Jeremy enjoys dueling in between working as a chemical analyst and campus building manager.
Tuner and Synchro Monsters
When dueling, if you have a tuner and a non-tuner monster on the field, you can sacrifice them to summon a synchro monster from your extra deck whose level equals the total of the two sacrifices.
For example, the level 3 tuner "Junk Synchron" and any level 2 non-tuner monster could be sacrificed to call forth a level 5 synchro creature. Many tuners only work in specific archetypes, but some aces are versatile enough to fit most themes—which reign supreme? Here are ten awesome tuners that fit snugly in almost any deck!
10. Debris Dragon
- ATK: 1000
- DEF: 2000
First things first, Debris has strong stats (especially DEF) for a tuner, and when normal summoned, he lets you revive a monster from your graveyard with 500 or less ATK in attack position with its effects negated.
Debris can't be used as synchro material except for dragon monsters, but there's plenty of those, and the other synchro materials can't be level four. That still leaves plenty of valid summons, or you can simply use him and your revived unit for xyz or link summons, where Debris's restrictions don't apply.
- ATK: 0
- DEF: 0
Based on the classic spell "Scapegoat", Scapeghost has the dark attribute and zombie type, both of which carry many supports. More than that, when flipped, he lets you summon any number of sheep tokens.
Like himself, these have 0 ATK and DEF, but they provide plenty of blockers or synchro/tribute material, especially for synchro monsters that require more than one non-tuners (like "Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier").
8. Witch of the Black Rose
- ATK: 1700
- DEF: 1200
High-risk high-reward, Witch is a dark spellcaster, another popular pairing that blends with themes like Dark Magician and Shaddoll. She can't be special summoned, but she has solid ATK, and when normal summoned while you control no cards, you draw a card, but if it's not a monster, you send it to the graveyard and destroy Witch.
So for her to work, you really want that card to be a monster, but most decks are mostly composed of them, increasing your odds, and some (like Superheavy Samurai) run few if any spells/traps. If you'd rather not gamble, just normal summon her while you control other cards to prevent her draw ability from triggering.
7. Junk Synchron
- ATK: 1300
- DEF: 500
Popularized by protagonist Yusei in the anime 5Ds, when you play this card, you may select a level 1 or 2 monster in your graveyard and summon it in defense position with its effects negated.
So, simply summon Junk Synchron, revive your pipsqueak, and synchro into a level four or five monster. Plus, some synchros (like "Junk Warrior") require Synchron as their tuner, and you can also use him and his ally for link summons.
6. Naturia Cheries/Cherry Inmato
- ATK: 200/700
- DEF: 200/400
These cards bear similar names, stats, and effects, summoning up to two copies of themselves from your deck when destroyed by battle (and/or effect in Naturia's case). Naturia summons them in face-down position, so they have to be flipped over before they can tune, while Inmato's copies can't be used as synchro material the round they arrive, but both are still good ways to swarm your field with material for synchro, xyz, or link monsters.
Plus, since they're both plant-type, they also work well with the tuner "Spore" (who revives himself from graveyard by banishing another plant from it).
5. Effect Veiler
- ATK: 0
- DEF: 0
A light spellcaster, Veiler has several supports, and he can either be summoned to use as a tuner, or kept in hand for his hand-trap effect, letting you discard him at instant speed to negate a monster's effects for the turn.
Simple yet versatile, Veiler adapts to fit your current situation, either shutting down an enemy ace or helping you cast your own. He's also great for budget decks, costing well under two dollars!
4. Hand-Trap Tuners
- Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring
- Ghost Belle & Haunted Mansion
- Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit
- Ghost Sister & Spooky Dogwood
- Ghost Reaper & Winter Cherries
These girls all have 0 ATK but 1800 DEF, and with the exception of psychic-type Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit, they're zombie-types, working especially well in themes like Shiranui.
More than that, like Veiler, they can be summoned for tuning, but they can also discard themselves from hand to activate various tricks, often interrupting your opponent's move to thwart their summons or card tutoring.
3. Destrudo the Lost Dragon's Frisson
- ATK: 1000
- DEF: 3000
A dark dragon, Destrudo carries many synergies and wields poor ATK but great DEF. Better yet, he can summon himself from your hand or graveyard by spending half your life points, targeting a level six or lower monster you control, and reducing his level by his target's.
