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Damage Step

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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
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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. It occurs immediately after the Battle Step.

If the attack target is face-down, it is flipped face-up during this Step before damage calculation. If that monster has a Flip Effect or a Trigger Effect that activates when it is flipped face-up, it is activated after damage calculation, but still during the Damage Step.

During the "after damage calculation" Chain, monsters that have been determined to be destroyed by battle remain on the field. Such monsters cannot be returned to the hand or Deck, so if a face-down "Penguin Soldier" is attacked and determined to be destroyed by battle, it cannot target itself to return to the hand since it has already been destroyed.

At the end of the Damage Step, the monster(s) destroyed by battle is sent to the Graveyard, unless a card specifies that they go elsewhere, such as "Dark Magician of Chaos" or "Grave Protector".

Cards and effects that can be activated

During the Damage Step, only certain cards and effects may be activated. Note that some cards and effects specify that they cannot be activated during the Damage Step, which supersedes any reason they would be able to be activated.

The following cards can be activated during the Damage Step.

  • Mandatory effects
    • Only mandatory effects that specifically note they cannot activate during the Damage Step will not. The only such card is "Vivid Knight".
  • Spell/Trap Cards and Quick/Quick-like Effects that directly alter the ATK/DEF of a monster(s) can be activated during the Damage Step until damage calculation.
    • "Directly" means that you cannot perform an optional action that would only modify ATK/DEF indirectly, such as activating "Mystical Space Typhoon" that targets "Necrovalley", or activating "Reverse Trap".
    • Trap Cards that equip themselves to monsters and have Continuous Effects that directly alter the ATK/DEF of the equipped monster (such as "Horn of the Phantom Beast") can be activated during the Damage Step until damage calculation.
    • Cards like "Half or Nothing" which might not alter ATK/DEF at resolution cannot be activated during the Damage Step for that reason alone.
    • Cards like "Powerful Rebirth" which Special Summon a monster and exclusively modify the ATK/DEF of the Summoned monster cannot be activated during the Damage Step for that reason alone.
    • If a Set Continuous Trap Card has an optional Quick-like Effect that directly alters the ATK/DEF of a monster(s) (such as "Castle of Dragon Souls"), that Trap Card can be activated during the Damage Step until damage calculation if that Quick-like Effect is activated and resolved in the same Chain Link as the Trap Card itself.
    • Continuous Trap Cards with Continuous Effects that directly alter the ATK/DEF of a monster(s) (such as "Fire Formation - Kaiyo") can be activated during the Damage Step until damage calculation.
      • The Trap Card can be activated even if the Continuous Effect would not affect any monsters (such as activating "Dark Contract with the Valkyrie" during your own turn or while you control no Fiend-Type monsters, or activating "Unpossessed" when a monster other than a "Familiar-Possessed" monster is attacking).
      • The Trap Card can be activated even if the Continuous Effect only applies an ATK/DEF change under particular conditions and those conditions are not currently met (such as activating "Chosen of Zefra" while there are fewer than 3 "Zefra" monsters in your Extra Deck), unless that condition could never be met during the Damage Step (such as "Swift Samurai Storm!").
      • Even if a Continuous Trap Card can be activated during the Damage Step due to its Continuous Effect and it also has a Quick-like Effect that can be activated in the same Chain Link as the Trap Card (such as "Dark Contract with the Valkyrie"), that Quick-like Effect cannot be activated at the same time as the Continuous Trap Card during the Damage Step unless it is otherwise permitted to be activated then.
    • "Scrap Sheen", "Zero Force", and "Curse of Anubis" cannot be activated during the Damage Step.
    • Unlike Quick/Quick-like Effects, optional Trigger/Trigger-like Effects cannot be activated during the Damage Step for this reason alone. As such, Trigger Effects like that of "Morpho Butterspy" and the monster effect of "Performapal Turn Toad" cannot be activated during the Damage Step.
    • In the TCG only, if the ATK/DEF modifier specifies Damage Step in its text, such as "Honest" or "Attack of the Cornered Rat", it can be activated up to, and including during damage calculation. In the OCG, only cards that specify they can be activated during damage calculation and Counter Trap Cards can be.
  • In the TCG only, Quick Effects that must activate directly in response to an effect activation to negate that activated effect only (except "Bujingi Turtle"). In the OCG, they cannot be activated for this reason alone.
    • You can activate the effects of "Photon Strike Bounzer", "Skull Meister", etc.
    • You cannot activate the effects of "Number 25: Force Focus", "Number 106: Giant Hand", etc.
    • The difference is that cards like "Photon Strike Bounzer" or "Skull Meister" only negate one effect that is activating, and they must be activated directly in response to what they are negating. "Number 25: Force Focus" doesn't need to activate in direct response to an effect, and both it and "Number 106: Giant Hand" negate all effects, rather than the specific one that was activated.
  • Any effect that specifically mentions an activation timing during the Damage Step.
  • Cards that have no clear indication that they can be activated during the Damage Step, but have rulings stating that they are allowed to do so: "Chthonian Blast" and "Desrook Archfiend". In the TCG only, "Null and Void" can be activated during the Damage Step.

Breakdown of the Damage Step

See also

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