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Special Summon


(とく) (しゅ) (しょう) (かん)

Japanese (ruby)


Japanese (base text)


Japanese (romanized)

Tokushu Shōkan


Special Summon

Special Summon ( (とく) (しゅ) (しょう) (かん) Tokushu Shōkan) is any Summon other than Normal Summon or Flip Summon. They only occur due to game mechanics, card effect or Summoning condition.

There is no restriction on the number of times a player can Special Summon in a turn—Special Summons do not take up the turn player's Normal Summon/Set. Also, unless otherwise specified, Special Summoning does not require Tributes for high-Level monsters.

Ritual Summons, Fusion Summons, Synchro Summons, Xyz Summons, Pendulum Summons, and Link Summons are all considered Special Summons.

Special Summon types[]

There are two different types of Special Summon. The type indicates which cards and effects can respond to or negate the Special Summon. Cards printed with Problem-Solving Card Text can easily have their method of Special Summon determined: effects that contain a colon or semicolon are Special Summons due to a card effect (and thus start a Chain), and cards that are not built-in Special Summons.

Built-in Special Summon[]

Built-in Special Summons (also unofficially known as inherent Special Summons) are Special Summons that are done by a game mechanics, or the monsters' own Summoning condition (e.g. Contact Fusion) or Summon effect. These Special Summons do not start a chain.

Normally, the player can only perform such a Summon during an open game state in their Main Phase. They are never performed as part of an effect resolution; effects that cause the player to perform one of these Summons instead have the player perform the Summon immediately after they resolve (e.g. "Formula Synchron", "Advanced Heraldry Art"), or are actually Special Summons with a card effect that treat the Summon as a Built-in Special Summon (e.g. "Rank-Up-Magic").

There are two sub-types of Built-in Special Summon: Summon by conditions and by effect that does not activate.

By Condition[]


Photon Thrasher

Japanese: (じょう) (けん) による (とく) (しゅ) (しょう) (かん) (Jōken ni yoru Tokushu Shōkan)

These Special Summon are exclusive for Special Summon Monsters. Special Summon monsters must be Summoned by following their condition(s) first to be considered properly Special Summoned.

These Special Summons are not card's effect, so cards like "Vampire Grace" cannot be used.

Synchro Summons, Xyz Summons, Pendulum Summons, Link Summons and Contact Fusions are all considered Special Summons By Condition. In addition, all Nomi and Semi-Nomi monsters (collectively known in Japanese as "Special Summon monster") are summoned wih their Summoning conditions.

By Effect that does not activate[]


Cyber Dragon

Japanese: (はつ) (どう) しない (こう) () による (とく) (しゅ) (しょう) (かん) (Hatsudō-shinai Kōka ni yoru Tokushu Shōkan)

Summon monster effects are effect that present on Normal Summon Monsters, so that they can also be Special Summoned. These Special Summons are optional.

These effects are Unclassified Effect, as they do not activate (like Ignition or Trigger), and they are not Continuous Effects.

Special Summon with a card effect[]

Japanese: (はつ) (どう) する (こう) () による (とく) (しゅ) (しょう) (かん) (Hatsudō-suru Kōka ni yoru Tokushu Shōkan)

Special Summons with a card effect are any Special Summon that occurs during the resolution of an activated card effect (e.g. "Monster Reborn" and "Gorz the Emissary of Darkness"). Ritual Summons and Fusion Summons are both types of Special Summoning with a card effect.

These Special Summons cannot be negated. However, they can be prevented from occurring in the first place by negating the effect that would perform the Special Summon, and/or the activation itself.

While they are rare, Special Summons as the result of an activated card or effect that do not occur during that effect's resolution, except Synchro, Xyz and Link Summons, also fall into this category. Cards such as "Revival Jam" and "Memory of an Adversary" can perform this kind of Special Summon.

Some effects that Special Summon can ignore the Summoning conditions of the Summoned monster, allowing it to Special Summon monsters regardless of their Summoning conditions.

Summon response window[]

The Summon response window is an unofficial term used to describe the timing in which cards and effects can be activated in response to a successful Summon. Cards and effects that can be activated in response to a successful Special Summon, such as "Torrential Tribute" and "Bottomless Trap Hole", can be activated after any of these Special Summons, regardless of whether it is built-in or with a card effect. However, they cannot be activated if a monster is Special Summoned by a card effect that is Chain Link 2 or higher, unless the activation of all other cards and effects that would resolve after it are negated. This is because cards and effects cannot be activated in the middle of a resolving Chain, and whichever effect resolves last (as Chain Link 1) would cause these cards to miss the timing.

Furthermore, if the card effect that Special Summoned the monster performed another action during its resolution after Special Summoning the monster (e.g. "Magical Dimension", "Drill Warrior", "Telekinetic Power Well", "Trojan Gladiator Beast", etc.), then this window does not occur and any cards that can be activated in response to a Summon miss the timing.