Jeremy enjoys dueling in between working as a chemical analyst and campus building manager.
Extra Draw Cards in Yu-Gi-Oh
Card advantage is crucial in Yu-Gi-Oh, ensuring you have enough resources in hand to facilitate your combos and counter opposing plays. Fortunately, many monster archetypes, attributes, and types contain specific spells designed to keep your hand stocked or replace unneeded cards for new units.
These often have some version of "discard an X card to draw two from your deck, "but we'll see a variety of abilities. Some banish the chosen cards, others can pick from your hand or field, and some have a "once per turn restriction," etc.—which reign supreme? These are the 30 best series-dependent hand-tinkering spells in Yu-Gi-Oh!
30. Performapal Recasting
Admittedly, Recasting won't actually increase your hand size, and you can only use one per turn, but it's an easy way to to tweak your hand. You reveal any number of Performapal monsters in hand, shuffle them into the deck, then draw that many cards plus one.
You have to reveal at least one Performapal, but it's still a great way to manipulate your hand and place cards in deck to be tutored with other effects (like "Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer").
29. Igknight Reload
Archetype: Anything with pendulums, especially Igknight
While Reload carries the Igknight name, it works well for any pendulum theme. You shuffle any any number of pendulum monsters from your hand into your deck to draw that many plus one, although for the rest of the turn, you can't draw card through effects.
But that's a light restriction for such a versatile draw support, especially since its quick-play status lets you set it (and potentially bait a removal) to activate on either player's turn.
28. Pendulum Halt
Archetype: Any pendulum theme
Halt requires you have at least three face-up pendulum monsters with different names in your extra deck, and once activated, it prevents you from adding cards from deck to hand for the rest of the turn.
But Halt grants you two draws, actually increasing your overall hand size. It functions especially well with pendulums that destroy themselves and stockpile your extra deck, like "Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon" and "Wisdom-Eye Magician".
27. Pot of Riches
Archetype: Any pendulum theme
I promise we'll venture away from pendulums after this one. Riches prevents you from special summoning except by pendulum summoning the turn you use it, but it's a powerful alternative (or supplement to) Halt. You shuffle any three pendulum monsters from your extra deck or GY into your deck, then draw two cards.
Not only does this increase your hand size, it can pull from two different areas, and unlike Halt, you can choose monsters with the same name.
26. Kuji-Kiri Curse
Archetype: Any level-9 theme
Curse simply sends one level-nine monster from your hand or field to the graveyard to draw two cards. It's nice that you can choose from two zones, but since level nine creatures are pretty rare, be sure you're running enough to make good use of Curse.
25. Sacred Sword of Seven Stars
Archetype: Any level-7 theme
Stars is the level-7 equivalent of Curse, except you banish your level-7 from hand or field to draw twice. Admittedly, exiled cards are harder to recover than discarded ones, but since level-sevens are way more common than nines, it's much easier to make use of Stars (in themes like Dark Magician and Odd-Eyes, among many others).
24. Celestial Observatory
Archetype: Any level-6 theme
Observatory places a level-six monster from your hand or field on the bottom of your deck to draw two cards. Sadly, this doesn't stockpile your graveyard, but it can still pull from two zones and blends with level-six monsters possessing entrance effects like "Mobius the Frost Monarch" (who make good fodder after resolving).
Archetype: Any level-8 theme
Trade-In blends the best of Curse and Stars; discarding a level-eight monster to draw twice. Now, you can't pick monsters from your field, but you're setting your graveyard while refilling your hand, and unlike the past three cards, there's no "once per turn" limit.
22. The Melody of Awakening Dragon
Archetype: Any high-ATK dragon theme (like Blue-Eyes)
Melody lets you discard any card to add two dragon-type monsters with 3000 or more ATK and 2500 or less DEF to hand. That's an amazing way to get whatever you want into your graveyard, there's no once per turn restriction, and you can tutor copies of the same card if you like.
21. Dark Factory of Mass Production
Archetype: Any normal monster theme (like Exodia)
Mass Production simply recovers two normal monsters from your graveyard, placing them back into hand, trading one card for two. The only real downside is that not a lot of decks heavily rely on normal monsters, but for those that do (like Exodia, where four of the five Exodia pieces are normal), you'll find few better supports.
