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How to Link Summon
During their Main Phase, if the game state is open, the turn player can Link Summon a Link Monster from their Extra Deck by sending face-up monsters they control equal to the Link Monster's Link Rating to the Graveyard as Link Materials. After that, the Link Monster is Summoned in either an Extra Monster Zone or a Main Monster Zone that a Link Monster on the field points to, in face-up Attack Position.
When using a Link Monster for a Link Summon, it can be treated as 1 Link Material, OR multiple Link Materials equal to its own Link Rating.
Example A: Standard Link Summon
Example B: Using Link Monster(s) as Link Materials
In the anime, using monsters to perform a Link Summon is known as Setting the Link Arrows.
For the first few episodes, when a Link Summon was performed, the Duelist shot forward a burst of energy which created an Arrowhead portal in the sky which the Duelist and their monsters flew through. The Link Materials then transformed into red and white streaks of energy that entered the appropriate Link Arrows, causing them to turn red. The Link Arrows are then said to have its circuit combined. The portal then glew white and energy converged to form the monster and the Link Arrows around it. The monster and the Duelist then emerged from the Arrowhead portal.
If a Link Monster is being used for a Link Summon by using its Link Rating, then copies of that monster will appear equal to the Link Rating of the monster and enter the appropriate Link Arrows.
The color of the area that a Duelist enters to Link Summon differs, and may depend on the monster's Type, Attribute or Link Rating.
Since this first summoning sequence may have appeared repetitive, lengthy, and unconventional when performed outside of Speed Duels, an alternative depiction of Link Summoning started to appear from episode 14 onwards, first used by Emma Bessho/Ghost Gal.
Since then, this style of Link Summoning is used by all other Duelists to have the Arrowhead portal appear on the field wherever the he or she wishes to manifest it. The monsters used for the summoning then transform into different colored hurricanes and then shoot towards the Link Arrows. At times, the Link Material Monsters may enter the portal instead of shooting towards the Link Arrow, presumably activating the Link Arrows from within the portal like in the original summoning sequence.
Unlike previous summoning methods in the anime, the Duelist states the summoning conditions of the Link Monster before calling out the monsters he/she is using to summon it.
From episode 31 (during the Duel between Varis and Ghost Gal), each time Varis performs a Link Summon, the monsters he uses as materials become bullets (instead of becoming hurricanes) that then impact the Link Arrows.
- Link Summoning is the first Summoning method since Fusion (Synchro, Xyz, and Pendulum Summoning being the others) to not explicitly involve Levels in its Summoning procedure.