Duel Masters Trading Card Game
This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. (Learn how and when to remove these template messages)(Learn how and when to remove this template message)
The card back of the Duel Masters TCG
|Designer(s)||Mike Elliott, Charlie Catano, and Tyler Bielman|
|Publisher(s)||Wizards of the Coast|
|Players||2 or 4|
|Playing time||Approx 20 min|
|Skill(s) required||Card playing
Basic Reading Ability
The Duel Masters Trading Card Game is an out-of-print two-player or two vs. two team collectible card game (CCG) jointly developed by Wizards of the Coast, Shogakukan, and Mitsui & Co. The card game is part of the Duel Masters franchise.
The game was released in Japan in May 2002, where it quickly became the number one selling trading card game for over a year. Due to this popularity, it was released in the United States on March 5, 2004. The game shares several similarities with Magic: The Gathering, the world's first collectible card game, which was also published by Wizards of the Coast. In fact, Duelmasters was originally intended as an alternative tradename for Magic: The Gathering and the earlier game play was abandoned in the Duel Masters manga plot to promote this latest experience.
As in Magic: The Gathering, Duel Masters players summon creatures and cast spells using mana. Key differences include the fact that all creatures and spells can act as mana producers, creatures cannot block attacking creatures without having the "blocker" ability, and that creatures only have one "power" statistic. Furthermore, duelists have shields in the form of cards that go to their hand when "broken" as opposed to Magic's "life points". Due to the popularity of Duel Masters, four video games (three released for the Game Boy Advance and the other for the PS2) based around the game have been produced, titled Duel Masters: Kaijudo Showdown, Duel Masters: Sempai Legends, Duel Masters: Shadow of the Code for the GBA and Duel Masters: Cobalt for the PS2.
Fans of Duel Masters around the world support player-organized tournaments and also unofficial national championships. The community centers on two main forums internationally which contain translations for Japanese cards. Because Duel Masters is the most successful TCG in all Asia, a new booster set is released every two months, and new theme decks every three months.
As of December 2006, the English sets of Duel Masters were discontinued by Wizards of the Coast due to weak sales and was hosted by Takara Tomy in Japan for a brief time. However in June 2012, Wizards of the Coast relaunched Duel Masters under a new franchise named "Kaijudo: Rise of the Duel Masters". Based on the existing Duel Masters brand, Kaijudo features an online game, trading card game, and a television series. The product was cancelled a second time in 2014.
In Duel Masters, two players play the role of duelists, using the "art" of "kaijudo" (a marketing term created for the North American version which supposedly describes the "art of battling with giant monsters" to bring their creatures to life to do battle. Players battle each other by placing cards into their respective "mana zones", then using that mana to cast spells or summon creatures into the battle zone.)
Each player has five shields that protect them from damage; once these are gone, it takes one successful attack to win the duel. When a player's deck runs out of cards, that player automatically loses the duel.
A player must have at least a minimum of 40 cards in their deck. Players can purchase booster packs to increase the number of cards they have in their collection. Expansions are sets of cards that build upon the foundation laid out by the base set, the original set of cards released. Boosters are available in English for the first 12 sets, and Japanese for all for the following expansions:
Types of Cards
- Creatures: Creatures are the most important cards in the game. Creatures are summoned into the battle zone by paying their mana cost. They can attack your opponents creatures, shields or the opponent himself. Breaking all of your opponents shields and then attacking the opponent is how you win the game. Creatures that have been summoned usually have summoning sickness and cannot attack in the same turn (with exception to evolution creatures and creatures with card effects like "Speed Attacker").
- Evolution Creatures: These are put on top of the creatures, or "evolved". These cards generally have higher powers and better effects than normal creatures. Usually, evolution creatures have "Double Breaker" or "Triple Breaker" effects which allow them to break more shields than normal creatures. Evolution creatures made their debut in the "Evo-Crushinators of Doom" set. Evolution creatures also have a wide range of mana costs, ranging from costs of two mana, "Barkwhip, the Smasher" to 10 mana, [Dorballom, Lord of Demons]. Overall, Evolution Creatures are a good way to quickly attack and gain an advantage over your opponent as an Evolution Creature can attack on the turn they are summoned as they do not suffer from Summoning Sickness.
