Best Yu-Gi-Oh Monster Cards (2017)

Updated on January 3, 2018
The writer invites you to explore the best of the best.  Keep your ears clean, and you might learn something along the way.
The writer invites you to explore the best of the best. Keep your ears clean, and you might learn something along the way.

I’ve wandered the morbid deserts of the Dragon Shrine, delved into the seas of Atlantis, fought in the battle grounds of the Dracoslayers, and made cute poses with corny phrases alongside the Super Quantums, and you know what I discovered? Everyone and his (or her) grandma’s grandma has a list for cards they see as the le crop de la crème but moi. So, here I am, giving you an opinion I’m telling you is subjective but you’ll take as objective anyway: My opinion on the top ten Monster Cards in Yu-Gi-Oh as of 2017. Instead of weighing down hubpages like an obese lover suffocating his toothpick wife, I’ll change this annually, or instantly if I deem a card is worthy of more curses than a DMV run by sloths. So, without further delay, in no particular order, the most irritating Monsters of 2017:

Toadally Awesome

Toadally Awesome reins supreme as number 1 in effect negation. Despite its ridiculous name and silly artwork, this totally awesome pair of frogs leaps miles above Apex Avian, Cyber Infinity, and other members of the I-negate-that-club by its ease of summoning and ability to add whatever gets negated to its owner side of the field. When one considers its ability to retrieve fuel for its negation by detaching and to recycle a Water monster from the grave when it finally croaks, and it’s not hard to comprehend how Toadally Awesome outpaced its competition in 2017. Big the Cat would be pleased.

Try to shoot an apple off of these frogs’ heads, and you’ll only end of taking an arrow to the knee, but at least you’ll now have an outdated meme story to share with your grandkids.
Try to shoot an apple off of these frogs’ heads, and you’ll only end of taking an arrow to the knee, but at least you’ll now have an outdated meme story to share with your grandkids. | Source
Red-Eyes got tired of getting teased by the bigger dragons, so he sold his soul for a pot of melted black gold, then dipped himself in it.  I think it worked.
Red-Eyes got tired of getting teased by the bigger dragons, so he sold his soul for a pot of melted black gold, then dipped himself in it. I think it worked.

Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon

He’s black, he’s metal, he’s big, he’s mean, and he has red eyes, and no, I’m not talking about your Black best friend who smokes fire and listens to heavy metal. If you’ve played Yugioh in the last century, this monster has terrorized you at least once. The new ambassador of the Dragon Archetype, effective replacing Blue-Eyes White Dragon, Red-Eyes-Darkness Metal Dragon makes up for his lack of 200 Attack Points with the ability to Special Summon a dragon from the Graveyard or Hand once a turn, and to Special Summon himself from the hand simply by banishing a Dragon the player controls! Essentially, anyone not insane running a Dragon deck has him stashed away somewhere within the 40 card minimum. He’s easy to summon, keeps the deck moving, and has high attack power himself. The writer still wonders why this guy wasn’t made a Fusion or Synchro Monster… but then he remembers regular effect monsters need idols too. If you’re one of the young duelists in the game, be glad you don’t remember the days when they were off the Limited list. Oh man, terrifying times…

You can’t stop it, they can’t stop it, the writer can’t stop it!  Say to your favorite monster goodbye, ‘cause its sittin’ time!
You can’t stop it, they can’t stop it, the writer can’t stop it! Say to your favorite monster goodbye, ‘cause its sittin’ time!

Gameciel, The Sea Turtle Kaiju

Japanese giant monster lovers rejoice! A new Godzilla, King Kong, and Pacific Rim in the works for theaters, people’s love for giant monsters has been renewed in popular culture, so it only makes sense Yu-Gi-Oh would follow the trend with its own archetype of monsters as dangerous as their big-screen equivalents. Sure, any card enabling one a way out to an invincible boss monster is top-card-material, but what if your opponent happens to be running a deck full of Kaijus, including their Spell/Trap support? Gameciel does what its other kin do by tributing an opponent’s monster to summon itself, but it can also take advantage of Kaiju counters on the field to negate card effects, a useful counter to a deck running Godzilla’s gang as more than a tech. You’ll pay a pretty penny for it, and then some, but having at least one Gameciel in one’s 40 card limit ensures one’s never out of options, no matter what all-powerful, god-tier card the other duelist summons against you, making it stand taller than most cards, including those from its own island.

You can curse all the players wishing for a better starship archetype than the Gradius deck for this, but it won't save your lifepoints.
You can curse all the players wishing for a better starship archetype than the Gradius deck for this, but it won't save your lifepoints.

