Here are the rules for the English Yu-Gi-Oh! card game.
Winning a Duel
The outcome of a Duel is decided according to the following Official Rules
Each player begins a Duel with 8000 Life Points.
Life Points decrease as a result of damage calculation after battle.
You win a Duel if you reduce your opponent's Points to 0. If your opponent reduces your Life Points to 0, YOU lose!
If you and your opponent both reach 0 Life Points at the same
time, the Duel is declared a DRAW.
If either player's Deck runs out of cards during a Duel, the first
player unable to draw a card is declared the LOSER.
If at any time during the Duel you hold the following cards in
your hand, you instantly win the Duel:
Right Leg of the Forbidden One
Left Leg of the Forbidden One
Right Arm of the Forbidden One
Left Arm of the Forbidden One
Exodia the Forbidden One
Preparing Your Deck
Following you'll find the basic rules for preparing
The Deck used for dueling should contain a minimum of 40 cards.
Aside from this minimum limit, your Deck can contain as many cards as you like.
In addition to your dueling Deck, you can also have 15 additional
cards in a separate pile known as the Side Deck. The Side Deck allows you to modify your Deck to better suit your strategy
during a match.
Between Duels, you can exchange any card from your Side Deck with any card in your
Deck - as long as you end up with the same number of cards that your Deck began the Match with. The Side Deck you create must
contain exactly 15 cards at the beginning of a Match. In other words, if you don't have enough cards to create a 15 card Side
Deck, you cannot use one at all. In any Match, the Deck and Side Deck combined cannot contain more than 3 copies of the same
card. Also, be aware of Forbidden and Limited cards.
In accordance with the Official Rules, a Duel is conducted in the
Both players shuffle their respective Decks and hand them to their opponent to shuffle.
The decks are then returned to their owners and placed face-down in their respective Deck Zones on the Duel Field. When using
Fusion Monster Cards, place them face-down on the Fusion Deck Zone of the Duel Fiend. A Fusion Deck is a card or a group of
cards consisting only of Fusion Monsters formed by fusing 2 or more monsters during a Duel. Note: The cards of the Fusion
Deck are NOT counted in the 40 cards minimum limit of the deck. Show your opponent that your Side Deck contains exactly 15
cards (the cards may be counted face-down). When your Side Deck cards are exchanged with those in your Deck, count the cards
of your Side Deck with your opponent once again to verify that the Deck still contains the same number of cards.
For the first Duel in a Match, decide who tarts first with a coin toss. For subsequent
Duels in the Match, the loser of the previous Duel decides who starts first. Each player draws 5 cards from the top of their
respective Decks. Once both players have 5 cards in their hand, the Duel begins, following the Rules in Phases of Gameplay.
Remember the following codes of conduct when facing an opponent:
Your opponent is entitled to know the contents of your Gaveyard
and the number of cards in your hand. If asked, you are obligated to answer truthfully.
Never touch an opponent's card without asking permission.
Before you learn how a Yu-Gi-Oh! turn proceeds, it is important to fully understand
the Duel Field and game cards. Understanding how each type of card works will help you plan strategies.
The Duel Field
Every card you play or discard will be placed on the Duel Fiend.
A. Field Card Zone: Field Magic cards are played here. Only 1 Field Magic
Card can be in play at any given time.
B. Monster Card Zone: Monster cards can be played (face-up) or Set (face-down)
to the 5 spaces of the Monster Card Zone following the rules in Main Phase 1.
C. Fusion Deck Zone: If you are playing with Fusion Monster Cards, put
your Fusion Deck face-down in this space.
D. Graveyard: When cards are destroyed, they are discarded face-up to
this space. The contents of the Graveyard are public knowledge, and your opponent can look through it at any time. Be sure
to get your opponent's permission before going through their Graveyard.
E. Magic & Trap Card Zone: Magic and Trap cards can be played (face-up)
or Set (face-down) to the 5 spaces of the Magic 7 Trap Card Zone following the rules in Main Phase 1.
F. Deck Zone: Place your Deck face-down in this space. Your Side Deck
is not placed on the Duel Field.
