The 10 Laws of Cardmaking, sometimes simply called Laws of Cardmaking or the 10 Laws,is a term used to describe an ethical code and set of rules and guidelines for cardmakers to create cards. Despite the harsh name, it is important to note that the usage of the 10 Laws is as of yet unofficial, and no strict guidelines exist within the community of cardmakers to enforce such rules. However, as aspects of cardmaking usually apply to "unwritten rules" that seldomlessly cause arguments and conflicts among cardmakers, the 10 Laws were created in order to specify what exactly these guidelines. As such, the 10 Laws, in essence, represent an ethical code that is still being perfected by cardmakers.

The purpose of the 10 Laws is to determine whether or not a card is fairly made, as well as, if possible, to detect mock-cards. Many Laws also mention more guidelines and specific rules that further specify their importance. It goes without saying that most Laws are meant to reflect common sense and logic among cardmakers, which is still being processed as the game itself evolves.

Laws of Cardmaking

  1. A Cardmaker must never cardmake cards with the sole purpose of using the cards himself, only if he agrees for others to use them as well.
  2. Always respect the Official Game Grammar (OGG). If the OGG is not followed, the card texts will mislead their effects.
  3. A duelist holds an obligation to a single duel. A Cardmaker holds an obligation to the entire game. Always respect the balance of the game. Cards that don't respect the balance will lead to the destruction of the game itself.
  4. The Main trait to a card's ability is the Effect. The 3 Minor traits are Condition, Cost and Aftermath. Reconsider effects in a creative sense, but remember to always counterbalance effects that are too powerful with the Minor traits.
  5. Be wise in naming your cards, and make sure that they do not carry the name of an unrelated archetype in their own name.
  6. In creation of new Types, they must be verified in why and how they are different from the already existent Types.
  7. A valid way to verify a monster's fair playability is to look for a way to defeat the monster AFTER it's summoned, WHILE it's on the field and WHILE its effect is active, and only defeating that monster, NOT the player that uses it. If no way to do so exists, the monster's playability is unfair.
  8. Respect the limits monsters acheive. A monster's ATK cannot go above its maximum threshold without negative side-effects. Also regard the nature and importance of the game itself when limiting the ATK and DEF.
  9. Do not complete an already existing archetype of cards with your own without understanding the theme and the playstyle of the archetype itself first.
  10. Any card created without intention of playability must be marked as such.

Interpretation of the Laws

1st Law

"A Cardmaker must never make cards with the sole purpose of using the cards himself, only if he agrees for others to use them as well."
— First Law —

The 1st Law mentions a basic code of manners, and its meaning regards common charity of fanmade cards, that they are not created simply because a cardmaker wants to keep them to himself, but instead meant to enrich the game and can be used by other people participating in it. This principle regards a simple fact that a person with a one of a kind card that he/she created himself only did so for the sole desire to be superior to everyone else, which is in fact considered an act of pride and overconfidence, but is also cowardly and selfish. For example, creating an all-powerful, all-immune card or archetype just for the sake of using it to dominate the game is not considered to be beneficial for the duelist community, especially if they reflect personal grudges and weaknesses that cannot be compensated otherwise.

For this reason, the creator of a card is advised to consider all of his cards as playable units that various other players can use to their advantage, in various ways, which may differ from the card's initial design.

2nd Law

"Always respect the Official Game Grammar (OGG). If the OGG is not followed, the card texts will mislead their effects."
— Second Law —

The 2nd Law briefly mentions the importance of usage of OGG (Official Card Grammar), which is the correct and accurate set of guidelines and terms used in card texts.

The Official Game Grammar is an important factor in cardmaking, and its accurate usage affects the major applications of effects, as well as their rulings in specific situations, and the understanding of the OGG is a vital asset in cardmaking and creating effects.

