Special Summons – Spotting the Different Kinds
Special Summoning a monster can give you a big edge over your opponent. But not all Special Summons are the same. Different monsters can be Special Summoned in different ways. Some monsters even have special rules that tell you exactly how and when you can Special Summon them. Here’s how you can tell what rules you need to follow to Special Summon each of your monsters.
Special Summon-only Monsters
“This card cannot be Normal Summoned or Set. This card can only be Special Summoned by…”
Monster Cards with this text need to be Special Summoned from your hand using the method written on the card. To Special Summon “Chaos Sorcerer” from your hand, you need to remove from play 1 LIGHT monster and 1 DARK monster. This is the only way you can Summon “Chaos Sorcerer” from your hand. This kind of Special Summon can be negated by cards like“Thunder King Rai-Oh” or “Black Horn of Heaven.”
Once you successfully Special Summon one of these monsters from your hand, and it goes to the Graveyard , you can use cards like “Call of the Haunted” to Special Summon them again from the Graveyard. If you Special Summon one of these monsters back from the Graveyard, you don’t use the method written on the card
Basically, Special Summon-only monsters need to be Special Summoned ‘properly’ the first time, from your hand. After that, you can Special Summon them back from the Graveyard like any other monster.
“Except by” Monsters
“This card cannot be Normal Summoned or Set. This card cannot be Special Summoned except by…”
Monster Cards that say ”except by” are extremely powerful and can only be Special Summoned from your hand using the method written on the card. You can Special Summon “Dark Armed Dragon” from your hand if you have exactly 3 DARK monsters in your Graveyard, but that’s the only way you can Summon it.
Even if you Special Summon one of these monsters properly, by following the instructions on the card, you cannot use another card’s effect to Special Summon it from the Graveyard afterwards. The instructions on the card are really the only way to Summon these monsters! These Special Summons can also be negated by “Thunder King Rai-Oh” and “Black Horn of Heaven.”
Fusion Summons usually require you to play a Spell Card like “Polymerization.” These kinds of Special Summons can only be stopped by negating the Spell Card used to perform them. If you properly Special Summon a Fusion Monster, you can Special Summon it back from the Graveyard with cards like “Call of the Haunted,” unless the Fusion Monster says that it cannot be Special Summoned except by Fusion Summon.
If your Fusion Monster says “You do not use ‘Polymerization’” then you can only Special Summon it from your Extra Deck by following the instructions written on the card. These monsters follow the same rules as monsters like “Chaos Sorcerer” that say “This card can only be Special Summoned by…”
Ritual Summons require you to play a Ritual Spell Card and follow the instructions on it. They follow the same rules as Fusion Summons. Remember, you need to have the Ritual Monster you want to Summon in your hand. You can’t Normal Summon or Set Ritual Monsters.
Lots of monsters have special rules that tell you how and when you can Special Summon. Understanding and mastering these monsters will help you become a better Duelist!