- Spells: When cast, spells have an effect on either player's cards in their hand, graveyard (discard pile), mana zone or summoned creatures/cross gears and after their effect is used, they are placed into the graveyard. Some spells have special effects like "Cyclone" and "Charger" which sends the spell back to the player's hand or mana zone respectively. Spells can also have many other abilities such as "Double Evolution Burst", "Knight Magic" or "Launcher Energy"/"Photo Energy". Spells can do a variety of things such as allowing the player to draw cards, add more shields to their shield zone, giving power or various breaker abilities to their creatures, or simply destroying opponents cards.
- Cross Gears: Cross Gear's are neither a creature nor a spell. Cross Gear's are put into the battle zone but cannot attack since it has no power. When you choose to "cross" a Cross Gear onto a creature, you must pay the cost of the card again, and the "crossed" creature gained this Cross Gear's ability. However when the creature is destroyed, the Cross Gear remains in the battle zone (as a sort of continuous equip card). There is no limit to the number of Cross Gears that can be crossed onto a creature, and the only way to remove Cross Gears from the battle zone is through effects specifically affect Cross Gears.
- Evolution Cross Gears: An Evolution Cross Gear is a type of Cross Gear that can only be played on a Cross Gear of a specified civilization. It has the same basic functionality as the Cross Gear, and if the Cross Gear used to evolve is initially crossed onto a creature, the Evolution Cross Gear will be automatically crossed onto the target creature. Each Evolution Cross Gear has 2 civilizations, as features "catastrophe" in its card name.
- Fortress: Allows the player to "fortify" the fortress to a shield in a similar fashion as a Cross Gear. A fortress card gains its ability after it is attached to the shield while the shield is still in play, some later Fortresses protect the attached from being destroyed in exchange for other shield. Unlike Cross Gear's, Fortresses do not need to pay their mana cost twice like a Cross Gear and are "equipped" onto the shields directly after being played. This type of card is introduced in DM-30 Ultra Duel. An example of a Fortress card in the Light Civilization is Silver Glory, Invincible Fortress.
- Psychic Creature: Psychic Creatures are a card type first introduced in DM-36 Psychic Shock. A Psychic Creature is placed in the Hyperspatial Zone which is next to your graveyard. You are limited to eight Psychic Creatures per hyperspatial zone and they are counted separately from your main deck of 40 or more cards. At any time during a duel you are allowed to look at your opponent's hyperspatial zone. A Psychic Creature card is two-sided, and features a creature on both sides. When the cheaper side creature activates its awaken ability, you may flip the card over to its higher cost side. This gives the creature a higher power and improved card effects. For example: Bolshack Dragon, the Temporal Blaze flips over to Bolshack Mobius, Victory Awakened when it wins a battle. A Psychic creature doesn't provides any mana as it can only ever be in your battle or dimensional zone, whenever a Psychic Creature is to leave the battle zone, it returns to the dimensional zone.
- Psychic Evolution Creature: These cards are put on top of Psychic creatures like Evolution creatures. They will be introduced in DM-39 Psychic Splash.
The symbol for a card's rarity is marked in the bottom right corner of the face-up side:
- Common: a plain circle
- Uncommon: a diamond shape
- Rare: a star
- Very Rare: a circle with a star in the middle
- Super Rare: four squares put together to shape a diamond
- Victory Rare: A stylized "=V=" symbol.
List of Card Mechanics
This is a list of the different Card Mechanics or effects that a creature, spell, cross gear or fortress may have:
- Accelerator: Allows a creature to use its Accelerator ability whenever it is crossed with a cross gear. A creature with Accelerator is Metalchaos Dragon.
- Awaken: Awaken is a card mechanic that belongs to the lesser side of Psychic Creatures. When a psychic creature completes a certain objective such as attacking and not getting blocked, or having a certain number of creatures in the battle zone. This allows the psychic creature to flip to the other side, gaining them stronger power or abilities. All Psychic Creatures have an Awaken ability.
- Bio Kick: Allows the player to discard the card from his hand whenever a creature of a certain race the player controls attacks and is not blocked. If the player discards that card, the ability triggers. A creature with this ability is Sealed Devil Salvador.
