BASIC GAMEPLAYIf you have questions about the basics of the Yu-Gi-Oh! TRADING CARD GAME, there are two great ways to find out most of the answers. The first is the rulebook. The rulebook is available in every Starter Deck. The second is the Duel Master's Guide. This instructional DVD will teach you everything you need to know about the basics of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game.If you can't find the answer in the rulebook or Duel Master's Guide, you can look here, or in the other sections of our FAQ. If you have a question that isn't covered, please click here to review the Entertainment email guidelines.
Here are the answers to some common questions:IS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SPELL & MAGIC CARDS?There is no difference. All future releases will have green-colored cards called Spell Cards. The two types of cards are considered the same. A card like Imperial Order or De-Spell will affect both types of cards.
WHAT'S A SPELL COUNTER?A Spell Counter is just a marker of some kind. Coins, glass beads, dice, bottle caps, pretzels, hair clips, cotton balls, cufflinks, gold pieces-of-eight, leaves, bits of thread, stickers, and pen caps all work fine as Spell Counters.A Spell Counter has no special powers or abilities. It's just a numerical counter on the card. You "count" Spell Counters; they don't "counter" anything.
WHAT DO THE EGYPTIAN GOD CARDS DO?At This time God Cards are not Tournament Legal. They have no effects and cannot be used in your Deck in tournament play.DO I DRAW A CARD ON EACH OF MY TURNS?Yes. You must draw 1 card at the beginning of your turn, including the first turn of the Duel. Even if you have no cards in your hand, you are only allowed to draw 1 card at the beginning of your turn. This begins your turn. Your turn does not begin until you draw a card.
WHAT ARE THE THREE KINDS OF SUMMON?As outlined on pages 24-26 of the rulebook, Summons are categorized into Normal (including Tribute and Set), Flip, and Special Summons.The category "Normal Summon" includes a Tribute Summon. It also includes a Set, whether normal or through Tribute. You only get 1 Summon per turn from the Normal Summon category, whether it's a Summon or Set, through Tribute or not. If your Normal Summon (or Set) is negated, or if the monster is destroyed with a card like Trap Hole, you do not get another Normal Summon (or Set) that turn.The second category is the Flip Summon. This is when you have a face-down Defense Position monster that was Set on a previous turn, and Flip Summon it to face-up Attack Position. You can perform as many Flip Summons as you like during your turn. A Flip Summon only occurs when you "manually" change the position of a monster in this manner. Flipping a face-down Defense Position monster into face-up Attack Position using a card effect like "Stop Defense" or "Curse of Fiend" simply 'flips' the card and does not trigger a Flip Summon, so Trap Hole, etc. cannot be used, even though a Flip Effect would be activated due to the card being flipped face-up.The third category is the Special Summon. A Special Summon occurs when a Trap Card, Spell Card, or Effect Monster causes a monster to be Summoned to the field (examples include "Monster Reborn", "Premature Burial", "Call of the Haunted", "Cyber Jar", and "The Fiend Megacyber"). You can perform as many Special Summons per turn as you like.
CAN I NORMAL SUMMON IN FACE-UP DEFENSE POSITION?A Normal Summon (including a Tribute Summon) can only be played in face-up Attack Position. A Set can only be played in face-down Defense Position.
SPECIAL SUMMONSUnless otherwise specified on the card, a Special Summoned monster is summoned in face-up Attack Position or face-up Defense Position (summoning player's choice). Sometimes a monster is Special Summoned in face-down defense position; this is still a Special Summon, not a Set.
CAN I FLIP SUMMON TO DEFENSE POSITION?No. A Flip Summon is when you change a monster's battle position from face-down Defense Position to face-up Attack Position. Flipping a face-down monster because it was attacked, or flipping a monster face-up because of a card effect like "Swords of Revealing Light" or "Book of Taiyou", is not a Flip Summon.
IF I USE MONSTER REBORN ON DARK MAGICIAN, DO I HAVE TO TRIBUTE?No, you do not. If you Special Summon a high-level monster that normally requires Tribute, you do not have to Tribute. Remember that you cannot use Monster Reborn on a monster that has Special Summoning requirements unless it was properly Summoned to the field and then sent to the Graveyard.
CAN I DISCARD DARK NECROFEAR AND USE MONSTER REBORN ON IT?Certain monsters cannot be played with a Normal Summon or Set, only via a Special Summon. Examples of such Special Summon-only monsters include Fusion Monsters, Ritual Monsters, Toon Monsters, "Gate Guardian", "Harpie Lady Sisters", "Great Moth", "Wall Shadow", "Dark Necrofear", "Soul of Purity and Light", "Spirit of Flames", "Aqua Spirit", "The Rock Spirit", "Garuda the Wind Spirit", etc.Fusion Monsters and Ritual Monsters have standardized methods to play them. All of the other monsters listed have specific methods written on the cards as to how to play them. You cannot play these monsters by any other method.If a Special Summon-only monster is successfully Special Summoned to the field, using the proper method, and is then sent from the field to the Graveyard, you may use "Monster Reborn", etc. to revive the monster back to the field, and you do not have to use the proper method again. (For example, if you Special Summon "Aqua Spirit" by removing 1 WATER monster in your Graveyard from play, and Aqua Spirit is then destroyed and sent to your Graveyard, you may use "Monster Reborn" on "Aqua Spirit" without having to remove another WATER monster in your Graveyard from play.)However, if a Special Summon-only monster is placed in your Graveyard because it was discarded from your hand, or some other method that did not involve the monster being Special Summoned to the field using the proper method, you cannot use "Monster Reborn", etc. on the monster.The proper method to summon a Fusion Monster is via a "Fusion Summon". A Fusion Summon can only be performed using Polymerization or Fusion Gate. Any other method of playing these monsters is not a proper summon, and if the monster is then sent to the Graveyard it cannot be revived with "Monster Reborn". Some Fusion Monsters have additional restrictions.For example: The "XYZ" Fusion Monsters from Magician's Force CANNOT be Fusion Summoned using Polymerization or Fusion Gate. Therefore, there is no way to properly summon them, so there is no way to use "Monster Reborn" on these cards, ever. "Dark Paladin" has the text, "This monster can only be Special Summoned by Fusion Summon." This means that you can Fusion Summon Dark Paladin from your Fusion Deck using Polymerization or Fusion Gate. You cannot Special Summon "Dark Paladin" from your Fusion Deck using "Magical Scientist" or "Summoner of Illusions" or "Metamorphosis". Even if "Dark Paladin" is Fusion Summoned properly, you cannot "Monster Reborn" him because this would be a Special Summon that is not a Fusion Summon."Dark Balter the Terrible" has the text, "This monster can only be Fusion Summoned by the above Fusion-Material Monsters." This means that you cannot use "substitute" Fusion Monsters like Goddess with the Third Eye. You CAN Special Summon Dark Balter with Summoner of Illusions, etc., because Dark Balter's text only restricts Fusion Summons, not Special Summons in general. If Dark Balter is properly summoned, you can use Monster Reborn, etc. to revive him from the Graveyard.
WHAT CAN I DO IF MY FIELD IS FULL?If your Spell & Trap Card Zone is full with 5 cards, you cannot set new Traps, nor can you set nor activate more Spell Cards. You can?t even play Equip Spell Cards (because they always go in your Spell & Trap Card Zone and take up 1 of your 5 spots) or activate Normal Spell Cards like "Dark Hole" (because they are played to a Spell & Trap Card Zone, then are sent to the Graveyard). Remember that Field Spell Cards do not occupy a space in your Spell & Trap Card Zone but go in your Field Spell Card Zone instead.You cannot voluntarily discard Spell & Trap Cards to free up additional space, nor may you take them back into your hand. The only exception is Spell & Trap Cards that have a continuous payment ("Messenger of Peace", "Imperial Order", etc.), which you may discard by choosing not to pay the cost at the appropriate time. But other cards such as Field Spell Cards, Equip Spell Cards, Continuous Trap Cards (like "Gravity Bind" and "Dragon Capture Jar") remain on the field and you cannot discard them without reason. You can destroy them with cards like Remove Trap or De-Spell, even though they are your own cards.If your Monster Card Zone is full with 5 monsters, you cannot Summon nor Set additional monsters. Nor can you voluntarily discard monsters or return them to your hand for no reason just to make room. You CAN perform a Tribute Summon, however, as the cost (Tributing) is performed first, and then the resolution (summoning the new monster). You must be performing a legitimate Tribute Summon. So Tributing "Beaver Warrior" for "Summoned Skull" is OK, and Tributing "Beaver Warrior" and "Summoned Skull" for "Dark Magician" is OK, but Tributing "Beaver Warrior" for "Giant Soldier of Stone" is not.
