Card Legality

Unlike Magic: The Gathering where any language version of a card is legal for tournaments held in any region, Yu-Gi-Oh! cards are only legal in the respective region that they are legally distributed in. However, with eBay and parallel importing, it is rather easy to acquire cards from another region, only to figure out that they are illegal in your region.

In this article we’re going to learn to differentiate the cards and their legality for each region. Although this article is written specifically for the Asian region, some points are still relevant for the other regions.

Japanese

As seen on the right is the is the logo for Japanese cards, which can be found on the bottom-right of the card backing. The logo reads 遊戯王ファイブディーズ オフィシャルカードゲーム (Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters: Official Card Game).
From Series 4 onwards (starting with Soul of the Duelist), Japanese cards come with the card code %%%-JP###, where %%% is the set name and ### is the card number. On the right is a Japanese Blackwing – Sirocco the Dawn spotting the code CRMS-JP010.

Japanese cards are legal in Japan and Asia (excluding South Korea).

Asian English

The logo for Asian English cards reads 遊戯王 Trading Card Game (Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game). However, from Series 6 onwards (starting with Crimson Crisis), the logo has been changed to the TCG logo.
From Series 6 onwards (starting with Crimson Crisis), Asian English cards come with the card code %%%-AE###, where %%% is the set name and ### is the card number. On the right is an Asian English Blackwing – Sirocco the Dawn spotting the code CRMS-AE010.

Asian English cards are legal in Japan and Asia (excluding South Korea).

Due to the different logos on the card backing, when using a mix of Japanese and Asian English cards in your deck, players are required to sleeves their cards with card protectors that obscure the face-down side of the card.

Korean

The logo for Korean cards reads 유희왕 Official Card Game (Yu-Gi-Oh! Official Card Game).
Korean cards come with the card code %%%-KR###, where %%% is the set name and ### is the card number. On the right is a Korean Blackwing – Sirocco the Dawn spotting the code CRMS-KR010.

Korean cards are legal in South Korea.

TCG

The logo for TCG cards reads Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game.
English TCG cards come with the card code %%%-EN###, where %%% is the set name and ### is the card number. On the right is a English TCG Blackwing – Sirocco the Dawn spotting the code CRMS-EN010.

TCG cards are legal in North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, Africa and Oceania.

In addition to English, TCG cards are reprinted in the following languages:

Card Code Language
%%%-E### English Europe (deprecated)
%%%-A### English Australia (deprecated)
%%%-F### / %%%-FR### French
%%%-C### French-Canadian (deprecated)
%%%-G### / %%%-DE### German
%%%-I### / %%%-IT### Italian
%%%-P### / %%%-PT### Portuguese (deprecated)
%%%-S### / %%%-SP### Spanish

Asian Restriction

Only legally distributed Japanese and Asian English cards are legal for use in sanctioned tournaments in Asia (excluding Japan and South Korea), namely:

  • Booster Pack
  • Duelist Pack
  • Extra Pack
  • Gold Series
  • Tournament Pack
  • Movie Pack
  • Promotion Pack
  • Duel Terminal 1, 2
  • Premium Pack 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 13, 14
  • Starter Deck / Structure Deck
  • Duelist Box 2012
  • Video Game Promotional Cards
  • World Ranking Promotional Cards

The following are illegal (unless reprinted in at least one of the above*):

  • Premium Pack 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 11, 12
  • Limited Edition Pack / VJump Edition Pack
  • Anniversary Pack
  • Duel Disk Promotional Cards
  • Duel Terminal 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14
  • Shueisha Promotional Cards
    • Weekly Jump
    • V Jump
    • Valuable Book
    • Master Guide
    • Duel Terminal Guide
    • Video Game Guide
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! Manga
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! R Manga
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX Manga
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D Manga
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal Manga

*If the card is reprinted in at least one of the legal sets, you may use any version of that card. For example, Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier was reprinted in Gold Series 2009, hence you’re allowed to use the Duel Terminal version of Brionac.

The above summary is updated as of 25th May 2012.

For the full list of prohibited cards in Asian Sanctioned Tournaments: Asia Restricted card list.

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