Level 1 monsters are usually a mainstay in most decks. They have good effects and make it easy for players to play their higher level monsters.
Some of us find it fun and useful to use these low-level monsters on their own.
Even though they’ll never win a contest, Level 1 Monster Cards are at least interesting, and there are a lot of them to choose from.
“Good things come in small packages,” as the saying goes.
And the same is true for Yu-Gi-Oh!
Most of the time, yes.
For this list, we’ll be counting down the best level 1 monsters that you might want in your deck.
25. Meklord Emperor Wisel
This card is an unusual choice that can be very powerful in the right circumstances.
It can stop plays and help your deck win the game.
To summon Meklord Emperor Wisel, a monster must be killed by a card effect.
This isn’t a hard thing to do, so enjoy your win if you can do it.
Once per turn, it can stop your opponent from using a Spell card, which is insanely good!
24. Flamvell Guard
One of the level 1 monsters with the best DEF had to make the list, since there aren’t many level 1 monsters with good ATK/DEF stats.
The fact that Flamvell Guard is also a tuner makes it special and makes it a great addition to any Dragon or low-level deck.
The 2000 DEF on Flamvell Guard lets you use it to slow down the game if you need to.
I might be a little bit biased because I put Relinquished on this list because it’s one of my all-time favorite cards.
Even though it isn’t as good as it used to be, it still works great in any deck with level 1 monsters, like a Kuriboh deck.
Whether it’s a stop card or a boss, it can be hard to deal with an opponent’s monster.
If you can equip it, you can avoid effects that say it can’t be killed, so it’s a good idea to use it!
22. Torque Tune Gear
Even though Torque Tune Gear is really cool, there aren’t many Union monsters that deserve to be on a list.
Not only does it give the monster it’s equipped with 500 ATK/DEF, but it also makes it into a Tuner monster, which lets you summon many more monsters from your deck.
It’s a tuner, so you don’t have to use its attaching effect if you need a synchro monster.
Even though it is one of the oldest cards on this list, it still works well now.
I think it’s underrated to be able to take on the ATK/DEF stats of an opponent’s monster, since it can stop your opponent’s boss monsters.
Copycat has trouble with cards that can’t be targeted, which is a shame and probably why it isn’t used very often.
However, if you’re making a deck of level 1 monsters, this card should work great.
20. Cyber Dragon Nachster
People like cyber dragons a lot.
Not only do they often win events, but in the last couple of years they have also gotten some amazing new cards.
Not even Cyber Dragon Nachster was different.
It has the ability to be special called from your hand if you get rid of a monster.
Once it is called, it lets you bring back a Cyber Dragon (or a number of other options) so that you can summon Link in style.
19. Glow-Up Bloom
The Zombies have been a favorite Yu-Gi-Oh! card for a long time.
It will be hard to find a Zombies deck profile that doesn’t include this powerful plant in a pot.
With this deck’s focus on sending things to the graveyard, this card shines when you send it to the graveyard to either add a level 5 or higher Zombie monster to your hand or, if Zombie World is already on the field, special summon it right to the field!
18. Treeborn Frog
This frog friend just won’t stay still.
The Treeborn Frog is a staple of the ever-classic Frog archetype.
He shows up on your field every backup phase, as long as you don’t already have another copy of him or any spells or traps.
This makes him a great addition to the XYZ frogs or to decks that like to use a steady Link material.
17. Magicians‘ Souls
Here’s a great addition to the character of the Dark Magician:
The Souls of the Magicians.
You can show it from your hand to send to the graveyard a spellcaster from your deck with a level of 6 or higher
(Hint: Dark Magician or Dark Magician Girl).
Then, it can be sent to the graveyard to bring that monster back to life, or it can be special summoned to the field for an extra benefit and the chance to draw two cards.
16. King of the Skull Servants
Now, the King of the Skull Servants is possibly one of the most famous 1-star monsters.
By eating the bones of his servants and predecessors, he gets 1000 attack for each one in the graveyard.
A full deck of Skull Servants can give him up to 20,000 attack points.
And if you destroy him, you can special call him back by sending one of his followers to the graveyard.
It’s all good.
They fight back, but what’s most important is that they look like food.
The Marshmacaron is not only one of the cutest cards in the history of Yu-Gi-Oh!, but it also has a delicious defense.
When one is killed and sent to the graveyard, you can use a special ability to bring up to two more from your hand, deck, or graveyard.
If you combine this card with another card that limits strikes, your opponent will be the target of a siege if you do it right.
If your opponent ever hits you with 5 strikes at once, I hope you have Scapeghost on your side.
When this card is turned face-up, you can put as many Black Sheep Tokens as you want on your side of the field.
This makes a strong wall that can take all those blows.
And if you’re playing with a Zombie deck, you might be on the verge of making a return.
Since I love puns so much, it’s not surprising that this card made it onto our list.
But we’re not just looking at the name here; we’re also looking at the insane power to stop a single chain attack in its tracks.
With this hand trap, you can stop any deck from starting up that relies on a single chain combo.
When your opponent special summons a monster and you have no cards in your hand,
You can discard Gnomaterial to target that monster and stop it from being used as a tribute or as a material for any Fusion, Synchro, XYZ, or link summon.
If your opponent doesn’t have another way to start a combo, this really stops them in their tracks.
12. Vijam the Cubic Seed
To people who don’t know about the Cubics archetype (which is a great one, and they were in the new movie! Let me show you one of my favorite playing cards.
