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Yu-Gi-Oh's Top 6 Forbidden Monster Cards

Updated on October 12, 2017
Jeremy Gill profile image

Jeremy often plays Yu-Gi-Oh and other card games in-between studying forensics and working part-time at his college.

No. Just no.
No. Just no.

Yu-Gi-Oh Monsters

As duelists know, each creature in Yu-Gi-Oh has an attack, defense, level or rank, type, and attribute. Most also harbor an effect, and these effects are what make some monsters so powerful, regardless of their battle stats. In fact, some become too strong, earning them a permanent residency in the banned list.

Which are the best? Read on to discover the six fiercest forbidden monsters throughout Yu-Gi-Oh's history!

Sinister Serpent
Sinister Serpent

6. Sinister Serpent

Attack: 300
Defense: 250

A level one monster with weak stats, Sinister Serpent's uses originate from its awesome effect. At the beginning of your turns, you can retrieve it from your Graveyard for free. This guarantees you have a monster you can summon into defense mode, or serve as fodder for cards that require you to discard.

For example, Lightning Vortex destroys all face-up monsters your opponent controls, but you must discard one card, allowing players to repeatedly discard Sinister Serpent and fuel these mighty effects.

Serpent's a very reliable way to maintain a card advantage, but it's low on the list because the game designers eventually added a weakness to it, where you need to wait a turn after retrieving it, or else it will be banished, and you'll be unable to access it again. Still, definitely a respectable monster.

Tribe-Infecting Virus
Tribe-Infecting Virus

5. Tribe-Infecting Virus

Attack: 1600
Defense: 1000

Again, we're here for Virus's effect: You can discard one card (combo it with Sinister Serpent or other Graveyard-activated cards), declare a monster type, and destroy all creatures of that type.

This can destroy your monsters too, but as long as your creatures are different types than your opponents, you're safe. Since there are 23 varieties, chances are you'll be unaffected. Give it a shot and watch as your opponents minions fall in one fell swoop.

Dark Magician of Chaos
Dark Magician of Chaos

4. Dark Magician of Chaos

Attack: 2800
Defense: 2600

A card that's aged quite well, Dark Magician of Chaos offers several boons. You'll have to tribute two monsters to summon it, but it proves to be a great help. First, when summoned, you get to retrieve a Spell from your Graveyard.

Next, it banishes monsters it destroys in battle, preventing them from activating Graveyard effects and being reclaimed. To top everything off, the card has fierce Attack and Defense scores.

Sure, he's fun to play against friends, but I'm relieved we don't have to worry about this beast in official matches.

Cyber Stein
Cyber Stein

3. Cyber-Stein

Attack: 700
Defense: 500

You know the drill. Low battle stats, awesome effect. Stein lets you pay 5000 Life Points (each player begins with 8000) to instantly summon a Fusion Monster. These cards demonstrate great power but can be difficult to summon because most require specific monsters to fuse together, and a Spell card to do so. Of course, Cyber-Stein gets you right around that problem

And yes, losing 5000 Life Points can really hurt, but in some instances, this can be used strategically. For example, cards like the tie-forcing Trap Self-Destruct Button, rely on you having lower Life Points than your opponent.

Cyber-Stein is risky, and probably less useful than it once was, but a free Fusion Monster back in the day could end matches before they really began.

Chaos Emperor Dragon- Envoy of the End
Chaos Emperor Dragon- Envoy of the End

2. Chaos Emperor Dragon- Envoy of the End

Attack: 3000
Defense: 2500

Lengthy name, mighty effects. To summon the Chaos Emperor, you banish a light and dark-attributed monster from your Graveyard. This makes for a relatively easy summoning condition for such a fierce creature, as no tributes are required.

Chaos Emperor enters with formidable battle stats, and at any point, you may pay 1000 Life Points; doing so will send all cards on the field (including itself) and in each player's hand to the Graveyard, then inflict 300 Life Points of damage to your opponent for each card.

This can take huge chunks of life from your opponent, often winning you the game, and serves as a great last resort. If you begin to lose, use the effect to damage your adversary, empty their hand (and yours), and hope your next drawn cards can turn the tide back in your favor.

Honorable Mentions

Attack/ Defense
Cyber Jar
900/ 900
Destroys monsters on the field, then each player draws 5 cards
Neo-Spacian Grand Mole
900/ 300
Whenever it attacks or is attacked, it can return the battlers to the owners' respective hands
Destiny Hero - Disk Commander
300/ 300
Draw two cards whenever this card is summoned from the Graveyard by another card's effect
Weak monsters, but powerful effects
Morphing Jar
Morphing Jar
Fiber Jar
Fiber Jar

1. Morphing Jar/ Fiber Jar

Morphing Jar: Attack: 700, Defense: 600
Fiber Jar: Attack: 500 Defense: 500

These two cards both have incredibly powerful and similar traits. Morphing Jar's flip effect makes both players discard their hand and draw five cards. Fiber Jar's makes both players return every card in their hand, field, and Graveyard into the deck, then draw five cards.

