Top 10 Underrated Monsters in Yu-Gi-Oh
Monsters in Yu-Gi-Oh
As duelists know, monsters form the backbone of almost any deck. They attack your opponent's life, guard your own, and alter the game with a variety of tricky effects. Many monsters (Blue-Eyes, Qliphorts, etc.) are praised for their power, yet we occasionally see hidden gems slip by unnoticed.
Am I saying these guys are still competitive in current play? No, some admittedly haven't endured the test of time as well as others. But many crept under our radars despite displaying impressive abilities (for their eras) and still make appearances in retro decks. So, let's discover the ten best underrated monsters of dueling's past!
10. Blowback Dragon
Like many single-tribute monsters (Mobius the Frost Monarch, Caius the Shadow Monarch), Blowback functions as a high ATK/removal combo. The downside here is there's only a 50% chance of the removal working. However, not only is the removal reusable (it's once per turn), it can target any type of card: monster, spell, or trap! Finally, Blowback's Machine type synchronizes with the numerous Machine-central combinations (Limiter Removal, Power Bond, etc.) as well as rare coin flip-centered effects.
Veterans may be reminded of similar card Barrel Dragon, which upgrades Blowback's ATK and level but costs two tributes and can only target monsters.
Level 10 Tragoedia can be tribute-summoned with two sacrifices, but why bother when it's so easy to summon? You can cast it for free whenever you take any battle damage, and its battle stats constantly change based on the number of cards in your hand. Each gives 600, making scores of 3000 and above very possible.
Besides that, Tragoedia possesses some tricky effects. It can take control of an opponent's monster by sending a monster with the same level from your hand to the graveyard, and it can change its level to match any monster in your graveyard (useful for xyz summoning).
8. Blackwing - Gale the Whirlwind
One of Crow Hogan's famous Blackwing series, Gale works well in any archetype. You can special summon it from the hand if you have another Blackwing out, but since it doesn't require tributes to normal summon, it's easy to field either way.
More importantly, once out, you can (once per turn) halve the ATK and DEF of any opposing monster! Keep Gale safe with s like Sword of Revealing Light or Safe Zone to drastically weaken your adversaries, then use its tuner status to summon powerful synchro creatures! Plus, belonging to the Blackwing archetype accesses Blackwing-demanding synchro monsters in addition to the usual sets.
A card that's usage has somewhat fizzled out, Submarineoid nonetheless impressed back in the GX era. It can attack directly regardless of opposing monsters, then shift position and utilize its solid DEF during your opponent's turn. In addition, it combos well with the frequent -roid cards of the day, contributing to powerful fusion monsters such as Barbaroid, the Ultimate Battle Machine.
Submarineroid also possesses the rare water-attribute machine-type combination, gathering value simply for its varied synergies.
6. Gorz the Emissary of Darkness
A so-called "hand trap", Gorz triggers from your hand when you suffer damage while having an empty field. Upon meeting this condition, Gorz gets a free summon, and either summons a token monster or damages your opponent depending on whether you endured battle or effect damage.
Basically, Gorz works as a great last resort, thwarting your opponents right when they think they have you cornered, and considering its high ATK and useful abilities, it can definitely turn the tide of a duel.
5. Breaker the Magical Warrior
As long as you Normal-Summon Breaker, it arrives with a Spell Counter that boosts its ATK to 1900, surpassing most tribute-free beasts. Additionally, you can remove the Spell Counter to destroy any opposing spell or trap!
Breaker can serve as a beatdown for weak monsters, removal, and support for Spell Counter decks. Duelists of its era loved to spend its Counter before using Breaker to fuel a Synchro or XYZ creature. Two birds, one stone, and Breaker also enjoys a pendulum-comboing upgraded form: Breaker the Dark Magical Warrior.
4. Dupe Frog
Dupe has some sweet qualities, beginning with its solid DEF. Next, while face-up it prevents opponents from attacking any other monster. Finally, if destroyed, you can add a different Frog monster from your deck to your hand. Even if you're not running Frogs as your main theme, many work in a variety of deck formats, letting the cards synergize with several formats.
In short, Dupe Frog both defends your other monsters and searches for utility monsters like Treeborn Frog or Flip Flop Frog upon defeat.
3. Pumprincess the Princess of Ghosts
A personal favorite, Pumprincess works great in long duels. As a monster, its stats are nothing impressive, but when destroyed it moves to your spell/trap zone. While there, Pumprincess accumulates counters at every standby phase, reducing the ATK and DEF of opposing monsters by 100 for each! Watch as your opponent's creatures soon become too diminished to properly attack or defend.
Pro tip: Combine Pumprincess with effects that need to destroy one of your own cards (Sky Iris, Scrap Dragon, etc.) for a nifty duo. And since the game has slowed (especially the extra deck) thanks to the advent of changes implemented alongside newer link monsters, Pumprincess has remained surprisingly relevant in modern dueling.
2. Dark Simorgh
Admittedly, Simorgh has seen some spotlight, but never as much as it deserved. It's simply one of the best lockdowns available; opponents can't set any cards while it's out. This guards against flip monsters and traps, and crafty players would throw in Anti-Spell Fragrance to block opposing magic cards too!
Beyond that, Simorgh wields impressive ATK and two effects to ease in its summoning, both of which depend on running dark and wind-attributed monsters. If you have a pendulum scale of at least 8, you can also pendulum summon this formidable winged beast to avoid tributing.
1. Spell Striker
Sure, Striker is weak and aging, but it brandishes a variety of nasty effects many duelists overlook. Check 'em out:
- You can special summon it (and save your turn's normal summon) by banishing a spell from your graveyard
- It may attack your opponent's life points directly
- You take no battle damage with battles involving this card
Spell Striker enters with a free summon, lashes at your opponent regardless of defenders, and won't incur harm if it's attacked by a stronger opponent. Versatile, swift, and tricky, the card displays several impressive traits.
Which monster do you favor?
Many aspects of the game have changed since most of these cards debuted, but some still make appearances in current games. For the ones that don't, they still stand as a testament to powerful underrated monsters of days past, and I eagerly await what Yu-Gi-Oh's future sets will bring. How will Konami's next designs after link summoning change the game, and will any of these cards undergo a reemergence?
Time will tell, but for now, vote for your favorite card, and I'll see you at our next Yu-Gi-Oh countdown!
Questions & Answers
© 2017 Jeremy Gill