Episode 6. Yuma uses the Baby Tiragon that Tokunosuke sneaked into his deck to defeat him. Better yet, Yuma comes up with the winning move on his own, since Astral was out of commission.
Episode 9. Due to Yuma thinking Kotori has been kidnapped, he's in total serious mode and duels competently without the Numbers or Astral's help (the only advice he needed was how an attack-lock works).
The entire duel between Kaito and Yuma, as Kaito easily summoned two numbers in his first turn. Things did not improve for our heroes from there.
Also Yuma and Astral speaking together as they take back Hope and defeat Jin.
Episode 19 - Yuma's dad is hanging off a cliff and cuts the rope around him so that his wife can go on. He gets saved a week later, but it still shows that he's a Badass.
Episodes 23-24. Kaito manages to get inside the Golden Key and ends up dueling Astral for Yuma's Number Cards. Not only does Astral face his fears during the duel, but he's also able to pull out Number C39 for the second time this season. With Yuma accepting the gate's request, ending with Astral and Yuma combining to release the power of Zexal. All of this is animated and voice acted awesomely in both the Japanese and English versions.
Special mention to Kaito on this one: Yuma and Astral bring out their ace monster, go through the big Zexal transformation, and it's STILL only enough for a DRAW and not a decisive win.
While Yuma/Astral vs Kaito was the main spotlight, Yuma's friends were busy FIGHTING ORBITALS 5 and 6. AND WINNING. That's right. MIDDLE SCHOOL KIDS FIGHTING GIANT ROBOTS.
Episode 33. It appears that Tetsuo and the Class Rep have actually beaten IV. However, the smoke clears and he reveals that he saved himself with a Trap Card. III berates IV, pointing out that if the two had Numbers, they'd have summoned them by now. IV notes that he knows that, and reveals his true self.
He proceeds to summon No. 15: Gimmick Puppet - Giant Killer, performing a looped attack combination with Gimmick Puppet - Baby Face to One Turn Kill both of his opponents in a ridiculously brutal manner.
Episode 39. A little girl taught a dog how to duel.
Episode 43. IV has summoned a Number with an effect which will win his side the duel on the next turn. Kaito has been blasted into unconsciousness by said Number's attack. Yuma is practically begging Kaito to wake up. Kaito has memories of when Hart was taken from him by Dr. Faker's faction, and wakes up, realizing his brother still needs him. At this moment, the bond between the two brothers kicks in and gives Kaito a shiny Turns RedSuper Mode. He draws his card, and uses a Spell to give every Xyz on the field an extra Material, before sacrificing Yuma's monsters to summon Photon Kaiser, which can be counted as two materials for an Xyz summon. Why does he do this, you may ask? He proceeds to Overlay Kaiser with Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon to summon the strongest Xyz in the game right now, GEPD's Super Mode, Neo Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon. The summoning sequence is so over the top and you can practically see the Oh Crap written on IV and III's faces.
What's even better is that Kaito wins the duel that turn. First, since he summoned Neo Galaxy-Eyes using regular Galaxy-Eyes as a material, every face-up card in play has its effect negated. Then he activates Neo's effect, detaching one of its materials to banish the materials from every other Xyz monster, then giving Neo GEPD 500 ATK for each and letting it attack once per material. This gives it a total of 6000 ATK and three attacks that turn. Cue victory for Team Kaito/Yuma.
It might not be so awesome when you realize the writers made a huge mistake in that last turn involving Photon Pressure World ...
Not especially. The effect of Photon Pressure World is optional. Kaito just went for the Burn damage for the sake of being a dick to Yuma.
Episode 45. Fuya has a massive 5000 ATK Rank 10 Xyz on his field, Super Dimensional Robot Galaxy Destroyer. Gauche has one card in his hand, nothing on his field, and 100 Life Points. Fuya has the aforementioned Galaxy Destroyer and 2900 Life Points. Gauche makes his draw, and gets Heroic Challenger Double Lance, which he summons. He reveals that Double Lance can be treated as two materials for an Xyz Summon, and proceeds to use it to Xyz Summon his ace card, Heroic Champion Excalibur (ATK: 2000). Then he activates Excalibur's effect, detaching an Overlay Unit to double its ATK (ATK: 4000). Astral points out that Excalibur still can't beat Galaxy Destroyer.Then Gauche activates Heroic Chance, doubling Excalibur's ATK again (ATK: 8000). What happens next is fairly obvious. But it's immensely cool. Not to mention that this entire sequence is set to an awesome piece of background music.
