What Are Board Wipes in Yu-Gi-Oh?
Often, the player who fills their field fastest wins a Yu-Gi-Oh duel, overwhelming opponents with their nimble offensive. However, a rare set of field-wiping cards (sometimes called nukes) punish your opponent's entire array, leaving them wide open for direct attacks.
Board wipes come in many shapes and sizes. Some are easier to activate but also harm your own field. Some offer cumulative effects that culminate in a nuke. And others don't just destroy but banish or shuffle away your adversary's field. Many are archetype-specific or heavily drain your resources, but when you pull them off, few cards can save your opponent.
So, with dozens of nukes available, which units reign supreme?
These are the 30 best cards that annihilate your opponent's entire field in Yu-Gi-Oh!
30. Chaos Emperor Dragon - Envoy of the End
Chaos Emperor is a dominating force who had to be errated before lifting his ban. You special summon him by banishing a light and dark monster from your graveyard. From there, you can pay 1000 life points to send all cards on the field and in each player's hand to the graveyard, inflicting 300 damage to your opponent for each, but with the new errata, you can't use other card effects that turn.
This should inflict more pain to them than you, resets both the field and the hands, and bypasses destruction and targeting immunities. Chaos Emperor also had a pendulum alternative form: "Chaos Emperor, the Dragon of Armageddon".
29. Rainbow Overdragon
Rainbow Overdragon can either be summoned using seven Crystal Beast monsters (use "Future Fusion") or by tributing a level 10 Ultimate Crystal monster. Either way, he enters with a fierce 4000 ATK and can gain more by banishing Crystal monsters from your graveyard. At any time on either turn, you can tribute him to shuffle all cards on the field back into the deck.
While you're suffering the same penalty as your opponent, this wipes their entire field and bypasses destruction immunities. Activate it immediately if needed or in response to a removal that would have eliminated Overdragon anyway.
28. Crystal Abundance
A second field wipe for the archetype, by sending four Crystal Beast monsters from your spell/trap zone to the graveyard, Abundance sends all cards on the field (including yours) to the graveyard.
But don't worry, as you can then special summon Crystal Beasts from your graveyard up to the number of cards your opponent lost. Hard to activate, but when you pull it off, their field is wiped and you're primed for a game-winning assault.
27. Number 86: Heroic Champion - Rhongomyniad
Xyz monster Rhongomyniad doesn't gain his nuke unless you manage to summon him with five materials, but for each added unit, he gains a new effect, strengthening the more you vamp him. Just remember he loses one unit at your opponent's end phase.
With five, he can simply destroy your opponent's entire field, a devastating blow that leaves you unscathed. Prior abilities also render him immune to battle destruction, double his ATK/DEF, make him unaffected by other effects, and prevent your opponent from normal or special summoning.
26. Des Croaking
"Des Frog" isn't the best card, but to reward you for fielding three, you can activate this magic, which simply destroys your opponent's entire field. Another brutal nuke; remember to use name-changing creatures like "Dupe Frog" to help meet its criteria.
25. Mirror Force Dragon
Mirror Force Dragon is an odd fusion monster summoned using "The Fang of Critias" with the trap "Mirror Force". When your opponent attacks or targets any of your monsters, Mirror Force can immediately destroy all cards they control.
While most foes aren't dumb enough to trigger this, sometimes they slip, and even if they don't, you can rig it by using forced-attack cards like "Yang Zing Unleashed". Whether he nukes or nets your opponent's field, Mirror Force is a fun card that I use in any Critias deck, and he's surprisingly cheap for an extra deck monster, costing well under a single dollar!
24. The Wicker Eraser
Wicked Eraser needs a draining three tributes to normal summon or set, but he gains 1000 ATK and DEF per card your opponent controls, offering upwards of 10,000 potential power. Additionally, when destroyed and sent to the graveyard, you get to nuke your opponent's entire field, and Eraser can destroy himself during your main phase to activate the effect immediately when needed.
