A staple is a card that is considered so splashable that it is included in almost any Deck the owner chooses to construct. Many of these cards are reprinted several times, including Starter Decks and Structure Decks.
Opinions on what exactly constitutes a staple card often comes down to the individual, and today's current strategies and Deck-types have limited most staples to being mostly Spell/Trap Cards, such as "Dark Hole".
Most of these cards are (or were) included in Limited lists, mostly because of their usefulness. Many cards on the Forbidden list were once staples (e.g. "Pot of Greed", "Change of Heart", "Harpie's Feather Duster").
A list of cards considered to be staples by many players, including:
- Cards that mass remove monsters from your opponent's field with little to no detriment to the user e.g. "Dark Hole", "Raigeki", "Torrential Tribute" and "Evenly Matched". Similarly, Quick-Play Spell Cards that remove Spells/Traps from your opponent's field e.g. "Mystical Space Typhoon", "Cosmic Cyclone" and "Twin Twisters".
- Cards that Special Summon from the Graveyard e.g. "Monster Reborn" and "Call of the Haunted".
- Cards that amass hand advantage e.g. "Upstart Goblin", "Mathematician", "Pot of Desires" and "Pot of Extravagance".
- "Solemn Judgment", "Solemn Warning" and "Solemn Strike", as they are versatile Counter Trap Cards that can be used in a wide variety of ways.
- Floodgates that disrupt your opponent's strategies e.g. "Imperial Order", "Anti-Spell Fragrance" and "Skill Drain".
- Hand traps that respond to cards and effects activating and disrupt them, as they are harder to stop than Trap Cards on the field e.g. "D.D. Crow", the Yo-kai Girl monsters, "Effect Veiler" and "Droll & Lock Bird". Hand traps that respond to battle are generally not staples.
- Cards that negate the effects of your opponent's monsters e.g. "Effect Veiler", "Skill Drain", "Fiendish Chain", "Called by the Grave" and "Infinite Impermanence".
- Cards that add cards from the Deck to the hand e.g. "Terraforming" and "Gold Sarcophagus".
- Cards that send cards from the Deck to the Graveyard, as the current meta is heavily focused on manipulating the Graveyard e.g. "Mathematician", "Foolish Burial" and "Foolish Burial Goods".
- Cards that take control of your opponent's monsters e.g. "Mind Control" and "Enemy Controller".