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Yu-Gi-Oh's Monster Attributes and Types

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

Dark Magician

Dark Magician

Type and Attributes

Today we'll review the different ''types" and "attributes" monsters from the trading card game can possess. Almost every monster has one type and one attribute; these statistics come into play with many cards. For example, the magic card "Yami" will increase the attack stat of all monsters with the Fiend or Spellcaster type.

Check out our example card above, Dark Magician. His attack and defense are listed at the bottom right (2500/2100), the type is right below the picture (Spellcaster), and the attribute is found in the upper right (Dark). Any cards that increase the attack of Spellcaster-types or Dark-attribute monsters would thus affect Dark Magician.

The different types and attributes include:

Quite a lot of them, aren't there? Don't worry, we'll quickly cover each, so you know what to expect from them!


Aqua, Beast, Beast-Warrior, Cyberse, Dinosaur, Divine-Beast, Dragon, Fairy, Fiend, Fish, Insect, Machine, Plant, Psychic, Pyro, Reptile, Rock, Sea Serpent, Spellcaster, Thunder, Warrior, Winged Beast, Wyrm, and Zombie.

Dark, Divine, Earth, Fire, Light, Water, and Wind.

24 total varieties

7 total varieties

Green Baboon, Defender of the Forest

Green Baboon, Defender of the Forest

Yu-Gi-Oh Monster Types

1. Aqua: Varied monster effects. Often have low attack and defense, but can help add cards to your hand, or remove cards from your opponent's. Usually belong to the Water attribute. Use magic cards like "Umi" to boost their power.

2. Beast: Monsters resemble wild animals. Typically have average attack and defense. Many have effects that allow you to summon more Beasts to the field. Often belong to the Earth attribute. Magic cards such as Closed Forest will aid them.

3. Beast-Warrior: Creatures that are part humanoid, part animal. Often have high attack, but lower defense. Some have effects that will work with well with Beasts or Warrior-types. Often are Earth-attributed. Use the magic Forest to increase their attack.

4. Cyberse: Digital creatures usually focused on summoning link monsters, cyberse cards emphasize swarming the field with tokens or other monsters to provide link material. They also reward you with various benefits. for linking and co-linking.

5. Dinosaur: These guys are, well, dinosaurs. Typically, they'll have great attack and average defense. As a downside, their effects tend to be less versatile than other types. Many of them focus on calling out stronger Dinosaurs, and most are of the Earth attribute. Use the spell Jurassic World to boost them.

The Winged Dragon of Ra

The Winged Dragon of Ra

6. Divine-Beast: Only three of these monsters exist, the legendary Egyptian God Cards. They tend to be powerful, but require you to sacrifice three monsters to summon them. They also get their own unique attribute, Divine.

7. Dragon: Likely the most popular monster type. Usually have very high attack, and good defense. Effects often focus on inflicting damage to your opponent. As a drawback, many anti-Dragon cards exist, so be on guard. Dragons are variable in attribute, and you can review the best of the best here.

8. Fairy: Angel and sprite-like monsters. Often have low attack and defense, but compensate with powerful effects. Fairies work well together, and their effects usually support each other. Very commonly are Light-attributed. Use the magic "The Sanctuary in the Sky" when harnessing Fairies.

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8. Fiend: Demonic creatures. Known for above-average attack and defense. Fiends work well together, and many have strong effects - but you might have to pay some of your Life Points to use them. Most are of the Dark attribute. The magic card "Yami" will strengthen them.

10. Fish: One of the rarest types. Similarly to Aqua, they often have low attack and defense. Many of them boast of powerful monster effects, but you often need to have multiple Fish monsters out to use them. Almost always Water-attributed. "Umi" boosts their power.

11. Insect: A tricky type. Usually have low attack and defense, but utilize effects that will allow them to "swarm" by bringing out more Insects. Many have abilities that work well with Plant-types. Usually belong to the Earth or Wind element. The Field Magic "Forest" empowers them

Machine King

Machine King

12. Machine: A popular type. Strong attack and defense, and have effects that strengthen other Machine-types. However, watch out - many cards are anti-Machine; they're built to counter this mighty group. Often, Machines are Earth, Light, or Dark attributed. Many Fusion monsters are Machines, and Machines often enjoy access to ATK-doubling effects like that of Limiter Removal.

13. Plant: A varied type that often comes with defensive or swarming effects. Sometimes pairs with Insect. Notable archetypes include Naturia and Sylvan.

14. Psychic: A type added in the Synchro era, Psychic monsters are high-risk, high-reward. Although many of their effects drain your life points, they can quickly swarm and play around with all sorts of card-banishing shenanigans.

15. Pyro: Scorching creatures. Tend to have high attack, but low defense. Almost all are Fire-attributed, and they often focus on causing effect damage to your opponent. Since they're Fire monsters, the Field Spell "Molten Destruction" works well with them.

16. Reptile: An often-overlooked type. Usually have low attack and defense, but make up for it with effects that weaken opponents. Some have effects that will allow you to steal your opponent's monsters under certain conditions. Players who can utilize patience and long-term strategy will enjoy these cold-blooded creatures.

Stone Statue of the Aztecs

Stone Statue of the Aztecs

17. Rock: An interesting set of monsters. Tend to have low attack but high defense. Many have reusable monster effects, allowing you to slowly whittle away your opponent's Life Points. Usually are Earth attributed. Many Field Spells strengthen them, including "Wasteland" and "Canyon".

