How to Play Yu-Gi-Oh!: All Sorts of Special Summoning

Welcome back to our discussion of Yu-Gi-Oh! rules. In this instalment we will be covering all types of Special Summoning, including Fusion, Ritual, Synchro, Xyz and Pendulum.

Special Summoning

Special Summoning in Yu-Gi-Oh is a blanket term for a number of different methods of summoning, only really united by the fact that they are not your single Normal Summon for the turn! Of these, there are two major types which affect the interaction between cards: the Inherent Special Summon and the non-Inherent Special Summon. Cyber Dragon cyberdragon(pictured) is an example of an Inherent Special Summon – its effect allows it to be Special Summoned from the hand, but this does not start a chain. You do not have to activate the effect, but rather you have the option to just Special Summon it as long as its condition is fulfilled! Inherent Special Summons are those which do not start chains, and are simply options which you have given the fulfilment of certain conditions. Synchro, Xyz and Pendulum Summons are all Inherent Special Summons.

Non-Inherent Special Summons are effects which start a chain. moboThese effects often affect other cards, such as the Spell Card Monster Reborn (pictured). Essentially, when an effect activates which would Special Summon a monster, that is a non-Inherent Special Summon. Therefore, cards such as Soul Charge are non-Inherent, as their effects activate, and equally all Ritual and Fusion Summons are non-Inherent.

But what difference does this make? Simply put, several cards in the game can only affect one or the other of BlackHornofHeaven-LCJW-EN-UR-1Ethese two major types. Black Horn of Heaven (pictured) can only be used to negate the Inherent Special Summons of monsters. Why? The wording of the card is ‘When your opponent would Special Summon a monster’, not ‘When your opponent would activate an effect which would Special Summon a monster’. This means that only actions which are inherently Special Summons can be negated – limiting Black Horn of Heaven to only affecting Synchro, Xyz, Pendulum and Cyber Dragon-like SummonsSolemnWarning-PGL2-EN-GUR-1E. Solemn Warning (pictured), on the other hand, can stop every type of Summon. This is because it can remove any Inherent Special or Normal Summon (‘when a monster(s) would be Summoned’ or any effect which can Special Summon a monster (‘when… an effect is activated… that Special Summons a monster(s’). As such, it is really important to learn the difference between the two types, as it does change what tools you can use to respond to them!


Ritual Summoning (Non-Inherent)

Relinquished-LCYW-EN-R-1EBlackIllusionRitual-LCYW-EN-R-1ERitual monsters are kept in the Main Deck and must be summoned in a certain way, requiring the user to have two specific cards.  Relinquished is an example of a Ritual monster, and can be summoned using the Ritual Spell Card ‘Black Illusion Ritual’. When the player activates the Black Illusion Ritual, they Tribute monsters from their hand or field according to the conditions written on the Spell Card. This is not a cost, but rather part of the effect, so if your opponent negates the Spell, you do not lose your monsters. At that point, you summon a copy of the appropriate Ritual Monster from your hand. This completes the summon, allowing the opponent to respond with cards such as Bottomless Trap Hole. Ritual Monsters are therefore one of the hardest types of Monster to summon, as they require a very specific combination of cards in hand to use. Further, Ritual Monsters sent to the Grave from the hand or deck cannot be Special Summoned using other effects – they have to be Ritual Summoned first! Therefore, you can only use cards such as Monster Reborn on them after you have already Ritual Summoned them, limiting their use even further. Ritual Summoning has become more popular recently given the advent of the Nekroz and Prediction Princess archetypes, as they can help to recover the heavy cost of Ritual Summoning through secondary effects on their Spell Cards.

Fusion Summoning (Non-Inherent)

BlueEyesUltimateDragon-PGLD-EN-GUR-1EFusion Summoning is, in many respects, similar to Ritual Summoning. However, they do differ substantially. Fusion Monsters are kept in the Extra Deck until they are able to be used, and Fusion Summons rely on activating a Spell Card with the effect of Fusion Summoning a monster. This can be one of several cards, and it is notable that Fusion Summons do not specify which Spell Card you should use, merely the specific monsters you need. This means that, without specific instructions, you could use any appropriate Fusion Spell Card to summon Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon (pictured), provided you use the three Blue-Eyes White Dragon as its Tributes. Polymerization-SP15-EN-C-1EThe most common Fusion Spell card is Polymerisation, although there are many more types of cards which can be used, such as Dragon’s Mirror! As such, many players will use those best suited to their deck, as the more specific Spell Cards are often more powerful. Further, some monsters, such as The Dark – Hex-Sealed Fusion, can be used as substitutes for a Fusion Material monster or to provide the effect to Fusion Summon. This means that, while Spell Cards are the primary way for the summoning to happen, other effects can be used as well. When a Fusion Monster would be returned to the hand or the deck, it instead returns to the Extra Deck, though they can be banished or destroyed as usual.

Xyz Summoning (Inherent)

Number39Utopia-YS13-EN-SR-1EXyz monsters are kept in the Extra Deck until they are ready to be used, and may be Summoned when you control two or more monsters with the same level on the field. This does not have to be their original level, so any level modifying effects (such as the Gagaga series) can be used to help create them. Number 39: Utopia’s summoning requirement is two level 4 monsters: when you have these on the field, you place the one on top of the other (order does not matter), then the Xyz monster on top of them both. The two monsters used in its summon become ‘Xyz materials’, and are often used as fuel for its effects. For example, Utopia may detach one material from itself to negate an attack – the material leaves the stack under the card and is sent to the Graveyard. On this note, Xyz materials do not count as leaving the field when used as material, so effects such as that of Reborn Tengu cannot activate. Further, Xyz monsters do not have a level, but rather a rank – this is shown by their black stars and their position on the left, rather than the right, of the card. As such, Xyz materials are immune to all effects which are dependent on level, such as Level Limit – Area B. When Xyz monsters are returned to the hand or deck, they instead return to the Extra Deck.

Synchro (Inherent)

StardustDragon-LC5D-EN-C-1ESynchro monsters are kept in the Extra Deck until they are ready to be used, and need to be summoned in a specific way. All Synchro monsters require a Tuner and a non-Tuner monster to be on the field for their summon, although some require multiple Tuners or non-Tuners. Stardust Dragon (pictured) requires exactly one Tuner and at least one non-Tuner – this means you can use any number of non-Tuner monsters (including Tokens) to summon it. However, the levels of the Monsters used as Synchro Material need to add up exactly to the Synchro Monster’s level, which in this case is 8. Therefore, you could use a level 5 Tuner with a level 3 non-Tuner; a level 2 Tuner with two level 3 non-Tuners; or even a level 2 tuner with three level 2 non-Tuners. As long as the level adds up to 8, you can use as many monsters as you need. The monsters used for the summon are sent to the Graveyard, so effects such as Reborn Tengu will activate at this time, as the monsters used are considered to have left the field. Further, as with Xyz monsters, any effects which return Synchro monsters to the hand or deck return them to the Extra Deck instead.

Pendulum (Inherent)

xiangPendulum monsters are the newest type of Special Summoning, and often are considered the most confusing. Pendulum is a secondary Type of monster, meaning that they go in whichever deck that monster would normally be in. Xiangke Magician, therefore, would go in the Main Deck, while Odd-Eyes Rebellion Dragon (the only Xyz Pendulum) would stay in the Extra Deck. Pendulum monsters are a hybrid between Continuous Spell and Monster Cards, and may be played in two different ways. The most obvious way is just like any other monster card, in which case the lower of the two effect boxes applies – in the case of Xiangke Magician, this is the box containing [Spellcaster/Pendulum/Effect]. This is considered their ‘Monster Effect’. However, they also have a Spell form. When they are played in this way, you may place them face-up in one of your two Pendulum Zones (you cannot set in a Pendulum zone), and they then count as Continuous Spell Cards. At this point, there are two very important pieces of information. The first is their Spell Effect, shown in the upper of the two boxes on the card. In the case of Xiangke Magician, this reads ‘Once per turn: You can target 1 face-up Xyz Monster…’. The second piece of information is their Pendulum Scale. These are shown by the two arrows on either side of the Spell Effect, which in the case of Xiangke Magician is 3. When both of your Pendulum Zones are occupied (for this example, we shall use Xiangsheng Magician as the card in the other zone), once per turn you may perform a Pendulum Summon. This allows you to summon as many monsters as you like from your hand or face-up from your Extra Deck with levels between the scale. So, with a Pendulum Scale of 3 and 8, you are allowed to summon monsters with levels 4, 5, 6 and 7. This is not considered to be activating an effect, so Pendulum summoning is Inherent – as such, cards like Black Horn of Heaven can be activated in response to the summon. But how do you get face-up cards in the Extra Deck? All Synchro, Fusion and Xyz monsters remain face-down at all times in the Extra Deck, even if returned there by an effect. You get face-up cards in the Extra Deck when Pendulum Monsters (even if used as Spells) on the field would be sent to the Graveyard – instead, they move to the Extra Deck face-up, ready to be summoned back by using the Pendulum scale. Therefore, using Pendulum monsters on the field for Tribute Summoning, Ritual Summoning, Synchro Summoning or Fusion Summoning will return them to the Extra Deck, while using them for Xyz material will result in them going to the Grave when detached, as they are not on the field. Pendulum monsters (even if used as Spell cards) must be on the field to return to the Extra Deck – negating their activation or summon will send them to the Graveyard, just like any other type of monster. When they are returned to the hand or deck, they behave normally too.