A simplified rule states that, while a duelist can interpret and explain the effects in any way he pleases, such as saying “it burns your Life points” or “I can fetch this card from my deck”, even including more extravagant expressions such as “nukes up everything”. In other words, use a more subjective approach, the card text itself must be strict and objective, using terms that are valid in either player's point of view and can be interpreted in any situation. That means the card text must mention plenty of detailed materials for the effect, most notably when it can be activated (during which phase), from where and where to are cards summoned/activated/sent and how they act while they're on the field, but also shorten the texts by disregarding default situations (For example, a monster that is Special summoned is played face-up by default (unless stated otherwise), so saying “summon in face-up Attack position” makes it redundant).

A common mislead in the 2nd Law is the usage of invalid terms that do not exist in the OGG. Most common mistakes include:

  • Saying “Attack/Defense mode” instead of "Attack/Defense position" (the phrase “mode” has been accepted in the vocalization of the dubbed anime, but the OGG in the card texts has incorporated the phrase "position“ instead)
  • Saying "attack" or "defense" instead of "ATK" and "DEF" respectively (an effect that says a card "gains 1000 attack" does not mean its ATK is increased by 1000, but that it can attack a 1000 times, which is irrational)
  • Mentioning the term "in play" or "put in play" when they actually mean "on the field"; the term "in play" is very unspecific as every domain of the game, including the field, hand, Graveyard and banished zone, are considered to be "in play", and the expression "out of the play" does not exist
  • Missing words and punctuation marks
  • Writing effect-based text in a Normal Monster's lore or writing story-based lore into the Effect text
  • Mistaking Types, Attributes, archetypes and subtypes with one another
  • Usage of wrong tenses (eg: "when this card is summon") etc.

The importance of the 2nd Law is as great as the usage of actual grammar in real life, and misuse of it may lead to situations where people will have no idea how the card works precisely. Because of this, the correct knowledge of the OGG terminology and its correct usage is imperative. This, however, often leads to major criticism among cardmakers, who dislike to be corrected and regard any such corrections to be an impolite expression.

3rd Law

"A duelist holds an obligation to a single duel. A Cardmaker holds an obligation to the entire game. Always respect the balance of the game. Cards that don't respect the balance will lead to the destruction of the game itself."
— Third Law —

The 3rd Law mentions the importance of creating balanced cards that can be incorporated into the actual game itself.

The term “balance of the game” has not been entirely deciphered, but it does appear to be a vital component in creating cards. A card that is balanced must, in short, show fair playability and have its restrictions.

This is a most imperative rule and, as mentioned in the 3rd Law, if this is disobeyed it may lead to chaos within and ultimately the destruction of the game. An example of such a scenario is explained in the AV Model (Absolute Victory Model).

The AV Model explains a hypothetical scenario that occurs when a card that does not obey the 3rd Law is published in the real-life game. In the model, that card (for example a rank 3 Xyz monster with more than 3000 ATK and no drawbacks) would become quite wanted by duelists due to its overwhelming power, that is by far superior to other cards of similar summoning conditions, and the wanted demand for the card's usage soon leads to the dissertation of most of the remaining cards, archetypes and strategies, simply because winning with that new AV card is much easier. Because all the pro-players always win when they use the AV card, its usage in order to keep up with them has become a new standard, and eventually the game of Duel Monsters dismisses all the remaining strategies and playstyles, and instead of a real duel everyone has started playing a game where the winner is the one that plays his AV card first. That way, no further distribution of cards is needed, and the progress of Duel Monsters halts indefinitely. Likewise, players that cannot afford the AV card simply refuse to duel duelists that do because that would mean that they lose by default. That way, in the AV Model, the game gets destroyed because of a single card. Therefore, the 3rd Law is set to prevent such a scenario from occuring.

Another important mention of the 3rd Law brings up the issue of meta-deck creation upon the making of cards. This means that, while a card may have been created to fit into a certain scenario its maker has envisioned, once it becomes a part of the game, duelists may use it in various other ways, which, if not thought up properly, may lead to devastating combos and FTK moves that eventually ruin the game's balance, and lead to a problem related to the AV Model. Because of this, cards must be restricted in certain ways.

