This page details the basic how-to, turn-by-turn explanation of the game, as well as details on how to use some of the various card types.

Deck Construction

Before a game begins, each player must have a deck of 40 cards, with a few building constraints.

  • You may only have up to 4 cards with the same name.
  • The deck must be exactly 40 cards.
  • You may only include 1 copy of a card in the Hall of Fame and no copies of a card in the Premium Hall of Fame.

Card Types

There are many card types in the Duel Masters trading game, but 2 are the most important.

These are Creature and Spell.

Card Frame

The card frame details the different characteristics of a card.

These include:

Term: Explanation:
Card Name The name of the card.
Mana Cost How much a card costs to play.
Race A creature group the card belongs to.
Card Type The type of card that governs the usage of the card.
Text The text of a card defines its abilities.
Power How powerful a creature is while battling.
Mana Number How much mana a card provides while in the mana zone.

How to Start a Game

Before Playing

When you wish to start a game, put cards on the table in the following way.

  • 1) Battle Zone: Creatures are put into this zone to battle against other creatures as well as break your opponent's shields.
  • 2) Shield Zone: 5 Shields are put here at the start of a game to protect you. If you are attacked while you have no shields, you lose!
  • 3) Deck: You draw a card from your deck each turn.
  • 4) Graveyard: Destroyed creatures and spells that have been cast and resolved and put into this zone.
  • 5) Hyperspatial Zone: Psychic and Dragheart creatures are put into this zone before a game starts. If you aren't playing with Psychic or Dragheart creatures, please ignore this.
  • 6) Mana Zone: Cards are put into this zone from your hand to use as mana to pay for the cost of cards.

As you Start

  • Handshake with your opponent.
  • Shuffle your deck.
  • Take 5 cards from the top of your deck without looking at them and put them in a row in front of you face down. These face-down cards are your shields.
  • Draw 5 cards from the top of your deck.
  • Decide who goes first by a randomly decided process.

Turn Order

1. Start your turn.

  • At the start of your turn, untap any of your tapped cards in the battle zone and your mana zone. (Ignore this on your first turn)

2. Draw a card.

  • Draw a card from the top of your deck. (Ignore this on the beginning player's first turn)

3. Put a card from your hand into your mana zone.

  • You may put a card from your hand into the mana zone (this is also known as a Mana Charge).
  • Put the card into your mana zone upside down so you can read its mana number. Mana is used to summon creatures and cast spells.

4. Play cards.

  • You can summon as many creatures and cast as many spells as your mana zone can afford during this step. You can play any card in any order.

5. Attack with your creatures

  • You can attack with your creatures in the battle zone. You can't attack with creatures you just put into the battle zone this turn because they have summoning sickness. As many of your creatures as you want can attack each turn.
  • You can't summon creatures or cast spells after one of your creatures attacks.
  • When you attack your opponent and aren't blocked, you break one of your opponent's shields!

6. End your turn.

  • Tell your opponent that you are finished with your turn. Now it's your opponent's turn! Continue taking turns until one of you wins the game.

Victory Conditions

Duel Masters has 2 main victory conditions.

Direct Attack

  • If you break all your opponent's shields, and then attack them directly, you win!

Deck Out

  • If your opponent draws the last card in their deck, you win!

Sometimes other cards will enable you to win the game via their effects.

Glossary

Term: Explanation:
Tap / Untap The process of turning a creature or card in your mana zone sideways to the right in a 90-degree angle. Tapping a card shows that it has been used for the turn. Creatures are tapped when they are used to attack or use their tap abilities or block any attack. Only tapped creatures can be attacked.
Summon The act of putting a creature from your hand into the battle zone. To summon a creature from your hand, you check its mana cost first. You pay for the cost of the creature by tapping cards in your mana zone for mana. At least 1 of the tapped mana must be of the same civilization as the creature.
Summoning Sickness A creature that wasn't in the battle zone since the beginning of that player's turn can't attack.
Attack A game action your creatures in the battle zone can take against either your opponent or their tapped creatures in the battle zone. Break all your opponent's shields and attack them directly to win the game!
Block A game action only available to creatures with the Blocker.png Blocker keyword ability. Whenever one of your opponent's creature attacks, you may tap one of your creatures that has the "Blocker" keyword. The attack is stopped, and those creatures battle.
Battle An event that occurs when a creature attacks another creature or becomes blocked by another creature. and they compare Power. The creature with the lowest power goes into the graveyard.
Destroy The game action of putting a creature in the battle zone into it its owner's graveyard.
Break The game action of putting one of your opponent's shields into their hand when one of your creatures in the battle zone attacks your opponent and isn't blocked.
Shield Trigger When a shield is broken and it has Shield Trigger.png Shield Trigger, the owner may use it for no cost.
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