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Judai Yuki/ Jaden Yuki

  • The final move of the Duel in the very first episode has Judai pulling Flame Wingman and Skyscraper to own a monster with the same ATK points as Blue-Eyes White Dragon. Plus you can't say Flame Wingman didn't look sweet atop Skyscraper.
    • And let's not forget the callback to it when he and Chronos rematched near the series' end.
  • Judai's duel with the Shadow Duelist/Titan (the series's 1st Shadow Game). In his last turn of that duel, he went from having 100LP to his opponent's 1400, 1 card in his hand and no cards on the field, and facing a monster with 2500 ATK points, not to mention a Continuous Trap Card that would wipe out his remaining LP as soon as his opponent's next turn began, to winning the duel.
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  • Judai's first use of Miracle Fusion on Professor Banner summons Elemental Hero Electrum to win the duel, and it's notable for originally being one of the strongest Elemental Heroes in base attack points alone at the time, topping at 2900 ATK Points.
  • His duel against Kagemaru, where he kills both Uria and Hamon with Elemental Hero Neo Bubbleman, which only has 800 Attack Points, then kills Raviel by bringing his Elemental Hero Electrum to 14500 Attack Points.
  • Beating X, the deck destruction expert, by decking him out. Also, when he did this, Judai had zero cards left in his deck, which meant once he hit his next draw phase, the duel was over. Even better, it worked because Judai had 0 cards left in his deck. Hoist by His Own Petard indeed.
  • Episode 85 has Judai go up against a rogue employee from Industrial Illusions with a functional replica of the Winged Dragon of Ra, complete with every ability it's showcased so far in the anime. Not only does Judai triumph, he Summons Ra for himself and uses it to finish the Duel.
  • Whenever Jaden uses a triple contact fusion.
    • Summoning Magma Neos which defeats Vennominaga and wins Jaden the duel against Cobra. The animation sequence of the 3 monsters required for this fusion merging together was also very well done with the art-making them appear as badass as possible.
    • Summoning Chaos Neos which negates the Sacred Beast Combo, and destroys one of the Sacred Beasts Uria.
    • Summoning Storm Neos that can destroy all spells and traps, which ended up freeing the Crystal Beasts from Yubel. His solemn expression as this happens adds a slight heartwarming/tear-jerking element to the moment.
  • In Johan's duel against Giese Hunt, Johan is about to make the final attack when Giese threatens to tear up a Jerry Beans Man card that he stole from a kid. Jaden dives from the ceiling, dropkicks the bastard, and confiscates the card, giving Johan the all-clear to finish him off.
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  • The climax of the Judai/Yubel duel, in which he "defeats" Yubel with an act of pure, selfless love (friendship in the dub).
  • When Honest was tricking all the students into believing he was one of them, Judai not only no sells it, he does so by channeling Yubel, getting her eyes in the process. This also nicely sets up the season, as well as showing the result of the Judai/Jaden Yubel fusion.
  • The rematch with Sartorius in Season 4. Judai couldn't summon monsters on his turn due to a continuous combo. As soon as Judai destroys it, Sartorius preps his field with an indestructible monster with 4000 ATK, predicting that Judai will fusion summon his next turn. Judai beats it with Elemental HERO Magma Neos and wins the duel playing the same card he beat Sartorius the first time with.
  • Neos Wiseman, the fusion monster created by fusing Neos and Yubel. Judai even uses Super Polymerization (the card he was terrified of in the previous season) without a thought to save Yubel from Nightshroud and even discarded Winged Kuriboh as a cost, which means Neos Wiseman is the creation of all 3 of Judai's main spirit monsters. It also symbolizes Jaden fusing his spirit with Yubel from the 3rd season.
    • When Darkness destroys Neos Wiseman, Yubel has to leave Judai on his own for the rest of the duel. Judai believing in his deck summons Divine Neos, the ultimate Neos fusion monster created with a contact fusion of all the Neo Spacians. Divine Neos destroys a 4000 ATK point monster dealing over 4000 points of battle damage as well, winning the duel against Darkness.