- Bio Tackle: Allows the player to discard the card from his hand at the beginning of a battle whenever a creature of a certain race the player controls attacks a creature. If the player discards that card, the ability triggers. A creature with this ability is Aqua Switch.
- Blocker: Allows a creature to stop an attack from an opposing creature. For example, if a creature attacks one of your shields, you can use a creature with the Blocker ability to stop the attack. Sometimes this is specific to a given trait, e.g. a "fire blocker" can only block fire creatures. A creature with this ability is Gran Gure, Space Guardian.
- "Breaker" Variants: These abilities allows the creature to break extra shields in a single attack if it makes a successful unblocked attack on a player. Each shield is broken one at a time. Should the creature leave the battle zone in the middle of breaking shields (due to Shield Triggers or other effects) the shields are still broken. Creatures with two or more of these abilities can choose to use either one of them – these abilities do not stack.
- Double Breaker – The creature breaks two shields rather than the usual one.
- Triple Breaker – The creature breaks three shields rather than the usual one.
- Quadruple Breaker – The creature breaks four shields rather than the usual one.
- World Breaker – The creature breaks all of the opponent's shields at once.
- Galaxy Breaker – The creature breaks all of the opponent's shields at once. After the attack, all your shields are broken too.
- Crew Breaker – The creature breaks one additional shield for each creature you control that is of the same race as that creature.
- Civilization Breaker – The creature breaks as many shields as you have different civilizations in your mana zone.
- Chain: When a creature with this ability is put in the battle zone, you may look at the top card of your deck. If the card is a creature that costs less than this creature with the chain ability, you may summon it to the battle zone.
- Chain Cascade: allows you to view the top two cards of your deck. If they cost less than the creature with the chain cascade ability, you may summon them to the battle zone.
- Rebirth Chain: When a creature with Rebirth Chain is put into the battle zone, or when the creature is destroyed, look at the top card of your deck. If that card costs less than that creature, you may put it into the battle zone.
- Charger: Allows a spell to be put it into your mana zone instead of your graveyard after it has been cast. A spell with this ability is Slash Charger
- EVO Charger: Allows a spell to be put it into your mana zone instead of your graveyard after it has been cast and it also allows you to put a creature from your mana zone underneath one of your evolution creatures in the battle zone.
- Cyclone: A spell with the "cyclone" ability is returned to your hand instead of going to the graveyard after it has been cast if you've played a creature before casting the spell.
- Dynamo: A special kind of race, with an ability similar to Survivors. Dynamo creatures can tap themselves to add their power and abilities to any Dynamo that is attacking or being attacked.
- Double Evolution Burst: A spell with the ability of Double Evolution has a choice of two card effects. If there is at least one evolution creature in the battle zone when you cast the spell, you may choose both.
- Evolution Creature Variants: a creature mechanic that allows you to "evolve" a creature into a more powerful creature. This is done by placing the "evolved" creature on top of the original.
- Freeze: When a creature with Freeze attacks your opponent and isn't blocked, you may choose one of your opponent's creatures in the battle zone and tap it. That creature doesn't untap at the start of your opponent's next turn.
- God Link: This ability is exclusive to the race of Gods. When two Gods are linked together, they will gain each other's effects and power. When a linked God would leave the battle zone, the player can choose which of the linked Gods leaves. Gods can only link with specific Gods, whose names are stated in their card text. Some Gods have "Triple God Link", allowing them to link with two other Gods.
- Gravity Zero: This ability allows a player to summon a creature for no cost if the conditions are fulfilled, such as casting a spell or having a certain number of dragons in the battle zone.
- Holy Field: A creature with Holy Field gains their ability when you opponent doesn't have more shields then you.
- Knight Magic: An ability exclusive to the Knight series of spells. These spells get to use their Knight Magic abilities a second time if you have a Knight creature in the battle zone.
- Launcher Energy: When the Spell with Launcher Energy is cast, the player can tap any number of non-Evolution creatures you control of a certain race that are not already tapped in the Battle Zone, the spell's effect depends on how many creatures are tapped.
- Life Gate: When the creature with this ability is destroyed, you may take a creature from your graveyard and add it to your hand, if so add the creature with the "Life Gate" ability to the bottom of your deck instead of the Graveyard. (The races of creatures you can take back from the Graveyard are specifically stated by the card.)
