Jeremy enjoys dueling in between working as a chemical analyst and campus building manager.
What Are Dice Cards in Yu-Gi-Oh?
Much like their coin toss counterparts, die-rolling cards in Yu-Gi-Oh activate different abilities depending on your luck. They tend to be even riskier than coins, as you now have up to six random effects rather than just two, making them unpredictable and often tricky to employ.
10 Best Die-Rolling Cards
Despite having existed since the game's origins, die rolling cards are a surprisingly rare lot, but their chaotic abilities offer an entertaining gambling-like strategy, and their best members are more reliable than you might think. But with dozens of units to choose from, which risky abilities reign supreme? These are the ten best die effects in Yu-Gi-Oh!
- Dark Master—Zorc
- Blind Destruction
- Skull Dice
- Graceful Dice
- Masterking Archfiend
- Sixth Sense
- Needle Wall
- Orgoth the Relentless
- Astra Ghouls
- F.A. Dead Heat
10. Dark Master—Zorc
You can summon ritual monster Dark Master—Zorc using the ritual spell "Contract with the Dark Master," and since ritual monsters stem from the main deck, he conserves your limited extra deck spaces. Zorc wields a fierce 2700 ATK plus a die-rolling effect that offers five positive outcomes and only one negative, mitigating its risk.
Once per turn, you can roll a six-sided die; 1-2 destroys all opposing monsters, 3-5 destroys one opposing monster, and 6 destroys all of your monsters. Chances are good they'll be losing units, not you, but exercise caution with this effect, as it can leave you defenseless if luck isn't with you.
9. Blind Destruction
Blind Destruction offers chaotic and randomized continuous destruction that can nuke your own troops if you're not careful. During your standby phase, you must roll a die, then if the results was 1–5, destroy all monsters on the field with the same level. If the result was six or higher, you destroy all level six or higher monsters, an especially brutal field wipe against your enemy's strongest units.
Note that this blast doesn't need to target its victims, adeptly circumventing enemies with targeting immunities. To reduce the chances of Blind eliminating your own soldiers, use it in a zero-monster deck or structures that utilize numerous xyz and link monsters, whose lack of levels protect them from Blind's blast.
8. Skull Dice
Skull Dice offers a handy debuff that weakens opposing foes and was especially useful when it debuted in the early days of dueling. You roll a die, then lower the ATK and DEF of all opposing monsters for the rest of the turn by the roll's result times 100.
This averages between a 300–400 reduction, and since it activates at instant speed, it's a great way to catch opponents by surprise when they attack with a slightly stronger monster, turning the battle in your favor and having them lose their own fight.
7. Graceful Dice
Graceful Dice is the magic counterpart to Skull; instead of reducing enemy stats, your roll now increases the ATK and DEF of your monsters by the face value times 100. As a quick-play spell, if you set it, you can use it on your opponent's turn just like a trap, but you can also cast it during your turn without having to wait, giving it a slight speed advantage over its counterpart.
6. Masterking Archfiend
Many of the Archfiend archetype members utilize die rolls, my favorite being their link unit, Masterking. Unfortunately, like his brethren, you have to pay 500 life points during your standby phase or destroy him; however, he accepts any two fiends for his link summon, and he offers two diagonal backwards arrows without pointing any towards your opponents.
Masterking wields a fair 2000 ATK, and once per chain, if you pay life points, you can send a fiend from your deck to the graveyard whose ATK or DEF is equal to the amount of health paid. This puts your Archfiend's lifedrain to good use, especially with Masterking's last ability, which lets you roll a die when a fiend is sent to your graveyard; 1 adds it to your hand, 2–5 shuffles it into your deck, and 6 special summons it. Even though your odds of landing 1 or 6 are only 1/3, they offer a nice hand or field bonus on top of Masterking's other potent traits.
5. Sixth Sense
Honestly, this is the best die rolling card, but it's long been forbidden and will likely never leave the ban list. You declare two numbers from 1–6, then roll a die. If either of your numbers comes up, you draw that many cards; otherwise, mill cards from the top of your deck to the graveyard equal to the result.
