Jeremy enjoys dueling in between working as a chemical analyst and campus building manager.
Graveyard-Material Monsters in Yu-Gi-Oh!
Fittingly, the strongest Yu-Gi-Oh! monsters require more effort to summon, usually in the form of other monsters. Extra deck creatures require fielded materials, while high-level main deck monsters often need multiple tributes.
However, you can special summon some cards simply by banishing other monsters from your graveyard, accessing powerful beatsticks even from an empty field—which reign supreme? These are the 20 best graveyard-dependent monsters in Yu-Gi-Oh!
20. Dragon Rulers
- Fire: Blaster, Dragon Ruler of Infernos
- Water: Tidal, Dragon Ruler of Waterfalls
- Wind: Tempest, Dragon Ruler of Storms
- Earth: Redox, Dragon Ruler of Boulders
The elemental Dragon Rulers would rank much higher, except they're all banned (in both the OCG and TCG, no less). Each can special summon itself from your hand by banishing two monsters with the same attribute from your hand or graveyard. They also have effects that trigger when banished, as well as discard options, making them versatile and powerful behemoths unlikely to leave the ban list.
19. Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Evening Twilight
To special summon Envoy from hand, you have to banish all light-attribute or dark-attribute monsters from your graveyard while it has an equal number of each, which can make his summon tricky.
However, not only does Envoy have powerful battle stats, he activates different effects based on which element you banished; if light, you can banish an opposing monster, and if dark, you can banish a random card from your opponent's hand until their end phase. Useful abilities, but using either prevents you from conducting your battle phase that turn.
18. The Chaos Creator
Like most Chaos monsters, you summon Creator from your hand by banishing a light and a dark monster from your graveyard. His DEF is actually better than his ATK, so it's often smart to place him in defense position, and he'll help summon other monsters, as he can once per turn target any three banished with different names (including your opponent's), summon one of them, then place the rest on bottom of their respective decks.
17. Gaia Plate the Earth Giant
Summoning Gaia require you to banish two rock-type monsters from your graveyard, and you lose him at your standby phase unless you banish another.
But to compensate, not only is Gaia powerful, he halves the stats of any monster he battles, practically guaranteed to overcome foes in raw strength. Plus, the halved stats last indefinitely, so even if Gaia is removed before damage calculation, your opponent's monster will remain crippled.
16. Batteryman Industrial Strength
Industrial Strength relies on a specific archetype: the Batteryman tribe, and summoning him requires you to banish two of them from your graveyard. You want more than two though, as Strength can once per turn banish a thunder monster (even a non-Batteryman) to destroy both an opponent's spell/trap and monster.
Toss in solid ATK and you've got a versatile monster who, if defeated, can serve as fodder for other copies of himself.
15. Chaos Valkyria
Valkyria has a unique summoning requirement, only able to be special summoned by a card effect, but she offers an easy one, letting you cast her by banishing either a light or dark monster from your graveyard. Her ATK is only decent, but if banished, she sends a light or dark monster from deck to graveyard, you just can't use its effects for the rest of the turn.
In short, Valkyria is best used for tweaking your graveyard, useful for cards that need specific amounts of materials like...
14. Dark Armed Dragon
You can only summon Dark Armed Dragon by having exactly three dark monsters in your graveyard, no more and no less. Summoning him doesn't actually banish these monsters, but his effect banishes a dark monster from GY to destroy any card.
Notably, this can target all card types and isn't once-per-turn, meaning if all goes well, Dark Armed can extinguish three cards the turn he arrives (and possibly more in future rounds).
13. Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning
The original Envoy bears the classic Chaos summon, needing you to exile a light and dark monster from your graveyard. But not only does he have fierce stats, he can once per turn banish an opposing monster or attack again after destroying one in battle.
Both great options that quickly deplete your opponent's field, but keep in mind Envoy can't attack if you choose his banish option.
12. Sacred Arch-Airknight Parshath
You can tribute summon Parshath, but it's easier to utilize his special summon, where you can cast him from your hand or graveyard by banishing two fairies from your hand/field/graveyard after activating a counter trap or negating an opposing effect.
Parshath has strong ATK, deals piercing battle damage to defense-position enemies, and adds another Parshath card or counter trap from deck to hand when he inflicts battle damage.
11. Ultimate Conductor Tyranno
The ultimate dinosaur beatstick, Tyranno can only be special summoned from hand by banishing two dinosaurs from your graveyard. From there, during either player's main phase, he can destroy a monster in your hand or field to change all opposing monsters to face-down defense position.
Not only does this disable their effects, it triggers Tyranno's other ability, letting him send a defense-position monster he attacks to the graveyard (without flipping it) and inflict 1000 damage to your opponent. Plus, he can attack all opposing monsters once each, meaning he can really rack up effect damage.
10. Cyber Eltanin
You can only special summon Eltanin by banishing one or more light-attribute machine-type monsters from your graveyard; he gains 500 ATK/DEF for each. This can potentially lead to enormous battle stats, but his amazing ability triggers regardless, sending all other face-up monsters to the graveyard when summoned.
