Jeremy enjoys dueling in between working as a chemical analyst and campus building manager.
The Best Yu-Gi-Oh Spells
Yu-Gi-Oh's spells (sometimes called magic cards) come in many shapes and sizes and form an important part of just about every deck. Many search monsters from your deck or support them on the field, helping protect your titans from enemy removals.
In addition to regular spells, quick-plays can be cast on your opponent's turn, equip cards can boost creatures, and field spells (which you can only control one of) offer numerous abilities. But with thousands of supports available, which cards reign supreme? These are the ten best legal (as of this writing) Yu-Gi-Oh spells in 2020!
10. Dragonic Diagram
Supporting the True King and True Draco monsters, this field spell increases their ATK by 300. Additionally, Diagram lets each of your tribute summoned True monsters endure a single battle destruction each turn, making your warriors challenging to overcome. Then, you can once per turn destroy either a card in your hand or one you control to search any True card (even spells/traps) from your deck.
That's a lot of bonuses for a competitive archetype, but note that opposing True monsters also reap Diagram's first two benefits, making it unwieldy against similar themes. And since Diagram itself doesn't carry the True King/Draco name, it won't qualify for their specific supports—but you can still search it with...
An oldie but goldie, Terraforming adds any field spell from your deck to your hand. Fields are some of the strongest cards in the game, and most themes want to draw theirs as soon as possible—run some copies of Terraforming to increase your odds of nabbing one on your first turn.
It's as simple as that; with no life point fees or "once per turn" stipulations, Terraforming remains a staple in any field spell-reliant deck. A frequent member of my own builds, Terraforming is also one of the cheapest meta cards available, costing well under a single dollar!
8. Sky Striker Mobilize - Engage!
Sky Strikers remain a competitive Yu-Gi-Oh theme, and they offer several great spells to pick from. Perhaps their best comes from Mobilize - Engage!, which pulls any Sky Striker card (other than a copy of itself) from your deck, but to activate Engage, you can't control monsters in your main zones.
Still, this makes Engage a great opening move or comeback after you suffer a mass monster removal. As icing on the cake, you also get to draw a card if you have at least three spells in your graveyard, potentially letting Engage boost your overall hand size.
7. Trickstar Light Stage
Light Stage is a field that searches a monster upon activation, scoring any of the Trickstars. From there, Stage can once per turn target a set card in your opponent's spell/trap zone; that card can't be activated until the end phase, at which point your opponent must either play it or send it to the graveyard. Not only does this stall traps and quick-plays, but it also defeats those with specific activated windows (like "Evenly Matched"), since they can't be played at a turn's end.
Additionally, Stage adds another 200 damage whenever your Trickstar monster inflicts battle or effect damage to your opponent, piling on the pain whether you're assaulting them head-on or indirectly. And note you can activate multiple Stages per turn, useful if your first gets hit with a removal.
6. Salamangreat Circle
Resolving at instant speed, you can play Circle any time on your turn, or set it to use on your opponent's. When activated, it lets you utilize either of its effects. The first simply nabs a Salamangreat monster from your deck, while the second makes a Salamangreat link monster who was summoned using a material with the same name immune to other monster effects for the turn.
You can only activate one Circle per turn, but thanks to its speed, even if you have two, you can use one, then set the other to activate on your opponent's round. And the ability to pick between a search or defense lets Circle adapt to your current situation—an excellent support for one of the game's most popular archetypes.
5. Twin Twisters
Most archetypes contain some sort of spell/trap removal, but generic Twin Twisters is so impressive you might opt for it instead. You discard a card, then destroy up to two spells/traps on the field. You're spending two cards to eliminate two, but you get to set your graveyard, activate Twisters on either player's turn, and can even target your own cards in the rare cases you'd want to.
If you need four or even six threats eliminated, you're also free to activate multiple Twisters each turn. Compared to its main removal competition, the trap "Heavy Storm Duster," Twisters requires a discard but can be played immediately (Duster has to be set for a turn), making each superior in certain situations.
"Cosmic Cyclone" is another tempting alternative, a quick-play spell that banishes a spell/trap, but requires you forfeit 1000 life points.
4. Called by the Grave
Appearing in many competitive decks, Called by the Grave can resolve on either turn. It banishes any card in your opponent's graveyard, simultaneously negating its effects until the end of the next turn. Additionally, if that card was a monster, any fielded monsters sharing the same original name also have their abilities negated for the duration.
Not only does this prevent graveyard revivals of opposing threats, but it's also perhaps the best counter to prominent hand-traps like "Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit" and "Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring"; you can banish them after they discard themselves to negate their abilities.
3. Pot of Desires
Desires doesn't receive quite as much usage as it once did, but still offers impressive card advantage for any theme. You can only activate one per turn, and you have to banish your deck's top ten cards face-down, but you get to draw twice, increasing your overall hand size à la the long-banned "Pot of Greed."
The downside is you'll have fewer options for your searches, and you could potentially mill yourself into a deck-out loss, but most games will end long before that point. Desires is tempting for any deck, but especially useful in themes that exceed the 40-card minimum, as they have more leeway when it comes to mills.
2. Lightning Storm
Lightning Storm essentially lets you pick between "Raigeki" and "Harpie's Feather Duster"—the latter especially tempting since it remains banned. You either destroy all opposing attack-position monsters, or all spells and traps your opponent controls.
Both (especially the latter) are daunting field wipes, however, you must control no face-up cards to activate Storm. This makes it great when you're going second, destroying whatever setup your opponent played, or after you yourself suffer a field-wiping nuke.
1. Orcustrated Return
This amazing tutor sends one Orcust (the game's leading archetype as of this writing) or "World Legacy" monster from your hand or face-up field to the graveyard to draw two cards.
You're prepping your graveyard (great with Orcust's GY-activated effects) while refilling your hand, and the fact that you can sacrifice either of two monster archetypes (and from your field or hand) really seals the deal. For as long as these themes remain popular, Return will see use, even with its "once per turn" restriction.
Banned Spells in Yu-Gi-Oh
In addition to today's cards, you can find more daunting magic cards in Yu-Gi-Oh's ban list. While forbidden in advanced format, you can utilize aces like "Harpie's Feather Duster" and "Change of Heart" in casual play or traditional format, which allows at least one copy of every card.
With each new set, cards fluctuate in viability, and only time will tell what the future holds for today's champions. But for now, as we eagerly await Konami's next expansion of top-tier spells, vote for your favorite card and I'll see you at our next Yu-Gi-Oh countdown!
© 2019 Jeremy Gill