Jeremy enjoys dueling in between working as a chemical analyst and campus building manager.
Removal in Yu-Gi-Oh!
Many meta Yu-Gi-Oh! decks have shifted from focusing on eliminating enemy cards to negating them—why bother circumventing enemy defensive effects when you can prevent the cards from appearing in the first place? This means hand trap and boss monster-generated negations are more common, like Ash Blossom and Borreload Savage Dragon.
Yet it's hard to beat good ol' board wipes Raigeki or Harpie's Feather Duster when things head south. Luckily, many other cards offer potent if underutilized destructive abilities to reclaim the advantage—these are the 10 most underrated card-destroying effects in Yu-Gi-Oh!
10. Paleozoic Dinomischus
Use with: Water decks
This one's low because it's not so uncommon, and for good reason—Dinomischus discards a card to target and banish any face-up card on the field. The ability to hit all card types with not banishment at instant speed works wonders, and since the discard only happens on resolution (not activation), you don't discard if negated.
Plus, when a trap is activated, Dinomischus can revive itself as a 1200 ATK/0 DEF water monster that's banished when it leaves the field. Weak stats, but still a nice blocker and excellent rank 2 xyz material (as detached materials will head back to the graveyard instead of getting banished).
9. Witch's Strike
Use against: Negate decks
Getting your effects negated stinks. Getting negated and then retaliating with Witch's Strike probably wins you the duel; you can only activate it after an opponent negates your effect or summon, and if Strike resolves, you destroy all cards in their hand and field!
Yikes, what a rebound. Like many of today's cards, consider sideboarding Strike until you're sure you're up against a negation-prone deck, although given the state of the meta, that's going to be most of them.
8. Lost Wind
Use against: Special summon decks
Lost Wind works wonders at keeping foes down, halving a special summoned monster's ATK and negating its effects—permanently. Make your opponent waste resources summoning a big play only to stop it right in its tracks. It's also nice that you can activate Wind on any phase, potentially baiting a spell/trap removal.
It also makes excellent discard fodder, as you can reset Wind from your graveyard when your opponent summons from the extra deck (banishing it when it leaves the field), gaining two uses from one card.
7. Fairy Tail - Luna
Use with: Endymion or Charmer decks
One of my favorite normal summons in the game, Luna searches another 1850 spellcaster on summon—pick another copy of herself, a different Fairy Tail monster, or (in pendulum decks) Reflection of Endymion.
Not only is her ATK a solid 1850, she can target a face-up opposing monster as a quick-effect, then return both it and herself to hand unless your opponent sends a copy of it from deck or extra deck to the graveyard. For a fun combo, tribute an enemy monster with a Kaiju, then return both to your hand with Luna.
6. Supernatural Danger Zone
Use with: Normal monster decks
When any player special summons a non-effect monster, Zone targets and destroys an opposing face-up card. Plus, if Zone is destroyed by an opposing effect, you can summon a non-effect monster from your hand, deck, or graveyard. Simple but easy destruction with a nice exit ability, keep in mind Zone can trigger off enemy cards too.
5. Archfiend Eccentrick
Use with: Pendulum decks
Eccentrick offers a decently-high scale 7, and can tribute her own scale to destroy an enemy spell/trap. From there, simply revive her with a pendulum summon to use her monster effect, this time tributing herself to target and destroy an opposing monster.
Reusable and able to target face-down cards, you can also search Eccentrick with generic pendulum searches on cards like Performapal Celestial Magician or Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon.
4. Gravity Controller
Use against: Extra deck monsters
Summoning Controller simply requires you sacrifice a non-link monster in your extra deck: anything from a fusion, synchro, or xyz monster to a revived pendulum monster. Controller is weak at 1000 ATK, but can return both itself and a card in your opponent's extra zone to hand when they battle.
Controller also can't be destroyed in battle against main zone monsters, so he can hold off aggro, although you'll still take battle damage.
3. Danger! Bigfoot!
Use with: Graveyard-reliant decks
Reveal Bigfoot in your hand to discard a random card; if it's Bigfoot, he simply targets and destroys an enemy face-up, and if another card, you summon Bigfoot from hand and draw a card.
So you're either trading 1-for-1 or getting an easy 3000 ATK beatstick and new card. Use this to quickly stockpile your graveyard in decks like Blue-Eyes, Shaddoll, and Branded, and note that Bigfoot's 0 DEF means you can recover him with Recurring Nightmare.
2. Treacherous Trap Hole
Use with: Non-trap decks
Many meta decks forgo trap cards since they have to be set for a turn before usage; if you go this route, consider Treacherous Trap Hole. As long as you have no traps in your graveyard, it instantly targets and destroys two monsters.
When you play first, this can be better than Raigeki thanks to the quick-play speed. It also has synergy with Traptrix monsters if you're a fan of the Trap Hole series.
1. Alpha, the Master of Beasts
Use: Whenever you play second
Alpha is ridiculously easy to summon for a 3000 ATK ace, only needing your opponent to control monsters with more total ATK than you—pretty much a given when you play second. His effect lets you return any number of beasts, beast-warriors, and/or winged beasts to return an equal number of opposing monsters to hand!
Not only can Alpha pick himself, but this offers a great non-targeting and non-destruction removal to circumvent enemy defenses. You can even resummon Alpha again if your opponent still controls higher ATK, just note he can't attack directly the turn you use his effect.
Removal in Sideboard
In addition to today's cards, don't forget meta staples like Raigeki, Harpie's Feather Duster, and Lightning Storm. You might want to keep some in your sideboard; that way, if you win round one and your opponent chooses to go first (which most decks prefer), you can swap out and cater based on what your opponent runs (like playing more spell/trap removal against pendulum decks).
But for now, share your thoughts on removal and negation and I'll see you at our next YGO! countdown!
© 2022 Jeremy Gill