Game Breaker/Tabletop Games/Yu-Gi-Oh! (Tabletop Game)

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    Examples of Game Breakers in Yu-Gi-Oh! (Tabletop Game) include:

    • In General, every format have at least one deck that qualifies as Game Breaker. The Gamebreaking deck and cards in Yugioh constantly changes whenever the metagame shifts, new cards are released, and the Banlist is shuffled. As a general rule of thumb, cards that are placed on the banlist were found to be broken at the previous format. Also, as a result of Sequel Escalation, some old decks that were completely unfair in their heyday would be not be so great a threat nowadays, even if it's untouched by the banlist. A good example of this was the old school Beatdown deck with some equips. Back in the day, it was THE winning deck, but since then it's become obsolete.
    • The creation of the horribly broken Envoys (and previously Yata-Garasu) in Yu-Gi-Oh! prompted the creation of a Banned/Limited list to curb further potential abuse. This list is now used to cull combos that create win conditions other than "attack until your opponent dies."
      • Black Luster Soldier: Envoy of the Beginning is easily Special Summoned by removing a LIGHT and a DARK monster from your Graveyard, has high Attack, and can either 1) remove one of your opponent's monsters from the game at the expense of not being able to declare an attack that turn, or 2) attack twice in one turn. It was banned for several years before being allowed, limited to 1 (vs. a maximum of 3).
      • Chaos Emperor Dragon: Envoy of the End is Summoned in the same way, has equal ATK, and has an effect which requires its controller to pay 1000 Life Points, but 1) sends every card in both player's hands and on the field to the Graveyard, and 2) does 300 damage to your opponent for each card that gets sent to the Graveyard by this effect. This generally ended games. If it didn't, its controller followed up with...
      • Yata-Garasu, one of the most broken cards ever to exist. What does this tiny bird do? If it damages your opponent, they must skip their draw next turn. This means that if they have no summonable monsters in their hand, you win. This card made decks with more than three or four monsters that required sacrifices suicide, and forced dramatic changes in tactics if you even thought your opponent's deck contained it.
        • It does have a weakness, though- Yata-Garasu only has 200 ATK and returns to your hand at the end of your turn, meaning you must expend your summon each turn to re-summon it. Meanwhile YOU still have to draw a card each turn. If the opponent has too many lifepoints (or a Marie the Fallen One in the graveyard), you'll eventually have to release the lock to avoid decking out.
    • Last Turn, which clears the field of all but one of your monsters, wipes and the hand and then your opponent special summons any monster, last man standing wins. Sounds fair right? Until you realise just how many monsters have an effect that prevents special summons...
    • Some Synchro monsters have reached this level; the requirements needed to summon them (a Tuner and non-Tuner monsters, whose levels add up to the level of the Synchro Monster) work insanely well with popular aggro-swarm tactics, making them staple cards in almost all decks. Key offenders include:
      • Dark Strike Fighter, a level 7 monster that can sacrifice monsters to deal damage equal to their Level x200. Sounds simple? A direct attack from this card plus its own effect does damage equal to half of your Life Points. Which means if you'd taken a bit of damage already (or there were other monsters to attack and sacrifice), this "finisher" ended games on the second or third turn.
      • Goyo Guardian, a level 6 monster that can steal any monster it runs over. It was Summoned easily and repeatedly in Synchro Cat decks and has 2800 Attack. For a comparison, after it was banned, Gaia Knight, the Force of Earth replaced it. Gaia Knight has 2600 Attack. Gaia Knight is used for nothing except really high ATK.
      • Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier, a level 6 monster. You can discard any number of cards to return that many cards on the field to the hand. This eliminates your opponent's Trap defense while setting up the Graveyard. Also, since Synchro, Fusion and Xyz monsters can't exist in the hand, you can make them disappear into the Extra Deck.
      • TRISHULA (Also known as Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier). Okay, maybe it's level 9 and needs two non-Tuner monsters, so it's hard to summon at first sight. But it's very easy in practice, since many Tuners summon non-Tuners automatically and Special Summons are frequent in the metagame. Its effect: it removes one card from your opponent's field, one card chosen at random from his/her hand, and one from his/her Graveyard when you summon it. During the days when you could use three copies of it, you could summon one after another, burn your opponent's cards before they could even play them, and attack with impunity. It was extremely powerful in Infernity where the player could negate anything the opponent threw out to stop Trishula's effect combined with their perfectly placed engine to summon Trishula.
