The Best Yu-Gi-Oh! Extra Deck Staples

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You guys remember when the Fusion deck was a bit of a novelty?

Fusion monsters were (at a point) kind of a gimmick, allowing you to combine 2 monsters into one with Polymerization – it never really took off in terms of competitive Yu-Gi-Oh, as drawing all the right pieces was near impossible.

Cut to modern Yu-Gi-Oh and it’s a game all about the extra deck.

We now have synchro monsters, XYZ monsters, pendulum monsters and link monsters that can all utilize the extra deck – and all of a sudden, having a good extra deck makes the difference between winning and losing.

If your extra deck needs a little fine tuning then look no further, as in this list we’re breaking down some extra deck staples worth looking into.


20. Black Rose Dragon

Black Rose Dragon YGO Card

Sometimes what you need in Yu-Gi-Oh is a fresh start.

And Black Rose Dragon does just that!

When you summon Black Rose Dragon you can destroy every single card on the field. That’s both players losing spells, traps, and monsters all at once.

This is a great extra deck option for going second.

If your opponent has set up an oppressive board on turn one, Black Rose Dragon can deal with a whole bunch of threats at the same time, setting you up perfectly to make the comeback of the century.


19. Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier

Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier Yu-Gi-Oh Card

Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier pretty much defined the synchro era of Yu-Gi-Oh.

There wasn’t a deck out there that didn’t try to make use of this card, alongside some other amazing Ice Barrier cards like Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier.

Trishula is particularly impressive due to how many threats it can deal with at once.

When it’s summoned, you can banish 1 card each from your opponent’s hand, field, and graveyard.

This means you can get rid of pesky effects currently on the field, potential threats in your opponent’s hand, and prevent good monsters in your opponents from being revived… all in one synchro monster.


18. Starving Venom Fusion Dragon

Starving Venom Fusion Dragon YGO Card

Starving Venom Fusion Dragon is only a staple when combined with a certain card: Super Polymerization.

Super Polymerization lets you fusion summon a monster from your extra deck using monsters from either field as materials.

Starving Venom Fusion Dragon has some of the most generic requirements for a fusion summon – 2 dark monsters, meaning with this guy in your extra deck your odds of activating Super Polymerization successfully go way up!

If your opponent is running a Dark monster strategy, then Super Polymerization potentially lets you get rid of 2 monsters at once, while getting a Starving Venom Fusion Dragon for free.

This is truly a combo that works in any deck, as it relies entirely on your opponent’s field.


17. Dark Rebellion XYZ Dragon

Dark Rebellion XYZ Dragon Yu-Gi-Oh Card

This is one of my favorite XYZ monsters of all time.

I absolutely adored the pendulum era of Yu-Gi-Oh, and so I’ve got fond memories of this guy.

Dark Rebellion XYZ Dragon is the best way of getting over your opponent’s big monsters, no matter how tough they may be.

By detaching 2 XYZ materials from this card, you can target an opponent’s monster and halve its attack, with Dark Rebellion XYZ Dragon gaining that lost attack!

The stronger your opponent’s monsters are, the stronger Dark Rebellion XYZ Dragon gets, making this card perfect for an unexpected comeback.


16. Abyss Dweller

Abyss Dweller YGO Card

Using the graveyard has become more and more common in modern Yu-Gi-Oh – it’s practically a second hand at this point.

If you want to win at Yu-Gi-Oh then you’ll need to control how your opponent uses their graveyard, and Abyss Dweller does exactly that.

By detaching an XYZ material from this card, you can prevent your opponent from triggering any effects in the graveyard for the rest of the turn.

This means most of their graveyard strategies will be demolished by Abyss Dweller.

The best bit about this effect is that it only costs 1 XYZ material to activate, meaning you can reuse this effect, giving you two whole turns of protection from any graveyard shenanigans.


15. Knightmare Phoenix

Knightmare Phoenix Yu-Gi-Oh Card

Spell and trap removal has become increasingly important in Yu-Gi-Oh.

There are plenty of powerful floodgate cards out there that can completely shut down your strategy, and you’ll need to get rid of these floodgates if you want to stand a chance at winning.

Knightmare Phoenix is spell and trap removal you can access pretty much whenever you need it, costing only 2 monsters to link summon.

When it is link summoned you can discard a card to destroy any spell or trap your opponent controls.

In addition to this, if you’re running a link monster focused deck and Knightmare Pheonix is co-linked (where the arrows of 2 link monsters point at each other) then not only do your co-linked monsters gain protection from destruction, but you also get to draw a card when you activate Knightmare Phoenix’s effect.


14. Number 41: Bagooska the Terribly Tired Tapir

Number 41: Bagooska the Terribly Tired Tapir YGO Card

Fun fact: the OCG version of this card had a very different artwork!

