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 General Rulings

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Posts : 43
LR Points : 100000041
Join date : 2013-06-15

PostSubject: General Rulings   Wed Jun 26, 2013 5:24 am

So, I'm posting this, first because I'm a little bored , second because I wanted to introduce this topic for those who don't read the site suggestions and third for the really inexperienced player who would like/need some reminders. As a note, even for veteran players, there are some points in this post that are relevant for them, as I've duelled you or seen your duel, some rulings are really not well known. *cough* nitro - and others -.- *cough* safe zone *cough* terry *cough* setting spells *cough* :] (I'm just kidding haha) But seriously, costs and effects, nomi and semi-nomi monsters, timing and chainable (including spell speed) are tough sometimes. Don't feel bad because you read this post, it is only here to help.

So we created this topic for rulings issues (no kidding :O ). If you want to check basic rulings (sommary after this paragraph), just read this post. But if you are to face an incongruous situation and because sometimes rulings are weird and not very clear about some cases, ask, and if someone knows the answer he will reply and explain (explaning is the important part, if you know how something works but don't know how to explain it, don't post here, however you can of course tell the one who asked how things are supposed to occured, by PM or in the chat). Before asking, try to find if we already answered the question previously, or if the answer is somewhere in this long post I don't know why I am writting as no one will ever read it, at least entirely. Also one last point before we get all that started, if you have a question, ask it in a DIFFERENT topic, but still in the rulings section, so that one topic don't get too cloggy.


1-the field (all the different zones)
2-the phases (how a turn and a battle goes on)
3-monster cards (how to read them, how to change their position)
4-summoning (how and when to summon, nomi and semi-nomi)
5-spell cards (all different kinds)
6-traps cards (all different kinds)
7-spell speed (to help understand how and when to chain)
8-chains (one heavy yugioh ruling)
9-costs and effects (the difference between them and why is it important)
10-timing (when do I miss the timing, how is it that important)
11-Destroying or not destroying (and discarded or not discarded, because it matters)

1-the field

There are different spaces on the field. There is the deck zone, the graveyard, the monster zones, the spell/trap zones, the field spell zone and the extra deck. Each of them have their own purpose.

The deck zone is where the deck belongs... Your deck size must be between 40 and 60 cards, 40 being optimal to draw the right card at the right time with a higher chance. Some decks with huge draw or milling power can consistently run up to 45 cards.

The graveyard is where your cards goes when they are used/destroyed/tributed/send to the graveyard/discarded. However, sometimes the cards won't go there if another card or itself states otherwise (going back to the deck or being removed from play - being removed from play or banish means that the cards can't be use anymore, unless you have specific cards to bring them back).

There are 5 monsters zones, which means that you can't control more than 5 monsters at a time.

There are 5 spell/trap zones, besides the field spell zones, which means that you can't control more than 5 spell and traps at a time. If you already have 5 cards in you spell/trap zone, you can't activate or set new ones from your hand, until you clear spaces.

The field spell zone is "share" by the two players as there can only be one face-up field spell on the field at a time. If there is already one field spell on the field when a new one is activated, the previous one gets destroyed, unless the activation of the new one is negated. If you set a field spell when you already had one activated, this one gets destroyed. However, if your opponent sets a fiels spell when you have your own activated, it won't get destroyed until your opponent activates his.

The extra deck is where your fusion, synchro and xyz monsters stays until you summon them. They are not in the game per say. There are like in their own universe, until you get to special them. They are usually powerful and ressourcefull. You can only have 15 cards in your extra, never have less, just in case, even if you put monsters that you can't summon with your deck only and be careful at what you put in it, as the place is very tight.

2-the phases

You start the duel with 5 cards in your hand. The first thing happening in the turn is you drawing, it's the draw phase, where only drawing happens. A few cards can however be used during the draw phase, or modify it (like "instead of conducting your draw phase this turn, you can special summon this card from your graveyard").

