Top 10 Effect Damage Spells/Traps in Yu-Gi-Oh

Updated on March 13, 2018
Jeremy Gill profile image

Jeremy enjoys dueling in-between studying forensics and working part-time at his college.

Effect Damage in Yu-Gi-Oh

In Yu-Gi-Oh, players typically lose by having their life points run dry, usually achieved through battle damage received courtesy of attacking monsters. However, a less-common type of damage, effect, can achieve the same goal without the hassle of having to maintain your monster army. It also reliably shaves off an opponent's health because, unlike battle damage, you don't need to break through their monsters to inflict it.

Effect damage can either form the crux of your deck or serve as support to finish off weakened opponents. To see just how useful it can be, let's review the ten best spells/traps to craft your own effect damage deck in the Yu-Gi-Oh trading card game!

Fairy Wind
Fairy Wind

10. Fairy Wind

Type: Trap

Despite its name, Fairy Wind has nothing to do with the fairy-type monsters. Rather, its effect destroys all other face-up spells/traps, inflicting 300 damage to both players for each one destroyed. This both removes opposing tricks and damages your opponent. Still, exercise caution as your cards and life are also affected; be sure to wait until they have more to lose than you.

Unlike several of today's entries, this card often works better in non-effect decks as a way to complement battle damage. Be sure to fill your build with mostly monsters or non-ongoing spells/traps to prevent destroying your own cards.

Attack and Receive
Attack and Receive

9. Attack and Receive

Type: Trap

You won't find much simpler than the appropriately-named Attack and Receive. It can only be activated in response to you taking damage (either battle or effect, and even self-inflicted), and retaliates by landing 700 points of effect damage on your adversary. In addition, you inflict an extra 300 points for each copy of Attack and Receive in your graveyard.

700 points is a respectable total for one card, and the amount can increase to a tempting 1300 once two copies have already been activated.

Ectoplasmer
Ectoplasmer

8. Ectoplasmer

Type: Spell

This nifty continuous spell makes each player tribute a monster of their choice (assuming they have one fielded) at their respective end phases to inflict effect damage equal to that monster's ATK to their opponent

Like Fairy Wind, this card unfortunately impacts you as well, but you can mitigate the issue by running a no-monster (or reduced monster) deck. Alternatively, craft a flip effect deck; Ectoplasmer won't eliminate face-down monsters. Either sit back and enjoy the show as your repertoire of spells and traps harasses foes while Ectoplasmer takes care of their commanders, or purposefully morph your squad into kamikaze monsters designed to run and gun for effect damage.

Ominous Fortunetelling
Ominous Fortunetelling

7. Ominous Fortunetelling

Type: Trap

Our first continuous trap (spoiler alert) is one of Yu-Gi-Oh's most underestimated cards, and it works fabulously in all sorts of builds. Once activated, during each of your opponent's standby phases (the start of their turn, after they draw), you pick a random card from their hand and guess whether it's a monster, spell, or trap. They reveal the card, and if you guessed correctly, your opponent suffers 700 points of effect damage. Not only can this repeatedly pile on the pain, it reveals segments of your opponent's hidden hand and allows you to predict upcoming threats. Pro tip: picking monster usually provides the best odds of landing the damage.

Of course, your opponent can protect themselves from the effect by emptying their hand, but this strategy puts them at the disadvantage of having no cards to fall back on—darned if they do, darned if they don't.

Gem Flash Energy
Gem Flash Energy

6. Gem Flash Energy

Type: Trap

Here's another trap with a deceptive name: despite its Gem keyword, the card combos with any archetype, not just the Gem-Knight series. During your own standby phases, Gem Flash Energy simply inflicts damage to your opponent equal to the amount of continuous spells on the field times 300. Fortunately, both your own and your opponent's cards tally towards the total.

Remember that pendulum scales count as continuous spells, meaning Gem Flash nets some extra hurt when using or facing a pendulum monster deck. In the right build, this card offers repeated hurt at values often exceeding 1000 life points.

