Most occurrences are on non-Japanese prints of cards where the card's name was established before the archetype was; the most common usages are on old "Archfiend" cards such as "Summoned Skull" and "Axe of Despair" for which the localized name is well-known and it would not be appropriate to rename the card.
For Effect Monsters, archetype conditions are always listed at the beginning of the card text (but after Materials, if any); non-Effect Monsters instead list it at the very bottom of the text box. On Japanese cards, they are simply written as a regular sentence as part of the main body; on non-Japanese cards, they are always in parentheses and on a separate line from the rest of the card text.
Because an archetype condition is a condition and not an effect, it is unaffected by cards such as "Skill Drain". It is also the only text that can be printed in the lore box of a Normal Monster that can affect gameplay in any way (and is therefore not italicized). For a Pendulum Monster, it is the only text in the lore box that can affect gameplay while the card is placed in a Pendulum Zone.
As an archetype condition includes information that would normally be contained within a card's name, if a card such as "Phantom of Chaos" copies the name of a card with an archetype condition, it would also copy the card's archetype condition and consequently also be treated as a member of the archetype listed in the copied card's archetype condition while it is copying the card's name.
Archetype membership is ordinarily determined by a card's name: an archetype's support (and anti-support) cards list a specific string in their effect, and a given card is a member of that archetype if its name includes that string. Because Yu-Gi-Oh! is originally a Japanese franchise, most such support is determined by Japanese names, and when cards are localized for non-Japanese regions, a suitable translation is chosen to name the archetype and be used in the names of all of that archetype's members and the effects of its support cards, and no other cards ever use that string in their names.
There are two cases where this system may break down: where the first support cards are released much later than the first members, and those members were localized without the archetype's string in their names (sometimes including anime localizations); and where previously-localized non-members were given names that contain the archetype's string. In both cases, there are two possible solutions: rename the card, or specify its membership status; both ways have been used in the past. For example: the English card text of "Arsenal Summoner" specifies that "Celtic Guardian", "Winged Dragon, Guardian of the Fortress #1", "Winged Dragon, Guardian of the Fortress #2", "Guardian of the Labyrinth" and "The Reliable Guardian" are not "Guardian" cards; and "Oscillo Hero #2" had its English name changed to "Wattkid" to include it in the "Watt" archetype. Archetype conditions can be considered a formalized type of the first method, used where a card cannot be renamed because its current name is well-established and well-known by fans and players, as is the case for "Summoned Skull" and "Axe of Despair", or it is not feasible to rename the card to exclude it from the archetype while preserving the meaning across European languages, as is the case for "T.G. Wonder Magician" in French and "Kozmoll Dark Lady" in Italian.
|English||(This card is always treated as a(n) "[archetype]" card.)|
|French||(Cette carte est toujours traitée comme une carte "[archetype]".)||(This card is always treated as a(n) "[archetype]" card.)|
|German||(Diese Karte wird immer als „[archetype]“-Karte behandelt.)|
Formerly: (Diese Karte wird
|Italian||(Questa carta viene sempre considerata come una carta "[archetype]".)
Formerly: (Questa carta
|(This card is always considered as a(n) "[archetype]" card.)|
|Portuguese||(Este card é tratado como um card "[archetype]".)
Formerly: (Este card
|(This card is treated as a(n) "[archetype]" card.)|
Formerly: (This card must always be considered as a(n) "[archetype]" card.)
|Spanish||(Esta carta se trata siempre como una carta "[archetype]").||(This card is always treated as a(n) "[archetype]" card).|
Kono kādo wa rūru jō "[archetype]" kādo to shite mo atsukau.
Kono kādo wa rūru jō, "[archetype]" to na no tsuita kādo to shite mo atsukau.
|As a rule, this card is treated as a(n) "[archetype]" card.|
Formerly: As a rule, this card is treated as a card with "[archetype]" in its name.
|Korean||이 카드는 룰 상 "[archetype]" 카드로도 취급한다.|
I kadeuneul lul sang "[archetype]" kadeurodo chwigeuphanda.
