Have you ever hated a card so much you just wanted to burn every copy of it? I know staring down Naturia Beast when I was piloting Spellbooks made me audibly boo my opponent on more than one occasion. I wanted to pick up that card and throw it in the trash, light the trash can on fire, and then throw that burning trash can into a bigger fire.

I was in Michigan back then. There were a strange number of fires in trash cans to begin with, so it wasn't as crazy as it might sound.

That was just playing with cards at a table, but what if beating your most hated monsters meant fighting them in real life? Grab your sword, learn some magic, whatever - but say you had to defeat these things and live to see the next day. Could you do it?

I've spent some time thinking about how I could actually take down some of today's best boss monsters, and I'm thankful to say that I don't think I'd just be getting squished ad nauseum. Don't worry, this won't be a highlight reel of me getting beat up by every monster in the game. There's hope for me yet.

…I will say, one monster I couldn't defeat is Gimmick Puppet Egg Head. I can't even look at the card, let alone punch it in the face.

So the rules are pretty simple: the world of Duel Monsters is melded with ours in one conglomerate multiverse, and the task is singular - I win if I defeat the monster, and I have to survive the experience. I can't just burn everything down for a cheap victory. I can use whatever resources, skills, and allies I can find, but… that may be harder than you think if you were suddenly staring down big bad nightmare machines. Along the way, we'll talk about how you can beat these baddies on the table, too.

Someone has to make up a canon for this multiverse, so I'll give it my best shot.

Talk about an impenetrable fortress, am I right? There aren't many popular Extra Deck cards that can deal with Infinitrack Fortress Megaclops, minus Divine Arsenal AA-ZEUS - Sky Thunder, and, uh, yeah. It's a small list.

Competition's shifted away from Megaclops dominance in the last few months thanks to AA-Zeus' debut, but it's still a powerful card you need to respect. When your Extra Deck's completely useless, you'll have to rely on your Main Deck to take down this giant problem card. If you're properly prepared t's as easy as a Kaiju, and honestly, imagining something like Gameciel, the Sea Turtle Kaiju punching Infinitrack Fortress Megaclops illustrates just how fragile the machinery is.

On my side, I think my biggest advantage would be avoiding Infinitrack Fortress Megaclops, and yes, evasion's a tactical necessity sometimes. Megaclops can't fly, it can't cross water, and while it's definitely made to manage rugged terrain, it's basically just a giant piece of construction equipment, and show me a real-world example of heavy construction machinery that moves faster than the average vehicle. Staying alive would be the easy part.

I guess if it had the element of surprise, Megaclops could attack my house while I slept and collapse it around me, killing me instantly in my sleep. But that's not really a fair approach to this. We're talking about some sort of fight or encounter where all parties know that they're throwing down. Assuming Megaclops weighs more than 215 pounds, my gym results say I couldn't deal with it barehanded, but frankly I was never planning on punching Megaclops head on.

Worst case scenario, I can rig up my car with explosives, put a brick on the gas pedal, and hope for the best. What's Megaclops going to do, anyway? Excavate me to death? As long as I don't get squished I think I'd be ok.

Sure, physically Megaclops is pretty tough, but that's just considering frontal assaults. Do I know people involved in hacktivism? Maybe. Would not letting their friend Loukas die at the hands of an angry Tonka Truck count as hacktivism? My best bet is probably shutting it down electronically, and while they're not exactly on your local big box store shelf, EMPs aren't that uncommon in the real world.

So yeah, I think between the explosives, EMPs, hacking, or even just tricking Megaclops into a ditch and leaving it unable to right itself, there are several valid options herer. If there's a will, there's a way. I like my odds.

Win Probability: 70%

Not gonna lie, this one's gonna be rough.

In-game, the biggest weakness of Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon is that actually summoning it means you have to play a bunch of dead draw "brick" cards in what's otherwise a seamless strategy. Drawing Dark Magician is never good. But once Dragoon gets on the field, it's very, very, very hard to deal with.

Heaven forbid a good card comes at a price these days.

How do you get Dragoon off the table? Borreload Dragon and Super Polymerization are probably the easiest outs since it can negate pretty much everyrthing else. Is that annoying? You bet it is; I'm deeply aggravated whenever I see this card, even though I know it's not invincible. I mean, there's a Kaiju for that, right?

But what about fighting it in the Duel Monsters world? Big dragon rolls up to your house and challenges you in a fight to the death - then what? Considering its first effect is "kill you," its second effect is "kill you again," and its defensive ability is "Boyyyy, you thought," it's probably one of the hardest monsters to beat in actual combat. Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon has the power of dragons AND magic at its disposal, and it's freaking huge to boot. Oh, and when it kills stuff, it gains attack power?

Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon is absolute nightmare fuel. But maybe there's some wiggle room here?

Red-Eyes Black Dragon and Dark Magician are protagonist cards in the show, so it might be safe to say they're "good guys." My first thought was teaming up with some other monsters, but… I don't exactly have many ready-made allies in the Duel Monsters U. Dark Magician squares off against Blue-Eyes White Dragon all the time, but Dragoon has 3000 Attack Points and the chance to gain even more.

I feel like my best shot would be to somehow get all three Blue-Eyes White Dragon on my side, fuse them into Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon, and then… attack? Burst Stream of Destruction to the face while I give the orders from the sidelines?

I saw Yu-Gi-Oh GX, and no, I'm not selling my soul to get Super Polymerization as another win condition. I'll stick with my dragon training. But then again, I've also seen Jurassic World… and raptor training didn't go super well there, so how am I supposed to deal with this?

It's not looking good for me. In the words of my friend Chris, "Double barrel shotgun; Dragoons can only stop one bullet." Maybe that'll work.

Win Probability: <1%

Eldlich the Golden Lord is one of the most hated monsters in Yu-Gi-Oh for a hilariously simple reason - it's big, and it just keeps coming back.

That seems a bit lacking compared to what the average boss monster can do - Yu-Gi-Oh's certainly trained us to expect walls of card text - but "RECURSIVE MONSTER SMAAAAASH" is a valid strategy. Eldlich's always been playable at worst and unbeatable at best over the past year, and since the F&L List hasn't touched the golden boy, players have often had to get creative to find ways around it.

Since Golden Lord's a Zombie it can always return from the graveyard - that's the nature of Zombie monsters. But guess where it can't come back from? The banished zone. I mean, it can, but not without some major outside help. If you banish your opponent's Golden Lord(s), you'll generally win the match.

…Probably.

But yeah, the whole zombie thing presents quite a problem for me. By itself, Eldlich the Golden Lord is just a fabulous conquistador, but the rest of the Eldlich cards imply some pretty suspicious activity going on. The Golden Lord's a product of necromancy, alchemy, and a whole lot of conquering and empire building, so taking down the entire society that created it might be a problem.

So it should be as simple as banishing the Golden Lord… right? But where exactly am I going to get the powers or the machinery to do that? In our world I'd have no idea, but if I suddenly lived in the reality of Duel Monsters, banishing things to different dimensions isn't that farfetched. There are a vast number of Gates just laying around, as seen in cards like Different Dimension Gate, and depending on the combatants, it seems like portals just appear sometimes (see Dimension Wall).

So… that'd be my plan? Find a place where cross-dimensional activity is higher than average - maybe ask D.D. Warrior Lady for help - and then… make some sort of pitfall trap? If nothing else, I'm very good at running away.

I think the biggest problem comes down to Eldlich the Golden Lord having so many underlings at his disposal. It's not a "David versus Goliath" situation, it's more of a "David versus Goliath ft. hundreds of angry zombies with swords chasing me" situation. As per my own rules, I have to defeat the Golden Lord AND survive, and that last bit's a real challenge.

Win Probability: 15%

Vanity's Ruler isn't exactly the boss monster of Drytrons, but it's so easy for them to summon, and so often features into their end board, it's not not their boss monster. If that makes sense. Searchable by Cyber Angel Benten, it's very easy to put on the table; Vanity's Ruller will always be a threat that demands answers, and those answers can't involve Special Summoning.

That's a total deathblow in Yu-Gi-Oh, but in real life, it sounds more like eliminating all the fancy ways to do combat and in favor of some mano-e-mano action. I know that Vanity's Ruler probably has some sus magic going on, but its powers are more about control than any secret one-hit KO.

Strip it all down and Vanity's Ruler isn't that powerful of a monster. Sure, its ATK is impressive, but in a "real" fight, raw power isn't everything. Stopping me from doing anything "special" isn't an impediment because I don't have magical powers anyway. I'm optimistic, to say the least.

I didn't take all those knife fighting classes for nothing. That's all I'm saying. Vanity's Ruler looks pretty weak to my special attack, called "Shank". What's it going to do? Throw a rose at me? Knife to the kidneys, ya green-haired loser.

Personally I think the fight would be over pretty quick. If we assume that Vanity's Fiend and Vanity's Ruler are similar in size, then the artwork of Sinister Yoroshiro implies that they're both much smaller than Dark Ruler Ha Des. Without any ace-in-the-hole tricks to thwart my frontal assault, I think I have a good shot at stabbing a human sized monster.

