From left to right: "Slifer", "Ra" and "Obelisk"
The Egyptian God Cards, also known in Japanese as the Three Phantom Gods, (
Several other cards, such as Ma'at, the Horus archetype, Sebek's Blessing, Sacred Phoenix of Nephthys, and the Hieratic archetype, are named after real Egyptian deities, but are not a part of the Egyptian God series.
The "Egyptian gods" are one-of-a-kind all-powerful cards created by Maximillion Pegasus, who modeled them after three Ancient Egypt divine beasts whose likenesses surround the Millennium Puzzle on the stone tablet said to hold the memories of the nameless Pharaoh. When Pegasus decided to make them into cards, everyone involved in the project was attacked by the spirits of the "Egyptian God" monsters, so Pegasus decided to create the cards on his own, under the protection of his Millennium Eye. When Pegasus finished the art-work on the prototypes, he had a nightmare about the Egyptian Gods attacking him. Shadi told Pegasus that he had angered the "Egyptian gods". Pegasus woke up injured after this "nightmare". So he decided that these cards were too powerful to be mass-produced, and had Ishizu Ishtar bury the prototypes in the Pharaoh's tomb. The wielder of these great cards is able to acquire the title of "Duel King," but in the wrong hands, they are capable of causing legitimate injury or even death. Using counterfeits of the "God" cards also proved to be deadly, as Marik Ishtar found out when his Rare Hunters were testing counterfeited, made copies of "The Winged Dragon of Ra", some ended up being crippled, some lost their minds, and some even died the moment the card was played, and Marik came to the (later proven incorrect) conclusion that the "Gods" respond to the strength of heart of the Duelists, of which none of the members of the experimental group have.
- "Slifer the Sky Dragon" (「オシリスの
天 空 竜」 Oshirisu no Tenkūryū - Sky Dragon of Osiris)
- "Obelisk the Tormentor" (「オベリスクの
巨 神 兵」 Oberisuku no Kyoshinhei - Giant God-Soldier of Obelisk)
- "The Winged Dragon of Ra" (「ラーの
翼 神 竜」 Rā no Yokushinryū - Winged God-Dragon of Ra)
Marik was able to acquire "The Winged Dragon of Ra" and "Slifer the Sky Dragon", but Ishizu was able to protect "Obelisk the Tormentor". She gave the card to Seto Kaiba with the request, he host a Dueling tournament to lure Marik and his Rare Hunters to the city, bringing the other "God" cards with them. Kaiba, intent on claiming the cards for himself to secure his title as the strongest Duelist, agreed and hosted the Battle City tournament. During the tournament Marik revealed to Yami Yugi the "God" cards and that the Millennium Puzzle along with the "God" cards are needed to unlock his lost memories. Marik used "Slifer the Sky Dragon" against Yami Yugi through Strings, but Yami Yugi was able to defeat "Slifer" and took it for himself in accordance with Battle City's ante rules.
During the tournament quarter-finals, Yami Yugi used "Slifer" to defeat Yami Bakura. Marik had placed a copy of "The Winged Dragon of Ra" in Odion's Deck without his knowledge, telling him that usage of the card against Joey Wheeler was needed to prove to those watching, that Odion was Marik, as Marik was keeping his identity a secret. After Odion was struck down by "Ra's" rage for using a counterfeit of its card, Marik was taken over by Yami Marik, who Dueled Mai Valentine in the next round. Mai successfully took "The Winged Dragon of Ra" from Yami Marik's Deck with "Amazon Chain Master" and summoned it, but was unable to read the hieratic text on the card one needed to recite to control it. On his next turn Yami Marik did so himself and took back control of "Ra" to win the Duel. In the final round of the quarter-finals, Kaiba faced Ishizu who had entered the tournament to witness the battle between the "gods" for herself. Using her Millennium Necklace to foresee Kaiba's moves, Ishizu allowed him to summon "Obelisk" with the intent to destroy it "Blast Held With a Tribute", but a vision from Yami Marik's Millennium Rod convinced Kaiba to win using his "Blue-Eyes White Dragon", thwarting Ishizu's strategy. In an unofficial fifth Duel later that night, Yami Bakura and Yami Marik Duel, and Bakura seized "The Winged Dragon of Ra" with a combination of "Dark Designator" and "Exchange", and with the help of the spirit of the original Marik was able to summon and control Ra. However, Yami Marik sapped "Ra's" ATK to 0 with "Joyful Doom" and when Bakura abandoned "Ra" later in the Duel, Yami Marik revived it with "Monster Reborn" and revealed its secret abilities(Instant Attack and Point-to-Point Transfer) to win the Duel.
