Top Ten Yu-Gi-Oh! GX Duels (A Perfectly Scientific Analysis) Part II


Yu-Gi-Oh! fans may shoot me for this, but Yuki Judai is a good protagonist.

Why? Because he actually changes a lot through the course of the series. Not to say that Yugi and Atem from the original series didn’t change–they did–but the character development, especially for Yugi, were a lot more subtle. At the end of his journey with Atem, Yugi emerges into a powerful duelist in his own right, and truly becomes the King of Games when he defeats his darker counterpart. Judai’s struggle is more pronounced because the distance between where he starts and where he finishes are worlds apart.

You go from this guy…
…to that guy…

GX evolves in much the same way as Judai’s journey. It starts off childishly, whimsically and then ends up in a darker, more adult-like place at the end.

Well, more mature teenagers at least…they might have saved the world a fair few times but they’re still kids.

Even in its cheeriest moments, GX is ultimately a tale about responsibility, a surprisingly heavy topic for a children’s card game series. What annoys a lot of viewers about Judai (Jaden for you 4Kids victims) is that he is not particularly responsible. He floats around, hanging out with friends, being your typical card-games obsessed teenager and somehow we give him flak because he’s so childish. He’s got the emotional sensitivity of a doorknob, doesn’t know subtlety if it bit him in the arse and is shamelessly upbeat.

Your constant smiling makes me want to punch your face in.

Not that optimism is a bad thing necessarily but naiveté is dangerous. While Judai pulls through when he has to, he does it in a way that is so effortless, so nonchalant, so annoying heroic that we can’t help but grind our teeth a little at the ease in which he does it.

It’s not really until season 2 that we’re introduced (at least a little) to the idea of responsibility. In season 2, Judai suffers his first consequential loss and slowly realizes that hey, turns out that card games aren’t always just card games. It’s also in season 2 that the concept of destiny (a favorite theme in Yu-Gi-Oh!) is fully brought to the fore. Judai, according to Saiou, has the power to shape his own destiny and consequently is a threat to his world domination plans. The idea that Judai has the power to move not only his own fate but that of others is a sobering one. Losing isn’t something he can just laugh about—losing a duel now has consequences. And the stakes only continue to pile higher and higher, until we’re dealing with life and death.


What distinguishes these five duels from the rest are the stakes, execution of badassery, and symbolic oomph. Most fans will admit (myself included) that many Yu-Gi-Oh! duels are forgettable but the ones that stay with…well, there’s a reason why they stay with us.

 5. Johan vs Judai

(Dark World Arc)


“Johan, if I can duel to save the world, just like you said…I [too] will fight for my own purpose! My deck…lend me your power so we can save Johan!” -Judai

Clocking in at number five is…yet another duel between Johan and Judai. I did say they have chemistry and man oh man, what better way to shower your best friend with affection than by beating them at a children’s card game?

You got to give GX kudos for biting the bullet of taking card games a little too seriously. While the concept of using a children’s card game to determine the fate of the world has been spinning its wheels since the glorious yesteryears of Duel Monsters, GX stands out in its dedication of canonical shipping.


You heard me right, folks. When it comes down to it, GX is a story about luuuurve. Not the fuzzy wuzzy, lukewarm fluff of your typical shojo romances. This is real love–love that is passionate, obsessive and occasionally downright twisted.


This duel scores high for some awesome combos from both sides. Advanced Dark gives the Gem Beasts a little extra boost (not to mention a wicked makeover). The Gem Beasts aren’t particularly strong on their own but they do they have excellent swarming ability and a gamut of spell card combos to back them up. Judai breaks free of his Fusion fears and accepts the responsibility of saving his friend.


Crowning moment of awesome: When Judai plays Super Fusion to fuse Elemental Hero Neos with Rainbow Dragon and bring out Rainbow Neos.

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One theme explored in this particular season is the relationship between pain and love. Yubel is under the impression that pain is a form of love, which is why she inflicts pain on Judai as a way of expressing her love for him.