WHEN CAN I CHANGE MY MONSTER'S POSITION?There are 3 restrictions on changing a monster's battle position. You cannot change the battle position of a monster on the same turn it was Summoned or Set. You cannot change the battle position of a monster after it attacks. And you cannot change the battle position of a monster after its battle position has already been changed this turn.All of these restrictions only apply to your free once-per-turn battle position change. In all of these cases, you can change the battle position of a monster using a card effect such as "Bite Shoes", "Book of Taiyou", or "Book of Moon."
CONTROLLING YOUR OPPONENT'S MONSTERS & THE GRAVEYARDWhenever your opponent takes control of your monster (with Change of Heart, etc.), and that monster is destroyed, your monster is sent to your Graveyard because you are the owner of the card. If the monster has an effect that activates when the monster is "sent to the Graveyard" (such as "Sangan", "Witch of the Black Forest", or "Mystic Tomato"), because the card was sent to the owner's Graveyard, it is the owner who gets the monster's effect.
WHAT IF MY FACE-DOWN FLIP EFFECT MONSTER IS DESTROYED?If a Flip Effect monster is destroyed while face-down, without being flipped (such as with "Dark Hole", "Man-Eater Bug", "Tribute to the Doomed", "Raigeki", etc.) then its Flip Effect does not activate because the monster is destroyed and sent to the Graveyard. The fact that the monster is face-up in the Graveyard does not mean that it was "flipped" and had its Flip Effect activated.Note that "Sangan" and "Witch of the Black Forest" are not Flip Effect monsters, so if destroyed while face-down the owner still gets the effect of these monsters when they are placed in the owner's Graveyard.
CAN I USE EFFECT MONSTERS ON MY OPPONENT?S TURN?Most Effect Monsters, including "Relinquished", "Barrel Dragon", "Cannon Soldier", "Time Wizard", "Exiled Force", "Tribe-Infecting Virus", "Breaker the Magical Warrior", and "Karate Man" can only have their effects activated during Main Phase 1 or Main Phase 2 of your own turn.You can use some monsters' effects during your opponent's turn. These include monsters that have effects which can be used in the Damage Step (such as "Injection Fairy Lily"), cards which can be used when your opponent attacks (such as "Sanga of the Thunder"), and cards that must be chained to other effects (such as the Spell-negating effects of "Dark Paladin" and "Maryokutai", or the Trap-negating effect of "Ryu Senshi").
"NEGATE" vs. "DESTROY""Destroy" (destroy a card and send it to the Graveyard) is different from "negate" (prevent the card's effect from happening).Chaining "Mystical Space Typhoon" (or "Dust Tornado") to a card like "Raigeki" (or another Normal Spell or Normal Trap Card, a Quick-Play Spell Card, or a Ritual Spell Card) has no effect, as it does not negate the card's effect. So if "Raigeki" is activated, and the opponent chains "Mystical Space Typhoon" to destroy "Raigeki", "Raigeki"'s effect still resolves as normal. Sure, "Mystical Space Typhoon" will destroy "Raigeki", but since "Raigeki" was headed for the Graveyard anyway, it doesn?t make any difference.In order to stop the "Raigeki" Spell Card, you would need to use an effect that "negates" "Raigeki"?s effect. Examples of this would include "Magic Jammer" and "Imperial Order."If you "negate" the effect of a card such as an Equip Spell Card, that does not necessarily mean that the Equip Spell Card is destroyed. For example, if I equip my "Dark Magician" with "Axe of Despair", if my opponent chains "Imperial Order", or has the "Spell Canceller" monster on the field, my "Axe of Despair" is still equipped to my "Dark Magician". As long as "Axe of Despair"?s effect is negated, "Dark Magician" doesn?t gain the +1000 ATK. But the "Axe of Despair" remains on the field and, if the "Imperial Order" or "Spell Canceller" is removed from the field, then the +1000 ATK will re-activate.However, if I equip my "Dark Magician" with "Axe of Despair", and my opponent chains a card like "Magic Jammer" to the activation of "Axe of Despair", then "Axe of Despair" is "negated and destroyed" so it is sent to the Graveyard.
