The Spookiest Cards in Yu-Gi-Oh!

While Yu-Gi-Oh! gained worldwide popularity as a children’s card game, it should be remembered that the cards themselves are not just cardboard and plastic. The power of ancient gods and vengeful spirits is imbued in Yu-Gi-Oh! cards. These creatures, called Duel Spirits, exist at the heart of every Monster card.


Related: The rarest Yu-Gi-Oh! The cards and what they are worth

A Monster card is intimately linked to the Duel Spirit it represents. Each spin-off provides different explanations for these spirits’ relationship to their cards. Some spirits are even man-made, born during the creation of the map itself. Yu Gi Oh! maps are haunted – this list will guide you through some of the spookiest maps in the game and their spooky implications.

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10/10 Baby Terror Puppet Gimmick

Gimmick puppets are one of the most disturbing archetypes in Yu-Gi-Oh! – they embody the inhuman fear factor of ball-jointed dolls. With a stroller made of teeth, dismembered doll legs and stitched up toddler face, Terror Baby is, well…terrifying!

In Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal, Gimmick Puppets are used by a character named IV (Four). As a professional duelist, IV comes across as affable to his adoring fans. Privately, IV’s true nature emerges from behind the porcelain mask: he is a deeply unbalanced person who will stop at nothing to succeed. The Gimmick puppets represent his two-faced nature – they also more literally represent IV’s relationship with his father, in which IV feels he is being used as a puppet on a string.

9/10 Forbidden art of Gishki

In the torchlit halls of a distant realm, court mages conduct rituals that fuse humans with aquatic beings. Gishki is an archetype that gets its creeps not only from its premise, but also from the mechanical act of playing the game. As you play each Spell card, you—the player—force these rituals to take place. If you want to win, the deck requires sacrifices.

The Forbidden Art of Gishki is one such Spell card that players can activate. It depicts a red-haired woman, the princess, with fish eyes and fish teeth in the midst of her transformation from an ordinary mortal into a sinister flesh-bound fish hybrid.

8/10 Orcust Knightmare

Orcust Knightmare is part of the World Legacy lore, a story series from Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel which takes place in the world of Duel Spirits. One such story follows a girl named Ib, who is possessed by an evil spirit named Lee. This spirit is determined to destroy the universe, and Ib would rather die than let it succeed. And that’s what she does – Ib commits suicide to prevent a certain fate.

Related: The Best Orcust Cards in Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel

Ib’s brother Ningirsu cannot process the tragedy of his sister’s death. He becomes desperate in his grief and builds a mechanical doll to house Ib’s deceased soul (Galtea, The Orcust Automaton). After Galtea is finished, he attempts to fuse Ib’s corpse with it. What he doesn’t plan for is Lee’s soul taking over the automaton instead of his sister’s, creating Orcust Knightmare. It’s an impressive conglomeration of horrifying ideas: the mangled corpse of a dead girl patched up with a huge robot, then possessed by a bloodthirsty ghost. Ouch!

7/10 Hell Fate Dragon

Kazuki Takahashi himself once said that “anything can be a dragon” as long as it has the basic structure of a dragon. Infernity Doom Dragon is therefore a dragon, if you are charitable. This monster is what you’d get if a tyrannosaurus rex and a stag beetle were fused together, coated in charcoal, then had their heads smashed to reveal spouting pink brains. Its spiky black tail looks like a rotting durian, and let’s be honest, it probably smells just as bad.

Infernity Doom Dragon is also Kiryu Kyosuke’s Ace monster in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D. Kiryu is a man haunted by death, paranoia, and remorse, earning him the nickname “Grim Reaper”. Yet he eventually finds peace and rebirth. Infernity represents Kiryu’s journey as someone who has experienced great pain but still returns from the darkest grave.

6/10 Dark Deathclaw

Yami Bakura’s Occult game haunted the dreams of many children when the first Yu-Gi-Oh! The Duel Monsters anime has aired. Dark Necrofear in particular is pretty scary – holding a doll with a broken skull, you might imagine Dark Necrofear as a demonic spirit mourning the loss of a child.

Yami Bakura is a reincarnation of both the Dark God Zorc and the Thief King Bakura, seeking revenge for the crimes committed against his people during the creation of the Millennium Items. Its emphasis on Fiend and Zombie-type monsters makes perfect sense; he haunts those who wronged him even 4,000 years later, and will never let them forget him.

5/10 scared lion

Frightfurs are a toymaker’s nightmare: cute plush dolls torn and refitted with scissors, chains and saw blades. A Frightfur is born when an ordinary Fluffal (a cute stuffed animal archetype) is used as fusion material alongside a scarier creature, such as Edge-Imp Saw. Leo in particular has the most unsettling combination of these traits; it’s hard to imagine what he once looked like as a regular Fluffal monster, but there’s just enough of his old self left to be extremely creepy.

Related: Yu-Gi-Oh!: Cutest Archetypes That Are Surprisingly Strong

Perhaps more heartbreaking is what these cards mean compared to Sora from Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V. Sora was raised as a child soldier – combining the childlike sweetness of stuffed animals with bloody surgical tools paints a very dark picture of his childhood.

4/10 Amorphage lysis

Amorphages are dragons fused with other living creatures in gruesome experiments that would give bioethics professors nightmares. The Trap Amorphage Lysis card artwork represents it best: a dragon merged with what appears to be some canine creature of some kind is shown with its face melting away, revealing the bone underneath.

When creating these beasts, scientists were perhaps too preoccupied with whether or not they could that they neglected to ask themselves if they should.

3/10 Construction of El-Shadoll

An entity called Shadoll Core exists in the heart of a war zone between different tribes of Duel Spirits. Upon contact with the core, monsters are duplicated into puppet-like copies, becoming subsumed into the Shadoll archetype.

The horror of the Shadolls lies in the corruption of the image of an ordinary monster into a fractured facsimile of what they once were. Puppets are an eerie valley to its extreme extreme: looking at monsters like Gusto Falco, you can see where their once organic bodies have been twisted into more mechanical abstractions. In Gusto’s case, Shadoll Falcon looks suspiciously like him, but the friendliness seems to have disappeared from his eyes.

2/10 Skull-Brown Dog

Do you remember the exceptional Brown dog? It’s him now… do you feel old?

Yu Gi Oh! is a series where the dog actually dies. However, Marron’s journey from a missing puppy in Where Arf Thou? to the Wight family’s beloved pet is surprisingly comforting. Although Marron is never reunited with his owner in the land of the living, he seems happy enough living with the Skeleton Wights in the card artwork for Monster Rebone. They say all dogs go to heaven, and a world full of bones for about right chew sounds!

1/10 Worm Zero

The worm archetype is about worm-like aliens who come to Earth after the death of their queen. Their sole purpose is to consume, to tear cities apart, and to bury themselves in the oceans. The terror in Worm Zero is specifically that it depicts a massive, bloated egg that signals the coming of worms; this egg can also rebuild itself with hardened slimes harvested from the corpses of Worms who died in battle with the inhabitants of Earth.

Imagine standing on the sidewalk when a massive shadow engulfs your city – it’s as if the moon has fallen from the sky, hovering above a frightened crowd. The egg cracks; writhing bodies emerge from within the cocoon of filth. At that point, you realize that this is just the beginning.

Next: Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel: Best Vampire Cards

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