Have you heard of Exodia the Forbidden One, Breaker the Magical Warrior, Buster Blader, Summoned Skull?
You might guess that they are characters in some mythical movie or game. Well, your guess is not entirely far-fetched. These what-seems-to-be-unfamiliar-names are only a few of the hundreds of characters in the Trading Card Game known as Yu-Gi-Oh.
Now there’s one more question that you might ask: What the heck is Yu-Gi-Oh?
This game first originated in Japan and has dominated the entire world. In fact, it has surpassed Magic: the Gathering and now holds the belt as number one TCG in the world. Yu-Gi-Oh started as a Japanese comic book and television cartoon but it widely spread to other parts of the globe. It has a surprisingly positive acceptance when it arrived in the U.S and soon Yu-Gi-Oh cards and merchandise were sold like hotcakes. In no time, it has become the most popular TCG in the world.
If you want to hop on to the Yu-Gi-Oh fever, you’ve got everything you need to know in this article.
The first thing you need is a deck. As a beginner, you can never go wrong if you have one of the four starter decks: Kaiba, Yugi, Pegasus and Joey. Though any of them works good, you can do even better with Joey and Pegasus decks since they are cheaper, better, and easier-to-find. There are 50 pre-selected cards in a starter decks and the cards in each deck will always be the same. The starter decks contain one ultra-rare (foil picture and lettering, two super rare (shiny picture) and 47 common (non-holographic) cards. Starter decks are the bare bones basic decks, and you will need more cards from booster packs in order to make your deck better.
You can bump into fellow Yu-Gi-Oh fanatics anywhere you go. Some card shops host open game days/nights, and others host tournaments, where you can challenge other players to win prizes. With the popularity of Yu-Gi-Oh, you’re more likely to find someone to play with anywhere and anytime. Don’t beat yourself too hard; you’re going to lose some game when you’re just starting so learn from every loss so that you’ll be better on the next game.
Monster cards, which are the base of every deck, are a light yellow card. Effect monster cards are a dark orange, which sets them apart from other monsters.
Remember that your deck will not be complete without the monsters; these cards are the ones that do the fighting. You should have about 1/3 to 1/2 monsters in your deck. You can either summon the monsters to the field or set them on the field. Place your monster face up with the top of the card pointing towards your opponent when it is summoned. Place your monster face down on the field, pointing sideways when it is set.
There are five main stats in monsters. These are type, level, attack, attribute and defense. The types are: fairy, thunder, dragon, spell caster, fiend, aqua, fish, sea serpent, pyro, warrior, machine, lizard, beast, and beast-warrior. Type causes cards to be affected by other cards in different ways. The level is the number of stars that are on the top of the monster card, below the title. The attributes are: light, dark, earth, fire, wind, and water.
Monsters also have defense and attacks which are used for battles between monsters. One of these three things can happen when one monster attacks a monster that is in attack position:
- If the attacking monster has higher ATK than the defending monster, the defending player takes life point damage equal to the difference in ATK and the defending monster is destroyed.
- If the two monsters have the same ATK, neither player takes damage nor are both monsters destroyed.
- If the attacking monster has lower ATK, then the attacking player takes life point damage equal to the difference in ATK and the attacking monster is destroyed.
One of these three things happens when a monster that is in defense position is attacked by another monster:
- If the attacking monster has higher ATK than the defending monster has DEF, there is no damage in the life point and the defending monster is destroyed.
- Nothing happens if the ATK of the attacking monster is the same as the DEF of the defending monster.
- If the DEF of the defending monster is higher than the ATK of the attacking monster, neither monster is destroyed, but the attacker takes damage equal to the DEF of the defender minus the ATK of the attacking monster.
Some monsters have “flip effects”. This enables them to activate the effect when they are flipped face up either by an attack or by an effect.
Recently renamed Spell Cards, magic cards are a light green color. It has five types: quick-play, normal, equip, continuous and field. Quick-play magic cards are signified by a tiny lightning bolt in the top right corner and can be activated anytime. Normal magic cards, on the other hand, can only be played on your own turn. Equip magic cards have a small cross in the top right corner and are attached to a monster and that monster gets whatever bonuses of the magic card. You can activate continuous magic cards on your own turn but the effect remains active until you remove the card from the field. Field magic cards are similar to the continuous magic cards, but they usually designate a certain type or attribute of a monster to power up.
Traps are light purple and they have their own set of rules. They have three types: continuous, normal and counter traps. You have to set the traps on the field at least one turn before you can activate them.
Booster Packs are the standard way of purchasing additional cards to enhance your deck. There are 9 cards in the Yu-Gi-Oh booster packs with one rare card in each of them. The other eight are common cards that may or may not be good, depending on the needs of your deck. If it’s your lucky day, you’ll find super rare, ultra rare, or even secret rare cards.
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