For those playing the long game, Gold Sarcophagus is now unbanned and ready to add any card from your deck, giving it you two turns after activation. Unlike its counterpart Different Dimension Capsule, Sarcophagus doesn't remain on the field, meaning there's no way to destroy it and cancel the effect.
Another great card for the long game, Ladybug should stay in your hand where you can reveal it on each of your turns (at your standby phase) to gain 500 life points. Over the course of a lengthy duel, this can amount to several thousand extra health, granting you an appreciated defense in case your field gets destroyed.
Alternatives include “Aroma Jar” and “Solemn Wishes”, which can also continuously restore your health but are more vulnerable to your opponent's removals. Although I wish it possessed a graveyard-banishing effect, this still offers an excellent and fast way to prepare your discard pile with whatever monster you need.
You can then revive your fallen ally with cards like “Call of the Haunted” or use any graveyard abilities they may carry. If you manage to place the original vanquished Pomona back into your deck with cards like “Pot of Dichotomy”, you can reuse the combo once more.
When normal summoned, Breaker gains a spell counter that increases his ATK from 1600 to 1900, impressive on a level four monster. After that, you've still got a respectable 1600 spell caster who is now primed for a XYZ or link summon, excellently bestowing both a removal and a material.
A handy support and boss monster for any deck, Star Sparrow matches a Blue-Eyes in power with 3000 ATK, though he'll need two tributes if normal summoned. While fielded, your opponent can't target other monsters you control with attacks or effects, a superb barricade for allies.
Additionally, while in your graveyard, you must revive Star Sparrow in defense position (banishing it when it leaves the field) when your opponent makes a direct attack, taking a crucial hit for you. These two cards each protect you for a turn; the former prevents attacks from being declared while the latter guards both your life points and monsters from combat, rendering you invulnerable.
However, you don't just draw a card from your deck, you excavate (reveal) the top three and pick one, shuffling the rest back in. A modernized version of Soul Exchange, this quick-play spell belongs to the Monarch archetype but serves any tribute monster well.
Plus, its quick-play status allows you to combo it with cards that let you tribute on your opponent's turn, but note that it's limited, so only place a single copy in your deck list at official events. Card Car D bears the popular machine type, which can help prepare type-effects like Solidarity, but it's a useful draw tool for any structure.
He also brandishes 3000 ATK and points two arrows to each side and diagonally backwards, granting you (and not your opponent) several extra deck slots. Unlike several battle phase traps, it won't destroy or otherwise hinder their creature, but Scrap-Iron resets itself after use rather than heading to the graveyard.
In other words, as long as it isn't destroyed, you can block several attacks over the course of a duel and safely field weaker utility monsters. This fluff ball doesn't need any tributes to set, and it's immune to battle destruction, forcing your opponent to spend a monster removal if they want to swing at your life points.
A useful unit, but beware monsters with pierce who can hit through Marshmallow's weak DEF with excess trample damage. A long-regulated original card, Penguin Soldier is now free to use as many (up to the regular maximum of three) copies as you wish.
While it's pretty weak, when flipped, you can return up to two target monsters to the hand, bouncing multiple enemies and circumventing destruction immunities. When activated, you halve the ATK and negate the effects of a special summoned monster, greatly reducing its prowess.
Now, rather than immediately sending fusion materials from your deck to the graveyard, Future does so at the standby phase after activation, so it'll need to survive a turn. While there's a delay, this beautifully summons a fusion monster without killing your hand and helps prepare your graveyard with whatever materials you desire.
Its versatility and speed cement it as one of the best traps around, evidenced by its current limited status at ranked events. Judgment works particularly well as a check against pendulum monsters, as they'll head to the graveyard (and not the extra deck where they could be revived) when negated.
While they're fairly weak, when sent from the field to the graveyard, Sagan adds a monster with 1500 or less ATK from your deck to hand while Witch does the same for 1500 or less DEF, making each a great tribute or link material since you'll get to search a unit afterwards. Still, note that Sagan is a level-three fiend while Witch is a level-four spell caster, offering different synergies with multiple deck themes.
Another great defense against swarming, you can't trigger Bottomless Trap Hole when your opponent summons at least one monster with 1500 ATK. Sara offers incredible versatility to any structure, needing a total link rating of four and arriving with a mighty 2800 ATK.
The downside to using spells and traps for defense is that if your field gets nuked, you're left open (even cards like Threatening Roar can be sprung into activation sooner than desired). It rests safely in your hand until needed, making it practically impossible to counter, and when your opponent declares a direct attack, you can special summon it to end the battle phase, banishing Fader when it exits the field.
It bears a respectable 2100 ATK, and it can detach two units to attach an opposing special summoned attack position monster to itself as material! This both removes an enemy and leaves you with a single XYZ unit, which you can detach to once prevent ARK's destruction (whether through battle or effect).
