"Arcana Force" (アルカナフォース Arukana Fōsu) are an archetype of cards used by Sartorius in the Yu-Gi-Oh! GX anime and which debuted in Light of Destruction. The monsters are based on the Major Arcana tarot cards, each possessing a different symbolic meaning, while the Spell and Trap Cards come in the form of the Minor Arcana tarot cards, although, at the time of their release, there was not one for each card in a complete 78-card tarot card set that uses one of each card, as an almost full set consists of 22 cards in the "Major Arcana" set (excepted by The Star and The Sun), and 14 cards in each of the four "Minor Arcana" suits, which add up to a total of 56 "Minor Arcana" cards.
The monsters often attribute with coin flips to activate their effects, one positive and one negative. "Arcana Force EX - The Light Ruler" and "Arcana Force EX - The Dark Ruler" are the only ones which are not based on tarot cards, and the only ones who have a positive effect for both coin flips. The cards' appearances are inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft and taken from their appearance in Konami's own Silent Hill series. Arcana Force monsters keep their effects of the coin flip for the duration that the card is on the field.
These cards were introduced and exclusively used by the main antagonist of the second season of GX, Sartorius, and his psychic ability to look into the future. The card text is flip a coin, but in the anime and video games, the card keeps spinning and when the opponent says "stop" the card stops and its effect depends if it's right-side-up or up-side-down. The Light of Destruction possessing Sartorius manipulates destiny to consistently give him the positive card effect. It uses this ability and the effect that the opponent chooses when to stop the card's spinning to manipulate people during Duels, demonstrating that their belief they control their own destinies is false, but Sartorius has seen their future and they can change their destiny if they ally with him.
"Arcana Force EX - The Light Ruler" was, at first, the only Arcana Force card to be released. Many of the tarot "Arcana Force" cards were later released in Light of Destruction, which is considered the "official" debut of Arcana Force monsters. Certain key Arcana Force monsters were put into Yu-Gi-Oh! GX Tag Force 2 as game original cards, as well as many of the support cards. Most of the Arcana Force monsters whose number is given in Roman Numerals have an ATK and DEF of the respective number in their name × 100 + 1000; excluding "Arcana Force EX - The Light Ruler", "Arcana Force EX - The Dark Ruler" and "Arcana Force 0 - The Fool". The Deck focuses on trying to get the Heads Effect of the Arcana Force monster's to overpower the opponent.
|0||The Fool||The Fool|
|I||The Magician||The Magician|
|III||The Empress||The Empress|
|IV||The Emperor||The Emperor|
|VI||The Lovers||The Lovers|
|VII||The Chariot||The Chariot|
|XII||The Hanged Man||The Hanged Man|
|XV||The Fiend||The Devil|
|XVIII||The Moon||The Moon|
|XXI||The World||The World|
|EX||The Dark Ruler||World of Darkness|
|The Light Ruler||The Light of Destruction|
|II||Empress's Staff||The High Priestess|
|V||Emperor's Staff||The Hierophant|
|X||Reversal of Fate||Wheel of Fortune|
|XIII||Tour of Doom||Death|
|Ace of Sword||Ace||Swords|
|Ace of Wand||Ace||Wands|
|Cup of Ace||Ace||Cups|
|Knight of Pentacles||Knight||Coins|
|Pentacle of Ace||Ace|
|Suit of Sword X||Ten||Swords|
There are a few cards that are handy for an "Arcana Force" Deck, such as "Second Coin Toss" to make sure you get the right effect, while "Lucky Chance" can help you draw more cards. "By Order of the Emperor" is also useful in an Arcana Force deck because you can negate the effect if you're afraid of losing the coin toss, and draw a card. As all "Arcana Force" monsters have equal ATK and DEF, "Shield & Sword", "Ojama Country", and "Inverse Universe" will have no negative effects to you. The chance taken when flipping a coin during "Arcana Force" Summons can be negated by activating "Reversal of Fate". Another handy card for "Arcana Force" monsters is "Athena": by Tributing your "Arcana Force" monsters and summoning the same one from the Graveyard you would burn the opponent for 600 and you would be able to flip the coin again again giving yourself another chance to get the effect that you want. "Valhalla, Hall of the Fallen" is also useful, as all "Arcana Force" monsters are Fairy.
Because you are already using "Second Coin Toss", this Deck can benefit from all coin toss cards, such as "Tour of Doom", "Cup of Ace" and "Lucky Chance". Also, "Light Barrier" can let you apply either effect of an "Arcana Force" monster without tossing a coin, making it extremely useful in "Arcana Force" Decks. Also, "Honest", "Barrier Statue of the Heavens", "Sky Scourge Invicil", "Herald of Green Light", "Herald of Orange Light", and "Herald of Purple Light" can work well with "Arcana Force" Decks.
Despite all the power this deck can have, it has many weaknesses. Most notably, if you can't get the right coin flip, this deck will destroy itself. Some anti-Light cards can either disable or destroy this deck like Ally of Justice monsters. In addition, all non-tribute Arcana Force monsters have low attack power, so having them stay around is a big problem.
Another enormous weakness for Arcana Force is The World and Rulers' reliance on sending monsters successfully to the graveyard. If a card like "Dimensional Fissure" or "Banisher of the Radiance" is in play, you won't be able to use The World's Turn Skip ability, and you won't be able to summon either Ruler. You also cannot use tokens to satisfy these costs because tokens cannot hit the graveyard.
The Arcana Force monsters are dependent on their effects so cards like "Skill Drain" or "Forbidden Chalice" can disable their effects. They do not regain their abilities if they temporarily lose them.
- The word "Arcana" is the plural of the word "Arcanum", which means a deep secret or an unsolved mystery.
- All Arcana Force monsters follow the same formula to determine their ATK/DEF, except The Fool and both EX Arcana monsters.
- ATK & DEF = 1000 + (Their number x 100)
- With the exception of "The Fool", "The Dark Ruler" and "The Light Ruler", "Arcana Force" monsters use Roman numeral characters in their OCG names, as depicted by a typeface different from the one used on basic Latin characters. They are the only cards in the OCG to do so. For example, while TCG "Arcana Force" cards use the Latin letter "V" to represent the Roman number five, OCG "Arcana Force" cards use the Roman form "V" instead.
- The Major Arcana with no cards representing them are: 9 - The Hermit, 11 - Justice, 16 - The Tower, 17 - The Star, 19 - The Sun, and 20 - Judgement.
- Despite this though, Sartorius has lines for them (and the other non-Major Arcana that have no cards) hidden in the Duel Links voice files.