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Top 20 Favorite ‘Yu-Gi-Oh!’ Archetypes (Part 1)

When it comes archetypes in Yu-Gi-Oh!, it all boils down to taking your pick. There are more than 100 (and counting) these days in total. There are so many cards for so many potential strategies, but archetypes act as a “base” for different tactics you use as a foundation.

With this in mind, choosing just one archetype can be challenging. I find myself enjoying many archetypes for a variety of reasons. This can be due to an archetype’s playstyle, design, overall concept and everything else to consider!

Below is the start of a top 20 list of my favorite archetypes in the game (in no particular order of significance). The next five entries will come out next week.

Now, without further ado:


1. Elemental HERO

Elemental HERO

I love superheroes. Naturally, the Elemental HERO archetype had to be on this list by default. This is an archetype of different superheroes with multiple powers coming together. I adore the costumes of most of the heroes, plus the crazy amount of variety this archetype brings to the table regarding game mechanics is outstanding.

As a result, Elemental HERO cards will always have a special place in my heart.


2. Harpie

Harpie

The Harpie archetype has signature cards of the popular Mai Valentine character. I have always been a fan of the Harpie archetype since the beginning. For Yu-Gi-Oh!, the game chose to give these Harpies a beautiful spin to their design (for those of you who don’t know, the harpy is often a hideous-looking creature in mythology).

But hey, I am not complaining. From a gameplay standpoint, Harpies have always been a competitive deck. Over time, the archetype just got better with more support cards – regardless of how much the actual game itself changes.

So if you want to slash up your opponent with these pretty, but deadly bird ladies – look no further. Harpies show no mercy.


3. Cyber Dragon

Cyber Dragon

So you have dragons with a “cyber” element to them? Yup, this is the whole archetype in a nutshell. Nonetheless, I have always appreciated this archetype’s simplicity. More often than not, some archetypes just “try too hard” when it comes to design and gameplay mechanics.

But this Cyber Dragon archetype keeps it straightforward while still packing a wallop. You have “futuristic” dragons made of metal and computer parts that can blast things to smithereens. What more do you want? It also had a mean OTK (one-turn kill) deck back in the day as well!


4. Madolche

Madolche

The aspiring chef will always enjoy the whimsical nature of this archetype. It is a “food kingdom” full of things like butlers, maids, knights, a princess and so forth. All of their names are food puns. The card art is delicious as well, brimming with cute details to emphasize the gourmet-kingdom themes.

Don’t you just want to gobble these cards up?


5. Crystal Beast

Crystal Beast

These gems are all animals with some kind of crystal theme (ruby, sapphire, emerald and so forth). Their primary strategy is to combine their powers together to call out a mighty dragon made up of rainbow magic (seriously) to defeat their opponents.

The main twist I like about this archetype is how Crystal Beast monsters “crystalize” themselves to be part of your Spell & Trap Zone. This way, you can work toward summoning that particular dragon full of rainbow energy while still maintaining the gem flavor.

For me, I give extra points to an archetype that achieves design flavor from top to bottom!


Well, I hope you liked the first part (15 more to go) of this list. Tune in next week to see my next five favorite archetypes!

All card images and pictures belong to Konami. Images are from the Yu-Gi-Oh! Wiki. © 1996 Kazuki Takahashi

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