In this instalment, we have learned the difference between Inherent and Non-Inherent types of Special Summoning, as well as how to perform each type of Special Summon in the game.

Previous Rules

Yu-Gi-Oh! singles are available to purchase at Big Orbit Cards: Yu-Gi-Oh!


Synchron Extreme Structure Deck: A Review

The Synchron Extreme Structure Deck is released in the TCG on 28th October 2015, focussing on Synchro Summoning and bringing a total of ten brand-new cards, along with several important reprints! This article will discuss the most notable cards in the set, the new cards, and how well it can play out of the box.

New Cards

StardustWarrior-SD28-JP-UPRWhen we examine the contents of the deck, it is worth having a look at the brand new ‘Ace’ card! Stardust Warrior is a level 10 Synchro which needs to be formed using a Tuner Synchro monster and a non-Tuner Synchro monster. This would often be a hefty cost, but as Synchron decks usually use Synchro monsters as stepping stones to larger threats, it is not outside of the deck’s capabilities. For this investment, you receive a monster which can Tribute itself whenever your opponent would Special Summon a monster to negate the summon, and then return to the field during the End Phase. Further, if this card is destroyed by battle or leaves the field by an opponent’s card effect (while still in your possession), you may summon a level 8 or lower ‘Warrior’ Synchro Monster from the Extra Deck. This can include cards such as Drill Warrior, Junk Warrior, Road Warrior or the new Jet Warrior, all of whom work extremely well in Synchron Decks. As Synchron decks are often very monster-heavy to aid consistent summoning, Stardust Warrior offers the chance to control the game on the opponent’s turn while also, ideally, replacing itself with Road Warrior (who can summon level 2 monsters from the deck for free) to help the player recover should it be removed.

JetWarrior-SD28-JP-SPRThe Structure Deck also introduces a new pair of cards: Jet Synchron and Jet Warrior (pictured). Jet Synchron (a level 1 Tuner) is very good for aiding the deck’s consistency, as, when it is sent to the Graveyard as a Synchro material, you can add one Junk monster from the deck to the hand. Further, you can send one card from your hand to your graveyard to Special Summon it from the Graveyard, but banish it when it leaves the field. This can easily aid summoning larger monsters, and an easily accessible Special Summon is especially useful in this deck. Its Warrior form, Jet Warrior, requires Jet Synchron as its Tuner, bringing with it some very good effects. When it is Synchro Summoned, you can target one card your opponent controls and return it to their hand.  Synchron decks often consolidate into level 5 Synchros before moving up into the higher levels, and as this has an effect on summon, it is a very good option despite having specific requirements. What really helps this card is the ability to Special Summon it from the Graveyard by Tributing a level 2 or lower monster (although it will be banished when it leaves the field). This easily allows it to add levels to future Synchro Summons, especially since the deck revolves so heavily around level 2 monsters.

AccelSynchron-SD28-JP-SPRAccel Synchron (pictured) is another good level 5 monster. It is a Synchro Tuner monster, and can only be Synchro Summoned once per turn (for good reason). It can be used to Synchro Summon during the opponent’s Main Phase in a similar way to Formula Synchron. However, it also has the ability to send a Synchron monster from the deck to the Graveyard to either increase or decrease its level by the level of the sent monster. This easily allows it to tailor its level to be used to summon any monster, even becoming level 10 with ease (using Quickdraw Synchron). Its low stats cement it as a combo card, although its flexibility means it will find a home in any Synchron deck.

SynchronCarrier-SD28-JP-NPRSynchron Carrier (pictured)  is a level 2 non-tuner with a pair of useful effects. During your Main Phase, it allows you to Normal Summon a ‘Synchron’ monster in addition to your Normal Summon or Set. Further, it can summon a level 2 token once per turn when a ‘Synchron’ monster is sent to the Graveyard for the summon of a Warrior or Machine Type Synchro Monster. This allows it to serve a variety of purposes: you can Normal Summon this, then use your additional Normal Summon for Junk Synchron. Junk Synchron then can summon any level 2 monster and be used to summon Accel Synchron. This then causes Synchron Carrier to spawn a token, granting you access to any level 7 or 9 Synchro monster even without using Accel Synchron’s effect. This card really can help set up combos with ridiculous ease, and should be seen as a staple in the deck.


OneforOne-LC5D-EN-UR-1EThe deck includes many ‘obvious’ reprints such as Quickdraw Synchron, Tuningware, Quillbolt Hedgehog, Level Eater, Unknown Synchron, Tuning and Doppelwarrior. These have always been mainstays of any ‘Synchro Spam’ deck, and their easy access is surely very useful to all would-be players of the deck. Players will be certainly excited for another reprint of One For One, whose utility has made it a key card in many decks. In a Structure Deck where most of the key cards have been included at one copy, this card really helps consistency – further, the discard cost is actually useful, as it can help set up the Graveyard with cards to Summon using Junk Synchron or with Quillbolt Hedgehogs to summon themselves.

ImperialIronWall-LCJW-EN-UR-1EImperial Iron Wall is an interesting addition, especially considering it is usually seen as a Side Deck card. It has been included in this deck for its synergy with cards such as Quillbolt Hedgehog, Jet Synchron and Jet Warrior, so that they are returned to the Graveyard as opposed to being banished, allowing them to continuously use their effects. The deck also includes a copy of Solemn Warning, which is often considered to be a ‘Staple’ trap card and is useful in virtually every deck. It has been reprinted quite a few times since its original release, but as the demand for it continues to be high, it is good to see its inclusion here.


Reinforcement of the Army and The Warrior Returning Alive also come with this set, and help increase the power of the deck further. As the deck contains so many important Warrior Type monsters (such as Junk Synchron or Doppelwarrior), these cards increase its consistency nicely. We also see the very ‘splashable’ Tuners of Plaguespreader Zombie and Genex Ally Birdman included in this set. They fit the theme nicely and also work very well in other decks. The addition of Effect Veiler, a card which is extremely useful in this deck (both to use for disruption and as a target for cards such as Junk Synchron) also makes the deck very good value in terms of staples.

How to improve the deck

The deck functions moderately well on its own, but can easily be improved. The best way to make the deck better is to buy a second copy of the Structure deck and merge them together – this allows you to easily gain more copies of the most important combo cards and fill your Extra Deck, while also providing some copies of Limited cards for other decks. There are, however, some easy ‘singles’ which should be added to really make the deck effective.

TGHyperLibrarian-LC5D-EN-ScR-1ENo Synchro deck could be complete without T.G. Hyper Librarian. This card is one of the most important tools in the Synchro arsenal, especially in a deck which Synchro summons as much as this Structure Deck does. It is extremely easy to summon in the deck, granting it consistency even past the first wave of summons and it shines when combined with cards such as De-Synchro or Tuningware. Further, when it has done its job, it can be used to help produce higher-level Synchro monsters, meaning that you definitely need to run the one copy you’re allowed! FormulaSynchron-PGL2-EN-GUR-1E

Formula Synchron is another card which really benefits the deck to an absurd degree. As soon as it is Synchro Summoned, you can draw a card, while the fact that it is a Synchro/Tuner monster means that it can be used to help create difficult creatures like Stardust Warrior or Shooting Quasar Dragon. This works very well when summoned after T.G. Hyper Librarian, or as a target for use with De-Synchro. Further, the ability to Synchro Summon during the opponent’s turn allows the user to easily use board wipes like Black Rose Dragon to respond to their threats. It is well worth using at least one copy of this card, depending on how you focus your build.

Theoretically, the Extra Deck now consists of eleven cards. I would fill out the remaining spaces with a single copy of Black Rose Dragon; a Stardust Dragon; a Mist Wurm or Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier (budget dependant); a Shooting Star Dragon and a Shooting Quasar Dragon. For players new to the deck, this grants a variety of levels and effects which can be accessed before they move into a more specialised build, such as Quasar Turbo. In terms of cards to add to the Main Deck, a copy of Foolish Burial is very good, as it allows the user to help add cards such as Quillbolt Hedgehog to the Grave, while some copies of Machine Duplication can help to get more bodies onto the field (especially effective with Tuningware). This should create a nicely focussed build with some very strong combination plays.

