YuGiOh Battle City Introduction
It’s time to d-d-d-d-duel again! Now that we’ve covered the start of it all, the Duelist Kingdom arc (check out our Duelist Kingdom review here), it’s time to dive into the wonders of the YuGiOh Battle City tournament! – a Yu-Gi-Oh arc that contains some of the best duels in the entire series. Old school fans might even remember Yu-Gi-Oh: The Sacred Cards, the Game Boy Advance Game that was specifically based on the YuGiOh Battle City arc.
Season two of Yu-Gi-Oh Duel Monsters throws Yugi, Joey, Tristan and Téa in the YuGiOh Battle City tournament, a competition run by Seto Kaiba. Kaiba is up to his usual greedy tricks and trying to corner the market on powerful cards – this time, he has his eyes on the three Egyptian God cards. Meanwhile, the evil Marik Ishtar, the Big Bad this season, is trying to capture these cards to take over the world with his lackeys. Marik sends out his henchmen, known as the Rare Hunters, to kidnap Tea, Joey, and Mokuba, which forces Yugi and Kaiba to have to battle for the safety of their loved ones once again. It’s a wild ride, and with the introduction of Marik’s Millennium Rod, there is a ton of brainwashing and possession throughout the season that adds an extra wild layer to this action-packed story-line.
It also features one of my favorite Yu-Gi-Oh character moments – when Serenity finally rips her bandages off at Domino Pier and dives down to unlock Joey’s shackles. The tables turned and Serenity got to help her big brother out, and it made for a really charming little brother-sister moment for their character arcs. Serenity gets a lot of time to shine here, actually – her dynamic with Téa and Mai is really cute, and it’s a nice break from her more depressing presence in the Duelist Kingdom arc.
Of course, one of the most exciting parts of this arc is the introduction of the three Egyptian Gods cards: “Slifer the Sky Dragon”, “Obelisk the Tormentor”, and “The Winged Dragon of Ra.” These pave the way for the later introductions of other cards based on Egyptian religion, like the Anubis cards (“The End of Anubis,” “Judgment of Anubis,” “Anubis the Destructor,” etc) and “Horus the Black Flame Dragon” archetypes. Though those cards still reference Egyptian deities, they aren’t truly part of the Egyptian Gods series. Let’s break down these three powerful cards and the roles they play during the YuGiOh Battle City arc.
Note that these cards are a bit tricky when it comes to their legality. They each have an original card, which is more of a collector’s item, and a legal card that can actually be used in (most) tournaments. The stats displayed here are based on the legal cards. If you’re looking to purchase any of these, make sure you know which one you’re getting!
Slifer the Sky Dragon
A Level 10 Divine-Beast/Effect card. ATK ? DEF ? Japanese translated name: Osiris the Heaven Dragon
Slifer The Sky Dragon is one of the cards that Marik enters the Battle City tournament with. Strings (controlled by Marik) uses the card against Yugi in their duel, although Yugi winds up winning the card. Yugi was forbidden from using this card when battling against a mind controlled Joey, but it still pops up again later in Yugi’s duels. He eventually uses it against Bakura, during the epic semi final duel between him and Kaiba, and during his duel against Yami Marik. Slifer’s attack is named Thunder Force. The ATK and DEF are listed as ? because the card gains 1000 ATK/DEF for each card in the user’s hand.
Obelisk the Tormentor
A Level 10 Divine-Beast/Effect card. ATK4000 DEF4000 Japanese translated name: Giant Divine Soldier of Obelisk
This card was given to Kaiba by fellow tournament finalist Ishizu Ishtar. He busts the card out multiple times just in the Battle City preliminaries – typical Kaiba, showing off his rare and powerful cards! He even traumatizes Koji by absolutely demolishing him in a duel using the card. Kaiba also uses the card in an epic battle against Ishizu and manages to outwit her, despite the fact that she has the Millennium Necklace and can see into the future. This one was the only one of the Egyptian Gods cards that managed to be kept out of the hands of the Rare Hunters. The card is unique in that it cannot be targeted by Spells, Traps, or card effects.
The Winged Dragon of Ra
A Level 10 Divine-Beast/Effect card. ATK ? DEF ? Japanese translated name: Winged Divine Dragon of Ra
This is the other Egyptian God card that Marik brings with him to Battle City. The card also plays an important role in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie: Pyramid of Light. It is the strongest of all the Egyptian God cards. In fact, it is so powerful that supposedly, even the two other Egyptian God cards cannot defeat it, not even together. In the anime, only those with a Millennium Item can actually use the card – of course, no such requirements exist for anyone who wants to use this bad boy card in real life. Ra’s attack is God Blaze Cannon. When this card is Normal Summoned, the player can pay LP (up until they have 100LP). The card gains ATK/DEF equal to the amount of LP paid, making this a high stakes card that comes with quite the gamble.
Epic Duels From Battle City
The cards are awesome, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t shout out a few of the great duels present throughout this arc. A few favorites return in the YuGiOh Battle City tournament, like Bonz, Mako Tsunami, Weevil Underwood and Mai Valentine. There’s also an action-packed four way battle free-for-all duel that determines who will enter the Semi-Finals. Battle City has a distinct set of rules that features an ante rule: basically, a winner of a Duel may take the rarest card from the loser’s deck. Of course, a rule like that means the stakes are super high, especially if you have a card like an Egyptian God card! A few gutsier players wind up upping the bet and place multiple cards at stake, making almost every battle here full of drama and tension.
Here are five really great ones that stand out (and an honorable mention). These aren’t just stand outs of this arc, either, but some of the most intense and entertaining battles in the entire series. Yugi and Joey both really get some awesome moments throughout.
