In Yu-Gi-Oh God Cards posses almost "un-godly" power, but are The God Cards stronger than Number Cards and are they and will they always be the most powerful cards in Yu-Gi-Oh.
In terms of the anime, the God Cards have been made weaker due to new mechanics added to the game. At the end of the original series, Yugi was able to defeat all 3 at once. I should also point out that Exodia under the rules of the anime, if assembled will win even if the opponent has 2 of Obelisk and Slifer, one of Ra and has infinite hand in play. Also, Exodia Necross is about as strong as a god card as well.
Also in the anime, at the times where a good guy had the God Cards and could use them to defeat an arch enemy, the God Cards had always been stolen. In the Orichalcos Arc, they were stolen and only come back at the very end while Yami Bakura's "Shadow Game" was not what we was expecting as the final fight between him and Atem
However, in terms of the real life game, the first versions of the cards are illegal and can not be played. Legal versions have been released however are still banned from all sanctioned tournaments. One can duel with the legal god cards, however, most players will have strict conditions and I very much doubt that even if a player allowed to have all 3, they won't be allowed Horakhty.
That being said they can be stopped, none of them can be special summoned so you can aim to stop the tributes.
- Slither's attack depends on the number of cards in a users hand, which means it can be 0 if the hand is empty, so you just need a monster with at least 2001 ATK to kill it.
- Obelisk can destroy all monsters but requires tributes of a set ATK and DEF of 4k, which means it can be killed by monsters like Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon.
- Ra's power comes from the user's life points so it can be destroyed if the user is low on them or a direct attack on the user if they use Ra's full power will win.
Also each of the God Cards have been defeated in the anime despite strategies being implemented to make them all powerful. The means to defeat them was created with pre-GX, 5Ds and Zexal cards in mind so they can probably be defeated much more easily now. If the God Cards were to make an appearance within an anime again and becomes all powerful, they will be used a tributes for new stronger versions (kinda like Horakhty). However, given predictable plot they can still be defeated, and by understanding a character's strategy these can be done in real life.
In Yu-Gi-Oh or Dual Monsters in general, there is no such thing as a card always being powerful. Each card is strong but has it's weaknesses and can be defeated with a proper strategy. Anything that is "all powerful" in the anime will never be used in sanctioned tournaments, and most players will disallow opponents to use them as well, especially if one is playing with a tournament rule deck.
In the anime, it is implied that the god cards are the strongest creatures in the game because their effects are over the top strong and they have limitless potential in terms of ATK power. I will explain how and why this is the case.
SLIFER THE SKY DRAGON:
Slifer gains 1000 ATK and DEF multiplied by the numbers of cards the controller holds in his hands. Meaning that as long as you find a way to add more cards in your hand there is no limit to how strong slifer can get. Yes I know that the limit is the number of cards the player has in his deck, but there are ways to steal cards from your opponent and add them to your hand, implying that as long as you find ways to add more cards in your hand, slifer's attack points can exceed the limit that are set from the number of cards that you have in your deck). Depending on the position that a monster is summoned or set on the opponent's side of the field, SLifer has the ability to lower that monster's ATK or DEF and then if the monster's ATK or DEF reaches 0, it is automatically destroyed. Meaning that your opponent will be unable to gather any monsters to do anything since anything that would be summoned would probably die before it could be used for the summon of a stronger monsters. And even if you do protect your monsters and manage to summon something stronger, that monster will also get weakened by the effect of slifer. Making it almost impossible to summon a monster that will be powerful enough to fight slifer.
OBELISK THE TORMENTOR:
Obelisk has 2 abilities that where shown throughout the series. (1): Tribute 2 monsters and destroy all monsters your opponent controls with ATK equal or less to Obelisk, then attack all opponents in the game. If they still control a monster, attack them directly. This effect was used when Kaiba and Atem dueled for the first time against Lumis and Umbra. Kaiba used this ability to destroy the monsters that Lumis and Ubra had set on the field, after which he proceeded to attack both players directly, implying that Obelisk can attack 2 players at once when this ability is activated. Umbra tried to defend with mirror force, however traps don't work on Obelisk which resulted in the continuation of the attack anyway. This effect was also used in the duel between Kaiba and Atem. However, since Slifer was stronger than Obelisk at that moment, Kaiba was unable to destroy Slifer with this ability, but he could still declare a direct attack on Atem, which resulted in Atem using Kuriboh to protect his life points from the battle damage.
