Jeremy enjoys dueling in between working as a chemical analyst and campus building manager.
Drawing in Yu-Gi-Oh
Like many collectible card games, the winner of a Yu-Gi-Oh duel is often determined by who can riffle through their deck fastest. The more cards you have, the more counters and plays you can make, drastically improving your odds of victory.
Of course, actually attaining these cards isn't easy, as most effects that provide extra draws force you to wait or pay some sort of cost. Still, over the years we've encountered plenty of potent draw engines to gain hand advantage and seize the win through sheer numbers. Whether searching for the Exodia pieces or simply trying to gain a better hand, here are 10 of the best draw cards in Yu-Gi-Oh!
10. Star Drawing
As a level-4 monster, Star Drawing can be normal summoned without having to tribute, and it bears a decent 1600 ATK. However, it really shines when used as material for an xyz summon. You can use Drawing for a rank-4 summon as normal, but its first effect also lets you employ it in a rank 5, helping attain stronger creatures without having to field as many level-5 units (which require a tribute).
Whether used for rank 4 or 5, the monster summoned with Drawing's effect comes with the added ability of letting you draw once upon its entrance, replenishing your hand and further increasing Drawing's versatility.
9. Shaddoll Beast
The Shaddoll archetype members work surprisingly well even outside their kin thanks to their generalized effects, and savvy duelists will note they share Dark Magician's spellcaster type and dark attribute. Beast, here, is a level-5 monster, meaning that you'll need to sacrifice to summon or set it (unless you use gimmicks like pendulum), but it offers two great draw-increasing effects.
If flipped after first being set, Beast lets you draw two cards, then discard one, a diluted yet still impressive version of the long-banned Graceful Charity spell. Also, if Beast is destroyed by a card effect and sent to the graveyard, you can simply draw a card.
You can only use one of Beast's effects per turn, but combined, they can really improve your hand, and its destruction draw triggers even if it was your card that initiated its demise. Factor in workable battle stats and you've got one heck of a flip monster.
8. Number 103: Ragnazero
Rank-4 xyz monsters are easy to field since their level-4 materials can be normal summoned without tributes. Ragnazero here accepts any level-4s as fodder, and it arrives with a sweet 2400 ATK. Even better, as a quick effect on either turn, you can detach one material to destroy an opposing attack position monster whose ATK is different than its original value, simultaneously drawing a card.
It's a once-per-turn ability, but over two turns, you can activate it twice, both removing two threats and drawing two cards. If combined with the extra boost from Star Drawing, Ragnazero can net you a total of three cards while eliminating opposing monsters! Even once its materials are spent, this fairy creature's power lets it serve as a simple beatstick, further putting pressure on your adversary.
7. Bountiful Artemis
With 1600 ATK and 1700 DEF, Artemis can tank weaker hits in either battle format, but its real strength lies in its support for counter traps; whenever a counter is resolved, you immediately draw a card. With no pesky once-per-turn effect, this can net you multiple draws in a single move, and it also triggers when your opponent plays a counter trap!
Without getting too deep into the game's mechanics, counters are already pretty formidable since they operate at spell-speed 3, meaning they can only be responded to by other counter traps. Artemis further increases their lethality by replenishing your arsenal whenever you (or your opponent) uses one. Stock your deck with fierce counters like Black Horn of Heaven, Solemn Judgment, and Chaos Trap Hole to make good use of Artemis's buff.
6. Airknight Parshath
Yet another fairy-type that's been with us for many years, Airknight Parshath needs a tribute to normal summon, and it bears a lukewarm ATK of 1900. However, not only does it inflict piercing battle damage to defense position enemies, it lets you draw a card whenever it inflicts battle damage to your opponent!
Parshath works particularly well with sudden ATK boosts offered with cards like Kunai with Chain or Honest; your opponent will attack Parshath, confident of victory, only to have their monster destroyed as you draw a card. Airknight also has an upgrade in Neo-Parshath the Sky Paladin, who needs more tributes but offers higher ATK, especially when used with the field spell Sanctuary in the Sky.