      • T.G. Hyper Librarian, a Level 5 monster that lets you draw when a Synchro Summon happens. Most players would use the newly drawn cards to make more Synchro Monsters, and draw, and so on. For the few months it was Unlimited, it was stupidly powerful. In a swarmy-Synchro Deck, it was not uncommon to see two on the field at once. And let's not get started on Formula Synchron, a Level 2 Synchro Tuner Monster that lets you draw a card when it hits the field. 2 Librarians plus 1 Formula would net you 3 cards, and then you could Synchro Summon...
      • Shooting Quasar Dragon, pretty much the ultimate Synchro Monster. First of all, it can negate any effect other than a counter trap once per turn. Second, it gets an attack for each non-Tuner Material used in its summon--with 2 attacks at 4000 ATK, it can end the game by itself. Third, if you somehow manage to get it off the field, it would special summon Shooting Star Dragon, another Synchro Monster with 3300 ATK, the ability to negate destruction once a turn, and up to 5 attacks.
    • Before its key cards were banned, Frog Driver was a reliable first-turn-kill deck. It relied on:
      • Mass Driver, a Continuous Spell Card which can sacrifice a monster to inflict 400 damage (1/20 of a player's starting Life Points),
      • Substitoad, which can sacrifice any monster to summon a Frog monster from your deck, as many times as you want,
      • Ronintoad, which can summon itself from the Graveyard as many times as you want as long as you remove a Frog monster from the Graveyard,
      • and Swap Frog, which can Special Summon itself, dump Ronintoadin to the Graveyard, and serve as the first sacrifice for Substitoad. The deck wins by using Substitoad to send about 20 Frog monsters to the graveyard, and looping Mass Driver with Ronintoad to do 8000 damage and win. Mass Driver has quite a few instant-win combos off of infinite summon loops, but none are as consistent as this.
    • Blackwings used to dominate, with oodles of support, the ability to Special Summon many times in a turn, and quick recovery via Black Whirlwind and Dark Armed Dragon. They were particularly good at making Dark Strike Fighter and using Vayu the Emblem of Honor to win out of nowhere. About half of their key cards are now on the Forbidden/Limited List.
    • Lightsworns. Many of them have simple, strong effects, but force you to send cards from your Deck to your Graveyard. This is less of a drawback than it seems--it's much easier to revive monsters from the Graveyard than to recruit them from the Deck (some, like Wulf, Lightsworn Beast, revive themselves), and support cards like Lumina, Lightsworn Summoner and Beckoning Light can use the Graveyard as an extra Hand. The archetype's trump card, Judgment Dragon, has 3000 ATK, is Summoned when you have 4 or more different Lightsworns in the Graveyard, and can nuke everything else on the field for low cost.
      • The engine's starting core consists of Charge of the Light Brigade, which mills 3 cards and adds a level 4 or lower Lightsworn to your hand, and Lumina, Lightsworn Summoner, who mills 3 cards at the End Phase and can discard a card to revive a level 4 or lower Lightsworn. Since certain support cards only work in the Graveyard, you can use Lumina to turn a useless draw into a 2100 attacker. Or dump Plaguespreader Zombie, revive it by its own effect, and Synchro for Trishula. Or revive Garoth, Lightsworn Warrior and draw free cards in the End Phase. get the point.
      • Also used in the Deck is Honest, a Game Breaker on its own merits. Discard him from your hand to allow any Light monster (the LIGHTsworns are Light) to gain the Attack points of a monster it's fighting until the end of the turn. Because it activates in the hand and has a specific timing that dodges most defensive cards, you are pretty much guaranteed to overpower any monster. On top of that, Honest can be returned from the field to the hand to dodge Judgment Dragon's effect and can be added to the hand via Beckoning Light to rig your hand with every Honest used or milled so far. Back when you could use more than 1, you could win any battle AND inflict massive damage no matter what monster you were using. This is often combined with Necro Gardna, a Dark monster capable of removing itself to negate an attack to make a massive wall of defense.
      • In addition, the Lightsworn mill mechanic gives you immediate access to engines that rely on the Graveyard. And there are quite a few. Most notable are the Plant engine, which gives you free Tuners for Synchro and Tribute Summons, the Zombie engine, which uses Mezuki and Zombie Master to repeatedly revive Zombie Tuners namely Plaguespreader Zombie(now Limited) for quick Synchros, and the Chaos cards (easily splashed in since many Staple monsters are DARK) to clear out enemy fields and act as quick Synchro fodder. The Zombie-sworn deck dominated a banlist format, receiving a comprehensive Limiting on the new banlist.
