Synchro Monsters are a type of Monster that resides in the Extra Deck. As such, they cannot be Normal Summoned, and need to be Special Summoned via Synchro Summoning. They were introduced into the game in 2008, and are the first Extra Deck Monsters that were released with their own method of summoning since the game was released internationally. In this guide, we'll take a look at what they are, how to play them, and special rulings that only apply to them.

What Are Synchro Monsters

Synchro Monsters are a type of Extra Deck Monsters, meaning that, when building your deck, you add them to the Extra Deck instead of the Main one. Furthermore, any sort of effect that would return them to your hand or shuffle them into your Main Deck would send them back into the Extra Deck instead.

Synchro Monsters can be recognized by their white border around the card. Aside from that, they look and behave identical to other Monster cards, save for the need to be summoned via Synchro Summon.

Stardust Dragon Card Image
Typical Synchro Monster

Synchro Summoning

Before we get into Synchro Summoning proper, we need to talk about a special kind of Monster: the Tuner.

Tuner Monsters are used for Synchro Summoning. They usually go into the Main Deck and can either be Normal or Effect Monsters, but there's also a few Synchro and Fusion Monsters that are also Tuners. They can be identified by looking for the word 'Tuner' in their Type field on the Lore. 

Counselor Lily Card Image
A Tuner Monster

In order to Synchro Summon, you'll usually need one Tuner and one or more non-Tuner Monsters, known as materials. You'll also need to do math. Don't worry, it's basic addition. Select a Tuner and one or more non-Tuner Monsters on the field, and add their Levels together. If the total is equal to the Level of the Synchro Monster you're trying to summon, send the materials to the Graveyard, and summon your Synchro Monster.

For example:

Felis, Lightsworn Archer Card Image Emperor Sem Card Image Stardust Dragon Card Image
Lv. 4 Tuner + Lv.4 non-Tuner = Lv. 8 Synchro

The required Materials can be found on the first line of the Synchro Monster's Effect, and what is needed differs from card to card. Cards that say "1+ non-Tuners" or "1 or More non-Tuners" can use multiple non-Tuner Monsters for their summoning, but there are cards that will require exact numbers, like Celestial Double Star Shaman, or a higher minimum of non-tuners, like Trishula, Zero Dragon of the Ice Barrier.

There are also cards that will require exact materials, like Majestic Star Dragon, or that require 2 Tuners, like Vylon Omega. Always check the requirements of the Synchro Monster.

Synchro Card Staples

In this section we'll go over the support cards the Synchro mechanic as a whole has received. Ranging from accessible Tuners, Tuner utility, Synchro Monster utility, and Synchro boss Monsters. Depending on the goal of the Deck, a single Level difference can be a deciding factor. The cards within the following topics are ordered by Level, from highest to lowest.

Tuner Access

Psi-Reflector Card Image Supay, Duskwalker Card Image Deskbot 003 Card Image

These Monsters are usually used in pairs of Tuners and non-Tuners and can either end on a Synchro Monster of choice, or Crystron Halqifibrax. It's often advised to be running a 3-1 ratio, 3 of the card that starts the combo, and 1 target that is Summoned from the Deck.

The number next to their name represents the combined Level they add up to:

Tuner Utility

Destrudo the Lost Dragon's Frisson Card Image Jet Synchron Card Image

Tuner Monsters that have valuable effects for an easier Synchro Summon. It goes without saying that they also have restrictions which we won't fully go into. Generic handtraps are not included.

The Number next to them shows their own Level:

  • Mare Mare - [7] Gives a wide array of options by Level modulation and Token Summoning thrice per turn. Can be Summoned from the Deck with the effect of Yazi, Evil of the Yang Zing.
  • Destrudo the Lost Dragon's Frisson - [7] Costs half your LP to Summon from the hand or GY. Can easily lead into a level 7 Synchro Summon, or change Levels for a different purpose.
  • Mecha Phantom Beast O-Lion - [2] A Tuner that leaves behind a Token for follow-up plays. Can be Summoned with Auroradon out of the Deck.
  • Plaguespreader Zombie - [2] Zombie that can return from the GY. Uniquely places a card from the hand to the top of the Deck as cost, which can be an advantage.
  • Hop Ear Squadron - [2] A handtrap that can Synchro Summon on the opponentent's turn. Can only be used with one non-Tuner.
  • Re-Cover - [1] Another recovery based Tuner, Extra Deck Size should be managable and require paying 2000 LP instead of cards in hand.
  • Jet Synchron - [1] After discarding as cost, can be Summoned from GY. May or may not be currently banned
  • Glow-Up Bulb - [1] Returns from the GY to the field, only once per Duel.
  • Cyberse Synchron - [1] Can increase Levels and has a protection effect while in the GY. Prevents the destruction of your Monster in the Extra Monster Zone by banishing itself.