Following the draw phase, there is the standby phase. It's a phase where some cards specifically told so can use their effect. Only traps and quick-play effects can be chained during the standby phase.

Following the standby phase, there is the main phase 1. In this phase, you can normal summon or set one monster per turn, special and flip summon as many monsters as you want/can (unless a card's effect states differently), activate traps set the previous turn or spells, and set more spells and/or traps.

Then, there is the battle phase. Each monster you have in attack position at the start of your battle phase can attack one time (unless a card's effect states otherwise, blablabla). I won't talk here (in this post) about the damage step -.-

After the battle phase, there is the main phase 2. You can do the same things than in main phase . However, if you already normal summoned or set in m1, you can't in m2. Remember that there is no more battle phase after the main phase 2.

And at last there is the end phase. Some effects happens in the end phase. Only quick-play and traps can be activatd during the end phase. At the end of YOUR end phase, you have to discard cards in your hand until you have only 6 left (but remember that if you have 7 or more cards in your hand at the end of your turn, you are playing a broken deck, unless you activated maxx c previous turn against a broken deck, but if you haven't gamed this turn with so much cards, your deck sucks :/ ).

3-monster cards

Monsters have different stats, as well as mention, level, type and attribute. They can also be in different position thoughout the game.

First off, monsters have two stats : atk and def. When a monster is in attack position, you care about its attack stat when it comes to the battle phase. When a monster is in defense position, you look at its defense stat. The atk is the number at the bottom left, and the def at the bottom right of the card. Only an attack position monster can attack. There are two types of battles possible :

>atk vs atk : the monster with the lower atk stat is destroyed, and its owner take battle damage equal to the difference.

>atk vs def : if the atk is higher than the def, the def monster dies, but its owner takes no battle damage. If the atk is lower than the def, the attacking player takes damage equal to the difference, bit none of the monster die.

A monster can either be in face-up attack position, in face-up defense position or in face-down defense position. You can't change the position of a monster hte turn he is summoned, the turn he attacked or the turn you already change its position.

A monster has either a level or a rank, a rank being different than a level (only xyz monsters have a rank, they are the black one in your extra deck). If an effect reduce the level of a monster, keep in mind that if a monster's level would become 0 or less, it is considered as level 1. (for summoning according to the level, it will be in the next paragraph).

A monster can either be a normal monster, an effect monster, a tuner, a spirit monster, an union monster, a toon monster, a synchro monster or an xyz monster. Different rulings apply to these different kinds of monsters. They also have their own support sometimes.

A monster have a type. For instance, it can be zombie, fiend, fairy, spellcaster... Each of these type gets different support or sometimes different options for the extra deck.

At last, a monster has an attribute. It can be either light, dark, fire, water, earth or wind. A few chosen also has the "divine" attribute. The same statement as for the different types goes as well for the different types, except that the support are more "generic".

Also, we can see that each attribute has a recurrent theme between its archetypes, as well as the different types. Like for instance, zombie revolves a lot about spamming, laking the opponent's monsters zombies and spamming, wind attributes often bounce back cards instead of destroying them...


You can only attempt to normal summon or set once per turn. (set position is face-down defense position). You can special summon as much as you want/can in one turn. Sometimes you can even special summon during the opponent's turn.
You can normal summon or set a level 4 or lower without tributes.
Level 5 and 6 monsters requires one tribute to be normal or set, and level 7 or higher, two (level 10 or higher monsters does NOT need three tributes -.- ).
You can special or flip summon as much as you want/can.
A flip summon flips a face-down defense position monster into face-up attack postion. Some monsters gains effect when summoned this way.

synchro summoning

To synchro summon a monster, you usually need one tuner and one or more non tuner monsters. Unless stated otherwise, you can't synchro with more than one tuner. However, - unless, as usual, stated otherwise - you can use as many non tuners you want to, as long as the total level of fodder monsters (including the tuner) match the level of the synchro monster you are attempting to summon. The fodders for a synchro summon are NOT tributed.

xyz summon

To xyz summon, you have to have many monsters, usually two or three monsters with the same level, and you overlay them to special summon the xyz monster you want. Now, xyz monsters have a rank, you can hence not overlay them to special summon another xyz monster, unless stating ither wise on the xyz monster (usually the one you want to summon). Overlaying an xyz monster with another is called a chaos xyz summon. The xyz material of an xyz monster are considered not on the field.