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You’d think that her reasoning is off-the-charts bat-shit crazy but when you think about it the association between love and pain is actually not as counterintuitive as one thinks. For those who have felt the pangs of unrequited love or even affection that’s more intense than happy go lucky puppy love, we perceive love as something that is both wonderful and the same time, terrible, pleasurable and painful. Judai hesitates to hurt Johan because he cares for him but has to do so in order to save him. Along similar lines, Yubel thinks she has to hurt Judai in order to show that she loves him, because that’s what he did to her (albeit unintentionally) all those years ago.

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Twisted self-gratifying love or the manliness of friendship–not hard to see what wins out here. If you’re wondering why exactly Johan didn’t disappear into little glowing sparkles, well…let’s just bypass that plothole, eh?

 4. Judai vs Yubel

(Dark World Arc)


Yubel: All of this was just me trying my best to make you happy, Judai.

Judai: Happy? I’m happy? After my friends got hurt, suffered and killed?

Yubel: But that’s love, isn’t it? In tormenting you, I wanted to tell you how deep my love for you is.

Hands down, Yubel is the most interesting GX villain (though even 4Kids manages to simplify her complex character down a few pegs despite having so much to work with).

Like a lot of shonen shows Yu-Gi-Oh! has tended to shy away from any serious treatment of romance, which isn’t the most popular thing to run with the 6-10 year male demographic. But GX gets points for doing something different–Judai’s relationship with Yubel is a complicated one indeed, one that transcends time and space.


I’m not sure what to make of Yubel and Judai’s relationship in GX. And maybe that’s a good thing. YGO, despite being solidly shonen, has proven to be quite inventive in its moral paradigms. And its morally ambiguous representation of Yubel and Judai’s relation is perhaps the boldest and most complex relationship it’s had to show.

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On a basic level, their tale is a sworn love that is forgotten. YGO loves its mythology, and GX ramps it up by giving our Yutagonist a past life as a king.


King Judai’s no Atem but he occupies a similar role as a dark defender. The archetypal sides of good and evil are inverted here, as per GX-style. Instead of fighting the darkness, it’s the light that one has to fear and prince Judai bears the heavy burden of being the chosen one to protect the world.

You know he’s your best bro when he’s willing to undergo a painful surgery to become a hermaphroditic dragon just to protect you.


Yubel gives up his/her(?) in order to assume a form that will enable her to protect Judai. In the passion of impetuous youth, prince Judai, touched by her devotion, vows to love “her and her alone.”

Uh huh, that’s nice, kid, but don’t make promises you can’t keep.

Presumably, prince Judai dies while fighting the good fight with the light of ruin and later gets reborn as the duelist we know today. While Yubel sticks around with her beloved as a Duel Monster card. Yeah, that might put a hamper on one’s relationship.


Reincarnation is a tricky thing and memories become more of a curse for one who has an eternity to live. Chibi Judai isn’t interested in Yubel as more than a friend, let alone a lover, and is having way too much fun playing children’s card games with actual kids. When Yubel starts getting a little too possessive and strategically starts targeting his friends, he goes off and sends her away in a spaceship as a long-term “time-out”, figuring that maybe his card might get an attitude adjustment and start behaving less selfishly.


A misunderstanding of the most epic proportions

And here we have the reversal. Judai’s action was made out of kindness but the outcome actually was the cruelest. I mean, how was the kid supposd to know that there are nastier things in space than asteroids and black holes? An act of love twisted into a consequence of hatred. Yubel, to her credit, never stops thinking in terms of loving Judai. But thanks to the corruption of the Light of Ruin, her definition of love warps, and she comes to the conclusion that loving someone must involve hurting them. How else could she rationalize Judai’s actions for leaving her and hurting her?


In her eyes, Judai’s greatest sin is not so much for hurting her, though that’s certainly a major factor. Judai’s greatest sin is that he forgot her. Which is such a Judai-like thing to do. And a big no-no for sworn love.

