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Black Magician (Dark Magician)

File:Dark Magician 7839.jpg

Yugi's ace monster, it's design inspired an entire archetype that continues to receive support to this day. It, or some variation of it, features prominently in pretty much every major duel the kid has, usually appearing at the last turn to deal the final blow. Is the monster form of Mahado, a magician from Atem's court who gave his life to become the Black Magician and fight Bakura with new strength.

Blue-Eyes White Dragon

File:Blue-Eyes White Dragon 7360.jpg

Kaiba's favourite monster and the strongest Normal monster in the game, he owns the only three in the world. Due to it's attack strength of 3000 it's considered one of the strongest cards in the world. Is the Ka of Kisara, a White-Haired Pretty Girl Kaiba fell in love with in his past life in Ancient Egypt. She sacrificed herself to unleash the Blue-Eyes in her soul and save his life, which is one reason why Kaiba is so devoted to it.

Flame Swordsman

File:Flame Swordsman 932.jpg

One of Jounouchi/Joey's signature cards and his unabashed favourite, Flame Swordsman has a history of getting his owner out of jams. A versatile card that's easy to support, and can combine with various others for interesting effects, it's exceptionally useful to him during the Duelist Kingdom and Virtual Nightmare Arcs. During the DOMA Arc, Joey adds its twin, Blue Flame Swordsman to his arsenal.

  • Awesome but Impractical: After Duelist Kingdom ends and the new rules take effect, Flame Swordsman is Put on a Bus due to being a five-star monster with low stats and no effect, and only reappears in a major role in Season 3 as Joey's Deck Master. He sure does look awesome though. Came close to being Awesome but Practical in Duelist Kingdom, where powerful monsters were rare, 5-Stars could be summoned immediately, it had a bonus against dinosaurs, and was easily augmented by magic cards. How the mighty have fallen.
  • Badass: Just look at him! Also, for a card that's technically pretty weak, he's gotten Joey out of some very complicated messes.
    • Badass Abnormal: Becomes much more useful when comboed with Salamandra, fused with Yugi's Dark Magician, or utilised as a Deck Master under Virtual World rules.
  • Bash Brothers: With the Dark Magician. The way they look when they're played together, one could be forgiven for thinking they're as close as Yugi and Joey. You could make a case for Flame Swordsman and Blue Flame Swordsman as well.
  • Cool Helmet
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: He's a swordsman with a Flaming Sword. Blue Flame Swordsman is the same guy, coloured blue.
  • Fusion Dance: Is a fusion card in the regular game (between Fire Manipulator and Masaki-The Legendary Swordsman), and can himself fuse with Dark Magician to create Dark Flare Knight, a Magic Knight with only 2200 attack, but a variety of interesting effects.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords
  • Magic Knight: Is one himself, and can become a stronger one by fusing with Dark Magician.
  • Palette Swap: Blue Flame Swordsman, who summons a regular Flame Swordsman to the field when it's destroyed.
  • Playing with Fire: This should surprise no one. One of the creatures used to make him is actually called "Fire Manipulator."
  • Power Glows: Turns bright gold while under the influence of the Burning Soul Sword Magic Card.
  • Power-Up: Salamandra can actually be played on any FIRE monster, but you'd never know that from how Joey uses it. Same goes for Burning Soul Sword.
  • Status Buff: His Deck Master ability allows him to decrease his own ATK in order to increase the ATK of another Warrior-type monster by the same amount.
  • Sword and Sorcerer: Often plays the "Sword" to Yugi's Dark Magician's "Sorcerer".
  • Technicolour Fire: Flame Swordsman's flames are the same orange colour as his outfit. Blue Flame Swordsman's are, unsurprisingly, Blue.

Red-Eyes Black Dragon

File:Red-Eyes Black Dragon 9419.jpg

One of Jounouchi's best monsters, but not really his trademark or favorite like Kaiba or Yugi. As it's name implies, it's a weaker, darker counterpart to the Blue-Eyes.

