Jeremy enjoys dueling in between working as a chemical analyst and campus building manager.
What Are the Superheavy Samurai Monsters?
The Superheavy Samurai archetype consists of several earth-attributed machine-type monsters whose effects often depend on not having any spells or traps in your graveyard. That's right, to best wield these creatures, you'll either have to forgo spells/traps, or remove them from your graveyard—more on that later.
Luckily, Superheavy monsters compensate for this restriction with a plethora of interesting effects. Many can attack from defense position, and a variety of tuners, pendulums, and synchro monsters helps you access your extra deck. But with dozens of formidable Japanese combatants, which Samurai reign supreme? These are the ten best Superheavy cards in Yu-Gi-Oh!
10. Superheavy Samurai Big Benkei
The bulkiest non-synchro Superheavy warrior can change its battle position when special summoned, useful if it was forced into its less-desirable attack format with cards like Call of the Haunted. Benkei simply allows all your Superheavy Samurai monsters, including itself, to attack when in defense position, using the DEF stat for damage calculation.
Many Samurai already possess this trait, but Benkei offers it to those that don't, and it makes great use of its own effect with a whopping 3500 DEF. The Samurai trademark of attacking while in defense position also helps avoid common counters like Drowning Mirror Force, adding an appreciated safeguard to your offensive, and Benkei is one of few members whose effects won't be weakened if there are spells or traps in your graveyard.
9. Superheavy Samurai Fist
Benkei's strength is great, but under normal circumstances, you'll need two sacrifices to tribute summon it; Fist here can be normal summoned without tributing. Its errs on the weaker side, but as a tuner, it's great for synchro summoning your boss monsters. Plus, Fist's effects lets you synchro during the battle phase (normally impossible) using itself and other material(s) after one of your Superheavy monsters destroys a monster in battle.
This ability lets you attack with Fist's, your other material, and your new synchro monster in the same turn, rapidly depleting your foe's life points. Also, while you have no spells/traps in your graveyard, you can reduce the level of a Superheavy monster you control by one to revive Fist from the graveyard, though you can't special summon non-Superheavy monsters for the rest of the turn. Unlike many monster rejuvenations, this effect doesn't come with the pesky "but banish it when it leaves the field" errata, meaning you're free to exploit the tactic multiple times (once per turn, though) across several moves!
8. Superheavy Samurai General Coral
Pendulum monster General Coral offers a (desirably) high pendulum scale of 8, although this alters to a less-useful 4 when you have spells/traps in your graveyard, so be careful when deck-building. Also, in the pendulum zone, it once per turn lets your Superheavy monster that just destroyed an opponent's unit in battle attack again immediately (even if Coral is later destroyed), a useful way to swing twice with your strongest titans.
When instead fielded as a monster, Coral lets you tribute up to two Superheavy creatures (possibly including itself) to draw that number of cards, a great way to fill your graveyard while replenishing your hand. A nice ability, but note it's once per turn and bears the standard Superheavy condition of having no spells/traps in your discard pile.
7. Superheavy Samurai Scales
For its level of 4, Scales wields a respectable DEF of 1800, and it can be normal summoned or set without tributes. Additionally, if your opponent controls two or more monsters and you control none, you can special summon Scales from your hand, saving your normal summon for another monster.
Even better, when either normal or special summoned, Scales lets you revive a Superheavy member from your graveyard. This offers one of the best monster graveyard-revivals in the game; it's usable with two types of summoning, the reborn creature can hit the field in either battle position, and there's no pesky "has its effects negated" or "destroy it at end of turn" ability commonly seen with this type of trait. It also avoids the once per turn condition, letting you freely revive multiple monsters if you can field multiple Scales.
6. Superheavy Samurai Thief
Surprisingly weak for its level of 10, Thief would normally require two sacrifices to tribute summon, but you can freely special summon it from your hand while your graveyard lacks any spells/traps, although you'll only be able to special summon Superheavy monsters for the rest of the turn.
True to its name, you can sacrifice Thief to activate one of its handy pilfering effects. You may either destroy an opponent's spell/trap and set it to your field or destroy an opposing pendulum scale and activate it in your pendulum zone. Even though their card will be placed to your area, since it still belongs to your opponent, it'll go to their graveyard when spent, offering some much-needed spell/trap access to the Superheavies without ruining their graveyard setup.
5. Superheavy Samurai Warlord Susanowo
Needing a machine-type tuner and one or more Superheavy non-tuners for its synchro summon, Warlord Susanowo provides a great extra deck option when your material monsters' levels add up to ten. Like Benkei, Warlord can attack while in DEF position, putting its incredible 3800 DEF to good use.
