Jeremy enjoys dueling in between working as a chemical analyst and campus building manager.
Synchro Monsters in Yu-Gi-Oh!
Widely hailed as one of Yu-Gi-Oh!'s best eras, white-backgrounded synchro cards debuted alongside the crazy 5Ds anime that blended card games with motorcycles. Despite the strange mashup, both 5Ds and synchro cards became beloved by fans. Synchro monsters rest dormant in your extra deck until you sacrifice a tuner-category monster alongside nontuner(s) whose total levels equal the level of your desired synchro. You can check a monster's level by counting its orange stars in the upper-right corner.
Even as dueling has evolved and we've seen newer xyz, pendulum, and link cards, synchro remains a competitive and useful tactic incorporated into many decks. But with hundreds of potent creatures available, which beasts reign supreme? These are the top ten archetype-independent (they don't rely on using a specific series of monsters) synchro cards in Yu-Gi-Oh!
10. Black Rose Dragon
Duel not going your way? Tune into level-7 Black Rose, who can destroy all cards on the field (including yours) when synchro summoned. Or, you can decline the effect to use her other ability, which lets you banish a plant monster from your graveyard to shift a defense position foe into attack and make its ATK 0 for the turn, letting you easily defeat them and score huge battle damage.
Black Rose even has her own archetype now, but she's a great nuke for any theme.
9. Ally of Justice Catastor
Most of today's entries are levels 7 or 8; there just aren't as many worthwhile level 5 synchros, but that makes Catastor all the better. While his ATK isn't amazing, he automatically destroys any non-dark monster he battles!
And while it's true that dark is a common attribute, most monsters aren't dark. Plus, if you happen to face a dark deck, you can sideboard Catastor out in a best-of-3 match.
8. Goyo Guardian
One of the earliest synchros remains one of the best. This warrior-type unit harnesses a daunting 2800 ATK and accepts any tuner/nontuner pairing as material. Additionally, whenever Goyo Guardian destroys a monster in battle and sends it to the graveyard (easy considering his high ATK), you get to special summon that monster to your field in defense position! Use this to watch your opponent's despair as their own creatures shift loyalties and betray them.
That said, after many years of superiority, Goyo is finally starting to show his age since its effect can't impact link monsters (considering they don't have DEF scores), and pendulum monsters won't go the graveyard when defeated, but he's still a formidable champion. The fact that you can access him as a level 6 (spreading your extra deck across several levels to fit your field's situation) rather than a level 8 only adds icing to the cake.
7. Scarlight Red Dragon Archfiend
Yet another level 8 who accepts any tuner/nontuner duo, Scarlight Red Dragon Archfiend is a variant on rival Jack Atlas's famous card; in fact, it actually changes its name to Red Dragon Archfiend while fielded or in the graveyard. Not only does Scarlight match Blue-Eyes's imposing 3000 ATK and 2500 DEF, but it also lets you (once per turn) destroy as many special summoned effect monsters on the field with ATK less than or equal to Scarlight's, other than itself.
While this can wipe out your other units if you're not careful, it's an excellent way to remove opposing cards. Most monsters in the game are effect monsters, most have less than or equal to 3000 ATK, and most of the strongest (fusions, rituals, synchros, etc.) will be special summoned, so you'll often eliminate multiple enemies at once. And even if you happen to destroy a few of your own, it's not all bad since each monster destroyed will inflict 500 damage to your opponent! After taking that damage and losing their defenders, odds are good you'll be able to finish the duel with a direct attack from this fierce dragon.
6. White Aura Whale
While Whale isn't archetype-dependent, it does require you to use a water-attributed tuner and non-tuner, slightly limiting its accessibility. That said, this level 8 wields a fierce 2800 ATK on top of several awesome effects:
- When synchro summoned, you can destroy all attack position monsters your opponent controls (perfect for getting rid of defense position-lacking link monsters)
- Whale can make a second attack on monsters in each battle phase
- When attacking a defense position card, inflict piercing battle damage to your opponent
- If this card is removed from the field by an opponent's card (whether through battle or effect) and sent to the graveyard, you can banish another water monster from your graveyard to revive Whale and treat it as a tuner
The attack position removal wipes out all opposing units other than defense position creatures, who will then be obliterated with Whale's piercing damage and multiple attacks, and Whale's own revival trait ensures that you're never without it for long. Overall, an awesome card with a heap of amazing effects that I'd rank even higher were it not for its water-demanding affinity.
5. Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier
Trishula belongs to the Ice Barrier archetype, but we're including it since none of its effects or summoning conditions rely on being paired with its brethren. It accepts any tuner and nontuners, but note that you need to meld at least two nontuners for this level 9 dragon.
In addition to a strong 2700 ATK, Trishula's best qualities are its handy ability and the fact that it triggers on entry; even if Trishula is immediately destroyed with a Bottomless Trap Hole or other removal, its ignition will still activate. Upon being synchro summoned, you can banish a card from your opponent's field, graveyard, and a random one from their hand! Three lost units really impacts your adversary's gamestate, and since the cards are exiled, there's little hope of recovering them.
Plus, Trishula's better than ever thanks to support from his upgraded Zero Dragon synchro form (level 11), which summons base Trishula when defeated.
4. Black Rose Moonlight Dragon
Yusei's love interest Akiza Izinski wielded the powerful Black Rose Dragon, who also bears an impressive counterpart: Black Rose Moonlight Dragon. As a level 7 unit, Moonlight helps diversify your extra deck from the standard level 8 synchro, accepts any tuner/nontuner duo, and wields a decent 2400 ATK.
But the real draw comes from its effects: when initially summoned and whenever your opponent special summons a level 5 or higher monster, you get to target one special summoned card they control and return it to their hand, a sweet removal that circumvents immunity to destruction. While Moonlight hasn't aged perfectly considering both xyz and link monsters don't have levels and can be summoned without triggering the effect, remember they can still be targeted when you first summon Moonlight. Even now, Moonlight remains one of the best level 7s out there and is easy to summon with tuners like Masked Chameleon.
3. Clear Wing Synchro Dragon
Level 7 Clear Wing accepts any tuner/non-tuner, and he's a huge pain thanks to his twin negation effects. He can once per turn negate and destroy a level 5 or higher monster effect, and he can also once per turn negate/destroy a monster effect that targets a level 5 or higher monster, including himself!
Plus, while his ATK is only decent 2500, when Clear Wing negates and destroys a monster, he adds their ATK for the turn, making him near impossible to kill in battle that round. Also consider his upgraded form Crystal Wing, whose even stronger but requires a synchro monster as material.
2. PSY-Framelord Omega
Limited as of this writing, Omega takes any materials and (as a quick effect during either main phase) can banish both himself and a random card from your opponent's hand until your next standby. During your own standby phase, he can return a banished card to the graveyard, and while in the graveyard, he can shuffle himself and another GY card into the deck.
This means that his limited status barely hampers him since he's so easy to retrieve from the the graveyard, it's not hard to resummon the same Omega (until he gets banished, at least). Through in powerful 2800 ATK and you've got a well-rounded beatstick.
1. Chaos Ruler, the Chaotic Magical Dragon
Not only does Chaos Ruler have excellent stats, he excavates your deck's top five cards on synchro summon, adding any one light or dark monster from among them to hand. That's easy advantage, plus you send the rest to the graveyard, filling it with graveyard fodder.
This also helps revive himself from the graveyard; Chaos can banish a light and a dark monster from your hand or graveyard to revive himself. This won't trigger his entry effect (it only works when synchro summoned), and he's banished when he leaves the field once revived, but it's basically a free Blue-Eyes whenever you need.
The Future of Synchro
Today's ten units should fit snugly into just about any deck, letting you discover some champions for a wide variety of builds. Still, remember that many more series-reliant forces exist; be sure to read up on your preferred monster clan to see if they enjoy access to their own unique synchros.
Perhaps we'll tackle those series-specific cards in the future, but for now, as we eagerly await more synchro-containing Yu-Gi-Oh! expansion sets, vote for your favorite monster, and I'll see you at our next trading card countdown!
© 2018 Jeremy Gill
death on August 05, 2018:
no psy framelord omega of course.
J***** Thunderfoot B**** on June 13, 2018:
Sorry only a kid( SCREW OFF PERVS) but I do think Supreme King Dragon (Servant for Japanese) Clear Wing deserves a spot on the list because it can destroy a monster it battles before damage calculation) and deals the opponent equal to the destoyed monsters attack. You only need dark type pendulum monsters as well so its easier to summon than Crystal Wing plus it has a crystal clear 2500 attack and a good 2000 defense like Clear Wing. Combine it with pendulum deck and more it can devastate your opponent and win you the duel along with pendulum effects (Performapal Odd Eyes Synchron) and Odd Eyes monsters its easy to summon.