Japanese (ruby)


Japanese (base text)


Japanese (romanized)




To activate (Japanese: はつどう Hatsudō, Verb: はつどうする Hatsudō suru) is to use a card or effect in a way that makes a Chain Link.

To activate a Spell or Trap Card is to play it on the field face-up from your hand or from face-down on the field. Trap Cards and Quick-Play Spell Cards cannot be activated during the same turn they were Set.

To activate an effect is to choose to apply a Trigger or Trigger-like, Ignition or Ignition-like, or Quick or Quick-like Effect. Effects that do not activate, such as Continuous and Continuous-like Effects, do not make Chain Links.

All activated cards and effects have a Spell Speed. Cards and effects cannot be activated in response to cards or effects with higher Spell Speed.

Activation requirements

There are several requirements that must be met in order to activate a card.

  • The activation cost for a card or effect must be paid in order to activate a card or effect. However, some cards do not have any cost.
    • For example, the effect of "Twister" cannot be activated if the player cannot pay 500 LP (such as due to having less than 500 LP). However, "Mystical Space Typhoon" can, because it has no cost.
  • It is not possible to activate a card or effect if the effect would fail to do anything when it resolved.


Cards and effects cannot be activated while a Chain is resolving.

Activating a card is distinct from activating its effect. For example, "Magic Jammer" and the effect of "Dark Paladin" can only be activated when the card "Supply Squad" is activated, but cannot be activated when the effect of "Supply Squad" is activated.

If the activation of a card is negated, that card will not be treated as being on the field.[1][2]


  1. Konami FAQ: Does placing a Pendulum Monster in a Pendulum Zone start a chain?
  2. Card Rulings:Meklord Fortress: If the activation of this card is negated, you will be unable to add 1 “Meklord Emperor” monster to your hand.

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