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Negate (Japanese: こう() Mukō(ka)) is a term that refers to stopping an action from being performed successfully or nullifying a card effect. Actions that can be negated include card and effect activations, Summons, and attacks.


To negate the activation of a card or effect is to cause it to not resolve after being activated. An activation can only be negated by a card effect that specifically uses the term "negate".

If the activation of a Spell or Trap Card is negated, that card is sent to the Graveyard after the entire Chain it was activated in resolves if it has not already been moved somewhere, but it is not treated as being sent from the field. If the activation of a card effect is negated, that card remains in its current location unless a card effect specifies otherwise (such as "Divine Wrath" specifying that the monster is destroyed). If the activation of a card or effect is negated, because it does not resolve, the most previous Chain Link is considered the last thing to happen instead (for the purposes of missing the timing).

Destroying a card is distinct from negating its effect; even if a card is destroyed, its activated effect can still resolve. For example, when a player activates "Dark Hole" and the other player Chains "Mystical Space Typhoon" targeting "Dark Hole", it will destroy "Dark Hole", but "Dark Hole" will still resolve, so the monsters are still destroyed.

If a card or effect has a restriction on how often it can be activated, the specific wording of the restriction affects affects whether negated activations count towards this limit.

  • If a card or effect can only be "activated" (発動) a limited number of times, only activations that are not negated count towards their limit.
  • If an effect can only be "used" (使用) a limited number of times, negated activations count towards their limit.
  • If an effect specifies "Once per turn", "Once per Battle Step", "Up to twice per turn", etc. in its activation conditions, even negated activations count towards this limit.


To negate an effect is to prevent it from being applied. A card effect can only be negated by a card effect that specifically uses the term "negate".

If Continuous Effects or Unclassified Effects are negated, they simply no longer apply.

If an effect that makes a Chain Link is negated, it resolves without effect. However, this does not prevent these effects from being activated. For example, even if the effect of "Cannon Soldier" is negated by "Effect Veiler", it can still be activated by Tributing a monster, but its effect will be negated when it resolves and the opponent will take no damage.

Because "Starlight Road" only negates card effects and not activations, cards and effects that would respond to the Summon of "Stardust Dragon" miss the timing, as the card or effect that "Starlight Road" negated resolves (with its effect negated) strictly after "Stardust Dragon" is Summoned.


To negate a Summon is to prevent a monster from being successfully Summoned. A Summon can only be negated by a card effect that specifically uses the term "negate".

Only Summons that occur outside of a Chain can be negated, and even then only built-in Special Summons and Summons by game mechanics (Normal Summons, Flip Summons, Synchro Summons, Xyz Summons, Pendulum Summons, Link Summons) can be negated.

Many card effects that cause a player to perform a Summon by game mechanics specify that the Summon is performed "immediately after this card/effect resolves" to clarify that the Summon occurs outside of the resolution of an effect, so if that card or effect resolves as Chain Link 1 the Summon can be negated. For example, the Normal Summon of a monster with "Ultimate Offering" cannot be negated if it was activated as Chain Link 2 or higher (as the monster is Summoned in the middle of a Chain), but it can be negated if "Ultimate Offering" is activated as Chain Link 1 (as the monster is Summoned immediately after the effect of "Ultimate Offering" resolves).

A negated Normal Summon still counts as the one Normal Summon/Set per turn, and a negated Pendulum Summon still counts as the one Pendulum Summon per turn. If a monster can only be Summoned once per turn in a particular way, even if that Summon is negated it cannot be Summoned again in that way that turn.

If the Summon of a monster(s) is negated, that monster(s) are not considered to have been on the field at the time its Summon was negated (even if it is being Flip Summoned or is a Gemini monster being Normal Summoned again). (For example, if a monster's Summon is negated by "Forced Back" while "Degenerate Circuit" is active, that monster is returned to its owner's hand and not banished, because it was not considered to be on the field.) If a Summon is negated, the monster was not successfully Summoned, so Special Summon-only monsters cannot be Special Summoned by effects other than their specified method.


See also: Negates attacks

To negate an attack is to stop a battle from taking place after an attack has been declared. An attack can only be negated by a card effect that specifically uses the term "negate".

An attack can only be negated during the Battle Step, and if it is negated, the Damage Step does not occur. Even if an attack is negated, that monster is still considered to have declared an attack that turn, so it cannot declare another attack and cannot change its battle position in Main Phase 2.

Cards such as "Mirror Force" and "Dimensional Prison" do not negate attacks; instead, the attacking monster leaves the field during the Battle Step and the attack ends; if the monster does not leave the field, the attack continues. For example, if "Total Defense Shogun" attacks while in Defense Position and the opponent activates "Mirror Force", the attack continues as "Total Defense Shogun" is still on the field. Likewise, even if an attacking monster is banished by "Dimensional Prison", "Counterforce" cannot be activated because its attack was not negated.

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