On an unspoken note, it also expresses every cardmaker's obligation to act and pretend as if the cards he/she makes can become a part of the real-life game, as opposed to the common excuse some cardmakers make by saying “their cards are not real”.

4th Law

"The Main trait to a card's ability is the Effect. The 3 Minor traits are Condition, Cost and Aftermath. Reconsider effects in a creative sense, but remember to always counterbalance effects that are too powerful with the Minor traits."
— Fourth Law —

This law puts the terms Major Trait and Minor trait to use, and specifically designates the balance of a single card in its individual perspective.

The law mentions the division of a card's text in 2 categories: three Minor Traits (Condition, Cost and Aftermath) and one Major Trait (the Effect itself). Effect is mentioned as a Major Trait because in the card's actual performance, it's the effect of a card that ultimately matters, whereas all the other traits are planned on a side-note.

A general rule states that the stronger the monster or its Effect is, the more demanding must its Summoning or activation Conditions be, the greater must the Cost be, and the graver must the Aftermath to the Effect be.

  • Condition is a Minor trait that describes most requirements that have to be brought before the actual playing of a card. This includes the state of Life points, number of cards on the field, hand or Graveyard, specific names of cards and as good as any other state and situation. The range of effect on a certain kind and/or number of card, as well as summoning requirements and materials for a monster's summon are also part of the Condition.
  • Cost is a Minor trait defined as a requirement that must be brought in order to activate an effect, but that is generally not beneficial to the player that's using it. Examples include discarding of cards, tributing monsters, paying Life points, detaching Xyz materials etc. On an important note, Cost is payed before the effect triggers, so if the Effect is negated on its own activation, the payed cost remains the same.
  • Effect is the Major Trait of all cards, and explains the card's essential function. Effects don't necessarily have to be beneficial. Monsters can have outstanding ATK/DEF stats and low-level summoning conditions, but possess effects that are not beneficial to the player and are, in fact, mandatory to execute (such as taking damage or destroying own cards). As such, negative effects can be used to counterbalance cards as well.
  • Aftermath is a Minor Trait that describes events and additional costs that are generally not beneficial to the player, that occur after the effect itself has triggered. Examples include skipping of phases of the turn, additional costs during the End or Standby phase or inability to perform certain actions such as activation of effects, attacking and changing positions.

The 4th Law mentions the imperative mention of the Minor Traits as a counterbalance to the actual effect, if it appears to be too strong for the game's current balance. Examples in the official game include Red Dragon Archfiend's counterforce destruction of all monsters that don't attack, as well as the tribute requirements of each of the Egyptian God cards.

Some effects in the game mandatorily mention Minor Traits as counterbalance because the effects themselves appear to be unfair without proper conditions. Examples to this are drawing of cards from the deck, banishing cards on the field, returning banished cards, summoning cards from the deck or changing control over monsters, as well as any effect that happens to have a wide range.

5th Law

"Be wise in naming your cards, and make sure that they do not carry the name of an unrelated archetype in their own name."
— Fifth Law —

The 5th Law concerns cardmaking from the archetype's perspective, and appoints the importance of the names of cards themselves. As card names became an important factor in distinguishing archetypes, a name that mentions the same words as another archetype may lead to a false assumption within the game that other archetype's support cards may support this new card as well.

For example, a Machine-Type monster with “Android” in its name can be supported by "Roid" monster support cards, despite not being related to the archetype in any way. The opposite may occur as well, and a card that is made to support an archetype named “Ritua” will instantly support any card with "Ritual“ in its name (the main reason why Ritua was renamed into “Gishki” in the TCG).

The 5th Law calls to make sure cards are not named in a way that their own support cards would affect cards that are unrelated to their archetype, and that support cards of other unrelated archetypes would not affect those cards.

