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Top 10 Cards for Your "Umi" Yu-Gi-Oh Deck

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A Legendary Ocean

A Legendary Ocean

What Is "Umi" in Yu-Gi-Oh?

One of the oldest field spells in the game, water-boosting Umi nonetheless stays relevant thanks to its myriad supports and numerous cards treated as Umi; the best yet is the above Legendary Ocean, which increases the ATK/DEF of water monsters by 200 and reduces their level by one (letting you normal summon level 5s without tribute).

More importantly, many ocean-based cards reward Umi usage with powerful restrictions that really lock your opponent out of their plays—which reign supreme? These are the ten best cards for your Umi water deck in Yu-Gi-Oh!

Whitefish Salvage

Whitefish Salvage

White Mirror

White Mirror

10. Whitefish Salvage/White Mirror

Purpose: Card advantage for fish decks

If you're using fish-type monsters, you want these spells. Salvage is a continuous spell that once per turn lets you add a fish from graveyard to hand, and if destroyed, it lets you summon or add a fish from deck.

Meanwhile, White Mirror revives a level 4 or lower fish from graveyard just like Monster Reborn, but also lets you add a copy of it from deck to hand. If you're using lots of fish (and you probably are), try a copy or two or each.

Ice Barrier

Ice Barrier

The Ice-Bound God

The Ice-Bound God

9. Ice Barrier/The Ice-Bound God

Purpose: Negating enemy effects

Here's a pair of water-based traps with nice graveyard bonuses. Ice Barrier changes an attacking opposing monster's ATK to 0, negates its effects, and prevents its battle position from changing. You can banish it from GY to send a level 5 or higher water monster from deck to GY and add a water from GY to hand, but you'll only be able to special summon water monsters until the end of the next turn.

Meanwhile, Ice-Bound God targets a monster, prevents it from attacking, and negates its effects as long as two or more water monsters are on the field (you can rig this with the effect of xyz monster Stealth Kragen, who makes all monsters water). You can also set Ice-Bound from GY (banishing when it leaves the field) when you summon a level 5 or higher water monster, eventually gaining two uses.

Sea Stealth Attack

Sea Stealth Attack

Sea Stealth II

Sea Stealth II

8. Sea Stealth Attack/Sea Stealth II

Purpose: Keeping Umi active, protection

Sea Stealth Attack lets you activate an Umi from hand/graveyard, ensuring you always have your barriers up. It also lets you banish a water monster until the end phase to prevent your face-up spells/traps from being destroyed that turn, and this also protects that monster from removal. Finally, Stealth Attack automatically destroys any monster your level 5 or higher water monster fights.

Meanwhile, Sea Stealth 2 is always treated as Umi (so it can be activated from graveyard by Stealth Attack), prevents your water monsters from being targeted by non-water effects, and it summons a water normal monster or one that mentions Umi from your hand/graveyard at each battle phase, destroying it at the end of that phase.

Both are crucial for keeping our upcoming Umi lockdowns active and protecting your field while punishing opponents who don't include enough spell/trap removal.

Buzzsaw Shark

Buzzsaw Shark

7. Buzzsaw Shark

Purpose: Easy rank 4 summons

Buzzsaw is a fish, so it syngergizes with prior Whitefish cards, and it can summon a water monster from deck with the same level as one you control, but a different name (basically, you'll summon a different level 4 to overlay them into an xyz monster).

This restricts you to water and xyz summons for the rest of the turn, but it's still an incredibly easy way to get out your crucial plays like Stealth Kragen or Bahamut Shark, especially since Buzzsaw can be treated as a level 3 or 5 when summoning a water monster, further increasing your options.

Fish Sonar

Fish Sonar

6. Fish Sonar

Purpose: Keycard search

Sonar finds a water normal monster or one that mentions Umi, then if you control Umi, lets you summon a water normal monster from deck. This ensures you have all pieces for your Umi lockdown ready, and thanks to the bonus effect, might make it worthwhile to run a simple water normal monster, especially if you're playing the Phantasm Spiral Dragon strategy. Even if not, you can get a relatively-strong normal monster like Terrorking Salmon or Space Mambo.

Salvage

Salvage

5. Salvage

Purpose: Recover from graveyard

Salvage simply adds two water monsters with 1500 or less ATK from graveyard to hand. It's as easy as that; two cards for one, and remember that extra deck monsters can also be chosen.

Abyss Shark

Abyss Shark

4. Abyss Shark

Purpose: Swarming and card advantage

Abyss Shark combos with fish supports, and can summon itself from hand if all monsters you control are water. Then, you get to add any other level 3, 4, or 5 water monster from deck to hand. This is essential for swarming the field while maintaining advantage, and as a bonus, you'll also double the first battle damage your "Number" monster inflicts that turn if it fights another monster.

Number 4: Stealth Kragen

Number 4: Stealth Kragen

Stealth Kragen Spawn

Stealth Kragen Spawn

3. Stealth Kragen/Stealth Kragen Spawn

Purpose: Removal

Kragen needs two levels 4 water materials, and while not particularly strong at 1900, he makes all monsters on the field water. Even better, as a quick effect during any main phase, he can once per turn destroy any opposing monster and inflict damage equal to half its ATK to your opponent.

Plus, if your xyz summoned Kragen hits the graveyard, it then summons Kragen Spawns from your extra deck equal to the materials it had (which should be two), then attaches up to one water monster from graveyard to each. If you attach Left-Hand or Right-Hand Shark, you can protect your Spawn from battle and effect destruction. Spawn share similar effects to Kragen, able to destroy an opposing water monster during the main phase (no effect damage this time though) and will revive a Stealth Kragen if destroyed and reattach a water material.

Electric Jellyfish

Electric Jellyfish

2. Electric Jellyfish

Purpose: Swarming and negation

Jellyfish is weak enough to qualify for Salvage at 1400 ATK, and easily special summons a water monster from hand by sending an Umi from hand, deck, or field to the graveyard (which gets it ready to be recovered with Sea Stealth Attack).

From there, as long as you control an Umi, Jellyfish can once per turn negate a monster or spell effect, then permanently gain 600 ATK/DEF, so if not taken care of soon, it'll quickly grow too big to be easily destroyed in battle.

You'll want to use either Jellyfish's summon effect or the level-reduction of Legendary Ocean to play…

Ocean Dragon Lord - Kairyu-Shin

Ocean Dragon Lord - Kairyu-Shin

1. Ocean Dragon Lord—Kairyu-Shin

Purpose: Summoning lockdown

Kairyu-Shin starts at level 5, so you'll want to cheat him into play with an effect, but once out, he has decent starting ATK of 2000, and while Umi is active, only lets each player control one non-water monster! This absolutely devastates the combos of most decks and forces players to sacrifice down if they already control non-waters. Plus, Kairyu-Shin is surprisingly useful for advantage as well, once per turn finding an Umi, Kairyu-Shin spell/trap, or Sea Stealth card from deck.

Water Decks Are Good Now: So Use Them!

To be honest, before recent support, water decks were struggling. But with their new lockdowns, they've become far more competitive and one of the game's premier control themes. Many of their best keycards can be found in the booster "Legendary Duelists: Duels from the Deep", which you can get a whole box of for around $35. There are also dedicated water archetypes like the Marincess or Frog family to consider, but for now, share your favorite attribute and I'll see you at our next YGO countdown!

© 2022 Jeremy Gill