Yu-Gi-Oh's Top 6 Forbidden Monster Cards
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!
6. Sinister Serpent
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.
5. Tribe-Infecting Virus
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.
4. Dark Magician of Chaos
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.
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.
2. Chaos Emperor Dragon- Envoy of the End
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.
Destroys monsters on the field, then each player draws 5 cards
Neo-Spacian Grand Mole
Whenever it attacks or is attacked, it can return the battlers to the owners' respective hands
Destiny Hero - Disk Commander
Draw two cards whenever this card is summoned from the Graveyard by another card's effect
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.
Which forbidden card is the overall best?
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