From left to right: "Thestalos", "Raiza", "Caius", "Mobius" and "Zaborg", with "Granmarg" in the back, in the artwork of "March of the Monarchs"
They may be the rulers of the Duel Monsters Spirit World, in respect to their own names.
Each card is Level 6 (with the exception of "Zaborg", who is Level 5) has 2400 ATK and 1000 DEF has a unique ability that activates upon their Tribute Summoning, often dealing with the removal of cards, although "Kuraz the Light Monarch" and "Delg the Dark Monarch" do not require that they be Tribute Summoned or even Normal Summoned to trigger their abilities.
"Mobius", "Zaborg", "Granmarg" and "Thestalos" are used by The Light Brigade in the Yu-Gi-Oh! GX anime. "Mobius" and its corresponding "Mega Monarch" counterpart are used at one point by Shingo Sawatari in the Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V anime.
Shadow Specters introduced the "Mega Monarchs", a series of upgraded forms for each "Monarch". All "Mega Monarchs" released so far are Level 8, can be Tribute Summoned by Tributing another monster that was Tribute Summoned, and have 2800 ATK and 1000 DEF, as well as upgraded effects based on their element (e.g. "Granmarg the Mega Monarch" destroys 2 Set cards instead of one, and if Tribute Summoned by Tributing an EARTH monster, allows the player to draw a card).
The recent "Monarchs" cards (e.g. "March of the Monarchs" and "The Monarchs Erupt") are designed to support Tribute Summons and, by extension, the "Monarch" monsters (although often they prevent Summons from the Extra Deck). Many of these cards depict the transformation of a Monarch into their Mega Monarch form, and are released in the same pack that the Mega Monarch appears in.
|Monarch||Attribute||Type||Trigger Effect when Tribute Summoned||Mega version||Basic effect||Additional effect||"Monarchs" transformation card||"Vassal"|
|Caius the Shadow||DARK||Fiend||Banish one card on the field (if it is a DARK monster, inflict 1000 damage to opponent).||Caius the Mega||Banish one card on the field and inflict 1000 damage (if it is a DARK monster, all cards of the same name are banished in the controller's hand, Deck, Graveyard and Extra Deck)||Banish an additional card||Tenacity of the Monarchs||Lucius The Shadow|
|Delg the Dark||DARK||Spellcaster||(Normal/Special Summoned) Banish up to two cards from opponent's Graveyard (optional). For each, send the top card from opponent's Deck to Graveyard. Can't attack this turn.|
|Granmarg the Rock||EARTH||Rock||Destroy one face-down card.||Granmarg the Mega||Destroy up to two face-down cards.||Draw a card.||Return of the Monarchs||Landrobe the Rock|
|Kuraz the Light||LIGHT||Warrior||(Normal/Special Summoned) Destroy up to two cards on the field (optional). For each, its controller draws 1 card. Can't attack this turn.|
|Mobius the Frost||WATER||Aqua||Destroy up to two Spell or Traps. (optional)||Mobius the Mega||Destroy up to three Spell/Trap Cards.||Prevent the activation of those cards.||The Monarchs Awaken||Escher the Frost|
|Raiza the Storm||WIND||Winged Beast||Return one card on the field to the top of its owner's Deck.||Raiza the Mega||Return one card on the field and another on either Graveyard to the top of its owner's Deck.||You can target and return 1 card on the field to the hand.||The Monarchs Stormforth||Garum the Storm|
|Thestalos the Firestorm||FIRE||Pyro||Discard one random card from your opponent's hand (if it is a Monster, inflict damage to opponent equal to its Level x 100).||Thestalos the Mega||Look at your opponent's hand and discard one card (if it is a Monster, inflict damage to opponent equal to its Level x 200).||Inflict 1000 damage to the opponent.||The Monarchs Erupt||Berlines the Firestorm|
|Zaborg the Thunder||LIGHT||Thunder||Destroy one monster.||Zaborg the Mega||Destroy one monster (if it was a LIGHT monster, both players send a number of cards from their Extra Deck to the Graveyard equal to the destroyed monster's Level or Rank).||You choose the cards your opponent sends from their Extra Deck to the Graveyard.||Strike of the Monarchs||Mithra the Thunder|
"Monarch" Decks tend to be very aggressive and powerful, because "Monarchs" destroy the opponent's assets just by hitting the Field, and they are strong enough in ATK to be able to press their advantage and destroy nearly any lower-Level monster the opponent may happen to use in response. "Monarchs" have no real weaknesses other than Decks that strictly run "Zombie World", which almost completely shuts down the "Monarchs", and their insatiable need to generate Tribute fodder for more "Monarchs" to be Summoned and that they cannot use their effects when Special Summoned (with the exceptions of "Kuraz" and "Delg".)
