Jeremy enjoys dueling in between working as a chemical analyst and campus building manager.
Bounce Removals in Yu-Gi-Oh!
Dueling isn't just about summoning strong monsters; it also involves disrupting your opponent's plans by playing removals to get you out of sticky situations. Board wipes like "Raigeki" are nice but don't work on destruction-immune creatures; to handle them, you can either banish or return them to hand (bouncing).
Bounces work especially well on extra deck monsters (returning them there won't increase your opponent's hand size), and are usually easier to trigger than other removals—which reign supreme? These are the ten best bounce cards in Yu-Gi-Oh!
10. Majespecter Unicorn — Kirin
Type: Pendulum monster
This amazing card would rank much higher if it weren't banned. Kirin doesn't have a scale effect but works fine as your low pendulum scale thanks to its value of two. But he excels as a monster; ATK is only 2000, but he can instantly bounce an opposing monster by also bouncing of your pendulum monsters (possibly himself).
Toss in an immunity to being targeted and destroyed by opposing effects, and it's incredibly hard for foes to eliminate Kirin, as he'll just go back to hand in response.
9. Firewall Dragon
Type: Link monster
Another banned card, Firewall Dragon has a link rating of four, so he can require effort to get out, and his ATK is solid but not great at 2500. Still, he return monsters on the field or graveyard to hand equal to the monsters co-linked to him. While this effect can only be used once, it triggers at instant speed and can remove threats or recover destroyed allies.
But it's Firewall's next effect that earned his ban, letting you special summon a monster from your hand when a monster Firewall points to is sent to the graveyard. This isn't once per turn, so it can potentially trigger as much as needed—possibly forming an infinite combo.
8. Flip Flop Frog
Flip Flop has weak stats, but when flipped face-up he can bounce a number of enemy monsters up to the number of Frog cards you control; counting himself, that's at least one. What's really cool is that he's reusable since he can flip face-down once per turn, meaning as long as you protect him with things like "Dupe Frog" or "Swords of Revealing Light," you have an excellent continuous bounce engine.
7. Penguin Soldier
Penguin Soldier works similarly to Flip Flop but doesn't rely on a specific archetype, and his stats are slightly better, though still bad. When flipped, Penguin can bounce up to two monsters; if he's not being destroyed in battle at the moment, he can pick himself (or your other monsters), useful when you want to reactivate flip effects.
Or, bounce two threats, a great way to stall aggression and force your opponent to waste resources re-summoning high-cost monsters. You can also turn his bounced targets into banished ones by using the supporting card "Nopenguin."
6. Neo-Spacian Grand Mole
Here's yet another reusable bouncer. Grand Mole belongs to the Neo-Spacian family, but his effect works fine anywhere, returning him and any monster he battles to the hand. This works both when he's attacked and when he attacks, letting you repeatedly trade an easy-to-cast pipsqueak to get rid of bigger foes.
Plus, you don't have to use the effect, so when you actually want Mole to hit and destroy weaklings, he can, and it's not once per turn, so you can safely control multiple.
5. Fairy Tale — Luna
Compared to previous monsters, Luna has several advantages. Her light attribute and spellcaster type are well-supported, and with 1850 ATK, she can often outfight other non-tributed monsters. More than that, when summoned, you can add an 1850 ATK spellcaster from deck to hand—including another copy of herself!
Her only failing is that opponent' can potentially negate her effect, which instantly bounces her and an opposing monster unless your opponent sends a duplicate of theirs to the graveyard from their deck or extra deck. Still, this works well on cards they only have one copy of (go for limited cards), and even if your effect fails, you can trigger it again on their turn since it's a quick effect.
Plus, if it succeeds, putting Luna back into your hand lets you reuse her entrance tutor. If you're running pendulums, Luna can also search fellow bouncer "Reflection of Endymion."
4. Shaddoll Dragon
Shaddoll Dragon adapts to be whatever you need him for. Like his brethren, he's a dark spellcaster (not a dragon), arguably the best-supported duo in the game. Setting him face-down is a bit risky thanks to 0 DEF, but it prepares his flip effect, which can bounce any opposing card, even a spell or trap.
From there, Dragon has great 1900 ATK, and when sent to your graveyard, can destroy a spell/trap. This effect triggers no matter where he's sent from, making him great fusion fodder from the hand or deck (with cards like "Future Fusion").
Obliterate sends a Forbidden One or Exodia monster from your hand or deck to the graveyard to instantly bounce an opposing monster. Notably, it's a continuous trap, so you can keep doing this to harass foes while stockpiling Exodia components to be recovered with cards like "Dark Factory of Mass Production," helping you activate Exodia's insta-win.
Plus, when Obliterate is destroyed by an opponent's effect, you get to recover an Exodia piece from your graveyard, although you can only use this effect if you haven't bounced a monster that turn. Essential for Exodia decks, Obliterate is a bargain, costing under a single dollar!
2. Black Rose Moonlight Dragon
Type: Synchro monster
As a generic synchro monster, you can summon Moonlight Dragon using whatever tuner/non-tuner combination you wish. She's got a hearty 2400 ATK, and when summoned or your opponent summons a level 5 or higher monster, Moonlight bounces a special-summoned enemy monster.
This makes it dreadfully difficult for foes to keep their strongest units active, as all extra deck cards have to be special summoned.
1. Odd-Eyes Vortex Dragon
Type: Fusion monster
Once fusion summoned by using an Odd-Eyes material alongside any pendulum monster, Vortex bounces an opposing attack position monster to hand. That's great, but it only gets worse for your opponent since Vortex can negate and destroy an effect (once per turn) by shuffling a pendulum monster from your extra deck into your deck.
Coupled with the ability to stall thanks to 3000 DEF, and Vortex is a nightmare to remove, further bolstered by the supports available thanks to its Odd-Eyes name. To cut down Vortex's fusion cost, use "Odd-Eyes Fusion" (which can pull materials from your extra deck) or "Performapal Odd-Eyes Dissolver" (who tributes monsters to "contact fusion" without a fusion spell).
Other Removals in Yu-Gi-Oh!
Many boss monsters are immune to effect destruction or punish it with a death triggers, making bounces especially useful against them. Just be careful not to bounce units with strong entrance effects, and since most bounces need to target, watch out for targeting-immune foes.
Getting around these might require defenses like "Drowning Mirror Force" or "The Winged Dragon of Ra - Sphere Mode," but for now, vote for your favorite hand-returning play and I'll see you at our next Yu-Gi-Oh! countdown!
© 2020 Jeremy Gill