YMMV / Yu-Gi-Oh! Card Game

  • Americans Hate Tingle: A minor case, but the Traptrix archetype ended up receiving a lot of ire purely because their art was featured as candidates for Japanese sleeve artwork, with many Western fans decrying the fact that due to the archetype featuring images of cute girls seemingly designed to pander to Lolicon otaku, it would be the top result. Ironically, the top result ended up being Shay/Kurosaki with his Raidraptors from ARC-V, who was the Western fans' top pick.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • The Forbidden/Limited lists are supposed to be this. Whether or not Konami has succeeded depends both on the players' reactions to it, and how tournaments progress with the changes each one makes.
    • The advent of "Problem Solving Card Text", in the ZEXAL era, where Konami attempted to reword effects so that they were less ambiguous and easier to understand.
    • The rare emergency banlists, which have thus far only occurred twice.
      • DAD Return was the first example, though unfortunately, it wasn't a complete nuking, and the remnants later resurfaced as Tele-DAD.
      • During the reign of PePe (Performage Pendulum), a deck so consistent and fast it could easily go plus 16 and still keep a healthy hand size, practically every local event was flooded with these decks, and with very good reason. The only real options during this era were "play PePe or lose" or "play Monarch and pray you don't brick". Not a day went by during this format that you didn't hear at least one person threatening to swear off the game. Konami thus nuked almost everything that made PePe so fast and consistent. While they weren't "officially" banned at the time, only for major Konami hosted events, many tournament players found this a very welcome decision. Even then, what remained from PePe was an still extremely playable Tier 1 deck.note 
    • The legal release of "The Winged Dragon of Ra," explicitly stated to be the most powerful card in the game in the fiction, was heavily criticized for a very large nerf that made it significantly below-average for a boss monster. Most infamously, its effect from the anime and manga allowing it to gain the ATK and DEF of the three monsters used for its tribute was omitted, meaning the "Pay Life Points until you have 100 left" effect became mandatory if you wanted Ra to have stats above 0. Eventually, Ra's two alternate forms, Immortal Phoenix and Sphere Mode, were released as separate cards, and become significantly more powerful than the normal Ra when the three are used together.
    • Dark Magician of Chaos, Chaos Emperor Dragon - Envoy of the End, Sangan, and other once-broken cards have received "power level" errata which has allowed them to come off the banlist (at least in the OCG), sometimes allowing them to go back up to Unlimited status. Other once-"Perma-Banned" cards, like Cyber-Stein, have been taken off the Banlist (again, in the OCG) due to how drastically the game has changed, resulting in once-broken effects becoming balanced.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Several cards, usually boss monsters such as Judgment Dragon, Dark Armed Dragon,note  Grapha, Dragon Lord of Dark World,note  Shi En,note  etc. Either they're excellent for the archetype, or overpowered.
    • Heavy Storm is in a similar vein, especially after its September 2013 TCG ban. It's either needed to punish mass-backrow, or it's a cheap OTK enabler.
    • Xyz Monsters, for being even easier to summon than Synchros, as well as Ranks replacing Levels (which can throw off several card effects) made quite a rift. Even well outside of the era it debuted, there's still a lot of contention over them due to a lot of Xyz monsters still remaining powerful, consistent, and splashable, and often very, very easy to spam, especially with the later-introduced Pendulum Summoning mechanic. Some people claim that it's good something averted the Power Creep trope in the franchise for once, while others feel it's stagnating the game and makes Duels boring to watch. Rank 4 spam in particular tends to get a lot of heat directed it's way. See Tier-Induced Scrappy for more on that.
    • Exodia is still very popular since the first episode, but since the recent Exodia decks tend to take ages for a single turn and not allow the opposition to play, the Forbidden One has moved to this category.
    • Cyber Dragon was very popular in the GX era, since it's easy to summon it, but veteran players tended to hate it for single-handedly making the old metagame obsolete. This softened over time due to Power Creep, with newer players being generally unfamiliar with how much of an impact it used to have, and the hate for anything Cyber Dragon as a whole being shifted to Cyber Dragon Infinity.
    • Elemental HERO Stratos. It's a fantastic searcher for HEROes, and is banned in the TCG but Limited in the OCG, thus often leading to massive arguments as to whether or not it should be unbanned. The common criticism is that it's too well supported and would lead to other cards being put on the banlist that otherwise wouldn't be.
    • Number 101: Silent Honor ARK is a very popular Xyz Monster since it can avoid destruction a few times and it can steal a Special Summoned Monster in Attack Position from the opponent. However, this is also arguably the primary reason that the Rank 4 Toolbox (see Tier-Induced Scrappy) is so reviled. Many players, particularly veterans, feel it takes skill out of the game by providing such an easy out to threatening opposing monsters. It didn't help that Konami made Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer, which has a very similar and arguably more powerful version of its effect.
    • Shaddolls. When this archetype debuted in the ARC-V era, it basically spelled the end of the prior meta with its punishment of Extra Deck Special Summons and ridiculous ability to punish your opponent for attacking them or destroying them with card effects (and, if your opponent couldn't be bothered doing the latter, you can just do it yourself), essentially being one big safety net for a bad player and a world-ending superweapon for a good one. On the other hand, they can blend in with different deck engines and create new hybrids, which is not exactly the case for many other decks to debut in this time. El-Shaddoll Construct is commonly seen as unfairly banned and so people constantly talk about it getting unbanned - almost at the same level that Stratos gets.
    • Qliphorts and Burning Abyss. The former for being very strong and consistent, but requiring much less strategy or actual thought to use; the latter coming off as a Creator's Pet deck for being consistently dominant in the TCG format and not getting hit until the below-mentioned Internet Backdraft, but have great art and a cool theme.
    • Nekroz used to be really popular for being a very strong deck that made Ritual Summoning (an Ensemble Darkhorse mechanic in itself) prominent. But the problem was that once they hit, they were a) extremely rare due to being in short print, thus costing way too much money, and b) immediately took over most tournaments, to Tier 1 if not 0 levels. Pretty much every non-Nekroz player dreaded seeing them, especially fans of other Ritual decks for landing a lot of their key cards on the Forbidden/Limited list, which they depended on to be just barely playable.
    • New Types often cause this, with many seeing them as redundant. The Psychic-Type largely escaped this, but the Wyrm-Type (basically Dragons) and Cyberse-Type (arguably Machines) are more contentious. Some are happy to have new Types, while others wish that some other Types would get the attention, particularly since the Cyberse are prominent in Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS in comparison to the downplayed Psychic and ignored Wyrm.
    • Was Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer bad for the game? While other monsters have been debated over this topic before, never has it been more heated than with this card. Detractors point out that it's a generic Rank 4 that gives a powerful out to many, many older boss monsters and situations, and is suspected to be the main reason why most newer cards have "cannot be targeted by card effects" on them. People who believe he wasn't also point out how Power Creep is always a thing, and by no means was he as game changing as other cards back in the day such as Cyber Dragon and that, by itself, it can't really do much else once it gets its effect off.
    • Is Utopia the Lightning a needed boost to make the Utopia line worth playing, or is it too strong for its cost and should be restricted?
    • As a general rule, old archetypes that get new cards, especially if they were an anime character archetype, will result in people falling into two camps: people who are absolutely overjoyed to see one of the old archetypes be brought back to something resembling relevance and those who see it as nostalgia pandering and takes away from possible new and interesting archetypes.
