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Friday, March 24, 2017

Yu-Gi-Oh! Card Game: Introduction to Link Summon

With the release of Starter Deck 2017 is just a day away and some Yu-Gi-Oh! players still haven't learned the new summoning method, Link Summon in the upcoming OCG and TCG games. Fret not, Konami has posted in their website the updated Master rule with steps on how to perform a Link Summon and summoning the new Extra Deck monsters called Link Monsters.

Duel Field

Before we get started in performing Link Summon, Konami has made changes on the Duel field with some new arrangements and a new zone, we need to learn the new duel field first.

In the duel field shown, The monster zone, spell / trap zone, field spell zone, graveyard, extra deck zone and main deck zone still remains intact, however the monster zone will now be called as the Main Monster zone as you can only summon monsters from the main deck in this zone. A new monster zone was added in the field called Extra Monster zone, which it has only 2 slots, located above the Main Monster zone. In the Extra deck zone where you can summon monsters that came from the Extra Deck. Fusion, Synchro, XYZ, Link and even Pendulum (that were destroyed by battle or card effects and sent to the Extra deck) monsters, are only allowed in this zone, you cannot summon them in the Main monster zone unless under specific conditions (we'll get on that later).

The Pendulum zones however that was previously separated are now part of the of the spell / trap zone, its now located at both ends of the latter's zone. You can still use the Pendulum zones as for setting spell / trap cards but when placing a Pendulum monster, it becomes a pendulum zone marker / scale and cannot be used to set spell / trap cards unless it is destroyed by card effects.

What are Link Monsters?

Now that we've learned the basics of new duel field, let's go on to the new extra deck monster called the Link monster.

What are Link monsters? A Link monster is a new type of monster that can only be summoned from the Extra deck. Do not be confused with the card's color scheme which is blue, similar to the Ritual monster's color card. Link monsters has a honeycomb pattern design in the card so that it can be differentiated from the Ritual card, also Link monsters has no Level and Rank and cannot be face up or face down in defense position as it has no defense points.

There are arrow markers at the border of the monster image, these are called Link Markers. Highlighted (red) Link markers can grant special effects to zones or cards they point to, it also serves as an extra zone where you can additionally summon monsters from the Extra deck. There's also a new number beside the monster's attack points called Link points which indicates the number of Link markers the monster has, the bigger the number the stronger the monster.

Summoning Link Monsters

To summon a Link Monster, you need to send the Link materials to the graveyard. To simply put, monsters that's already in the main monster field becomes materials to meet the conditions for Link summoning. Once you send the materials to the graveyard (depending on the specific requirements needed in such cases), you can summon the Link monster from the extra deck and place it to the extra monster zone. For example, the Link monster Decode Talker which has 3 Link markers, requires 2 or more effect monsters to summon and if you have enough materials on the field, you can Link summon Decode Talker. Another example, Link Spider which it only has 1 Link marker, requires 1 normal monster as material to Link summon it.

You can also use Link monsters as Link materials to summon new or an additional Link monster. A "LINK-n" monster can also be treated as Link materials, depending the number of "n". Example again is the Decode Talker which it has 3 Link Markers and requires 2 or more effect monsters and if you're going to use a Link monster for example, which has 2 Link markers, you need the other material(s) to complete the requirements: Link 2 monster + 1 effect monster, its that simple.

Questions and Clarifications on the New Rulings

Thanks to The Organization, we have few questions regarding on the new game rulings and most of it have been already answered, including to the one I've mentioned earlier.

Q: If an Extra Deck monster is summoned and placed in the extra monster zone, can we summon additional extra deck monsters in the Main Monster zone?

A: No, unless you summon a Link monster first to Extra monster zone, you can only use the main monster zone to summon additional Extra deck monsters by placing them where the Link monster's Link markers are pointed, that's where you can place the additional Extra deck monsters in that slot(s). The Link monster's Link markers serves as an extra slot to summon additional Extra Deck monsters to the field.

Q: Can you use cards that has effects in changing battle positions on Link monsters?

A: No, you cannot use cards that has effects in changing battle positions on Link monsters as the latter doesn't have Defense points. Cards such as Book of Moon, Book of Eclipse or Enemy Controller are useless against a Link monster.

Q: If an Extra Deck monster that was destroyed by battle or card effects and sent to the graveyard, can it be re-summoned back on the field?

A: Yes, Extra deck monsters that were properly summoned destroyed by battle or card effects and sent to the graveyard can be re-summoned back using Monster Reborn, Call of the Haunted, etc. However, it will no longer be placed in the Extra monster zone, it goes in the Main monster zone instead.

Q: Can opponent uses the player's Link markers to summon Extra deck monsters?

A: Yes, if the player's Link monster has a Link marker pointed at the opponent's main monster field, he / she can use that to summon Extra deck monsters on their field.

Q: If a player's Extra Deck monster in Extra deck zone is controlled by the opponent using Mind Control, where it will go to?

A: If an opponent uses cards such as Mind Control, Brain Control, etc. to control a player's Extra Deck monster while its in the Extra deck monster field, the controlled monster goes to the opponent's main monster field. After the card effect resolves, the controlled monster goes back to the owner, now placed on the player's main monster zone.

Q: Can Tokens and / or Trap monsters can be used as materials for Link summon?

A: Cards that special summon Tokens and Trap monsters on the field can also be treated as materials for Link summon. Keep in mind, you can only use these if there are no specific condition materials needed, i.e. Generic materials to Link summon.

Q: Can you still perform a Link summon even if there's a Macrocosmos on the field?

A: Yes, you can still perform a Link summon even Macrocosmos is on the field. Due to the effect of Macrocosmos, the Link materials will not be sent to the graveyard, it will be banished instead.

Q: What is an Extra Link?

A: An Extra Link is where two Link monsters in the Extra monster zone is mutual linked with each other. Normally, you can only use 1 Extra monster slot to summon a Link monster, but you can use the other slot if you summon a second Link monster on the field which has a Link marker pointed to that zone, pointing to each other making a mutual link with one another. Link Monsters being connected to each other by a Mutual Link only using your opponent’s Main Monster Zones is also considered an Extra Link.

Q: When does the Link material stops being a Link material?

A: A Link Material can only be stopped by being treated as a Link Material if (1) it’s Summoned back to the field or moved anywhere else or (2) monster(s) were used to Link Summon and if that Link Monster is destroyed or otherwise moves places, except in cases of temporary banishment cards such as Interdimensional Matter Transporter.

Well, I hope this tutorial on how to perform a Link summon might help you in the upcoming new rulings which will take effect once the Starter Deck 2017 comes out. There's also a 5-minute video tutorial presented by Konami to help you learn faster just by watching it below.

Credits to Konami and also to The Organization for the translations and source materials for this tutorial article.

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