After a 5 year break from the competitive YU-GI-OH! scene, a few months ago, I decided to get back in the game and practise my skills through some online platforms that let you play with other players from across the world. However, while trying to build a deck that meets my expectations, competitively and aesthetically, I came across the classic "gaymer" dilemma:
"Ugh, I really want this monster in my deck because she looks so damn cute in that skirt but it's such a useless card!"
And this is what inspired me to make this list! On a good note, nowadays some of the most dominant archetypes in the competitive scene are pretty cute, like Trickstars and Sky Strikers, but back in the day it was all about Jinzo, Monarchs, and Dragons and my girls were lost in obscurity.
So this list is gonna be about all these old-school cards with beautiful artworks of iconic female monsters that made my little gay heart scream "YASSS INSECT KWEEN WORK!" with some insight about their competitive value, either in the school-yard duels or in official tournaments, because some of them were able to deify the monster sexism and slay some duels.
So let's get this trip down to gay memory lane started!
20) Gyakutenno Megami
Green hair—don't care. The most famous old-school profile and you know she bought that nose. Stunning artwork, form the majestic make-up to the ear-piece to the glowing face jewels. Gyakutenno Megami has an alternative artwork, has been featured in the trap card Aegis of Gaia, and also has a retrain; Goddess Of Sweet Revenge.
In the anime she was used by Seto Kaiba but in real life... probably by no one, as she is a vanilla monster with mediocre stats that requires a tribute.
"Gyakuten—NO, you betta don't."
19) Rose Spectre Of Dunn
Miss Dunn Sasha Velour'ed her way up to this TOP 20 because of her beautiful artwork. That wet look with this glowy teal skin crawling through the thorny vines in that red rose dress? I mean, come on.
She was never featured in the Anime and never saw competitive (or even school-yard) play because a level 6 fusion vanilla monster (that can't get advantage of Insta Fusion) would never cut it.
"She done already Dunn had herses."
18) Magician Of Faith
Magican Of Faith made it on this list because she is cute AF, Tea's favorite card, and excellent for recycling strong spells from the grave.
Competitively she had a bumpy ride because when she was mostly needed, she was in the ban-list for 13 years and when she wasn't banned, spell cards were not as dominant. Today she is limitless but never sees any competitive play.
Fun Fact: Disenchanter is her older sister.
Stay strong purple-haired Magician and remember: "You gotta have Faith."
17) Princess Of Tsurugi
Who doesn't love a blonde mean girl who's chilling (get it?) in her crystal throne after she inherited everything from her dead husband in her pink robe, ready to trash talk everyone in the school the next day and probably cut a bitch, too?
As a kid, I used to love this card not only for her beautiful artwork but also for her great burn effect, as most of my friends used to always have a full back row, and inflicting 1500-2000 damage in one go is always a cute look.
She probably never saw any competitive play, except maybe in some burn decks.
Clock that blinding cheek highlighter tho. Farrah Moan could never.
16) Thunder Nyan Nyan
Let's be real. This is an absolutely awful card. Having only 1900 ATK and a drawback effect is terrible.
The only reason that this card is that high on this list is because I LOVE the artwork and I am a sucker for this thunder-esque animal print outfit.
She also has a close resemblance to one of my favorite and most beautiful, in my opinion, anime characters: Lum from the Anime Urusei Yatura.
Fan Fact: On the left image you can see the uncensored OCG version of the card and on the right is the censored (on the cleavage) international release of the card. This kind of censorship takes place quite often when a monster shows a lot of skin in an effort to make the cards less sexualised.
"Thunder Nyan Nyan, on the runway, your animal-print outfit was anime-zing but on the duel, your performance was not... striking."
Dreamsprite has definitely one of the most beautiful artworks in the entire game and is one of the very few cards whose nudity has not been censored. She looks like a psychedelic baby of the Little Mermaid and an Avatar. Unfortunately, this doesn't make it up for a lackluster effect.
Maybe this card has never seen competitive play. However, in the new Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links game it seems like she is really killing it, as the rules are way more simplified and very fitting for Dreamsprite's effect.
"Dreamsprite, on your artwork, you are a Dream to look at, but on the Duel, you left us... a little bit blue..."
14) Super Robolady
When I see this card, she is giving me All-Stars 2 of Drag Race, Future Of Drag Runway theme realness and I want Phi-phi O'Hara to do a Super Robolady Cosplay immediately. This metallic pink outfit looks like something Mugler could have designed and it gives me LIFE (points).
