A great series, not just anime, depends heavily on interesting characters. Yugioh GX is full of such characters, origin stories and side-character duelists are just as good as main character storylines. A few spin-offs could easily have been created, with several duelists being well loved by Yugioh fans everywhere.
As well as riveting characters, you get unique decks with plenty of cards that personify their user. This leads to some amazing duels by awesome duelists, making a list of the best duelists is incredibly hard.
I’ve recently finished watching the whole Yugioh GX dub for what feels like the 50th time, I’m comfortable ranking the 10 best duelists in the English dubbed series. Please be aware that although some duelists may have beaten others higher on the list, overall the rankings are as accurate as possible.
Any duelist who defeats their opponent without even having a turn deserves to make the list, as he did against Prince Ojin. Not only this, he pushed Jaden Yuki to his limit with his constant luck with the Arcana Force monsters. Sartorious is clearly quite a remarkable duelist, rarely using his skills unless absolutely necessary.
9. Bastion Misawa
While we don’t see him duel often, Bastion’s skill is very high, easily as high as an Obelisk Blue student. With a huge multitude of great decks available, Bastion has a formula to defeat any deck he encounters. Unfortunately, the plot does not call for any big victories on his part. Perhaps if he put all of his effort into one deck, his list ranking would be better.
Notable duelists defeated: Chazz Princeton
8. Syrus Truesdale
Starting off as one of the worst duelists to ever grace the game, Syrus overcomes his mental barriers to rival even the greatest duelists to visit Duel Academy. Originally based in the Slifer Red dorm, Syrus grows more and more confident, defeating better and better duelists. Eventually reaching Obelisk Blue status, he finally becomes Syrus Truesdale rather than “Zane’s brother”.
Notable duelists defeated: Paradox Brothers & Tyranno Hassleberry
7. Alexis Rhodes
One of the top duelists in Duel Academy, Alexis shows no less fury and might than her male counter-parts. Manipulating Ritual monsters, particular the Cyber Angels, gives her a huge edge over her opponents as Ritual monsters are rarely seen. In the few top-tier duels we see, Alexis shows a high degree of excellence, not bowing down to pressure and always putting up a fight!
6. Chazz Princeton
Chazz is a weird one, he’s certainly a top-tier duelist but he’s been soundly defeated quite a few times, even by duelists higher on the list. At the start of the series, Chazz is a strong duelist for sure but his arrogance prevents him from being one of the best. He loses and loses, eventually leaving for North Academy, which he completely crushes single handedly. When he returns to Duel Academy, he’s far more skilled but still has a lot to learn.
By the end of the series, Chazz Princeton is easily one of the best duelists!
5. Jesse Anderson
We don’t have much to go off &being possessed by Yubel doesn’t count. Coming from North Academy, we know Jesse is an exceptional duelist with an extremely powerful deck in the form of the Crystal Beasts. Rainbow Dragon happens to be his ace card, which is utterly bonkers in the Yugioh GX series as huge boss monsters like that are few and far between.
Notable duelists defeated: None
4. Zane Truesdale
Personally, Zane is my favorite character. Despite being the top tiered duelist at Duel Academy for many years, he remains humble and doesn’t indulge in his fame. After graduating, he moves on to the Pro League where he doesn’t do well, to put it lightly. Shortly after being crushed countless times, Zane starts underground dueling and eventually obtains the Cyberdark cards. He’s never quite the same after all this, using brute power to overcome his opponents. Whether he’s a better duelist before or after his changes is up for debate but overall, he makes the top 5 of this list.
3. Aster Phoenix
Known as the greatest duelist in the world at the time he’s introduced to the series, Aster Phoenix is a world-wide celebrity who entertains with his dueling skills. He’s so good, even the weakest of decks can be made powerful, just by his skills. Even Maximillion Pegasus himself compared Aster to the likes of Yugi Muto and Seto Kaiba which is actually insane. Fuelled by vengeance, Aster will stop at nothing to avenge the disappearance of his father. A real purpose can work wonders when paired with a highly intelligent and talented individual.
2. Adrian Gecko
A huge surprise, why would Adrian Gecko make the list? He first uses the Cloudian monsters, an archetype that can be considered one of the most difficult to use in the GX universe. He still manages to be successful. After making a deal with Yubel, he acquires the Exodia cards and even uses those to beat Aster Phoenix. So few duels shouldn’t warrant a spot in the top 3 but for how difficult the decks are to use, Adrian Gecko’s dueling prowess is clear as day.
Notable duelists defeated: Chazz Princeton & Aster Phoenix
1. Jaden Yuki
Protagonists will always be first on a list like this, Jaden Yuki feels the most fair of all protagonists though. While he is an exceptional duelist, he values having fun over winning, which ironically removes all pressure and allows him to duel care-free most of the time. We see just how capable he is of destroying his opponents when he awakens the Supreme King, arguably one of the most epic moments in the history of Yugioh TV series!
Fantastic dueling skills, great deck-building strategies and the ability to stay cool, this all adds up to the best duelist in Yugioh GX!
Notable duelists defeated: Vellian Crowler, Chazz Princeton, Syrus Truesdale, Titan, Dimitri (Yugi’s deck), Bastion Misawa, Nightshroud, Tania, Amnael, Kagemaru, Aster Phoenix, Bastion Misawa, Camula, Belowski, Alexis Rhodes, Sartorious, Jesse Anderson, Thelonious Viper, Yubel, Axel Brodie & Jim Cook