If you want to win at Yu-Gi-Oh, you’re going to need some staples (and not the kind you use to hold paper together!)
The cards that hold your deck together are called “Staples Cards.”
Even though they might not be part of your main plan, they help you set up the board the way you want.
Staples can get rid of spells and traps, cancel out bad effects, or look for the important cards you need to win.
There are a lot of cards that could be called staples, depending on what deck you’re using.
I would put a few of these staples in your main deck and then put as many staples as you can in your side deck.
This means that you can switch in the most useful basics right when you need them.
So here are our choices for the best generic basics to include and when to use them.
21. Lightning Storm
Lightning Storm is the best card to play when you’re going second.
As long as you don’t have any face-up cards in your hand, this card can be used to kill either all of the opponent’s backrow monsters or all of their Attack position monsters.
Since you’ll be using this at the start of your turn, its activation requirement rarely comes up.
It’s great to have a board wipe that can be used for many things.
Even better, there isn’t a single deck out there that gets worse from running it.
You never know who will go first or second in Master Duel, so you should always be ready.
20. Foolish Burial
I still remember the first time I played Yu-Gi-Oh, this card didn’t make any sense. Why would you want to put good cards in the graveyard?
As Yu-Gi-Oh has grown, crazy events that happen in the graveyard have become more and more common.
In Dragon Link decks, sending Absorouter Dragon lets you search any Rokket monster you need to start your combos, and in pendulum decks, sending Supreme King Darkwurm gives you a free special summon for extra deck summoning.
Depending on the deck you’re using, there are a lot of different goals to think about. Each one gives you a different way to get the upper hand.
So think carefully about what effects from the dead you can use with this.
19. Upstart Goblin
Card advantage is the most important thing in modern Yu-Gi-Oh. I could write a whole book about card advantage and still not cover everything.
A +0 card is what you’d call the Upstart Goblin.
It costs 1 card (itself) to play and draws 1 card, so you don’t get any more cards overall.
This means that when you play the Upstart Goblin, your deck gets smaller by one card.
Even though this gives your opponent a 1000-life edge, having a smaller deck means you’ll get to your combo pieces faster, and you’ll win the game quickly.
18. Artifact Lancea
This is a great card if your opponent is using the graveyard to their advantage by sending things there.
There are a lot of broken powers that work by sending something to the graveyard. So many that I couldn’t even start to write them all here!
But Lancea makes sure that none of these results can happen for a whole turn.
This is very helpful and might be stronger than some hand traps that can only cancel out one affect at a time.
I would put two copies of Artifact Lancea in your side deck. If your opponent is using a plan that involves banishing cards from the grave, you can slide it in.
17. Anti-Spell Fragrance
Anti-Spell Fragrance, which is sometimes called the “Pendulum Killer,” is a great card to keep in your side deck to slow down your opponent.
While Anti-Spell Fragrance is in play, both players have to set their spells for a whole turn before they can be used. This is the same as setting traps.
This is broken because you can’t set Pendulum monsters. If you play this against a pendulum deck, it will stop them from balancing their cards.
Even if your opponent isn’t using Pendulum, this trick can still slow them down.
16. Macro Cosmos
How can I get rid of those annoying graveyard effects?
Of course, getting rid of the whole graveyard!
The first effect doesn’t really matter in this case; it’s the second effect that makes this trap card a must-have.
Any card put into the graveyard while Macro Cosmos is active is taken out of play.
This means that your opponent can’t store their powerful cards in the graveyard for later use, and they also can’t use cards like Foolish Burial to cause effects from the graveyard.
Like Lancea, I’d put a copy of this in the side deck and slide it in when I needed it. But this common card wouldn’t hurt a main deck either.
15. Twin Twisters
In current Yu-Gi-Oh, being able to get rid of spells and traps is very important.
There are a lot of bad spells and traps that can totally ruin your game plan. For example, half of the things on this list.