23. Dark Burning Magic
This spell requires you to control cards with the original names (no name-changing cheats allowed) "Dark Magician" and "Dark Magician Girl". Not the easiest field to set, but Burning Magic skillfully blasts your opponent's entire field while leaving yours unharmed. As a bonus, it's a quick-play spell, meaning you even activate it on your opponent's turn.
22. Elemental HERO Nebula Neos
Using "contact fusion" (no fusion spell needed), you summon this monster by shuffling his three specific materials from your field into your deck. When cast, Nebula lets you draw as many cards as your opponent controls, then negate a face-up card's effects for the turn.
Then, during your end phase, you shuffle Nebula back into the extra deck and banish all cards on the field face-down. While this leaves both players with empty fields, it not just blasts but exiles the cards, and thanks to Nebula's draws, your hand should be well-stocked for a next-turn invasion.
21. Sophia, Goddess of Rebirth
You can only summon Sophia from your hand by banishing a face-up fusion, synchro, xyz, and ritual monster. However, these can be from either your or your opponent's field, so you don't necessarily need to do all the work yourself.
Once that's done, you're set, as nothing can negate Sophia's arrival and effects can't be activated in response. Upon arrival, Sophia banishes all cards in all hands, graveyards, and the field other than herself, leaving your opponent with nothing to defend against her 3600 ATK with.
20. Supreme King Z-ARC
The ace monster of the powerful Supreme King archetype, Z-ARC is another difficult-to-summon monster, but his brethren help fuel his arrival. He has excellent battle stats, destroys all opposing cards upon arrival, can't be targeted or destroyed by opposing effects, and can summon a Supreme King monster from your main or extra deck after destroying an enemy in battle.
Plus, in the unlikely event that he's destroyed, Z-ARC becomes a fierce pendulum scale that punishes your opponent's searches and negates the effects of their fusion, synchro, and xyz monsters.
19. Levia-Dragon - Daedalus/Ocean Dragon Lord - Neo-Daedalus
Neo-Daedalus is a Daedalus upgrade (summoned by sacrificing his base form), but both offer worthy nukes. Each requires you to send an "Umi" you control to the graveyard for its effect; Levia destroys all other cards on the field except itself while Ocean Dragon sends all cards from the field and hand to the graveyard except itself.
Both abilities detriment you as well as your foe, but they keep your ace fielded, letting you capitalize on your opponent's obliterated defenses.
18. Huge Revolution
You can only activate Huge Revolution while you control three specific monsters: "People Running About", "Oppressed People", and "United Resistance". Unfortunately, these are all weak normal monsters, but you can quickly search and field them with cards like "Enchanting Fitting Room".
To rewards your efforts, Revolution not only nukes your opponent's field but sends all cards in their hand to their graveyard. Admittedly hard to trigger, but few field wipes attack both the field and hand without harming your own troops.
17. Tierra, Source of Destruction
Tierra's taxing summon requires you to shuffle ten other cards with different names from your hand/field back into the deck. You'll need an effective draw engine to pull it off, but the summon can't be negated, effects can't be used in response, and Tierra wields 3400 ATK. Better yet, on arrival, he shuffles away all cards except himself from the field, hand, and even face-up pendulum monsters in the extra deck.
Considering his pricey summon, you probably have little left to lose while your opponent has their entire arsenal washed away, exposing them to a quick death.
16. Chosen of Zefra
Chosen gains effects based on the number of face-up Zefra monsters with different names in your extra deck. If you manage to hit 10, you can sacrifice Chosen to shuffle away all card's from your opponent's hand, field, and graveyard!
Thankfully, you also gain stacking abilities at lesser values. Having at least three grants your monsters 100 extra ATK per face-up card in either extra deck, five prevents your soldiers from being destroyed by opposing effects, and eight protects them from being targeted.
15. Gandora the Dragon of Destruction
Gandora can't be special summoned, but unlike Eraser, he only needs two tributes to normal summon. By paying half your life points, he destroys and banishes all other cards on the field, gaining 300 ATK for each card removed this way.