- Great Life Gate: Some creatures possess the Great Life Gate ability, allowing you to take back multiple creatures from your Graveyard to your hand. (The races of creatures you can take back from the Graveyard are specifically stated by the card.)
- Lost Prism: An ability exclusive to the race of Lost Crusaders. When the creature is put into the Battle Zone, reveal the top card of the player's deck. If that card is multi-colored, it goes to that player's hand.
- Mana Reburst: A creature with this ability may be summoned from the mana zone to the battle zone by paying its Mana Reburst number. For example, Beetle Moguttan has Mana Reburst 4, so it requires four mana in order to be summoned from the mana zone into the battle zone.
- Metamorph: When the player's mana zone has 7 cards or more, the creature gets the Metamorph ability.
- Meteorburn: Whenever the event stated occurs, the player may use the creature's Meteorburn ability if the player destroys a card under the creature. This ability is common on creatures with the Phoenix race. A creature with the Meteorburn ability is Ultimate Galaxy Universe.
- Mega Meteorburn: is an upgaded Meteorburn ability that requires the player to destroy more than one card under the evolution creature.
- Ninja Strike #: Whenever your opponent attacks or blocks, if you have # or more cards in your mana zone and you haven't used a Ninja Strike ability this attack, you may summon this Shinobi without cost. At the end of the turn you used this ability put this Shinobi on the bottom of your deck.
- Overdrive: When the creature is summoned, the player may tap extra mana to gain the Overdrive ability.
- No Choice: If any player has no cards in their hand, a creature gains their No Choice ability.
- Photo Energy: Whenever the creature with this ability is put into the battle zone, if a creature of a certain race is tapped in the mana zone to summon the creature, the creature gains the Photo Energy ability.
- Power Attacker: Makes a creature more powerful when they attack. For example, a creature that has power 3000 and Power Attacker +2000 will have a power of 5000 when it attacks.
- Release: Release is an ability that allows the stronger side of Psychic Creatures to flip back over to their lower side when they are removed from the battle zone.
- Revenge Chance: Activated if your opponent puts three or more creatures into the battle zone on that turn. The creature with the ability can be summoned without cost.
- Samurai Generation: When a player put the creature into the Battle Zone, the player may generate a cross gear from your hand without paying its cost.
- Samurai Magic: An ability exclusive to Flowing Gear - Dancing Twin Lion Fangs. When you generate this card and you have a Samurai creature in your battle zone, search your deck. You may put a Flowing Gear – Dancing Twin Lion Fangs from it into the battle zone without cost. Then, shuffle your deck. It is a mixture of the Knight Magic and Samurai Generation mechanic.
- Saver: When a creature would be destroyed, the player can instead sacrifice another creature with an appropriate Saver effect. Some Savers can also sacrifice themselves for shields.
- Shield Force: When the creature is put into the Battle Zone, the player may choose one of his or her shields. While the chosen shield remains in the shield zone, the creature gains the Shield Force abilities.
- Shield Plus: The play may adds the top card of your deck on top of one of your shields. The stack is considered as a single shield. "Super Shield Plus" variants do this for each of your shields, while "Ultra Shield Plus" variants add the top one cards onto a single shield.
- Shield Trigger: When a shield is broken, this allows you to play the card without paying its mana cost.
- Shield Saver: When one of your shields would be broken, you may destroy a creature with the Shield Saver ability instead.
- Silent Skill: An effect that triggers when you refuse to untap the tapped creature with Silent Skill during the untap step at the start of your turn.
- Slayer: Allows a creature to destroy another creature in battle, regardless of the other creature's power. For example, a 1000 power creature with slayer can battle and destroy a 5500 power creature. Sometimes this is specific to a given trait, e.g. a "nature slayer" can only use its slayer ability against nature creatures.
- Solemn Duty: Activated whenever another of your other creatures leaves the battle zone or your mana zone.
- Soul: This is an ability that gains effects when you have other creatures with the various Soul abilities in your battle zone. Each civilization has their own different Soul ability. For example, "Pendelamon, Spirit Knight" protects your other Holy Soul creatures from being chosen as an effect target and "Nazuna Guma, Earth Unstoppable" can untap the Wild Soul creatures in your mana zone when summoned.