Kozmo Dark Destroyer

We had to get to the current game changers eventually… There was no avoiding it. The flagship of the Kozmo deck is as frustrating as it is deadly. This large evil ship boasts 3000 Attack, cannot be targeted by any of the opponent’s cards, and Special Summons a lower level Kozmo from the deck when destroyed and sent to the Graveyard in any fashion. It can be searched by Kozmo Farmgirl, and any of the level 4 or lower Kozmos can bring it to the field by banishing themselves. So yeah, it’s impossible to have a top monster list without the boss of one of the current top decks. The only way to destroy it is to attack over it (Ha, ha, ha…) or clear the field, but even then it can easily summon another big ship or small Kozmo Town denizen in its place. This ship is solid.

She looks so happy as here owner stops you from completing that combo, doesn’t she?
She looks so happy as here owner stops you from completing that combo, doesn’t she?

Ash Blossom and Joyous Spring

Since the recent diminish of Pendulum power, the ghost girl with the rabbit has been usurped by her younger sister who dances in the spring, and it’s not hard to understand why. Instead of cards with blue mommies and orange daddies being our most feared opponents, special summoning a floodgate of monsters to floodgate your opponent is what’s currently vogue in the Duel Monsters realm. Ash Blossom stops all cards enabling one to accelerate their game, which includes special summoning from the Deck, searching, and sending cards to the graveyard simply by dropping her from the hand to the Graveyard, halting any progress harder than a steel door supported by bullet proof glass and a Whomping Willow. Her usefulness as an effective hand trap against the current state of game makes her one of the top cards of this year.

Dark blue is the new gold, or at least that’s what Decode Talker says, and he dares you to prove him wrong.
Dark blue is the new gold, or at least that’s what Decode Talker says, and he dares you to prove him wrong.

Decode Talker

Things aren’t all doom and gloom with Links required to reference your Extra deck. A few Link-reliant archetypes exist, but all decks must now ask a Link monster permission if they desire to storm the field with more than 1 Extra deck monster. Until the game is graced with something other than beetle wrestlers, two-faced, popstar faires, and the denizens and wildlife from the world of Pulse, Decode Talker will serve as the bridge for most duelists to partially relive the Wild West days of the Pendulum era. A Link 3 monster that requires 2 or more effect monsters to make, Decode Talker gains 500 attack for each monster it points to, has two Link Markers to its user’s monster zones, and can negate a targeting effect by Tributing a card it points to. Since it doesn’t require the strict material conditions most current Link monsters do, it provides a solid Extra deck gateway for any deck, making it one of the best cards in Yu-Gi-Oh’s current state.

They should put Number 41 in a Karakuri deck, then Prohibition would be a card again.  You laugh now, but just you wait.
They should put Number 41 in a Karakuri deck, then Prohibition would be a card again. You laugh now, but just you wait.

Number 41: Bagooska, the Terribly Tired Tapir

You said you don’t want to switch to Link summoning? Ha! Step on up, folks! Konami has the card for you… A simple rank 4 Xyz monster with a game-changing effect, Bagooska has some interesting effects when in attack position, but who cares? When in defense position, he changes all other monsters on the field into defense position and negates their effects. Yes, this Tired Tapir would be the stun card from hell, but this card’s defense effect does nothing against Link monsters, for they never sleep 0_0. Seriously though, Link monsters can’t be placed in defense position, making this Tapir with a pillow addiction an easy toolbox against any deck not running Links. So yeah, this terribly tired tapir is just terrible, Ivan the Terrible terrible, and you’ll soon get terribly ticked at him just as you’re getting terribly tired of reading terrible in this sentence. Until Konami releases enough variety to make Link decks more adored than others, this guy will act as your incentive, making it one of the top cards of the year.

If your name has Peace and Slaying in it, it’s either your followers think your awesome, or your subjects know you’re crazy.  One usually doesn’t associate one with the other.  Really makes you wonder…
If your name has Peace and Slaying in it, it’s either your followers think your awesome, or your subjects know you’re crazy. One usually doesn’t associate one with the other. Really makes you wonder…

Master Peace, The Dracoslaying King

Yeah, this guy is “Master Peace” all right, if peace is the silence that follows your field being empty. Many cards on this list destroy, but it’s rare to find a card capable of destruction while it remains immune to that good night itself. Our Wyrm King dominates with both criteria by granting itself immunity based on what card you used to tribute summon it, which can include Spells and Traps as well as Monsters, and can destroy a card on the field during either player’s turn simply by banishing a Continuous Spell or Trap from the Grave. Now, the writer bets you’re wondering how did this King take the spot of the Megazord with a name longer than Sephiroth’s sword? Considering the ease in summoning Master Peace in a Draco deck, you’ll definitely be seeing more than one during your teeth-chattering bout, even if you sit on it with a Kaiju. Until then, you’ll have to deal with its immunity and destruction per turn tactics. That’s truly frightening, and how this Dracoslaying King planted a flag on this list.

