Jeremy enjoys dueling in between working as a chemical analyst and campus building manager.
What Are the Ancient Gear Monsters?
Composed of earth-attributed machine-type monsters, the Ancient Gear archetype dates all the way back to the Yu-Gi-Oh GX era, where it was featured in the anime by Dr. Crowler. You'd think a series that old wouldn't be competitively viable in modern dueling, but thanks to a steady stream of awesome support cards (plus an impressive base release), the Ancient Gear monsters remain a surprisingly deadly bunch.
Machine monsters already have several type-dependent tricks up their robotic sleeves, like the ATK-doubling Power Bond and Limiter Removal spells, but the Ancient Gear archetypes houses additional impressive effects to help you win duels in only a few turns. Yet with dozens of members and supports to choose from, which units reign supreme? These are the 10 best cards for your Ancient Gear Yu-Gi-Oh deck!
10. Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon
Many high-level Ancient Gear cards (like Ancient Gear Golem) can't be special summoned, a trend that Reactor Dragon helpfully avoids, letting you gimmick it from your deck or graveyard with other family effects. To normal summon the level 9 Reactor Dragon, you'll normally need two tributes, but since it can be special summoned, and thanks to the Geartown field spell we'll soon see, summoning Reactor is easier than it seems.
Not only does Reactor match a Blue-Eyes in power with 3000 ATK, it inflicts piercing damage to defense position monsters if it was tributed using an Ancient Gear creature. And if tributed with a Gadget monster, it can make two attacks during each battle phase; thankfully, these benefits can stack. But regardless of its tributes (or lack thereof), Reactor prevents your opponent from activating monster effects, spells, and traps when it attacks, and after the attack concludes, you can destroy a spell or trap on the field. Both are awesome traits that simultaneously shield your assault while annihilating your foe's cards. Remember, since you can attack twice when tributed using a Gadget, you can potentially destroy up to two spells/traps with each battle phase!
9. Ancient Gear Hunting Hound
Ancient Gear monsters house many high-level behemoths, but sometimes you'll want an easily-summoned monster who can be fielded without sacrifices. Enter Hunting Hound, whose 1000 ATK and DEF are rather low, but he'll inflict 600 automatic burn damage to your opponent when normal summoned. And he shares the characteristic Ancient Gear attacking effect that disables your adversary from using spells or traps whenever he attacks.
Best of all, Hunting Hound lets you (once per turn) fusion summon an Ancient Gear monster from your extra deck using cards from your hand or field as material. This mimics the classic Polymerization without actually needing it, avoiding the substantial hand loss of most fusion summons. We'll soon see that the Ancient Gear archetype wields several deadly fusion monsters, and Hunting Hound offers one of the best ways to access them while scoring some effect damage.
Geartown's a field spell that holds up surprisingly well despite its age. It lets both players tribute summon Ancient Gear monsters for one less sacrifice than usual, making it much easier to play your aces. Additionally, when destroyed and sent to the graveyard, you can special summon any Ancient Gear from your hand, deck, or field!
Remember that a few members can't be special summoned and thus can't be used with the effect, but this can still pull a plethora of awesome monsters straight from your deck, keeping your hand stocked. And note that the ability triggers regardless of whether it was you or your opponent who destroyed Geartown, so feel free to obliterate it yourself with cards like Malevolent Catastrophe or Ancient Gear Catapult.
7. Ancient Gear Reborn
Although you can only use it while you control no monsters, Ancient Gear Reborn offers one of the best graveyard revivals in the game, especially since it's reusable. Once per turn, while you control no monsters, you can revive an Ancient Gear creature from your graveyard, and it gains 200 ATK!
Not only does the special summoned unit enjoy a slight power increase, it isn't connected to Reborn, meaning even if your opponent destroys this continuous trap, any revived units will stay fielded (unlike comparable traps "Call of the Haunted" or "Oasis of Dragon Souls"). Finally, remember that traps can be activated on both players' turns, meaning you can easily recover from a field wipe regardless of whose move it is. One particularly useful monster to revive is...
6. Ancient Gear Wyvern
Another monster who doesn't need tributes, Wyvern lets you add any Ancient Gear card (including spells and traps) from your deck to your hand when either normal or special summoned. This makes it a handy target to recall with Geartown or Reborn since you'll still gain its entrance effect with special summons, but note that when you use the ability, you can no longer set cards for the rest of the turn, so be sure to place any traps or quick-play spells beforehand.
