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Pojo's Yu-Gi-Oh! Card of the Day
Daily Since 2002!

Skill Drain

Pay 1000 Life Points. The effects of all face-up Effect Monsters are negated.

Card Ratings

Advanced: 4.05 

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale
1 is Horrible. 3 is Average. 5 is the highest rating.

Date Reviewed:
Dec. 9, 2014

Back to the main COTD Page



Skill Drain


This card has always been really nasty, but, before, it lacked s deck with (a) plenty of monsters that benefit from their effects being negated and (b) an engine with searchers to make it consistent.  I, of course, have plenty of fun memories using this card with Fire Kings, Fire/Ice Hand and other anti-meta decks, but now Qliphort is the official home of this deck as it raises their monsters to 2400-2800 beat-sticks, whilst negating the opponent's monster effects.  If you've seen how devastating Breakthrough Skill could be, MST aside, imagine that effect applied for the mid to long term in the duel.


Qliphort decks need 3.  In general, every player should own a playset of this card because you never know when you might want it for a deck.  I suspect it will be limited to 1 (in order to make Towers playable) and because it's quite a immensely impactful floodgate.  Overall, it's a near-flawless card, that of course, is niche dependent.



Skill Drain

This card has always been an amazing card in EVERY format its ever been in. A chainable way to damage your opponents effects and have it continue to sit on the board has always been amazing. I've always wanted to see this card get hit on the ban list since it became an amazing card during the Malefic format. This cards current strength comes from its synergy with Qliphort. All qliphorts except disk resolve outside of the field so Skill Drain doesn't hurt you. Overall, one of the most amazing trap cards in the game of Yugioh to ever exist.

Advanced 4/5


Hello Pojo Fans,
Nearing the end of 2014 Pojo Fans, but we've still got a lot of cards to review, as well as the Top 10 Cards of 2014 coming soon.
Skill Drain has been around for quite a while and still retains importance in both the main and side deck. Simple to to use: Pay your 1000 Life Points, now everything on the field is essentially a Normal monster. Continuous Effects aren't recognized while Skill Drain is on the field, chain it to activation of effects so your opponent has to pay the cost but loses out, or use it to drop the ATK of certain monsters. It can be used offensively to negate effects that would drop your monsters ATK like the Qliphort archetype or to prevent monsters from changing into DEF like Goblin Attack Force.
This card is seeing main deck play in Yang Zings. Their effects activate in the grave, working outside this cards restrictions, and their Synchro monsters are usually unaffected by trap cards due to Bixi, Water of the Yang Zing. Dark Worlds could also use this with the same effectiveness. Skill Drain still is a mainstay in the side deck of most duelists, as you can play around it while crippling certain decks. Even if Skill Drain ends up being a one-time negation, players will take the 1000LP loss for that negation.
Until Next Time


Skill Drain is a really old card, having been released all the way back in Dark Crisis. If I’m not mistaken, it saw a short stint on the Semi-Limited List a while back, but this did not last long and the card is currently Unlimited.


Of all the cards that are currently Unlimited, Skill Drain is by far my least favorite, as it is one of the most powerful floodgates in the current game, rivaled only by Vanity’s Emptiness. Its ability to lock out all monster effects would mean that in theory it should hamper all Decks, as most relevant competitive Decks make use of many monster effects. A loophole in its ruling, however, prevents it from stopping the effects of monsters that are no longer on the field when their effects resolve (or whose effects activate off the field), which has only caused its power to increase over time.


As a floodgate that often shuts down a good portion of the metagame, Skill Drain initially only saw use in Stun Decks that used it to shut down opposing effects while also shutting down the negative effects of monsters like Beast King Barbaros, allowing it to come in at a full 3000 ATK for free as opposed to 1900.


There have been many instances in which Skill Drain found itself in meta Decks as well. When Blackwings were a common sight in tournaments, they could effectively use Skill Drain, as they could still overpower opposing threats with Kalut while playing around the loss of the effects of Shura, Bora, and Blizzard. The card also saw some play during the initial days of the September 2013 format in Dragon Ruler Decks; none of the Dragon Rulers had effects on the field, and Skill Drain also prevented them from returning to the hand. As the format progressed, however, Dragon Ruler slowly became the sole dominating Deck, and as such, Skill Drain fell out of favor due to its uselessness in the mirror match.


Most recently, Skill Drain has been seeing use in Qliphort Decks. All Qliphort monsters have their main effects trigger off the field after being Tributed, and Skill Drain also allows them to come in for free at full power instead of 1800. Combined with the card’s effectiveness against almost every other Deck in the current metagame, Skill Drain has quickly found itself to be a staple in Qliphort Decks.


Regardless of the current state of the game, Skill Drain remains an extremely powerful card that makes the game very one sided for the few Decks that can make use of it. Given Qliphort’s strong performance since the Deck’s release in November (second only to Burning Abyss), it may not be long until we see the card finally be placed on the Limited List.


Rating: 4/5


Sorry, oh Pojoites, for my recent absence in writing Card of the Day reviews. College final week is upon us all, so for those of you with a similar problem, my condolences.
Onto today's card, we have a card that, while not at all new, has seen a resurgence in play in today's metagame(namely Qliphorts), in Skill Drain.
Most of you are probably familiar with Skill Drain, but for those of you who aren't, it is a continuous Trap Card that negates all monster effects that activate and resolve on the field. This comes with a cost of 1000 life points, whether or not Skill Drain resolves or not.
As to what this stops, it stops most effects that activate on the field, but there are three important things to keep in mind. 1:Effects that have a cost to activate will still pay the cost, but the effect that follows will be negated. Biggest current example:A Dante that activates under Skill Drain will still send the top 1-3 cards from your deck, but you will not gain attack.2: Effects that activate on field stand resolve in a place other than the field will still happen. Examples: Stardust Dragon, if you activate a monster's effect and it is removed from the field on the same chain. 3: Monsters whose effects change their base attack, as long as Skill Drain resolves while said monster is on the field, will retain their original base value. Example: Skill Drain leaves the field, after having successfully resolved, Beast King Barbaros that was summoned while Skill Drain was active would be at 3000 attack.
Now, I know that big ol' block of text might have been a bit of a doozy, but I hoped they at least helped a little. As for current usage of Skill Drain, one only needs to look at Qliphorts to understand. Being able to normal summon 2400-2800 beatsticks that can be special summoned from the Extra Deck after they are destroyed makes this strategy very effective, not to mention their pendulum scales either increasing their stats or lowering yours. Obviously other decks use this, but Qliphorts are the main offender currently. Arguably, Skill Drain is pretty bad against Burning Abyss, due to its inability to stop Dante's detach effect and cost, not to mention Fire Lake.
A great card for what it is, but beware of Fire Lakes and Fairy Winds, among other cards such as Mst's and Shaddoll Dragons
Advanced: 3.75/5

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