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remove from the game
Because banished cards are not in any particular zone, a player can place their banished cards anywhere in the play area that is not a zone. They are typically placed either above or to the right of the Graveyard, or just under the field (directly in front of the player). Most video games place it to the right of the Graveyard.
By default, cards are banished face-up, with these cards being public knowledge. However, several cards can banish cards face-down (such as "Ghostrick Skeleton" and "Pot of Desires"); a card that is banished face-down is not public knowledge and can thus only be looked at by its possessor. A card that is banished face-down cannot be affected by cards that specify properties of the banished card, other than the card that banished it. The number of banished cards (including face-down banished cards) is public knowledge.
Because banishing a card causes it to leave its current location, banishing a card on the field causes it to leave the field. Consequently, if a Token Monster is banished face-up, it is simply removed from the game rather than placed with the other banished cards. Token Monsters cannot be banished face-down.
Banished cards cannot be destroyed. Returning a banished card to the Graveyard is not considered to be sending that card to the Graveyard, and can be done even if a card like "Dimensional Fissure" is active.
If a card controlled by a player that is not its owner is temporarily banished by a card like "Interdimensional Matter Transporter", while banished it will be in the possession of its owner, but when it returns to the field it will return to the side of the field of the player that controlled it when it was banished. If its owner does not have an unoccupied Zone on the field to return it to, the card is instead sent to the Graveyard. Furthermore, if the effect that gave temporary control of that card to the opponent is no longer active, it will then return to the original owner. If a card would be banished when it leaves the field, if it is temporarily banished by another card effect, it does not return to the field.
Originally, there were few cards which could banish other cards (called "remove from play" at the time), with some of the first being "Soul Release" and "Banisher of the Light". The first card to return them was "Miracle Dig".
However, over time, banishing cards has become a popular theme with several cards to go with it (such as Chaos and "D.D." cards). In turn, more cards were created to bring banished cards back, including "D.D.M. - Different Dimension Master", "Dimension Fusion", "Dimension Explosion", "Burial from a Different Dimension", and "Leviair the Sea Dragon".
In the Problem-Solving Card Text update, "remove from play" was renamed "banish". This was both to make card text easier to understand and to distinguish it from the similarly-named "removed from the field", which was renamed "leaves the field" in the same update for this reason.
Thematically, cards which banish tend to either imply that the card's soul is being removed (e.g. "Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer", "Bazoo the Soul Eater") or are sent to another dimension (e.g. the "D.D." series).
While the location that banished cards are placed does not have an official name, official sources occasionally refer to it as the "Banished Zone" or "banished pile" ("removed zone" or "removed from play pile" prior to the Problem-Solving Card Text update), despite it not being a zone. These terms are never used in card texts or official ruling materials; cards in this location are simply referred to as "banished cards".
In Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links, the banished cards are stacked next to the Graveyard, and they are identified by a grave icon, with "X" on it when targeting them.
Since many Decks rely on the Graveyard, Decks that rely on the effects of "Dimensional Fissure", "Macro Cosmos", "Banisher of the Light", and "Banisher of the Radiance" have grown in power. Being able to shut down an opponents Graveyard plus having "D.D. Survivor", an 1800 ATK monster that keeps returning every time it's banished while face-up, have shown themselves to be powerful Decks. "D.D. Scout Plane" is also incredibly useful in these Decks: if it is banished from your hand or Deck, it will be Special Summoned. The main weakness of these Decks is the fact that it is not difficult to remove the card that banishes other cards, and cards like "Imperial Iron Wall" and "Chaos Hunter" counter such Decks with ease.
In Yu-Gi-Oh! and Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, if a Duel Disk is connected to a Dueling Arena, the banished cards are put where the Graveyard of the Dueling Arena is. If not, the banished cards were placed in the Duelist's pockets. Seto Kaiba is seen placing his banished cards to the right of his Deck while Dueling using his Duel Disk connected to a Dueling Arena. Other series do not draw attention to the physical locations of cards.
In Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, cards being banished are depicted as being sucked into a black vortex.
In Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL, monsters being banished or Special Summoned while banished sometimes enter in and emerge from portals identical to the Graveyard's one, but green.
In Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, cards banished from the Graveyard disintegrate with a vortex, cards banished from the field disintegrate and scatter, and cards banished from the hand disintegrate into a purple sphere. However, it is unclear where these cards are kept.
In Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS, cards banished from the GY are disintegrated with a high-tech appearing vortex interface. While cards in hand and/or field are dissolved into green particles.
- Konami. Yu-Gi-Oh! Official Card Game - Perfect Rulebook 2015. p. 45.
- Tewart, Kevin (May 23, 2011). "Problem-Solving Card Text, Part 2: New Words & Phrases". Konami. Retrieved July 28, 2011.
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