Every couple of years, a new type of monster or game mechanic is released into the game. In the beginning of the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG, we were very limited as to what our extra deck (then called the fusion deck) could do for us! As the years passed, we were given synchro, XYZ and pendulum monsters – all crammed into our extra deck! Of course, as the game became more intricate and the card pool grew, new strategies came to light that allowed us to special summon monsters from our extra decks several times per turn. Naturally, as the number of monsters you could summon from your extra deck every turn increased, the length of our games decreased and some might be inclined to say that the amount of fun decreased at the same time.
Have no fear, Link Monsters are here! With the addition of our new, blue friends (I’m not talking about you, ritual monsters), our entire game board has changed! The last time that we saw this was at the advent of pendulum monsters. This previous change gave us two extra spell card zones specifically used for housing pendulum monsters or “scales.” Without going into detail about the pendulum mechanic, I’ll just say that pendulum summoning in and of itself was kind of busted in previous formats. The ability to load your board with recycled monsters (as well as those in your hand!) made for quick games if left unanswered. However, with our new game board, our pendulum zones have now moved into the leftmost and rightmost spell/trap zones – pendulum scales are going to cost you a couple backrow spots now (sorry, Metalfoes!). In addition to this “nerf,” we have gained a new zone — the Extra Deck Monster Zone. Monsters that are special summoned directly from the extra deck must come directly to that zone – and once it’s filled, you can’t summon anymore without the help of our new Link Monster friends!
Link Summoning seems a bit confusing at first, but it’s actually very similar to synchro summoning. Each Link Monster will have its required materials stated above its effect (if any). In addition, there is a Link value at the bottom right-hand corner – you must use a number of monsters that meet the required materials equal to that number – or you can use other Link Monsters to fulfill the cost. For example: A link summon of Decode Talker (Link-3, 2+ Effect Monsters required) can be executed by sending Honeybot (Link-2 effect monster) and another effect monster you control to the graveyard. You are meeting the 2+ effect monster requirement to summon Decode Talker by sending two effect monsters to the graveyard for the Link Summon, plus you meet the Link-3 requirement by sending a Link-2 monster, plus another monster (2 + 1 = 3)! See? It’s not that difficult.
Once you have your Link Monster on the field, you (or your opponent, if your orange link marker points to one of their monster zones) can summon a monster from your extra deck to any of the Main Monster Zones that your Link Monster points to with its link markers! In addition to that, most Link Monsters provide some special effect to themselves or monsters they’re linked to, so it definitely matters which Main Monster Zones you summon to now. This adds a whole new dimension to the game! There’s a lot more to cover in our new format, but these basics should be enough to get you into our new world of Yu-Gi-Oh! Now, get out there and get to Link Summoning!
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