HOW MANY CARDS CAN I HAVE IN MY HAND?During YOUR End Phase if you have more than 6 cards in your hand your must discard down to 6 cards. At any other time it does not matter how many you have in your hand.
THE BATTLE PHASEIt is important to understand the concepts of the Battle & Damage Steps as outlined on page 28 of the rulebook.Spell / Trap Cards
Remember that Quick-Play Spell Cards & Trap Cards can be activated during the Battle Phase, but they cannot be activated during the Damage Step unless they specifically modify ATK or DEF ("Reinforcements", "Castle Walls", "Rush Recklessly", "Mirror Wall", "Limiter Removal", etc are OK and can be activated during the Damage Step. "Waboku", "Reverse Trap", "Mirror Force", "Magic Cylinder", "Imperial Order", etc. are not OK and cannot be activated during the Damage Step.)Counter-Trap cards may be used during the Damage Step to negate an appropriate card. You can use "Magic Jammer" against "Rush Recklessly", for example, or "Seven Tools of the Bandit" against "Reinforcements".
Face-down monsters are not flipped face-up until the Damage Step. If my "Neo the Magic Swordsman" attacks a face-down monster, and it turns out to be "Giant Soldier of Stone", it's too late for me to activate "Waboku" (and prevent damage to my life points). But I can still activate "Reinforcements" to increase "Neo the Magic Swordsman"?s ATK in the Damage Step after the monster is flipped. Of course, my opponent could also use "Castle Walls" to raise his monster's DEF.
Flip Effects are not activated until the "Resolve effects" portion of the Damage Step. This is extremely important for effects like "Man-Eater Bug" and "Hane-Hane", as these effects are not activated until after damage calculation is performed. Usually, the "Man-Eater Bug"/"Hane-Hane" is destroyed during damage calculation because their DEF is so weak. However, there is a difference between being destroyed (which happens in "Calculate and apply damage") and being sent to the Graveyard (which happens last, in "Send to the Graveyard"). In-between these 2 portions is when the flip effect is resolved.For example, "Summoned Skull" attacks a face-down "Man-Eater Bug." In the Damage Step, first "Man-Eater Bug" is flipped face-up. Then damage calculation is performed, the result of which is that "Man-Eater Bug" is destroyed. Next we resolve "Man-Eater Bug"?s effect and destroy a monster on the field (any monster, but let's pick "Summoned Skull"). Finally, in "Send to the Graveyard", both monsters are placed in the Graveyard. The result is that "Man-Eater Bug" uses its Flip Effect to destroy "Summoned Skull", BUT "Man-Eater Bug" is still destroyed by the attack.Now let's change the example so that "Summoned Skull" attacks "Hane-Hane." "Hane-Hane" is flipped face-up during the Damage Step. During damage calculation, "Summoned Skull" destroys "Hane-Hane." Then "Hane-Hane" resolves its flip effect. "Hane-Hane" can return 1 monster on the field to its owner's hand. However, note (on page 28 of the rulebook, and again on page 32) that you "Do not apply effects to monsters that are already destroyed." This means that "Hane-Hane" cannot use its effect on itself, because it has already been destroyed, even though it has not yet been sent to the Graveyard. "Hane-Hane" can use its effect to return "Summoned Skull", or any other monster other than "Hane-Hane" itself, to the owner's hand.