When summoned this way, Destrudo goes to the bottom of your deck if he leaves the field, and sure, you're paying for his arrival in blood, but he's an easy way to prep a synchro summon and makes great discard fodder.
2. Deep Sea Diva
- ATK: 200
- DEF: 400
Semi-limited as of this writing, you're only allowed two copies of Diva in your deck, but that's just enough to make good use of her effect, special summoning a level three or lower sea serpent-type monster from your deck when normal summoned. Of course, if you're running sea serpents, you'll have more options, but you can always simply pick your second copy of Diva.
Doing so means you'd control two tuners, which won't be able to synchro summon unless you control another non-tuner, but even if you don't, you're still primed for an easy xyz or link summon.
Banishes synchro monsters to special summon itself or recover itself from your GY
Special summons a monster with 0 DEF from GY when normal summoned
Hop Ear Squadron
Summons itself during your opponent's turn, then lets you synchro summon
1. Glow-Up Bulb
- ATK: 100
- DEF: 100
Sure, Bulb's battle stats are pathetic, but you can revive him from your graveyard once per duel by sending one card from your deck into your graveyard. Basically, you score a freebie material for synchro, link, or tribute summoning, handily stockpiling your graveyard along the way.
As a plant, he also works well with Spore, but either way, Bulb's a staple for any archetypes lacking their own useful tuners.
The Future of Synchro Summoning
When constructing your build, remember to fill your extra deck with synchro monsters whose levels will match the levels of your tuners and non-tuners, and pay attention to any special summoning requirements.
Though we now have pendulum, xyz, and link summoning, synchros and tuners still see much competitive use and receive new support cards with each installment. Heck, they're stronger than ever now that fusion, xyz, and synchros can be summoned to main monster zones without link monsters, but for now, vote for your favorite tuner, and I'll see you at our next Yu-Gi-Oh countdown!
© 2015 Jeremy Gill
James on May 11, 2020:
Frisson is banned it was so good
Sixto on March 10, 2018:
Do you have good cards
heyo on September 11, 2017:
alex on March 27, 2017:
i love junk synchron hes my best tuner i have
7531yo on December 18, 2016:
Remember when Flamevell Guard was actually good?
Jeremy Gill (author) from Louisiana on October 01, 2016:
Sorry about that typo, Toga, fixed it.
Agreed, while this list still features some useful tuners, it's a bit old by now. I hope to make an updated countdown soon, and I'm betting Masked Chameleon will be near the top in it!
Toga on September 30, 2016:
Junk synchron written stats are wrong it should be 1300 ATK and 500 DEF. Also Junk Synchron is a great monster but unfortunatly there are few level 4 and 5 synchro monsters that are very relavent is most decks. Also I would like to argue that Masked Chameleon is currently better than Krebons as Krebons no longer has the 2 E-tele's and so psychic decks are now a lot weaker. Also zombies have 0 DEF usually.
Jeremy Gill (author) from Louisiana on August 15, 2016:
I don't mind constructive criticism, but politeness goes a long way, Tarotrei.
This list is definitely in need of an update, it was made years before several of the cards you mention came out, or were popularized. And even so, all of these tuners still have a place in many decks, especially Masked Chameleon and Junk Synchron.
Reese definitely isn't quite as impressive anymore, but can single-handedly stall decks that relies on attack-heavy Level 4 and above monsters. Several of the tuners you mention are good, but you need a very specialized deck to use them (Mind Master, and Fishborg, which require specific types and levels of monsters, for example). Today's list was more of Tuners-for-any-deck array to help newcomers learn some options.
I definitely look forward to making an updated list with more current tuners soon.
Tarotrei on August 15, 2016:
This is a terrible list. You're missing so many tuners it's not even funny. Where is Blackwing - Gale the Whirlwind? Effect Veiler? Quickdraw Synchron? Debris Dragon? T.G. Striker? Spore? Glow-up Bulb? Plaguespreader Zombie? Deep Sea Diva? Blackwing - Vayu the Emblem of Honor? Mind Master? Fishborg Blaster? Maiden with Eyes of Blue? Genex Ally Birdman? Some of these cards were meta defining and you pick stuff like Reese the Ice Mistress? Really?
Jeremy Gill (author) from Louisiana on August 15, 2015:
Flare Resonator has awful attack and defense (300, 100), but you're right - its ability to increase the attack of the synchro monster is very useful.
dhika afrisandy on August 15, 2015:
Flare resonator is also good,cause it can increase synchro monster attack by 300