If you’re unfamiliar with the “Floodgate” term, it’s a word for a card that seeks to shut down gameplay mechanics for an opponent. It can stop them drawing, using cards/effects or even from summoning monsters.
Mostly used in stall decks such as Exodia, some floodgates offer so much power that they see competitive viability. If you can go first and set the right floodgate trap, you’ve pretty much already won, if your opponent has no Spell/Trap removal.
Keeping track of the best and most meta floodgates is so important though. It’ll help you to realise what your best deck is vulnerable to, as well as give you ideas for countering other decks!
So to help you out, I’ve put together a list of the 10 best floodgates in Yu-Gi-Oh!
10. Vanity’s Fiend
Most useful in a Monarch deck, Vanity’s Fiend can be sided into any deck that can summon it efficiently. If you can summon this monster first turn, your opponent will have very limited options when it comes to their turn.
Being unable to special summon monsters is an absolute killer, few decks can deal with it without wasting so many resources.
9. Barrier Statues
Each attribute has its own Barrier Statue, which can shut down your opponent’s strategy almost completely.
Of course, if their deck contains monsters of the same attribute, you’ll have a bit of a problem.
Rarely does that happen though, so overall it’s an extremely cheap and easy way to prevent special summoning.
8. Mystic Mine
Fabled as one of the most hated cards in Yu-Gi-Oh right now, thanks to its ability to completely shut down entire decks.
Opponents need to specifically play spells/traps that can destroy a spell or they straight up lose the duel.
Most commonly used in burn decks, Mystic Mine is an amazing budget floodgate for a lot of decks that don’t rely on monsters.
7. Anti-Spell Fragrance
Another floodgate for going first. Activating or setting your own Spell cards allow you to set Anti-Spell Fragrance without worry of locking yourself out. As soon as your opponent draws, flip this Trap card to prevent their Spell activations. Against Spell-heavy decks such as Sky Strikers and True Draco, few floodgate cards will be as effective as this one!
6. Gozen Match
Since the release of Knightmares, plenty of archetypes seek to Link climb efficiently to either FTK or set up an unbreakable board. Fortunately, Knightmares are all different attributes so Gozen Match allows you to play Yugioh as well.
Of course, not all decks have separate attributes. Many of them, such as Blue-Eyes, only utilise a single attribute so overall, Gozen Match is situational!
5. Skill Drain
The original floodgate, Skill Drain provides a full-on reliable field-wide effect negation. Limited to 1 copy per deck, this card is still so good that it’s a good choice competitively, especially in decks that like to spam high ATK beaters.
Paying 1000 life points in return is pretty much nothing for how much control it gives you over the duel.
4. Macro Cosmos
Macro Cosmos is a card that can win matches on its own, against the right decks. How many archetypes, competitive or not, revolve around their graveyard nowadays? Almost all of them. Flipping this card after your opponent starts their combos will hand you the game right there. Just don’t use it against your friends too much, as they’ll hate dueling you afterwards!
Of all Field Spells in the game, Necrovalley is in a league of its own. You can ignore the Gravekeeper’s aspects of this card, as the secondary effects are incredible.
Like I mentioned previously, almost every half-decent strategy utilises the graveyard so preventing any cards from affecting it is amazing.
A nice strategy is to also add A Cat of Ill Omen into the deck, as it’ll set any Trap card from your deck so long as Necrovalley is on the field!
2. Rivalry of Warlords
A more reliable Gozen Match (mentioned previously on this list), Rivalry of Warlords can’t stand Knightmares but it does stop other forms of Link climbing.
aving said that, a lot of Knightmare decks are Warrior based so Rivalry of Warlords is also effective against them.
1. Imperial Order
Imperial Order is limited to 1 copy per deck for good reason, it’s bizarrely strong. Completely stopping all Spell cards and effects, this floodgate will shut down almost every deck in the game if you can set it first turn.
Sure, it doesn’t give you the option to remove it from the field but if you’ve already used your best Spell cards, you’ll already have a truly game-winning advantage!