Each of these can really turn the tide of the duel. With Morphing Jar, set all your Traps and Spells, then flip Morphing Jar to make both players draw five cards. Each duelist will then have five in the hand, but you'll have the bonus of your set cards. With Fiber Jar, keep it in your hand, then if your opponent begins to overwhelm you, play it to essentially reset the duel.

Both of these jars offer the awesome ability of replenishing your hand when it's low and giving you a fresh hand if things get dicey. A third jar, Cyber Jar, exists, and its effect while great doesn't quite compare to these two amazing cards.

Funny how jars and pots (remember Pot of Greed?) are the true champions of Yu-Gi-Oh. For their obnoxiously potent effects, these fiends have long been banned.

Your Vote

Which forbidden card is the overall best?

See results

Future of Yu-Gi-Oh

Inevitably, time passes and lists change. Most of these cards are still banned and incredibly dangerous, but with new features to the game like the mighty Pendulum cards, some old titans must make way for new powerhouses.

Though some have more staying power than others, these cards highlight some truly lethal effects (at least for their day and age), and I hope to see you at future explorations of more-modern forbidden monster lists!


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    • profile image

      Jacob 3 days ago

      Now will you get good numbers in yugioh box though

    • profile image

      Anthony k Anschuetz 10 days ago

      New box yu gi oh power

    • profile image

      so acker 5 weeks ago

      where the hell is black luster soldier envoy of biginning

    • Jeremy Gill profile image

      Jeremy Gill 2 months ago from Louisiana


      In good condition at least. Keep 'em that way and they could be worth something!

      @Yu-Gi-Oh Suck

      Dark Hole is a Spell, not monster, and it's not even banned. Maybe instead of "Yu-Gi-Oh Suck" your name should be "I suck at Yu-Gi-Oh."

    • profile image

      yu gi oh suck 2 months ago

      this is lammm and dark hole is better

    • profile image

      Erb27 4 months ago

      Is it really that hard to get the whole exodia card because I happen to have them

    • profile image

      aj 4 months ago

      the emporer dragon is broken

    • profile image

      Adam 6 months ago

      I have dark magician of chaos

    • profile image

      Caleb 7 months ago

      I'm surprised that blaster dragon ruler of infernos is not up there

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      hi 7 months ago

      is the black luster soldier forbiden

    • Jeremy Gill profile image

      Jeremy Gill 8 months ago from Louisiana


      Good news, there are legal versions of the God cards you can play in tournaments; however, they're not widely seen because of their difficulty to use. Still, in the right deck, they can be a viable option.

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      Austin Langan 8 months ago

      Jeremy I got a quick question for you. What about the gods and their hidden abilities? I know most of them but are the banned?

    • profile image

      Samuel 8 months ago

      Levia Dragon Deadalus have a better effect than Chaos Emperor because Levia stays in field after effect.

    • profile image

      Ultimagamer 8 months ago

      are any of the numeronius cards banned? Im talking about cards like c1000 and the deck that goes with it

    • Jeremy Gill profile image

      Jeremy Gill 10 months ago from Louisiana

      7531yo is right; Yu-Gi-Oh banned lists are constantly evolving, and this is an older article. Still, it showcases some formidable creatures.

    • profile image

      7531yo 10 months ago

      Dark magician of chaos isn't banned anymore, he's limited to 2

    • profile image

      Looi 11 months ago

      I have dark magician of chaos!

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      Ivan 12 months ago

      I'm very proud to have "Chaos emperor dragon envoy of the end".. i got it from my friend after winning the game, "Black luster soldier envoy of the beginning" is also a great card that can't be underestimated, it can attack twice in battle phase as long as the first attack succeed, it also has the ability to destroy one monster on the field (you can use it to destroy opponent's strongest monster on field) with the consequence is that it can't attack on that turn

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      Dyugiohd 13 months ago

      Uhm, i personallly really like black luster soldier envoy of the beginning. Just an opinion

    • Jeremy Gill profile image

      Jeremy Gill 2 years ago from Louisiana

      Man-Eater Bug used to be forbidden, but is now legal. Feel free to run some in your deck.

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      ismael 2 years ago

      is man eater bug banned?

    • Jeremy Gill profile image

      Jeremy Gill 2 years ago from Louisiana

      Agreed, Cornelia, he's certainly a powerful and awesome- looking card. Thanks for your support!

    • CorneliaMladenova profile image

      Korneliya Yonkova 2 years ago from Cork, Ireland

      I myself like the Dark Magician of Chaos :) Thank you for this hub. Really interesting and catchy :)