Not only that, Susanowo can (once per turn on both players' turns) set a spell/trap from your opponent's graveyard to your field, banishing it when it leaves the field. This not only seizes cards without contaminating your graveyard, but it also exiles units to prevent your opponent from recycling them. Some spells/traps only work with specific monster archetypes, so try to thieve the generalized units first; luckily, you can quickly annihilate your opponent's forces with cards like...
4. Superheavy Samurai Ninja Sarutobi
Ninja Sarutobi works similarly to Warlord, although it's level 8 and slightly weaker, not that its 2800 DEF (which it can attack with) is anything to sneeze at. While you have no spells/traps in your graveyard, Sarutobi can once per turn on both players' turns destroy a spell/trap, then inflict 500 effect damage to your opponent.
A reusable quick-effect that destroys a spell/trap on both turns and tosses in some nice burn damage? Yes, please. Warlord will have plenty of fodder to recycle thanks to Sarutobi's ongoing destruction, but you can also use the immediate mass-wipe of...
3. Superheavy Samurai Ogre Shutendoji
2500 DEF is again weaker than 2800, but it's not a bad score, especially considering how Ogre Shutendoji's level of 6 is typically easier to attain. And like its peers, Ogre can attack while in defense position.
But its real treat lies in its entrance effect: when synchro summoned with a spell/trapless graveyard, Ogre can destroy all spells and traps your opponent controls! That's right, you're basically using the effect of the long-banned Harpie's Feather Duster magic in a perfectly legal card, and since it activates automatically upon entrance, the ability will resolve even if Ogre was instantly destroyed with a card like Bottomless Trap Hole. Since his main appeal triggers right when he enters, you don't have to worry as much about keeping Ogre alive, letting you focus on guarding other swordsmen.
2. Superheavy Samurai Helper
Helper serves as one of the best hand traps in the game, albeit only for the Samurai archetype, with an effect similar to the infamous Honest card. When a defense position monster you control battles (on either player's turn), you can send Helper from your hand to the graveyard to boost your battling monster's DEF by that of another Superheavy Samurai you control. As we're about to see, this can max out a monstrous 4800 power increase, overwhelming even the strongest Yu-Gi-Oh monsters while landing a heap of battle damage.
And that's not all: when you're wide open, and your opponent's monster declares a direct attack, you can banish Helper from your graveyard to special summon another graveyarded Superheavy Samurai. Whether empowering its kin or reviving a blocker, Helper's a versatile card you'll want in any Superheavy deck, and it's great for reusing the ultimate Superheavy gargantuan...
1. Superheavy Samurai Steam Train King
Steam Train King wields the rare highest level in dueling, 12, and needs at least three material monsters: one Superheavy tuner and two or more Superheavy non-tuners. However, it can attack while in defense position, and it bears an absolutely enormous DEF of 4800, making it one of dueling's strongest monsters in sheer power. With it, you can also (once per turn) discard up to two cards to target and destroy that many opposing cards, a handy way to eliminate any type of threat.
Best of all, Train King changes the entire nature of a Superheavy theme since it can once per turn banish all spells/traps from all graveyards, inflicting 200 damage to your opponent for each. This simultaneously lands some solid effect damage while resetting your graveyard to its desired state, making it much safer to incorporate spells/traps into your Superheavy build. Not only the best Superheavy unit but one of the best monsters in the entire game, Train King is an absolute must that often signals game over. I've used him to great effect in my own Superheavy structures, and thankfully, despite his power, Train King is surprisingly affordable, often costing less than a dollar!
Future of Superheavy Monsters
Admittedly, the Superheavy series took a hit with the changes implemented alongside link summoning, making it harder to access multiple synchro monsters at once. Still, this dampening also applies to your opponent, and savvy duelists will incorporate some link monsters to soften the blow and keep their massive mechanical monsters battle-ready.
From attacking in defense position to stealing spells/traps to simply wielding colossal combat stats, the Superheavy series reward players willing to work with their spell/trap restrictions, and Train King offers an awesome way to circumvent their signature disadvantage. But for now, as we eagerly await Konami's next expansion of Superheavy monsters, vote for your favorite robotic champion, and I'll see you at our next Yu-Gi-Oh countdown!
Questions & Answers
Question: Is there a Superheavy Samurai link monster in Yu-Gi-Oh?
Answer: Yes, "Superheavy Samurai Scarecrow", but he's a mixed bag; it might be better to use generic link monsters that offer more arrows (and thus extra deck zones) than the single one Scarecrow provides.
© 2018 Jeremy Gill