Three main card types are used in Yu-Gi-Oh!: Monster Cards, Magic Cards, and Trap
Cards. Additionally, each type of card is divided into further sub-categories. For now, just read the card descriptions.
After familiarizing yourself with the Phases of Gameplay, you will understand the special role of each of the cards.
A Word on Game Text
Play - Whenever you use or activate the effects of a card, change the Attack/Defense
Position of a card, or place a card on the field, you are executing a "Play". When you play a card, its effect is immediate.
Set - The act of placing a card face-down on the field is referred to as "Set".
A Set card's effect s not activated immediately. Also, a Set Monster Card is not considered to be summoned until it is turned
face-up. A set monster must be placed HORIZONTALLY, in face-down Defense Position (monsters summoned normally are placed VERTICALLY,
in face-up Attack Position). Set Magic and Trap Cards are placed vertically on the field.
The Field - Throughout these rules, and on the card text itself, the Monster
Card Zone, Magic & Trap Card Zone and Field Card Zone together will be referred to as the field.
Destroyed - A card that is sent to the Graveyard is destroyed.
Removed from Play - A card that is removed from play is NOT sent to the Graveyard.
Instead, it is set aside and is not allowed to re-enter the current Duel.
A. Normal Monster Cards
A Monster Card is the basic card used to attack
your opponent. Monster Cards categorized by Type and Attribute. There are 20 different Types and 6 different Attributes. Type
and Attribute affect each monster's ability to Attack and Defend.
GAMEPLAY RULES for NORMAL MONSTER CARDS
Normal Monster Cards are
used primarily to Attack or Defend, although they can also be used as Tributes to pay a cost, or as part of a Fusion.
B. Fusion Monster Cards
"Fusion" means using 2 or more Monster Cards
together with the Magic Cared "Polymerization" to creature a new monster, represented by a Fusion Monster Card. Each Fusion
Monster Card also lists the monsters necessary to creature it, and is further identified as "Fusion" next to its Type. The
color of a Fusion Monster Card is VIOLET.
GAMEPLAY RULES for FUSION MONSTER CARDS
During your turn, if you
have the Magic Card "Polymerization" and the Fusion Material Monsters required to form a Fusion Monster, either on the field
or in your hand, you can perform a Fusion as a Special Summon by activating "Polymerization". When Fusion is performed, select
the appropriate Fusion Monster Card from your Fusion Deck and place it face-up on an open Monster Card Zone space in either
Attack or Defense position. The 2 (or more) Fusion Material Monster Cards that have been fused, as well as the Polymerization
Magic Card used to perform the Fusion, are destroyed. When a Fusion Monster is destroyed, it is sent to the Graveyard. If
a Fusion Monster Card is returned to your hand, place it back in the Fusion Deck instead.
A Fusion Deck is a group of Fusion Monster Cards that result
from a successful Fusion. When a Fusion is performed, Fusion Monsters are not randomly drawn, but selected from the Fusion
Deck. The Fusion Deck should always be kept separate from the Deck, and placed face-down in the Fusion Deck Zone of the Duel
Field. Remember that the cards of the Fusion Deck are NOT counted in the 40 card minimum limit of the deck.
D. Effect Monster Cards
Monster Cards that possess magical effects are referred to as Effect Monster Cards.
The broad range of Effects are divided into the types listed. For details regarding the effects, refer to the instructions
printed on each individual card. Effect Monster Cards are color-coded ORANGE.
The monster's effect is activated when the card is flipped
from face-down to face-up. The effect is also activated if the card is flipped face-up as a result of a Magic or Trap card,
or another monster's attack.
II. Continuous Effect
As long as this Monster Card is face-up on the field,
its effect remains active. When the monster is turned face-down, its effect is no longer active.
III. Cost Effect
You must discard your hand or pay Life Points in order to activate
this card. Costs vary from card to card so be sure to read the instructions printed on each card.
IV. Trigger Effect
These cards are activated when you inflict Direct Damage
to an opponent's Life Points, or when you have fulfilled a specific requirement indicated on the card itself.
