Jeremy enjoys dueling in between working as a chemical analyst and campus building manager.
Ritual Spells and Ritual Monsters in Yu-Gi-Oh
Though an infrequent bunch, the rare ritual monsters of Yu-Gi-Oh have accompanied duelists since the game's debut. Typically, ritual monsters wield high ATK scores and great effects but can be challenging to summon since most require having the proper ritual monster and ritual spell in hand, plus the necessary tributes in the hand or field.
However, the best ritual spells bear extra effects to get more bang for your buck, and support cards like Preparation of Rites and Ascending Soul ensure you're never without the necessary cards. But with many dozens of ritual spells to choose from, which ceremonial magics reign supreme?
These are the ten best ritual spells in Yu-Gi-Oh (and a peek at the monsters they access)!
- Prediction Ritual
- Cynet Ritual
- Hymn of Light
- Endless of the World
- Gishki Aquamirror
- Nekroz Cycle
- Machine Angel Ritual
- Advanced Ritual Art
- Odd-Eyes Advent
- Nekroz Kaleidoscope
10. Prediction Ritual
Can summon: Prediction Princess Tarotrei
A great boon for the flip-effect based Prediction Princess series, Prediction Ritual summons the archetype's ace monster, Tarotrei (thumbnailed above). You have the standard ritual criteria: with both Prediction Ritual and Tarotrei in hand, you tribute monsters from your hand and/or field whose total levels are at least the level of the summoned ritual monster, in this case 9.
In addition to summoning a great ritual warrior, during your main phase, except the turn this card is sent to the graveyard, you can banish Ritual to add any Prediction Princess monster from your deck to your hand. These search abilities from your discard pile are a common trait among Yu-Gi-Oh's strongest ritual spells, letting them replenish your hand after often-costly ritual summons. Just remember you have to wait at least a turn before you can trigger this effect.
9. Cynet Ritual
Can summon: Any Cyberse ritual monster, like Cyberse Magician
Cynet Ritual helpfully summons any Cyberse ritual monster, preventing you from having to fill your deck with multiple ritual spells and ending up with the wrong monster/spell combination. Again, it bears the standard tribute of monsters from your hand or field who equal or exceed the summoned monster's level.
Additionally, except the turn this card is sent to the graveyard, if you control no monsters you can special summon two "Cynet Token" monsters in defense position by banishing Cynet from your graveyard. While these pipsqueaks bear 0 ATK and 0 DEF, they have a level of 4 (useful for synchro summons) and make great fodder for link or tribute summons, or even just simply blocking two attacks. Access to multiple ritual monsters and a helpful discard effect render Cynet Ritual a fierce support member for dueling's latest monster type.
8. Hymn of Light
Can summon: Saffira, Queen of Dragons
Hymn of Light can only summon one specific monster, but occasionally that's a good thing. After all, listing a card specifically in its text helps Hymn of Light qualify for ritual-support effects like that of Pre-Preparation of Rites. Not only that, Saffira is only level 6, making it easy to tribute monsters from your hand or field who equal or exceed that comparatively low number.
Plus, when a ritual monster or monsters you control would be destroyed by battle or card effect while Hymn is in your graveyard, you can banish it to prevent that destruction. This awesome effect helpfully works on all ritual monsters (not just Saffira), can save multiple creatures at once from mass-nuke traps like Mirror Force, and can be activated even on the turn Hymn is sent to the graveyard.
7. Endless of the World
Can summon: Demise, Supreme King of Armageddon and Ruin, Graceful Queen of Oblivion
Endless of the World can technically only ritual summon Demise, King of Armageddon and Ruin, Queen of Oblivion, but the listed cards above change their names to match these, letting you summon modernized versions of some of the game's strongest ritual monsters. However, Endless demands that its tributes (who must equal or exceed the monster's level) stem from the field, so you won't be able to use cards in hand as material.
That said, during a main phase other than the turn Endless was sent to the graveyard, you can shuffle it into your deck to add one "End of the World" to your deck, then you can (but don't have to) add "Demise, King of Armageddon" or "Ruin, Queen of Oblivion" from your graveyard to your hand. Although its ritual conditions are harsher than most, Endless can summon one of two great monsters and provides up to two cards once it's in the graveyard, a powerful search engine that really keeps your hand stocked.
6. Gishki Aquamirror
Can summon: Any Gishki ritual monster, like Gishki Zielgigas
The Gishki series revolves around powerful ritual monsters and bears several customized ritual spells, the best being Gishki Aquamirror. It can summon any Gishki or Evigishki ritual monster by tributing materials from the hand or field whose total levels exactly equal that of the tributed monster. While this means you can't go above your designated level, members like Gishki Vision (who can serve as entire tributes) or other copies of Giski Zielgigas will meet the demand easily. Plus, while in the graveyard, you can shuffle Aquamirror into your deck to return a Gishki ritual monster from your graveyard to hand, giving supplies to regenerate your defeated warriors and placing Aquamirror back in the deck, ready to be researched.
