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Top 8 Defensive Yu-Gi-Oh Monsters for Any Deck

Updated on June 12, 2017
Jeremy Gill profile image

Jeremy works part time while attending college as a criminal justice major. He's been annoying his friends with Yu-Gi-Oh trivia for years!

Duel Monsters

The Yu-Gi-Oh card game has evolved greatly over the decades; we now have Synchro, XYZ, and Pendulum monsters now 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.

Still, many players overlook defending themselves when plans go haywire. So, here are eight classic protective monsters from Yu-Gi-Oh! Are they always going to be super-competitive in tournament play? Probably not. Are they still fun and formidable cards? Of course! Just watch what you say — they get defensive.

Flip Effects

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.

Night Assailant
Night Assailant

8. Night Assailant

Attack: 200
Defense: 500

Night Assailant's Attack and Defense scores are both pathetically low; he's more of a night tickler. However, he wields two potent effects. 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 he's sent to your Graveyard from your hand, you're allowed to reclaim a Flip effect monster from your Graveyard to your hand, essentially negating the hand disadvantage.

A versatile and dangerous card, Assailant especially aids Flip decks.

Dandylion
Dandylion

7. Dandylion

Attack: 300
Defense: 300

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 its effect activates no matter how it's sent to the Graveyard. Traveling there from the field, hand, or deck will all summon the tokens.

Golden Ladybug
Golden Ladybug

6. Golden Ladybug

Attack: 0
Defense: 0

Next, a personal favorite, Golden Ladybug. Its battle stats are atrocious, but that's irrelevant — this monster doesn't belong on the field Why? Its effect activates directly from your hand: During each of your turns, you can reveal it 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 tricky for your opponent to remove, making it possibly the best long-term life generation in the game.

Plus, in desperate situations, you can always place Golden Ladybug into Defense Position on the field to block one attack.

Dupe Frog
Dupe Frog

5. Dupe Frog

Attack: 100
Defense: 2000

Finally, a monster with a respectable Defense stat! Dupe Frog's 2000 lets it survive against most monsters with a Level of four or less. Plus, it brandishes two helpful traits. First, when this amphibian is face-up, your opponent cannot target any other monster for an attack! Next, 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..

Treeborn Frog
Treeborn Frog

4. Treeborn Frog

Attack: 100
Defense: 100

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 Spell or Trap cards on the field, you can summon it 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 resummon the frog at your next Standby Phase if your Spell and Trap zones are still empty.

Because Treeborn Frog's effect activates in the Graveyard, it's 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.

Admittedly, because Pendulum cards count as Continuous Spells, Treeborn can be difficult to incorporate ideally into modern decks, but it's still a fierce monster.

Marshmallon
Marshmallon

3. Marshmallon

Attack: 300
Defense: 500

Third place goes to the deceptively cute Marshmallon, whose two effects benefit any deck. First, it 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 monsters with piercing effects, which inflict excess battle damage to players when attacking Defense Position monsters.

Penguin Soldier
Penguin Soldier

2. Penguin Soldier

Attack: 750
Defense: 500

When flipped, this formidable bird lets you choose two monsters on the field, and return them to the hand. This removal works particularly well on Extra Deck-summoned creatures, who return to the Extra Deck rather than the hand.

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 consistently fail to keep their monsters in play.

Battle Fader
Battle Fader

1. Battle Fader

Attack: 0
Defense: 0

A card that's aged comparatively well, the mighty Battle Fader shields any assortment. It bears similarities to Golden Ladybug: both have zero Attack and Defense, and both brandish a hand-activated effect.

However, rather than gain Life Points, Fader's effect activates when your opponent attempts a direct attack (which is when you have no monsters to block). It Special Summons the card from your hand and ends the Battle Phase.

This not only ends your opponent's opportunity to attack for that turn, it also places a monster on your field, setting up for your turn. Now you can tribute Battle Fader to call out a powerful monster, or simply keep it around to block one attack on your opponent's next go.

Finally, 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 card!

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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!

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