Other than that, Super Lobolady, as well as her male counterpart, Super Roboyaru, are two really bad Fusion Monsters with lackluster effects that never saw any kind of play. Even in the anime, these cards were terrible, just like every card ever used by Tristan.
13) St. Joan
Just like the real St. Joan of Arc: Great idea but horrible execution.
This card really caught my eye as a kid; stunning artwork, a good beater, and even though it is another vanilla fusion monster, the fact that Marie the Fallen One is gonna be on the grave after you summon it is not too shabby.
Fan Facts: She has three counterparts: "Guardian Angel Joan," "Noble Knight Joan," and "D/D/D Oracle King d'Arc."
In the anime, this card was one of Serenity Wheeler's (Tristan's sister) monsters.
12) Mystical Elf
Mystical Elf is probably one of the most iconic monsters used by Yugi in the Anime. Whenever I see this card, I feel like this lady is praying for all of my sins and my acne to go away. It was one of the best defensive vanilla monsters from back in the day that didn't require a tribute. You could probably find her in every school-yard deck waiting to surprise you after flipped face up with her 2000 DEF.
In the competitive scene during the early '00s, this card probably didn't see much play as it's just a generic monster with good defences.
She also has a "naughty" counterpart, but we're gonna talk about her later on this list.
11) Mystical Sand
From Mystical Elf, to Mystical Sand. If you have ever played Yu-Gi-Oh! - Forbidden Memories on PS1 as a kid, you probably already know why I love this card so much. The only thing you needed was a female-presenting card and anything that looked like a rock and BAM! You have a 2100 ATK beater gracing your field.
The long green hair, with this red outfit and the "What? You taking a picture of me? LOL k" attitude is truly iconic. Why is this card Rock type, though, was always confusing to me. Well apparently, that's the result of an odd pan from the word Sandwich, as the Japanese name of this card is Sanwitch (ain't no D there) and sand=rock so here we are.
10) Insect Queen
And the first entry to the TOP 10 is my favorite Ladybug, Insect Queen!
Another one who looks like she just stepped out of a 1997 Thiery Mugler runway. The original owner of this card in the Anime was my favorite insect nerd Weevil Underwood and the moment he used this card, I was mesmerised by how ferocious and fierce this 6-legged woman looked.
Unfortunately, Insects were never dominant in the competitive scene or even between regular players. Last year, Insect Queen received a retrain called Metamorphosed Insect Queen, who is definitely a huge upgrade but the only competitive insect deck at the moment (Krawler) has a philosophy that doesn't really work with her Majesty.
"Insect Queen! On the runway your outfit was Fly! But on the duel, your effect didn't really... bug your opponents."
9) Red Archery Girl A.K.A Toon Mermaid
This Little Mermaid got toonified, as well as a heavy fake tan, and became an icon. She was one of Pegasus' Toon Monsters, the silver-haired queer villain from the first season of the Anime, who was also the creator of the entire card game. In the anime, Toon Mermaid was a fantastic card, as she was virtually invisible, hiding inside Toon World whenever a threat was upon her. However, in real life, the toon archetype is gimmicky and literally a joke. Maybe back in the school we used to win some duels with our toon monsters by making up fake effects inspired by the anime, but in reality no player who respects themselves would use a Toon Deck.
"On the runway your outfit was animated and not a joke folks, but on the duel, your performance was not that... looney..."
8) Dark Necrofear
This creepy, robotic lady don't need no wig to bring fear to her opponents. Her bald-headed style is nothing to joke about but competitively, well... there have been some complains.
As a kid, I used to love it when a lady boss monster was released but in reality, this card is too slow. The fact that she requires to banish three Fiend Monsters to summon it is a big con, as fiend decks usually need their graveyards intact to be able to recycle their cards and activate their effects. Also her stats might be lackluster for such a high level monster but this artwork, with her holding a broken doll, is a dream (or probably a nightmare).
7) Dark Witch
That sultry look, with the blue velvet chocker and these velvet gloves gives me all the 90s VMA's Sailor Moon-esque vibes I need to survive.
On a first look, this gorgeous card, seems like a useless vanilla monster that requires a tribute to summon, like ew. HOWEVER! I know it's gonna come as a big surprise, but Dark Witch has actually seen competitive play! Two years ago, a deck that was very dominant in the competitive scene was the Brilliant Monarchs deck and apparently this card found a spot there to shine as the Deck was in need of a level 5, light vanilla monster that was preferably fairy (because of some Darklord shenanigans that you could face).
