15 Best Goat Format Staples in Yu-Gi-Oh!

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Goat format is one of the most beloved formats in Yu-Gi-Oh’s history. It involves all the cards released up to and including The Lost Millennium, i.e. the first set released in the ‘GX’ era of Yu-Gi-Oh.

It’s an era of nostalgic monsters, powerful spells, and cards that will never come off of the ban list in the regular TCG.

As well as using a limited card pool, Goat format has its own forbidden and limited list based on the ban list used for tournaments at the time. This ban list couldn’t be more different to the list we know and love today – I mean, Pot of Greed isn’t even banned, alongside other infamous powerhouse cards such as Snatch Steal being legal to play.

With so many viable decks to choose from, it can be tricky knowing where to start when first playing Goat format. So let’s take a look at some of the staples that work perfectly in any Goat format strategy.


15. Metamorphosis

Metamorphosis Yu-Gi-Oh Card

Starting off this list is a card that will never come off the ban list in Advanced format – Metamorphosis.

By tributing a monster you control, you can special summon a fusion monster from your extra deck (or fusion deck at the time) with the same level as the tributed monster.

This powerful spell card was primarily used in Goat control decks, in which you would summon a bunch of tokens with Scapegoat and use this card to tribute a token and summon Thousand Eyes Restrict from your extra deck.

There are so many powerful fusion monsters that could be summoned off of this card, making Metamorphosis a perfect side deck staple for practically any Goat format deck.


14. Tsukuyomi

Tsukuyomi YGO Card

There are few spirit monsters that have seen meta play in Yu-Gi-Oh, and the ones that have were game breakingly good (looking at you Yata Garasu).

Spirit monsters return themselves to the hand during the end phase of the turn they were summoned.

On one hand, this leaves you without a monster to defend with.

But on the other hand this allows you to recycle their on-summon effects over and over again.

Tsukuyomi’s effect allows you to flip a monster on the field into face-down defense position – this can either target your opponent’s monster or yours, making it fantastic for dealing with high attack-stat threats your opponent controls, as well as resetting your own flip-effect monsters.


13. Magical Merchant

Magical Merchant Yu-Gi-Oh Card

Speaking of great flip-effect monsters, Magical Merchant is a flip-effect monster that can help you dig through your deck and find those powerful spells or traps.

When this card is flipped up, you can mill cards from the top of your deck until you mill a spell or trap, then add that card to your hand.

Goat format is notorious for the power level of its spells and traps – Pot of Greed, Delinquent Duo, and Heavy Storm just to name a few.

Magical Merchant allows you to access these cards even faster, ensuring you’ve got the resources necessary to beat down your opponent.

On top of that, Magical Merchant works incredibly well in any Chaos strategy. Chaos decks involve special summoning ‘Chaos’ monsters by banishing a Light and a Dark monster from the graveyard, and Magical Merchant is a fantastic way of getting these resources into your graveyard.


12. Trap Dustshoot

Trap Dustshoot YGO Card

Just like in modern Yu-Gi-Oh, card advantage is absolutely vital to winning in Goat format.

If you can ensure you’ve got more resources in hand than your opponent, you’ll be on track to win in no time.

Trap Dustshoot is one of the most brutal ways of keeping up card advantage. While your opponent has 4 or more cards in their hand, you can flip this trap card up to view their entire hand and shuffle back 1 monster card into the deck.

Not only does this deal with powerful monsters your opponent may have, but it also gives you knowledge of their entire hand.


11. Mirror Force

Mirror Force Yu-Gi-Oh Card

When it comes to classic Yu-Gi-Oh! Cards, you can’t get more classic than Mirror Force.

In a much slower format like Goat, board wipes such as Mirror Force are almost impossible to recover from.

In modern Yu-Gi-Oh! you can recover from board wipes fairly easy – you’re bound to have a bunch of graveyard effects, as well as any effects that trigger on destruction, or even effects that can special summon monsters from the graveyard.

Not so much with these classic cards though!


10. Scapegoat

Scapegoat YGO Card

Scapegoat is the card that practically defined Goat format.

Not only is it the basis for the Goat control strategy, but it’s also an amazing staple for most other decks in this format.

This quick play spell card allows you to special summon four level 1 tokens to your side of the field in defense position, which cannot be used for tribute summons.

In generic Goat-format decks this card is a versatile battle trap. If you’re stuck with an empty board then this is a fantastic way of putting up a defensive wall and preventing battle damage from direct attacks.

In Goat, Scapegoat serves many different purposes – it can be an offensive play by summoning Thousand Eyes Restrict, or it can help set up more defensive boards to protect your life points.


9. Breaker the Magical Warrior

Breaker the Magical Warrior Yu-Gi-Oh Card

There are many powerful spells and traps in Yu-Gi-Oh, especially in Goat format.

So you’ll need a way to deal with these if you want to stand a chance at winning.

Breaker the Magical Warrior enters the field with a Spell Counter on it, which gives him 300 attack. You can then remove a Spell Counter from anywhere on the field to pop a spell or trap onto the field.

