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5 Yu-Gi-Oh! Cards That Are Banned Forever (Probably)

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

Discover some Yu-Gi-Oh! cards you won't be able to play with anytime soon (or ever).

Discover some Yu-Gi-Oh! cards you won't be able to play with anytime soon (or ever).

The Dreaded Yu-Gi-Oh! Ban List

I will be the first to admit that I have lost sleep the night before the ban list drops. Competitive players live in fear of the dreaded ban hammer hitting cards in their prized decks or—even worse—not hitting the decks that are owning the current format. The ban list has a strange and profound ability to cripple some decks while making others dang near unstoppable.

After Kanami drops the list, we are often left with so many questions to ponder. Why are some cards banned? Why limit Into The Void and Card of Demise when Sam is doing so good with his . . . okay, so maybe that question was just me. We do have to question why the hammer drops on some cards and others, like the dreaded Dragoon, remain a mainstay in the game despite their overpowered nature. There are questionable cards placed on the limited and banned section; Upstart Goblin is a great example.

Some Cards Are Rightfully Banned

There are, however, some cards that belong on the ban list and truthfully should probably have never seen play in the first place. These cards are historic in some ways, and, at one point, they were a major force to reckon with in the competitive game play of Yu-Gi-Oh!.

While I do often find myself questioning cards that appear on the list of doom (did I mention Card of Demise and Into The Void?), I can clearly see why some cards are forever entombed on the banned list and why Kanami would keep them there endlessly.

Delinquent Duo was a nightmare for players.

Delinquent Duo was a nightmare for players.

5. Delinquent Duo

Admit it! You pictured Batman and Robin running amok in Gotham City. You did it, you know you did.

Here's the card's ability: "Pay 1000 life points, randomly select and discard 1 card from your opponent's hand. Your opponent then selects and discards another card from their hand."

This was often called the first turn nuke play and was something that even seasoned players dreaded seeing their opponent unleash. For a mere 1K life points, you have forced your opponent to go minus two! Hand advantage is such a prime aspect of the Yu-Gi-Oh! game and especially a factor for early turns, and here you have a card that takes hand advantage away and cripples early game strategy just for paying 1K life points.

I can also see how in the current game this card would help an opponent. With decks like Zombies and Machina wanting cards in the grave, you would be giving them what they need to start their engine and set up a formidable board against you. If you drop Duo against a Machina player, you risk Citidel and Ruinforce finding their way into the graveyard where they are meant to be anyways. The card can be a double-edged sword, but against most decks, it would be a crippling blow—and at three, it would be an instant win in many ways.

4. Card of Safe Return

The flavor text reads: "When a monster is special summoned to your field from your graveyard, you can draw a card."

As a one-time-use normal spell, this would not be a whole lot of trouble, but as a continuous spell card, you are looking at certain decks getting maximum draw power just by doing what their deck already does.

Decks like Lightsworn, Zombies, and Machina are going to gain mad plusses, and there is just a plethora of ways they can do it. Some archetypes would be able to draw into any card they needed because they simply want cards summoned out of the graveyard.

Let me use my Super Defense Machina deck to explain this effect.

  1. So I have Machina Fortress in grave. I use Super Defense Robot Elefan to special it out of the graveyard to the field. I draw a card.
  2. Now I will use Elefan and a level 4 monster to special summon Ruinforce and draw a card.
  3. I use Magnet Reverse to bring a Citidal from grave to field, and I draw another card.
  4. Now I will drop Monster Reborn and, yep, draw yet another card.

In one turn, I went plus-4. As if having Machina Fortress, Citidel, and Ruinforce on field was not enough, I probably drew into even more support to utilize the original spell card. It is crazy how deep into a deck you can go.

Painful Choice was a great card in its prime, but the ban hammer found it quickly!

Painful Choice was a great card in its prime, but the ban hammer found it quickly!

3. Painful Choice

The flavor text reads: "Select 5 cards from your deck and show them to your opponent. Your opponent selects one card among them. Add that card to your hand and discard the remaining cards to the graveyard."

In today's Yu-Gi-Oh! game, having cards in the graveyard is not a bad thing at all. In fact, many decks drive the game with graveyard monsters. Many cards activate in grave, so this card is a win-win in many ways. Having the ability to get four of your cards in grave is ridiculous, and this card is so broken because it does just that.

Again, certain archetypes are reaping massive benefits from this card. I know my deck would be epic! I could flash Ruinforce, Citidel, Fortress, Resavager, and Gearframe and just wait for shenanigans to develop. I am sure many decks can do just that. The card sounds like it has negative aspects, but it really does not.

2. Pot of Greed

The ability is: "Draw 2 Cards From Your Deck."

What! That's it! No cost, no penalty. Just two free cards from your deck to your hand. It is no wonder this one got banned and will probably never see another day of gameplay. Today, Pot of Greed is just an amazing collectible.

Imagine if you ran three of these bad boys in your deck. Plus-6 instantly! For no cost, you get free cards. Burn and Exodia decks ran wild during Pot of Greed's heyday. Exodia was as dangerous as Godzilla attacking a Lego plant after just attacking a Red Bull plant.

Pot of Greed could easily shift the advantage of a duel to its holder, and it allowed for easy draw power to get outs for common cards that were hindrances.

1. Victory Dragon

Here's the card ability: "This card cannot be special summoned. To tribute summon this card you must tribute 3 dragon type monsters. If this card attacks your opponent directly and reduces their life points to 0 you win the match."

Wait. Did you catch those last four words? Not game. Match. Let me break it down.

Game one of swiss, and you are playing a Blue Eyes player. He has done some damage, and now he pulls his three dragons from the field and lays down this monster and goes in for the kill. Good game and let's side deck. Wrong!

When a player wins by way of Victory Dragon, swiss is over. No game two or three. They have claimed victory of the match and moved on to the next round of swiss victorious while you wonder what the hell just happened.

Victory Dragon was a major thorn in its early arrival. The only solution was to scoop prior to the final blow being landed and then hope you could side Dragon Capture Jar and stop the summon of this beast.