On an unwritten note, the 5th Law also mentions the importance of the choice of words. While this may not matter as much in OCG, in TCG words such as “hell”, “devil”, “god”, “death”, “blood” and such are highly unwanted and even banished for wrong allusions and references, and it is not recommended to use them in naming of cards. Especially since most of those terms get replaced by other words, usually by a pattern, when they transition from OCG to TCG (for example, all cards with "Demon" in their name in OCG are actually part of the "Archfiend" archetype, even cards such as "Summoned Skull" or "Beast of Talwar" that don't include that word in their names, but do include "Demon" in their original names).

6th Law

"In creation of new Types, they must be verified in why and how they are different from the already existent Types."
— Sixth Law —

The 6th Law interprets the addition of newly invented monster Types through the verification process. Other than effects, which may vary in execution and administration and are as such greatly converted by cardmakers, the addition of a new type of monster would affect the basing ruling of the game, and must be taken under precise reconsideration.

There are over 20 official Types of monsters in existence, which pretty much describe every form and Type of creature, machine, spirit and any other kind of playable battling unit. Because of this, addition of a new Type is a very rare occurrence, because most monsters in existence already met the criteria that categorized them under a certain Type. The addition of a new Type was met in the official game twice so far: the introduction of Psychic Monsters in The Duelist Genesis in 2008, and then a second time in 2014 when the Wyrm-Type was introduced in Duelist Alliance, which lead many fans to believe it was alright to invent new Types themselves. However, an explanation was offered to verify why the Psychics and Wyrms were made into a separate Type of monsters: it was because of the large overlapping of traits of many other Types, such as Spellcasters , Fiends , Machines and Thunder-Type , but also the lack of certain other traits (for example the usage of magic or lack of demonic appearances) that classified an entirely new model of a monster. Psychics were, therefore, made into a new separate Type for their set of entirely different traits. Wyrms, on the other hand, represent monsters with draconic features, but that are not entirely recognizable as dragons, and possess traits of other, usually unrelated animals, making them essentially similar in regards to the Dragon-Type as Beast-Warriors are to the Beast-Type. This made both of them separate from a classic archetype because, while their essential model was the same, it was not impossible for several Psychics or Wyrms to belong into different groups of monsters.

A common mislead some cardmakers do is to confuse Type with the archetype , and so mention many different phrases into the Type section that cannot be classified as new Types due to overlaps in the features or lack thereof. Because a new Type would lead to a new set of type-based support cards, as opposed to archetype-based ones, new Types must be verified in order to be fully incorporated into the game.

In doing so, more than one member of that Type must be presented to explain the different traits of the new Type. In addition, the new monster Type must be present and known by the same name under the specified traits in more than 2 unrelated archetypes. This instantly sets a difference between a monster Type, which explains the basic model of the monster's species, and archetype, which specifies monsters into nameable groups.

The recognition of a monster's Type is vital in understanding of how the monster would work. For example the Ninja-Type cannot be verified because every monster that is described as a Ninja can just as well be classified as a Warrior-Type. Warrior is an official Type that describes mostly humanoid monsters that focus on the usage of physical strength and are capable of using various weapons at their disposal, and any other kind of category that can be described as a Warrior cannot possibly be classified as a member of any new Type, examples include Samurai, Ninjas, Boxers, Athletes, Soldiers etc. The problem is a simple matter of logic: all ninjas are Warriors, but not all Warriors are Ninjas, and because the term Warrior outranges the term Ninja, it is only logical to assume Warrior is the one and only option for the monster's Type. Besides, naming Ninja as a new monster Type would also mean it cannot be supported by Warrior-Type support cards, even though its general idea would suggest it has warrior-like properties.

Some cardmakers that are indecisive about what Type to apply to a monster may break the 6th Law by mixing up several Types and mentioning them at once, for example “Thunder-Warrior-Type” or “Divine Dragon-Type”. This is a wrong approach, as there must always be a single basic Type of the monster, which it composes at all time, while treating of it as any other Type or Attribute must be mentioned in the card's text as a part of its effect, which can be negated.

