How To Play Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game: A Beginner’s Guide

Yu-Gi-Oh!, a trading card game that originated in 2002, has remarkably retained its popularity even after all these years. Consequently, there’s no better moment than now to familiarize yourself with the game’s rules and start playing.

Whether you’re a novice or an experienced player returning to the game, this guide will assist you in comprehending the basics of the Yu-Gi-Oh Trading Card Game. You’ll quickly acquire the knowledge you need to play like a pro.

How To Play The Yu-Gi-Oh Trading Card Game?

In the Yu Gi Oh Trading Card Game, gameplay proceeds according to a structured sequence of actions performed by players during their turns.

At the start of a duel, players shuffle their respective decks and draw five cards to form their opening hand. The following is an overview of the steps involved in a player’s turn.

Step 1. Draw cards in Yu-Gi-Oh trading card game

At the start of each turn, the initial action is to draw a card, except for the very first turn of the player who goes first, as no card is drawn then. Next is the Standby Phase, during which certain card effects are triggered as specified in their text.

Step 2. Take non-combat actions

During this stage, you have the opportunity to take a variety of non-combat actions. These actions may involve the conventional summoning or setting of a single monster in either face-up attack position or face-down defense position.

Additionally, you may perform any special summons that you are permitted to do, activate or set spells and traps, or modify the battle positions of your monsters.

This may even include the act of flip-summoning any facedown defending monsters, causing them to appear in the face-up attack position.

Step 3. Start to attack

Welcome to the exciting part of the game – the Attack Phase. Here, every monster in your attack position has the chance to launch one attack.

During an attack, you’ll need to compare your monster’s Atk value to your opponent’s Atk or Def value, depending on which one is relevant. The battle can unfold in different ways, depending on the outcome of this comparison.

Step 4. Go to the end

After attacking, it’s time to prepare for your opponent’s turn, just like the step 3. This is also the phase when some card effects might activate, as indicated in the card’s text.

In case you have more than six cards in your hand, you’ll need to discard the excess cards until you have six cards left.

How Do You Attack In Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG?

yu gi oh game

1.When engaging in battle with a monster in attack position

If you attack a monster that is weaker than your own, you will destroy the opposing monster and inflict damage directly to your opponent equal to the difference between the two monsters’ attack strengths.

If you attack a monster with equal strength to your own, both monsters will be destroyed in the ensuing clash.

If you attack a monster that is stronger than your own, your monster will be destroyed and you will take damage equal to the difference between the two monsters’ attack strengths.

Thus, It’s important to carefully consider the strength of your own monster and that of your opponent before engaging in an attack, as the outcome can have significant consequences for the rest of the game.

2.When engaging in battle with a monster in defense position

If the defending monster is weaker than your attacking monster, it will be destroyed, giving you the advantage. However, if the monster is of equal strength, your attack will have no effect, and the defending monster will remain in play.

On the other hand, if the defending monster is stronger than your attacking monster, you will take damage equal to the difference between the two monsters’ strengths.

This can put you at a disadvantage, so it’s important to consider the relative strengths of the monsters before attacking.

If your opponent does not have any monsters in play, your attacking monster will deal its full attack strength in damage to your opponent, which can be a powerful move to make.

How Many Cards Are In A Yu-Gi-Oh! Deck?

To play a card game, you will need a Main Deck consisting of 40 to 60 cards and an Extra Deck with up to 15 special monsters. You can identify a monster that belongs in the Extra Deck by checking whether it has the words “Fusion”, “Synchro”, “Xyz” or “Link” in bold on its card text.

During tournament play, which is typically decided by a best-two-out-of-three system, you may also use a Side Deck of up to 15 cards. This allows you to swap cards between duels, which can help you adapt to your opponent’s specific deck.

However, you are limited to having no more than three copies of any card between your three decks.

If the thought of building a deck from scratch seems intimidating, you can purchase a pre-built Structure Deck for less than £10/$10. Once you become familiar with how the deck plays, you can experiment by obtaining two more of the same deck.

This will allow you to swap out underperforming cards with additional copies of cards that you wish you saw more often in your hand.

Main Card Types Of Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG

In this discussion of Yu-Gi-Oh! card types, let’s start with the central characters of the game: monsters. Understanding the various elements of a Yu-Gi-Oh! monster card can be complex, so allow us to guide you through it step by step.

