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

Updated on March 11, 2018
Jeremy Gill profile image

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

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

ATK: 300
DEF: 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

ATK: 1600
DEF: 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

ATK: 2800
DEF: 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

ATK: 700
DEF: 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

ATK: 3000
DEF: 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

Monster
ATK/DEF
Effect
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
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Morphing JarFiber Jar
Morphing Jar
Morphing Jar
Fiber Jar
Fiber Jar

1. Morphing Jar/ Fiber Jar

Morphing Jar: ATK: 700, DEF: 600
Fiber Jar: ATK: 500 DEF: 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.

Update: Link monsters are now the new kids on the block, and the ban list has changed here and there, but thankfully this article still documents many of the best restricted cards.

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!

Questions & Answers

  • What's the strongest Yu-Gi-Oh monster of all time?

    In terms of raw power, a semi-official monster called "Don Thousand/Monster C" wields a whopping 100,000 ATK (and DEF). It's semi-official because it was designed for and only allowed in unique boss duels where three players cooperate to tackle an overpowered deck.

    Then there's the illegal version of Obelisk the Tormentor, wielding an ATK of, well, infinity. However, it's official rendition is reduced to a still formidable 4000 ATK.

    For official cards, factoring in effects, I'd pick either Apoqliphort Towers (who was removed from the banned list) or Chaos Ancient Gear Giant, both of whom are immune to spells/traps and offer many additional benefits. Just note that their power comes at the price of difficult summoning conditions and specific archetypes.

  • When do you use Needle Sunfish's effect and how long does it last?

    Needle Sunfish isn't banned, but sure, we can talk about it. Like the card's text says, when it's sent to the graveyard, you target a face-up opposing monster and have it lose 500 ATK.

    As for the effect's duration, since there's no "until end of turn" or another time-related phrase, the ATK decrease is permanent.

© 2015 Jeremy Gill

Comments

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    • profile image

      person 

      2 weeks ago

      I agree with ultimatedefense

    • ultimatedefense profile image

      ultimatedefense 

      8 weeks ago

      Um dude i'm just saying but that mirror force was a really good card back at its time but unfortunately not as good as it was anymore and plus anyways this article is about monsters not traps not to mention mirror force isnt banned or even limited in any way so therefore indicating that it is brutally un likely to be the best card in yugioh. So sorry but in my opinion I think you're wrong about that

    • profile image

      Vidos 

      8 weeks ago

      I thanks the best card in yugioh is miror force

    • profile image

      idk 

      2 months ago

      Cyber stein is banned because of a lack of a once per turn clause, combine that with the effects of cards like prime material dragon or DDD oracle king D'arc that cause you to gain lp from eff damage instead of lose it, and congrats you broke the game.

    • Jeremy Gill profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeremy Gill 

      3 months ago from Louisiana

      @SSB Daniel

      No problem! The official site, linked to below, should be up to date. This countdown was made several years ago, and some cards (like Sinister Serpent) are no longer banned. Rather than update this article each time that occurs (which would be a real pain), I leave it as a testament to overpowered forces of the past and I occasionally make new countdowns of modern banned cards.

      Since you said "all" lists, if you're curious about the separate ban lists for foreign formats (like the OCG instead of the TCG), I recommend looking at the yugohwiki to see the differences, but English players rarely have to worry about those.

      http://www.yugioh-card.com/en/limited/

    • profile image

      SSB Daniel 

      3 months ago

      Hey man, I was wondering if you could recommend a site that has the list of ALL forbidden cards list..? Can't seem to find it. There are sites online from google even from the main yugioh website but it doesnt show dark magician of chaos and sinister serpant.

    • profile image

      logics 

      3 months ago

      If you had a trap card called DNA transplant you call out one attribute and all face up monsters become that type now imagine tribe infecting virus with that card

    • profile image

      Krawler Scum 

      4 months ago

      Sinister serpent is no longer banned. As my name implies, I am a scummy player that uses Krawler monsters. That means that only fiber jar, sinister serpent and cyber-stein are the only ones that impact me.

    • profile image

      Michael Rambo 

      4 months ago

      cyber-stein when combined with blue eyes ultimate dragon

    • ultimatedefense profile image

      ultimatedefense 

      5 months ago

      Thanks for the reply!

