15 Best Hand Destruction Cards in Yu-Gi-Oh! (Ranked)

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Yu-Gi-Oh is a game all about having the right cards at the right time.

If you can make sure you’ve got that big boss monster in your hand right as your opponent’s looking weak, then you’re on the way to victory.

So destroying cards in your opponents’ hand is a sure-fire way to prevent them from getting the upper hand.

But which ones are the best to run? Let’s take a look.


15. Drastic Drop Off

Drastic Drop Off Yu-Gi-Oh Card

Starting off with some specific removal, this card stops your opponent from adding a card from their deck to hand.

This is useful in two ways:

First, if your opponent just searched for a specific powerful card from their deck, you can make sure they can’t use it against you. If they need that one specific card to start their plays, well, too bad!

Second, you can stop your opponent from drawing to start the turn.

This means if they’re relying on drawing a card to overcome your powerful monsters, they can’t.


14. Present Card

Present Card YGO Card

Despite the pleasant-sounding name, this card can be anything but a present when used correctly.

Present Card is ideal for when your opponent already has the perfect hand. Either they’ve played loads of cards that can search for others, or maybe they got very lucky.

Either way, this card means that no matter how good a hand they have, it’s gone.

This is also great if your opponent is running a deck with a lot of draw power (an Exodia deck, for example). These decks will often have 8 or more cards in hand at any time, and with Present Card, you can bring them right back down to 5.


13. Royal Tribute

Royal Tribute Yu-Gi-Oh Card

A card that destroys all monsters in both hands?

Isn’t that a massive loss for everyone?

Not quite.

This card is built for Gravekeeper’s decks, and their powerful field spell Necrovalley.

That field spell essentially locks your opponent out of the graveyard while it’s in play, meaning that any cards that get discarded by Royal Tribute are gone for good.

Gravekeeper’s have a bunch of cards that can retrieve these discarded cards from the graveyard, such as Rite of Spirit, which makes Royal Tribute pretty valuable!

The only reason it’s not higher on the list is that (sadly) it’s only useful in Gravekeeper’s decks. And while Gravekeepers are certainly not a deck to underestimate, we’re looking for the best hand destruction all-round.


12. Mefist the Infernal General

Mefist the Infernal General Yu-Gi-Oh Card

This guy has an okay attack stat for a level 5 monster.

But it’s the piercing battle damage that’s the real kicker here.

Every time Mefist inflicts damage(which is easy to do with 1800 attack) your opponent is forced to discard a card.

Combine this with other equip cards that boost his attack, such as United We Stand or Megamorph, and you’re sure to be dwindling your opponent’s hand every single turn.

The only disadvantage to this card is that it’s a level 5 monster, so if you want to normal summon him you’ll need to tribute.

Or you could also put this card in the graveyard via discard or Foolish Burial, and then bring it out at no cost with a card like Monster Reborn.


11. White Magical Hat

White Magical Hat YGO Card

As odd as it sounds, even with a lower attack stat than Mefist, White Magical Hat still comes through better.


Well this magical hat… man, doesn’t need to be tribute summoned. Meaning it’s way easier to bring this out onto the board.

Although his attack stat isn’t the best, this too can be beefed up pretty easily. And when you do, this guy packs a punch.


10. The Forceful Checkpoint

The Forceful Checkpoint Yu-Gi-Oh Card

What’s better than preventing battle damage?

How about preventing battle damage, seeing your opponent’s entire hand, and getting to destroy one of those cards?

Forceful Checkpoint has zero drawbacks. And can fit into virtually every single deck, making this a very valuable card to consider.


9. Magic Drain

Magic Drain Yu-Gi-Oh Card

This card is like Forceful Checkpoint and works similarly.

A great two for one! (we love a bargain)

Magic Drain forces your opponent to choose: is the spell they just played more powerful than the one in their hand?

Either way, they’re losing a card. And you’re gaining the advantage.

If they choose to keep the card in hand, then you know they’ve got something good saved up. And that would be the perfect time to unleash hell with one of the other cards on this list.


8. Spirit Reaper

Spirit Reaper YGO Card

Spirit Reaper may look tiny in attack.

But he more than makes up for it with his effect.

More specifically, this thing can’t be destroyed by battle. And every time it inflicts damage, you can force your opponent to discard one card.

