinth Joey and Yuri can only explore by sending their Monsters inside, where the deadly Gate Guardian lies.
Unlike Kaaba or Yuri, Joey’s character arc is more compelling to follow because he’s not “destined” to be great. He becomes great by learning to play the game better, taking losses in stride and improving from them.
Mark (working through Strings), however, had Yam on the ropes, thanks to his Revival Jam combo increasing Slider’s ATK to some truly ridiculous numbers. Tea has virtually no dueling skill on her own, and in the end isn’t even able to beat Mai.
It’s one thing not to kill Kaaba, quite another to refuse free help from a person he’d saved earlier. Things go poorly for him as well, leading to Noah having 10,000 Life Points while Yuri only has 100, leaving everything riding on one last turn.
Mai steals the Winged Dragon of Ra... but only the “chosen ones” can read the text on the card, which ends up costing her the duel. This duel is worthy of being the last one on the show, as it sees both characters pull out all the stops against one another.
Mark's The Winged Dragon of Ra has destroyed both Slider the Sky Dragon and Obelisk the Tormentor! Will the combined force of all of Yuri's monsters be enough to defeat an Egyptian God ... See full summary ».