In the semi-finals Marik and Joey Dueled, and Yami Marik unveiled "Ra's" Phoenix Mode, burning Joey and wounding him so badly he fell unconscious and was unable to finish the Duel. In the next Duel, Kaiba and Yami Yugi faced each other and eventually both got their "God" cards on the field. After several turns of the two weakening and powering up the two cards, they equalled at 4000 ATK and destroyed each other, the clash triggering a vision of the Duel between Priest Seto and Pharaoh Atem in Ancient Egypt. Yami Yugi was eventually able to win the Duel with "Dark Paladin", claiming "Obelisk". In the final Duel against Yami Marik, Yami Yugi used both "God" cards to battle him, but it was revealed "Ra" is stronger than both the other "God" cards and both were destroyed. Nonetheless Yami Yugi eventually won by using Ragnarok and claimed "Ra".
In Season 4, Yami Yugi attempts to use the "God" cards to unlock the Tablet of Lost Memories, but it is iced over by the power of Dartz, preventing him from regaining his memories. The "God" cards are later stolen when Solomon Muto is caring for them by Dartz's underlings. They are retrieved at the end of the season to battle The Great Leviathan.
In Season 5, Yami Yugi uses the "God" cards to enter the world of the Pharaoh's memory. Here, acting as Atem in what is actually an RPG-type Shadow Game orchestrated by Yami Bakura, Yami Yugi battles Thief King Bakura and his Diabound with the "God" monsters one by one. Upon learning his name, Yami Yugi/Atem uses it to merge the "Gods" into "The Creator God of Light, Horakhty", destroying Zorc Necrophades and winning the Shadow RPG. Afterwards Yami Yugi used the "God" cards again against Yugi Muto in The Ceremonial Battle, Yugi destroying the cards by turning "Slifer's" effect against the "God" cards with "Magnet Force". In the Duel's final move, Yami Yugi attempts to revive "Slifer" with "Monster Reborn", but Yugi foresaw this and seals the card with "Gold Sarcophagus", allowing him to win the Duel. The three "God" cards were then lost forever when the tomb collapsed, burying the seven Millennium Items along with the cards when Atem left for the afterlife.
In Yu-Gi-Oh! R, the "Wicked Gods" are introduced, used by Pegasus's protégé Yako Tenma; Yako claimed them to be the twins of the three "Egyptian God" cards, and Pegasus himself was too afraid to produce them, but Yako completed them based on Pegasus's designs. The "Egyptian Gods" themselves made only brief appearances in the series, with "Slifer" being destroyed by "The Wicked Avatar" in Dark Yugi's first Duel with Yako and later being used to offhandedly dispatch Cedar Mill;" "Ra" being briefly Summoned in the second Duel with Yako to destroy "The Wicked Dreadroot," though ultimately, Yako negated the Summon; and "Obelisk" to clash with "Avatar" in the final Duel with Yako, matching its ATK and destroying them both after being made equal on the Divine Hierachy as "Obelisk The Progenitor."
In Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie: Pyramid of Light, the three "Gods" combine to form a monster with infinite strength. This allowed Yugi to destroy Anubis' "Theinen the Great Sphinx" with an ultimate attack, "Titan Firestorm," and win the Duel. In the Japanese version of the second series anime, this is the equivalent of "Obelisk's" "Soul Energy Max" ability, which, as alluded to by Seto Kaiba, was a "miracle of God's anger."
In Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, the dorms of Duel Academy are named for the "God" cards - Slifer Red, Ra Yellow and Obelisk Blue. The series also introduces the Sacred Beasts, evil and twisted versions of the "God" cards.
Episode 85 of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Pegasus mentions the "God" cards are gone. Presumably when Yami Yugi departed to the afterlife after his Duel with Yugi, he took the "God" cards with him. A copy of "The Winged Dragon of Ra" that Industrial Illusions created for testing purposes is stolen by a disgruntled card designer named Franz, who later Duels Jaden Yuki. The abilities of the card as far as immunity goes is not fully disclosed. There is a trend in GX for monsters of significant importance, to simply receive blanket immunity from all Spell, Trap and Monster Effects (e.g. "Exodius the Ultimate Forbidden Lord"). Jaden is able to defeat Franz and the copy of "Ra" is returned to Pegasus. In the final episode when Jaden Duels Yugi, "Slifer" is summoned.
All three "Egyptian god" cards (in the anime and manga) share these similar effects:
- Each card requires a Tribute of 3 monsters in order to be Summoned from your hand to the field.