"Dark Witch! On the runway, your outfit was be-witching and on the Duel, you really put a spell on your opponents."
6) Change Of Heart
Moving on to number 6, we have the only non-monster card of the list; Change Of Heart. I decided to put this lady up there, simply because the artwork is BEYOND stunning and she was also Bakura's favorite card in the anime; a lovely fiendish kid who crossdressed as her during an episode of the first season.
Change Of Heart is a fantastic card because it has a pretty straightforward effect. You take control of an opponent monster and then you can do whatever you want with it. How good has this card been competitively? Well, I have no clue, as she has been in the ban-list since forever because of her amazing costless effect.
''On the Duel you really showed us your Heart but the fact you are still on the ban-list needs to... change."
5) Dark Elf
And the TOP 5 of the list is gonna start with the Naomi Campbell of cards: Miss Dark Elf; the dark counterpart of Mystical Elf. Their stats have been reversed and now she has an effect! Well, not a good one, though.
Dark Elf, unlike Mystical Elf, has seen competitive play. During the old-school days, being able to summon a 2000 beater without a tribute was a great asset. Yes you had to pay a pretty penny to be able to attack but even if you didn't want to do that you could just let her be on the field to intimidate your opponent.
Even if this card wouldn't have a competitive past she would still be that high just because of that face, so check your lipstick before you come for her.
4) Gemini Elf
Here comes double trouble! It's Gemini Elf!
Just like Dark Elf, back in the day having a level 4 normal summoned beater (like La Jinn and 7 Colored Fish) was a thing, and when this card came out she became a staple in every competitive deck. Gemini Elf was the first monster with more than 1800 ATK that didn't require a tribute and didn't have a drawback effect, as she was a Normal Monster. That was until the release of Gene-Warped Warwolf (2000 ATK, Level 4, Normal Monster), but during that time the only reason to use vanilla monsters competitively was in DinoRabbit Decks.
Gemini Elf, as you can see on the left picture, has an alternative artwork, and both artworks were censored for their international release in the cleavage area.
3) Dark Magician Girl
TOP 3 and we have Dark Magician Girl; the female counterpart of Dark Magician. I was really contemplating where in the TOP 3 to place this card as she is probably one of the most Iconic female monsters from the series and a fan favorite.
She has received multiple alternative artworks and she is definitely a staple in every collection. However, you will probably never see this card in a serious deck, not even in a Dark Magician Deck (which is basically the same thing, as Dark Magician decks are simply bad). She has a mediocre effect for a tribute-summoned monster and competitively she is overshadowed by every other card from the Dark Magician Archetype.
2) Harpie Lady and Friends
TOP 2 and there's three of them. Harpie Lady (and her sisters) was the first female monster that appeared in the anime that was a force to be reckoned with.
Mai Valentine, the expert of the Harpie Lady archetype, is the first female character who was introduced in the anime as a strong duelist with an interesting back story and an anti-hero narrative, unlike most of the other female characters who were... just there.
Throughout the years, Harpie Lady has received loads of support but we are all still waiting for that one Harpie Lady card which is finally gonna make the archetype relevant.
As you can guess, by how revealing the outfit of Harpie Lady is, this card was censored for her international release. She was censored in the Anime and surprisingly, even in the Japanese version of the Anime.
1) Injection Fairy Lily
And the Number 1 Spot goes toooooo: INJECTION FAIRY LILY!
I know this might be an obscure choice for a lot of you, but I don't give a damn. This is not only my favorite female monster, but also one of my favorite monsters of all time.
The adorable background with the hearts and that Nurse Joy outfit, with her riding a massive syringe, is twisted, sick and I love it.
During the old-school times, Injection Fairy Lily was a card that could literally save your life. By paying 2000 LP, this normal-summoned card could get rid of any 3000 ATK beater your opponent controlled.
During 2004, Injection Fairy Lily was considered so strong by Konami (and only Konami) that she landed on the ban-list for a whole year. Something that never really made any sense, because no matter how useful this card was between regular players in a school-yard duel, competitively she rarely saw any play, only in some rare occasions, maybe when Dragon Lords were dominant.
Now it's down to 3 and who knows, maybe one day she will find her spotlight. I just wish Konami makes an Injection Fairy Lily archetype.
Fun Facts: She has a retrained version: Councelor Lily. Also, the OCG version of the card has crosses on the background and on her hat instead of hearts as well as a halo on her head, but it was censored for religious reasons.