"You've activated my Trap Card!"
collectible card game first appeared in the manga of the same name
as a homage
to Magic: The Gathering
, of which author Kazuki Takahashi is a fan. Originally, the manga was intended to feature a new game every few weeks, and with the trading cards being just one of many. However, Takahashi received a lot of fan mail asking how to play it, and so he cobbled together a rudimentary game system loosely based on that of Magic
agreed with how the characters played. Fan mail kept pouring in, and so the editor of Shonen Jump
(in which the manga was serialised) persuaded
Takahashi to rework the manga to have it appear more as an important plot device. When the anime adaptation
, which centered solely around the card game, proved a surprise international hit, Konami
was approached to produce a real version of the game, which was released in 1999. The real game made considerable changes to the rules originally established by Takahashi, and so the manga and anime were revised to more closely reflect the rules of the real game.Yu-Gi-Oh!
is essentially a game with different names and administration structures in different territories. The so-called Official Card Game
, or OCG, has been handled by Konami since the beginning; it administers East Asia. The other administration setup, called the Trading Card Game
or TCG, was originally manufactured and distributed by Upper Deck Entertainment, at Konami's own behest, throughout the remaining territories worldwide. However, in 2008, UDE lost the license amid some allegations of wrongdoing, and now the TCG is administered by Konami as well. The game is roughly 99% identical on each side of the Pacific; the only differences are that some cards that debut under one administration do not appear in the other for a good, long while, if ever; there are some difference about the Damage Step rules; and, Konami alters some card artwork to prevent incidents with Moral Guardians
Some of the core gameplay elements:
- Deckbuilding: Players construct their own decks, which must contain between 40 to 60 cards and no more than three of any single card (certain cards are limited to 2, 1, or 0 copies per deck). A secondary deck of no more than 15 cards can also be constructed; this "Extra Deck" contains "Fusion Monsters," "Synchro Monsters" and "Xyz Monsters" which are Summoned to the field by combining other monsters in various ways. As the official rules state that matches consist of best-two-out-of-three duels, players can also use an up-to-15-card "Side Deck" which can be used to modify the deck between duels in a match.
- Monster combat: Players can Summon monsters to fight the opponent. Stronger monsters have Summoning requirements, most commonly a sacrifice of other monsters.
- Card effects: Most monsters have special abilities aside from their brute force, which is almost always helpful for its wielder, such as the ability to destroy other cards, or to increase its attack strength from its default level. Spell cards are cards that are played directly from the hand with various effects. Trap cards also have special effects similar to Spells; however, they must be set face-down, and then activated later at a later time, which leads into...
- Hidden information: Monsters, Spells, and Traps can be "Set" face-down on the field to be revealed later, often springing a nasty surprise on the opponent. Recent releases have also increased the number of cards playable from one's hand at atypical, poignant, and decisive points of gameplay - essentially behaving like a "Set" card that didn't have to be "Set". Considering how removing and playing around Set cards was one of the game's dominant paradigms for nearly a decade running, these recent releases, when competitive, have had quite the impact.
A more complete overview of the rules can be found at this Useful Notes page
, the stories and tropes from the metaplot can be seen here
, and the character sheet from said metaplot is at this Character Sheets page
. Subjective tropes can be found here.
Trivia can be found here.
For the card game based off the first anime
, try Yu-Gi-Oh! (Carddas Version)
This game provides examples of: