The Match winners are a series of monsters with an effect that allows the player to win the entire Match instead of just the Duel if they decrease the opponent's Life Points to 0 with a direct attack. All Match winners have a high Level/Rank, ATK, and DEF, and require 3 monsters in some way in order to Summon, some or all of which must share a Type. For example, the non-Extra Deck Match winners all cannot be Special Summoned, and require 3 Tributes of the same type as themselves in order to be Tribute Summoned.
The first Match winner, "Victory Dragon", was given away as a promotional card with "Shonen Jump Magazine". It was quickly made Forbidden due to its ability to interfere with something outside of the current Duel, leading to many ruling hassles and declarations of unsportsmanlike conduct regarding players who would Surrender right before "Victory Dragon" attacked, therefore losing only the Duel instead of the Match.
All Match winners since the release of "Victory Dragon" have only been available as top prize cards or attendance cards at every year's World Championship, making them extremely rare with prices easily amounting to several hundred dollars per card. All of them are Illegal, with the Limitation Text "This card cannot be used in a Duel" present on the lower left corner of the card.
In general, two new Match winners debut at each World Championship, with a single Ultra Rare copy of one card being given to the top finisher and three Ultra Rare copies of the other being given to the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place finishers. A third Match winner is also given out, being a Super Rare reprint of one of the previous year's Match winners. This reprint always has the word "REPLICA" printed on it, and is generally less rare and expensive than the original version, although the price is still astronomically high compared to most other cards.
As an exception to the standard, the 2012 Match winners, "Legendary Dragon of White" and "Legendary Magician of Dark", were reprinted in the OCG's Extra Pack: Sword of Knights set as Extra Secret Rare cards. Alongside the original "Victory Dragon", these three are the only Match winners to have been publicly released and released in a language other than English.