Synchro Monster Utility

Chaos Ruler, the Chaotic Magical Dragon Card Image T.G. Hyper Librarian Card Image

A variety of Synchro Monsters that won't carry the game on their own, but when Summoned can help extend your plays, or fill a niche role. They can be Summoned with 1 Tuner + 1+ non-Tuners, unless specified.

Their Levels are next to their names:

  • Ultimaya Tzolkin - [12?] Not a standard Synchro Monster. Moreso like an Xyz Monster, requires 2 Monsters of the same Level, with both being Level 5 or higher. Gives access to lots of Dragons, including Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon when setting a Spell/Trap.
  • Ravenous Crocodragon Archethys - [9] Draws cards equal to the number of non-Tuners used for its Summon. Is also able to destroy a card on the field as a quick effect, by discarding 2 cards.
  • Chaos Ruler, the Chaotic Magical Dragon - [8] If Synchro Summoned, sends the 5 top cards of the Deck to the GY and adds 1 LIGHT or DARK Monster among them to the hand. Can revive itself from the GY by banishing another LIGHT and DARK Monster as cost.
  • Shooting Riser Dragon - [7] Can send any Level 6 or lower Monster from the Deck to the GY, though the target can't use its effects that turn, to change its own Level. It's on top of that a Tuner that can Synchro Summon during the opponent's turn.
  • Stardust Charge Warrior - [6] Draws a card when Synchro Summoned.
  • T.G. Hyper Librarian - [5] Draws a card for every other Synchro Summon, while this is on the field.
  • Herald of the Arc Light - [4] Negates a Spell/Trap or Monster effect activation by tributing itself. While it remains on the field, monsters are banished when sent from the Deck or hand to the GY.
  • Tatsunoko - [3] A Tuner that can use another Synchro Material from the hand.
  • Celestial Double Star Shaman - [2] Summons up to 4 negated Level 2 non-Tuners from hand and/or GY, but only allows Synchro Monsters to be Summoned from the Extra Deck. Is a Tuner as well.

Synchro Boss Monsters

Naturia Beast Card Image Borreload Savage Dragon Card Image Shooting Quasar Dragon Card Image

The threatening high-Level Synchro Monster that either negates a bunch of things, or wipes out a significant amount of the field. Check on the card's actual text for details on the required Synchro Materials.

Their Levels are next to their names:

  • Shooting Quasar Dragon - [12] The epitome of the Summon mechanic, along with Red Supernova Dragon. A Synchro Monster consisting of only other Synchro Monsters. For the effect of an omni-negation and multiple attacks, usually not worth the trouble to Summon.
  • Trishula, Zero Dragon of the Ice Barrier - [11] Non-targeting banish of up to 3 cards when Summoned, on top of debilitating the remaining Monsters upon getting destroyed.
  • Baronne de Fleur - [10] As generic as it gets for a high-Level Monster. Negates only once, but can destroy once per turn and switch out for a Level 9 or lower Monster from the GY during the Standby Phase.
  • Hot Red Dragon Archfiend Abyss - [9] Easy to Summon negate with the assistance of Chaos Ruler.
  • Borreload Savage Dragon - [8] The strongest generic level 8, of which there are quite a few. Gains ATK and negations based on the Link Monster it equips from the GY.
  • PSY-Framelord Omega - [8] Instead of negating, this one can be used proactively to temporarily get rid of a random card in the opponent's hand.
  • F.A. Dawn Dragster - [7] Negates Spell/Traps while decreasing its own Levels and ATK in the process.
  • Naturia Beast - [5] Must be Summoned with EARTH Monsters, but can negate an indefinite amount of Spells, which makes it very much worth mentioning.

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