- Nature – Wild Soul
- Water – Magic Soul
- Fire – Kung Fu Soul
- Light – Holy Soul
- Darkness – Evil Soul and Bloody Soul
- Soulshift: Used when summoning Evolution Creature's. While summoning it, the creature's cost is reduced by that of the base creature's. This cannot be reduced below one.
- Soul Recall: When a creature with Soul Recall attacks, you may choose a certain number of cards in your graveyard and them on the bottom of your deck in any order. If you do, you may activate this cards Soul Recall ability.
- Hell's Soul Recall: You may activate this effect on both an attack, and to itself. By paying the cost of the certain number multiple times, you may chain the effect to itself.
- Annihilating Soul Recall: When a creature with Annihilating Soul Recall attacks, you may choose cards from either player's graveyard and put it at the bottom of their owner's deck to activate its Soul Recall ability.
- Speed Attacker: Allows a creature to attack on the turn that it was summoned. This ability is similar to Haste in Magic: The Gathering.
- Stealth: Allows a creature to be unblockable when it attacks an opponent with a specific civilization card in their mana zone. For example, a creature with "water stealth" cannot be blocked by an opponent who has water cards in their mana zone. This ability is similar to the "Landwalk" abilities in Magic: The Gathering.
- Strike Back: When broken shield is of the correct civilization, the player may discard the shield to summon the creature with Strike Back for no cost.
- Survivor: A creature mechanic that allows your Survivor creatures to share abilities with other Survivor creatures. Note that not all the abilities of a Survivor are Image:Survivor.gif ability, and thus some cannot be shared.
- Sympathy: The card's cost is reduced by a certain amount for each creature of a certain race in the Battle Zone. The player cannot reduce the cost below a certain amount.
- Tap Ability: Instead of attacking, you can tap the creature to activate its tap ability.
- Thrilling Three: Reveal the three top cards of your deck, for each race-specific card among those three cards; you may activate a special ability of the creature with the "Thrilling Three" effect. Afterward, put the revealed cards to the bottom of the deck in any order. Ex: For each "Armored Dragon" cards, you may draw an extra card.
- Turbo Rush: An effect that triggers when any of your other creatures break a shield this turn.
- Wave Striker: A creature mechanic that allows Wave Striker effects to take place if there are three or more Wave Strikers in the battle zone.
Duel Masters cards represent the 5 different civilizations (Light, Water, Darkness, Fire, Nature) in the Duel Masters creature world.
Each of the civilizations has a zone which most cards of that civilization affect.
- Light – Shield Zone
- Water – Hand
- Darkness – Graveyard
- Fire – Battle Zone
- Nature – Mana Zone
The Light civilization focuses mainly on adding shields, tapping and untapping creatures, and summoning low-mana high-power blockers. Many such blockers cannot attack players. A few cards are designed specifically to counter creatures and spells from other civilizations, especially Darkness and Fire. Light also has many creatures with the effect "This creature can't be chosen by your opponent."
- Races in the Light Civilization
Apollonia Dragon, Berserkers, Cosmo Walkers, Gladiators, Guardians, Initiates, Light Bringers, Mecha Del Sols, Mecha Thunders, Rainbow Phantoms, Shine Monsters, Shining Command Dragon, Soltroopers, Starlight Trees and White Command Dragon.
Water focuses mainly on drawing cards, returning creatures from the battle zone to hand, changing or returning cards from the mana zone, low power unblockable creatures, good creatures costing high mana, mid range blockers which cannot attack at all, seeing of hand and shields, searching through deck, changing shields and unattackable creatures (shared with Fire Civilization). Water cards aid blockers and creatures from Water, Light and Darkness civilizations. Some Water cards directly penalize Fire creatures. As many Water cards allow the player to draw more cards, a long battle can result in his defeat, as the player's deck runs out.
- Races in the Water Civilization
Blue Command Dragon, Blue Monsters, Cyber Commands, Cyber Clusters, Cyber Lords, Cyber Moons, Cyber Viruses, Earth Eaters, Fishes, Gel Fishes, Leviathans, Liquid Peoples, Merfolks, Poseidia Dragons and Sea Hackers.