Ceasefire
Ceasefire

5. Ceasefire

Type: Trap

The rulings of this card (banned, limited, and unrestricted) have often shifted, but as of this writing, it's completely unrestricted in its tcg deck usage. Another rare entry that can compliment non-effect decks well, Ceasefire first changes face-down defense position monsters to face-up defense position, but doesn't activate their flip effects, a great way to reveal your opponent's set creatures without fear of repercussions.

Even better, Ceasefire then smashes your opponent for 500 damage times the number of effect monsters on both sides of the field. Effect monsters are far more common than normal monsters, meaning it's easy to inflict thousands upon thousands of damage with this single trap, peaking at a whopping maximum of 6000 life points!

Blazing Mirror Force
Blazing Mirror Force

4. Blazing Mirror Force

Type: Trap

Any effect damage cards that double as stall tactics work great; most effect-damage decks are weaker in terms of monsters, meaning you'll need to shield yourself long enough for netting enough effect damage to win. Enter Blazing Mirror Force, which may not be as renowned as its infamous counterparts Mirror Force and Drowning Mirror Force, but works even better in terms of effect damage.

It basically serves as the default Mirror Force, destroying all opposing attack position monsters when one declares an attack, but with the added effect of seizing life points from both players equal to half the total original ATK of the defeated monsters (keep those damage calculators handy, kids). Although this regrettably hurts you as well as your opponent, your stall cards should mean you'll have the life to spare while your opponent's will be dwindling with your indirect bombardments. But to be safe, feel free to incorporate some life point recovery into your build.

Magic Cylinder
Magic Cylinder

3. Magic Cylinder

Type: Trap

Another card that's flirted with the ban list, Magic Cylinder is currently unrestricted in its usability. Like Blazing Mirror Force, it's a counter trap that also activates when an opponent declares an attack. Not only is the attack negated, your opponent incurs damage equal to the ATK of the deflected monster!

What else can I say? Just when your opponent think they're going to land a big hit with Dark Magician or Blue-Eyes White Dragon, turn the tables by blocking the blow and striking back at your foe. Fo sho.

Dark Room of Nightmare
Dark Room of Nightmare

2. Dark Room of Nightmare

Type: Spell

As a continuous spell, Dark Room of Nightmare synchronizes well with Gem Flash Energy, but it also shines on its own in any effect deck. Whenever a source (other than itself) lands effect damage on your opponent, Dark Room adds another 300 damage to that amount. If you focus your energy towards this end, Dark Room can quickly total thousands of damage, and since it's not once per turn, multiple copies of it can stack together.

Additionally, note the wording of the text: the effect triggers when your opponent takes damage from any card effect—including their own! Maybe self-mutilation isn't the best strategy after all.

Wave-Motion Cannon
Wave-Motion Cannon

1. Wave-Motion Cannon

Type: Spell

Easily my favorite effect damager, this classic magic card can end games on its own. During either of your two main phases during your turn, you can send Wave-Motion Cannon to the graveyard to inflict 1000 damage for each of your standby phases that has passed since the card's arrival. With no cap to the total amount, Cannon can stick around as long as you need until it amasses enough power to wipe out your opponent in a single blow.

Be wary of spell removals and employ monsters like Card Guard or Mist Valley Apex Avian to help defend your charging weapon.

Which card do you prefer?

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If you're searching for a different type of game than the regular frantic monster vs monster battles, try a more laid back effect strategy that stalls while it chips away at opposing life. Because effect damage isn't commonly seen, most players don't incorporate effect damage protection, making it easy to rapidly change their life points from mint condition to demolished scraps.

To win with these tactics, you'll need to learn how to play a different type of duel; try experimenting with these cards to see how these matches unfold. But for now, as we eagerly await for the next batch of effect spells/traps, vote for your favorite entry, and I'll see you at our next Yu-Gi-Oh countdown!

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    © 2018 Jeremy Gill

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