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How to Link Summon
During their Main Phase, the turn player can Link Summon a Link Monster from their Extra Deck by sending face-up monsters they control to the Graveyard as Link Materials; the number of Link Materials must be equal to the Link Monster's Link Rating. After that, the Link Monster is Summoned in either an Extra Monster Zone or a Main Monster Zone that a Link Monster on the field points to, in face-up Attack Position.
When using a Link Monster for a Link Summon, it can be treated as 1 Link Material, OR multiple Link Materials equal to its own Link Rating.
Example A: Standard Link Summon
Example B: Treating a Link Monster as multiple Link Materials
In the anime, using monsters to perform a Link Summon is known as Setting [them] in the Link Arrows (Setting [them] in the Link Markers in the Japanese version). There are two primary visual procedures for a Link Summon; the first was used until episode 14, while the second has been used since then.
With the first procedure, when a Link Summon is performed, the Duelist shoots forward a burst of energy which creates a Circuit in the sky which the Duelist and their monsters fly through. The Link Materials then transform into red and white streaks of energy that enter the appropriate Link Arrows, causing them to turn red. The Link Arrows are then said to have its Circuit combined, or linked in the dub. The Circuit then glows white and energy converges to form the monster and the Link Arrows around it. The monster and the Duelist then emerge from the Circuit. If a Link Monster is being used for a Link Summon, then copies of that monster will appear equal to the Link Rating of the monster and enter the appropriate Link Arrows.
With the second procedure, the Circuit appears in front of the Duelist as with the previous style. The monsters used for the summoning then transform into different colored hurricanes and fly into the Link Arrows. The Link Monster then appears on the other side of the portal. Emma Bessho uses an alternative version of this style; instead of shooting a Circuit into the sky, strings of energy emerge from her fingertips which form the Circuit beneath their feet. The selected monsters then shoot into the Link Arrows with a hurricane-like effect. The Link Monster is then formed out of converging energy. In the case of Specter and Earth, their circuits appear beneath them.
The color of the area that a Duelist enters to Link Summon differs, depending on the monster's Type, Attribute or Link Rating.
Unlike previous summoning methods in the anime, the Duelist states the summoning conditions of the Link Monster before calling out the monsters he/she is using to summon it.
In Yu-Gi-Oh! OCG Structures, the Duelist declares a Link Summon by saying "I set the Link Arrows with '(Monster name)'". The materials, like in Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS, then transform into streaks of energy that enter the appropriate Link Arrows, from which the monster appears. However, a blank Link Monster frame is shown, rather than the Circuit from VRAINS.
The Circuit of "Decode Talker"
The Circuit of "Link Bumper"
The Circuit of "Honeybot"
The Circuit for "Altergeist Primebanshee" from episode 14
The Circuit of "Shaman of the Tenyi"
- Link Summoning is the only Summoning method other than Fusion Summoning that does not necessarily involve monster Levels.