  • Broken Base:
    • The very announcement of a Forbidden List for the game caused a huge uproar in the community. Some saw it as a much needed change to the game as several recently released cards forced players to play one type of deck to stand a chance at tournaments, while others became rabid at the thought that their expensive cards would now become utterly worthless. This is the sole reason why there is a Traditional and an Advanced Format in the English TCG.
    • When expensive, rare cards are re-released as inexpensive, common cards. Some will praise the decision for allowing powerful cards to be more accessible to a wider variety of players, others will grind their teeth and scream bloody murder as the cards they've shelled a lot of dough for suddenly become dime-store commons. For example, compare a Tournament Pack 2 Morphing Jar with this one.
    • Goat Control format. Either it was the most technical, skillful format of Yu-Gi-Oh! that all other formats can't hope to compare to, or it's a stalling, boring mess of a format that people only like because of Nostalgia Filter.
    • The September 2013 banlist caused a huge one in the Western dueling community. Not only did duelists raise an uproar over the Western list being drastically different than the one in Japan, but there was a clear divide - duelists either loved it for killing off a lot of the old staples and thus forcing duelists to play more strategically, or outright hated it for completely killing their decks.
    • The presence of the Toon archetype in Duelists of Destiny/Dragons of Legend 2. Many players hate the fact that the majority of the GX portion of the cards consists of cards that support the Toon archetype note , feeling that it should've been filled with cards or an archetype more fitting of the GX era (Such as Fossils or Cyber Angelsnote ) while others don't seem to mind as Toons haven't had any support cards for over a decade (Unlike Red-Eyes note , which just received a good amount of new support cards in Clash of Rebellions). While there is a third group who doesn't mind the Toon support, but believe that they shouldn't have made up the majority of the GX portion of the set.
      • The presence of cards that originate from the currently airing anime in the Dragons of Legends sets. Given that it was supposed to be releasing long requested anime cards from the older series, many players do not like the idea of cards from the current series appearing in what supposed to be a nostalgic set (ZEXAL cards in Dragons of Legend, ARC-V cards in Duelists of Destiny/Dragons of Legend 2), claiming that they could be added to any upcoming sets as they had already started adding more Anime-based cards than they used to. Others argue that it may be the only chance for certain cards to appear at all since they're cards from one-shot and filler characters.
    • While generally well-received by most players due to killing off the widely loathed Performages and Pals quickly, the Adjustment List also annoyed several people who resigned themselves to thinking that Performages and Pals would be the top deck and ended up spending a lot of money on the required cards.
    • Oooooh boy... With the reveal of Link Monsters, the game's fanbase was absolutely shattered with the new rulings that came with them. Specifically, the Pendulum Zones are now part of the back row, essentially taking up two back row slots if you want to Pendulum summon and, quite possibly THE biggest part, you can only summon one Extra Monster at a time unless you manage to summon a Link Monster beforehand and even then, you can only summon them in designated zones the Link Monster converts from main monster zones. Either you love it for Promoting a slower game state and bringing back the old "protect the castle" boss monsters that were rendered obsolete for ages now, or you despise it for single handedly screwing over a massive number of decks and how majorly the game has changed in one small swoop.
      • To put this into perspective, this is the first major change in the game field in an almost 20 year history bar the slight modification to the field during the Pendulum Era, one of the biggest rule changes, and one of the most drastic changes to pre-existing mechanics. This change heavily Nerfs several decks reliant on the Extra Deck, while promoting slower strategies and Main Deck monsters. Fortunately, Extra Deck monsters can still be brought back to the Main Monster Zones by a card effect if they're removed from the field by either being sent to the graveyard, banished, or switched to the opposite side.
    • Various changes made to OCG Structure Decks from Rise of the Dragon Lords onward for the Worldwide TCG have either been applauded for increasing their playability, or despised for replacing desired rare cards, depending on the scenario.
  • Cargo Ship: Admit it, TCG/OCG players, you've gotten "attached" to a specific card or cards... Especially if that card has served you well over the years or just plain eye candy.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome:
    • In most tournaments, you'll likely only see three, maybe four decks at most when it comes to the final brackets. Because of the Power Creep, what decks people main during tournaments fluctuates with each era, but none the less, you're unlikely to encounter any other decks besides this in any major tournament.
      • This trope gets taken Up to Eleven in certain formats with "Tier Zero" Decks - those that are so strong that little else can stand up to them, resulting in a ridiculous number of Mirror Matches observed in tournament finals. Well-known examples include Chaos (the deck that birthed the banlist), Tele-DAD of the early Synchro era, PePe (Perfomapals/Performages), and most recently and interestingly, Zoodiacs. Zoodiacs are an interesting example of this in that their engine can actually be injected into another deck to help make it competitive.
    • As of the ARC-V's era, there's Qliphorts, Shaddolls, and especially Nekroz. The last of which is by far the most infamous of this era because of how quickly it took over tournaments upon its release, to the point that the final brackets of one of the major tournaments out there consisted of nothing but Nekroz players!
    • By the second generation of ARC-V era, Konami enforced this trope by killing all the decks from the previous generation with their November 2015 "banlist" note  in order to bring the Performage and Pals into the spotlight and become the new Dragon Ruler of the ZeXal era. This is a relatively usual business for the game unless Power Creep sets in, but the fact that Performages and Pals is a Tier Zero Scrappy deck is what really kicked the hate up.note 
    • For decks that have stood the test of time, Lightsworns; or at least their engines. With the Light of Judgment structure deck available; its not hard to make a budget deck that one can have fun with the game while learning some of the ins and outs of the game as well. Go on any online Yu-Gi-Oh simulator and see how many matches you go without encountering a Lightsworn player, or someone using a Lightsworn hybrid deck with another deck archetype that benefits from being sent to the graveyard.
  • Counterpart Comparison: The Entity series includes Nyarla, Chthugha and Hastorr, all of them having Moe versions in Haiyore! Nyarko-san.
  • Crack Is Cheaper: The really rare and competitive viable cards can get rather pricey at times... Case in point: before its ban Lavalval Chain commonly went for fifteen dollars by itself on eBay. By comparison, its reprinted pack at the time, Premium Gold: Return of the Bling went for that exact same price, and you weren't always guaranteed to get it from that set.
  • Crazy Awesome:
    • When it comes to design, the Jurrac Monsters are this to an insane degree. Case in point? They are dinosaurs. On fire!
    • In terms of mechanics, the D/Ds; both for their high-risk high return design and for being the first archetype to have Fusion, Synchro, AND Xyz Monsters.
    • Superheavy Samurai, which can be played using solely monsters; in fact, the deck actually encourages it.
  • Creator's Pet:
    • Blackwings. It seems that Konami is a little too fond of giving this already fortified archetype support, to the point where some people are getting fed up of seeing them, and their support only increased due to the ARC-V anime.
    • A few people saw Number 16: Shock Master in the OCG as this. Its lockdown effect and easy summoning conditions saw it quickly banned in the TCG, but it remained for quite a while in the OCG due to what was assumed it being a V-Jump promo, and thus a bit of blame was directed at Shueisha for keeping such a broken card in the game (until its January 2016 OCG banning).