Likewise, the 6th Law suggests that there must always be a basic Type written, which is either official or verified. As such, Types such as “Unknown” or “???” cannot exist or be mentioned in the Type section of the card text, because if the effect suggests it can change between Types, once this effect is negated, the monster is treated as an Unknown-Type monster, which is not verified and lacks any kind of attention of the game.

Using nominals to describe Types, for example using “Yusei” as a Type is a wrong approach as well, because a Type must be easy to recognize in more than one archetype, or more than one story, or more than one universe. For example, no matter what story or universe is taken into account, there is always a meaning behind the words "Warrior", "Dragon" and "Beast", but saying “Yusei” to describe a kind of creature is only valid in the universe where it originates from. Because it is unknown what kind of creature it might suggest unless a cardmaker is familiar with the story it comes from, it is impossible to verify one such term as a new Type of monsters.

For all these reasons, before a Type can be invented, it must be verified in a way that is can afterwards be applied to more than one archetype and posses support cards for it.

7th Law

"A valid way to verify a monster's fair playability is to look for a way to defeat the monster AFTER it's summoned, WHILE it's on the field and WHILE its effect is active, and only defeating that monster, NOT the player that uses it. If no way to do so exists, the monster's playability is unfair."
— Seventh Law —

This rather long law explains the valid playability of monsters and other cards. As many cardmakers tend to create cards that are immensely strong, they are often asked for ways how it can be defeated. A common excuse is the usage of effect negating and summon negating effects in order to prevent the monster from being used. However, the 7th Law denies this as a valid excuse.

For example, if a monster's only weakness is to use summon negating and instant destruction effects such as Bottomless Trap Hole or Solemn Warning , it would not display a monster's fair playability because the monster was never summoned to be tested properly. Likewise, if Effect Veiler or Skill Drain is mentioned as the only countermeasure, it would mean the same thing, that the only way the monster's effect would display a weakness if it wouldn't have an effect in the first place. In addition, using burn damage effects or instant win conditions also does not clarify for the fairness because the victory did not affect the monster that was being tested.

In order to fully experience a card's fair playability, it must be “testplayed”. The phrase “testplay” does not mean the same thing for a duelist as it does for a cardmaker. A duelist testplays his deck in order to achieve victory and verify the balance of cards in his single deck. But when a cardmaker testplays, he must judge his card's fair playability and both players reactions to its usage. In order to acheive this, if the cardmaker testplays the card himself, he must put it into the opponent's deck instead of his own, and then see if it was interesting, fun or challenging to duel with that card in play.

8th Law

"Respect the limits monsters achieve. A monster's ATK cannot go above its maximum treshold without negative side-effects. Also regard the nature and importance of the game itself when limiting the ATK and DEF."
— Eighth Law —

This is a specified law that explains the importance of the ratio between a monster's level and its ATK/DEF stats. There are several minor rules stating how high the ATK can become in regards to its level, effect and DEF, but as most cardmakers tend to add as much ATK for as little summoning conditions as possible, the 8th Law provides with a solution to why that sort of thing cannot be considered fair cardmaking.

The 8th Law states that the monster's strength is in a direct correlation to their summoning conditions, which also include their level. If a monster reaches this limit for its respective level, it must stop gaining positive effects and counterbalance these with negative effects and Minor Traits. For example, level 4 monsters possess 1900 as their highest Effect-related ATK, at which they can some possess positive effects and a more or less decent DEF. After that point, if ATK becomes higher, the monster loses its privilege to posses such effects, and can only be treated as a Normal monster.

The best example for this is “Alexandrite Dragon”, a level 4 Normal monsters with 2000 ATK and poor DEF. By having the highest ATK among Normal level 4 monsters, it is safe to assume that this is the limit point for level 4. That means they possess a high attack power, but have no DEF or effects to correspond and as such serve only as attacking units. If a level 4 monster's ATK goes beyond that point, its balance must correspond further by having it lose all beneficial effects and at this point it must be restrained with negative effects. All monsters whose level is above 4 possess such effects, and their high ATK comes at a cost.