So meta to be playing yourself in a duel…

Why this talk about love? Because it’s what’s reflected in the duel itself. Yubel’s deck, and her card’s ability, represent the selfishness of her warped love. As a protector, her card’s ability to negate all battle damage inflicted on her and reflect that back on the opponent really gives her credit as a formidable guardian. However, in battle, her card causes pain to others, while leaving herself, unharmed, something that she notes with regret.


In contrast to Yubel’s solitary love (her deck is essentially built around summoning her and sacrificing other monsters to do so), Judai’s Neospacian/E-Hero deck is built on the bonds of friendship and cooperation between his Elemental Heroes and his Neospacians. Individually, they’re weak but through the potential of Fusion Summoning, their powers transcend any limits.

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Crowning moment of awesome: Elemental Hero Prismer’s special effect to turn into Fusion material for ANY fusion monster…holy gosh, welcome back Rainbow Dragon and RAINBOW NEOS.

 “I’ve made many friends…and have learned this from them all…Real love is wide enough, large enough and deep enough to envelop the whole universe! Your so-called love is nothing more than your own self-righteous misconception!” -Judai

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Like the numerous combos and special abilities of Judai’s monsters, true love is not something finite. Yubel argues that Judai’s friendships and formed bonds with others has diluted his love for her. She accuses Judai’s friends of stealing his love for her. Judai counters that she’s wrong and that love isn’t something easily quantifiable.


Wait what? Can he do that–SCREW THE RULES, YGO STYLE!

WTF move: Judai breaking every single rule in the game by using Super Fusion to chain Yubel’s Chain Material and fusing his and Yubel’s souls together to simultaneously save all twelve dimensions of the freakin’ universe.


A lot of viewers disliked the ending because it was just so…out there. I don’t mind the card deus ex machina—I mean, you have to remember this is YGO you’re watching—but part of me wonders whether or not Yubel should be forgiven. Or Judai, even. Though forces and powers beyond their understanding misguided them, they collectively killed and caused a heck a lot of suffering. Granted, his friends actually made it out okay for the most part (excluding the emotional trauma and other collateral damage), the duel is really of an ending of sorts in more ways than one. It’s not just an end to a season (the following episode is just the aftermath), it’s an end of Judai’s childhood. It’s an end to GX’s childhood. There’s really no going back to those light-hearted fun schooldays. Children’s card games just got serious.

Yeah, at this point, 4Kids just imploded and their dubbed travesty was brought to the most confusing end to grace YGO history thus far.

3. Johan vs Hell Kaiser Ryo

(Dark World Arc)


“To have the best duel with the strongest opponent—that is my purpose for living!” -Hell Kaiser Ryo

With such a huge cast, it’s inevitable that some characters get shafted. Misawa’s an unfortunate example of this. Fubuki gets some of this. Kenzan’s character development is pushed to the side because goddamnit, Sho-senpai has an inferiority complex and has seniority rights.

See how cool he is?!

But not Kaiser. Not Marufuji Ryo, who is indisputably the most badass GX character. Seriously, the guy doesn’t even have to try.

Cyber End Dragon, Ryo's signature card.
Cyber End Dragon, Ryo’s signature card.

As one of the rare individuals that has defeated the Yutagonist, Ryo has a special place in YGO history. Although his Cyber Dragon deck and no-nonsense personality are alluded to the legendary trenchcoat-toting Blue Eyes duelist himself, Ryo is far from a Seto Kaiba. Sure there are some of the obvious similarities—they both have small helpless brothers who tend to get into trouble just by existing; vacillating between moments of rare consideration for others and just plain jerkassery; and having great senses of humor.

His reply to Johan's "generous" offer to help him die.
His reply to Johan’s “generous” offer to help him die.

It takes (at least) two to duel but Johan, despite being possessed by Yubel and sporting an edgier, sexier(?) wardrobe is eclipsed by Ryo in this duel. And rightly so. Because Ryo isn’t just looking to duel—he is dueling for his LIFE.