Honorable Mention: Seto Kaiba vs Duel Computer
This isn’t exactly the most technical or twisting battle by any means – after all, it’s Kaiba and a computer. But the sheer fact that Kaiba overwhelms this poor machine by whipping out his Obelisk the Tormentor card is straight-up hilarious. The card was so strong, it ended up overloading its circuits and caused the computer to explode. Moments like this really showcase how over-the-top Kaiba can be – dude cannot just have a regular practice duel, can he?
Yami Yugi vs Yami Bakura
Any battle with Bakura is pretty much guaranteed to be top-notch entertainment. This duel lasts from episode 82 to 84 and packs quite a few punches. It takes place during the Battle City quarter-finals. Yami Bakura uses plenty of manipulative tactics, like tricking Yugi into thinking he has an advantage and then busting out “Dark Sanctuary.” Bakura also utilizes “The Dark Door” and “Destiny Board.” Yugi is able to win in the end, as he decides to use “Slifer the Sky Dragon” for his first time. Ultimately, the victory is a bit shaky, though – there’s some more mind control shenanigans from the sidelines, this time from Odion, and in the end, Yami Bakura lets Yugi win the duel to keep Bakura from dying. After the battle, Bakura winds up in a coma, raising the tensions even higher than they were before.
Yami Yugi vs Strings
This is a great one – Strings is a really neat character, as he is essentially a brainwashed puppet controlled by Marik. Yugi doesn’t have “Slifer the Sky Dragon” at this point in the arc, so he ends up having to duel against it. The duel is another multi-episode one, as it takes place over episodes 65 through 67. Strings busts out cards like “Pot of Greed” (a personal favorite of mine – it’s always fun when that one pops up in an anime duel) and “Card of Safe Return.” Most excitingly, he makes great use of “Jam Breeding Machine” and “Jam Defender,” two cards with tricky effects that corner Yugi into tough spots quite a few times. Meanwhile, Yugi uses his trusty “Dark Magician” as well as cards like “Buster Blader.” In the end, Yami Yugi causes Strings to Deck Out, and this win earns him “Slifer.”
Joey Wheeler vs Yami Yugi
Every time Joey and Yugi have to face one another, you know it’s going to be a great one. The battle takes place at Domino Pier, and Joey has been controlled by Marik and the Millennium Rod. Visually, the battle is really cool, thanks to the chains and dramatic environment. Yugi uses the card that Joey gave to him, “Red-Eyes Black Dragon” and to make the stakes here even higher, there’s a timer counting down the battle. While all this is going on, Téa winds up trapped by a Rare Hunter with a cargo crate hovering over her, and needs to be saved by Kaiba. The ending of the battle ended in a draw, and the aftermath is just as exciting as the battle itself. Joey tries to unchain Yugi but an anchor winds up dropping and pulling the two underwater. Joey swims up to Yugi and unlocks his chains in a dramatic moment, and then that awesome Serenity rescue I mentioned earlier comes into play, too. This entire battle is one big “the powers of friendship” moment that the series always pulls off so well.
Joey Wheeler Vs Yami Marik
Joey’s skill grew quite a bit over the course of the series – remember how he didn’t even know what a trap card was back in Duelist Kingdom? Now he’s got the chops to go against powerhouses like Yami Marik in the Battle City semi-finals! He puts up quite a fight during this Shadow Game. This battle’s quite intense, and Marik uses some sneaky tactics like having “Helpoemer” steal cards from Joey’s hand while it sat in the Graveyard. Joey tried his best and used “Jinzo” and “Gilford the Lightning” to gain advantages, but unfortunately for him, he was no match for Marik’s “Ra.” Before Joey could use “Gearfried the Iron Knight” to snatch the victory, he collapses – Shadow Games cause duelists to feel the same pain as their monsters, after all, so Joey had taken quite a bit of physical damage over the course of the duel. Still, Joey’s moves were impressive – impressive enough that Yami Marik threw a nice tantrum after he won the duel, as he was stunned that a guy like Joey could be such a formidable foe.
Yami Yugi vs Seto Kaiba
If my previously written words haven’t made it clear, I love Kaiba and all his dramatic, greedy ways. He’s such a great shounen villain/good guy mix, and Battle City gives him some great moments to shine. He gets his Ishizu battle, a battle against Marik, a battle against Joey…but the best battle is the looooong finals battle between him and Yugi. Again, this isn’t just a stand-out battle for the arc: it’s one of the best duels in the entire series. Clash in the Coliseum is a top notch multi-episode battle. The Egyptian God cards get some action, and “Obelisk” and “Slifer” face off. However, the ultimate final showdown takes place between “Dark Magician” and “Blue-Eyes White Dragon” – a classic epic match-up. The climax is intense, and both players use quite a few manipulative tactics against one another. Naturally, Kaiba is as conniving as ever in this battle, but Yugi is the one who nabs the win.
The Finale: Yami Yugi Vs Yami Marik
At the end of Battle City, Yugi is able to destroy Ra and dispel Yami Marik. There’s an intense internal face-off between the good Marik and the evil Marik, and in the end, good wins out and Yami Marik is eliminated. By the end, Yugi stands the winner and becomes the owner of all three Egyptian God cards. Kaiba isn’t super happy about that, of course!
After this arc, we dive into Waking the Dragons – an anime exclusive arc that ties the God cards in with Atlantis. Yugi and the gang will have to face off against the mysterious organization Paradius and rely on the heart of the cards and the strength of their friendship once again!
Let us know in the comments what your favorite moments are from Battle City, do they match with our top picks?