| Ritual Monster
|Japanese (kanji and furigana)||
Ritual Monsters, colored blue, are Monsters that can only be Special Summoned with their corresponding Ritual Spell Card. Examples include "Black Luster Soldier", "Magician of Black Chaos", "Paladin of White Dragon", "Crab Turtle" and "The Masked Beast". So far, the only archetype that uses Ritual Monsters is Gishki.
When a Ritual Spell Card is activated, Tributes must be offered either from your side of the field 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 exception being Dawn of the Herald, which requires the Tribute(s) to be exact and only works for the Summon of Herald of Perfection). 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 powerful Level 8 card, 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 of equal Level with the monster, 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 discarded to the Graveyard (with cards like "Delinquent Duo", or "Graceful Charity"), without it being Ritual Summoned with the appropriate Ritual Spell Card beforehand, it can't be Special Summoned from the Graveyard with cards such as "Premature Burial", "Call of the Haunted", "Monster Reborn", or "Fulfillment of the Contract". "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", a Spell Card from Stardust Overdrive, will 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 removed from play, it may be Special Summoned by cards like "Monster Reborn" 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" introduced in Stardust Overdrive, 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 Monsters have the least amount of anti-support cards of all Monster Card groups, with only two cards specifically designed to stop them: "Steelswarm Sting" and "Ritual Sealing". To date, there have been no Ritual Monsters of the WIND Attribute, with the exception of "Elemental Mistress Doriado", who is treated as WIND via her effect. In addition, Ritual Monsters are some of the least-often used cards in the anime and manga, with none whatsoever appearing after Yu-Gi-Oh! GX.
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 based 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.