Table of Contents
- Number 84: Pain Gainer
- Yubel – Terror Incarnate
- Flower Cardian Willow & Flower Cardian Willow with Calligrapher
- Archnemeses Protos & Archnemesis Eschatos
- Trishula, Subzero Dragon of the Ice Barrier
- Nibiru the Primal Being (& Primal Being Token)
- Subterror Behemoth Speliogeist
- Darklord Morningstar
- Star Eater
- Dogmatika Nexus
- End of Part 1
Level (and Rank) 11 may be the least supported Level in Yugioh, with less than 30 Monsters to its name. Meanwhile, Level 9 is the new Level 8, with a huge resurgence of it in recent years, basically doubling its Monster count and putting it at well over one-hundred cards.
Level 11 unfortunately exists in some weird limbo between 10 and 12, not being considered important enough. 10 was the classic ‘big level’ type thing with cards like the ‘Egyptian Gods’, ‘Sacred Beasts’ or other big aces that mean business. Meanwhile, 12 gives us the top dogs with big story significance like “Shooting Quasar Dragon” or “Dragon Master Knight”. While 12 star Monsters still come fairly short of hitting fifty cards, it’s still almost twice as many as 11.
With only a couple handfuls of 11 star Monsters to speak of, perhaps it would be nice to go over them. To have a brief look at what each one does and what it accomplishes. We’ll see if the card is any good at first glance as well as other aspects of the card that could be worth mentioning. Perhaps one day Konami will give 11 a push and it could become the new Level 10 like how 9 is the new 8.
I will be talking about both Levels and Ranks here. There are three Rank 11 Monsters at the time of writing. In addition, there are just twenty-one Level 11s. There’s also one Level 11 Token card released that I’ll briefly mention. Including the Token, that’s twenty-five 11 star Monsters. We will be going in Attack Points order; going from lowest to highest.
Number 84: Pain Gainer
We are starting with a Rank 11, with 0 Attack and Defense. ‘84’ is one of the many “Numbers,” this one originating from the ZeXal Manga. It’s part of a smaller sub-series of cards featuring big Rank Spiders used by antagonist Kyoji Yagumo. It’s also the highest Ranked Insect-Type Monster, since the Rank 12 big spider is actually a Fiend-Type.
This card can be summoned with Two Level 11 Monsters for material. However, that’s not how it is going to be played. ‘Pain Gainer’ is more of a stepping stone card played in decks that Summon Rank 10s. You can use a Rank 8, 9 or 10 Dark Monster as Xyz Material to go into this card. That’s usually going to be the Rank 10 “Number 35: Ravenous Tarantula”. Then you’ll use ‘Pain Gainer’ as material once more to go into the Rank 12 “Number 77: The Seven Sins” and go from there.
Technically, ‘Pain Gainer’ is able to be skipped as you could go straight from ‘35’ into ‘77’. However, including ‘84’ in the middle here is helpful as you’ll get more Material in the process. ‘77’ can then go ahead and use it to banish a ton of Monsters the opponent controls for a nice clear.
But what does ‘Pain Gainer’ do by itself if you don’t go up one further? First, it has a fairly unimpressive burn effect. It also can gain Defense of the Ranks of its material x200, so that usually means a Rank 10 giving it 2000 Defense. Then it can wipe out opponent’s Monsters with equal or less Defense than that. The field clearing is nice, but the Rank 12’s version is superior. So unfortunately, our ‘84’ is best as simply a stepping stone. Looks like we have an underappreciated 11 star already.
Yubel – Terror Incarnate
Another stepping stone in between 10 and 12? Well, yes. “Yubel – Terror Incarnate” is a middle stage in between the Level 10 “Yubel” and Level 12 “Yubel – The Ultimate Nightmare”. To Summon this, ‘Yubel’ must be destroyed by something other than its own effect. Then when ‘Incarnate’ leaves the field, you bring out the final stage. Leaving the field is better than just being destroyed, so going from 11 to 12 is easier than 10 to 11.