WHAT DOES "AS A RESULT OF BATTLE" MEAN?A card is destroyed "as a result of battle" when it is destroyed by damage calculation during the Damage Step. In other words, it is destroyed because of an "Attack Results" determination from the list on pages 30-31 of the rulebook. If a monster attacks, and is destroyed by "Mirror Force" or a Flip Effect such as "Man-Eater Bug", that is not being "destroyed as a result of battle."
CAN I USE MIRROR FORCE WHEN A TOON ATTACKS?Yes. Some monsters (Toon Monsters, "Mystic Lamp", "Rainbow Flower", "Jinzo #7", etc.) have the ability to attack your opponent?s Life Points directly. This is still an attack and is subject to all the normal rules of attacking, except that the monster can attack the opponent's Life Points directly even if the opponent has monsters on the field.If the monster cannot attack (due to "Swords of Revealing Light", "Ekibyo Drakmord", "Gravity Bind", etc.) then it still cannot attack, even if it would normally attack Life Points directly. Likewise, cards like "Mirror Force", "Waboku", and "Enchanted Javelin" can still be used in response to the attack.
WHAT?S A REPLAY?A replay is triggered when an attack has been declared, and the number of monsters on the defending player's side of the field is changed during the attack by a Trap Card or a Quick-Play Spell Card. A replay causes the attack to "rewind" to the beginning of the Battle Step, with the attacking player starting over with ?Select an attacking monster?. (see page 28 of your rulebook).A replay does not rewind to the beginning of the Battle Phase. It rewinds to the beginning of the Battle Step. So attacks by other monsters that turn which have been completed are totally unaffected by a replay. The monster that was attacking when the replay occurred may attack again, or its controller may choose not to attack with it again this turn.Example #1 of a replay:
Player A attacks with "Battle Ox". His opponent has no monsters on the field, so Player A thinks he will get to attack his opponent's life points directly. But Player B activates "Call of the Haunted" and Special Summons "Blue-Eyes White Dragon" from his Graveyard. This triggers a replay because the number of monsters on the defending player's side of the field was changed by the effects of a Trap Card. Player A goes back to the beginning of the Battle Step, the "Select an attacking monster" stage, and decides NOT to attack.Example #2 of a replay:
Player A attacks with "Blue-Eyes White Dragon." Player B's only monster is "Beaver Warrior", in attack position, equipped with "United We Stand" (current ATK: 2000). Player B activates a Set Quick-Play Spell Card: "Scapegoat", which creates 4 new Sheep Token monsters on his side of the field. The Sheep contribute to the power of "United We Stand", and "Beaver Warrior"'s ATK is now 5200. But because the defending player's number of monsters was changed by a Quick-Play Spell Card, this triggers a replay. Player A decides to attack a Sheep Token instead, and destroys it (ATK 3000 vs DEF 0).Example #3 of a replay:
Player A attacks with "Battle Ox." Player B uses "Ultimate Offering" to summon "La Jinn, the Mystical Genie of the Lamp" from his hand. This triggers a replay because the number of monsters on the defending player's side of the field was changed. Player A goes back to the beginning of the Battle Step and selects an attacking monster, and decides to attack with his "Dark Magician" instead. After "Dark Magician" destroys "La Jinn", then Player A can still attack with "Battle Ox".Example #1 of a situation that is NOT a replay: Player A attacks with "Blue-Eyes White Dragon", attacking Player B's "Dark Magician". Player B activates "Reinforcements", increasing "Dark Magician"'s ATK to 3000. This does not trigger a replay, as the defending player's number of monsters was not changed, and the attack proceeds as normal.Example #2 of a situation that is NOT a replay: Player A attacks with "Blue-Eyes White Dragon", attacking Player B's "Dark Magician." Player B activates "Mirror Wall", cutting "Blue-Eyes White Dragon"'s ATK in half. This does not trigger a replay. Even if Player A activates "Scapegoat" or "Call of the Haunted" to increase his number of monsters, this does not trigger a replay as the defending player's number of monsters was not changed.