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How to Link Summon
During their Main Phase, the turn player can Link Summon a Link Monster from their Extra Deck by sending face-up monsters they control to the Graveyard as Link Materials; the number of Link Materials must be equal to the Link Monster's Link Rating. After that, the Link Monster is Summoned in either an Extra Monster Zone or a Main Monster Zone that a Link Monster on the field points to, in face-up Attack Position.
When using a Link Monster for a Link Summon, it can be treated as 1 Link Material, OR multiple Link Materials equal to its own Link Rating.
Example A: Standard Link Summon
Example B: Using Link Monster(s) as Link Materials
In the anime
In the anime, using monsters to perform a Link Summon is known as Setting the Link Arrows.
When a Link Summon is performed, the Duelist shoots forward a burst of energy which creates an Arrowhead portal in the sky which the Duelist and their monsters fly through. The Link Materials then transform into red and white streaks of energy that enter the appropriate Link Arrows, causing them to turn red. The Link Arrows are then said to have its circuit combined. The portal then glows white and energy converges to form the monster and the Link Arrows around it. The monster and the Duelist then emerge from the Arrowhead portal. If a Link Monster is being used for a Link Summon by using its Link Rating, then copies of that monster will appear equal to the Link Rating of the monster and enter the appropriate Link Arrows.
The color of the area that a Duelist enters to Link Summon differs, and may depend on the monster's Type, Attribute or Link Rating.
Since this intial summoning sequence may have appeared repetitive, lenghty, and unconventional when performed outside of Speed Duels, alternative depiction of Link Summoning started to appear in episode 14 shown by Emma Bessho. Instead of shooting energy from one's hand into the sky to manifest the Arrowhead portal in its direction, Emma has strings of energy emerge from her fingertips which form the Arrowhead portal beneath her feet. She then skips entering the portal with her Link Material monsters but instead, the Link Material monsters then shoot into the Link Arrows with a hurricane-like effect, whose colors reflect the material monster's color scheme. The Link Monster is then formed within the portal out of converging energy and emerges.
Since then, this style of Link Summoning is used by all other Duelists to have the Arrowhead portal appear on the field wherever the Duelist wishes to manifest it. The monsters used for the summoning then transform into different colored hurricanes and then shoots towards the Link Arrows. At times, the Link Material Monsters may enter the portal instead of shooting towards the Link Arrow, presumably activating the Link Arrows from within the portal as with the initial summoning sequence.
Unlike previous summoning methods in the anime, the Duelist states the summoning conditions of the Link Monster before calling out the monsters he/she is using to summon it.From episode 31 (during the Duel between Varis and Ghost Girl), each time Varis performs Link Summon (usually from a very powerful monster) from Link Summon "Topical Trisbaena", the monsters he uses as materials become bullets (instead of becoming hurricanes) that then impact the Link Arrows.
- Link Summoning is the first Summoning method since Fusion (Synchro, Xyz, and Pendulum Summoning being the others) to not explicitly involve Levels in its Summoning procedure.