Jeremy enjoys dueling in between working as a chemical analyst and campus building manager.
Monster Strength in Yu-Gi-Oh
As any duelist knows, the vast majority of Yu-Gi-Oh matches end when one player's life points run out. Players typically accomplish this by pummeling their opponent's health reservoir dry using the strongest monsters in their build.
Oh, sure, spells and traps change the field, as does one's draw engine, but gaining the advantage is as simple as summoning the strongest monster, forcing your opponent to scramble together a defense. With thousands of cards available, which monsters are superior? Gauging purely by ATK point value, these are the top 10 monsters in the Yu-Gi-Oh card game!
10. Machina Force
Unfortunately, Machina Force can be hard to handle despite its fierce battle stats, which far eclipse even famed cards such as Blue-Eyes White Dragon. Unable to be normal summoned, Machina demands tributing four specific monsters on the field to special summon, and it spends 1000 life points to attack. Machina does let you resummon three of its material monsters from the graveyard by sacrificing itself, but another effect to support its monstrous ATK would have been nice.
That said, keep in mind that machine-type monsters gain exclusive access to several ATK-doubling effects, like that of Limiter Removal and Power Bond, potentially enabling Machina to win a game with a single strike.
9. Rocket Arrow Express
Our next several entries share the same intimidating 5000 ATK, so we'll break the ties with their DEF scores. Rocket Arrow Express here essentially serves as a last resort. It can only be cast by controlling no other cards, makes you unable to conduct your battle phase for the turn, prevents you from playing other effects or setting cards, and is destroyed each turn unless you send your hand to the graveyard.
Yes, that's quite a heap of negatives to the card, which is why it should only be your desperate final play. However, if your opponent can't remove it within the turn where your battle phase is disabled, it'll soon start tearing through their defenses with its unholy strength. Like Machina Force, Rocket Arrow bears the machine-type, but sadly its own effect will prevent you from combining it with the ATK-doublers.
8. Flower Cardian Lightflare
A white-backgrounded synchro monster, Lightflare belongs to the Flower Cardian archetype, but accepts any tuner and four non-tuners as material. Yep, five monsters must fuel the usage of this card; luckily, it brandishes several worthy effects.
First, you can once per turn negate and destroy an opposing spell or trap. Second, your Flower Cardian cards (including Lightflare) negate opposing monsters' effects when they battle them. Finally, when this card is destroyed by battle (good luck with that) or an opposing card effect, you get to special summon a different Flower Cardian synchro monster from your extra deck.
As you can see, Lightflare dramatically aids Flower Cardian builds, but because of its general spell/trap negation, you may encounter it in other series too.
7. Superdimensional Robot Galaxy Destroyer
Gotta admit I am loving this machine's ridiculously cheesy, adjective-infested name. And honestly, with its power, it deserves it. A black-rimmed xyz monster, Galaxy Destroyer requires any three level-10 monsters as material. Once summoned, in addition to its jaw-dropping ATK, it wields a superb effect: once per turn, you detach one of its materials to destroy all opposing spells and traps, and your opponent cannot activate spells or traps in response!
Since Galaxy Destroyer should arrive with three materials, even if opponents manage to fend off its ATK, they can potentially lose their entire supporting field thrice! Protect Destroyer with cards like Safe Zone to ensure you get to reuse its effect, and don't forget those ever-valuable machine-doubling cards.
6. Five-Headed Dragon
One of many powerful dragons in Yu-Gi-Oh, fusion monster Five-Headed Dragon wields 5000 for both battle stats. It can be fusion summoned using any five dragon-type monsters; consider employing graveyard-accessing fusion cards, like Dragon's Mirror, to meet the requirement.
Once out, Five-Headed Dragon ignores battle damage and cannot be destroyed by earth, water, fire, wind, or dark-attributed monsters, leaving only light and divine. Honestly, these are odd, battle-destruction barricading effects for a card that should already be dominating in combat with its stats alone. Still, they only sweeten the pot, and five heads are better than one.