My Rating

I give this deck an easy 8/10 – the introduction of ten unique cards means that it is worth purchasing even for experienced players, while the reprints of staple cards such as Effect Veiler and One for One mean that it has great value even when dismantled for other decks. This seems to be one of the better Structure Decks to start playing with, as buying two copies will create an efficient deck and a half-full Extra Deck, while working out the possible ‘combos’ will be a good exercise for experts and new players alike. The only thing that stopped me from rating it higher is the surprising lack of Formula Synchron, as it would have been a perfect fit for the deck, both in theme and play-style. This is well worth picking up!

Synchron Extreme Structure Decks are available from Big Orbit Games.


Yu-Gi-Oh! Clash Of Rebellions Coming Soon!

Yu-Gi-Oh! Clash of Rebellions is coming out on Thursday (06/08/15), and looks to be a really exciting set! It brings support for many pre-existing archetypes and introduces some brand new ones such as Kaiju. Our previous article talked about Aroma, Igknight and Red-Eyes in depth, so today we’ll examine the other cards revealed!

OddEyesRebellionDragon-CORE-EN-ScR-1EOdd-Eyes Rebellion Dragon

As Odd-Eyes Rebellion Dragon is the cover card for the set, it’s impossible to ignore this unique and potentially devastating card! This is the first Xyz Pendulum monster, and it can be devastating when used correctly. It, like other Pendulum monsters, goes to the Extra Deck when destroyed and, despite having a Rank, can be summoned as if it had a level. The effect it has when summoned using a Xyz monster as material is the impressive part – you can wipe their field of Level 7 or lower monsters, deal a huge amount of burn damage and then attack multiple times for game! This is evidently designed to be a finisher, and initially it looks difficult to pull off this effect. Using a Rank-Up Magic can achieve this easily, but there are a couple of cards in this set that provide a different method. It can enter the Pendulum Zone when destroyed, and its Pendulum effect allows you to restore the scale very easily. Even if destroyed, therefore, it allows you to gain back some of the resources you used to summon it.


The Xiang Magicians are the perfect tools to help summon Rebellion Dragon. Their Pendulum effects allow you to manipulate the monsters on your field so that Xyz monsters can be used for Xyz summons, and also can match the Level of another monster. This means that any Dragon type Xyz monster can be paired with an Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon to create Rebellion Dragon. The idea for the deck is to use your Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon to add Xiangsheng Magician to your hand, allowing you to summon the dragon back from the Extra deck when you need to. It is somewhat harder to access the Xiangke Magician from the deck, but given that Stargazer Magician can be searched easily, you do not need to go the whole game without a Pendulum scale. Therefore, you can stall relatively easily with Pendulum summoning until you are ready to use your finishing move. Some easy Dragon Xyz monsters to access are Gaia Dragon, the Thunder Charger (using any rank 5 or higher for an upgrade); Number 17: Leviathan Dragon (using two level 3 monsters) and Dark Rebellion XYZ Dragon (two level 4 monsters), although there are many more. Further, any Odd-Eyes Rebellion Dragons already face-up in the Pendulum zone can be used, making it viable to summon one to set up the next. Negating the summon of this unit when it hits the field will be high-priority, and it is likely that we will see many more Traptrix Trap Holes in Side Decks to help negate these sort of threats. Odd-Eyes Rebellion Dragon is just difficult enough to summon that it won’t be seen in every deck, but decks designed to summon it will be dangerous indeed.


KozmoFarmgirl-CORE-EN-UR-1EIf you ever felt that Yu-Gi-Oh! was lacking an Archetype that crossed the world of Wizard of Oz with Star Wars, then this set certainly will not disappoint you. Kozmo currently are a set of five cards which support each other nicely. There are two Psychic types which can banish themselves during either player’s turn to Special summon higher-levelled Kozmo monsters from the hand (4 or higher for Farmgirl, 5 or higher for Goodwitch). This is a quick-effect, and so is good to use when they are targeted for attacks or by card effects, as you can easily force them to waste their card or force a Replay. You then summon one of the two Machine type monsters, Sliprider or Forerunner. Sliprider is able to destroy a Spell or Trap card on the field when summoned, while Forerunner is immune to card effects. When these are sent to the Graveyard, you can banish them to summon lower-levelled Kozmo monsters from the deck. The idea, therefore, is to constantly maintain a field presence by cycling between these units. Their Field Spell, Kozmotown, makes them very consistent. You can add banished Kozmo monsters to your hand at the cost of some lifepoints, you can reveal Kozmo monsters in your hand and shuffle them into the deck to draw that many cards and, if it gets destroyed, it can search for any Kozmo card from the deck and add it to your hand. Using these cards with Soul Absorption to gain ridiculous amounts of life, or Necroface or Gren Maju Da Eiza for the recycling and huge attack power can be a good idea.



 Kaiju are a small series of cards, currently consisting of two monsters and a Field Spell. Both monsters can be Special Summoned to the opponent’s side of the field by tributing one of their monsters, but also can be Special Summoned to their owner’s side of the field if their opponent controls a Kaiju. The idea is to set up fights between the two Kaiju, using their Field Spell (Kyoutou Waterfront) to keep up the pressure. Kyoutou gains Kaiju Counters when cards are sent to the Graveyard from the field and allows the user to add a Kaiju from their deck to their hand when it has three or more counters. The counters can also be used to protect the card and fund the effects of Kaiju monsters. There are no-where near enough cards to fill a deck, although they are very useful in removing tough monsters like Beelze of the Diabolic Dragons from the field. Hopefully, they will see more support in future sets, as it seems really fun to have one-on-one Kaiju fights!


GemKnightLadyBrilliantDiamond-CORE-EN-UR-1EGem-Knights receive some really nice support this set, not least with Gem-Knight Lady Brilliant Diamond. Her summoning condition is expensive, but she is actually very good if her effect can be used. She can turn any Gem-Knight on the field into a powerful Fusion monster – the maximum value is summoning Gem-Knight Master Diamond, but she should be considered as a ‘toolbox’ card, able to bring out whichever fusion is needed at that time. Absorb Fusion supports her extremely well. It is a Normal Spell which, at no cost, can search the deck for any Gem-Knight card and add it to your hand, and then has the optional effect of banishing cards from your hand or your side of the field to Fusion Summon a Gem-Knight from the Extra Deck. Gem-Knights tend to banish their cards relatively often, so this is not particularly out of the ordinary for the deck, but it does mean that it competes with Fragment Fusion and Master Diamond by removing their Graveyard resources. Absorb Fusion will be used by every deck for the fact that it is a tutor with an optional Fusion Summoning effect, lending it extreme flexibility in BrilliantFusion-CORE-EN-SR-1Eits use. Brilliant Fusion is great support for the deck as well. It can use Gem-Knight monsters from the deck as Fusion Materials, but has the downside that that monster’s attack and defence become 0. This can be negated by discarding a Spell Card, but in practice will never be used. You either summon a Gem-Knight which you need for its effect, or summon Lady Brilliant Diamond and use her own effect to send her to the Graveyard to replace herself. In this way, you can set up the Graveyard with four Gem-Knights to use for Fragment Fusions, while also having a permanent Fusion monster with no downsides. This is the sort of support that the deck really needed to help it be more viable, and these will definitely become staples in their decks.


This set looks to be a really nice mix of cards. There is a nice mix of archetypes for both casual and competitive play, along with some good support for older decks. Cards such as Wavering Eyes will be interesting tech choices, depending on how Pendulum-focussed the meta-game continues to be (especially since Igknights, currently considered destined to be a high-tier deck, come out in this set). All the new Archetypes have their own playstyle which makes them distinct from other decks – this is a refreshing set, and well worth a look!

Yu-Gi-Oh! singles are available to purchase at Big Orbit Cards: Yu-Gi-Oh!


How to Play Yu-Gi-Oh!: Spells, Traps and Effects in Depth

Welcome back to our discussion of Yu-Gi-Oh! rules. In this installment, we shall be taking a closer look at the various types of Spell and Trap cards, and how  effects can differ. We shall also have a look at the mechanic of ‘Spell Speeds’, which explains how cards can respond to each others’ effects!

Symbol Key

As has been mentioned previously, Spell and Trap cards have different sub-types,  which can be recognised by a visual shorthand:

ygo-cont – Continuous Spell and Trap cards are represented by this infinity symbol. They stay face-up on the field after they activate, but they need to be on the field to use their effect. If they’re destroyed at any point, their effect vanishes!

ygo-field– The compass represents Field Spell cards. These have their own special area and can apply to both players at once, depending on the card’s effect. Both players may control one field spell – attempting to play another, even setting it, overrides the previous and sends it to the graveyard! These stay on the field until destroyed or replaced.

ygo-equip – Equip cards stay on the field after their activation, but are linked to a single monster! When you activate the card, you choose a face-up monster on the field, and the equip card modifies that monster (and only that monster). If the monster leaves the field, the equip card does too, and if the monster s turned face-down by any means, the equip card also goes to the graveyard. Destroying the equip card does no harm to the monster unless the card specifies otherwise.

ygo-ritual – This symbol denotes that the card is a Ritual Spell card. These are used in a special type of Summoning, called Ritual Summoning. For this to be done, the player needs to have the specified Ritual Monster in their hand, and be able to offer monsters as tribute from either their hand or field. When this is done, the Ritual Monster is summoned!

ygo-quickplay – Quick Play Spell cards are a sort of hybrid between Spell and Trap cards. During your turn, they can be activated from hand at any time, but they can also be used on your opponent’s turn if they are set. This makes Quick Play cards very flexible, as they can serve as ‘Traps’ on the opponent’s turn.

ygo-counter – Counter traps are unique in the fact that only other Counter Traps can be activated in response to them. This makes them potentially the most powerful type of card in the game, in as much as only a few cards can stop their activation!

