In 2017, Yu-Gi-Oh! introduced Master Rule 4, which introduced one of the most powerful mechanics the game had ever seen, Link Summoning. Link Monsters are generally the easiest of the Extra Deck Monsters to Summon, as there's no restriction when it comes to Levels like Synchro and Xyz Monsters.
Due to how generic Link Monsters can be, many Decks can easily run many powerful Link Monsters. Not only are they easy to Summon, but they also include some of the most powerful effects in the entire game. Link Monsters are fantastic cards, with some Special Summoning from the Deck or giving powerful effects.
Currently banned, Topologic Gumblar Dragon destroyed so many hands before being taken out of the game. It is a Link-4 Monster requiring two or more Effect Monsters as Materials.
What made Topologic Gumblar Dragon so good was its effect, forcing the opponent to discard cards. If set up properly (which was very easy to do), Topologic Gumblar Dragon could get rid of four of the opponent's cards, leaving them with only two cards in their hand to play with. In a game like Yu-Gi-Oh! where card advantage is so important, it made Topologic Gumblar Dragon absolutely devastating.
There are many powerful Fusion Spells in Yu-Gi-Oh! The ones that use materials from the Deck are the best, but usually have steep restrictions attached to them. So, when Predaplant Verte Anaconda can copy them without worrying about these restrictions, it creates a fantastic Link Monster.
You can't Special Summon any more Monsters after using its effect, however, you won't need to as it's generally the last thing you do on your turn. Predaplant Verte Anaconda is a card any Deck can make, as it only requires two Effect Monsters to make. To add to this, it sends to Fusion from the Deck to the Graveyard to use, so it doesn't even need to be in your hand.
Knightmare Phoenix is one of the most played Link Monsters ever. Only needing two Monsters with different names to make, it gives any Deck easy-to-access Spell and Trap card removal. This can help get rid of problem Floodgates or bait out negates.
With how important it is to keep your Deck focused on cards that perform your combos and help your strategy, it can be hard to find space for backrow hate. Luckily, thanks to Knightmare Phoenix you'll always have some handy tucked away in your Extra Deck, and almost every Deck can make space for it.
12. Union Carrier
Union Carrier is a deceptively powerful card that plagued the game for a while with how easily it could set up a Floodgate to prevent your opponent from using their Extra Deck. Even though the Floodgate combo is now banned, Union Carrier still has plenty of uses.
It allows you to attach any Monster card from your Deck to any Monster on the field so long as it shares either a Type or Attribute. This means it can act as a Foolish Burial of sorts, allowing you to send that Monster equipped to the Graveyard which will also send the card Union Carrier equipped to the Graveyard as well.
Accesscode Talker is one of the strongest Link Monsters for closing out games. It's a Link-4, requiring two or more materials. When Link Summoned, it can target a Link Monster used for its summon and gain Attack equal to its Link Rating times 1000. It also allows you to Banish Link Monsters of different Attributes each turn to destroy a card on the field without targetting.
As if that wasn't good enough, Accesscode Talker's effects cannot be responded to either. This means you can freely use them without the worry of them being negated. Accesscode Talker can easily wipe the field, then go in with its boosted Attack stat.
Knightmare Unicorn is a Link Monster that sees play in just about every Deck in the game. It has the simple effect of when it's Link Summoned, the player can Discard a card to shuffle back any card on the Field into the Deck.
Shuffling a card away is the best kind of removal there is, as it becomes much harder to retrieve that resource back and gets around cards that can't be Destroyed. It even works on Extra Deck Monsters, so players can make the work they went through to Summon those Monsters worthless and gain a lot of advantage.
Saryuja Skull Dread does a whole lot, and gains more effects depending on how many Monsters were used for its Link Summon. The main effects are the ones it gets for using 3 and 4 materials. With 3 Monsters used, it allows the player to Special Summon a Monster from their Hand once per turn.
If 4 Monsters are used (the maximum number), the player can draw 4 cards, then put 3 on the bottom of the Deck. This allows players to try and get to their key cards while getting rid of the cards they don't need.