5. Malefic Truth Dragon
Another 5000/5000 dragon, Malefic Truth Dragon greatly aids the Malefic archetype, who generally field very strong monsters at the costs of only having one at a time and needing a field spell. Truth Dragon arrives when another Malefic is destroyed, although you must sacrifice half your life points. However, you can summon it from either your field or graveyard, making Truth Dragon a great candidate for forced discards.
Like its brethren, this card needs a field spell out (not hard considering both players will typically use one) and restricts you to one Malefic monster at a time. However, its stats will eradicate most foes, and when it destroys a monster by battle, you destroy all face-up monsters your opponent controls!
In short, Truth Dragon makes for a great comeback card, rending your adversary right when they think they've toppled your initial Malefic monster.
4. Dystopia the Despondent
A fiend-type, Dystopia also bears 5000 ATK and DEF; to summon it, you must send any four level-1 monsters from your field to the graveyard. Like Truth Dragon, Dystopia can be cast from both the hand and the graveyard, again making it great discard fodder.
The hardest thing about utilizing Dystopia is getting four level-1s on the field; once that's accomplished, using it is a breeze. Sure, it'll make your other monsters unable to attack, but during either player's battle phase, you can banish a level 1 from your graveyard to make Dystopia immune to battle destruction and card effects until the end of the battle, saving it from Mirror Force and the like. With monstrous ATK and a terrific barrier against removals, foes will desperately labor to defeat this behemoth.
3. Dragon Master Knight
Our final 5000/5000 card, this fusion monster demands Black Luster Soldier and Blue-Eyes White Dragon as material. Once summoned, its ATK can peak beyond 5000, as it gains 500 for every dragon you control other than itself.
And that's all there is here. While Dragon Master could benefit from some sort of built-in defense, its fearsome and adjustable ATK will obliterate opponents if they're not prepared.
2. Don Thousand/Monster B
Our last two monsters today are semi-official cards used in unique "Boss Duels" at special events. Unfortunately, you cannot use them in normal decks or at tournaments, but they're officially sanctioned cards designed for the unique 3-vs-1 mechanics of Boss Duels, where players team up to tackle a monstrous boss monster deck.
Don Thousand/Monster B is monstrous indeed with those ten thousand attack points! He's summoned using a unique spell card, and automatically destroys all opposing monsters at the end of the Battle Phase, reviving the destroyed monsters to his field. As if that weren't bad enough, he can prevent his own destruction by destroying an allied monster instead. With enough power to wipe out a player's life points in one strike, you'll certainly want two buddies by your side when facing Monster B.
1. Don Thousand/Monster C
Yes, Don Thousand/Monster C wields a hundred thousand ATK and DEF, over ten times the 8000 life points players start with! He's special summoned from the hand when Monster B is defeated, representing your last hurdle in the boss duel. Luckily, he cannot attack; however, he also cannot be destroyed by card effects and prevents you from attacking other monsters on your opponent's field. Even worse, he creates a gamestate where you lose the duel if you end a turn without attacking.
So, Monster C forces you to strike at least once, and prevents you from directing it at other monsters. Unless you have a trick up your sleeves, you'll be crushed under his massive power when you battle. But don't fret; cards like Honest or Amazoness Swords Women can use Monster C's ATK value against itself and conquer this menacing foe.
Yu-Gi-Oh's Standard ATK Cap
Some of today's monsters maintain a better competitive edge than others, but all share an imposing ATK score that will shatter opponents. Few monsters ever rise above 3000, making these titans' 4600 plus all the more impressive.
Remember to blend offense with defense when making your own custom deck, vote for your favorite of today's entries, and I'll see you at our next countdown!
Questions & Answers
Question: Where can you buy the Don Thousand/Monster B Yu-Gi-Oh card?
Answer: I'm afraid I didn't have any luck with a quick google search. Remember, this was a unique card made for boss duels, and it wouldn't be legal in any official play.
But if you want to craft your own boss duel, you could always proxy the card (print it out and insert into a sleeve with a regular card behind it).
Question: Is Don Thousand/Monster C forbidden in Yu-Gi-Oh tournaments?
Answer: Yes. It's a special card designed for a special type of duel, justifying its overpowered nature by having three players team up against it.