  • Badass Abnormal: Unlike Yugi and Kaiba, the base Red-Eyes usually isn't enough to net Jounouchi a win, he needs to power it up for that. See Magikarp Power below.
  • Black Dragon: just as the name says
  • Breath Weapon: Prefers dark-aligned Fireballs to contrast Blue-Eyes' lightning/light attacks.
  • Casting a Shadow: Red-Eyes Darkness Dragon
  • Dark Is Not Evil: It's a damned creepy card (in fact it ain't hard to mistake him for a Zombie) but its used by one of the heroes throughout. The Red-Eyes Darkness Dragon, Red-Eyes Black Metal Dragon, and especially Black Skull Dragon are even scarier.
  • Dark Counterpart: To Blue-Eyes naturally.
  • Dragon Rider: Knight of Dark Dragons.
  • Fusion Dance: Can perform one with Summoned Skull (Black Skull Dragon) or Meteor Dragon (Meteor Black Dragon). Both are very powerful (3200/2500 and 3500/3000 to be precise) or Aura Armour to fuse with Joey himself.
  • Instant Awesome, Just Add Dragons
  • Magikarp Power: As the Japanese-only first movie said it, the Blue-Eyes has more raw power (compare 3000 attack to Red Eyes with 2400), but Red-Eyes has many, many evolved forms that give it higher versatility.[1]
  • Meaningful Name
  • Mechanical Monster: Red-Eyes Black Metal Dragon, a huge mechanical dragon that attacks with a fusion blast.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: That is one creepy looking monster.
  • Power Equals Rarity: Played with. In-show it's said to be ultra-rare, and it is certainly treated like an incredibly powerful card, despite its average stats. However, its abilitiy to combine with other cards makes it much more useful than it would be otherwise, hence the rarity.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Duh.
  • The Rival: Is often treated as Blue-Eyes' rival by the fandom. Given the fact that the hologram roars in triumph when Yugi uses it to take down one of Kaiba's Blue-Eyes this may well be justified.

Harpy Lady Sisters

File:Harpie Lady Sisters 1316.jpg

Mai Valentine/Kujaku's signature card. They're typically summoned as the individual Harpy Ladies, powered up, and then split into the Harpy Lady Sisters. They can be upgraded to Cyber Harpie Lady Sisters, and can themselves power up Harpy's Pet Dragon.

Black Magician Girl (Dark Magician Girl)

File:DarkMagicianGirl 4847.jpg

A female counterpart to the Dark Magician, she's not as powerful but is just as key a part of Yugi's deck. Is the monster form of Mana, a childhood friend of Atem and Mahado's Cute Witch apprentice. She gains 300 ATK points for every Dark Magician in the Graveyard.

Magician Of Black Chaos

File:Magician Of Black Chaos 2080.jpg

The third member of Yugi's Dark Magician trio, he first appears in the latter's duel with Pegasus, where he serves as Yugi's trump card. The card game later included a "retrained" Effect Monster version (that has since been banned from tournament play), who appeared in a display version of Yugi's deck in GX.

Petit Moth/Larva Moth/Great Moth/Perfectly Ultimate Great Moth

File:Perfectly Ultimate Great Moth 4608.jpg


Insector Haga/Weevil Underwood's best card, it appears in almost every duel he plays. The strongest insect monster in the game, it's final form of Perfectly Ultimate Great Moth is fortunately very difficult to summon.

  • Awesome but Impractical: It has 3500/3000, making it stronger than anything that isn't Gate Guardian or Ultimate Blue Eyes. It also requires you to equip Petit Moth with Cocoon of Evolution and wait six turns to summon it. Needless to say, Haga/Weevil would be hard-pressed to pull this off if not for his lockdown strategy.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Holy goddamn how! Its larger than almost any monster except Exodia and the God Cards.
  • Finishing Move: Subverted. Weevil always thinks it will be, but it never is.
  • Giant Flyer
  • Kaiju: Its pretty obviously inspired by Mothra.
  • Magikarp Power: Petit Moth has 300/200. Lame. After two turns with Cocoon of Evolution attached it becomes Larva Moth, with 500/400. Also lame. On your fourth turn, however, it becomes Great Moth, a solid 8 star with 2600/2500. And on it's sixth turn? Holy crap.
  • Metamorphosis: Cocoon of Evolution, anyone.
  • Power Equals Rarity
  • Pretty Butterflies: Weevil certainly thinks so. Everyone who's ever had to face the damn thing would disagree.
  • Stone Wall: Cocoon of Evolution, which has 0/2000, giving it whopping defence points for a 3 star. Becomes the card equivalent of a Lightning Bruiser post-evolution.
  • Wind from Beneath My Wings: Great Moth attacks this way, by blowing wind and poison dust at the target. Perfectly Ultimate Great Moth, on the other hand, throws itself bodily at the enemy.

