What makes the best YuGiOh cards truly special? Power seems like an obvious place to start, but some of the TCG’s most beloved monsters and spells don’t pack a punch in the current meta. Some cards are iconic and others infamous – and they all deserve a mention here.
Below you’ll find our top YuGiOh picks. Some are in the running to be the strongest Yu Gi Oh cards around, while others are among the most expensive rare YuGiOh cards ever sold. Sure, some are locked away in the Yu Gi Oh banlist, but you’ll still find plenty of potent play options. If you’re a digital duelist, don’t forget to read our guide to the best Yugioh Master Duel meta decks too.
Here are some of the best YuGiOh cards:
- Blue-Eyes White Dragon
- Exodia The Forbidden One
- Dark Magician
- Pot of Greed
- Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring
- Monster Reborn
Blue-Eyes White Dragon
Let’s get the obvious choice out the way first. The Blue-Eyes White Dragon is to YuGiOh what Charizard is to the Pokémon trading card game. It’s the signature card of Yugi Muto’s big rival, Seto Kaiba. It’s still the strongest normal monster card in the game with an ATK of 3,000. In short, this is the most iconic YuGiOh card there is.
Sure, the utility of the Blue-Eyes White Dragon isn’t what it used to be. A reasonably chunky ATK with no monster effects doesn’t take your deck as far as it used to. Still, this card has been the face of the game for years, and it’s easily one of the most expensive Yugioh cards coveted by collectors.
Exodia The Forbidden One
Another iconic card from the earlier years of YuGiOh is Exodia The Forbidden One. On its own, this isn’t a particularly powerful card; it’s just a big golden head with a measly 1,000 ATK and DEF. However, if you can get four other cards into your hand – Right Leg of the Forbidden One, Left Leg of the Forbidden One, Right Arm of the Forbidden One, and Left Arm of the Forbidden One – you win the game instantly.
Exodia The Forbidden One isn’t the only card that offers a One Turn Kill, but it’s one of the earliest and most beloved examples. Its power is also limited by the fact Exodia’s limbs are all limited in the YuGiOh banlist – so you’ll need some clever deck setup to ensure you can get the cards you need. Still, it offers an exciting alternative to chipping away at an enemy’s life points, and it’s one of the cards favoured by Yugi himself.
Poster boy for Yugi in the anime, Dark Magician is another iconic and highly collectable card (with certain versions selling for as much as $85,000). Its solid ATK and DEF made it a strong card in the TCG’s early years, though these alone aren’t enough to keep it competitive in the modern day.
However, Konami clearly knows how beloved Dark Magician is. Plenty of other Dark Magician cards have been released over the years with decent stats and new effects that keep the classic card playable.
Pot of Greed
Pot of Greed was first banished to the forbidden list in 2005. While many of YuGiOh’s early game-breakers eventually escaped their ban, Pot of Greed is still there after nearly two decades. A spell that lets you draw two cards doesn’t sound like a big deal on paper, but it turns out getting two steps ahead when drawing from your deck can be a real game-changer.
While you won’t have a lot of luck playing Pot of Greed these days, there are plenty of other ‘Pot’ cards available. Pot of Desires, a spell card which lets you draw two cards as long as you banish ten cards from the top of your deck first, is also considered one of the most powerful cards around right now.
Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring
According to the TCG database YGO Pro Deck, Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring is the most played card in YuGiOh right now. It’s present in most of the best competitive decks, and no wonder. This is a monster with zero ATK, but it has incredibly powerful negation effects.
Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring negates any of the following effects:
- Add a card from the deck to the hand
- Special summon from the deck
- Send a card from the deck to the graveyard
You do have to discard the card once it negates an effect, so Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring doesn’t have endless control possibilities. However, you can still have multiple copies of this card in your deck, so this isn’t just a one-and-done.
Another card that sees a fair bit of competitive play (particularly in decks like Eldlich and Sky Striker) is Foolish Burial. It’s a spell card that sends a monster from your deck to your graveyard – and, considering some cards have far more effective effects once they’re dead and buried, this can come in very handy.