Top 20 Best Burn Cards in Yu-Gi-Oh! (Ranked)This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
Burn cards in Yu-Gi-Oh! have come a long way from just taking a handful of life points here and there (I’m looking at you Sparks.)
The best burn cards in the game nowadays are capable of taking thousands of life points, disrupting your opponent, and snatching the win from the jaws of defeat.
But where do you get started?
Well, this list is probably a great starting spot, as I’ll be counting down some of the best burn cards you can get.
20. Bad Reaction To Simochi
This card starts the list off because it can’t deal burn damage on its own – but it can enable some very nasty plays!
Bad Reaction To Simochi is a Continuous Trap that changes any effect that ‘gives’ Life Points, into an effect that ‘takes’ Life Points instead.
You may think that your opponent can simply just avoid playing cards that give Life Points.
But when cards like Gift Card exist, which just give your opponent 3000 Life Points… they may not have a choice in the matter.
19. Cannon Soldier
Have you ever dreamt of shooting your monsters at your opponent to deal damage?
I mean, that’s kind of a weird dream… but either way, this might be perfect card to live that experience.
Cannon Soldier is a Machine monster with 1400 ATK/1300 DEF, and you may recognize it from the anime since it’s been around for a while.
Its effect simply allows you to tribute a monster that you control, to inflict 500 burn damage to your opponent.
This can add up to the thousands in direct LP damage, but at the cost of your monsters. So use this sparingly!
This card has also been used in some incredibly nasty OTK strategies – but none of those are really active… for now.
18. Fire Princess
There are plenty of cards that give you Life Points in Yu-Gi-Oh!
And with this monster, you can burn your opponent every time you use one.
Fire Princess is a LVL4 monster with 1300 ATK/1500 DEF with an effect that inflicts 500 damage to your opponent every time you gain Life Points.
This effect may not sound too good on paper. But if your deck is built on abusing this effect, you can burn your opponent into an unwinnable position while you enjoy a huge Life Point advantage.
17. Secret Barrel
A lot of burn cards work based on how many cards your opponent has on the field.
But this one makes sure that even having a lot of cards in the hand is a bad idea.
Secret Barrel is a simple trap card that inflicts 200 damage for every card your opponent controls – but this also includes every card in your opponent’s hand.
If your opponent has a full hand and a few cards on the field, this can quite easily add up to 2000+ damage.
And it’s not once per turn either. So if you have more than one then you’ve got a strategy brewing.
16. Secret Blast
Some of the best cards in Yu-Gi-Oh! put your opponent in a situation where they’re doomed if they do, and doomed if they don’t.
Secret Blast is an example of that.
While not the most damaging card on this list, Secret Blast is great because it requires no setup.
This Trap card inflicts 300 burn damage for every card your opponent controls – which is pretty good.
But if your opponent decides to destroy the card, they take 1000 damage for the trouble. So they’re taking damage either way.
15. Cauldron Of The Old Man
Burn damage can be a game-winner.
But if you take a big hit, you may value Life Points more.
This card lets you choose between the two.
Cauldron Of The Old Man is a Continuous Spell that gains a spell counter on activation, and then on every one of your standby phases.
You can spend those counters to gain 500 Life Points per counter, or you can inflict 300 damage to your opponent per counter.
These may not be the highest values in the game. But it’s still great to have that option.
14. Chain Strike
Chaining effects together and being able to respond to effects with other effects is something very unique to Yu-Gi-Oh!
So of course there’s a way to punish your opponent for doing it!
Chain Strike is different to other cards on this list, in that you can place it on a chain as link 2 or higher.
The higher the chain, the higher the hit, since this card deals 400 damage per chain link.
If you’re creative you can even build a deck around having effects chain together to make this card even more deadly.
13. Magic Cylinder
If you want to punish your opponent and use the power of their own monsters against them, this classic trap card is absolute worth running.
Magic Cylinder is a very well-known trap that allows you to negate an attack, and then burn your opponent for that attack value instead.
If your opponent has a powerful boss monster, you could win the game if they recklessly attack at the right time.
Even considering how game-changing this card can be, it sits lower on this list because if your opponent survives, the game state doesn’t really change – and they still have that powerful monster for the next turn.
12. Magical Explosion
The odd bit of burn damage here and there is always nice.
But if you want a deck based on it, this is one of the cards you can build an entire strategy around.
Magical Explosion can only be activated when you have no cards in your hand, and it inflicts 200 damage to your opponent for every Spell Card in your Graveyard.
This may not sound like much.
But if you have a deck focused on milling cards into the Graveyard, that burn damage can become a big deal.
So big, in fact, that this card is limited to one per deck on the ban list to prevent OTK’s.
11. Ring Of Destruction
Can we just appreciate for a moment that one of the artwork versions for this card is a metal ring covered in grenades?
It’s actually pretty accurate, now I think about it.
Ring Of Destruction is a trap card that destroys one of your opponent’s face-up monsters, as long as its ATK is lower than their Life Points. After that, both players take damage equal to that ATK.
The effect is worded carefully to prevent killing your opponent outright. But being able to destroy a monster and inflict thousands of damage makes this a formidable card.
10. Wave Motion Cannon
Nothing puts the pressure on like a time limit.
