Jeremy enjoys dueling in between working as a chemical analyst and campus building manager.
What Are the Spyral Monsters in Yu-Gi-Oh?
The Spyral (or SPYRAL, as they're technically and annoyingly called) archetype credits several inspirations. It plays on the word "spiral" with its members' crazy hairstyles, and the units draw inspiration from both James Bond and Metal Gear characters, so there's some interesting lore behind them. More than that, Spyrals are a surprisingly strong set, ranking high in the meta with their fierce combos.
These typically earth-attributed warrior-typed secret agents often guess the top card of your opponent's deck to activate bonus effects, and their supports help manipulate that card to your advantage. But with dozens of members and back-ups available, which spies reign supreme? These are the ten best Spyral cards in Yu-Gi-Oh!
10. SPYRAL GEAR - Big Red
Many cards that revive monsters from the graveyard, like "Call of the Haunted," attach to them and give them another weakness, as the equipped monster is destroyed if the revival is; luckily, Big Red bucks the trend. When activated, this equip spell regenerates and adheres to a Spyral monster in your graveyard, but the monster will stay fielded even if Red gets destroyed.
Not only that, the equipped unit can't be destroyed by battle, forcing your opponent to use a monster removal on it or a spell/trap removal on Red to have a chance at eliminating your champion. You can only activate one Big Red per turn, but that's a small price for this shiny car.
9. SPYRAL GEAR - Utility Wire
You may only activate Utility Wire while you control Spyral Super Agent, but that's pretty easy as you'll likely have three copies of him in your deck, and many Spyrals alter their name to match his while fielded. When triggered, Utility Wire targets an opposing face-up card and places it on top of their deck.
This brutal removal circumvents destruction immunities and kills your opponent's next draw. This is essentially a series-specific "Phoenix Wing Wind Blast," but without its forced discard penalty. To best employ Utility Wire, stock your deck with Super Agents and name-changers like...
8. SPYRAL Tough
While fielded or in the graveyard, Tough changes his name to Spyral Super Agent, letting him qualify for the several name-dependent effects of his archetype. He's a level four monster, so he won't need tributes to normal summon, and he arrives with a sturdy 1900 ATK. Additionally, once per turn, you can declare a card type (monster, spell, or trap), target an opponent's card, and reveal the top card of their deck; if you guessed right, you destroy the targeted card.
Sometimes, you'll get lucky even if you don't know what the top of their deck is (generally, monster and spell guesses have better odds), but we'll see later how you can manipulate their build to your advantage.
7. SPYRAL MISSION - Recapture
Recapture offers a continuous trap that destroys itself three of your turns after activation, but that's plenty of time to use its effects. Once per turn, when a Spyral monster is summoned to your field, you can gain control of a target monster until the end phase, although it cannot attack directly that turn. This lets you attack enemy monsters with their former allies, utilize their effects, and potentially turn them into link or xyz material, so they die before reverting to their original allegiance. All's fair in love and dueling.
Whether Recapture ends up in your graveyard through its own destruction or other removals, from there you can banish it to prevent the battle/effect destruction of a Spyral monster you control, shielding your companions even from beyond the grave.
6. SPYRAL Resort
In an attempt to curb their incredible powers, Konami has limited fierce Spyral cards like Resort (hey, at least it's not banned). As of this writing, you can only place one into your deck, but it's an excellent field spell that first prevents your opponent from targeting other Spyral cards you control with effects. This includes not just your monsters, but other spells and traps as well.
Then, you can (once per turn) add any Spyral monster from your deck to your hand, terrifically searching whatever unit you need. However, note that you must shuffle a monster from your graveyard into your deck during each of your end phases or destroy Resort. With cards like Future Fusion around, that's an easy condition to satisfy, and it helpfully lets you pick any monster to return, not just Spyrals.
5. SPYRAL GEAR - Fully Armed
Undoubtedly one of the best equip spells in the game, Fully Armed can only be attached to Super Agent—or cards that appropriately altered their name. It bestows its bearer with a huge 1000 ATK increase, already giving a free "Axe of Despair" bonus. Then, if the attached monster destroys an enemy in battle (easy with its boosted ATK), you get to banish both the slain unit and another card your opponent controls! This adeptly prevents graveyard abilities from the fallen titan while exiling another opposing force of any type.
