Yu-Gi-Oh: Top 6 Monsters for Any Deck

Updated on March 11, 2018
Jeremy Gill profile image

Jeremy enjoys dueling in-between working as a chemical analyst and campus building manager.

Yu-Gi-Oh Overview

We've previously explored several types of Yu-Gi-Oh monsters; today, we'll focus on monsters who fit well in pretty much any deck. If you're not yet a hardcore pro duelist, but are looking for some casual fun, try playing a few of these creatures to reap their powerful and varied effects.

They may not all enjoy the numerous support of popular cards like Dark Magician, but they offer a surprising amount of benefits in the right duelist's hands. We know the drill by now, so let's get to it and rank some of the most well-rounded monster cards in Yu-Gi-Oh!

Update: Hey YGO fans, this list highlights some powerful monsters of the past, but is admittedly aging (card games naturally add new and better monsters over time). I look forward to periodically reviewing fresh sets for Yu-Gi-Oh, and thankfully, many of these monsters can still help in several builds.

Cyber Dragon
Cyber Dragon

6. Cyber Dragon

ATK: 2100
DEF: 1600

Our first monster was made popular by the character Zane Truesdale in the show Yu-Gi-Oh GX. Cyber Dragon is a level 5 —meaning that it requires one monster to be sacrificed to summon it (level 4's and below can be summoned for free). However, its monster effect allows you to "special" summon it if your opponent has a monster out and you do not.

This allows it to enter the field easily, and gives your one "normal" summon for the turn to another monster. Cyber Dragon enjoys a solid 2100 Attack and has potential to transition into stronger Xyz or Fusion cards. Give this mighty and accessible "dragon" a try!

Alector, Sovereign of Birds
Alector, Sovereign of Birds

5. Alector, Sovereign of Birds

ATK: 2400
DEF: 2000

Alector, Sovereign of Birds works similarly almost like an upgraded version of Cyber Dragon. He has stronger attack, better defense, and a slightly different summoning effect: You can special summon him when your opponent controls at least two monsters of the same attribute; a typical condition considering most decks utilize creatures of like attributes.

Plus, this birdbrain gets a bonus effect: you can target a face-up card, once per turn, and negate its effect for that turn. This rips through many defensive barriers your opponent may concoct. For his strong attack, easy summoning, and extra effect, I highly recommend him!

Spirit Reaper
Spirit Reaper

4. Spirit Reaper

ATK: 300
DEF: 200

This eerie monster works great because of a strong offensive and defensive effect, and you don't need a tribute to summon him.

You'll notice Spirit Reaper's pathetic battle stats —but consider that the card's effect allows it to be invulnerable in battle. Enemy monsters can't destroy the card by attacking it; you could keep it in defense position to craft a powerful barrier. Once you see an opening, change your monster to attack position and nail your opponent; thanks to Reaper's second effect, they must discard a card when Reaper lands a direct attack. Give him a chance to always have a defensive ace up your sleeve.

Neo-Spacian Grand Mole
Neo-Spacian Grand Mole

3. Neo-Spacian Grand Mole

ATK: 900
DEF: 300

Third place goes to a monster made famous by the main character of Yu-Gi-Oh GX, Jaden Yuki. A member of the Neo-Spacian monster archetype, Grand Mole performs even in other monster series. Its battle stats aren't great, but this guy's effect allows you to return it and any monster it battles to their respective owner's hand.

Imagine how annoying fighting this guy must be. Your opponent works hard to call out a level 8 monster (which requires two sacrifices), but then you send Grand Mole to battle it. Both monsters are returned to the hand; your opponent will now have to re-sacrifice new monsters to call forth the level 8, while you can summon your measly level 3 monster for free. Alternatively, return potent opposing fusion, synchro, xyz, or link monsters to your foe's Extra Deck.

It's as simple as that! Give it a shot and watch your rival seethe as you repeatedly foil their tribute and special summons.

Marshmallon
Marshmallon

2. Marshmallon

ATK: 300
DEF: 500

Second place goes to the reliable Marshmallon. Similarly to Spirit Reaper, he can't be destroyed in battle —set it in defense position to guard your Life Points. A

Additionally, when Marshmallon is first flipped face-up , your opponent receives 1000 damage, a significant chunk of the 8000 points each player begins with.

Marshmallon provides a strong defense and damages your adversary - all while staying in its comfortable defense position. Certainly a powerful card, but one monster seems more adaptable to almost any deck...

Honorable Mentions

Monster
ATK/ DEF/ Level
Effect
Gorz the Emissary of Darkness
2700/ 2500/ 8
Special summon when you take damage while you have no cards on the field.
Treeborn Frog
100/ 100/ 1
Special summon from Graveyard when you have no magic or trap cards on the field.
Nimble Momonga
1000/ 100/ 2
Gain 1000 Life Points when destroyed by battle. Then, you can summon up to 2 more Nimble Momonga from your deck.
A few more monsters whose effects can aid almost any deck.
Golden Ladybug
Golden Ladybug

1. Golden Ladybug

ATK: 0
DEF: 0

The number one monster for just about any set of cards has just zero attack? Yep, today's first place goes to the dependable Golden Ladybug. Unlike almost any monster in the game, you're pretty much never going to want to summon this creature to the field.

She's got no attack or defense, and no effect to help her in battle. What she does have is an easy to way to gather Life Points. Once during each of your turns, you can reveal her in your hand, and gain 500 life. Duels may last dozens of turn; 500 points each turn can really add up.

Plus, since the effect activates from the hand, not the field, it's difficult for opponents to destroy this insect. If you're looking for a great support monster, consider Golden Ladybug—she's one of the best ways to consistently regenerate your health.

Your Favorite

Which card do you prefer?

