Jeremy enjoys dueling in between working as a chemical analyst and campus building manager.
Rare Yu-Gi-Oh! Cards
The vast majority of Yu-Gi-Oh! cards do things that others can also perform. For instance, while not many use coin flips, it's not completely uncommon, and gone are the days where banishing was a rare play.
Yet some cards have effect, stats, or even card properties like no other, unique gems in Konami's lineup. Ranging in power from practically worthless to incredibly broken, these guys sculpt the game like no other—here are the ten weirdest Yu-Gi-Oh! cards!
True to its name, Exchange has both players simultaneously take a card from each other's hand, providing the unusual ability to use opposing cards against their owner before they hit the field. Since you can't use Exchange with an empty hand, try to give something that depends on an archetype your opponent can't play, or (as the artwork suggests) take an Exodia piece to ruin its insta-win strategy.
Question has the unheard-of effect of temporarily preventing your opponent from looking at your graveyard. Why? Well, if they can't name its bottom monster card (the first one placed in it), you get to special summon it to your field. As Marik found out while dueling Joey in the anime, it pays to pay attention to your opponent's discard pile.
Despite its oddity, the game does in fact allow Question, though its usefulness is questionable against cards like "Call of the Haunted" and "Monster Reborn."
8. Transmission Gear
Gear is notable for being the only card to require a game of rock-paper-scissors. You can activate it during either player's turn when your monsters battle to banish the rock-paper-scissors loser before damage calculation occurs.
In practice, this is much too chancy to rely on, but it's still a fun way to introduce chaos, especially when players play by different rules (like using "shoot" or not).
7. Yu-Jo Friendship
Friendship makes you offer a handshake to your opponent, and if they accept, players have their life points combined, then distributed evenly. In short, it can steal some opposing life if you've fallen behind. Of course, your opponent can simply reject the handshake unless you reveal the spell "Unity" in your hand. These cards should be run together anyway, as they're used to empower the "Judgment of the Pharaoh" trap.
As the sole Yu-Gi-Oh! card that requires physical contact, it's also the single one banned only in remote matches.
6. Dark Chimera
Dark Chimera is one of very few monsters whose battle stats aren't divisible by 50—both his ATK (1610) and DEF (1460) have odd, math-complicating figures. In fact, trolling your opponent is really the only reason you'd ever play this monster, as he has no effects and is weak in battle, especially since he needs one tribute to normal summon.
5. Charisma Token
What might look like a bad fan-made card is actually the Charisma Token offered in a V Jump issue (a magazine about manga and card games). Despite being a token, the card isn't allowed in actual matches, likely because of its non-existent "charisma" type and "laugh" attribute.
It humorously mocks its owner, stating, "If you use this card as a Token, you should consider using other Token Cards instead."
4. Get Your Game On!
The catchphrase of the English dub's version of Jaden Yuki (do yourself a favor and watch the sub) isn't usable in official matches. That's likely because players can't really check if the activation criteria (being present at the 2007 world tournament) has been met.
It's too bad because the card is really good, continuously doubling the ATK of all Elemental HERO and Neo-Spacian monsters you control.
3. Card of Last Will
Many anime cards deemed too powerful for the actual game either never cross over or have their effects watered down so they're not overpowered. What's interesting about this trap (used by Marik) is that despite being weakened from the anime, it's still not allowed in actual matches.
But in the casual arena, you can activate it when your monster's ATK becomes 0 by an effect to draw until you have five cards in hand. While it's not easy to meet Will's criteria, it's amazing when you pull it off, potentially much stronger than the banned "Pot of Greed."
2. Tyler the Great
This one-of-a-kind monster was made by the Make-A-Wish foundation in honor of Tyler Gressle, a young fan dealing with liver cancer. Tyler himself helped design the card, whose artwork is based on Future Trunks from Dragon Ball Z.
Tyler can't be special summoned, so you'll need two tributes to summon the saiyan, but he has fearsome 3000 ATK and inflicts an opposing monster's ATK as effect damage when he destroys them in battle.
1. The Seal of Orichalcos (UDE Promo)
Orichalcos was later made into an actual, usable field spell, but this illegal promo version was given to employees of former gamer manufacturer "Upper Deck." Only 15 were distributed, and it's not known how many have been maintained, so they're definitely rare.
But if you use the promo in casual games, it's immune to negation, destruction, and removal, meaning it's basically invincible and increases your monsters' ATK by 500. It also lets you play monsters in your spell/trap zone, where they can't be attacked if you control a monster in your regular area, and you can discard it from your hand to negate and destroy any card.
So, not only is it incredibly broken, but it also gives the soul of the game's loser to the winner. Yep, if you lose after playing this, better hand your soul over and head off to the underworld; no one likes a sore loser.
Other Unusual Yu-Gi-Oh! Cards
Today we examined the game's outliers based on effects and real-world rarity, and you'll find further strangeness by examining the game's most oddly named cards—you'd be amazed how silly the game gets.
I wouldn't mind seeing Konami make some "joke" card sets (like Magic: The Gathering does with their "Un" series), but for now, vote for your favorite rarity, and I'll see you at our next Yu-Gi-Oh! countdown!
© 2021 Jeremy Gill