Cardfight Coalition

Guest Article: The New Tag Duel Rules

Hey guys, Tinker is back again to discuss an exciting update to the TCG which I have been waiting for a while to receive. While it doesn’t affect the main format, it’s a modernization of a classical alternative format which many might be familiar with!

Tag Dueling Update!

Duelists Unite for Victory

Tag Duels is a popular alt format in Yu-Gi-Oh, especially in the casual community. After all, what’s not to love about the idea of two Duelists uniting together to combine strategies and crush their opponents? 

As someone who has been really enthusiastic about the format in general, I can already recall spending weeks just planning with my Teammate on what exactly we would pair, how our decks would bounce off each other, and any weaknesses which the other could possibly patch.

However, one of the major blemishes on the format, was a lack of clear rulings on key parts of the modern day. The previous rules were last released in 2013 (For those curious about how those went, I recommend you check out Ark’s article here.) But, finally, new rules have arrived, clearing up a lot of questions we all have been having.

Now, I’d recommend you check out the official article here. But, the rest of this article is aimed at discussing the format and giving a few run down on the basics for those wanting to dive into it.

How the Teams are Structured

  • There are two of you! Player A, and Player B. Decide this at the start of the tournament, this does not change so choose wisely.
  • The Teams are numbered 1 and 2. The Player A of Team 1 is Player 1A, for example.
  • Player A always goes before Player B. An example of how turn order works would be; Player 1A / Player 2A / Player 1B / Player 2B, assuming Team 1 went first.
  • