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A card's position is its orientation on the field (face-up or face-down), and, for monsters, its battle position.

Visible side[edit]

There are two distinct states a card can be in with respect to visible side: face-up and face-down (also referred to as Set).

Face-down cards have no properties (name, Attribute, Type, Level/Rank, ATK, DEF, effect) until they are changed to face-up. A face-down card being looked at or revealed is still considered face-down and is returned to its original position once the player(s) have finished viewing it.

Battle position[edit]

There are two distinct battle positions a monster can be in: Attack Position and Defense Position. Monsters on the field (and those that would be Summoned) exclusively and always have a battle position. Attack Position monsters are placed vertically while Defense Position monsters are placed horizontally.


Monsters can only be Normal Summoned in face-up Attack Position, and can only be Normal Set in face-down Defense Position; while "Light of Intervention" is active, monsters can be Normal Summoned in face-up Defense Position. If a monster would be Special Summoned but no position is specified, it may be Special Summoned in face-up Attack or Defense Position, but some card effects can Special Summon monsters in face-down Defense Position. When a monster is Flip Summoned, it is changed from face-down Defense Position to face-up Attack Position.

Monsters can only be in face-down Attack Position due to the effect of "Darkness Approaches".

Positions off the field[edit]

While positions usually only apply on the field, some effects give cards positions off the field. For example, "Different Dimension Capsule" banishes a card face-down, and "Pharaoh's Treasure" shuffles itself into the Main Deck face-up. Additionally, Pendulum Monsters on the field that would be sent to the Graveyard instead place themselves face-up in the Extra Deck.