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Synchro Monsters (Japanese: シンクロモンスター Shinkuromonsutā, abbreviated
To be Summoned, Synchro Monsters require the player to control a face-up Tuner monster and one or more face-up non-Tuner monsters. When the total Level of the Tuner monster and the non-Tuner monsters exactly matches the Level of a Synchro Monster (no more or less), by sending them to the Graveyard, that Synchro Monster can be Synchro Summoned. The monsters used are referred to as Synchro Material Monsters.
Because Synchro Monsters belong in the Extra Deck, they return there whenever they would be returned to the hand or Main Deck, like Fusion and Xyz Monsters. Also, like other Extra Deck monsters and Nomi Monsters, they cannot be Special Summoned from the Graveyard if they were not properly Synchro Summoned first.
However, whilst Synchro Monsters did not appear in the ZEXAL anime or manga, additional support for Synchro Monsters still appeared on occasion in the TCG although the primary focus of all ZEXAL-era products was Xyz Monsters. The TCG version of the booster packs Generation Force, Order of Chaos, Photon Shockwave and Cosmo Blazer all included 1-3 new Synchro Monsters despite primarily containing Xyz Monsters. Synchro Monsters also have been on occassion released in the 2012 Collectors Tins as promo cards and new Synchros were still released in several Hidden Arsenal sets, Hidden Arsenal 5: Steelswarm Invasion and Hidden Arsenal 6: Omega Xyz. The latest addition in Gold Series, Gold Series: Haunted Mine contained reprinted Synchro Monsters as well. The 2012 Premium Collection Tin also included 3 new Synchro Monsters, and several Synchro Monsters were reprinted in the 2013 Collectors Tins. Judgment of the Light, however, marked the first time since Xyz Monsters came into the game that Synchro Monsters gained much support and new monsters, featuring 8 new Synchros, about the same number released per set during the Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's era of the TCG. One of the newest Structure Decks, Structure Deck: Saga of Blue-Eyes White Dragon features a "Blue-Eyes White Dragon" Synchro Counterpart ("Azure-Eyes Silver Dragon"). Shadow Specters and Legacy of the Valiant released 4 and 3 Synchro Monsters respectively, including brand new, splashable and generic ones, such as "Giganticastle" and "Leo, the Keeper of the Sacred Tree", TCG-exclusives, like "Powered Inzektron", and Synchro monsters that only existed in the OCG, such as "Celestial Wolf Lord, Blue Sirius".
However, beginning with Duelist Alliance, the set after Primal Origin (which is the last Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL-based set), it has been advertised by Konami that Synchro Monsters, Xyz Monsters, Ritual Monsters and Fusion Monsters will begin getting an equal amount of support. More Synchro Monsters that were formally OCG-exclusive were also recently finally released in the TCG Premium Gold and after on Premium Gold: Return of the Bling sets, along with many reprints of old Gold Series Synchro Monsters.
Despite the advertisement that the support would become the same, it was in the 9th series that the "Yang Zing" Archetype was released; this archetype is the only one that relies entirely on Synchro Summoning since the release of the "Synchron".
In the anime
Synchro Monsters have the power to manipulate Ener-D, allowing humans to accelerate their evolution. It was a vital part of the plot of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's and the series antagonists' intentions. However, it was never explained exactly how Synchro Monsters obtained this ability.
A possible theory is linked to the statement that Synchro Monsters are the "symbols of human evolution". This could be the case when one considers how intricately linked humanity is to Duel Monsters and Ener-D. It is stated by Jakob that man's excessive use of Synchros caused Ener-D to spin faster, producing more energy and thus accelerating human evolution. It could be that this energy is fueling human evolution because of Synchros, the "symbols of human evolution". Humanity expresses its subconscious desire for evolution by obsessing over and excessively using Synchro Monsters.
While no Synchro Monsters appeared in Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL, Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V has shown one Synchro monster in the first episode, "XX-Saber Gottoms," which appeared later in the series used by "X-Saber" Duelist Yaiba Todo. Declan has also used a Synchro Monster, and Yugo uses a Synchro Deck, while Gong has added Synchro Monsters to his Deck. They are said to be monsters that only the elite use, and they are they only type of Extra Deck monster used in the Synchro Dimension.
A Synchro Summon is the act of Summoning a Synchro Monster from the Extra Deck using a Tuner monster with additional non-Tuner monsters. During the Main Phase 1 or 2, the turn player can Synchro Summon a Synchro Monster from the Extra Deck by sending monsters they control to the Graveyard (at least 1 Tuner and 1 or more non-Tuner monsters), provided the total Level of those monsters matches exactly the Level of that Synchro Monster.