    • Burning Abyss after they got Beatrice. Konami hyped up the deck to hell and back, made it one of the major selling points for Premium Gold (along with Kozmo), and didn't hit it in the April 2016 banlist despite it being meta for nearly 2 years and being one of the more potent decks. The fan-suspected reason for keeping the deck alive was so that Konami could make money on people trying to buy the deck through Premium Gold.
    • Many have proclaimed Monarchs and Kozmos to be this. While the two decks are a touchy subject in the player base for various reasons, usually because of how they play,note  it became rather apparent that Konami wanted these decks to be the only meta-relevant ones for a good long while when the next few banlists were revealed after they hit the scenes. Not only was DracoPals, the only other deck that was meta-relevant, more or less killed off shortly afterward, but the very next banlist months afterwards, Monarchs and Kozmo were left mostly untouched while the banlist attacked decks that hadn't been meta-relevant for almost a yearnote  or going after rogue decks and a few generic cards that made rogue decks even remotely relevant.
      • While Monarchs eventually got nuked by the banlist after 2016 worlds, Kozmos are still this trope in many of eyes thanks to, at most, getting a slap on the wrist by the banlist. Their only major hit was Dark Destroyer to 1... While the banlist unlimited several other cards that made it a non-issue. Needless to say, Kozmo haters were unamused, though Power Creep would set it.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Early on in the game, Jinzo was extremely popular due to being one of Katsuya Jonouchi/Joey Wheeler's signature cards on the show, and that he provided a way to bypass some of the more powerful Trap Cards at the time.
    • Early on, the Gemini Elves were popular for being a strong level 4 Normal Monster and being sexy twins.
    • Tour Guide From the Underworld, for being a Cute Monster Girl, making Xyz summoning really easy, and possessing one of the most broken effects in the game when teamed with Sangan....until Konami ruled otherwise. For a while, her card was commanding $200, more than twice the price for a box of the expansion itself!
    • The fanart for the Charmers is immense, especially in Japan. For example, take Pixiv. Red-Eyes, one of the most well-known archetypes in the game, has around 9 pages of artwork. The Charmers, on the other hand, have at least 60 pages. Being adorable on top of having an intriguing lore certainly helps, as did the trickles of new cards for their lore during the ARC-V era.
    • Skull Servant. Among the many, many weak and underpowered normal monsters, it was known as the weak and underpowered normal monster (probably because it came first in the set, it looks goofy, and even its flavor text acknowledges its weakness). Konami even acknowledged this by making an entire archetype around it and having it be a running joke in card art cameos.
    • Noble Knights are a popular archetype in the TCG for their mythology and unique play style based on Equip Spell cards. This led to them getting additional exclusives in the TCG release of Shadow Specters and an entire section of the site dedicated to showcasing the archetype's cards, arguably overshadowing the horror-themed cards that were meant to be the focus of the set.
    • Poki Draco, due to a Facebook page, as a prank and to prove a point on how foolish people buying singles can be, temporarily causing an inflation in its price by putting a bunch of them up for $15 on ebay.
    • Any deck from the "good old days" of Yu-Gi-Oh! can be this, especially if they receive new support that makes them competitive. One deck in particular stands out - Gravekeepers. It was not only one of the first archetypes in the game, but is actually one of the few that invokes the ancient Egyptian mythology that the very game itself is rooted in. Not only that, but gameplay-wise, they received constant support from Konami during the Zexal era that kept them relevant, and were also widely regarded as the most powerful Anti-Meta deck, due to its star card, Necrovalley, putting a stop to most Graveyard strategies.
    • The Blackwing archetype is the reason why Crow Hogan became the fifth Signer (in favor of Rua) instead of becoming the Final Boss of the Dark Signer arc.
    • The Madolche archetype proved extremely popular with Japanese fan artists for being both creative and adorable in terms of appearance.
    • It's almost impossible not to like the Kuriboh series, given that they're utterly adorable little fuzzballs..
    • The U.A. (Ultra Athlete) archetype is rarely talked about by Konami, rarely receives any focus, and its cards are consistently of the lowest rarities possible. Despite this, the archetype has caught the eye of many a player for its unorthodox yet effective strategies and its terrifyingly powerful support Spell Cards. It's a shame that the archetype only gets three cards a set and are silently discontinued, otherwise it'd be a more complete deck by now.
    • Performapal Friendonkey was usually seen as the best Performapal card. Partly due to its semi-useful ability, mostly because of its awkward facial expression, and its common rarity means that you'll be pulling a lot of them from packsnote .
    • While most of the Performapals aren't popular, Yuya's Pendulum Magicians and Odd-Eyes cards are due to being a well-designed Pendulum archetype that can incorporate all the Extra Deck summoning methods. Once enough of them were revealed, they seized online playing sites by storm.
    • Again, while Performapals aren't too popular, Performapal Skullcrobat Joker is easily the most popular one, with many citing him as the only good Performapal note  thanks to his powerful searching effect for monsters not of the Performapal archetype, such Odd-Eyes and the Pendulum Magicians, as soon as his Normal Summon, and even if he's destroyed by a Trap Card that doesn't negate the act of summoning in itself, the effect still goes off, as well as having good ATK and Pendulum Scale range that doesn't have too big of a draw back to it. note 
    • Toons, some of the star cards of Pegasus, had been largely ignored by Konami for close to a decade, and as such, many fans clamored for relevant support, as evidenced by a lot of fan-made cards that will turn up on a simple Google Search. They finally received support in 2015, and although some duelists were quick to dismiss them due to the Toons' ill-deserved reputation of being useless, their popularity soared as a feasible and fun deck to use once the usefulness of support such as "Toon Kingdom" and "Comic Hand" became apparent.
    • To the dismay of many a fan, the U.A. are not to receive any support in Clash of Rebellions and will most likely remain without a second Level 4 for the longest time. They were replaced, and normally this would be a source of great rage... were the replacements not Kaiju, who manage to avert Replacement Scrappy status entirely and were very positively received from the minute they were revealed (again, without a word from Konami). So long, Ultra Athletes. You will not be forgotten and your successors will certainly live up to your name and then some.
    • Chaos Dragons have long been a popular deck due to its theme being centered around a combination of good and evil dragons, spellcasters and fiends, as well as how well the deck has held up over the years due to the central mechanics (manipulate the grave, banishing LIGHT/DARK to special summon) being concepts that still receive support to this day, allowing a number of variants than can adapt to the meta fairly effectively.
    • Traptrix. When a poll for a new card sleeve was shown and they were one of the choices, they beat the others in popularity and became the leading choice, although see Americans Hate Tingle.
    • Pretty much any card to come out of Korea. The Entities are a Lovecraftian theme of Xyz, Synchro, and Fusion Summoning that captivate many with their horrifying/awesome artworks, the Burgesstoma are a Trap Monster theme unlike any we've seen, and even the individual monsters are just so utterly fascinating that it's hard to avoid wanting to use them, such as with Dinosewing or World Carrotweight Champion.
    • The Zefra are widely liked for their multi-archetype support and rich lore, despite initially not being as powerful as other competitive or Pendulum decks in most variants.
  • Epileptic Trees: The true identity of El Shaddoll Construct was this for a while, as it didn't fit the normal conditions for the other Shaddoll monsters. The Master Guide 5 eventually revealed that it was Gem-Knight Lapis.
  • Faux Symbolism
    • Some archetypes released in the Duel Terminal storyline started with DUEA include references to judaism, specifically Qliphort, Shaddoll and Infernoid.