(2): Tribute 2 monsters so Obelisk could gain infinite ATK. When this effect is used, Obelisk's body becomes crimson pinks, implying that the god is charging itself with infinite power. Surprisingly, this effect was actually used during the duel between Kaiba and the Duel robot, back when Kaiba wanted to test the power of Obelisk after he received the card from Ishizu. Even though Obelisk doesn't turn crimson red (probably because the animators came up with that idea later on in the series) the scientist who where spectating the duel with Mokuba, point out that the attack counter of Obelisk is rising way too fast, implying that Obelisk's attack power was becoming infinite. This effect was also used when Atem dueled against Yami Maryk.
THE WINGED DRAGON OF RA
1: This card gains ATK equal to the combined ATK points of the monsters tributed for it' summon and DEF equal to the combined DEF points of the monsters tributed for it's summon. Meaning that this card doesn't have a limit of how strong it could be in terms of ATK, it all depends on the monsters you tribute for it.Meaning that if you tribute a monster with infinite ATK,Ra will have infinite ATK.
2: You can tribute any number of monsters you control to add their ATK points to RA. This is the second option you have to give Ra ATK power. Meaning that if you have a way to constantly spam monsters on the field you can increase RA's ATK power as much as you want.
3: You can pay all your life points but 1 to increase Ra's ATK power equal to the ammount of life points you paid.
4: Phoenix mode. You can make this card unaffected by the effect of other cards, even by the effect of other gods. Then, you can pay 1000 life points to destroy all monsters on your opponent's side of the field. After this effect resolves, phoenix mode is deactivated. It is not stated whether this effect can be activated again or if it's a once per turn ability.
5: If this card is revived from the graveyard, it can declare an attack, even if there are cards that prevent it from doing so. Then this turn, this card can attack all monsters on your opponent's side of the field.
COMMON EFFECTS THAT ALL GOD CARDS SHARE
If this card is special summoned from the graveyard, it will return to the graveyard at the end of the turn.
When they are brought from the graveyard, they can redirect and absorb the attacks or effects of the opponent's monsters into themselves.
Examples of this happening is during the duel between Atem and Kaiba, when Atem attacks Kaiba's monsters and Kaiba revives Obelisk, which automatically redirects the attack towards Obelisk. And in the duel between Atem and Yami Maryk, when Maryk tries to use Phoenix mode to destroy all monsters on Atem's side of the field, Atem revives Slifer the sky Dragon, which protects Obelisk and all monsters on the field from Ra's ability, after which it get's destroyed.
Traps cannot directly affect gods (Look for a detailed info in weaknesses). Spells work for 1 turn. Unaffected by monster effects, unless it's a god.
Tho never shown in the anime, the summon of a god could not be negated.
(For more detailed explanation about that part, read about it in the weaknesses)
Monster effects don't work unless they are a god card as well and they work only for 1 turn, as shown between the fight against Kaiba and Atem, when Kaiba summoned Obelisk, and Slifer lowered it's ATK for only 1 turn. If a god destroys another god with it's effect, that god won't return. As it was shown when Ra destroyed Slifer during the duel between Maryk and Atem. And during the ceremonial battle, when the effect of slifer was used to destroy all 3 god cards on the field.
It is important to note that if Slifer had lower atk than Obelisk, Kaiba would've been able to destroy slifer with Obelisk's first effect during his duel with Atem.
Ra is the only god that is unaffected by all cards, including the other two gods, while it is in it's Phoenix Mode.
Spells are said to have effect on gods for only 1 turn, however if a god is destroyed by a spell, they do not return on the field, as shown in the final face off between Atem and Maryk, when Atem used the Ragnarok spell to destroy the winged dragon of Ra. I also want to add that during the same duel, Atem had the opportunity to tribute RA with the effect of the spell card Soul Taker. Whether this would've succeeded was never shown because Atem decided to tribute the Egyptian god slime instead of Ra, to activate the ability of Obelisk to make it's ATK infinite. However if we stick to the knowledge that spells affect gods for 1 turn, then there is no reason why Soul Taker wouldn't have worked on Ra.
The anime doesn't give a very good explanation as to why some trap cards don't work on the god cards but others do. Soo I will try my best to break it down for you guys. I wanna add how some people pointed out that trap cards Magic Cylinder and Spellbinding Circle worked on Slifer the Sky Dragon in the anime. I wish to point out that in the anime, both cards where spell cards, which is the reason they worked in the anime. After all one is a Spellbinding circle and the other is a MAGIC cylinder soo I guess it made more sense for these cards to be spells in the anime. However in the official TCG and OCG version of the game, these cards are traps.
