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Top 10 Yu-Gi-Oh Anime & Manga-Only Archetypes

Jeremy enjoys dueling in between working as a chemical analyst and campus building manager.

Yu-Gi-Oh Anime Archetypes

One of Yu-Gi-Oh's biggest advantages compared to other card games is the ability to market new cards through its anime; watching characters wield new and exciting monsters makes us all the more eager to collect new cards.

While some monsters have their effects altered between anime and real-life TCG (like Dark Rebellion XYZ Dragon), many cards never made the shift, and we can only hope one day they'll receive their spotlight. Which themes do we most desire? Here are ten awesome anime and manga-exclusive YGO archetypes!

Royal Cookpals

Royal Cookpals

10. Cookpal

Used by: Reed Pepper

Yuya ultimately wins his Arc-V duel against Reed, but not before Reed's culinary allies give him a surprisingly difficult match. Though weak in battle, Cookpals are great at swarming the field and upgrading into their stronger Royal forms, who return themselves to hand to destroy monsters the opponent summons.

Not only would this theme satisfy players wanting adorable monsters to squee over, they have a surprising amount of cards and support for a theme only showcased once.

Clear World

Clear World

9. Clear World

Used by: Yusuke Fujiwara

While we did get some of the Clear cards in the TCG, the archetype needs far more to really be considered its own group. The infamous Clear World field spell punishes players with various penalties based on how many attributes they control.

But Clear monsters can eliminate their own attributes, preventing their owner from suffering drawbacks. Given modern support, this could be an interesting theme that punishes opponents for swarming the field with too many cards; sadly, it's unlikely we'll see much more considering it debuted in the GX era.

Lyndon with Clock Knights

Lyndon with Clock Knights

8. Clock Knight

Used by: Lyndon

Clock Knights are only briefly shown in 5D's, but they seem like a fun archetype that makes sense in the game. Not only do they exploit how clock hands just happen to match YGO monster levels (1-12), they play with an often-underutilized mechanic: coin flips.

Admittedly, we didn't get to see many of their cards, but it seems like a fun group that would mesh with the game's framework.

Dizzy Tiger

Dizzy Tiger

7. Dizzy

Used by: Mr. Huffington

Censored to remove references of alcohol in favor of hot sauce (a play on "sauced"), the Dizzy monsters were originally named the Drunken, and used by a character fond of his alcohol.

While I can understand not wanting to promote underage drinking, the whole concept of the monsters is pretty funny, especially with supporting spells like "Flipping the Table".



6. Quiz

Used by: Pierre L'Supérieure (and Joey Wheeler)

The Quiz and Quiz Panel cards use various trivia and games to test your opponent's attentiveness and knowledge, an interesting concept for a battle-oriented game like Yu-Gi-Oh. The only one that's made it to the actual TCG is Question, which punishes players for not knowing what's at the bottom of their opponent's graveyard, and it'd be interesting to see if Konami could make a Quiz archetype both competitive and fair.

Two Pendulumstatues

Two Pendulumstatues

5. Pendulumstatue

Used by: Multiple Arc-V characters

Scattered across a tournament, the numerous Pendulumstatues are utilized by many characters to ensure they have proper scale values. They also search other statues when summoned from the extra deck, and always sum to 13 with their total levels and scales.

These make them a surprisingly fleshed-out anime theme, and their shared rock type could offer interesting synergy with families like the Adamancipators.

Kabuki Stage - Big Bridge

Kabuki Stage - Big Bridge

4. Kabuki Stage

Used by: Orlando

Who would have guessed an archetype barely seen by a throwaway character would look this fun? The Kabuki Stages utilize field spells that offer powerful effects and replace themselves with new fields.

For instance, Kabuki Stage The Rough Seas searches a level 5 or higher monster, pretty easy advantage, especially if you can swap the field spells to utilize multiple abilities per round. This comes at the risk of leaving them active on your opponent's turn, as they can use the effects as well.

Armatos Legio Centurion

Armatos Legio Centurion

3. Armatos Legio

Used by: Lightning

VRAINS did well at making even its anime-only archetypes comprehensive, with this being no exception. The Legio monsters swarm the field with cards for easy link summons. They also wield tricky effects like destroying monsters in battle before damage calculation, compensating for low ATK, and limiting opposing attack options.

3 Coolant Hydradrives

3 Coolant Hydradrives

2. Hydradrive

Used by: Bohman and Harlin

Hydradrives showcase another fun link theme, using monster with hand-trap effects that can summon themselves for easy link summoning, some of which can trigger from the graveyard. They also punish opponents not for the more-common light and dark attributes, but for the four elemental ones: fire, water, earth, and wind, providing an interesting rogue deck that'd be especially effective against themes like Swordsoul.

Moon Dragon Quilla (legal TCG version)

Moon Dragon Quilla (legal TCG version)

1. Dark Tuner/Dark Synchro

Used by: Various characters

Dark tuners and dark synchros work similarly to regular synchro summons, adding levels of tuners and non-tuners, except this time you use negative levels to sum to corresponding values. Specifically, you take the non-tuner levels and subtract the dark tuner's to get the negative value of your dark synchro monster.

This seems like a natural addition to the game, taking a pre-existing summoning method and expanding it for even more level-based summon options. For what it's worth, we did get regular-synchro versions of some dark synchro monsters (like Moon Dragon Quilla), but exploring the true dark concept would be even cooler.

Yu-Gi-Oh Manga and Anime Differences

While not every anime and manga card transitions to the TCG, more and more archetypes seem to be making the cut, and we're eager to see what the game's next card type will be.

If you're a fan of the anime, you may be surprised by just how different each corresponding manga is, offering dozens of new duels and plotlines to explore, but for now, vote for your most anticipated monsters and I'll see you at our next YGO countdown!

© 2022 Jeremy Gill