The text on a Yu-Gi-Oh! card that you pull out of a pack or buy in a store could technically be wrong. This is because the rules sometimes change or the different names used in the English localization can cause the card to work differently from the original. Konami has released rules known as "errata" which can override what is written in the text of your cards in a competitive match.
Konami seriously need to get off their high horse, as they have allowed numerous Yu-Gi-Oh! cards to be printed with messed up text and artwork. These screwed up cards can usually be sent in for a free swap, but only a fool would do that, as these misprinted cards are worth even more than the rarest cards in the game.
We are here today to look at the Yu-Gi-Oh! cards that were printed with mistakes and sold in stores-- from the Forbidden One with the caveman card text, to the unintentionally weaker version of Seto Kaiba's ultimate beast.
Here are the 15 Insane Yu-Gi-Oh! Card Design Mistakes You Can't Unsee!
Someone should really have been fired for this mistake. The Counter Trap card called Counter Counter was unable to counter, due to an oversight regarding the printing of the card.
Counter Trap Cards have a special symbol below their name which looks like a twisting arrow. The difference between Counter Traps and regular Traps is that Counter Traps always goes first. Only other Counter Trap Cards can be activated in response to them.
Some of the best Trap cards in the game are Counter Traps for this very reason. This includes the likes of Solemn Judgment, which can stop pretty much anything in the game in exchange for half of your life points.
Counter Counter is a Counter Trap Card that was designed specifically to destroy other Counter Trap Cards. The initial printing of Counter Counter that appeared in Tactical Evolution didn't have the Counter Trap symbol on it, which meant that it didn't work, as it wasn't fast enough to affect other Counter Traps.
The top right-hand corner of each Yu-Gi-Oh! Monster Card has a circle that lists the creature's Attribute. This can be one of six things - Earth, Fire, Wind, Water, Light, and Dark. There is no Pokémon-style elemental weaknesses between the Attributes, which means that it doesn't come into play when two monsters fight each other.
The Attributes usually only come in to play when cards search for specific Attributes or power them up. It is also possible for monsters to carry multiple Attributes through the use of card effects, which is especially useful for Chaos decks, as they use both Dark and Light monsters.
The version of the Kinetic Soldier Monster Card that was released as part of the Champion Pack: Game Four set was printed with the wrong Attribute. The Kinetic Soldier is meant to be an Earth-Attribute monster, yet this initial version made it a Light-Attribute monster instead.
It's easy to tell the types of the various Yu-Gi-Oh! cards at a glance, as they are all color-coded. The early Yu-Gi-Oh! sets featured yellow cards for Normal Monsters, orange cards for Effect Monsters, blue cards for Ritual Monsters, violet cards for Fusion Monsters, purple for Trap Cards, and Green for Spell Cards.
The later sets added new kinds of cards with their own colors, like white cards for Synchro Monsters, black cards for Xyz Monsters, and dark blue for Link Monsters. The Egyptian God Cards also had their own unique colors.
The Korean version of Neos Wiseman is one of the few Yu-Gi-Oh! cards to ever be printed with the wrong color. Neos Wiseman is supposed to be orange, as it is an Effect Monster. The Korean version of Neos Wiseman was printed with a violet background, which made it look like a Fusion Monster.
This version of Neos Wiseman should have been totally legal to play, as there is nothing in the rules concerning the colors of the cards, so they have no effect on the game.
The Yu-Gi-Oh! anime received numerous edits by 4Kids Entertainment in order to allow the show to be broadcast in America. The Yu-Gi-Oh! card game also received a lot of censorship, in order to tone down things like violence, inappropriate scenes, and religious iconography.
This has happened less often over time, as the makers of the Yu-Gi-Oh! card game are more aware that they are creating a product that reaches an international audience.
It might seem like the Book of Secret Arts was subjected to censorship, as some printings of the card have different artwork than others. The versions of Book of Secret Arts that were found in the Legend of the Blue-Eyes White Dragon set and the Yugi Muto Starter Deck lacked the quill that appeared in other versions of the card.
It's odd that this version of the card was even created. Was it originally intended to be censored at some point? If so, why was the quill removed from the image?