Twin Twisters can help because:
You can get rid of up to two spells or traps on the field by getting rid of one card. This works whether the spells or traps are face up or face down.
The fact that this card says “up to” two cards is helpful because it means you don’t have to destroy your own cards if your opponent doesn’t control two cards.
Even though this may seem like a small point, try calling Raiza the Storm Monarch to a field that is empty and then get back to me.
14. Called by the Grave
We’re in a format of hand traps, whether we like it or not.
They are a new type of card that is now in every deck. They let you get rid of strong spells and traps without having to risk setting them.
And this quick-play trick is the best way to beat most hand traps.
Most hand traps go off when they hit the graveyard, but with Called by the Grave, you can totally cancel out their effects.
This means you can play without stopping and get the board you want.
This card can only be in one deck, which is a shame, so I’d recommend putting one in the main deck (or the side deck if you don’t have enough room) of most decks.
But this will help you in almost every battle you fight.
The way we play Yu-Gi-Oh! has been totally changed by field spells.
These spells used to be a bit of a joke, giving enemies of a certain type an attack boost or some other special effects.
But in recent years, field spells have become a great way to make your decks more consistent, and many decks need them for combos.
Boot Sector Launch is worth looking at. It lets you special summon a whole army of Rokket monsters at once, giving you a lot of things to link call.
If your deck’s plan depends on a field spell, you must have Terraforming in the main deck.
I’d also suggest adding a copy of Metaverse, which does the same thing as Terraforming but lets you play your field spells right from the deck. This will help you find cards faster.
12. Harpie’s Feather Duster
The best way to get rid of spells and traps in all of Yu-Gi-Oh.
I never thought I’d see the day this card was taken off the banned list.
You can destroy all of your opponent’s powers and traps with this one spell.
All of the face-up, face-down, and field powers are gone.
Even though this card would be much better as a quick play spell, this result is too good to pass up.
I’d put this card in your side deck as a way to beat spell/trap heavy decks or teams that rely a lot on their field spells.
11. Evilswarm Exciton Knight
Yu-Gi-Oh’s “comeback kid.”
Evilswarm Exciton Knight is the right card to even out the battlefield.
While your opponent has more cards on the field or in their hand than you do, you can remove one material from this card to blow up every card on the field.
Even though this will also blow up your field, you have less cards than your opponent, so you shouldn’t lose too much.
But your opponent will have to start from scratch on their next turn, which means they will have to throw away all the cards they have used so far.
This is a great choice for any deck that can XYZ summon for rank 4, which is most decks, and I’d put it in the main deck just in case.
I never thought this card would see the light of day, but here it is.
Raigeki is a famous spell that kills all of your opponent’s monsters at once. If you’re not familiar with it, let me explain.
In Yu-Gi-Oh, you will use almost all of your resources to bring out strong monsters. I mean, isn’t that the point of the game?
If all of your monsters are killed, you will be in a very bad position. You will have wasted a whole turn’s worth of cards for nothing.
I think you should put one of these cards in your main deck. It’s great to get rid of all kinds of dangers.
9. Gameciel the Sea Turtle Kaiju
It seems strange to give a monster to your opponent. Even more so if the monster has a good attack stat.
But to be able to call it, you have to sacrifice one of your opponent’s monsters.
Now we’re talking!
To summon Gameciel, you can sacrifice your opponent’s best extra-deck monsters, getting rid of any big cards you can’t get over.
And if you want to do damage, all you have to do is hit with more than 2300 attack, which is easy to do.
Even the Dark Magician could do it, right?
I’d keep one or two copies of this guy in my side deck and play him if my opponent often used one big monster.
8. Solemn Judgment
This is the best Solemn card in the game, in my view.
Any trick, trap, or summon can be stopped if you pay half of your life points.
This means that you can use this benefit no matter how low your health is, since you can always cut it in half.
Some people would say that Solemn Strike is better than Solemn Judgment, and I think that arguing about which Solemn card is best could be the subject of a whole piece.
