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The Master Rules are a series of card rules that were applied in the OCG since the beginning of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's. The Master Rules succeeded the Expert Rules and New Expert Rules, which themselves altered the rules used during the first four months of the OCG. In the TCG, rule changes don't have formal names like they do in the OCG.
The Master Rules came into effect in the OCG with the release of Starter Deck 2008.
- Introduced terminology changes:
- Introduced limitations on the number of cards allowed in the Deck.
Master Rules 2
Master Rules 3
- Introduced terminology changes:
- Introduced a new standardization of the card texts similar to the TCG Problem-Solving Card Text.
- Change in rules:
- The first player no longer draws during their first Draw Phase.
- Each player can control 1 face-up Field Spell Card on their field.
- If a player places a Field Spell Card on their field, the previous Field Spell Card is sent to the Graveyard instead of being destroyed.
- Simplified the Damage Step into 5 timings:
- Start of the Damage Step
- Before damage calculation
- During damage calculation
- After damage calculation
- End of the Damage Step
New Master Rule
- Introduced Link Monsters, Link Arrows, Link Summons, and the linked, co-linked, and Extra Linked states.
- Changed the layout of the playing field.
- The Pendulum Zones were moved into the outermost Spell & Trap Zones.
- The pre-existing Monster Zones were classified as Main Monster Zones.
- 2 new Monster Zones, the Extra Monster Zones, were introduced, located in the 2nd and 4th columns between the two sides of the field, and were exclusively used for the Summoning of monsters from the Extra Deck.
- While an Extra Monster Zone is unoccupied, it does not belong to either player's field.
- Monsters in the Extra Deck must be Special Summoned to either an Extra Monster Zone, or a Main Monster Zone a Link Monster points to.
Master Rules (April 1, 2020 revision)
The Master Rules (April 1, 2020 revision) came into effect in the OCG on April 1, 2020. The following rules also came into effect in the TCG at the same time.
- Face-down Fusion, Synchro, and Xyz Monsters in the Extra Deck can be Special Summoned to either an Extra Monster Zone or a Main Monster Zone, even if it is not pointed to by a Link Monster.
- Link Monsters and face-up Pendulum Monsters in the Extra Deck must still be Special Summoned to either an Extra Monster Zone, or a Main Monster Zone a Link Monster points to.
The following rules also came into effect in the OCG, but have not yet been announced for the TCG. In Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links, these rule changes were applied in Version 4.6.0, which was released on April 20, 2020 and became mandatory on April 28, 2020.
- Trap Monsters that are still treated as Trap Cards no longer occupy a Spell & Trap Zone.
- Monster effects that activate when the monster leaves the field no longer activate if the monster is returned to the Extra Deck face-down, unless specified (such as "Elemental HERO Magma Neos").
- Cards can no longer activate their Trigger Effects if they were sent to different locations, or to a location that is not public knowledge. If the location of a card was moved from where it fulfilled its activation requirement before its effect activates, that effect will/can no longer activate.
- If a Summon was negated, it is not counted towards card effects that would otherwise count it as if it were successful. For example, if the Normal Summon of a player's monster was negated, the player would be able to activate "Rage with Eyes of Blue", which cannot otherwise be activated if the player had Normal or Special Summoned a monster that turn.
- yugioh-card.com/japan Master Rule 2 (japanese)
- yugioh-card.com/japan Master Rule 3 (japanese)
- yugioh-card.com/hk Master Rule 3 (asian english)
- yugioh-card.com/japan New Master Rule (japanese)
- yugioh-card.com/hk New Master Rule (asian english)
- yugioh-card.com/japan Master Rules (April 1, 2020 revision) (japanese)