The Banished Zone in Yu-Gi-Oh!
Formerly called "removed from play," Yu-Gi-Oh!'s banished zone represents cards completely excommunicated from recovery. This contrasts spent cards that simply head to the graveyard (where they often have graveyard effects or can be resummoned with spells like Monster Reborn).
But as the years have passed, the banished zone has become more accessible, with themes like Floowandereeze, Goti, and Metaphys even relying on summoning banished cards. Getting something banished doesn't mean it's truly gone—here are ten ways to recover your banished Yu-Gi-Oh! cards!
10. Return From the Different Dimension
Use with: Anything
This card might be number one if it weren't banned. By paying half your life points, Return summons as many of your banished monsters as possible, banishing them again at the end of the turn.
But with the right setup, the card's downsides won't matter; since the monsters have their effects intact, you might be able to swing for game, or simple use them as link material before they leave. On the off chance this card ever leaves the ban list, definitely consider one for your deck.
9. El Dorado Adelantado
Use with: Eldlich
Here's a great finishing blow for the spell/trap zombie Eldlich theme. If you control an Eldlich monster (which you can summon with Eldlixir of Black Awakening or Scarlet Sanguine), Adelantado will either shuffle three of your banished Eldlixir cards into the deck to nuke the entire field, or shuffle three Golden Land cards to halve your opponent's life points and add that amount to your own.
Keep in mind that using either option requires three cards with different names, but the ability to recover banished cards lets you reuse the deck's keycard after exploiting their graveyard effects, leading to some insane card advantage.
8. Zombie Power Struggle
Use with: Zombie World decks
This quick-play spell either adds or subtracts 1000 ATK from a zombie monster for the turn; remember that field spell Zombie World makes everything a zombie, so this can trick your opponent into unfavorable battles. Better yet, during your main phase, you can set Struggle from your graveyard (banishing it when it leaves the field) by shuffling one of your banished zombies back into your deck.
This ensures you don't permanently lose a zombie you want in grave, like the monster-negating and banishing Doomking Balerdroch.
7. Thunder Dragon Fusion
Use with: Thunder Dragon decks
This spell fusion summons a thunder-type fusion monster by shuffling the materials from your graveyard, field, or face-up banished zone into your deck. Not only does this conserve your hand while summoning a beatstick, it sets up TDF's graveyard effect, banishing itself on a later turn to add a Thunder-type monster from deck to hand.
Use Fusion to play either Thunder Dragon Colossus or Titan while recovering any lost thunder monsters.
6. Lubellion the Searing Dragon
Use with: Branded-Despia decks
Summoning Lubellion requires Fallen of Albaz and any dark material, and he's incredibly easy to play with either Albaz's summon effect, Super Polymerization, or Branded Fusion, which uses materials from deck.
Once summoned, Lubellion discards a card to fusion summon a level 8 or lower monster by shuffling in materials from your field, graveyard, or banished zone. Often, you'll choose itself and Albaz to play the devastating Mirrorjade the Iceblade Dragon.
To further help Despian decks maintain their plays, consider the spell Branded Regained, which can once per turn recover a banished light or dark monster.
Use with: Any deck with lots of banished cards (Pot of Desires and Pot of Extravagance)
This creepy monster triggers when normal summoned, shuffling all banished cards into the deck. Notably, this counts both your and opposing cards, as well as face-up and facedown, and Necroface gains 100 ATK for each card returned to the main deck this way. Remember that Pot of Desires banishes ten to draw twice, meaning it alone will give Necroface 1000 extra ATK, and if you luck out, your opponent might have played one too.
Also, if Necroface itself is banished, both players banish five cards from the top of their deck, useful for triggering other banish effects, empowering other Necrofaces, or trying to deck-out your opponent.
4. Pot of Acquisitiveness
Use with: Anything that banishes
Acquisitiveness shuffles three banishes monsters into the deck to draw one card. While this doesn't give the +1 advantage that many Pots are known for, it doesn't have any downsides, can use opposing monsters if needed, and activates at quick-play speed.
Great for any deck that really doesn't want its key monsters banished, like keeping Blue-Eyes White Dragon in grave to ensure you can use the effects of Blue-Eyes Jet Dragon.
3. Chaos Space
Use with: Light/Dark decks
This spell's a bit confusing, but worth the hassle. It sends a light or dark monster from hand to graveyard to find one with the other attribute and a level 4-8 from deck that can't be normal summoned. This works best with the light-dark pair Black Dragon Collapserpent and White Dragon Wyverbuster.
Then, you can banished Space from your graveyard to return a light/dark monster that can't be normal summoned from banishment to the bottom of your deck and draw a new card. And unlike many secondary graveyard effects, you don't have to wait to use Chaos's GY ability.
2. Virtual World Kyubi - Shenshen
Use with: Synchro decks
Shenshen belongs to the Virtual World archetype, but since he needs no specific materials, any deck that can synchro summon level 9 can access him. Shenshen wields strong 2800 ATK and banishes any card sent from field to graveyard, a great setup to ruin opposing combos (just remember it affects your own field too).
And once per turn, when your monster attacks, Shenshen can return a banished card to the graveyard. That reusable banish recovery, and it helps Shenshen revive himself from graveyard by banishing two monsters with different types and attributes.
1. Nemeses Cards
Use with: Anything that banishes
The Nemeses cards specialize in banished recovery, returning any one of your banished monsters to the bottom of your deck to summon themselves from hand. After that, they each can provide advantage; Flag adds a different Nemeses from deck to hand, Umbrella recovers one from graveyard, and Corridor recovers one from banishment.
After that, you've got useful link material. And they work even better with the altered ban list of online game Master Duel, where their various attributes and types help summon TCG-banned Archnemeses Protos. You can also summon the search-restricting Thunder Dragon Colossus using Corridor as material.
Banishment Protection in Yu-Gi-Oh!
Today's list can help recover banished keycards, but you can also prevent banishment in the first place using the trap Imperial Wall or the monster Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer. Of course, there's also negates to stop things from getting banished, but for now, share your favorite removal type and I'll see you at our next Yu-Gi-Oh! countdown!
© 2022 Jeremy Gill