Darkness Civilization mainly concentrates on destroying creatures. Powerful creatures usually require a higher mana or a sacrificing act to be summoned. The civilization features many cheap and weak creatures, blockers most of which cannot attack players, creatures having "Slayer" or card effects which can make other creatures "Slayer", cards specifically designed to penalize decks focused on light and nature civilization, discarding cards from opponents hand, self destructing or sacrificing creatures regardless of battle's outcome, sacrificing own creatures, mana or shields for additional benefit, returning a creature from the graveyard, creatures and card effects which allows the user to destroy opponent's creatures, milling from opponent's and/or own deck and picking up one's own shields (may or may not allow Shield Trigger abilities).
- Races in the Darkness Civilization
Black Command Dragons, Brain Jackers, Chimeras, Dark Lords, Dark Monsters, Demon Commands, Death Puppets, Devil Masks, Gargoyles, Ghosts, Hedrians, Living Deads, Pandora's Boxes, Parasite Worms and Zombie Dragons (Dragon Zombies are a mistranslation of Zombie Dragons).
Fire focuses on low-power, low-mana creatures as swift attackers. This civilization contains no blockers. Fire has a lot of Dragon support, as well as Speed Attacker, Power Attacker (shared with Nature), attacking if able, power-limited creature destruction, blocker and mana destruction, putting shields into graveyard, untapping after winning battles, unattackable creatures (shared with Water), breaking extra shields, taking extra turns, searching and reducing the costs of cross gears effects. A pure Fire deck tends to struggle against a well-designed pure Light deck or other mixed decks. Therefore, many fire cards are designed to aid Armored Dragons, as well as to be used along Nature and Darkness cards, and vice versa. A few Fire cards directly penalize blockers and creatures from Light and Water civilizations.
- Races in the Fire Civilization
Armored Dragons, Armored Wyverns, Armorloids, Big Muscles, Dragonoids, Dune Geckos, Fire Birds, Feathernoids, Flame Commands, Flame Monsters, Humans, King Command Dragons, Machine Eaters, Melt Warriors, Red Command Dragons, Rock Beasts, Volcano Dragons and XenoParts.
The Nature Civilization focuses on mana increasing, high cost and power ratio creatures, searching deck for creatures, power limited unblockability, moving creatures from/to mana zone, creatures that break shields when blocked, forcing blockers to block, creature/spell cost reduction and shield trigger canceling effects. This civilization contains no blockers except one Phoenix, "Supernova Bigbang Anstathis".
- Races in the Nature Civilization
Ballon Mushrooms, Beast Folks, Colony Beetles, Earth Dragons, Emerald Monsters, Gaia Commands, Giant Insects, Giants, Horned Beasts, Mystery Totems, Snow Faeries, Tree Folks, Wild Veggies and Wonder Tricks.
Multicolored are a combination of two or more civilizations. They are distinguished by a multicolored card (hence the name multicolored) frame. Races exclusive to multicolored are: Creators, Devil Command Dragon, Gods, Naga, Pegasus, Phoenixes, Rainbow Command Dragons, Soul Command, Spirit Quartz, Starnoid, Sumo Wrestler Command, Sumo Wrestler Command Dragon, World Birds, World Command and World Dragons.
Zero was a new civilization introduced in DMR-05 Episode 2: Golden Age. They are not a civilization, so much as a lack of civilization. Players don't need to tap Zero cards in the mana zone to use Zero cards. They are represented by a crystal like six-headed star symbol in their mana number.
There are some cards in the Japanese OCG that do not belong to a certain civilization. For example, Aqua Holy is a pure-light Liquid People. It means that races are not always limited to specific civilizations. There are some races that belongs to more than one civilization. They are: Aliens, Arc Seraphims, Brave Spirits, Deep Marines, Dreammates, Dynamos, Eggs, Grand Devils, Great Mecha Kings, Gods, Hunters, Knights, Lunatic Emperors, Luna's Sun Kaisers, Machine Heros, Origins, Phoenixes, Saint Heads, Samurais, Shinobis, Survivors, Tyranno Drakes, Unknowns, Unnoises and Vehicle Bees.
- Official website (must select "Duel Masters" from the "Brands" dropdown). Now redirects to Japanese site of Takra Tomy.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-10-14. Retrieved 2013-10-18.