  • Fetish Retardant - One of the more justified reasons for editing card art.
  • Foe Yay: Winda and Ariel are frequently paired up by Japanese fans, even though they're from opposing Archetypes in the Duel Terminal storylines.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • It's common knowledge that the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game was inspired by Magic: The Gathering, to the point where some Magic players would refer to it as a ripoff. Now, when you consider some of the rule changes that has taken effect since Pendulums arrive, and the fact that there are now "Artifacts" in the game, and you have some Yu-Gi-Oh! players now decrying that it's becoming too much like Magic.
    • Anyone calling for Sangan's ban after the cards listed below and his Memetic Loser Woobie trip.
  • Game-Breaker - Has its own page, but in general, every card on the Forbidden/Limited List has been this at some point.
  • Genius Bonus: Quite a few of the archetypes fall into this, mostly with their lore, theme and puns.
    • All Karakuris are required to attack if able and automatically switched to defense mode when attacked. Real-life karakuri were 17th to 19th century Japanese automatons that could only move in a predetermined pattern until interrupted or switched off.
    • Within the Noble Knights and their Noble Arms cards, they're not only named for characters and concepts from Arthurian lore, but their card art contains hidden references to the legends. For instance, Ignoble Knight of High Laundsallyn is wielding the Arfeudutyr and Excaliburn swords and has a shadow of the Lady of the Lake behind him. Laundsallyn is based on Lancelot, who wielded Arfeudutyr's namesake sword Arondight, and was raised by the Lady of the Lake who gave Arthur Excalibur. The series also identifies Caliburn as the sword in the stone and Excalibur as the sword given by the Lady of the Lake, when most modern Arthurian adaptations merge the two weapons and depict Excalibur as the sword in the stone.
    • The Arcana Force monsters often have effects that in some way mirror the symbolisms of their respective tarot cards. For instance, The World can force your opponent to skip their next turn; in tarot, The World represents the completion of a cycle and a pause in time before a new cycle begins.
    • The Gladiator Beasts are named after famous Roman warriors and conquerors.
    • The Burning Abyss series are all themed after demons from Dante's Inferno.
    • The Railway series are designed after real-life locomotives.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Nekroz of Trishula can be seen as a personification of Trishula. Unfortunately for the Pixiv fanartists, Nekroz of Trishula is a guy.
    • Remember the time when players did the Tour Guide From The Underworld + Sangan combo? That's what Burning Abyss players do now.
    • Back in 2010, Konami released the Duel Terminal archetype Gem-Knight, which consists of sentient humanoid gem stones with super powers who became stronger by fusing with each other. Sounds familiar?
    • Frog the Jam (now Slime Toad), a weak level 2 Normal Monster, had a Memetic Loser status in the TCG due to "Blind Idiot" Translation forcing it to be specifically excluded from every effect involving the Frog archtype. Fast forward to 2016, and Frog the Jam actually became a key card of one Frog variant in the OCG due its status as a Normal Monster allowing the deck's new boss monster, Toadally Awesome, to be summoned easily via Rescue Rabbit.
    • Garlandolf, King of Destruction, a monster inspired by Ganondorf from The Legend of Zelda and often nicknamed that by the player base, is a weaker version of an earlier card named Demise, King of Armageddon.note  Incidentally, Skyward Sword would later reveal that Ganondorf's ancestral incarnation was a being named Demise.
    • The "Senet" cards and mechanic, cards that revolved around the placement of cards on the field, were widely reviled even by the creators. And then Links were introduced...
  • HSQ:
    • The September 2013 TCG banlist. See Broken Base above as to why.
    • The content from the Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V era usually gains this reaction. Even during the days of Synchro or Xyz, at most, you could get two, maybe three Special Summoned monsters out on the field, often at the cost of overextending your hand. Archetypes from the ARC-V are often fast, good at maintaining a healthy hand size, and can get a lot of Special Summoned cards out on the field. It reached its boiling point with a certain infamous hybrid deck that, starting off with five cards on the first turn, could consistently go 16+ with a ton of Special Summoned monsters on the field, and still maintain a healthy handsize.
    • The TCG's October 1st 2014 banlist, for one reason. Raigeki is BACK.
    • The OCG's first banlist for 2015 hit duelists worldwide wish a couple of whammies. Not only did cards legendary for their brokenness make their return (Exchange of the Spirits, Ring of Destruction, Sinister Serpent, Harpie's Feather Duster and Chaos Emperor Dragon, ) but they were Brought Down to Normal, as shown here.... save for one card - Harpie's Feather Duster.
    • Can you believe that NOTHING is changed on the OCG July 2015 banlist? For the first time in forever!
    • The reveal of Link Monsters, and with it, the most immense change to the game's rules since the very beginning, redefining multiple areas of the field.
  • Internet Backdraft:
    • The 2015 November list for the TCG was widely criticized by the community for being a thin-veiled attempt to run the Duelist Alliance era decks into the ground in order just to sell their new products and to make Performage and Pals dominant over all the other decks instead of using the list for the to nerf Game-Breaker decks.note  The practice itself is nothing new; but the Tier 0 reputation that the Performage and Pals had meant that players were dreading the format.
    • The next banlist, April 2016 was even worse and more unprecedented; it maimed or killed off rogue and non-meta decks while leaving the top decks untouched. note  The banlist actually made it worse for decks that can't keep up with the meta.
    • The TCG banlist dates in general has become a hot-button issue. Since the TCG no longer has banlists for a set period (and thus formats can go on for a very long time, with no end in sight) and it's a very common question for people to ask about, you can't even ask about the banlist without people freaking out.
    • When it was revealed that Allen Kozuki, a character from the ARC-V anime, uses the Railway series, a fairly popular archetype of Cool Trains that is based around making Rank 10 Xyz monsters, many people were hyped to have the new support. When it was revealed that the new support is based on Rank 4 instead of 10, a rank that's already a touchy subject in the fanbase, the response was nowhere near as well received...
  • Junk Rare: Generally Averted. Anything "Super Rare" and above is generally a sign that the card is good and competitive viable, such as Black Rose Dragon being anywhere from Super Rare to Ghost Rare (one of the hardest rarities to get in the 5Ds era.) and is quite the valued Synchro even with the Power Creep that came later because of its ability to nuke the field. However, despite this, some examples still do pop up...
    • Probably the earliest examples of Junk Rare were Celtic Guardian and Mystical Elf in Legend of Blue-Eyes. Both were Super Rare - the same rarity as powerful Spells like Raigeki, Dark Hole, and (the then powerful) Swords of Revealing Light - but they had lower stats than Commons like Uraby and Rares like Giant Soldier of Stone. On top of that, they were available in the Starter Decks. (This was an odd bit of The Artifact; LOB was a combination of several sets, and Elf and Guardian had been released in some of the earliest sets, where they were strong enough to justify their rarity. They had been packed in with stronger cards from later sets, and then their rarities hadn't changed.)
    • Many of the nostalgia-based decks in the second third of the ARC-V era are decent at best, but have high rarities to cash-in on the then upcoming 20th anniversary nostalgia. Averted by ABC, and most famously by Blue-Eyes, which were not only Tier 1, but won the 2016 World Championship.
  • Memetic Badass:
    • SHAPESNATCH!
