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Best Yu-Gi-Oh Monster Cards

Updated on May 31, 2017
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 2016. 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 2016:

When this big bird breaks wind, you better stand back: No card effect can withstand the blast.
When this big bird breaks wind, you better stand back: No card effect can withstand the blast. | Source

Mist Valley Apex Avian

Ha! The writer always wanted a reason to include his favorite card on a top list, and not just because it’s his favorite. In Mist Ninja and Bloody Mist, Avian serves as the means to an end: Success in the deck centers on him gracing the field and remaining at center stage for most plays, and he’s worth the effort. By returning a Mist Valley card to the hand, Big Bird can negate the activation of any card effect. Combine that with Mist Valley Thunderbird, a card that Special Summons itself when returned to the hand, and you have an effective lock that can freeze your opponent from doing essentially anything, unless your opponent chains to Avian or has a counter-trap waiting, of course. However, what if he isn’t the means to the end, but simply a “small” player in a deck, like, say, a Pendulum Deck with a high enough Scale? A duelist gets to negate 1 card for free each turn, while their opponent may risk valuable resources in trying to stop Apex Avian, all the while the core strategy of the Avian-abuser’s deck continues. As a captain, Mist Valley Apex Avian (To the writer’s dismay) just doesn’t have enough support to make him a top contender. But as a commando in a Pendulum deck, he makes the cut.

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…

Why is it silent?  What's so honorable about it?  What does ARK stand for?  So many questions...  Not enough time while it absorbs your favorite monsters.
Why is it silent? What's so honorable about it? What does ARK stand for? So many questions... Not enough time while it absorbs your favorite monsters.

Number 101: Silent Honor ARK

Yeah, this card’s 101 all right, as in 101-ways-for-you-to-lose-a-duel. Staring down a Stardust you can’t swing over or destroy with your plethora of card effects? No problem! Tricked a Constellar Pleiades into wasting a material and don’t want to look at it next turn? Look no further! Tired of your opponent Pendulum Summoning a particular monster every turn? Snatch it up! ARK is a rank 4 Xyz that not only can detach two monsters to attach an opponent’s to it, but also can detach a material to prevent its destruction. The writer debated whether Castel: The Skyblaster Musketeer should grace the list over Mister Silent, but a vital difference exists between the two: Castel does his thing, then, in this age of dueling, is ripe for destruction, but ARK does its thing, and then it still takes two assassinations to send it to the grave. The writer also wants to note that Silent Honor ARK paved the way for bypassing a monster’s high Attack or durability without being useless (Relinquished) or broke (Thousand-Eyes Restrict). Number 38 and Cyber Dragon Nova are just posers.

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.

I ain't afraid of no ghost.  A ghost-girl ogre accompanied by a snow rabbit, on the other hand, has me shaking in my shivering boots.
I ain't afraid of no ghost. A ghost-girl ogre accompanied by a snow rabbit, on the other hand, has me shaking in my shivering boots.

Ghost Ogre and Snow Rabbit

Remember those days when Yugioh cards were all bloodthirsty monsters worthy of guest appearances in Stephen King novels, and not lolis or the stuff of your baby brother’s Toys-R-Us fantasies? Ghost Ogre and Snow Rabbit continues killing the old tradition with its artwork, while at the same time revolutionizing the game by replacing Effect Veiler. Why settle for simply negating a monster effect when you can destroy that monster or a face-up Spell or Trap when it activates an effect? And then the little loli’s not only a tuner, but a tuner Psychic, making her an Emergency Teleport target for decks needing to Sync-out of a bad situation. Shoot, if you felt crazy enough, you could even E-Teleport into her on your opponent’s turn and wait menacingly for them to activate a monster effect. Cute little card; dark name, and an even darker effect. Until she gets hit by the banlist, expect her terror to leave more scars than a ghost from The Grudge.

Look at him, as crazy as he wants to be.  Now that the writer thinks about it, he thinks he remembers seeing him and Zoe Hange from Attack on Titan having a picnic recently...
Look at him, as crazy as he wants to be. Now that the writer thinks about it, he thinks he remembers seeing him and Zoe Hange from Attack on Titan having a picnic recently...

Archfiend Eccentrick

We all knew it was only a matter of time before Konami made a Pendulum monster like this. Everyone knows this card is ban-bait, but there’s no way anyone with the cash to burn is not going to use it. The Exiled Force was fired for throwing wilder parties than the United States Army, and this monster happily danced into their place. Eccentrick is a Pendulum monster that, when in a Pendulum zone, can destroy itself to destroy a Spell or Trap on the field, and as a monster can be tributed to destroy a monster. Its level of 3 makes it easily spashable in most Pendulum decks, while its high scales grants duelists the option to run some level 5 or 6 monsters. Overall, this happy Archfiend’s only weakness is you won’t be tearing down a duelist’s lifepoints with it, but its effect versatility on top of it being a Pendulum makes that a mute point. On a final note, the author has one request for the “fans” of this card: Please stop dreaming with the raunchy artwork. This eccentric archfiend is most definitely a guy.