DEF can reach considerably higher values than ATK for the same level with less stress on the Minor Traits and counterbalance, but an overly high DEF is still compensated by a notably low ATK. If this is followed, even level 1 monsters can posess outstandingly high DEF values.

This model can be applied to every level of monsters in order to compensate for their power. Overall power is not only estimated by the high ATK or DEF, but also by the combined value of those two, which most levels have as a set value. In addition, if either ATK or DEF reach the limit point for the monster's level, the opposite stat must be made poor in order to compensate for the immense attacking or defending power.

A big problem in stating the limit point for cards is the fact that all monsters above level 7 focus on pretty much similar values, which is around from 2800 onwards. As such, all monsters of level 8 and above may have similar stats, and the only real way to demonstrate their status as monsters of a superior level is by the display of their effects, which also obeys the 4th Law. Because of this, a level 10 monster may have less ATK than a level 8 monster, but posess a more powerful effect or easier summoning conditions.

In addition to this law, a set of general rules exist to define the limits of monster's ATK, this including the 5000 Rule, the 3000 Rule and the Infinity Rule, as well as many others.

The 5000 Rule states that the highest original ATK or DEF monsters of any level can achieve is 5000, regardless of effects and conditions. This is because 5000 is the highest ATK value achieved in all of Duel Monsters by seldom monsters, all of which posses strict summoning conditions or drawback effects. Monsters that reach only 4000 ATK are already considered to be god-like in nature, but no one ever reached more than 5000 original ATK. The only exception to this are “Number C1000: Numerronius”, and later on “Number iC1000: Numerronius Numerronia”, which on the other hand possess drawbacks and considerable summoning conditions, and are considered to be the ultimate fiends in the game. Because of this, submitting a monster that does not follow this rule is considered an act of selfishness and overpride, and is greatly looked down at as snobbish.

The 3000 Rule states that the highest ATK Normal monsters can reach is 3000. For similar reasons as the 5000 Rule, 3000 is the highest amount a Normal monster has ever reached, this being “Blue-Eyes White Dragon”. This card and its status as the strongest Normal monsters became iconic to Duel Monsters, so disobeying this rule signifies great disrespect for the game.

There is absolutely no excuse for any card to posses infinite ATK, as well as DEF, LP, damage or any other kind of value, regardless of any Minor traits. This rule is strictly put for technical, but also for ethical reasons. Because infinity, as a number, does not posses a finite value, it crashes the entire system of damage calculation, so regardlessly of any kind of damage reduction effects or defenses, damage to either player will always be infinite. In either possible scenario where this occurs, the monster could either win the player the duel with a single attack when damage is dealt, lose the player the duel when an effect is activated that inflicts damage in proportion to its ATK, or make it impossible for a player to lose the duel when an effect would increase someone's Life points by that monster's ATK, which is infinite. In that case, damage will always be meaningless regardless of how high it is. As this leads to instant win and loss situations, or absolutely no conclusions whatsoever, using infinity as any value would instantly dismiss the card as a mock-up creation. For ethical reasons, infinity is instantly dismissed as a value for the same reasons as the 5000 Rule, since claiming that there is a monster with that much absolute power easily proclaims the cardmaker as unfair and self-centered.

When met with this problem, cardmakers usually find the excuse in the card “Divine Serpent Geh”, which has infinite original ATK. However, there is a reason this card never made it further than the anime, and its summoning conditions suggest dramatically specific conditions to be met from more than one card, and also puts the player in the position where he would loose the duel if it wasn't for the monster's presence. It also requires a great cost to be payed for a simple attack and has no other effects. More importanty, it is a card used by a villain , and the method of how it was defeated in the anime was neither gameplay-valid nor possible to execute in real life.