In order to summon a Fusion Monster, you need the two (or more) creatures listed on the card and for a spell effect (usually Polymerization) that allows you to perform the fusion. It can be tricky to get the right fusion materials into your hand when you need them, which means that a Fusion Monster would need to be pretty good in order to make it worth the hassle it takes to summon them.
The main gimmick of the Elemental HERO archetype was that they could fuse with each other into different kinds of monsters. This led to a problem with the Elemental HERO Wildedge card, as one of the monsters needed to summon him doesn't exist.
The version of Elemental HERO Wildedge that appears in Duelist Pack: Jaden Yuki 2 lists Elemental HERO Edgeman as one of the creatures that it needs for the fusion. No such card exists. For some reason, a literal English translation of Elemental Hero Bladedge's Japanese name was used on the card, as he is referred to as Edgeman in Japan.
Exodia the Forbidden One is one of the most iconic cards in all of Yu-Gi-Oh! which is partly due to the fact that Yugi used it to defeat Kaiba in the first episode of the anime. It is one of the few monsters in the game to offer an alternate win condition (having all five pieces of Exodia in your hand) and it still shows up in decks to this day.
It seems that the sheer amount of rules written on Exodia the Forbidden One must have confounded the people who make the Yu-Gi-Oh! card game, as one of the versions of Exodia was printed with an error.
The version of Exodia the Forbidden One that appeared in the Master Collection Volume 1 had a mistake. It says "in addition to this card in you hand" when it is supposed to say "in addition to this card in your hand." This error makes it seem like the person writing the text is a caveman.
Not all the misprints and mistakes can be blamed on the creators of the Yu-Gi-Oh! card game, as there have been times when the cards were screwed up due to printing errors. These have been less frequent and they usually just mean that the artwork or text on the card is out of place.
One of the most notorious printing errors to ever effect Yu-Gi-Oh! cards happened to the Invasion of Chaos: Special Edition set. These were boxes that contained three booster packs of Invasion of Chaos cards, while also carrying one of four Ultra Rare cards. These four cards were Gemini Elf, Lava Golem, Magical Cylinder, and Ring of Destruction.
The four Ultra Rares sometimes had a printing error, where the name of the card was pushed down over the text that states what kind of card it is. This leaves the name box on the card blank.
One of the most fearsome monsters in Yugi Muto's deck during the Duelist Kingdom arc was the Magician of Black Chaos. This was a creature that came close to matching the Blue-Eyes White Dragon in terms of strength, but it was more difficult to summon due to it being a Ritual Monster.
This meant that you not only needed the Magician of Black Chaos in your hand, but also the Black Magic Ritual card. You then had to sacrifice creatures on your side of the field whose levels added up to eight.
The Black Magic Ritual card that appeared in the Premium Pack had a much less threatening name, due to a printing error. The misprinted version of Black Magic Ritual was called Marshmallon. This is the name of a different monster that appears in Yu-Gi-Oh!
You can make the argument that his misprinting prevents you from summoning the Magician of Black Chaos. This is because the text on Magician of Black Chaos states that it can only be summoned by the Black Magic Ritual card.
This is one instance where the misprint actually made the card more useful in play. Dragon Ice is an Effect Monster that can be special summoned from your hand or graveyard when your opponent tries to special summon a monster of their own. You need to discard a single card in order to be able to activate Dragon Ice's effect.
The text on Dragon Ice's card states that only one Dragon Ice monster can be on the field at any time. This is fortunate, as there is a version of Dragon Ice that was released as part of the Gladiator's Assault set that was printed with the wrong name.
This version of the card had the name Super Vehicroid -- Stealth Union printed on it instead. This means that you could get around the restriction of only being able to have one Dragon Ice on the field, as the misprinted version of the card had a different name.
The Monarch cards were once the most feared group of monsters in all of Yu-Gi-Oh! as they allowed you to destroy other cards on the field when they were summoned. Mobius the Frost Monarch was the most powerful of the group, as it destroyed two of your opponent's Spell/Trap cards that were on the field.
The popularity of the Monarchs led to them receiving powerful support cards. One of these was The Prime Monarch, which allowed you to return two Monarchs from the graveyard and shuffle them back into your deck.