Speaking of searches, check out other great support cards for the Gishki archetype here, like Gishki Shadow, who can helpfully discard itself to search out Aquamirror (or any other Gishki ritual spell) from your deck.
5. Nekroz Cycle
Can summon: Any Nekroz ritual monster, like Nekroz of Trishula
A card powerful enough to adorn the semi-limited list in the Asian OCG format (but not currently the TCG), Nekroz Cycle can ritual summon one of the many Nekroz ritual monsters. Unlike most ritual spells, it can summon from the hand or the graveyard, making it ridiculously easy to resummon discard Nekroz champions. You also tribute from your hand or field to exactly match the summoned monster's level, so be careful that the cards in your decklist will equal (and not exceed) it.
Additionally, when in the graveyard while you control no monsters, you can banish Cycle and any Nekroz monster from the graveyard to add a Nekroz spell (not necessarily a ritual card) to your hand. This can find one of the numerous Nekroz spells and has the rare trait of being able to even pull another copy of Cycle.
4. Machine Angel Ritual
Can summon: Any Cyber Angel ritual monster, like Cyber Angel Vrash
In our best ritual monster countdown, we saw just how many Cyber Angels made the cut, so it's only natural that their ritual spell appear today. Machine Angel Ritual helpfully summons any of the bountiful Cyber Angel ritual monsters, making it easy to access multiple ritual units with a single ritual spell. It bears the standard tributing procedure, sacrificing from your hand or field to equal or exceed the level of the needed monster.
In addition, while in the graveyard, if a light-attributed monster (like the Cyber Angels) would be destroyed by battle or card effect, you can instead banish Machine Angel instead. This handy shield guards your Cyber Angel team, can activate even on the turn Machine was sent to the graveyard, and can even protect your non-Cyber Angel monsters as long as they're light-attributed.
3. Advanced Ritual Art
Can summon: Any ritual monster, like Blue-Eyes Chaos MAX Dragon
A powerful card that many decks are designed around, Advanced Ritual Art can ritual summon any ritual monster! Not only that, you get to tribute materials from your deck rather than hand or field, entirely negating the hand/field depletion trade-off of most ritual spells.
The downside is that your tributed monsters must be normal monsters (not the best cards in most decks thanks to their lack of effects) and their levels must exactly equal your monster's. A risky but very rewarding force, especially for decks that already utilize normal monsters.
2. Odd-Eyes Advent
Can summon: Any dragon-type ritual monster, like Odd-Eyes Gravity Dragon
Odd-Eyes Advent can helpfully summon any dragon-type ritual monster, accessing cards even outside the Odd-Eyes Gravity Dragon it was designed for. Even better, it can summon them from both the hand and the graveyard, offering superb monster revival and keeping your hand filled.
You must also tribute pendulum monsters from your hand or field, and while you can only use pendulum creatures, you can either equal or exceed your monster's level, so you don't have to worry about perfectly mimicking the card's traits. Finally, if your opponent controls at least two monsters and you don't control any, you can also tribute Odd-Eyes cards from your extra deck, making an easy ritual summon even easier and allowing for a fierce comeback. For all this power, the only restriction is that you can only activate one copy of Advent per turn, but since you'll usually want to use it with an empty monster field, you'll almost never notice this errata.
1. Nekroz Kaleidoscope
Can summon: One or more Nekroz ritual monsters, like Nekroz of Sophia
The most outstanding trait about Kaleidoscope is that it can summon multiple ritual monsters! When activated, you can tribute one (and only one) monster from your hand or field, but you can also send a monster from your extra deck to the graveyard, a sweet bonus that keeps your hand and field full. Your summoned ritual monster(s) must exactly match your tribute's level, and you only use this effect of Kaleidoscope once per turn, but it's hard to ignore the potential of simultaneous ritual summons.
Additionally, just like Cycle, whenever you control no monsters, you can banish both Kaleidoscope and any ritual monster from your graveyard to add any Nekroz spell from your deck to your hand, a final present from an already lethal magic.
Unique among ritual spells and able to serve from beyond the grave, Kaleidoscope is a must for any Nekroz ritual build I craft. Luckily, despite its prowess, you can obtain your own for surprisingly cheap prices ranging around a dollar!
Future of Ritual Spells
Though not the most common lot, ritual monsters have aged particularly well since they're not extra deck creatures, and thus (as per the newer master rules) don't rely on link monsters to grant access to multiple units. Again, be sure to combo your ritual build with generic ritual supports like Ascending Soul and the Djinn monsters to overwhelm opponents unprepared for these uncommon builds.
But for now, as we eagerly await Konami's next expansion of ceremonial behemoths, vote for your favorite ritual spell and I'll see you at our next Yu-Gi-Oh countdown!
© 2018 Jeremy Gill