Jeremy enjoys dueling in between working as a chemical analyst and campus building manager.
Underrated Monsters in Yu-Gi-Oh
Every duelist knows their Blue-Eyes from their Dark Magicians, but often lesser-known beasts slip under the radar despite displaying fierce powers.
Last time we examined ten of the most underutilized monsters in Yu-Gi-Oh; today we're back with a fresh batch of ten more awesome hidden gems!
- Thunder Sea Horse
- Trap Eater
- Dupe Frog
- Black Rose Moonlight Dragon
- Night Assailant
- The Calculator
- Great Maju Garzett
- Fortune Lady Earth
- Strong Wind Dragon
- Amazoness Queen
10. Thunder Sea Horse
Bearing the rare thunder type, Thunder Sea Horse works great for stocking both the graveyard and the hand. By discarding it, you can add two level four light-attributed thunder-typed monsters of the same name with 1600 or less ATK from your deck to your hand—including two more Thunder Sea Horses! You can only use the effect once per turn, but with more cards in hand, you'll soon be ready to either activate it again and pull more monsters or utilize the excess cards as discard fodder.
This superb ability is hindered only by the fact that you cannot special summon during the turn you trigger the effect.
9. Trap Eater
You're taking a slight gamble with Trap Eater as it relies on your opponent using continuous traps. However, most decks employ at least one, and once your rival fields it, you're ready to go. Trap Eater cannot be normal summoned and is only special summoned by sending a face-up opposing trap to the graveyard.
This offers several benefits; most obviously, it eliminates an opposing trap. It also fields a monster with decent ATK to your field, doesn't take up the extra monster zone, and doesn't use your normal summon for the turn. Finally, Trap Eater serves as a tuner, offering access to many powerful synchro monsters.
8. Dupe Frog
Considering Dupe Frog's superior DEF, you'll likely want to set it instead of summoning the amphibian. Either way, once it's face-up, it offers an incredible protective trait: your opponent will be unable to attack any other monster on your field! Additionally, when Dupe Frog is sent from the field to the graveyard, you're allowed to add a different-named "Frog" monster from your deck to your hand, including the popular Treeborn Frog or Swap Frog.
Even in non-Frog decks, these oversized tadpoles can shine thanks to their versatility, and Dupe Frog provides a final bonus of changing its name to Des Frog while on the field (useful for certain name-based cards).
7. Black Rose Moonlight Dragon
Moonlight Dragon here shares the same battle attributes and level with its better-known rendition Black Rose Dragon. While that card can destroy the entire field upon entrance, Moonlight Dragon provides a much more defensive ability. When it's first summoned and whenever your opponent special summons a level five or higher monster, you target an opposing special summoned monster and return it to the hand. This makes it dreadfully hard for your foe to field their strongest creatures, and it nicely bypasses destruction-immune monsters.
Unfortunately, since xyz and link monsters lack levels, opponents can summon them without the effect triggering. Nonetheless, those monster types can still be targeted when a different applicable monster is special summoned, ensuring your opponent will sweat over Moonlight's presence regardless of their monster variety.
Finally, Black Rose Moonlight Dragon wields strong ATK and accepts any tuners and non-tuner combinations as material (assuming they add up to the correct level of seven), synchronizing beautifully with every build utilizing tuners.
6. Night Assailant
Like most flip monsters, Night Assailant lacks in combat ability, but he provides two great bonuses. First, when flipped, you target and destroy an opposing monster à la Man-Eater Bug. However, if instead Assailant is sent from your hand to the graveyard, you can add any other flip monster from your graveyard to the hand.
This makes Assailant function well as both monster removal or discard fodder. When he's not obliterating monsters, use him to fuel powerful spells requiring discards without losing card advantage!
5. The Calculator
Like Black Rose Moonlight Dragon, The Calculator has faced difficulties in recent years due to the prominence of non-level monsters, but it still offers great power in the right decks. Its effect is simple: Calculator gains 300 ATK per level of all your face-up monsters. This includes its own levels, beginning at a puny 600 ATK, but he can skyrocket to monstrous plateaus when you swarm your field, potentially reaching peaks of 4000 and more. Use easy-to-summon high-level monsters like Tragoedia to aid in this endeavor.
Plus, having 0 DEF is more helpful than it seems, as it qualifies Calculator for effects like that of Masked Chameleon. Finally, note that this card meets the requirements of being searched for by Thunder Sea Horse.
4. Great Maju Garzett
Here's a fun high-risk, high-reward card. When tribute summoned, Great Maju doubles the ATK of your sacrificed monster and makes that value its new original attack. Tribute something fierce like a Blue-Eyes White Dragon and watch as Maju storms your adversary with a whopping 6000 ATK!
Again, the 0 DEF can actually be a good thing, but be careful with this one, as Maju has no built-in defenses to guard its potential power.
3. Fortune Lady Earth
The Fortune Ladies are an interesting bunch who play for the long haul rather than a quick win. One of their best members, Fortune Lady Earth, works surprisingly well even when outside her archetype. Her ATK and DEF depend on her level, which starts at six (meaning a normal summon requires a tribute and she arrives with a respectable 2400 ATK/DEF).
2400 is already enough to take on many foes, but during each of your following standby phases (at the start of your turn), Earth increases her level by one. This not only rapidly boosts her stats, it activates her effect that inflicts 400 damage to your opponent whenever her level increases. With ever-rising ATK values as well as consistent effect damage, Earth makes short work of unprepared foes; be sure to protect her with cards like Safe Zone to make the most of her powers.
2. Strong Wind Dragon
As popular as dragon monsters are, many duelists seem to overlook the several abilities of Strong Wind Dragon. Here's a quick look:
- Cannot be destroyed in battle by a monster with the same ATK
- When tribute summoned by tributing a dragon-type monster, Strong Wind gains half that monster's ATK
- Inflicts piercing battle damage to defense-position opponents
Living up to its name, Strong Wind begins with good ATK that can easily eclipse even the strongest dragons when you tribute a dragon. It can also fight monsters with equal ATK without falling and rams through defensive monsters to counter stall-happy opponents. Finally, it coincidentally shares the 2400 ATK and 1000 DEF needed for the many of the Monarch series' effects.
1. Amazoness Queen
The beauty of this card lies in Queen's ability to make her entire archetype immune to battle destruction. That's an immensely potent effect for such an easy monster to summon (only one tribute and no extra deck shenanigans). The trait, of course, extends to Queen as well, forcing your opponent to waste time eliminating her with effects while you swing at them with a combat-invincible army.
Beyond that, Amazoness Queen wields a sweet 2400 ATK and can vanquish most foes in battle with just her base strength. A must for any Amazoness build.
Dueling evolves as the years pass and newer summoning mechanics are introduced, but don't be afraid to scour the card database for a diamond hidden in the rough. With thousands of monsters available, many promising contenders inevitably fly under most players' radars, ready to catch opponents off guard.
As we eagerly await our next monster batch, vote for your favorite entry, and I'll see you at our next Yu-Gi-Oh countdown!
Questions & Answers
Question: What boosts Jinzo's powers in Yu-Gi-Oh?
Answer: Since he's a machine-type, cards like Limiter Removal can strengthen Jinzo. However, he has his own archetype now, and you can employ upgraded monster renditions like Jinzo - Lord or use the spell Amplifier on the original to re-enable the use of traps on your side of the field.
© 2018 Jeremy Gill