Card layout

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A card's layout is standardized, and has undergone several changes since Konami's OCG/TCG card game and the anime was first introduced.


  • Card type
  • Card name
  • Attribute symbol
  • Monster Level/Rank stars
  • Spell/Trap type and type symbol
  • Card image
    • Card image border
  • Edition text
  • Set number
  • Pendulum Scale (on Pendulum Monsters).
  • Card text box
    • Card text box border
  • Monster type
  • Effect or flavor/lore text
  • ATK and DEF
  • Card number or limitation text
  • Copyright text
  • Eye of Anubis hologram


Series 1 layout

This was the first version of layout for cards, lasting from the initial release of the Official Card Game with Vol.1 to the end of OCG Series 1 with the release of Premium Pack 2: Dark Ceremony. This layout was used in early episode of the second series of Yu-Gi-Oh!

Cards with this version of the layout are characterized by a larger card image and, for Monster Cards, two half-width boxes below the picture, side-by-side, with the left one for the monster's card effect or lore, and the right one for its ATK and DEF, which use the terms (こう)(げき)(りょく) (kōgekiryoku "Attack Strength") and (しゅ)()(りょく) (shubiryoku "Defense Strength") (On the English versions of "Dark Magician" and "Blue-Eyes White Dragon", "攻撃力" and "守備力" were replaced by "Attack" and "Defense", respectively). The card name box, image, and effect/ATK/DEF area are all equal width. Non-Normal Spell and Trap Cards do not have property symbols; only Field Spell Cards have their property indicated, with the word フィールド (Fīrudo "Field"). The Japanese font used for most texts on the cards was the original DFLeisho font, though it's the DFKakuTaihi font to be used for the ATK and DEF digits.

Series 1 cards lack set numbers and the Eye of Anubis Hologram.

Series 2 layout

The next version of card layout was used for the duration of OCG Series 2, being introduced with the release of Magic Ruler and lasting until Pharaonic Guardian and Structure Deck: Pegasus (which were released on the same day).

The main difference between this version and the first one is the widening of the effect/lore box on Monster Cards to about two-thirds of the card's width, featuring a new look of the box border, and a corresponding narrowing of the ATK/DEF box, achieved mainly by shortening the terms for "ATK" and "DEF" to just (こう) ( "Attack") and (しゅ) (shu "Defense") (and to "ATK" and "DEF" for the English version of "Blue-Eyes White Dragon"), and a slight widening of the card name box and effect/ATK/DEF area. All non-Normal Spell and Trap Cards, instead of just Field Spell Cards, indicate their property with symbols, though some Equip Spell Cards use the word モンスター (monsutā "Monster") for their property.

This version introduces set numbers and the Eye of Anubis Hologram.

Series 3 layout

The third, and by far longest-lived, version of card layout was introduced with OCG Series 3, beginning with Limited Edition 4, and is the card layout that the TCG was introduced with. It has been called the World Unified Format (世界統一フォーマット Sekai tōitsu fōmatto).

This version is marked by a shorter, square card image and a unified, taller box for the card effect/lore and ATK/DEF. OCG cards feature the English text "ATK" and "DEF", and three-character set abbreviations (with the uses of one of the Matrix fonts) and three-digit set card numbers are introduced (with the uses of one of the ITC Stone fonts). As later sets were released, the DFLeisho font used for Japanese cards' texts has its Latin letters and digits featured in the card name originated in the DFKaku-Taihi font.

Series 4 layout

This layout, introduced with OCG Series 4, was a small update to the Series 3 layout which added region identifiers for all Set Numbers; previously, they had frequently been omitted for English and Japanese cards.

Series 5 layout

Introduced with OCG Series 5 with the release of Power of the Duelist, this layout introduced four-character abbreviations for Set Numbers to allow for Structure Deck: Machine Re-Volt, which had the set abbreviation "SD10". Like the Series 4 layout, this layout was otherwise identical to the Series 3 layout.

Series 6 layout

This layout was introduced with OCG Series 6, and featured the furigana on the names of Monster Cards being unified to black to accommodate the accompanying introduction of Synchro Monsters; prior to this, some monster furigana was printed in white.

Series 7 layout

Introduced with OCG Series 7 with the release of Starter Deck 2010, a few more small changes were made. These included lightening the background of the effect box to make the text easier to read, and making the effect box taller and wider to allow for cards with longer effects. The card image and name box were shifted slightly upward to allow for the larger effect box, and the name box was widened to maintain roughly equal margins on its sides and top. The font used for Korean cards' names was changed since Starter Deck 2011. They are used in Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL.

