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Destroy (破壊 Hakai) is an action that moves a card to a different location, and normally sends it to the Graveyard.

Cards cannot be destroyed in Graveyard or while banished. Usually only cards on the field or monsters whose Summons are negated are destroyed, but cards can also be destroyed in the hand, Main Deck and Extra Deck.


  • Card effects that uses the term "destroy" (like "Exiled Force", "Horn of Heaven").
  • Not fulfilling a maintenance cost that uses the term "destroy" (like "Messenger of Peace").
  • Monster 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.
    • 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.
  • Replacing an existing Field Spell Card.
    • If the opponent controls a face-up Field Spell Card and the player activates a Field Spell Card, the opponent's Field Spell Card will be destroyed by game mechanics when the player's Field Spell Card resolves (while face-up on the field).
    • If the player controls a Field Spell Card (even if Set), they can activate or Set another Field Spell Card by destroying their existing Field Spell Card (by game mechanics).
  • Invalidating an Equip Card target.
    • Equipped cards will be immediately destroyed if their target isn't face-up in a Monster Card Zone, or has become an incorrect target.
    • If a card that is not normally an Equip Spell Card is equipped to a monster by that monster's effect, it will be destroyed if that effect is no longer active.
  • Existence restrictions.
  • 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", "Number 50: Blackship of Corn", and one of the effects of "Number 7: Lucky Straight" 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".

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