    • Trent, which is rumored to be immortal.
    • The anime viewers of ARC-V see the Raidraptor Xyz Monsters as these. This was inevitable with monsters like a Rank 4 falcon going from 100 ATK to 16,400 ATK in the next second, a Rank 6 falcon that carpet bombs a city, a Rank 8 falcon that fires a Wave Motion Gun out of the atmosphere, and a Rank 10 behemoth that is unaffected by card effects. It doesn't hurt that their user is a Memetic Badass himself.
    • Ignister Prominence, the Blasting Dracoslayer, due to its VERY potent removal effect.
    • Any of the rare monsters that can be Summoned by Tributing the opponent's monsters as it's difficult to prevent, but the most prominent are a) Lava Golem, the first to be introduced (and it was memorably introduced in the anime by Yami Marik), b) The Winged Dragon of Ra- Sphere Mode because of its abilities to break any board no matter how ridiculously powerful it may appearnote , and also because IT'S SPHERICAL!!! and c) the Kaiju, which also use this mechanic to stage giant monster battles.
    • Stardust Dragon was already well-regarded, but when the Link rules dropped and revealed that Extra monsters revived from the graveyard would be summoned to the Main Monster Zones, quite a few people noticed that this gave Stardust the ability to easily dodge the restrictions via its self sacrificing and revival effect.
  • Memetic Loser:
    • Rainbow Dragon, thanks to being a boss monster that even in its own archetype is vastly outshone by other options the archetype has, note  and generally having lackluster effects for the amount of trouble needed to go through in order to summon him.
    • Sangan quickly became this thanks to a series of cards showing his trip to where banned cards go and his terrible luck along the way, along with shades of being The Woobie.
    • The first version of the Winged Dragon of Ra, for being vulnerable to targeting and unable to be Special Summoned.note 
    • Goyo Guardian, thanks to the OCG-based errata that made it so you needed an EARTH tuner to summon it. This after years of not being relevant at all in the TCG and the entire playerbase agreeing that it could go back to 3 (which it DID prior to the eratta) and it would still do nothing. For a while, this combined with Memetic Badass regarding the OCG's apparent fear of unbanning it.
    • Little D because of... its unfortunate name.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • MST negates. (A common newbie mistake is thinking that destroying a card negates its effect.)note 
    • OriCa, which are fan-made cards. The artworks usually take the form of sexy lolis.
    • "Oh, great. They revived Trishula again..." (A common reaction inside the Duel Terminal fandom when a new "Trishula spinoff" is leaked.)note 
    • "Why can't Gem-Knight Crystal stay dead?" (Another one within the DT fandom, concerning the many returns of Gem-Knight Crystal.note 
    • "Poor Sangan." note 
    • #freestratos and similar phrases have become a big meme, due to many people who think Elemental Hero Stratos should not be Forbidden. A similar campaign also started after Lavalval Chain was banned, #unchainlavalval
    • There were quite a few Dark Knight Rises jokes made due to the name and revival effect of Number C101: Silent Honor DARK (Silent Honors Dark Knight in Japanese), but these went Up to Eleven after Hot Red Dragon Archfiend Bane was revealed for the TCG.
    • "X" Card was banned because of interactions with Jerry Beans Man. note 
    • Many jokes have been made over the years in response to the OCG's seemingly irrational fear of Goyo Guardian. For the longest time, it remained banned because of being very powerful when it was first released but years of Power Creep have rendered it rather weak in comparison to today's monsters. Despite this, the OCG still seems to be terrified of letting it back into the game; despite being unlimited in the TCG for years, when the OCG finally unbanned it, it was only to one, with an errata that further Nerfed its effectiveness by making it require an EARTH tuner to summon.
    • *Insert new extra deck monster here* looks great! It's sure to see a lot of pla- oh wait, Links. Explanation 
    • "'Insert crappy archetype here' can be fixed if they get a good enough field spell." Explanation 
    • "Konami hates Synchro": commonly used when new Synchro/Tuner cards are released because of the seemingly "overbalanced" design of those in comparison with the blatantly broken design of Xyz and main-deck based cards. Not helped when the OCG banned Level Eater and limited PSY-Framelord Omega, basically killing what was the only meta relevantnote  Synchro deck in the last few years. Any Pendulum Tuner monster is especially notable in this regard; without fail they tend to have restrictions.
  • Misblamed:
    • The Performapals to a degree. While they certainly do have their contributions to the brokeness of the Performages and Pals strategy, it's actually the Performages and the Dracoslayers that cause the most potent combos, the former having already been responsible for the Clownblade engine, and indeed, when the deck was first hit in the OCG, it was the Performages that were banned. Their main strength is consistency and advantage rather than broken monsters.
    • Whenever a Pendulum deck becomes meta, many are quick to blame the mechanic itself for it being "broken"; however, more often than not, it's the non-Pendulum cards of the deck that causes it to become so powerful; a good example being the Performages above in the dreaded PePe deck, with most of the ones that gave it its power being non-Pendulum monsters. In fact, many point out it's usually Xyz Monsters, especially the R4NK toolbox that's usually the real problem, thanks to how easily it can abuse the Pendulum mechanic.
  • Moral Event Horizon: If not crossed before, the Gishki's attempt to genocide the Gusto with chemical weapons. This was the event which angered the Gem-Knights. Noelia pretty much spends her time dancing on the line.
  • Never Live It Down: Konami and by proxy, the game, has become a rather infamous flag for Power Creep in card games but no more so has it reached its peak than when several major card shops in Japan refused to allow one of the major new archetypes at the time in their tournaments because of how bad of an example of Power Creep they were. In general, Zoodiacs have become an example in many former duelist eyes that Konami flat-out doesn't care for the game anymore outside of wringing every last dollar they can out of it. Zoodiacs vastly eclipsed any other deck at the time, to the point that the only way to be remotely competitive at the time was to run Zoodiac hybrids; so much so that when they were released in the OCG, all the meta-decks in tournaments at the time was nothing but Zoodiac and Zoodiac hybrids, and unlike the infamous PePe example above, which was a hybrid of three completely different archetypes, Zoodiacs were intentionally designed to be that powerful from the start. In general, Zoodiacs have become an example of how not to make a healthy archetype in a cardgame, and an example of why Power Creep isn't always a good thing.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
  • Older Than They Think:
  • Pandering to the Base: Generation Duels seem to be this for the people who dislike the game past a certain format. Generation Duels nearly ban all cards past the era it's set in and has banned cards limited to what they were during the generation.
  • Periphery Demographic: Despite being a "children's card game", the majority of the playerbase consists of adult males.
  • The Scrappy:
    • A lot of players dislike the Elemental HERO archetype because, being the archetype of choice of Judai/Jaden Yuki, they pretty much took over the game for several booster packs, they dominate the fusion mechanic, and have more support and numbers than actual types. It didn't help that several of those cards received no changes when they were ported to real life, resulting sets being clogged with cards that were very situational, even in their intended Deck. This is in contrast to Yugi, who used monsters that were pretty much all over the place in terms of their theme, and Yusei, who does mostly rely on the Synchron and Warrior archetypes, but many of the cards involved are useful for other things besides supporting their own archetype. They were somewhat Rescued from the Scrappy Heap as Elemental HERO cards from the manga debuted, giving the archetype much better options for competitive play.
