Jeremy enjoys dueling in between working as a chemical analyst and campus building manager.
Link Monsters in Yu-Gi-Oh
Last time, we examined at Konami's ten most fierce link monsters, but many more potent warriors remain for us to uncover. Link monsters remain a crucial part of most decks because without these blue-backgrounded champions, you're limited to just one extra deck zone. Different link monsters will provide different amounts of additional extra deck zones (based on the slots they point to), but all lack a DEF score and constantly remain in attack position.
Additionally, similarly to xyz monsters, link creatures forgo levels and are instead classified by their link ratings, which indicate how many materials the cards can substitute for in future link summons. Of course, their ATK and effects really determine each champion's metal, and you must often pay the price for using the strongest monsters by pointing towards your opponent's zones as well as your own, giving them more room for extra deck shenanigans. But with many dozens of link monsters remaining, which titans reign supreme?
These are ten more of the best link monsters in the Yu-Gi-Oh TCG!
- Crystron Needlefiber
- Gaia Saber, the Lightning Shadow
- Knightmare Phoenix
- Knightmare Cerberus
- Trickstar Foxywitch
- Topologic Bomber Dragon
- Topologic Trisbaena
- Gouki The Great Ogre
- Subterror Behemoth Fiendess
- Triple Burst Dragon
10. Crystron Needlefiber
Link Rating: 2
Although extra deck units like synchro monsters took a hit with the "master" extra deck limitation rules, it's nice to see Konami still produce support for them. Crystron Needlefiber accepts any two monsters for its link summon as long as one of them is a tuner, the type of monsters usually used to synchro summon. When link summoned, Needlefiber lets you special summon a level 3 or lower tuner from your hand or deck in defense position, but it cannot activate its effects that turn.
Not only does this effect negation wear off at your end phase, but it also doesn't counter your tuner's status as a tuner since that's a built-in feature (and not an effect) of the card, meaning it's still ripe for a synchro summon. Luckily, Needlefiber points diagonally backwards in two directions without pointing forwards at all, making it a prime candidate for your first extra deck unit. Additionally, Needlefiber can banish itself to synchro summon a tuner synchro monster from your extra deck, an astonishingly easy way of casting cards like Flower Cardian Moonflowerviewing.
9. Gaia Saber, the Lightning Shadow
Link Rating: 3
Need a link monster? Here's a link monster. Machine-type Gaia Saber doesn't exclude at all, accepting any two monsters you have to spare. While it doesn't wield any effects, it brandishes a sturdy ATK of 2600 and points directly backwards as well as to each side of itself, gaining you either one or two bonus extra deck spaces depending on its position, and never granting your opponent any. You can even use monster tokens as link material so long as they fit their target's criteria, and since Gaia Saber doesn't have any, you're more than welcome to access it with token-generating magic cards like Scapegoat.
Link Ratings Explained
Most link ratings correspond with the number of materials needed for each unit's link summon as well as the number of directions the card points in. Fortunately, link monsters can count as multiple materials (up to their link rating value), reducing your overall cost. However, you need at least as many monsters as specified under the monster type; for instance, at minimum, Gaia here requires at least two monsters; you couldn't just chain him from another link-3 unit.
8. Knightmare Phoenix
Link Rating: 2
Hilarious, Konami. Give the guy who came up with "Knightmare" a raise. But bad puns aside, Knightmare Phoenix accepts any two monsters with different names as material, an incredibly easy condition to meet. While it only wields a lukewarm 1900 ATK, when link summoned, Phoenix lets you discard a card to target and destroy an opposing spell or trap, and if Phoenix is co-linked when this ability triggers, you also get to draw a card! Additionally, co-linked monsters you control cannot be destroyed by battle, a perfect defense for Phoenix's mediocre ATK.
Remember, two link monsters are considered co-linked when they both point towards each other. Many link monsters like Knightmare Phoenix strengthen when co-linked, so be sure to quickly swarm the field with link units to create an invincible army of self-sustaining allies. Just watch out since one of the two directions Phoenix points is forward (potentially aiding your opponent), but even that disadvantage can turn into a benefit by possibly co-linking with an opponent's unit. It can only simply point towards your original link monster if Phoenix wasn't your first extra deck warrior.
7. Knightmare Cerberus
Link Rating: 2
Another member of the Knightmare archetype, just like its predecessor, Cerberus is a fiend monster who takes any two monsters with different names as materials. This easy-access criteria allows absolutely any deck to employ the Knightmares and surprise opponents with unexpected tricks. Speaking of which, when link summoned, Cerberus lets you discard a card to target and destroy an opponent's monster that resides in one of their main monster zones, and if Cerberus was co-linked when this ability triggers, you also draw a card.
Cerberus protects all co-linked monsters you control from effect destruction; when combined with Phoenix's battle immunity, you've crafted an almost-impenetrable barrier around your co-linked beasts. Use this to defend Cerberus from combat, a smart move considering its vulnerable ATK score of 1600.
6. Trickstar Foxywitch
Link Rating: 3
Unlike our prior entries, Trickstar Foxywitch demands her two (or more) materials possess the fairy-type, so you'll only run her in your fairy builds. However, when Foxywitch is special summoned (this helpfully includes both her link summon and any graveyard revivals), you get to inflict 200 damage to your opponent for each card they control! When tallying up their monsters, spells, and traps, this can quickly exceed 1000 or more pain and help turn the tide of the duel.
