Yu-Gi-Oh's Top 6 Tuner Monsters For Almost Any Deck

An example tuner, Junk Synchron. The stars in the upper right designate his monster level (3).
An example tuner, Junk Synchron. The stars in the upper right designate his monster level (3).

About the Author

I've played Duel Monsters for years, and tuner monsters are some of my favorites. They're a bit outdated by now, but still can contribute to an awesome deck and are seeing new support to this day. Give them a try to see what you think!

Tuner and Synchro Monsters

Welcome to another Yu-Gi-Oh card countdown! Last time, we reviewed powerful synchro monsters; today, we'll rank the monsters used to summon them: tuner monsters. First, some basic rules of the game. In Yu-Gi-Oh (also called Duel Monsters), you use monster, spell, and trap cards to reduce your opponent's "Life Points" to zero; players start with 8000 Life Points.

A variety of monsters with several effects exist; a few are classified as "tuners". When you have a tuner and a non-tuner monster out on your field, you can sacrifice the two to summon a "synchro" monster whose monster level is the total of the two sacrifices.

For example, the level 3 tuner, Junk Synchron, and any non-tuner level 2 monster could be sacrificed to call forth a level 5 synchro creature. All tuners are capable of calling forth powerful monsters, but a select few have unusually high attack or helpful additional effects, enabling them to stand above the rest. Today we'll review six awesome tuners that can fit snugly in almost any deck.

Masked Chameleon
Masked Chameleon

6. Masked Chameleon

Attack: 1600, Defense: 1100

Sixth place is awarded to the level 4 Masked Chameleon. Many tuners tend to have low attack, but Masked Chameleon's enables it to take out a fair number of monsters. Even better, its monster effect allows you to summon a monster from your "Graveyard" (discard pile); you can then Synchro Summon using your two monsters.

The catch is that the monster you summon from the Graveyard has to have a defense of zero. Many decks have at least one of these, so this usually isn't a huge problem. Even if you aren't able to use its effect, it can still Synchro and has reasonable attack, making it a popular option.

Update: Masked Chameleon has stood the test of time, and is also great at calling a Level 4 from the Graveyard for an XYZ summon.

Flamvell Guard
Flamvell Guard

5. Flamvell Guard

Attack: 100, Defense: 2000

This is the first "normal" monster in any of our countdowns; meaning it has no monster effect. Additionally, Flamvell Guard has very low attack. However, it can still be used as a tuner, and you can set it into defense position, where its impressive defense (especially for a tuner) will likely enable it to last until you can summon another monster to tune it with.

It's a simple card, but can help summon Synchro monsters, or be used as a shield to guard your Life Points. Flamvell's low lebel can also be used with cards that rely on having low level monsters. It's dragon type, normal monster status, and "Flamvell" name also put it into a variety of specialty decks.

X-Saber Airbellum
X-Saber Airbellum

4. X-Saber Airbellum

Attack: 1600, Defense: 200

This impressive level 3 tuner earns fourth place. X-Saber Airbellum fits right into the "X-Saber" series ,but can aid players even if they aren't using an X-Saber deck. For a tuner, Airbellum has good attack; just don't set it into defense position, or it'll get massacred.

Additionally, if it hits with a "direct attack" on your opponent (when they have no monsters to defend), Airbellum forces them to discard a random card from their hand. This is a very useful effect that helps you reduce your adversary's options. Use X-Saber to get rid of opposing cards, then tune it into a Synchro to decimate rivals.

Reese the Ice Mistress
Reese the Ice Mistress

3. Reese the Ice Mistress

Attack: 800, Defense: 800

Reese is a level 2 tuner. Her attack and defense are pretty low, but she has a great monster effect: she can't be destroyed in battle by a level 4 or higher monster. Level 4s and above tend to have much better attack than 3s and below; even if your opponent calls out something less than 4, its attack may not be enough to destroy Reese. As long as she can survive one turn with her effect, you can summon another monster from your hand, then tune the two of them to summon a powerful synchro monster.

Also, in emergencies, you could simply place Reese into defense position and leave it there; as long as your opponent doesn't summon a low level monster with good attack, they can't attack your Life Points. Definitely a useful tuner.

Update: Reese's value has admittedly diminished over time, but she still works in almost any Synchro deck, and can really save your bacon if your opponent relies too heavily on powerful, high-level monsters.


2. Krebons

Attack: 1200, Defense: 400

Krebons is a simple level 2 tuner. When an opponent tries to attack it, its effect allows you to pay 800 Life Points to negate the battle. This helps it stay alive during your opponent's turn so that you can summon a monster to tune it with on your next turn. It'll cost a bit to do it, but Krebons is a reliable way to call forth synchro monsters.

1200 attack isn't that great, but for a tuner, it;s not bad. Plus, similarly to Reese, as a last resort you can simply keep Krebons out without tuning it to block your opponent's attacks (for 800 Life points each). Combine Krebons with a Life Point-restoring card (Golden Ladybug works well) to ensure you have enough Life to use its effect.

Honorable Mentions

Attack/ Defense
Psychic Commander
1400/ 800
Pay Life Points to reduce the attack of an opponent's monster
X-Saber Pashuul
100/ 0
Cannot be destroyed by battle, but you must pay 1000 Life Points during each of your opponent's turns.
Trap Eater
1900/ 1600
Can only be summoned by destroying one of your opponent's face-up trap cards.
Three more recommended tuners.
Junk Synchron
Junk Synchron

1. Junk Synchron

Attack: 1300, Defense: 200

Yep, our example from earlier is actually today's number one monster, popularized by protagonist Yusei in the anime 5Ds. Junk Synchron's powerful effect makes a formidable opponent. When you play this card, you may select a level 1 or 2 monster in your Graveyard and summon it. Graveyards usually fill with monsters pretty quickly, so it's not hard to get some low levels inside.

Once you have one, and you summon Junk Synchron, you'll have what you need to synchro summon in a single turn, and at no cost. Junk Synchron can be used for many Synchros; a few (such as Junk Warrior) will only accept it as the tuner. Not many tuners can so easily, quickly, and inexpensively Synchro like this little guy.

Your Favorite

Which tuner do you prefer?

  • Junk Synchron.
  • Krebons.
  • Reese the Ice Mistress.
  • X-Saber Airbellum.
  • Flamvell Guard.
  • Masked Chameleon.
See results without voting

Final Tips

This concludes today's countdown. Remember that to use tuners for synchro summoning, you need to place synchro monsters in your "extra" deck (a small set of cards available to you throughout the duel). Test out various card combinations, and you'll be sure to find some tuners to suit your deck's needs. Let me know which tuner you prefer, and I hope to see you at our next Yu-Gi-Oh countdown!

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Comments 6 comments

dhika afrisandy 14 months ago

Flare resonator is also good,cause it can increase synchro monster attack by 300

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Jeremy Gill 14 months ago from Louisiana Author

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.

Tarotrei 2 months ago

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?

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Jeremy Gill 2 months ago from Louisiana Author

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.

Toga 3 weeks ago

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.

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Jeremy Gill 3 weeks ago from Louisiana Author

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!

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    Jeremy works part-time while attending college as a Criminal Justice major. It's time to Duel.. with justice.

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