1. Object of the Game
The object of the Yu-Gi-Oh! TRADING CARD GAME is to win a Match against your opponent.
A single Match consists of 3 Duels. Each card battle against an opponent in which a win, loss, or draw is determined is referred to as a Duel.
The player who:
Is the first to win 2 Duels in a Match
Has 1 win and 2 draws
is declared the winner.
If the Duel results are:
1 win, 1 loss and 1 draw.
the match is considered a DRAW.
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 Life 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. Bearing this in mind, a good duelist should make every card count.
If at any time during the Duel you hold the following cards in your hand, you instantly win the Duel:
These cards are not Tournament Legal
• 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
This Starter Deck contains all the cards you'll need to challenge an opponent to a Duel. Following you'll find basic rules for preparing your Deck:
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. NOTE: This Starter Deck contains 50 cards, so you will need 5 more cards to create a Side Deck.
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 following manner:
Before you start a Duel, greet your opponent with a friendly handshake.
Both players shuffle their respective Decks and hand them to their opponent to shuffle (this is called Cutting the Deck). 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 Card(s), place the card(s) face-down on the Fusion Deck Zone of the Duel Field. 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 (Fusion Monsters). 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 starts first with a coin toss. For subsequent Duels in the Match, the loser of the previous Duel decides who starts first.
Finally, 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. 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 to ensure that you will emerge from the Match victorious!
Every card you play or discard will be placed on the Duel Field. The example above shows where to place
Yu-Gi-Oh! Decks and the cards that are brought into play during a Match.
A. Field Card Zone:
Field Magic cards are played here. Only 1 Field Magic Card can be in play at any one time (Field Magic Cards).
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.
Important! The Monster Card Zone has a 5-CARD LIMIT. Once all 5 spaces in the Monster Card Zone are occupied, no further Monster Cards can be played or set until there is an open Monster Card space in the Monster Card Zone.
C. Fusion Deck Zone:
If you are playing with Fusion Monster Cards, put your Fusion Deck face-down in this space (Fusion Monsters).
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 & Trap Card Zone following the rules in Main Phase 1.
Important! The Magic & Trap Card Zone has a 5-CARD LIMIT. Once all 5 spaces in the Magic & Trap Card Zone are occupied, no further Magic (except Field Magic Cards) OR Trap Cards can be played or Set until there is an open Magic & Trap Card space in the Magic & Trap Card Zone. This 5-CARD LIMIT includes any of your own Equip Magic Cards used to equip your opponent's Monster Card.
F. Deck Zone:
Place your Deck face-down in this space. Your Side Deck is not placed on the Duel Field. You can also play
Yu-Gi-Oh! without a Duel Field. Just be sure to place the cards and Decks in the indicated positions.
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 is 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 are 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.
The overall strength of a monster is indicated by its Level (the number of stars in the upper right of the Monster Card). A Monster Card is color-coded Yellow.
B. 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
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.
NOTE: Since a "Fusion" is considered a Special Summon, the card will be immune to cards such as a "Trap Hole". Also, since it is a Special Summon you can conduct a Normal Summon or Set another monster in the same turn.
The Fusion-Material Monsters for "Darkfire Dragon" ("Firegrass" and "Petit Dragon") are on the field and in your hand, AND you have "Polymerization" in your hand. Declare that you are performing a Fusion and place "Polymerization" on the Magic & Trap Zone.
Select "Darkfire Dragon" from your Fusion Monster Deck and place it in an open Monster Card Zone. Remember that a monster summoned to the field in this manner is considered a Special Summon, and allows the player to conduct a Normal Summon or a Set in the same turn.
The cards used - "Firegrass", "Petit Dragon", and "Polymerization" - are all placed in the Graveyard when the Fusion is complete.
C. Ritual Monster Cards
During your turn, if you have a Ritual Monster Card in your hand, and the specific Ritual Magic Card mentioned on the Ritual Monster Card (either on the field or in your hand), as well as the Monster Cards required as a Tribute, you can perform a Ritual summon by activating the Ritual Magic Card. Follow the instructions printed on the Ritual Magic Card.
The Ritual Monster Card is then placed face-up on an open Monster Zone space on the field in either Attack or Defense Position. The Tribute monsters and the Ritual Magic Card used to perform the Ritual Summon are destroyed.
When a Ritual Monster is destroyed it is sent to the Graveyard. If a Ritual Monster Card is returned to your hand, you cannot place it on the field again without performing another Ritual Summon. A monster summoned to the field in this manner is considered a Special Summon, and allows the player to conduct a Normal Summon or a Set in the same turn.
D. Effect Monster Cards
The broad range of Effect Monster Cards are divided into the following types:
FLIP - 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.
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.
