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The Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game[a] is a collectible card game developed and published by Konami. It is based on the fictional game of Duel Monsters created by manga artist Kazuki Takahashi, which appears in portions of the manga franchise Yu-Gi-Oh! and is the central plot device throughout its various anime adaptations and spinoff series.
The trading card game was launched by Konami in 1999 in Japan and March 2002 in North America. It was named the top selling trading card game in the world by Guinness World Records on July 7, 2009, having sold over 22 billion cards worldwide. As of March 31, 2011, Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd. Japan sold 25.2 billion cards globally since 1999. As of January 2021[update], the game is estimated to have sold about 35 billion cards worldwide and grossed over 1 trillion ($9.64 billion). Yu-Gi-Oh! Speed Duel, a faster and simplified version of the game, was launched worldwide in January 2019. Another faster-paced variation, Yu-Gi-Oh! Rush Duel, launched in Japan in April 2020.
In the trading card game, players draw cards from their respective decks and take turns playing cards onto "the field". Each player uses a deck containing forty to sixty cards, and an optional "Extra Deck" of up to fifteen cards. There is also an optional fifteen-card side deck, which allows players to swap cards from their main deck and/or extra deck between games. Players are restricted to three of each card per deck and must follow the Forbidden/Limited card list, which restricts selected cards by Konami to be limited to two, one, or zero. Each player starts with 8,000 "Life Points" (LP), with the main aim of the game to use monster attacks and spells to reduce the opponent's Life Points. The game ends upon reaching one of the following conditions:
Gameplay revolves around three types of cards: Monster, Spell, and Trap cards. Monster cards are monsters used to attack and defend against the opposing player, mainly for the purpose of damaging an opponent's life points. Spells, which can either be played from the hand or set for later use, provide various effects such as altering a monster's strength, drawing additional cards, or removing an opponent's cards from the field. Traps are cards that are set on the field in advance and activated in later turns when certain conditions are made, such as when an opponent targets a player's monster.
With some exceptions, a typical Monster cards possesses ATK and DEF points which determine its attack and defense power in battles, a Level represented by stars, with more powerful monsters typically possessing higher levels, an Attribute that certain effects may react to, and a description listing the Monster's types and any effects or summoning conditions they may possess. Monsters are summoned to the field through three main categories of summoning; Normal, Tribute, and Special. Once during a player's Main Phase, players can choose to Normal Summon a Level 4 or lower Normal or Effect monster from their hand in face-up Attack Position or face-down Defense Position, or Tribute Summon a Level 5 or higher Monster by tributing one or more Monsters already on the field. Special Summons are performed by utilising card effects or fulfilling the conditions of other summoning methods, such as those used to summon cards from the Extra Deck, and can be performed as many times as possible if the conditions are met.
Spell cards, green, are magical spells with a variety of effects, such as reviving destroyed monsters. They can be played from the hand during a player's turn or placed faced down for activation on a later turn. There are six types of Spell Card:
Trap cards, dark pink, have to be Set on a player's field face-down and can only be activated after the turn they were set has passed, including the opponent's turn. (Quick Play spells, when Set, have the same rule.) They are generally used to stop or counter the opponent's moves, and come in three varieties.
Tournaments are often hosted either by players or by card shops. In addition, Konami, Upper Deck (now no longer part of Yu-Gi-Oh!'s Organized Play), and Shonen Jump have all organized numerous tournament systems in their respective areas. These tournaments attract hundreds of players to compete for prizes such as rare promotional cards.
The Advanced Format is used in all sanctioned tournaments (with the exception of certain Pegasus League formats). This format follows all the normal rules of the game, but also places a complete ban on certain cards that are deemed too powerful for tournament play. These cards are on a special list called the Forbidden, or Banned List. There are also certain cards that are Limited or Semi-Limited to only being allowed 1 or 2 of those cards in a deck and side deck combined, respectively. This list is updated every three months (January 1, April 1) and is followed in all tournaments that use this format.
