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Top 10 Overrated Yu-Gi-Oh Cards

Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.

Baronne de Fleur

Baronne de Fleur

Competitive Yu-Gi-Oh Cards

Generally, the YGO meta is dominated by overbearing archetypes (lately Swordsoul and Adventure come to mind) bolstered by generic effects players can run in anything, often removal or hand trap disruption.

Of course, for a card to see widespread use, it must have something to it; today's cards are not only not bad, they're good—but today we'll explore the limitations of some popular meta plays, and alternative or budget options to consider. Without further ado, here are ten overused Yu-Gi-Oh staple cards!

Twin Twisters

Twin Twisters

10. Twin Twisters

Instead Consider: Harpie's Feather Duster, Heavy Storm Duster

Twisters discards a card as cost to activate, then targets and destroys up to two spells/traps, and it's quick-play speed lets you activate it on your opponent's turn. So what's the issue? Well, for one, Harpie's Feather Duster is finally unbanned, and it annhiliates all opposing backrow cards without a discard, making it a far better option if you play second. Or, if you play first, you can set the trap Heavy Storm Duster, which also pops two backrow cards, but doesn't require a discard.

Also note that the discard is part of the cost to activate, meaning you still discard even if Twisters gets negated, a brutal -2 in advantage. Finally, the game has shifted more and more towards monster-heavy decks, making backrow removal irrelevant against certain themes (like dinosaur and synchron decks).

Effect Veiler

Effect Veiler

9. Effect Veiler

Instead Consider: Things that negate and destroy, like Ghost Ogre

Many decks run a Veiler or two to shut down opposing monsters, and it's true that if you play second, he can help prevent the first player from comboing off thanks to his hand-activated monster negation. However, he's got some issues. For one, he only negates monster effects, and only for one turn. Plus, he can only trigger during the main phase, and only on your opponent's turn. And since he must be used in the main, doing so unlocks the activation condition of the powerful spell Triple Tactics Talent, which lets your opponent draw twice or steal a monster.

Compared to hand traps like Ash Blossom, Veiler also has terrible stats if he ends up hitting the field. While being a tuner is nice, synergizing with cards like Crystron Halqifibrax, there are superior hand traps tuners out there.

Lightning Storm

Lightning Storm

8. Lightning Storm

Instead Consider: Raigeki, Harpie's Feather Duster

If you control no face-up cards, Lightning Storm either nukes your opponent's attack position monsters or backrow. The versatility here is admittedly great, but all too often I see players unable to activate Storm. It's usually a dead draw in the late-game, and like other board wipes, pretty much useless if you play first.

Unlike Raigeki, it also won't eliminate opposing defense position monsters, and the mere existence of this card has increased the likelihood of first-turn players utilizing defense position. Plus, you can only activate one per turn, and it'll run you a pretty penny to buy a paper version of. In short, a useful sideboard option for best-of-3 matches when you expect to play second, but I'd caution against overloading on it in the first round.

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Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess

Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess

7. Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess

Instead Consider: Borreload Savage Dragon, Herald of Ultimateness

Apollousa is a generic link 4 who accepts any monsters with different names except tokens. The more the better, as she gains ATK equal to the number of materials used times 800, capping at 3200. From there, she can once per chain negate an opposing monster effect by permanently losing 800 ATK.

Apollousa is often used as the endgame of several combos hoping to ruin the opponent's first turn. But Apollousa can do nothing against spell/trap removal, and she's a costly monster to lose thanks to all the materials involved in her summon. She's also vulnerable to Kaiju, plus monsters with quick effects (like Fairy Tail - Luna).

Infinite Impermanence

Infinite Impermanence

6. Infinite Impermanence

Instead Consider: Solemn Judgment, Lost Wind

Not unlike Veiler, Impermanence lets you negate an opposing monster's effects for the turn, then shuts down any spell/trap effects in its column. Potentially, you can stop two cards in one, by chaining onto a spell/trap in the same column while negating a monster. It's also cool you can activate from hand if you control no cards.

However, it's far less useful if you play first. You either don't set it, but then probably won't be able to activate it from hand, or you do, but risk exposure to backrow hate. Also, unlike monster hand traps, there's less search capacity and versatility (like many monster hand traps also being tuners), and Impermanence has to be able to target a monster to trigger. This not only makes many boss monsters immune, but means you can't chain onto a spell/trap (even in the same column) if your opponent controls no monsters.

Forbidden Droplet

Forbidden Droplet

5. Forbidden Droplet

Instead Consider: PSY-Framegear Gamma, Dark Ruler No More

Droplet sends any number of cards from your hand and/or field to the graveyard to negate that many opposing monster effects and halve their ATK for the turn. It does have its uses, like being a quick-play and choosing (without targeting) its victims, plus the fact that opponents can't respond with cards types you send.