20. Recurring Nightmare
Archetype: Any 0-DEF dark theme (like Lair of Darkness)
Nightmare adds two dark-attribute monsters with 0 DEF from your graveyard to hand. Many dark creatures have 0 DEF, so you'll have plenty of fodder to chose from, you can pick two copies of the same monster, and you can even use multiple Nightmares per turn, making this a staple in zero-defense themes.
19. Allure of Darkness
Archetype: Any dark theme
Allure draws two cards, then has you banish any dark-attribute monster from your hand; if you can't, you banish your whole hand. So to be safe, try to have at least one in hand before using Allure, but it's still a great deck-thinner with no OPT limit. Combo with themes that can recover or use banished cards (like Wight) for extra synergy.
18. Trial and Tribulation
Archetype: Any tribute theme (like Qliphort)
Tribulation doesn't provide any benefit until the end phase, so you'll have to wait to apply its effects, but it can give up to three depending on how many non-token monsters you tributed from your hand or the field that turn:
- 1+: Draw a card
- 2+: Add two monsters from your graveyard to hand
- 3+: Destroy up to three face-up cards on the field
Even with just two tributes, you're potentially trading one card for three, and if you manage to sacrifice three, you add a powerful removal into the mix.
17. F.A. Pit Stop
Pit Stop reduces the level of an F.A. monster you control by two, then has you draw cards equal to the number of Pit Stops in your graveyard plus one, stacking well with extra copies of itself (though you can only use one per turn). You can also banish Pit Stop from your graveyard after the turn it was sent there to revive an F.A. monster from your graveyard, though doing so will weaken future Pit Stops.
Reducing your monster's level will also weaken them (F.A.s get stronger based on level), but you're still trading one card at instant speed for 1-3 while prepping your graveyard.
16. Illusion Magic
Archetype: Dark Magician
Another quick-play spell, you can use Magic on either turn, tributing a spellcaster-type monster to add two copies of "Dark Magician" from your deck/graveyard to hand. To get extra bang for your buck, activate Magic in response to a removal (whether for itself or the spellcaster you'll tribute).
15. Destiny Draw
Archetype: Destiny HERO
Destiny Draw is about as vanilla as you can get, but that's not a bad thing: you discard a Destiny HERO to draw twice, maintaining hand advantage while prepping your GY, and you can use multiple copies per round.
While I wish the card worked with other HEROs (like Elemental or Malicious), it's hard to complain when they have...
14. Legacy of a HERO
Legacy returns two fusion monsters from your graveyard to your extra deck that list a HERO monster as material, then draws not two but three cards! Since all HEROs rely on fusion monsters, this works great with Elemental, Destiny, Masked, and other HERO groups, and it lessens your need to spend precious extra deck slots on duplicate fusion monsters.
13. World Legacy's Heart
Archetype: World Chalice
Heart returns two World Chalice monsters with different names from your graveyard to hand, exchanging one card for two. From there, it can banish itself from your graveyard to prevent a single battle destruction of your linked monster.
Heart's a competitive card by itself, and it's extra useful since World Chalice cards share several supports with the popular Orcust archetype.
12. Spellbook of Knowledge
Archetype: Any spellcasters, especially Spellbook
Knowledge sends a spellcaster you control or a Spellbook card from your hand or field to the graveyard to draw twice. Even though you can only use one per turn, it's still a versatile spell and great for adding spell counters to corresponding spellcasters.
Archetype: Any water theme (like Gishki)
Salvage simply returns any two water-attribute monsters with 1500 or less ATK from your graveyard to hand, maintaining card advantage with no OPT limit. Nearly any water theme will have some low-level monsters that qualify, making this an easy pick for Gishki, Nekroz, Ice Barrier, Aquaactress, and many other themes.
10. Gateway of the Six
Archetype: Six Samurai and Shien
Limited as of this writing, you're only allowed one copy of Gateway in your deck, and unlike most of today's cards, it's a continuous spell, gaining two bushido counters whenever either player normal or special summons a Six Samurai monster. You can remove a number of these counters to activate the listed effect:
- 2: Target Six Samurai or Shien effect monster gain 500 ATK for the turn
- 4: Add a Six Samurai monster from your deck or GY to hand
- 6: Special summon a Shien effect monster from your GY
The four-counter effect is most relevant today, maintaining card advantage, and one of Gateway's best qualities is its combo potential—you can use multiple Gateways and multiple counter-removing effects each turn!