Nomi and semi-nomi monsters

Nomi monsters state that they can be special summon only by one way, specifically describe in their own text. Hence, you can't for instance reborn them. Dark armed dragon is a nomi monster.

Semi-nomi monsters also have a specific way of being summoned. However, if you summoned them once correctly before they hit the grave, you can special summon them via reborn or call of the haunted for instance. BUT, if you milled them for instance, or didn't summon them properly, you can't reborn them afterward. BLS is one example of a semi-nomi monster. All the extra monsters are semi-nomi. Hence, if you summoned stardust dragon via starlight road (which means you didn't summon him properly, since you didn't synchro summoned it, you can't reborn it, even with its own effect).

5-spell cards

There are different kinds of spell cards : normal spell cards, continuous spell cards, field spell cards, equip spell cards and quick-play spell cards. They all share the same ability of being able to be activated from the hand as long as you have room in your spell/trap zone, but only during your turn, and during the main pahse 1 or the main phase 2 (quick-plays are abit different than the other spells). They are the green cards.

Normal spell cards are the green cards without icon. You can set them, activate them the same turn you set them or another turn after you set them. When you activate them, you follow their effects, then send them to the graveyard.

Continuous spell cards are the ones with the infinite symbole. You can set them, activate them the same turn you set them or another turn after you set them. After their activation, instead of being sent to the graveyard, they stay on the field. Some of them, as swords of revealing light have a limited time on the field. In this case, it is specified on the text of the card. If you want to negate them, you have to negate them on the activation, afterward is too late.

Field spell cards are the one with the cardinal cross symbole. You can set them, activate them the same turn you set them or another turn after you set them. There can only be one face-up field spell on the field at a time. If there is already one field spell on the field when a new one is activated, the previous one gets destroyed, unless the activation of the new one is negated. If you set a field spell when you already had one activated, this one gets destroyed. However, if your opponent sets a fiels spell when you have your own activated, it won't get destroyed until your opponent activates his.

About continuous spells and field spells, not only do they remain on the field, but they have to remain on the field to resolve. So if you chain MST to one of these two, you negate their effect. But MST can't negate per say. So if you chain MST to a normal spell or whatever that doesn't need to stay on the field, MST won't negate crap.

Equip spells are the ones with the cross symbole. You can set them, activate them the same turn you set them or another turn after you set them. However, you need to target a monster (even an opponent's monster) in order to activate them. When the monster it is equipped to leaves the field, the equip spell gets destroyed (but is not considered as destroyed while being equip to a monster, as the monster leaves the field first. This one point can be relevant for some dragunities effects for instance).

Quick-plays are the one with the lightning symbole. You can activate them during any phase. You can activate them from the hand. Yuo can set them, however, you can't activate them the same turn you set them. You can activates them during your opponent's turn. Once they are activated, they go to the grave.

6-trap cards

The trap cards are the purple ones. There are three kinds of trap cards, all of which can't be activated from the hand. They have to be set first, and can't be activated the turn they are set (>makyura is op, why banned). They can after that be activated during any phase and ant player's turn.

Normal traps don't have icon. Activates them and send them to the grave afterward, unless stated otherwise.

Continuous trap cards are the one with the purple symbole. After activation, they stay on the field, until they get destroyed, by their own effect or by another card's effect.

Counter trap cards are the one with the circle arrow symbole. You can only chain counter traps to counter traps and and they can be chained to any effects (as long as the requirements are good).

7-spell speed

Monster's effect and spell cards have a spell speed 1.

