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Game Cards!

In this section we will talk about the different cardsand how to play them correctly.
These are the topics we cover here:

Monster Cards

How To Read The Card:

The Monster cards are read using these seven areas on the card:

  1. Card Name:
  2. This is the card’s name. When a card name is mentioned in card text it appears in quotations. If cards have the same name, they are considered to be the same card.
  3. Level:
  4. Count the number of stars here to find out the monster’s Level. In order to Normal Summon a monster that is Level 5 or higher, you must Tribute monsters you have on the field.
  5. Attribute:
  6. There are 6 different Attributes a monster can have. This Attribute is sometimes important for card effects.
  7. Type:
  8. Monsters are divided into various Types. Some monsters with specific abilities will have additional information here too, next to their Type.
  9. Card Number:
  10. A card’s identification number is found here. This number is useful for collecting, and for sorting your collection.
  11. Atk/Def Points:
  12. ATK is a monster’s Attack Points and DEF is a monster’s Defense Points. High Attack and Defense Points are good when battling!
  13. Card Description:
  14. Card effects are written here, describing the monster’s special abilities and how to use them. Normally, the effects of monsters cannot be used while they are Set face-down on the field. Yellow Normal Monster Cards do not have effects, and have a description of them written here that does not affect the game.

What Is A Monster Card:

Monster Cards are used to battle and defeat your opponent. Battles between Monster Cards are the foundation of any Duel.
There are many kinds of Monster Cards. This game is more than a simple slugfest, so monsters with high Attack and Defense Points will not be enough. There are also monsters with strong special effects even though their ATK and DEF points are low. Therefore, your success in a Duel depends on how skillfully you can make use of the different kinds of cards. Let’s take a look at the different kinds of monsters.

Normal Monsters:

These are basic Monsters. Cards without special abilities. Many Normal Monsters have higher Attack Points and Defense Points than Effect Monsters, instead of having special abilities.

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Effect Monsters:

An Effect Monster is a monster that has special abilities. The effects of these monsters are split into five categories:

  • Flip Effect:
  • This is an effect that is activated when a face-down card is flipped face-up. This can happen when it is Flip Summoned, attacked while face-down, or flipped face-up by a card effect. These effects start with the word “FLIP:” on the card. When you have a face-down monster, your opponent must be wary because they don’t know if it has a Flip Effect or not.
  • Continuous Effect:
  • This effect is active while the Effect Monster Card is face-up on the field. The effect starts when the face-up monster appears on the field, and ends once that monster is gone or is no longer face-up; there is no trigger for its activation. These monsters are most useful if you have a strategy to protect them while they are on the field.
  • Ignitions Effect:
  • You use this type of effect just by declaring its activation during your Main Phase. There are some Ignition Effects that have a cost to activate, like discarding cards from your hand, Tributing a monster, or paying Life Points. Because you can choose when to activate this type of effect, it’s easy to create combos with them.
  • Trigger Effect:
  • These effects are activated at specific times, such as “during the Standby Phase” or “when this monster is destroyed.” These cards can make for some great combos, but it’s easier for your opponent to predict what will happen, so they might try to stop you.
  • Quick Effect:
  • These are special monster effects that you can activate even during your opponent's turn. These types of effects have a Spell Speed of 2, even though all other monster effects have a Spell Speed of 1. Since it’s difficult for your opponent to predict these cards, they can give them an unexpected surprise.
    (Formerly called Multi-Trigger Effects.)
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Synchro Monsters:

Synchro Monsters are placed in the Extra Deck, separate from the Main Deck. You can Special Summon a powerful Synchro Monster to the field in an instant just by using the Levels of your monsters. They can be Synchro Summoned from the Extra Deck by sending 1 face-up “Tuner” monster and any number of face-up non-Tuner monsters from your side of the field to the Graveyard, when the sum of all their Levels is exactly equal to the Level of the Synchro Monster.

How To Synchro Summon->

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Tuner Monsters:

In order to Synchro Summon a Synchro Monster, you need 1 Tuner (look for “Tuner” next to its Type). The Tuner Monster and other face-up monsters you use for the Synchro Summon are called Synchro Material Monsters. The sum of their Levels is the Level of Synchro Monster you can Summon.

How To Synchro Summon ->

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Fusion Monsters:

Fusion Monsters are also placed in your Extra Deck (not in your Main Deck). They are Summoned by using the specific monsters listed on the card (called Fusion Material Monsters) combined with the Spell Card "Polymerization." They usually have special abilities and very high Attack Points as well.

How To Fusion Summon->

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Ritual Monsters:

Ritual Monsters are special monsters that are Special Summoned with a specific Ritual Spell Card, along with a required Tribute. Ritual Monster Cards are placed in the Main Deck and cannot be Summoned unless you have all the proper cards together in your hand or on the field. Ritual Monsters generally have high ATK and DEF and some have special abilities, just like Fusion Monsters.