    • Dark Armed Dragon was Envoy of the Beginning Part Deux. Sure, it requires EXACTLY 3 Dark Monsters in the Graveyard, but that's easy with the Graveyard manipulation for DARK Monsters. Its effect lets you remove a DARK monster from your grave to destroy one card on the field, and it isn't restricted to a certain number of uses per turn. As long as you have the Darks, you can keep blowing things up, and with a 2800 body no less. And it's Special Summoned, meaning you can put down another monster in the same turn. DAD is the star of the many decks, and is commonly splashed into anything that has DARK monsters and Graveyard manipulation.
      • The Dark Armed Dragon deck that created the ban list discontinuity was DAD Return, the first deck to receive the honor of an emergency banlist. By removing powerful monster cards (e.g. Dark Magician of Chaos, who returns a used Spell Card to your hand when summoned) for the effect of Dark Armed Dragon and Allure of Darkness, you increase the number of monsters that will come back with Return from the Different Dimension/Dimension Fusion while speeding your approach toward drawing those cards. You then create a loop of powerful creatures by grabbing Fusion through DMOC's ability and continue until you win.
      • The Tele-DAD deck, starring DAD and Emergency Teleport, relies on card synergy, speed and explosive combos. This is achieved through its amazing draw power (Allure of Darkness and Destiny Draw) and hand/deck customization (Reinforcements of the Army, Plaguespreader Zombie, Emergency Teleport, Dark Grepher, and the old Destiny Heroes engine) since most of its key cards could be run in triple. The TeleDAD deck was so broken, literally NOTHING ELSE could compete. With a good TeleDAD deck, it was incredibly rare for games to last more than 3 turns. It is one of the two honorary holders of the title Tier 0, a title that was previously only held by the Chaos Deck, for which the ban-list was created, and is considered the better of the two since more counters were supposed to be available at this point. For a while, ONE copy cost upwards of $200. Yes, $200 for cardboard.
    • The Infernity cards. Sure, they have the drawback of requiring the player to have no hand to activate, but there are lots of ways to get rid of your hand in no time and the Infernities' effects are extremely powerful. The worst offenders are Infernity Mirage and Infernity Launcher, both of which can be 1-Card One Turn Kills.
      • The Infernities also inspired a special flavor of Game Breaking: Some players illegally set monsters from their hands into their Spell & Trap Card Zones just to have their hand empty...especially crude in that Konami refused to implement any kind of rules permitting players to be forced to show their set cards after a game.
    • Swarm-heavy archetypes are all the rage as of late. Consider the Six Samurai. Their Synchro Monster, Legendary Six Samurai - Shi En, can negate 1 Spell or Trap per turn, has 2500 ATK, and can destroy another Samurai in place of itself. Back before it was hit, players would be facing Shi En, several strong monsters, and a heavy back row and hand on the first turn. The game was basically over unless you had some excellent monster effects (and, frequently, even if you did). People were forced to fill their Side Decks with silver bullets because getting around Shi En was the bar you had to pass to be "competitive".
    • Xyz Monsters are Summoned by combining 2 monsters of the same level (sticking them under the Xyz Monster). Cards "attached" to an Xyz Monster aren't "on the field". However, for a short time there was a ruling that monsters whose effects activated when they left the field worked anyways. This led to Tour Guide From the Underworld, a card that can recruit Sangan from the Deck for an Xyz Summon, skyrocketing in price. Players would go for a big Xyz Monster, detach Sangan for an effect, and grab all kinds of monsters at no cost.
    • Tour Guide From the Underworld in general, even without the ruling, is extremely powerful due to its ability to make Rank 3 monsters easily. The Rank 3 monsters available can return low-level banished monsters for reuse, protect themselves from destruction while punishing the opponent for trying, or just stomp on everything with 3000 ATK. It can even grab a Sangan from your deck for Sangan's effect if you don't bother to Xyz Summon.
    • Reborn Tengu. If it's on the field, then gets removed from the field, another Reborn Tengu from your deck takes its place. Think about what that means when you use it for a Synchro Summon. Now look at how many Synchro Monsters are on this page. Not to mention it can be reused with Pot of Avarice. You guessed it: Tengu Synchro dominated a format (in the TCG, since it doesn't exist in Japan).
      • It has since been restricted to 2 per deck, matching the limitation on Destiny HERO - Malicious from the Tele-DAD deck. When Malicious is is in the Graveyard, he can be removed from play to pull out another copy from your deck. Since he doesn't need to be on the field to do this, you still have access to your Normal Summon. He cannot be returned through Pot of Avarice and lacks the battle strength of Reborn Tengu, but increases Dark Armed Dragon's playability later in the game.
