A Tag-Team Duel (タッグヂュエル Taggudyueru), also known as "2v2 Duel" or "Tag Duel", is a Duel played between two teams of 2 players each. All standard rules apply, and each team is given a shared Life Points counter of 8000 or 16000. See TCG Official Tag Duel Rules as of December 4, 2019.
When taking part in a Tag-Team Duel, both teams consist of 2 players. Players share a combined Life Point total and their fields. Neither player can look at or use their teammates' or their opponents' hands or Set/face-down cards. If one member of a team has been defeated, that player's Deck and field are unusable.
Players can play in a style similar to Tag Dueling in various video games, such as the World Championship and Tag Force series. In these games, both players share 5 Monster Card Zones, five Spell & Trap Card Zones, a Graveyard, a space to place banished cards, and a Field Card Zone. The Duel proceeds like a normal Duel, with the Main Deck, Extra Deck, and hand changing as each teammate becomes the new turn player of the team at the start of every other turn. Any player-specific cards will only affect the turn players of each team at the moment, making it entirely possible for a player to get a card owned by a teammate returned to their hand.
The same rules apply for Tag Turbo Duels in Over the Nexus.
Tag-Team Duels in the anime
The first Tag Team Duel in the anime was Joey Wheeler and Yugi Muto vs. the Paradox Brothers. In this Duel, all four players have separate Life Points, but if one player's Life Points are reduced to zero, their team loses. Yugi and Seto Kaiba later Tag Duel against Lumis and Umbra, but in this Duel they will only lose if both players' Life Points are depleted. There have also been occurrences of 2 vs. 1 Duels; Yugi and Joey Dueled the Big 5 controlling Tristan Taylor's body; Duke Devlin and Rebecca Hawkins vs. Valon, and Yugi and Kaiba vs. Dartz and even 3 vs. 1 Duels when Tristan, Serenity and Duke Dueled Nezbitt in the Virtual World arc.
Tag-Team Duels are also found in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX. The first was Jaden Yuki and Syrus Truesdale VS the Paradox Brothers, followed by Frost and Thunder VS Syrus Truesdale and Tyranno Hassleberry, then followed by Sarina and a clone of herself VS Jaden Yuki and Aster Phoenix. A Tag-Team tournament was seen in Season 4.
The rules of the Frost/Thunder VS Syrus/Hassleberry Duel are different than most Tag Duels in the anime, since the four players were all given their own Life Point counter. A 2 vs. 1 Duel was seen when Jesse Anderson joined the Duel between Jaden Yuki and the Yubel-possessed Marcel Bonaparte; when Jesse entered the Duel, Marcel's Life Points were doubled.
These rules have been also used in the Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's series, when Crow Hogan and Yusei Fudo teamed up to face off against Sector Security. Furthermore, even though it took place through a Turbo Duel, the 2008 World Championship rules weren't changed. In the series it has been revealed that this type of Team Dueling is supported even on the world of Turbo Dueling. As there has been shown in the anime the existence of special Duel Runners for Tag-Team Duels.
A 3-on-1 Tag Duel happened from episodes 62 to 64. Rex Goodwin, who was alone, started with 3 times the standard amount of Life Points, or 12000, while Yusei Fudo, Jack Atlas and Crow Hogan had separate fields, Decks and Life Point counters of 4000. Effects of cards used by Rex that targeted the opponent player targeted only one of the three, by his choice. A similar Tag Duel occurred from episodes 141 to 143 between Jack Atlas, Leo, Luna, and Aporia.
According to Yu-Gi-Oh! 3D Bonds Beyond Time during the 3 vs. 1 Duel between Yugi, Yusei and Jaden vs Paradox, tag-team players are able to share cards on the field. An example of this is displayed when Yusei allowed Yugi to use the effect of "Reincarnation of Hope" or when Jaden borrowed Yusei's "Junk Gardna" to fuse with "Elemental Hero Neos" to Summon "Elemental Hero Neos Knight". In addition, Spells or Traps could be used to affect monsters that are under your partner's control.
In Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL, a Tag Duel is seen in episode 11, only with a rule set similar to Yugi's and Kaiba's Duel in Battle City where all 4 players have separate Life Points. This type of Tag Duel is seen again in episode 42 where Yuma Tsukumo and Kite Tenjo Dueled against Trey and Quattro; in episode 81 during the "Friendship Games", in episode 92 when Yuma and Anna Kaboom Dueled Brook and Mayday Walker, and in episode 103 between Yuma and Dextra vs. Alito and Nistro.
Another is seen in episode 37 between Yuma, Nistro, and Dextra, this time being a 2v1 match, all players with separated Life Points, and if one player lost, his/her partner would lose as well. During these Duels with the Fearsome Four of the Dark Dueling World, they use Barian Emblems to take half the 4000 Life Points of their opponents and add them to their own. During the 2 vs. 1 matches between Trey, Quinton and Mizar, and later Yuma, Nash, and Don Thousand, the team of two shared 4000 LP, while the single Duelist took every second turn. A 3 vs. 1 match occurred between Yuma, Kite, Reginald Kastle, and Dr. Faker. Yuma, Shark, and Kite shared a a field and a pool of 4000 Life Points, while Faker had 12000 Life Points, but each Duelist only had one turn per round.
In Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, a Tag Duel occurs in episode 107 between Gloria Tyler and Grace Tyler against Allen Kozuki and Saya Sasayama. In this Duel both players followed the normal Tag Team Rules where each player shared a set of 4000 LP and the same field and Graveyard.
Most other Duels in the series that had more than two participants used the Battle Royal rules.
In Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS, Tag Duels were not seen until Season 3. Ghost Gal and The Shepherd Tag Dueled against Roboppi in episodes 106 and 107, while Blue Maiden and Akira Zaizen Tag Dueled against Ai in episodes 110 and 111.
Tag-Team specific cards
Some anime-only cards in the anime can only be used in a Tag Team Duel: