|Japanese (kanji and furigana)||
Normal Monsters, colored yellow, are primarily used to protect your Life Points from Direct Damage. In exchange for having no effect, the area where the effect is placed is replaced with a description of the monster. They usually possess basic stats; ATK, DEF, Level, Attribute, Type, and more often than not, one value is sacrificed to benefit another. High ATK and low DEF Normal Monsters are often associated with Beatdown Decks, while low ATK and high DEF Normal Monsters are frequently associated with Stall Decks. Normal Monsters are often called Vanilla Monsters, as a reference to their pale yellow background and how they are "plain" with no effects.
Though they do not have inherent effects, there are often Spell, Trap, or Effect Monster effects associated with specific Normal Monsters. For example, "Dark Magic Attack" can only be used with "Dark Magician", Huge Revolution can only be activated with 3 specific normal monsters on the field, and "X-Head Cannon", "V-Tiger Jet"and "Dark Blade" are the only legal targets for three specific Union Monsters. Normal Monsters have received some very powerful support cards for general use, such as "Birthright", "Silent Doom", "Ancient Rules", "Symbols of Duty", "Justi-Break", and "Dark Factory of Mass Production". In general, Normal Monsters have many more legal options for being Summoned back to the field from the Graveyard than Effect Monsters ("Call of the Haunted", "Premature Burial", and "Monster Reborn" being the most popular options, with "Soul Resurrection" and "Birthright" being two Normal Monster-specific options). Gemini monsters take advantage of the more varied options for Summoning Normal Monsters back to the field.
At no point is any card other than the "yellow" monsters considered a "Normal Monster", except by a card effect. A non-Normal Monster can be considered a Normal Monster in specific areas based on some card effects. (See Gemini monsters, "Simorgh, Bird of Ancestry"). If Fusion (e.g. "Dragoness the Wicked Knight"), Ritual (e.g. "Hungry Burger"), Synchro (e.g."Naturia Leodrake") or Xyz (e.g. "Gem-Knight Pearl") Monsters have no effect, they are considered to be "Non-Effect Monsters", not Normal Monsters.
A subset of Normal Monster support is devoted to that of Normal Monsters that are low in Level (typically Level 3 or lower), allowing them to be Summoned from the Deck en masse, to flood the field with cards like "Human-Wave Tactics" or "Enchanting Fitting Room", to then be powered up with cards like "Triangle Power", "Amulet of Ambition", or "Sword of the Soul-Eater", or used to get rid of your opponent's cards in their hand and on their side of the field with "The Law of the Normal". Level 3 or lower monsters are great for Synchro Summons because they have no effect and have low attack points, making them quite useless for battle, perfect for Synchro Summons.
The card text (or flavor text) on Normal Monsters is for illustrative purposes only, and usually has no effect on gameplay, since these cards have no effects. Even though the "flavor text" of Normal Monsters has no effect on gameplay, these texts can show how that monster is related to other cards in the game.
Normal Monster Decks are also known as Vanilla Decks. The most popular cards in Vanilla Decks are cards such as "Non-Spellcasting Area", "Heart of the Underdog", "Heat Wave", "Curse of Anubis", and "Skill Drain". If playing a Beatdown Vanilla Deck, the use of power-up cards such as "Mage Power" and "United We Stand" is recommended. Cards such as "Ultimate Offering" or "Double Summon" that allow you to Normal Summon more than one monster per turn are also recommended. These work well with cards such as "Heart of the Underdog", or "Cold Wave" (in Traditional Format); the later letting you attack without fear of surprise Spell & Trap Cards for a turn.
The release of Photon Shockwave has given some more support for Normal Monsters. "Creepy Coney" will damage your opponent when you have Normal Monsters on your side of the field. "Thunder End Dragon" has a strong effect but requires 2 Normal Monsters to "Xyz Summon". Finally, "Rescue Rabbit" is a powerful Xyz engine that only works with Normal Monsters, and is single-handedly the reason why some top-tier Decks use them.
Normal Monster Decks
- See: Normal Monster Deck
- Normal Monsters were the most common monsters when the Duel Monsters card game was introduced in the manga and released in the OCG and TCG, but as the game's strategies evolved and new archetypes were created, Effect Monsters became more common and Normal Monsters slowly started disappearing. By this time, very few Booster Packs contain Normal Monsters, and even those that do contain very few.
- Exodia's Arm and Leg pieces are the only Normal Monsters ever to appear on the Forbidden/Limited/Semi-Limited lists.
- Some Tuner monsters and Pendulum Monsters are Normal Monsters, like "Tune Warrior" and "Radiant Knight".
- The Normal Monster with the highest ATK is "Blue-Eyes White Dragon", at 3000. "Labyrinth Wall", "Neo Aqua Madoor" and "Millennium Shield" have the highest DEF, at 3000. "Rabidragon" has the highest combined ATK and DEF, with 2950 ATK and 2900 DEF.
- The weakest Normal Monster is "Thousand-Eyes Idol", which has 0 ATK and 0 DEF, and is Level 1.