Jeremy enjoys dueling in between working as a chemical analyst and campus building manager.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Monster Lore
Of all Yu-Gi-Oh! cards, only normal monsters (those without effects) list lore descriptions in their cards, so for many years, we didn't know much about the stories behind the monsters we played. But the franchise has started crafting stories that connect different archetypes, revealing many of the strongest in-world cards.
Fans can probably predict some of the upcoming cards, but even longtime viewers might be surprised by a few entries. So, going purely by story (not gameplay) power, these are the ten strongest Yu-Gi-Oh! cards!
10. Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon
Regular Blue-Eyes White Dragon's flavor text emphasizes his power, so we can only imagine what it would say about his stronger fusion form. Ultimate's supreme power is also hinted at by him sometimes having the divine attribute in video games, and he's received two newer versions to stay relevant competitively (Neo Ultimate and Alternative Ultimate).
9. Constellar Sombre/Evilswarm Kerykeion
Despite being pretty easy to summon in-game as level 4 cards, Sombre and Kerykion bear surprising power in their story. Stated to rival the gods, they team up to narrowly vanquish an evil deity: In order to defeat Sophia, who was temporarily weakened by her two powers being stolen, Sombre and Kerykeion faced her in a final battle.
Both also bear interesting effects that let you summon monsters of their respective archetypes for one less tribute or recover their kin from the graveyard.
8. El Shaddoll Anoyatyllis
The Shaddolls are a tragic bunch doomed to an existence of soulless bodies, and their strongest member is described as such: Wielding not only the powers of Shaddoll, Qliphort, and Infernoi, but also the 3 Ice Barrier dragons, El Shaddoll Anoyatylli was strong enough to rival even the Goddess of Rebirth from the past.
In gameplay, she imposes an interesting restriction that prevents players from summoning from the hand/GY with spell or trap effects. Since she takes a water monster as material, you can fuse her using Super Polymerization when facing water decks.
Tierra is the goddess of destruction in lore, and to combat her violence, many monster families (Shaddoll, tellarknight, Yang Zing, Nekroz, and Ritual Beast) unite to create their ultimate weapon, Zefraath:
The one who stood to face Tierra, Source of Destruction was the protector of the Naturia Sacred Tree, Zefraath. The scale of their battle shook the entire planet, and lasted for one thousand days and one thousand nights.
6. Tierra, Source of Destruction/Sophia, Goddess of Rebirth
Tierra is the ancient god of destruction eternally opposed with Sophia, god of creation. But it's not as simple as good vs bad; Sophia herself once almost destroyed the world, narrowly stopped by Sombre and Kerykeion.
Both are incredibly powerful in-game, but with monstrous summoning conditions; Tierra requires you shuffle 10 other cards into your deck, while Sophia needs to banish a ritual, fusion, synchro, and xyz monster.
5. Avida, Rebuilder of Worlds
Avida might be even stronger than Tierra and Sophia, bearing similar stats and another tricky summon condition. In her case, there have to be 8 or more link monsters with different names on the field/graveyard. Once that's set, you can summon Avida from hand, and she'll shuffle all banished, GY, and fielded monsters into the deck (but not spells and traps).
Many also suspect a connection between Avida and World Gears of Theurlogical Demiurgy due to their similar ATK and link monster dependency.
4. Rainbow Dragon
Despite lacking their name, Rainbow is the boss monster of the Crystal Beast archetype, and he allegedly hides incredible attack power that surpasses even the legendary gods. He's also called "The Supreme Being" in official lore.
Rainbow bears awesome 4000 ATK, but summoning him requires seven or more crystal beasts in your field/graveyard, and while Rainbow has powerful effects (sacrificing Crystal Beasts to gain power or shuffle cards into the deck), he can't use them the turn you play him.
|Egyptian Gods||Sacred Beasts||Wicked Gods|
Slifer the Sky Dragon
Uria, Lord of Searing Flames
The Wicked Eraser
Obelisk the Tormentor
Raviel, Lord of Phantasms
The Wicked Dreadroot
The Winged Dragon of Ra
Hamon, Lord of Striking Thunder
The Wicked Avatar
3. God Cards
The legendary Egyptian Gods, the Sacred Beasts, and the Wicked Gods are three trios of bulky monsters with tricky summoning conditions. But using them has gotten easier thanks to a wealth of new supports. All are fearsome foes, and in lore, The Winged Dragon of Ra and The Wicked Avatar are noted to be especially powerful in their respective trios.
2. Exodia the Forbidden One
ATK: 1000 (200 for the limbs)
DEF: 1000 (300 for the limbs)
Individually, Exodia and his four limbs are some of the worst cards in the game, bearing weak stats and no effects. But collect all five in hand, and you instantly win the duel, leading to unique decks that focus on stalling as they amass the cards.
Why is Exodia broken into five pieces? It's because his power was deemed so great he had to be divided to prevent tragedy, but even Exodia may be defeated by…
1. Holactie the Creator of Light
Holactie, sometimes called Horakty, is so so strong he has his own monster type—not even the other gods share his "creator god" classification. His summon can't be negated, and as soon as you do it, you win! Of course, it's dreadfully tricky to accomplish, as you need to tribute Slifer, Obelisk, and Ra (and you can't use name-changing effects to fudge them).
However, this doesn't require a normal summon, and if you manage to get the cards out, the duel is yours.
More Iconic Monsters in Yu-Gi-Oh!
Considering the franchise's growing focus on lore and the numerous anime it's produced, narrowing today's list to just ten monsters was surprisingly difficult. Infamous creatures like Dark Magician of Chaos and Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon narrowly missed the cut, but for now, vote for your favorite card, and I'll see you at our next Yu-Gi-Oh! countdown!
© 2021 Jeremy Gill