Johan might be rocking leather but all eyes on Kaiser now.
Johan might be rocking leather but all eyes on Kaiser now.
Yeah, you know that your self electrocution dueling kink was going to bite you right back, Kaiser…


“My heart will probably stop beating soon. In other words, my fight has no future. Until now, I never found the meaning in simply winning. But now, I’ve been able to get past that nagging issue. I’ve become Hell Kaiser and wandered about hell, and now…neither for the thrill of victory nor the fear of defeat, I want to shine through this moment!” -Hell Kaiser Ryo


Ryo prepares to sacrifice himself to save Johan from possession
Ryo prepares to sacrifice himself to save Johan from possession

Academy Kaiser was cool albeit a bit polite. Hell Kaiser was just a shy too manic and aggressive. In this season, Kaiser Ryo, in constant reminder of his mortality, meets a balance between the two duelist sides of him—the earlier side that championed respect and perfect combos and the later side that pushed for victory at all costs. We have a Hell Kaiser that’s a good deal saner and duels aggressively while maintaining a modicum of honor.


Some duels are private, but this one, in particular, is meant to be a spectacle. Ryo claims he is looking for a “place to die” but really, he’s not just going to let the writers write out his character without a fight. If he’s going down, he’s going to go down in a blaze of glory so big, so bright, the only thing you’d be thinking at the end is, “Why the hell did he not win?”

Chimeratech Fortress Dragon! EVOLUTION BURSSSTOOO!
Chimeratech Fortress Dragon! EVOLUTION BURSSSTOOO!

Crowning moment of awesome: Any time Kaiser opens his mouth. Every move Kaiser makes. “EVOLUTION BURSSUTO!”

“The Kaiser…he isn’t fighting to die. It’s the opposite. He desperately wants to burn his life, and leave proof of his existence for eternity!” – Judai

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This duel’s all levels of inspiring and comes at a much needed time. Morale is at an all time for the survivors (I am astounded that Chronos is still alive at this point). Judai’s too scared to duel and Johan, after going AWOL for the last 30 or so episodes, comes back possessed. Yup, they need Kaiser to work his magic and save their asses before things. Down to literally the last few minute of his life, Ryo has nothing to lose and is thus immune to fear.

 “In the future of a dead man, there is no fear!” -Hell Kaiser Ryo

But for whom?


WTF move AND Crowning Moment of Awesome: Kaiser using Cybernetic Zone to end his battle phase and then use Power Bond to revive Cyber End Dragon, all for the purpose of making Cyber End’s ATK raised to 16000…just to prove a point.

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While you real-life professional duelists go on and shake your heads at the stupidity of Kaiser’s last move, I’ll go ahead and say that move was probably one of the most important dueling moves in YGO history. Why? Because in one mere turn, it captures the essence of Ryo’s personality and the spirit of dueling. Dueling (even when your life’s on the line) is something incredible and weirdly enough, enjoyable. Screw the heart attacks and the cruel realities of Dark World, Kaiser’s here to duel and damn it, enjoy himself while doing it.

vlcsnap-2015-04-17-14h20m17s164 vlcsnap-2015-04-17-14h21m34s168 Sure, we might get caught up into the fine practicalities of executing insane multi-card combos and winning, but really, that’s not what real dueling’s about. Real dueling is about being true to yourself, laughing in the face of defeat, and chilling the crap out of your opponent by playing the most ridiculously awesome moves you can play.

“After watching a duel like that, how can one laugh?” –Chronos-sensei

[Note: Scroll down past “Related” for page 2 of this post!]


30 thoughts on “Top Ten Yu-Gi-Oh! GX Duels (A Perfectly Scientific Analysis) Part II

  1. That was fun to read!

    Should have seen number 1 coming to be honest.. You have to give them credit.. Many duels in any series of Yu-Gi-Oh are lackluster but they know how to go all out with the finale.

    That disclaimer was a riot!

    Shame you didn’t like Zexal, another list would be awesome!


    1. Yup, they certainly know how to go all out for series finales. Some duels in GX are definitely more “fun” than great.

      Glad you enjoyed reading this–I had fun writing it. 🙂

      I’m watching Zexal (sort of) right now. I keep hearing that it “gets better” later on. Not a big fan of Zexal’s protag but I’m hoping to stick it to the end. I might be doing a 5D’s list sometime in the near future, so don’t count a Zexal list out just yet.


