8 Defensive Yu-Gi-Oh Monsters for Any Deck
The Yu-Gi-Oh/Duel Monsters card game has evolved greatly over the decades; we have Synchro, XYZ, and Pendulum monsters now added to the fray.
Of course, one constant is the importance of the monsters in your deck. Their attack and defense scores, and especially effects, are what will make or break your duel.
One important yet often overlooked area of Duel Monsters is defending yourself when plans go haywire. Today, we'll look at eight monsters who will defend your precious Life Points in any deck!
Some of today's monsters have "Flip" effects. These are simply effects that activate after a monster is flipped face-up after being Set into Defense Position.
8. Night Assailant
First up, Night Assailant. As you can see, its Attack and Defense scores are both low; this guy's unlikely to last long in battle. However, he has two effects to compensate. First, when he's flipped face-up, you get to target one of your opponent's monsters and destroy it, making Assailant a nice removal choice.
Second, if Night Assailant is in your hand and is sent to your Graveyard, you're allowed to add a monster with a Flip effect from your Graveyard to your hand, essentially negating the hand disadvantage.
In short, Assailant will either take out an enemy for you or replenish your hand.
Next, the amusingly named Dandylion. Again, this monster has low Attack and Defense, but an incredible effect: Dandylion summons two tokens in Defense Position when it's sent to the Graveyard. You can sacrifice these tokens to summon one of your stronger monsters, or simply use them as shields to absorb some of your opponent's attacks.
The great thing about Dandylion is that, unlike most monsters, its effect activates no matter how it's sent to the Graveyard. Traveling there from the field, your hand, or directly from the deck will all summon the tokens.
6. Golden Ladybug
Next, a personal favorite, Golden Ladybug. Its battle stats are atrocious, but that's irrelevant - normally, this monster never enters the field. Why? Its effect activates directly from your hand: During each of your turns, you can reveal this card in your hand to gain 500 Life Points.
Simple, but effective. In longer matches, you can gain thousands and thousands of Life Points, allowing you to endure many more attacks from your opponent. Since this card activates from your hand, it's very hard for your opponent to remove - making this insect the most reliable way to regain Life Points.
Plus, in desperate situations, you can always Set Golden Ladybug in Defense Position to absorb one attack.
5. Dupe Frog
Finally, a monster with a respectable Defense stat! Dupe Frog's 2000 lets it survive against weaker foes. Plus, it has two helpful effects to further warrant its use. First, when this amphibian is face-up, your opponent cannot target any other monster for an attack.
Plus, if Dupe Frog is destroyed, you're allowed to add one "Frog" monster from your deck to your hand - Flip-flop Frog and Treeborn Frog being excellent choices.
Speaking of which..
4. Treeborn Frog
Despite low stats, Treeborn Frog is one of the best defensive cards in the game. Its effect can activate while in your Graveyard: At the beginning of each of your turns, if you have no Magic or Trap cards on the field, you can summon Treeborn Frog from the Graveyard.
From there, what you to do with this free summon is up to you. Sacrifice it for a Tribue, keep it in Defense to block an attack, or use it as Synchro monster material. No matter what you pick, you can summon this frog again whenever you have no Magic and Trap cards out.
Because Treeborn Frog's effect activates in the Graveyard, this card is a great card to use when an effect forces you to discard from your hand. Throw this creature away, and turn that discard into an advantage! Also, it combos superbly with the Superheavy Samurai monsters.
Third place goes to the deceptively cute Marshmallon, whose two effects can benefit any deck. First, this monster cannot be destroyed in battle. That's already sweet, but Marshmallon also inflicts 1000 damage to your opponent when they attack it while its face-down. One thousand damage is nothing to sneeze at, allowing Marshmallon both offensive and defensive potential.
Just watch out for rare monsters with piercing effects, these inflict excess battle damage to players when attacking Defense Position monsters.
2. Penguin Soldier
Penguin Soldier earns second spot for its awesome Flip effect. When flipped, you can choose two monsters on the field, and return them to the hand. This puts Tribute-Summoned cards back to the hand, forcing them to be recast, and completely eliminates cards from the Extra Deck.
Plus, you can even target your own monsters with Penguin Solider, including itself. Thus, you can set it in Defense mode one turn. Then, if it wasn't attacked, flip it face-up on your next turn. Its effect will activate, and you can return it to your hand (ready to be set in Defense again) as well as one of your opponent's monsters. Or, you could return itself and another of your Flip cards to your hand, in order to reuse both Flip effects again!
Protect Penguin from danger with cards like Swords of Revealing Light and Scrap-Iron Scarecrow, and watch as your opponents fail to keep their monsters around.
1. Battle Fader
Perhaps the best defensive monster in the game is the mighty Battle Fader. It bears some similarities to Golden Ladybug: both have zero Attack and Defense, and both brandish hand-activated effect.
When your opponent wipes out your monsters and is about to directly attack your Life Points, you can activate Fader's effect: Summon it from your hand and end the Battle Phase.
This not only ends your opponent's opportunity to attack for that turn, it also places a monster on your field. On your following turn, tribute Battle Fader to call out a powerful monster, or simply keep it in the field to block one attack the following round.
Unlike Traps used for protection (Mirror Force anyone?), Battle Fader isn't vulnerable to field wipes, as it rests dormant in your hand until needed. Don't overlook this awesome barricading effect!
Hopefully you've enjoyed reviewing some of the game's best defenders. Let me know which is your favorite, and I'll see you at our next Duel Monsters review!