      • Special note should be made for the Neos-based fusions. Elemental Hero Neos was already impractical (a 2 tribute normal monster with 2500 ATK wasn't exactly worth hyping during the GX era); but there were ways to make him work (O-Oversoul gets him right out of the graveyard and E-Hero Prisma easily sent him to the graveyard) Neos himself has decent support. The same however, cannot be said for the Neo-Spacians (Ya know, the OTHER half of a Neos deck?). The spacian materials were either wholly worthless sta and effec-wisenote , the spacian fusion monsters useless and other Neos fusions were usually tedious to summon at all. Compounding this was that the relevant fusion monsters had two additional drawbacks: You can't summon them without using their built-in effects, and even once you summoned them you had to return the fusion monster to the Extra Deck at the end of your turn unless you had a specific Field Spell card out.
      • Adding to the above was the fact that these cards existed along-side the Cyber Dragon archetype, the XYZ Dragon deck, and basically every straight-aggro deck in the game. The idea of a Neos-Fusion deck was dead in the water upon inception, and these days trying to run such a deck would probably hospitalize your opponent from making them laugh too hard. But what do you expect from a story-driven archetype?
    • For the old-school players, Yata-Garasu was this before its ban, for several reasons.
    • The Utopia Archetype. They have several different "forms", unlike Utopia's predecessors, which only have a two or three (except Neos), several players tend to call hatedom due to Utopia's effect and the way how the creators are giving it more time to shine. To be fair, it IS the main protagonist's card, although a lot of the hate is because Yuma's anime incarnation is a Scrappy himself. It doesn't help that it has different forms between the anime and the manga. Konami's response to this problem? Make an anti-Utopia monster in the form of Number 98: Dystopia.
    • El Shaddoll Wendigo is universally disliked for being rather useless in the deck.
    • The Ice Barrier archetype outside its Synchro members is perhaps one of the most useless Tier-Induced Scrappy of the game. The archetype is designed with the idea of various effects that limit your opponent's card advantage or protect your monsters from their attacks and effects. However, it lacks synergy between its numerous effects, many of the limiting effects apply to both players handicapping you as well, and the Synchro monsters are the only monsters of the series that are any good. Add in that there are exactly two Spell cards to support them and no Traps, and you have to wonder how Konami expected them to be played at all.
    • In terms of expansion sets, Cyberdark Impact is almost universally hated, due to having very few cards that were actually useful or competitive. The booster's cards mostly consist of "Chain" cards that can only be used if enough card effects are chained togethernote , or the "Senet" series of cards that do things relying on the physical placement of cards in the card zones, and which Konami admitted was a terrible idea. Even the Cyberdark cards - the ones that the set is named for - are seen by many as too weak, even at the time of its launch.
      • Duelist Pack: Dimensional Guardians (a set meant to introduce OCG-only legacy support to the TCG) was universally met with derision from the playerbase not only because of its questionable rarity bumpsnote , but also because the pack was the last chance for Fluffals/Frightfurs to become meta in the TCG by bringing the coveted Frightfur Patchwork. Instead they only brought Frightfur Daredevil and Frightfur Reborn, earning the ire of multiple players and being met with boycott menaces.
    • The Performapals from the anime. They started out the era by being a Tier-Induced Scrappy on the low end of the scale, then immediately launched to the high end of the scale with several sets and support that came for them later on, reaching its peak with Breakers of Shadow, where it got enough support and good hybrid cards that with a well put together deck, it can effectively lock out the opponent from even playing the game, even if they go first, in addition to a lot of meta decks suspiciously getting their key cards banned around the same time to the point of making them useless. It got so bad that some players started to attempt to make decks that could specifically counter them out of cards from older archetypes in protest, and players of its sister deck, Odd-Eyes Magician, dreaded the eventual crossfire that would happen to their deck, either from the ensuing ban list banning key cards that work well with both or players maiming decks specifically to counter Pendulum summoning decks in themselves.
    • Zoodiac Marmorat, for being the single card that made the Zoodiac archetype so infamous and for making it that for most decks to compete at the time they needed it with a hybrid Zoodiac engine in order to keep up with other decks using the Zoodiac engine.
  • Scrappy Mechanic
    • Missing the timing. Not only does understanding this ruling mean one has to pay very close attention to the Exact Words on card effects, but it also means a lot of potential combos are ruined and a strategy can fall apart with one misplayed card that violates the rule. A further annoyance with this conflict is that most newer cards have their wordings phrased so you can't miss the timing while older cards tend to have their effects worded so they can, contributing to the Can't Catch Up problem outdated archetypes have against the faster new archetypes.
    • The "Harpie rule"; Harpie Lady #1, #2, #3, and Cyber Harpie, all have their names treated as Harpie Lady. This also means for purposes of deck construction, thus you can only have three of any of them in the deck. The card makers thankfully realized this was stupid and started using the mentioned naming mechanics listed under Loophole Abuse in the main article.
    • Archfiend Cards are known as 'Demon' in the OCG (Not the Type Demon), but since the TCG just couldn't print that, they changed their names with no consistency to such. A few years later Demons became an Archetype, with cards that support them as such. In the end: All old Demon cards (such as Summoned Skull) became Archfiends, but couldn't have their names changed and while they are treated as such in official games there was nothing on the card that actually says they are Archfiends, so the only way to know that is to look it up on the Internet. Thankfully, reprints now have errata text that state plainly "this card is always treated as an Archfiend card."
    • While not technically a game mechanic, the large number of OCG exclusives is infuriating for many TCG players, since there's often no indication of when the TCG will get certain cards, while in comparison, any TCG exclusives can be reliably found in the OCG's Extra Packs. The D/Ds suffered greatly from this (detailed below), the Frightfurs have been affected by the holding back of ONE single support card, while most of the introduced cards from the Kastle Siblings pack took over three years to be imported.note 
      • This ties into a rather cretinous, though not technically illegal business practice. It's common to have certain cards in the OCG be of one rarity for a while in Japan as a testing ground to see what kinds of combos or potential the card itself has. Then, when it's time to come to America, the rarity may very well change and as a result, the price jacks up abnormally largely. Cases in point: the Qliphorts (Common and Rare in the OCG, all-foil in the TCG), and Dragonic Diagram, a card that when revealed to have unbelievable combo potential with Dinosaur cards, became a secret rare in America worth close to $100.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny:
    • Looking back upon older archetypes and cards thanks to the game's ever progressing Power Creep, it can be rather hard to figure out why they were popular and even worth it to consider running. This is primarily thanks to the earliest days of the game being very slow paced in comparison to today's meta. As such, it may be rather off-putting to some to go back and play older archetypes and decks, as much of the game's earliest strategies consisted of "summon single high power monster, give it good equip card, then proceed to beat the enemy into the ground over several turns of play" in comparison to the rapid searching and mass summoning strategies of today's metagame.
    • A good example from the earliest days of the game would be Twin-Headed Thunder Dragon. Nowadays, it's glorified target practice that you'll likely get laughed at for playing. Back in the day, though, it was one of the only fusion monsters worth running, as its fusion material, Thunder Dragon, could easily search itself for its day, and Twin-Headed Thunder Dragon had a massive attack stat back then, being only outshined by Blue-Eyes and a few other weaker monsters with equips. It was common to see fusion decks that consisted of only this card. Nowadays, though, don't expect to ever see it played, as most people who do run fusion monsters usually use ones with more lax-fusion material requirements, have better ATK, and actually have effects of some kind to boot.