1. Monster cards

yu gi oh characters

Let’s take a closer look at the primary card type in Yu-Gi-Oh!, the Monster card, and break down its key components:

  • Name: While the name of a monster may seem simple, it is essential to pay attention to its specific name when dealing with cards that have name-specific interactions.
  • Level: A monster’s Level indicates the difficulty in summoning it to the field. Monsters with a Level between 1 and 4 can be summoned without Tribute, while those with a Level of 5 or 6 require one Tribute and those with a Level of 7 or higher require two Tributes. It’s worth noting that certain cards may have specific summoning requirements that differ from the standard tribute system.
  • Attribute: There are seven Attributes that a monster can belong to, but their relevance is typically only important when specified in a card’s text.
  • Type: A monster can belong to one of twenty-five Types in the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG, but their relevance is typically only significant when specified in a card’s text.
  • Text: The text on a Normal Monster card is typically just flavor text, while on Effect Monsters it outlines the monster’s effects or summoning conditions.
  • Atk: A monster’s Attack value is relevant when it is in an attack position (vertical), even if it is not the monster doing the attacking.
  • Def: A monster’s Defense value is relevant when it is in a defense position (horizontal). Monsters in defense position cannot deal battle damage to your opponent.

2. Spell cards

yu gi oh deck

In Yu-Gi-Oh!, it’s not just about summoning monsters, but also supporting them with Spell and Trap cards. While these cards have a simpler design, they do come in different subsets.

You can choose to cast spells in two ways: face-up for immediate activation, or Set face-down for activation in a later turn. Let’s take a closer look at Spell cards:

  • Normal Spells: These spells have no icon and are played face-up. They activate immediately and can affect monsters, the game state, or both.
  • Equip Spells: These spells have a plus icon and target a specific monster when played. They typically enhance the monster’s abilities or change its properties.
  • Continuous Spells: These spells have an infinity icon and remain on the field indefinitely. They can provide a lasting effect to your side of the field, your monsters, or the game state.
  • Quick-Play Spells: These spells have a lightning icon and can be played face-down as a Set card. They can be activated during either player’s turn for an immediate effect, providing more versatility in their usage.
  • Field Spells: These spells have a compass rose icon and remain in the Field Spell Zone indefinitely. They provide a lasting effect that affects both players, and can also alter the properties of the playing field or provide a benefit to specific types of monsters.

3. Trap cards

Yu-Gi-Oh cards

The final core card type in Yu-Gi-Oh! is the Trap card. These cards are played face-down on your turn and are activated when their conditions are met on a later turn.

  • Normal Traps: These traps have no icon and can affect the game state or monsters. They typically activate in response to specific actions by the opponent or as a reactive measure to protect your side of the field.
  • Continuous Traps: These traps have an infinity icon and remain on the field indefinitely. They provide a lasting effect to your side of the field or monsters and can affect both players.
  • Counter Traps: These traps have an arrow icon and are unique in that only another Counter Trap can be activated in response to them. They are fast and provide a quick response to your opponent’s actions, usually negating their effects or cancelling their actions.

Field Layout In Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG

yu gi oh play mat

At last, let’s take a look at the battlefield in the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG, where card placement plays a significant role in strategy. A labeled play mat may come in handy until you get the hang of it.

  • The Deck Zone is where your Main Deck is placed, while your Side Deck remains off the board until the end of the duel. If your Main Deck is depleted, you’ll lose the duel.
  • The Graveyard (GY) is where cards are usually sent after leaving the field, but some cards can be activated from here.
  • The Extra Deck Zone houses your Extra Deck, which remains hidden from your opponent.
  • The Field Zone is where Field Spells are played. Unlike other cards on the field, only one Field Spell can be active at a time, and if you play a new one, the previous one is removed.
  • Main Monster Zones are used for summoning and setting most monsters. Monsters can be placed in the face-up attack position or face-down defense position.
  • The Extra Monster Zones are exclusive to monsters summoned from the Extra Deck. You can use these zones if you fulfill their specific summoning requirements.
  • Spell & Trap Zones are where you activate or set your spells and traps. The two zones on either end have a special interaction with Pendulum Monsters, which can act as Monsters or Spells.

There is no designated space for banished cards, but it is essentially a form of double removal. However, some cards can bring banished cards back into play.

Important Reminder: When acquiring Yu-Gi-Oh! collectible cards, it is crucial to differentiate between authentic and counterfeit cards. For further insights, explore the guidance provided in Identifying The Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game.