See results

Your Vote

Hopefully you've learned about some adaptive monsters, and remember to obey the simple golden rule of the tcg: have fun. Still, although your monster archetype will contain several specific support cards, don't overlook the most powerful generalized options, many of which catch unsuspecting foes off guard.

As we eagerly await our next Yu-Gi-Oh tcg batch, feel free to vote for your favorite entry, and I'll see you at our next card countdown!

Questions & Answers

  • Are Cyber Dragons Yu-Gi-Oh cards competitive, or were they?

    Cyber Dragon was awesome upon its debut, and while it's definitely not at the top of the meta, continued support through fusion and xyz monsters helps keep its theme relevant.

    As of this writing, though, it could use a few modernized upgrades like the Blue-Eyes and Dark Magician supports introduced alongside the Dark Side of Dimensions film.

    Basically, Cyber Dragon was great upon release. Nowadays, not so much, but far from unsalvageable with some tweaks.

© 2015 Jeremy Gill

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Jeremy Gill profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeremy Gill 

      5 months ago from Louisiana

      @Rakkis

      Generally, any player who didn't read the update at the start of the artiicle is a terrible commenter. Their opinions are just too uninformed.

      This list was made several years ago, I've already admitted that some of the cards have aged better than others, and you're simply wrong about some cards--Marshmallon is far from terrible.

    • profile image

      Rakkis 

      5 months ago

      Generally, any list that doesn't include Ash Blossom is a terrible list. That card is just too good.

      Most duels nowadays just don't last long enough for Golden Ladybug to be effective, and 500 LP per turn just cannot keep up with your opponent summoning 4k+ damage every turn.

      Cyber Dragon was 'ok' as bait for ABC back when those were meta, and has very niched used against certain tower-likes (neither of which are commonly seen), but outside Cyber Dragon decks you generally won't see this card being played.

      Grand Mole and Spirit Reaper didn't age really well. They were really good once upon a time, but they just aren't good anymore.

      Marshmallon is just terrible. Alector is better sided, but somewhat playable in certain decks.

    • profile image

      the_mann 

      5 months ago

      what are some overall good cards?

    • profile image

      Beast 

      8 months ago

      Marshmellon is the most reliable one of these cards

    • ultimatedefense profile image

      ultimatedefense 

      10 months ago

      Another way you could find out to play is by downloading the beginners tutorial booklet from yugioh.com

    • Jeremy Gill profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeremy Gill 

      10 months ago from Louisiana

      @leon

      Yu-Gi-Oh is a fun game but admittedly has many rules to learn. I'd recommend a YouTube tutorial, or if you're willing to spend a few dollars, a video game that includes a detailed guide, like "Legacy of the Duelist." This also prevents you from having to buy physical cards before deciding whether you enjoy dueling.

    • profile image

      leon 

      10 months ago

      i want to know how to play yugioh. How do i play?

    • ultimatedefense profile image

      ultimatedefense 

      11 months ago

      Okay then, also I too have marshmallon in my defense deck, I count on cards like exodia and final countdown

    • Jeremy Gill profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeremy Gill 

      11 months ago from Louisiana

      @ultimatedefense

      Dino-sewing is definitely versatile, though I still prefer Marshmallon as far as battle-indestructible monsters go. Weird that Dino was a Fiend and not a Dinosaur (which I've always felt was underutilized).

      @Michael

      Agreed, Grand Mole is a force to be reckoned with, and was even more so before Pendulums.

    • ultimatedefense profile image

      ultimatedefense 

      11 months ago

      Hey, you forgot 'Dino sewing'!!!

    • profile image

      Michael 

      16 months ago

      I use Grand Mole in my deck, and I find it really effective against almost every single deck known to mankind, from my own decks to my friends' decks. It works well against any deck with at least a few extra deck cards, and/or a few high-level cards.

    • profile image

      slayer171 

      16 months ago

      this really isn't a bad list, especially considering many of the "best" cards are only specific to one set of monsters, these fit in any deck

    • Jeremy Gill profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeremy Gill 

      16 months ago from Louisiana

      @Shawnboy and anyone else of similar mind:

      I understand that, like any trading card game, the top tier cards will change over time. Here are some factors to remember:

      1. Card values are subjective to a large extent. Many of these monsters can still work well in several decks.

      2. That said, while great for its time, this list is admittedly aging. It predated Pendulums and many other cards.

      3. I love writing about Yu-Gi-Oh and still play it, but please remember to be polite. Yes, a more modern list is in the works, but I like leaving these olders countdowns as testaments to powerful and versatile cards of the past.

    • profile image

      Shawnboy 

      16 months ago

      I hate to be that guy but your list is just the worst. I would consider a grand total of 0 of those cards to play with and all can easily be replaced with much more beneficial cards

    • profile image

      Etweedy8863 

      24 months ago

      While you do have some solid points, I would for Black Luster Soldier-Envoy of the Beginning on here because of his easy summon, high attack, and ability to attack twice.

    • Jeremy Gill profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeremy Gill 

      2 years ago from Louisiana

      Marshmallon and Spirit Reaper can both stall since they can't be destroyed in battle, plus they each have addition helpful effects. Ladybug is a great choice for decks that haven't quite hit 40 cards and want an easy way to recover health.

      @Big EyeThis list is admittedly a few years old, but these are still good cards that fit into plenty of decks. You can disagree, but do so politely.

    • profile image

      Toga 

      2 years ago

      I have to agree with big eye although Alector, Sovereign of Birds is good durning the pendulum age as swarming the field has always be a thing even back in 2008 and most archtypes are 1 atribute and negating your floodgates on your turn is always good although you would have to activate vantities afterwords

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hobbylark.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hobbylark.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)