  • Self-Fanservice: Many Yu-Gi-Oh! fanartists tend to omit El Shaddoll Winda's puppet-like features on their fanart of her. She often looks a human wearing a skin-tight outfit.
  • Shipping:
    • Sangan x Tour Guide From The Underworld, back when detaching Xyz Materials was considered as sending cards from the field to the graveyard. The fanart speaks for it.
    • Before Tour Guide existed, Sangan x Witch of the Black Forest, due to both being general tutor cards that were banned together.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes:
    • The Naturia, mostly because of their cutesy artstyle. The archetype itself is quite good and is capable of locking down all of your opponents effects if played right.
    • The Madolche have a Strawberry Shortcake-like aesthetic to them.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks:
    • About a number of things. Some argue about changing the original, dark artwork from early packs to lighter, more anime-esque, to the game originally having few Effect Monsters and a ton of Normal Monsters with now-banned Spell Cards being the only salvation against them, to most decks having nothing but Effect Monsters.
    • Another variation is people who preferred the pre-5D's generations, before things like Synchros and Tuners were introduced.
    • Anytime a new summoning mechanic gets added to the game, you can bet people will be complaining about it as soon as it's revealed. Synchro, Xyz, Pendulum... You could make a drinking game out of the number of times you see people complaining about the new monster type being "broken", even if there are a lot of easy outs to said cards. In fact, any mechanic Konami tries pushing will usually be met with this. Even during the GX era there were a lot of people complaining about the over-focus of Fusion monsters at the time, despite the mechanic being in the game since the start.
    • The new format of writing card text. Though intended to make things simpler, it ends up making some cards being a cross between Captain Obvious and Colon Cancer if the player couldn't adapt. Here's an example for the card Mystical Space Typhoon:
    Old Text: Destroy 1 Spell or Trap Card on the field.
    New Text: Target 1 Spell/Trap Card on the field; destroy that target.
    • Other cards can wind up ambiguous and confusing as well. Here's a comparison with Magic Drain.
    Old Text: When your opponent activates a Spell Card: Negate the activation and destroy it. Your opponent can discard 1 Spell Card to negate this card's effect.
    New Text: When your opponent activates a Spell Card: They can discard 1 Spell Card to negate this card's effect, otherwise negate the activation of their Spell Card, and if you do, destroy it.
    • The rule changes that would take effect once the Pendulum Monsters arrive (the player who goes first doesn't enter their Draw Phase on that turn, and Field Spells no longer override and destroy each other) has been met with scorn. Eventually averted, as the playerbase came to appreciate not needing to engage on field spell wars and first turn still reigning supreme in terms of being able to play uninterrupted.
    • Often the reaction to card effects changing from how they were used in the anime and manga. In some cases, such as the aforementioned Winged Dragon of Ra, this actually does make the card unplayable competitively. Other times, it's because the card ends up with a completely different effect (e.g. Dystopia the Despondent, which originally prevented Xyz summons).
    • Link Monsters and the Link mechanic in general. While all the previous mechanics got a fair share of backlash, Link Monsters got enough hate upon their introduction to eclipse Synchros, Xyzs, and Pendulums combined. This is mainly because of the new rules they brought along with them: Each player can only summon one Extra Deck Monster at the start and must summon a Link Monster in order to convert Main Monster Zones into Extra Monster Zones. Considering how Extra Deck-focused most decks are these days, many, predictably, started to scream Ruined FOREVER upon reading this rule, claiming it single-handedly killed off a majority of decks, as well as Synchros in generalnote , while also causing decks that rely on Main Deck monster to suddenly become overpowered overnight, thanks to being unaffected by the rule. In short, Link Monsters are possibly the biggest upset in the history of ''Yu-Gi-Oh!!! and that's all we're saying about that.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy:
    • Any deck seen as overpowered and "cookie-cutter" can be called this; that is to say, decks that are wildly played and have a high win rate.
    • Taken Up to Eleven with Dragon Rulers/Elemental Dragons. They're a series of high-powered Dragon-types (one of the most supported and widespread types in the game) with various effects that let you discard them from the hand to do things, and can be revived from the Graveyard at the cost of banishing two monsters that are either Dragons or the same attribute as the Dragon Ruler. Throw in Eclipse Wyvern, Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon, and a few other good dragons (you have a lot to choose from), and you have a fast-hitting, versatile deck that can be difficult to shut down. For that matter, the individual Dragon Rulers are quite splashable in any deck reliant on monsters of a single attribute. Konami tried nerfing them numerous times to no avail, and finally in 2015 just outright banned them to kill the series.
    • The Rank 4 Toolbox. The deck is simple; run Level 4 monsters that replace themselves and/or let you summon themselves or other monsters from the hand. Summon two of them every turn and overlay them into a Rank 4 Xyz. It so happens that most of the best Xyz monsters are Rank 4s; Silent Honor ARK and Castel the Skyblaster Muskateer are some of the most splashable Rank 4s in the game, and the Utopias are a massive archetype full of versatile cards that mostly begin at Rank 4s. The deck takes little skill to play and can be rather economical to put together, and tends to be good at maintaining hand advantage while building up field advantage, making it easy to run and tricky to play against.
    • Elder Entity Norden. It has been abused like there's no tomorrow with Instant Fusion and can summon any Level 4 or lower monster from your graveyard upon Special Summon. Worse, unlike most other cards nowadays that are balanced the "only once per turn" restriction, this card does not have any Summoning restrictions and can be used multiple times per turn! (Several OTKs and ''FTKs'' can be achieved very easily with Norden. Here is an example. It is now banned in the OCG and TCG lists.)
    • Exodia decks. It's pretty easy to put together a deck focused on various drawing cards that will let you draw out your entire deck on the first turn, giving you Exodia without your opponent even getting a turn, and unless they go first and have some Set Spells or Traps to stop you, there's little they can do about it. It's a deck that requires little skill or strategy to use, if any, just keep playing cards to keep drawing until you win. Even "Stop Having Fun" Guys tend to hate Exodia decks, and Exodia is seen as one of the cheapest decks one can use.
    • Once The Secret Forces got released into overseas, Nekroz decks (Owing to their insane versatility, consistency, and power) immediately took over the majority of the tournaments, making up at least half of the top decks and single-handedly wiping Shaddolls and Burning Abyss decks off the face of the Regionals. It got to the point that duelists were forced to main deck anti-Nekroz cards (Normally side-decked) like Mistake, Mind Crush and Psi-blocker along with a counter to the Djinn lock just to try and score a place in the Regionals. Many people declared Nekroz as the sole occupant of tier 1 with all of the others becoming relegated into tier 2.
    • The Performapals have a long history with this trope, starting out the era on the weakest tier of this trope then skyrocketing to the highest tier imaginable. When they first debuted, they had underwhelming effects, lackluster stats, and awkward Pendulum scales that made performing the very mechanic they were based around difficult to do. They were repeatedly mocked throughout the era and were the butt of many jokes. However, then a certain Sorcerer came into being, along with the Performages, and the hybrid deck known as Em EMnote  was born, having deceptively easy search power and ability to Rank 4 spam quickly, a deck tactic that was already a Tier-Induced Scrappy thanks to little skill needed to play. However, it didn't stop there. Then came the Dracoslayers, which added support for their main weakness of destroying monsters in the Pendulum zones and added even more search power. When played right, a deck like this can easily lock out the opponent from even playing the game, and immediately dominated the tournaments. It got so bad that after not long in the TCG, Konami introduced an emergency event banlist that not only included the Performage hits from the OCG, but also hit the Performapal and Dracoslayer engines.