In the time I’ve spent playing Vijam the Cubic Seed, I’ve seen a lot of lips open wide and jaws drop.
When you see a facedown monster, you don’t usually expect to see a level 1 creature with no attack or defense numbers that looks weak.
But this little thing has a trick up his sleeve. It can’t be killed in battle, and once it has, you can move it to your Spell and Trap card zone to put a Cubic counter on the monster that attacked.
What do Cubic counters do, you ask?
Oh, not much. It just makes that monster’s effect go away and stops it from striking.
You can then just call Vijam back to the field on your next turn to do it all over again.
Since Glow-Up Bulb was put on the list of cards that can’t be used, it was time for Spore to step up and become the second best level-1 plant monster.
You can special summon Spore from the graveyard by sending away another plant monster.
The level of Spore will go up by the level of the monster you sent away.
This is a great way to get those synchro call plants going.
But, unfortunately, it can only be used once per fight… great effect still!
10. Mystic Piper
If you want to make a level 1 deck, you should think about getting 3 copies of this crazy-good card.
You can pay a respect to the Mystic Piper to draw a card and show it.
If the card you show is another monster of level 1, you can draw another card.
This is a really great way to keep adding cards to your hand and keep your level 1 plan going.
9. Evil Thorn
We’ve now reached the top of level 1 plants.
When it comes to Link calls, Evil Thorn is by far my favorite.
Bring one of them into play and kill it to deal 300 damage to your opponent.
Doesn’t seem like a big deal, does it?
Well, the best part is coming up next!
Then, you can bring two more of them out of the deck.
This lets you call up almost any Link 2 monster you can think of.
8. Millennium Eyes Restrict
Now, there are a few cards in the Relinquished/X Many Eyes Restrict deck, and it seems to grow into a new type every so often.
The Millennium Eyes Restrict has almost no bad effects, unlike its predecessor, the Thousand Eyes Restrict.
It can be used quickly with cards like Instant Fusion or Fusion Parasite, which is another great level 1 monster that didn’t make our list.
Why then would you use Millennium Eyes Restrict?
Its major use is to stop those annoying hand traps that could stop you from doing combos.
It does this by taking a card from your opponent’s field or graveyard after their card effect has been used. That card is then equipped with Millennium Eyes Restrict.
Cards that have the same name as the card that is equipped can’t attack or use their powers.
This means that if your opponent has already used a hand trap against you or is trying to do so for the first time, you can grab that card and stop its effects from happening.
7. Swift Scarecrow
We looked at a card that could stop things like hand traps in their tracks with our #8 pick.
So let’s do the opposite and look at some of those annoying level-1 hand traps.
The first one is the Quick Scarecrow.
If you’ve ever played against a deck that likes to wait, you’ve had the (un)pleasure of getting to know this monster.
When your opponent announces a direct attack, you can just throw this card out of your hand to stop the attack, end the battle phase, and stop the attack from happening.
6. Battle Fader
Battle Fader is a better version of the old Swift Scarecrow.
It has the same effect as negating an attack and ending the fight phase, but it also brings itself onto the field as a special summon while doing so.
This gives you a body to take another attack the next turn, and since it doesn’t go to the graveyard right away, it’s harder to stop.
5. Eater of Millions
Now, this cute little rascal is a great addition to any deck that can do things like discard (looking at you, Gren Maju players), or if you just like having a hard-to-get rid-of monster on the field.
The only way to bring the Eater of Millions into play is to get rid of 5 face-down cards from your hand, field, or extra deck.
Once it’s on the field, it gets 100 ATK/DEF for every card you send to the graveyard.
And every turn, it gets rid of the first card it fights with.
But you can’t sacrifice it or use it as a part of a Fusion, Synchro, or XYZ call, which is a small price to pay.
4. Animadorned Archosaur
We all knew a kid who was crazy about dinosaurs. If you didn’t know one, you were probably that kid.
Well Yu-Gi-Oh is no different. In the original series, dinosaurs had their own bad guy, and they’ve stayed a favorite of many players ever since.
Not only that, but a few years ago they also started to show up in competitions.
This jewel-covered alligator is also a reason why they were able to stay there.
When this card is created normally or with a special effect, you can destroy another dinosaur in your hand to get an evolution pill from your deck.
This card’s combo power is amazing, so any serious Dino player needs to have it.
3. Effect Veiler
Ahh, Effect Veiler.
It’s surprising that a card that came out so long ago is still so good.
During your opponent’s main phase (don’t forget this), you can send this card from your hand to the graveyard to target and cancel the effects of one face-up card on their side of the field.
It’s a card that you can count on and that gets printed a lot, so it’s a cheap hand trap for any deck.
2. D.D. Crow
In this spot on our list, we’ll look at a level-1 monster that is both very useful and, at the time this piece was written, still a pretty good choice.
If you throw away D.D. Crow from your hand, you can remove a target from an opponent’s graveyard.
This can be very bad for decks that need parts of their combo to come from the graveyard and go into play.
And believe me, there are plenty of these kinds of decks around.
1. Droll & Lock Bird
If it’s good to stop cards from triggering in the graveyard, wouldn’t it be better to stop them from going there in the first place?
Every good Yu-Gi-Oh! deck does a lot of the same thing: it adds cards from your deck to your hand.
So, Droll & Lock Bird come into play.
See, when your opponent draws a card or gets a card effect that adds a card to their hand, you can throw away Droll & Lock Bird to stop them from drawing any more cards from their main deck.
So instead of trying to stop our opponent from using effects in their combo, we can just stop them from being able to combo in the first place.