You have to sacrifice Gandora during the end phase, but by then he's done his damage, wiping your foe's field and scoring substantial battle damage. Additionally, his dragon type and dark attribute offer many synergies, and alternate form "Gandora-X the Dragon of Demolition" is worth a look.
14. Yang Zing Prana
Another stacking-effect card, Prana's abilities aren't as powerful as Chosen's, but they're easier to achieve, only needing Yang Zing monsters with different attributes to exist in your graveyard. Two or more increases the ATK of your Yang Zings by 500, three lets you sacrifice Prana to prevent their destruction, and four prevents your opponent from setting monsters.
And if you can get to at least five, you can sacrifice Prana to destroy all cards on the field. While this hits you as well as your opponent, remember that Yang Zing creatures summon allies from the deck when destroyed, so your field shouldn't be overly harmed.
13. Nekroz of Sophia
During any main phase, you can discard this ritual monster and any Nekroz spell to prevent your opponent from summoning from their extra deck that turn, an interesting alternative use. Or ritual summon Sophia with a Nekroz ritual spell, but you need to use three monsters you control with different types as material.
Once summoned, Sophia can banish all other cards in the field and graveyards, paving the way for a direct attack. However, note that you can't normal or special summon other cards the turn you use this effect, so be sure to set your field before your opponent's round ends.
12. Final Inzektion
Inzektion doesn't offer cumulative abilities, but it's a devastating board wipe. You sacrifice five face-up Inzektor cards (possibly including equipped Inzektors) to nuke your opponent's field. Not only are they hindered while you're unscathed, but you also prevent them from activating monster effects from the hand or graveyard during that turn's battle phase, guarding against hand traps like "Battle Fader"—some of the only potential defenses after a field wipe.
11. Stellarknight Triverr
For an xyz monster that needs three materials (level four -tellarknight monsters), Triverr's ATK is only a paltry 2100, and you can't special summon non-tellarknight cards the turn you cast him. However, he bounces all other cards on the field when he arrives, and he can detach a material to discard a random card from your opponent's hand.
This bypasses destruction immunities and works particularly well against extra deck monsters, as they don't refill your foe's hand when returned. As icing on the cake, Triverr can revive a -tellarknight from your graveyard when destroyed with xyz material remaining, ensuring you're not left empty-handed if he falls.
10. Fandora, the Flying Furtress
This field spell lets you forfeit your regular draws to search a Fur Hire monster from your deck, lessening the randomness of your theme. This also searches new units for Furtress's next ability: if you control five or more Fur Hire creatures with different names, you can sacrifice Furtress to destroy all opposing cards. A fierce blow on top of a useful search engine; however, your opponent takes no further damage that turn, giving them a slight chance at a comeback.
9. Deskbot Base
Another field spell, Base grants your Deskbot monsters an extra 500 ATK and DEF. Once per turn, you can also shuffle any amount of Deskbots from your hand into your deck to draw as many cards, replacing unneeded units. But most notably, by banishing nine other Deskbot cards with different names from your field/graveyard, you shuffle away all cards from your opponent's hand, field, and graveyard.
An absolutely monstrous blast; consider running cards like "Needle Worm" that mill your own deck and help quickly meet your quota. Just remember you can't use face-up pendulum Deskbots from your extra deck to access this blast.
8. Abyss Prop - Wild Wagon
A versatile card, Wild Wagon has different powers in face-up face-down position. While revealed, it protects each of your Abyss Actors from the first battle destruction they would suffer each turn. Additionally, during your turn, you can protect an Abyss Actor monster from being targeted by opposing effects until your opponent's next end step.
If instead used as face-down bait and destroyed by your opponent while you have an Abyss Actor pendulum monster in your extra deck, Wagon bounces all cards your opponent controls back to their hand, a swift counterstrike that often interrupts their own turn.