Additionally, when this link summoned card is destroyed by battle or effect, you can special summon a link 2 or lower Trickstar monster from your extra deck, then once again inflict 200 damage to your opponent for each card they control. Foxywitch won't go down without a fight, simultaneously fielding you another link monster while slamming your foe with more indirect damage, making a burn-deck win more than possible. Beyond that, she helpfully wields a solid ATK of 2200, enough to overcome most non-tributed main deck monsters.
5. Topologic Bomber Dragon
Link Rating: 4
Topologic Bomber Dragon requires two or more effect monsters as material, and since the vast majority of monsters bear at least one effect, you should easily satisfy this specification. While he needs four materials, Bomber Dragon wields an amazing 3000 ATK (matching Blue-Eyes White Dragon), and you can reduce his price by sacrificing other link units.
Unfortunately, his first effect doesn't quite live up. When another monster is special summoned to a zone that a link monster (belonging to either player) points to, Bomber destroys all cards in the main monster zones, and your other creatures cannot attack for the rest of the turn. This locks both yourself and your opponent from using link slots unless you're willing to annihilate all monsters within the main zones, so plan your moves accordingly. Thankfully, Bomber's next effect is less hazardous, simply inflicting damage to your opponent whenever it attacks a monster equal to that monster's original ATK, a brutal way to add insult to 3000 attack points of injury.
4. Topologic Trisbaena
Link Rating: 3
Another daunting Topologic monster, Trisbaena requires three total link points to summon. While not quite matching Bomber Dragon in stats, Trisbaena nonetheless harnesses a more-than-impressive ATK and link rating considering its ease of summoning. Even better, when a monster is special summoned to a zone this card points to, you banish that monster plus all spells/traps on the field, inflicting 500 damage to your opponent for each of their cards exiled this way.
While this often removes your own combatant from play, it's a great way to mass exile those pesky spells/traps; just be sure to hold off on setting yours before using the ability. The added effect damage also helps, and note that Trisbaena wields the game's latest monster type, cyberse, guiding your decklist to victory with a fresh slew of modern champions.
3. Gouki The Great Ogre
Link Rating: 3
I really enjoy the entire Gouki series, with Great Ogre remaining my favorite. Employing a fierce 2600 ATK , he'll only accept Gouki monsters as material, but he makes all monsters on the field lose ATK equal to their original DEF. And since link monsters don't have DEF, Great Ogre (and other link units) avoid this dampening, letting you circumvent the disadvantage and strike your weakened foes at full force.
Additionally, if Great Ogre would be destroyed, whether through battle or card effect, you can instead destroy one of the monsters he points to, and with three backwards arrows (and no forward), you should be able to keep him supplied with several minions to use as meat shields. An imposing warrior designed for any link-focused build.
2. Subterror Behemoth Fiendess
Link Rating: 2
This interesting wyrm-type takes any two flip monsters as material, granting support to one of the game's oldest mechanics. Subterror Behemoth Fiendess starts off at an unimpressive 2000 ATK, but gains 100 ATK for each original level of the Subterror monsters used in its link summon, helping strengthen it when used in tangent with other members of its archetype. Once per turn, during your main phase, Fiendess can send a flip monster from your deck to your graveyard and special summon a monster from your hand face-down into a zone Fiendess points to.
This simultaneously fields a card (ready to be flipped and apply a flip effect) while also stocking your graveyard, especially useful with graveyard-activating Shaddoll monsters. It also combos perfectly with Fiendess's last effect, letting you (once per turn) add a flip monster from your deck or graveyard to your hand when a monster Fiendess points to is flipped face-up. Lethal in its own series, Fiendess is surprisingly versatile with other flip builds as well.
1. Triple Burst Dragon
Link Rating: 3
Triple Burst Dragon needs three link points and harnesses a healthy 2400 ATK. Additionally, once per turn during the damage step, when a spell, trap, or monster effect is activated, you can negate the activation, guarding against pesky hand traps like Honest and other tricks. Plus, when Triple Burst attacks a defense position monster, you inflict piercing battle damage, a great way to punish foes for stalling.
Finally, except for the turn it's summoned, Triple Burst can tribute itself to special summon a link 2 or 1 monster in your graveyard as well as a level 4 or lower dragon from your hand, fielding two units for the price of one while retaining your normal summon for the turn. A handy dragon for any build, and since he's so accessible, you never quite know when you'll face a Triple Burst.
A staple of any dragon deck I build, Triple Burst employs several effects to support your team, and despite his fierce prowess, he costs less than five dollars!
Future of Link Monsters
Because they're necessary for fielding multiple extra deck monsters, link creatures remain an important part of almost every Yu-Gi-Oh deck, and I'm excited to see the future of these game-changing heroes. Learning how to play them well with grant you many victories, and since surprisingly few occupy the ban list, you have a vast array of powerful cards to choose from.
But for now, as we eagerly await Konami's next expansion set of hexagonal forces (not to mention unexpected changes to its rulebook), vote for your favorite extra deck monster, and I'll see you at our next Yu-Gi-Oh countdown!
© 2018 Jeremy Gill
Jeremy Gill (author) from Louisiana on September 19, 2018:
We could debate back and forth for hours about the placements of the cards, so I'll just take that as a compliment. Gaia Saber's lack of effects may turn some away, but its easy summon, high ATK, good arrows, and helpful link rating make it useful for archetypes who lack their own link members.
Baker on September 19, 2018:
This list is great if you remove Gaia Saber and read it in reverse order.