Unclassified effects are card effects that do not fit into any effect category. In OCG rulings, such effects are described as "This effect is not classified as an Ignition Effect, Trigger Effect, Quick Effect, or Continuous Effect" (起動効果・誘発効果・誘発即時効果・永続効果のいずれにも分類されない効果です).
Unclassified effects can either be activated effects or non-activated effects. The vast majority of unclassified effects are non-activated effects—"Kuribabylon" is the only card that has an activated unclassified effect.
"Continuous Effect" is the only classification used for non-activated effects. However, definitionally, Continuous Effects apply only while face-up on the field, so any non-activated effects that apply at any time the card is not face-up on the field are unclassified.
Some non-activated effects apply while on the field (like Continuous Effects), but also apply in some other location(s), apply while face-down, or apply when the card leaves the field, hence are unclassified. For some of the examples listed below, there also exist Continuous Effects that can apply the same effects, but specify that they can only do so while face-up on the field.
- Cards that become a different card name or monster card type while in the hand, Deck, or Graveyard in addition to while on the field (e.g. Gemini monsters, "Harpie Queen", "Gunkan Suship Aka-Shari")
- Cards that treat themselves as an alternate Level for a Summon (e.g. "Road Synchron" and "Star Drawing")
- Cards that treat themselves as multiple Tributes for a Tribute Summon (e.g. "Kaiser Sea Horse" and "Chronomaly Mayan Machine")
- Fusion Substitute Monsters (e.g. "Beastking of the Swamps" and "Mystical Sheep #1")
- Cards that can be used as the entire Ritual Summon requirement (e.g. "Ritual Raven" and "Gishki Shadow")
- Cards that have effects that redirect them from one location to a different location when they would be moved (e.g. "Destiny HERO - Departed", "Archlord Kristya")
- Cards that apply their effect when Tributed for a Tribute Summon (e.g. "Hardened Armed Dragon")
- Cards that apply their effect when used for a Ritual Summon (e.g. "Djinn of Rituals" monsters)
- This includes cards that grant an effect to the Ritual Summoned monster when used for a Ritual Summon
- Cards that apply their effect when used as Fusion/Synchro/Xyz/Link Material (e.g. "Suanni, Fire of the Yang Zing", "Noble Knight Eachtar")
Effects that limit the number of that same card (or cards of the same archetype of that card) that can be on the field at once are non-activated effects that apply regardless of the card's location, so are unclassified. As a result, even if "Skill Drain" is negating the effect of one of these monsters on the field, another copy cannot be Summoned from the hand, because its effect still applies in the hand.
- "There can only be 1 [x] on the field." (e.g. "Solar Wind Jammer" and "Malefic" monsters)
- "You can only control 1 [x]" (e.g. "Bujin Yamato" and "Gagaga Magician")
Some non-activated effects only apply while not on the field, hence are unclassified.
- Effects that apply in the hand (e.g. "Simorgh, Bird of Ancestry", "PSY-Frame Multi-Threader")
- Effects that apply in the Graveyard (e.g. "Phantom Beast Cross-Wing", "Cyber Dragon Zwei", "Elemental HERO Necroshade")
- Effects that apply while attached as Xyz Material (e.g. "Raider's Wing")
- Non-activated Summoning procedures of Normal Summon Monsters to Special Summon themselves (e.g. "Cyber Dragon", "Machina Fortress", "Grapha, Dragon Lord of Dark World" and "Familiar-Possessed - Aussa")
- Since this type of Summoning procedure is an effect, if "Dark Ruler Ha Des" destroys "Grapha, Dragon Lord of Dark World" by battle (thus negating its effect), "Grapha" cannot Special Summon itself from the Graveyard using its own effect, because it is negated.
- Conversely, the non-activated Summoning procedures of Special Summon Monsters are not card effects. If "Dark Ruler Ha Des" destroys "Block Dragon" by battle, "Block Dragon" can still Special Summon itself from the Graveyard using its own procedure.
- Monsters with an effect that prevents their own Summon from being negated (e.g. "Obelisk the Tormentor" and "Star Eater")
- Monster Cards that can be Set from the hand as a Spell Card (e.g. "Silver Sentinel" and most "Artifact" monsters)
- Cards that can banish themselves from the Graveyard for a Ritual Summon (e.g. "Sphere Kuriboh" and "Djinn of Rituals" monsters)
Some non-activated effects apply an effect when a particular event occurs, but the effect remains without the card needing to continuously apply its effect, hence are unclassified.
- Effects that apply when a monster is Summoned (e.g. "Dverg of the Nordic Alfar", "Destiny HERO - Dreadmaster")
- A Spell Speed 1 monster effect which can be activated during the Main Phase and any other phase but does not have a specific activation timing (e.g. "Kuribabylon")
List of OCG and TCG cards with unclassified effects
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