A card's status is a term showing how many copies of that card are allowed in a player's combined Main Deck, Extra Deck, and Side Deck for official Duels. Status changes are announced periodically in the Forbidden and Limited lists.
The following statuses are used in the lists:
- Unlimited - up to three copies, the maximum, are allowed. All released cards not included in a list are assumed to be Unlimited, unless they have limitation text; cards are only listed as Unlimited if they were previously Forbidden, Limited, or Semi-Limited and have been Unlimited in the list.
- Semi-Limited - up to two copies are allowed.
- Limited - only one copy is allowed.
- Forbidden - no copies are allowed. This status is only used in the TCG Advanced Format and in the OCG; Forbidden cards are normally considered to be Limited in the TCG Traditional Format.
Several other statuses technically exist but do not get used in status lists:
- Legal cards can be used in an official Duel. Since all Forbidden, Limited, Semi-Limited, and Unlimited cards are also legal, this status is only specifically assigned to cards that are not also any of the above four statuses. Monster Tokens and Counters are legal cards that cannot be in a player's Deck, and have the appropriate limitation text "This card cannot be in a Deck."
- Illegal cards are not and never will be legal anywhere. All official illegal cards have limitation text present on the card, usually stating "This card cannot be used in a Duel."
- Cards that have only been officially released in certain regions are not legal in any other regions.
- Cards that are not yet released in a region are not legal in that region until they are released. While all unreleased cards are not yet released, they are normally not marked as such until they have a confirmed release date.
- Cards that are not yet legal cannot be used in official Duels in a region yet, but eventually will be usable. Normally this only applies to cards that are not yet released.