Aside from Magic: The Gathering and Pokémon TCG, another trading card game that could be considered a juggernaut in the business is Yu-Gi-Oh!. It originated from a manga turned anime series but its content centered around playing cards that can summon monsters and activate effects while having storylines that made the franchise the major success it is today.
Yu-Gi-Oh! already has established various versions and generations. And one of those is Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, the second iteration of the manga/anime that, of course, also serves as the basis of cards that are being released physically and in video games. This was where “archetypes” were more emphasized, making sub-groups of cards with the same name or variated effects more popular.
Some of the archetypes introduced in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX include the Elemental Heroes used by the series’ main protagonist Jaden Yuki, the Crystal Beasts of Jesse Andersen, and the Cyber Dragons held by Zane Truesdale. All of these were popular not just in the anime but also in the actual meta of the physical card game. But one GX archetype that also made waves and is still one of the strongest to this day is the Ancient Gears.
The Ancient Gear archetype has no specific skill engine but rather a toolbox sub-group that can be considered to have all-around offensive and defensive prowess. Though they can be distinguished by their rusty and gear-filled aesthetic, this archetype is so well-rounded that it can turn games upside down in an instant. And to this day, especially with the release of the latest Yu-Gi-Oh! game Master Duel, Ancient Gear is still one of the popular archetypes because of the continuous support it receives.
Here are our top 10 Ancient Gear cards in Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel based on how important these cards are in the archetype as a whole, as well as how they synergize to bring out the best and most powerful version of the Ancient Gears.
10) Ancient Gear Golem
The main ace card of Professor Crowler in the GX anime, Ancient Gear Golem is the first main attacker and monster card of the Ancient Gear archetype. This card’s effects are pretty easy to understand, negating the activation of your opponent’s Spell and Trap cards until the end of the damage step and inflicting piercing damage if it attacks a defense position monster.
Both of those effects can dismantle your opponent’s defense since when Ancient Gear Golem attacks, effects aside from their monsters’ won’t work. And even if the monster being attacked is in defense position, it can only survive that turn if its defense is 3,000 or above.
9) Ancient Gear Hunting Hound
Ancient Gear Hunting Hound carries the Spell and Trap negation effect of Ancient Gear Golem when it attacks. But this card also can do wonders with its ability to fusion summon a monster from your extra deck using monsters from your hand or field as materials. This can bring out powerful monsters such as Ancient Gear Gigaton Golem and Ultimate Ancient Gear Golem.
In addition, the 600 damage it can inflict if it is normal summoned can be vital, especially during moments when your opponent’s life points are already diminished.
8) Ultimate Ancient Gear Golem
This card has ultimate in its name for a reason. It has the highest attack points of any Ancient Gear monster. It can negate Spell and Trap cards when it attacks. It has the piercing damage effect like Ancient Gear Golem and it can resurrect that monster through special summoning it when the ultimate version is destroyed.
Ultimate Ancient Gear Golem provides multiple effects that are threatening to the opponent once it reaches the field. Summoning this machine requires you to have the necessary materials for it to be successfully fusion summoned, but it will usually be worth it in the end.
7) Ancient Gear Megaton Golem
If you want a fully-offensive Ancient Gear monster, then Megaton Golem might be for you. This powerhouse can attack multiple times assuming you used two or more Ancient Gear Golem and/or Ancient Gear Golem – Ultimate Pound as its fusion material. That alone can be too much for your opponent to handle, especially if they don’t have the right cards to defend themselves from this 3,300 attack monster.
Ancient Gear Megaton Golem can also special summon an Ultimate Ancient Gear Golem from your extra deck if it leaves the field because of an opponent’s card’s effect. Now that’s what you call an ultimate extra bonus.
6) Ancient Gear Catapult
Tough situations require emergency solutions most of the time. That’s what Ancient Gear Catapult, one of only two Spell cards on our list, can provide. This card can special summon an Ancient Gear monster from your deck, ignoring its summoning conditions, if you are able to destroy one face-up card you control while you have no monsters. Cards like Geartown can help you fulfill this condition.
And once this card reaches the graveyard, you can opt to banish it to special summon one Ancient Gear token. This could be useful as fusion material for cards like Ancient Gear Hunting Hound to fusion summon Ultimate Ancient Gear Golem and Ancient Gear Megaton Golem.
5) Ancient Gear Frame
If you want to add any monster with Ancient Gear Golem in its card name from your deck to your hand, discarding Ancient Gear Frame could be one of the best ways to do so. This card can be a worthy sacrificial lamb to set up your offensive prowess with the Ancient Gear Golem monster you want to summon. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
If you are lucky enough to have up to three Ancient Gear Golem monsters in your hand, having this card destroyed because of an opponent’s card effect can summon those monsters while ignoring their summoning conditions. That alone can really mess up your opponent’s strategy. Three 3,000 attack or more monsters summoned because of a single card effect can be a powerful swing in the match.
4) Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon
This card can already destroy most monsters because of its 3,000 attack points, as well as its effect to prevent your opponent from activating Spell and Trap cards while it attacks. But Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon has another effect that makes it so valuable in any Ancient Gear deck: It can destroy a Spell or Trap card on the field at the end of the damage step after it attacked.
And a bonus effect that makes this card more powerful is its tribute summon condition. If it so happens that you used a Gadget monster (like Green, Red, or Yellow Gadget for example), Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon can make a second attack during each battle phase. That means if it’s summoned this way, every turn this card is alive, it can perform two attacks in every battle phase it enters.
3) Ancient Gear Ballista
It’s true that monsters in Yu-Gi-Oh! with high attack points are often regarded as the strongest ones, especially if they have good effects. But it’s also true that some utility cards can be considered indispensable parts of a deck, like Ancient Gear Ballista.
Ancient Gear Ballista is a Link monster that can let you add any Ancient Gear monster of your choice or a Geartown from your deck to your hand. It can also destroy a Spell or Trap card you control along with choosing a monster your opponent controls and changing that monster’s attack to zero. You can maximize this by using massive attackers like Ancient Gear Golem or Ultimate Ancient Gear Golem to deal enormous direct damage to your opponent’s life points.
The No. 2 card on our list is the second and final Spell card included, Geartown. As mentioned earlier, the utility provided by cards can allow the continuous synergy of a deck to run smoothly—and that’s what this card does.
Geartown’s effect is simple. It allows both players to normal summon Ancient Gear monsters with one less tribute. So, if you want to summon Ancient Gear Golem quickly, you can definitely take advantage of Geartown to use only one tribute to get it out on the field. Destroying this Field Spell may also allow you to special summon any Ancient Gear monster from your hand, deck, or graveyard. It is an automatic decision to include three of this card in your Ancient Gear deck.
1) Ancient Gear Wyvern
And to cap off our list of the best Ancient Gear cards in Master Duel, Ancient Gear Wyvern is the go-to normal summoning monster of this archetype. Its effect allows you to add one Ancient Gear card of your choice to your hand from your deck.
The card you choose to add to your hand can be either a Monster, Spell, or Trap card, as long as it lists Ancient Gear in its name. This toolbox mechanic that Ancient Gear Wyvern offers is important since it can bring out cards that can be game-changing, making any situation possible to be turned around as long as you strategize to use this card’s effect to its fullest extent.