As if that weren't enough, if your face-up Fully Armed is destroyed and sent to the graveyard, you can special summon a Super Agent from your graveyard, offering a helpful exit effect that punishes your adversary for removing your gear.
4. SPYRAL Quik-Fix
Another card that's limited as of this writing, Quik-Fix serves as an incredible support unit despite his weak stats. Strangely, he classifies as machine-type, and when either normal or special summoned, he'll let you add any Spyral Gear from your deck to your hand. This helpfully triggers with his initial normal summon, but also when special summoned, likely through his next effect: you can discard a card while you control Super Agent to revive Quik-Fix from your graveyard, although you'll banish him when he leaves the field.
Not only does this cast a free blocker or tribute/link material, but it also reactivates Fix's search, immediately replacing the card you just discarded (which is now set to be used or recycled from the graveyard). Combos galore.
3. SPYRAL Double Helix
As a link monster with one sideways arrow and one backwards, Helix nicely provides you with an additional extra deck zone whether he's your first extra deck creature or a subsequent one, and he thankfully doesn't contain any opponent-aiding forward arrows. Double Helix wields the same 1900 ATK as Tough and Super Agent, and he changes his name while in the field or graveyard to match the latter's.
Helix lets you (once per turn) pick one of the three card types and reveal the top card of your opponent's deck; if you chose correctly, you get to take a Spyral monster from your deck or graveyard and either add it to your hand or special summon it to a zone Helix points to. This miraculous ability pulls units from one of two areas and gives you two options for what to do with them, offering great versatility and fielding high-level Spyrals like Master Plan without having to tribute. Odds are good you'll already know what your opponent's top card is through other Spyrals' effects, so you can easily bend luck to your favor with teammates like...
2. SPYRAL GEAR - Drone
Like Quik-Fix, Drone is another limited machine-type monster who compensates for weaker combat scores with fantastic utility abilities. When normal or special summoned, you may look at and rearrange the top three cards of your opponent's deck, both controlling what they receive in their following draws and gaining knowledge of the top card for your Spyral effects.
Also, as an instant action on either player's turn, you can tribute Drone to grant a Spyral monster you control 500 ATK for every card your opponent controls, a whopping bonus that can amount to 3000 or more extra ATK if they've been filling their field. Finally, you can banish Drone and another Spyral card from your graveyard to add a Super Agent from your graveyard to your hand, helping reclaim your ace whenever you need him. Speaking of which...
1. SPYRAL Super Agent
The James Bond cornerstone of this archetype sneaks in with his spiral hairdo and 1900 ATK. As a level four monster, you can normal summon him without tributes, but Super Agent lets guess and reveal the card type of the top card in your opponent's deck. If you chose correctly, you can special summon Super Agent from your hand. This not only saves your normal summon for the turn, but also lets you activate Agent's next effect: when special summoned by a Spyral card (including himself), you can target and destroy an opposing spell/trap card.
You can only use each of Agent's traits once per turn, but he's a fierce unit who provides some much-appreciated spell/trap checks and reserves your normal summon. You'll also be strengthening him with the many support members we've covered, boosting him from a low-level beatstick to one capable of exceeding any foe in battle. Super Agent is a clear must-have for my Spyral decks, and he's thankfully not as expensive as you'd expect from such a competitive staple, costing well under ten dollars.
How to Use the Spyral Monsters
We've examined several fierce Spyral combatants, but remember that many can only spare one copy in your deck, so you'll need to round out your structure with other units. Turn Resort's graveyard-to-deck effect to your advantage by using it to recycle spent hand traps such as "Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit" or "Maxx C," or to prepare defeated extra deck monsters for another entrance. Additionally, don't overlook "Charming Resort Staff" and Spygal Misty," who don't technically belong to the archetype (and thus don't qualify for several of their effects) but are nonetheless designed to support it.
Spyrals are an excellent series with a fierce competitive edge, but no archetype is invincible—watch out for search-counters like "Droll & Lock Bird." Still, these secret agents will win you many duels, and I look forward to reviewing any future support they may receive. But for now, as we eagerly await Konami's next expansion of Spyrals, vote for your favorite card, and I'll see you at our next Yu-Gi-Oh countdown!
© 2018 Jeremy Gill