This guy can transform anything into a circus animal...  Definitely the funnest superpower ever.
This guy can transform anything into a circus animal... Definitely the funnest superpower ever.

Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer

Say hello, my fellow duelists, to crown king of 2016’s top Yugioh deck. Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer speeds-up a deck that already drinks jetliner fuel and farts lightspeed: His Special Summon can trade the destruction of any two cards its ringmaster controls to add two Performapal monsters to the hand. On top of that, in the Pendulum Zone, he can boost the attack of all his buddies by 1000 when one is Pendulum summoned. Oh, and he himself is level 4 with a Scale of 2, enabling easy access to the Level 4 Performapal Xyz build. There isn’t much the writer can say about this guy that isn’t already openly printed. If this list was numbered, he wouldn’t be number 1, but number 0 in 2016.

Every dragon needs a warrior to slay it, but what happens when the warrior IS a dragon?  Does it... slay itself @_@?  Mind Blown.
Every dragon needs a warrior to slay it, but what happens when the warrior IS a dragon? Does it... slay itself @_@? Mind Blown.

Luster Pendulum, the Dracoslayer

Now say whatz up to the other half of the DracoPals’ top tier-ability. Luster Pendulum will forever be burned in the eyes of many a duelist for his power to lend a hand to any Pendulum deck. If you have an undesirable Scale, you can use his effect to pop a Pendulum then set it to your liking, and then Special Summon the card you just popped from the Extra Deck. Paint thinner, meet your 40 card equivalent: deck thinner. In addition, he being a tuner and a Dracoslayer opens the gateway for any of the potent Dracoslayer Extra Deck options. This dragon-knight has a lot of tricks up his sleeve, earning him a stone slot on this list.

Konami made the perfect archetype for loli-lovers: man-sized Venus Flytraps disguised as little girls.  It's too perfect.
Konami made the perfect archetype for loli-lovers: man-sized Venus Flytraps disguised as little girls. It's too perfect.

Traptrix Rafflesia

Big sister of the loli-gang is, without a doubt, one of the most overpowered stun cards seen in a while. Any two Level 4s makes Traptrix Rafflesia, and then her quick effect can utilize any Hole card effect from the deck, while setting the grave for further Traptrix shenanigans. Her 2500 defense even ensures the opponent will have to summon a Hole target just to swing over her. Luckily, for most duelists not fooled by this vicious plant in cute-kid-clothing, making a second play after falling for Team Rocket’s oldest trick usually ends her threat, but her gracing the field still makes anyone think twice. Until Traptrix monsters get a little more support (from the way things stand, it wouldn’t take much…) players won’t need to fear her power to grant god-mode to all her little sisters. Trix aren’t for kids anymore.

Don't be fooled by the "magnitude" of its name length.  Great Magnus is compensating for the fact  that a simple Chimeratech Fortress Dragon or Kaiju can send it to the scrapyard.
Don't be fooled by the "magnitude" of its name length. Great Magnus is compensating for the fact that a simple Chimeratech Fortress Dragon or Kaiju can send it to the scrapyard.

Super Quantal Mech King Great King Magnus

Konami must believe name size to cards is shoe size to humans, because this guy staring you down means you’re in for some a long, hard lifepoint drop. Surprisingly easy to summon, a monstrous attack, immunity to all card effects, the power to return a card to the deck once during either player’s turn, and a built in Mistake excluding the mech’s owner, what is there not to hate about this card? Voltron’s distant cousin and the Power Rangers’ Megazord’s long lost brother, Magnus truly embodies the spirit of old super sentai shows by being the all-powerful game-ender when he hits the field. The Quantum archetype even has a megasword no one ever runs. The writer thinks it’s truly awesome this card exists, but considers it disastrous when it forms. Any duelist not playing with a battle plan will definitely scoop (Yugioh jargon for fold or quit) the second it appears he might appear, and that psychological damage earns him a slot among the greats.

Which Yu-Gi-Oh Monster dominates the rest?

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    • profile image

      11 days ago

      exodius

    • profile image

      Anthony Anschuetz 2 weeks ago

      Power Dragon

    • profile image

      The 2 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 3 months ago

      Beast King Barbaros

      no competition..

    • profile image

      Me 4 months ago

      I have darkness it's a good card

    • Forgedphoenix09 profile image

      Forgedphoenix09 4 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 6 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 image
      Author

      Zeron87 7 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 7 months ago

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

    • Zeron87 profile image
      Author

      Zeron87 8 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 8 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 image
      Author

      Zeron87 9 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 9 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 image
      Author

      Zeron87 9 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 9 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 9 months ago

      #6: Chronomally Atlandis gg

    • Zeron87 profile image
      Author

      Zeron87 10 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 10 months ago

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

    • Zeron87 profile image
      Author

      Zeron87 11 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 image
      Author

      Zeron87 12 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 12 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 image
      Author

      Zeron87 14 months 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 14 months ago

      Quasar is op!!!

    • Zeron87 profile image
      Author

      Zeron87 18 months 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 18 months 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.