Playing with a Full Deck
Season 1, Episode 1
Duel Masters - Episode 1
Japanese Name これがデュエルだ!
Translation The Duel is On!
Air date March 13th, 2004
Episode guide
It's Not Easy Being Green

Playing with a Full Deck is the 1st episode in the first season of the Duel Masters Anime.


As our story begins, Shobu Kirifuda is marveling over how big of a Duel Master he will be when he grows up at the game of Duel Masters, when his best friend Rekuta's father calls over the hill that the Duel Masters Tournament has started, and that if they don't get there quickly, they will be disqualified. At this announcement Shobu starts to freak out and starts running towards the stadium. While he is running to the tournament he notices a man with long black hair, sunglasses, and a sports car staring at him. He shakes the weird feeling off and keeps running.

As the tournament continues, Shobu has just defeated his last opponent, and is moving on to the finals against Joe Sayonji. Joe knows that he can't defeat Shobu with his current deck. His friends try to console him, but Joe is obsessed with winning, so one of his friends gives him a deck of Light cards left on the floor by the mysterious man. Rekuta and Sayuki quickly realize that Joe has cheated and switched decks! Joe has a field full of blockers, and is breaking Shobu's shields with "Lok, Vizier of Hunting" and "Frei, Vizier of Air". Despite his blockers, Shobu is able to remove "Frei" with "Tornado Flame" (apparently summoning a real mini tornado in the process). On his turn, as the mysterious man wonder's whether Shori's son has the gift, Shobu's hand glows red, he sweeps it across the top of his deck, and catches the card - his "Bolshack Dragon". He proceeds to use "Burning Power" to power up "Nomad Hero Gigio" and destroy "Lok". Joe begins to stress, though he maintain's his confidence that his blockers will protect him. But despite this, Shobu summons "Scarlet Skyterror", destroying the blockers, breaking his last two shields, and managing to defeat him with "Gigio", winning the tournament. After the tournament, Shobu is congratulating himself on his win, when the black-haired man walks up to him, and is introduced as Knight. He congratulates Shobu on winning the tournament, and asks him if he wants to duel him at the center the next day.

Shobu, at first, takes this in as a big joke, but after some taunting, he agrees. The next day, Shobu arrives at the center, and Rekuta immediately takes notice of all of Knight's trophies. "You must be the greatest Kaijudo Master in the world!" he remarks. Knight just shrugs it off, and starts the game. Shobu is immediately cocky, but Knight warns him not to be, as he's never really played a real duel before. Shobu starts with a mana card, but Knight tells him he's got a long way to go. He plays his own mana, and tells Shobu to concentrate to generate mana. A red sphere emerges from from mana card and disappears inside Knight's "Deadly Fighter Braid Claw". Shobu attempts to do so himself, but is unable to generate the mana, simply summoning "Immortal Baron, Vorg". Knight states that Shobu shouldn't be trying to beat him, but to win. He plays "Crimson Hammer" to destroy "Vorg" and breaks one of Shobu's shields with "Braid Claw". Knight's card fires a beam that knocks the shield card off the table. Knight states that swift attacks don't always work in life, and states that he has to play from his heart, and try to win, not beat Knight. Shobu claims he'll do both. But Shobu is repeatedly knocked down by Knight's attacks, as Knight begins to play Light cards as well as Fire cards, until Shobu only has one shield left! Sinking into despair, Shobu is about to quit, when he remembers something his father (Shori Kirifuda) once said to him. "Believe in yourself, and you'll always win."

Shobu then decides not to quit, and starts to hold his own against Knight, drawing "Bolshack Dragon" with his swiping technique and successfully generating mana. Knight summmons "Gatling Skyterror", but Shobu is able to use "Bolshack Dragon's" ability to power it up and defeat "Gatling Skyterror" (it should be noted that Knight seems to be drawing the duel out, as "Gatling Skyterror" should have destroyed "Bolshack Dragon" with ease, and Shobu only has a single shield). Knight summons "Lah, Purification Enforcer," telling Shobu to own the zone. In the end however, Knight defeats Shobu with the Light Civilization card, "Holy Awe". Outside the center, Shobu is depressed thinking that he can't go home again. Rekuta tries to cheer him up, saying that it's not really a big deal that he lost one game. When he gets back home his mother Mai Kirifuda finds out, and Shobu loses the bet they made, that if Shobu lost even one duel, he had to do whatever his mom wanted for a whole day!.

Notable Quotes

  • Rekuta: (to Knight): Wow, you must be the best duelist in the world!
  • Knight: Well, that's what that one says.
  • Shobu: I'm gonna own the zone.

Weekly Cards


We are introduced to 2 of the main characters we see in the later season (Shobu and Rekuta) and others such as Sayuki, Knight, and Mai we see throughout this season.

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