‘Terror Incarnate’ has 0 Attack and Defense, but it can’t be destroyed in battle and you take no damage. When attacked, you can inflict damage to your opponent equal to the attacker’s Attack. However, they have no incentive to actually attack it, making this Level 11 more of an annoying wall the opponent has to try to out without triggering its effect to bring out ‘Nightmare’. Meanwhile, the Level 12 doesn’t need to wait to be attacked and can attack to deal that damage. That makes 12’s version far better.
However ‘Incarnate’ has an extra effect where during your End Phase, you destroy every other Monster on the field. This means both players, so it can be fairly annoying. Having this effect in your favor is thus an advantage to keeping the 11 star version around before jumping into 12.
In the game Duel Links, the “Yubel” deck was fairly popular. However, the relative slowness of it as you go through Yubel’s transformations means it had less TCG success. Especially as the big Levels can often brick in hand before they are ready. On the plus side, you can summon them from pretty much anywhere, so if you can get them from Deck to Graveyard quickly, you can grab them from there when you’re ready.
Flower Cardian Willow & Flower Cardian Willow with Calligrapher
‘Flower Cardian’ is a very different kind of deck to most, with a lot of drawing involved. It has a bunch of very high Level Monsters, with two Level 11 ones included. We have ‘Willow’ and ‘Willow with Calligrapher’ and we’ll include them both in the same section. The latter is a Tuner Monster and does Level modulation to turn all the Flower Cardians you control into Level 2s for a Synchro Summon. So that means they aren’t actually staying Level 11 for that long.
These cards are not going to work outside of Flower Cardian decks either as they often lock you into summoning Flower Cardians only. So if you want to do any Rank 11 plays, you can’t. There’s not much else to say without going into a full analysis of this particular deck. Still, this archetype has included two Level 11s, even though they won’t stay at that Level for very long.
Archnemeses Protos & Archnemesis Eschatos
Another Archetype with two Level 11s included. The ‘Archnemeses’ are the boss monsters of the somewhat recent ‘Nemeses’ archetype from the ‘Eternity Code’ set. To summon them, you need to do a lot of Banishing from either your Graveyard or field. ‘Protos’ requires three Banishes of the same Attribute and ‘Eschatos’ requires three of the same Type. Then you declare the Attribute or Type respectively, can wipe all Monsters of that declared thing from the field and then until the end of the next turn, neither player can summon Monsters of that declared thing.
Both are fairly different kinds of specific board-wipe/floodgates that are counterparts to one another. They even have swapped Attack and Defense. The ‘Nemeses’ Monsters have different Types and Attributes to getting them as the banishing requirements shouldn’t be too much of a stretch. Preparing the Graveyard is something with plenty of options for. However, with only a few cards, the deck is not much on its own and will need other things to back it up.
Still, the ‘Nemeses’ cards are pretty good at being splashed into other decks. With good Graveyard set-up, these guys could appear in something like a ‘Chaos’ deck and fit in well. It’s not often the aces of an archetype are Level 11s, so this is quite the interesting development. Perhaps it’s a sign of things to come with more 11 star support in the future.
Trishula, Subzero Dragon of the Ice Barrier
The newest Level 11 card as of writing, this one is just in the OCG right now, but comes out in the ‘Ice Barrier’ Structure Deck. This card is probably one of the best Level 11 Monsters available in terms of playability.
While ‘Ice Barrier’ as an archetype isn’t great, the Synchros available have usually been stellar. Trishula’s new form is no exception. It requires two or more non-Tuners, but at its Level, that’s probably going to be how its summoned anyway. As soon as it’s Synchro Summoned, Banish three cards the opponent controls. Three Banishes right away! Already great.
