Hello everybody and welcome back to another article talking about some of the weirdest cards in the game of Yu-Gi-Oh. Last week, I talked about 7 cards in particular that I think fit the bill of being downright bizarre and that article seems to be pretty well received. It'll also give you some extra context as to what we'll be discussing here, and it might be an enjoyable read if you like to read about some cards that have strange effects.
I've got another set of 7 cards to talk about in this article, just as weird as the ones we covered last week. With that said, let's get started.
Goblin Out of the Frying Pan
Goblin Out of the Frying Pan is the first card of what will be a trend in this article, that being cards that look perfectly normal without putting too much thought into it, but then you realize how unwieldy and peculiar they are once the gears in your brain are running at optimal speed. The card is a Counter Trap card that lets you pay 500 Life Points to negate a Spell card your opponent is playing. That seems pretty standard so far, but you realize why it's on this article when you read the final part of the effect, in that it returns the spell to their hand.
In a game like Magic: The Gathering, which uses a mana system, this effect wouldn't be particularly weird since your opponent would still need to pay the spell's mana cost again to play it. Yu-Gi-Oh however doesn't have any mechanic like this. You can just play whatever Spell cards you want on your turn. This means that unless you're specifically countering a Spell that limits itself to only being allowed to play a single copy per turn or one that has a steep resource cost to pay in order to play it, your opponent will most likely just be able to play that Spell again right after you put it back in their hand. It's a card that just leaves you wondering what exactly its purpose is.
Player 1: "I activate Dark Hole!"
Player 2: "You just activated my Trap card, Goblin Out of the Frying Pan! By paying 500 Life Points, I can counter your Dark Hole and put it back into your hand. HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!! What are you going to do now?"
Player 1: "Uh… I activate Dark Hole again."
Player 2: "Oh. Well, shit."
Return Zombie is a Monster card with an effect that puts itself back into your hand if it's in your Graveyard, fitting in that resurrection effects are a common design element of Zombie-Type Monsters. The only problem is that actually resolving the effect is a lot more difficult and awkward than you would probably expect.
The effect is tied to a condition that your hand needs to be empty. This in and of itself is not difficult for a lot of decks to fulfill, but it's made a lot more challenging due to the fact that the effect happens on your Standby Phase. You know, the phase that comes right after the Draw Phase? At this point, you'll pretty much always have at least a single card in your hand since you just conducted your draw for the turn, thus making the effect much more difficult to resolve than it feels like it should be. You can get the effect off with card effects that either skip your Draw Phase, or discard during your Standby Phase. It however doesn't really feel like this was intended to be baked into the design.
Gravekeeper's Vassal is a card with a rather unique effect of converting all of its Battle Damage into Effect Damage, and is in fact the only card in the game to do this. The actual amount of damage doesn't change, but only the way the game considers the damage to have been dealt. So, what applications does this effect have?
In the physical card game, not a lot. If your opponent is playing card effects that prevent them from taking Battle Damage, the effect of this allows it to conduct battle while bypassing your opponent's immunity, although since it only has 700 ATK points, it's unlikely to pose any significant threat. In a similar vein, your opponent can't activate card effects in response to taking Battle Damage, and it can trigger your own card effects that synergize with Effect Damage. While the effect can be theoretically useful, it's too narrow in most situations to really be able to taken advantage of, which isn't helped by the fact that the monster itself has quite low ATK.
It is in the Yu-Gi-Oh video games however where this card effect shines. Some Yu-Gi-Oh video games will give you a special bonus at the end of the duel if you're able to win the duel without inflicting Battle Damage, and due to this card's effect, it'll be able to conduct battle without nullifying the bonus. The card is particularly useful in Yu-Gi-Oh Duel Links where it's part of a combo to combine it with Secret Pass to the Treasures to allow it to attack directly, and Union Attack to boost its ATK power tremendously while you control 2 other decently high-ATK Monsters (which won't nullify the restriction on Secret Pass to the Treasures being able to only use its effect on Monsters with 1000 or less ATK). The effect of Gravekeeper's Vassal will also bypass the restriction of Union Attack not allowing Battle Damage on whatever monster it's placed on.
Convulsion of Nature
Convulsion of Nature is a card that epitomizes how absurd card effects can get. While its active, both players flip their decks upside-down. That alone sounds like a super weird custom card made by some maniacal madman, but it is alas an official, legal to play card in the game.
This effect is quite useful as it just simply allows you to see what your opponent is going to draw and will thus give you some hand information if you're able to keep track of what they've drawn and what they've played, which in turn can be good with cards like Mind Crush. The card is also good for card effects that want you to know the top card of your deck like Akashic Magician or Alsei, the Sylvan High Protector, or for card effects that want you to know what the top card of your opponent's deck is like Conscription or SPYRAL Super Agent. If you don't like the top card of your deck, then shuffling the deck can give you another chance to make your draw good, and can also be a way to know if you have a good target for card effects like Drastic Drop Off.