This is a great addition for practically any deck – who doesn’t love a bit of spell/trap removal?

Breaker gets exponentially better in Spell Counter decks, however.

These decks focus on using a bunch of cards that produce Spell Counters for their effects – Breaker the Magical Warrior can use all of these counters as his own, meaning with enough Spell Counters you can clear your opponent’s backrow all in one turn.


8. Nobleman of Crossout

Nobleman of Crossout YGO Card

Setting monsters is incredibly common in Goat format.

Some decks such as P.A.C.M.A.N (Pure Advantage Camel Munches All Noobs – Yes this is genuinely a meta-threat in Goat format…) work entirely off of flip effects, all of which will trigger if you try and run over them in battle.

Nobleman of Crossout deals with these threats perfectly by destroying and banishing that monster.

Then if the monster was a flip-effect monster, both players banish all copies of that card from their main deck, ensuring that the threat is dealt with for the rest of game.

This is some of the strongest removal you can get, and is an absolute necessity in any Goat format strategy.


7. D.D. Warrior Lady

D.D. Warrior Lady Yu-Gi-Oh Card

Destroying your opponent’s monsters in battle and sending them to the graveyard is great.

But sometimes you need something a little more powerful.

D.D. Warrior Lady deals with monsters a little more permanently – when this card battles an opponent’s monster, you can choose to banish both this card and the opponent’s monster.

This is great for dealing with monsters you just can’t get rid of.

Say your opponent has a huge attack-stat Blue-Eyes White Dragon you just can’t get over – simply run into it with D.D. Warrior Lady, take a little battle damage, then banish them both.


6. Magician of Faith

Magician of Faith YGO Card

What’s better than one copy of a broken spell in your deck? How about multiple?

Magician of Faith is a flip monster that allows you to add 1 spell card from your graveyard to your hand when it’s flipped face up.

This lets you get double the value out of your spell cards. And with all the broken spell cards in Goat format, it’s no wonder Magician of Faith should be a main deck staple in every deck.


5. Snatch Steal

Snatch Steal Yu-Gi-Oh Card

Snatch Steal is an equip spell that allows you to permanently take control of an opponent’s monster, at the cost of giving them 1000 extra life points during each of their standby phases.

This is great for closing out games when the going gets tough.

You can either use Snatch Steal to steal a strong monster and beat down your opponent with it, or you can use the stolen monster to tribute summon your own monsters.

If you can tribute summon into a card such as Zaborg the Thunder Monarch which destroys a monster on summon, then this combo suddenly becomes an unstoppable piece of removal.


4. Heavy Storm

Heavy Storm YGO Card

Goat format matches are almost entirely determined by spells and traps.

And given how strong the spells and traps of this era are, you’ll want a way to deal with a bunch of them all at once.

Heavy Storm is the best piece of spell/trap removal ever printed, and it’s easy to see why this card is banned in the regular TCG.

This pops all spells and traps on the field, face-up or face-down.

Not only does this clear up your opponent’s backrow, dealing with any threats they may have lurking back there, but it can also trigger the destruction effects of your own spells and traps.


3. Sangan

Sangan Yu-Gi-Oh Card

Sangan is a card that helps you get to your deck’s key monsters as quick as possible.

It doesn’t matter what deck you’re playing in Goat format – Sangan will be able to speed up your strategy.

In the version played in Goat format (i.e. pre-errata), Sangan allows you to add any monster with 1500 or less attack from your deck to your hand when it’s destroyed by battle.

This can grab you cards like Magical Merchant who can grab you powerful spells and traps from the deck, Magician of Faith who can recycle your used up spells, or Tsukuyomi to deal with powerful monsters – basically whatever you need, whenever you need it.


2. Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning

Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning YGO Card

When it comes to boss monsters in Goat format, you can’t get much better than Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning (or “BLS” as it’s commonly known in the Goat community).

BLS is the boss monster for Chaos decks – decks that revolve around summoning powerful monsters by banishing a Light monster and a Dark monster from the graveyard.

With 3000 attack points this guy is virtually impossible to beat in battle, and his monster effects are devastating.

You can either banish 1 monster on the field from play with a non-targeting effect, or if this card destroys a monster by battle it can attack again.

This turns BLS into a board wipe that also deals some serious damage to your opponent – it’s easy to see why BLS is such a game winner in Goat format, and why Chaos decks are such a popular choice.


1. Graceful Charity

Graceful Charity Yu-Gi-Oh Card

Graceful Charity is really the best draw spell ever made.

And it’s mind blowing that this card is even legal in Goat format.

This card allows you to draw 3 cards then discard two cards. Not only is this a great way of cycling through the best cards in your deck, but in Chaos decks specifically this card is nuts.

You can discard a Light and a Dark monster off of this effect to set you up perfectly for your Chaos summons. Sometimes getting both of these monsters into the graveyard can be an impossible feat, but Graceful Charity does it while also letting you draw.

No matter what deck you’re playing, Graceful Charity is a fantastic way of seeing your best cards as soon as possible – and it has to be a staple for this format.

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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.