V. Multi-Trigger Effect
These are special Effect Monster Cards that you
can activate even if it is your opponent's turn.
There are several types of Magic Cards. Magic Cards can only be played during a Main
Phase. The only exception to this rule is a Quick-Play Magic Card. Magic Card types are identified by the card icons listed
at the end of this section. magic cards are color-coded green.
A. Normal Magic Cards
Once their magic is activated these cards are destroyed.
B. Continuous Magic Cards
These cards remain on the field once they are
played and their magic effect continues until they are destroyed or removed. There is often a cost involved to maintain the
effect of this type of Magic Card.
C. Equip Cards
These cards allow you to modify the strength of monsters.
When playing this card to the field, place it so that it overlaps with the Monster Card that you wish to equip. Usually, this
card can only be used with monsters that are face-up on the field. However, you may equip either your own OR your opponent's
Monster Cards with Equip Magic Cards. In some cases, certain monsters cannot be equipped with these cards (refer to the individual
D. Field Magic Cards
These cards are used to alter the conditions on the
field and modify the Attack and Defense capabilities of monsters. They are placed in the Field Card Zone and NOT included
in the Magic & Trap Zone's 5-card limit. They may be placed face-down in the Field Card Zone, but will not be activated
until flipped face-up. There can only be 1 active Field Magic Card on the field at any given time between both players. When
a new Field Magic Card is activated, the previous active card is sent to the Graveyard. Also, if a Field Magic card is destroyed
and there are no active Field Magic Card on the field, the field returns to the original state that it was at the beginning
of the game. If a player's Field Magic card is Set when an active Field Magic Card is destroyed, the Set card does not automatically
activate. Field Magic Cards can only be activated by the owner, but never during an opponent's turn.
E. Quick-Play Magic Cards
Aside from the Main Phase, this type of card can
be activated during the Battle Phase. Also, if you have this card Set on the field, you can activate it during your opponent's
You can Set these cards on the field and activate them at any time after the start
of your opponent's next turn. Trap Card types are identified by the card icons. Trap Cards are color-coded PURPLE.
A. Normal Trap Cards
A Normal Trap card has no icon. Once activated, this
type of card is destroyed.
B. Counter Trap Cards
These Trap Cards are activated in response to the
Summon of monsters or to neutralize the effect of a Magic or Trap Cards. Once activated, this type of card is destroyed.
C. Continuous Trap Cards
These cards remain on the field once they are activated
and their effect continues until they are destroyed or removed. There is often a cost involved to maintain the effect of this
type of Trap Card.
A. What Is A Chain?
A Chain is a rule used to easily determine the outcome
of a complex battle resulting from a series Magic or Trap cards played by both players. Using this method to deal with subsequent
plays, the links are stacked from bottom to top until both players have finished playing cards. The effects are then resolved,
starting at the top link and working down to the Chain Link 1 at the bottom.
B. Opponent's Chance To Respond
The player whose Trap or Magic card has
been countered always has a chance to respond with another play - an opportunity that could result in adding yet another link
to the Chain. When making a play on a Chain, you must always ask your opponent, "Do you wish to continue?" The outcome is
determined starting with the most recent card played at the top of the Chain links, and proceeding down to Chain Link 1.
C. Spell Speed
Magic, Trap and Effect Monster Cards all have different speeds.
You can only respond to a card and start a Chain by playing a card of equal or greater speed. The exception to this rule are
Spell Speed 1 cards, which CANNOT be used against each other.
I. Spell Speed 1
This is the slowest of all the Spell Speeds.
- Normal Magic, Equip Magic, Field Magic,
Ritual Magic, Effect Monster.
II. Spell Speed 2
These cards can be used against a card with a spell Speed of 1 or 2.
Magic, Normal Trap, Continuous Trap, Effect Monster.
III. Spell Speed 3
This card can be used against any Spell Speed.
- Counter Trap.
Phases of Gameplay
Turn - Gameplay progresses in a series of alternating turns.
Each player's turn consists of 6 phases in which a number of actions can be undertaken.
