Table of Contents
- The Rub
- 10- Blue-Eyes Shining Dragon
- 9- Millennium Shield
- 8- Recent Card with a high Attack Value
- 7- The Banned Card from Outdated Information
- 6- The Match Winner
- 5- Dark Magician
- 4- One where you give the anime effect to a nerfed card
- 3- Card that was good in 2004
- 2- Battle Trap
- 1- The Winged Dragon of Ra
- Ra is a problem
- 0-The one you finally get right (more or less)
- A Job (not so) well done
Congratulations! You are a writer for the famous click-bait article website ScreenBRFeed. Your haphazardly put together listicles have caught the internet by storm. Especially the Top 10s. Revenue made from intrusive ads has soared! And you’ve just managed to get your head around the seventeenth site redesign this month; this one only slightly more obnoxious than the last. These articles are great and they require less talent than even a sleezy tabloid reporter! You get paid for this! What a world we live in.
You go to your editor’s office, ready to be praised for your article on the Top 5 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (extra points for including one of those obscure ones at fifth place). The editor sits there, reading over an article stretching out a quote from an actor where they said they want to be in a movie. He’s wearing a fancy suit and hat. He’s got newspaper clippings all over the wall from various articles. And he’s got an overly large cigar hanging out of his mouth. Okay, he looks like one of those old-timey news chiefs, which doesn’t really fit a modern click-bait website at all, but it sets the scene.
The editor has a new mission for you. That trendy card game/anime series, Yugioh. He says, pronouncing the G as a soft G instead of a hard G, while half chomping on his cigar. He wants you to write one of your classic click-bait articles about Yugioh. Not any Yugioh but the best Yugiohs! A Top 10! He doesn’t care how you get it done. All that matters are those sweet, sweet clicks.
There’s only one problem. You know next to nothing about Yugioh. Well, not entirely nothing, you guess. After all, you had the original Duel Monsters anime series on in the background when you were a young lad back in 2003. Sure, you were only half paying attention and your relatives were talking loudly during all the important plot-points, but you had more knowledge than anyone else at ScreenBRFeed.
You played a couple pick-up games in elementary school with your friends while it was the latest trend too. Although, you didn’t know what any of the cards actually did. You just liked the cool looking Dragons. Also, your college room-mate played Magic the Gathering one year while you peered over his shoulder and that’s close enough.
So in the spirit of a classic Top 10 click-bait list-based article, here we present your Top 10 list. After all, you don’t want to do more than a cursory Googling at the MOST. You know this article is going to definitely not at all be dated and will be hip and modern to appeal to all those hardcore Yugioh players.
You need help and that’s when you call on me. As your handy Acme provided narrator, I will be guiding you in the formation of the greatest Top 10 cards. Please sign this waver that guarantees all responsibility is yours if someone takes the piss out of you on the internet as a result. That’s not going to stop you!
10- Blue-Eyes Shining Dragon
Look at this majestic beautiful Dragon. He’s so sparkly. You know “Blue-Eyes White Dragon” is an iconic card used by Seto Kaiba at least. You know he got upgraded into his “Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon” form and what’s this, that one is then Tributed to summon another one. A sparkly one at that! It was in a movie too, with a big role. Armed with the knowledge that being good in the Anime translated to being good in real life, you know that such a card belongs on the list of the Top 10 best cards! So strong!
Of course, let’s actually look at the problems. The ‘Blue-Eyes’ cards may be iconic, but Shining is not a good card. First, even Ultimate isn’t really worth playing, especially now that there are better versions of it out there. But even if you do get one out, you’ve got a nice 4500 beat-stick on the board. Why on Earth would you want to Tribute that for something back down to 3000 again. The card advantage lost and resources spent on this thing is absurd and you wouldn’t want to open this brick.
But wait, you say; it gains 300 Attack for each Dragon in the Graveyard! That already puts it up to at least 4200 again! Plus it has some targeting protection from effects. Still, is it actually worth it? If you want Graveyard Dragon attack boosts, then even “Red-Eyes Darkness Dragon” would be easier to bring out. I get that Shining looks cool and ‘Pyramid of Light’ is an underrated movie, but Shining is not competitive and if you want to have a list of the best cards, you need to start being smarter. Let’s move on to number 9.
