Jeremy enjoys dueling in between working as a chemical analyst and campus building manager.
Dinosaurs in Yu-Gi-Oh
Sadly, dinosaur monsters in Yu-Gi-Oh are often outshined by their dragon counterparts, which contain thousands more entries. Yet despite representing one of the most underutilized monster types, dinosaurs often brandish enormous ATK scores, efficient ways to swarm high-level cards, and vivid artwork, making many fans eagerly await the next batch.
Plus, as the success of the Jurassic Park movies has shown, everyone loves dinosaurs. Which ones reign supreme? These are the top 10 prehistoric monsters in Yu-Gi-Oh!
10. Super Conductor Tyranno
Unless you use an effect to special summon Super Conductor, you'll need to sacrifice two monsters to normal summon it. This card was the very first to break the "3000 ATK" rule, which previously prevented any cards from eclipsing Blue-Eyes White Dragon's 3000 ATK unless they bore some sort of disadvantage or counterbalance. Eventually, Konami decided to let dinosaurs have their day, making Tyranno the first of several potent high-ATK monsters to dethrone Blue-Eyes.
Beyond its mighty strength, Super Conductor wields a simple effect where it can sacrifice its attack for the turn and tribute a monster you control to inflict 1000 damage to the opponent, a great life depleter.
9. Pyrorex the Elemental Lord
Pyrorex bears a unique special summoning condition: you must have exactly five fire-attributed monsters in your graveyard. Upon arrival, Pyrorex gives you the option of destroying an opposing monster; if you do, both players take damage equal to half its ATK. Also, if Pyrorex leaves the field, you skip the battle phase of your next turn.
Pyrorex would go from good to great were it not for the specific summon, battle-phase skip, and fact that you suffer the same effect damage as your opponent. Still, it wields fierce battle stats, removes an opposing creature, and can shave off the last life points of a weakened opponent (something fire decks often aim for).
8. Ultimate Tyranno
Matching Blue-Eyes in strength, the black-hued Ultimate Tyranno offers two effects: one beneficial, one detrimental. The con is that whenever it can strike, it renders your other monsters unable to attack for the turn. However, you can choose to have Ultimate Tyranno battle all opposing monsters once each, which you'll likely want considering its hefty ATK. Without some sort of trap ready, your opponent will soon find their field wiped of monsters and their life drained thanks to the considerable battle damage sustained with Tyranno's rapid assault.
Besides wielding respectable ATK for a level-4 monster, Miscellaneousaurus offers two useful abilities. The first lets you send it from your hand to the graveyard during a main phase (on either player's turn); this makes your dinosaur monsters unaffected by opposing activated effects for that main phase. Secondly, you can banish any number of dinosaurs from your graveyard, including this card, to special summon a dinosaur whose level corresponds to the number of monsters banished, although it will be destroyed at the End Phase.
Essentially, Miscellaneousaurus first defends your monsters, then enables you to pull from your deck, keeping both your hand and your field full. Consider using the summoned monster for a tribute, fusion, synchro, xyz, or link summon to circumvent its end-of-turn demise.
6. Tyranno Infinity
Love the artwork here, with the t-rex's posture bearing resemblance to Jurassic Park. Unlike many high-ATK dinosaurs, Tyranno Infinity can be normal summoned without tribute, but to access its power, you'll want several banished dinosaurs, as it gains 1000 ATK for each. This stacks well with effects like those of Miscellaneousaurus and the normally-undesired card banishment into an advantage.
Easy to summon and potentially wielding ATK values of 5000 or more, Tyranno Infinity can turn many a duel around.
5. Number 61: Volcasaurus
Contrary to most of its brethren, xyz monster Volcasaurus functions well with any monster clan. Summoning this rank-5 beast is as simple as merging two level-5 monsters (of any type). Once out, Volcasaurus brandishes a respectable ATK and great effect: you can once per turn detach a material monster to target an opposing monster, destroy it, and inflict damage to your opponent equal to its ATK.
Activating this effect makes Volcasaurus unable to attack directly for the turn, but it can still attack monsters, often rendering the downside moot. This is the card Pyrorex wants to be: monster removal combined with substantial effect damage that only hits your adversary.
