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Yu-Gi-Oh! Mai Vs. Joey: Who Is The Better Duelist?

Yu-Gi-Oh! Mai Vs. Joey: Who Is The Better Duelist?

Two of the most notable duelists of the original Yu-Gi-Oh! anime are Joey and Mai. Here are the merits for both characters.

Two of the most notable duelists of the original Yu-Gi-Oh! anime are Joey and Mai, two of the main cast members who are featured throughout most of the show’s arcs, Joey especially. The two are both incredibly talented and consistently appear in the finals of tournaments together, such as Battle City and Duelist Kingdom.

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Joey and Mai both know what they’re doing when it comes to constructing a dueling deck, but the question still stands, which of them is superior to the other? Both of them have been shown to be able to win in pretty rough positions, so which one of them would win if pitted in the ultimate duel against one another? Would Mai succeed with her Harpies, or would Joey take her down with his Red-Eyes Black Dragon?

10. Mai: The Combos

Yugioh Mai: The Combos

One area that Mai 100% takes the win in is her combo game, something that Joey has very little of in the grand scheme of things. Cards like Elegant Egotist are a key part of her combo-driven strategy, which will be dived into deeper later on in the list. Mai’s deck is all centered on her Harpie Ladies and Amazoness cards. She sticks to a theme, which Joey doesn’t do nearly as well as she does.

9. Joey: Red-Eyes Black Dragon

Yugioh Joey: Red-Eyes Black Dragon

Joey’s ace card in the series is Red-Eyes Black Dragon, a strong monster that has helped him out of plenty of situations in which his back was against the wall. In terms of pure attack points, Mai doesn’t have a card that can beat Red-Eyes Black Dragon. With that in mind, it stands to reason that if Joey is able to get this card onto the field early on in the duel, he can steamroll Mai and stop her from bringing out combo pieces that are essential to her overall strategy.

8. Mai: Her Powerful Spells And Traps

Yu-Gi-Oh! Mai Valentine

Mai’s deck is home to a plethora of strong spell and trap cards. Cards like Mirror Wall and Harpie’s Feather Duster help to keep her opponents in check, blocking them out of many essential moves. At the same time, she has plenty of equip cards that pair with her Harpies to power them up or multiply them, depending on what the situation calls for. Mai can stop opponents in their tracks while powering up her own monsters, which can be quite the deadly combination.

7. Joey: He’s Got Luck

Yugioh Joey Yugi Tea Yu-Gi-Oh

Joey has luck on his side in pretty much every duel he ever takes on. His deck has plenty of luck-based cards in it that he consistently does well with, such as Graceful Dice and Skull Dice. As such, it stands to reason that Joey can execute on strategies that might seem too risky for other duelists to try out. In the end, Joey might be able to win a duel against Mai with only his powerful luck at his side, which puts him in a great place.

6. Mai: Swarming The Field

Yugioh Mai Valentine in Yu-Gi-Oh! season one

As mentioned earlier, one of Mai’s most powerful cards is Elegant Egotist, a card that, in the anime, can triple one Harpie into three, all of which retain any power-ups that were attached to the first.

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Elegant Egotist is a very, very powerful card that is crucial in Mai’s deck. She can swarm the field with Harpies in the blink of an eye, and it becomes even more of a threat the more copies she has. Elegant Egotist is one of the biggest hurdles Joey will need to clear if he wants to win the duel.

5. Joey: He Has A History Of Beating Mai

Yugioh Joey Wheeler Pointy Chin Yu-Gi-Oh

All of the statistics aside, Joey has a history of beating Mai when they duel. While quite a few of those duels end before there is a clear winner, such as in Waking the Dragons, if there is a victor, it is usually Joey. History has a way of repeating itself, and Mai needs to come up with new strategies if she hopes to best Joey next time that they go head to head. However, there is a reason that will be discussed later that makes this somewhat impossible for her.

4. Mai: Harpie’s Pet Dragon

Yugioh Mai Valentine During season four of Yu-Gi-Oh!

Another pillar of Mai’s deck is her Harpie’s Pet Dragon, which, while somewhat weak at first, grows in strength with every Harpie Lady that is on the field. As noted earlier, Mai can very easily swarm the field with her Harpie Ladies, making Harpie’s Pet Dragon quite the powerful monster if it is set up properly. Mai has a dragon that can equal Red-Eyes Black Dragon, and even best it if the conditions are correct, which shouldn’t be too hard to make happen.

3. Joey: Time Wizard

Yugioh Joey in Yu-Gi-Oh!

As noted earlier in the list, Joey has luck on his side almost all of the time. He very rarely loses a dice roll or a coin flip, which makes a usually not so great monster, Time Wizard, quite dangerous in his hands. Time Wizard was actually used to take down Mai in Duelist Kingdom early on in the series. If Joey manages to get this card onto the field and take out all of the Harpies that Mai has swarmed onto the field, then she’ll most likely become a goner quickly.

2. Mai: She’s Won Tournaments

Yugioh Mai with the Winged Dragon of Ra in Yu-Gi-Oh!

While usually off-screen, it is both shown and implied that Mai is a high-ranked duelist, she’s won tournaments. While Joey is usually invited to tournaments and generally does well in them, he hasn’t actually won any. Mai has more professional experience in Duel Monsters than Joey. This means that Mai can probably adapt to new strategies easier than Joey might be able to, which makes her quite dangerous.

1. Joey: Plot Armor

Yu-Gi-Oh! Joey Wheeler in the courtroom

Despite all of Mai’s strengths, she has one fatal flaw that she’ll never be able to overcome. She’s not as central of a character as Joey is. Joey has plot armor on his side. The writing is almost always going to favor him when the two are pitted against each other, which means that it is very unlikely that she’ll ever be able to best him in a duel. On paper, she’s stronger in just about every way, from experience to deck building. In the end, it comes down to the fact that a side character is probably not going to be beating a main character, which means Mai will almost always lose to Joey.



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