Jeremy enjoys dueling in between working as a chemical analyst and campus building manager.
Monster Removals in Yu-Gi-Oh!
Monster cards form the core of most Yu-Gi-Oh! decks, as they harass foes with both battle damage and unique abilities. They're generally the most abundant card type in the main deck and exclusive to the extra deck, so anything that can annihilate your adversary's army makes a worthy tool for your build.
Top 10 Monster-Eliminating Cards
Whether through destruction, banishment, or returning to the hand, you'll want fail-safes ready in case your opponent seizes the upper hand. But with hundreds of removals available, which cards reign supreme? These are the ten best monster-punishing cards in Yu-Gi-Oh!
- Lightning Vortex
- Penguin Soldier
- Lava Golem
- Bottomless Trap Hole
- Torrential Tribute
- Fairy Tail - Luna
- Drowning Mirror Force
- Dark Hole
- Lightning Storm
10. Lightning Vortex
While not as formidable as it once was, Lightning Vortex still deserves attention for its powerful wipe. By discarding a card, you destroy all face-up monsters your opponent controls. Since not many decks rely on face-down flip effects, this usually exterminates all opposing monsters, and while the discard depletes your hand, it helps set up your graveyard.
Additionally, Vortex doesn't target its victims, meaning it even conquers foes who can't be targeted.
9. Penguin Soldier
One of the oldest Yu-Gi-Oh! cards, Penguin Soldier, was particularly deadly in his time, but he's still a formidable force today. His battle stats are weak, and he's a slow removal, as he needs to flip to activate his effect, but his ability targets and returns up to two monsters from the field to the hand.
Not only can this potentially eliminate two units, but it also circumvents destruction immunities and works particularly well on extra deck monsters (who won't refill your opponent's hand when bounced). If you manually shift Penguin to flip him, you can even target him (or your other units) as one of the cards, letting you reset him to activate the effect all over again.
8. Lava Golem
Lava Golem mimics the stats of a "Blue-Eyes White Dragon" and is actually given to your opponent by tributing two of their monsters. Sure, you're handing them a powerful beatstick, but you get to remove any two foes regardless of targeting or destruction immunities.
Additionally, Golem is also a useful effect damage tool, as he automatically inflicts 1000 damage to his controller during their standby phase. Even if your opponent quickly uses him for a tribute or link summon, they have to wait until their main phase, meaning they'll still lose 1/8 of their starting life points. Just remember: You can't normal summon or set the turn you play Golem, so have some defenses ready to stall your foe. If you need your normal summon, run Kaiju instead, who only tribute one opposing monster but preserve your regular summon.
For tribute-summon decks, you can similarly sacrifice your opponent's monsters to cast your own units with the spells "The Monarchs Stormforth" and "Soul Exchange."
7. Bottomless Trap Hole
Having at times been banned or limited for its fierce powers, Bottomless Trap Hole is presently unrestricted, letting you run as many as you like. When one or more monsters are summoned, Bottomless both destroys and banishes any who had 1500 or more ATK.
This exiles your enemies, preventing graveyard recoveries, and since it can impact multiple creatures at once, it's a great counter to mass pendulum swarms. Bottomless is useful for any deck, but as a Trap Hole member, you can further support it with the Traptrix monster archetype.
6. Torrential Tribute
Simple yet effective, Torrential Tribute destroys all monsters on the field when one or more are summoned. Be careful since this also eradicates your own units, but it's a great instant-speed punishment when your opponent gains a lead.
Tribute doesn't need to target its victims to obliterate them, and you can even activate it when you summon a monster if you need to swiftly defeat your foes and clear the way for direct damage in the battle phase.
5. Fairy Tail - Luna
On normal summon, Luna searches another 1850 spellcaster from your deck, so you can find herself or other Fairy Tail cards. More than that, as a quick effect she can attempt to bounce herself and an opposing monster, but your opponent can negate the effect by sending a copy of their card from the deck or extra deck to the graveyard.
Still, this works great against limited threats (since foes can't legally have copies), and since it's a quick effect, you can attempt it again on your opponent's turn, meaning they really need 2 duplicates to thwart it.
4. Drowning Mirror Force
A member of the infamous Mirror Force series, Drowning Mirror Force can only be activated when an opposing monster declares a direct attack; it won't work when they swing at one of your monsters. However, it's a brutal removal, shuffling all opposing attack position monsters into your opponent's deck.
Drowning adeptly bypasses both destruction and targeting defenses, doesn't fill your foe's graveyard, and should prevent you from taking any battle damage that round. It's also aged well since link monsters can't exist in defense position, leaving them nowhere to hide from the blast.
3. Dark Hole
This standard magic card simply nukes all monsters on the field. Another non-targeting card, Dark Hole quickly wipes out any threats—just be sure to use it when your opponent has more to lose than you do.
The spell works regardless of archetype, makes a great opening move if you're the second player, and is much cheaper than our next card, costing less than a single dollar!
2. Lightning Storm
You can only activate Storm while you have no face-up cards, but it's amazing when you go second, letting you pick between destroying all opposing spells/traps or opposing attack position monsters. So, it's basically either a Harpie's Feather Duster or a slightly weaker version of…
Having long adorned the ban list, Raigeki is limited as of this writing, allowing you to include a single copy in your deck. It works like Dark Hole except it destroys only your opponent's monsters, leaving your own units unscathed. It's as simple as that; use Raigeki for an easy removal that (unlike traps) doesn't have to be set for a turn before activating.
More Monster-Punishing Yu-Gi-Oh! Cards
In addition to today's entries, remember to examine your chosen archetype to see what removals it offers. Also consider hand traps that can stall or destroy foes or cards like quick-play spell "Book of Moon" that switch enemies into face-down position, leaving them open to attack and unable to access their effects. Link monster "Firewall Dragon" also deserves a shout-out; be sure to utilize him if he ever leaves the ban list.
Remember to keep an eye out for removals that bounce or exile creatures rather than destroying them and to pay close attention to any defenses your foes may have. But for now, as we eagerly await Konami's next expansion of monster checks, vote for your favorite card, and I'll see you at our next Yu-Gi-Oh! countdown!
© 2019 Jeremy Gill