Then, on either player's turn, Jackal King can remove two spell counters (from anywhere on your field, including himself) to negate and destroy an opponent's activated monster effect, a fierce and versatile defense mechanism to shut down opposing warriors. This risky spell loses you 2000 life points, and you can't special summon or perform your battle phase for the rest of the turn after usage.
Even with the prices you're paying, this fields two monsters at once with their effects intact, beautifully preparing your archetype's combos and extra deck summons. Many series contain their own draw engines, but Supply Squad offers excellent card advantage to just about any deck.
On either player's turn, if a monster you control is destroyed (by either battle or effect), Squad simply draws you a card. Mirror Force remains a potent offense/defense blend, but as destruction-immunities and exit effects have become more common, its powers have slightly diminished over the years.
Still, it enjoys a heap of awesome variants and offers a great comeback to turn the tide back in your favor. These tokens are pitifully weak and can't be used for a tribute summon, but they make great blockers and qualify as material for most link and synchro monsters.
This exiles three units at once, disrupting all of your opponent's main areas, and since it's an entrance ignition, you can still apply it even if Trisha gets smashed with Bottomless Trap Hole or the like. As a tuner, Ghost Ogre can aid with synchro summoning, but any deck can utilize its awesome hand trap effects.
Not only does this vanquish an enemy's unit, it typically blocks the effect, as most continuous cards need to remain fielded at resolution for their traits to function. Like her cousin Ghost, Ash Blossom can help synchro summon, but is generally used for her excellent hand trap abilities.
Able to hinder three different types of strategies, Ash will throw a wrench in your adversary's plans, possibly ruining their entire turn. Now, you'll have to forfeit 700 life points during your standby phase, but that's an incredible barrier that really dampens your foe (spells are much more common than traps competitively).
You're affected too, but you can avoid the net by either building a low-spell deck or simply activating any magic cards in store before employing Order. A variant of the classic Mirror Force, Drowning now requires your opponent to directly attack you, so it won't work when they just take a swing at your monsters.
This is a far superior monster wipe that circumvents destruction and targeting-immune targets and doesn't fill your opponent's graveyard; they'll need to search out their lost units all over again. After years on the ban list, players can now implement a single instance of Rieger, the classic magic that casually destroys all opposing monsters.
Also, if a creature Firewall points to is destroyed in battle or sent to the graveyard, you can special summon a monster from your hand, adeptly fielding your higher-level champions without needing to tribute. Evenly Matched can be risky since it activates at the end of your opponent's battle phase, so it can't help you stop that turn's attacks.
As if that weren't powerful enough, you can activate Evenly Matched from your hand if you control no cards, both catching your opponent by surprise and banishing their entire field! The current competitive staple found in nearly every deck, Pot of Desires offers unparalleled hand advantage.
Stratus is yet another OP Monster whose might isn't apparent just from looking at him; he's got 1800 Attack, 300 Defense, and 2 big of' CD player wing things glued to his back. In the right hands, however, Stratus possesses an ungodly amount of utility; he can specifically search for any other HERO Monster in your deck, or he can destroy your opponents' Trap and Spell type cards.
Whether you win or lose in a card game, you probably won't have a sever case of sour grapes if you felt like you had a fair shot at winning; you managed to play all of your cards and implement your strategies, but your opponent simply outplayed in the end. For 1000 Life Points, Confiscation can rob your opponent of a fair game by forcing them to discard a card of your choice.
Unlike a lot of the other cards in this article, Cyber Dragon Infinity looks and sounds as overpowered as it is. This stinking' thing looks like a hidden Super Boss from a Final Fantasy game, or the most powerful form of an anime villain.
It also has the word “infinity” in its name, as in “I've got an infinite number of ways to beat the brakes off your deck.” While that might be an exaggeration, Cyber Dragon Infinity is one of the strongest Duel Monsters to ever enter play.
Typically, OK decks are extremely risky and require tons of skill to effectively play. This bulky douche-bag commits two major offenses; it assaults the senses with its poop-brown color scheme, then it wrecks players' faces by dealing damage equal to the level of a Monster that you'll have to sacrifice.
By triggering her effects, a player can shut even the machine cards and declaw the deadliest dragons! Most Wight princess/ King of the Skull Servants decks tend to have very high win rates across the board.
As a test of one's devotion, Ra demands that a duelist use their Life points to fuel his power. It's like someone at INAMI was angry one day and decided to make a card that immediately kills the fun of any duel when played.
I'm a dyed-in-the-wool geek who's into all sorts of comic books, video games, movies, and TV shows. Currently, I'm pursuing a BA in Film and Electronics at California State University Long Beach.