    • Jeremy Gill profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeremy Gill 

      6 months ago from Louisiana

      @Duelist and ultimatedefense

      Thanks for the updates. Like any trading card game, the ban lists fluctuate over time; perhaps I'll make a more current list every few years or so.

    • profile image

      Duelist 

      6 months ago

      Dark magician of chaos, sinister serpent, and morphing jar aren't banned anymore. Morphing jar #2 is banned tho.

    • profile image

      Yugi Moto 

      6 months ago

      I just beat a friend in 2 turns with a utopia deck

    • profile image

      Randolph littles 

      6 months ago

      I choose Cyber stein because it effect to bring fusion monster to the field easy so it is little overpower.

    • ultimatedefense profile image

      ultimatedefense 

      7 months ago

      I don't think Sinister Serpent is banned anymore.

    • Jeremy Gill profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeremy Gill 

      7 months ago from Louisiana

      @Kane

      All my research is indicating that there are no legal Great Leviathan cards. The fanmade ones are interesting, though.

    • profile image

      Kane Biggs 

      7 months ago

      actually the best card is "The Great Leviathan"

      even though there is only one in existence and can only be obtained by the next world tournament it it still has Infinite attack & defence

    • ultimatedefense profile image

      ultimatedefense 

      8 months ago

      The only reason I don't use amazon is because it's not a com.au site (australian seller) so my parents won't let me buy anything on there.

    • Jeremy Gill profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeremy Gill 

      8 months ago from Louisiana

      @Harrison

      Occasionally I'll post a link to a sale on Amazon, but head there yourself if you're looking for specific cards! Ebay works too.

      For non-online options, GameStop and Walmart typically carry a healthy variety of booster packs.

    • ultimatedefense profile image

      ultimatedefense 

      8 months ago

      You could go to ebay.com.au, that's where I get about half my cards

    • profile image

      Harrison Lam 

      8 months ago

      I love yugioh.Do you have any cards on sale?

    • ultimatedefense profile image

      ultimatedefense 

      8 months ago

      I think cyber, fiber and morphing jar are pretty good. No wonder they're banned.

    • ultimatedefense profile image

      ultimatedefense 

      8 months ago

      First of all 'Dark magician of Chaos' isn't banned anymore, second of all, 'yugioh suck's name is as stupid as his attitude and of course why would you be stupid enough to think dark hole is a monster, raigeki is better in every way

    • profile image

      travis 

      8 months ago

      all these cards are broken hahhahhahahah

    • profile image

      travis 

      8 months ago

      you can just use fibre jar to counter any one of those card

    • profile image

      Jacob 

      9 months ago

      Now will you get good numbers in yugioh box though

    • profile image

      Anthony k Anschuetz 

      9 months ago

      New box yu gi oh power

    • profile image

      so acker 

      10 months ago

      where the hell is black luster soldier envoy of biginning

    • Jeremy Gill profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeremy Gill 

      11 months ago from Louisiana

      @Erb27

      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 

      11 months ago

      this is lammm and dark hole is better

    • profile image

      Erb27 

      13 months ago

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

    • profile image

      aj 

      13 months ago

      the emporer dragon is broken

    • profile image

      Adam 

      15 months ago

      I have dark magician of chaos

    • profile image

      Caleb 

      16 months ago

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

    • profile image

      hi 

      16 months ago

      is the black luster soldier forbiden

    • Jeremy Gill profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeremy Gill 

      16 months ago from Louisiana

      @Austin

      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.

    • profile image

      Austin Langan 

      17 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 

      17 months ago

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

    • profile image

      Ultimagamer 

      17 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 imageAUTHOR

      Jeremy Gill 

      19 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 

      19 months ago

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

    • profile image

      Looi 

      20 months ago

      I have dark magician of chaos!

    • profile image

      Ivan 

      21 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

    • profile image

      Dyugiohd 

      22 months ago

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

    • Jeremy Gill profile imageAUTHOR

      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.

    • profile image

      ismael 

      2 years ago

      is man eater bug banned?

    • Jeremy Gill profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeremy Gill 

      3 years ago from Louisiana

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

    • CorneliaMladenova profile image

      Korneliya Yonkova 

      3 years ago from Cork, Ireland

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

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