10 - Alcadeias Lord of Spirits
You may think that Alcadeias would be higher on this list, and Alcadeias himself is a really good card. He is rather cheap, bigger than almost all other creatures in the game, and has a very good lockdown effect. The issues of this card though, is that its bait cards are both expensive (at least 5 mana with the exception of Innocent Hunter) and usually not very good. The best bait cards to use are cards like Valkyer, Aeris and Ularus due to them being the only Angel Commands that are cheaper than Alcadeias himself, but they are both rather ordinary cards that you wouldn't use if it wasn't for Alcadeias bait. You can also use cards like Urth and Syforce, which are both good Angel Commands, but both delay your option to play Alcadeias for 1-2 turns. Alcadeias himself is very powerful, but the lack of good and cheap bait stops him from being higher on the list.
9 - Zero Nemesis Shadow of Panic
Zero Nemesis is one of those cards that you dont see or talk about very often, but is actually a very dangerous card. Zero Nemesis himself is a rather large double breaker, is easy to play, and gives all your creatures the effect of Horrid Worm/Windmill Mutant that discards a random card from your opponent whenever they attack. Discard is way too powerful in Duel Masters, and Zero Nemesis can quickly remove your entire hand if left unchecked. On top of this it has bait cards like most notably Melnia, but also Ice Vapor, Gray Balloon, Pointa etc. Very dangerous card that needs to be responded to quickly.
8 - Ballom Master of Death
Ballom Master of Death is one of the most iconic and well known cards in the Duel Masters TCG, and the card itself is extremely good when summoned. It is however the hardest evolution creature on the list so far to summon, due to its high cost and expensive bait. Just like Alcadeias, its bait usually costs 5+ mana like Photocide, Vashuna, Gajirabute. The only exception is Daidalos, which costs only 4, but requires a rather specific deckbuild with certain bait creatures for Daidalos effect. The best bait for Ballom is probably Gajirabute, as it costs less than Ballom and has a very useful shield-killing effect. So Ballom is a little held back by its expensive bait and being very expensive itself, but is extremely powerful and gamebreaking once you manage to summon it. This is what gives Ballom a place on this list that isnt last. Rather stiff summoning conditions, but provides a potentially field-cleaning effect when it hits the board, and leaves you with a 12000 power double breaker. And should it get bounced, you can potentially summon both Ballom and perhaps Gajirabute over again and get those great effects one more time. A good card, but a little below what it could have been.
7 - Phantasmal Horror Gigazald
Many would probably expect to see Gigazalds brother Gigazabal on this list instead, and Gigazabal is definitely an honorable mention that could potentially have been on this list too. But i have seen what Gigazald can do if used in a properly built control/lockdown deck. Almost like Zero Nemesis, Gigazald lets all your Darkness creatures tap to discard a random card from your opponent, and Gigazald itself can also do this. Gigazald is not very large, standing with only 5000 power, but it also costs only 5 mana. If you can manage to bring it out on turn 5, you can usually get rid of whatever your opponent has left in their hand and therefore destroy their hole gameplan, similiar to how Cranium Clamp does the same. This leaves your opponent topdecking from there on, and basicly then having to rely on luck. The difference is that with Gigazald you can keep discarding your opponents hand until Gigazald is dealt with. You also force your opponent to play everything they draw immediately, or throw it in mana to avoid it from being discarded. This lets you build yourself up field and mana more freely, and take control of the match. Gigazald also has good bait cards like Gigabalza (same as Locomotiver) and Gigaslug etc.
6 - Hydrooze the Mutant Emperor
So we are now past most of the evolutions that have great potential, but are held back by their bait creatures. Hydrooze is a card that alone created a new competetive decktype at the end of TCGs official lifespan. Unlike many other evolutions that are held back by their bait, Hyrooze is boosted by them, as its bait are great staple cards that you would use even without Hydrooze. Cards like Corile, Emeral, Locomotiver and Propeller Mutant are all great cards that are great themselves, and even better as bait. And Hydrooze itself is cheap, reasonably sized for its cost, and makes all its other bait cards bigger and unblockable. This makes for a rather aggresive control/aggro kind of deck, and it is very good and not even dependant on Hydrooze itself.
5 - Überdragon Bajula
We now go back to a card that is held back by its bait, and Überdragon Bajula is probably the prime example of that. It is bigger than Alcadeias, Ballom, Abzo Dolba and all the other giant evolutions, and on top of that has the most devastating effect of them all. It is basically bigger than everything else, destroys 2 mana everytime it attacks, breaks 3 shields, has a bait card that can search it out from the deck (Velyrika Dragon), and can even be made 2 to potentially 5 mana cheaper with Cocco Lupia. This card must be OP right? Well yes when Bajula comes out it is extremely OP, and will quickly make the duel hopeless to win for your opponent, if it isnt dealt with within the first couple of turns. It is a truly devastating finisher, that has great bait cards like Velyrika, Jagalzor etc. The ONLY thing that keeps Bajula from potentially topping this list, is the fact that both Bajula and its best baitcards are rather expensive without Cocco Lupia, and also the fact that your opponent has a lot of both time and turns to stop Bajula from hitting the field. They can kill Cocco Lupia and delay Bajula, they can kill Velyrika when it comes out etc. Its always kind of obvious up front when you try to go for Bajula, which gives your opponent a lot of options to stop it from coming out. Once it comes out however, it is one of the most devastating cards in the game.