Trap cards, quick-play spells and quick monster's effect (like the negating effect of shooting quasar dragon - quick monster's eff can also be used during the opponent's turn, as long as the requirements are filled) have a spell speed 2.

Counter traps have a spell speed 3.

You cannot chain a lower spell speed to higher one. That's why only counter traps can be chained to counter traps.


First off, read the spell speed section. It's the previous one, as well as the shortest one.

So if you can chain, do it wisely. The first card activated in the chain is stated as chain link 1. The card chained to it as chain link 2. If there is a next one, it will be chain link 3, and so on. Each time a card is activated in a chain, you have to pay its cost (read the next section), if there are any. The costs are hence paid in the order of activation. However, once neither player want to chain anymore cards, the chain resolves backwards. Which means that the last chain link happens first, and chain link 1 happens the last.

I will post some examples of chains mistake or chains resolvation in a further post, responding this topic. Keep in mind that you don't have to chain a card. You can wait till the current chain is over and satrt a new one.

9-costs and effects

The cards' text state their effect. But sometimes they also state a cost. You pay the costs during a chain (read the previous section, about chains). A cost is always followed either by a ";" or by the word "to", to clearly set the cost and the effect appart. It is really important, as only the effects or cards resolve backwards and that if an effect or activation is negated, the cost is still paid (since the cost is paid during the chain, hence before any effect, even negation effects).

Also for instance some monsters get their effects only if they are discarded as a cost (mermails) or by an effect (dark worlds). If a mermail is dicarded by the effect of a water monster, it won't get its effect. If a dark world monster is discarded as a cost, it won't get its effect either.

Targetting is LIKE A COST. So for instance, if my opponent wants to compulse a monster i just summoned, if i chain safe zone or forbidden dress, it won't do me any good. As forbidden dress or safe zone have to FINISH RESOLVING to prevent my monster from being targeted because it's the effect of the card, but my monster is ALREADY targeted, so when the effects will resolve, my monster will get bounced back. And worst, if my opponent activates safe zone or dress, i can chain compulsory evacuation device, since the costs are paid before the effects go resolve, my monster will also get bounced back in this case. Safe zone and dress are preventive measures when it come to targetting your monsters, but you can chain to them because of the costs and effects rulings.
(However, if you attack and your opponent chain mirror force, if you chain safe zone or dress, your monster will not get destroyed, as destroying is part of the EFFECT of mirror force.)


Some cards state "if" in their text, others state "when". What you have to know is that "if" never misses timing, so if the requirements are good and the effect is not negated, an "if" effect will always go through. For instance, sangan states "if", so as long as it is sent from the fiels to the graeyard, you get to search.

"When" effects can miss timing. What does that even mean ? It means that the requirement of the "when" effect has to be the last thing to happen for it to be able to resolve. However, "when" effects can miss timing only f they are optional ("when...you can..."). Mandatory effects never miss timing, even if they are "when" effects.

>For instance, ryko first destroy, then mill. It's all part of the same chain. If the monster destroyed stated "when this card is destroyed...", it won't get its effect against ryko, as the last thing happening before his effect could have had the chance to resolve is not it getting destroyed, but ryko milling (that's one of the reason why ryko is good). It missed his timing, so it doesn't get its effect.

>another example is when naturia cliff when using as a synchro fodder. His effect states "when send to the graveyard... you can...". But if you synchro summon using cliff, the last thing happening is not cliff being sent to the grave, but your synchro monster hitting the field. Cliff missed his timing, hence no effects.

11-Destroying or not destroying

Lots of cards get their effect when they are destroyed. Hence, it is important to know when a card is destroyed.

Tributing, does not destroy.

Foddering for a synchro summon does not destroy.

Specifically "sending to the graveyard" according to the text of a card does not destroy.

Being destroyed by battle does destroy (duh)

Being specifically "destroy" by a card effect according to its text does destroy (duh).

And as a last point, destroying does send to the grave.
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