So even with just one material, Eltanin effectively serves as a monster board wipe, and one that circumvents targeting and destruction immunities.
9. Chaos Dragon Levianeer
Compared to most Chaos monsters, Levianeer needs three materials instead of two, but he's more versatile, letting you banishing three light/dark monsters (in any combination). Depending on which element(s) you use, Levianeer activates different effects on arrival:
- Only light: Special summon a monster from GY in defense position
- Only dark: Shuffle a random card from opponent's hand into deck
- Both: Destroy up to two cards on field
You only get one of these effects, but the ability to tailor them to your situation (plus strong ATK) makes Levianeer a useful ace up your sleeve.
8. Archnemeses Protos
Special summoning Protos requires banishing three monsters with different attributes from your field or graveyard, great for multi-attribute decks like the Elementsabers. Protos can't be destroyed by card effects, perfect since he once per turn declares an attribute, destroys all cards of that attribute, and prevents players from summoning that attribute until the end of the next turn.
Have different types but not attributes? In that case, go for Protos's counterpart...
7. Archnemeses Eschatos
Eschatos is just like Protos, but with his stats reversed, the dragon type, and a summon requirement of banishing three different types instead of attributes. Like Protos, Eschatos is immune to effect destruction and lets you declare a type, kill all monsters of that type, and prevent players from summoning it until the next turn ends.
It's as simple as that; against single-type themes like "Dark Magician", your opponent will not only lose their field, but also their ability to summon new troops, leaving them completely at your mercy.
6. Chaos Daedalus
Like most Chaos cards, Daedalus is summoned by banishing a light and dark monster from graveyard. He's a bit weaker than his 3000 ATK brethren, but while there's a field spell anywhere on the field, he prevents your light and dark monsters (including himself) from being targeted by card effects.
Also, Daedalus can once per turn banish cards up to the number of field spells (anywhere from 0-2), a powerful removal that can eliminate any card type.
5. Dragunity Arma Gram
Breathing new life into a previously-outdated theme, you can summon Gram from your hand or GY by banishing two dragons or winged-beasts from hand/GY, a versatile summon that can easily revive himself. Gram can once per turn target a monster to negate its effects and have it lose 1000 ATK per equip spell you control, and when an opponent's monster is destroyed by battle (even from another monster), Gram can once per turn equip it.
Not only does this empower his ATK-depletion ability, it keeps defeated enemies out of your opponent's GY, restricting GY access for their own Chaos-esque cards.
4. Immortal Phoenix Gearfried
Like Gram, Phoenix Gearfried rewards you for using equip spells, summoning himself from hand by banishing one from your field or graveyard. When Gearfried attacks a monster, he can equip it to himself, which gives him 500 more ATK. Better yet, he can sacrifice an equip you control (even on other monsters) to negate and destroy activated monster effects.
3. Dark Simorgh
You can play Simorgh in many ways: tribute summon him, summon him from hand by banishing a wind and dark monster from GY, summon him from GY by banishing a wind/dark from hand, or (since he's level 7) pendulum summon him with a scale 8.
On the field, Simorgh counts as both dark and wind, but his real strength is his devastating effect, preventing opponents from setting any cards. This effectively cancels any traps and monster flip effects they haven't already set, and if combined with "Anti-Spell Fragrance", will also block out their spell access.
2. Chaos Emperor Dragon - Envoy of the End
One banned for his powers, Emperor Dragon has become unlimited thanks to errata. You summon him by banishing a light/dark monster from graveyard. From there, Emperor can equalize the game if needed, letting you pay 1000 life points to send all cards in both fields/hands to they GYs. This includes himself, and you can't use other effects the turn you activate it, but not only is it a great last resort in a losing game, it hits your opponent for 300 effect damage per sent card.
Despite his powers, Emperor is surprisingly cheap, costing under $2, and even offers an alternative pendulum form...
1. Chaos Emperor, the Dragon of Armageddon
Chaos Emperor offers a nice low scale-one option, and he can destroy himself and pay 1000 life points to add a banished dragon from deck to hand.
This puts him in the extra zone, great since you can special summon him from it or hand by banishing a light and dark monster from GY. Once fielded, Emperor can spend half your life points to send all cards on your field—except your extra zone—to GY to send up to that many from your opponent's field to GY, hitting them for 300 damage per card they lost.
Long story short, Emperor offers a similar board wipe as his base form, but one that potentially lets you keep a monster active (and doesn't impact the hands). Throw that on top of a nice pendulum scale for the best Chaos monster yet.
Filling Your Graveyard in Yu-Gi-Oh!
Today we saw several awesome monsters. Once your GY is stocked, how can you quickly fill it? Cards like "Dragon Shrine, "Mathematician," and "Future Fusion" send monsters directly into it. Other monsters, like "Marshmacaron," summon copies of themselves when destroyed, which soon preps even more fodder.
Find the right balance of ace monsters with materials and support (plus the right extra deck) for a competitive build, but for now, vote for your favorite card, and I'll see you at our next Yu-Gi-Oh! countdown!
© 2020 Jeremy Gill