- Tokens: Many tokens have restrictions on how they can be used, but some sources, like "Dandylion", "Fiend's Sanctuary", "Phantom Skyblaster", "Goka, the Pyre of Malice" and "Stray Lambs", have few limitations on their tokens.
- "Soul Exchange": It's nice to be able to Tribute Summon with your own monsters, but it is even nicer to Tribute your opponent's monster to Summon your own. Good to use on strong monsters your opponent has payed in to accumulate. Best used to Summon "Kuraz" or "Delg" as their effects already restrict them from attacking upon being Summoned.
- "Reborn Tengu": This is perfect for tribute fodder, for if you Tribute it, another one will spawn and if it's destroyed by battle you have another one ready as tribute fodder.
- Special Summon From Hand: Some monsters Special Summon themselves from the hand, and that saves the Normal Summon for a "Monarch". The better ones include "Cyber Dragon", "Evil HERO Infernal Prodigy", "Gilasaurus", "Jester Confit", "Level Warrior", "Spell Striker", "The Tricky", "Vice Dragon", "Oracle of the Sun", "Naturia Cosmobeet", "Battle Fader" and "Swap Frog" in "Frognarchs" variants.
- Trap Monsters: These provide both Tribute Fodder and defense against the opponent's tactics, but they are easily destroyed.
- "D.D. Survivor" and "D.D. Scout Plane": When these cards are banished, they automatically return themselves to the field. Use "Banisher of the Radiance", "Banisher of the Light", "Dimensional Fissure" or "Macro Cosmos" to keep them coming back, the only problem is that the "Monarchs" then have to make sure they don't get banished.
- "Spirit Reaper": Although this monster is slow, it can usually survive a turn to act as tribute fodder. An advantageous aspect is that it does not rely on Special Summoning, so one's tactics would not be adversely affected by cards such as "Vanity's Emptiness". Furthermore, it is a Dark Monster, so it can be used to Tribute Summon "Caius the Mega Monarch" with "The Dominion of the Legendary Monarch". Moreover, its discard effect can be useful and further deplete your opponent of resources.
- "Treeborn Frog": So long as you control no Spell or Trap Cards, this card will come back every turn. This drawback reduces the card's effectiveness in some builds, but it provides some defense in case of a cleared field.
- "Majiosheldon": Similar to "Treeborn Frog", but without the Spell/Trap restriction. Its other effect won't be a problem if using "March"/"Return of the Monarchs".
- Level Eater: By reducing the level of a high-level monster, this card revives itself from the Graveyard; each Monarch, except "Zaborg the Thunder Monarch", can spawn up to two.
- "Destiny HERO - Malicious": Its effect lets you banish one copy in the Graveyard from play to Special Summon another from your Deck. This card is particularly effective for its Deck-thinning function.
- "Chain Summoning" and "Double Summon": These cards allow multiple Normal Summons to occur in a single turn, very good for getting out Tribute Fodder and multiple "Monarchs". This is particularly effective with "Samsara Kaiser".
- "Instant Fusion": At a cost of 1000 Life Points, this card can bring out a low Level Fusion Monster for Tribute fodder.
- "The Monarchs Stormforth": Similar to Soul Exchange, but does not target, and allows the player to conduct their Battle Phase. Can also be used in combination with "Escalation of the Monarchs" during the opponent's turn to tribute their opponent's monsters during their Main or Battle Phase, as well as getting the tributed monster's effect.
