Top 10 Spellcasters in Yu-Gi-Oh
Spellcaster Monsters in Yu-Gi-Oh
Of the many different monster types, spellcasters have always stood alongside dragons and machines as one of the most prominent traits. Being a staple of original protagonist Yugi Muto, spellcasters are a flexible bunch who often bend the rules with a variety of potent effects.
As of this writing, spellcasters occupy the most spaces on the official ban list, showing just how powerful many become. But with hundreds of magic-wielding monsters, which are the strongest? Here are the top ten best spellcasters in the Yu-Gi-Oh trading card game!
10. Dark Magician
"The ultimate wizard in terms of attack and defense", Yugi's signature card rivals Kaiba's Blue-Eyes White Dragon in terms of sheer popularity. In and of itself, the card isn't great, bearing only a decent 2500 ATK (not great for its level) and needing two tributes to normal summon. But Konami knows not to let old favorites stagnate, and years of support cards and power-ups keep Dark Magician relevant decades after its debut.
Forget card sleeves and duel disks, be sure you have accessories like Google SafeSearch on in case you accidentally search for Dark Magician Girl. Yikes.
9. Ebon Illusion Magician
It's easy to deduce black-backgrounded xyz monster Ebon Illusion Magician's inspiration. Bearing the same battle stats and similar artwork as Dark Magician, Ebon Illusion takes two level 7 monsters to special summon, meaning Dark Magician also makes for great xyz material for Ebon.
Once fielded, Ebon can (once per turn) detach an xyz material unit to special summon a spellcaster-type normal monster from your deck. This is a great way to gimmick Dark Magician out, but also works for pendulum normal monsters like Dragonpulse Magician. Also once per turn, when a normal spellcaster monster declares an attack, you can target and banish an opposing card, great for permanently removing foes from the game.
To top it all off, Ebon Illusion can alternatively be xyz summoned using a rank 6 spellcaster as material, offering its lethal powers to many deck formats.
8. Double Iris Magician
I strive to keep most entries in countdowns either unrestricted or limited to teach others about cards they can actually use competitively, but here's a small taste of the banned spellcaster club. Double Iris Magician wield a tantalizingly high pendulum scale of 8 (duelists want one high and one low) alongside a solid pendulum zone effect: you can destroy Double Iris to target a dark-attributed spellcaster you control; when that card battles an opponent's monster this turn, your opponent suffers double battle damage.
Beyond that, Double Iris lets you add one of the superb "Pendulumgraph" cards from your deck to your hand whenever destroyed, regardless of whether by battle or card effect. It also wields a useful 1500 ATK, high enough to inflict decent damage with a direct attack but low enough to be searched for by common search engines. Definitely a fun monster, but I'm relieved we don't have to worry about seeing it in competitive play.
7. Apprentice Piper
Don't let Piper's low level and stats fool you: it wields a simple yet awesome power. When first flipped over from face-down defense position (whether after being attacked or by manually changing it to attack position), you're able to special summon a monster from your hand. Similarly, when destroyed and sent to the graveyard (either through battle or effect), you also get to special summon any monster from your hand. Two free summons lets you field high-level cards without having to fuss over tributes or other gimmicks.
Note that the summons can be monsters of any type, not just spellcasters, and Piper's rare status as a flip card combos well will flip supporters like Night Assailant.
6. Chocolate Magician Girl
Chocolate, magic, and girls probably describe most fantasies of teenage boys, so Konami figured why not combine all three? As silly as the card is, Chocolate here wields some impressive powers. Once per turn, she lets you discard a spellcaster-typed monster to draw a card. Also once per turn, when attacked, she lets you special summon any spellcaster from your graveyard (except another Chocolate), switch the attack target to that monster, and cut your opponent's attacking monster's ATK by half, almost ensuring you'll win the battle. And even if you don't, your foe's ATK is permanently halved (not just for the turn).
Since Chocolate's first effect easily places spellcasters into the graveyard, you won't stuggle to fill it with powerful creatures that make your opponent think twice before assaulting you; don't overlook Chocolate's potent blend of defense and draw fuel even in offense-oriented builds.