The card can also theoretically be used with card effects that put cards on the bottom of your deck, as flipping the deck will make it the top cards of your deck instead. This effect even works both ways, as cards you put on the bottom of your deck while Convulsion of Nature is active will now be on top of your deck if its gets destroyed. This card effect is so outlandish that it's even historically proven to be problematic with Yu-Gi-Oh simulators as they would have a hard time properly resolving the effect.
Pyro Clock of Destiny
Pyro Clock of Destiny is a Trap card with a unique effect that might seem a bit confusing at first. The effect simply moves the turn counter by 1, but the turn itself still plays as normal. Applications of this effect might not be immediately obvious, but it can be used for card effects that count turns. For example, it can make your Final Countdown go a little bit quicker, or it can make your opponent's Swords of Revealing Light a little bit weaker (you can definitely tell what era of the game I'm from with these examples, hehe). Just note that counting phases is not the same thing as counting turns, and it won't give you extra triggers on "once per turn" effects as the actual turn itself hasn't passed, but merely the counter.
The actual effect is quite narrow in how it can be used as there's not very many cards in the game that actively revolve around the turn counter, but the effect is absolutely begging for a new card to come out one day to create a game-breaking combo.
Wind Effigy is part of a cycle of cards that allow it to act as 2 Tributes for a Tribute Summon of a level 7 or higher Normal Monster of a certain attribute, which in this case is WIND Monsters (it's kinda in the name). There is also Dark Effigy, Light Effigy, and Earth Effigy for DARK, LIGHT, and EARTH Monsters respectively. Why Wind Effigy specifically is featured on this article as opposed to any of the other cards in the cycle comes down to its targets.
Here's a pop-quiz for you guys. How many Normal WIND Monsters exist in the game that require 2 Tributes? The answer may surprise you given how prevalent Normal Monsters were in the early days of the game, but there's only 1 Normal WIND Monster in the entire game that requires 2 Tributes, that being Leonardo's Silver Skyship which was given out at the 2014 World Championship, is exceptionally rare to find, and completely banned from any competitively play. Wind Effigy though, came out in 2008. So does that mean that for 6 years, the card had no targets for its effect?
Well, not exactly. The following month after Wind Effigy was released saw the addition of Simorgh, Bird of Ancestry. Konami realized the mistake they had made and as a result, Simorgh has an effect to treat itself as a Normal Monster while it's in your hand, allowing it to be used with Wind Effigy. So even though this effect does have valid targets, it's a bit weird to think about how they actually behave with this card as one of them has a mechanic that actively cheats the effect to make it a proper target, and the other is an incredibly rare prize card. It however does have 1800 ATK, which is pretty decent for a Level 4 monster so it at least has that going for it.
Our final card for this article is Question, which is a pretty fitting name since the card design might raise some questions of your own. The card immediately proves why it's deserving of being on this article as while it's active, your opponent cannot look at either Graveyard and it creates a mini-game of sorts in which your opponent must guess what the bottom-most Monster card in your Graveyard is. If they guess correctly, the Monster is banished, but if they guess wrong, you Special Summon that Monster to your side of the field.
What you might not be aware of is that there's actually a rule in the game dictating that you cannot change the order of cards in your Graveyard, as reasons that this would matter are extremely rare. The only other card in the game with an effect where Graveyard order matters is Arcana Force XXI - The World if you flip Tails with its coin-flip effect. In a vast majority of game states, the order of cards in either player's Graveyard is entirely irrelevant, but for these two cards, it's quite pivotal. This also encourages you to consider your order of operations throughout the entire game.
The effect also has some properties that are normally not found on other cards, as it works better against players who don't have as strong of a memory as other people. The effect also works better on games that have lasted longer as the longer the game goes on, the more likely your opponent will be to have forgotten what the correct card to call is. If your opponent knows that you're running Question, then they can theoretically cheat by checking your Graveyard at any point before you actually play the card, which is something that they're normally allowed to ask at any time. There is a layer of depth here that isn't normally found on other cards in any card game, which comes as a result of the fact that the card effect is so unique. Unfortunately (for the player of the card), you also cannot game the system with a Monster that has an unpronounceable name, as official rulings state that your opponent may describe various characteristics of the card (such as stats, effects, or general appearance) for the effect to work as well.
So that will be the end of this article. What did you think of it? If you know of any other particularly weird cards, then feel free to talk about them in the comments down below.