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Yu-Gi-Oh! TRADING CARD GAME Tag Dueling Rules

Tag Dueling Rules Overview

  • Basic Rules
  • Turn Procedure
  • Attacking
  • Additional Rules
  • Card Effects

Basic Rules

The Match is between two teams of two Duelists (designated Duelist A and Duelist B).  Teammates are seated next to each other with the opposing teammates on the opposite side of the table.

  • For a tournament, each Duelist designation (A or B) is chosen at the start of the tournament. That designation stays the same for the duration of the tournament.
  • Duelist A is the first name listed on the Team Registration Form. Duelist B is the second name listed on the Team Registration Form.

Each Duelist will have their own unique field as of the release of Starter Deck: Link Strike. You can find this illustrated on our official YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jqRznO0NdU

Each Duelist has access to one of the two Extra Monster Zones on their field. When an Extra Monster Zone is used, the 2nd Extra Monster Zone is for the opponent. (Total of 2 Extra Monster Zones per team.)

Each Duelist uses their own Deck (2 Decks per team).

Each Duelist uses only Pendulum Scales they control for a Pendulum Summon.

Duelists may use cards that their teammate possesses to pay costs for activating effects, or to meet the Summoning conditions of monsters.


Duelist 1A activates Call of the Haunted. He may target a Monster Card in their teammate’s Graveyard.
Duelist 2A has 2 different “Lightsworn” Monsters in their Graveyard. Their teammate has 2 “Lightsworn” Monsters in their Graveyard that are different than Duelist 2A. Either Duelist (on their turn) can Special Summon Judgment Dragon as both Duelists have 4 different “Lightsworn” Monsters.
Duelist 1A has 1 LIGHT Monster in their Graveyard. Duelist 1B has 1 DARK Monster in her Graveyard. Either Duelist (on their turn) may banish both Monsters to Special Summon Chaos Sorcerer.
Duelist 1A has 2 DARK Monsters in her Graveyard. Their teammate also has 2 DARK Monsters in their Graveyard. Neither Duelist can Special Summon Dark Armed Dragon as combined, both Duelists have more than 3 DARK Monsters.
Duelist 1A has a Dragonpulse Magician and a Dragonpit Magician in their Pendulum Zones on their side of the field. Duelist 1B has a Guiding Ariadne and Rescue Hamster in their Pendulum Zones. Duelist 1A may only Pendulum Summon monsters with levels between 1-8 while Duelist 1B may only Pendulum Summon Monsters that are level 4.

The Team shares a Life Point Total of 16,000 (if it reaches zero, the team loses).

Each Team can have one (1) Field Spell Card on the field at a time. If either Duelist on a team controls a Field Spell, it must be sent to the Graveyard before a new one can be placed (Set or activated) on the field.

Each Duelist can Summon Monsters from their own Extra Deck only.

Any member of a team may use any cards in play on their team’s side of the field for Tribute Summons, Ritual Summons, and Summons from the Extra Deck.


Duelist 1A and 1B both have a face-up Level 4 Monster on their side of the field. Either teammate may use both monsters to Xyz Summon Number 39: Utopia to their own Extra Monster Zone whenever allowed.
Duelist 1A has a set Monster on her side of the field. Their teammate may Tribute that monster to Tribute Summon Jinzo to their own Main Monster Zone.
Duelist 1A has a set True King’s Return on their side of the field. Their teammate (Duelist 1B) may use it to Tribute Summon Majesty Maiden, the True Dracocaster to their side of the field.

Teammates may not activate effects (Ignition Effects, Normal Spell Cards, Quick Effects, Trigger Effects, Continuous Effects, etc.) that their teammate possesses unless the effect is able to be utilized by all Duelists.

Trigger effects, even if it is an effect triggered by the Duelist, can only be activated by the Duelist who possesses that card.


