Substitution Effect
置換効果 (Chikan Kōka)
DM-Wiki: Article

Substitution Effects are an effect that replaces an event from occurring with another event.


It is a kind of Continuous Effect, and is sometimes also referred to as a "replacement effect".

3 Aqua Soldier
Water / Creature
Liquid People


■ When this creature would be destroyed, return it to your hand instead.

7 Perfect Galaxy, Spirit of Immortality
Light / Creature
Angel Command


■ Double breaker

■ Shield Force (When you put this creature into the battle zone, you may choose one of your shields. While the chosen shield remains in the shield zone, this creature gets the following Shieldforce abilities.)

Shieldforce This creature gets "blocker".
Shieldforce When this creature would leave the battle zone, it stays in the battle zone without leaving.
3 Time Tripper, Shadow of Stagnation
Darkness / Creature


■ Your opponent's cards are put into his mana zone tapped.

Several cards are considered to be substitution effects.

For example, the Aqua Soldier above replaces the event of being "Destroyed" with "return it to your hand instead".

Similarly, Time Tripper puts the cards that are put into your opponents mana zone in a tapped state, rather than the regular untapped state.

Types of Substitution effects

Most substitution effects have "instead" in their text, but not all of them. There are 3 main kind of substitution effects.

  • 1) When you do A, do B instead

This is the most common of the substitution effects. It is represented by abilities such as Madness, Sprout, Saver, etc.

  • 2) When you do A, do B then A

This form can be confused with a trigger ability, but is a substitution effect if the "B" event occurs after the "A".

For example, the Perfect Galaxy ability is a substitution effect because it is a continuous ability that works before it would leave the battle zone. Conversely, Aqua Hulcus is a trigger ability, because it triggers after it is put into the battle zone.

  • 3) When A goes into a zone

This substitution effect replaces how cards enter different zones. Ex: God Link, Shield Force, Time Tripper, Shadow of Stagnation, and Ryusei Kaiser, the Eternal

Rules of Substitution effects

  • 1) [Since "When you do A, do B instead" occurs, the "A" event doesn't occur.]

In this case, if an ability would trigger on an "A" event, it doesn't trigger.

Example: If you cast Deadly Love on Aqua Soldier while Super Trash Train, Fuuma Devil is in the battle zone. In this case, Aqua Soldier will return to your hand instead of being destroyed. Therefore, it is considered to be destroyed and isn't put in your graveyard. For that reason, the ability of Super Trash Train doesn't trigger and you can't draw a card.

  • 2) [Applying a substitution effect" is different than "Resolution".]

So they can be applied in the middle of resolving spells and abilities.

Example: Casting Ganveet Blaster on Aqua Soldier.

In this case, Aqua Soldier returns to your opponents hand during the resolution of Ganveet Blaster. Therefore, it can be discarded from his hand with the second ability of Ganveet Blaster.

  • 3) [Even if you replace the cost and take another action, you can use "If you do" effects.]

Even if the result is substitution, you may still use the "If you do" abilities if the trigger condition was attempted.

Example: If you use Dark Soul Creation on Perfect Madonna, Light Weapon, you may still draw 3 cards (while Perfect Madonna stays in the battle zone).

  • 4) [For the same event, only one substitution effect can be applied.]

2 effects that replace an "A" event with a "B" event cant occur at the same time, and only one can be used.

Example 1: If your Forever Princess, Eternal Ruler is destroyed while you have Rinne Lupia in the battle zone, only one of the substitution effects can be applied, with the other having no effect. In this case, the conditions of the substitution are not the same, but both involve "being put into the graveyard from the battle zone",

Example 2:
If you have 2 Gachapinchi, Invasion Guardian in the battle zone and a Guardian leaves the battle zone, you can only use one Ultra Saver ability.

  • 5) [If the action for the substitution can't be done, you can't use it]

Example: The effect of Utsusemihenge, Blame Demon Dragon reads "When this creature would be destroyed, you may put 4 cards in your graveyard on the bottom of your deck instead.". If you have less than 4 cards in your graveyard, the creature will be destroyed without any being returned to your deck.

