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card review Exodia the Forbidden One: How to beat Exodia Decks (Ignoring ban list)

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Card Review
Exodia the Forbidden One: click to enlarge
Exodia the Forbidden One

Card text:

An automatic victory can be declared by the player whose hand contains this card together with the Left Leg/Right Leg/Left Arm/Right Arm of the Forbidden One.

  • Number: LOB-124
  • Rarity: Ultra Rare
  • Card Type: Monster / Effect
  • Monster Type: Spellcaster
  • Attack Points: 1000
  • Defense Points: 1000
  • Level / Rank: 3
  • Attribute: Dark
  • Password: 33396948
SP = Short Print (Common);
SSP = Super Short Print (Common);
Exodia the Forbidden One
How to beat Exodia Decks (Ignoring ban list)

written by arkana
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This is a little different than a normal Card Review. I feel like since people are more than knowledgeable on Exodia, I would rather make a guide to him. So if your friend has an Exodia deck that's giving you trouble, here's some tips and pointers. And if you're looking to build a crazy Exodia deck, this will also help.

Please note that some cards mentioned are either restricted or banned. This is a guide on highly competitive play ignoring the ban list. It talks about the most powerful strategies, from draw out to control decks. If you're looking for a guide based on tournament play, this may provide ideas for you, but many cards mentioned here will not be allowed. Now let's get into it.

5 Cards to Beat the 5 Pieces:
Finite Cards
Card Destruction
Cyber Jar
Morphing Jar
Needle Worm

These are just cards that DESTROY Exodia. Since most Exodia decks will try to get the set to the hand, anything that can mill or discard your opponent is effective. More elaborate counters will be mentioned later on.

Exodia has always been one of the best ways to win the game. It's simple: get all 5 pieces and win. But how do you beat them before they beat you? We're going to go through some ways to beat Exodia decks, and what you can expect to see paired up with him, as well as more extensive scenario talk about strategizing against some of the most powerful strategies to get all 5 legendary pieces.

The top counter picks:

1. Finite Cards

Finite Cards prevents your opponent from having more than 3 cards in their hand when their turn ends, so the only way they can win is to have 3 or less at the start of their turn, and manage to top deck a drawing card, and use that to draw out their deck until they acquire all 5 before ending their turn. If they can't, they have to discard anything they're holding, so it makes it nearly impossible to complete Exodia.

2. Card Destruction

Card Destruction sounds like a good card at first to an Exodia deck, but the discarding is more harmful than helpful. This card makes both players discard their hands and draw the same number of cards. So if your opponent had any Exodia pieces in their hand, they go to the grave. This is very effective at getting rid of any pieces they've gathered, and can help you dig deeper into your deck at the same time.

3. Cyber Jar

Cyber Jar. Good ol' Cyber Jar. This card is still banned 15 years later. And with good reason. It's mean. It's evil. And it's gonna ruin someone's day. It's a Flip monster, that as soon as it flips, destroys the whole field. Not sounding like a good Exodia counter just yet though? Wait. Cuz after he does that, he makes both players skim the top 5 cards of their decks, and summon all the low levels. Meaning if they pick up Exodia pieces, they get summoned. Which is like, where you don't want them at. Then you get to keep all the other lovely cards you draw and use them to your heart's content. And the Exodia pieces? Well... It's like having a bunch of workers, good workers, but they're on a desert island. With no boat. No food. And no way to do much of anything.

4. Morphing Jar

Morphing Jar is another Jar to be forever banned. But of course, it's well earned, and while he's never gonna see play in tournaments, cuz let's face it, drawing 5 cards, is like, too insane, he's definitely a great option. This guy is gonna force your opponent to discard their hand to get those 5 cards. And while it's possible they have all 5 just sitting on top of their deck in a row, we can be pretty sure they don't. Instead, whatever pieces they had are gone, and you discard your hand too, and dig down 5 cards into your deck. Which is always nice.

