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
  • 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"). 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").

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 three-fourths of the card's width 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 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 Pack 4, and is the card layout that the TCG was introduced with. It has been used in the latest episode of the Yu-Gi-Oh! second series anime, Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, and Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's.

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 and three-digit set card numbers are introduced.

A much smaller change happened with the release of Power of the Duelist, when four-character set abbreviations began to be used, presumably as a result of dwindling abbreviation possibilities for three-character abbreviations.

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 current exception of "Slifer the Sky Dragon", "The Creator God of Light, Horakhty", and "Magi Magi ☆ Magician Gal").

The biggest difference between the Series 3 layout and the anniversary layout is 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 anniversary. In addition, "Slifer the Sky Dragon", "The Creator God of Light, Horakhty", and "Magi Magi ☆ Magician Gal" feature the same changes seen in the Series 7 layout, including a lighter effect box background and a slightly wider name box.

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. 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 greatly reduced padding around the stars and attribute icon. Also, on cards with a short card effect or flavor text, the lore is printed in a larger font size, making it easier to read.


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.


Early episodes of Yu-Gi-Oh! placed the Level of Monster cards towards the left side of the card, adjacent to the Attribute symbol. In later episodes, the Level is 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 with less than 1000 ATK/DEF do not have their values centered.

Yu-Gi-Oh! GX

Early episodes of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX follow the same layout design as the second series anime. In later episodes, monsters with less than 1000 ATK/DEF have their values centered.

Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's

Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's follows the same layout design as later episodes of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX.


In Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL, the Rank of an Xyz Monster is not centered and is instead found at the far left of the card.


Other card games


Capsule Monsters

Capsule Monster Chess

Video games

See also

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