9. Sekka's Light
Archetype: Anything without spells/traps (like Superheavy Samurai)
Another limited card, Light can only be used while your graveyard has no spells/traps, and its effect prevents you from using spells/traps for the rest of the game! So you'll only want it in certain themes, but to compensate, you get two draws, similar to the long-banned "Pot of Greed".
You can also banish Light from your graveyard to shuffle one monster into your deck and draw a card, not only exchanging an unneeded unit for something better, but liberating Light from your GY (which will empower themes like Superheavy Samurai).
8. Sky Iris
Archetype: Odd-Eyes, Performapal, and Pendulum Magician
Many field spells can find a card on activation or destruction, but Sky Iris provides continuous draw support, letting you once per turn destroy another face-up card you control to add any Odd-Eyes card (monster or not) from deck to hand.
In addition to tutoring cards, this helps stockpile your extra deck, trigger destruction abilities. Plus, Iris's passive ability prevents your opponent from targeting your Odd-Eyes, Performapal, and Magician pendulum scales with card effects, defending your pendulum-summoning capabilities.
Essential for any Odd-Eyes deck, Sky Iris won't break the bank, costing well under two dollars!
7. Squib Draw
Squib destroys a Rokket you control to draw twice. Sure, you're eliminating your own monster, and you can only use one Squib per turn, but you're replenishing your hand and triggering the potent exit abilities of Rokket cards. Plus, since Squib is a quick-play, it's another excellent bait tactic.
6. Salamangreat Recureance
Recureance empowers the competitive Salamangreat archetype, returning two of their monsters with different names from graveyard to hand. But even if you don't have the materials in your GY yet (perhaps on your first turn), you can set Recureance face-down as bait; when set and destroyed by a card effect, it lets you add another Salamangreat spell/trap from deck to your hand.
5. Orcustrated Return
Orcust monsters have dominated the meta, and Return works with both them and World Chalice, sending one monster of either group from your hand or field to the graveyard to draw twice. No graveyard-banishing abilities, and it's once per turn, but Return's versatility sets it apart from the crowd, scrapping resources from either of two groups and two zones.
4. Cards of the Red Stone
Essential for any Red-Eyes deck, Red Stone sends a level-7 Red-Eyes from your hand to the graveyard to draw twice, then lets you send a level-7 Red-Eyes from your deck to the graveyard.
Your hand size will remain constant, but you're placing two materials into your graveyard, perfect for the numerous recovery abilities the theme employs.
3. Pendulum Call
Archetype: Pendulum Magician
Formerly limited (and still so in the Asian OCG), this TCG-unrestricted spell discards any card to add two pendulum Magicians with different names from your deck to hand. That's awesome, letting you toss absolutely any card and choose what you get in return. Plus, until the end of your opponent's turn, your Magician pendulum scales can't be destroyed by card effects, an excellent way to protect your pendulum summoning.
2. Solar Recharge
Solar Recharge discards a Lightsworn monster from your hand to draw twice, then mills the top two cards of your deck into the graveyard. This ridiculously speeds up the Lightsworns (who rely on being milled), and once you have at least four with different names in the GY, you can summon their field-wiping boss monster "Judgment Dragon".
If you're lucky, a single Recharge will put three Lightsworns into your graveyard, and since you can activate multiple per turn...well, you get the idea.
1. Pantheism of the Monarchs
Pantheism is limited for good reason—multiple copies work great together. It sends any Monarch spell/trap from your hand to the graveyard, then draws two cards. That's a worthwhile ability in itself, but you can also banish Pantheism from your graveyard to pick three Monarch spells/traps from your deck and have an opponent add one to hand (shuffling the others back in).
If you choose three copies of the same card in your deck, you'll guarantee what you receive, and even if not, you're still getting a free bonus card. Plus, unlike many multi-use spells, you can use Pantheism's GY ability on the same turn it's sent there, making it as fast as it is powerful.
Archetype Member or Not?
Now you're ready to support many of dueling's most prominent themes, and remember to pay attention to whether each card actually carries its archetype's name (and thus qualifies for other supports). For instance, Cards of the Red Stone supports Red-Eyes but doesn't possess its name, while Orcustrated Return bears the Orcust moniker.
Since many require you discard another card, try your best to maintain one in hand throughout your match, but for now, as we await Konami's next set of archetype draw spells, vote for your favorite and I'll see you at our next Yu-Gi-Oh countdown!
© 2020 Jeremy Gill