  • Judai vs. Yugi in the final two episodes of GX. They match each other move for move throughout the entire duel, but in the end, there was no result, although he chose to attack Osiris with Neos regardless. He got back his joy of dueling with that and he earned it. He even managed to summon both Magma Neos and Shining Flare Wingman in the last turn, both his ace monsters that symbolize the Elemental Hero and Neo-Spacian Counterparts of his deck, even Yugi was in complete amazement. It’s also a testament to the respect he’s earned from his opponent that an Egyptian God was pulled on him in a friendly Duel with no stakes. Yugi is confident enough in Judai’s strength that he knows he can survive against a card that can put people in comas if not met with comparable force.

Jun Manjyome/ Chazz Princeton

  • Passing his Secret Test of Character at North Academia and learning to value himself based on what he does, not because of his money or family name, is the dividing point when his character went from being a Draco Malfoy Expy to awesome.
    • Part of the initiation ritual involves Dueling through fifty of North Academia's Duelists using the 40-card Deck he's assembled from random cards he's found outside the gates. Though most of it is put into a montage, he challenges those that ranked 2nd to 5th all at once and wipes the floor with all four opponents with Ring of Destruction.
  • Chazz somehow conjuring up lightning whenever he yells his Catchphrase, and it becomes more awesome after his Heel–Face Turn.
  • Jun being the first duelist besides Judai to defeat a Shadow Rider.
    • Arguably more impressive than Chazz's defeat of Don Zalog is how he places the Ojama cards in the hiding places of the keys so that they'll be able to identify any thieves. This lets him instantly undermine the efforts of the Detective Mole to obstruct the investigation.
  • Don't forget that he went on to defeat both of his brothers, one of them was using a bunch of high-powered monsters and forcing Jun to use 0-ATK ones...which was in itself a self-imposed handicap. The condition was for Chazz to only use monsters with less than 500 ATK; he decided to go with zero purely because he could.
  • In Episode 166 Jun duels Edo, who is established to be out of Jun's league due to already being in the Pro League. Jun barely holds on against Edo's Destiny Heroes, but he gets his ace back in a nick of time, takes out Edo's in a Double Knockout, and seizes victory with Ojama Yellow.
  • A non-dueling example — for Duel Monster Spirit Day where students are meant to dress up as a Duel Monster, Jun dresses up as XYZ-Dragon Cannon! So what if he can barely move in it, that's a costume that even professional cosplayers would admire.
  • Let's not even get started on the manga, where he beats Judai.

Asuka Tenjoin/Alexis Rhodes

  • Asuka had a really impressive debut duel against Judai as she manages to counteract many of his moves and give him a real challenge. What really caught his attention is when she used the card Doble Passe to redirect his attack to her so she can attack him directly which he sees as a really gutsy move.
    • In fact Judai declares that it is this move that left a permanent impression of her as a strong duelist in his eyes.
  • In episode 41 when Titan overwhelms her in a shadow duel Asuka loses the strength to continue and collapses, but after gaining support from her brother she picked herself back up and pulled an awesome OTK that resulted in Titan's defeat.
    • This makes Asuka the second duelist besides Judai and Majoume to defeat a shadow rider. She's not the queen of Obelisk blue for nothing.

Ryo "Kaiser" Marufuji/ Zane Truesdale

  • The first time he duels on screen, he takes a 2400 ATK lightning bolt to the face without the slightest flinch, and proceeds to stomp the main character in only six turns. His final attack (Power Bond-summoned Cyber End Dragon destroying Mudball Man for 5000 points of piercing damage) alone would have been enough to win the duel.
  • His duel against Camula is a strategic masterpiece. He outplays her at every turn and does not lose a single life point until she pulls the dirtiest cheat possible and forces a Sadistic Choice. Win the duel and save his own soul (which he still could have done despite his field wiped clear and his best monster under Camula's control), or lose and save his little brother. Ryo looks at Cyber End Dragon and stands down, bracing himself to take the 4000-point attack straight on. He even manages to stay on his feet out of sheer willpower for a few seconds after the counter hits zero.
  • His Graduation Duel against Judai in the finale of Season 1. In particular, the end of that duel is an awesome moment for both of them. First, Kaiser summons Cyber End Dragon with Power Bond and Cybernetic Fusion Support, doubling its attack points to 8,000. He then plays Limiter Removal to double its attack again to 16,000. Once he attacks with it, Judai reveals his Battle Fusion quick play spell that adds his opponent's monster's attack to his own monster's, raising his Shining Flare Wingman's attack to 20,900. Kaiser then smiles... and then activates his own copy of Battle Fusion, which raises Cyber End Dragon's attack to 36,900. Judai's response? Activate a trap that causes them both to take damage equal to all the monsters on both sides of the field. The two monsters then clash in an epic explosion. Even better? Cyber End held the record for the highest finite number of attack points for nearly eight years after this finale.
