Spell Canceller – An Old School YuGiOh Card Review

One of the cooler ultra rare YuGiOh cards from Magician’s Force was a card called Spell Canceller. This level 5 monster prevents the activation of Spell cards and negates the effects of any Spell cards already in play. Basically, he’s an Imperial Order – a card banned in tournament play for much of its existence – on a level 5 monster with below average attack and defense stats.

Later reprinted in Dark Revelation Volume 1, Spell Canceller was always an interesting card. This Machine monster has found its way into many sideboards over the years. Spell Canceller and Jinzo have also teamed up in control decks. In that deck, Jinzo will shut down trap cards, and Spell Canceller will shut out Spell cards. It’s a strategy that has continued all the way into 2019.

Perhaps the most competitive use of Spell Canceller in Yu-Gi-Oh today is in the retro Goat Format. A deck called Spell Canceller Aggro has been of particular interest in top level Goat competition. In fact, this deck archetype existed historically, and first appeared at the Shonen Jump Championship at Houston in 2005, known as “The Answer” deck piloted by Nate Neidelbeck.

The deck that has run Spell Canceller the most in recent years is Burning Abyss. Starting in 2005, Burning Abyss sideboards would run two or three copies as a way to shut down match-ups that relied heavily on spell cards – and there are many of them. While Burning Abyss has faded from the competitive spotlight, Spell Canceller still finds itself in a lot of sideboards.

Spell Canceller VS Pendulum Monsters

The other thing that’s made Spell Canceller more popular in recent years is the invention of Pendulum Monsters. In fact, it was Pendulum Monsters being introduced to the game that created a huge new demand for Spell Canceller. After all, Pendulum Monsters are treated as Spell Cards when placed in Pendulum Zones, and Spell Canceller not only negates the effects of Pendulum Monsters already there, but new ones can’t be played, either. Spell Canceller essentially makes Pendulum monster decks unplayable.

As a level 5 monster with only 1800 ATK and 1600 DEF, he doesn’t really seem worth Tributing a monster to summon. But, he certainly is, since he can shut down entire decks. Also, with Synchro, XYZ, and Link Monsters in play today, if he’s no longer needed, it’s easy to use him as material for another monster.

Spell Canceller in Thunder Dragon Decks?

In mid-2019, Spell Canceller returned to sideboards in the Danger! Thunder Dragons archetype. These included Top 8 lists of a Guardragon build and Crusadia build of the deck. After banned and restricted lists upgrades gutted those decks, Spell Canceler continued to see play as a one-of in some Infernoid deck lists like this one and this Lunalight Orcust deck.

Spell Canceller is a great example of a monster from many years back that still sees play after over a decade of existence. He’s becoming a pretty rare card, too, and it’s hard to say if he’s going to see a reprint. This is definitely an old-school Yu-Gi-Oh card that you want to keep an eye out for, because you never know when it will see play once again.

Amelia Desertsong is a former content marketing specialist turned essayist and creative nonfiction author. She writes articles on many niche hobbies and obscure curiosities, pretty much whatever tickles her fancy.
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