Formerly: 이 카드는 룰 상 "[archetype]" 카드로
I kadeuneul lul sang "[archetype]" kadeuroseodo chwigeuphanda.
|English||(This monster is always treated as a(n) "[archetype]" monster.)|
|French||(Ce monstre est toujours traité comme un monstre "[archetype]".)||(This monster is always treated as a(n) "[archetype]" monster.)|
|German||(Dieses Monster wird immer als ein „[archetype]“-Monster behandelt.)|
|Italian||(Questo mostro viene sempre considerato come un mostro "[archetype]".)||(This monster is always considered as a(n) "[archetype]" monster.)|
|Spanish||(Este monstruo se trata siempre como un monstruo "[archetype]").||(This monster is always treated as a(n) "[archetype]" monster).|
Kono kādo wa rūru jō "[archetype]" monsutā to shite mo atsukau.
|As a rule, this card is treated as a(n) "[archetype]" monster.|
|Korean||이 카드는 룰 상 "[archetype]" 몬스터로도 취급한다.|
I kadeuneul lul sang "[archetype]" monseuteorodo chwigeuphanda.
|English||(This card is not treated as a(n) "[archetype]" card.)|
This type of condition was first seen in Absolute Powerforce on "Chimera the Flying Mythical Beast". While "Archfiend" cards without "Archfiend" in their name had long been listed on the official website and in rulebooks, the condition text was not added to them until Battle Pack 2: War of the Giants.
The first Japanese card with an archetype condition was "Number 39: Utopia Beyond", a Master Guide 4 promotional card. In TCG languages, this card does not include any archetype condition, as its localized name contained the required string whereas its original name did not.
In the TCG, archetype conditions have been used to include cards in the "Phantom Beast", "Archfiend", "Noble Arms", "Elemental HERO", "Dark Magician Girl", and "Gadget" archetypes; in the OCG, archetype conditions have been used to include cards in the "Utopia", "Elemental HERO", "Superheavy Samurai", "Frightfur", "Ninja", "Blue-Eyes", "Celtic Guard", "Raidraptor", "Fusion Dragon", "Synchro Dragon", "Xyz Dragon", and "Pendulum Dragon" archetypes.
In OCG languages, if a card has an archetype condition then it has that archetype condition in all OCG languages. In TCG languages, only the Portuguese print of "Archfiend Soldier", the German card database entry for "Gadget Soldier", the Italian card database entry for "Dark Magician Girl the Dragon Knight", and non-English TCG prints of "Spiritual Beast Tamer Winda" have an archetype condition that does not appear in other TCG languages; additionally, the Italian card database entry for "A Deal with Dark Ruler" does not include the archetype condition the card has in every other TCG language due to it having a database-only rename. "Edge Imp Frightfuloid", "Contrast HERO Chaos", and "Dragon Spirit of White" are the only cards to have archetype conditions in both the OCG and TCG.
Cards with archetype conditions
|Japanese name||Translated name||Archetype(s)|
|Superheavy Samurai Beast Kyubi (anime)||超重魔獣キュウ－Ｂ||Superheavy Demon Beast Kyu-B||Superheavy Samurai|
|Superheavy Samurai General Coral (anime)||超重輝将サン－５||Superheavy General San-5||Superheavy Samurai|
|Superheavy Samurai General Jade (anime)||超重輝将ヒス－Ｅ||Superheavy General Hisu-E||Superheavy Samurai|
|Superheavy Samurai Ninja Sarutobi (anime)||超重忍者サルト－Ｂ||Superheavy Ninja Saruto-B||Ninja|
|Superheavy Samurai Ogre Shutendoji (anime)||超重神鬼シュテンドウ－Ｇ||Superheavy God Oni Shutendo-G||Superheavy Samurai|
|Superheavy Samurai Stealth Ninja (anime)||超重忍者シノビ－Ａ・Ｃ||Superheavy Ninja Shinobi-AC||Ninja|
|Superheavy Samurai Steam Train King (anime)||超重蒸鬼テツドウ－Ｏ||Superheavy Steam Oni Tetsudo-O||Superheavy Samurai|
|Superheavy Samurai Ward Chief Heavystrong||超重武神フドウミョウ－Ｏ||Superheavy War God Fudomyo-O||Superheavy Samurai|
|Superheavy Samurai Warlord Susanowo (anime)||超重荒神スサノ－Ｏ||Superheavy Koujin Susano-O||Superheavy Samurai|