5. Performage Trapeze Magician
The Performage archetype primarily consists of pendulum creatures but successfully waded into xyz territory. Requiring two level 4 spellcaster monsters as material, Trapeze Magician arrives with strong ATK/DEF plus a heap of sweet abilities:
- You never take damage if it is less than or equal to Trapeze's ATK (in most cases, 2500)
- During either player's first main phase, you can detach an xyz material from Trapeze to target any other attack position monster to let it attack twice that turn, but it will be destroyed at the end of the battle phase
- When Trapeze is sent to the graveyard by battle or being destroyed by an opponent's card effect, you can special summon a Performage monster from your deck
What else can I say? The first effect protects against damage (and offers rare effect damage defense), the second can either let you attack twice or destroy an opposing monster, and the third barricades against an empty field even if Trapeze Magician perishes. Heck, the card's tremendous powers justifies inclusion even in non-Performage spellcaster decks.
4. World of Prophecy
One of the tarot-based Prophecy series, World of Prophecy (like its brethren) functions alongside the corresponding Spellbook series of magic cards. When World is special summoned by either another spellcaster monster's effect or a Spellbook card, you can target two Spellbooks in your graveyard and add them to your hand (at the small price of being unable to special summon other monsters that turn).
Immediately after, you can reveal four Spellbooks with different names in your hand to destroy all cards on the field except World. The two spells you just added should help you reach the quota of four, and wiping out your opponent's entire arsenal of monsters, spells, and traps leave them wide open for a direct strike. Considering World's hefty 2900 ATK, a successful activation of its effects often means it's game over.
3. Timebreaker Magician
It's hard not to love just how darn versatile this card is. In a pendulum zone, it bears a desirably low pendulum scale of two and one of the best pendulum effects in the entire game: each turn, prevent the first effect destruction by an opposing card effect of pendulum monster(s) you control. Plus, when fielded as a monster, Timebreaker can banish itself and any other monster on the field to be returned at your next standby phase, a great way to remove opponent keystone creatures.
But we're still not done. When pendulum summoned from the hand, and no other monsters were summoned at the same time, you can increase Timebreaker's ATK from a lukewarm 1400 to a fierce 2800, standing toe-to-toe with much higher-leveled monsters, and the base 1400 works well for searches like that of Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon. As icing on the cake, Timebreaker belongs to the wide Magician archetype, qualifying for many great support cards.
2. Dark Magician of Chaos
The Chaos monsters always impress, and Dark Magician's anarchic form is no exception. In addition to terrific ATK, Dark Magician simply lets you add a spell card from your graveyard to your hand when it's normal or special summoned. Spell recoveries are rare even among specialized archetypes, and general magic recylers are almost unheard of.
In addition, Dark Magician of Chaos banishes monsters it destroys rather than sending them to the graveyard, preventing their resurrection. Two great abilities, no archetype reliance, and strong ATK embody an awesome card, but remember that Chaos banishes itself when removed from the field, so don't count on recovering it.
1. Exodia the Forbidden One
A card long limited (only one can be placed in the deck) for its amazing strengths, Exodia completely alters the type of game you're playing. Rather than having two armies war with each other to deplete their opponent's life points, Exodia decks race to amass the five Exodia cards in hand, at which point that player instantly wins.
That said, Exodia itself wields only 1000 ATK/DEF, and its four component cards (Left Leg, Right Leg, Left Arm, and Right Arm of the Forbidden One) are even weaker. Thus, be sure to keep them safely tucked away in hand as you stall your foe while you gather your instant-win condition using draw and search-heavy tactics.
Which monster do you prefer?
Although newer monster types such as wyrm and cyberse have graced the game, spellcaster remains a fun and viable type that continues to receive useful support members. As we eagerly await Konami's next batch of wizards and witches (cross your fingers for powerful spellcaster link monsters), vote for your favorite magician, and I'll see you at our next countdown!
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© 2018 Jeremy Gill