Still, the pattern as a whole is a great way to stop your opponent’s threats, so putting any of them in your deck will help you win.
I’d put one copy in your main deck to protect you and up to two more copies in your extra deck in case you have a lot of things to stop.
7. Monster Reborn
No longer do dead cards go to the graveyard.
In Yu-Gi-Oh, it’s almost like a second hand because it lets you store your strongest monsters there.
With Monster Reborn, you can bring back one of these cards or, if your opponent got rid of something good, one of theirs.
This is a great card for Link builds.
You can send items to the graveyard for a link call and then use them again right away.
A must-have for just about every main deck.
6. Pot of Desires
This is as close as current Yu-Gi-Oh! will get to Pot of Greed.Oh, that’s what makes this card so great.
Even though getting rid of 10 cards from your deck sounds like a lot, it won’t really hurt your plan with most decks.
Pot of Desires works best in decks that run playsets of cards and don’t depend on special one-off cards to run.
Drawing two cards can give you that extra push you need to win the game, which, if you ask me, is worth the 10 cards you weren’t using in the first place.
5. Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess
What’s better than “cards that cancel out”?
How about a quick action that lets you cancel four cards?
To use this effect, you have to call Apollousa by using as many monsters as possible, which is a pretty big cost.
But this isn’t a problem for decks like Dragon Link’s, which can call up the back legs of a donkey.
If you have a deck that can bring out a lot of monsters at once, this card should go right into the extra deck.
If you have 4 cancels, your opponent’s turn will be nearly impossible, making it impossible for them to use their best monsters.
4. Super Polymerization
The best way to get rid of a monster your opponent has is to use it to bring out one of your own big monsters.
Super Polymerization lets you steal an opponent’s monster for a fusion summon while making sure the summon can’t be stopped.
All you have to do is throw away one card, which is a crazy good deal.
Most of the time, Starving Venom Fusion Dragon is the best card to summon from this.
It only needs two dark monsters to summon, and who doesn’t run at least one dark monster?
or the Mudragon of the Swamp, which only needs two monsters with the same type but the same trait.
Depending on what deck you play this in, you could use it to call a wide variety of fusion monsters. This makes Super Polymerization a very useful card for any main deck.
3. Nibiru the Primal Being
Even when you don’t have it, this card makes your opponent afraid to play.
If you have Nibiru in your hand and your opponent calls more than 5 times in one turn, their whole board is wiped out.
Nibiru’s best feature is that it’s a hand trap.
Your opponent won’t know this card is coming, so they won’t be able to play monsters for the whole fight out of fear.
Just play Nibiru once to let your opponent know you have it, and then you can start playing mind games…
2. Ash Blossom and Joyous Spring
This hand trick goes against everything that Yu-Gi-Oh is:
Getting the best cards out of your deck.
Ash Blossom stops almost everything that moves cards around in the deck, like drawing more cards, special summoning from the deck, or putting cards from the deck into the graveyard.
So many Yu-Gi-Oh combos start when you draw the right cards from your deck, which makes Ash Blossom the perfect card to stop your opponent’s combos before they even start.
I’d say that every deck should have between one and three copies of this card in the main deck, because it’s such a powerful tool in any match!
1. Triple Tactics Talent
What do you think is fair and even?
A spell card that works like not one, not two, but three banned cards.
Three Ways to Win Talent is basically a Pot of Greed, Change of Heart, and The Forceful Sentry all in one crazy powerful spell card.
To use it, all your opponent needs to do is use a monster effect during your turn.
Given that so much of modern Yu-Gi-Oh is about having the right hand traps at the right time, this is ridiculously easy to do.
Since this card is so broken, you should definitely play three copies (if you can get your hands on three copies).
As of this writing, it has only been made in one set, which is the rarest possible, and each copy costs a hefty $120.
So if you play on a tight budget, maybe not… But this card is without a doubt the best basic card in all of Yu-Gi-Oh!