As an exception, creatures that have a "can't be destroyed" or "don't leave" effects such as Boost, Crimson Lord can ignore this, so the abilities of Ultra Saver or Skull Moon, the Enlightened can be used.

Other Rules

There are trigger abilities that can generate a substitution effect such as Kiryu Jilves, Gaia's Roar, but the substitution effect itself is not a trigger ability. The substitution effect is an effect that places an effect on the creature that later occurs during resolution.

The ability of Perfect Galaxy, Spirit of Immortality seems to be a trigger ability at first glance because of Shield Force being an ETB trigger, but it is a permanent ability of a substitution effect whose notation of the duration of the ability isn't written.

The action of performing "do B after you A" is a trigger ability, if it occurs after you do another action (such as "When you put this creature into the battle zone, ___" on Aqua Hulcus). However, if it replaces A with the B event, it is a substitution effect (If you do A, do B instead.)

No other effect can interrupt a substitution effect, so they can't be chained together.

Example) When you destroy Perfect Galaxy, Spirit of Immortality with an active Shield Force ability with the substitution effect of Jinnai, Darkfang Ninja, the effect that lets it "Stay in the battle zone instead of leaving" can't be applied, so Perfect Galaxy will be put into the graveyard.

  • As described above, when a substitution effect s applied, another can't be applied with it. Note that this rule only applies to sentences that contain the word "instead".

When examining whether the ability is linked, it is easy to see the two effects in one sentence.

  • In the previous example, Jinnai has "Whenever your other Shinobi would leave the battle zone, you may destroy one of your creatures instead. " and Perfect Galaxy has "When this creature would leave the battle zone, it stays in the battle zone instead". As there are 2 instances of "Instead", it means that the replacement effect is linked, and the second effect can't be done.

When a replacement effect occurs from both players, the active players effect takes precedence.

  • Example) If both players control a Rumble Lecter, Terror Awakened that battles itself, the active players creature survives.
  • If more than one substitution effect simultaneous occurs for the same event, that player must choose one to apply, without chaining any others.

You can put multiple creatures into the battle zone that are discarded at the same time (such as from Lost Soul) into the battle zone. This is because separate events that can apply to each of the cards occur simultaneously due to the one-shot effect, so no chain of substitution effects occur. It is treated if they were each discarded one at a time (as if individually discarded by Ghost Touch).

After November 24, 2011 it became possible to destroy Perfect Galaxy, Spirit of Immortality with Bolmeteus Musha Dragon who has the improved effect from Bolshack Yamato Dragon. Likewise, the ability to replace your own ability with Helios Tiga Dragon is treated as a substitution effect.

In the above ruling, the phrase "When you would do A, do B instead" occurs. If this is included, you can't use any other substitutions, however, other abilities after the effect sentence that applied the substitution effect can still be interacted with.

  • For example, Baiken, Blue Dragon of the Hidden Blade reads "When this card would be discarded from your hand during your opponent's turn, you may put it into the battle zone instead. If you do, you may choose a creature in the battle zone and return it to its owner's hand.". In this case, the "do B instead" text occurs and you may put it into the battle zone when it is discarded from your hand during your opponents turn. This part is a substitution effect and no other effects can be chained to this.
  • Then, the ability that reads "If you do, you may choose a creature in the battle zone and return it to its owner's hand." is not a substitution effect. Therefore, an ability such as Severance, the Awakened Giant can be used against it.

In order for a destruction substitution effect to not apply, another substitution effect must be applied to both cards, causing the destruction ability to not be interrupted.

Metamorph is usually a continuous effect, but the ability on spells is a self-replacement effect that works when the spell resolves.

  • Example) While Kareiko, Karma's Banned Technique is the battle zone, the effect of Faerie Life, Jasmine, Mist Faerie or the regular effect of Seventh Tower won't work to put the top card of your deck into your mana zone. However, if you fulfill the Metamorph conditions of having the 7 cards in your mana zone already, the substitution effect of Kareiko can't be used against Seventh Tower as it puts 3 cards into your mana zone as an "instead" self replacement ability.