Relinquished

File:Relinquished 2024.jpg

Pegasus' best card, this 1 Star Ritual Monster has (0/0), but a very nasty effect. Capable of taking over other monsters, and using them as weapons, Relinquished turns Pegasus' duel agains Yugi in the industrialist's favour, following the destruction of his Toon World. It can be made even more powerful by fusing it with Thousand Eyes Idol to produce the Thousand Eyes Restrict.

  • The Assimilator: It and Thousand Eyes Restrict both assimilate other monsters into themselves, claiming their attack and defence points for their own.
  • Belly Mouth: Relinquished has a gaping hole in its stomach, covered by a flap of skin. Monsters are sucked into the hole, and then emerge on its wings, trapped. Thousand Eyes Restrict adds fangs and yet another set of eyes just above the hole, making it clear that this is a mouth.
  • Body Horror: Its entire look is pretty horrific.
  • Dark Is Evil
  • Eldritch Abomination: Arguably. Its appearance is certainly designed to evoke this, if nothing else. Just look at that thing. What is it?
  • Evil Sorcerer: They may look like Fiends, but both Relinquished and Thousand Eyes Restrict are listed as Spellcasters.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Thousand Eyes Restrict has a thousand eyes and restricts your monsters' movements.
  • Extra Eyes: Thousand Eyes Restrict
  • Eye Beams: Attacks with blasts from its eye.
  • Eyes Do Not Belong There: Thousand Eyes Restrict's body is covered in eyes.
  • Faceless Eye: Relinquished has no face--just a Millennium Eye at the end of a bobbing neck. The same goes for Thousand Eyes Restrict, and their close relative, Dark Eyes Illusionist.
  • Fusion Dance: Fusing Relinquished with Thousand Eyes Idol creates Thousand Eyes Restrict.
  • Human Shield: If you attack Relinquished while it's controlling one of your monsters, the other monster takes the attack, you the damage, and Relinquished gets away scott free.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Relinquished's summoning coincides with Pegasus turning his duel against Yugi and Yami into a Shadowgame. This ain't a coincidence.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Thousand Eyes Restrict
  • One-Winged Angel: Thousand Eyes Restrict to Relinquished. Not only is it more powerful--it's even uglier to look at.
  • Power Equals Rarity: Like Toon World and Dark Eyes Illusionist, Relinquished and Thousand Eyes Restrict were deemed too powerful to release to the public. That doesn't stop Pegasus from using them.
  • Power Floats: Since it has no legs, this is more or less a necessity.
  • Squishy Wizard: No attack. No defence. One hell of an unpleasant effect. Not only can Relinquished absorb another monster and its ATK and DEF stats, but when its attacked, the controlled monster (and the controlled monster's player's Life Points) takes the damage. When it's fused with Thousand Eyes Idol, it gets even worse--not only can Thousand Eyes Restrict take over the opponent's monsters, but it also stops them from attacking or changing the positions of their monsters once they're summoned.
  • Summon Magic: Relinquished can only be summoned via Black Illusion Ritual.
  • Weak but Skilled: The Duel Monsters equivalent. See Squishy Wizard for how.
  • Winged Humanoid: For a certain definition of "humanoid".

Exodia, The Forbidden One

An ancient gigas bound away, it was said to have power rivalling that of the Egyptian Gods. In-game, the player who contains the five pieces of Exodia in their hand at one time can declare an instant victory, regardless of any other factors. Has a few "alternate" forms - Exodia Necross which draws power from having the pieces in the Graveyard, Exodius The Ultimate Forbidden Lord, which wins the game by dumping the pieces into the Graveyard via battle, and Exxod, Master of the Guard.