4 - Crystal Lancer
Like Hydrooze, Crystal Lancer is another good evolution that is boosted by its bait. It evolves from cards like Aqua Surfer, Aqua Hulcus and Tajimal, all which are amongst the best cards in the game themselves. Lancer is large, not too expensive and has the extremely valuable effect of being unblockable. It is great both early on and late in a duel. No matter how big of a wall your opponent builds, Lancer can always come out and go straight through. It is also rather splashable, and can easely be added in most decks that run water (as decks with water pretty much always run sets of Surfer and Hulcus etc). One of simplest and most easely played evolutions, and also one of the best overall.
3 - Warlord Ailzonius
Warlord Ailzonius is cheap, large, easy to play, has decent bait and is probably one of the hardest creatures in the game to deal with, once it hits the field. It is put on rather good bait cards like Belix, Bingole, Kanesill etc, and can come out as early as turn 4-5. At this point in a duel, Ailzonius is pretty much unstoppable without a slayer (which are rarely seen except for Melnia). Since Ailzonius cannot be chosen as a target for any effect, it can swing freely at your opponents shields and/or creatures without any risk whatsoever, as no shield triggers or any other effects can stop it or remove it. Ailzonius is also easy to play several of in a single duel, because of its cheap cost and cheap bait, and once you get several Ailzonius swinging at the same time, it is almost always game. The only way Ailzonius can be killed (except for slayers), are by attacking it with a creature with 8000 or more power. Couple Ailzonius with Petrova and it can only be killed by attacking with a creature with 12000 or more power, which will in most matchups make Ailzonius immortal. Petrova also shares the same effect as Ailzonius, so neither of them can be touched by effects. Ailzonius does require a rather specific deckbuild to really shine (which is partly the reason you dont really see it that often), but when used correctly it is just extremely good.
2 - Craze Valkyrie the Drastic
Craze Valkyrie is similiar to Crystal Lancer. It is simple, large, rather cheap and very easely played. Like Lancer it is also boosted by its bait, as they are great cards that you would want to play regardless of Craze, like Tajimal, Magris, Sarius etc. The difference with Craze though, is that it can be either offensive like Lancer and Ailzonius, but due to its tapping effect can also be used for control/defence. Its a very flexible card that is so easy to use and yet soooo powerful and valuable. Craze was considered to be number 1 on this list, and is probably considered by many as the number 1 evolution, but in my opinion it does fall short to 1 other card...
- Death Phoenix Avatar of Doom
- Aura Pegasus Avatar of Life
- Larba Geer the Immaculate
- Super Necrodragon Abzo Dolba
- Phantasmal Horror Gigazabal
- Ladia Bale the Inspirational
- Fighter Dual Fang
- Balesk Baj the Timeburner
- Chaos Worm
- Crystal Paladin
- Armored Blaster Valdios
- Niofa Horned Protector
And many more! All these cards are useful in their own way, and can be decent and even good in certain decks. But their requirements, bad bait creatures and/or bad races overshadow their effects and functionality, and stops them from being top 10 in my opinion.
1 - Wise Starnoid Avatar of Hope
The number 1 pick just had to be Wise Starnoid Avatar of Hope. The card is a vortex evolution, and therefore requires 2 bait cards, making it a -2. It also requires a specific deck built around it to work. However these faults are completely overshadowed by this cards effect, power, mana cost, useful bait cards and even useful civilization combo. Wise Starnoid is very easy to play as opposed to its other Vortex-Evolution brothers. It has very useful bait cards, like Corile and Emeral which are both amongst the best cards in the game (atleast Corile is). On the Light Bringer side it has Kolon which is a great shield trigger, and also Vess, Pharzi and sometimes Tulk, which are all cheap and easely playable cards. So Starnoid has great bait on both races, and also only cost 5 mana, meaning it can come out very early. A Starnoid on turn 5 is truly devastating for any opponent, as it immediately means that you will gain at least 2 shields from it (usually more), as well as giving you a giant 9000 power creature with double breaker, that needs to be dealt with more ASAP than anything. Starnoid gives you so much value every turn, killing thing and/or breaking shield while also giving extra shields in the process. It even gives you value in the form of a shield whenever it leaves the field. If a Starnoid is allowed to stay unchecked for a few turns, the game is almost always rendered impossible for your opponent to win, and if more than 1 Starnoid comes out at the same time then the koffin gets completely sealed. Cards like Corile and Surfer are common counter for Starnoid, but having it bounced (returned to the hand) can often be a good thing, as you then gain another shield, and potentially get to play the effects of cards like Corile and/or Kolon over again. Starnoid is just so extremely overpowered in the Starnoid decks, that i just couldn't not put this card as the number 1 evolution. It is sadly the only Vortex Evolution in TCG that is really good, but holy crap is it good. If it wasn't for our good friend Bombazar, im pretty sure Starnoid would be the best card in the game, and the Starnoid decks would be one of the best decks, if not the best when properly built.
So that was my list! Know that it is entirely my opinion, and feel free to discuss it with me. Let me know what you think, and maybe even post your own lists.