Spell Speeds and Chains

Yu-Gi-Oh is a game where all effects are interactive – you have the chance to counter your opponent’s moves through activating cards of your own! When a player activates an effect, the opponent is given the chance to respond to it before it activates; after that, the original player can respond to that! If a player chooses not to activate an effect in response to another, the other player has the right to chain to their own effect. This is similar to the ‘stack’ in other games. Effects wait their turn to be activated, with the most recently activated card resolving first.

This is easier to see in an example:

Player 1 Normal Summons Gemini Elf. At this point, Player 2 has the option to respond, and chooses to activate their Trap Hole, which would destroy Gemini Elf. Player 1 can choose to use their own effect at this time, and activates Forbidden Lance, targeting Gemini Elf. Neither Player 1 nor Player 2 activate any further effects at this time.

It is easiest to imagine resolving the chain as making a pile of cards face up. As cards are activated, they are placed on top of the card they respond to, and the topmost card is resolved first. So, first we should resolve Forbidden Lance, which makes Gemini Elf immune to other Spell and Trap cards. This is resolved before the Trap Hole, so Gemini Elf is not destroyed by Trap Hole’s effect! Trap Hole still resolves, but Gemini Elf is simply impervious to its effect.

So, chains resolve in the reverse order to their activation. However, there is a little bit more to chains than this! Spell Speed is an important piece of information, which dictates which effects can be used at a given time. These are:

  1. Spell Speed 1 effects are the ‘slowest’ effects in the game. These include Normal, Ritual, Equip, Continuous and Field Spell cards, along with many monster effects. These cannot be activated in response to any effects, even themselves.
  2. Spell Speed 2 effects are faster. They include Normal and Continuous Traps, Quick-Play Spells, along with certain monster effects (which usually include the phrase ‘during either player’s turn, or are described as ‘quick effects’). These effects can be used in response to Spell Speed 1 and 2 effects, and follow normal chain rules.
  3. Spell Speed 3 effects are the fastest in the game. Only Counter Traps have this speed, and they can be activated in response to all three Spell Speeds. Only Counter Traps can respond to other Counter Traps, which means that these usually denote the end of a chain!

Chains might sound complicated, but in practice, they make a lot of sense!

Costs and Effects

Yu-Gi-Oh cards often have a cost for their effect, which the ‘Problem Solving Card Text’ of later sets makes easy to recognise.

Sakuretsu Armor displays all three clauses that can be on a card – ‘activation timing’, ‘cost and activation’ and ‘effect’.

The first is easy to note, as it tells you when to use the card! ‘When an opponent’s monster declares an attack:’. Please note that this comes before the colon, which tells you that this is the activation timing!

The ‘cost and activation’ clause is what you need to do when you activate the effect. You immediately do what the card tells you to do at this time (which can be paying life points, targeting a monster or so forth) before the chain proceeds. This is important because many cards can be used to destroy one specific monster, and it’s only polite to tell your opponent which one you’re trying to destroy! Many cards do not have costs or actions to perform at activation, but those that do use a semi-colon to show you that this occurs on activation. In this case, this is shown by ‘target the attacking monster;’.

The final clause on a card is the effect. This is what the card actually does, and Spell, Trap and Effect monsters always have this clause! Cards with effects may have any combination of the three clauses, but always include the ‘effect’ clause. If a card’s effect is ‘negated’, it is only this part of the card which is cancelled.

Bottomless Trap Hole is an example of a card with only an ‘activation timing’ and an ‘effect’ clause. When your opponent summons a monster, you can activate it, then normal chain rules apply. Nothing then needs to happen until the effect is resolved! This means that the card has no cost, which is very important.

seventoolsBut what is a cost? Costs are actions performed when a card is activated, and are completely separate to their effects. Seven Tools of the Bandit is a perfect card to examine when learning costs! If we break the card down into its three clauses, we have the activation timing of ‘when a Trap Card is activated:’, the activation cost of ‘Pay 1000 LP;’ and the effect ‘negate the activation, and if you do, destroy it.’ Costs have to be paid when the card is activated, or the card cannot be activated at all. Seven Tools of the Bandit, therefore, cannot be used when the player is on 1000 LP or below, as they cannot pay the cost without losing the game! Further, costs are not part of effects. If Seven Tools of the Bandit were used to negate the activation of another Seven Tools of the Bandit, that player would not regain 1000 life points. When a cost is paid, it is not refundable even if your card ends up doing nothing. Costs therefore differ hugely from effects. ygo-soulcharge

Soul Charge, for example, is a card which has an ‘on-activation’ clause, but no cost. If the card’s effect resolves, the player loses life points depending on the monsters summoned, but this is certainly in the ‘effect clause’!
Negating the effect this card, therefore, would mean that the player does not get to Special Summon any monsters, but equally does not lose any life points. Thanks to Problem Solving Card Text, it is therefore unambiguous which parts of a card mean what. Activation timing is before a colon, activation and costs are before a semi-colon, while effects are only before a full stop.

Missing the Timing

The difference between costs and effects can also govern how other cards are used. For example, Goldd, Wu-Lord of Dark World (pictured left) may only use his effect when discarded by a card effect, whereas a card such as Fabled Kruz (pictured below) may use her ability whenever she’s discarded. Recent errata have made this distinction much easier to spot, but previously the cards had to be understood by the rather specific differences between their various ‘activation timings’! This is potentially the most complicated thing in Yu-Gi-Oh to understand, and it is a concept called ‘Missing the Timing’.

Depending on the wording (especially on older cards), an effect might not get to activate. This is because some cards have optional effects and some have compulsory effects. A card with the effect ‘When x happens… do y’ (such as Fabled Kruz), cannot miss the timing. This is because her effect is compulsory, so you have no choice but to activate the ability! Optional effects are different, and have two different forms. One is ‘If x… you can do y’ and the other is ‘When x happens… you can do y’.

‘If x happens… you can do y’ is an example of an optional effect that does not miss the timing. This is because it only checks if an event has happened, and then you get to have the choice of whether to use the effect. This means that the effect can activate even if used as part of a cost!

‘When x happens… you can do y’ is an example of an optional effect which does miss the timing. This is because ‘x’ has to be the last event which happened before an effect can resolve. Peten the Dark Clown is an example of a card with this effect wording. Peten cannot activate his effect if sacrificed for a Tribute Summon, for example, as the last thing which occurred was a monster being summoned! If these cards are used as a cost, their effects will miss the timing, meaning that they cannot be used. If you manage to understand these crucial differences, then you have learned the most complicated rule in Yu-Gi-Oh!


Missing the Target

bthThere is, however, one similar note to ‘missing the timing’, which is ‘missing the target’. Some effects, such as Bottomless Trap Hole, require the card to which they respond to be in a certain state. For example, Bottomless Trap Hole is activated when a monster is summoned with 1500 or more Attack, but the effect is ‘destroy that monster(s) with 1500 or more Attack’. This means that, if a card is activated in response to Bottomless Trap Hole which lowers that monster’s Attack, Bottomless Trap Hole cannot destroy the monster! It is always worth being on the lookout for these sort of effects; for example, the powerful card Mirror Force reads ‘When your opponent’s monster declares an attack: Destroy all Attack position monsters your opponent controls’. This means that if you activate a card to change your monster’s battle position to defence mode, it cannot be destroyed by Mirror Force! Similarly, turning a monster face-down will stop Bottomless Trap Hole from destroying it, as, when the card resolves, the monster’s Attack is unknown. It is important to know what cards can miss the target, as it can allow you to save your monsters and win games!


In this instalment, we have learned what the various types of Spell and Trap cards can do; Spell Speeds and Chains; the difference between activation timing, activation, costs and effects; the difference between compulsory and optional effect wordings and how missing the target works. In our next instalment, we will be looking at the various different types of Special Summoning!

Previous Rules

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How to Play Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Absolute Basics

Welcome to the first part of our discussion and introduction to the world of Yu-Gi-Oh! In these articles, we’ll be trying to explain the rules of the game in a logical and easy to follow fashion, explaining potential points of confusion along the way.

What is Yu-Gi-Oh?

