It's time to d-d-d-d-d-talk about Yu-Gi-Oh! The anime that sparked a card game has been on the mind of western viewers since the 4Kids version debuted in September of 2001. Since then the card game the anime is based on has occupied the time and wallets of fans the world over. Much like the characters in the series.
One such character being Yugi Muto. While nothing much on the outside, Yugi actually holds the spirit of the King of Games, Atem. An Egyptian Pharoah known for being a master strategist who is an unstoppable force in games. Though it takes much more than just strategy to be the undisputed King of Duel Monsters. It also takes powerful cards to climb to the top of the gaming mountain.
10 Buster Blader
It's a niche pick but when your greatest Rival is Seto Kaiba, it is invaluable. Already a menacing monster with 2600 attack points, Buster Blader has an ability that makes it the bane of any dragon-themed decks.
Its already impressive 2600 attack gets increased by 500 for every Dragon-Type monster on the opponent's side of the field and in their Graveyard. Which can lead to an insane amount of attack power that can easily rival higher tier monsters. The sheer amount of times that Yugi and Atem have faced duelist with dragon cards make it more than necessary in his deck.
9 Swords of Revealing Light
Not every strong card in Yu-Gi-Oh! is a monster card. A strong mixture of monster, traps, and spell cards are needed to become the King of Games. Swords of Revealing light is a welcome addition to almost any deck.
While it has no attack or monster destruction abilities to think of, it provides a duelist with valuable supplementary abilities. First, it reveals all face-down monster cards, shielding its master from any ill effects they may have had. Secondly, it stalls for time with a light show that prevents an opponent from attacking the duelist who summoned it for 3 turns. Allowing them valuable time to think of a counter-strategy.
8 Valkyrion The Magna Warrior
The Magnet Warriors may not be all that strong by themselves, but when combined they are a force to be reckoned with. Valkyrion The Magna Warrior can only be tribute summoned by sacrificing the Alpha, Beta, and Gamma Magnet Warrior, but once you do you have one of the strongest monster cards in the series. Starting with a staggering 3500 attack and 3850 Defense, it has enough attack power to obliterate the famed Blue-Eyes White Dragon and defense to tank it easily. Though a high defense and attack aren't the only tricks this card has up its non-existent sleeve.
It can also be sacrificed to resummon the cards used to Tribute Summon it. And if you think that isn't much use, that very same ability was one of the key factors needed to destroy all three of the Egyptian God Cards during Yugi's Ceremonial Battle with Atem.
7 Dark Hole
This card is the type that Yugi and Atem should have used more often. Only used once by him in the original anime, he didn't even get to fully implement it because it was sniped out of his hand. Which is a shame because it is an insane Spell Card.
Able to change the flow of any duel, Dark Hole's ability is simple but immensely effect. It destroys all monsters on the field. That may include the summoner's monsters, but when they have their backs up against the wall by an opponent's set of monsters, nothing is more of a game-changer than clearing the field.
6 Dark Magician
Not only one of his strongest but the most valuable card for Yugi and Atem. Starting with 2500 attack and 2100 defense, it's a heavy hitter for sure, but that's not where its true power lies.
The sheer amount of synergy this card has with other cards makes it one of the strongest cards in Yugi and Atem's deck. There are several spell and monster cards that include Dark Magician for its effects. That's not even including the several monsters it is used as a tribute to summon, some of which are quite powerful in the anime.
5 Mirror Force
The only trap card on this list, but for good reason. While Dark Hole can potentially wipe the field clean, Mirror Force can do one better.
Activated when a monster attacks the duelist, it takes all of that attack's force and sends it right back at them to destroy every card on the opponent's side of the field in attack position. Which has saved Yugi and Atem time and again throughout the series. Leaving the opponent's side of the field clean for their counter-attack. After all, there is a reason why Mirror force is probably the most used Trap Card in the series.
4 Dark Sage
The best cards are always the ones that let you break the rules. Dark Sage is only a bit stronger than Dark Magician, but it's special ability more than earns it a place on this list. In the anime, it lets Yugi and Atem use spell cards on both their and their opponent's turn from his deck. Which can let them set up some amazing combos according to the show's rules.
Even outside of the anime, Dark Sage can make or break a game. Allowing the player to bring one spell card from his deck into his hand, letting them immediately activate it for a play that could win them the game. The only problem being that it is that you would need all the planets to align on a blue moon to summon him as you need a Dark Magician, Time Wizard and a coin flip going your way.
3 Dark Paladin
Another member of the Dark Magician family, Dark Paladin has the best parts of two strong cards. Requiring a Fusion Summon of both Dark Magician and Buster Blader, this monster is a one-man army of spell killing action.
First and foremost, it can negate and destroy any Spell Card by discarding one card from its summoner's hand. Secondly, it keeps Buster Blader's dragonslayer ability. For every dragon card on the opponent's field and in their graveyard, it increases its attack by 500. Only adding to its already high 2900 attack points. If played against a Dragon deck it could mean instant defeat.
2 Slifer The Sky Dragon
Slifer the Sky Dragon is one of the mythical God cards. Each baring amazingly powerful abilities that few Monster Cards could rival. Slifer being no slouch in that department. Starting with an Attack and Defense dictated by the number of cards in your hands. It gets 1000 points to both attack and defense for each card its summoner holds. Then we go into its abilities and it is easy to see why these cards are feared in the anime.
Upon activation, it weakens every Monster Card summoned onto the field by 2000 points. It also straight up destroys any monster with 2000 or fewer attack points that dare to resist it. Pretty hardcore for a children's card game.
We include this one over the other God cards as this seems to be the one closest to Atem/Yugi. Obelisk and Ra were seldom used in comparison to Slifer.
1 Exodia, The Forbidden One
Not a single card, but a set of cards that can immediately win the game. Yugi and Atem only really had the cards during the first three episodes of the series, but that doesn't exclude it from being included among their most powerful cards.
Once all 5 pieces of the Forbidden One are assembled, the game is immediately won. That's it. No amount of monster cards, spells, or traps can stop Exodia from immediately obliterating all opposition and winning the game for its summoner. Which is exactly why Weevil tossed them out to sea the moment he got his grimy hands on them. Seriously, Yugi, you shouldn't lend your cards out to people with "evil" in their name.