The Rules of Yu-Gi-Oh Explained… Finally

Rule Number 1: There are no rules

Getting Started:

Building Your Deck

  • Go steal your father’s Yu-Gi-Oh from the attic. He will have a box of them and they will be from the 1970’s.
  • Throw all of your father’s Yu-Gi-Oh cards into the trash. He chose having a family over dueling, clearly he must be terrible at the game.
  • Dig up your great grandfather, he was probably buried with his deck. Only there will you find the heart of the cards.
  • Also you should get Exodia on ebay.

Acquiring a Dueling Disk

  • Buy a dueling disc.

Basic Rules:

Battle Phases:

  • There are three battle phases per turn: defense phase, attack phase, and Final Jeopardy.
  • Defense Phase: Before attacking, you first have to deal with your opponents attacks and your inner demons. This can be done in a number of ways:
  • Sacrificing or fortifying one of your monsters
  • Therapy
  • Herbal Tea and abstract charcoal sketches 
  • Secret Trap Card Phase: The game of Yu-Gi-Oh is essentially two people saying the phrase “you’ve just activated my trap card.” back and forth until someone gets a girlfriend.
  • Attack Phase: Attack Phase begins after Main Phase 1 but before Main Phase 2. It intercedes any Diagonal Phases and can only be interrupted by an ancient Egyptian spell card, obviously. In the Attack Phase, one uses their cards to injure the other player’s monsters or even their life points with the inevitable goal of banishing the opponent to the shadow realm at 0 health points (to banish a player to the shadow realm is to kill them in real life).
  • When you play the game of Yu-Gi-Oh, you win or you die. You will find a gun inside your dueling disk: use it.
  • Final Jeopardy: After all teams have placed their wager, the Host should reveal and read the Final Jeopardy clue. The teams have 30 seconds to write down their response, which must be in the form of a question. Each team must place the resulting paper face down in front of the team.

Advanced Rules: Specialty Cards

Monster Cards

  • Your deck will primarily be Monster cards, though the true monster was inside us all along.
  • See those stars at the top of the card? They mean absolutely nothing. 
  • You see the ATK/DEF stat at the bottom of the card? It also means nothing.
  • Notice that cool picture in the middle of the card? That’s the whole battle right there.
  • Nah it means nothing, but it’s pretty sick though right? 

Spell Cards

  • Spell cards are truly the “Je ne se quois” of Yu-Gi-Oh, in that I do not know how to describe them.
  • Spell cards can do anything! They can:
  • Use ancient magic to swing the tides of battle in your favor and summon the awesome power of Osiris and Ra, the Egyptian gods of life and death. 
  • Clean your room.

Trap Cards

  • Prior to the battle, tape about thirty different trap cards to your chest.
  • Pull these out randomly throughout the battle in accordance with the Secret Trap Card Phase rules.
  • The different types of trap cards have little to no meaning, it’s more about how hard you throw them.

How to Duel: 

It’s a random day, maybe a Wednesday or a Thursday, and you’re walking in downtown Metro City. All the sudden, a man bumps into you, knocking you onto the ground. You lock eyes; he is now your rival. You will stop at nothing to destroy him. 

A tournament is being held, with the prize being just enough money for you to buy that solid gold watch to make your grandmother’s wrist drip hard enough for her to beat terminal cancer.

You breeze through the tournament, and you reach the finals. You’ve decimated your opponents up to this point, but you know you’re meeting the best of the best in the finals. You’ve heard that the other finalist is ruthless, and will stop at nothing to win.

You step out into the stadium. A silhouette appears, and guess who it is? Your father, the one who left when you were young, forcing you to become attached to this ridiculously complex game.

When it comes down to the actual duel, you’ve got some monsters, he’s got some monsters, big whoop. I don’t want to bore you with the details, but they’re going to fight and one of them is going to win. To understand how powerful a monster is, refer to the Monster Cards part of the previous section.

You win the duel after you’ve killed all of your deadbeat dad’s monsters and you instruct your monsters to (verbally) mutilate him with some sick burns like “you’re a blue eyes white nobody and you always will be” and “There will never be a trading card game named after you, Jeff Pokemon!” 

Advanced Strategy

Buy a lot of Yu-Gi-Oh! Cards because they look really cool and then leave them in a bag in your closet, never having been used for their intended purpose. Make no attempt to learn the rules and just let your imagination take over, because I cannot stress this enough, the rules to Yu-Gi-Oh! will only make you hate it. Keep what inkling of nostalgic joy you have surrounding the cards and remain blissfully ignorant. 

Jackson Weaver is a writer, stand up comic, and loves speaking about himself in the third person. If you want to cyber bully him, please do it @updogenthusiast on twitter.

Conner Williams is a comedy writer and stands tall at 6′ -4”. He is occasionally funny, but oh baby, when he is, it’s hilarious. His twitter is @funny_conner because he is the only Conner that is funny.

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