Instead of holding pillows, our terribly tired tapir friend was instead holding empty bottles of booze.

It’s no surprise we got the censored version over here.

Bad habits aside, Bagooska negates so many effects at once it’s crazy.

While he’s face-up in defense position on the field, all monsters on the field are also turned to defense position, and all of these monsters have their effects negated.

Aside from link monsters who physically can’t be turned to defense position, this guy puts a stop to every single monster out there.

Sadly, Bagooska only lasts 2 turns before his own ability destroys him.

But 2 turns of complete widespread negation is definitely worth it – and this guy deserves a spot in any deck that can make rank 4 XYZ plays.


13. Number 101: Silent Honor Ark

Number 101: Silent Honor Ark Yu-Gi-Oh Card

This card is kind of like the XYZ-era equivalent of Relinquished.

It steals your opponent’s monsters, then any time to try to destroy the card it can simply get rid of the monsters it stole.

Silent Honor Ark does this by attaching special summoned monsters your opponent controls to it as an XYZ material.

Any time Number 101 would be destroyed by battle or card effect, you can simply detach an XYZ material to negate that destruction, leaving it free to absorb more monsters in the next turn.


12. Scarlight Red Dragon Archfiend

Scarlight Red Dragon Archfiend YGO Card

Scarlight Red Dragon Archfiend is one of those rare examples in life where the sequel is a million times better than the original.

Once per turn, you can destroy every single effect monster on the field with an attack less than or equal to this card’s – then inflict 500 damage to your opponent for each monster destroyed.

Not only does this wipe out most of (if not entirely) your opponent’s board, but they’ll be taking some serious damage too.

This gets even better if you have a bunch of small monsters on your side of the field to destroy too, maximizing the damage you’ll be inflicting.


11. Castel the Skyblaster Musketeer

Castel the Skyblaster Musketeer Yu-Gi-Oh Card

Complusory Evacuation Device is an amazing trap card.

But you can never seem to draw it when you need it, right?

Cue Castel the Skyblaster Musketeer, who’s pretty much a Compulsory Evacuation Device that you can access whenever you need it.

By detaching 1 XYZ material from this card, you can flip a face-up monster into face-down defense position.

This is amazing for stopping continuous monster effects, or for getting rid of monsters with very high attacks but very low defenses.

You can alternatively detach 2 XYZ materials from this card to shuffle any face-up card on the field back into the deck.

This gets rid of threats for a long time, as your opponent will have to wait and draw that card again before it can come back.


10. Borreload Dragon

Borreload Dragon YGO Card

This guy is the Goyo Guardian of Yu-Gi-Oh Vrains, and boy is it better in every way!

Its first effect is pretty good, allowing you to weaken any monster on the field by 500 attack and defense.

Not only is this great for weakening your opponents’ monsters, but if you’re playing a Rokket deck (the deck Borreload Dragon was designed for) then you can trigger the effects of Rokket monsters with this.

More importantly, whenever you attack a monster with this card, you can take that monster for yourself – placing it in any zone this card points to.

This means you can take your opponent’s strongest monsters and smack them for some damage with it, turning their strengths into their downfalls.


9. Saryuja Skull Dread

Saryuja Skull Dread Yu-Gi-Oh Card

Alongside Borreload Dragon, Saryuja Skull Dread is one of the two link monsters you should absolutely run in any deck.

Saryuja gains different abilities depending on how many monsters were used for its link summon.

If you use 4 monsters, you can draw 4 cards when it’s summoned, then place any 3 cards from your hand to the bottom of your deck.

This is an amazing way of making your hand as perfect as possible, allowing you to effectively pick and choose which cards you want.

Saryuja also lets you special summon a monster from your hand to any zone this card points to.

Meaning if you drew a good monster off of Saryuja Skull Dread, you can instantly bring it out on the field, without going through the effort of normal/special summoning.


8. Number 11: Big Eye

Number 11: Big Eye YGO Card

Number 11: Big Eye is probably the best Numbers monster out there.

Once per turn you can detach an XYZ material from this card to take control of any monster your opponent controls.

Unlike most other effects that steal your opponent’s monster, this isn’t a temporary steal:

Once you’ve taken it, it’s yours as long as it’s on the field!

This makes stealing your opponents’ powerful monsters even more satisfying, knowing that they won’t be able to take it back any time soon.


7. Evilswarm Exciton Knight

Evilswarm Exciton Knight Yu-Gi-Oh Card

Cards that help you make a comeback should be easily accessible.

And nothing is more accessible than a rank 4 XYZ monster.

