There’s one thing in Yu-Gi-Oh! that’s unchangeable: there’s always some more HEROs. Even though Jaden’s anime ended back in 2008, and his manga ended in 2011, that hasn’t stopped Konami from making more of what at this point has to be the most populated archetype in the game.
There are so many HEROs, they even make sub-archetypes for them. Take Masked HEROs for instance, which was the archetype Jaden relied on in the manga. These relied on the use of a special type of spell card which transformed his mild-mannered main deck monsters into special fusion monsters. This list looks at all of the most powerful Masked HERO cards in the game.
10 MASKED HERO DIVINE WIND
The Wind Fusions in HEROs are always disappointing, probably because the Wind HERO everyone cares about (Stratos) is so amazing. Divine Wind has a neat trick, in that it can’t be destroyed by battle and only allows the opponent one monster attack per battle phase.
Even better, when it destroys an opponent’s monster by battle and sends it to the graveyard, the player can draw a card. If battle wasn’t such a relatively small part of Yu-Gi-Oh! these days, this card would be key. Still, with Stratos back at 3 every HERO deck will run at least one copy of this.
9 MASKED HERO KOGA
The Light HERO fusion for Masked HEROs, Masked HERO Koga gains 500 ATK for each monster the opponent controls. He starts out at 2500, so even one monster makes him an automatic 3000.
However, his ATK stat isn’t terribly relevant, as he also has an effect to banish a HERO from the grave to target a monster on the field to make them lose ATK equal to whatever HERO was banished until the end of the turn. This effect is a quick effect too, meaning he could easily cut the strength of any monster larger than him down at any moment.
8 MASKED HERO BLAST
Once again, it’s good to have Stratos back at 3. Masked HERO Blast has a small 2200ATK, but when he’s special summoned the player can target a monster the opponent controls, cutting its attack in half until the end of the turn.
But even better? For 500 life points, Blast can target a spell/trap the opponent controls and return it to the hand. This effect is a quick effect, so it can be activated during the opponent’s turn, thus sending a trap that was just set back to the hand, making it impossible to activate.
7 MASK CHANGE II
Shenanigans in the OCG got this card limited, but fortunately, the TCG has kept such nonsense to a minimum. Having said that, Mask Change II is no joke, as it can allow non-HERO decks access to Masked Hero monsters.
The player discards a card, then targets a face-up monster they control with a level to the grave, and special summons a Masked HERO with the same attribute but a higher level than that monster. This means most Dark decks would instantly have access to Dark Law, a monster capable of crippling most meta decks.
6 MASK CHARGE
Not quite as helpful as Mask Change, but still good for longer games. Mask Charge targets both a HERO and a “Change” quick-play spell in the graveyard and adds them to the hand.
What’s interesting about Mask Charge is that there isn’t a restriction on it. The cards can be fetched from the grave and immediately activated, and you can play multiple of them back to back, so in a longer game a player could easily load up their hand and keep going on.
5 MASKED HERO ANKI
People always forget about Anki in favor of his little brother, Masked HERO Dark Law. And while Dark Law’s effect is better for countering meta decks, Anki can also be used for some additional utility.
Boasting 2800 ATK and 1200 DEF, he’s capable of attacking directly via effect, though he only deals 1400 when he does. This is good for tournaments to deal damage in time. But when he destroys an opponent’s monster by battle and sends it to the grave, Anki also adds a “Change” Quick-Play to hand, meaning you can actually change to something else in the middle of the battle phase.
4 MASK CHANGE
Probably the most important main deck card for Masked HEROs to work in the first place. Mask Change is the perfect card to enable a Masked HERO deck because the card is splashable into any HERO deck.
It’s a quick-play spell, meaning it can be activated during the opponent’s turn, which sends a targeted HERO to the grave and replaces it with a Masked HERO with the same Attribute as a monster on the field.
The fact that Mask Change requires only a single monster is what makes the entire archetype so playable. Two card combos are actually doable with this deck.
3 MASKED HERO ACID
Masked HERO Acid is a lot like Dian in that it wasn’t really playable until something came along to make it playable. With the creation of the still in the OCG Elemental Hero Liquidman, Acid is now playable as it was when Xyz was the hotness and people still ran Bubbleman.
When Acid hits the field, it destroys all spell and trap cards the opponent controls and makes all their monsters lose 300 ATK. The second part is neat, but if players combine Acid with Absolute Zero, their opponent won’t have monsters, as Absolute Zero would leave the field for Acid, destroying all their monsters because of it’s effect, then Acid would destroy all their spells and traps. Behind Dark, Water is the scariest element in heroes.
2 MASKED HERO DIAN
Masked HERO Dian is one of those cards that was always good, but no one ran it because there was no easy way to get to it. When Dian destroys a monster by battle and sends it to the graveyard, it allows the player to special summon a level 4 or lower monster from the deck.
With Dian having 2800 ATK and 3000 DEF, it’s got the perfect statline to get over most monsters, which would then give the player more options for the next turn, or even push for more damage to get closer to game. With the main deck finally getting an EARTH Elemental HERO worth playing in Solidman, this sees more play now.
1 MASKED HERO DARK LAW
A couple of years ago this was one of the best cards in the game, and players would go out of their way to find ways to run out. Can you blame them, though? Masked Law isn’t very big at only 2400 ATK/1800 DEF, but his effects are insane.
To begin with, any card sent to the opponent’s graveyard is banished instead, which means he’s Macro Cosmos with a body attached. Macro Cosmos was scary enough that Konami limited it in 2012 and never brought it off the list. To make it worse, if the opponent adds a card to their hand, you can make them banish a random card from their hand. That’s going to make getting rid of Dark Law hard, or nevermind setting up the board.