Duelist 1A has a face-up Cannon Soldier on their side of the field. Their teammate may not activate the effect of Cannon Soldier on their turn.
Duelist 1A has a Set Dark Hole on their side of the field. Their teammate may not activate Dark Hole on their turn.
Duelist 1A controls a face-up Mausoleum of the Emperor, any Duelist may use the effect during their turn.
Duelist 1A sends their face-up Thousand-Eyes Restrict and their teammate’s Fiendish Rhino Warrior to Link Summon Proxy Dragon. Even though Fiendish Rhino Warrior was sent to the Graveyard by Duelist 1A, their teammate may only activate the effect of Fiendish Warrior Rhino.

Teammates may talk, compare hands, and share information freely and with each other. Teammates must come to an agreement before making plays involving each other’s cards.

Teammates cannot take an extended period to discuss their actions and must still conduct their moves in a timely manner.

A team loses if the team’s Life Points reach zero or either Duelist on the team cannot draw a card from their Deck when required to. If a Duelist reaches a special victory condition (such as Final Countdown or Exodia the Forbidden One), that team wins.

Each Duelist on each team may run three (3) of any card not currently on the Forbidden and Limited List. Each Duelist is also allowed to run one (1) of any Limited Card and two (2) of any Semi-Limited Card currently on the Forbidden and Limited lists.


Duelists A and B may each run two (2) copies of a Semi-Limited card in their Decks for a total of four (4) copies.
Duelists A and B may each run one (1) copy of a Limited card in their Decks for a total of two (2) copies.

You can find the current Forbidden and Limited List here: http://yugioh-card.com/en/limited/

Turn Procedure

Duelists on the same team sit next to each other, with Duelist A seated to the right of Duelist B.  Team 1 consists of Duelists 1A & 1B and Team 2 consists of Duelists 2A & 2B.  The turn order starts with Duelist A of the team that is chosen to go first, and then alternates between teams.

  • Duelist A from each team will always be the first two Duelists to play.

The first Duelist who can enter the Battle Phase is the Duelist who goes fourth.  (In the example below, Duelist 2B.)

Turn order:

  • Team 1 Duelist 1A
  • Team 2 Duelist 2A
  • Team 1 Duelist 1B
  • Team 2 Duelist 2B
  • Team 1 Duelist 1A

*Continue until one team wins

  • The first Duelist to start the Duel does not draw a card at the start of their first turn.
  • Tag Dueling Matches are run in best-of-one Duel format.
  • Tag Dueling rounds are 30 minutes in length.
  • Tag Dueling rounds utilize the current End of Match procedures.
    • When time is called, the current Duelist will finish their phase and then life points will be calculated.


The active Duelist can only attack with Attack Position monsters that they control. Duelists may not attack with their teammate’s monsters.

If there is a monster on the opponents’ side of the field (in either Duelist’s Main/Extra Monster Card Zones) then it must be destroyed before attacking the opponents’ Life Points directly.

The first 3 Duelists of the Duel (in the example above, Duelists 1A, 2A, and 1B) cannot conduct their battle phase and cannot attack.

Additional Rules

During a Duelist’s turn, either opponent may activate Spell Speed 2 or higher effects (just as they could in a standard Duel). The teammate may also activate Spell Speed 2 or higher effects (as if it was an opponent’s turn).


Duelist 1A activates Monster Reborn, any of the 4 Duelists may activate the effect of D. D. Crow.

When a Duelist takes an action that starts a Chain, either opponent may respond by activating a card or effect in response to the original Chain Link.

  • If either opponent Chains a card or effect, the first team will now have a chance to respond with their own card or effect in response to that Chain Link.
  • If both opponents choose not to respond to the previous Chain Link, the team that activated the card or effect will now have a chance to place a new Chain Link in response to the previous Chain Link.
  • Once both teams choose to not activate any cards or effects, the Chain resolves.
  • Both Duelists on a team must agree on which card to activate in response to a Chain Link.