  • Chained by Fashion
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique
  • Full Set Bonus / Set Bonus: Individually? Worthless. Together? Instant win.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Is summoned to fight Zorc, but as Exodia takes its power from a human it can only fight as long as the summoner and is defeated.
  • Nonstandard Game Over: So much so that for a while it was the only monster named in the official rules, its effect was that unique.
  • Power Equals Rarity
  • Sealed Evil in a Can
  • The Undead: Not Exodia itself, but Exodia Necross, which can only be summoned if all of the pieces are in the Graveyard, is definitely an example of this. Not in monster type though, as it is a Spellcaster, just like the monster's component body parts.
  • Who Needs Their Whole Body??: To an extent. While the pieces of Exodia have pathetic stats and the idea is to combine all five, they are still individual monster cards and can be used as such, say for battling--just don't expect them to find much they can kill. That said, their low stats make them easy to tutor via Sangan, and because the limbs are all classified as Normal Monsters, they can be retrieved from the grave via Dark Factory of Mass Production and Backup Soldier.

Egyptian God Cards

Consisting of The God of Obelisk (Obelisk The Tormentor), The Sky Dragon of Osiris (Slifer The Sky Dragon), and The Sun Dragon Ra (Winged Dragon of Ra). Together they're nearly unstoppable, and apart are still incredibly powerful. Collecting them is the main plot of Seasons 2 and 3.

  • Awesome but Impractical: The God cards require three tributes to normal summon. If special summoned from the graveyard, they return to the grave at turn's end, and cannot attack with the exception of Ra.
  • Bolt of Divine Retribution: Don't try to use a God Card unless you're qualified to use them via Ancient Egyptian heritage, and definitely don't try to use a counterfeit version of a God Card. They don't take kindly to it.
  • Breath Weapon: Ra's attack "Blaze Cannon" and Osiris' attack "Thunder Force."
  • Brought Down to Normal: They've been released as real-life cards with their effects nerfed to balance them out.
  • The Brute/The Big Guy: While Ra and Osiris have various special abilities and gimmicks to their Attack and Defense scores that require strategy to make work[2], Obelisk's effect is to automatically inflict 4000 damage for two tributes (in the anime, this is a One Hit KO), and his Attack and Defense are set at 4000. Essentially, he's just a giant beatstick.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Ra is yellow, Osiris is red, Obelisk is blue.
  • Contractual Boss Immunity: Depending on which episodes you watch, the God Cards are either completely immune to card effects, or card effects only work on them for a single turn. Either way, once they hit the field the only way to get rid of them is to defeat them in a straight-up battle. Of course, the player using them has no such protection, and they lack the immunity in the hand or graveyard, which is why Yugi and Kaiba's duel consists of them first keeping the other's God Card from being summoned, and then weakening them through loopholes in their immunity.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: Ra
  • Dub Name Change: Cards and characters get their names changed left and right, but Osiris/Slifer is a rather odd case. Obviously Osiris is named for the Egyptian deity, but who or what is Slifer named for you ask? Roger Slifer, executive producers for 4Kids. Who's great idea was that anyway?
  • Establishing Character Moment: Obelisk is the weakest of the God cards (technically speaking). When it first appears it destroys the Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon in a single punch and delivers a One Hit KO to the Duel Robot Kaiba is facing, the power overloading and causing it to explode.
  • Face Framed in Shadow: While its card was seen regularly, before Marik summoned it against Mai Ra was always shown shadowed or only seen from a distance to obscure the details of its appearance.
  • Green Lantern Ring: Ra has a new ability revealed every time it's played during Seasons 2 and 3.

Seal of Orichalcos

The card Season 4 centers around, it originates from Atlantis, where the Orichalcos was a mineral that lead the society to great technology achievements, but eventually they became too corrupt and destroyed themselves.

  • Bilingual Bonus: The text around the seal is Enochian. It spells out "Oreichalcos".
  • Defictionalization: The card actually exists! There are only 15 in the entire world, used in a single special tournament by Upper Deck employees where players could duel them. And yes, the real card is just as overpowered as it was in the show, which is why it has never been released to the public.
    • Truth in Television: Remember Pegasus, the guy who had those overpowered Toon cards that were never released into circulation due to being too strong?
  • Green Rocks
  • Instant Runes
  • Purposefully Overpowered
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Anyone who uses the Orichalcos gains a red tint to their eyes. Except Dartz, who is so corrupted one of his eyes is Orichalcos green.

Notes

  1. To name a few, Red-Eyes Black Metal Dragon, Red-Eyes Darkness Dragon, Meteor Black Dragon, B. Skull Dragon, Lord of the Red...
  2. Ra's Attack is equal to the Attack of the monsters Tributed to summon it, while Osiris has 1000x Attack and Defense for each card in your hand
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