Jeremy enjoys dueling in between working as a chemical analyst and campus building manager.
Xyz Monsters in Yu-Gi-Oh
Ever since their debut, players have savored black-backgrounded xyz monsters. Their sleek design coupled with ease of summoning meant every duelist had some new extra-deck power to browse, and their lack of levels (wielding ranks instead) saves them from hampering effects like Burden of the Mighty.
Xyz monsters activate their abilities by spending their material monsters, the monsters that were used in the xyz summon. Some monsters especially aid in xyz summoning by either providing extra abilities when used as material, or helping to fill your field with same-leveled monsters needed for the summon.
With thousands of cards to choose from, which deserve your attention? These are the top 10 material monsters in Yu-Gi-Oh!
10. The Phantom Knights of Ragged Gloves
Ragged Gloves brandishes a simple but potent effect: It strengthens a dark-attributed xyz monster that has it as material by 1000 ATK. And, well, that's it; Ragged offers a significant, easy to understand, and worthwhile boost.
Plus, if your deck centers around the Phantom Knights archetype, Ragged can also banish itself from your graveyard to send another Phantom Knight there, letting you use other graveyard-activated abilities.
9. Swordsman of Revealing Light
Most duelists are familiar with the powerful spell Swords of Revealing Light from which this card draws inspiration. When your opponent declares a direct attack, you can special summon Swordsman from your hand and destroy the attacking monster if its ATK is lower than Swordsman's hefty 2400 DEF!
Once Swordsman succeeds in guarding your precious life points, use it as material for a rank-8 xyz summon to grant your xyz monster an awesome defense: it can avoid battle destruction once per turn. Rank-8 monsters tend to be quite powerful, and with the added barrier against destruction, they will soon ravage your opponent.
8. Summoner Monk
Many of my favorite xyz monsters are rank 4, meaning level-4 monsters with good abilities always pique my interest. Summoner Monk automatically moves to defense position when cast and lets you discard a spell card to summon a level-4 monster from your deck! Sure, that monster won't be able to attack for the turn, but odds are good you'll want to use it alongside Summoner for an xyz summon anyway.
Use Summoner to gimmick material-effect monsters onto your field without having to draw them, and look for spells that activate from the graveyard to form a daunting combination.
7. Dragoncaller Magician
A pendulum monster, Dragoncaller synergizes superbly with . . . itself! As material, it lets your xyz monster double its ATK when battling a dragon-type foe. And in the pendulum zone, Dragoncaller can (once per turn) alter an enemy's type to dragon! With one Dragoncaller in the pendulum zone and one on the field, you can soon double your ATK against opposing creatures and decimate your opponent's life points.
As icing on the cake, Dragoncaller wields respectable ATK itself, has a desirably low scale of 2, and its material effect applies for fusion and synchro monsters in addition to xyz.
6. Gagaga Head
Gagaga Head works especially well in Gagaga builds: when it's normal summoned, you can target up to two Gagaga monsters in your graveyard and special summon them! Your special summoning will be limited for the rest of the turn to only xyz summoning—which you should now have plenty of material for.
That's a great effect, but this card can aid any build with its other traits. You can normal summon it without a tribute if your opponent controls a monster and you don't, altering Gagaga's level to 4 in the process. This allows you to access both rank-4 and -6 monsters with this card, allowing you to adapt to the flow of the duel. Even better, an xyz monster using Gagaga as material lets you draw a card when it's summoned! In short, this card combines versatility, swarming, and draw power with notable ATK and DEF.
5. Heroic Challenger - Extra Sword
Similar to Ragged Gloves, Extra Sword powers up an xyz monster using it as material by 1000. The difference here is that Sword wields a generally more-desirable level of 4, accessing great xyz monsters like Ragnazero, Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon, and the haphazardly-capitalized Silent Honor ARK.
Extra Sword fits snugly into Heroic Challenger builds, but its inclusive effect will aid xyz cards in any deck.
4. Tour Guide From the Underworld
Again, I'm a sucker for cards that stack with themselves. When normal summoned, Tour Guide lets you special summon a level-3 fiend-type monster from your hand or deck—like another Tour Guide! Its effects are negated, and it cannot be used as synchro material, but neither condition will stop you from merging the two into a rank-3 black-rimmed monster.
Essentially, Tour Guide lets you pull additional copies of itself from your deck to provide ridiculously easy rank-3 summons.
3. Star Drawing
For a level 4, Star wields average ATK, but she's not here for combat. Her first ability lets you treat her as level 5 (if you wish) when xyz summoning, putting both rank-4 and -5 monsters within easy reach. Her second ability lets you draw a card when she's used as xyz material!
An often overlooked option, Star's hand-replenishing and monster-accessing effects benefit a surprising number of decks.
2. Masked Chameleon
A great card for both synchro and xyz summons, tuner monster Masked Chameleon cannot be normal summoned if you control a level-5 or higher monster, but when normal summoned, it lets you summon a monster possessing zero defense from your graveyard (with its effects negated)! More monsters than you might think have high ATK but zilch for DEF, and this card's status as a tuner means you get to decide whether to use it and the summoned monster for a synchro or an xyz summon.
Since Masked Chameleon relies on monsters with zero DEF, it stacks beautifully with . . .
Another coveted level-4 support monster, Goblindbergh harnesses a simple but effective trait: when normal summoned, you can shift it to defense position and special summon a level-4 or lower monster from your hand.
And there you go—two monsters ready for an xyz summon. Additionally, Goblindbergh's 0 DEF and warrior type (warriors often support each other with various effects) provide additional incentive to use it in many a deck.
Xyz monsters have stayed surprisingly relevant throughout the years, still seeing common usage even with newer pendulum and link monsters. Use their powerful effects coupled with today's ideal materials to easily and eradicate your opponents.
Can't get enough of xyz monsters? Check out the strongest xyz cards, but first, vote for your favorite entry today, and I'll see you at our next card countdown!
© 2018 Jeremy Gill