    • Zoodiacs, which many call an intentional version of PePe, for immediately taking over tournaments as soon as they dropped, so much so that almost every deck in the OCG at the time was either Zoodiacs or a hybrid of Zoodiacs. It was so bad, that many Japanese card shops refused to allow them in their tournaments out of protest. It also brought in the much reviled "one card Xyz Monster" mechanic from the ZEXAL and ARC-V animes, a thing many hoped would stay as far away from the game as possible.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: A lot of promising archetypes are killed off and forgotten before they amount to any significance, or even get enough members to be a real deck. Sometimes this is due to the archetype belonging to a character — usually one-off villains — who only got a very small amount of dueling screentime, resulting in only their cards that they played in the show being printed.
    • In general a lot of archetype are exclusive to the anime and manga, even if they could see real life play without needing to be changed much.
    • The Lightrays are a series of cards meant to parallel the Dark Counterpart series, as Light Counterparts of existing monsters with effects revolving around banishing and recycling Light monsters. It only got six members before it was forgotten.
    • The Machine King goes through a lot of forms and is mentioned in the flavor text of other Machine cards to be some sort of, well, king of Machines. Despite this none of his four forms offer any support to the others and no real archetype ever came of it.
    • Penguins had the makings of a decent archetype relying on bouncing the opponent's monsters to the hand and/or swarming the field. After only a couple of support cards to hint at a full roster of cards, they were forgotten.
  • Underused Game Mechanic: Given that there are plenty of underdeveloped archetypes in the game (often due to being tied to a character with very little dueling screentime), expect to see some unique strategies be vastly undersupported or unfocused. This even extends to card subtypes like Spirit, Gemini, and Union, although Konami made an efort to avert this during the ARC-V era.
  • Unfortunate Names:
    • Little D as noted above.
    • Infernoid Harmadik for having Groin Attack implications in English, even though it means third in Hungarian.
    • Junk Puppet. All of the Junk cards could qualify to a degree (something that The Abridged Series took full advantage of), but Junk Puppet takes the cake.
    • Bahrstos Fuhrer, the True Dracoruler. Cue people noting the inevitable censorship of the card.
  • Ugly Cute: There's a lot.
    • Pain Painter. There's something oddly endearing about a chubby little zombie with paintbrushes.
    • Sangan may well be the cutest three-eyed demon monster out there, especially with his continued Woobie status.
    • The entire Frightfur archetype, that despite being composed of violent edgy Fiend-type monsters, it's still based on plush toys.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion:
    • For some reason, Effect Veiler gets a bit of this despite her Tertiary Sexual Characteristics. The relative lack of certain... secondary characteristics may have something to do with it.
    • Dharc the Dark Charmer, especially for arguably being the only guy among a group of girl spellcasters.
    • The Helios line.
    • Dian Keto TCG art is rather... unfortunate.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?:
    • Some archetypes are so bizarre an idea you'll begin to wonder this. The Gimmick Puppet archetype is one of the biggest culprits.
    • Many cards from Korea are usually seen as this... Which more often than not, caused them to be well-loved.
  • Win Back the Crowd: While the card game never really lost a large portion of it to begin with per se, being crowned the most played and popular card game in the world, a lot of people end up leaving from one era to the next due to it often ditching the summoning mechanic they had gotten used to in the era it was introduced for the latest new summoning mechanic just introduced in the next era. The ARC-V's era seems to be addressing this complaint though in the fact that, not only does the respective anime give a good focus on all summoning types, the card game itself is doing a lot better with focusing on all the summoning mechanics instead of the latest one specifically. (A.k.a.: Pendulum Summoning, which, if anything, seems to be more based around supporting previous summoning methods.) In fact, for the longest time, two of the most powerful and competitive decks in the game focus specifically on Fusion and Ritual summoning, respectively. It also introduced a lot of new support to older archetypes that haven't gotten any major additions in years, slowly starting to bring them onto the same level as current decks.note 
  • The Woobie:
    • Sangan. Mistake, Tour Bus to Forbidden Realms, Shared Ride, Wrongful Arrest, and Mistaken Accusation are actually telling a story, specifically of the banned monsters' realization that they've been Put on a Bus and aren't coming back. Shared Ride, the card with the angel from Graceful Charity attempting to console a crying Sangan, is what already put him into woobie territory, with the cards that came after it where he gets arrested and thrown in jail only hammering home the fact. It's easy to be mad at Konami for the major Kick the Dog moment. The fandom therefore rejoiced when an eratta was revealed for Sangan that didn't kill his usefulness.
    • The Amorphages are ordinary animals that have been infected by the evil Vector Pendulum the Dracoverlord with bacteriophages (hence the name) that forcibly turn them into dragons. Judging by their artwork, the process appears to be quite painful.
    • D/Ds are a meta example in the TCG. The pack that contained their first support wasn't released in the TCG, thus leaving those cards to be imported through either imports in booster packs when they (finally) began to appear in the main pack lineups or their Structure Deck, which took them to Tier 1 status in the OCG...except the deck was delayed for six months, releasing a mere two weeks before the TCG release of Raging Tempest and the much-loathed (and powerful) Zoodiacs. Then the Master Rules 4 were revealed; the necessity to use Link Monsters to spam the board with D/D/D Extra Deck Monsters and the nerfs to Pendulum Summoning have effectively killed the deck's chances once they can compete again, despite D/D support being released with the first Link Monsters in Code of Duelist.note 
  • Woolseyism:
    • "Des Frog" may have been a transliteration, but it set up the fusion between three of them to be called "D.3.S. Frog" in the English translation.
    • As explained by Kevin Tewart, U.S. Head of Development for Konami, "Lightsworn" replaced "Lightlord" because "Lord" is a male title even though many of the cards were female or indeterminate ("Lightsworn" is also seen as more appropriate by many TCG players since their play style implies servitude rather than control). "Inverz" became "Steelswarm" among other things because words sound more mundane when you know their meaning.
    • When the Qliphoth/Qliphort archetype was introduced to the TCG, they changed many of the archetype restrictions from specifying Qliphoth to simply Qli. This allowed for more creative names for their support cards.
    • There was an Archetype released in Japan known as the Ritua, a WATER Archetype based around Ritual Summons with a name that was clearly a pun on the English word "Ritual". Keeping this name would have caused potential issues down the line (any card which specified "Ritual" would have inadvertently included the entire Archetype as well as its likely intended targets), so the TCG instead called them Gishki. Why is this a Woolseyism? Because Gishki is a pun on Gishiki, the Japanese word for Ritual, thus preserving the original pun.
    • The Darklord archetype gets two of these in the form of Bowdlerizations:
      • Darklord Ixtab is named after a Mayan goddess of suicide. The TCG changes her name to "Darklord Ixchel", the name of a Mayan goddess of midwifery and medicine.
      • Darklord Lucifer was translated into Darklord Morningstar. As "morning star" is a direct translation of "Lucifer", this keeps the original allusion but removes the overt religious reference.
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