    • The Destiny HERO engine, which uses Malicious as a Tribute and later as Synchro fodder. It has a good draw engine with Destiny Draw and Disk Commander, and comes in DARK which has awesome Graveyard support. 2 format-defining Decks used this engine to fuel their combo: the aforementioned Tele-DAD, and Perfect Circle, which combines Disc Commander with Monarchs and Light and Darkness Dragon to make a "circle" of plays that gives continuous advantage. By reviving Disk Commander every time LADD dies, you draw two cards, and can use it as Tribute for Monarchs or another LADD.
    • Plants, to the point of being Tier-Induced Scrappy. The problem with Plants was, they were a relatively fast engine for Synchro Summoning without using up the Normal Summon, and really consistent at that. Add to that the fact that it could manipulate every level for Synchro Summoning. To take this Up to Eleven, this engine is so versatile that it could be put in any swarmy Deck and work. See Reborn Tengu? This is the same group of cards that made one of the best variants of Tengu.
    • As an example of Sequel Escalation, some decks can be not so good at first, but with the release of new cards, can suddenly become great, to the point of gamebreaking. Such an example is Debris Junk Doppel. At first, the idea of Debris Junk was solid, being able to Synchro for level 5 or field nuke each turn. However, the strategy was deemed too slow to work. Several years later, on top of a lot of cards (notably the Plants) being released, one card named Doppelwarrior, which greatly increased the Deck's speed, took the deck to the competitive level. Finally, T.G. Hyper Librarian (a Game Breaker in its own right) was released, allowing a draw for every Synchro Summon. The speed with which the Deck can Synchro for 5 and still have a follow-up proved consistent enough that Junk Doppel became the deck of the format.
    • You may have noticed that the Envoys at the top of the page were the first example of a Game Breaker in this game. Now look at how long this page is; all of the examples below the Envoys were released after them, not all of them banned. The game has a crapton of powerful cards running around. Konami has noticed this and is now taking the risk of unbanning one of the Envoys. While it has to be drawn to be used (unlike Synchros and Xyzs that are always ready in the Extra Deck), it is such a consistent game-winner that time will tell whether it remains free or is condemned to the Forbidden List again.
    • Wind-Ups. They have a Special Summoning combo that takes some luck to set up, but leaves the opponent with zero cards in hand. On the first turn. You'd better hope you open with Effect Veiler or Maxx "C".
      • If you're gonna talk about Wind-Ups the 2 other top archetypes in ZEXAL era deserve mention. First off we have the "dino rabbit" which uses Rescue Rabbit (the successor to Rescue Cat which pulls out two normal monsters of the same name from the deck) and tour guide of the underworld (mentioned above) to spam out Xyz monsters with these two cards by pulling every material needed from the deck taking hand size out of the question. The top Xyz spammed is Evolzar Laggia which is effectively Solemn Judgement as a monster and Levair the Sea Dragon to reuse rabbit to spam more monsters. The other archetype is the Inzektors which have a card that effectively destroys 1 card each turn for each Inzektor monster on the field which is an absolutely crazy destruction engine since they also swarm very quickly. They have insane level manipulation powers which allows them to easily synchro or Xyz summon a wide array of monsters, are dark attribute which gives them a huge amount of support including dark armed dragon (also mentioned above), splash a few light monsters and they could even bust out Envoy of the Beginning (again also mentioned above). Tournaments in the last year usually had at least one of 3 these decks as a finalist which is a show of how good they currently are.
    • Thousand Eyes Restrict. A level 1 Fusion monster with a nasty effect of locking all monsters into their current battle positions and preventing them from moving or attacking. It might have no attack or defense, but it has a second nasty effect that allows it to absorb enemy monsters and add their stats to its own (face-down monsters give it no stats). Normally, you'd need a specifically designed deck to bring this thing out, but thanks to certain other banned cards (Metamorphosis, Tsukuyomi, Magical Scientist, and Magician of Faith), one could make a deck without the fusion card to bring it out. It single-handedly created an entire format that was so slow that the creators hit the deck harder than any other deck has ever been hit with the banlist, banning EVERYTHING that made the deck even remotely usable.
    • Demise, King of Armageddon is a level 8 Ritual monster. By itself, it's an over-costed Judgement Dragon with less attack. However, with the release of Doom Dozer and Advanced Ritual Art, this card became very broken. To elaborate, you would use Advanced Ritual Art to send two normal level 4 Insects to the graveyard, summon Demise, and pay 2000 life points to destroy all other cards on the field. Then you would remove those insects to special summon Doom Dozer (which has 2800 attack). Finally, you would use Metamorphosis to tribute Demise and turn it into Cyber Twin Dragon, which also has 2800 attack, but can attack twice. Three 2800 attacks is higher than 8000, so, good game.
      • Subverted with the banning of Metamorphosis nowadays.

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