Yu-Gi-Oh is potentially the most complex widely available card game at the moment, and  can be incredibly involved and ‘combo’ based. Most victories in Yu-Gi-Oh are completed by reducing the opponent’s life points to 0, although there are several alternate ways of winning, with ‘milling’ (reducing the opponent’s deck to zero cards) and gathering five specific cards (Exodia) being the most notable. Players will find that the game is incredibly fast-paced compared to other card games, as unlike Magic the Gathering or Cardfight! Vanguard, all cards can be used from turn one. There is no waiting to gather enough land, nor are units limited based on the Grade of a single unit, so players are potentially able to summon huge monsters right from the start of the game! This is countered by the fact that Yu-Gi-Oh has many powerful cards which can be used on your opponent’s turn to disrupt their plays, making the game very interactive. Your opponent might be able to summon their most powerful monsters, but you can simply destroy them all with a single Trap card! Yu-Gi-Oh, therefore, plays very differently to other card games on the market, and offers an interesting challenge for both players.


There are three primary types of cards in Yu-Gi-Oh, all of which have very different purposes: monsters, spells and traps. All of these have various sub-types, but the general principle is that traps are able to be used on your opponent’s turn, spell cards on your own and monsters on both. Therefore, let’s have a look at some examples:

Monster Cards

dmgThis is an example monster card: Dark Magician Girl. In the top right hand corner is her Attribute (Dark), and beneath that there is her Level (6), represented by stars. The centre of the card is taken up by her portrait, while a smaller box underneath contains her other details. The text in brackets ([Spellcaster/Effect] shows her Type (Spellcaster) and the fact that she has an ability, described in the box below. In the bottom right of the box, we can see her combat statistics: 2000 attack, and 1700 defence. The other parts of the card are not used in gameplay, being a set number, serial number (used for inputting the card in the video games) and a hologram to prove the card’s authenticity.

Monsters can have one of seven Attributes (Light, Dark, Fire, Water, Wind, Earth and Divine), and one of many types (too many to list!). A monster’s level can be anywhere between 0 and 12, with most cards being four or below. Cards can have multiple types listed – it is possible to see a card have [Spellcaster/Pendulum/Effect], or even more combinations! The relevance of these specific types will be discussed later. Monsters serve as the primary form of offence and defence in the game.

Spell (Magic) Cards

raiSpell cards (known as Magic cards in the oldest sets) are usually only able to be used on your own turn. Their rough layout is similar to monster cards. The symbol for Spell takes the place of the Attribute, and [Spell Card] takes the place of the monster’s level. The art occupies the centre of the card, while the box below describes its effect. Spell cards also have various subtypes, shown by a symbol next to the phrase [Spell Card]. These can be Continuous, Equip, Field, Ritual or Quick Play, but usually have no sub-type at all. Most Spell cards, with the exception of Quick Plays, can only be used on the user’s own turn during the main phase. Further, Spell cards usually are used to provide a single, powerful effect, although Continuous, Equip and Field spells stay on the field until they are destroyed, and provide lasting abilities.

Trap Cards


Trap cards are the primary form of card which can be used on your opponent’s turn, but cannot be used on your own turn without waiting. They are placed face-down on the field and must have been on the field for a whole turn before they can be used! However, after that, they may be used at any appropriate time for their effect. As a result, Trap cards are slower than Spell cards to use their effects, but are much more flexible in their activation after they have been prepared. Trap cards, like Spell cards,  have several sub-types, shown by a symbol next to the phrase [Trap Card]. These are Continuous and Counter traps. Continuous traps, as the name suggests, stay on the field after their activation. Counter traps, on the other hand, usually prevent the effects of other cards and can only be responded to with another Counter trap! As such, Counter traps are often considered to be the strongest type of effect in the game, as it is very difficult to stop their effects from activating.

The Field


The field for Yu-Gi-Oh is sizable, and has many different zones. There are five spaces for monsters, each of which can contain one monster. Similarly, there is a row of five spaces for spell and trap cards, where cards may be placed face down or face up to be used. Field Spell cards are never placed in this back-row, occupying their own ‘Field Spell Zone’ instead. Each of these spaces may only be occupied by a single card, which will prevent the player from being able to use any more of that type of card when they are full. Two Pendulum zones, used for a special kind of summoning, are placed on either side of the field – their use will be explained later. The Extra deck contains powerful monsters which can be summoned at will, provided certain conditions are met. The Graveyard (or Grave) is where used and destroyed monsters, spells and traps go.


Yu-Gi-Oh has a simple set up. Players simply shuffle their decks and draw a hand of five cards. Then, the players also set aside their Extra Deck of up to fifteen cards. Players set their life-points at 8000 to begin the game. The player going first opens their turn without drawing, as going first is a significant advantage in Yu-Gi-Oh. After that, play proceeds as normal.

Turn Structure

The order of a turn is as follows:

  1. Draw Phase
  2. Standby Phase
  3. Main Phase (1)
  4. Battle Phase
  5. Main Phase (2)
  6. End Phase

Draw Phase

In this phase, the turn player draws a card, unless another effect has prevented them from doing so. The player who goes first skips their first draw phase.

Standby Phase

The Standby phase is usually the part of the turn where the costs for continuous effects are paid. This can be considered similar to ‘upkeep’ in other games. Cards will specify that their costs or effects are to be used in this phase.

Main Phases

Yu-Gi-Oh has two main phases, one on either side of the battle phase. This phase is where the majority of actions occur in a turn, including summoning monsters, playing Spell cards and setting Trap cards. During this phase, players can change the battle positions of their monsters from face-down defence position to face-up attack position, or from face-up attack position to face-up defence position. Cards cannot be turned face down unless an effect allows them to do so! Players may use as many Spell or Trap cards as they wish during their turn, provided that they have enough space to play them.

Battle Phase

During the battle phase, you can declare attacks with your monsters. Only monsters in Attack Mode can attack, and they need to attack monsters on your opponent’s side of the field before they can attack your opponent. Monsters do not have to attack, and the player chooses when to end their battle phase and enter main phase 2.  Monsters summoned in main phase 2 will not be able to attack, as there is only one battle phase per turn!

End Phase

The end phase is essentially a ‘clean-up’ step. Cards whose effects activate or end at the end of the turn happen at this time. Once this step has finished, the opponent’s draw phase begins.

Summoning Monsters

There are two main types of summoning in Yu-Gi-Oh! and three ‘battle positions’ which monsters can take. These are face-up Attack position, face-up Defence position and face-down Defence position.

Normal Summoning and Normal Setting

Normal summoning is the default manner in which monsters are summoned in Yu-Gi-Oh!. Players are allowed to Normal Summon or Set once each turn during either Main Phase, although some effects can allow players to Normal Summon more than once per turn. Normal Summoning can summon monsters in either face-up Attack position, or face-down Defence position, which are represented by placing the card vertically or horizontally respectively.


This is an example of a monster in face-up attack position, the result of a normal summon.

This is an example of a monster in face-down defence position, the result of a normal set.

We shall get onto the relevance of these positions when we cover combat, but for now, we shall learn how to normal summon and set!

All normal summons and sets are performed by taking a card from the hand and placing it on an empty monster card zone in either of these two positions. Monsters cannot be normal summoned in face-up defence position, and monsters placed in face-down defence position are completely unknown to your opponent! There are, however, some restrictions on normal summoning monsters, which are based on the card’s level. Monsters with a level of 4 or less can be normal summoned or set for free. Monsters with a level of 5 or 6 require one tribute, and monsters with a level of 7 or higher require two. This is known as a Tribute Summon or a Tribute Set, and still counts as your single normal summon a turn. But what is a tribute? Simply put, to summon these monsters, you have to send a monster (which is the ‘tribute’) from the field to the graveyard. Therefore, to Tribute Summon high level monsters, you need to already have some monsters on the field to sacrifice! If you decide to summon a level 5 or higher monster in face-down defence position, then you still need to offer a monster as a tribute. Your opponent, however, knows only that the card’s level is greater than 5, as all other attributes stay hidden.

Special Summoning

Special Summoning can be performed as many times as a player wishes per turn, but can only be performed through the effects of cards. Special Summoning has no restrictions based on level, and, depending on the effect, monsters can be summoned in face-up attack mode, face-up defence mode or face-down defence mode (which is the rarest position for Special Summoning effects, and effects that allow it will specifically say that you can summon in this position). These often occur during the main phase, although Special Summons can occur during any phase of the turn.

This is an example of a monster which can Special Summon itself. This is free to do (as the card does not state it has a cost), and can be done provided the conditions are met. If you go second, you can summon this, and then Normal Summon another monster, allowing you to gain a significant advantage over your opponent. The summoned Cyber Dragon can even be used for a tribute for a Tribute Summon or Set! Cyber Dragon can be Special Summoned in either face-up attack or face-up defence mode.

Monsters are not the only effects which can allow Special Summoning. Monster Reborn is a straightforward (but banned) card which can Special Summon destroyed monsters. When this Spell card is used, it summons a monster in either face-up attack or defence position.