Wave Motion Cannon is a deadly continuous spell card that increases in power the longer it’s on the field.
You can send this card to the graveyard to burn your opponent for 1000 life points per standby phase that it’s been on the field for.
That means in 8 turns, this card can wipe out your opponent in a single hit!
Just be careful, as that’s a long time for a card to sit on the field.
Using its effect early for good damage is sometimes the better strategy.
Most decks use more effect monsters than normal ones.
In fact, many decks use only effect monsters.
And with that in mind, this card is a force to be reckoned with!
Ceasefire is a trap that can be activated when there’s an effect monster or face down monster on the field.
Every face down monster is flipped face-up, and you inflict 500 burn damage to your opponent for every effect monster on the field – so this can be up to a ridiculous 6000 LP hit!
Even though it’s more likely this card will do half that amount, Ceasefire can deal more damage than most boss monsters can.
8. Blaze Fenix, The Burning Bombardment Bird
This list features cards that can inflict incredible burn damage – but would you like to see a card that can do that every turn?
Blaze Fenix is a Fusion monster with a hefty 2800 ATK/2300 DEF that can inflict 300 burn damage for every card on your opponent’s side of the field, on each of your main phases.
While not as explosive as some other burn effects, this monster’s effect can add up through a duel.
And with solid ATK/DEF it’s no slouch in battle either.
7. Fairy Wind
Back row removal is something everyone should consider when building a deck.
And if you wanted a little burn damage to spice that up, this card is worth checking out.
Fairy Wind is a Trap card that destroys all face-up Spell/Traps on the field, and inflicts 300 damage to each player per destroyed card.
Removing things like field spells and pesky continuous spells/traps is always a very powerful effect.
But since each player takes the burn damage, this is definitely a card to use with caution.
6. Life Equalizer
There are some cards in Yu-Gi-Oh that you have to read twice, because at face value they seem completely useless.
Life Equalizer has the bizarre effect of when there’s an 8000 Life Points difference between both players, then both player’s Life Points become 3000.
Bear in mind, some cards give your opponent life points. And some cards give you an advantage when you have lower life points than your opponent.
If you can build a deck around this effect, Life Equalizer can inflict 5000 or more burn damage in one go – and although it can be awkward to setup, this card cannot be underestimated.
5. Blazing Mirror Force
Mirror Force is an infamous Trap that punishes your opponent for attacking, without respecting your back row.
Over time, a handful of Mirror Force cards have come into the game.
And this is one of the most dangerous.
When your opponent declares an attack, Blazing Mirror Force destroys every attack position monster your opponent controls – which is great by itself.
But the “blazing” part comes in the form of some incredible burn damage.
Both players take damage equal to half the combined ATK of every destroyed monster, which will usually add up into the thousands!
Of course, you need to survive the blast too. But your opponent could lose all their monsters and the duel.
4. Curse Of Darkness
Even some of the most competitive decks rely on their back row to setup and bring out their best monsters.
This Trap card is a devastating answer to that sort of strategy.
Curse Of Darkness is a Continuous Trap that burns either player for 1000 damage whenever they activate a spell card.
This means your opponent can burn themselves out of the game if they activate 8 spell cards while this card is active! Or they can at least whittle down their own LP a bit.
It’s worth remembering that this card has a severe downside in that it can damage you too.
But if you can handle it, you can shut down a Spell-heavy deck right in its tracks.
3. Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon
One of the most powerful monsters added into Yu-Gi-Oh recently is the infamous Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon.
This monster has a jaw-dropping list of effects, and one of those happens to be a pretty great burn effect.
Aside from being a powerhouse with 3000 ATK/2500 DEF, immunity to targeting and destruction effects, and having built-in effect negation… there’s one more effect you might want to use here.
Once per turn, you can destroy a monster your opponent controls and inflict burn damage equal to that monster’s ATK!
This card is simply incredible.
And if you want burn damage on top of a fantastic boss monster, few will serve you better than Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon.
2. Gem-Knight Lady Lapis Lazuli
The best decks in Yu-Gi-Oh Special Summon monsters all over the place, with many decks being able to fill the field up with monsters in a single turn.
So how dangerous do you think a burn effect based on special summons could be?
Gem-Knight Lady Lapis Lazuli is an incredibly powerful Fusion monster with 2400 ATK/1000 DEF.
And once per turn, you can send a Gem-Knight card from the Deck or Extra Deck to the Graveyard to inflict 500 burn damage for every special summoned monster on the field.
This can easily add up to 3000+ in one go.
And if your opponent doesn’t deal with this immediately, you can just do it again next turn!
1. Red-Eyes Flare Metal Dragon
If you play a Dragon deck and want to punish your opponent for literally playing the game, Red-Eyes Flare Metal Dragon can do that.
This LVL7 XYZ monster has a solid 2800 ATK/2400 DEF. But those stats are secondary to its effect that inflicts 500 damage to your opponent every time they activate an effect.
Against even the best competitive decks, this can become thousands of damage very quickly – and can give your opponent a tough decision to make:
Do they want to setup poorly to avoid the damage, or do they want to have no Life Points to play with?
Burn damage can be incredibly strong.
But punishing your opponent for activating effects elevates this card to a whole new level. And that’s why Red-Eyes Flare Metal Dragon takes the top spot on this list.