9- Millennium Shield
Okay, you think, if the resources are a problem then you need something easier. Something with only one Tribute! A Level 5 or 6 Monster! Tribute Summoning big Monsters is still the most important part of the game. You don’t even know what an Extra Deck is. In the show, Fusion Monsters just kind of appeared out of the ether. Don’t let real life physics stop any of that.
“Millennium Shield” is a Level 5 Warrior-Type Normal Monster with no Attack, but 3000 Defence. Oh my, why that’s some big beefy Defence values. After all, big defensive stats are very important. 3000 is enough to stop the legendary “Blue-Eyes White Dragon” in its tracks. For only one Tribute, why isn’t everybody packing this massive wall in their deck. This will protect your valuable Life Points. Your opponent is completely shut out for the whole game! A worthy Top 10 addition, right?
Of course, the game of Yugioh isn’t that simple. This thing is a useless Normal Monster with no effects or any support cards to even make up for those effects. It has no protection, no anything. Your opponent is going to out this thing blind-folded. You have to waste your Normal Summon to do a Tribute for this thing. Tribute Summoning isn’t that good, unless you are running ‘Monarchs’ or ‘True Draco’ or something actually designed to bypass the terrible slowness of that mechanic. For what you get, even one Tribute is still way too much investment.
8- Recent Card with a high Attack Value
Alright, so may big defensive stats aren’t enough. It’s all about those big Attack values! The higher the better! You look up the highest stats you can and find something with 5000 Attack! Oh boy, they sure didn’t make them like this before. And this one is somewhat recent too. It’s got one of those fancy borders on it, so it must be one of them newfangled Synchryzes or something. Those white bordered cards are the newest and shiniest; just ask all those people complaining about the game who will tell you just that. And look at the description on that card, that’s a lot of words to read, so it must be incredible.
Once again, you are ignoring what’s on the card. The effects. The investment required to summon it. You need a specific deck, it’s not an all-purpose card. The fact the deck it’s in isn’t all that great to start with. Listen, bucko, you don’t actually know anything about Yugioh. You won’t even put in the effort to learn as you only have an hour to finish this before moving onto your next article about the best characters from Dragon Ball Z, where you plan to include Baby from GT and misspell Yamcha as Yamaha. That liberal arts degree is putting in the work. Top notch journalism.
7- The Banned Card from Outdated Information
This time, you roll up your big boy sleeves and know you really need to appeal to those hardcore competitive players! Your brief Google search while sitting on the toilet yields some people complaining about some massively powerful card. It’s a scary looking Monster with a lot of card text. You are pleased as this is surely enough to redeem this article in the eyes of the fans. They’ll give you those clicks for sure! It’s also somewhat recent. It’s not like the metagame changes frequently or anything. Why, those folks are still playing “Pot of Greed” still, right?
Not recent enough, amigo. It’s banned. The card is not allowed because it was actually too powerful. Your list is dated before it’s even begun! You were totally going to be very proud writing this entry on how topical it was. You could parrot a couple of quotes from people talking about the card, without even knowing what they are saying. Then you could add that it should probably be banned. Except… it already is banned.
This card could be in a Top 10 maybe, but you need to be consistent.
6- The Match Winner
If banned cards can be talked about, then let’s talk about a card you know is banned. It must have been super broken to get itself banned like that. Here’s a card that is really valuable, given out as a Prize Card! It’s banned, although not for the reasons you think.
What does this card say on it? “You win the Match”. The whole match, oh boy, that’s really strong. Of course, you aren’t reading it properly. You don’t know the different between a Duel and a Match. And you probably think the win happens from any attack, without noticing they have to bring the Life Points to zero.
You don’t know why Match Winners are actually banned. They weren’t even legal in the first place. They have “This card cannot be used in a duel” written on them to start with. These are nice looking collector’s items, nothing more. They weren’t banned for strength. In fact, if you were to use them, after setting up what is a lot of investment, your opponent could simply surrender the Duel. Then they move onto the next Duel, without having lost the Match.