Question: What is the strongest Blue-Eyes monster in Yu-Gi-Oh?
Answer: In terms of raw ATK power, Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon and Neo Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon tie at 4500. But if you factor in effects, many fans would probably say the ritual monster Blue-Eyes Chaos MAX Dragon.
Question: In Yu-Gi-Oh, is "The Wicked Avatar" a good or bad catch?
Answer: Good catch, as Avatar's effect automatically raises his ATK 100 points above the field's strongest unit, meaning he should always be the most powerful monster out. However, in practice his power could fluctuate between 100-10,000 and depends on an effect rather than raw strength (excluding him from the countdown).
Question: I don't play Yu-Gi-Oh much, but I love these cards. Where can I get the Don Thousand card?
Answer: Unfortunately, I didn't see any on Amazon or other trading card sites; remember, Don Thousand B and C are special units designed for boss duels only, so you won't be able to use them in regular play.
Still, if you want to create your own boss duels with your friends, you could always proxy the card.
Question: Is "Blue-Eyes Twin Burst Dragon" good?
Answer: I wouldn't call him "bad", but he's not going to be dominating the meta. His contact fusion ability is nice since it means you don't need a fusion spell, but his only built-in defense is battle immunity, meaning he's vulnerable to removals.
Question: Why is Egyptian God Slifer the Sky Dragon not on the list of strongest monsters in Yu-Gi-Oh?
Answer: Slifer gains ATK for each card in your hand, meaning it *could* be stronger than today's monsters, but it could also be much weaker. Hand sizes constantly shift but typically range from 1-3 during most matches, so he'd usually arrive inferior unless you're specifically playing towards his effect.
To simplify the list, I only factored in base power that doesn't depend on abilities. Many other monsters (like Tragoedia and Colossal Fighter) could conceivably beat today's units, but usually won't, and they're also more vulnerable to effect-dampeners like Skill Drain.
Question: Aren't the Egyptian Gods the strongest Yu-Gi-Oh cards?
Answer: Not exactly. Obelisk has 4000 ATK (not quite making the list) while the power of Slifer and Ra change with their effects, which depend on the number of cards in hand and life points available. Thus, they can both be incredibly strong or weak depending on the current situation.
Question: Where is "Master of Oz" in Yu-Gi-Oh?
Answer: Oz is one of the game's strongest fusion monsters, especially for the era he debuted in, but his 4200 ATK doesn't quite match up to today's entries.
Question: How much is Dystopia the Despondent worth?
Answer: Current prices range from 50 cents to about three dollars.
Question: Can you tell me how to easily summon Dystopia the Despondent?
Answer: The Duston archetype works well with its numerous level one monsters. Machine decks can use Machine Duplication to swarm weak monsters to the field, and any deck can use Inferno Reckless Summon, although at the potential price of giving your opponent duplicate monsters.
For more ideas, visit the Yu-Gi-Oh wiki, search for Dystopia, and click on the "tips" section.
Question: How does one proxy cards in Yu-Gi-Oh?
Answer: Lots of ways to go about it, depending on what quality of card you want. You can often buy pre-made proxies online, or you can make them yourself (finding a good proxy website helps) by printing them, cutting them out, and sticking them in sleeves with an actual card behind it to grant the proxy some durability. That's probably the cheapest but most time-consuming way. Note that most tournaments (and some friend groups) won't allow proxies, so check before you plan on using them.
Question: In Yu-Gi-Oh, isn't there a monster whose ATK becomes the combined values of his tributes?
Answer: Yes, you can special summon "Legendary Maju Garzett" by tributing all monsters you control, giving him their combined original ATK. He also inflicts piercing damage to defense position monsters.
Question: What about Exodia?
Answer: Exodia can win you the game if you collect his pieces, but in sheer ATK, he's only 1000.
© 2018 Jeremy Gill
Jeremy Gill (author) from Louisiana on November 27, 2019:
Yes, but remember that Dandylion is banned at the moment (in both the TCG and OCG).
Ruko Agenta on November 27, 2019:
Cant you just use 2 Dandylion's and then tribute them, and during your next turn you can use their tokens to summon dystopia?