How To Ritual Summon->

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Summoning A Monster

There are several ways to play monsters onto the field. These ways can be categorized into 2 groups: actions that can be done only once per turn, and actions that can be done multiple times per turn.

Normal Summon (And Tribute Summon):

This is the most common way to Summon a monster. Simply play a Monster Card from your hand onto the field in faceup Attack Position. All Normal Monsters, and most Effect Monsters (unless they have a specific restriction), can be Summoned in this way.
However, for monsters that are Level 5 or higher, you must Tribute at least 1 monster you control before the Normal Summon. This is called a Tribute Summon. Monsters that are Level 5 or 6 require 1 Tribute and Monsters that are Level 7 or higher require 2 Tributes.


To play a Monster Card from your hand in face-down Defense Position is called a Set. In order to Set Monsters that are Level 5 or higher, you still need to Tribute.
It’s important to remember that a monster Set on the field in face-down Defense Position IS NOT considered Summoned. It has been Set and can be Summoned with a Flip Summon or flipped face-up by an attack or card effect. Remember, you can only Normal Summon OR Set once per turn, so if you Set a monster you cannot Normal Summon a monster that turn.
(Note: you cannot play a monster from your hand onto the field in face-up Defense Position.)

Flip Summon:

You can change a face-down Defense Position Monster into face-up Attack Position, without using a card effect. This is called a Flip Summon. When you Flip Summon, you cannot change the monster to face-up Defense Position, only to faceup Attack Position. A Monster Card cannot be Flip Summoned in the same turn that it was Set onto the field. You cannot use most monsters’ effects until they are face-up.

Special Summon:

Some monsters can be played onto the field without being Normal Summoned or Set. This is called a Special Summon. Synchro Summons, Fusion Summons and Ritual Summons are all Special Summons. Some Effect Monsters also have specific conditions that allow you to Special Summon them. These monsters are considered “Special Summon Monsters.” Unless otherwise specified, a Special Summoned monster is played onto the field in your choice of face-up Attack Position or faceup Defense Position.

Special Summon With A Card's Effect:

Monsters can also be Special Summoned onto the field through the effect of another card. This is different from “Special Summon Monsters.” You cannot use a card effect to Special Summon those monsters from your hand, Deck, or the Graveyard unless it was properly Special Summoned first. For example, if a Synchro Monster is sent from your Extra Deck to the Graveyard without being Synchro Summoned, you cannot use a Spell Card to Special Summon it from theGraveyard, because Synchro Monsters have to be properly Special Summoned first, before they can be Special Summoned by another card’s effect.
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How To Syncro Summon

In order to Synchro Summon, you must follow the following steps:

  1. During your Main Phase, you can declare a Synchro Summon when the combined total Levels of 1 face-up Tuner Monster and any number of other face-up monsters you control are equal to the Level of the Synchro Monster you want to Synchro Summon.

  2. After double-checking the Level of the Synchro Monster you want, send the face-up Synchro Material Monsters from your side of the field to the Graveyard. Remember, only 1 can be a Tuner Monster.

  3. After sending the monsters from the field to the Graveyard, take the Synchro Monster from your Extra Deck and play it onto the field in face-up Attack Position or face-up Defense Position.
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How To Fusion Summon

In order to Fusion Summon, you must follow the following steps:

  1. If you have all the Fusion Material Monsters listed on the Fusion Monster Card (either on the field or in your hand) you can activate "Polymerization," placing it in your Spell & Trap Card Zone.

  2. After sending the Fusion Material Monsters to the Graveyard, take the appropriate Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck and play it onto the field in either face-up Attack or Defense Position. Finally, place the "Polymerization" card in the Graveyard.

  3. Remember that in order to use a Fusion Monster during a Duel it needs to be in your Extra Deck. Since Fusion Summons require specific cards, be sure and include those necessary cards in your Main Deck!

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How To Ritual Summon

In order to Ritual Summon, you must follow the following steps:

  1. When you have a Ritual Spell Card, along with the matching Ritual Monster Card, in your hand, along with the required Tribute (as listed on the Ritual Spell Card), you can activate the Ritual Spell Card, placing it in the Spell & Trap Card Zone.

  2. If the activation of the Ritual Spell Card is successful, Tribute monsters by sending them from your hand or the field to the Graveyard. The Ritual Spell Card will list the required amount to Tribute.

  3. After sending the Tributed Monsters to the Graveyard, play the Ritual Monster Card onto the field in either face-up Attack or Defense Position. Finally, place the Ritual Spell Card in the Graveyard.