Let's talk about the trap cards which where used throughout the series against the gods and why some worked while others didn't. The traps I will be talking about are:
Mirror force, Blast held by a tribute, Ground Erosion, Magnet Force and Pyramid of light.
First off is *Mirror Force** When an opponent's monster declares an attack: Destroy all Attack Position monsters your opponent controls.
Meaning that this is used by the player to directly affect the opponent's monsters. Traps don't work directly on the gods themselves, which is why Obelisk was not destroyed when Mirror Force was used against it. Now keep this in mind because it is very important for you to be able to understand this next part.
Blast Held by a Tribute is a trap that also destroys monsters. However in the anime it works a bit differently. In the anime, it was shown during a vision that Ishizu Ishtar had,that during her duel against Kaiba, Obelisk was gonna be destroyed if Kaiba declared an attack, die to the Blast Held by a Tribute trap. To explain why that was going to happen, lets start by reviewing the anime effect of the card. It goes as follows:
Plant a bomb in one monster on the field. A monster that was Summoned using that monster as a Tribute is destroyed the moment it attacks. Its ATK is dealt as damage to its player
Soo in other words, if the trap forces the game itself to do something, it will work. Because even tho traps don't work on gods, the rules of the game do.
Kaiba tributed Ishizu's monsters with Soul Exchange, not knowing that one of those monsters was infected with the effect of the trap. The part where it states that A monster that was Summoned using the infected monster as a Tribute is destroyed the moment it attacks implies that the game must destroy the monster the moment it attacks, since the trap has resolved it's own part of the effect. Soo Obelisk was not gonna be destroyed directly by the trap itself, but by the effect of the trap which forces THE GAME to destroy obelisk the moment he attacks.
Another example of a trap that works indirectly on a god card. This happened during the ceremonial duel between Yugi and Atem, when Yugi used Ground Erosion to lower the attack of Obelisk. Even though Atem stated that traps don't work on god cards, Yugi implied that it was not working on obelisk, but on the field he was standing on.
The effect goes as follows:
Select 1 Monster Card Zone on your opponent's side of the field that is currently used by a Monster Card. You can send this face-up card to the Graveyard to negate the effect of the monster in the selected Monster Card Zone and decrease its ATK by the number of your Standby Phases this card has been face-up on the field x 500. You can see here that this card, affects the field on which the gods are standing on. The field is part of the game, and the gods are bound to the rules of the game. Soo Yugi was using the field, against the gods.
Now let's talk about the effect of Magnet Force
Until the End Phase, if any of your face-up Rock or Machine-Type monsters are targeted by an opponent's card effect, switch the target(s) to an appropriate monster(s) your opponent controls.
Each time slifer would use it's effect on any of Yugi's magnet warriros, Yugi would use this card to switch the target back to one of the gods. This trap was not doing anything directly to the gods themselves, it simply redirected their effects towards themselves, and since the only monster type that can use it's effects on a god, is another god, Yugi successfully redirected slifer's effect to hit itself and the other gods.
And last but not least, Pyramid of Light
All God Cards on the field are removed from play.
Another example of a card that forces the game to work for it.
Bonus information : Since back when this card came out for the OCG/TCG, the gods where not released with official effects for legal play, KONAMI created a different effect for this trap. Which focuses on the SPHINX archetype that Anubis used.
If this face-up card is removed from your side of the field, destroy "Andro Sphinx" and "Sphinx Teleia" on your side of the field and remove them from play.
This allows the effect of Theinen the Great Sphinx to summon itself once both Andro and Teleia are destroyed at the same time.
Soo in short, Traps don't work on gods, unless they force the game itself to do something on those gods.
Speaking of indirect ways to deal with the gods.While they are not on the field, any card can be used to get rid of them. For example, if you play Soul release to remove a god in the grave from the game, that god won't return back in the grave at the end of the turn. While they are in the hand or deck, any card can discard or send them to the grave or remove them out of the game.
You can also steal them with card effects. May Valentine used the effect of her Amazoness Chain Master, to take the winged dragon of Ra from Maryk's deck, while Kaiba on the other hand, used Lullaby of Obedience to take Slifer the Sky dragon from Atem's deck. And right after that, Atem used Card exchange to take Slifer back from Kaiba's hand.