Series 8 layout

Introduced with OCG Series 8 with the release of Starter Deck 2012, other small changes were made. These include larger artwork and Level/Rank stars on Monster Cards, with very little extra space around the stars and attribute icon. On cards with a short effect or flavor text, the text is printed in a larger font size, making it easier to read. Some of the TCG versions of Token Monsters have the bar over the ATK and DEF signs added, while OCG tokens have been changed to look much more like regular Monster Cards, with the Token's name, Attribute icon, Level stars, ATK and DEF, and extra detail in the lore; some Tokens of the characters from Yu-Gi-Oh! media include some of their theme lines in the card text box, while others also have the V Jump logo as a watermark featured on the background of the box. The kanji in the attribute icons of Japanese Spell and Trap Cards are slightly repositioned to be more centered; the icons on TCG cards are unchanged.

Series 9 layout

This layout was introduced with OCG Series 9 with Starter Deck 2014. It added Pendulum Monsters, which feature an artwork box that has been widened to line up with the card description box; the background of the description box is very slightly transparent, allowing the overlapped portion of the artwork to be seen. Several changes are made in the Japanese effect text: for the first time, Flip (リバース) is treated as an equal Ability to Tuner, Union, Gemini, etc., and is listed next to the monster's Type in the card description; the word "効果" (Effect) is always written on the type line for Tuner, Union, Gemini, etc. monsters that have effects; the Activation Requirement of an effect (timing, costs, etc.) is written in one sentence, separated from the effect actions, and marked with a circled number (①, ②, etc.) for each effect; any text not marked with a number is not considered an effect, and therefore cannot be negated by cards such as "Skill Drain".

Anniversary layout

In celebration of Yu-Gi-Oh!'s fifteenth anniversary, several cards were released with a modified layout: the OCG Anniversary Pack, the Weekly Jump Magazine Promo versions of "Dark Magician" and "Magi Magi ☆ Magician Gal", the V Jump Magazine Promo versions of "Obelisk the Tormentor", "The Winged Dragon of Ra", and "Slifer the Sky Dragon", and the Duel Art Campaign Promo "The Creator God of Light, Horakhty". The Anniversary Pack was later released in the TCG (with the exception of "Dark Magician Girl") and the other cards as Shonen Jump Magazine Promos (with the exception of "The Creator God of Light, Horakhty" and "Magi Magi ☆ Magician Gal").

The biggest differences between the main layouts and the anniversary layouts are the distinctive lack of a border around the card image, which instead only has a drop shadow to distinguish it from the card's background, and Kazuki Takahashi's signature, which is usually included in the lower right-hand corner of each card's artwork. The artwork is a special variant drawn by Takahashi himself in celebration of the anniversaries. "Magi Magi ☆ Magician Gal" and the legal Egyptian God cards have no number in the lower left-hand corner.


In the English-language dub of the anime, card layouts are changed due to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations.[citation needed] Monster Cards are edited to include only the artwork, Level/Rank and Attribute symbols and ATK/DEF values, removing any text that was visible in the original version. Similarly, Spell/Trap Cards are edited to remove virtually everything, leaving only the artwork and a Spell/Trap symbol in an empty text box. Some furigana letters still remain in Attribute symbols and the Spell symbol.


Early episodes of Yu-Gi-Oh! placed the Level of Monster at the center of the space betwen the left side of the card and the Attribute symbol. In later episodes, the Level is really centered, with exception to monsters that debuted in early episodes. Monsters with a Level higher than 10 do not have their Level centered, due to space constraints. Some monsters ATK/DEF values are right aligned.

Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie: Pyramid of Light

This follows the same layout as the series 3 real-life layout but with no card nor Set number.

Yu-Gi-Oh! GX

Yu-Gi-Oh! GX follows the same layout design as the later episodes of the second series anime.

Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's

Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's follows the same layout design as the previous series anime.


In Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL, the Rank of an Xyz Monster is not centered and is instead left aligned. All other cards have followed the layout of the previous series.


In the Yu-Gi-Oh!, Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's and Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL mangas, the layout is fairly different from the anime and TCG/OCG ones. The texts aren't separated by lines and rectangles, and the Types and Attributes are not shown.

  • The monster cards' layouts consist of the card's name, its Level (with the stars not being pictured inside a sphere), a double-border square with the artwork, a lore and the ATK/DEF (aligned horizontally).
  • The Spell/Trap Cards consist of the card's name, type (it only is shown if the card is either a Spell or Trap card, and doesn't specify its Type; also, it is centered, instead of aligned to the right), a double-border square with the artwork and a lore.

In the Yu-Gi-Oh! D Team ZEXAL manga, the card images are taken directly from the OCG.

Other card games


Capsule Monsters

Capsule Monster Chess

Video games

See also

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