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To activate (Japanese: はつどう Hatsudō, Verb: はつどうする Hatsudō suru) is to use a card or effect in a way that makes a Chain Link.


All activated cards and effects have a Spell Speed. Cards and effects cannot be activated in response to cards or effects with higher Spell Speed. Cards and effects also cannot be activated while a Chain is resolving.

Activating a card is distinct from activating its effect. For example, "Magic Jammer" and the effect of "Dark Paladin" can only be activated when the card "Supply Squad" is activated, but cannot be activated when the effect of "Supply Squad" to draw 1 card is activated.

Activating a card (Spell/Trap)[edit]

Spell and Trap Cards are the only "Cards" that can be activated.

To activate a Spell or Trap Card (outside of one performed by a card effect) is to play it on the field face-up from the player's hand, or flipped from face-down on the field. Trap Cards and Quick-Play Spell Cards cannot be activated during the same turn they were Set. If the activation of a card is negated, that card will not be treated as being on the field.[1][2]

Some card effects can also activate Spell/Trap cards. Other card effects can place Spell/Trap cards face-up on the field without activating them; equipping a card with a card effect does not activate the card.

Activating an effect[edit]

To activate an effect is to activate the card or choose to apply a Trigger or Trigger-like, Ignition or Ignition-like, or Quick or Quick-like Effect. When activating an effect from a location that is not public knowledge, the card that activated the effect is revealed by game mechanics.[3]

Activation requirements[edit]

There are several requirements that must be met in order to activate a card.

  • The activation cost for a card or effect must be paid in order to activate a card or effect. However, some cards do not have any cost.
    • For example, "Twister" cannot be activated if the player cannot pay 500 LP (such as due to having less than 500 LP). However, "Mystical Space Typhoon" can, because it has no cost.
  • It is not possible to activate a card or effect if the effect would fail to do anything when it resolved.