These cards are worthless from a game-play point of view. What about “Victory Dragon”, you may ask, surely that’s an exception? Well it’s Forbidden because of the surrendering thing, not because it was actually strong. You messed up again, Mr. Writer.
Still, you have your Top 10 list and you can make up the reason they were banned. The main audience for this knows as much as you do, so who cares if you tell them things that are untrue. They probably haven’t played forever either. It’s not like an article about Yugioh is going to have Yugioh fans reading and/or making fun of it.
5- Dark Magician
Okay, so maybe doing any research at all is just not for you. That just takes too much time and energy and your listicle is due any minute now! Your editor isn’t going to edit anything, so make sure you only max out at twelve typos at most. So you pull out the old Yugioh cards you had a kid from a box buried under a pile of old socks. Surely the cards in there are a representative of the game as whole, even a million years later.
You move aside the old un-sleeved commons and find the crown jewel. One of the most iconic cards in all of Duel Monsters. Yugi’s trusty ace Monster – the “Dark Magician”! Yes, this legendary card is definitely worthy of being on a Top 10 list. You’ve hit gold, now. Gold!
However, even in the days of the old Yugi and Kaiba Starter Decks, “Dark Magician” wasn’t any good. Why use a two Tribute Monster for 2500 Attack Points when “Summoned Skull” did it in one. But okay, let’s look at more modern Yugioh. Yeah, okay, it’s still not great. This deck has never been competitive as a dedicated build, short of sticking in a copy as fodder for the ever broken “Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon”. The “Dark Magician” deck relies on setting a couple of good Continuous Trap cards to get anywhere. Running bad Normal Monsters is not a plus either. ‘Blue-Eyes’ would have been a better choice comparatively.
4- One where you give the anime effect to a nerfed card
So maybe the Anime’s legendary “Dark Magician” was a bust, but surely the classic TV show has something crunchy. There’s some really overpowered stuff in here, that the players probably love to play. Here’s something that would totally go in a Top 10 with that kind of effect.
The real story is that the card you’ve picked is not as good in real life, you see. The card in the show was indeed too powerful, but that’ll never fly in an actual piece of printed cardboard. They have high standards, you see! The card’s effect has been significantly nerfed in the transition to the real game and it’s nowhere near as strong.
Thusly, saying it was a powerful Top 10 worthy card is simply incorrect. Maybe the real card is still decent, but it’s not the same effect. As you lay out the effect on the page, you are scrawling out something that just simply isn’t the case. Maybe your readers won’t notice? Or maybe you need to stop thinking about the Anime as if it’s the holy grail of how the card game works. Am I going to have to bring up the ‘attacking the castle’s flotation ring’ shenanigans?
3- Card that was good in 2004
You roll up your sleeves for that final push. The Top 3 needs to be the best things the game has to offer! What did players play that was so super-duper tough and won them big tournaments in local game stores that crowned them the best player in the entire world.
You take the knowledge my Acme-branded guide has given you so far and select a card that has indeed seen high level competitive play! It’s not even a banned card, it’s allowed! It took a while, but this card was in at least one topping deck list!
You goose, you’ve done it again. These card used to be good, but it’s not anymore. You’re going through old Flips and Spirits, you donkey! These cards haven’t been playable since the great depression! No, setting a single Monster and passing turn is not a valid strategy anymore.
On the bright side, people do have some nostalgia for this earlier time. There’s even a bunch of people who like to dig out these cards for a fan-made format. Of course this article is supposed to be a bit more generalised than about just that one format, so it’s not like you’ve actually hit the mark this time either.
2- Battle Trap
As your short deadline approaches, you think of the most impactful cards in the game. Those dastardly Trap Cards that can wipe out an opponent’s whole strategy and put the game in your favour. Opponents will have no way of stopping your secret set “Mirror Force” as it takes out all their hard-fought for Monsters. A well placed Battle Trap is the bread and butter of the Yugioh trading card game.
You can be forgiven for this, but even these Traps aren’t all that common anymore. Once more, they can be outdated. Due to the slowness of having to set a Trap, people have begun to forgo them. People are now playing much quicker options that give them big results right away, like a ‘hand trap’ (of course you don’t know what those are). For a Trap Card to see play, it has to have an even more impactful effect or something to make it more flexible. Being stuck in the Battle Phase isn’t too helpful, even for a Trap based deck. Also, they are susceptible to a lot of removal.