Bring on the pointy things! We'll say my chances are "pretty good" for this one.

Win Probability: 85%

The best way to prevent Ultimate Conductor Tyranno from ending the game is to keep it from hitting the board. That's not really an exaggeration; Tyranno primarily works as an aggressive powerhouse, but by popping a wee little Dinosaur, your opponent can use it defensively as well.

Factor in Double Evolution Pill and Tyranno's a literal nightmare any time your opponent feels like hurting you. It's not terribly sophisticated, but it sure is powerful.

Translate that to the Duel Monsters world. Is there a Dinosaur and, uh, *checks notes* a non-Dinosaur in the general vicinity? Carry the logic over from Double Evolution Pill, and technically speaking, there's really nowhere to hide. Anything can become this powerful beast, which means anything can kill you.

Basically it's Australia.

Against a giant Dinosaur with frickin' laser beams coming out of its mouth, is it futile to even try to win? I'm not sure how helpful an aggressive strike could be against this monster. It'd just turn around and vaporize me with its Dinosaur Mouth Laser Beams™.

It's not exactly clear how big Ultimate Conductor Tyranno is, but looking at Survival's End, it's safe to say that it's roughly Godzilla-sized. We're talking "walking skycraper" here. I couldn't even beat up a regular skyscraper or arguably a baby-sized lizard, let alone those two things put together.

What in the actual heck am I supposed to do against this thing? There isn't a Dinosaur version of Eradicating Aerosol, and I don't carry a rail gun in my back pocket. If the goal was only survival, I could just stay out of Lost World and hopefully never run into Ultimate Conductor Tyranno in the first plce. But even planning an ambush in its home wouldn't work out very well for me.

That being said… it is just a giant Dinosaur. Not that I have a giant asteroid hanging out, but… maybe there's hope? It's probably not the smartest creature out there, so I can't say I'm completely up the creek on this one. Still, I might end up on the menu before I can find a way to make it go extinct. Let's say…

Win Probability: 5%

True King of All Calamities is hard enough to take down when you're just flopping cardboard. With a blanket negation stems from a Quick Effect, there isn't much you can do against Calamities except keep it off the board. Some of the best options are Forbidden Droplet, Super Polymerization, Forbidden Chalice, any given Kaiju, or my personal favorite, just suffering for the turn and killing it off.

You may not be able to do much on your turn, but Calamities will die to a Raigeki. Then… just hope you don't die on the next turn, I guess?

In a real-life battle, you might think this one's an instant loss. What exactly am I going to do against a giant monster that can, if we're keeping along with its effect, shut down every idea and effect I could muster? Also… it's huge. I can't even reach high enough to punch it in the throat.

I have one thing going for me - everyone hates True King of All Calamities. I'm not just talking about every duelist that hates True King - I mean that most monsters hate True King as well, and they really don't like this guy.

Lore-wise, Luster Pendulum, the Dracoslayer spent its entire life leveling up to Master Peace, the True Dracoslaying King and gathering allies along the way for the ultimate showdown with Calamities, so I probably wouldn't have to do this one alone. Metalfoes, Crystrons, Zoodiacs, Dinomists, Igknights, and Majespecters are Master Peace's allies that we know of, oh, and how could I forget Mariamne, the True Dracophoenix?

Take a look at True Draco Apocalypse - that's Master Peace and Metaltron XII, the True Dracombatant taking down Calamities. Literally everyone and their mother will do everything in their power to stop it.

All I'd have to do is call up Master Peace and be like "Yoooooo, guess who's back? Yeah, bring the squad, it's go time." I'm not sure how much I'd actually help in the fight, considering the sheer power on both sides of the field, but whether I get my throat punch in or not, this one's in the bag regardless.

It's not a cop out to phone a friend on this one - if all the monsters want to survive, it'll be Calamities versus the world. I don't see how we don't walk away from this one victorious. If we're breaching the Duel Monsters world with ours, then yes, I'm sure everyone would come in to help me fight Calamities.

Lastly, the good ol' ban hammer may be strong enough to defeat Calamities on its own. *checks watch* Any second now.

Win Probability: >99%

Even Pretend Fighting Wears Me Out

I covered some of the most relevant boss monsters from today's current metagames, but if we looked in-depth at every monster, I bet you'd be surprised what intricate battle plans you'd need to defeat them.

Let me know if there are any boss monsters you think I could take. I thought about fighting Mokey Mokey, but I'm not sure I could win there. It certainly has some tricks up its sleeve, especially when they start multiplying. Plus I don't want to get Mokey Mokey Smackdown-ed!

Just remember: beat your opponents before they beat you.

-Loukas Peterson