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Damage Step

Japanese

ダメージステップ

Japanese (romanized)

Damējisuteppu

English

Damage Step

Draw PhaseStandby PhaseMain Phase 1Battle PhaseMain Phase 2End PhaseStart StepBattle StepDamage StepEnd StepTurn Structure Chart
About this image

Order of a turn.

The Damage Step (Japanese: ダメージステップ Damējisuteppu) is a step during the Battle Phase during which battle is performed. If an attack is occurring, it is entered immediately after the Battle Step.

The Damage Step restricts many cards and effects from being activated. (For more details, see § Cards and effects that can be activated, below.)

Breakdown of the Damage Step

There are five distinct timings within the Damage Step.

  • Start of the Damage Step (Japanese: ダメージステップかい Damēji Suteppu Kaishiji)
  • Before damage calculation (Japanese: ダメージけいさんまえ Damēji Keisanmae)
  • Damage calculation (Japanese: ダメージけいさん Damēji Keisanji)
  • After damage calculation (Japanese: ダメージけいさん Damēji Keisango)
  • End of the Damage Step (Japanese: ダメージステップしゅうりょう Damēji Suteppu Shūryōji)

Start of the Damage Step

The turn player declares they are entering the Damage Step.[1]

  • A face-down monster being attacked is NOT flipped at this time.[1]
    • If that monster is destroyed by a card effect, since it was never flipped face-up, its effects that activate when flipped face-up (such as Flip effects) do not activate.[2]

Before damage calculation

At this point, if a face-down monster is being attacked, flip it face-up.[1]

  • If the attacked monster has an effect that activates when it is flipped face-up (such as a Flip effect), that effect does NOT activate at this time.[8][11] It will activate after damage calculation, even if the flipped monster leaves the Monster Zone before then.[12][13][14]
  • Regardless of whether or not the attacked monster was initially face-down, if the monster is Set at this point or later in the Damage Step (up until damage calculation is completed), such as by "Gemini Counter", it will be immediately flipped face-up.[15]
  • Cards and effects that activate "before damage calculation", such as "Drillroid" or "Performapal Barracuda", can be activated.[1]
    • For cards without PSCT, the text "without (applying) damage calculation" indicates that the effect activates either here, or at the start of the Damage Step.
      • All cards that have effects that activate before damage calculation have since been reprinted with PSCT, except "Disc Fighter".[25][26]

Perform damage calculation

Battle damage is calculated and inflicted. If two monsters are involved in the battle, it is determined which monster(s) are destroyed by battle (if any).[1][10]

  • If a monster is destroyed by battle, it is NOT sent to the Graveyard yet.[1][10]
  • If an effect prevents a monster from being destroyed by this battle by doing something else "instead" (such as "Vicious Claw" returning itself to the hand), it is decided whether to apply or not at this point.
    • The "instead" action will be done at the end of the Damage Step.[28]
  • In general, cards and effects that modify ATK/DEF cannot be activated at this point or for the rest of this Damage Step.[8][10][29]

After damage calculation

  • Monsters that were destroyed by battle are still not sent to the Graveyard yet.[1][10]

Monsters that were destroyed by battle

The following rules apply to monsters that were be destroyed by battle, but have not been sent to the Graveyard yet (or another appropriate location):

End of the Damage Step

Monsters that were destroyed by battle are now sent to the Graveyard (or another appropriate location).[1]

  • If an effect prevented a monster from being destroyed by battle by doing something else "instead", and the action is determined to be done earlier, it is done at this time.[46][47]
  • Once there are no effects left to activate or resolve, the Damage Step ends, and the Battle Step is re-entered.[1]
  • Effects that state "until the end of the Damage Step" or "during the Damage Step (only)" now expire and stop applying.[1][48]

Cards and effects that can be activated

Only following cards and effects can be activated during the Damage Step (unless the card states otherwise):

  • Trigger and Trigger-like Effects—if that effect activates in response to the card itself being moved to a different location,[10][11][75][76][77][78] being flipped face-up (including Flip effects),[1][10][11] or having its battle position changed[79]—unless the effect Fusion Summons.[80]
    • In general, other optional Trigger and Trigger-like Effects that have activation conditions that can be met both during and outside the Damage Step cannot be activated. For cards that have PSCT, these normally state "(except during the Damage Step)" in their activation conditions. Otherwise, these effects are associated with activation conditions that involve actions regarding other cards, such as "When/If ... is destroyed", "When/If ... is added from ... to your hand", "When/If ... is Special Summoned", etc. of cards like "Revival Rose", "Ambulanceroid", and "Cyber Dinosaur".[81] This includes Trigger Effects that activate in response to actions involving itself and/or other cards (but not just itself or other cards), such as "Madolche Chickolates".
      • Cards that lack PSCT with these activation conditions, but have rulings stating they can be activated during the Damage Step, include "Verdant Sanctuary".[82][83]
    • OCG/TCG ruling differences:
  • Cards and effects that activate in response to an event that is inherent to the Damage Step (e.g. the five unique timings of the Damage Step, battle damage is inflicted, a monster is destroyed by battle, etc.).

A card or effect only needs to meet one of the above requirements to be able to activate during the Damage Step, even if it fails all the others.

Notes

  1. This is supported by comparison with the texts of cards such as "Supay", which has two independent actions (doubling ATK and returning to the hand) dependent on one action (Special Summoning a monster) coalesced into a single sentence format, which differs from the two-sentence format of "Curse of Anubis". If "Curse of Anubis" was formatted in a single sentence, it would look similar to the Ignition Effect of "Dragon Knight Draco-Equiste".
  2. The ruling "You can activate "Attack of the Cornered Rat" (and/or its effect) during damage calculation, or at any point in the Damage Step prior to damage calculation." is partially incorrect. With the release of Konami's "Damage Step Rules" article, in conjunction with page 33 in Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game - Official Rulebook Version 9.1 (which also refers to the "Damage Step Rules" article), neither "Attack of the Cornered Rat" nor its effect can be activated during damage calculation.
  3. 3.0 3.1 This statement is an extrapolation, as there are no rulings that specifically state that such a card can be activated in this particular scenario; there are merely rulings stating that Trap Cards with such Continuous-like Effects can be activated during the Damage Step until damage calculation (with no other context).
  4. This statement is an extrapolation, as there is no source anywhere that explicitly confirms this; there is merely a consistent pattern of rulings for such Continuous Trap Cards stating that the cards themselves cannot be activated during the Damage Step.

External links

  • Official OCG websites:
    • OCG (English)
    • OCG (Japanese)

References

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 Konami. Damage Step Rules. http://www.yugioh-card.com/uk/gameplay/damage.html. Retrieved 22 January 2016.
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