Beyond that, Wyvern wields a respectable 1700 ATK and a variant of the standard Ancient Gear effect, preventing your opponent from employing monster effects when it strikes. For searching out Ancient Gear cards of all types with two different summoning methods, Wyvern's a must-have for quickly pulling your best cards, and it makes good fusion/link fodder after filling your hand.
5. Ancient Gear Howitzer
One of several daunting Ancient Gear fusion monsters, Howitzer works well when you only have two Ancient Gears to use as material. When summoned, it bears a rather weak 1000 ATK and 1800 DEF, but also possesses the rare trait of being completely unaffected by other cards' effects, meaning your opponent can only really defeat it in battle. And if they elect to do so, and send Howitzer to your graveyard in the process, you get to special summon an Ancient Gear monster from your deck, ignoring its summoning conditions! This accesses any and all Ancient Gears from your deck list, even the ones that couldn't normally be special summoned.
As if that weren't enough, Howitzer furthers the Ancient Gear's burn damage abilities by being able to inflict 1000 damage each turn to your opponent. Combined with the pain from a Hunting Hound (and a few stall cards like Swords of Revealing Light to keep Howitzer alive), you'll be rapidly dwindling your foe's precious life points without even having to battle!
4. Ancient Gear Fortress
We've seen how many Ancient Gears defend themselves from spells/traps when they attack, but most are still vulnerable when initially summoned. Enter Ancient Gear Fortress, which forbids both the targeting and destruction of your Ancient Gear monsters by your opponent the turn they're summoned, granting an additional (albeit temporary) barrier that shields against just about everything. Not only that, your opponent can't activate cards or effects in response to your activated Ancient Gear cards, letting you cast without having to worry about pesky counter traps or other negations.
Finally, when Fortress is destroyed while in the spell/trap zone, you can special summon an Ancient Gear from your hand or graveyard, although you won't be able to special summon non-Ancient Gear monsters for the rest of the turn. This provides an excellent exit effect that stocks your field, and like Geartown, it triggers regardless of which player initiated Fortress's destruction.
3. Ancient Gear Fusion
The ultimate Ancient Gear boss monster we'll soon encounter offers unimaginable power, but needs a hefty four material monsters. To meet this insane requirement without completely depleting your hand, you could use cards like Future Fusion, but then you would have to wait two turns (and defend Fusion in the meantime).
A better way to summon your strongest titan is with Ancient Gear Fusion, one of the best fusion spells in the game. At first, it looks similar to the default Polymerization, fusion summoning an Ancient Gear monster using monsters from your hand or field. However, if you utilize a fielded Ancient Gear Golem or Ancient Gear Golem - Ultimate Pound, you can also access monsters from your deck, letting you pull your other three requirements without having to ransack your hand/field! And speaking of Ultimate Pound...
2. Ancient Gear Golem - Ultimate Pound
Ultimate Pound is essentially a modernized update of the original Ancient Gear Golem, and it can thankfully substitute for it when using Ancient Gear Fusion. Like its namesake, Ultimate Pound demolishes foes with a fierce 3000/3000 battle stats, and it can't normally be special summoned. You also inflict piercing battle damage to defense position enemies, particularly deadly since (up to twice per turn), you can discard a machine-type card after destroying a monster in battle to attack again.
Finally, if a fielded Ultimate Pound is destroyed by battle or card effect (including yours), you can search a Polymerization from your deck to your hand, and if you do, add another Ancient Gear from your graveyard to your hand, perfectly preparing you for a fusion summon comeback. An impressive force on its own, Ultimate Pound works well with Ancient Gear Fusion to summon your strongest behemoth...
1. Chaos Ancient Gear Giant
One of the deadliest monsters in the game, not only does Chaos Ancient Gear Giant brandish an astounding 4500 ATK and 3000 DEF, it's unaffected by spells/traps, making it almost impossible to remove. Of course, Gear Giants needs four material monsters, but we've already learned how cards like Future Fusion or Ancient Gear Fusion can lower this sizable entrance fee.
Gear Giant can also only be fusion summoned, so you won't be able to revive it (in the very rare cases it gets destroyed). Luckily, it prevents opposing monsters from using their effects during the battle phase, further diminishing their capabilities, and Gear Giant can attack all opposing monsters every turn. Finally, it inflicts piercing damage to opposing blockers.