5. Pot of Dichotomy
Konami's always had a weird history of making overpowered ceramics, from the forbidden Pot of Greed to the banned Morphing Jar. Luckily, we've also seen several legal "Pot of" cards, one of the best being Dichotomy.
Dichotomy works similarly to its banned counterpart Pot of Avarice, but with a few tweaks. You shuffle three monsters (as opposed to five) from your graveyard into your deck and draw two cards, but the three monsters must have different types. Also, you can only activate Dichotomy at the start of your first main phase, and you can't conduct your battle phase the turn you use it.
Despite its restrictions, Dichotomy offers one of few ways to gain an extra card without having to wait, and it can help return defeated units to your deck/extra deck, guarding against mill losses and prepping for new summons.
4. Royal Magical Library
Another oldie but goldie, Royal Magical Library wields a nice DEF of 2000, but sometimes you'll actually want to summon it in attack position (despite its ATK of 0) to have it face-up without needing to manually shift its position, letting you start acquiring counters for its effect. You see, Library gains a spell counter whenever a spell card is activated, holding a maximum of three, and you can remove three of its counters to draw a card.
In spell-heavy decks, particularly Exodia and Spellbook structures, Library can provide three or more cards in a single turn. And remember, it'll also gain counters whenever your opponent activates a spell. To keep it alive, use defense measures like Swords of Revealing Light or Messenger Peace, both of which are spells that not only shield you, but help acquire counters and thus more draws. Also note that cards placed in pendulum scales count as continuous spells and will also contribute to Library's quota.
3. Tethys, Goddess of Light
The Goddess of Light needs a tribute to normal summon, but she enters the fray with an appreciated 2400 ATK and a decent 1800 DEF. Even better, whenever you draw a card or cards (except for the damage step), you can reveal one fairy monster among the card(s) you drew to draw again. And if that monster is also a fairy, you can repeat the process over and over as long as your luck holds out.
Tethys herself is a fairy, so drawing duplicate copies of herself will activate her effect, and she can really load your hand if you build your deck around the trait. Essentially, this is basically Heart of the Underdog but for fairy monsters, preventing you from having to stock your deck with undesired effect-less normal monsters for Underdog's ability.
2. Balance of Judgment
Balance of Judgment works best when your opponent takes a big lead. When activated, Judgment compares the number of cards in your hand and field to the number of cards your opponent controls, then draws you cards equal to their surplus.
If your opponent manages to wipe out most of your field and/or hand with mass removals like Raigeki or Evenly Matched, use Judgment to draw even the odds and prepare for a comeback. You can only activate a single copy per turn, but you should only need one at a time anyway.
1. Pot of Desires
As of this writing, Desires appears in a huge number of competitive decks for its awesome powers. You draw two cards for the low price of banishing ten cards face-down from the top of your deck. Unless you're facing a mill strategy designed specifically to ransack your deck, losing ten cards isn't usually enough to make you worry about a deck-out, making it a negligible trade-off for a great benefit.
If you're still worried about losing too many cards, you can increase your deck's size from the minimum of 40 (which most duelists use) up to the maximum of 60, offering a little extra insulation against mill losses.
What else can I say? I've used Desires myself to gain an early advantage, and as of this writing, it remains surprisingly unrestricted. Despite its vast prowess, Desires is surprisingly cheap, costing under five dollars, and it's an awesome card that any competitive duelist will want in their arsenal. I definitely recommend snagging this one while it's still affordable.
Pot of Greed
Draws two cards.
Rolls a six-face die after you select two numbers, and draws you that many cards if you roll either number.
Card of Safe Return
Draws a card whenever a monster is special summoned from your graveyard.
Future of Draw Cards in Yu-Gi-Oh
Dueling has evolved, but the importance of drawing more cards faster hasn't. Each new addition to your hand improves your odds of victory, and these guys can give you that early-game lead your opponent may never usurp.
For more draw power, you can view our original draw list here, but for now, as we eagerly await Konami's next batch of hand-improving draw engines, vote for your favorite card and I'll see you at our next Yu-Gi-Oh countdown!
© 2018 Jeremy Gill