Duelist 1A activates the effect of Aleister the Invoker to add an Invocation from their Deck to their hand. Duelist 2A has a Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit in their hand while Duelist 2B has an Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring in theirs. Either Duelist in Team 2 may activate the effect of their cards, however, only one of the two effects can be activated in response to Aleister the Invoker before either Duelist in Team 1 may respond.  If neither Duelist on Team 2 chooses to activate anything in response to Aleister the Invoker‘seffect, Duelist 1A or Duelist 1B may choose to activate a card or effect in response to the effect.
Duelist 1A Normal Summons Vorse Raider. As the current team, Duelist 1A or 1B may activate a Fast Effect, first in response to the Summon (only one card or effect may be activated), then Duelist 2A or 2B may respond after both Duelists in Team 1 have chosen to pass or if either one of them activates a card or effect.

If multiple trigger effects activate at the same time, the turn Duelist’s effects will be added to the chain first, followed by their teammate’s effects, and then opponents’ effects (in an order of opponents’ choosing).


Each Duelist controls a Blue Dragon Summoner and Duelist 1A activates Dark Hole. All four copies of Blue Dragon Summoner will trigger. Duelist 1A may choose to activate or not activate the effect of the card first, then Duelist 1B, followed by either Duelist 2A or Duelist 2B, then the other Duelist in that order.

Card effects that count turns or phases count all appropriate turns.


Swords of Revealing Light is activated by Duelist 1A of Team 1. Team 2 cannot attack on Duelist 2A’s next turn (1st turn), Duelist 2B’s next turn (2nd turn), and Duelist 2A’s turn after that (3rd turn). Swords of Revealing Light will be destroyed at the end of that turn, because three opponents’ turns have passed.
Final Countdown counts the turns of each individual Duelist (all 4 Duelists).
Ledger of Legerdemain counts both your Standby Phases and your teammate’s Standby Phases.

Card Effects

If a card or effect states an “opponent” or “your opponent,” and references your opponent’s hand, Deck, or Extra Deck, before this effect is added to the chain you must choose a Duelist from the opposing team and pay any costs to activate the card.

For continuous effects, the Duelist chooses an opponent at the time the card/effect is initially applied, and that choice cannot be changed once selected even if the card effect is negated.

For other cards that affect an “opponent’s” Field, Graveyard, or banished cards, it affects both opponents.


Duelist 1A activates Secret Barrel. Because Secret Barrel counts the cards in an opponent’s hand, Duelist 1A also chooses an opponent at activation. When the card resolves, inflict 200 damage per card on that opponent’s hand and all cards on the field of the chosen opponent.
Duelist 1A successfully Summons a Trickstar Lycoris. Before cards can be activated in response to the successful Summon, Duelist 1A chooses an opponent who would take the damage bythe effect of Trickstar Lycoris for every card(s) added to that opponent’s hand. This must be chosen before anything may be activated because this action does not start a chain. After choosing the opponent, Team 1 may respond to the successful Summon, followed by Team 2, etc.

If a card affects “both players” or “each player,” then the Duelist activating the card/effect will choose the Duelist(s) that will be affected at activation.


Duelist 1A has Hand Destruction and two other cards in their hand. Their teammate has 2 cards in their hand. Duelist 2B only has 1 card in their hand, but Duelist 2A has 2 cards in their hand. Duelist 1A can activate Hand Destruction and may choose either themselves or their teammate (at the time of activation), but they may only choose Duelist 2A as they are the only opponent who can successfully resolve the effect of Hand Destruction.
Duelist 1A activates Contract with Don Thousand. At the time of activation (before any player has a chance to respond to the activation of the card), Duelist 1A chooses a Duelist from their team and a Duelist from the opposing team. Both teams lose 1000 LP and the chosen Duelists each draw one card and reveal all cards drawn while the effect of the card is applied. Both of the chosen players can no longer Normal Summon/Set monsters while a Spell Card is revealed by this effect. The effects of Contract with Don Thousand are applied to the chosen Duelists until the card is no longer face-up on the field.
During their turn, Duelist 1A activates Contract with Don Thousand and chooses themselves and Duelist 2A. During Duelist 2A’s turn, they activate Magic Deflector. During this turn, the effects of Contract with Don Thousand are negated. After the turn is over, the effect of Contract with Don Thousand are applied to the same two Duelists chosen (1A and 2A).

