Yu-Gi-Oh!, propagator of everyone’s favorite word to stutter dramatically, celebrated its twentieth anniversary this year – a huge milestone whether you’re a fan of the manga, original Japanese anime, English dub, or the card game. There’s even been a new series for the anime announced for 2020 in honor of this stunning achievement. Even if you haven’t been in touch with the franchise since Yugi Mutou was possessed by an Ancient Egyptian pharaoh, you’ve got to admit that remaining relevant enough after twenty years to promote hype for a new series is impressive.
But Yu-Gi-Oh! wouldn’t be anywhere without its cards, and for a twentieth anniversary, it would be wrong not to talk about the powerful ones. The legendary ones. The god cards.
So, until someone can get a team of MIT researchers to analyze the purpose of Pot of Greed, here are the ten most powerful god cards in the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG. IT’S TIME TO D-D-D-D-D-DUEL!
10 Raviel, Lord of Phantasms
One of the three Sacred Beasts in Yu-Gi-Oh!, Raviel lends mixed results to your team. Its difficulty to get onto the field depends entirely on how many Fiends you have to Tribute, or by getting all three Phantasm Tokens, which can be a pain. Once you do get it on the field, it’s a decently powerful card, but you have to be focused on burning through your deck to get it out as quickly as possible, and continue burning cards to beef up its ATK/DEF for boosts during your turns.
9 Uria, Lord of Searing Flames
Another Sacred Beast, is also a relatively difficult monster to put down, requiring the use of three, face-up Trap Cards to Special Summon it with no alternatives. You’re going to want a lot of Trap Cards in your hand if you run Uria, because it gains 1000 ATK for each Continuous Trap Card you have, which is only powerful if you run a lot of Traps.
As a special treat, it can destroy one of your opponent’s set Spell or Trap cards – but afterword, no one can activate Spell or Trap cards until the turn is over. Good for getting rid of Mirror Force, at the very least.
8 Slifer the Sky Dragon
If you’re surprised to see the iconic red dragon wielded by Yugi and Yami in the original series so near the bottom, you’re not the only one. But, as competitive players have discovered, running Slifer is a very difficult thing to do and do well. It’s a masterful stall card if you know what you’re doing, but otherwise it can be a drag to have on the field with too-random stats that make it hard to build a deck around. Its powerful abilities can still crush in casual play, though, if you’re willing to take the risk of an unpredictable card.
7 The Wicked Dreadroot
One of the lesser known Wicked Gods, originally debuting in the Yu-Gi-Oh! R manga, the Wicked Dreadroot might look familiar to you – and you’d be right to recognize it. This card is meant to be the “wicked” counterpart of the Egyptian God Card, Obelisk the Tormenter, and torment it does.
With a three Tribute price tag, you have to be willing to take a decent kick in the gut to play the Wicked Dreadroot, as the ATK and DEF of all monsters on the field (even yours) are halved when it gets played. Make sure it’s wicked to your opponents, and not to you.
6 Odin, Father of the Aesir
A card that’s particularly hard to summon, it would be wise of you to keep a card like Valkyrie of the Nordic Ascendant in your deck if you run Odin. If played well, this card is a master of destruction, with the ability to make itself immune to Spells and Traps until the end of your turn. It can be Special Summoned back from the Graveyard pretty easily but watch out for banishment; that’s a significantly harder place for Odin to crawl out of, and it wouldn’t hurt to have a backup plan for a banish-happy opponent.
5 Loki, Lord of the Aesir
Same as Odin, it would behoove you to have a card that searches your deck for Nordic monsters if you run Loki, because you’re going to want this card out pretty quick. While it might not be the strongest in brawn, Loki has a few tricks up its mischievous sleeves that can make or break a game.
Once per turn, you can prevent your opponent from activating a Spell or Trap during your Battle Phase. If it get sent to the Graveyard, Loki is the gift that keeps on giving by letting you banish one Nordic Alfar Tuner and Special Summon it right back – it even gives you a free Trap from the Graveyard too. Isn’t that nice?
4 Obelisk the Tormentor
Sorry not sorry, Kaiba, but while Obelisk is a powerful card, it slips just shy of the top three. Don’t let that discourage you! Obelisk is a good, reliable card, with fixed stats that are easier to build a deck around than its other Egyptian God counterparts. If you have at least two monsters to Tribute, your opponent can kiss their monsters goodbye too, all the while Obelisk stands impenetrable to Spells, Traps, and other card effects. Try pairing him with some Nimble Frogs, while you’re at it. They get along surprisingly well.
3 Hamon, Lord of Striking Thunder
Hamon is hard to get onto the field – if you run him it wouldn’t hurt to have a lot of Continuous Spells to burn – but once you do slap it down there? Oh boy. With a solid 4000 ATK/DEF under its belt, any monster this card destroys takes off an extra 1000 LifePoints off your opponent’s total, which is just adding insult to injury.
Not in the mood for attacking? No problem. While in Defense Position, your opponent won’t be able to attack any other card except Hamon. Just rub that salt in the wound a little deeper, why don’t you?
2 The Wicked Avatar
The eeeevil counterpart to Winged Dragon of Ra, the Wicked Avatar is the second on this list for a good reason. It’s always 100 ATK/DEF Point stronger than the strongest monster on the field (except for itself, obviously), and it disables your opponent’s ability to active Spell and Trap cards for two turns after its played. You’ll need three monsters to Tribute for it, but it’s worth it to cripple your opponent for a couple turns so you can wail on them, and likely gain a huge advantage in the process. Wicked, but only for someone that’s not you.
1 The Winged Dragon of Ra – Sphere Mode
While, yes, this card is technically a support card for the considerably weaker “Winged Dragon of Ra,” it’s insanely effective on its own, and you might actually be better off using it without the bird form. It can take out three of your opponent’s monsters right off the bat, which can be a real game changer, and it can’t be targeted by any attacks, Spells, or Traps. If you do end up including the parent card in your deck “Sphere Mode” can Special Summon it with 4000 ATK/DEF Points, and you won’t have to spend a single LifePoint of your own to do it. Now that’s godly.