- They are unaffected by the effects of Spell, Trap and Effect Monster Cards (except from another "Egyptian God") unless the effect is to switch their battle position or increase or decrease their ATK or DEF points, in which case they are affected for one turn. There are a few exceptions or inconsistencies to this, such as:
- Sacrifice Blast, which Ishizu saw in a vision in her duel against Kaiba which apparently ignores the God Card rule. However, this was not confirmed as Kaiba inadvertently changed that future via unexpected interference with Marik's Millennium Rod by sacrificing Obelisk and his Gadget soldier for the Blue Eyes White Dragon instead. In addition, Marik did state that Ishizu's power has limits, which may have referred to that visioned moment not working. In the manga, Ishizu states that the "bomb" had become part of "Obelisk" itself, which was why it could have affected it.
- Ragnarok, which destroyed Ra in Marik's battle against Yugi. However, this may count as "Egyptian God effect" as the anime showed Obelisk and Slifer restraining Ra under the effects of Ragnarok. "Dimension Magic" takes this role in the manga, and again, it is not explained how it was able to destroy "Ra" (particularly noticeble given that "Ra" had been just previously shown to be immune to the effect of "Obelisk.")
- Pyramid of Light, which directly destroyed and removed the 3 God Cards from the field from play, shown in the first movie. However, according to Kaiba in the duel between Yugi and Atem which happens much later, the 3 Egyptian God Cards were never defeated at once, thus questioning if the movie is canon or not or if Kaiba was under Anubis' control without memory of what happened post-Battle City.
- If they are Special Summoned, they are sent to the Graveyard at the end of the turn.
- Control of the cards on the field cannot change. However, they can switch possession while not on the field.
- Only chosen Duelists linked to the ancient past may control a "God" card.
- When in defense position, they can block an attack or effect targeting another monster on their controller's field and become the target.
In Yu-Gi-Oh! Nightmare Troubadour, the "Egyptian God" Cards are affected by card effects that don't target e.g. "Gravity Bind", Field Spell Cards, as well as cards like "Smashing Ground" and "Mirror Force". They are also Tribute Summoned by offering 3 monsters, and include the line that if Special Summoned the card is destroyed at the end of the turn, during the End Phase.
In the original manga, the three "Egyptian Gods" possess a hierarchy among themselves. This is explained as a pyramid, with "Ra" being at the top, and "Slifer" and "Obelisk" at the base (as equals). Because of this, the effect's of "Slifer" and "Obelisk the Tormentor" do not work on "Ra". The effects of "Obelisk" and "Slifer" will work on each other, for one turn. Their effects are also much more clearly defined in the original manga: they require three sacrifices due to being ten-star monsters (under the Duelist Kingdom rules, Kaiba was shown Summoning "Obelisk" without any sacrifices as he would any other monster); the effects of most Trap card are useless against them, as their attacks do not trigger the activation conditions of a Trap Card. They are also unaffected by most effects that would remove them from the side of the field of the controller, except for the abilities of a God on the same Hierachy Ranking, and for unexplained reasons, the effect of "Dimension Magic," which was used to destroy "Ra." Any other abilities only affect them for a turn (this is why they return to the Graveyard after a single turn.) The effects of "Obelisk" and "Slifer" are also treated as both effects and attacks (the effect clause is shown when both fail to destroy "The Sun Dragon Ra;" while the attack clause is shown when the Summoning of "Kuriboh" did not trigger "Slifer's" effect as "Nightmare Steel Cage" was active and prevented attacks.)
It is sometimes said that in addition to their Divine-Beast Type, "Obelisk" is a Warrior, "Slifer" is a Dragon, and "Ra" is a Machine. The three are classified as these Types in various video games such as Yu-Gi-Oh! The Sacred Cards and Yu-Gi-Oh! Reshef of Destruction. In the anime and manga, Yugi's "Buster Blader" is said to gain 500 ATK due to "Slifer" being a Dragon-type, and "Obelisk" is used by Gurimo, a Duelist who uses a Warrior Deck.
Obelisk's known special abilities are:
- Tribute 2 monsters to destroy all enemy monsters and inflict 4000 points of Effect Damage to the opponent. This card cannot attack during the Battle Phase if this effect was used this turn.
- Tribute 2 monsters to make its ATK infinite. This is the only effect it possesses in the manga, as the effect was only used sparingly and clarified twice - in the Duel against Yami Marik and against Yako Tenma in Yu-Gi-Oh! R.