If your opponent has more cards in their hand and field than you do, you can detach an XYZ material from this card to destroy every card on the field except this one.

The fact that this only costs 1 material to activate means you can actually do this twice, blowing your opponent’s field away all over again.

This card is a great option for going second in a duel.

You can let your opponent set up a large board with a bunch of different monsters, summon Evilswarm Exciton Knight as soon as possible, then the board is free for you to go nuts.


6. Predaplant Verte Anaconda

Predaplant Verte Anaconda YGO Card

Fusion summoning is one of the coolest forms of extra deck summoning.

But I think we can all agree that waiting around for the right fusion spell makes the whole thing so boring.

Predaplant Verte Anaconda takes that problem away, allowing itself to become any “Fusion” or “Polymerisation” card by sending it from the deck to the graveyard.

That’s right, you can literally search Super Polymerization, the spell that can steal your opponent’s monsters for a fusion summon, whenever you need it.

You can even target monsters on the field to turn them into a Dark monster until the end of the turn, setting you up perfectly to summon Starving Venom Fusion Dragon.


5. I.P. Masquerena

I.P. Masquerena Yu-Gi-Oh Card

There are a lot of good Link monsters whose effects activate on summon.

Saryuja Skull Dread and Knightmare Phoenix, just to list a couple… but the list really goes on!

Being able to activate these effects on your opponent’s turn can give you a serious advantage.

I.P. Masquerena allows you to do just that, by link summoning during your opponent’s turn as a quick effect.

If that wasn’t good enough, the monster summoned by I.P. Masquerena’s effect can’t be destroyed by card effects, meaning your opponent won’t be able to stop whatever plans you’ve got brewing for their main phase.


4. Divine Arsenal AA-Zeus – Sky Thunder

Divine Arsenal AA-Zeus – Sky Thunder YGO Card

Without a shadow of a doubt, this card is the best XYZ monster Yu-Gi-Oh has ever seen.

If a modern deck plays any sort of XYZ monster in their extra deck, you can guarantee this guy will be seen alongside it.

Here’s what it does:

If an XYZ monster you control battles, you can XYZ summon this card using the battling XYZ monster as a material. This makes Sky Thunder ludicrously easy to summon – instead of worrying about matching levels or finding a rank-up magic spell like other XYZ monsters, all you’ve got to do is battle with another XYZ.

By detaching 2 materials from this card you can send every other card on the field to the graveyard.

The wording here is key: “send” means that any card that can’t be destroyed by cards effects is sent anyway, getting around most cards that are otherwise invincible.

This guy is easily the best board wipe available in modern Yu-Gi-Oh.

And I’d recommend it for any deck.


3. Accesscode Talker

Accesscode Talker Yu-Gi-Oh Card

Remember when the Code Talkers were just a gimmick used by the main character of Yu-Gi-Oh Vrains?

Me too, which is why I was so shocked to see Accesscode Talker take the meta game by storm.

When this card is link summoned you can target one of the link monsters used for Accesscode Talker’s summon, and have this card gain attack equal to its link rating x 1000.

This means, at maximum power, Accesscode Talker could have a whopping 5300 attack.

And finally, you can banish any Link monster from your field or graveyard to destroy any card your opponent controls.

You can actually do this effect multiple times, as long as you banish monsters of different attributes each time.

Meaning with the right field/graveyard you can completely boardwipe your opponent with this guy.


2. Borreload Savage Dragon

Borreload Savage Dragon YGO Card

Moving on to what may be the best synchro monster ever printed, Borreload Savage Dragon is an insanely powerful card for any link summoning deck.

When this card is synchro summoned you can target a link monster in your graveyard and equip it to Borreload Savage Dragon.

Not only does this card gain half of that link monster’s attack, but this card also gains “Borrel counters” equal to its link rating.

For each Borrel counter on this card, you can negate the activation of any card of effect, by removing said counter.

For an equipped Link 4 monster, you’re looking at 4 turns’ worth of negate power – now that’s a force to be reckoned with!


1. Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess

Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess Yu-Gi-Oh Card

If there’s one thing you need in your deck to win at Yu-Gi-Oh, it’s negate power.

Take a look at any modern meta deck and you’ll see multiple negate cards in the main deck, extra deck, and certainly the side deck.

Apollousa has a crazy amount of negate power, all in one card.

This card gains 800 attack for each monster used for its link summon, and once per chain you can negate the activation of any monster effect at the cost of this card losing 800 attack.

The amazing thing about this card is that unlike most negate cards in Yu-Gi-Oh, you can actually use this ability more than once per turn!

You can potentially negate 4 different monsters all in one turn.

This level of negation is borderline impossible to recover from.

So if you can set this up against your opponent, chances are the game is as good as yours already.

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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.