Yu-Gi-Oh! Episode 50: "The Mystery Duelist, Part 1"
The Rare Hunters (also called Ghouls in the Japanese version, Jackals in some Video Games, and صــائـدوا النـوادر in the Arabic dub) are an organization of card thieves, bootleggers and duelists in the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga, anime, and Yu-Gi-Oh! GX anime series.
The Rare Hunters were formed by Marik Ishtar to collect the Egyptian God Cards and other cards of value, becoming a group with money and power to grant Marik power. It is not specified exactly when they are formed, but it was some time after Marik killed his father and left with Odion the following day. The Rare Hunters are known to be Marik's henchmen and assist him in his goals with Odion Ishtar being the second in command.
They are known to have stolen two of the three Egyptian Gods, but failed to steal Obelisk the Tormentor thanks to the intervention of Ishizu Ishtar. Also they have counterfeited rare cards, including The Winged Dragon of Ra and the five pieces of Exodia.
The first Rare Hunter to appear (although not addressed as one) is Bandit Keith, who steals the Millennium Puzzle from Yugi Moto. Yugi wins the Puzzle back, but not before meeting Marik through his mind control of Keith, who warns Yugi he will return. In this duel the methods of the Rare Hunters is also set: nearly all of the Rare Hunters cheat in their duels.
When Seto Kaiba organizes the Battle City Tournament (which he did to lure out the Rare Hunters who had the other two Egyptian God Cards), Marik orders his minions to go to the tournament and defeat the duelists there, hoping to seize many rare cards that the world's best duelists would surely have. The Rare Hunters hacked into to Battle City's computer system and registered themselves in the tournament. However, upon discovering his sister Ishizu Ishtar has given the final God card to Kaiba, Marik travels to Battle City himself to take the card. As it were, Yugi Muto is also in the tournament, giving Marik the perfect opportunity to take both the Millennium Puzzle and the final God card.
As he travels to Domino, Marik has several other Rare Hunters attempt to defeat Yugi, but they fail and end up having their minds banished to the Shadow Realm as punishment for their failure to defeat Yugi. Marik is desperate enough to duel Yugi himself by controlling Strings using his God card, "Slifer the Sky Dragon". When Yugi prevails again and acquires Slifer, Marik attempts to have two Rare Hunters named Lumis and Umbra defeat him and Kaiba in a tag-team duel. This too fails, and as Kaiba and Yugi now have enough locator cards to enter the finals, Marik decides there is nothing else to do but face the two himself, and so he and Rishid enter the finals.
After this, the fate of the Rare Hunters is not known, although the video game Yu-Gi-Oh! Reshef of Destruction, which is an alternate-universe game set in the aftermath of Battle City, portrays them as still seeking the God cards with Bandit Keith as their new leader.
While Pegasus is explaining to Jaden how God cards can be dangerous during episode 85, a flashback features some Rare Hunters who have been punished by The Winged Dragon of Ra from episode 88 of the original series.
The Rare Hunters are shown as a part of Chazz's darkness in his heart, after he lost to Trueman and being sent to the World of Darkness. During his illusions of failing in his career as a pro and quiting it, Chazz suddenly finds himself on the street, and is challenged to an Ante Duel by a gang of Rare Hunters.
Here are the known memberships in Rare Hunters outside of an unspecified number of grunts:
- Marik Ishtar (leader): As Dark Marik, plays an Immortality-theme Deck along with torture and weakening the enemy, with The Winged Dragon of Ra as his main card.
- Odion Ishtar (second in command): Plays a Trap Monster-themed Deck, with a touch of Egyptian to it.
- Bandit Keith (anime only, brainwashed): Plays a Machine-themed Deck, with several other rare card upgrades since Duelist Kingdom from Marik.
- Seeker: Plays an Exodia-themed Deck, relying on defense and extra drawing to declare an automatic victory.
- Arkana (deceived by Marik): Plays a Dark Magician-themed Deck, with many magic and occult based cards to assist his main card.
- Strings (brainwashed): Plays a Slime-themed Deck, with Slifer the Sky Dragon as his main card.
- Lumis and Umbra: Plays Mask-themed Lockdown Decks, as well as relying on teamwork to support each other in a Tag-Team Duel.
- Unknown Rare Hunter: Plays mostly cards with high ATK in order to maintain field control until able to summon his false copy of The Winged Dragon of Ra.
- Merchant: Agent of the Rare Hunters, giving info about Battle City participants and their rare cards.
- Yami Bakura: Marik told Yami Bakura that he would give him the Millennium Items if he could defeat Yugi.
- Joey Wheeler: Controlled to duel Yugi.
- Téa Gardner: Controlled to make her a hostage so that no one could stop the duel between Jonouchi and Yugi.
The number of unnamed Rare Hunters is unknown, but here is a list of the ones shown:
Ghouls appear as opponents in Yu-Gi-Oh! BAM.