There are also other specialised forms of Special Summoning, which are Ritual Summoning, Fusion Summoning, Synchro Summoning, XYZ Summoning and Pendulum Summoning, which we will cover in a later article.

(Flip Summoning)

Flip Summoning is technically a type of summon, but is more akin to simply changing a battle position! When you decide to turn your face-down defence monster to attack position, it is turned face-up. This does not count as your Normal Summon for the turn, and is included here for the sake of completeness.


Combat in Yu-Gi-Oh all takes place in a single battle phase and can only be initiated by monsters in attack position. These monsters declare their attacks one by one and in turn, and do not have to attack at all if their controller does not want them to. Monsters can attack the opponent to reduce their life points, but only if the opponent controls no monsters. Therefore, you have to attack and destroy your opponent’s monsters before you can begin doing significant damage to your opponent!

When monsters battle, there are different results depending on their battle positions and attack power. As a rule, whoever has the higher power wins, although how the victory manifests can change substantially!

Attacking Monster vs Opponent’s Attack Position Monster


When your attacking monster battles an opponent’s monster in attack position, the monster which  has the lower ATK power is destroyed and sent to the graveyard. Further, the controller of that monster takes damage from their life points equal to the difference in power! In this example, the turn player’s Blue-Eyes White Dragon attacks the opponent’s Dark Magician. Blue-Eyes’ attack is 3000, while Dark Magician’s is only 2500. As such, Dark Magician is destroyed and its controller takes 500 damage to their life points. If you attack a monster with a higher attack, your monster will be destroyed and you will lose life points equal to the difference – so it’s worth being careful of traps which can increase the opponent’s attack points!


In this example, Dark Magician attacks an opponent with the same amount of attack points. In this situation, both monsters are destroyed and neither player takes any damage.

Attacking Monster vs Opponent’s Defence Position Monster

You can declare attacks on either face-up or face-down position monsters, but the risk with the latter is that you do not know their statistics! When you declare an attack against a face-down monster, you only flip it into face-up defence position after your attack has begun, so you cannot back out if it turns out that you will lose the battle. The defending monster uses its defence power to see who wins.


In this example, Dark Magician attacks the face-down card, and does not know what the monster’s defence is. Dark Magician’s owner is confident that its 2500 attack is enough to defeat any level four or lower monster, and so attempts the battle.


However, the face-down defence position monster turns out to have 2600 defence, which is enough to survive the attack. Big Shield Gardna therefore survives the battle, and Dark Magician’s controller takes the difference in damage to their life points.  However, Dark Magician is not destroyed, as there is no penalty for losing a battle against a defence position monster.


In this example, Dark Magician’s attack is higher than Summoned Skull’s 1200 defence, and so Summoned Skull is destroyed. The controller of the Summoned Skull takes no damage, as players do not take damage for their defence position monsters losing in battle. This means that it is often wise to place monsters into defence position when facing monsters with powerful attacks, as this allows you to avoid losing life points!

In the case of a tie between the attacking monster’s attack and the defending monster’s defence, neither monster is destroyed and neither player takes any damage.


In this instalment, we have learned the types of card, the structure of a turn, how to summon and how to battle. In the next instalment, we’ll focus more on Spells, Traps and Effect monsters!

Next Rules

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A sneak peek at Dragons of Legend 2!

Dragons of Legend 1 was a great set, and not only brought us many anime cards, but also introduced great cards such as Mathematician and Wiretap. It comes at no surprise that Dragons of Legend 2 (released on 16/07/15) should be equally hyped, containing not only the other two Legendary Dragons, but also support for Red-Eyes and Toons! Fans of the anime will be thrilled to know that the support in this set for the show’s original archetypes is actually very strong, and Toons, surprisingly, look to be viable, as they have been given their own versions of powerful cards such as Snatch Steal and Monster Reborn. Currently, only a small portion of the set has actually been revealed, but if the rest of the set lives up to the cards currently known, it should be well worth picking up!


Toons are one of the oldest archetypes in the game, used by Pegasus in season one of the anime, but severely weakened for their actual release. Those who watched the show might remember how Yugi struggled in vain to land attacks on Pegasus’ comic characters, but failed when they were able to hide inside Toon World. This set only introduces one new Toon monster (Toon Ancient Gear Golem), but adds a better alternative to Toon World, which mimics the anime’s effect, and several good support cards.

File:ToonKingdom-CPD1-JP-OP.pngToon Kingdom is the new field spell, and counts as Toon World while on the field. When activated, you banish the top three cards of your deck (as opposed to Toon World’s cost of 1000 life points), and it has the ability to protect Toon monsters. When they would be destroyed by battle or a card effect, you can banish the top card of your deck face down instead. Toon monsters often have a restriction on attacking the turn they were summoned, which left them vulnerable to removal – this helps keep them around at the cost of randomly removing resources from the deck. The idea for the deck is to protect this, and allow it to protect your monsters. Running Field Barriers would be a sensible idea, as Toons new and old rely on having this spell up, and the monsters self-destruct upon its destruction. Forbidden Lance and the like are not important for the deck, as this fills their role better. One problem with the card is the self-mill, but teching in a copy of Necroface will help to prevent the problems, as well as granting a potentially huge attacker.


Comic Hand is another huge boost for Toons, allowing you to take control of an opponent’s monster (as long as you control Toon World), make it a Toon, and able to attack your opponent directly. This is potentially one of the strongest cards available to Toons, as it not only removes a threat, but lets you use it against the opponent. It targets, as it is an equip spell, and so cannot be used against certain monsters, and also can be easily destroyed either on its own, or by destroying Toon World. As such, one of the best uses for it is to treat it as Mind Control. If your opponent has an awkward card such as Beelze of the Diabolic Dragons, you can take control of it and tribute it for a high-levelled Toon summon. If used along spell and trap protection, this card can be used well over multiple turns.


Mimicat is perhaps the most versatile Toon card, serving as either Monster Reborn or as Graverobber. If you control Toon World and a Toon monster, then you can special summon a monster from your opponent’s graveyard or set one spell/trap onto your side of the field. This has no real cost, aside from the need to have the correct field. As such, Toon decks will run this at three, most likely, as it allows the opponent’s own threats to be turned against them. Notably, Diamond Dude Turbo will make great use of this card as an alternative to Monster Reborn, and allow them to use traps without sacrificing consistency. This is sure to be sought after by fans of either deck.



Toon Briefcase is an excellent stun card, and might be considered the monster equivalent of Wiretap. When your opponent summons a monster(s) when you control a Toon monster, you shuffle them back into the deck. This is absolutely great, and as it does not target or destroy, you can use it against most major threats. It shines, however, against Pendulum summons, as sending them back to the deck denies the opponent the ability to summon them again from the Extra Deck. It might be easy for the opponent simply to destroy your monsters first, but provided Toon Kingdom is protected, that should not be an issue. Finally, Toon Mask adds a good way for Toons to be special summoned from the deck, adding much needed speed to an otherwise slow and tribute-heavy deck.

Legendary Dragons

This set completes the trio of the Legendary Dragon Knights, adding both Critias and Hermos. The card Legend Of Heart now can be used at its full potential, granting players the ability to summon three 2800/1800 monsters and banish three face up spell or trap cards. While the deck is never going to be competitive, it is certainly going to be fun, and players might find success with decks focussing on one legendary dragon. The dragons were primarily used for their fusions, and the set will probably follow in the footsteps of Dragons of Legend by granting each Dragon two fusions. So far, only the Critias fusions have been revealed as being released in Dragons of Legend 2, but we almost certainly will get the Hermos versions.

File:DoomVirusDragon-CPD1-JP-OP.pngDoom Virus Dragon is the Critias fusion with Crush Card Virus, and replicates the majority of its effect. With Crush Card Virus’ new errata, your opponent has the opportunity to destroy up to three monsters with 1500 or more attack in their deck when it is activated, allowing them to load the graveyard or, if they are playing Yang Zing, to summon three more monsters. However, Doom Virus Dragon does not have this downside, while still having the same effect. As Crush Card Virus is still limited, it is not viable to run Doom Virus outside of a Critias deck, but it can allow it to hold its own against decks like Necroz as they all have large attacks. Doom Virus, therefore, is a strong fusion for fans of the anime.

File:MirrorForceDragon-CPD1-JP-OP.pngMirror Force Dragon is the second fusion, and it is absurdly powerful when used well. During either player’s turn, when one of your monsters is targeted for an attack or by a card effect, it can destroy all cards the opponent controls. This also has no once per turn restriction (at least according to the current translations), and so it can be chained to cards such as Fiendish Chain or Breakthrough Skill. As such, this card is difficult to break through, and requires either a board wipe, a non-targeting effect, or a counter trap to prevent its ability. Mirror Force is a solid card to run in control-based decks anyway, so it looks as though Critias might well become the most viable of the Legendary Dragon Knights.