Phase - Phases define the
order in which actions can be undertaken by a player during their turn. Each phase is limited to a specific set of actions.
- A sub-category of a phase. This is only used in the Battle Phase.
A. Draw Phase
During this phase, you are required to draw 1 card from the
top of your Deck. A player who is out of cards and unable to draw during this phase is declared the loser.
B. Standby Phase
If there are any cards in play on the field that specifically
state that certain actions must be taken during this phase, there must be dealt with prior to entering the Main Phase. Refer
to the cards for specific details regarding the actions to be taken. if there are no such cards in play, proceed to Main Phase
C. Main Phase 1
During this phase, you may Set or play Monster, Magic, and/or
Trap Cards. You may also change the Attack or Defense position of cards already placed on your field. The position of each
card can be changed only once in a single turn, during either Main Phase 1 or 2. At the end of Main Phase 1, you can choose
to enter the Battle Phase or proceed to the End Phase; ending your turn.
|I. Set or Summon Monster Cards|
During either Main Phase 1 or 2 of your
turn, you can play (Summon or Set) only 1 Monster Card on the field. To Set a Monster Card, select it from your hand and place
it face-down horizontally (Defense Position) on an open space in the Monster Card Zone. To Summon a Monster Card, select it
from your hand and place it face-up vertically (Attack Position) on an open Monster Card Zone space.
a. Normal Summon
Summon a monster without the aid of magic or effects is called a Normal
Summon. A Normal Summon can only be conducted once in a single turn, during either Main Phase 1 or 2. When playing a Monster
Card to the field, a player must choose to place it face-down and horizontal (A set).
NOTE: It is important to remember that a Monster Card played to the field in
face-down Defense Position IS NOT considered to be summoned. Instead, it has
simple been Set and can be summoned
with a Flip Summon.
When summoning a monster that is Level 5 or higher, you must offer 1
or more of your Monster Cards on the field as a Tribute by sending them to the Graveyard. If you are summoning a monster that
is Level 5 or 6, you must offer 1 monster as a Tribute, and if you are summoning a monster that is Level 5 or higher, you
must offer 2 monsters. A Tribute Summon is considered a Normal Summon. Therefore, a Tribute Summon and another Normal Summon
CANNOT be performed in the same turn.
b. Flip Summon
The act of turning a card from face-down Defense Position to face-up
Attack Position is referred to as a flip. Intentionally flipping a card and positioning it for an attack is termed Flip Summon.
Remember that a Monster Card placed face-down on the field is not considered as summoned - it is considered summon for the
first time when it is flipped face-up. However, when a face-down Monster Card is flipped face-up as the result of an attack
or an effect from another card, it is not considered to be Flip Summoned. Its flip effect, however, is activated as soon as
it is flipped face-up. A Flip Summon card is not considered a Normal Summon. Therefore, you can perform a Normal Summon and
1 or more Flip Summon(s) in the same turn. If you have multiple face-down monsters you can Flip Summon as many or as few as
c. Special Summon
A Special Summon is when Fusion, Ritual, Magic, Traps or Monster
Effects are used to place another monster on the field. A Special Summon is different from a Normal Summon in that it can
be used repeatedly within the same turn to summon monsters onto the field. Be sure to follow the specific instructions printed
on the cards when executing a Special Summon.
II. Set or Play Magic & Trap Cards
With the exception of Field Magic Cards, a player
can have only 5 Magic and/or Trap cards on the field at the same time in the Magic & Trap Card Zone. This 5-card limitation
also applies to any Equip Cards the player may have attached to an opponent's Monster Card. A Magic Card can either be played
face-up or face-down on the field. When a Magic Card is placed face-up, it is immediately activated. A Trap Card must always
be placed face-down on the field. For Magic or Trap Effects, follow the instructions listed on each card.
D. Battle Phase
Once attack preparations have been made in Main Phase 1,
you enter the Battle Phase. If you do not wish to conduct a Battle Phase, your turn proceeds to the End Phase. The starting
player cannot conduct a Battle Phase in their first turn, even if they have placed a Monster Card on the field.
|I. Start Step|
Announce that you are going into Battle Phase. Quick-Play
Magic and/or Trap Cards can be played by either player at this time.