Traditional format is sometimes used in Pegasus League play and is never used in Official Tournaments and reflects the state of the game without banned cards. Cards that are banned in Advanced are limited to one copy per deck in this format.
As in all other trading card games, booster packs are the primary avenue of card distribution. In Konami's distribution areas, five or nine random cards are found in each booster pack depending on the set and each set contains around one hundred different cards. However, in Upper Deck's areas, early booster packs contained a random assortment of nine cards (rarity and value varies), with the whole set ranging around one hundred and thirty cards. To catch up with the Japanese meta game, two or more original sets were combined into one. Now, more recent Upper Deck sets have simply duplicated the original set. Some booster sets are reprinted/reissued (e.g. Dark Beginnings Volume 1 and 2). This type of set usually contains a larger number of cards (around 200 to 250), and they contain twelve cards along with one tip card rather than the normal five or nine. Since the release of Tactical Evolution in 2007, all booster packs that have a Holographic/Ghost Rare card, will also contain a rare. Current sets have 100 different cards per set. There are also special booster packs that are given to those who attend a tournament. These sets change each time there is a different tournament and have fewer cards than a typical booster pack. There are eight Tournament Packs, eight Champion Packs, and 10 Turbo Packs.
Some cards in the TCG have been released by other means, such as inclusion in video games, movies, and Shonen Jump Magazine issues. These cards often are exclusive and have a special type of rarity or are never-before-seen to the public. Occasionally, cards like Elemental Hero Stratos and Chimeratech Fortress Dragon have been re-released as revisions.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Speed Duel is a specialised version of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game which launched worldwide in January 2019. Being based on the ruleset of Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links, it features four basic card types: Monster Cards, Spell Cards, Trap Cards and an exclusive type of card called Skill Cards.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Rush Duel (遊戯王ラッシュデュエル, Yū-Gi-Ō Rasshu Dueru) is a variation of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game which launched in Japan in April 2020 alongside the release of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Sevens anime series. This variation of the game, acting as a successor to the Speed Duel format, uses a different set of cards from the main OCG/TCG entirely, though certain cards appear in Rush Duel. Rush Duel features reworked rules similar to those introduced in Speed Duels and expanded upon with a more streamlined version of the original to make the game faster.
In its original incarnation in Kazuki Takahashi's Yu-Gi-Oh! manga series, Duel Monsters, originally known as Magic & Wizards, had a rather basic structure, not featuring many of the restricting rules introduced later on and often featuring peculiar exceptions to the rulings in the interest of providing a more engrossing story. Beginning with the Battle City arc of the manga and Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters anime series, more structured rules such as tribute requirements were introduced to the story, with the series falling more in line with the rules of the real life card-game by the time its spin-off series began. From the Duel Monsters anime onwards, characters use cards which resemble their real life counterparts, though some monsters or effects differ between that of the real life trading card game and the manga and anime's Duel Monsters, with some cards created exclusively for those mediums. Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's featured an anime-original card type known as Dark Synchro, which involved using "Dark Tuners" to summon Dark Synchro Monsters with negative levels. Dark Synchro cards were featured in the PlayStation Portable video game, Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's Tag Force 4, while Dark Synchro Monsters featured in the anime were released as standard Synchro Monsters in the real-life game. Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V features Action Cards, spell and trap cards that are picked up in the series' unique Action Duels, which are not possible to perform in the real life game. In the film Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Dark Side of Dimensions, an exclusive form of summoning known as Dimension Summoning is featured. This method allows players to freely summon a monster by deciding how many ATK or DEF points it has, but they receive damage equal to that amount when the monster is destroyed. The Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS anime series features Speed Duels which use a smaller number of Monster and Spell & Trap Zones and remove Main Phase 2 for faster duels. In the anime, characters can activate unique Skills depending on the situation (for example, the protagonist Yusaku can draw a random monster when his life points are below 1000) once per duel. A similar ruleset is featured in the Duel Terminal arcade machine series and the Duel Links mobile game. 041b061a72