      1. It’s at least something you can count on. Like 4Kids dubbing lacking.

        It was a well done job. I liked it.

        I’m still finishing 5DS so I can’t provide any hope for you regarding Zexal but I hope you can enjoy it if it means exploiting your talents for my entertainment 😉

        In all seriousness I know how long it must take you to write these (especially working in your system) so I can understand if a 5DS list is a might. Would be awesome though ^^


      2. 5Ds does have fewer duels than GX, and there are always a few duels that I’m biased towards but my methodology does involve combing through every duel carefully…which means hours and hours of rewatching. The things I do for card games! It warms the cockles of my heart to hear that my work is appreciated and entertaining.

        Besides, there are other blogging projects I’m working on as well and I don’t try to force myself to a rigid schedule like some of the more intense anibloggers do. I admire their dedication but as I do have a life outside of blogging and anime, I try to make it so blogging stays fun for me, rather than an obligation.


    1. Ooh, that was a good duel. Brutal though and although Hell Kaiser is pretty awesome, part of me cringed when he decided to get down and dirty. He won the duel…but it didn’t feel much like a victory considering the cost of the win. Luckily, he mellows out in the next season.


  2. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who thinks that Yuki Judai’s character development was far better than Yugi and Atem (and that the Japanese version is way better than the shitty 4Kids version).

    I almost dropped GX while watching the first season, but thank God I didn’t, now I think GX has a deeper story than any other Yugioh series.

    Personally I think Johan (Yubel) vs Hell Kaiser is the best duel in GX, and one of the best in the whole Yugioh history.

    Btw, if there’s already a list for 5D’s where can I find it? if there isn’t one, then I’m waiting for it.


    1. Overall, GX is more character based than plot-based compared to DM, hence more developed characterization. The trade off is that GX’s plot is more fragmentary compared to DM, which had a linear progression developing Yugi & ultimately the Pharaoh’s journey. GX also has a much larger supporting cast and there was much more invested into developing most if not all of their characters to some extent.

      GX’s 1st season is probably its weakest but has its charms but yeah, it takes a little while for GX to actually get more interesting.

      Does GX have a deeper story than any other Yu-Gi-Oh! series? I would be hesitant to immediately agree. A story’s deepness is not very quantifiable. and is pretty subjective and dependent on multiple factors. Thematically, GX’s morality is certainly more complicated as we have characters who have done pretty despicable things but are redeemed, forgiven or at the very least cast in a sympathetic light. Judai actually kills people but we never doubt that he’s a hero. Yugi, on the other hand, is a very clean and pure soul–his only fault is that sometimes he lacks confidence in himself (but hey, on the flipside, Atem has almost too much confidence, so they balance each other out in this way).

      I grew up on the 4Kids dub for DM, so I have a soft spot for it. But I have zero tolerance for the GX dub, whichw as so bad, it sent me running to watching most of GX in Japanese raws (before they had good fansubs).

      Johan vs Hell Kaiser is definitely a really great duel. I only wish Hell Kaiser had been in top physical form–if he had been, the duel might have pulled in his favor rather than Yubel’s–but he opted to go out in a blaze of glory rather than draw it out.

      Haha, you won’t find a 5D’s list because there isn’t one for 5D’s…YET. I’m planning to work on that list but these posts take me a long time and I have other posts backlogged. Hope you can stick out the wait and in the meantime, enjoy any of the other posts here.


      1. Well, I agree with most of what you said, I just thought that GX has a deeper story because of the last few arcs, but now that I recall 5D’s story I think I might’ve been hasty.
        What I liked about GX was the fact that most of the show, the last three arcs in particular, although were all about Judai and Yubel, the show still focused on the other characters and gave them a chance to shine, unlike the first arc which had Judai duel in every single episode.

        Btw my only complain about the story of Duel Monsters is that it was supposed to be a sequel to Yugioh Zero, but suddenly took a totally different path, that way some parts of the story, and some characters were introduced as if you’re supposed to know them already, but also were totally different than the prequel Yugioh Zero.