If a card affects only your opponent’s side of the Field, Graveyard, or banished cards, it affects the entire side, or both opponents.

If an Effect allows a Duelist to use or Tribute cards on their opponent’s Field, you may choose card(s) from either opponent.

If a card states it affects all Monsters, Spells, Traps, or specific parts of the field, from performing an action (such as Summoning or Activating cards), then it affects both Teams (all 4 Duelists).


Duelist 1A successfully Link Summons Excode Talker to an Extra Monster Zone and chooses to activate its effect. Duelist 1A and 2A’s other Extra Monster Zone is empty, however, both Extra Monster Zones are occupied on Duelist 1B and 2B’s field. Excode Talker may choose up to 3 unused Main Monster Zones for its effect as it affects all Duelists.
Duelist 2A and 2B each control 2 copies of Giant Soldier of Stone. Duelist 1A may Special Summon Lava Golem by Tributing any combination of 2 Monsters from either Duelist 2A or 2B’s field and may Special Summon Lava Golem to either opponent’s field.
Team 2 controls a combined total of 4 cards. When a member of Team 1 activates Evenly Matched, Team 2 must banish cards until the combined number of cards they control are equal to Team 1.

If a card effect prevents your opponent from performing an action (such as Summoning, activating cards, or attacking), it prevents both opponents. If a card prevents you from performing an action, it prevents your teammate as well. If a card states “neither Duelist” may perform an action, it affects all Duelists.


Duelist 1A has a face-up Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer on their side of the field. Neither Duelist 2A or 2B may banish cards from their Graveyards.
Duelist 1A activates Reckless Greed. The team will skip its next 2 consecutive Draw Phases.
If a Duelist activates and resolves Set Rotation, no Duelist can activate or set other Field Spells until both cards placed by Set Rotation are no longer Set.

Card effects which reference a card(s) in “your” hand, Deck, Extra Deck, only affects the Duelist who activated the card/effect.

Card effects which reference another card that “you control” or “your” Graveyard or banished cards, affect both members of your team. Cards that reference a card “your opponent controls,” on their field, in their Graveyard or opponent’s cards that are banished count both opponents’.


A Duelist may not Special Summon Cyber Dragon if their teammate controls a monster.
A Duelist controls a face-up Vanity’s Emptiness. If a card is sent from their teammate’s Deck or side of the field to the Graveyard, Vanity’s Emptiness is destroyed.
Duelist 1A has a face-up Domain of the True Monarchs on the field. If both Duelist 1A and Duelist 1B BOTH have no Extra Deck and Duelist 1A or Duelist 1B controls a Tribute Summoned Monster and Duelist 2A or 2B does not have a Tribute Summoned Monster, then neither Duelist 2A or Duelist 2B may Special Summon Monsters from either of their Extra Decks.
Duelist 1B has a face-up Secret Village of the Spellcasters on the field. If either Duelist 1A or 1B control a Spellcaster-Type Monster and both Duelist 2A and 2B does not control a Spellcaster-Type Monster, Duelist 2A nor Duelist 2B may activate Spell Cards. If Duelist 1A and Duelist 1B both do not control a Spellcaster-Type Monster, neither of them may activate a Spell Card.
Duelist 1A has a face-down Spell/Trap Card. Their teammate may not activate the effect of Treeborn Frog that would Special Summon itself from the Graveyard if their teammate controls a Spell/Trap Card.

Set cards may be viewed by either teammate but can only be activated by the card’s controller.

“Owner” means the same thing as it does in a standard Duel. The “owner” is the Duelist whose Deck contains the card.

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