Card name

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Blue-Eyes White Dragon
An image of a card. Its name is printed at the top of the card, above the Level and artwork, and next to the Attribute icon. ("Blue-Eyes White Dragon")

A card name (Japanese: カード名 caado mei) is the unique string of characters that identifies a card. All cards released to date have a name. Card names are integral to identifying cards, as well as interpreting effects.

A card's name is printed at the top of the card inside a visually embossed box, which also contains the Attribute or Property icon. Each card with the same printed name is considered a singular copy of the card in a Deck. Under normal circumstances, a Duelist is only allowed to have three copies of a single card (identified by its name) in their Main Deck, Extra Deck, and Side Deck combined at a time, though a card's limitation status (if not Unlimited) or limitation text (if present) affects this limit during official tournament play.

Cards with the same name but alternate art or an alternate password are not considered to be different cards. When understanding which cards are counted as the same in terms of gameplay, the only condition that matters is the name. This means that cards with multiple artworks or differing passwords are still the same as each other provided they have the exact same name. This also includes cards with modified artwork or misprinted art/names.

Card name interactions[edit]

Many effects interact with specific cards. To differentiate card names from the surrounding text, card text adds quotation marks around a string of characters to specify exactly what name is required for an effect to be used. For example, "Dark Magician Girl" gains additional ATK for every copy of "Dark Magician" and "Magician of Black Chaos" in each player's Graveyard, with copies being counted based on their exact card name. Several Spell and Trap Cards can only be activated or gain additional effects when a certain monster is on the field, an example being the signature move series.

Archetype names[edit]

An archetype is a group of cards related to one another due to sharing a string of characters in their names. Many cards are support or anti-support for different archetypes and will list the exact string of characters in their text with quotation marks to describe which cards they affect. For example, "Lightsworn Sabre" specifies that it can only be equipped to a member of the "Lightsworn" archetype, but does not name a specific "Lightsworn" monster as a necessary target. This means it can be equipped to any "Lightsworn" monster, and is limited to only being able to equip to members of the archetype.

In the past, various card names have inadvertently caused problems for card interactions due to localization errors. Prior to modern archetype-focused gameplay, many card names were not kept consistent with their Japanese counterparts when released in the TCG from the OCG. As a result, some card names have needed errata to specify that they do or do not belong to a certain archetype, with others receiving a condition that permanently treats them as a member of their archetype.

Changing a card's name[edit]

Various effects and conditions can cause a card's name to be considered different from the one printed on the card itself.

Name condition[edit]

A name condition is a condition that causes a card's name to be treated as different from its printed name. This condition applies regardless of location, even during Deck construction, meaning that multiple cards with the same name and/or conditions that treat them as the same name are subject to the Maximum of 3 Rule.

Example: The name of "Harpie Lady 1" is always treated as "Harpie Lady". During Deck construction, the player cannot play three copies of "Harpie Lady" alongside three copies of "Harpie Lady 1", as they are all considered the same card.

Name changing effect[edit]

There are many effects that can change a card's name when they are in play, which either applies constantly as a part of an Unclassified Effect, or applies only after the resolution of an activated effect. For the Unclassified effects, such effects always state that a card's name is only changed when the card is in a specific location(s), like the field, Graveyard, or Deck. Because these are effects, they can be negated, in which case the card's name would revert to its original printed name.

Example: The name of "Harpie Queen" becomes "Harpie Lady" while on the field or in the GY.

Treated as alternate name[edit]

A rare type of effect makes a card's name be treated as a different one for the purposes of a specific card effect or a specific game mechanic, without actually changing the card's name as it applies to general gameplay outside of their specific card effects/game mechanics.

See also[edit]