Duel Monsters (Yu-Gi-Oh! format)

I’ve been playing Yu-Gi-Oh! since it came out back in the early 2000’s. However, after a while the game became stale and boring. Unless your deck couldn’t lock down your opponent’s deck, or could FTK or OTK, you weren’t worth much competitively.

After a while, I just lost all my interest in the game, I still kept my cards though (they’re pretty). I wanted a different type of game, with the same cards though. It might sound silly, but I wanted the game to be a bit more like the anime, where duels tent to end neck to neck. So I set out to design a different format for the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG.

I’ve already playtested it with friends, and they enjoyed it, most duels actually were very neck to neck.

I called the format Duel Monsters as a throw back to the anime. Here are the rules:

  • Each player begins the game with 6000 Life Points (LP)
  • If a monster attacks a player directly they only deal 600 points of damage, regardless of its ATK. Unless, the creature has an effect that lets it attack your opponent’s life points directly, in which case the creature deals 600 or its own ATK if it’s higher.
  • Each player may only have 1 copy of each card in his deck and the minimum number of cards he may have in his deck is 50.
  • Moreover, a deck may not contain more than 10 magic cards, 10 trap cards, 10 effect monster cards or 5 pendulum monster cards. (Gemini monsters count as effect monsters and traps that are treated as monsters count as trap cards)
  • Monster cards may be played in face up defense position.
  • Trap cards may be played from your hand during your turn without setting them first, you must have at least one free space in your spell/trap card zone to be able to play a trap card from your hand.
  • Only one trap card may be played per turn, although more than one may be set during the turn player’s turn.
  • Maximum hand size is five.
    • If a player already has 5 cards in hand, he skips his draw phase.
    • If a player has less than 5 cards in his hand, he draws until he has five.
    • Before his draw phase, if a player already has five cards in his hand, he may discard one to draw another from his deck. Doing this does not activate any effect that the card discarded would activate by being discarded.
  • You may add Fusion Monsters to your deck and play them as Normal Monster as long as they are not effect monster cards. Fusion Monsters with effects must still be fusion summoned.
  • You may add Ritual Monsters to your deck and play them as Normal Monsters as long as they are not effect monster cards. Ritual Monsters with effects must still be ritual summoned.
  • If you control two or more monsters that are fusion material monsters for a fusion summon, you may sacrifice them and special summon the fusion monster directly from your extra deck without using polymerization. (For example, if you have Relinquished in play and you normal summon a Thousand-Eyes Idol, you may fuse them together to special summon Thousand-Eyes Restrict from your extra deck).
  • You may not have more than 3 different monster types in your deck. (this includes your extra deck)
    • For example, your extra deck could not contain a dragon type synchro monster if you only have warrior, spellcaster and zombie type monsters in your deck.
  • Replay rules: There are no replay rules in Duel Monsters. If an opponent summons a monster after you declared an attack, follow the next rules:
    • If an opponent summons a new monster during your combat phase and you had already declared a target, you still attack the same target.
    • If your opponent summons one monster when you had declared a direct attack, you must attack the new monster.
    • If your opponent summons more than one monster at a time by the same card effect, you must choose which one of the monsters to attack.
    • If your opponent summons more than one monster with different card effects, you must attack the last monster to be summoned.

Summon Order

Monsters cannot be tribute summoned, unless they specifically state they have to or need to be tribute summoned (such as Caius, the Shadow Monarch). All monsters can be normal summoned; depending on what turn the player is in, following the table below (with the exception of monster’s that have a summoning prerequisite, such as, Gate Guardian).

Turn… Monster level
1 1, 2, 3,
2 4
3 5
4 6
5 7
6 8
7 9
8 10
9 11
10 12


Each attribute is strong against another attribute, whenever a monster attacks a monster whose attribute he’s strong against, he gains a 500 bonus to his ATK. If the monster is in defense position and is defending against a monster whose attribute he’s strong against, he instead gains a 500 bonus to his DEF.

This is strong against –> <– This is weak against
Dark Light
Earth Wind
Fire Earth
Light Dark
Water Fire
Wind Water
  • For example if the Dark Magician (ATK/2500) attacks a Blue Eyes White Dragon (ATK/3000), the Dark Magician gains a bonus of 500 to his ATK, making it 3000 and thus both creatures are destroyed. If in this same scenario, the Blue-Eyes White Dragon was in defense mode (DEF/2500) and was attacked by the Dark Magician, the Blue-Eyes White Dragon would increase his DEF by 500 to a total of 3000 and the Dark Magician would increase his ATK by 500 to 3000, ending in a stale mate.


Each type is strong against another type. The type weaknesses follow the same rules as the Attribute rules. Moreover, instead of having 22 different types, Duel Monsters only has 10 types, use the following chart to determine the new types.

  • Cards that affect a specific creature type, still affects that specific creature type, not the new one, the new creature typing is for weaknesses only. (For example, Mega Evolution Pill, still targets a Reptile type monster, not just any Dinosaur type monster)
Old Type New Type
Aqua Elemental
Beast-Warrior Warrior
Fish Beast
Insect Beast
Plant Elemental
Psychic Spellcaster
Pyro Elemental
Reptile Dinosaur
Rock Elemental
Sea Serpent Beast
Thunder Elemental
Winged Beast Beast
Wyrm Dragon
This is strong against –> <– This is weak against
Beast Elemental
Dinosaur Beast
Dragon Dinosaur
Elemental Zombie
Fairy Fiend
Fiend Fairy
Machine Spellcaster
Spellcaster Warrior
Warrior Dragon
Zombie Machine
  • For example if Gaia the Fierce Knight (ATK/2300) a warrior, attack a defense positioned Dark Magician (Def/2100) a spellcaster, the Dark Magician’s Def would increase to 2600, thus the controller of Gaia the Fierce Knight would suffer 300 points of damage.

If a monster attacks or defends against a monster that both attribute and type he’s strong against then he would receive both bonuses.

  • For example if Guardian of the Throne Room (Light/Machine, ATK/1650), would attack Dark Magician (Dark/Spellcaster, ATK/2500), Guardian of the Throne Room would increase his ATK by 1000, making it 2650, destroying Dark Magician and dealing 150 damage to his opponent’s LP.

Remember to check out my Youtube Channel where I review Table Top RPGs, showcase my designs and do a couple of other stuff.


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