LordoftheRed-CPD1-JP-URRed-Eyes get more support with the ritual monster Lord of the Red. He boasts two once per turn effects, which can be used during either player’s turn: the first is that, when an effect other than his own is activated, you can target a monster on the field and destroy it; the second is that, when an effect other than his own is activated, you can target a spell or trap on the field and destroy it. This can be a very powerful control card, and considering that you can activate it twice on your turn, it can easily refund its cost by destroying two of your opponent’s cards. The ritual spell, Red-Eyes Transmigration, allows the cost to be paid by banishing Red-Eyes monsters from the graveyard, which allows this monster to be summoned for the cost of one card. The hidden cost, however, is removing the monsters from the graveyard, which interferes with several of the new support cards such as Black Stone of Legend. I would recommend using this card in conjunction with Knight of Dark Dragon, using the (now limited) Preparation of Rites to aid searching either. Using Dark Dragon Ritual’s second effect, the deck can become quite consistent by searching the appropriate Red-Eyes spell or trap cards, which can also be used to search Red-Eyes Fusion and Red-Eyes Transmigration. Running too many ritual monsters in a non-dedicated deck makes it inconsistent, so players wishing to use Lord of the Red might prefer to focus on the ritual aspect of the deck rather than the fusion aspect.

In conclusion, the cards revealed so far for Dragons of Legend 2 are excellent support for their particular archetypes, and Toons will now be playable as a deck after twelve years of waiting. Look forward to the reveal of the generic support, because this set looks to be brilliant.

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Yu-Gi-Oh! – Clash of Rebellion Review

Due for an English release on August 7, 2015, Clash of Rebellion is the set following Crossed Souls.

Clash of Rebellion introduces four new archetypes to the game, whilst also giving support for some older archetypes which were in desperate need, like Red-Eyes!

Here I shall take a closer look at some of the new archetypes introduced to the game.


Aroma is an archetype which makes use of female plant type monsters who each have two types of monster effects. They benefit heavily from having a greater amount of life points than the opponent, as their effects only activate when you are ahead.

Having a life point advantage gives your Aroma monsters a continuous effect, which remains active whilst on the field until it is negated either by a card effect or by the user’s life points being reduced to a lower amount than the opponent’s.

The second type of effect these monsters possess is a trigger effect, which activates whenever the user gains life points.

Aromas gain support through means such as “Aroma Garden”, which is a field-spell card which gives the user 500 life points once per turn, during their turn, whilst controlling an Aroma monster.

This archetype has a major weakness against cards such as “Bad Reaction to Simochi”, which is a trap card that, whilst on the field, reverses all life points the opponent gains into damage taken, essentially turning their own abilities against them.


Here we have a new Pendulum based archetype, consisting of Fire-Warriors. Nearly all members of this archetype are normal Pendulum monsters with scales of either “2” or “7”.

This archetype focuses on destroying themselves through various means to then set up a mass Pendulum summon to the field.

All Igknight Pendulum monsters have the same Pendulum effect: “If you have an “Igknight” card in your other Pendulum Zone: You can destroy all cards in your Pendulum Zones, and if you do, add 1 FIRE Warrior-Type monster from your Deck or Graveyard to your hand.”

This archetype gains support through spell/trap cards like “Phoenix Ignition” and “Igknight Burst”, both of which enable you to destroy Igknight cards you control in order to add other Igknight cards to your hand. “Phoenix ignition” allows you to add one Igknight card from your deck, whilst “Igknight Burst” allows you to add one from the extra deck to your hand.

A good amount of the Igknight monsters are level 4 or below, so using “Reinforcement of the Army” will benefit users of this archetype by allowing the user to add Pendulum monsters of either side of the scale to their hand.


Performage is an archetype influenced by circus acts, which can be seen within the artwork of the monsters.

Currently revealed monsters within this archetype share abilities that prevent effect damage to you by negating the activation of those effects.

The majority of the monsters so far are level 4 monsters, so they will be easy to normal summon.


The highlight from this set for me comes from the support given to the Red-Eyes archetype, which was one of the very first archetypes released in the game. Red-Eyes were in need of some new support, since they haven’t had any for nearly 8 years running.

Clash of Rebellion changes the way Red-Eyes will be used by giving a lot of new cards to this previously underused, yet popular, archetype.

The main focus for these new cards will be fusion summoning the new boss monster “Black Skull Archfiend Dragon”.This powerful monster has 3200 attack with 2500 defence, and if this wasn’t already strong enough, the effects of this monster make him a force to be reckoned with. First of all, during the battle phase and when this card is in battle, the opponent cannot activate any cards or effects until the end of the damage step – this includes effects from the hand, deck and graveyard too. This effect enables this monster to attack without worries of traps such as “Mirror Force”.

“Red-Eyes Archfiend of Lightning” and “Red-Eyes Black Flare Dragon” are the new incarnations of “Summoned Skull” and “Red-Eyes B. Dragon”, these monsters are both Gemini monsters. Both of these monsters are normal monsters when on the field, then have very powerful effects when Gemini summoned, yet both still count as effect monsters whilst in the hand or the deck. Because of this, I would advise players to also run the original “Red Eyes B. Dragon” and “Summoned Skull” normal monsters in their decks, as this will be crucial for what is possibly the best card released for this archetype in this set, “Red-Eyes Fusion”.

“Red-Eyes Fusion” is an incredible card that allows you to fusion summon a Red-Eyes fusion monster by using materials from the field, hand or deck! That’s right, it uses materials straight from the deck, which could enable turn one fusion summons with ease.

Other great cards for Red Eyes are “Black Metal Dragon” and “The Black Stone of Legend”, which are both level 1 monsters which help the flow of the archetype.

Other archetypes within this set have been support too, although maybe not as notable as the support given to Red-Eyes.

Non themed cards

This set sees a lot of non-themed cards released for the first time, with some notable examples as follows:

wrongful-arrest Wrongful Arrest

This is a quick-play spell card which prevents either player from being able to add cards to their hand, with the exception of drawing them, until the end of the owner’s next turn.

This could be very effective to prevent the opponent from searching the deck for specific cards, such as by the effect of “Reinforcement of the Army”.

bad-reactionBad Reaction?

“Bad Reaction?” is a normal trap card that allows your opponent to pick a number ranging from 1-3 and then draw that amount of cards.In return for this, you gain 2000 life points for each card they drew.

This card could be very good if you are in a tight situation with low life points, or it could save you from losing during that battle phase.

judgement-scalesJudgement Scales

If your opponent controls more cards than you have in your hand and on your side of the field combined, then you draw cards equal to the deficit. The maximum amount of cards you can draw from this card is twelve (if your opponent has all their fields filled, including their field spell and pendulum zones), as, at resolution, you still control this card.

This card is good for deck thinning and regaining advantage against any deck which has a large field presence.


I feel this set will be a very popular release: the new archetypes look interesting, and seeing Red-Eyes burn damage against Aroma’s life gaining abilities will be fun to watch.

Those who have been waiting many years for Red-Eyes’ support will be delighted to receive this set.

Yu-Gi-Oh! – Advanced Ban List – April

We’ve seen the ban list take multiple hits in the past, and the latest ban list took a huge hit recently with cards banned that some of the older decks relied upon; cards that have been added back into the game.

These are a few of the cards that I feel the need to discuss, as they’re likely going to influence the game the most.

Ban List Terms

Forbidden = Card cannot be used within a duel.
Limited = Only one of this card may be used per deck.
Semi-Limited = Only two of this card may be used per deck.

skill-drainSkill Drain has become limited, this has impacted many decks across all of Yu-Gi-Oh, and will leave plenty of room for a greater variety of decks to see competitive play.

Skill Drain was widely known as the most feared card in Yu-Gi-Oh for a long time. It made most of the decks used today completely useless until they were able to draw a Mystical Space Typhoon, or another ‘destroy trap card’ ability.

vanity's-emptinessVanity’s Emptiness is another card that has been made limited, and this will impact some of the older decks as they rely on this card to counter the more mainstream decks that are used today.

Yosenju are a new archetype that has been particularly impacted by this. Yosenju revolve around normal summoning from the hand, and then returning the cards back to your hand during your end phase; none of these count as a special summon, nor do they send this card to the graveyard from the 2nd ability of this card.

ring-of-destructionRing of Destruction has changed from forbidden to limited this month. Ring of Destruction needs to be played well to maximise the damage inflicted on an opponent; you wouldn’t want to activate this card when your opponent attacks you with a 500 attack monster, and then be unable to use it if they special summon a 3500 attack monster later.

This card can be very versatile in the right circumstances, but at the very least, it can draw you the game, and at other times, it’s a card that won’t do anything for you.

tour-guide-from-the-underwordlTour Guide from the Underworld is a newly limited card and for good reason. This card is capable of XYZ summoning Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss from her effect.

