Yu-Gi-Oh: Best Warrior Decks In The Game
In the game of Yu-Gi-Oh, Warrior is easily the most plentiful type of monster. It’s not especially shocking—their basic ethos is as straightforward as it gets: put a bunch of monsters on the field, punch the enemy in the face for as much damage as possible until the player wins.
Their popularity is something of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Since warriors tend to have some of the easiest to play decks, players play them more often, which leads to them being made more often, which leads to players playing them more often, and so on. But everyone loves at least one Warrior deck, and chances are at least one of their favorites is on this list.
One of the TCG exclusive archetypes introduced in Return of the Duelist, this deck originally started out fairly unimpressive. Its lead monster was a Normal monster, its spells were quaint but equip spells weren’t even good when the deck was first made. The only thing that stood out was the deck’s art, which styled a bunch of cards after Arthurian lore.
But eventually Konami kept giving support to the deck, adding new Knights and swords until they became a fun deck, where if players could “protect the King”--their Xyz boss monster—they could be lead to victory.
Used by Chojiro Tokumatsu from Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V, the gimmick to Flower Cardians is they all looked like massive hanafuda (flower cards) playing cards. Each card represents a specific Hanafuda card as well as parodying existing Yu-Gi-Oh cards, making it a double shout-out.
The deck played uniquely enough, though it still fits the usual swarming playstyle of many Warrior decks. The deck worked off tributing existing monsters to special summon new ones, often drawing a card for their troubles. Of particular note were their boss monsters, often offering great effects or massive stats at the cost of the player’s next draw phase.
First appearing in Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL, this deck belonged to Gauche, one of the people responsible for the World Duel Carnival. Heroics are a special summoned focused deck that revolves around their main deck Heroic Challengers, resembling fighters and weapons of old, and extra deck Heroic Champions, resembling legendary fighters as well as weapons from legend.
The deck itself was never especially powerful, but Heroic Champion Rhongomyniad was so powerful it was eventually banned, while Excalibur became a staple in any Rank 4 Xyz deck worth its salt.
One of the archetypes introduced in Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS, this might be one of the newest archetypes on this list. It was used by a group of bounty hunters working for SOL Technologies in the series.
The archetype all tends to resemble wrestlers, and even have names that bring up wrestling terminology like Bearhug and Double Impact, Moonsault and Tagpartner. Even their extra deck monsters are basically specific references to classic old school wrestlers, so New Japan and NWA fans would definitely find a lot to love here, especially since their bosses are all incredibly powerful and help out with the Gouki’s aggressive strategies.
Coming out of 2015’s Clash of Rebellions set were the Igknights, a collection of Fire-based Warrior monsters. The particularly strange thing about the deck is that most of its monsters were actually Normal monsters, having no effect other than the Pendulum Effect to destroy themselves to search out other Igknights from the Deck or graveyard.
This took advantage of their ability to Pendulum Summon monsters to the field en masse, including their boss monsters Lancer and Champion, monsters which served as non-targeting removal that returned their opponent’s cards to the bottom of the deck.
If it feels surprising to see Ultra Athletes (or UA’s as they’re often called) on this list, then you should definitely try dueling them. They’re a group of Earth-Attribute Warrior monsters that were another TCG-exclusive archetype. Carrying a sports theme, they’re a deck that look like athletes from the future.
But what’s especially impressive about them is their ability to use quick effects—effects activating on the opponent’s turn—to special summon themselves to the field, tagging out for different situations to respond to the opponent’s plays on their turn. It’s a pretty impressive deck considering they don’t have even one Extra Deck monster, as their ability to turn everything around to their favor is unlike most other decks.
The Constellar deck refined and perfected, Satellarknights were a group of Light Warrior monsters that came out in 2014’s Duelist Alliance set. The deck worked around a handful of main deck monsters which could search and special summon monsters from the grave or deck to make powerful Xyz monsters.
To date they have one of the best anti-Dark monsters in Stellarknight Constellar Diamond, a monster that can negate Dark monster effects up to three times in a single turn. Considering how many amazing Dark decks have been made over the years, this deck was a clear frontrunner to stop them all in its’ heyday.
The Phantom Knights were initially a group of Dark Attribute Warrior monsters used by Yuto from Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V. An anime deck, Phantom Knights wound up getting tons of support, but their best support wound up coming long after Arc-V had ended, with the introduction of their Link monster, The Phantom Knights of Rusty Bardiche.
This one card gave them searchable access to a continuous trap which could negate any monster’s effects and make it unable to attack. Unfortunately, Rusty Bardiche wound up being one of those boss monsters nearly everyone could use, which led to the card getting banned.
Originally a fairly low-key archetype when they were released around the GX era, when they were revived as the Legendary Six Samurai during the 2011 set Storm of Ragnarok, they returned with a vengeance.
Their spell and trap support from the GX was incredible—with their continuous spell Gateway of the Six they could gain nearly infinite advantage to search and summon monsters, and all of that was without counting their synchro boss, Legendary Six Samurai – Shi En, one of the first extra deck boss monsters to possess the ability to simply negate spell and trap effects. For their era, this was one of the scariest decks ever made.
This deck belongs at the top if only because Konami simply refuses to stop giving them support. Jaden stopped getting his game on sometime in early 2008 and they’re still making not only new Elemental HEROes, but new “HEROes” in general, like the recently released Vision Heroes, which work with the Elemental Heroes and make them even better than they were.
In addition to being one of the most consistent archetypes ever thanks to having no less than three archetype-specific search cards, they’ve also got some of the best boss monsters, making them one of the most versatile decks in the game. The only thing more certain than new Warrior archetypes? More Elemental Heroes.