        As for the character development, although I still think Judai had the best development, I find Yugi’s (or Atem’s) development in the Awakening of Dragons arc very interesting.
        It felt like we finally get to see him desperate, and I think desperation always shows a new side of a character, which leads to better development.
        I was looking forward to know what’s the deal with the “darkness in his heart” and why did Rapahel say that he might not have been a good king in the past, but the last arc didn’t reveal anything of the sort, which kinda disappointed me.

        As for the 4kids dubs, I was only talking about GX when I said it was a “shitty version”, Duel Monster’s dubs were actually cool.
        The Japanese version was horrible at the beginning of Duel Monsters, but it got much better later on, and now when I get back to the show sometimes, I can’t help but watch it in Japanese.

        Anyway, I’m looking forward to the 5D’s list, I can see that it takes too much time and effort, if it’s gonna be such a great post, then I don’t mind waiting, so take your time, and good luck.
        And thank you for the great work.


  3. I really enjoyed reading your first list and once I’ve finished watching GX I look forward to reading this one in greater detail.

    I recently watched the Judai vs Kaiser duel though and there is one thing I want to nitpick and that’s Kaiser summoning Cyber-end Dragon on the first turn. It’s treated as an example of great skill, even though it was nothing more than him getting lucky with his draw.


    1. Fair point but having luck is a kind of skill, no? Part of creating a perfectly balanced deck is making sure that it eliminates or cuts down the possibility of having dead hands…and we do tend to judge people by how they play the first turn because it gives us an idea of how strong (or aggressive) their deck is.

      Glad you liked the previous list–hope you enjoy reading this one.


      1. I agree with what you’re saying about deck-building, but even then I felt it was still TOO good to be true. No matter how good at deck-building you are, getting the EXACT four cards you need on turn one is always going to come down to luck.

        A few more questions by the way:

        1) Would you ever consider using your system to rate the staged duels from the Yu-Gi-Oh! championships?

        2) I’m very much interested in learning more about how your system works. For instance, what exactly is it that separates a five from a six on the Clever scale? I was part of a Yu-Gi-Oh! RP a few years back and I wouldn’t mind learning how to use your system myself to rate our duels.

        3) On that note, do you have any tips for writing your own duels?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Haha, four cards is nothing compared to Yugi’s ridiculous 7-card combo in his duel against Noah (Virtual Reality World Arc) where he pulled Card of Sanctity to draw the 6 other cards he needed for an upset victory (Monster Reborn –> Polymerization –> 2 Blue Eyes –> Blue Eyes U. Dragon –> Quick Attack –> De-Fusion). That combo still gives me the shivers.

        1) My experience with YGO is mostly with the anime and a little of the manga. I play casually with friends IRL with a mishmash deck cobbled from free cards and some booster packs but definitely am far from tournament worthy. (You can tell I’m a noob because I run vanilla monsters in my deck). That being said. I wouldn’t be opposed to rating the staged duels in the championships–they’re fun to watch, though there definitely needs to be more trashtalking and card asspulling like in the anime.

        2) Haha, the methodology I use is about 70% subjective and 30% objective, roughly. I had to come up with some kind of evaluating system that was a bit more objective than, “OMG, Kaiba sucked so bad in that duel–worst duel ever.” So after some thinking, I thought up of the most important factors that determined whether or not a duel was enjoyable: 1) Cool; 2) Clever; 3) Suspense; 4) Pacing; 5) Symbolic (aka Emotional Oomph). To answer your question about the “Clever Factor”, the distinction between 5 & 6 is not a clear as 5 and 8. A level “5” duel, will be an “average” YGO duel–one with perhaps some fairly interesting/inspired well-timed combos. For example, the duel of Judai vs Sorano (Season 4, Dark World Arc) ranks a 5 in cleverness, Sorano plays a Horus deck, which is pretty interesting and well-suited to combat Judai’s Fusion deck but Judai predictably outwits him with his Flare Scarab/Neos/Flare Neos combo to counter Sorano’s strategy. A duel that ranks a “6” a “Judai vs Kanda aka Quiz Guy” because the novelty of the quiz duel format. So I guess what separates the 5’s from the 6 is generally if there’s an unusual combo or archetype involved (i.e. quiz duels, or efficient use of a rare archetype). It’s definitely not an exacting science.

