Artwork of "A Hero Emerges", an example of a card that Summons a monster



Japanese (ruby)


Japanese (base text)


Japanese (romanized)




A Summon (しょうかん Shōkan) is an action which places a monster onto a Monster Zone. It can be performed either manually or with a card effect.

Monsters are always Summoned face-up, unless Special Summoning with an effect like "Morphing Jar 2" which states that the monster is Special Summoned face-down.

If a player conduct a Summon, due to any method, the player conducting that Summon will be the one who choose which appropriate Monster Zone the Monster would be placed on (unless specified otherwise).

Kinds of Summon

There are a number of different types of Summons.

Tribute Summons are a kind of Normal Summon. Fusion, Ritual, Synchro, Xyz, Pendulum, and Link Summons are all kinds of Special Summon.

Unofficial names for Summoning methods

There are also other terms referring to ways of Summoning monsters, but these are not official names in the TCG/OCG, and as such are never mentioned in functional card text. These names come from anime, manga, video games, Normal Monster card text, and vernacular used by players.

Some Summoning methods only exist in the anime, manga, or video games.

Summoning limits

Each player can only perform 1 Normal Summon/Set and 1 Pendulum Summon per turn (even if that Summon is negated), excluding card effects.

There are no restrictions on the number of Flip Summons or Special Summons a player can perform per turn (except Pendulum Summons).