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Yu-Gi-Oh! has 6 phases, of which only 4 are actually visible to a player playing in real life.

Main phase 1, battle phase, main phase 2, end.

I personally do not like the way these phases work, and am considering designing new rules that allows players to play without these phases being visible, so that there's only 1 phase where you can attack or play magic cards (and then end turn).

The one problem that my friend has pointed out to be is that this changes the effectiveness of certain cards like Call of the Haunted.

If I have no monsters on the field and the opponent has a panoply of monsters on the field, I would normally be able to save myself with Call of the Haunted. As a trap, I can activate it when the opponent attacks, and revive a strong monster to defend myself. However if the opponent has a magic card such as exiled force, they can kill my strong monster immediately, something they wouldn't be able to do in the attack phase of normal Yu-Gi-Oh! rules.

Now my solution to this is to add special exceptions to cards like Call of the Haunted, so that they or the monster they summon cannot be targeted by magic cards within the same turn as their activation.

Would that fix the problem of trap card balance? Are there any problems with my proposed system?

Some context: This is a new rule set based on Yu-Gi-Oh! rules. I don't intend to try to get anyone to play Yu-Gi-Oh! with my rules.


Edit: Some more context: Not working on existing cards, I have new cards.

Here is a video demonstrating what I mean:

In this new game note that there are no attack/main phases, just one END TURN.


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Kudos for trying to fix some of Yugioh!'s infinite problems. It has to be one of the most unbalanced games ever created, probably because the only point of the game was to make more money off of the TV show that never played by the rules and convinced thousands of kids (like me) to treat Yugioh cards as more valuable than gold.......until they discovered Magic: The Gathering and sold all of their Yugioh cards to play a REAL trading card game. ;) –  Gordon Gustafson Feb 21 '11 at 3:01
Don't bother, it's likely not worth it. –  Lohoris Feb 22 '11 at 10:37
My advice is: Don't! That game has existed for over ten years now. Trying to change the essential rules of the game is likely not going to be possible with your resources facing the sheer volume of material that would have to be considered and adapted. –  Kempeth Feb 22 '11 at 13:22
My advice is: Do! There's nothing wrong with taking components from old games and inventing entirely new games with them. I'm pretty sure that's how some of the greatest classic cards games were invented. And at the very least, it's a cool mental exercise! –  thesunneversets Feb 25 '11 at 18:18
@Charuru: That's a very smooth UI. Having suffered through getting used to Cockatrice (for MTG) I think you should separate from Yu-Gi-Oh entirely and make your own card game. You've got the stuff. –  Sadly Not Apr 13 '11 at 16:43
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2 Answers

I'd advise against basing your system on oversimplified YGO rules. These phases that seem arbitrary were added precisely to avoid adding many exceptions and forcing players to remember them all. Having regular rules with such a gigantic deck is much better than writing exceptions on card and then have lots of pain trying to match them together.

BTW, historically first versions of YGO were much simpler and very close to what you describe, which can be seen from many legacy normal and fusion cards. Instead of the fun and dynamic game of today it was just a race to see who would draw or fuse a card with the highest ATK on the board first.

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Very true! Here's a good illustration of what happens when you replace core functionality with "exceptions" (from MTG, because it's what I know): Mystic Denial. Special rules about when you can cast it. Special rules about what it does. 6 lines of text for a card that would only be 6 words in normal MTG language. Imagine how much harder it would be to then design "Mystic Denial but it works slightly differently," like mtg:Condescend. :o –  Alex P Jul 6 '12 at 13:55
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Now my solution to this is to add special exceptions to cards like Call of the Haunted, so that they or the monster they summon cannot be targeted by magic cards within the same turn as their activation. Would that fix the problem of trap card balance? Are there any problems with my proposed system?

This is probably overpowered, it would bring many new problems since it will create quite a few interesting combo's abusing the magic-immunity.

Personally I like the phases as they are, altough I can understand that they can be a nuisance.

Another idea: Change all 'This card can only activate during Main Phase 1' cards to 'This card can only activate before an attack is declared' (of course the same for cards that say that they CANNOT activate in MP1, etc.). Change all Attack Phase affected cards to 'Cards that can/cannot/can only/etc activate while attacks are being declared', cards affecting MP2 to 'after attacks have been declared' and cards referring the End Phase to 'At the end of your turn' or 'Before the opponent draws a card'.

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That's a lot like the approach Magic took with a set called Portal, intended to teach the game to beginners. The result was fewer card types and phases but lots of weird individual templating and special exceptions to get combat effects and counterspells and stuff to work out. Overall I think it made things harder to actually understand. –  Alex P Nov 27 '11 at 19:29
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