The Most Nerfed Yu-Gi-Oh! Cards, Ranked

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Different card games deal with overpowered cards in different ways.

Some card games use set rotation to put older cards out of play. Most card games will have a ban list of some sort.

But Yu-Gi-Oh! does something a little different.

Very occasionally, broken cards will be errata’d. This is where the actual card text is changed, such that the card’s effect is less broken, meaning the card can then be played again!

Love it or hate it, there are some seriously powerful cards in Yu-Gi-Oh’s history that have been nerfed this way – and this list will break down some of the most nerfed cards of all time!


10. Firewall Dragon

Firewall Dragon YGO Card

Firewall Dragon was originally intended to be the boss monster of Yu-Gi-Oh VRAINS protagonist Yusaku.

However, Firewall Dragon’s effect was so game-breakingly powerful that Firewall Dragon barely got a mention in the anime, in order to promote other cards.

Firewall Dragon’s original effect stated that if any monster this card points to is sent to the graveyard, you could special summon any monster from your hand.

As link summoning involves sending monsters from the field to the graveyard, you can see how this card quickly became a powerful combo piece in any link-summon deck!

With the new errata you can now only special summon Cyberse monsters via this effect.

This makes Firewall Dragon just as great for Cyberse decks, and pretty much useless for others.

I think this hit was fair, and I’m just glad to see Firewall Dragon back in the game.


9. Catapult Turtle

Catapult Turtle Yu-Gi-Oh Card

If you played old school Yu-Gi-Oh then this card will send shivers down your spine.

Catapult Turtle was the key part of an insanely powerful OTK involving Magical Scientist.

You’d use Magical Scientist to special summon a whole bunch of fusion monsters from your extra deck, the immediately tribute them off with Catapult Turtle for a whole bunch of damage.

Catapult Turtle has been altered since then. Now you can only tribute one monster per turn, meaning you can’t use this effect to destroy your opponent in one go.

This guy’s partner in crime, Magical Scientist, has been banned ever since.

And I doubt he’ll come off of the ban list anytime soon.


8. Dark Magician of Chaos

Dark Magician of Chaos YGO Card

The chaos monsters changed Yu-Gi-Oh as we know it, and this guy is no exception!

Originally when this card was normal or special summoned, you could add one spell from your graveyard to your hand immediately.

This meant if you used a card like Monster Reborn to summon this guy, you could just bring back that Monster Reborn straight away – and summon another monster off of it!

That’s two monsters for the price of one – enough to easily finish your opponent in a flash.

This ability to instantly recycle spell cards was just too powerful for the game to handle, and the card text had to be changed such that you got the spell card during the end phase.


7. Sangan

Sangan YGO Card

You’d be hard pressed to find a GOAT format deck that doesn’t play this guy.

In fact, Sangan was so good that it was actually limited to one copy per deck for quite some time.

With Sangan’s original effect, you could add any monster with 1500 or less attack from your deck to your hand (when Sangan is sent to the graveyard).

The strategy with this card was to combine it with effects such as Dark Hole that can destroy your own monsters, then search out those combo pieces whenever you need it.

The errata to this card sadly put a stop to this.

Now after searching, you can’t activate monster effects or summon monsters with the same name as the card you searched. Meaning that it’s practically useless until your next go.

This nerf turned Sangan from an amazing searcher, into a slow & clunky monster with a mediocre effect.

And since then it really hasn’t seen competitive play at all.


6. Destiny Hero – Disk Commander

Destiny Hero – Disk Commander Yu-Gi-Oh Card

In my opinion, Destiny Heros were way cooler than the Elemental Heroes.

Not only is their artwork all dark themed and sinister, but their effects are just way more threatening and more fun to play with.

Disk Commander was easily the best Destiny Hero ever released.

Originally, this card let you draw 2 cards every single time it was special summoned from the graveyard.

It’s safe to say that there were a whole bunch of different decks that absolutely abused this effect, drawing a crazy number of cards in a single turn.

To mitigate this, you now can’t special summon this card from the graveyard the same turn it was sent there. And to boot, you can only use its effect once per duel.

This is one of the harshest erratas in Yu-Gi-Oh, completely killing all strategies involving this card. But it was definitely a necessary adjustment!


