|Japanese (kanji and furigana)||
Ritual Monsters, colored blue, are Monsters that must be Special Summoned with a Ritual Spell Card. Examples include "Black Luster Soldier", "Magician of Black Chaos", "Paladin of White Dragon", "Crab Turtle" and "The Masked Beast".
When a Ritual Spell Card is activated, Tributes must be offered from your side of the field and/or from your hand whose combined Level is equal to or greater than the Level of the Ritual Monster in question, only Ritual Spell Cards that works for two or more Ritual Monsters ("Advanced Ritual Art" and any "Gishki" Ritual Spell Card, for example) require the Tribute(s) to be of equal Level with the Ritual Monster (The exceptions being "Dawn of the Herald" and "Luminous Dragon Ritual", which requires the Tribute(s) to be exact and only works for the Summon of their respective Ritual Monster). The Special Summon is specifically treated as a Ritual Summon.
So, for example, if "Relinquished" would be Ritual Summoned via the "Black Illusion Ritual" card, a Tribute of at least 1 Level would be required, so any Monster (except an Xyz Monster) could be offered as a Tribute, since you can't have a monster below Level 1. However, with "Black Luster Soldier" or "The Masked Beast", 8 Levels are required, so you either need to Tribute 2 to 3 low-level monsters (around Level 3 or 4), or one Level 8 monster, such as "Blue-Eyes White Dragon". However, if "Evigishki Soul Ogre" would be Ritual Summoned with "Gishki Aquamirror", then the Tributes are required to be exactly 8, and monsters whose total Levels are higher than the Ritual Monster's cannot be used. In a Deck dedicated to Ritual Monsters, it is not uncommon to use one Ritual Monster as a Tribute to Ritual Summon another (often times a second copy of the one that was Tributed.)
If a Ritual Monster is sent from the hand to the Graveyard (with cards like "Morphing Jar", or "Hand Destruction"), it can't be Special Summoned from the Graveyard with cards such as "Call of the Haunted" or "Fulfillment of the Contract", once it wasn't properly Ritual Summoned first. "Magician of Faith" or "Dark Magician of Chaos" can be used to return a used Ritual Spell Card back to your hand, while cards like "Monster Reincarnation" can be used to return the Ritual Monster back to your hand. "Preparation of Rites" can return a Ritual Spell from your Graveyard to your hand and simultaneously search out a Ritual Monster from your Deck.
If a Ritual Monster was Ritual Summoned successfully and destroyed in any way, or banished, it may be Special Summoned by cards like "Call of the Haunted" or "Return from the Different Dimension", unless it has restrictions that prevent it from being Special Summoned.
- The Ritual Monster in your hand;
- The corresponding Ritual Spell Card in your hand;
- The required monsters needed for Tributes in your hand and/or on your side of the field;
- A free Monster Card Zone to Special Summon the Ritual Monster to;
- A free Spell/Trap Card zone for the Ritual Spell Card.
This can be useful in getting a powerful monster onto the field very quickly, without needing monsters on the field to Tribute. It does, however, take a heavy toll on your hand. However, cards such as "Advanced Ritual Art" can forego using cards from your hand and/or field altogether, and use monsters from one's Deck as Tribute Fodder instead. The "Djinn of Rituals" monsters, such as "Djinn Releaser of Rituals" and "Djinn Presider of Rituals", can be banished while in the Graveyard for use in a Ritual Summon as well as being Tributed normally, while also giving the Summoned Ritual Monster stronger abilities.
Ritual Summoning is supported by a number of Spell Cards, including "Ritual Foregone", which allows for the instant Summon of a Ritual Monster from the hand, though such a monster cannot attack and will be destroyed during the End Phase. In addition, "Advanced Ritual Art" can be used should you have a sufficient amount of Normal Monsters.
No other tributes are required if using "Ritual Raven" for the Summoning of a DARK Ritual Monster. Two of the "Gishki" archetype monsters, "Gishki Shadow" and "Gishki Vision" allow them to be the entire tribute for any WATER monster - not just a "Gishki" Ritual Monster.
Ritual-reliant Decks benefit the most from having multiple copies of Ritual cards (both spells and monsters), as the chances of drawing both the Ritual Spell and the Ritual Monster increases exponentially.
- So far, there is no WIND-Attribute Ritual Monster, except for "Elemental Mistress Doriado", that can be treated as so due to its effect.
- Ritual Monsters are some of the least-often used cards in the anime and manga, with none appearing in the Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's anime, though Lazar used "Jester Puppet King Pantomime" in the 5D's manga. In Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL, another Ritual Monster was introduced, "Paladin of Photon Dragon".
- The "Gishki" is the only archetype focused on Ritual monsters.
- "Gishki Zielgigas" has the highest Level and ATK among all Ritual monsters.
- "Forbidden Arts of the Gishki" is the only Ritual Spell Card that allow its user to tribute monsters of his/her opponent.
- "Gishki Photomirror" is the only Ritual Spell Card that requires its user to pay Life Points instead of tribute monsters.
- The "Djinn of Rituals" is the only series that supports directly Ritual monsters.
- "Relinquished" is the only Level 1 Ritual monster.
- There are no Level 2, 5, 9, 11 or 12 Ritual monsters.