Slifer's known special abilities are:
- The ATK and DEF is 1000 x equal to the number of cards held by the duelist.
- When an opponent summons a monster, this card attacks that monster immediately, reducing that monster's ATK or DEF by 2000, depending on if it is in attack or defense position. If that monster's ATK or DEF is 2000 or lower, it is destroyed.
"Ra" has the most effects of the "God" cards. Here are its known special abilities:
- The ATK and DEF are equal to the combined ATK and DEF of all monsters Tributed to summon it.
- This card is immune to any card effects that would prevent it from attacking.
- The Duelist can Tribute monsters to add their ATK to "Ra's" ATK.
- The Duelist can pay 1000 Life Points to transform "Ra" into Phoenix Mode, where it is entirely immune to destruction and can destroy any monster on the opponent's field.
- The Duelist can also pay any number of Life Points to increase "Ra's" ATK by the same amount. Under these circumstances, "Ra" is treated as a Fusion monster, and if targeted by "De-Fusion" its ATK drops to 0 while the Duelist's Life Points increase by an amount equal to what "Ra's" ATK had been.
In the Basic Game Play FAQ on thethere was a question that said "What do the Egyptian god cards do?" and it was answered with "Nothing. They're not legitimate Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game cards. They have no effects and can't be used in your Deck."
The names of the "Egyptian god" cards are derived from the names of items in Egyptian mythology:
- "Slifer the Sky Dragon" - Original name derived from the name of Osiris, the Egyptian God of Life, Death, and Fertility. The English name is an inside joke, derived from the name of Roger Slifer, a producer of the English-language adaptation to the anime.
- "Obelisk the Tormentor" - Derived from the term "obelisk," a type of monument.
- "The Winged Dragon of Ra" - Derived from the name of Ra, the Egyptian God of the Sun. In the Filipino anime, Ra's name is changed to "Apollo", the Greek equivalent of Ra.
In the English manga, they are all often simply referred to as "God," though their original names are still used.
The names of the "Egyptian gods" are the basis for the names of the dormitories of Duel Academy in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX; Slifer Red, Ra Yellow and Obelisk Blue. This also reflects how Seto Kaiba viewed the three "Egyptian god" cards; "Slifer" was owned by Yugi Muto, his arch-rival, so it was only natural that he holds the card in such contempt. "The Winged Dragon of Ra" is in the middle, since it was owned by Marik Ishtar, until Yugi won it from him in Battle City; Seto Kaiba was thus neutral to this card. Of course, with Obelisk Blue, it was plainly obvious why he based this dorm off of "Obelisk the Tormentor"; it was the first and only "Egyptian god" card he received, and indeed seen the power it holds, until Yugi won it from him in the Battle City Finals.
Real "God" Cards
The use of the "god" cards is forbidden in all sanctioned tournaments of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game because of their unique color templates and backings (red/blue/yellow), their lack of any printed effects, and the fact that the cards themselves state that they may not be used in a Duel. As they do not possess effect text, conflicts arise over how they operate once Summoned. Some local hobby stores allow people to play "unofficial matches" provided everyone playing agrees on their effects.
Although the original "Egyptian God" Cards are unusable in an official Duel, all three of the "Egyptian God" cards have been released as Effect Monsters. The legal "Obelisk" and "Slifer" possesses effects virtually identical to its video game effects, while the legal version of "Ra" has its effects severely weakened (it cannot be Special Summoned, does not gain the ATK totals of the Tributed Monsters, and it reduces your Life Points to 100 rather than 1).
These were the only DIVINE monsters released, until late 2011, when the legal version of "Slifer the Sky Dragon" was released, with many effects similar to its anime counterpart (except it has ? ATK and ? DEF, which substitutes for its X000 ATK and DEF, and its effect which makes the opponent's monsters lose 2000 points only works on face-up Attack Position monsters). A OCG release for the legal version of "The Creator God of Light, Horakhty", was announced shortly after "Slifer's" release.
The first version of the "god" cards was released by Konami as a privilege for those who made a pre-order of the Japanese Game Boy Color game Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters 4: Battle of Great Duelist released on December 7, 2000. The second set was released by Konami on April 17, 2003 as special pack-in cards in the Game Boy Advance game Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters International — Worldwide Edition, the Japanese version of the English-language Yu-Gi-Oh! Worldwide Edition: Stairway to the Destined Duel.
