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5 Instant Win Conditions in Yu-Gi-Oh!

Sam Little is an experienced Yu-Gi-Oh tournament enthusiast.

Obliterate! Exodia is one of the best ways to win the duel without even inflicting damage.

Obliterate! Exodia is one of the best ways to win the duel without even inflicting damage.

The Victory Is Yours!

It has become widely accepted in the highly competitive world of Yu-Gi-Oh! that one must reduce their opponent's life points to zero in order to win. This is usually done by pummeling their monsters with your monsters and then attacking them directly. While this is the most common means of obtaining victory, we are fortunately not limited to such a mundane way of getting that win. No sir! We have tons of other options to gain the advantage and ultimately the win.

The methods I want to address are often referred to as instant win conditions. Don't get too excited—I don't mean you win just for showing up; this isn't E-drags back in the day. These win strategies still require gameplay and a very smart approach to how you pursue your plays.

The Best Five Instant Win Cards in Yu-Gi-Oh!

Some of these conditions are extremely hard to pull off, while others are much easier. Regardless, the five instant win tactics and conditions I want to explore in this article are super fun. Even though you will get labeled a troll, it is no more troll-y than using Dragoon in every deck you run. (Ever have a watt player yank out a Dragoon? Terrifying.) Some of these tactics can get expensive as well, so mind your budget for the deck and know which strategy you want to run with.

5. Destiny Board

This card reads: "When this card and all 4 'Spirit Message' cards with different names are placed on your field, you win the duel. Once per turn, during your opponent's end phase: Place 1 'Spirit Message' card from your hand or deck in a spell or trap zone face-up."

To gain a victory with this particular set of cards, you have to get the word 'Final' on the board. Now, much cooler than the US version is the OCG version, which does not say 'Final' but instead says 'Death'. While getting five cards to the field sounds easy, you have to look at how complex it is to keep them there, considering you will be using your spell and trap zones to play host to the destiny board message cards. This means you have no way of protecting the cards via spells and traps.

I have never seen this deck actually win in person, but I can assure you that I have seen it played. The deck is a slower, more stall-based construction and uses monster effects to protect the message cards as they hit the field. This deck will also rely very heavily on stalling your opponent. You will always have one or two slots to drop Threatening Roar or Wobaku to delay until you are ready to drop the last card and complete the word 'Final'.

4. Ghostrick Angel of Mischief

Ghostricks were all the rage for a brief period of time, and our locals were alive and well with Ghostrick players who would run the various variations of the vibrant deck. See what I did there? Anyway, one of the variations we did not see often was the use of the deck's instant win condition.

The extra deck card Ghostrick Angel of Mischief contained a very interesting way of winning. Basically, if you could manage 10 material cards attached to this card, you would win the duel instantly. Now, this sounds a bit farfetched, but in reality today's strategies play right into this concept. You can use an already summoned Ghostrick XYZ monster's material for the summoning, so you are starting with three cards. Once per turn, you can attach a card from your hand to this card as material.

You can actually build up from Utopia XYZ monsters and go into Alacard, and wham—you are ready to capitalize an instant win.

Leo offers a unique yet challenging way to win.

Leo offers a unique yet challenging way to win.

3. Number 88 Gimmick Puppet of Leo

While Gimmick Puppets are not regarded as one of the better deck archetypes, they do offer a few very interesting attributes. Leo is one of the more interesting cards of the set.

As long as you have no spell or traps set in the zones, you can remove a material from this card and add a destiny counter to the card. Once you have three counters, you win the game. It sounds crazy because you will have no spells and traps to protect you, but it really is a simple fix.

The card allows you to start your turn void of spell and traps:

  1. Activate the card and gain your counter.
  2. Now set a Threatening Roar or other protective trap and wait.
  3. Activate the trap on your enemy's turn. You are protecting your card and freeing up the spell and trap zones.
  4. Rinse and repeat, and you will gain an instant win victory.

2. Jackpot 7

I actually run a very successful Jackpot 7 deck and love playing it. The basic concept of getting the win is to get your opponent to activate effects that allow you to send Jackpot 7, a spell card, from your deck to the grave where it is banished. It sounds crazy because once the opponent MSTs one, they are not going to be so quick to attack your back row. Luckily for us, we don't have to rely on that method to get Jackpot in the grave.

My method of choice is using creature swap to give my opponent Dark Scorpion Burglars and then swing into it with tokens or low-attack monsters. Sure, you will take some damage, but every time Scorpion inflicts damage, the person taking the damage gets to toss a spell to the grave from their deck.

Using tokens lets you swing multiple times and get the win condition out faster. For me, the best route is Scapeghosts:

  1. Let your opponent swing at it while it is in defense, flip it, and fill the board with black sheep tokens.
  2. On your next turn, summon Scorpions, swap it, and go it for the win condition.

Jackpot is such a fun and challenging deck to play because you have to have three types of cards in hand to activate the combo: You need a card that can swap scorpions or at the very least put it on the opponent's field, you need scorpions, and you need access to tokens or other low-damage monsters that will let you make three attacks on scorpions.

While I have had some success with this deck, it is not one that can run with the current meta at all. Too many negates can really cripple this deck before it gets going.

1. Exodia

Since its epic appearance in the anime series, Exodia has been one of the most iconic images associated with Yu-Gi-Oh!, and it remains a constant favorite of players. Exodia continues to evolve and gain support using various cards from various sets.

The way to win with Exodia is to get all five pieces of the creature into your hand. This includes the right leg, left leg, right arm, left arm, and the head known as Exodia the Forbidden One.

Getting the pieces by the luck of the draw will almost always result in a loss, so you have to be strategic in how you seek out the pieces. This deck will rely very, very heavily on draw and stall.

You want to get as many cards out of your deck and into your hand as you can but also keep your opponent from making attacks. Threatening Roar, Wobaku, and Swords of Revealing Light will accomplish this task. Relying on draw cards such as Pot of Extravagance, Jar of Greed, and even Shard of Greed can give you a much better chance of getting to that instant win victory and the opportunity to shout obliterate!

This strategy can be an expensive one if you go all out and rely on cards like Mystic Mine to get that stall, and cards like Pot of Extravagance can run right at $20 at the time of this article's writing. Unfortunately, the more money you put into Exodia, the more likely you are to have a winning deck.

Good Luck Getting the Instant Win!

There you have it: five instant win conditions to accent your Yu-Gi-Oh! game and bring you closer to being the best duelist you can be. I would love to hear from my readers on how they like to pursue instant win conditions. Until next time, happy dueling.