TCG Tuesday – Yugioh, Card Basics 


By Joshie Jaxon

Ever since I was 5, I’ve been a video gamer. Geek confession, I’ve never even played D&D. Please don’t think less of me for that. I never got into tabletop games that weren’t board games. That all changed around 2002. Having been introduced to the Yugioh anime, I wanted to be a duelist myself. On my 21st birthday I was gifted Yugi’s dueling deck, and I’ve been hooked ever since. As the title suggests, in today’s post I’m going to cover some basics of, you guessed it, the Yugioh Trading Card Game. Let the geeks begin! 

Monster cards – 

Monsters are the main cards you use to battle your opponent with.
Levels – Monster cards are assigned levels, based on the stars * that they have on them, ranging from level 1 to level 10. 

Categories – Monster cards have a variety of categories that they fall into; Normal, Effect, Ritual, Fusion, Synchro, and Xyz.


Type – Monster cards are divided into 24 types; Dragon, Spellcaster, Zombie, Warrior, Beast-Warrior, Beast, Winged Beast, Fiend, Fairy, Insect, Dinosaur, Reptile, Fish, Sea Serpent, Machine, Thunder, Aqua, Pyro, Rock, Plant, Psychic, Divine-Beast, Creator God and Wyrm. There are also Sub-types; Tuner, Gemini, Toon, Spirit, and Union. 
Attribute – Light, Dark, Earth, Wind, Fire, Water, and Divine. 


I’ll go into details on some of the above info in subsequent posts. They deserve more attention than just “basics”. For now though, let’s continue with the monster basics. 
Attack (ATK) / Defense (DEF) – 

Each monster card has attack and defense points. Usually these are within a handful of points of each other, making the monster balanced for offense or defense. There are times, however, when a monster is built to be an offensive or defensive monster. For example, although both are Elemental Heroes, Clayman has a much higher defense than offense, 2000 DEF vs 800 ATK, while Burstinatrix has a higher offensive stat, 1200 ATK vs 800 DEF. 


Description/Effect – The text for the card. In the case of Normal monsters, it is a description or bio of the monster. For Effect monsters, it is a description of what their effect is. Once again, I’ll use Elemental Heroes as an example. Sparkman gives us a bio about him being a warrior of light, whereas all we know about Wildheart is that he’s unaffected by the effect of traps. Poor Wildheart, no one knows anything about him. I get that these are playing cards, and space is limited, but even a tiny bio sentence, something. We want something to connect with besides the visual. I guess there always the anime, but not all cards get featured. 


Personally, I love the variety of the types of monsters you can get. There’s something for everyone, depending on your personality, and preferences. Not only can you pick monsters that are right for you, there is amazing artwork for each one. Generally, the subject is front and center, with an appropriate background for their element or type. Some cards just speak to a part of you, and you can’t explain why. I have an affinity for spellcasters, dragons, fiends, and heroes (warriors) myself. Not to say the other types aren’t great, because they are, but I don’t feel a compulsion towards them. I wonder if I could come up with a personality profile based on the types of monsters that people prefer. Perhaps it’s already been done. I don’t wanna get distracted and go look. Maybe later. Where was I? Oh yes, 
Spell cards – 

Originally called Magic cards, but I assume the people at Magic the Gathering had a problem with that, so it was changed. They’ll get their own spotlight post, but spells do a variety of things from direct damage, increase attack/defense, summon other monsters, and even change the playing field. In total there are 6 types of spell cards; Normal, Quick play, Equip, Field, Ritual, and Continuous 

Trap cards – 

The beauty of trap cards is their simplicity. Set it, and wait for the perfect time to spring it. The fewest type of cards available, there are only 3 types of trap cards; Normal, Continuous, and Counter. Three is more than enough though. They can destroy a monster instantly, or stop them in their tracks, and that’s just the beginning.


I could go on, as this is a subject I know a great deal about, but that would deviate from today’s theme. To summarize, dueling, good. Having no one to play with, bad. Get out there and find some friends whose butts you wouldn’t mind kicking, or potentially getting kicked by. Remember, no one likes a sore loser, but an ungracious winner is just as bad. It’s all meant to be fun, it is a game after all. Until next time, stay geeky, and keep dueling! 


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