Special Summon (特殊召喚 Tokushu Shōkan) is any Summon other than Normal Summon and Flip Summon. They usually occur due to a card effect or special condition. The monster is played directly onto the Monster Card Zone in face-up Attack Position or face-up Defense Position, unless the card indicates otherwise. Xyz Summons, Synchro Summons, Fusion Summons and Ritual Summons are all Special Summons.
Special Summons do not take up your Normal Summon/Set for the turn, and they can be conducted as many times as possible in a turn. Also note that Special Summoning requires no Tributes for high Level monsters like what the Normal Summon requires.
Special Summons can be conducted in 2 ways:
- Built-In Special Summons (also known as Inherent Special Summon): Is any Special Summon that happen due to a condition that the monster has, without starting a Chain. This can only be performed when the game state is open during your Main Phase (for example, "Cyber Dragon", "Solar Wind Jammer", "Ghost Ship", "Exodius the Ultimate Forbidden Lord", etc.). In this way, Built-In Special Summons behave similarly to Normal Summons and Flip Summons. Synchro Summons and Xyz Summons are considered Built-In Special Summons.
Following the Problem-Solving Card Text, monsters with Built-In Special Summon other than Synchro and Xyz Monsters will specify in parenthesis " () " the location from which they can be Special Summoned. Monsters that are used in the Main Deck, whose card texts do not specify the location from where they are Built-In Special Summoned, are always from the hand, while monsters in Extra Deck are always from there.Built-In Special Summon can be negated by any card that can negates Special Summons, including "Solemn Warning", "Solemn Judgment", and "Black Horn of Heaven". Cards such as "Divine Wrath" cannot negate Built-In Special Summons because these are conditions, not an activated card effects.
- Special Summon with a Card's Effect: Is any Special Summon that results and occur at the resolution of an activated card or effect that "Special Summon" (for example, Monster Reborn and Gorz the Emissary of Darkness). Fusion Summons and Ritual Summons are considered Special Summon with a Card's Effect.Special Summon with a Card's Effect cannot be negated, but it can be stopped by negating the effect that causes the Special Summon. Cards such as "Black Horn of Heaven" and "Thunder King Rai-Oh" cannot negate this Special Summons because it occur during resolution. "Solemn Judgment" can negate a Spell or Trap that Special Summons, and it can negate Built-In Special Summons, but it cannot negate monster effects that Special Summon. "Solemn Warning" can negate any effect that Special Summons, as well as Built-In Special Summons.
Note that Cards or effects that can be activated after a monster has been Special Summoned, for example, "Torrential Tribute" or "Bottomless Trap Hole", can be activate after any of these Special Summon, regardless of whether it is Built-In or due to an effect. The exception is if a monster Special Summoned by an card's effect that is Chain Link 2 or higher. This is because cards and effects can never be activated in the middle of a resolving Chain, and whatever effect that resolves last (as Chain Link 1) would cause "Torrential Tribute", etc. to miss the timing.