Mecha Phantom Beast Auroradon is an incredibly powerful card thanks to the plays it enables. When it's Link Summoned, it Summons three Mecha Phantom Beast Tokens. These can then be used for its other effect, which requires Tributes to use.
For one Tribute, it can Destroy a card on the Field without Targetting. For two Tributes, it will Special Summon a Mecha Phantom Beast Monster from the Deck. And for three Tributes, it allows a Trap card to be added from the Graveyard to the Hand. All of these effects are phenomenal and worth running in any Machine-based Deck.
Being able to go into Link Monsters during the opponent's turn is a fantastic effect. This is why I:P Masquerena is such a great Link Monster. So many Link Monsters have powerful effects that occur when they are Link Summoned. I:P Masquerena allows this to happen since it can Link Summon as a Quick Effect during the opponent's turn.
It will also prevent the Link Monster that's Summoned this way from being able to be destroyed by the opponent's card effects. I:P Masquerena is a fantastic Link Monster to Summon to set up for interruptions for the opponent's turn to potentially shut it down entirely.
What is the best Link Monster locked into a specific Type by far, Isolde, Two Tales Of The Noble Knights is a card that belongs in every Warrior-Type Deck. When it's Summoned it can add a Warrior-Type Monster from the Deck to the Hand at the cost of not being able to Summon it that turn.
It can also send Equip Spells from the Deck to the Graveyard in order to Special Summon a Warrior Monster from the Deck with a Level equal to the cards sent. This effect enables one of the strongest combos in the game and is the reason the Warrior engine is considered one of, if not the best.
Summon Sorceress is a Link Monster so powerful, it's currently banned from use in the game. It was incredibly easy for any Deck to make, as it only required two Monsters of the same Type (except Tokens). It can Special Summon a Monster from the player's Deck that is the same Type as a Monster its Link Arrows are pointing to.
This is made even better when it has two down-pointing Link Arrows. Special Summoning from the Deck is the most powerful effect when it comes to Summoning, which is why the card had to be banned and why it's so good.
The ability to Summon Crystron Halifibrax is so good, multiple cards have been banned since it made it too easy to Summon. Crystron Halqifibrax has a seemingly simple effect of when it's Special Summoned, it can Summon any Level 3 or lower Tuner Monster from the Deck.
Special Summoning from the Deck is already good, but the fact it doesn't lock the player into any cards is what makes it fantastic. It can be used to go into powerful Synchro Monsters, as well as other fantastic Link Monsters. It's not uncommon for Crystron Halqifibrax to lead to a Field with multiple, powerful negates on it.
Borrelsword Dragon allows practically every Deck in the game to win in just one turn. It has a whopping 3000 Attack Points and can Attack twice in one turn. To do so, all it has to do is change an Attack Position Monster to Defense Position.
When the card attacks, it can half the Attack of a Monster it is battling, and gain that attack it lost. This means (almost) no matter what, Borrelsword Dragon will always do 3000 damage if attacking an Attack Position Monster. It keeps this Attack boost, which means if it was the last Monster on the Field, its second attack can almost always guarantee victory.
Being able to negate one Monster effect per turn is a solid effect. Being able to negate multiple times a turn is incredible. This is why Apollousa, Bow Of The Goddess is one of the best Link Monsters ever. The only materials it requires are Monsters with different names and gains counters equal to the number of Monsters used for its Summon.
These counters give the Monster 800 Attack per counter and can be removed to negate a Monster effect, once per Chain. While it can't use its negate twice during a Chain, this downside is hardly one, as it can continuously negate Monsters until it has no counters left.
For a while, Firewall Dragon terrorized the game, and it seemed like it would never be banned due to its status of being an Ace Monster of an anime protagonist. Luckily, Firewall Dragon would be banned, but not before cementing itself as the best Link Monster ever. Firewall Dragon could return cards to the Hand from the Field to recycle or remove the opponent's threats.
If a card Firewall Dragon pointed to was Destroyed, it allowed the player to Special Summon a Monster from the Hand, an effect that wasn't once per turn. This enables plenty of loops and FTKs that led the way for the banning of Firewall Dragon, the best Link Monster ever released.