As long as you prevent your opponent from gathering monsters that he can tribute for a god, deny him the ability to tribute or special summon a god, or steal the god card with a card effect, a player will not have to worry about playing against these cards.
You can also use cards like Kaiju to tribute an egyptian god on your opponent's side of the field. This will work because the summoning condition requires you to tribute an opponent's monster. The gods do not have an effect that protects them from being tributed.
Fun fact - Maryk used **Lava Golem* in his deck. Tho he never managed to used it to tribute any god cards on his opponent's side of the field.
The only weakness that was never confirmed in the anime was, if you can negate the summon of a god card with cards like Solemn Judgment. We came to the conclusion that all cards can work on gods as long as the gods are not on the field. The rules of the game state that negating the summon of a monster, means that that monster never entered the field. So this implies that a card like Solemn Judgment SHOULD work on a god. However when Konami created the cards for official play, an effect was revealed in which when one is Normal Summoned, cards and effects cannot be activated. Soo we can assume that the god cards in the anime, had a similar effect that prevented the opponent from negating their summon, but cards could still be activated in response to their summon. As shown when Kaiba summoned Obelisk and Slifer's effect still activated.
I can only think of 2 moments where a god has been stopped from being summoned. One was when Kaiba tried to summon Obelisk against Atem and was stopped with Lightforce Sword. However this didn't negate the summon of the card, it simply removed it before it could be played. The other example is when Atem tried to bring back Slifer the sky dragon with monster reborn during the ceremonial battle against Yugi, however Yugi negated the effect of monster reborn with the Gold Sarcophagus. And since the effect of monster reborn was negated, slifer remained in the graveyard.
Other effective ways to prevent your opponent from playing with the god cards are to actually steal them. (Tho I don't recommend you do this in the real world because it's a felony and you can get in trouble) Examples of this happening was when Raphael, Alister and Valon decided to steal the cards directly from the hands of Solomon Mutou, so that Atem would not be able to use them in any of his duels. Atem managed to find and retrieved those cards after he defeated Dartz in a duel.
Weevil Underwood and REx Raptor also decided to steal the cards, so they sneak inside Yugi's house and stole the cards along with the millennium items that Yugi managed to gather throughout the series. Thanks to Yami Bakura tho, Yugi got those back.
BONUS INFORMATION FOR THE TCG/OCG PLAYERS
Konami made sure to nerf the effects of the god cards when they created them to be legally played in the TCG and OCG version of the game. And now their effects are like this.
SLIFER THE SKY DRAGON
Requires 3 Tributes to Normal Summon (cannot be Normal Set). This card's Normal Summon cannot be negated. When Normal Summoned, cards and effects cannot be activated. Once per turn, during the End Phase, if this card was Special Summoned: Send it to the GY. Gains 1000 ATK and DEF for each card in your hand. If a monster(s) is Normal or Special Summoned to your opponent's field in Attack Position: That monster(s) loses 2000 ATK, then if its ATK has been reduced to 0 as a result, destroy it.
OBELISK THE TORMENTOR
Requires 3 Tributes to Normal Summon (cannot be Normal Set). This card's Normal Summon cannot be negated. When Normal Summoned, cards and effects cannot be activated. Cannot be targeted by Spells, Traps, or card effects. Once per turn, during the End Phase, if this card was Special Summoned: Send it to the Graveyard. You can Tribute 2 monsters; destroy all monsters your opponent controls. This card cannot declare an attack the turn this effect is activated.
and finally the one konami made sure to shit the most on.
THE WINGED DRAGON OF RA
Cannot be Special Summoned. Requires 3 Tributes to Normal Summon (cannot be Normal Set). This card's Normal Summon cannot be negated. When Normal Summoned, other cards and effects cannot be activated. When this card is Normal Summoned: You can pay LP so that you only have 100 left; this card gains ATK and DEF equal to the amount of LP paid. You can pay 1000 LP, then target 1 monster on the field; destroy that target.
Obelisk the tormentor is the only one out of the 3, that has protection against targeting. While The winged dragon of ra is the only one out of the 3 that cannot be special summoned. In time, Konami realized that no one would play Ra, so they made 2 additional versions of that card so that Ra would be more playable. Those 2 different versions are the Sphere mode and Phoenix mode.