Yeah, back in the day, these Trap cards were iconic, but the game has changed. These cards have been replaced by even better Traps. Cards that are able to mix in well with the strategy without essentially taking up a card in hand with something that doesn’t benefit the deck’s win condition.
Still, at least you’ve gone from things that have never been playable to things that have been in the past. That’s some sort of improvement. You’ve got one section left, so don’t mess it up!
1- The Winged Dragon of Ra
You wrack your brain for the most powerful card you can think of. You drift back to the Anime, to big boss Monsters. The ‘Egyptian Gods’! Infamous for being the most powerful cards you can think of. And the biggest of these bad boys was “The Winged Dragon of Ra”, who had so many kinds of effects. You couldn’t even use it without saying the Egyptian chant. Surely, even today, the creators of this game wouldn’t create something more powerful than a God Card! Surely, this all-powerful card is the most powerful card in the game.
Not exactly. The God Cards were never good and Ra is actually the worst one. Nobody actually plays them. “Obelisk the Tormentor” has been decent (though nowhere near any Top 10 lists), but that’s because it at least starts out with decent Attack points and has some level of protection. That’s right, Ra lacks protection. All those anime effects you think it had, it does not have them. It’s not invincible in the slightest.
In fact, its effects are downright terrible. Two different cards may not have synergy with each other, but big brain Ra lacks synergy with itself. You have to pay Life Points till you have exactly 100 left in order to give it Attack points. Then you have to pay 1000 more to play its other effect. But how can you pay 1000 if you only have 100? You’d lose. You would need to regain your Life Points to make use of this thing.
Ra is a problem
Even with all the support given to Ra in the “Rage of Ra” pack to sort of give it some of its anime effects, it’s still the worst one.
Someone may bring up the actually competitively viable “The Winged Dragon of Ra – Sphere Mode” where the big lug is somehow more playable when it’s curled up into a ball. However, that card isn’t actually played to bring out Ra, but rather just as a way to remove things.
But wait, you say. The God Cards must be overpowered, because they are banned! They were so strong, they weren’t allowed to be played in official tournaments. No, that’s not true. The ‘illegal’ version of the Gods are simply collectors items that didn’t have their effects printed on them and were different colours, making them not actually usable as real cards. The ‘legal’ and playable versions are allowed and certainly not overpowered. Ra is a bad card.
Your Top 10 ended not with a bang, but with a whimper. Still, you don’t know any better and nothing I said sank in whatsoever. With a proud grin, already planning an article on the Top 3 members of the Beetles (so disrespectful to Ringo), you are ready to submit your unedited schlock and it only took you eight minutes to finish it.
0-The one you finally get right (more or less)
Maybe one edit won’t hurt? You hastily delete one of the sections and put in another card that your cursory ‘research’ said was played. Congratulations, you lucked into it! Sure, this card is maybe a couple years behind the current meta, but it’s still viable at least! That’s close enough. You can call that an absolute win. It may not have any business actually being in a Top 10 necessarily, but it’s more playable than anything else here.
And sure, only one of your sections has any sort of relevancy, but that’s more than any semi-competent Yugioh players would have expected to see going into this Top 10. Now, when Dzeeff reviews your terrible article on Youtube, he’ll be generous and not completely write off the whole piece as a wash. Good job.
A Job (not so) well done
This has been your guide to creating the best Yugioh Top 10 list based article for those who have no business writing them. You are most welcome. You happily email your editor the attached file, just in time for a quick snack-break. The article is complete and it’s now only 90% garbage instead of 100%, which adds to your journalistic integrity. You are going to get paid three times as much as the people who make legitimate Yugioh articles for good websites like ‘YGOProDeck’ and those people are definitely not bitter at all.
The editor replies, glad you have managed to finish another project. He slides over your next assignment, that has to be put out right away! The Top 10 Strongest Pokémon! Why, you haven’t played that since 1999, so anything new is unlikely to appear. You’ll need another one of our guides to warn you that Charizard isn’t actually very good, but that won’t stop you putting him at the number one position! Who’s gonna notice?
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