Jeremy Gill (author) from Louisiana on September 10, 2018:
Yes, the fusing ATK bonus of Power Bond works (because Chaos Giant isn't fielded yet), but I'm not sure about Limiter Removal, as in that case, Giant would already by fielded, and I believe he would thus be unaffected.
If I'm mistaken on that, someone please let me know and provide a rule justification.
William Darbishire on September 10, 2018:
you can use power bond and limiter removal on ancient gear chaos giant, so it would be on 18,000 ATK, its unaffected by spell/traps, it can attack all monsters once, your opponent cannot use monster effects in the battle phase and piercing damage, ignoring defence position.
Aden on September 08, 2018:
WOw can you sell these card I would like to buy them
Bean soldier on July 04, 2018:
Where can I get these cards
Jeremy Gill (author) from Louisiana on June 29, 2018:
Ah, you've basically answered your own question. Divine Serpent's real-life counterpart doesn't have infinite ATK (it depends on the other monsters on the field), and The Great Leviathan isn't even an actual card.
Zaydmuhu Ghori on June 28, 2018:
Isn't the anime's "Divine Serpent Geh" and "The Great Leviathan" supposed to be the monsters with the highest attack? (although I'm not sure there are any real life counterparts or if it is tournament legal, I mean infinite attack?!)
Jason on May 13, 2018:
True enough. I'd just started playing with Eater of Millions, and was quite fascinated by the card.
Jeremy Gill (author) from Louisiana on May 10, 2018:
I appreciate the mention of Armityle, but it doesn't technically fit the list since its official ATK is zero. You're right, it's amazing effect gives its 10,000 ATK during your turn, but our entire list would change if we factored in cards like that (Great Maju Garzett doubles the ATK of its tribute, so it could technically eclipse any of these stats).
Basically, effect-ATK boosts are another ballgame and can be countered with cards like Skill Drain.
I welcome your input too, but you're also delving into effects whereas this list dealt with only base ATK. If we factored in removal potential, cards as weak as Man-Eater Bug could technically "beat" far more powerful monsters. Also, your inclusion of spells gets into the territory of monster support cards, a much separate category.
Fenny B on May 09, 2018:
I understand that armityle technically hs no atk or def but his ability grants 10000 on the users turn so idk if he would be considered here?
Jason on April 04, 2018:
Eater of Millions simply banishes a monster it battles. Since Banishment != Destruction in Yu Gi Oh! the little hungry bug monster could finish all of these in one attack.
Blue-Eyes Twin-Burst Dragon can banish any monster it battles but doesn't destroy, so some of these would knock a chunk of life points off the user before the monster disappears. That wouldn't help against Monster C, although it would be Banished, but the attacking player would take 97,000 damage, which would put them out of the match.
Power Bond is a fusion card for machines, so doesn't help with non-fusion monsters, but Limiter Removal works on most machines. Honourable mention should go to Ultimate Ancient Gear Golem, which if made with Power Bond has 8,800 attack, and under Limiter Removal has 17,600. It does Piercing Damage, ignoring defence position, and ignoring spells and traps. Basically it's a one turn KO when you get it off, which you'd better do because you'll take 4,400 damage at the end of the turn, and Limiter Removal destroys the monster.
Jeremy Gill (author) from Louisiana on April 02, 2018:
Ah, I'm glad you mentioned the famed Egyptian god cards. Keep in mind their legal versions are different from the anime depictions, and Ra is my personal least favorite because it lacks a defensive effect.
Ra's ATK stat is "?"; when summoned, you can pay life points so that you only have 100 left and make that amount Ra's ATK/DEF. Assuming you spend 7900 of your base 8000, then Ra *could* be the strongest monster, but that's a risky strategy for a monster than can so easily be removed from the field. Plus, having full life that far into a duel isn't likely.
On the topic of the god cards, Obelisk the Tormentor's illegal version wields an ATK of infinity, so by unofficial standards, he's the strongest monster.
Jacob Gorgez on April 02, 2018:
What about winged dragon of ra