Although the precise values of ATK and DEF for each specific monster level are still being discussed, a certain amount can still be estimated by profound cardmakers. The table below shows an example of these values.

Level Estimated max. ATK Estimated max. DEF Estimated total ATK+DEF
1 900 2100 500-700
2 1500 2100 1000-1500
3 1750 2200 1500-2200
4 2000 2200 2500-3000
5 2500 3000 4000-4700
6 2600 3000 4500-5000
7 2800 3000 4700-5500
8 3000 3500 5500-6000
9 3300 unknown 6000-7000
10 (with 3 Tributes) 4000 4000 7000-8500
11 (Special Summon Monster) unknown unknown unknown
12 (Special Summon Monster) 5000 5000 10000

With the introduction of the Xyz monsters , that posess ranks instead of levels , the 8th Law is very unspecific as the range between ATK and DEF is not determined by the monster's rank alone. Also, because there's not many non-effect Xyz monsters, as non-Effect monsters are used to determine limit points, it is difficult to estimate the correct values for each individual rank.

Early theories belived that the limit points for monsters with ranks are the same as the corresponding level times the number of materials used, but this is not the case. This would suggest that rank 4 monsters can behave as either level 8 or 12 monsters, which is false. A similar problem arises when trying to determine limit points for monsters of rank 6 and above, since the total value of levels of their materials is beyond 12, so it is irrational to assume that this can be used to calculate the Xyz monster's limit points.

The problem arises for monsters of rank 6 and above, all of whom seem to gather around the same ATK and DEF values, with a few exceptions, and only display their superiority in rank with their effects.

Furthermore, the limit points are not only estimated by the level of their materials, but also by their amount, as a rank 4 monster with 2 materials has a considerably lower limit point than a rank 4 that requires 3 materials. The limit point can also be pushed up a little by narrowing the range of its materials by specifying more traits (such as Types and Attribute instead of just a monster's level). For example, “Bahamut Shark” is a rank 4 monster with 2600 ATK and 2 materials, which is considered to be its rank's limit point, which might suggest it is a non-Effect Xyz monster, but regardlessly it posesses a powerful effect. This is because it can only be summoned by using WATER monsters, and the specification of its required materials compensate for its power. However, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to estimate how these "boost bonuses" would behave, as they do not display equally depending on the monster's rank.

For example, the limit point for a 2 material Xyz summon of a rank 4 is 2600 (this is evident from “Gem-Knight Pearl”), and the limit point for the same rank only with 3 materials is 3000 (“Gagagigo the Risen” possesses 2950 ATK, but seeing the resemblance to the level 8 “Gogiga Gagagigo”, it is quite safe to assume it can go all the way to 3000). This means the slight boost equals a difference of 400 points. No other rank 4 monster has gone beyond this point, regardless of number of materials. On the other hand, Rank 5 and above monsters behave similarly, but this differs greatly among ranks, and even lower ranks, when the number of required materials is considerate, can outclass those of a higher rank (best example: “Number C69: Heraldry Crest of Horror” is a Rank 5 monster with 4 materials, which towers above most other monsters with its 4000 ATK, despite an otherwise powerful effect).

This becomes even more complex with the introduction of rank 13, a rank higher than any level of a monster with levels has had. Because monsters with ranks are superior to monsters with an analog level, and level 12 monsters already reach god-like levels, monsters of rank 12 alone already possess a considerable advantage, and rank 13 monsters, especially when demanding more materials, are in a league of their own. The rare instances of rank 13 monsters posessing overwhelming ATK that even breaks the 5000 Limit, due to their demanding summoning conditions, are considered as an exception to the 8th Law.