7. Black Rose Dragon
Black Rose Dragon can (but doesn't have to) nuke the entire field when summoned. He's also surprisingly easy to cast, accepting any tuner and non-tuner combination, and if he forgoes or somehow survives his ability, he can banish plant monsters from your graveyard to weaken opposing units in defense position.
Using tuners like "Masked Chameleon" that can revive monsters from your graveyard, you can synchro into Rose from an empty field, essentially nuking your opponent for the cost of a single normal summon. While applicable for any synchro deck, Rose enjoys specific supports like "White Rose Dragon", "Blue Rose Dragon" and alternate form "Black Rose Moonlight Dragon".
6. Gandora Giga Rays the Dragon of Destruction
Gandora can't be normal summoned; he's cast by sending two other monsters from your hand/field to the graveyard. He gains 300 ATK for every banished card (including your opponent's) and lets you pay half your life points to activate a variable effect depending on the number of Gandora monsters with different names in your graveyard.
One destroys all other cards on the field, two instead banishes them, while three or more banishes them as well as cards in the graveyards. All are worthy field wipes and note the latter two will empower Gandora Giga's ATK by increasing the number of exiled cards.
5. Arcanite Magician/Assault Mode
With a new flux of Assault Mode supports, this spellcaster is more competitive than ever. You summon him by using the trap "Assault Mode Activate" on synchro monster "Arcanite Magician". His empowered form only arrives with 900 ATK, but acquires two spell counters and gains 1000 ATK for each. You can remove two from him to nuke your opponent's entire field.
Plus, Arcanite has no maximum spell counter limit, so you can continuously refill his supply with corresponding supports, and if he's ever destroyed, you get to revive his synchro base form from your graveyard.
4. Beast King Barbaros
If you normal summon Barbaros by tributing three monsters, he instantly wipes your opponent's field. Independent of archetype and with no punishment to your arena, this makes Barbaros a great asset to swarm decks.
Plus, you can normal summon him with 1900 ATK for no tributes, or with his regular ATK (but no field wipe) with two tributes, making him a versatile monster you can adapt to your situation. I use Barbaros as a hidden trump card in several swarming decks (often pendulum themes).
3. Judgment Dragon
Despite not actually carrying their name, Judgment is the boss monster of the Lightsworn set. You special summon him from your hand by simply having four or more Lightsworn monsters with different names in your graveyard (easy with their self-milling).
From there, Judgment wields 3000 ATK, mills the top four cards of your deck at your end step, and can pay 1000 life points to nuke all other cards on the field. A continuous blast you can use across multiple turns, you can even activate this several times in one round in the rare cases you'd want to.
2. Short Circuit
A key support to the Batteryman archetype, Short Circuit accesses a lethal ability with surprisingly lenient criteria. You just need to control three Batteryman monsters (and they swarm with their effects); once used, Circuit wipes your opponent's entire field. Simple, easy, and without drawbacks, this remains a highlight several years after its debut.
1. Evenly Matched
At the end of any battle phase, if your rival controls more cards than you, you can activate Matched to make them banish cards from their field so you command the same amount as you. High-risk, high-reward, as you have to survive the battle phase to harness the effect.
Thing is, you can activate this trap from your hand if you control no cards, making it difficult to predict, nearly impossible to remove, and a complete wipe (a banishing one at that) against your opponent's entire field. If somehow you're still not sold, remember that this fits in any theme and may even resolve at the end of your own battle step.
Monster and Spell/Trap Wipes in Yu-Gi-Oh
In addition to today's set, remember that several cards can eradicate all opposing monsters or spells/traps. For instance, "Raigeki" (limited) smashes enemy creatures while "Harpie's Feather Duster" (also limited) clears their spells/traps.
Only a few hand traps or graveyard recoveries can save players after a board wipe, and even those can be shuffled away with the right nukes, making them nearly certain to win the duel. But for now, as we eagerly await Konami's next expansion of field-massacring abilities, vote for your favorite card and I'll see you at our next Yu-Gi-Oh countdown!
© 2019 Jeremy Gill