- Vassal monsters: They are all meant to be used in conjunction with the Monarchs, since they can Special Summon themselves through their effects and set the field for their corresponding Monarch to use its effect (with the exception of Escher the Frost Vassal), furthermore, they gain an additional effect when they are tributed for a Tribute Summon. However, keep in mind that all Vassal (except for Escher) do start a Chain when they Special Summon themselves, so you opponent can chain effects that can stop them in you hand and/or destroy them before being tributed.
"Monarchs" can be difficult to overcome due to the fact that they destroy cards simply by appearing, but there are still some good strategies against them. These include:
- "Divine Wrath", "Forced Back", "Solemn Warning" and "Pulling the Rug": These cards negate the Summon of "Monarchs", and thereby their effects, and remove them from the field, essentially wasting the "Monarch" user's efforts.
- "Mask of Restrict", "Fog King" or "Zombie World": These cards effectively prevent Tribute Summons and as a result prevent "Monarchs" from hitting the field and activating their effects (except for "Kuraz" or "Delg" since their effects activate when Normal Summoned without a Tribute or when Special Summoned too).
- "Vanity's Fiend", "Vanity's Ruler", "Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo" and "Archlord Kristya": These cards can completely shut down "Frognarch"/"Formula Monarch" Decks, as they rely heavily on Special Summoning to get out tribute fodder ("Treeborn Frog", namely) and Synchro Monsters. This is particularly deadly against builds that don't use "Soul Exchange".
- "By Order of the Emperor", "Destiny HERO - Plasma" and "Skill Drain": These cards negate on-field effects, turning "Monarchs" into beat-sticks. "Grave of the Super Ancient Organism" can be used to limit "Kuraz" and "Delg" use, but it is not recommended since it targets only Special Summoned monsters and they can still be Tributed if needed.
- "Intercept": Lets you take control of a "Monarch" right when it gets Summoned which can be a nasty surprise for most "Monarch" users.
- "Blast Held by a Tribute": Even more destructive than a "Mirror Force" since it also inflicts damage, but not as reliable as other methods of getting the better of "Monarchs", since there is a chance that they will destroy this card before they attack.
- "Prime Material Dragon", "Stardust Dragon" and "Destruction Jammer": Counteract effects that destroy cards. Note that they won't be able to stop "Raiza", "Thestalos", "Delg" or "Caius", since they don't destroy cards.
- "Turbo Warrior": Its effect makes him immune to the effects of "Zaborg", "Raiza", "Caius" and "Kuraz". It has just enough ATK to be able to destroy any of them in battle.
- "Rivalry of Warlords": This card prevents having more than one Type of monsters on the field. It also prevents a new Type from being Summoned, including Tribute Summoning; so if the opponent controls a "Gravekeeper's Spy", they cannot Tribute it to Summon any "Monarch" (except for "Delg"). "Gozen Match" is not recommended as an alternative as most Tributes are DARK and "Caius" is the most used "Monarch".
- "Ritual Cage": It protects Ritual Monsters from most "Monarchs" and makes them waste their effect.
- "The Huge Revolution is Over": Stops "Kuras" or "Mobius" from destroying your cards, and then you get rid of them for quite some time by having them banished.
- "Clear Wing Synchro Dragon": This monster can negate any monster's effect that targets a level 5 or higher monster on the field and destroy it, meaning it can protect itself from any Monarch's effect, and if you don't select him as a target, it can also negate the activation of the effect of a level 5 or higher monster and destroy it. Moreover, if this monster destroy a monster with its effect, it gains ATK equal to the destroyed monster ATK. Note also that even if you don't use your monarchs' effects, this monster still has 2500 ATK points, so it can easily handle any monarch in battle (except for the Mega Monarchs).
- "March of the Monarchs" is almost a must since it will protect your Tribute Summoned monsters from the effects of any kind of card that try to target them or destroy them, making them a lot harder to be demolish, though it comes at the cost of denying you access to the Extra Deck.
- "The Seal of Orichalcos" is a great option to give all your Monarchs the boost they may need. It affects only your monsters no matter the attribute or the type. You can only use it once in Duel, but since it's hard to destroy, it may be all you need. Like "March of the Monarchs", the "Seal" prevents you from using your Extra Deck, so you must know whether or not you need to Xyz Summon.