Now we all know why they call sleeper agents sleepers:  They’re great at putting their opponents to sleep, permanently.
Now we all know why they call sleeper agents sleepers: They’re great at putting their opponents to sleep, permanently.

SPYRAL Sleeper

Most people who have tangled with these ultra agents making James Bond look like Johnny English know Quik-Fix is the card moving this deck on its mission to victory, which is why the U.N. limited spy agencies to having only one per site. However, the writer would argue when SPYRAL Sleeper hits the field, most players know their goose is cooked. As if Scrap Dragon morphed into human form with a grudge, this level 8 Light Fiend, who ironically shares the same level as his previous life, awakens by banishing three SPYRAL cards from the graveyard, and then can destroy a SPYRAL card to destroy two cards on its opponent's side of the field… during either player’s turn. Oh, and when you destroy him, he brings out a SPYRAL Super Agent from the hand, graveyard, or deck, just to remind you how powerless you are before the ADP, the Agency of Drilled Pompadours. Him being the powerhouse of the tier 0 deck of 2017 helps cement his status further as one of top cards you’ll turn into murdered-extra-number-two-thousand ninety seven against.

What are you going to do… when a Dragon a born from a Quasar comes for you?  Whatever you do, at least you know it's going to take more than one card effect...
What are you going to do… when a Dragon a born from a Quasar comes for you? Whatever you do, at least you know it's going to take more than one card effect...

Shooting Quasar Dragon

Voted in by popular demand, Shooting Quasar Dragon still earns its slot by being one of the most dangerous cards adorned in white since its release in the Synchro era. Before Links hit the scene, all it took was three cards and a Brutality combo to summon this titan; after Links, and with the game’s current emphasis on tokens, it’s now easier than ever to have your opponent staring up this guy. Some points can be made for its newer relative, Cosmic Blazar Dragon, who negates card effects, summons, and a battle by banishing itself, but the writer would like to remind everyone, taking into account his prejudice for Wind monsters, most players will side against banishing because the current, most annoying decks use the tactic to get their strategies moving, and Cosmic Blazar doesn’t summon another monster upon it leaving the field like Shooting Quasar. When it comes to Blazars and Quasars, it’s sometimes better to stick with the old and let go of the new.

Which Yu-Gi-Oh Monster dominates the rest?

See results

© 2016 Zeron87

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    • profile image

      Gabriel chandler 

      9 hours ago

      A-to-z dragon buster cannon

    • Zeron87 profile imageAUTHOR

      Zeron87 

      5 weeks ago

      Brandon Johns: Thanks for our opinion! You're right, some of these cards may be archetype specific, but my list of "Best" cards are the ones I deem to influence the game the most at the time. Basically, no matter what deck you face, there will always be key cards to look out for, but the cards I put on my best list are the ones that'll give you Nightmare on Elm Street shivers when you see them, considering the impact they have.

      Also, I wouldn't get a challenge from writing hubs on what cards are best in a deck, because to me it would be even more subjective than me trying to piece together what cards influence the game the most in its current state. What I WOULD do is create in-depth guides on how to use certain decks, considering different variants and strategies. And then if I did do that, I'd want to make sure I know what I'm talking about. I wouldn't just be doing research, but try to intimately know the deck I was writing about so I wouldn't mislead my readers. After all, at the end of the day, my writings are subjective, but I still want to enhance the knowledge of the community and create a more duel-friendly, educated environment.

      Again, thanks for reading man, and hope to see you coming back for more ^_^.

    • ultimatedefense profile image

      ultimatedefense 

      2 months ago

      Thank you, Brandon Johns for saying what is right. Of course yes, I agree with you about the fact that a card can be considered 'best' according to their roles, potentials and place in the deck that they come from best.

    • profile image

      Brandon Johns 

      2 months ago

      I think a lot of cards can be the "best" depending on how they are played as well as the other cards in the deck that play with it. Cause some of those cards are useless unless they're with specific cards, but its a good list nonetheless, but I would like to see your opinion for standalone cards or cards that can be played in any deck, like the ritual version of black luster soldier.

