Jeremy enjoys dueling in between working as a chemical analyst and campus building manager.
Link Climbing in Yu-Gi-Oh
Link monsters are some of the easiest extra deck cards to summon, accepting almost any monster as material. Plus, they're good at summoning other link monsters since their link ratings let them count as multiple tributes.
For instance, by sacrificing a link 2 and another monster, you can summon a link 3 with just two materials (instead of 3). So, which monsters help you "climb" their ranks and get out your biggest aces? These are the ten best combo-enabling link monsters in Yu-Gi-Oh!
10. Marincess Coral Anemone
Use with: Marincess
Coral Anemone requires any two water materials and offers her theme one of their signature link-climbing effects. Once per turn she can summon a water monster with 1500 or less ATK to a zone she points to, and if sent to the graveyard, she recovers a Marincess from it.
Simple, easy advantage, use Anemone plus her revived monster for a summon of a higher Marincess, like Crystal Heart or Aqua Argonaut.
9. Evil★Twin Ki-sikil/Evil★Twin Lil-la
Use with: Evil Twin decks
Each of the link-2 Evil Twins can be summoned using any two monsters, as long as one is a Ki-sikil or Lil-la, depending on which you're summoning. They work great in tangent, as Ki-sikil draws when summoned if you control a Lil-la monster, and Lil-la destroys a card if you control a Ki-sikil. As a quick effect during either player's main phase, both can summon a monster of the other's name from GY if you don't control one, meaning you can repeatedly trigger their effects on both players' turns.
Their abilities restrict you to summoning fiend-type monsters, so once you've used them, link them together for a big link 4 summon of either Evil★Twin's Trouble Sunny or Unchained Abomination—speaking of which…
8. Unchained Soul of Rage/Anguish
Use with: Unchained decks
For those with room in their extra decks, the Unchained quickly link combo by using opposing monsters. First, link summon Rage using any two of your monsters, including an Unchained. Then, his quick effect summons a dark link monster using himself and an opposing special summoned card—play Anguish, who can then do the same to bring out ace monster Unchained Abomination (spending two opposing cards along the way).
Plus, if Rage and Anguish are destroyed, they both recover a fiend from your graveyard. Abomination lacks this effect, or any sort of protection, but wields fierce 3000 ATK and an effect that destroys opposing cards when one is destroyed by battle, another effect, or simply at the end phase.
7. Isolde, Two Tales of the Noble Knights
Use with: Warrior decks
Isolde accepts any two warriors as material, and on summon, searches another warrior, though it can't be summoned that turn. Isolde can also send any number of equip spells from deck to GY to summon a warrior from deck with a level equal to the number sent; sending just one lets you summon level-1 cards like the Infernoble Knights. For even more firepower, try sending an equip spell with a graveyard effect like Cursed Bamboo Sword.
6. Tri-Brigade Rugal the Silver Sheller
Use with: Tri-Brigade decks
Silver Sheller takes any 2+ beasts, beast-warriors, and/or winged beasts adding up to link 3; luckily, his archetype excels at swarming the field. Once out, Rugal further link climbs by letting you summon one of the 3 types from hand or graveyard, returning it to hand at the end phase (but you'll have probably spent it by then).
Use Rugal and whatever you summon to get the link-4 Tri-Brigade Shuraig the Ominous Omen, who continuously banishes opposing cards. As a bonus, when sent to GY, Rugal lowers opposing monster ATK for the turn by 300 per monster type you control.
Use with: Anything
Cross-Sheep is weak at 700 ATK, but accepts any two materials with different names, even tokens! Better yet, she once per turn activates different effects based on what monster types she points to:
- Ritual: Draw and discard two cards
- Fusion: Special summon a level 4 or lower monster from graveyard
- Synchro: Your monsters gain 700 ATK
- Xyz: Opposing monsters lose 700 ATK
All effects are useful, and in terms of link climbing, both the ritual and fusion abilities can give extra materials on field to immediately link summon further.
4. Selene, Queen of the Master Magicians
Use with: Spellcasters, especially Endymion
Selene accepts any 2+ materials adding to link 3 as long as just one is a spellcaster. On entrance, she gains spell counters equal to the total number of spells on both fields and graveyards—note this counts pendulum scales.
From there, Selene can remove three spell counters from anywhere on your field as a quick effect in any main phase to summon a spellcaster in defense position from your hand or graveyard. With enough spell counters, this swarms several spellcasters across multiple turns, and Selene's 3 link arrows also work great at reviving numerous pendulums from your extra deck. Themes like Pendulum Magicians will want Selene, but she works especially well alongside Endymion cards, as she can't be attacked while you control one (even a scale).
Use with: Any deck with the right attribute
Charmers are amazing cards, especially when you play second. First, they're decently strong for their link rating at 1850 ATK. Next, they're easy to summon, accepting any two materials (even tokens) as long as one matches their attribute. Then, they can summon a same-attribute monster from your opponent's graveyard to a zone they point to. Finally, if destroyed, each searches a same-attribute monster with 1500 or less DEF from deck. Incredibly underrated cards, summon something from your opponent's GY to immediately go into link-3, often Selene. Here's each attribute's Charmer:
- Dark: Dharc the Dark Charmer, Gloomy
- Light: Lyna the Light Charmer, Lustrous
- Fire: Hiita the Fire Charmer, Ablaze
- Water: Eria the Water Charmer, Gentle
- Earth: Aussa the Earth Charmer, Immovable
- Wind: Wynn the Wind Charmer, Verdant
2. I:P Masquerena
Use with: Anything
So, Masquerena doesn't summon other monsters, but she's great link material because whatever she link summons can't be destroyed by opposing card effects! While it can still be targeted. this provides a phenomenal defense, and you can even link summon on your opponent's turn using Masquerena's quick effect.
Plus, she herself is easily played, taking any two non-link monsters as material, including tokens.
1. Crystron Halqifibrax
Use with: Any deck with tuners
Limited as of this writing, you're only allowed one Halqifibrax per deck, and for good reason—he accepts any two materials as long as one is a tuner, and on summon, he plays a level three or lower tuner from your deck. Its effects can't be used that turn, but you can still link or synchro with it.
Plus, Halqifibrax can banish itself as a quick effect during your opponent's main or battle phase to summon a tuner synchro monster from your extra deck—I recommend T.G. Wonder Magician, who destroys a spell/trap on entry and draws when destroyed.
Banned Link Monsters
In addition to today's cards, keep an eye on the list of banned link monsters. Cards like Guardragons Agarpain and Elpy as well as Heavymetalfoes Electrumite will work wonders if they ever become limited.
We'll examine the best high-link aces to link climb into in another countdown, but for now, vote for your favorite card and I'll see you at our next YGO countdown!
© 2022 Jeremy Gill