  • In season 3, when Zane and Aster play a Mook Horror Show on two of the Supreme King's goblin henchmen.
    Both goblins: I told you all I know... have mercy just let me go!
    Zane: Of course... but first, I need to finish what I started and...
    (cut screen)
    Aster: ...turn you into stardust.
  • The whole of Hell Kaiser's final duel against Yubel (in Johan's body). Especially right at the end when he plays Cybernetic Zone, removing his own Cyber End Dragon from play and then re-summoning it with sixteen thousand attack points in the End Phase. This Determinator takes Defiant to the End and Dying Moment of Awesome to whole new levels, refusing to let Yubel take him out and leaving that image of Cyber End as an immortal symbol of his Heroic Resolve. In addition, his speech in season 3 for the dub is also Zane overcoming his Hell Kaiser persona, stating that he'd rather lose and have fun than be a monster who wins all the time.
  • Everything he does in Season 3. This is a nineteen-year-old who is dying of a crippling heart condition, and he decides that the only acceptable response to that is to find the toughest duel he possibly can and go out fighting. He hides his condition, powers through the pain and weakness, refuses to accept help or pity even when he can barely stand, and snaps The Hero out of a bad Heroic BSoD with his awe-inspiring final duel (see above).
  • He only gets one duel in the manga, but damn does he make a statement with it. Manjyome earns the right to duel Ryo after defeating Judai in the finals of a tournament. Jun goes in cocky, gets three of his best monsters on the field in a few turns... and then gets obliterated on Ryo's next turn, without doing a single point of damage. No one messes with the Kaiser.


  • Dimitri in Episodes 18-19 actually does an excellent job using Yugi's deck, copying Yugi's playstyle very well, and pulling off some very impressive moves. Ultimately Jaden won, but only because, in the grand tradition of Yu-Gi-Oh! heroes, he got an Ass Pull in the last few turns to turn the duel around. But the outcome of the duel aside, Dimitri was in control the entire time, bouncing back from everything Jaden threw at him, getting out Yugi's best monsters, and whittling Jaden's Life Points down to 800.
  • Chronos/Crowler, annoying antagonist (sort of) of the first half of Season 1, even gets one when he duels a Shadow Rider/Seven Stars Assassin, keeps the duel going for quite a while, and loses in an exceptionally glorious way as he accepts his defeat like a man while taunting his attacker, even managing to hide in a speech on how Judai/Jaden should always enjoy dueling.
    • His claim that Shadow Games cannot exist sounds like just plain Arbitrary Skepticism at first, but as he duels Camula, he reveals that he believes that dueling is something that gives young people hope and light. Shadow Games violate the very reason the game exists, and because of that he cannot believe in them and will not let anyone attack his students as long as he's able to stand between them!
    • He's later proven right, as Camula would suck the life points out of Ryo in the next episode and leave Judai as the only capable guardian left to duel her.
    • Crowler's duel with Bonaparte shows how far his Character Development has gone. He fights to keep Bonaparte from demolishing the Slifer Red dorm, calls Bonaparte out for disparaging his students, which he would have never done when the show first started. He also benefits from the Magic Poker Equation for once, pulling off a one-turn combo that takes full advantage of his Ancient Gears' abilities to score an impressive come-from-behind victory.
  • Hayato/Chumley gets an epic way of heading out. First off, it's revealed that his card, Ayers Rock Sunrise, won a design contest for Industrial Illusions and Maximillion Pegasus was so impressed he not only made it into a card, he invites Chumley to become a card designer for him. However, one person stands in his way: Professor Crowler (due to Chumley's usually mediocre grades and having flunked twice already). Chumley needs to beat Crowler to be able to head out, or he loses the chance. When the duel comes, he gives it his all, fully utilizing the effect of his monsters and even managing to summon his most powerful creature (Master of Oz, a fusion of Des Kangroo and Giant Koala) and use Ayers Rock Sunrise to not only pull it off but to nerf Ancient Gear Golem. In the end though, he was countered by Crowler's face-down card and defeated, but it was no doubt his best showing. Fortunately, Crowler's still impressed with Chumley's performance that showed his improvement from previous years, he gives his approval and allows him to pursue his dream job anyway. It was such an awesome moment that Crowler would have thrown the duel right then if he could.