The version of The Prime Monarch that was printed as part of the Emperor of Darkness: Structure Deck had one of the most embarrassing misprints in the history of the game. This card that appears as part of a popular trading card game had the word "card" misspelled. The Prime Monarch had the word "crards" instead of "cards" written on it.
The most popular Yu-Gi-Oh! cards will often receive different artwork when they are released as part of new sets. Cards like the Blue-Eyes White Dragon and the Dark Magician have received multiple releases which feature different images from their initial cards.
The Dark Paladin is a card that has received several different artworks. This is the fusion of Buster Blader and the Dark Magician, which means that it was important in the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime.
The version of the Dark Paladin that was released in the first edition of the Magician's Force set actually had the wrong artwork given to it. This initial printing used the version of the artwork that was used for the Dark Paladin that was given away as a promotional card with the Duel Master's Guide.
This was one of the instances when Upper Deck Entertainment (the producers of Yu-Gi-Oh! at the time) offered to replace the card with the corrected version.
The Elemental HERO Chaos Neos and Rainbow Dragon cards were the victims of repeated printing errors, as the creators of Yu-Gi-Oh! couldn't seem to tell them apart.
It is possible to combine Elemental HERO Neos and the Rainbow Dragon together into a Fusion Monster called Rainbow Neos. This is an incredibly powerful card, though it is very difficult to summon, as you must use the fusion materials listed on the card. The Crystal Beast and Elemental HERO archetypes are closely linked, which is likely why the printing errors occurred.
The version of Elemental HERO Chaos Neos that was released in the first edition of Gladiator's Assault had Rainbow Dragon's name printed on the card. The version of Rainbow Dragon that was released as part of Tactical Evolution had Elemental HERO Chaos Neos' artwork printed on the card.
These misprinted versions of the cards should technically still work in a match, as nothing in their effects lists their name.
There are a series of popular arcade games in Japan which use cards that you can buy in stores. These cards can interact with the machine and will activate special effects when they are scanned in. The Dragon Ball Heroes series is one of the most successful examples of this kind of game.
The Yu-Gi-Oh! equivalent to this game is called Duel Terminal. The machines use versions of Yu-Gi-Oh! cards that have the word "Duel Terminal" printed below the artwork, which lets you know that they are compatible with the game.
The version of the Nitro Warrior Monster Card that was released as part of the Duel Terminal 1 set was printed with the wrong Attribute. It has the Wind-Attribute symbol when it is supposed to be a Fire-Attribute monster. The version of Nitro Warrior that appeared in the regular Yu-Gi-Oh! card game had the correct Attribute printed on it.
Metalmorph is another example of a Yu-Gi-Oh! card that works differently in the anime. It was originally used by Johnny Steps during his duel against Yugi. Johnny Steps summoned the Musician King card, which he then equipped with Metalmorph in order to turn it into the Heavy Metal King.
This version of Metalmorph transformed the monster it was equipped to into a Machine-type creature. The version of Metalmorph that appears in the Yu-Gi-Oh! card game only boosts the stats of the creature it is equipped to.
The version of Metalmorph that was sold in the Premium Pack worked differently from the later versions of the card, as it was Continuous Trap. This meant that it stayed on the field after the creature it was equipped to was destroyed. This change makes Metalmorph a lot worse, as it now takes up a space on the field without being able to be reused.
The Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon was the most powerful creature in Seto Kaiba's deck when it came to sheer ATK power, to the point where it outstripped even the mighty Obelisk the Tormentor.
It is strange, then, that the real version of the card took so long to be released. The official English version of the Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon didn't see a release until 2006, which meant that cards like the Blue-Eyes Shining Dragon didn't work for years.
Kaiba's ultimate beast wasn't quite up to snuff during its initial English printing. The version of the Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon that appeared in the Gold Series had 3000 DEF points, instead of 3800, like all of the other versions of the card.
This mistake doesn't mean much in the grand scheme of things, as anyone who manages to put a Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon on the field is only going to use it to attack. Even if the other player managed to force it into defense mode, they still likely won't be able to beat 3000 DEF points. This is just another major example of Konami screwing up one of the most significant cards in the whole of Yu-Gi-Oh!
Can you think of any other Yu-Gi-Oh! cards with obvious mistakes? Let us know in the comments!