18. Sea Serpent: A rarer type, but one not to be underestimated. Variable attack, defense, and effects, so they can be hard to predict. Many work well with Fish and Aqua types. The Field Magic "Umi" boosts them.

19. Spellcaster: Wizards, witches, and mages. Spellcasters have average attack and defense, but tend to have some of the best effects in the game. Many gain "spell counters" when a magic card is played; these counters can be used to activate effects. Often belong to the Light or Dark element. Use the Field Magic "Yami" to strengthen them.

20. Thunder: Electricity-related creatures. Thunder monsters are somewhat rare, but can be very powerful in groups. They often boost each other's strength, and become fiendishly strong as long as you have multiple out at a time. Typically are Light attributed. The card "Mountain" gives them increased power.

21. Warrior: The most human-like of all monster cards. A very versatile type. Warriors have above average attack and defense, and many simply focus on calling forth or powering up more Warriors. If you're just getting into Yu-Gi-Oh, you might enjoy the simplicity of these creatures (and they can be very powerful, too).

Dark Simorgh

Dark Simorgh

22. Winged Beast: Monsters such as birds and bats. Winged Beasts have average attack and defense, but are great at messing with your opponent. Many are great at destroying magic and trap cards, hampering your opponent's strategies. Winged Beasts can work well with Beasts and Beast-Warriors, and the card "Mountain" will fortify them.

23. Wyrm: One of the newer types. These monsters resemble dragons, but are less savage and more spiritual. Average attack and defense, but are skilled at calling forth additional Dragon and Wyrm monsters. Many are useful for Synchro Summoning, even landing on some ban lists. Variable in element.

24. Zombie: The undead monsters. Have decent attack but dreadful defense. Their real strength is their common ability to resurrect fallen Zombie monsters from the Graveyard (your discard pile), allowing them to quickly swarm the field. Tend to be Dark attributed. Use the Field Spell "Zombie World" to aid them.

Mystic Plasma Zone

Mystic Plasma Zone

Yu-Gi-Oh Monster Attributes

Awesome, now that we've reviewed the types, let's cover the 7 monster attributes, starting with . . .

1. Dark: Monsters of the Dark attribute are common, and most decks contain at least one. They have a wide variety of effects; many Dark monsters activate their abilities when sent to the Graveyard. Dark and Light monsters are often at conflict, and contain effects that counter each other. This has no bearing on duels, but it's notable that Dark monsters aren't necessarily evil; there's no real morality for attributes in the game. Use "Mystic Plasma Zone" to increase the attack of all Dark monsters on the field.

2. Divine: The rarest of all attributes, only four legal monsters possess Divine. Those creatures are powerful, but difficult to summon. Divine has no Field Spell to help it, but Divine monsters are unaffected by the field "Clear World", which provides penalties to every attribute except Divine.

3. Earth: Like Dark, Earth monsters are diverse and variable. Many have strong attack and defense, and simpler effects than other cards. Earth monsters are considered to be the opposite of Wind creatures. Use the Field Spell "Gaia Power" to increase the attack of these beasts.

Molten Destruction

Molten Destruction

4. Fire: Fire is a surprisingly rare attribute; usually, only Pyro, Dragon, and Machine types will have it. Fire monsters typically have poor defense but good attack, and are skilled at inflicting effect damage to your opponent. These guys are opposite of Water monsters. If you prefer an all-out offensive style, Fire is the attribute for you. Use the magic card "Molten Destruction" to increase the attack of all Fire monsters.

5. Light: Light monsters often include Fairy, Machine, and Thunder creatures, but almost every Type has some Light creatures. These guys often have either high attack or high defense - and effects that further boost their favored stat. Some use brute force to overwhelm opponents, others are capable of restoring your Life Points. They're considered to be the opposite of Dark monsters. The Field Magic "Luminous Spark" will boost their attack.

6. Water: A versatile attribute, the opposite of Fire, which monsters of all types can belong to, especially Aqua, Fish, and Sea serpents. Water creatures are often weaker than others, but have powerful effects to disable your opponent or summon more monsters. Water creatures also enjoy having many Field Spells that give them better battle stats, including "Umi" and "A Legendary Ocean".

7. Wind: Another surprisingly rare attribute. Wind monsters come in many shapes and sizes, but often have mediocre attack and defense. To compensate, many summon other monsters, can destroy magic and trap cards, and may prevent your opponent from playing certain cards. They're considered to be the opposite of Earth monsters. You can use the Field Spell "Rising Air Current" to boost their attack.

What's Your Favorite Attribute?

Your Vote

By now you should know the basics of every monster type and attribute. No matter which monsters you decide to place in your deck, try to get them to support each other and form potent combos. You could focus on one attribute, and use a field spell to power all your monsters up, or you could take the best from each attribute and combine them into a blended deck. Whatever you decide, make sure you're having fun—that's what trading card games are all about, after all, and I'll see you at our next Yu-Gi-Oh countdown!

Questions & Answers

Question: In Yu-Gi-Oh, is "Mound of the Bound Creator" a field spell for divine monsters?

Answer: Sort of. It protects all level 10 monsters (which includes the high-level Egyptian Gods) from being targeted or destroyed by effects, and it lets them deal 1000 damage to an opponent when they destroy an enemy in battle and send it to the graveyard.

Plus, when destroyed by an effect, it also searches a divine-attribute monster from your deck, one of the few divine-related supports in the game.

© 2015 Jeremy Gill

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