  • For those who watched the original series, seeing Pegasus post Heel–Face Turn engage in a duel is sure to trigger some good nostalgia; he's apparently recovered his gaming skills during the gap between the two series, and gets to show it off in a Triangle Duel between Crowler, Bonaparte and himself. He still uses his Toons, but they're the nerfed versions from the official card game, and his "Toon Kingdom" card is actually less powerful than its real life equivalent. He annihilates both of the teachers regardless, even after they start ganging up on him.
  • During a duel between Sho and Kenzan in Season 2, Kenzan summons his Ultimate Tyranno, his signature 'Mon, and notorious for being able to attack every monster on the opponent's field. Sho manages to turn that against him using a combination of Decoyroid, Ambulanceroid, Rescueroid, and Cyber Summon Blaster. In essence, Decoyroid forces Ultimate Tyranno to attack and destroy it, Decoyroid is recovered from Graveyard by Rescueroid, Decoyroid is Special Summoned by Ambulanceroid, Cyber Summon Blaster deals damage to Kenzan, repeat ad infinitum. Proof positive that Sho is quite competent when he needs to be. Even then, Kenzan still likely could have won or drawn the duel, but chose not to after realizing that Sho was so tired due to being out searching for Judai all night.
  • Kenzan/Hassleberry and Sho/Syrus vs Frost and Thunder. The two villains give them a hell of a beating in the first episode, and then in the second, the two boys turn it around – by exploiting the reflective holograms of their opponent’s monsters to see each other’s hands, and then attacking each other’s monsters. Thanks to some clever combos, this insanity works – within about 2 turns, they end up nuking the field, gaining back a lot of life points, summoning their most powerful monsters and almost winning the duel!
    Thunder: This is nuts! They’re attacking each other!
  • The fact that, despite losing to Saiou, Kenzan was able to avoid being swayed to join the Society of Light thanks to his dinosaur DNA.
  • Edo Phoenix's duels involving his Destiny Hero cards involve some really awesome moments.
    • The first time he duels with the Destiny Heroes against Judai, he effectively was able to control time and counter every strategy Judai attempted.
    • When Aster first summons Plasma, the Ultimate D card stolen from his father, he pushes Saiou into a corner by stealing the World and stating with D-Force all effects don't work against Plasma.
    • Edo's duel against Amon. Amon summons Exodius, a generic haxed monster without weakness, and Edo's strategy consists of several combos utilizing his Destiny Heroes to stall and inflict damage to Amon's life points. Aster would have won had Amon not negated Edo's last stall effect.
    • Best of all was Edo vs DD who had D-Force on top of his deck so Destiny Hero Plasma would be invincible. Edo then broke that combo with Greed Pact to force his opponent to draw the D-Force card.
  • Hell Kaiser vs Sho/Zane vs Syrus. Totally epic duel. Dramatic, emotional, tactical and both players playing brilliantly well. No tedious "one dude is winning the entire duel, then the other guy Ass Pulls victory in the final turn", it was a constant, intense exchange of blows, with Sho/Syrus constantly struggling against Ryo/Zane, but making some good strikes against him and even pulling off 3 or 4 moves that nearly ended the game.
  • Johan gets an undeniably awesome moment in his first duel: He uses Ruby's effect to bring out every last one of his crystal beasts to kick Judai's ass. Granted Judai still wins but it's an undoubtedly cool moment.
  • Amon gets one when he breaks into Professor Cobra's lab. Instead of the usual fight of children's card games, Cobra tries to use force to get Amon out of his way..... only for Amon to block him and then take off his shirt, showing a massive amount of muscle and leading to hand to hand combat with Cobra. The fact Amon holds his own against a trained soldier makes it all the sweeter.