The Winged Dragon of Ra - Sphere Mode
Cannot be Special Summoned. Requires 3 Tributes from either side of the field to Normal Summon to that side of the field (cannot be Normal Set), then shift control to this card's owner during the End Phase of the next turn. Cannot attack. Your opponent cannot target this card for attacks or by card effects. You can Tribute this card; Special Summon 1 "The Winged Dragon of Ra" from your hand or Deck, ignoring its Summoning conditions, and if you do, its ATK/DEF become 4000.
The Winged Dragon of Ra - Immortal Phoenix
Cannot be Normal Summoned/Set. Must be Special Summoned by its own effect. If "The Winged Dragon of Ra" is sent from the field to your GY while this card is in your GY: Special Summon this card. Cards and effects cannot be activated in response to this effect's activation. This card is unaffected by other cards' effects. You can pay 1000 LP; send 1 monster on the field to the GY. Once per turn, during the End Phase: Send this card to the GY, and if you do, Special Summon 1 "The Winged Dragon of Ra - Sphere Mode" from your hand, Deck, or GY, ignoring its Summoning conditions.
So the god cards are not only weak in their TCG and OCG versions, they could easily lose to most, if not all of the number cards. Simply because their effects are not as powerful as their anime counterpart, and Obelisk is the only one from the 3 that has a protection effect. (excluding the Sphere and Phoenix modes of RA)
And I almost forgot the mention about the existence of Holactie the Creator of Light. Which in the time I am writing this answer, it is still only playable in the OCG.
Holactie the Creator of Light
Cannot be Normal Summoned/Set. Must be Special Summoned (from your hand) by Tributing 3 monsters whose original names are "Slifer the Sky Dragon", "Obelisk the Tormentor", and "The Winged Dragon of Ra". This card's Special Summon cannot be negated. The player that Special Summons this card wins the Duel.
If you summon this, it won't matter what Number your opponent has on the field.
Anyway,with all of the information I presented to you, I hope that you all have a better understanding as to why the god cards where considered to be the strongest cards in the game (at least in the anime) and are more than capable of handling each and every one of the Number monsters. Or in other words, from where I look at it, the gods are stronger than any of the number monsters.
I hope that my answer was helpful and fun to read. I am sorry that it was this long but I felt that it would be better if I didn't miss any details. With all of the information I presented, people would have a better understanding as to how strong those cards are in the anime. I did this because most people only know these cards and their effects in the TCG and OCG version of the game. I also edited this comment multiple times because I remembered about many little details I forgot to mention and figured out many things about the way traps work along the way of writing this. Also re-reading the comment, I rearranged the information so it would not sound repetitive at some places.
Aren't you overestimating the God Cards at this point? The Egyptian Gods were created before concepts of Synchro, Contact Fusion, or XYZ were even thought of. There's a Number card that can declare that you win the duel after three turns. http://yugioh.wikia.com/wiki/Number_88:_Gimmick_Puppet_of_Leo I mean doesn't the Seal of Orichalcos basically make the gods pointless? I don't know much about Zexal, but I do know that if you know they're going to be trying for the summoning of an Eygptian god, you should make all efforts to destroy their field and block their monster zones, so they cannot tribute. Dark hole, card destruction, an Ojama deck can work nicely.
This question is just silly like the previous person there is no comparison between the God Cards being stronger than the other types of cards that came out later on, each card has it's strengths and weaknesses...
In fact there is a God card that is like Exodia as well...
This card states
Cannot be Normal Summoned/Set. Must be Special Summoned (from your hand) by Tributing 3 monsters whose original names are "Slifer the Sky Dragon", "Obelisk the Tormentor", and "The Winged Dragon of Ra", and cannot be Special Summoned by other ways. This card's Special Summon cannot be negated. The player that Special Summons this card wins the Duel.
As far as being stronger / less powerful than XYZ / Synchro....
Yes and No.
Of course they are more powerful than the weaker cards in those types, but the power of the god cards / abilities are usually actually not that good.
In current Meta nobody even uses the God Cards.
I will have to disagree with the statement that the Egyptian God cards are the most powerful. If you had Obelisk the Tormentor and I had Number C39: Utopia Ray and I had 1000 or less life points, I could use all three overlaying units to bring Utopia Ray's attack points up to 4000 and at the same time direct the attack at Obelisk, which, with the special effect of Utopia Ray, will reduce Obelisk's attack points down to 1000, thus Obelisk would be done for. Look up Number C39: Utopia Ray and you will see why Utopia Ray's special effect raises its own attack while at the same time reduces the attack points of the monster it attacks.