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Yu-Gi-Oh! cards in the OCG, TCG, and various anime series, except in the Toei anime series, are categorized according to the color of the card's frame (the background upon which the text, artwork, and various icons are overlaid). There are 15 colors used in total (though the dark gray of Dark Synchro Monsters only appears in the anime): various types of Monster Cards, as well as the non-legal Egyptian Gods and the anime versions of the "Legendary Dragons", use 14 colors, and Spell and Trap Cards use one color each. In addition, the card's name is also colored: most categories of cards use black text, but white text is used on Dark Synchro, Xyz (including Xyz Pendulum Monsters), and Link Monsters and on Spell and Trap Cards, to ensure enough contrast for the name to be readable.
Cards in the manga series have black text on a white frame, except for Xyz Monsters, which have white text on a black frame; this is true even for cards shown on the covers of volumes or in full-color pages.
Older video games usually do not distinguish Ritual Monsters from Normal or Effect Monsters, but do distinguish Ritual Cards from other Spell Cards, giving them the blue frame color used elsewhere for the monsters themselves.
|Red||"Slifer the Sky Dragon"[N 1]|
|Orange||Effect Monsters[N 2]|
|Dark yellow||"The Winged Dragon of Ra"[N 1]|
|Green||Pendulum Monsters[N 3]|
|Light blue||Ritual Monsters / "Legendary Dragons"[N 4] / Ritual Cards[N 5]|
|Navy blue||"Obelisk the Tormentor"[N 1]|
|Dark blue||Link Monsters|
|Gray||Monster Tokens / Counters|
|Dark gray||Dark Synchro Monsters[N 4]|
- Only the non-legal version.
- Effect Monsters that are also another monster type (for example, Synchro/Effect) use the color of the other type instead of the Effect Monster color.
- Pendulum Monsters, because they are effectively a combination of another monster type and a Spell Card, use a vertical gradient that fades from the other monster type's card color to the green color used for Spell Cards.
- Only in the anime.
- Only in certain video games.