Special Summon Monster
|Special Summon Monster|
|Japanese (base text)||
Tokushu Shōkan (Monsutā)
Special Summon Monster
A Special Summon Monster (
The Special Summon Monster type is only explicitely distinguished in the Japanese, Korean, and Simplified Chinese prints of non-Ritual Main Deck Special Summon Monsters, which have the words "Special Summon" written in the Type/Ability line in their respective languages. This was first introduced in Japan with the release of Deck Custom Pack 01 by the reprint of "Photon Thrasher". Extra Deck monsters, Ritual Monsters, Tokens, and all TCG cards do not feature the printed phrase; likely because of this discrepancy, Special Summon Monsters are always indirectly referred to as "monsters that cannot be Normal Summoned/Set" in card effects.
Many Special Summon Monsters are either Nomi monsters, which can only be Special Summoned by their own procedure, or Special Summon-only monsters, which must first be Special Summoned by their own procedure from a private knowledge location (hand, Deck, or face-down Extra Deck), but after which can be Special Summoned by another card's effect from a public knowledge location (Graveyard, face-up Extra Deck, or among face-up banished cards) if they end up there after leaving the field.
Any non-Ritual Main Deck monster that is not a Special Summon Monster is considered a Normal Summon Monster.
Monsters marked as Special Summon Monsters
All non-Ritual Main Deck Special Summon Monsters have the Summoning condition "Cannot be Normal Summoned/Set."[Notes 2] and a second one that describes how the monster can be Special Summoned.[Notes 3] This condition usually describes an action that the player can perform; in this case, the Special Summon is not an activated effect and does not start a chain. Sometimes the condition describes that the monster must be Special Summoned by a card effect, which can sometimes include the monster's own.
All non-Ritual Main Deck Special Summon Monsters are either Nomi or Special Summon-only monsters. As such, they all must first be Special Summoned by their own procedures, and cannot be Special Summoned by card effects outside of their procedures from a non-public knowledge location (e.g.: Deck), or by Pendulum Summoning.
Ritual Monsters lack the Summoning condition "Cannot be Normal Summoned/Set", as they feature it as a game rule, while Extra Deck monsters and Tokens fall into this category by principle as they cannot exist in the hand from where they could be Normal Summmoned/Set to begin with.
Without additional Summoning conditions, Extra Deck monsters and Ritual Monsters can be Special Summoned by their own Special Summoning procedures codified in the game rule, and the specifics of these procedures (i.e. Fusion, Synchro, Xyz, Link and Ritual Summoning) are not repeated on the cards themselves. Some of these monsters feature their own unique Summoning conditions separate from the codified game mechanics (e.g.: Contact Fusion), and these are always described on the cards as a Summoning condition.
Unlike Main Deck non-Ritual Special Summon Monsters, Extra Deck Monsters and Ritual Monsters are not always either Nomi or Special Summon-only monsters, and many Extra Deck Monsters and Ritual Monsters can be Special Summoned by card effects from a non-public knowledge location (e.g.: Extra Deck) outside of their own procedures. However, they can be Special Summoned from only non-public knowledge locations by card effects outside of their procedures; they otherwise feature the same properly Special Summoned restriction as Special Summon-only monsters.
If an Extra Deck or Ritual Monster is sent to a public knowledge location without being properly Special Summoned (even if a card effect outside of their own procedures had Special Summoned them from a non-public knowledge location before), they cannot be Special Summoned with card effects from there.
Additionally, in the case of Ritual Monsters, only card effects that specify that they Special Summon Ritual Monsters can Special Summon them outside of their own procedures (i.e. "Ritual Foregone" can Special Summon a Ritual Monster, but "Waking the Dragon" cannot.)
As for Tokens, they can only be Special Summoned by cards that specifically generate them, so they cannot be Special Summoned from the Spell & Trap Zone should they be turned into a Spell/Trap Card (e.g. by being equipped to another monster).
- The parentheses here specify what part is not shown on the cards' Type/Ability line.
- Former card text:
- Pre-Generation Force: "This card cannot be Normal Summoned or Set."
- From Generation Force to Legendary Collection 3: Yugi's World: "Cannot be Normal Summoned or Set.".
- "Rare Metal Dragon" has no written Summoning condition describing how it can be Special Summoned, however its rulings state that it must be Special Summoned by a card effect, precluding it from being Pendulum Summoned.