    • profile image

      Gavin Nguyen 

      6 months ago

      none, all of them are EQUAL.MLK Jr. talked about this.

    • Jeremy Gill profile image

      Jeremy Gill 

      7 months ago from Louisiana

      I think (x monster) is best because (biased reason); why didn't you include it? It's almost like you have finite space or something.

      Seriously man, nice read. You have an interesting and reference-littered style I enjoy.

    • profile image

      Pseudonym 

      7 months ago

      Tragoedia

    • Zeron87 profile imageAUTHOR

      Zeron87 

      7 months ago

      Thanks for the comment, Kletian V! I forgot about Maho Vailo. He's a classic monster with a simple yet effective strategy: stack Equipment Spells on him for victory. If equipment cards are your thing, have you ever looked into the Vylons or the Noble Knights? The Noble Knights have their own Equip. Spell support, but Vylons specialize in using the effects of Equip. Spells, searching for them, and can even swarm if you have the Vylon Element on the field.

    • ultimatedefense profile image

      ultimatedefense 

      8 months ago

      Little kuriboh are you sure about that, cause I don't agree with you, in fact it shouldnt really be on this list considering all the good cards on this list.

    • profile image

      Hahahah 

      8 months ago

      Exodus with obliterate insta kill

    • profile image

      Little Kuriboh 

      8 months ago

      Definitely Garlandolf, King of Destruction.

    • ultimatedefense profile image

      ultimatedefense 

      9 months ago

      I think it's based on tournament rules, so I'm pretty sure the Egyptian gods are banned so yeah

    • profile image

      10 months ago

      exodius

    • profile image

      Anthony Anschuetz 

      10 months ago

      Power Dragon

    • profile image

      The 

      12 months ago

      The strongest card is the winged dragon of ra believe me I have it And Slifer the sky dragon and Obelisk the tormenter

    • profile image

      Zee 

      13 months ago

      Beast King Barbaros

      no competition..

    • profile image

      Me 

      14 months ago

      I have darkness it's a good card

    • Forgedphoenix09 profile image

      Forgedphoenix09 

      14 months ago

      No Performopal Lizard draw? In my deck that thing is a nightmare if I get it on the field with two axes of despair.

    • profile image

      Austin 

      16 months ago

      I can think of another card that is just brutal: Blue Eyes Twin Burst Dragon. 2 Blue-Eyes to fusion summon him, and 3 powerful effects: cannot be destroyed by battle, attacks twice in a turn, and banishes any monster it battles that has higher attack than it.

      One word: OUCH!

    • Zeron87 profile imageAUTHOR

      Zeron87 

      17 months ago

      Hello, Jin, and thanks for the comment ^_^. The list isn't written in any order, but I do give special mention to Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer. To me, he was the best Yugioh monster of 2016. There just isn't a Pendulum monster with a Pendulum and Monster effect as good as his. Of course, I'm going to be updating this list soon for 2017, but for now, he has the throne.

    • profile image

      jin 

      17 months ago

      so who is number 1 card the first (Bird) or the last (Robot)?

    • Zeron87 profile imageAUTHOR

      Zeron87 

      18 months ago

      Thanks for the comment Johann! Blue-Eyes Chaos MAX Dragon's double-damage piercing is devastating, especially since most monsters are going to hide from your Blue-Eyes cards anyway. And then that card doesn't die easy either (actually, it doesn't die at all). It's definitely a contender for this list. Darkness Metal is, of course, still the most versatile card in a dragon deck and always helps immensely. Blue Eyes and Galaxy Eyes monsters together, eh? That actually sounds like a VERY viable deck. It's level 8 monster heaven! Never heard of anyone using it; glad someone created it :).

    • profile image

      Johann 

      18 months ago

      Idk, kinda torn from Blue-Eyes Chaos MAX and Darkness Metal. Both are great to use, and are in my deck. It's a Galaxy-Eyes/Blue-Eyes hyrbid.

    • Zeron87 profile imageAUTHOR

      Zeron87 

      19 months ago

      Yeah, Apex Avian is my card man, now and forever. I just wish they'd give Mist Valley's some more support, or at least make Mist Condor a Mist Valley monster. Avian FTW!

      Apoqliphort Towers... You hurtin' me, bru. You hurtin' me real deep. LOL, but seriously, what the world with with that card, I mean, seriously?! That's some Atem/Jaden/Yusei villain crap right there. If Paradox had a Maleficent version of that card, he could probably sit back sipping Blue-Eyes Tea while he ravaged the Yugioh world. The card has the Egyptian gods on a leash while riding a Red Dragon Archfiend with Utopia as a bodyguard and Odd-Eyes Rebellion Dragon as a concubine. I seriously thought it was THAT ridiculous.

    • Jeremy Gill profile image

      Jeremy Gill 

      19 months ago from Louisiana

      Great list. So many familiar faces here lol.

      Gotta love negation monsters like Apex Avian or Stardust Dragon/ Assault Mode! Especially because they're powerful, but not brokenly so.

      I know people will hate me for it, but I also enjoy Apoqliphort Towers too. Immunity to Spells, Traps, and most monster effects? Yes please. Good luck getting him off the banned list though haha.

    • Zeron87 profile imageAUTHOR

      Zeron87 

      19 months ago

      @Reckerooni Thanks for commenting! I looked up that guy, and he definitely looks dangerous with his ability to half an opponent's lifepoints @_@. I don't fight against decks that summon Number monsters often. Actually recently, it's more like never, so I've never seen him in action. Makes me wonder why he's not used more, because 4000 damage in one turn... hurts.

      @ James Thank ya for the comment. LOL, when I re-edit this list soon, I'm thinking about adding Quasar. Even though he doesn't see as much play as he used too, he's still a powerful card. Also, I hate to break it to you, buddy, but Quantum Magnus would still pose a threat to your Exodia and Blue Eyes deck. Remember, his "Shuffle a card into the deck" ability doesn't target, he's unaffected by other card effects, and he stops you from adding cards to your hand by card effects. He's not unstoppable, but he's pretty broke.

    • profile image

      James 

      19 months ago

      I had a few decks in my day when i loved dueling and some of these cards caught my eye, however my decks that summon Quasar on the first turn or Blue Eyes Chaos Max, or even my troll no attack exodia deck that relies on negating battle phases with hand effects, and or played cards, can probably fight these off.

    • profile image

      Reckerooni 

      19 months ago

      #6: Chronomally Atlandis gg

    • Zeron87 profile imageAUTHOR

      Zeron87 

      20 months ago

      Sorry about that, buddy. Did you know Konami released decent support for Winged Dragon of Ra? If you have Winged Dragon of Ra - The Immortal Phoenix in your graveyard, not only would you get this guy to the field when that kid destroys your Ra, but you'd also have a monster with 4000 attack! It forms an interesting loop with Sphere Mode, too. Look them up ^_^, and thanks for the comment!

    • profile image

      quan 

      20 months ago

      I have winged dragon of ra but i always lose because this one kid destroys him with a spell card

    • Zeron87 profile imageAUTHOR

      Zeron87 

      21 months ago

      Both of those cards are definitely heavy hitters, and Neo Galaxy Eyes Tachyon Dragon shouldn't be hard to pull off in a Galaxy deck. I'm loving the rarity of that Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon too. Good grabs, buddy. Thanks for commenting!

    • Zeron87 profile imageAUTHOR

      Zeron87 

      22 months ago

      Mwuhahahaha!!! I run a level 8 Hieratic deck and shifted my strategy from OTK to destruction (the deck is almost pure), and Lancelot is one of my favorite Xyzs to run when I have two other strong dragons on the field, or to open with. So yeah, I love that card ^_^. Thanks for commenting, man!

    • profile image

      Jerome 

      22 months ago

      I have red eyes darkness metal dragon in my deck and it's awesome. I also like #23 Lancelot dark knight of the underworld. How about you

    • Zeron87 profile imageAUTHOR

      Zeron87 

      2 years ago

      Thanks for commenting! You're right. I forgot about ole' Q. He doesn't see nearly as much play as he used to, but a Quickdraw deck can bring him to the field with just three cards in hand. He's definitely a contender.

    • profile image

      Sasukke 

      2 years ago

      Quasar is op!!!

    • Zeron87 profile imageAUTHOR

      Zeron87 

      2 years ago

      Thanks for your comment buddy ^_^. Ark is great when you're abusing it, but sucks when your opponent abuses it against you. One of my favorite decks is Chaos Counter Fairy, and there's no worse feeling than having your omnipotent BLS simply absorbed by an Ark...

    • profile image

      Andy 

      2 years ago

      I had to vote for Ark, I have been screwed over by that card and I have screwed others with it. A major game changer. Belzee lol, Ark that thing.

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