COST EFFECT * - Costs vary from card to card so be sure to read the instructions printed on each card.
TRIGGER EFFECT - These cards are activated when you inflict Direct Damage to an opponent's Life Points (Direct Damage), or when you have fulfilled a specific requirement indicated on the card itself.
MULTI-TRIGGER EFFECT * - These are special Effect Monster Cards that you can activate even if it is your opponent's turn.
* These types of Effect Monsters will be included in future Yu-Gi-Oh! releases and do not appear in this Starter Deck.
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. For example, let's say that a player uses a Magic Card. That Magic Card is placed in a hypothetical link called Chain Link 1. If the player's opponent responds by playing one of their own Magic or Trap Cards, a Chain has been started, with this card placed in Chain Link 2. 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?". If you continue play without asking your opponent, they may raise an objection that will lead to a Replay.
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.
Spell Speed 1: This is the slowest of all the Spell Speeds. Spell Speed 1 cards cannot be played against each other.
Spell Speed 2: These cards can be used against a card with a Spell Speed of 1 or 2. Spell Speed 2 or 3 cards can be used against them.
Spell Speed 3: This card can be used against any Spell Speed. Only another Spell Speed 3 card may be used against it.
Play - 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.
Phases - Phases define the order in which actions can be undertake by a player during their turn. Each phase is limited to a specific set of actions.
Repeat these phases for each subsequent turn.
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, these 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 1.
C. Main Phase 1
During this phase, you may Set or play Monster, Magic, and/or Trap Cards. Keep in mind that you may not exceed the 5-card limit for the Monster Card Zone or the Magic & Trap Card Zone.
During this phase, you may also change the Attack or Defense Position of cards already placed on the field. The position of each card can be changed only once in a single turn, during either Main Phase 1 or 2. The Damage Step details how this position effects the outcome of a Duel.
At the end of Main Phase 1, you can choose to enter the Battle Phase or proceed to the End Phase (the starting player cannot conduct a Battle Phase in their first turn).
I. Set or Summon Monster Cards: During either Main Phase 1 0r 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
Summoning 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 (keep in mind that only 5 Monster Cards are allowed in the Monster Card Zone at any given time).
When playing a Monster Card to the field, a player must choose to place the card in 1 of 2 positions: Attack Position or Defense Position. For Attack Position, place the card face-up and vertical (a Summon). For Defense Position, place it face-down and horizontal (a Set).
A Monster Card on the field in face-down Defense Position IS NOT considered to be summoned. Instead, it has simply been Set and can be summoned with a Flip Summon (Flip Summon).
The Attack or Defense Position of a Monster Card already placed on the field may only be changed once in a single turn, during either Main Phase 1 or 2. With the exception of special conditions, once the position of a Monster Card has been changed, the card must remain in the changed position throughout the turn in progress.
When summoning a monster that is Level 5 or higher (indicated by the number of stars that appear on the upper right of a Monster Card), 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 7 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.
Aside from a Normal Summon, there are 2 additional ways to summon a monster: Flip Summon and Special Summon.
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 (a Set) is not considered as summoned - it is considered summoned 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 you wish, but keep in mind that you can only change the position of a Monster Card once during any given turn.
c. Special Summon
A Special Summon is when Fusion, Ritual, Magic, Traps or Monster Effects 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 opponentÍs Monster Card.
A Magic Card can either be Played (face-up) or Set (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 (Set). For Magic or Trap effects, follow the instructions listed on each card.
Once a Magic Card is placed face-up on the field, it is activated immediately and is then destroyed. Equip and Field Magic Cards (generally used to modify the strength of a Monster Card) and Magic Cards with a "Continuous" icon remain on the field.
Trap Cards are usually destroyed immediately after being activated unless they have a "Continuous" icon.
Controlling an Opponent's Monster
Certain Magic and Trap Cards have the effect of giving you control over an opponent's monster. When this occurs, use the following rules:
When you take control of an opponent's monster, move the Monster Card to your own Monster Card Zone.
A monster you control counts towards your 5-card Monster Card Zone limit. Therefore, you cannot take control of an opponent's monster if your Monster Card Zone is filled.
Equip Magic Cards attached to a Monster Card always stay in the Magic & Trap Card Zone of the person who played the card and count toward the 5-card Magic & Trap Card Zone limit for that player. The Equip Magic Cards effects don't change, even if the Monster and Equip Magic Cards are on different player's fields.
Monster Cards under your control can be used in the same way as your own Monster Cards: to attack, defend, or to use as a Tribute. Controlled Monster Cards that are destroyed or offered as a Tribute are sent to your opponent's Graveyard.
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.
Keep in mind that the starting player cannot conduct a Battle Phase in their first turn, even if they have placed a Monster Card on the field.
