"Exodia" (エクゾディア, Ekuzodia) is an archetype of DARK Spellcaster monsters, with its first member released in Legend of Blue Eyes White Dragon and its first support released in Millennium Box Gold Edition. They are focused on alternative victory conditions. It is related to the "Forbidden One" archetype.
While many people refer to the "Forbidden One" cards as "Exodia" cards, only "Exodia the Forbidden One" (the head) is part of this archetype.
Notably, "Exodia the Forbidden One" and the other "Forbidden One" cards were the only monsters ever specifically mentioned in the rulebooks (other than as an example), due to "Exodia the Forbidden One" being the only card with an alternative victory condition at the time. "Exodia the Forbidden One" is no longer mentioned in the rulebook, as its card text suffices to clarify its effect.
"Exodia the Forbidden One" is one of the most iconic cards in the franchise, being well known for its automatic win condition and Yugi's use of it in the first episode of the anime.
"Exodia the Forbidden One" appears as a character in Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship 2007, World Championship 2009 and in Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Arena, and "Exodia Necross" appears in World Championship 2006, World Championship 2007 and Duel Arena.
While the primary purpose of "Exodia" is to declare an automatic win through having all five pieces of the "Forbidden One", there are other ways to use it.
The first of these was "Exodia Necross", which had to be Special Summoned via "Contract with Exodia" and possesses the near-invulnerability of the anime version of "Exodia" as long as the "Forbidden One" pieces remain in the Graveyard. It gains 500 ATK during each of the player's Standby Phases and cannot be destroyed in battle or by Spell and Trap effects. It is automatically destroyed if any of the five "Forbidden One" pieces do not exist in the Graveyard. Due to its near-invincibility and increasing strength, it serves as either a trump card that cannot be defeated or as a backup plan if too many "Forbidden One" pieces end up in the Graveyard.
The next such incarnation is "Exodius the Ultimate Forbidden Lord", which provides an alternate method of winning with "Exodia". It is also the only card that supports to "Forbidden One" archetype.
In addition, there is "Exxod, Master of The Guard" which greatly resembles "Exodia", though without an automatic win effect. In the same vein as "Necross" being the Zombie counterpart of "Exodia", "Exxod" resembles a completed, though still sealed, "Exodia".
Also, there is "Exodia, the Legendary Defender", which is a reference to when Exodia battled Zorc Necrophades. It provides an alternate win condition, albeit without the need for the "Forbidden One" monsters: if it is Tribute Summoned by tributing 5 monsters, and it destroys a DARK Fiend monster owned by your opponent in battle, you win the Duel at the end of the Damage Step.
In the anime
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! Capsule Monster Coliseum, the player can fuse the five pieces of "Exodia" to Summon "Summoned Lord Exodia", the complete Exodia (but it will be only like a normal fusion piece), with an ability to cause massive damage on the monsters that is in range, that is known by "Obliterate".
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! The Duelists of the Roses, "Summoned Lord Exodia" can be unlocked in the library when the player successfully Summons Exodia, but it cannot be viewed in 3D and the only properties which are displayed are Type (which is Spellcaster) and Attribute (which is DARK).