Think about how overpowered this can be. The infamous "Pot of Greed" is banned for letting you draw just two cards; if you choose five and six with Sixth Sense, you have a 1/3 chance of drawing 5–6 cards, activating approximately three Greeds at once! Even if you guess wrong, you still get to stock your graveyard, giving fuel for monster revivals or other tricks. Essentially, you receive either a nice effect, or an absolutely game-breaking one.
4. Needle Wall
Needle Wall offers continuous albeit randomized monster destruction that only impacts your opponent, mercifully sparing you. During your standby phase, you roll a die and destroy the monster in your opponent's main monster zone equal to the result of your roll (counting from your right). If you roll a six, you re-roll your die.
If the zone is empty, they avoid the destruction, but the more they swarm, the better your chances of eliminating an enemy. Needle Wall was particularly useful before the changes implemented with link summoning, when opponents had no extra deck zone (which Needle never targets) to hide in.
3. Orgoth the Relentless
As a level seven monster, Orgoth needs two tributes to normal summon; avoid the hassle by using the best pendulum cards or other special summon gimmicks. Orgoth's decent 2500 ATK becomes stellar when you factor in his effect, which lets you (once per turn) roll a die three times and add ATK/DEF equal to the total value times 100 until the end of your opponent's next turn. Three rolls averages about 900–1000 extra power, offering impressive scores over 3000!
At worst, Orgoth brandishes a still-formidable 2800 ATK, and if two of your die results are the same value, you activate one of the following bonuses, and if all three are tied, you apply all of them! Duplicate 1–2 rolls makes Orgoth immune to battle and effect destruction until the end of your opponent's turn, 3–4 lets you draw two cards, and 5–6 lets Orgoth attack directly that turn, all useful benefits that have decent odds of appearing.
2. Astra Ghouls
Ghouls has a usable 2000 DEF, but to utilize his effect, you have to normal summon him. Unfortunately, this requires a tribute and places him in attack position, where he possesses 0 ATK. But don't worry, odds are good you'll be using him for xyz or link material; when normal summoned, Ghouls lets you special summon a level four or lower monster from your graveyard in defense position with its effects negated, but you banish it at the end phase.
However, you can avoid its exile by using it as material, made particularly easy by Astra's next ability: You can (once per turn) roll a six-sided die and alter the level of your monsters to the result for the rest of the turn. Whatever value comes up, you'll have synergized units ready for an xyz summon, and link or synchro summons (if your revived creature was a tuner) are available even without the level modulation.
1. F.A. Dead Heat
Part of the competitive F.A. series, Dead Heat's first effect offers a reliable, non-die defense: when your opponent's monster declares a direct attack, you can (once per turn) special summon an F.A. monster from your deck, shielding your life points. Additionally, when your F.A. monster battles an opponent's creature, you may have both players roll a die, and if your result is higher, you increase the level of your monster by four until the end of the turn.
If your result is lower, you instead destroy your battling monster, and if it's a tie, you roll again. The F.A. monsters increase their battle stats when their level goes up, so the trait makes a nice gamble when you need a power increase to succeed, and I appreciate that it's an optional effect, letting you decline when you already have the advantage in combat. Useful with both offense and defense, Dead Heat remains an F.A. staple that has won me several duels; fortunately, it's an inexpensive unit, often costing less than a single dollar!
How to Support and Change Die Rolls in Yu-Gi-Oh
We've explored several of the game's best luck-based cards, but you don't have to leave their effects entirely to chance. The trap "That Six" (hilarious pun there, Konami) offers a continuous die morphing ability, and the xyz monster "Number 67: Pair-a-Dice Smasher" lets you treat die rolls as seven if desired.
With tools like these under your belt, you're well-equipped to alter destiny in your favor as you gamble, though I hope to encounter more dice members and supports in future expansions. But for now, as we eagerly await Konami's next batch of cube-tossing cards, vote for your favorite entry and I'll see you at our next Yu-Gi-Oh countdown!
© 2018 Jeremy Gill