However, that’s all it does on field. The rest requires you to have your opponent destroy it, so it’s a little slower in that regard. When they do, which they may have to if they don’t want a big Dragon on the field, you then get to summon the original “Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier”. Yes, this kind of does make the Level 11 a stepping stone card again down into a Level 9. The original ‘Trishula’ then gets an Attack boost. Then, you pick a Monster the opponent controls to have its effect negated and Attack halved. An effect negation is always welcome.
However, as original ‘Trishula’ wasn’t Synchro Summoned properly in this case, you won’t get its own Banish effect. What’s more, is that this summon can also be from the Graveyard, so it can bring back an already used original ‘Trishula’. As the original is currently Limited, that’s pretty nice as the new one gives us more ‘Trishulas’ for more banishes. That makes our new Level 11 a good addition into a deck making use of the iconic ‘Ice Barrier’ Dragon.
A lot of Level 11s have story significance and ‘Trishula’ did too despite being only Level 9, but this version brings it back up to that.
Nibiru the Primal Being (& Primal Being Token)
This one is the most competitive of all the Level 11 Monsters right now. “Nibiru the Primal Being” is a big rock that crashed into competitive Yugioh after its release in the 2019 Gold Sarcophagus Mega Tin. A hand-trap that punishes the opponent for doing too many summons. This card is great for going second and wiping the field as soon as they’ve done their fifth summon that turn. While it may not be as effective towards slower decks that do little summons, it’s fantastic for stopping the fast paced combo-oriented decks that feature heavily in competitive Yugioh.
‘Nibiru’ is an excellent addition to the 11 star brigade, as it’s good for mind games with the opponent. It’s difficult to prevent from going off and can appear unexpectedly. It Tributes their field rather than destroys, so it’s able to deal with a lot of usually well-protected threats. Then you get a big 3000 Attack Monster out of the deal. However, while you have wiped the opponent’s field, they still get a big Monster of their own to replace it.
Primal Being Token
“Primal Being Token” appears on the opponent’s field. Its Attack and Defense are equal to the combined Attack and Defense of the Monsters that had been used as Tribute for the Nibiru. This puts a big body on the opponent’s field that you now have to out. Thankfully, it’s nothing more than a big body, so a well-equipped deck should have the means to deal with it. If you don’t, then you probably should make changes to accommodate your big rock.
The Token was released as its own card in the TCG in ‘OTS Pack 12’. As it’s a printed card with 11 stars on it, that means I’m including it here and puts our 11 star count to a round twenty-five. There’s a lot more to say about ‘Nibiru’ and the ins and out of how it functions that would be its own discussion. For now, it’s fantastic for the context of this article to see something that is Level 11 be a useful fixture in competitive Yugioh.
Subterror Behemoth Speliogeist
Subterror is another archetype that has a lot of high Level Monsters included. There’s Behemoths for every big Level, all the way to 12. Because of this Level diversity, that means they include a Level 11 Monster as well. In this case, we have ‘Speleogeist’. Usually the Behemoths don’t get too much showing in ‘Subterror’ decks because people go with more control-oriented “Subterror Guru” strategies, but a pure ‘Subterror’ player may have a build with the bigger cards.
It’s a Flip Monster with a lot of Attack and not much Defense, so it looks the opponent may be more able to get over this card in Defense position more than some of the other defensive Behemoths. It Special Summons itself in Defense if something else is flipped face-down. Then it can use its own effect to flip itself face-down as well. When flipped face-up, it can flip something else up and puts it attack to zero.
This is a little awkward. You could use it on your own Monster to reset an effect, but you lose attack. Or you use it on your opponent’s Monster to lower its attack to beat over. But why do any of that when you have far better options? For instance, “Subterror Behemoth Umastryx” at Level 7 can just Banish one of the opponent’s Monsters when it’s flipped up. There’s no reason to use ‘Speleogeist’ over something like that. Therefore, even in a pure ‘Subterror’ deck, this card is simply outclassed and not worth running.
Unfortunately, this guy is not enough to help the Level 11 team make an impact as it’s one of the worse options for the deck it goes in. It simply doesn’t do enough by itself to warrant running.