Astral's guide to dueling: step 1; figure out what your opponent is aiming for, step 2; stop them from pulling it off, step 3; Kattobing
III summoning No. 6:OOParts Atlantal in Episode 48. As usual its sealed form rises out of the Xyz vortex... and then it starts to expand and you realize how big the thing is. It seems to only have 2600 ATK... and then it absorbs Machu Mech via its effect and becomes a 5000 ATK nightmare. But hey, Yuma's alright, Hope can just negate its attacks right? Well, Hope can... but it can't negate the effect which halves Yuma's Life Points. That episode definitely ends on a high point for III. And Atlantal is just awesome. Its attack name? Divine Punishment!
Episode 51: CARD GAMES ON ROLLER COASTERS!!! Also, the tag-team effort between all of Yuma's friends to get him his heart pieces back.
Episode 52: Yuma, Anna, and Gauche's tag-teaming against the Fallguys. Also, Anna leaping from her car to Yuma's.
In Episode 54, Tron gets one in his duel against Droite. He's apparently cornered by an almost-foolproof lockdown that forces him to summon a monster, otherwise he'll take 1000 points of damage, but if he does summon a monster he's forced to attack - but if he attacks, Droite's Continuous Spell will automatically destroy his monster, and to make matters worse, every time one of his cards is destroyed, he takes 1000 points of damage. For the first two turns, he just keeps defending himself using face-down defense position monsters, which is a common last resort in Real Life when you have no combos you can play. Two of his monsters are destroyed by Droite's Xyz monster Photon Papilloperative, and he even admits that he's pretty much done for... except he's not: he breaks out his Evil Laugh and proceeds to tell Droite that he was in complete control of what was happening, and uses a card which lets him summon his monsters back from the graveyard and overlay them to summon his Number, Heraldic King Genome-Heritage, which promptly steals Photon Papilloperative's name and effects, turning Droite's combo against her. Despite of nearly crossing the Moral Event Horizon in that episode by stealing Droite's memories, he certainly pulled a great trick - especially considering that he beat an incredibly complex 5-card combo with a very simple and realistic tactic (since it simply required him to send two of his monsters to the graveyard and have one specific card in his hand), which is pretty unusual for an anime where the Magic Poker Equation is the rule.
Episode 58. Shark's on the ropes against IV, who has summoned No. 88: Gimmick Puppet - Destiny Leo, and next turn will be able to activate its Instant-Win Condition. Shark destroys his own Different Dimension Trench, reviving his No 32: Shark Drake from the banished zone, but Shark Drake isn't strong enough to destroy Leo. Then Shark does something which paints Oh Crap on IV's face: Chaos Xyz Change. He summons CNo 32: Shark Drake Veiss, in one of the most awesome sequences in the show. And then he proceeds to use Shark Drake Veiss's effect, reducing Leo's ATK points enough to destroy it and end the duel with one final attack. Awesome.
The best part of this scene is definitely the moment where, after several moments of disbelief from everyone nearby, Shark announces Shark Drake Veiss's effect in the darkest, coldest tone possible. The music goes with this cue perfectly, and from the instant he starts speaking, you just know that IV is utterly screwed.
Episode 64: Kaito summons the current strongest Xyz monster in the game Neo Galaxy-Eyes and all seems to be coming to and end in his duel with Tron. However even after getting No. 8: Heraldic King Genome Heritage destroyed, an Evil Laugh rises up from Tron's side of the field. Cue to Tron not only having survived the attack by weakening Neo Galaxy-Eyes but he's not worried about Kaito's monster. He then summons 3 monsters in one swoop and brings out his new monster No. 69: God Medallion Coat of Arms. Coat of Arms Negates Neo Galaxy-Eyes effect and gains it for its own use, absorbing all of Kaito's overlays and dishing about 2 attacks to win the duel. Then he tries to attack again to finish off Kaito, only to fail thanks to Haruto. In the end it doesn't matter though as Tron still gets Kaito's Numbers.
