Jeremy enjoys dueling in between working as a chemical analyst and campus building manager.
Direct Attacks in Yu-Gi-Oh
Minus the rare monster ability that allows direct hits, most direct attacks in Yu-Gi-Oh occur when your field is empty of blockers, a dangerous situation that means you take enemy attacks as life point damage.
Fortunately, some monsters can special summon themselves from your graveyard or hand to guard against direct attacks, often carrying other defensive effects to help rebound—which reign supreme? These are the ten best direct attack-defenders in Yu-Gi-Oh!
10. Swift Scarecrow
When your opponent declares a direct attack, you can discard Scarecrow to negate it and end the battle phase, sacrificing one card for an entire turn of protection, making this a popular defense in Exodia themes.
Getting a 0-DEF monster into your graveyard also helps cards like "Masked Chameleon".
9. Dragonox, the Empowered Warrior
Dragonox activates her effect form the pendulum scale, so she's a little more vulnerable to destruction than today's other cards. But it's a good effect, destroying herself to negate an attack (direct or not) and end the battle phase.
As a monster, Dragonox's stats are only average, but she lets you once per turn discard a card to special summon a warrior or spellcaster with 2000 or less ATK from your graveyard in face-down defense position, a great way to reactivate flip effects.
8. D.D. Esper Star Sparrow
Unlike most of today's cards, Sparrow has great ATK, but you'll need two tributes to normal summon him. Still, he prevents opponents from targeting or attacking your other monsters, and if they attack directly with him in the graveyard, you can special summon him in defense position, banished when he leaves the field.
With only a modest 1500 defense, there's a fair chance Sparrow won't survive that fight, but he'll still guard the hit and makes excellent ritual material thanks to his high level.
7. Clear Kuriboh
You can discard Clear on either turn to negate a monster effect that would inflict effect damage, a nice albeit situational defense. Better yet, when an opponent attacks directly with Clear in your graveyard, you can banish him to draw a card, and if it's a monster, you can special summon it, changing the attack target to it.
With a little luck, this can really save you, but even if you draw a spell/trap, that's still an extra card to use on your next turn (assuming you survive).
6. Yosenju Oyam
By discarding another Yosenju, Oyam special summons himself from hand when your opponent attacks directly. And when he battles an opposing monster, he can make his ATK and DEF equal theirs until the end of the turn, either killing both (if Oyam is in attack position) or destroying neither (if in defense).
You'll often want the former as Oyam adds another Yosenju card from deck to hand when destroyed by battle, a versatile tutor that can search spells/traps in addition to monsters.
5. Predaplant Sarraceniant
Sarraceniant summons himself from hand when attacked directly, destroying your opponent's monster after damage calculation. Plus, when destroyed by battle or sent to the graveyard by card effect, Sarraceniant adds another Predaplant from deck to hand, giving the tools for a big comeback.
4. Rainbow Kuriboh
When an opponent's monster attacks (directly or not), you can equip Rainbow to it from your hand to prevent it from attacking (indefinitely). Eventually, Rainbow will be sent to your graveyard when that monster leaves the field, and you can special summon him from it when attacked directly, though he'll be banished when he leaves the field.
So each of his effects will only stop one attack at a time, but his ability to divide them over multiple turns and indefinitely stall his equipped unit makes him a useful card.
3. Performage Damage Juggler
You can discard Juggler to either negate and destroy a damaging effect or reduce the next battle damage you would take that turn to zero, a versatile defense that can guard against both effect and battle damage.
Plus, Juggler can banish himself from your graveyard to add a different Performage from deck to hand, and when the need arises, he's got workable ATK when summoned to the field.
2. Performapal Kuribohble
When attacked directly, Kuribohble special summons himself from hand and forces that card to attack him, but if you would take battle damage from that fight (likely considering his pitiful ATK), you instead gain that many life points! Throw in Performapal synergy for a versatile protective measure in pendulum decks.
1. Battle Fader
Fader negates and ends the battle phase when directly attacked like Swift Scarecrow, but he'll also special summon himself to your field! His stats are pitiful and he's banished when he leaves, but you've now got the beginnings of a big extra deck or tribute summon to turn things around.
Simple yet powerful, Fader fits in any deck and costs well under a single dollar!
Defensive Spells/Traps in Yu-Gi-Oh
Today we examined many protective hand traps to guards your life points, but don't forget that some spells/traps can do the same. Since most of these have to be set to the field, they run the risk of being destroyed before they can be used, but to compensate, they offer powerful safeguards, like the mass-return of "Drowning Mirror Force".
Some traps, like "Evenly Matched", can even trigger from the hand, but for now, as we await more of Konami's best barriers, vote for your favorite and I'll see you at our next Yu-Gi-Oh countdown!
© 2020 Jeremy Gill