    • Amon's Batman Gambit also qualifies: When Cobra figures out Amon is on to him and hasn't participated in a single survival duel, Cobra threatens to expel Amon from the academy, bringing a major scandal to his family in the process. Amon then finds out the truth about the Des Band and decides to turn the scheme back on Cobra by hosting a "Duels for Jewels Tournament" and inviting all of Ra Yellow and Obelisk Blue. Cobra had just turned the Des Bands Up to Eleven, amplifying their exhaustion effects. Amon is banking on Cobra not risking so many people at once. The look on Cobra's face when he finds out what Amon has done is priceless.
  • O'Brien simply walking away after playing his last card of his duel against the Mask of Laughter. The fact that Mask of Laughter had to read the card's effect himself to realize that he had lost makes the scene even sweeter. For those who never got to see the scene (which is both a CMoA and a Funny Moment) in question:
    MoL: turn! DRAW! (sees O'Brien walking away) Eh? (sees the activated Trap, reads it) Draw Bomb... When your opponent draws a card, this deals 1000 damage to them... (immediately realizes that he just lost) THAT'S NOT FUNNY!!! (KABOOM!) (LP counter rolls to 0 and razzes)
  • During his last duel with Yubel, staring down the monster's Duel Monsters equivalent, Judai finally finds a way to take it down. It seems like he's won, and all that's left to do is mop up Yubel's remaining life points and get the hell out of Dodge. Then comes the three most terrifying words to ever be uttered in the show: "Das...Abschelich...Ritter". Commence pants-filling as Judai realizes Yubel has just gotten started with him.
    • Really, the entire duel between Judai and Yubel is awesome. It gets about as intense as an Invincible Hero and an Invincible Villain fighting with a card game can get, with both of them employing every trick in their arsenals, Yubel not holding back on the physical or mental assaults at all and Jaden using all of his Character Development to overcome them and fight on, eventually even managing to redeem Yubel after everything that happened. It was a great way to end the season (or the series in the dub's case, even if the ending was decidedly rushed).
  • You can't forget Sho/Syrus' duel against the Psycho-style user, after merging his deck with that of his brother, Kaiser Ryo's, he proceeds to duel against someone that would have beaten his brother, only to pull out a card designed to perfectly take advantage of Cyberdark Dragon's effect and be able to bypass the card preventing dragon monsters from being sent to the graveyard, and Sho finally steps out of his brothers' shadow with 3 words, Full Darkness Burst! He truly surpasses Ryo in this duel.
  • The final match between Chronos and Judai was a hell of a fight, both emotionally and strategically. Chronos summons three Ancient Gear Golems in one turn, then brings out Ancient Gear Ultimate Golem. It takes Judai a lot of his resources and two separate Neos Contact Fusions to bring it down, and the finishing blow is a fantastic Call-Back to the very first duel of the series, showcasing the fruits of over 100 episodes of Character Development.
  • During the fourth season, names on lists begin to disappear one by one as Trueman defeats them or just outright sends them to the World of Darkness until one name on a list of KaibaCorp employees is left. The name? Seto Kaiba.
  • For a very, very, VERY long time, Asuka Tenjouin has had to suffer under the title of Faux Action Girl and Informed Ability. But during a tag duel alongside Misawa against Amon Garam and Johan Anderson in the manga, she has plainly demonstrated that she EARNED her place in Obelisk Blue. Step one, activate a trap card to reduce your opponent's monster's attack to zero. Step two, summon a high level monster that prevents your opponent from activating any spells or traps for the rest of the turn, such as MIRROR FORCE! Step three, play a spell card that lets you summon an extra copy of your monster, just to rub it in. Attack, and enjoy. Yeah, Asuka had some help from Misawa, but this victory was hers, no two ways about it.
  • Professor Midori Hibiki from the manga is reputed to be a better duelist than her younger, world champion brother. When we do get to see her duel, it is awe-inspiring; she freaking snaps her fingers to activate her traps! Unfortunately, her opponent springs the Sadistic Choice on her, but that does not diminish the awesome of her duel at all.
  • We can't forget about Jim's last turn during his duel with The Supreme King. The entire two parter, he's been on the back burner, at best being able to cling onto his life points while Jaden's new Evil Heroes pummel him into the ground until he only has 50 life points left compared to his opponents 1650. What does he do? Summons a monster that halves its attack target's attack points, doing enough damage to bring Haou to his level. The best part? The attack literally causes a huge column of rock to shoot up underneath, and for the first time, The Supreme King seems terrified. He loses the next turn, but only because Jaden pulled out Super Polymerization.