The Master Rules (Japanese: マスタールール Masutā Rūru) are a series of card rules that were applied in the OCG at the beginning of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's. The Master Rules are a modified version of the New Expert Rules, which basically consists of codifying the rules along with some well-known Dueling terms. In the TCG, rule changes don't have formal names like they do in the OCG.

Master Rules

The Master Rules came into effect in the OCG with the release of Starter Deck 2008.

Master Rules 2

The Master Rules 2 came into effect in the OCG with the release of Starter Deck 2011.[1]

Master Rules 3

The Master Rules 3 came into effect in the OCG with the release of Starter Deck 2014.[2][3]

  • Change in rules:
    • The first player no longer draws during their first Draw Phase.
    • Each player can control 1 face-up Field Spell Card on their field.
      • If a player places a Field Spell Card on their field, the previous Field Spell Card is sent to the Graveyard instead of being destroyed.
  • Simplified the Damage Step into 5 timings:
    • Start of the Damage Step
    • Before damage calculation
    • During damage calculation
    • After damage calculation
    • End of the Damage Step

New Master Rules

The New Master Rules, known as "Master Rules 4" in Asian-English, came into effect in the OCG with the release of Starter Deck 2017[4][5] and in the TCG with the equivalent Starter Deck: Link Strike.

  • Monsters Special Summoned from the Extra Deck must be Summoned to either an Extra Monster Zone or a Main Monster Zone a Link Monster points to.

Master Rules 2020

These rules take place starting from April 1, 2020.[6][7]

The following rule changes only apply to the OCG, not the TCG.

  • Unless it is specifically referenced in the text, monsters that are returned to the Extra Deck face-down cannot activate their effects (this includes mandatory effects).
    • This means that sending a card with an effect that triggers when it "leaves the field" back to the Extra Deck face down does not trigger their effect.
    • Do note that cards returned to the Main Deck already cannot activate those effects before the rule change (regardless of region).
  • In card texts, cards refer to their effect activation requirement as well as their effect activation location. (For example, if it is an effect that activates when the monster itself is Normal Summoned, it activates on the field, if it is a Trap Card whose effect is activated if it is sent to the GY, it activates in the GY.) If a card moves location from its activation location to a different location before its effect activated, its effect cannot be activated (including mandatory effects).
    • If a card is being sent to the Graveyard and has an effect that activates when being sent to the Graveyard, but it is then removed from the Graveyard as part of a chain before its effect's activation then it can no longer activate nor resolve.
    • Do note that this rule was already applied in European regions of the TCG.
  • Cards with text such as “During the turn you activate this effect, you cannot Special Summon monsters, except [blank] monsters” or “During the turn you activate this card, you cannot Summon monsters, except with this card’s effect”, which have activation requirements for whether or not you Summoned certain monsters during the turn, will now check whether or not the Summoning of the monster described in the text was successful for their activation requirements.
    • This means that even if a Summon that would violate this condition was negated prior in the turn, a card with one of the above effects can still be played, whereas prior to this rule change, it would still not be considered a valid play that turn.
  • Cards with effects such as "You can only Special Summon [blank] once per turn” now only apply if the Summon was successful.
  • Continuous Trap cards that Special Summon themselves to the Monster Zone by their own effects now also do not occupy a Spell/Trap Zone (But they are still treated as Trap cards).


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