Ritual Monsters are a type of Monster that resides in the Main Deck. They can not be Normal Summoned, and need to be Special Summoned via Ritual Summoning. They were released in 2002, and are so far the only type of Main Deck Monster with their own dedicated method of summoning. In this guide, we'll take a look at what they are, how to play them, and special rulings that only apply to them.

Table of Contents

What Are Ritual Monsters

Unlike the other types of Monsters that need to be Special Summoned, Ritual Monsters go into the Main Deck at the start of the game. This means that, if you want to Summon them to your field with their own method, you need to have them in your hand first.

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

Relinquished Card Image
Typical Ritual Monster

Ritual Summoning

In order to perform a Ritual Summon, you need a card or Effect that allows you to do so, usually a Ritual Spell. Once the card or Effect activates and resolves, you must Tribute Monsters from your side of the field or your hand until the sum of all the Levels of the Tributed Monsters are equal to or higher than the Level of the Monster you're trying to Ritual Summon. It's important to note that In some with some Ritual Spells, the sum of Levels must be exact.

Here's an Example: You have Hungry Burger, Hamburger Recipe, and Turtle Raccoon in your hand, and Spike Seadra and Pharaoh's Servant on the field. To summon the Burger, you must first activate the Recipe, then, after it resolves, send the Seadra and either the Servant or the Racoon to the Graveyard to summon the Burger. You wouldn't be able to send all 3, since the Level requirement can be satisfied by only 2 of them, and the Racoon and the Servant on their own aren't enough.

Black Luster Soldier Card Image Black Luster Ritual Card Image 

Because of their nature, Ritual Monsters are the most inconsistent types of Monsters to bring out. You normally need TWO distinct and unique cards from your deck, which are usually hard to search for. This inconsistency has made Ritual decks inherently weaker than Synchro, Xyz, and even Fusion Decks. As such, more recent Ritual Monsters do a few things that can improve the consistency of the deck.

Some archetypes allow any Ritual Spell from that specific archetype to summon any of the Ritual Monsters in that archetype. Such examples are the Gishky, Nekroz, and Vendread, since any of the Ritual Spells from those archetypes can summon any of their respective Ritual Monsters.

Other archetypes circumvent the Ritual inconsistency by using some of their Monsters to initiate the Ritual instead of playing a Ritual Spell. Megaliths are a perfect example of this, as some of its Ritual Monsters can be discarded in order to allow you to Ritual Summon.

Revendread Slayer Card Image Megalith Hagith Card Image

Ritual Card Staples

Manju of the Ten Thousand Hands Card Image Pre-Preparation of Rites Card Image Diviner of the Herald Card Image

In this section we'll go over the support cards the Ritual mechanic as a whole has received. Not every Ritual Deck can incorporate them, but especially older and less coherent strategies can use the help.




Impcantation Talismandra Card Image Impcantation Chalislime Card Image

The first archetype that made Ritual Summoning generally more accessible, Impcantations. The four Main Deck Monsters require you to reveal either a Ritual Spell or Ritual Monster to Summon itself from hand, and another one of their kind from the Deck. In the process they can fetch one of the missing parts and act as Level-fodder for the actual Ritual Summon. Do keep in mind however, that you cannot Summon from the Extra Deck as long as they remain on your field.

In summary:

This is the main function of the archetype and is further assisted by their Ritual Monster, Impcantation Chalislime. It can also be used to Summmon the smaller ones from the Deck. On top of that, their Ritual Spell, Impcantation Inception, is semi-generic. The Ritual Monster can be whichever, but the tributes have to be Impcantations.



Drytron Mu Beta Fafnir Card Image Meteonis Drytron Card Image

A more modern and expansive take on a Ritual archetype. Drytron possesses a higher potential while also requiring more dedicated deckbuilding. They are defined by their Main Deck Monsters themselves needing tributes to be Summoned from hand or GY. In addition, you are only able to Special Summon Monsters that cannot be Normal Summoned. We'll only touch on some of the most important parts of the archetype.

  • Drytron Alpha Thuban - Summons itself and adds a Ritual Monster from the Deck
  • Drytron Zeta Aldhibah - Summons itself and adds a Ritual Spell from the Deck
  • Drytron Gamma Eltanin - Summons itself and another Drytron from the GY
  • Drytron Mu Beta Fafnir - An XYZ Monster that allows the Materials to be used for Ritual Summons. Also sends a "Drytron" card from the Deck to the GY.
  • Meteonis Drytron - Ritual Spell that can Summon any Ritual Monster from the hand or GY. Uses Machine-Type monsters as tribute and counts their ATK instead of Levels. The last part is an advantage, since Drytrons are Level 1, but have 2000 ATK. Can decrease the ATK of a Drytron by 1000 to be used again. 

The best way to look at Drytron is that it already is a competent Deck on its own. Rather than including some of them as part of a Ritual Deck, select Ritual Monsters can be added to them as an added touch. Herald of Ultimateness or Blue-Eyes Chaos MAX Dragon can be used in such a fashion, for example.

Generic Ritual Spells & More

Advanced Ritual Art Card Image Djinn Presider of Rituals Card Image Ascending Soul Card Image

To close things out, here's a list of Ritual Spells that aren't bound to the name of a specific Monster, ordered by their utility. The first 2 and Attribute based ones all require exact Levels for the tributes.

  • High Ritual Art - Summons any Ritual Monster from the Deck. Must tribute Normal Monsters from the hand.
  • Advanced Ritual Art - Summons Any Ritual Monster from the Hand. Tributes must be Normal Monsters in the Deck.
  • Ritual Foregone - Summons any Ritual Monster from the hand without tributes. It cannot attack and is destroyed in the End Phase. Not actually a Ritual Spell.
  • Megalith Och - Along with the other 2 Level 4 Megalith Rituals, Summons any Ritual Monster by tributing itself and other Monsters.
  • Sprite's Blessing - Generic Ritual Spell for LIGHT Monsters.
  • Contract with the Abyss - Generic Ritual Spell for DARK Monsters.
  • Earth Chant - Generic Ritual Spell for EARTH Monsters.
  • Breath of Acclamation - Generic Ritual Spell for WIND Monsters.
  • Cynet Ritual - Generic Ritual Spell for Cyberse-Type Monsters.
  • Odd-Eyes Advent - Ritual Spell for Dragon-Type Monsters from the hand or GY. Tributes must be Pendulum Monsters.
  • Fire Formation - Domei - Continous Ritual Spell for Beast-Warrior-Type Monsters. There's only 2 in the entire game. Wow!

Lastly, we'll go over some miscellaneous cards related to Ritual Monsters.

  • Sauravis, the Ancient and Ascended - A Ritual Monster that can also be used as a handtrap.
  • The Djinn series of Monsters - Give the Ritual Monster they are tributed for certain effects to inheret. They can also be used while in the GY. Can you guess which of them is the broken one?
  • Ritual Cage - Gives targeting and destruction protection against Monster Effects.
  • Ascending Soul - Recovers tributed Monsters.
  • Fulfillment of the Contract - Equip revival Spell that banishes the Monster when the Spell is destroyed. Costs 800 LP.
  • Execution of the Contract - Modifies the equipped Monster's Level and destroys an opposing Monster if it is tributed.
  • Ritual Raven - Cute looking and appears in some of the artworks. Not very useful though.

Learn More About Yu-Gi-Oh

Beginner Guides - Card Anatomy 101Summoning Xyz Monsters 

Card Types - Monsters | Traps | Spells

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