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Top 10 Defensive Yu-Gi-Oh Cards

Jeremy enjoys dueling in between working as a chemical analyst and campus building manager.

Defense in Yu-Gi-Oh

When playing the Yu-Gi-Oh card game, your main objective is to reduce your opponent's Life Points to zero. The best way to do that involves summoning powerful monsters to attack your opponent until the job is done.

But all too often, duelists forget to give themselves a safety net if their all-out offensive fails. So today, we'll review some of the best monsters, spells, and traps to guard yourself against your opponent's attacks!

One Day of Peace

One Day of Peace

10. One Day of Peace

First up, a magic card that has both you and your opponent draw a card, then neither player will take damage until the end of your opponent's next turn.

One Day of Peace is a great way to add to your hand and protect you, but remember it also guards your opponent. To get around this, play it during your Main Phase 2 (which comes after your Battle Phase) so that you can attack and deal damage on your turn before utilizing the defensive magic.

Note that this card not only protects from battle damage, but effect damage as well!

Solemn Wishes

Solemn Wishes

9. Solemn Wishes

Here's a simple one. Solemn Wishes grants you 500 Life Points whenever you draw. You draw a card during each of your turns, so over time, 500 will become thousands of Life Points, giving you a much larger margin of error.

This works great with cards that give additional draws. Use it with the continuous magic Supply Squad, which (once per turn) lets you draw one card when one of your monsters is destroyed, to form a powerful combo of drawing and replenishing life.

Golden Ladybug

Golden Ladybug

8. Golden Ladybug

Similar to Solemn Wishes, Golden Ladybug can be activated from your hand once per turn to give 500 Life Points. Again, it's a great way to replenish your precious Life Points.

Golden Ladybug can't combo with draws like Solemn Wishes can, but because it remains in your hand, it's much harder for your opponent to destroy. In addition, you can set this monster in defense position to block an attack if things get desperate.



7. Marshmallon

Marshmallon won't be defeating many opponents with its measly 300 attack and 500 defense, but it makes a great wall against attacks. Its effect prevents it from being destroyed in battle, no matter how high your foe's attack is. Until your opponent can destroy Marshmallon with an effect, you'll be well defended against their assault.

Marshmallon also has an effect to inflict 1000 points of effect damage when it's flipped over from face-down defense position!

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Metal Reflect Slime

Metal Reflect Slime

6. Metal Reflect Slime

Metal Reflect Slime is simple, but effective. When activated, this trap turns into a monster with zero attack but a whopping 3000 defense. Few monsters can overcome that amazing wall. Also, once summoned, this card's monster Level is 10, making it useful for Xyz summoning Rank-10 monsters, or for Ritual Summoning high-Level beasts.

Metal Reflect Slime forms an impressive barrier, and because it's a trap card, it doesn't use up your Normal Summon during your turn.

Battle Fader

Battle Fader

5. Battle Fader

With zero attack and defense, Battle Fader is the weakest of the weak.. in combat. But its awesome effect can make or break a duel. When a direct attack is declared against you, activate this card from your hand to end your opponent's Battle Phase and summon this card.

Battle Fader not only prevents your opponent from attacking for a turn but allows you to summon during your opponent's turn. Use this summoned monster to either block one attack next turn, or sacrifice it to call forth a powerful monster.

Scrap-Iron Scarecrow

Scrap-Iron Scarecrow

4. Scrap-Iron Scarecrow

A personal favorite, Scrap-Iron Scarecrow, unlike most traps, is reusable. Once per turn, it can negate an opponent's attack. Then, this card is once again set in your spell/trap zone, ready to be used next turn.

Scrap-Iron Scarecrow can only block one attack per turn, but its ability to do so repeatedly gives it incredible potential.

Messenger of Peace

Messenger of Peace

3. Messenger of Peace

First, the bad. Messenger of Peace drains 100 Life Points from you each turn it's active. But that's a very low price to pay for its ability: Monsters with 1500 or more attack cannot attack. Only the weakest of the weak will be able to battle, and it shouldn't be hard to repel them using a monster with solid defense. Messenger of Peace can drastically stall for time while you replenish your hand and prepare your next offensive.

This spell prevents you from attacking as well as your opponent, but you can get around this by placing weaker monsters in your deck.

Swords of Revealing Light

Swords of Revealing Light

2. Swords of Revealing Light

Hard to beat the classics. One of the oldest spells in Yui-Gi-Oh history, Swords of Revealing Light prevents your opponent from attacking for three turns. Additionally, when activated, all face-down monsters on their side of the field are flipped over, revealing them and helping you plan your next move.

Three turns of protection for no cost, plus the revealing effect. Need I say more?

Mirror Force

Mirror Force

1. Mirror Force

We knew it was coming. This classic trap has installed anxiety into duelists for years. Is that one face-down card they have Mirror Force? If it is, all my attack-position monsters are going to be destroyed. Yikes.

Mirror Force has prematurely aged many duelists, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Place some in your deck to fend off and destroy many a foe.

More Defenses

Hopefully you've learned some effective ways to defend your Life Points. We've covered many awesome defenses, but these are just a sample of what can be found in Yu-Gi-Oh.

Experiment until you find the perfect cards for you, and establish the right balance of offense and defense. And check out the variants of Mirror Force, like the formidable Drowning Mirror Force!

Questions & Answers

Question: Can Scrap-Iron Scarecrow infinitely stay in the trap zone?

Answer: Yes. Each copy can only be used once per turn, but after activation, it remains in its trap zone space, ready to be used again during your opponent's next battle phase. This makes it quite the annoyance, as it repeatedly deters attacks.

Question: Can you still attack if you play Swords of Revealing Light during a Yu-Gi-Oh card game?

Answer: Yes. It only stops your opponent from attacking.

© 2016 Jeremy Gill


@MalcolmDaGenius on May 06, 2020:

if you have the winged dragon of ra and D/D/D oracle king D'arc then you have infinite attack and defence. Also works with rainbow life.



Jeremy Gill (author) from Louisiana on January 14, 2019:


Dark Mirror Force is a very situational card, as it punishes defense position monsters. It also hasn't aged well, as link monsters (who can't exist in defense mode) are essentially immune to it.

Yes, it helps against the Superheavy Samurai since they can attack from defense position, but that's an extremely rare ability. In general, I much prefer Blazing, Drowning, and regular Mirror Force.

Michael on January 11, 2019:

Mirror force is useless against decks such as the superheavy samurai, which is why dark mirror force can be useful

Arif Perdana on July 19, 2018:

While battle fader vulnerable to card effect that negate/restrict special summon, swift scarecrow would be good alternative.

Kevin on June 28, 2018:

There are many good ones to use:

Winged Dragon of Ra: Sphere Mode

Obelisk the Tormentor

Shield Wing

The Dark Door

(I have quite a few others if you're interested.)

BEWARE DANGER on January 24, 2018:

Thanks for the reply!

Jeremy Gill (author) from Louisiana on January 07, 2018:


Good suggestions; in fact, Gravity Bind is appearing in a follow-up defensive card countdown I'm working on. Juragedo didn't quite make the cut, but it's still an interesting card.

A good offense often is the best defense, but now that the game has slowed down from the fast-paced pendulum era, cards like Final Countdown are viable once more.

BEWARE DANGER on November 05, 2017:

Also what about Juragedo and gravity bind?

BEWARE DANGER on November 05, 2017:

A good defense is a good offense

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