Consider Final Countdown:

Pay 2000 Life Points. After 20 turns have passed (counting the turn you activate this card as the 1st turn), you win the Duel.

I know that Final Countdown has been limited to 1 and I recently read somewhere on this site that that was because some decks were abusing it (i.e. some decks were enable to exploit Final Countdown in a way that almost assured victory against most decks at the time).

How can this be achieved? 10 turns of each player is a very long time and some decks run out of cards before that, in addition Final Countdown has to be drawn first. It may be a 39.4% chance to draw in first turn (6 out of 40) when three times in the deck, but there is also a 37.0% chance not to draw it within your first 5 turns, in which case the duel would have to last at least 20 turns. I know there are some cards that can simulate phases, but I cannot imagine them to be enough to justify limitation.

  • Basically cause people stalled a lot, with several cards, and eventually managed to win... I'll answer when I get back to my pc
    – DarkCygnus
    Mar 17, 2018 at 20:39
  • @DarkCygnus I was under the impression that "stalling" was the way to go with this card since it first appeared. So I wonder what changed it that much, especially in the destroying-cards-friendly world of today's oversummoning.
    – SK19
    Mar 18, 2018 at 3:10
  • theres a card, I cant remember the name but it extends turn counts for card effects, enabling a final countdown FTK Mar 19, 2018 at 13:12
  • @WhatsThePoint you're thinking of yugioh.wikia.com/wiki/Pyro_Clock_of_Destiny Mar 22, 2018 at 0:17
  • @MirrorImage Still seems not OP. Or are there just so many cards that can recycle cards from the graveyard?
    – SK19
    Mar 22, 2018 at 13:09

2 Answers 2


After some research I can provide some insight. To have a One Turn Kill with Final Countdown, one needs to be able to recycle the effect of Pyro Clock of Destiny indefinitely. I found two ways to archive this, both of which are not possible with the current list of banned cards (and possibly will never be able to be playable again), but at least the second variant was playable for a time.

With Makyura the Destroyer

When Makyura is sent to the graveyard, trap cards can be activated from the hand. This video shows how powerful this effect can be exploited. Makyura was banned right when forbidden cards were first introduced, as he allows many other exploits. Basic idea here: Draw your entire deck (easy enough these days, e.g. take variation of Exodia/Dark World deck just like in the video), in the process discard Makyura, play Final Countdown and make some other preparations. Now:

  1. Play Pyro Clock of Destiny from hand.
  2. Play The Transmigration Prophecy from hand to add the clock and a Golden Bamboo Sword from your graveyard into your empty deck.
  3. Use another bamboo sword to draw these two cards.
  4. Use another transmigration prophecy to return the other prophecy and the bamboo sword to the empty deck, draw them with the other bamboo sword.
  5. After repeating step 4 two extra times, your two Royal Magical Library on the field have caught up.
  6. Use transmigration prophecy to return the other prophecy and the bamboo sword to the empty deck, draw them with the libraries.
  7. Play the clock.
  8. Use the other transmigration prophecy to add the clock and the prophecy to your empty deck.
  9. Go to step 3.

With Return from the Different Dimension

Return from the Different Dimension lets you summon all of your removed from play monsters. This was always a card that could turn a duel completely around. In the distant past, you needed a working D.D. deck or a chaos deck to make good use of it but since nowadays basically any monster can go to any position on the game table, it is too easy to get a lot of powerful monsters in one turn. For the OTK, we again recycle the Pyro Clock of Destiny indefinitely, this time it is just much more sophisticated. The precise steps are described here, I will give a simplifying explanation. Again we draw our entire deck, get a Black Luster Soldier Envoy of the Beginning and a libraries on the field, as well as three Junk Collector with the use of a Monster Reborn (or whatever adequate replacement is available) in combination with Inferno Reckless Summon. The Junk Collector enables you to activate a normal trap card effect by removing him from the field and the card from your hand. Now the gist of things is this:

If carefully done, this can win the duel in one turn.


The power from Pyro Clock of destiny is very impressive. Alternatives I have seen work with Mask of Darkness and flipping a lot. In combination with slowing the duel via cards like Battle Fader and friends, using Pyro Clock of Destiny 5 times a duel seems reasonable. But drawing the entire deck doesn't work well with waiting for Final Countdown, so the easiest way to weaken a Final Countdown deck is to limit the key card. Through personally I don't see that it did that much damage unlimited.

  • Having an empty deck leaves you susceptible to a trap like Dark Bribe. Additionally, unless a deck like Lightsworn is used, it is very unlikely that your deck will be empty before the duel ends.
    – Xetrov
    Apr 7, 2018 at 11:52

Well, although this is an unlikely combo in a deck, using Spell Economics to prevent you from paying LP from Final Countdown is a good way to secure a win without a too big a cost.

Also, although the Swords of Light are easily destroyed, they are a good way to stall your opponent.

Another good way to stall is to skip phases, each with their own benefits:

  • Skips Draw Phase prevents your opponent gaining new cards, hence making their development slower. Only this and this does it to your opponent.
  • Skips Main Phase 1 prevents your opponent from placing cards down, hence preventing development also.
  • Skips Battle Phase prevents you from taking Battle Damage or getting your monsters destroyed. However, only Great Long Nose successfully fulfills your needs.
  • 2
    Then ask Why was Final Countdown Limited? instead.
    – Xetrov
    Mar 23, 2018 at 8:04
  • 1
    Okay, seems I phrased that wrong. "Why was X limited?" ask for intent of Konami and cannot really be answered here. "How can X be abused/exploited?" asks for OTKs or nearly OTKs. Given your answer, I can't see how the valid deck strategy would people allow to exploit Final Countdown.
    – SK19
    Mar 23, 2018 at 11:40
  • 1
    @SK19 The way the community has interpreted "Why was X banned/limited?" questions is that they are not looking for specific statements from Konami, but rather likely rationales. See for instanced Why is Pot of Greed banned?, which was well-received by the community and was successfully answered without a statement from Konami. Mar 24, 2018 at 0:32
  • 2
    @BCLC I suppose both could be addressed, but I was specifically responding to SK19's statement that "Why was X limited?" ask for intent of Konami and cannot really be answered here. I wanted to point out that the community has come to the consensus that it can be answered here even in the absence of a direct statement from Konami. Apr 2, 2018 at 15:22
  • 1
    @BCLC I'm not sure how helpful this will be for another SE sites since they have different criteria of what's on-topic and answerable. While this site has decided that providing a reasonable argument for developer intent is acceptable (e.g. "Konami probably banned it because of widely recognized problem X"), Gaming.SE has decided that this isn't acceptable. It's like identification questions. They're off-topic here, but on-topic on Sci-fi/Fantasy.SE. You might be able to use this site's policies to argue on another site's meta to change their policy though. Apr 2, 2018 at 16:15

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