However, keep in mind that both the effect and ATK reduction are temporary, and Droplet doesn't count itself, meaning you're losing on the advantage (or breaking even at best, assuming you negate an opposing search). Also, while it's usually immune to being negated, keep in mind that since you send as cost, you probably just lost the duel if your opponent has a negation ready of a card type you didn't toss (perhaps a Solemn trap).

Destiny HERO - Destroyer Phoenix Enforcer

Destiny HERO - Destroyer Phoenix Enforcer

4. Destiny HERO - Destroyer Phoenix Enforcer

Instead Consider: Stardust Dragon,

Here's a boss monster for Destiny Heroes that duelists splash in other themes by using Fusion Destiny, which sends materials from hand or deck. The problem here isn't Phoenix Enforcer—he's a fantastic removal that can continuously destroy cards while reviving himself—but the risks involved in using him.

First, Fusion Destiny is either limited or semi-limited depending on which format you're playing (including online in Master Duel), and the Hero materials are often bricks if drawn before Fusion Destiny. The combo was more consistent before link monster Verte Anaconda got banned (his effect basically activated Fusion Destiny from deck), but as long as he's gone, the combo bricks as often as it hits. Also, all the materials involved (including Phoenix himself) are vulnerable to graveyard hate.

Using the combo also largely prevents you from running either Pot of Extravagance or Pot of Desires (which randomly banish cards from your extra deck/deck in exchange for more draws), as if one piece gets banished, the whole play is probably ruined.

Crossout Designator

Crossout Designator

3. Crossout Designator

Instead Consider: Skill Drain, Royal Decree

Designator names a card and banishes it from deck to negate the effects of that card until the end of the turn. This can be useful for stopping popular hand traps like Ash Blossom (or Maxx C in Master Duel), but there's certainly some issues.

Most obviously, if you don't have a copy of the card you want to negate in your deck (or already drew it), you're sunk. And unlike hand traps, Designator isn't great when playing second since you can't interrupt combos with it. There's also the admittedly small price that some opposing decks, like Endymion and Sky Striker, can benefit from you playing spells (although if you're using them, stock up on the suckers).

Like many of today's cards, I often recommend sideboarding this until you're confident it'll be useful.

Called by the Grave

Called by the Grave

2. Called by the Grave

Instead Consider: Virtual World Kyubi - Shenshen, Dimensional Fissure

Grave works similarly to Designator. You no longer need to have what you're trying to negate in your deck, but in exchange, Grave can only banish and negate cards from graveyard, severely limiting its scope. Being a quick-play is always nice, but an inability to stop first player combos often makes a hand trap like Nibiru the Primal Being more useful. Grave also doesn't work well against pendulum decks, which tend to avoid reliance on the graveyard. Finally, note that Grave negates its target's effects until the end of the next turn, which sounds useful (and can be), but means if you negate a card you also run, you won't be able to play it either.

For ongoing graveyard hate, I recommend Masked HERO Dark Law, generic synchro monster Virtual World Kyubi - Shenshen, Dimensional Fissure, or Macro Cosmos.

Knightmare Unicorn

Knightmare Unicorn

1. Knightmare Unicorn

Instead Consider: Paleozoic Dinomischus, Alpha the Master of Beasts

While I'm glad Unicorn can take any materials with different names, even tokens, I see many decks use him that may be better served by other cards. As a link 3, he takes either three materials or two (if you use a link 2), and isn't terribly strong at 2200 ATK.

His link summon effect discards a card to target a card and shuffle it into the deck. While a nice removal that also prevents graveyard triggers, it involves targeting and discarding as cost, making it risky if negated. Unicorn does offer bonus draws that require being co-linked (him pointing to and being pointed at by other link monsters), and if you pull it off, his utility skyrockets, but considering how rarely this happens, there are better and more consistent monsters.

Meta and Rogue Decks in Yu-Gi-Oh

The speed and power of Yu-Gi-Oh decks has steadily risen, with draws and searches from cards like Pot of Prosperity nearly guaranteeing successful first-turn combos, but you can take advantage of this with the right rogue cards designed to defeat meta plays.

For instance, Eater of Million is an easily summoned monster removal who punishes foes for banishing face-down, while Swordsoul Supreme Sovereign - Chengying (who can be used in any deck since he's a generic synchro) punishes all banished cards. Often these cards prove useful both for their inherent advantages and for their surprise factor, but for now, share your thoughts on the game's meta and I'll see you at our next Yu-Gi-Oh countdown!

© 2022 Jeremy Gill

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