Give Haruto some credit too. After presumably being comatose since his last encounter with Tron, he spent most of these two episodes being used against Kaito. However, as Tron attacks that one last time, most likely to kill Kaito, Haruto appears right the hell out of nowhere and blocks this enormous bolt of dark energy with an instant forcefield. He then thanks Kaito, and vanishes just as Kaito passes out. Due to the ambiguous nature of this disappearance, and some believing that he sacrificed himself, this has gained him the nickname HaruJesus in certain parts of the fandom.
Episode 67: It features 2 moments worthy of this trope:
1- Yuma and Astral still were on the verge of losing even after using 2 Zexal Weapons, which normally win the game the turn they are used. It took both Zexal Weapons, a 3rd card created Via Shining Draw and a careful setup to Create the Ultimate Zexal Weapon, Leo Arms, which turned Hope Ray to a Knight in Golden armor and gave him Effects and Boosts enabling him to defeat the ridiculously Overpowered No. 69: Coat of Arms, which turned into its final form in a failed attempt to destroy Hope Ray.
2- Faker pulls off one after the finals are over. Using the Sphere Field he takes away both Yuma and Tron's numbers. Tron tries to resist with his crest but it fails. What's more awesome is that he's pulled off most of his plan and unlike pretty much every other Yu-Gi-Oh! antagonist he hasn't been in one duel! He simply used the Sphere Field to get the numbers and no matter who won he'd still get what he wanted.
Episode 71: Yuma boosts Hope Ray all the way up to 16,600 attack points to finally beat Heart-EartH Dragon and win the duel with Faker/Barian.
And another moment, or several moments, from 71; straight after the duel finishes, the surrounds start exploding, and Kite has to save both members of his family from untimely death. He catches Haruto after he falls from the exploding Sphere Field Cannon, but sees his father Faker fall into the portal pit as the platforms above it start to crumble. He then asks Orbital to get Haruto out safely, before taking a running leap down the pit after Faker, declaring that he will "absolutely bring their father back". Kaito catches Faker - proving that he's far stronger than he looks by holding him up by one hand - just before he slips off the platform he's on, but it crumbles under both of them. Kaito then whips out the Duel Anchor we haven't seen since Episode 13 and sends it flying up to Yuma, who followed them down. There's some back-and-forthing about why Yuma is saving Faker, and then Tron, who was implied to be dead as of Episode 67, appears, looking for all the world like he's going to drop the three of them to their potential deaths. Instead, he sends them all through a portal back to the outside world, though it's not made obvious until they actually appear in front of Kotori, Shark, Haruto and Orbital. The look of shocked relief on Kaito's face speaks volumes about how trying this scene was for the characters involved.
Episodes 72-73. Now that the bad guys have been defeated, Yuma and Kaito decide to have a friendly duel. Yuma doesn't need Astral's help as the two match each other move for move. Kaito wins, and Yuma shows his Character Development by congratulating him instead of getting upset.
Episode 82. After many episodes of comedic shenanigans for the Barian side via Girag and Alito, Mizael decides to make an impression with his Establishing Character Moment: unflinchingly staring down a colossal dragon and sealing it in a card to use as his ace.
Then he appears on Earth, not by beating up a biker gang, but in a massive explosion which leaves a giant crater in the forest.
Finally, just the summoning sequence of his ace card, No. 107: Galaxy-Eyes Tachyon Dragon.
Then, next episode, he tops that by attempting to bring out CNo. 107: Neo Galaxy-Eyes Tachyon Dragon. The word is attempt as as the upgrade is so powerful even with his returning to his true form is unable to maintain its shape, meaning it is even more overpowered than Tachyon Dragon already was.
Episode 88. Rei's reveal and Hope Ray V transformation.
