By Joshie Jaxon
Greetings, duel fans! Joshie Jaxon here to give you the basics on the duel field itself, as well as the basics of what to do on each of your turns. Let the geeks begin!
The new duel mats with the pendulum zones on them have made it idiot proof. While I don’t find even the most inexperienced duelists to be idiots, it seems the card people do. Rather than trying to dumb people down, they should trust that people are capable of learning what to do and when. Helps with that duelist pride. Even episode 1 Joey Wheeler knew what to do. Granted, I’m sure the pharaoh helped beat those lessons into him. Don’t get me started on early Yuma, didn’t know what a tribute summon was, but he still knew when to draw, play, and attack. Anyhow, the duel mat has a total of seven zones; Monster (5), Spell/Trap (5), Deck, Graveyard, Field, Extra, and Pendulum.
The deck and extra deck zones are set at the beginning of the duel, as are your 8000 Life Points (LP). At the start of the duel, you draw 5 cards from the deck, then on each of your turns, you will draw 1 card from your deck and add it to your hand. Followed by the standby phase. Simple enough so far, right?
Next, during your Main Phase 1 (MP1) is when you can begin to set up your field. You’re allowed to normal summon or set one monster per turn. I covered special summoning in an earlier post, so I won’t really get into it here. To summon a monster you would place it upright and face up on the field, in one of your Monster Zones, and you would base it’s strength on it’s ATK points. If you choose to play defense, you would place the monster sideways, generally face down, and use it’s DEF points when doing battle. More on that in a second. During MP1 you can also play any spell cards, or set any traps in your hand, in your Spell/Trap Zone. Spells can be played right away, while traps have to be set at least through the end phase of the turn you set them before they can be activated. If it’s the very first turn of the duel, you can’t attack, even if you have an attack position monster. You have to give your opponent a chance to play something to defend themselves. Much like the old days, dueling is about honor.
Pretending it isn’t the first turn, after your MP1, you can enter the Battle Phase (BP). You can use your attack position monsters to attack your opponent’s monsters. What happens next depends on the mode your opponent’s monster is in. If both monsters are in attack mode, then the one with the higher ATK wins, and the difference is dealt as damage to your opponent’s LP. If you attack a monster in defense mode, it’s turned face up, and one of two things will happen. Should your monster have higher ATK than your opponent’s DEF, their monster is destroyed, but their LP don’t take any damage. However, if their DEF is higher than your ATK, you will take the difference as damage, and their monster won’t be destroyed. After damage is calculated, you can attack with any other attack position monsters you have. If your opponent doesn’t have any monsters to defend themselves, you’re allowed to attack their LP directly.
Upon the conclusion of the Battle Phase, you enter Main Phase 2 (MP2). If you didn’t normal summon a monster during MP1, you’re allowed to do so during this phase. You can also set any other spell or trap cards. After you’ve completed MP2, comes the End Phase. Simply put, you end your turn, and your opponent’s turn begins.
As for the other zones: the Graveyard is used for monsters that have been destroyed by battle, and spell/trap cards that have been activated. The Field Zone is where you can set any field spells you play during your MP1/MP2. Each player is allowed to have a field spell in play, and both are allowed the benefits of each card. The Extra Zone is where you keep your Fusion/Synchro/Xyz monsters, until they’re ready to be summoned. It’s also where your destroyed pendulum monsters go, instead of the graveyard.
Finally, the Pendulum Zone is where you can play your pendulum monsters as spells, in order to set the pendulum scale for pendulum summoning. I’ll be covering those in our premier duel tutorial on YouTube. Believe me, it’s gonna be epic. For now, enjoy my rainbow card sleeves and the demo field I set up for you, dear readers. Until next time, stay geeky, and keep dueling!