Jeremy enjoys dueling in between working as a chemical analyst and campus building manager.
What Are Normal Monster Decks in Yu-Gi-Oh?
Sometimes called normalcy or vanilla decks, normal monster builds in Yu-Gi-Oh heavily emphasize, well, normal monsters, who are easily recognized by their yellow (rather than orange) backgrounds and lack of monster effects.
Without abilities, these creatures lag behind on their own; however, they enjoy some of the best supports in the game, turning them from laughable to deadly. After all, normal monsters have existed since dueling's origins, and many of Yu-Gi-Oh's most famous cards ("Blue-Eyes White Dragon," "Dark Magician," etc.) dwell among their ranks. So, how can you best reinforce your effect-less soldiers? These are the ten best normal monster supports in Yu-Gi-Oh!
10. Dragon Horn Hunter/Dragoons of Draconia
Normal pendulum monsters are useful since they qualify for normal supports, but also offer scale effects and can help you swarm (something normal monsters generally struggle with). Hunter's scale ability increases the ATK of all normal monsters by 200 and prevents you from taking damage in battles involving yours; Draconia's lets you search a level four or higher normal monster from your deck once each turn when your normal monster destroys an enemy in battle.
Additionally, both cards have decent battle stats and desirably-low scales; combo them with higher scales and normal-boosting cards like "Lancephorhynchus" to quickly swarm and empower your creatures.
9. Tyrant's Throes
Throes is a high-risk high-reward card that can make or break your duel. You have to tribute two normal monsters to play it (and they can't be tokens), so it's not cheap, but hopefully you can chain it to a removal that would have destroyed your monsters anyway, mitigating the cost.
Once activated, Throes prevents both players from normal or special summoning effect monsters. This only leaves setting, which drastically slows most main decks and completely shuts down extra decks. Of course, normal monsters can be cast as usual, adeptly avoiding the net, and since you can activate Throes on your opponent's turn, you can simply field any effect monsters you need the turn before playing it.
8. Phantasm Spiral Grip
Spiral Grip is an equip spell that you can attach to any normal monster. It gains 500 ATK, and when it destroys an opponent's monster in battle, you can special summon the normal monster "Phantasm Spiral Dragon" from your hand, deck, or graveyard. Then, you equip Grip to Dragon and inflict 1000 damage to your opponent.
Talk about a combo. You're fielding a powerful beatstick (Dragon has 2900 ATK and DEF) who can attack immediately with boosted stats while also scoring some hefty effect damage. Grip can only trigger once per turn, so you can't repeatedly destroy monsters in the same round for multiple activations, but that's a minor restriction for such a powerful effect.
7. Heat Wave
Heat Wave can only be played at the start of your turn's first main phase, so make sure you cast it before doing anything else. Until your next draw phase, it prevents both players from normal or special summoning effect monsters, making it a temporary but less-costly version of Throes.
Players can still set monsters, but once again, you've essentially shut down your opponent's extra deck and heavily restricted their main deck. Of course, normal monsters are unaffected, so you (and hopefully not your opponent) should be able to avoid Wave's blast. A great stall tactic to buy time for your combos.
6. Summoner's Art
Art simply adds any level five or higher normal monster from your deck to your hand. With no drawbacks or restrictions, you can use multiple copies each round, and they work great at fetching your high-level pendulum scales.
Art's a well-rounded card that's useful in both normal monster-devoted themes as well as any archetypes that employ high-level normal monsters, like "Blue-Eyes" and "Qliphort" builds.
5. The Law of the Normal + Triangle Power/Thousand Energy
The Law of the Normal offers a powerful effect that becomes lethal when combined with Triangle Power or Thousand Energy. When you control at least five face-up level two or lower normal monsters, you can activate Law to have both players discard their hands and destroy all cards on the field except level two or lower normal monsters.
Tricky to activate, but this leaves your opponent completely vulnerable. Next, activate either Power or Energy, which have similar effects but for different levels. Power boosts the ATK and DEF of all face-up level one normal monsters you control (excluding tokens) by 2000 but destroys them at the end phase; Energy does the same but with level two normal monsters and 1000 extra ATK/DEF. Having five corresponding monsters and Law plus Power or Energy should be more than enough damage to wipe your foe's life points and win the game.
4. Skill Drain
Skill Drain doesn't so much empower normal units as hinder effect monsters. Activating it requires a fair chunk of 1000 life points, but Skill Drain indefinitely negates all monster effects on the field. In dedicated vanilla decks, you'll avoid the blast since you're using normal monsters; meanwhile, half your opponent's cards are suddenly crippled.
It's as simple as that; use Skill Drain to shut down a huge portion of your opponent's cards and play any effect monsters you have the turn before you activate it.
3. Common Charity
Charity is similar to the popular "Allure of Darkness," except it's a trap rather than a spell and works with normal monsters instead of dark ones. When activated, you draw two cards, then have to banish a normal monster from your hand; if you can't, you send your entire hand to the graveyard.
Your overall hand size doesn't change, but you get to exile unneeded cards while keeping your aces. Since Charity has to be set for a turn, it's not as fast as Allure, but it can bait spell/trap removals, as you can simply activate it in response.
2. Rescue Rabbit
Rescue Rabbit has weak stats and can't be special summoned from the deck, but it won't matter, as you banish him from your field to special summon two level four or lower normal monsters with the same name from your deck. They're destroyed at the end phase, but that's more than enough time to use them as link, xyz, or tribute material. And since Rabbit's level four is easily pendulum summoned, in pendulum decks, you can preserve your turn's normal summon for other troops.
1. Heart of the Underdog
Pendulum cards help field multiple normal monsters in a single turn, but to properly swarm, you also simply need enough cards in hand. That's where Heart of the Underdog shines, as this continuous spell lets you reveal any normal monsters you pull during your draw phase to draw another card. And if that card is a normal monsters, you can trigger the effect yet again, essentially drawing until you find something other than a normal monster.
Underdog has no penalties or life point losses, you're free to field multiple copies at once, and the effect is optional, helping avoid deck-outs when your remaining cards are thinning. A crucial component to dedicated normal monster structures, I use Underdog in anything from Exodia decks to Igknight decks; fortunately, it won't break the bank, costing less than two dollars!
Normal Monster Deck Ideas in Yu-Gi-Oh
In addition to today's cards, note that four of the five Exodia components (which win the game when collected in your hand) are normal monsters and thus applicable for supports, and that gemini monsters begin play as normal monsters but can potentially gain effects, receiving the best of both worlds.
Thus, you can build around normal monsters in dozens of ways, and their powerful supports make them surprisingly effective despite their innate lack of abilities. But for now, as we eagerly await Konami's next expansion of normal-supporting effects, vote for your favorite card, and I'll see you at our next Yu-Gi-Oh countdown!
© 2019 Jeremy Gill