- "Gorz the Emissary of Darkness" may save you while in a pinch. Not only can he hold his own with 2700 ATK, but the Token that he summons can be used as a Tribute for a "Monarch".
- "Forbidden Chalice" can work in this deck, but it can also work against you if your opponent uses this card. On one hand, you can use Forbidden Chalice on a monarch monster, after you have used its effect, but your opponent can use Forbidden Chalice on the just summoned monarch to negate its effect before you can use it.
- "The Dominion of the Legendary Monarch": this Field grants all your Tribute Summoned monsters 800 ATK points when it attacks an opponent's monster, thus eliminating the threat of high ATK monsters which may have remained on the field after the Monarch's Summon. Also if you control a Tribute Summoned monster and have no cards in your Extra Deck, your opponent will not be able to Special Summon any monster from their Extra Deck, making your opponent have a hard time if they play a Fusion/Synchro/Xyz/Pendulum-reliant Deck.
"March of the Monarchs" will protect any Tribute Summoned monsters from being targeted or destroyed by card effects, while "Return of the Monarchs" allows you to search for a "Monarch" every time you Tribute Summon. Since the aforementioned cards prevent the player from Summoning monsters from the Extra Deck, the Deck rarely utilizes Synchro Monsters or Xyz Monsters, although it's still possible to Summon them occasionally. This disadvantage, however, also allows the Deck to run "The Seal of Orichalcos", which can bring all your "Monarchs" up to a hefty 2900 ATK. "Treeborn Frog" is very ineffective in this build due to the consistent presence of Continuous Spell Cards, so multiple copies of "The Monarchs Stormforth" (better with "Escalation of the Monarchs") are highly recommended both to create Tribute fodder and remove the opponent's powerful monsters from the field. "The First Monarch" works very well in this type of Deck, providing walls against the opponent's attacks, Tribute fodder for "Monarchs" and, at the cost of a discard, the ability to change its Attribute and count as two Tributes. This allows you to take advantage of the effects of "Granmarg the Mega Monarch" and "Mobius the Mega Monarch". "Spell Striker" also works well in this variant due to the large number of Spells. Like any "Monarch" Deck, it suffers from potential bad opening hands. "Pot of Duality" is recommended to help remedy this, and provide extra Spells for "Spell Striker" to banish. Overall, the Deck's wins can usually be attributed to successive "Monarch" Summons (and therefore searches from "Return") each turn, with "March" protecting them from card effects. Due to the goal of always having a "Monarch" on the field, the Deck can easily take advantage of the "The Monarchs Awaken" to make "Monarchs" unaffected by card effects, as well as "Grisaille Prison" to combat the opponent's Synchro and Xyz Monsters.
Monarch Control is a Deck that quickly Special Summons monsters to the Field and Tribute those monsters to Summon a "Monarch" monster and activate their effects to gain more Field advantage. Some good Tributes are "Spell Striker", "Samsara Kaiser", "Marshmallon" and many more. Each "Monarch" has unique effects to gain Field advantage when Tribute Summoned, this will be the key of winning with this Deck. The "Treeborn Monarch combo" might work at this Deck, since "Treeborn Frog" shall always be Summoned from your Graveyard, allowing a Tribute fodder for the Monarchs. "Gorz the Emissary of Darkness" is a great addition to this Deck because this can be Tributed for "Monarchs" and when your Field is empty, you can Special Summon this. "Light and Darkness Dragon" is also a great addition because it will protect the "Monarchs" from getting destroyed and when this card is destroyed, you can Special Summon a monster from your graveyard to be Tributed for a "Monarch". Also, a good addition to this Deck would be some 'searchers' like "Mystic Tomato" or "Shining Angel" because if it is destroyed by battle, you can search for another monster, ensuring a monster to Tribute for a "Monarch" during your next turn.
This Deck relies on reusing the effects of "D.D. Survivor" and "D.D. Scout Plane" with the help of "Macro Cosmos" and/or "Dimensional Fissure", which will allow the said monsters to keep coming back each End Phase, allowing you to Tribute Summon a "Monarch" each turn. Other cards that are commonly used in this Deck are "Cyber Valley," some of the other "D.D." monsters, like "D.D. Warrior Lady", "Soul Absorption", which can give its controller massive Life Point gain each turn, and "Gravekeeper's Servant", which can make a lock for all of your opponent's monsters, preventing them from attacking for as long as they cannot send a card from their Deck to their Graveyard. You can use "Enemy Controller" to Tribute a "Survivor" or "Scout Plane" and take control of one of your opponents monsters. Then Tribute it for a "Monarch", and the "Scout Plane" or "Survivor" will return in the End Phase.
