|Japanese (base text)||
Ritual Monsters (Japanese:
Ritual Monsters are Special Summon-only monsters. This means that they cannot be Special Summoned from the hand or Deck except by Ritual Summon, and cannot be Special Summoned from the Graveyard or while banished unless they were first Ritual Summoned (even with a card like "Fulfillment of the Contract").
Typically, when a Ritual Spell Card is activated, Tributes must be offered from your side of the field and/or from your hand whose total Levels are at least the Level of the Ritual Monster in question. However, Ritual Spell Cards that can Summon more than one potential Ritual Monster (such as "Advanced Ritual Art" and "Gishki" Ritual Spell Cards) require the total Level of the Tribute(s) to exactly equal the Level of the Ritual Monster. This also goes for some Ritual Spell Cards with additional effects, such as "Dawn of the Herald" and "Luminous Dragon Ritual" (which require exact Tribute(s) and yet only work for one Ritual Monster). A Special Summon performed this way is specifically treated as a Ritual Summon.
For example, in order to Ritual Summon a Level 1 Ritual Monster like "Relinquished" via "Black Illusion Ritual", a Tribute of at least 1 Level would be required, so any Monster at all (except an Xyz Monster) could be offered as a Tribute, since no monsters are below Level 1. However, with Ritual Monsters like "Black Luster Soldier" or "The Masked Beast", 8 Levels are required, so you would either need to Tribute two to three low-level monsters (around Level 3 or 4), or one Level 8 or higher monster, such as "Blue-Eyes White Dragon". For a monster like "Evigishki Soul Ogre" being Ritual Summoned with "Gishki Aquamirror", the Tributes are required to total exactly Level 8, and monsters whose total Levels are higher than 8 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).
In some ways, Ritual Monsters are easier to Summon than Normal or Effect Monsters of the same Level, since their Tributes do not need to be on the field. However, they do require a number of specific cards to be in the hand at once, which can be quite difficult to achieve. Some Ritual Spell Cards such as "Advanced Ritual Art" can forego using cards from your hand and/or field altogether, and use monsters from the Main Deck 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 applying their own effect upon Summoning the Ritual Monster.
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 Spell Cards and Ritual Monsters, as the chances of drawing both the Ritual Spell and the Ritual Monster increases greatly.
- There are currently no WIND-Attribute Ritual Monsters; however, "Elemental Mistress Doriado" has an effect that treats it as WIND, among other Attributes.
- The "Gishki", "Prediction Princess" and "Nekroz" are the only archetypes focused on Ritual Monsters.
- There are no Level 2 Ritual Monsters.
- Ritual Monsters have the fewest number of anti-support cards of all Monster Card groups, with only two cards specifically designed to stop them: "Steelswarm Sting" and "Ritual Sealing".