II. Battle Step
During their respective turns, players are allowed 1 attack for every
monster on the field in face-up Attack Position. However, a single monster can only attack once per turn. The attacking player
chooses 1 of their monsters and designates 1 of the opponent's monster as a target. Play then proceeds immediately to the
Damage Step, returning to the Battle Step if the attacking player wishes to attack again with another monster. If the opposing
player has no monster on the field, the selected monster's attack will inflict Direct Damage on the opposing player's Life
Points. A monster in the Attack Position does not have to attack. Depending on the situation, you can choose weather or not
a monster will participate in battle. Once a monster attacks, it may not be changed to Defense Position in the same turn.
In addition to monster attacks, both players may use their Quick-Play Magic and Trap Cards during this step.
III. Damage Step
In this step, the players calculate the damage from the monster's
attack. A monster destroyed as a result of battle is sent to the owning player's Graveyard. The Damage Step is conducted in
the manner described in the following sections. During the Damage Step, only Magic or Trap Cards that modify the Attack and/or
Defense of a monster may be played. In addition, these cards can only be played before the calculation of damage. Upon completion
of the Damage Step, return to the Battle Step if the attacking player wishes to attack again with another monster.
a. When the Opponent's Monster is in Attack Position
When attacking a monster that is in Attack Position (face-up and vertical), COMPARE THE ATK OF BOTH MONSTERS.
i. Attacker's ATK Points > Opponent's ATK Points
the attacking monster's ATK points are higher than the ATK points of the opponent's monster, the opponent's monster is destroyed.
the ATK points of the opponent's monsters from the ATK points of the Attacking Monster. This result is subtracted from the
opponent's Life Points.
ii. Attacker's ATK Points = Opponent's ATK Points
attacking monster's ATK points are equal to the ATK points of the opponent's monster, the result is considered a draw, and
both monsters are destroyed.
Neither player takes any damage. Their Life Points remain the same.
iii. Attacker's ATK Points < Opponent's ATK Points
the attacking monster's ATK points are lower than the ATK points of the opponent's monster, the attacking monster is destroyed.
the ATK points of the attacking monster fro the ATK points of the opponent's monster. This result is subtracted form that
attacker's Life Points.
b. When the Opponent's Monster is in Defense Position
When attacking a monster that is in Defense Position (face-down and horizontal), COMPARE THE ATK OF THE
ATTACKING MONSTER WITH THE DEF OF THE OPPONENT'S MONSTER.
i. Attacker's ATK Points > Opponent's DEF Points
the attacking monster's ATK points are higher than the DEF points of the opponent's monster, the opponent's monster is destroyed.
player takes any damage. Their Life Points remain the same.
ii. Attacker's ATK Points = Opponent's DEF Points
attacking monster's ATK points are equal to the DEF points of the opponent's monster, neither monster is destroyed.
player takes any damage. Their Life Points remain the same.
iii. Attacker's ATK Points < Opponent's DEF Points
the attacking monster's ATK points are lower than the DEF points of the opponent's monster, neither monster is destroyed.
the ATK points of the attacking monster from the DEF points of the opponent's monster. This result is subtracted from the
attacker's Life Points.
c. Direct Damage: When the Opponent Has No Monsters
If your opponent does not have any monsters on the field, they take Direct Damage. The full amount of
the attacking monster's ATK points are subtracted from the opponent's Life Points.
IV. End Step
Once all battles have been resolved, the player enters the
End Step and announces the end of their Battle Phase.
E. Main Phase 2
When the Battle Phase is over, the turn proceeds to Main
Phase 2. As in Main Phase 1, you may Set or play Monster, Magic and/or Trap Cards. Remember that you are allowed to change
the Attack or Defense position of each monster or perform a Normal Summon or aSet only ONCE PER TURN.
F. End Phase
Announce the end of your turn. if your hand contains more than
6 cards, discard to the Graveyard until only 6 cards remain in your hand. The opposing player then beings his/her turn with
the Draw Phase.