Substitution Effect keywords


Other Abilities

Cards such as Bolshack Yamato Dragon have a generic replacement effect on their own abilities

Effects and Abilities




From the Duel Masters - General Game Rules: Version 1.17 (December 13, 2019)

  • 609. Substitution effect
    • 609.1. Some continuous effects are replacement effects. Replacement effects apply continuously as events happen—they aren’t locked in ahead of time. Such::effects watch for a particular event that would happen and completely or partially replace that event with a different event. They act like “shields” around whatever they’re affecting.
      • 609.1a Effects that use the word “instead” are replacement effects. Most replacement effects use the word “instead” to indicate what events will be replaced with other events.
    • 609.2. Replacement effects must exist before the appropriate event occurs—they can’t “go back in time” and change something that’s already happened.
    • 609.3. A replacement effect is applied only once for each event.
    • 609.4. If an event is replaced, it never happens. A modified event occurs instead, which may in turn trigger abilities. If it is not possible to execute the event after it is done, it can not be replaced.
    • 609.5. If a replacement effect would replace an event, but that event never happens, the replacement effect simply doesn’t do anything.
    • 609.6. Some effects replace card draws.
      • 609.6a If an effect replaces a draw within a sequence of card draws, all actions required by the replacement are completed, if possible, before resuming the sequence.
      • 609.6b If an effect would have a player both draw a card and perform an additional action on that card, and the draw is replaced, the additional action is not performed on any cards that are drawn as a result of that replacement effect.
    • 609.7. Some replacement effects are not continuous effects. Rather, they are an effect of a resolving spell or ability that replace part or all of that spell or ability’s own effect(s). Such effects are called self-replacement effects.
    • 609.8. If multiple replacement effects try to modify a single event at the same time, the active player's effect is applied. If that player has multiple replacement effects for the same event, that player chooses which effect to apply.

From the Duel Masters - General Game Rules: Version 1.17 (December 13, 2019)

  • 609. 置換効果
    • 609.1. 継続的効果の一部は, 置換効果でありえます.置換効果はイベントが発生する際に継続的に適用されます.事前に固定されるわけではありません.この種の効果は置換対象となる特定のイベントを待ち, その効果の全部あるいは一部を他のイベントで置換します.これはその影響を及ぼすものに対する「盾」のように機能します.
      • 609.1a 「かわりに」という語を用いる効果は置換効果です.「かわりに」という単語によってどのようなイベントがどう置き換えられるかを示しています.
    • 609.2. 置換効果はしかるべきイベントが発生するよりも前に存在しなくてはいけません.「時間をさかのぼって」既に起きたことを変えることはできません.
    • 609.3. 置換効果は各イベントにつき 1 回だけ適用されます.
    • 609.4. イベントが置換された場合, それは決して起こったことにはなりません.置換されたイベントの代わりに変更後のイベントが発生し, それによる誘発型能力があれば誘発します.変更された後のイベントが実行できない場合, 置換する事はできません.
    • 609.5. 置換効果があるイベントを置換する場合, そのイベントが発生しなければ, 置換効果は何もしません.
    • 609.6. 置換効果の中に, カードを引くことを置換するものがあります.
      • 609.6a 複数枚のカードを引くことのうちの 1 つを置換する場合, 次のカードを引くのはその置換効果の処理を全て終わらせてからです.
      • 609.6b カードを引いてからそのカードに何かするという一連の効果があって, そのカードを引く部分が置換され, 結果としてカードを引かなかった場合, その追加の部分は何もしません.
    • 609.7. 置換効果の中には, 継続的効果でないものも存在します.呪文や能力が, それ自身の解決時の効果の一部または全部を置換するそういった効果のことを自己置換効果と呼びます.
    • 609.8. 複数の置換効果が単一のイベントを同時に修整しようとした場合, どの効果が適用されるかはターン・プレイヤーの効果を優先したうえで, 同じプレイヤーが複数個の置換効果を持つ場合, そのプレイヤーがどの効果が適用されるかを選びます.

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