The table below shows a suggested system of limit points for monsters with ranks. While many points are yet unknown due to the lack of monsters of that rank, it is clear that even these monsters obey the 8th Law in terms of 5000 Rule and Infinity Rule, except for the rank 13 monsters whose limits break the 5000 rule when fully maxed on number of materials. However, a lot of values are still left undetermined, and even those that are have not been entirely verified. It appears the best quality to decide on a monster's ATK and DEF regarding its rank is by reconsidering its effect in accordance to the 4th Law.

Rank Estimated ATK with 2 materials Estimated ATK with 3 materials (+ conditions) Estimated ATK with 4 or more materials (+ conditions)
1 1800 1100 unknown
2 2200 2400 unknown
3 2100 2600 unknown
4 2600 2950 unknown
5 2600 3200 4000
6 3000 3000 unknown
7 unknown 3300 unknown
8 4000 4500 unknown
9 unknown 4500 unknown
>10 unknown 5000 unknown

9th Law

"Do not complete an already existing archetype of cards with your own without understanding the theme and the playstyle of the archetype itself first."
— Ninth Law —

This law describes the importance of knowledge of archetypes for cardmakers that wish to complete an official archetype with their own fanmade cards. This is not to be made without consideration, as completing an archetype not only concerns its style of play, but also the idea, theme and etymology of the archetype's background. One must know all the specifications of the archetype and fully understand its meaning and background in order to actually complete it.

For example, the “Dragunity” archetype consists out of Winged Beast and Dragon-Type monsters, the former which are presented as leading generals and warriors, named after military ranks of the Roman army and are non-Tuners that can equip themselves, and the later as minor units named after spears and bladed weapons (also based on Roman military) that are Tuners which equip themselves to the Winged Beasts. “Dragunity Knights” are the Synchro aces of the archetype, presented as the Winged Beasts riding on adult versions of the Dragons, and are named after legendary spears. In order to complete the archetype, it is not only advised to make the newly made cards compatible to it in effect (in this case equipping monsters to each other), but also in name and theme, and must follow the mentioned standards. As such, creating a card named “Dragunity Knight Luxeus” is inappropriate since “Luxeus” is not a name of a spear of legend, but a nominal chosen out of sheer fancy.A most common break of the 9th Law includes the addition of fanmade Number monsters. Regardless of any effects and names (as long as they are compatible to the all the previously mentioned Laws), many cardmakers chose the numbers in their Numbers at random or out of sheer boredom without applying any special significance to them. This is against the 9th Law since the general idea behind the Numbers is to have them bear numbers that mean something, and none of the official Numbers are picked at random for this very reason.</p>

In addition to all that is mentioned, the playability of the new card within the mentioned archetype must be considered as well, this meaning the effect of the new card. For example, creating a card that only possesses a powerful “Nuke” effect, but is made as part of an archetype that's focusing on discarding and hand control, is a clear violation against the 9th Law.

10th Law

"Any card created without intention of playability must be marked as such."
— Tenth Law —

The 10th Law is a simple solution to all the cards that were never meant to be playable and clearly disobey any of the other laws on purpose, but with no means of disrespect. It remains as a fact that people fancy creating nonsensical cards that adore their idols or simply joke around just for fun, but as it cannot be assumed whether or not cards created in this way were meant to be playable or were just made as a parody, a lot of these cards fall under heavy criticism and are quickly proclaimed to be mocking the game. In order to avoid this when it's not necessary, the 10th Law obliges a mark of unplayability to be set somewhere on the card. This is usually a bold inscription that reads “CANNOT BE USED IN A DUEL” either on the circulation, card's number or the author's name part of the card.

Examples of such cards exist in real life: all Match Winners (except "Victory Dragon"), which lack any real effects aside from the match-winning, all include the limitation text on them. The same goes for the reward cards, whose value is strictly morale only, and not playable.

Other Laws

It remains unclear whether the absolute number of Laws will stop at 10 or if there's going to be more of them. Since more problems exists within cardmaking, such as the issues of additional Classes of monsters or new Attributes, it can be assumed more Laws might be bestowed, although the exact reasons for doing so are still to be reconsidered.