The Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game is released by various methods. Below lists the categories of each method and the legality of each.

Booster Sets

All officially released sets are legal. Cards obtained through a Sneak Peek are not be legal until the official release of the set.

Structure and Starter Decks

All officially released Structure and Starter Decks are legal.

Shonen Jump promotional cards

All officially released Shonen Jump promotional cards are legal.

Manga promotional cards

All officially released manga promotional cards are legal.

Video game promotional cards

All officially released video game promotional cards are legal when the associated video game is officially released.

Tin promotional cards

All collectible tin promotional cards are legal upon their official release date. This includes "Shooting Star Dragon" and "Red Nova Dragon".

Since "Shooting Star Dragon" and "Red Nova Dragon" become legal through the release of Collectible Tins 2010 Wave 2, copies of these cards obtained from the Starstrike Blast Sneak Preview also became legal, because they had been officially released through another method.

Duel Terminal

All cards received from official Konami Duel Terminals are legal.

Regional differences in legality

Most video games are not released simultaneously across countries, and a game might not be released in Central America until a month after it was released in North America. Video game promotional cards only become legal in a particular region once the cards are released in that region (either via the video game's release, or some other method).

Shonen Jump promotional cards are not legal in Europe, Oceania, Central America, or South America, as the Shonen Jump magazine is not officially distributed there. Additionally, manga promotional cards are not normally released in Europe, Oceania, Central America, or South America, so are not legal until the card is released in that region.

However, if one of these promotional cards is released in another way in that region, then the card becomes legal there. For example, "Dandylion" was a Shonen Jump promotional card, but was later released in Absolute Powerforce: Special Edition, so it became legal in Central America.

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