To elaborate, Girag has summoned Chaos Number 106 and pushed the two into the typical sort of tight corner situation. Yuma begins his turn, and Gilag immediately activates a Trap Card which will deal him 300 damage for each card in his hand, at this point three. Rei chains Shining Reborn, discarding Yuma's hand (and reducing the damage from Girag's Trap to zero), then reviving an Xyz Monster from Yuma's Graveyard, bringing back Number 39. Then the final part of Shining Reborn allows Rei to give one of his cards to Yuma, and he tosses him Rank-Up Magic: Limited Barian's Force. Yuma activates Limited Barian's Force, reconstructing the Overlay Network with Hope. The shot of the Barian gate preceding the Over-Hundred Chaos Numbers appears and the gate shatters, releasing a darker, more demonic version of Hope's sealed form which leaks black sludge which solidifies into a more demonic Hope: Chaos Number 39: Aspiring Emperor Hope Ray V.
It gets even better. Yuma activates Hope Ray V's effect, detaching a Chaos Overlay Unit to destroy one of Girag's monsters and deal damage to him equal to the destroyed monster's ATK. Hope Ray V combines its swords and unleashes a fiery buzzsaw of death which effortlessly slices apart Chaos Number 106, making it explode. Before Girag can even recover from taking over half his Life Points in damage, Yuma orders the attack, Hope Ray V recovering its swords and sweeping in for a twin slash which ends the duel in a resoundingly awesome OTK finish. What makes it even better was the entire thing being set to a single, epic piece of Crowning Music of Awesome.
Vector's actions in episode 95, in a horrific way. After kidnapping Rei last episode to lure Yuma (and Kaito and Shark along with him) to the Barian World, when Yuma confronts him asking where Rei is, Vector obliges by summoning Rei to their location - or, more accurately, Rei's lifeless body. He proceeds to taunt Yuma with the fact that Rei "won't wake up again", driving Yuma into his very first utterly rage-fueled duel in the series. Knowing Yuma's character, that takes a lot to achieve.
In addition, Tetsuo of all people gets one. When the D.D. Airship is being attacked, he's the only "normal" duelist that defends it. Yuma, Kaito, Shark, and Rio all have exceptional abilities of their own to rely on (even if Rio's are somewhat vague at the moment). Tetsuo, on the other hand, steps up just as fast, without any hesitation, and is shown holding his own just as well.
Episode 96: Vector's reveal of his Batman Gambit and subsequent Mind Rape of Yuma. Vector has summoned No. 104: Masquerade Magician - Shining, and now Yuma takes his turn. He activates Limited Barian's Force to summon Hope Ray V, using its effect to destroy Shining and deal its ATK in damage to Vector, who is blown back by the force of the effect. The resulting smoke clears and Vector is nowhere to be found, and Yuma panics for a second until Rei begins to stir and get up. Yuma, of course, is relieved - until Rei bursts into horrific laughter, telling Yuma he was "just kidding," and that Yuma's funny, but he'll show him something even funnier (while sporting a Yami Marik-level nightmare face). He transforms into Vector in front of everyone, and then proceeds to mock Yuma as he explains that Rei was only ever an act and that everything "Rei" had done was leading up to Yuma's defeat in this duel - which will likely be helped along by the fact that Astral now knows Yuma was lying to him for an extended period of time. Enraged, Yuma attacks Vector with Hope Ray V, to which Vector responds with "Vain - Mocking Betrayal," stopping Hope Ray V's attack and negating its effect. As if that wasn't enough, Vain's effect sends all V cards - given to Yuma by Rei, of course - in Yuma's deck to the Graveyard, and then 5 extra cards for each V card sent, resulting in Yuma losing 30 cards and having 3 remaining. Say what you will about Vector, but he's a true Manipulative Bastard through and through.
Episode 98, and the climax of Yuma vs. Vector. A three part awesome moment. Firstly, Yuma is on just 25 Life Points, only Hope on his field, one card left in his deck and nothing in his hand, while Vector has his 3000 ATK Masquerade Magician - Umbral ready to end the Duel, and Sargasso's field effect to end it if somehow that fails. Yuma draws his card (Rank-Up Magic - Limited Barian's Force) , and collapses next to Astral immediately. The two stand up together, supporting each other as they begin to glow and perform Xyz Change ZeXal. An evolved version of their ZeXal form appears, with more ornate armor and later referred to as 'ZeXal II'.
Part two: Despite this new ZeXal, Vector still has a face-down able to counter Limited Barian's Force, and with no way to draw cards, Yuma can't Shining Draw into a miracle card. But he doesn't need to, since this ZeXal form can use Re-Convert Universe. Limited Barian's Force fades and is transformed into a new card as Astral declares he has awakened its true form. Cue Rank-Up Magic - Numeron Force.