Quick Reference Chart
Start step - Declare that you are entering the Battle Phase. You and your opponent may both play Quick-Play Magic and/or Trap Cards.
Battle step - Select and announce 1 monster to attack with, and declare 1 of your opponent's monsters your target (the monster you wish to attack). You and your opponent may both play Quick-Play Magic damage.
Damage step - Calculate the damage points of the designated monsters. If a monster has a Flip Effect, apply it immediately after damage calculation. However, a Flip Effect does not affect monsters that have already been destroyed as a result of damage calculation.
End step - Resolve all battles by repeating the Battle and Damage Steps as many times as necessary, then declare an end to your Battle Phase. You and your opponent may both play Quick-Play Magic and/or Trap Cards.
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 monsters 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 whether 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.
Returning gameplay to a previous step and playing that step over again is known as a "Replay". For Example, if the number of your opponent's monsters on the field change due to the effect of Trap or Quick-Play Magic Cards during your Battle Step, a Replay is triggered. When this occurs, play returns to the beginning of the Battle Step with the attacker choosing a new attacking monster and target. Replays can only be triggered by the effects of Trap or Quick-Play Magic Cards.
Example: During your Battle Step, you have declared an attacking monster and designated an opponent's monster as a target. Your opponent then activates their "Ultimate Offering" Trap Card, allowing them to summon another monster to the field. Since your opponent now has a different number of monsters on the field than they did when the Battle Step began, a Replay is triggered and you may again choose a monster to attack and designate a target for the attack. Because a Replay returns play to the beginning of the current Battle Step only, monsters destroyed in previous Battle Steps are unaffected.
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 pages. 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 (ATTACK) OF BOTH MONSTERS.
i. Attacker's ATK Points > Opponent's ATK Points
Attack Results: When the attacking monster's ATK points are higher than the ATK points of the opponent's monster, the opponent's monster is destroyed.
Damage: Subtract 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
Attack Results: When the 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.
Damage: Neither player takes any damage. Their Life Points remain the same.
iii. Attacker's ATK Points < Opponent's ATK Points
Attack Results: When the attacking monster's ATK points are lower than the ATK points of the opponent's monster, the attacking monster is destroyed.
Damage: Subtract the ATK points of the attacking monster from the ATK points of the opponent's monster. This result is subtracted from the 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 (ATTACK) OF THE ATTACKING MONSTER WITH THE DEF (DEFENSE) OF THE OPPONENT'S MONSTER.
i. Attacker's ATK Points > Opponent's DEF Points
Attack Results: When the attacking monster's ATK points are higher than the DEF points of the opponent's monster, the opponent's monster is destroyed.
Damage: Neither player takes any damage. Their Life Points remain the same.
ii. Attacker's ATK Points = Opponent's DEF Points
Attack Results: When the attacking monster's ATK points are equal to the DEF points of the opponent's monster, neither monster is destroyed.
Damage: Neither player takes any damage. Their Life Points remain the same.
iii. Attacker's ATK Points < Opponent's DEF Points
Attack Results: When the attacking monster's ATK points are lower than DEF points of the opponent's monster, neither monster is destroyed.
Damage: Subtract 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 is subtracted from the opponent's Life Points.
Following the Damage Step, the attacking player can return to the Battle Step, choose another monster, and engage in another battle. Keep in mind that each Attack Position monster may only attack once per turn. The player can repeat these steps as many times as they have monsters available to attack.
Examples of Battle & Damage Steps
1. The Target Monster is Attacked:
The attacking player selects one of their own monsters for the attack and designates the opponent's monster as a target. Both players can play Quick-Play Magic or Trap Cards.
2. Determine Attack Results:
If the target monster is in face-up Attack Position, compare the ATK points of both monsters. If the target monster is in face-down Defense Position, the card is flipped face-up. Compare the attacking monster's ATK points with the target monster's DEF points. Quick-Play Magic or Trap Cards that modify the ATK and/or DEF of a monster may be played here.
3. Calculate Damage:
Calculate and apply damage from the battle.
4. Apply the Effects of Effect Monsters:
If the target monster has a Flip Effect, it is applied here. Review the instructions on the flipped card and apply it. Do not apply effects to monsters that are already destroyed. If there are monsters with effects other than Flip Effects, these should be applied here as well.
5. Send to the Graveyard:
Monsters destroyed in battle are sent to the Graveyard now. If a monster has an effect stating "When this card is sent from the field to the Graveyard...", the effect is applied during this step.
6. Determine Whether to Attack Again
If other monsters can attack, choose to return to the Battle Step or proceed to the End Step.
IV. End Step
Once all battles have been resolved, the player enters the End Step and announces the end of their Battle Phase