Perfect Circle Monarch
This Deck uses the "Destiny HERO" engine to get an advantage in their game, but with the banning of "Destiny HERO - Disk Commander", it has become less effective. These are Graveyard based Decks that can easily bring out a Level 8 Synchro Monster or draw cards.
- See also:Perfect Circle
This Deck has a similar purpose to "Frognarchs". You have "Tytannial, Princess of Camellias" to give the ability to stop you opponent. You have "Spore" as a tuner. You also have "Dandylion", "Naturia Pineapple", "Naturia Cherries" and "Treeborn Frog" as tribute fodder. You can also use "Mark of the Rose" to gain "Monarch" control. The downside to this Deck is that if you cannot main only Beast-Type and Plant-Type monsters in your Graveyard, "Naturia Pineapple" becomes useless.
- "Return of the Monarchs" may be a reference to the Star Wars movies, in which case, further support for the "Monarchs" may also contain this reference, such as a plausible translation for "Ambush of the Monarchs" being "The Monarchs Strike Back".
Summoners (Normal Spell Cards)
|Moonface the Silver
|Leon the Lead
|Salamandra the Steel
|Ouroboros the Bronze
|Ekenas the Mercury
|Aretos the Tin
Tin Spell Circle
|Aroma||None Yet||Cananga||Bergamot||Jasmine||Rosemary||None Yet|
(500 ATK▲/400 DEF▼)
|Mystic Plasma Zone||Gaia Power||Molten Destruction||Luminous Spark||Umiiruka||Rising Air Current|
|Attribute Reptiles||Umbral Soul||Raging Earth||Firestorm Prominence||Radiant Spirit||Silent Abyss||Destruction Cyclone|
|Attribute Summoners||Mystic Tomato||Giant Rat||UFO Turtle||Shining Angel||Mother Grizzly||Flying Kamakiri #1|
|B.E.S.||Big Core||Covered Core||Big Core MK-2||Assault Core||Crystal Core||Tetran|
|Boosters (500 ATK▲/400 DEF▼)||Witch's Apprentice||Milus Radiant||Little Chimera||Hoshiningen||Star Boy||Bladefly|
Glow Moss / Twinkle Moss
Aqua Dolphin / Marine Dolphin
Aqua / Marine
|Dice Roll Archfiends||Terrorking||Vilepawn||Infernalqueen||Desrook||Darkbishop||Shadowknight|
|The Trojan Horse
|Kaiser Sea Horse
|Dustons (1/0/1000 Fiends)||Starduston||Yellow||Red||House / White||Blue||Green|
|Empower Warriors Warrior
(400 ATK▲/200 DEF▼)
|Sword of Dark Destruction||Invigoration||Burning Spear||Elf's Light||Steel Shell||Gust Fan|
Shooting Star Bow
Twin Swords of Flashing Light
Rod of Silence
|Elemental HERO Fusion Monsters
(1 "HERO" + 1 matching Attribute)
|Escuridao||Gaia||Nova Master||The Shining||Absolute Zero||Great Tornado|
|Non-Fusion Masked HERO
Level 6 M-HERO Fusion Monster
Level 8 M-HERO Fusion Monster
|Caius / Delg
|Zaborg / Kuraz
|Musical Djinns||Maestroke||Temtempo||None Yet||Melomelody||Humhumming||Muzurhythm|
(below Level 4 Fiend-type tuners)
|Shaddoll Fusion Monsters
(1 "Shaddoll" + 1 matching Attribute)
Legendary Six Samurai
|Nitro / Jet
Nitro / Jet
|Yang Zing Effect Monsters
Yang Zing Synchro Monsters
|Jiaotu / Taotie
|Bi'an / Fuxi / Qiuniu||Suanni||Chiwen
Baxia / Chaofeng