Another archetype with plenty of high Level stuff; its Level 11 is “Darklord Morningstar”. The first thing you read is that it cannot be Special Summoned. You have to Normal Summon it. This makes it a brick in hand and fairly slow to summon. There are ways to search it, so if you had a preference, you could put in the one copy, perhaps. You probably aren’t going to run “Double Coston” here.
What’s mildly interesting to point out is that most of the 11 stars have been things you Special Summon through various means. However, this one is a simple two Tributes Monster.
Okay, so what happens when he does hit the field? You get a few Special Summons of ‘Darklords’ from the Deck equal the number of Monsters the opponent controls. This is fairly situational as it’s going to depend on how much your opponent has. If you’re on Turn 1, then the number is going to be zero. If they have enough out though, you can hopefully get some advantage back that you lost from Tribute Summoning this guy.
In addition, ‘Morningstar’ is protected from being targeted by card effects if you control other ‘Darklords’. So at least your Tribute Monster has some protection; that makes it better than some ‘God Cards’. It’s also got a mill effect that leads to some Life Point gain, but it’s also somewhat situationally dependent and only an okay pay off.
Some people run it at one, but it’s not the best option in ‘Darklord’ decks and so only an okay addition to the Level 11 pool. If you like the character, it got a Level 12 retrain in “The First Darklord”, so Level 12 continues to get the spotlight over 11.
Here we have “Star Eater”, a Level 11 Synchro Monster with some impressive artwork. It’s a huge dragon wrapped around a star! It must be unbelievably huge, one of the biggest Monster characters in the game. It’s also the first Level 11 Extra Deck Monster released.
It can only be Summoned via Synchro Summon, so you can’t get it out via other means. That Summon also cannot be negated. When it’s Summoned, other cards or effects can’t be activated at all in response. When it attacks, it’s unaffected by card effects. So it clearly doesn’t like the activating of effects responding to it doing things.
Otherwise, it’s not all that much. It’s a beat-stick that is hard to prevent doing that beating. Besides that, it’s probably not the greatest use of your Synchro Materials. There are Level 10s that can probably do more in terms of effects and even have more Attack points too. As for Level 11s, there’s now the new version of ‘Trishula’ with a strong Banish effect that makes it the better choice to go into. “Star Eater” is fun, but it doesn’t live up to the intimidation of its artwork, unfortunately.
Another recent Level 11 addition from 2020. It looks like the Level may start getting a bit of love. A member of the popular ‘Dogmatika’ archetype, this one is part of a card storyline that features “Dogmatika Ecclesia, the Virtuous” and her journey. ‘Nexus’ is the holy relic that is a central part of the belief followed by the cultist ‘Dogmatika’ characters.
Right away, this card is quite the gimmicky summon, common with high level Monsters, especially ones with story relevance. You have to Banish four Monsters from the Graveyard that are among Fusion, Synchro, Xyz or Link Monsters. This is a bit slow to summon because of that and could easily brick a hand, but it’s not as absurd a requirement as some of the later additions on the Level 11 list.
On field, ‘Nexus’ has quite an impactful effect. When it battles a Special Summoned Monster, you get to wipe the opponent’s field of Attack position Monsters. Then if any of them were those aforementioned Extra Deck card types, you get to inflict 800 damage for each of those.
As fun as that can be, it falls short of being run in the competitive ‘Dogmatika’ deck. That already has a lot of powerful cards used. The deck often hybridizes with other decks too, so deciding what to do with the deck space is important. There are other ways to get a field wipe without having to fulfill such a summoning condition. So while we have a not terrible Level 11 this time, it’s still one that isn’t a must run within its archetype.
End of Part 1
We are roughly at the half way point. There’s still a handful of interesting Level (and Rank) 11 Monsters to go. This includes more looks at powerful card story-line beings. Not to mention the original Level 11 Monster. Keep an eye out for Part 2, as there’s still a bunch more to go over.