        The important part of the methodology is to not go through evaluating all the duels in one sitting. I typically rewatch (unless I’m very familiar with the duel in that I can pretty much play through it from memory) the duel and assign scores in small batches and avoid looking at previous duel scores so I don’t end up being too biased or influenced by other duels. At the very end, I then use Excel to rank the top scores…and often times, what makes the top 10 ends up surprising me!

        3) Haha, I’m way too much of a noob and don’t play the game enough IRL to be able to write a decent duel. Writing duels is a special kind of art…in fact, I’ve gotten emails from readers asking me for tips and strategies on writing good duels for fanfiction…Duels with very clear archetypes are probably easiest to write but nope, I can’t offer anything concrete other than a good duel hits all of the bases in the five categories I’ve based my methodology on. Writing duels with established YGO character decks is probably easier than trying to come up with OC decks but mad props to those talented individuals who can write an OC that we can actually love enough to read about them playing children’s card games.


      3. Good point about Yugi’s seven card draw. But it was established that he had the power to manipulate his own destiny. So that’s less luck, and more magic. As far as I’m aware, Kaiser is just a normal human. Or am I wrong about that?

        Anyway, what you said WAS actually helpful, thank you for that. Actually… this might sound a bit self-indulgent, and I apologise if it does, but I’ve been editing the Yu-Gi-Oh! RP into a proper fan fic for other people to read. Just finished the first “Episode”, would you be interested in taking a look? Not asking you to rate anything, just figured you might enjoy it.


      4. Magic>>>ordinary luck. Nope, as far as I can tell, Kaiser was a normal human.

        It’s cool. Go ahead and send me the episode–I’m always on the lookout for good fanfics. If you could include like a brief 1-2 sentence summary of what you had in mind that would be good too.


      5. A summary of the fic? Sure.

        ” In the heat of the Israeli desert a new dueling academy has opened, inviting duelists from across the globe to enter and train to become world class duelists. But as the first weeks of the academy begin a horrifying threat looms and nine students soon find themselves on the run, hunted by the demented Cult of Apophis, a secretive and hate-filled organisation that seeks to resurrect their deity and extinguish all life on earth.
        And thus begins the tale of the students of East Academy.”

        If you wanted a summary of something else, just let me know.

        Anyway, here’s the first episode of Yu-Gi-Oh!: East Academy


      6. The premise kind of reminds me of GX with the duel academy situation. I don’t have as much time as I like (I mean, it takes me about 1-2 months to put up a single blog post) but I’ll check out your fic sometime. Thanks for sharing!


      7. Yeah, it was definitely based on GX. Mostly season 1.

        Speaking of, I’ve just been watching the first episode of GX. I actually like some elements of it. Duel Masters was one of my favourite Tv Shows, so I like the fourth wall humour. The music’s nice as always.


        Dear god, WHAT DID THEY DO TO ASTER PHOENIX?!?!! That voice is TERRIBLE he sounds like Little Kuriboh’s Tristan! Personally, I would have picked this voice for him:

        (Again, Duel Masters fan, but you have to admit, it would have fit.)


      8. Yep, first season of GX was fun, to say the very least. I kind of liked the slice-of-school-life episodes they stuck in there, with some genuinely funny moments.

        Aster Phoenix was in season 2 I believe and yeah, his voice was pretty obnoxious. At that point, I switched completely over to the Japanese dub at that point and that was so much better. Pretty much never looked back since, though I’ll sometimes watch some dubbed episodes just for kicks.

        Hmm…haven’t watched Duel Masters–is it any good? I was into Vanguard (card designs done by the same crew who designed the YGO cards) for a while because it seemed to resemble YGO and had some great card game mechanics.


