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With a pokemon backdrop, too.

"The only thing intricate about this game is its ban list."
- Magnus the Red, If the Emperor had a Text-to-Speech Device

A CCG based off a shonen battle manga of the same name. Surprisingly fun, and while confusing at first, becomes second nature to most after just a few games. Does have some major rules problems due to KSS rulings, missing the timing, semi hidden information going into hidden information zones, and an errata policy based mostly on what cards get reprinted. Yu-gi-oh is not as bad as some people have been led to believe. It has a quite interesting amount of game styles to choose from in the way you use the cards in your "deck" which is quite customisable. At first it was just played by a couple of groups of people over the world but then it got a major increase in the player base after its anime came out in the west. It is a simple to play game that can keep you entertained for hours. Perfect for rainy days.... unless you're playing the game outside which isn't advised.

How to Play[edit]

Yu-Gi-Oh is rather similar to Magic the Gathering in terms of play. Each player starts with a 40+ card deck and tries to take his opponent's 8000 life points down to 0. Players take turns to play creatures and spells, attack the opponent's creatures and deal with some of the most badass cards brought to play.

The number of cards you can have in play is limited: you can have five monsters, five spells/traps and one field in play at the same time. If you have five monsters you cannot summon additional ones without sacrificing others, you can however play spell/trap cards even if you already have five of them active, and you can play a field card if you already have one.

Note that 8000 is a really fucking huge number of life points to keep track of: you might want to bring a notebook or calculator along to keep track of your life points.

The makeup of a card[edit]

The three basic types of cards in Yu-Gi-Oh are Monster, Spell and Trap.

  • Monster Cards: These cards are your warriors who will do the fighting for you. Monsters have levels, which affects how you summon them. Monsters from level 1 to 4 can be summoned normally. Monsters of level 5 and 6 require you to sacrifice one of your monsters, 7 or higher require two sacrifices. Monsters also have Attributes (think the colors from Magic the Gathering, except there are seven, and they are much less important), Monster Types (like creature type, there are 23, including fish, aqua and sea serpent), Attack and Defense (Strength and Toughness). Exist in four types:
    • Normal - Coloured yellow. A straightforward card with no abilities.
    • Effect - Coloured orange. A monster that has a special ability.
    • Ritual - Coloured blue. A ritual monster is summoned using a ritual spell card and tributing monsters. They are placed in the main deck and cannot be summoned without a ritual spell. Usually has an effect, but not always.
    • Fusion - Coloured violet. A fusion monster is one where you have to combine two or more cards in order to summon it. This combining is done by the special abilities of other cards, usually the spell card, polymerization, though not always. Fusion monsters usually have effects, but not necessarily.

However, thanks to recent updates (recent being a relative term - synchros were released in 2008, which means they've been around for around half the lifetime of the game) there are even more kinds:

    • Synchros - Coloured white. They go in the fusion deck, now known as an extra deck, and are summoned by sending monsters with a total level equal to theirs to the graveyard, including (usually) exactly one tuner monster.
    • XYZ - Coloured black. Pronounced "Exceeds", and summoned by placing two or more cards of the same level on top of each other. Instead of a level they have a rank which reflects the level of the monsters that must be "overlayed" to summon them from the extra deck.
    • Pendulum - Coloured the same colour as the other monster type they are in their top half and green in their bottom half, with a transition between the two, to show how they're like a mix of monster and spell. Thus you can have effect pendulum monsters, xyz pendulum, fusion pendulum, etc. There are currently no ritual pendulum monsters or link pendulum monsters in existence, though this may change in future. These are monsters that can also be played as spells in the pendulum zones, and go to the extra deck when they're destroyed while on field. They have a number called a scale, which is used when they are played as a spell card. They also allow you to summon a bunch of monsters in one turn, as long as the levels are between the scales of the two pendulum monsters you have in your pendulum zones. Newfags.
    • Link - Coloured blue, with a pattern of hexagons. Not to be confused with ritual monsters. They have a link number instead of defence points, and can never be in defence position. They go in the extra deck, and are summoned by sending a number of monsters you control to the graveyard equal to their link number. Instead of levels they have arrows called link markers that point to other monster zones. You can summon other monsters from the extra deck to the zones pointed at by the link markers. Their effects often relate to the zones pointed to by the arrows.
  • Spell Cards: These cards are for support, augmenting monsters, giving you more cards or life points, stunning the opponent...etc, anything to give you an upper hand in the battle. They are coloured green. They have have six subtypes:
    • Normal - A one-time use card that is discarded after its effect is completed
    • Continuous - The effect persists, so long as the card is still in play
    • Equip - Equipped on a monster card to augment their stats or give them special abilities
    • Quick-Play - Like a normal spell, but can be played at any time, including your opponent's turn if you set them first.
    • Ritual - A card which lets you sacrifice monsters whose total levels are a certain amount in order to bring forth the patron of the ritual, a ritual monster (see above).
    • Field - Changes the attribute of the playing field, which can give certain monsters buffs or penalties (I.E: Water monsters benefit from Umi and Dark monsters benefit from Yami). It used to be that only 1 field spell may be active at a time, but later rules made it that each player may have their own field spell at the same time.
  • Trap Cards: Trap cards can't be played directly and have to be deployed in the face-down position. As their name implies; they're traps for your opponent, which can be triggered either by your decision or once your opponent meets certain conditions. Thanks to the animu's flair for the dramatic, you're required to say "YOU'VE ACTIVATED MY TRAP CARD!" in a loud and smug fashion, while dramatically flipping your trap card, when you decide to activate your's. Verbally explaining the trap's effects in a dramatic fashion is optional. They are coloured pink. Trap Cards exist in three kinds:
    • Normal - This sort of card can be used once and discarded after its effect is completed
    • Continuous - This kind of trap persists so long as the card is still on the field
    • Counter Trap - A trap used to counter other cards; the only thing that can stop a counter trap is another counter trap.