Synchro Material Monsters
To perform a Synchro Summon, one Tuner monster and at least one non-Tuner monster must be used as Synchro Material Monsters. Trap Monsters and Token Monsters can be used as Synchro Material Monsters, with the Trap Monster "Shapesister" even being treated as Tuner monster. While the majority of the Synchro Monsters requires 1 Tuner monster and 1 or more non-Tuner monsters, many Synchro Monsters have different requirements.
Some Synchro Monsters have restrictions on the Synchro Material Monsters that can be used. Restrictions can be placed on the following attributes of the Tuner monster:
- Name (e.g. "Moon Dragon Quilla", "Life Stream Dragon", "Majestic Star Dragon")
- Type (e.g. "Chaos King Archfiend", "Karakuri Steel Shogun mdl 00X "Bureido"", "Trident Dragion", "Dragunity Knight - Vajrayana")
- Attribute (e.g. "Beelze of the Diabolic Dragons", "Gungnir, Dragon of the Ice Barrier", "Vylon Sigma")
- Both Type and Attribute (e.g. "Dragocytos Corrupted Nethersoul Dragon")
- Archetype (e.g. "Blackwing Armed Wing", "Daigusto Eguls", "Mecha Phantom Beast Jaculuslan")
- Level (e.g. "Sea Dragon Lord Gishilnodon")
- Monster card type (e.g. "Shooting Star Dragon", "Azure-Eyes Silver Dragon")
Some Synchro Monsters require 2 or more non-Tuner monsters to be Summoned, such as "Mist Wurm" or "Ally of Justice Decisive Armor"; in that case, at least 3 monsters are required. Other Synchro Monsters, such as "Zeman the Ape King", specify the number of non-Tuner monsters that are required.
Multiple Tuner monsters
"XX-Saber Gottoms" must be Synchro Summoned using a Tuner and EARTH monsters, but it does not specify that the EARTH monsters must be non-Tuners. Therefore, up to 5 Tuner monsters can be used for its Synchro Summon.
Tuner and Accel Synchro Monsters
There are also two special types of Synchro monsters: Tuner and Accel Synchro monsters. Tuner Synchro Monsters are Synchro monsters that are simultaneously Tuner monsters; usually, they have effects that make Synchro Summoning easier, such as "T.G. Wonder Magician" and "Phonon Pulse Dragon"; the former allows its controller to Synchro Summon during the opponent's turn and the latter manipulates its own Level and restricts other kinds of Special Summon. Accel Synchro Monsters are Synchro Monsters that require all of their Synchro Materials to be Synchro Monsters, so require Tuner Synchro Monsters (or Synchro Monsters treated as Tuner monsters by a card effect) to be Synchro Summoned; their Level is always high and they have powerful effects.
While some Synchro Monsters have restrictions on the Synchro Material Monsters that can be used, many do not, or have lax restrictions, making them more splashable in decks than Fusion and Ritual Monsters, as many require just a single Tuner and another monster to Summon them, and almost any Deck can run a few Tuners.
Strategically speaking, Synchro Monsters allow for a large amount of rapid power to be Summoned with relative ease and speed. Most of them have very potent effects in addition to their ease in Summoning. They do not necessarily always have card advantage over Fusion Monsters, because a player might use up as many cards getting all of the Material Monsters on the field to perform a Synchro Summon in one turn, but they have the advantage of increased flexibility and speed over Fusion Monsters due to the fact that many of them have very non-specific requirements for them to be Summoned, so a player with a Tuner monster and a non-Tuner monster on the field will always have one or more options for Summoning, especially if card effects that allow Levels to be changed are used.
- Machine-Type monsters are currently the most diverse monsters by Level, as they have Synchro Monsters that are Levels 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 12.
- They are followed by the Dragon-Type, that has Level 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 Synchro Monsters.
- The only 3 Zombie-Type Synchro Monsters ("Revived King Ha Des", "Doomkaiser Dragon" and "Archfiend Zombie-Skull") are all Level 6 Zombie counterparts of pre-existing monsters and all require "Plaguespreader Zombie" to be the Tuner monster.
- "Star Eater" is both the only Level 11 Synchro Monster and the only Synchro Monster whose Synchro Summon cannot be negated and that prevents the activation of cards or effects when it is Synchro Summoned.
- "Sea Dragon Lord Gishilnodon" is the only Synchro Monster who specifies the Level of the non-Tuner monster required for its Synchro Summon.
- "T.G. Recipro Dragonfly" is currently the only Level 2 Synchro Monster that is not a Tuner Monster.