Yu-Gi-Oh!: 10 Cards Yugi Only Used Once
Over the course of the Yu-Gi-Oh! series, Yugi's deck goes through several major changes, most notably between Duelist Kingdom and Battle City.
Over the course of the Yu-Gi-Oh! series, Yugi's deck goes through several major changes, most notably between Duelist Kingdom and Battle City, where his deck focuses much more on Dark Magician than anything else. Because of these changes, there are a few instances where Yugi uses a card only one time before it is never seen again.
Some of these cards are fairly innocuous and don't result in any game-changing effects taking place, but several of them are used against particularly tough opponents to win the duel, usually by his uncanny ability to draw the exact card he always needs to win.
This uber-powerful card was only ever used during the Battle City finals duel against the villainous Marik, but it had an incredibly steep cost for the effect it would bring. When a Dark Magician card is on his field, he can remove from play all other monsters from his deck to destroy all monsters on Marik's side of the field, which included The Winged Dragon of Ra at the time. Although it resulted in him winning the duel, it was far too high a cost to use consistently and was never seen after this climactic battle.
Easily the most famous card that Yugi only ever used once was the pieces of Exodia he used against Kaiba in their first duel of the series. Luckily for Yugi, his Grandpa's deck didn't take too much of a hit after Weevil decided to throw them all overboard en route to Duelist Kingdom, and he never needed this game-winning combo to beat his greatest rival ever again. Although it resulted in one of his most famous wins in the series, Yugi's Grandpa's deck was never able to really take advantage of Exodia, so was probably better without it than with it.
Flame Swordsman is most commonly associated with Joey, as it was one of his most summoned cards during Duelist Kingdom, but Yugi also used it once during the Penalty Game with Bakura, who was under the influence of the Millennium Ring at the time. As each of his friends embodied a different Duel Monsters card, Joey was stuck in the body of a terrible Fusion monster.
Joey definitely got more mileage out of Flame Swordsman than Yugi ever did, even considering the time they fused Dark Magician and Flame Swordsman to make Dark Flare Knight, so it's no surprise that once the Penalty Game was over, Yugi let his friend have his cards back.
7. Blackland Fire Dragon
Blackland Fire Dragon was only shown briefly during the first episode, where Yugi used it in a friendly duel with Joey before the idea of holographic dueling had ever crossed their minds. Yugi is seen using this card to win against Joey, though there is no context as to what he actually did with it, if anything, or how it fits into his overall deck, as he swapped it out for his Grandpa's deck shortly afterward. Although Yugi would be seen with Blackland Fire Dragon again while using someone else's deck, he didn't play it and used it to fuel the effect of Spirit Ryu instead.
Yugi might have been able to save himself some serious hassle during many of his later duels had he remembered this card was in his deck. Horn of Heaven in the anime functions identically to its real-world equivalent where, at the cost of one monster on the field, it can negate the summon of another monster. While it wouldn't work have worked against Pegasus' Black Illusion Ritual due to ruling issues, it did some serious work in saving Yugi's friends from Bakura's Man-Eater Bug during their Penalty Game and might have prevented Kaiba from being so annoying during Duelist Kingdom.
In both the anime and the real-world TCG, Fiend's Sanctuary is a fairly powerful card, though it has a bit of a power boost in the anime. Gifted to Yugi shortly before his Battle City finals dual against Marik, Fiend's Sanctuary allowed Yugi to survive an otherwise game-ending attack and follow it up with a ridiculous combination of cards to get him the victory. Funnily enough, despite it being a very useful card for Kaiba's deck, it was never used by him during the series and this was the first time the audience had seen that he owned the card altogether.
4. Curse Breaker
During Yugi's duel with Arkana, both duelists played some pretty specific cards to show just which player was the better master over Dark Magician, but one of Yugi's cards stands out in particular. Curse Breaker was used during a long-winded combination between both players, as each tried to power up their respective Dark Magicians while destroying the opposing one.
While the artwork and general effect of Curse Breaker is just a retrain of De-Spell, its actual effect is broad enough that it could have been incredibly useful in many of Yugi's duels during Battle City, particularly against Lumis and Umbra, but he never thought to use it.
3. Time Seal
This card would have been very useful in nearly every duel Yugi has been in since its effect is so overpowered, but he only ever used it against the Exodia Rare Hunter who took Joey's Red-Eyes Black Dragon. Time Seal has a simple effect that can be devastating against nearly any opponent, as it stops them from drawing during the Draw Phase for one turn. While this doesn't sound so bad on its own, the number of times a character will draw the exact card they need on a subsequent turn would have made Time Seal very useful for just about any character in the series to use.
2. Dark Flare Knight
This Fusion of Dark Magician and Flame Swordsman was only ever used once during the Virtual World filler arc, which is probably a good thing considering how bad the card actually is. Dark Flare Knight allows the user to take no battle damage when it is destroyed in battle, while also summoning the more powerful Mirage Knight to replace it when it is inevitably destroyed. Mirage Knight may have been a decent card during its time, but considering how hard it is to get out and how many cards both Yugi and Joey needed to use to summon it, it's most likely the reason why it was never seen again.
1. Rainbow Blessing
For some reason, Yugi is overly attached to his Kuriboh, as seen during the Virtual World arc where he insisted it be his deck master. During one of his duels against Gansley, he equips his Kuriboh with Rainbow Blessing and tributes them both to allow the rest of his monsters to attack directly for the turn. While the ability to attack a player directly even if they have monsters on the field is quite strong, the fact that this card requires Kuriboh makes it far less useful and is probably why it was never used again.