The Turn[edit]

The turn starts with a Begin of Turn phase where some things can happen depending on the cards in play, but most of the time this turn is just filler.

The Draw Phase allows you to draw 1 card from your deck. Again, some abilities might be triggered in this phase, but it's not all that flashy.

The Standby Phase the phase that happens between the Draw and Main Phase. Nothing really happens here, but some abilities use this as part of their trigger requirements. But really nothing at all.

The First Main Phase is where it all happens: you can play 1 monster and as many magic/trap cards as you like. Monsters can either be Summoned or Set. Summoning means they are placed in a face-up upright position; this makes their Attack stat the number used in the combat phase. If a monster is set it is placed in a face-down position turned 90 degrees to the right; this makes their Defense stat the number used in combat.

The Battle Phase has four sub phases. Again it has a Start and End step in which some effects trigger, but most of the time they're just there to look pretty. The meat and potatoes is in the Battle and Damage steps: you choose one of your monsters and attack one of your opponent's monsters. You then compare your monster's Attack to the other monster's opposing stat. If it is in Attack Position you compare the two Attack scores: the monster with the lowest Attack is destroyed and its controller loses life equal to the difference in Attack. If the scores are equal both monsters are destroyed. If the monster is in Defense Position you compare your Attack to the other's Defense: if yours is lower you lose life (but not your monster) equal to the difference, if yours is higher the other monster is destroyed but the opponent does not lose life. If the scores are equal nothing happens.

If you attack a face-down monster this way it flips up: either to reveal a weak monster that your opponent put down to stall for time, an effect monster that does something beneficial when flipped or destroyed, or a large blocker that might deal you damage. All monsters you control may attack only once, one by one; you are allowed to attack the same monster several times.

After this is the Second Main Phase which is identical to the First Main Phase: you may play a monster (if you haven't done so already) and any number of spell/trap cards.

Finally there is the End Phase where effects might be triggered and at whose end you have to discard until you have six cards in your hand.

Interesting Notes[edit]

  • Season 0 Yami Yuugi is a well known follower of Tzeentch (As if the Egyptian gig wasn't enough of a give away). His ability to combine both dickery and Just As Planned into his Yami No Games (Games of Darkness, in English) in such perfect order it most likely earned him the position of Daemon Prince, which would explain his powers. Subsequent Yugis.....were most likely to Slaanesh.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh was clumsily "advertised" by a cartoon for children about adults playing a children's card game, which shared the same name.
  • The aforementioned program was so popular, they released a spin-off show called Yu-Gi-Oh GX, about children attending a university that teaches students how to play a children's card game (really). Even the US dubbers noticed how stupid this was, and would write dialog that mocked the franchise, making some parts of the show look like an Abridged parody.
  • This spawned another spin-off, Yu-Gi-Oh 5Ds, where angsty emo teenagers play a children's card game on motorcycles, in a setting that's some sort of attempt at dystopian cyberpunk. Seriously, that's actually the premise. Not terrible. Surprisingly interesting and edgy at times. The dub is mediocre compared to the subbed, as 4kids of course excised the more "mature" parts from their localization. This is the show that introduced synchro monsters to the game.
  • THEN there was Yu-Gi-Oh! ZeXal, which is basically Naruto with card games instead of ninjas set in an alternate universe from 5Ds where Synchros don't exist. Xyz monsters were invented here.
  • And now there's Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V, which seemed to have remembered the other series and summoning methods existed, but the promise the show had got butchered once they travelled to the synchro dimension, a world similar to that of 5D's.
  • And now there's Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS, which introduces link monsters. Yet to be confirmed as to what it's like or whether it's bad or not, since it only starts on the tenth of May 2017.
  • Dan Green voices both Yugis in the English version.
  • Adding insult to injury is the fact that the original manga/anime (Season 0) it was based on was actually pretty boss and only featured children's card games a few times (And even then, that shit was awesome). Mostly it was about Yami Yuugi punishing local bullies and scumbags by challenging them to a "Yami No Game", a dark and demented game of Yuugi's making with a stringent set of rules (That depends on the current challenge) that are meant to test the person's true character. If the person looses a Yami Game, or breaks the rules in any way, Yuugi will either kill them or give them such realistically horrifying hallucinations that they turn into a gibbering, hapless wreck. As an example, he once played table hockey with a puck full of nitroglycerin and blew the other guy to bits. In another game in the anime, he tricked an armed criminal holding his girlfriend hostage into pouring 180 proof vodka all over himself and putting a lighter on his hand. Ensuring that if he did anything wrong, he'd burn a horrible death. If those are not Awesome, I don't know what is *tips fedora*.



This is what Japanese people think all Americans look like.

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