A. Forbidden & Limited List
The Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG utilizes an evolving Forbidden and Limited list which Duelists must follow when creating their Advanced or Traditional format Decks. This list is updated 3 times (previously twice) per year and the most current list can be found here.
- Forbidden Cards: These are cards that you cannot include in your Main Deck, Side Deck, and Extra Deck.
- Limited Cards: These are cards that you can only include 1 copy of in your Main Deck, Side Deck, and Extra Deck combined.
- Semi-Limited Cards: These are cards that you can only include 2 copies of in your Main Deck, Side Deck, and Extra Deck combined.
Cards released in sets are legal upon the official release date of the booster packs, or in the case of Turbo Packs, on the start date for the prizing product.
Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG expansions become tournament legal at different times, depending upon where they are released. A set only becomes legal once it has been released in a specific country. Legality dates will differ for North America, Latin America, Europe, and Oceania – Duelists should always verify that cards are legal for play in their specific region, and not rely on legality dates for other areas.
- For a list of all currently legal cards in your territory, please visit your “Gameplay” section of http://www.yugioh-card.com.
C. Promotional Cards (excluding SHONEN JUMP and Yu-Gi-Oh! Graphic Novel)
Video Game promo cards are legal starting with the official “on sale” date for that video game within that Continent.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series (YCS) prize cards become legal on a Continent once a YCS or WCQ awarding that card has been held on that continent. A Continent is defined by the World Championship Qualifier (WCQ) that a Duelist’s Regional Qualifier feeds into.
|Examples||Mexico will participate in the Central American WCQ, even though Mexico is geographically considered part of the North American continent.|
D. SHONEN JUMP and Yu-Gi-Oh! Graphic Novel Promotional Cards
Promo cards from SHONEN JUMP Magazine, SHONEN JUMP Alpha subscription, and the Yu-Gi-Oh!-related graphic novels are legal only on Continent(s) where they have been officially released. If a promo card is reprinted (such as in a booster set, Structure Deck, Tin, etc.) then it becomes legal for use, no matter how it was originally released.
- Cards obtained inside SHONEN JUMP Magazine & Graphic Novels are considered released on the official newsstand date or on sale date of the Magazine/Graphic Novel.
- Cards obtained as subscription promos for SHONEN JUMP Magazine or SHONEN JUMP Alpha are legal on the date specified for that card on the Card Legality online list mentioned above.
- SHONEN JUMP Magazine & SHONEN JUMP Alpha cards are NOT legal for play in Europe, Oceania, Central, or South America, as SHONEN JUMP Magazine & SHONEN JUMP Alpha is not officially distributed there. If a SHONEN JUMP and/or Graphic Novel card has been released in another product, then that card is legal for play.
- Yu-Gi-Oh!-related Graphic Novel cards are ONLY legal for play in Europe, Oceania, Central, or South America if that Graphic Novel was officially distributed there. (This is rare.)
E. Preview Cards
Cards from an upcoming set that are distributed before the set is released become legal on the official release date of the tin.
F. Duel Terminal Cards
Cards obtained from the United States Duel Terminal sets are only legal if they have been released in another product. Cards exclusive to the Duel Terminals are not legal for play in sanctioned events.
Individual cards that are reprints of cards that are already legal (whether or not the artwork or rarity is different) are legal for play as soon as they are available.
H. Foreign Language Cards
TCG cards printed in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, or Spanish are legal for play in Sanctioned tournaments within all TCG territories. If a Duelist wants to use a foreign language card, he or she must verify that the card was printed for the TCG (and not the OCG).
When using a card that is not in a local language, a local-language version of the card or an accurate card translation must be available outside of the Deck to show to an opponent or tournament official. Duelists are responsible for providing an accurate reference, and may incur a penalty if they provide an incomplete or inaccurate translation. Cards used for translations may not be kept inside the Deck box.
In Spanish-speaking Latin American countries, translations of card text are not required if a Duelist is using English or Spanish language product. If the Duelist is using cards in any other languages, they must still provide an English or Spanish language translation. In Brazil, Duelists are not required to show translations of card text if using Portuguese or English language cards.
I. OCG Cards
Cards printed for the Asian version of Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG (which is called the “Yu-Gi-Oh! Official Card Game” or “OCG”) are usually printed in Japanese or Korean, and are legal for play only in Sanctioned events in Japan and parts of Asia. While OCG cards are sometimes available in other languages, including English, they are not legal for Sanctioned play in TCG territories (such as North America, Central America, South America, Europe, New Zealand, and Australia). Duelists can tell the difference between a TCG card and an OCG card by checking the set number of the card: Asian English cards will include AE in their set name.
J. Altered Cards
Cards that have been altered from their original appearance with surface decoration may be used for play only if the alterations do not obscure any portion of the card text, make the illustration difficult to recognize, affect the card’s thickness or texture, or make the card distinguishable from other cards in the Deck while it is face-down.
If a card’s surface decoration renders the card unrecognizable, or alters the card’s thickness or texture, then the card is not allowed for tournament play.
The Head Judge of the event has final arbitration on whether or not altered cards may be used at the tournament. Duelists are responsible for determining whether or not their altered cards are acceptable for use before the start of the tournament.
Cards that have been modified (by adding or subtracting foil, layers of paper, etc) from the originally manufactured version of the card are not allowed for tournament play.
Cards with any markings added on the front or back, may not be used in any Yu-Gi-Oh! TRADING CARD GAME World Championship tournament.
The “Deck” includes Main, Side, and Extra Decks.
|Examples||A Duelist has a copy of Judgment Dragon in which the art has been extended with paint, creating a difference in the feel of the card. The Duelist may not play with this card.|
|A Duelist has a copy of a Blade Armor Ninja that has been customized into a Secret Rare copy of the card. The Duelist may not play with this card.|
|A Duelist has a copy of Spore that has had slight alterations done to the card image with a marker. The Duelist must ask the Head Judge if the card is allowed, and abide by their decision.|
|A Duelist has a copy of Tyrant Dragon that has had a layer of holographic film added to the surface of the card, to make it look like a Duel Terminal card. The Duelist may not play with this card.|
|A Duelist has a copy of Sangan with a large autograph covering the text. The Duelist may not play with this card.|
K. Misprint Cards
On extremely rare occasions, a Duelist may pull a miscut or misprinted card from a product. These cards are not considered to be tournament legal if they are distinguishable from other cards in the Deck while face-down. If the miscut or misprinted card is not distinguishable from other cards in the Deck while face-down, it is tournament legal assuming all of the information that the card should provide is readily available.
The Duelist must play the misprinted card as if it had the correct information printed on it.
The Duelist must provide an accurate, local-language copy of the correct card text, or a correct local-language copy of the card to show to opponents or tournament officials.
Cards used to supply the proper card text must be kept outside of the Duelist’s Deck or Deck box.
|Examples||A Duelist is playing with a card without a card name printed on it. This card is only tournament legal if the Duelist provides a local-language version of the card text available outside of the Deck to show to an opponent or tournament official.|
|A Duelist is playing with a card that has the wrong card name or statistic printed on it. The Duelist must play the card as if it had the correct card name and statistics, and must provide a correct local-language copy of the card or an accurate local-language copy of the correct card text to opponents and tournament officials.|
L. Counterfeit Cards
Counterfeit cards (fake cards that are created by third-party companies that can resemble officially released cards) cannot be used in your Deck in a Sanctioned tournament. If anyone has any information regarding the sale and distribution of counterfeit cards, they should e-mail all relevant information to firstname.lastname@example.org (North America), email@example.com (Latin America and the Caribbean) or firstname.lastname@example.org (Europe, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand).
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