This guy is great alongside your big monsters. Because you can use your big monsters to run over your opponent’s field, and then finish with Spirit Reaper to leave them even weaker.

This card saw a lot of play when it was first released, and for good reason!

The only drawback is that Spirit Reaper gets destroyed when targeted by a card effect. So if you’re relying on him to win the game, maybe run some spell/trap negation too.


7. Doom Virus Dragon

Doom Virus Dragon YGO Card

Now here’s a dragon that lets you destroy all big monsters in your opponents’ hand, field, and next 3 draws.

Which is an insane level of destruction.

With this, your opponent will have no powerful monsters of their own, leaving you to run them down with yours.

The major disadvantage of Doom Virus Dragon is that it’s a fusion monster, requiring the spell card The Fang of Critias to summon it.

So this card is only useful in Dark Magician based decks. But it’s this far up the list due to the sheer insanity of this effect. And if you can manage to summon it, victory is all but yours.


6. Thestalos the Firestorm Monarch

Thestalos the Firestorm Monarch Yu-Gi-Oh Card

Monarchs have always been some of the most powerful tribute monsters in Yu-Gi-Oh!.

They were even a meta deck as recently as 2016.

And this Monarch card lets you discard a card from your opponent’s hand, and it potentially deals damage for it too!

Combine that with this Monarch’s huge attack stat, you’ve got a card that’s fit for any deck.


5. Mind Crush

Mind Crush Yu-Gi-Oh Card

This nostalgic trap lets you destroy a card in your opponents’ hand, if you can remember the name of the card.

At first this seems like an absolute stab in the dark. I mean, aren’t you meant to keep your hand secret?

However, loads of cards in this list actually let you see their hand. And combining the two can lead to some solid card control.

Mind Crush is also great if your opponent has specifically searched for a card from their deck. Now you can shut down those obvious combo decks!

It’s also worth mentioning that this card was very cool in the anime, and playing this may or may not make you feel like Yugi Muto…


4. Crush Card Virus

Crush Card Virus YGO Card

Crush Card Virus has been one of the most powerful cards in Yu-Gi-Oh!’s history.

It actually had to have its card text changed to make it more balanced.

This specifically lets you destroy all big monsters in your opponent’s hand, field, and all the cards they draw for 3 turns. You might recognize this from the Doom Dragon fusion from earlier.

This effect will drain them of their resources, and typically leave your foe with no great options against your monsters.

The only downside is that your opponent is then allowed to destroy 3 cards from their deck of their choosing. And some cards can have powerful bonuses when destroyed, so be careful with this one.


3. Eradicator Epidemic Virus

Eradicator Epidemic Virus Yu-Gi-Oh Card

Essentially Crush Card Virus, but for spells and traps.

Some of the most powerful cards in Yu-Gi-Oh! are spells and traps. So it’s a good idea to make sure sure your opponent doesn’t have access to a lot of these at any given time.

This card is especially great against decks that rely on their spells/traps, such as Paleozoic decks, Fusion decks, and many other.

The only disadvantage is that you have to tribute a powerful monster to do this, and it has to be a dark monster too.


2. Hand Destruction

Hand Destruction YGO Card

Yep, it does what it says on the tin and is one of the most powerful cards on this list for some real hand control.

This card was banned up until 2018, and even now that it’s off the banlist, you’re still only allowed to play one copy of it.

Not only does Hand Destruction disrupt your opponent’s entire hand, but it also lets you discard your whole hand. So you can basically get rid of cards that aren’t helpful, and any point you’d like.

One thing to note is that you both have to discard your entire hands. So make sure you’ve already played your valuable cards before playing this.


1. Robbin’ Goblin

Robbin’ Goblin Robbin’ Goblin

Truly an underrated classic.

Robbin’ Goblin forces your opponent to discard a card every single time that you inflict damage to them.

The reason this card at the top here is that it has the potential for some insane setups.

If you have a few good monsters and you manage to have a card like Raigeki, then not only does your opponent now have an empty board, but Robbin’ Goblin makes sure they won’t have enough cards in hand next turn to do anything about it!

Really, this card is absolutely great at putting the pressure on.

And for that reason it gets my blue ribbon pick as the #1 hand destruction card.

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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.