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

Updated on January 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!

Dark Magician
Dark Magician

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 a hardcore duelist, but are looking for some casual fun, try playing a few of these creatures to reap their powerful and varied effects.

As a quick refresher, our example card Dark Magician has 2500 attack, 2100 defense, is level 7, dark-attributed, spellcaster-typed, and has no monster effect. 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!

Cyber Dragon
Cyber Dragon

6. Cyber Dragon

Attack: 2100 Defense: 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 considering its ease of play. Give this mighty and accessible "dragon" a try!

Alector, Sovereign of Birds
Alector, Sovereign of Birds

5. Alector, Sovereign of Birds

Attack: 2400, Defense: 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

Attack: 300 Defense: 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

Attack: 900 Defense: 300

Third place goes to a monster used by the main character of Yu-Gi-Oh GX, Jaden Yuki. A member of the Neo-Spacian monster series, Grand Mole does just fine on his own. 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.

Give it a shot and watch your rival seethe as you repeatedly foil their tribute and special summons.


2. Marshmallon

Attack: 300 Defense: 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

Attack/ Defense/ Level
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

Attack: 0, Defense: 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?

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Your Vote

Hopefully you've learned about some adaptive monsters, and remember to have fun while playing - too many players forget that simple aspect of card games.

Feel free to vote for your favorite, and I'll see you at our next card countdown!


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    • profile image

      Big Eye 10 months ago

      Where are you playing? Clearly not in any type of competition. Cyber Dragon is the only card on your list that I would consider, but that's only to suck up opposing machines, and even then, System Down is better.

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      Toga 7 months 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

    • Jeremy Gill profile image

      Jeremy Gill 7 months 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

      Etweedy8863 6 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.

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      Nguyen 2 months ago

      Oh, I don't even know there's such a weird effect like Golden Lady Bug's :)). Anyway, in a world of meta decks, your mentioned cards do not seems to work pretty well. Number 5 and 6 are useless since pendullum deck can easily swamp fields with tons of monsters. Of course "Cyber dragon" is still a fairly strong deck and "Cyber dragon infinity" of that deck is one of the most amazing cards ever. Number 2 and 4 are even worse as there are thousands of cards having effects to get rid of them, especially case-to-case xyz cards in meta decks. A constellar pleiades, for example, can easily get you OTKed. Number 3 fits some deck, however, it still costs too much: a normal summon turn, a shield in your opponent's next turn and it's "single-target".Number 1 is fine, assuming that you stand long enough to gain the healing and which, in turn, seems to be hard as you already lost a slot in your draw for this card. Personally, I may vote for Lady Bugs and Treeborn frog in a level 1 deck like the lyrical luscinia, although that f*cking deck only need Instant Fusion and Tyrant Neptune to create a 6000-ATK monster, burning 5000 LP each turn and unaffected by other cards to rampage it all :)).

      For the list, I agree with Etweedy: BLS-Envoy of the beginning should absolutely be in. If you have pretty good knowledge of other decks, effect veiler can also be a great choice. Maxx "C" is quite strong in both meta and anti-meta decks. Other cards that are quite common: Artifact Moralltach, Honest, Photon Thrasher. For spell cards: Instant Fusion, MST, Foolish Burial. For trap cards: Vanity's Emptiness, Skill drain, Breakthrough skill, Bottomless trap hole, Compulsory Evacuation Device

    • Jeremy Gill profile image

      Jeremy Gill 2 months ago from Louisiana


      I agree with some of your choices and disagree with others, but thank you for being cordial. Keep in mind that this list is aging; I made it awhile back. Still highlights some sweet and versatile cards, but may be outclassed by new decks.

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