4. Samurai Cavalry of Reptier
Pendulum monsters took a beating with the new mechanics debuting alongside link summons, but even so, Samurai Cavalry impresses. For its level, it offers strong ATK plus a (desirably) low pendulum scale of 3. Even better, its effect allows it to destroy any face-up monster it attacks as long as that monster isn't a pendulum card!
What else can I say? This is a great monster removal that can be reused by simply pendulum summoning Samurai if it falls. The fact that its own pendulum scale works well for summoning itself puts the icing on the cake that is this superb card. Check out Cavalry's well-deserved position in a pendulum monster countdown here!
3. Dogoran, the Mad Flame Kaiju
Similarly to the classic Lava Golem, you can special summon this potent member of the Kaiju archetype to your opponent's field in attack position by tributing a monster they control, a handy removal that can remove a big threat and circumvent targeting and destruction immunities. Additionally, if your opponent controls a Kaiju monster, you can special summon Dogoran from your hand, meaning it's easy to play him if you field another Kaiju to your opponent's field.
While you may only control one Kaiju monster at once, Dogoran can remove three Kaiju counters from anywhere on the field to destroy all monsters your opponent controls, a free Raigeki whenever you need as long as you can spare the counters. Dogoran can't attack the turn you use this effect, but when he does get to strike, his daunting 3000 ATK rips enemies to shreds.
2. Souleating Oviraptor
A terrific supporting card, when normal or special summoned, Oviraptor allows you to take a dinosaur from your deck and either add it to your hand or send it to the graveyard. On the field, you can also target and destroy another level-4 or lower dinosaur (even your opponent's) to special summon a dinosaur of any level from your graveyard in defense position. Finally, it simply wields strong ATK for its level.
In a nutshell, Oviraptor lets you pull any dinosaur from your deck and sacrifice weaker ones to revive stronger. Because its first effect works with both normal and special summons, you can revive it from the graveyard to reuse its search function. Once you've filled your hand and set your field, use it for the summon of an Evolzar or another rank-4 xyz monster to get even more bang for your buck.
1. Ultimate Conductor Tyranno
Ultimate Conductor Tyranno's 3500 ATK and 3200 DEF absolutely dominate in battle, and he wields a fairly lenient summoning method: you must banish two dinosaurs from your graveyard. This keeps your hand stocked (while also greatly empowering Tyranno Infinity). Even better, once per turn, during either player's main phase, you can destroy one monster in your hand or field to change all opposing monsters to defense position, a brutal effect that keeps them face-down and unable to activate their abilities.
Ultimate Conductor can also attack all monsters your opponent controls once each, and whenever it attacks a defense position monster, you can send that monster to the graveyard and inflict 1000 damage to your opponent. This awesome combo lets Ultimate Conductor easily turn your foes face-down then strike them all done (without activating pesky flip effects) and inflict some sweet burn damage. Just remember that link monsters can't enter defense position.
Easily the best dinosaur we've encountered yet, Ultimate Conductor is a must-have for any serious dinosaur build I construct. Luckily, we can obtain him for surprisingly low prices under three dollars!
Future of Dinosaurs
Dinosaurs are one of the most type-exclusive factions in Yu-Gi-Oh, meaning they're often difficult to combine with other types, and you generally don't encounter them unless facing a dinosaur-central build. As much as I love dragon cards, I hope the future brings more ancient reptiles to light and gives them the prominent position they deserve in competitive play.
But for now, as we eagerly await Yu-Gi-Oh's next prehistoric expansion set, vote for your favorite monster and I'll see you at our next Yu-Gi-Oh countdown!
Questions & Answers
Question: Why would you summon a kaiju to an opponent's field?
Answer: Doing so lets you tribute any one of their monsters, so you're replacing a big threat with something that's (hopefully) more manageable. The ability to choose whose field a kaiju enters is one of their archetype's biggest strengths, especially since it happens during your turn (giving you a chance to attack and defeat the monster you just handed your opponent).
Question: Why isn't the Ultimate Conductor Tyranno on this list?
Answer: I'll be honest with you. Somehow, in my research for this article (I look at each and every dinosaur monster), I must have slipped over it, because it's definitely one heck of a card.
Its similar name to Super Conductor may have contributed. Luckily, I know what to include if I ever make a follow-up countdown!
© 2018 Jeremy Gill