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Top 10 Support Archetypes in Yu-Gi-Oh!

Jeremy enjoys dueling in between working as a chemical analyst and campus building manager.

Neo-Spacian Grand Mole

Neo-Spacian Grand Mole

Mixing Archetypes in Yu-Gi-Oh!

Most Yu-Gi-Oh! decks focus on a singular archetype to dominate opponents, as many cards only function alongside members of their own family. That said, some archetypes lack in key areas and can benefit from other families.

Mixing themes is both fun and practical for the clever duelist; here are ten excellent archetypes you can run on their own, but also as supports to other series!

Phantom Knights' Sword

Phantom Knights' Sword

10. Phantom Knights

Summary: Graveyard and xyz-focused warriors

Dark-attribute and warrior-type are popular elements with good support (like Allure of Darkness and Reinforcement of the Army), and the Phantom Knights have tons of graveyard-activated effects to search other cards, summon blockers, and more.

Notably, this applies to their spells/traps as well as monsters, making them a great supplement to graveyard-stocking themes. They also share a few supports with the Odd-Eyes and Raidraptor families.

Fortune Lady Water

Fortune Lady Water

9. Fortune Lady

Summary: Spellcasters who increase in level and power as turns pass

Fortune Ladies have ATK and DEF based on their levels, which automatically increase during your upkeep, and they also wield an impressive synchro monster in Fortune Lady Every. Other spellcaster themes can use them as a draw engine thanks to their excellent spell supports, like Fortune's Future and Fortune Lady Calling; use them to special summon Fortune Lady Water for two easy draws. From there, equip and sacrifice her with Wonder Wand for two more.

Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress

Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress

8. Lightsworn

Summary: Self-milling light monsters

Lightsworn have varying types, but share the light attribute, or dark when looking at newer Twilightsworn cards. These attributes make perfect fodder for the Chaos archetype, and their self-milling antics help quickly summon field-wiping ace Judgment Dragon.

But with the game's growing reliance on the graveyard, Lightsworn are simply useful for stocking for other themes (like Shaddoll); most of their members mill several cards at your end step. They also provide removal, like Lyla's spell/trap elimination or Ryoko's flip destruction.

Shaddoll Dragon

Shaddoll Dragon

7. Shaddoll

Summary: Flip and fusion-focused dark spellcasters

As mostly dark spellcasters, Shaddolls have excellent synergy with themes likes Endymion and Dark Magician, and they're powerful on their own too thanks to a wealth of prominent fusion monsters.

What really makes the Shaddolls is their graveyard-activated abilities, triggering when sent to the graveyard via card effect from anywhere (not just the field). So mill them from the deck with Lightsword cards or Future Fusion, or discard them from hand with Super Polymerization for amazing results.

Gold Gadget

Gold Gadget

6. Gadget

Summary: Earth machines who tutor each other on summon

Red, Yellow, and Greed Gadget are low-level monsters who find another when normal or special summoned, and newer Silver and Gold Gadgets are even better. Since their effects work with special summoning, you can also pendulum summon them to preserve your normal summon.

Or, use their link monster, Platinum Gadget, to special summon them. Solid card advantage anywhere, especially with the Ancient Gear and Boot-Up archetypes.

Thunder Dragondark

Thunder Dragondark

5. Thunder Dragon

Summary: Light and dark thunder monsters with hand-activated effects

Similarly to Lightsworn, Thunder Dragons began with the light attribute but later received dark members, making them perfect Chaos materials. But where Lightsworn excel at self-milling, Thunders discard themselves from hand, usually to search other copies of themselves.

While their battle stats tend to be low, this offers excellent card advantage, great for stalling with Exodia or acquiring discard fodder. They've also got some impressive fusion monsters for your extra deck.

Artifact Ignition

Artifact Ignition

4. Artifact

Summary: Monsters set as traps that activate control effects when destroyed

Artifact monsters are level-five, so it's not easy to normal summon them since you need a tribute. Instead, you can set them face-down in your spell/trap zone, where they activate effects and summon themselves when destroyed on your opponent's turn.

This provides several backrow tricks to surprise opponents, including effects that prevent them from accessing their extra deck, destroy their cards, and more. Artifacts themselves wield excellent supports that summon them from your deck at quick-play speed, like the trap Artifact Sanctum and spell Artifact Ignition.

Chaos Emperor Dragon - Envoy of the End

Chaos Emperor Dragon - Envoy of the End

3. Chaos

Summary: Powerful monsters summoned by banishing light and dark monsters from the graveyard

Most Chaos monsters must be special summoned from your hand by banishing a light and dark monster from your graveyard; thankfully, these are common attributes found in several themes. Once fielded, Chaos devastates the field with excellent ATK (often 3000) and several banishing effects to take out big threats.

They're usually sprinkled into other themes as boss monsters and have some supports worth considering, like the graveyard-stocking Eternal Chaos trap, plus some interesting ritual support.

Fairy Tail - Luna

Fairy Tail - Luna

2. Fairy Tail

Summary: Light spellcasters with versatile effects

Fairy Tails are level-four spellcasters with 1850 ATK, many wielding various effects when normal summoned. They're great for maintaining card advantage; Luna searches another spellcaster with 1850 ATK (including herself) and can bounce opposing monsters, while Rochka makes your opponent add one of your deck's top three cards to your hand.

Tails work well with pendulum decks that won't mind missing a normal summon, especially Endymion, as Luna can search Reflection of Endymion (a rare out-of-archetype spellcaster with 1850 ATK). I also run Lunas in Magician pendulum; either way, grab your own for well under a dollar!

Gameciel, the Sea Turtle Kaiju

Gameciel, the Sea Turtle Kaiju

1. Kaiju

Summary: Titans you can summon to your opponent's field by tributing their monsters

Players summon kaiju to the opponent's field by tributing their monsters, making them one of the only ways to remove big threats immune to targeting/destruction. Practically any kaiju will work, and the fact that you get to pick its battle position helps you quickly take them down. If you have a free field zone and enough members, you may want to consider their preferred terrain, Kyoutou Waterfront, which can tutor kaiju each turn and protect itself by expending counters.

Note that other monsters, like Lava Golem, are also summoned by tributing opposing cards, but Kaiju have the advantage of 1) more support and 2) maintaining your turn's normal summon.

Customizing Yu-Gi-Oh! Decks

Adding in support themes can increase a deck's power by compensating for its weaknesses, but don't overload yourself—very few builds run more than two main themes. Still, consider today's archetypes to round out your own decks, but for now, vote for your favorite, and I'll see you at our next YGO countdown!

© 2021 Jeremy Gill

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