Six of the best Yu-Gi-Oh! monsters

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A couple of weeks ago we were met with the very unfortunate news that the creator of Yu-Gi-Oh, Kazuki Takahashi, had passed away. This news came as a shock to everyone, but following this sad news, there was an outpouring of gratitude from fans thanking Takahashi for creating something that made their childhood wonderful. I was one of them!

Yu-Gi-Oh! was one of the first anime to enjoy some mainstream success here in the UK, and I have such fond memories of both the game and the anime. I used to attend a summer camp where every other kid who went played Yu-Gi-Oh! — so it’s fair to say it was a very special part of my childhood. 

Today I want to celebrate Kazuki Takahashi’s famous series by listing off six of the best Yu-Gi-Oh! monsters. I will mainly be focusing on the Duel Monsters era of cards, as this was the part of the series that I grew up with. 

6 Of The Best Yu-Gi-Oh! Monsters

Exodia The Forbidden One

We will be starting this piece off with the monster that started it all in the series: Exodia. The first episode of the anime was filled with some crazy rules from Kaiba, Yugi’s rival, but something that has remained the same ever since was the fact that successfully summoning Exodia immediately won you the duel. 

Yu-Gi-Oh! as a game generally requires one player to bring the other player’s life points to zero, and this is usually done through attacking with the monsters that you summon throughout the game. However, Exodia can bypass the rules of the game should the conditions be met. Exodia is split up into five cards: the Right Leg, Left Leg, Right Arm, Left Arm, and the Head. If you manage to gather all of these cards into your hand, you immediately win the duel. 

Yu-Gi-Oh Blue Eyes White Dragon

Blue-Eyes White Dragon

People and their dragons! I don’t quite know exactly what it is about them but this monster is arguably the most iconic from the entire series.  I think the fact that people love Kaiba as a character so much definitely contributes to how fondly people remember this monster, but it’s still a classic regardless — it’s the Charizard of Yu-Gi-Oh!

Something that a lot of the monsters lost as the game’s power-creep started to spiral out of control was the fun bits of flavour text and lore that some of the monsters had. Blue-Eyes has always been considered one of the most powerful monsters in the entire game with its extremely high offensive stats — and the flavour text on the card backed that up, saying that no one who had ever faced the dragon had lived.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Dark Magician

Dark Magician

We can’t have Kaiba’s signature monster without also talking about the Dark Magician, the ace monster of the main man Yugi himself. While I do think that Blue-Eyes was always the more popular of the two — everyone I knew as a kid bought the Kaiba deck rather than the Yugi one — I absolutely adore this monster!

Before Yugi started summoning ancient deities, this was the card all of us watching would get hyped up for whenever he summoned it. No matter how dire the situation looked or how stacked the odds were, if Dark Magician made his way onto the field, you knew the momentum was about to change in the favour of Yugi. 

Yu-Gi-Oh! Dark Magician Girl

Dark Magician Girl

If I’m to let my own personal bias take over then this card would be in the top spot without a doubt! Yu-Gi-Oh!’s very first waifu monster was a fast favourite in the hearts of many people who played the game and watched the anime. She was the apprentice of the Dark Magician, and made for all sorts of great moments in the show.

The Dark Magician Girl was the start of the Dark Magician archetype, where all sorts of new and flashy tricks began to make themselves known. She also had a fantastic first reveal, where Yugi is facing off against another duellist who uses the Dark Magician, and it was only because of Dark Magician Girl that he was able to pull through and win. 


Red-Eyes Black Dragon

Of course, we had to include something from the best of the best, the master of luck AND skill, the great third-rate duellist — Joey Wheeler! Red-Eyes was Joey’s signature monster and what made it all the more special was the fact that it was a gift from his best friend. 

Blue-Eyes was always in the limelight when it came to the dragons in Yu-Gi-Oh!, and while Kaiba is a fantastic character, there is just something I adore about the legend that is Joey Wheeler. In a game where characters are using cards considered gods, Joey was there playing the game how it was meant to be played — believing in the true heart of the cards, Lady Luck!

Yu-Gi-Oh! Egyptian gods

The Egyptian Gods

I think these cards have a very special place in my heart, as they were so incredibly rare when I was young and obsessed with the game. I remember going to summer camp one day and one of the really rich kids who went had managed to get a hold of all three of them. I spent so long trying to trade with him so I could get just one of them — and when I did I was so happy!

These three were the ultimate boss monsters that required some serious preparation in order to summon them back in the day. Each of them had amazing designs, were on a scale that we hadn’t seen before, and had such crazy special abilities that really made them live up to the name of  “God” cards.

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Conor Evans
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