Before the release of XYZ monsters, the only additional deck options were the more difficult-to-use Synchro and Fusion monsters.
If you’re wanting to add some XYZ power to a deck that features a few level 9 creatures, we’ve compiled some suggestions.
8. Skypalace Gangaridai
Similar to Gustav Max, Skypalace takes any two level 10s as material and bears 3000 DEF but gets a boost in ATK to 3400.
He can also (once per turn) detach a material to both destroy an opposing card and inflict 1000 damage to your opponent if the destruction succeeds.
This is only half the effect damage Max can inflict, and Skypalace can’t attack the turn it triggers its ability.
However, being able to reduce your opponent’s field while landing the damage lends extra versatility, and Skypalace’s boosted ATK helps it overcome the bountiful 3000-ATK aces you’re likely to face (such as Blue-Eyes White Dragon, Darkest Diabolos Lord of the Lair, and so on).
7. Number 99: Utopic Dragon
In place of the usual three level 10s, you can instead employ a Utopia monster you control as material by discarding a Rank-Up spell and connecting its material (if any) to Utopic Dragon.
Due to the number of simple-to-summon rank 4 Utopia creatures, this casting method is much-appreciated and makes Utopic Dragon unexpectedly easy to play.
In addition, Utopic can bring back from the graveyard (one per turn) any Number monster in defensive position, but it loses all of its effects (a minor drawback considering the card won’t have xyz units to detach anyway).
Finally, when a monster activates an effect during either player’s turn that targets Utopic, he can detach a material to negate and destroy that card, providing an incredible barrier against frequent link and xyz monster removals.
6. New Order 10: Etheric Horus
If your opponent has more cards in their hand than you do, you can detach a xyz material from Etheric Horus once per turn to have them destroy a number of cards they control to bring the field total to an even number.
This chilling effect is functionally equivalent to Evenly Matched, the current ace-trap in the metagame as of this writing.
Horus is presently only available in the anime, but it will hopefully see a full release in the future. In the meantime, the rest of the cards on today’s list are legal and can be used in any deck.
5. Infinitrack Earth Slicer
When it comes to machine decks, Infinitracks are among the top choices.
They can create a wide variety of terrifying XYZ creatures, with Infinitrack Earth Slicer being among the most potent.
The first benefit of this card is that it can eliminate multiple cards at once.
The number of cards you can destroy from the field is equal to the number of XYZ materials you remove from Earth Slicer.
Only two or three XYZ materials could be carried by most XYZ monsters at once. Every creature the Infinitrack Earth Slicer vanquishes in battle becomes an attachment, increasing the amount of materials it has.
If this card is sent to your graveyard for any reason, you can Special Summon it back to the battlefield by attributing a Machine Link monster.
4. Sacred Tree Beast, Hyperyton
Hypertron, Sacred Tree Beast, gives you the ability to counterattack, which is useful in almost any deck.
Here’s how it works:
Attach a card from your graveyard to Hyperyton of the same type as a card used to activate a spell, trap, or monster effect during your turn.
You can then negate and destroy your opponent’s cards during their turn by detaching an XYZ material of the same type anytime they activate a spell, trap, or monster effect.
This effect works wonderfully in conjunction with hand traps.
Inflict a hand trap on your opponent during your turn, use it as an instant material for this card, and then use it to counter their hand trap during their turn!
3. Number 9: Dyson Sphere
There is no better defensive wall card in all of Yu-Gi-Oh than this one.
Detaching a material from this card allows you to prevent damage to Number 9: Dyson Sphere whenever it is attacked while equipped with XYZ materials.
You might think this effect is only good for two turns, however…
If this card is attacked while lacking any XYZ materials, you can use this effect to attach two monsters from your graveyard as XYZ materials.
As a result, you now have access to a monster that will keep you safe from harm in numerous fights.
2. Jormungandr, Generaider Boss of Eternity
Jormungandr is one of my favorite cards since it forces your opponent to make a tough decision.
This card’s attack level is increased by a factor of x1000 for each XYZ material it possesses.
With just 2 XYZ resources, your monster will have just 2000 attack, which isn’t great for a rank 9 monster.
The XYZ material attached to this card can be detached once every turn to trigger a free draw for all players. And whomever draws a card must use an XYZ material from their hand to affix another card to this one.
Your opponent must weigh the benefits of drawing an extra card against the costs of granting your monster an extra thousand points.
If given the time to mature, this boy has the potential to become enormous.
For the right deck, it can be a fantastic XYZ at rank 9.
1. Number 92: Heart-eartH Dragon
You might be wondering at this point, “How on Earth does the best Rank 9 monster in Yu-Gi-Oh have 0 attack?!”
But I assure you, this card is not to be trifled with.
To begin with, it’s indestructible on the battlefield. And any damage you would take in combat from strikes using this card is instead dealt to your opponent.
That in and of itself is insane.
If you use Number 92 to ram into your opponent’s big-attack monsters, they may take massive damage, and you may have just turned their strongest monsters into their downfall.
Detaching an XYZ material from this card during your opponent’s end phase will negate the effects of any normal or special summons, as well as any cards set during their turn.
When this card is destroyed with XYZ material attached, you receive 1000 attack points as the “cost” of special summoning it back from the graveyard.
This makes 92 one of the best Number cards ever and the best XYZ at rank 9 that is viable to play.