Finally, ZeXal activates Numeron Force, reconstructing the Overlay Network with Hope in a new Chaos Xyz sequence. Hope is transformed into a new Chaos Xyz monster, Chaos Number 39: Aspiring Emperor Hope Ray Victory. Vector attempts to end the duel with Sargasso's effect, only for ZeXal to No Sell it by revealing that Numeron Force negates every effect other than the summoned monster's the turn it's used. He declares an attack with Hope Ray Victory against Umbral, activating Victory's effect to detach an Overlay Unit, negate the attacked monster's effect and finally gain ATK equal to that monster's ATK. Victory draws its four swords as its ATK score skyrockets to 5800, before delivering a pair of V-shaped slashes which tear Umbral apart and cut off one of Vector's wings. With that, the duel finally ends in Vector's defeat.
Earlier in the duel, Dark ZEXAL's abuse of Chimera Cloth boosted Hope Ray V to 83200 ATK - higher than any other monster has ever gone in all the series, save for the infinite ATK monsters from Duel Monsters and the "Monster" that Anubis turned into in the movie.
The opening scene of episode 99. Vector, badly injured and swearing revenge after his loss to Yuma and Astral, walks out into the Barian World's ocean, which appears to be acidic as parts of Vector crumble off and drift away as he swims. He reaches some kind of sealed door in a crag, at which he swears his life to the Barian God, Don Thousand, leading the seal to open with a huge earth tremor and a pillar of fire. Don Thousand asks what Vector wants in exchange for swearing his life, and Vector simply asks for power - at which, after explaining how to fully restore the god's power, Thousand reaches into Vector's chest, grabbing some kind of crystalline object (presumably a representation of Vector's heart/soul), and vanishes into it as Vector screams in pain, explaining to Vector that they have now become one whilst healing his wounds. Cut to Vector washing up on shore, the god's seal showing in his eyes, and maniacal laughter into the opening credits.
Episode 103. Alito punching a barier.
Elaboration makes it better. So far, all the Legendary Numbers have had to be won in a duel before someone can claim them. Alito doesn't bother with that, and instead just punches his way through the barrier around the Number, yelling "DRAW!" as he breaks through.
Episode 112 has the return of III (with a cameo of IV and V), complete with a Dynamic Entry; III throws a sword at Mr. Heartland, uses the power of the crest that he shouldn't be able to use, sasses Heartland, and vows to protect Yuma. Talk about making a return!
Then in Episode 113, Yuma and III pull off a major combo that jacks OOPArts Atlantal all the way up to 23,600 attack points so it can finish off the duel.
In Episode 121, Yuma brings out a new version of his trademark monster: Hope Roots. Through its effect and a Double Or Nothing card, he gets its attack power all the way up to 79,200 to end the duel. Any time the attack points hit five digits is pretty awesome.
Gets even better when you remember Hope Roots is Rank 1, and it wiped out the Rank 13 New Orders 13: Etheric Amen. And to boot, the guy using Amen was obsessed with Rank-Up.
Episode 123, ZEXAL III, just ZEXAL III
And following up on that, 124 does not disappoint for the start of a new arc.
Firstly, the Back for the Finale nature, with a bunch of the secondary characters showing up to take on the Barians with some awesome intros, such as Anna attempting to blast Mizael out of the sky with her cannon, and Gauche almost beaning Alito with a baseball in the most non-nonchalant way possible.
Secondly, Rank-Up Magic Argent Chaos Force. A Rank-Up card made by humans.
And finally, Barian's Chaos Draw. The Emperors are competent, and with Nasch and Merag back, stronger than ever.
Episode 125. The Barians all draw Rank-Up-Magic The Seventh One together, and proceed to unleash their Chaos Numbers as one. Definitely an awesome moment for the villain side.
Nasch's summoning of his ace card, Silent Honor's Dark Knight. Even before its ridiculously powerful ability to revive itself when destroyed is revealed, it's clear that IV is in trouble when this massive lance-wielding Black Knight appears and gives him a Death Glare.
