this instructable will explain the basic card types and their functions in the yu-gi-oh trading card game. previous knowledge of the game will not be needed for this adventure, simply a love for games and the need to (in the friendliest of ways) completely destroy your (friends) enemies using powerful monsters, spells, and traps. p.s. plot device card not included due to unexplainability and anime exclusive existence. p.s.s. i will not be explaining to many mechanics of the game, but some will be mentioned simply because they must in order to explain the card (or at least that's how i explained it) however i will be making future instructables on other yu-gi-oh related rules, mechanics, game play, strategies, and so on and so forth.
Step 1: Part 1 Monster Cards
there are multiple aspects of the monster card that should be noted before i tell you of it's uses. the first one is it's name. for this example i will be using the dark magician (and maybe his pupil the dark magician girl.) the name is located at the top of the card. the attribute symbol is to the right of the name and shows the monsters elemental affiliation. the level of the monster is directly below the above mentioned and based off of the level can help determine is strength but is not the sole determiner. the picture of the monster is in the center of the card and takes up the most space. below that is the edition and the manufacturing number. directly below that is the type of monster it is, this shows whether it is a magic user (spellcaster) swordsman or axeman or some form of weapon user (warrior) a dragon (...dragon...) a machine (...machine...) a fish (...fish...) and so on. i would list them all but it is very easy to find a list on the internet and as this is my first instructable i both wasn't sure and didn't have time to figure out how to make a link. below that is the description of the card, this can show the effect of the monster (if it is an effect monster) or an entertaining description (if it is a normal monster.) in the bottom left corner we have a code that's used for various things such as getting the card in some video games and things of the sort. in the bottom right hand corner we have the year the card was published, the card creator or artist, the attack points (shortened to atk) and the defense points (shortened to def.) monster cards are the most basic, common, and usually the best way of damaging your opponent in battle in order to win the game. more on their uses will be covered i future instructables. there are also 6 different types of monsters. these are the normal monster (yellowish tint,) the effect monster (orangish tint,) the fusion monster (purple colored,) the ritual monster (blue color,) the synchro monster (white background and my favorite until i make my secret new type of monster,) and lastly the xyz (pronounced ex-ee-z) monster (black tinted.) each have their own respective form of "summoning" some being "easier" than others, and they will all be covered in a future instructable. oh and i added in a fan art that i found while looking for the "main image" in this part. it's a picture of the dark magician girl and she looks so astonished at something.
Step 2: Part 2 Spell Cards
in order to give you some examples of cards that showcase each of the different kinds of spell cards i have added some cards (ironically all originally from the duel monsters era) and i think that each shows how they work well. the lack of a symbol by the words "spell card" (which now replace the area where the monster cards had their level and are also the only difference between the cards aside from the fact that they have the "spell" word and symbol where there used to be an attribute) means that it is a normal spell card. normal spells have an effect that you can only play on your turn and then the card is gone, the effect of the card can linger for longer depending on the effect. the second kind of spell card is the quick-play spell card. these can be used on your turn or your opponents turn, but aside from that they generally follow the same rules as normal spells. next we have equip spell cards. these are equipped or "attached" to a monster and last as long as the effect says (generally permanent) or until the card is removed by some other effect. they commonly give the monster higher attack power, the ability to avoid destruction, an extra or direct attack capability, or some other various effect depending on the spell and sometimes the monster. after that comes the continuous spell card, they can last anywhere from a preset amount of time, to whenever they are removed from the field, or even stay in the game forever. there effects will commonly be based on the amount of time they have been on the field (since there activation or the amount of time they have left) or will have a set effect and stay for a random length f time, or anything in-between. 5th down the row we've got the ritual spell card. this unique type f spell card makes you discard a monster(s) of (generally) equal or higher leveled value (based purely on their level,) i.e. to summon a level 8 ritual monster you can tribute any of the following and more: 2 level 4 monsters, 3 level 3 monsters, 1 level 10 monster, 1 level 5 and 1 level 6 monster, or a level 8 monster. keep in mind however that the maximum level for monsters in the game is 12 and must never exceed that limit. this includes the combined levels of the monsters tributed for the ritual summon. so that means no combinations like this: 5 level 3 monsters, a level 9 and a level 4 monster, 2 level 10 monsters, 6 level 4 monsters, and many more possibilities. finally we have come down to one of the trickiest spell cards, the field spell. this spell card almost always effects both sides of the field, gives better effects/bonuses to the users side, and is "deck specific" in order to enhance the spells effectiveness and minimize the opponents availability to use it. field spell cards always stay on the field until either removed by another effect or until a new field spell card is played because only 1 field spell can be on the field at any given time.
Step 3: Part 3 Trap Cards
the final section of this instructable is the trap card section. trap cards can almost never be used the turn you set them on the field (unlike most cards which have there effects played instead of being "set". we will cover more on this term later.) a trap card must first be "set" and are usually played during your opponents turn, but can be played on your next turn after you have "set" the card, assuming it hasn't been used or removed one way or another. the first type of trap card is, as per usual, the normal trap card. once again, represented by not having a symbol, this type of trap card is both the most basic, and thusly sometimes the most useful due to its broad range of effects. normal trap cards, like normal spell cards, have their effects "activated" and then they are generally removed from the field and that's the end of the trap card. however, there are also continuous trap cards, which follow the basic rules of a normal trap card, in which it must be "set", waited on for a turn, and then "activated", but it has the added effect of also functioning like a continuous spell card, in the way that it can stay on the field and have definite lingering effects even after activation. the last kind of trap card (and especially based on the example i am using) and probably the most annoying and problematic is the counter trap. this kind of trap functions almost identical to a normal trap card, although it must have a form of "trigger" effect in order for it to be "activated". this can be either another trap's "activation" a spell's "activation", a monster's "summoning" or effect "activated." the counter trap's effects are much more devastating (on average) than any other kind of trap card, and sometimes the most powerful of all...well...counters, and is usually only usable in a specific type of situation, hence forth the reasoning for it's devastating power.