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To be Summoned, Synchro Monsters require Tuner monsters to be face-up on your field. When the total Level of the Tuner monster and any other face-up monsters on your field exactly matches the Level of the Synchro Monster you wish to Summon (no more or less), by sending them to the Graveyard, you can Synchro Summon the Synchro Monster. The monsters used are referred to as Synchro Material Monsters. Some Synchro Monsters require a specific Tuner monster in order to be Synchro Summoned (such as "Junk Synchron" for "Junk Warrior") or monsters of a particular Type or Attribute as Material Monsters such as "Dark End Dragon", but many do not, so they can be in just about any Extra Deck. Thus, Synchro Monsters are generally 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. Ritual and Fusion monsters on the other hand, generally require certain specific monsters to be on your field or in your Graveyard to Summon them, long with the proper Spell card.
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.
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, you will need at least 3 monsters on the field that equal the Level of the Synchro Monster you wish to summon. While generally all Synchro Monsters require exactly 1 Tuner to be summoned, "Red Nova Dragon" requires exactly 2.
Unlike Xyz Monsters, other Synchro Monster(s) you control can be used as the non-Tuner material(s) for a new Synchro Monster, because Synchro Monsters have Levels. On the other hand, Xyz Monsters cannot be used as materials for a new Xyz Monster because Xyz Monsters have Ranks, and it takes two monsters of the same Levels to perform an Xyz Summon. This also means that Synchro Monsters can be used as Xyz Materials, with "Black and White Wave" encouraging this.
Additionally, Token Monsters may be used as non-Tuner monsters for a Synchro Summon, because they still have Levels and Synchro Monsters do not require the Tokens to be there when the Synchro Monster is summoned. Xyz Monsters do require the Tokens to still be present underneath the monster as Xyz Material, meaning you cannot use Tokens for an Xyz Summon because Tokens disappear whenever used for a Summon or destroyed.
Because Synchro Monsters belong in the Extra Deck, they return there whenever they would be returned to the hand or Main Deck, like Fusion Monsters before. Also, like Fusion Monsters, they cannot be Special Summoned from the Graveyard if they were not properly Synchro Summoned first. As with all special summoning certain criteria must be met.
Some players have begun to use the term 'Synchronize', 'Sync', or 'Tune/Tuning' to then list which Tuner monster and non-Tuner monsters will be sent to the Graveyard when they perform a Synchro Summon and Summoning a Synchro Monster. (i.e. "I tune my "Quillbolt Hedgehog" [LV2] and "Speed Warrior" [LV2] with my "Junk Synchron" [LV3] to Synchro Summon "Junk Archer" [LV7, requires "Junk Synchron" as the Tuner]!")
There are currently no Aqua or Fish-Type Synchro Monsters in TCG or OCG. However, Konami has released Synchro Monsters for certain archetypes of monsters, including "Alien", "Laval", "Six Samurai", "Iron Chain", "XX-Saber", and "Blackwing". Synchro Monsters have recieved support and monsters for many different Archetypes, much more than Ritual and Fusion monsters have. They can be ran effectively and have recieved Tuner support in "Laval", "Synchron", "Junk", "Karakuri", "Blackwing", "Vylon", "Six Samurai", "Plant", "XX-Saber", "Flamvell", "Naturia", "Scrap", "Infernity", "Fire Fist", "Mecha Phantom Beast", "Zombie", "Nordic", "Fabled", "Watt", "Dragunity", "Agent", "Psychic", "Gusto", "Iron Chain", "Mist Valley", "Alien", and "Fish". Synchro Monsters are also often used in "Dragon Ruler" and "Mermail".
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, 11 and 12; thanks to the addition of "Formula Synchron" and "T.G. Halberd Cannon".
However, whilst Synchro Monsters still have not appeared in the ZEXAL anime or manga, additional support for Synchro Monsters still appear on occasion in the trading card game although the primary focus of all new products is 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, marks 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. The newest structure deck Structure Deck: Saga of Blue-Eyes White Dragon featured a new Blue-Eyes White Dragon Synchro Monster and a new Tuner monster revolved around summoning it. The OCG version of the upcoming Shadow Specters set also contained 2 new Synchro monsters, although 4 are to be released in the TCG version of the set.
Role 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.
Types of Synchro Summons
- Synchro Summon
- Dark Synchro Summon
- Accel Synchro Summon
- Delta Accel Synchro Summon
- Double Tuning
- Limit Over Accel Synchro Summon