Once you get Gear Giant out, odds are good you've won. A force I was lucky enough to receive in a card lot, Gear Giant remains the cornerstone of an Ancient Gear victory and is is surprisingly affordable for budget duelists; you can obtain your own copy for just over a dollar!
Future of Ancient Gear Monsters
Although the extra deck limitations that accompanied link summoning have made it more challenging to access multiple extra deck cards, link monsters alleviate the issue, and often you'll only need a single Ancient Gear boss at once anyway.
With awesome searches, revivals, defenses, and piercing damage, the Ancient Gears are a versatile bunch that excel on multiple fronts and remain one of my personal favorite series. Nostalgic yet competitive, Konami crafted a winner with these mechanical warriors, and I hope they continue to support our favorite mechheads in upcoming expansions. But for now, as we eagerly await future additions to the Ancient Gear list, vote for your favorite card and I'll see you at our next Yu-Gi-Oh countdown!
© 2018 Jeremy Gill
Torchlava on October 15, 2018:
If you read carefully, Ancient Gear Wyvern when it attacks can only stop only monster effects.
Note: I'm making the list below smaller but remember each name has the words "Ancient Gear" making it part of the arch-type. It simpler to just name them as their individual card names without repeating "Ancient Gear" over and over.
Monsters that can stop Spell/Traps when declaring an attack: Soldier, Golem, Gadgetron Dragon, Golem, Hydra, Hound, Beast, Engineer, Reactor, Megaton, Ultimate Golem, Frame, Toon Golem
Monsters that stop Monster effects when declaring an attack:
Reactor, Hydra, Wyvern, Chaos (this guy just stops any opponent's monster effect, even in hand/grave)
Monsters that gain the Ancient Gear effect:
Monsters with certain immunities:
Chaos (Spell/Traps), Howitzer (Everything)
Monsters for some reason don't have the Ancient Gear effect:
Chimera, Ancient Gear (card), Box, Cannon, Ultimate Pound
Notable Spells and Traps for Ancient Gear:
Fortress, Castle, Catapult, Reborn, Fusion, Workshop, Tank, Cross-Dimensional Duel (This card should've the name "Ancient Gear" in it making it easier to use it), Geartown (this card should've also have a errata so it can be also considered an "Ancient Gear" card)
Overall I love the Ancient Gear arch-type. I don't care if it's 20 years from now I will always main Ancient Gears. Sadly they don't get much recognition and now currently becoming obsolete over time. While very powerful when in the Battle Phase, during the main phase 1 or 2 they are very weak and their only protection is Fortress. Sure, Fortress is a continuous card but it needs more to compare to meta decks. Understandably, Ancient Gears are suppose to be anti-meta but we know that rarely anti-meta decks that goes up to meta decks equally. Ancient Gears as a whole is a very cool idea; Roman mythology, Romanian mechanical technology, futuristic, and steam punk. Not only people will find these cards fun to play but they can also start educating themselves on basic ruling as well on each card's mythic resemblance.
Anything else game-wise, Ancient Gears are always in my point of view (been playing the deck for 11 years at the time of this post) are always benched as an underdog; never surmounting to how the animation view them as, "Legendary". Blue-Eyes and Dark Magician has more powerful support over this arch-type. Even though they started in the same generation Ancient Gears always gets left in the dust.
What Ancient Gears need: they need some quick effects that can be activated on field or in grave or from hand that is in response to what an opponent does or can activate preventing them a certain action, the restrictions on what happens when they get destroyed or removed from field needs to be more lax, the "cannot be Special Summon" I don't mind. As of now they have Catapult and Howitzer to go through that clause. There also need some card effect to allow them to stay on field but have some kind of defensive power or able to utilize their offensive power to protect them from effects that either send cards to a different destination or card position. Since the arch-type is thought through out as an anti-meta deck it needs more anti-meta support that can close down any future problems or cards.
From this it will gain more recognition and now cards on both sides when dueling will be slower and every single tournament wont just be filled with meta decks.
I would love to keep talking about my favorite arch-type but I must stop. Thank you Jeremy Gill for talking about my favorite arch-type and to those to still play the arch-type.
P.S. I am still currently and will forever be creating an Ancient Gear deck that can one day stand up to meta face to face.