5. Needle Worm

Needle Worm isn't the most efficient way to kill Exodia. But it actually works pretty well. It's not the norm. Everything usually involves discarding your opponent's hand or something. Needle Worm doesn't touch the hand. He goes for the deck. This card set a new way to win in the game, but rather than a pure millout, all you need to do is hit gold on it. When he flips, he mills out 5 cards from your opponent's deck. That's not a bad amount. What's worse is when you play these with a flip lock strategy, since Exodia decks won't attack you generally, you can use 3 Needle Worms, use cards like Penguin Soldier or Dark Cat with White Tail , and keep returning them to the hand. Also using cards like Book of Eclipse , Book of Moon , and Book of Taiyou to shuffle flip is gonna amplify it, and with 3, that's 15 cards a turn (more if you flicker them) off your opponent's deck, which if they're running Exodia, is not a large one. They've got 3 turns at a full deck with no support on your side. Even less later on and everything's over.

Sadly, the options are rather limited in tournament play, as Finite Cards I believe is the only card on this list to not be banned, but in a game that tosses the ban list aside, an Exodia deck generally works off of one of 2 strategies.

A. Draw Out
If done properly, draw out Exodia decks will literally be unstoppable. But if you're fighting against an imperfect draw out deck, these tips may still help. If it's a turn 1 win deck, Finite Cards is really your only option, and you have to have it in your opening hand. And you have to go first.

B. Lock down and Force search
Many decks won't be draw out. I myself run a combination of these two. Lock down will keep your cards from doing anything. So they can just wait it out patiently until they get all 5 pieces. Cards you'll see in these strategies include:
- Spatial Collapse
- Gravity Bind
- Messenger of Peace
- Negate Attack
- Mirror Force
- Waboku (Many text changes have happened to this card. In "Card is as Card reads", this can vary in uses)
- Thunder of Ruler
- Threatening Roar
- Xing Zhen Hu
- Ground Collapse
- Unification
- Gozen Match
- Rivalry of Warlords
- Stumbling
- Chain Energy
- Toll
- Begone, Knave!
- Ordeal of a Traveler
- The Dark Door
- Imperial Custom
- Divine Wrath
- Magic Jammer
- Solemn Warning
- Seven Tools of the Bandit

Links to all cards have been added for convenience.

You'll be unable to attack. You may also be unable to use effects, or even play cards at all. These strategies are very frustrating to find a way through. But generally, the whole show is run by Spells and Traps. So, cards like Jinzo and Spell Canceller walk all over these decks, as well as dropping a Royal Decree can do about the same. If you're able to, another way is to drop a bomb to wipe them out, but generally, these decks cover their bases. But cards like Harpie's Feather Duster (Stairway to the Destined Duel - GBA) , Giant Trunade , Hey, Trunade!, and Heavy Storm will be an instant win if they don't get countered.

The final strategy is Force Search. This is the most famous, and everything involved in it is banned. Two cards came out at the beginning of the game: Sangan and Witch of the Black Forest. They were used for one purpose: Get Exodia. And it works. Too well.

*Old text does not limit the effect to once per turn. In "Card is as Card reads", this will make a difference. Otherwise, if you don't allow old text to work, it doesn't apply.
The problem is, destroying these cards in any way will let them add a piece. These decks generally want you to attack them. They run control, but choose when to use it, and when to let you swing. The idea is, play a Sangan or Witch, they get destroyed, I get a piece. Monster Reborn , Call of the Haunted , or Premature Burial . Bring them back. Then they die again. So how do you beat it? Well, you DON'T want to destroy the field. Let them stay, or you lose. Options are bomb their hand and ride it out, or a more reliable method is Chaos Sorcerer or Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning . Remove your opponent's Sangan and Witches from the game. Don't attack if they have monsters. That's how they'll win. You don't want to destroy them with card effects either. And pray to God they don't play Catapult Turtle (old text, and old-text Sangan/Witch would be required (only works if you're playing "Card is as Card reads")) and just sacrifice their monsters, especially if they open the gate and use Ultimate Offering so they can just play monster after monster, sacrifice and sacrifice, and instantly search for as many Exodia pieces as they like.

So that's my methods I've thought of. What about you? Got any ideas I didn't mention that you wanna share? Maybe you run a different type of Exodia deck not mentioned here? Let me know, I'd love to hear about it!

Cards not mentioned that serve Exodia well:
Magical Mallet
Pot of Greed
Reload (Kinda)
Guarded Treasure
Gold Sarcophagus
Different Dimension Capsule (Though risky)

Honorable Mentions to Counter Exodia:
Morphing Jar #2
Chain Destruction
Banisher of the Radiance (For pesky Sangans and Witches)
Ocean Dragon Lord - Neo-Daedalus


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