5. Sinister Serpent

Sinister Serpent YGO Card

Sinister Serpent used to be an impossible wall to overcome.

This card’s effect originally stated that if it was in the graveyard during your standby phase, you could add it back to your hand.

So you had a monster to defend yourself every single turn, meaning your opponent would have to work twice as hard every turn to even lay a finger on you.

This endless defense was just too powerful, and at the time of this card’s release, there weren’t many cards that could deal with this.

As such, the card text was altered so that you could use this effect once before it banished itself from the graveyard.


4. Temple of the Kings

Temple of the Kings Yu-Gi-Oh Card

Temple of the Kings in its original form was broken for two reasons.

First, you could play any number of traps the turn they were set, not just once per turn. As long as you had this card up, you’d never have to wait to activate a trap card!

With traps like Imperial Order and Call of the Haunted being legal at the time, this lead to some seriously mean combos.

And here’s the second reason it was broken: you could special summon any monster you like from the extra deck.

At the time this card was printed, there were only fusion monsters to choose from.

Since then, Yu-Gi-Oh! has had synchro monsters, XYZ monsters, pendulum monsters, and link monsters, all of which would have been viable targets for this effect.

This would have led to more OTK’s than I could ever imagine. And as such, this card was altered to only special summon Fusion monsters.


3. Chaos Emperor Dragon – Envoy of the End

Chaos Emperor Dragon – Envoy of the End YGO Card

Chaos Emperor Dragon was a card so broken, that it was the first card to ever be banned in Yu-Gi-Oh’s history!

This is because it’s insanely easy to summon (requiring you to banish a light and a dark monster from your graveyard), and the effect is simply game winning.

You send every card on the field and in both players’ hands to the graveyard, then your opponent takes 300 damage for every single card destroyed.

This left your opponent on seriously low life points, assuming that didn’t wipe them out!

All you’d need to do is draw into a monster with a decent attack stat and the game was as good as yours.

Chaos Emperor Dragon has since been errata’d such that you can’t activate any effects on the same turn as this card, and your opponent only takes damage for each of their cards that get destroyed.

Not only does this practically halve the damage that they’d take, but it also means you can’t use your other effects to finish your opponent in a single turn.


2. Crush Card Virus

Crush Card Virus Yu-Gi-Oh Card

Crush Card Virus was easily one of the best trap cards ever printed in Yu-Gi-Oh.

Initially this card was only printed as a Shonen-Jump tournament prize card, meaning you had to have some serious skill (and spare money) to get a hold of one.

For its effect, this card allowed you to destroy all monsters with 1500 or more attack in your opponent’s hand, field, or in their next 3 draws.

This was insanely hard to come back from:

If you got hit with a Crush Card Virus, chances are the game was over right then and there.

This card was then altered beyond belief.

With the updated text, not only do you not get to check your opponent’s next 3 draws, but your opponent takes no damage until the end of the turn. And they also get the privilege of destroying 3 monsters of their choice from their deck!

This lets them load up their graveyard exactly how they want it, possibly setting themselves up perfectly for the next turn.

Crush Card Virus as it stands is practically unplayable.

Which is kind of sad, given how much this card dominated the meta game in its day.


1. Future Fusion

Future Fusion YGO Card

You know Foolish Burial, the spell that sends a single card from your deck to your graveyard? A card so good that it’s limited to one copy per deck?

What if I told you the original Future Fusion let you send 5 monsters at once?

The original Future Fusion let you send monsters from your deck to the graveyard, in order to fusion summon a monster in two turns.

The problem with this card was that monsters like Five Headed Dragon existed (which requires 5 dragons to fusion summon), allowing you to stack your graveyard with a whole bunch of powerful monsters all at once.

To make Future Fusion a little more balanced, you now have to send those cards to the graveyard during the next standby phase after this card’s activation.

This means that while your graveyard is getting more powerful monsters loaded into it, you don’t get to use them right away, giving your opponent a turn to at least prepare for the worst.

While this nerf was definitely needed to keep the game balanced, it’s definitely the hardest hitting errata in all of Yu-Gi-Oh’s history.

Future Fusion went from being a main deck staple for stacking your graveyard, into being an obscure fusion spell that no-one uses – exactly the way Konami intended.

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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.