This card is also extremely powerful in many decks, which in my opinion, means it was definitely a smart decision of Konami’s to limit it.

snatch-stealSnatch Steal is simply one of the most powerful cards for many decks. Capable of taking control of one of your enemy’s best monsters; it was a staple for many decks, like Raigeki is now.

You can get past paying the cost for this card by using a Book of Moon, or anything that flips a card from face-up, to face-down; it will remove the equip feature of this card, and it’ll be sent to the graveyard, but you’ll still keep the chosen card on your side of the field.

This card was made forbidden in April’s ban list, and is no longer usable in duels.

Tempest, Dragon Ruler of Storms, along with other tempest,-dragon-ruler-of-stormsDragon Rulers were recently either added to the ban list as forbidden, or were removed from the list completely.

Dragon Rulers in their time were considered extremely powerful, and were one of the most feared monsters; it will be interesting to see how they’re going to manage in today’s competition.
crush-card-virusCrush Card Virus is arguably the most frowned upon card, but many don’t think it’s too powerful because of decks like Frog Monarch, where the base attack is relatively low for their monsters.

This card is now limited to one-per-deck, however, I can’t help to wonder how much of an impact this will have on many decks, not only about creating decks based around Crush Card Virus, but decks to defend against it.

Qliphort users have EN_GLD3_2010_04_30_13_06_20been hit hard with Qliphort Scout, and Saqlifice coming onto the ban list.

Qliphort Scout has become a semi-limited card, which won’t destroy the deck alone, but it means that the deck will no longer be tier 0.

With Saqlifice being limited to one, will have the biggest impact and will definitely lower these decks to a high tier 2.

Overall the ban list for April will have a huge impact on Yu-Gi-Oh!, from very basic decks, to the more recent decks. There are a lot of cards that haven’t been mentioned in this article, but we’ve discussed the main changes to the game so far, and we hope that the bans haven’t hurt your deck too badly, if at all.

For a full list of the banned cards for April, please check this link out:

Also, don’t forget to check out our website.

Thank you for reading!

Luke – Big Orbit Games.

Big Orbit are a hobby games retailer that specialises in the sale of individual trading cards and game components – Big Orbit also runs a Gaming venue in Evesham, Worcs, UK.

Yu-Gi-Oh! World Superstars (TCG) review



You can purchase Yu-Gi-Oh! singles at Big Orbit Cards.

World Superstars is a 52 Yu-Gi-Oh! card set, 50 of which were previously exclusive to the OCG (Asian format) and are available for the first time in the TCG.

Much like The Secret Forces set, each box of World Superstars contains 24 booster packs with each pack containing 5 cards. Unlike The Secret Forces which gave 1 Secret Rare and 4 Super Rares per booster this set reintroduces the Prismatic Secret Rare which takes the place of the Secret Rare in the booster pack.

First Impressions

legionart-dragon-of-whiteAt first glance we see that “The legendary Dragon of White” has been chosen as the box mascot for the set. This card pays tribute to the Blue Eye’s White Dragon which was the mascot of the Legend of Blue-Eye’s set, the first set released in the game.

On opening the booster box one of the first things I notice is that the booster packs come with more than one cover art, this isn’t something you see often in Yu-Gi-Oh.

Within each booster pack the top card is a Prismatic Secret Rare, this rarity hasn’t been seen in the TCG for many years. Prismatic used to be available only as promos from early Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG video games such as Duelist of The Roses which gave you the three Magnet Warriors. This rarity is a welcome change to the types of rarity we have come to expect to see.


Whilst you won’t be able to create a full deck out of the cards in this expansion, these cards do offer a lot of versatility for many different deck builds. From this set there are a number of notable cards that improve synergy within each Archtype whereas some cards simply work on their own.

star-seraph-sanctuaryStar Seraph’s are an Archtype that primarily uses level 4 Light-Fairy type monsters; they mainly focus on swarming the field with effects that allow them to summon one another or by summoning themselves to the field once a condition is met. This Archtype was in need of some new powerful support and Star Seraph Sovereignty gives just that.

What this card lacks in attack power is more than made up for by it’s abilities. Star Seraph Sovereignty’s main ability allows you to special summon it from your hand by normal or special summoning any Star Seraph monster, this can be done at any point except during the damage step.

Additionally this effect isn’t limited to being used once per turn, so if you have more than one Star Seraph Sovereignty in your hand then you’ll be able to activate that ability for each you hold. The second effect for Star Seraph Sovereignty chains from the first effect, if successfully summoned through the first effect you can draw 1 card, if that card happens to be a Star Seraph monster then you get to special summon it. This card is really good for quickly filling your side of the field with monsters whilst also getting a free draw.

pendulum-impenetrablePendulum Impenetrable is a non-themed, quick-play spell card which will be an asset to any deck that runs Pendulum cards. By preventing your opponent from using abilities that target cards in the Pendulum Zones will prevent a lot of returning to hand effects many decks have access too. Not only will this card prevent destruction of any card in either player’s Zones, this will also prevent any Pendulum card your opponent may have that triggers it’s effects by destroying itself or the card in the other Zone. This card will become a big problem for the upcoming Igknight Archtype, released in the upcoming Clash of Rebellion set, that specialises in destroying their own Pendulum cards.

However, this card is weak against decks that use cards with abilities like Satellarknight Triverr which sends all cards on the field back to the hand without destroying or targeting.

number-f0-utpic-futureNumber F0: Utopic Future is very interesting in that he is the first, and currently only, Xyz monster card in the game which doesn’t have a Rank. This card can be run in almost any type of deck, as long as you have access to 2 Xyz monsters with the same Rank that aren’t “Number” monsters.

A really good thing about Utopic Future is that he has the ability to use your opponents monsters against them, this can be used whether Utopic Future is attacking or being attacked. In the damage step any monster in battle with Utopic Future comes under your control until the end of the battle phase. This is a huge advantage to have if you are facing a monster with an attack you can’t quite get past. Use Utopic Future to attack that monster to gain control and attack your opponent with that very same monster.

numeral-hunterNumeral Hunter is a level 4 Light based Warrior monster that will benefit from being in many Warrior type decks.

He’s a counter to Number Xyz monsters by simply not allowing them to be on the field at the same time he is present, any Number monsters that are on the field when Numeral Hunter is first summoned are returned to the extra deck, with all materials attached to them going straight to the graveyard.

This card also offers great defence against any deck that relies on Xyz monsters to attack, as those attacks won’t destroy this card nor will their abilities have any effect on this card.

elemental-hero-blazemanElemental HERO Blazeman – my favourite card in the set. Firstly, Blazeman has two different effects; either of these will increase the Synergy of many different Hero builds. Additionally, this card finally gives the Elemental Hero’s a good Fire type monster to use.

I personally find this card works best for the Masked Hero Sub-Archtype, Masked Heroes specialise in being easy to get onto the field from the extra deck through spell cards that Transform your Hero into one of the Masked Heroes.

You can activate Blazeman’s second ability by sending one Elemental HERO monster to the graveyard, by doing this Blazeman will receive that monster’s attribute, attack and defence points, however by using this you will be giving up the ability to special summon all types of monsters with the exception of fusion monsters.

This is a great ability that enables you to essentially summon any Masked Hero monster from your extra deck with the Masked Change spell card regardless of that monsters attribute.

To truly get the most out of Elemental HERO Blazeman you will want to use him to send Elemental HERO Shadow Mist to the graveyard, this in turn will trigger Shadow Mists second ability which at the same time will enable you to get any Elemental HERO monster from your deck to your hand.


The set covers a lot of Archtypes giving support to each, because this set offers a large range of variety there will be something that will appeal to most players.

The most appealing thing for me is how there aren’t any reprints of older cards that are already widely available.

Some of the cards this set introduces to the TCG really help out the Archtypes they are being added too, Elemental Hero Blazeman for instance can fit nicely into any Hero build as his effects will benefit you by attribute swapping with monsters in the main deck or by simply giving you a Polymerization if you need it.


Whilst it is great to see support for many different Archetypes this does unfortunately mean there is less support for each individual Archetype – the cards are spread to thinly. This is very different to what you would expect from a main series set release.

Unless you are someone who plays a large number of the Archtypes from that are included in this set it just won’t be worth buying a sealed booster box, you will likely save a lot of money by buying singles.

Whilst they are a nice tribute, another issue are the Legendary Magician of Dark and Legendary Dragon of White cards in this set. Collectors will appreciate these cards, but as these cards are banned from the advanced format they will not be very useful to the average player.


World Superstars lacks the same level of focus that a main set would have, it definitely feels like random cards exclusive to the OCG have just been thrown together in this release.

There are many cards in this set that will benefit the Archtypes involved, giving them more balance and smoother game play, Star Seraphs especially.

That said, for someone who plays just one or two Archtypes I would recommend singles over sealed.

Overall I really like this set as it adds a good number of interesting and useful cards to the TCG; I am looking forward to seeing the different ways that players put these cards to use.

Remember you can purchase Yu-Gi-Oh! singles at Big Orbit Cards.