Jeremy enjoys dueling in between working as a chemical analyst and campus building manager.
What Is Piercing Damage in Yu-Gi-Oh?
When a monster attacks a defense position foe in Yu-Gi-Oh, normally the defender's controller doesn't take any battle damage, even if it's destroyed. But some attackers have "piercing" abilities that let them deal excess damage (their ATK minus the defender's DEF) to your opponent.
Magic: The Gathering players know this effect as trample, and it's a great way to empower aggressive strategies; which piercers reign supreme? These are the 10 best defense-piercing monsters in Yu-Gi-Oh!
10. Xtra HERO Dread Decimator
Dread Decimator provides exactly what the Elemental HERO monsters need: someone to access multiple extra deck monsters. Dread gives three backwards arrows, letting you summon up to three additional extra deck cards, perfect for swarming the HERO fusion monsters.
Plus, Dread increases his own ATK and that of any HERO monsters he points to by 100 for each HERO monster with a different name in your graveyard. Shared by four monsters, that's an impressive boost, and Dread puts it to good use by dealing pierce damage to defense position enemies.
9. Supreme King Dragon Starving Venom
This amazing card ranks lowers since it's banned as of this writing. But you can either fusion summon it (with two dark pendulum materials), or simply special summon it by tributing its materials from your field, no fusion spell required. Either way, Starving Venom can target any monster on the field or graveyard, become a copy of it for the turn, and let all your monsters inflict piercing damage that turn.
This lets you duplicate the strongest monster available (even from your opponent's field or graveyard) and grants your entire army, Starving Venom included, pierce capabilities for the turn.
8. F.A. Dawn Dragster
While designed for the F.A. archetype, Dawn Dragster accepts any tuner/non-tuner combination for his summon, letting other themes use him as well. He gains 300 ATK for each of his levels (starting at 2100), and this can increase since Dragster gains a level whenever someone plays an F.A. spell or trap.
Plus, whenever your opponent activates a spell or trap, Dragster can reduce his level by two (lowering his ATK 600 points) to negate and destroy that card, making him a powerful tool for negation-based decks.
7. Blue-Eyes Chaos Dragon
Chaos Dragon has to be ritual summoned, so don't bother casting him with other gimmicks. But he can't be destroyed or targeted by enemy effects, and if ritual summoned using "Blue-Eyes White Dragon" as material, Chaos can change all enemy battle positions when he attacks, make their stats 0, and inflict piercing damage.
This brutal ability practically guarantees 3000 combat damage, but watch out for enemy link monsters, who can't shift positions and won't have their stats reduced. Still, 3000 ATK is enough to conquer most link monsters anyway, and since Chaos has the dark attribute (unlike most light Blue-Eyes cards), he can help create a duo Blue-Eyes/Chaos deck.
6. Blue-Eyes Chaos MAX Dragon
Like Chaos Dragon, Chaos MAX must be ritual summoned and can't be targeted or destroyed by opposing effects. MAX loses some of his prior effects, but compensates with a whopping 4000 ATK and the ability to inflict double piercing damage on defense position enemies!
This means a single hit from Chaos MAX on a 0-DEF defender scores 8000 damage—just enough to one-shot your opponent.
5. Invoked Purgatrio
Part of Purgatrio's appeal is his membership in the popular Invoked series, requiring "Aleister the Invoker" and any fire monster as material. Purgatrio's great on offense, gaining 200 ATK per card your opponent controls, being able to attack all opposing monsters once each, and dealing piercing damage.
Including their field zone, a full opposing field will contain 11 cards, meaning Purgatrio can potentially wield a devastating 4500 ATK! Just remember to protect him with other effects since he lacks any built-in defenses.
4. White Aura Whale
Whale requires both his tuner and non-tuner materials to be water-attribute, but doesn't need a specific archetype, letting many themes access him. He wields a fierce 2800 ATK, and when synchro summoned, can destroy all opposing attack position monsters!
Whale can also attack up to two monsters each turn, deal piercing damage to defenders, and if destroyed by an opponent's card, you can revive him from your graveyard by banishing another water monster from it. He also counts as a tuner when summoned this way, helping access even stronger synchro monsters.
3. Qliphort Shell
The Qliphorts were some of the strongest cards before the extra deck became limited, and even afterwards they're still a fierce pendulum series. If you place Shell into your pendulum zone, he provides your high scale of 9 and lowers enemy ATK values by 300.
You can normal summon Shell without tributes as a level four 1800 ATK monster. But if you tribute summon him using two tributes (including at least one Qli), he wields his original 2800 ATK, can attack twice per turn, and deals piercing damage.
And as long as Shell was normal summoned (with or without tributes), he ignores the effects of monsters with a level/rank less than his own level, meaning he can potentially disregard level seven or lower effects. That's a powerful defense, just watch out for link monsters (whose lack of levels/ranks circumvents the effect).
2. Metalfoes Orichalc
Orichalc accepts any two Metalfoes creatures as materials, wields an impressive ATK of 2800, and has arguably the best piercing effect in the game, letting your Metalfoes monsters (including himself) deal double piercing damage!
While he doesn't contain any defenses, Orichalc can destroy any card when sent from the field to the graveyard, punishing foes for defeating him. A staple in my own Metalfoes deck, Orichalc also won't break the bank, costing well under a single dollar!
1. Chaos Ancient Gear Giant
Gear Giant's biggest downside is his hefty summoning requirement, needing four Ancient Gear monsters as material. Luckily, the archetype's fusion spell "Ancient Gear Fusion" can access your deck to prevent you from losing card advantage.
Once cast, Gear Giant is unaffected by spells and traps and prevents opposing monsters from using effects during the battle phase, drastically limiting your rival's removal options. He wields a brutal 4500 ATK (not to mention 3000 DEF), can attack all opposing monsters once each, and deals pierce damage.
So the more monsters your opponent controls, the more attacks they'll receive, likely taking enough battle damage to lose in a single turn.
Link Monsters and Piercing
Piercing abilities have lost relevance after link monsters arrived (since they can't exist in defense position), but there's still plenty of non-link creatures to deal excess damage to. And remember that all monsters deal damage against weaker attack position monsters, no ability needed.
Piercing traits help prevent foes from stalling you, but for now, as we await Konami's next expansion of defense-punishing monsters, vote for your favorite card and I'll see you at our next Yu-Gi-Oh countdown!
© 2019 Jeremy Gill