|Japanese (base text)||
Ritual Monsters (Japanese:
Ritual Monsters are Special Summon-only monsters. This means that they cannot be Special Summoned from the hand or Deck except by Ritual Summon and the card "Ritual Foregone", and cannot be Special Summoned from the Graveyard or while banished unless they were first Ritual Summoned (even with a card like "Fulfillment of the Contract").
In some ways, Level 5 or higher Ritual Monsters can be easier to Summon than Normal or Effect Monsters of the same Level, since their Tributes do not need to be on the field. However, Ritual Monsters require a number of specific cards in the hand or field at once, which can be difficult to achieve. Some Ritual Spell Cards such as "Advanced Ritual Art" can ameliorate this by using monsters from the Main Deck instead, instead of using monsters from your hand/field. Searchers such as "Preparation of Rites" and "Manju of the Ten Thousand Hands" help to assemble the necessary components for a Ritual Summon, while support such as "Ascending Soul" and "Ritual Buster" help alleviate the costs of Ritual Summoning. The "Djinn of Rituals" series can serve dual purposes, as they make the Ritual Spell monster requirement easier to fulfill by banishing themselves from the Graveyard, and also grant an additional effect when used for the Ritual Summon of a Ritual Monster.
A card that allows Ritual Summoning does not always need to be a Ritual Spell card (but usually are). Examples include "Secrets of Dark Magic" and "Conductor of Nephthys" which are not Ritual Spell cards but have effects that include Ritual Summoning.
Because Ritual Monsters are not stored in the Extra Deck, it is usually necessary to have the Ritual Monster and its corresponding Ritual Spell in the hand before that monster can be Ritual Summoned. As a result, Decks focused on Ritual Summoning often include ways to search Ritual Monsters and Ritual Spells.
Some modern Ritual Monsters have effects which can be activated by discarding them from the hand, allowing them to function even when they cannot be Ritual Summoned. Some modern Ritual Spells allow Ritual Summoning from locations besides the hand (such as the Graveyard), or allow using monsters to meet the requirement from locations other than the player's hand or field.
Monsters that support Ritual Summoning can have effects including being treated as the entire requirement for a Ritual Summon, activating or applying their effects when used for a Ritual Summon, or granting an effect to the Ritual Summoned monster.
Ritual-reliant Decks benefit from having multiple copies of Ritual Spells and Ritual Monsters, as the chances of drawing both the Ritual Spell and the Ritual Monster increases greatly. Ritual Summoning can cost the player a large number of cards from their hand or field, so ways to generate hand advantage and recycle Ritual Spells are important.
In the anime
Ritual Monsters have not featured as a major mechanic in the anime.
In Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Ritual Monsters occasionally appeared; Fusion Monsters were more prominently associated with the series. Alexis Rhodes used the first Ritual Monster-focused archetype; "Cyber Angel". Bastion Misawa, Titan, and Kaibaman all used a Ritual Monster.
In Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS, Ritual Summoning was the first non-Link Summon Special Summon method reintroduced in the series. Yusaku Fujiki and Theodore Hamilton used one Ritual Monster each, and Ai later used one of his own.
- Ritual Monsters have the fewest number of anti-support cards of all monster card types, with only 8 cards specifically designed to stop them: "Brutal Beast Battle", "Dimensional Barrier", "Inspector Boarder", "Invincibility Barrier", "Ritual Buster", "Ritual Sealing", "Sophia, Goddess of Rebirth", "Steelswarm Sting".
- "Magikey Blaster - Batosbuster" is the only Tuner Ritual Monster.
- "Shinobaron Peacock" and "Shinobaroness Peacock" are the only Ritual Monsters to have an ability, both being Spirit monsters.
- "Drytron Meteonis Draconids", "Drytron Meteonis Quadrantids", and "Blue-Eyes Chaos MAX Dragon" are tied for having the highest ATK of all Ritual monsters.