Top 10 Comeback Cards in Yu-Gi-Oh
Comebacks in Duels
Any duelist worth their Dark Magician knows a duel's not over til it's over, but often a player assumes a lead early in the game that won't ever be surmounted. However, the right cards in the right deck can bail you out of almost any tough situation, leading to spectacular turnarounds that showcase why we love dueling.
Whether you're the one turning the tide or witnessing your opponent's own renewal, watching a triumphant comeback from someone who seemed on the edge of defeat thrills our hearts, win or lose. To experience these dynamic moments for yourself, here are the ten best comeback cards in Yu-Gi-Oh to pull you out of tight spots and seize victory!
10. Swordsman of Revealing Light
A loving blend of classic magic card Swords of Revealing Light and monster Neo the Magic Swordsman, Swordsman is summoned from your hand when your opponent attacks directly, and if the attacking monster's ATK is less than Swordsman's 2400 DEF, it's destroyed! Additionally, an xyz monster using Swordsman as material gains an additional effect that (once per turn) prevents it from being destroyed in battle.
Swordsman's strength speaks for itself. Right when your opponent thinks they've won by wiping your field of monsters, throw a Swordsman their way to remove one of their weaker monsters and set yourself up for a potent rank 8 xyz summon.
9. D.D. Esper Star Sparrow
Matching Blue-Eyes White Dragon's massive 3000 ATK, there can only ever be one D.D. Esper Star Sparrow on the field. Thus, if you summon it, you prevent your opponent from doing so and gain access to Sparrow's spectacular defensive traits: your opponent cannot target other monsters you control with effects or attacks.
These are great boons, but Sparrow's game-changing effect takes place while it rests in the graveyard. When your opponent declares a direct attack, you can revive Sparrow (and banish it when it leaves the field) in defense position. At worst, Sparrow's 1500 DEF will block the attack and save your life points, but at best, the attacking monster won't be strong enough to overcome the score and you'll have a formidable monster ready to help you make a comeback on your upcoming turn.
8. Drowning Mirror Force
All the infamous entries in the Mirror Force trap family can drastically reduce an opponent's field, but Drowning Mirror Force takes the cake with regards to regaining the duel's advantage. It can only be activated when your opponent attacks you directly, but right when your foe thinks they have you cornered, Drowning shuffles all their attack position monsters into the confines of their deck.
This is even better than destroying the monsters (as the default Mirror Force does) since it prevents graveyard recoveries and pendulum resummons, and bypasses effect-immune creatures. It also doesn't have to target the affected monsters, making this trap incredibly tricky to defend against. Just the fear of you having this set face-down may make your opponent shift some of their army to defense position, possibly saving you from taking enough damage to lose.
7. Black Rose Dragon
Many field-resetting cards have joined the ban list (Evilswarm Exciton Knight, Chaos Emperor Dragon, etc.), but white-backgrounded synchro monster Black Rose Dragon has mercifully escaped limitation. With a potent ATK of 2400 and a decent DEF of 1800, it's no slouch in battle, but its real draw comes with its entrance, where it can immediately destroy all cards on the field.
Sure, this impacts you as well as your opponent, but eradicates all opposing monsters, spells, and traps, getting you out of any tight squeeze. Black Rose can also banish plant-type monsters from your graveyard to shift opposing defense position foes to attack and reduce their ATK to zero, providing extra synergy with plant builds. However, because Black Rose accepts any tuner/non-tuner combination for its synchro summon, the card fits in almost any deck and is easily one of the game's best extra deck beasts.
6. Message in a Bottle
For a small price, Message in a Bottle offers unparalleled monster revival. After activation, you special summoning a whopping three monsters of different levels in your graveyard with their effects negated and their ATK as zero. Then, you must xyz summon at some point during your turn or suffer 4000 damage, and you cannot special summon (except by xyz) during the turn you use Message.
Admittedly, since the monsters must have different levels, you'll likely need to normal summon another creature (or have one already fielded) to align and form your xyz monster, but gaining three creatures in one fell swoop works wonders for both defense and xyz-comebacks.
5. Red-Eyes Retro Dragon
Geared towards the versatile Red-Eyes monster archetype, Red-Eyes Retro Dragon activates from your hand when at least one face-up level 7 or lower Red-Eyes monster is destroyed and sent to the graveyard by an opposing attack or card effect. At that point, you special summon Retro in defense position and resummon your destroyed monster(s) in the same position as before. Retro Dragon can also tribute itself to give you an extra normal summon of a Red-Eyes monster for the turn.
The first effect revives your powerful Red-Eyes monsters (as well as setting up a defensive wall) and the second ensures you have enough summoning power to tribute summon your strongest cards. Right when your opponent thinks they have you, this classic "hand trap" proves otherwise.
4. Battle Fader
Speaking of hand traps, you won't find much better than Battle Fader. Unlike Retro Dragon, it works alongside any monster series, and it's triggered from the hand when an opponent declares a direct attack. At that time, special summoned Fader from your hand and immediately end your opponent's battle phase.
Not only do this save your bacon from losing, it places a monster (albeit a weak one) to your field ready to be used for a fusion, synchro, xyz, or link material (inviting an epic comeback), a tribute summon, or simply a defender on your opponent's next turn. And while 0 ATK and 0 DEF seem like downsides, these values apply for certain searches and revivals (like that of the tuner Masked Chameleon).
3. Score the Melodious Diva
A member of the Melodious archetype, Score the Melodious Diva nests safely in the hand until you send her to the graveyard when a desired Melodious monster battles. Discarding Diva (which can be done on either turn) changes the opposing monster's ATK and DEF to 0 until the end of the turn!
Not only does this ruthlessly dampen their monster, it often makes your opponent suffer enough battle damage to lose, and since the ability affects both battle stats, defense position can't save them. Lasting until the end of the turn (not just the one battle) is another nice touch to provide another fail-safe defense. And if you think Diva was bad enough, try combining her with other powerful light-attributed tide turners...
Fairy-type Honest can be discarded from the hand in either battle phase to give one of your battling monsters ATK equal to the ATK of its opponent, essentially guaranteeing victory for that clash. During your main phase, you can also return Honest to the hand if it's fielded, but be aware this gives your adversary an idea of what's coming. Still, this allows it to return to hand after revivals like Call of the Haunted, and Honest remains an unpredictable and lethal addition to the light group.
At least with traps like Mirror Force, you can grasp an inkling of when they'll arrive based on your opponent's number of set cards. With Honest here, your only clue is facing a light-attributed deck, making this one of dueling's most feared sudden arrivals and game-changers. Honest.
1. Gorz the Emissary of Darkness
With a formidable 2700 ATK and 2500 DEF, Gorz the Emissary of Darkness also hides in your hand until you suffer damage with your entire field empty. Most opponents will likely think the match has been decided when you have no monsters or traps to block with, but once you incur damage (either through battle or effect), Gorz can be special summoned and activate an effect based on the type of damage sustained.
More-common battle damage summons an Emissary of Darkness Token with ATK and DEF equal to the damage you took (and note its level of 7), and effect damage simply copies the damage you took to your opponent. Both are great abilities that, combined with an awesome monster, can easily reverse a duel and snatch the win.
Which card do you prefer?
With dozens of hand traps (not to mention normal traps) and quick-play effects, never underestimate a cornered opponent. They're down, but they may not be out, and dropping your guard could easily lead to your demise with turnarounds like these guys available.
As we eagerly await Konami's next booster set of exciting comeback cards, vote for your favorite entry and I'll see you at our next Yu-Gi-Oh countdown!
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© 2018 Jeremy Gill