To say nothing of IV's effort throughout both episodes. Twice he turned around near impossible situations and gained the advantage. Seriously if it weren't for his opponent's near Game Breaker cards and the ability to Chaos Draw he'd probably have won. Yet even with him staring down Silent Honor's Dark Knight after having his second Chaos Number absorbed he's determined to win. If only to stop Nasch and avenge the various supporting characters who died after they lost.
This all culminates in Episode 126, where IV summons CNo. 88: Disaster Leo, Destiny Leo's Chaos version that makes it even easier to win the duel.
And one more for the villains: Nasch not only avoids its game-ending effects effortlessly, he kills it on the next turn with even less effort than he did with Destiny Leo.
Episode 127 gives us CNo. 6: OOParts Chaos Atlantal. Which III uses to steal Mizael's Galaxy-Eyes Tachyon Dragon, and to make it even better, due to how it was removed from Mizael's side of the field, he can't use Rank-Up Magic The Seventh One to bring out his Chaos Number whatsoever. Mizael does not take this well.
Episode 128 treats us to CNo. 9, Chaos Dyson Sphere, one of the many cards III and V use to try to take down Mizael, reducing him to only 1 Life Point.
Then we finally see Neo Tachyon's effect, which wins Mizael the game in an instant.
Mizael's long-awaited showdown with Kaito across episodes 134-5 is full of awesome moments. Number 62 anyone? You only need one look at this thing's head to see why it's called PRIME Photon Dragon.
Nasch's duel with Vector, possibly even more anticipated than the above example. At the end of the first part, Nasch has nicked Vector's Legendary Number and attacks his Over-Hundred Number - and then we remember what that means. The second part has Vector throwing tons and tons of crap at Nasch (and restraining Don Thousand while he's at it too) and Nasch just being a Badass and blocking it all before Chaos Xyz Changing ABYSS SPLASH. This pumps it up to something that could go toe-to-toe with Hope Ray Victory (they have the same effect), and then he beans a monster not unlike H Eart-eartH Dragon with it, severely kicking Vector's ass. A pity Shark Drake couldn't have shown up, but you can't ask for everything.
In a brilliant C Mo A, after seeing his memories from Judge Devil defeating his Over-Hundred Number, Vector seems to be redeemed. He even uses a Trap to give Nasch the field full of Over-Hundred Numbers he's accumulated and urges him to win the duel. Even the viewer is likely thinking that he has been redeemed, especially since his memory revealed that his evil has been Don Thousand's manipulation and that in his past life, he was once a good and kind person who wanted peace. THEN he laughs and reveals the whole thing was just another act. He's pretty much the greatest Troll in the entire franchise at this point.
Abyss Supra, Abyss Splash's Chaos form, deserves a special mention. Nasch attempts to take down Vector's Chaos Number 5: Chaos Chimera Dragon with regular Abyss Splash's ATK-doubling effect, only to have Vector counter with a Trap which gives Chaos Chimera Dragon Abyss Splash's remaining Overlay Unit, which due to Chaos Chimera's own effect, gives it enough ATK to defeat Abyss Splash. At this point, Nasch uses Rank-Up-Magic Quick Chaos to Rank-Up Abyss Splash mid-battle, summoning Chaos Number 73: Abyss Supra. Then, with its effect, he increases it's ATK by Chaos Chimera Dragon's ATK and proceeds to crush Vector's Chaos Number.
Episode 138 gives us our first real look at Don Thousand. Not only was he revealed to have faked his death in the previous episode, he promptly absorbs Vector (and, through him, 4 other Barian Emperors), he also OTKs Mizar, ON HIS OWN TURN, by replacing his spell with one that would do the deed for him. And that was just his duel...
The best part of that spoiler: He did so after, on his previous turn, playing absolutely nothing. Since we didn't know how the "Numeron Network" card worked yet, it was made to appear that Don Thousand had made a zero-card kill.
Episodes 140-141: The attack points spiral out of control as Don Thousand summons Number C1000 with 10,000 attack points. Then he summons Number CI 1000 with 100,000 attack, breaking the six-digit mark for the first time in the anime franchise's history. Not to be outdone, Yuma pulls off a combo that brings Utopia up to an astronomical 204,000 attack to finally beat Don Thousand. Up to Eleven to say the least!