      9. Duel Masters is VERY good. I’ve often described it as “Yu-Gi-Oh! if Joey (The imperfect but talented normal guy who actually has to put in effort to get better) had been the main character instead of Yugi (The guy who ALWAYS wins).” It also has a fourth-wall breaking comedic style much like Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series and I will go on record as saying that Koushiro Kokujo is one of the best examples of an anime rival I have seen to date. (His appearence in episode 3 was what got me hooked on the show).


  4. Also, the Card Game and show got a reboot as “Kaijudo: Rise of the Duel Masters” which is also very good, though I’m referring to the original anime “Duel Masters”


  5. Well, I’ve finished the second episode of East Academy, would you like me to send it to you? (Also, is there a better place to send it so I’m not filling up your Comments section?)


  6. I think its a dissapointment that jaden yukis duel with Yubel wasnt on number 1 it was awsome the duel i think you only didnt like it because jaden didnt win the duel and its dissapointing that jadens final duel with Nightshroud wasnt at number 3 or number 2 thats just what i feel but you can go ahead and verbally assault me all you want i wont change my mind.


    1. “I think you only didnt like it because jaden didnt win the duel.”

      If that were the case, he wouldn’t have had Jaden vs Yugi at number 1, since Jaden lost that duel as well.


    2. Uh, no verbal assaulting here on Anime Monographia. We like to keep things friendly here, even if we’re talking about something as serious as card games. You might want to check your reasoning though, Lucifer. You’ll notice that in both of the duels that outrank Yubel vs Judai on this list, Judai didn’t win either of them. At #2, Judai (Jaden) tied with Ryo (Zane) and at #1, Judai lost to Yugi. As much as I like Judai as a character, I don’t mind him losing a duel–in fact, the duels where he loses are actually often far more interesting. Judai’s loss to Kaibaman would have made it if the duel had just been a bit more epic and less one-sided and there are a few others that made the list where Judai doesn’t win (i.e. his duel with O’Brien (Axel Brodie) while he was running around as Supreme King).

      I DO agree that Judai’s duel with Yubel is an awesome one, which is why it ranks so high on my list (#4). Yubel and Judai’s complicated (is it love? is it friendship? it’s something far deeper) relationship is one of the highlights of the show and one that I wished the English dubbed version had hammered out a bit more (I also really dislike Yubel’s dubbed voice–she sounds like a petulant little girl when she’s supposed to be a really fierce hermaphroditic dragon).

      By Judai’s final duel with Nightshroud…I’m assuming you’re talking about their duel in the first season. The set up for that duel is fantastic–I mean, who’s hotter than dueling inside of an active volcano?? It’s not a bad duel and it’s probably the one duel where I can take Fubuki (Atticus/Nightshroud) seriously because his Red Eyes deck is sooo cool. But the reason why his duel didn’t make the list is because there were other duels in GX that I felt were better. I mean, when you compare that duel with Judai’s duel with Ryo in their Graduation Match (ranked #2), the Graduation Match just comes out just a lot more epic (just look at their monsters in the final round…it should BE ILLEGAL for monsters to have that many ATK points), or even Johan (Jesse)’s duel with Ryo (#3), Ryo’s sheer drive to duel despite dying from heart attacks is nothing short of inspiring. Next to that, Nightshroud’s duel is intense, but lacking that epicness that makes YGO exceptional.

      Hope this at least kind of makes sense to you. Like I said, it’s not a hard-and-fast rule nor is this a definitive list. There are a LOT of amazing duels, far more than just ten. I mean, that’s why we watch YGO in the first place, because there are so many good duels to enjoy. We all have our own personal favorites and our own reasons for liking certain duels–and this is just one list out of what I’m sure there are many out there.


    1. @Lunacorva. Don’t worry–my comment was directed to the commenter above you, who originally made the comment I was responding to. Your comment was very civil. There are so many levels to this comment thread it’s hard to keep track. 🙂


    2. A friend of mine introduced me to his -2 to +2 rubric, an alternative to the 5 point scale. 0 meant average while a positive number meant “good” while negative numbers were bad. It was an interesting system but I feel weird awarding something zero points since that doesn’t really tell me anything.


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