|Japanese (base text)||
A card is destroyed when it is sent to the Graveyard due to battle between monsters or by an effect that destroys a card. A card that is returned from the field to the hand or Deck, or, that is sent to the Graveyard as a cost or Tribute, is NOT considered “destroyed.”
Cards already in the Graveyard and banished cards cannot be destroyed. Usually only cards on the field or monsters whose Summons are negated are destroyed, but card effects that use the term "destroy" can destroy cards in the hand, Main Deck and Extra Deck. Cards cannot be destroyed in the Main Deck unless a card specifically allows it, such as "Chain Dispel"; if "The Fabled Unicore" negates the activation of the effect of a card in the Main Deck, it will not be destroyed.
NOTE: Only the first two fulfill the Trigger condition of the widely used "destroyed by battle or by card effect".
- Monsters can be destroyed by battle during damage calculation in several circumstances.
- If the attack target is in Attack Position, the monster with the lowest ATK will be destroyed by battle. If the monsters' ATK is equal, they will both be destroyed, unless they both have 0 ATK (in which case neither of them would be destroyed).
- If the attack target is in Defense Position, the attack target will be destroyed if its DEF is lower than the attacking monster's ATK.
- Invalidating an Equip Card target.
- Existence restrictions.
- Cards that have restrictions on the number that can be face-up will be destroyed if this number is exceeded. For example, if an "Earthbound Immortal Aslla piscu" is flipped face-up (by card effect) while its controller controls another one, the newly flipped monster will be destroyed.
- If a Normal, Quick-Play or Ritual Spell Card, or a Normal or Counter Trap Card is only remaining face-up on the field due to a card effect and that effect is no longer active, it will be destroyed (e.g. "Swords of Revealing Light" after the 3rd turn).
- No free zones.
- When taking control of the opponent's monster, if there is no empty Monster Card Zone for it, it is destroyed while under the opponent's control.
- Halting an infinite loop with no net change.
Not sending destroyed cards to the Graveyard
Some card effects can cause destroyed cards to be moved to a location other than the Graveyard. For example, "Grave Protector" causes all monsters that are destroyed by battle to be shuffled into the Deck instead of being sent to the Graveyard.
If a card like "Macro Cosmos" is active, cards that would be sent to the Graveyard (including by being destroyed) are banished instead. If a card like "Dark Magician of Chaos" would leave the field (including by being destroyed), it is banished instead.
Sending to the Graveyard without destroying
Not all cards that send cards from the field to the Graveyard destroy them; cards like "Dark End Dragon", "Ninjitsu Art of Super-Transformation", and "Number 50: Blackship of Corn" send cards from the field to the Graveyard, but they do not destroy the cards, since they don't include the word "destroy" in the text; as such, these effects cannot be negated by effects like "Stardust Dragon".