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Spell & Trap Cards

How To Read The Card:

Spell & Trap cards are read using these five areas on the cards:

  1. Card Name:
  2. Remember, cards with the same name are considered to be the same card, and you can only have up to 3 copies of the same card in your Main Deck and Side Deck combined.

  3. Card Type:
  4. Instead of having an Attribute symbol like Monster Cards, a Spell Card has the "SPELL 魔" symbol and a Trap Card has the "TRAP 罠" symbol.

  5. Card Icon:
  6. There are 6 types of icons that represent special properties a Spell or Trap Card may have. Spell and Trap Cards without an icon are called Normal Spell Cards or Normal Trap Cards.

  7. Card Description:
  8. Each card's activation conditions and effects are provided here. Read the card description carefully and follow the instructions.

  9. Card Number:
  10. A card’s identification number is found here. This number is useful for collecting, and for sorting your collection.

Spell Cards:

Spell Cards can normally be activated only during your Main Phase, and help you out with different effects. Spell Cards have many powerful effects, like destroying other cards or strengthening monsters. Save these cards in your hand until you can get the best results out of them.

Normal Spell Cards:
Normal Spell Cards have single-use effects. To use a Normal Spell Card, announce its activation to your opponent, placing it face-up on the field. If the activation succeeds, then you resolve the effect written on the card. After resolving the effect, send the card to the Graveyard.

Ritual Spell Cards:
These Spell Cards are used to perform Ritual Summons. Use these cards in the same way as you would use Normal Spell Cards.

Continuous Spell Cards:
These cards remain on the field once they are activated, and their effect continues while the card stays face-up on the field. By using Continuous Spell Cards, you can create lasting positive effects with a single card, which is great but there’s the chance that the opponent will remove it from the field before you benefit from the effect.

Equip Spell Cards:
These cards give an extra effect to 1 face-up monster of your choice (either your own or your opponent’s, depending on the card). They remain on the field after they are activated. The Equip Spell Card affects only 1 monster (called the equipped monster), but still occupies one of your Spell & Trap Card Zones. If possible, place it in the zone directly behind the equipped monster to help you remember. If the equipped monster is destroyed, flipped facedown, or removed from the field, its Equip Cards are destroyed.

Field Spell Cards:
These cards are placed in the Field Card Zone and remain on the field after they are activated. There can only be 1 face-up Field Spell Card on the field at any given time between both players. When a new Field Spell Card is activated, the previous active Field Spell Card is destroyed automatically.
These cards may be placed facedown in the Field Card Zone, but are not active until flipped face-up.

Quick-Play Spell Cards:
These are special Spell Cards that can be activated during any Phase of your turn, not just your Main Phase. You can also activate them during your opponent’s turn if you Set the card face-down first, but then you cannot activate the card in the same turn you Set it.

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Trap Cards:

Trap Cards will help you out with different effects, just like Spell Cards. The big difference between them is that you can activate Trap Cards during your opponent’s turn. Many Spell Cards have effects useful for offense, but Trap Cards have the ability to surprise the opponent by disrupting their attacks and strategies. Using Trap Cards can sometimes be tricky, since your opponent might have to do certain things before you can unleash them.

Normal Trap Cards:
Before you can activate a Trap Card, you must Set it on the field first. You cannot activate a Trap in the same turn that you Set it, but you can activate it at any time after that—starting from the beginning of the next turn.
Normal Trap Cards have single-use effects and once their effects are resolved, they will be sent to the Graveyard, just like Normal Spell Cards. They are also similar to Normal Spell Cards because once activated, their effects are not likely to be stopped. However, your opponent can destroy your face-down Trap Cards on the turn they were Set, or before the time is right to activate them. Because of this, you must be smart about how you use your Trap Cards.

Continuous Trap Cards:
Just like Continuous Spell Cards, Continuous Trap Cards remain on the field once they are activated and their effects continue while they are face-up on the field. Some Continuous Trap Cards have abilities similar to the Ignition Effects or Trigger Effects that can be found on Effect Monster Cards.
Continuous Trap Cards can have effects that limit your opponent’s options, or that slowly damage your opponent’s Life Points.

Counter Trap Cards:
These Trap Cards are normally activated in response to the activation of other cards, and may have abilities like negating the effects of those cards. These types of Traps are effective against Normal Spell Cards or Normal Trap Cards, which are otherwise hard to stop, however many Counter Trap Cards require a cost to activate them.

  • The Difference Between Set Spell Cards And Set Trap Cards:
  • Spell Cards can be Set face-down on the field like Trap Cards. However, the rules for the two types of cards are different. Spell Cards can be activated during the Main Phases even in the same turn that you Set them (except for Quick-Play Spell Cards). Setting them does not allow you to use them on your opponent’s turn; they still can only be activated during your Main Phase. You can Set a Spell Card face-down on the field to bluff your opponent into thinking you have a powerful Trap.

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