Yu-Gi-Oh! Wiki
Yu-Gi-Oh! Wiki

An archetype, called a series (シリーズ shirīzu)[1] or unofficially a category (カテゴリ kategori) in Japanese, is a group of cards that are supported due to part of their Japanese name.

Examples of archetypes include "HERO", "Spellbook" and "Wind-Up".

Groups of cards with similar names and/or artworks that are not supported or anti-supported explicitly by card effects are called a series.


All members of that group of cards must contain a common string (the name of the archetype) in their members' Japanese card names. Also, there must be at least one support or anti-support card relating to the archetype; that is, a card that mentions "archetype card" (「???」カード)

Cards can be part of an existing archetype by listing Archetype condition in its card text. These texts are not Card Effects.


The first letter in a name can be either lowercase or uppercase for it to be considered part of an archetype (e.g. Satellarknights are still Tellarknights). But the rest of the name must match in capitalization (e.g. cards with Hero in its name are not HERO cards due to the -ero part being lowercase).


Ruby text is considered by itself for archetype membership (e.g. the "Red-Eyes" archetype includes any monster whose Japanese name contains 「レッドアイズ」 either as base text or ruby text).

For archetype names that contain both base text and ruby text in their Japanese name, a card must exactly match both to be a part of that archetype (e.g. "NEX" is not a "Neo-Spacian" card because 「ネオスペーシアン」 (Neo-Spacian) is not superscripted only above 「N」).

In Korean, due to the poorly made typesetters, an archetype name that contains ruby text is formatted uniquely in the card text using parentheses as follows: base text(ruby text) (no space intervening).

OCG/TCG Transition[]

Cards with the same words in their non-Japanese names are not necessarily part of the same archetype (e.g. "Celtic Guardian" is not a "Guardian" card), which frequently necessitates longer wording in card text or name changes to exclude those non-member cards in the TCG.

Archetype conditions are sometimes added due to the card's name in that language lacking the archetype name (e.g. "Chimera the Flying Mythical Beast" and "Axe of Despair"). These are done to rectify errors that arose, including but not limited to liberties with localization, various grammatical rules (notably gender and number agreement, case declension, as well as phrasal word orders) that govern non-English languages such as German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish.

Due to the game's long history, some old cards are erraticly categorized in an archetype to TCG's tendencies of alteration from direct translation. These errors are more difficult to rectify, but nonetheless possible with Reprints to either rename the card or adding Archetype-exclusion condition.

On the contrary, TCG can change the naming scheme of cards to include the archetype without using Archetype condition previously present for the card's OCG equivalent ("Number 39: Utopia Beyond" being part of the "Utopia" archetype without the need of archetype condition in its text, as with its OCG version).

Similarities within archetypes[]

Members of the same archetype commonly share a small number of Attributes or Types (or even both).

A lot of archetypes feature similar art as well, for example the "Lightsworn" and "Artifact" archetypes all have a specific background for their monsters, a diamond shape and vault respectively, and "Fire Fist" monsters have a spirit animal and "Six Samurai" tend to have their logo in their art.

A common trait of archetypes is to have at least 1 Field Spell Card, typically one that supports the monsters with ATK/DEF increases and other bonuses. Some of the time, these are not part of the archetype by name though, which is a more recent trend, as seen on the "Shaddoll" and "Majespecter" archetypes. Some archetypes may heavily rely on Field Spell Cards such as "Ghostrick" and "Malefic".

Although membership in an archetype is dictated by the Japanese names of the cards, there are cases where the membership of a card in an archetype is unintentional. For example, "Cipher Soldier" predates the "Cipher" archetype by nearly 16 years and has no synergy with the other members of the archetype.

Some archetypes are related to each other in some way, for example the Duel Terminal archetypes and the "Dracoslayer" archetype being related to the archetypes seen in the main sets, such as "Igknight" and "Dinomist".

In the anime and manga[]

The concept of archetypes is often used in the manga and anime series to define a character's personality, look, state of mind or style of play. Most major players did not use archetypes early on due to a lack of archetypes, but as the game developed, Kaiba and Yugi's Decks grew around an archetype, and Decks based on archetypes such as Mai Valentine's and Maximillion Pegasus's Decks appeared. Starting with the Yu-Gi-Oh! GX anime, virtually all main characters and most minor characters utilize Decks based around archetypes.


See also[]