Best Floodgate Cards in Yu-Gi-Oh: The Ultimate List

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A floodgate is a loosely defined term in Yu-Gi-Oh.

Generally, it’s a continuous effect that prevents either one or both players from doing certain things, be that activating monster effects, summoning in a particular way, drawing cards, pretty much anything you can think of!

In the same way a real-life floodgate would prevent water from crashing into you, floodgates in Yu-Gi-Oh prevent your opponent from crashing their best cards into you.

They’re some of the best ways to shut down a combo deck, and a great way to keep your opponent in check.

So if you want to bring a bit of control back to your decks strategy check out our top picks for the best floodgates in the game.


15. Barrier Statue of the Abyss (and all Barrier Statues)

Barrier Statue of the Abyss YGO Card

Barrier Statues are a perfect option for adding floodgates to your deck – especially if you’re playing Yu-Gi-Oh on a budget.

While you control a Barrier Statue of a particular attribute, both players can only special summon monsters of that attribute.

So if you control a dark type Statue, both players can only special summon dark monsters.

This is a great way to prevent your opponent from special summoning a whole bunch of monsters in one turn.

Couple of things you have to look out for with these cards however:

Firstly, make sure you’re running a deck with mostly one attribute. You don’t want to be locking yourself out of special summons.

Secondly, make sure your opponent doesn’t run many monsters of this type, or else the negating effect will be pretty useless and they’ll still special summon all over the place!


14. Gozen Match

Gozen Match Yu-Gi-Oh Card

Speaking of cards that work around attributes, Gozen Match is another floodgate card that favors mono-attribute decks.

With this card is face up, both players can only control one attribute of monster.

If they control more than one, they’ll have to send the rest to the graveyard.

So not only does this card prevent your opponent from summoning more monsters of different attributes as the game progresses, but you can actually use this card to board-wipe your opponent.

That’s two great effects all wrapped up in one fantastic trap card.


13. Domain of the True Monarchs

Domain of the True Monarchs YGO Card

This floodgate is pretty specific to Monarch decks only – or at the very least, decks that don’t use an extra deck.

While you’re the only player to control a tribute summoned monster (which in modern Yu-Gi-Oh is pretty likely, tribute summoning is slow in comparison to most summoning methods now available) and while your extra deck is empty, your opponent can’t summon anything from the extra deck!

So many different strategies work around the extra deck.

I can’t think of a modern deck that wouldn’t be paralyzed by this.

The only downside is that it’s pretty specific to Monarch decks, you’ll have a hard time pulling off this card’s requirements in any other deck.


12. Mistake

Mistake Yu-Gi-Oh Card

Mistake is an insanely powerful Floodgate, if you can find the right deck to pull it off in.

This continuous trap prevents either player from adding cards from their deck to their hands, except by drawing them.

A lot of combo decks in Yu-Gi-Oh require searching out the big combo pieces from the main deck.

With Mistake on the field, players would have to scramble pretty quick to come up with some other strategy – with only the cards in their hand to help them!

Make no mistake (pun intended and slightly regretted), this card isn’t all pluses.

You’ve got to play this card in a deck that doesn’t really search for anything, or else you’ll also be left in a pretty weak position.


11. Anti-Spell Fragrance

Anti-Spell Fragrance YGO Card

As a pendulum player, this card sends shivers down my spine…

While this trap is face-up on the field, all spells must be set for a turn before they can be played.

This effectively turns every spell card into a trap card, slowing the game right down to a halt.

A great choice if you want to prevent your opponent from firing off a bunch of spell cards in one turn.

And this floodgate excels against pendulum decks. However, while pendulum monsters can act as spell cards, they can’t be set into the pendulum zone. Meaning that while Anti-Spell Fragrance is on the field, the pendulum zones are as good as useless!


10. Majesty’s Fiend

Majesty’s Fiend Yu-Gi-Oh Card

Monster effects are only getting more and more powerful as more cards are brought out.

Do you guys remember when Breaker the Magical Warrior was so good that it was limited?

Now we’ve got monsters that’ll special summon themselves for free, draw you a whole bunch of cards too, and they’re nowhere near the ban-list!

(Looking at you Fantastical Dragon Phantazmay…)

If you want a chance at winning in Yu-Gi-Oh, you’ll need to find a way to counteract these monster effects – and Majesty’s Fiend does just that!

While this card is face-up on the field, neither player can activate monster effects.

This goes great in a deck that doesn’t rely too heavily on effect monsters, like Dark Magicians. Because with that deck, the boss monster is (surprisingly) the Dark Magician, who has no effect and is therefore unaffected by this floodgate.


9. Secret Village of the Spellcasters

Secret Village of the Spellcasters YGO Card

While this may look like the coziest forest I’ve ever seen on a Yu-Gi-Oh card, your opponent will want to be as far away from this as possible while it’s on the field.

This field spell prevents your opponent from activating spell cards while you control a spellcaster, and they don’t.

The odds that both you and your opponent are playing spellcaster decks is pretty small (especially considering that there aren’t many spellcaster decks in the meta right now, as much as I wish Pendulum Magicians were meta)

So you’ll most likely get a whole lot of negating out of this one card.

If your opponent wants to overcome this effect, they’ll have to beat all your spellcaster monsters in battle, or destroy your field spell. Neither of which are always easy.


8. There Can Only Be One

There Can Only Be One Yu-Gi-Oh Card

Before we get into how amazing this card effect is, let’s just take a second to appreciate how fantastic this artwork is.

It shows that even if you’re King of the Skull Servants, none of us are immune to the mighty powers of airport security.

This card forces both players to play monsters of different types.

And if your opponent controls 2 monsters with the same type, they’ll have to send one of them to the graveyard.

This is great if you’re running a deck that has multiple different types of monsters. My favorite deck of this type is the Earthbound Immortals, AKA the evil god cards from Yu-Gi-Oh 5Ds. And there are loads of other decks to choose from that also run multiple types, so this is a card worth considering!


7. Royal Decree

Royal Decree Yu-Gi-Oh Card

Trap cards have always been a serious threat in Yu-Gi-Oh.

I mean, how many of us remember getting a Magic Cylinder straight to the face and taking a bunch of damage.

Or heaven forbid our opponent flips up a Mirror Force and takes out all your well-earned monsters…

Royal Decree takes out all trap cards all at once, negating every single trap card on the field.

This card is basically like Jinzo, without having to go through the risky business of actually summoning Jinzo!

If you know your opponent is running a trap-heavy deck, then this card is the perfect way to stop their strategies.

And Royal Decree is currently unlimited, meaning you can play it at 3 copies, leaving you room to negate those traps for as long as you like.


6. Vanity’s Fiend

Vanity’s Fiend YGO Card

As another powerful tribute-summon floodgate, this card is pretty much a better version of Majesty’s Fiend.

Instead of negating all monster effects, this prevents monsters from being special summoned at all.

Modern Yu-Gi-Oh is all about special summoning. Without it, pretty much every single deck in the meta would crumble.

The reason this card is so difficult to play around is that to access your removal effects to destroy Majesty’s Fiend, you’ll probably need to summon an extra deck monster – which you can’t!

So unless your opponent somehow manages to draw Raigeki by believing in the heart of the cards, then they’re on a complete lockdown.


5. Macro Cosmos

Macro Cosmos Yu-Gi-Oh Card

One of the best ways of keeping your opponent in check is by restricting how they can use the graveyard.

As Yu-Gi-Oh has progressed, the graveyard has transformed from a place where “used-up” cards go to practically a second hand. There are so many different spells, traps, and monster effects that let you recycle cards from the graveyard, it’s pretty common nowadays.

While Macro Cosmos is on the field, any card that’s sent from the field to the graveyard is instead banished.

This will prevent your opponent from being able to revive their destroyed monsters. So once they’re gone, they’re gone for good!

There are so few cards that can actually retrieve banished cards (which aren’t banned, anyway). So that makes Macro Cosmos a brilliant way to deprive your opponent of resources.


4. Skill Drain

Skill Drain YGO Card

There’s nothing better than letting your opponent establish a huge board with 5 different extra-deck monsters all with powerful destruction effects, only to activate this bad boy right at the end of their turn.

At the low price of 1000 life points (and that’s not every turn either!), Skill Drain lets you negate the effects of all face-up monsters on the field.

This will turn all of your opponent’s monsters (and yours) into plain old normal monsters, just like the old days of Yu-Gi-Oh!

This can also actually help preserve your own monsters in very niche ways.

Personally, I play this card in my Earthbound Immortal deck. The Earthbound Immortals all have an effect so they can destroy themselves whenever there isn’t a field spell active.

With Skill Drain on the field, they won’t destroy themselves. And I get to keep my powerful pseudo-God cards.


3. Imperial Order

Imperial Order Yu-Gi-Oh Card

Remember when the most powerful spell cards in the game were cards like Fissure?

And spells have really been insanely powerful since the early days of Yu-Gi-Oh. You only need to look at cards like Boot Sector Launch to see just how important spell cards have become!

So being able to lock your opponent out of them could be critical if you want to win the game.

By paying 700 life points per turn, you can put a blanket negate on all spell effects on the field.

This effect used to be optional (i.e. you could choose how long you wanted to pay the cost of Imperial Order), but that turned out so powerful that this card got banned for years.

Now Imperial Order is back, and you have to keep paying as long as this card is on the field, and as long as you’ve got enough life points to do so.


2. El Shaddoll Winda

El Shaddoll Winda YGO Card

El Shaddoll Winda has seen a lot of play in competitive Yu-Gi-Oh recently.

This card is an insanely powerful floodgate option, while also being extremely easy to summon whenever you need it.

When this card is face-up on the field, both players can only special once during their turns. This means that, at best, your opponent will only be able to get about 2 monsters on the field – which they’ll have to use to somehow overcome this powerful fusion monster!

The reason El Shaddoll Winda is so easy to summon is because of one particular card: Shaddoll Fusion.

This powerful fusion card allows you to fusion summon using monsters from your deck, meaning you don’t even have to wait to draw the right monsters.

In fact, this combination is so easy to pull off, that loads of decks that don’t even play shaddoll monsters are still running this little package.


1. Mystic Mine

Mystic Mine Yu-Gi-Oh Card

Mystic Mine is without a doubt the best floodgate card in the entire game.

No other card in Yu-Gi-Oh! can shut down your opponent so quickly, or stop so much all at once.

Here’s what you get with this card:

While your opponent controls more monsters than you do, all of their monster effects are negated, and they can’t even declare an attack.

This means not only do all of your opponent’s monsters become useless vanilla monsters, but they all become useless vanilla monsters that can’t even do damage.

The best strategy with this card is to play it in a deck with no monsters at all.

For example, play this at 3 copies in a Burn deck, as it’ll buy you crucial time to keep damaging your opponent, protecting you from powerful effects and battle damage!

This way you’ll always have fewer monsters than your opponent at all times. And unless they have some spell/trap destruction in their hand, the game is as good as yours.

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Rob Myers

Rob Myers is a physics student from England, who spends his time looking at space and turning it into numbers. In his free time he enjoys playing card games, reading the Discworld series, and working his way through his never ending video game library.