"Photon" (フォトン Foton) is an archetype of LIGHT monsters used by Kite Tenjo, Dextra and Nistro in Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL, and created by Dr. Faker and Mr. Heartland together. Yusaku Fujiki also uses "Photon Thrasher" in Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS. This archetype was first released in Photon Shockwave. Most of the monsters in this archetype have armored or scaly bodies that emit blue light. The "Photon" archetype is intimately related to the "Galaxy" archetype.
In the anime, Kite's Deck was created by using science from another dimension, later revealed to be Barian World, though Astral compared the energy of "Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon" to that of his own world.
In physics, a photon is an elementary particle, the quantum of light and all other forms of electromagnetic radiation, and the force carrier for the electromagnetic force.
The goal of a "Photon" Deck is to take control of the field. The archetype features a fantastic variety of Swarm cards, including "Accellight", "Photon Lead", "Twin Photon Lizard" and "Paladin of Photon Dragon"– a ritual monster that can be summoned twice with the same Ritual Spell Card. Besides this, many "Photon" cards focus on Summoning their ace monster, "Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon", which is a good example of "Photon" field control: its self-banishing Quick Effect allows it to evade Traps like "Dimensional Prison" and bypass other card effects. Another example is "Photon Leo", which can shuffle cards in your opponent's hand back into the Deck. This can be a very disruptive effect in numerous situations. Lower-Level "Photon" monsters have more strategic uses, such as adding different "Photon" Monster Cards to your hand or even multiplying themselves. This can also go hand-in-hand with "Galaxy" cards, though the searching effects of both via "Photon Lizard" and "Galaxy Wizard".
"Photon" monsters are unique in that they often have effects that play with the Rule of 2000– many of the archetype's low-level monsters feature 2000+ ATK to make them viable sacrifices for "Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon", while also augmenting their abilities as beaters. However, because of their incongruously high ATK, low-Level Photons often come with restriction effects to balance out their power. For example, the effect of "Photon Crusher" is mimics early beatdown favorite "Goblin Attack Force", forcing it into Defense Position after every attack (its DEF is 0), while "Photon Thrasher" is a Semi-Nomi monster that can only attack if it is alone on the field. The TCG/OCG original Level 3 "Photon Sabre Tiger" loses 800 ATK if it's the only copy of itself on your side of the field, but sports 2000-point Original ATK score if more than one exists.
"Photon" monsters are generally difficult to defeat in battle (most notably "Galaxy-Eyes", which can never lose at one-on-one combat due to its effect, if not interrupted). However, the archetype focus most of its effort towards offensive plays, and lacks defensive capacity– featuring little to no protection against hostile card effects.