Unlike previous versions, the third version of the "god" cards was not released simultaneously. "The Winged Dragon of Ra" was included as a limited edition card in the Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dawn of Destiny game for Xbox, released March 23, 2004. "Slifer the Sky Dragon" was released as a special pack-in card for the ani-manga of Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie: Pyramid of Light, published November 23, 2004 by Viz Media. "Obelisk the Tormentor" was released as a gift to subscribers of Shonen Jump magazine in May 2005.
The unusable versions of the "God" Monsters once demanded high prices on the secondary market. This was prior to their current widespread availability. During this time, countless counterfeit copies were made and distributed primarily throughout East Asia.
These were originally released as promotional cards (in Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters International: Worldwide Edition promotional cards) for people who just wanted to say they had them, but the cards were later used in Duels and complaints were sent into Konami. Konami responded to this in an FAQ that said these cards weren't to be used. They were, in fact, normal monsters, according to Shonen Jump. Official tournaments stopped allowing these cards, although there have been rumors that certain official tournaments will allow "Obelisk the Tormentor" by Tributing three monsters but "Obelisk" will have no other effects. Most people won't Duel against these cards at all, but some people will agree to various conditions.
"Egyptian God" Deck
With the release of "Obelisk the Tormentor", "Slifer the Sky Dragon" and "The Winged Dragon of Ra" in tournament legal form, it is now possible to create a Deck which revolves around the use of the Divine-Beast-Type. It's usually suggested that you focus on a single kind of "Egyptian god" in your Deck since it'll make your strategy more reliable, and the chances of Summoning more than one of them are practically zero.
(The only exception to this advice would be the case in which you want to create an instant win Deck with "Horakhty", case in which you'd need all of them on the field)
These cards require 3 tributes to Normal Summon but prevent effects from being activated on their Summon and cannot be targeted--thus the strategy of the Deck focuses on stalling and swarming until 3 tributes are available.
Even though the "Egyptian Gods" are powerful, they can be stopped by many cards. Just using something that doesn't target (like Hammer Shot) can easily destroy them. "Ojama Trio" may limit the amount of tributable monsters to 2, making it impossible to Summon them. Last but not least, cards that make them lose their effect (like "Destiny HERO - Plasma") can be devastating (although "Obelisk" retains his 4000 ATK).
"Egyptian Gods" can also be used in combination with Frog monsters or another way to go is Normal monsters. Their attack and summoning allow them to have swarm potential. Their attack allows them to beatdown if you do not draw your key card.
See Frog Monarch.
In the Febuary 2012 issue of the V-Jump Magazine, a Deck was posted on how to successfully summon all three of the "Egyptian Gods" as well as their boss monster, "The Creator God of Light, Horakhty". http://img165.poco.cn/mypoco/myphoto/20111216/17/5587492820111216172027050.jpg
The "Egyptian god" cards are present in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Sacred Cards, Yu-Gi-Oh! Reshef of Destruction, Yu-Gi-Oh! Nightmare Troubadour, Yu-Gi-Oh! GX Spirit Caller and Yu-Gi-Oh! GX Tag Force 2. With Tag Force 2, they are only accessible if you have the original Yu-Gi-Oh! GX Tag Force UMD Disc and with Spirit Caller, you need to connect with Nightmare Troubadour. Also, there is a special way of seeing but not controlling the "Egyptian God" Cards. You must unlock Yami Yugi. It also should be noted that since you may "trade" between Nightmare Troubadour and Spirit Caller or Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship 2007 through buying cards from Nightmare Troubadour, it is fully possible to have the "Egyptian god" cards in either game. The "gods" are also available in Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship 2008, but only through use of a cheat device such as Pro Action Replay, a trade through someone who has obtained them, or obtained via the Card Download function, like with "Thunder King Rai-Oh". The "gods" can also been seen in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's World Championship 2009: Stardust Accelerator — here, "Obelisk" is an Effect Monster, and is categorized as such. However, "Slifer" and "Ra" are their own individual Monster card types, unseen in the game's navigational menus. Each one is Level 10, Divine Attribute, Divine-Beast Type, and cannot be targeted by Spell, Trap and Monster effects. The Summon of a "god" card cannot be negated and cards cannot be activated in reaction to their Summon. Each "god" card requires three Tributes to be Normal Summoned and cannot be Set. If Special Summoned, they are destroyed during the End Phase. Then you can get the "Egyptian God" cards in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX Tag Force 3; they are accessible if you have the original Yu-Gi-Oh! GX Tag Force 1 and 2.
In the original manga and the Japanese anime, the card text of the Egyptian Gods (save the Hieratic Text of "The Winged Dragon of Ra") is written in English, likely due to the one-of-a-kind cards being created by an American.