A Basic Introduction to Yugioh

It’s hard to condense what I know about this game into a quick post. I’ve played Yugioh since the first starter decks reached U.S. shores back in 2002. I fell out of the game in 2006 and then got back into it in 2010. I’d still consider myself a casual player, though I’ve attended multiple YCSs, and Regional tournaments. Anyway, that’s enough about my history with the game, now I’m going to attempt teach you its core basics.

Goal in Yugioh:

In Yugioh, you win the game by reducing your opponent’s lifepoints from 8000 to 0. To do so you must inflict damage to your opponent which you can do by wielding an arsenal of monsters, spells and traps..

Card Types in Yugioh:

Monster Cards:


Monsters are the basic unit in Yugioh. They are summoned to the field to attack the opponent and their lifepoints. However, when both players control monsters those monster instead battle each other. When 2 monsters battle the attack and defense totals are applied based on what position the card is placed (either attack position defense position).The monster with the higher attack will destroy the monster with the lower attack/defense it attacks that monster.


The vast majority of Yugioh monsters have effects which are detailed on the card. These effects provide a wide array of perks, weaknesses and flavor to the characters in the game.

In order to summon stronger monsters certain conditions must be met. In order to summon a monster with 5 or more stars for example you have offer monsters you already control on your field as a tribute.

However, there are 3 additional types of monsters that reside in your Extra deck, which contains 15 monster cards you can summon whenever their summoning conditions are met.


High level monsters and extra deck monsters tend to have more powerful effects and higher attack points.

For sake of brevity I’m ignoring both Pendulum and Ritual monsters, but I promise to describe both at length in the future.

Spell Cards:


Spell cards provide support to you in the duel by applying various effects to benefit the player and punish the opponent. There is generally some cost to activate spell cards and they can also only be activated initially when their conditions are met. They can also be set face-down in the Spell/Trap zone.

Trap Cards:


Traps are used to protect yourself from your opponent’s actions. Unlike spell cards however, trap cards must be played face-down and activated after the turn they are set. Furthermore, a trap card can only be activated when its initial conditions are met.

Those are the bare basics of Yugioh. Here is a link to the Yugioh rule-book which can teach you how to play the game, as I’m just giving an overview of the cards. I haven’t scratched the surface of all the card interactions, rulings and methods that go into this game yet. If you want to gain a better grasp of it, I’d skim the rules, and check out additional online forums (in addition you can get actual practice on the website Dueling Network, but we’ll discuss that too another day).

I wish I could go into more detail, but for now I want to give the most simple facts of each game so I can compare and contrast them, which is the true goal of this blog.  In time hopefully I can give a more in-depth look at each game, but for now I hope this gives you somewhere to start on your journey in tcgs.

Next up is Magic the Gathering.



2 thoughts on “A Basic Introduction to Yugioh

  1. Okay listen here and listen close for a sec. In making this entire endeavour you present yourself in the context of being a sort of columnist, and in that sense I think there’s a higher standard of writing you need to hold yourself to. When I read something posted on this blog it should fall in to one of three categories: anecdotal, informative, or opinionated. Being posted in “Explanation” this piece should probably be informative, but I don’t think it provides enough information to be truly useful to either people who don’t know anything about trading card games or to people who are familiar with TCGs but not YuGiOh.

    This post seems to assume a familiarity with the general TCG formula, which includes game characteristics such as being turn-based and phase-based. However, it is not clear whether this familiarity is actually expected for a reader of this post. If you didn’t have this, the reading would certainly be confusing. Even if you do have this, this post does a lot of name-dropping without really explaining what sort of role each card type fills or how to actually use these cards. Inferences can be made from some of the information provided, but wouldn’t it be more helpful to say something like “Spell cards and trap cards can be explained as an action/reaction mechanism. You most often active spell cards on your turn to achieve an outcome, while trap cards can be activated in response to an action in order to prevent its execution.” A significant enough amount of this post reads as YuGiOh specific jargon and name drops for specific card types that don’t mean anything to readers not familiar with YuGiOh already. To see part of what I mean, read this sentence which you wrote:

    “For sake of brevity I’m ignoring both Pendulum and Ritual monsters, but I promise to describe both at length in the future.”

    The implication of this seems to be that you have said anything about other types of monsters (Fusion, Synchro, XYZ), but you haven’t, so what was your thought process in calling yourself out for not describing these types.

    I think you need to do some thinking about your target audience for your posts and what mix of opinion-laced and objective content you wish to produce. Also you should probably work to have some sort of revision process for these pieces. Writing is an iterative process and your blog reveals that you don’t take this into account and, much more often than you should, push the first version of your post through. That all also depends on how serious you are about this blog, so I guess weight my comments in accordance with your vision of this blog.

    I hope you take my words to heart, Brent.


    1. Your responses are long winded as always. This comment did make me write a later post about basic tcg mechanics which I guess helps my case. I don’t think I can ever meet your expectations, but then again I’m doing this blog for my own satisfaction and to explore the similarities among my hobbies. You know very well that I am never “serious” and if that is a turnoff, then I apologize. I don’t have the time, staff or resources to get my posts edited or peer reviewed at this time.


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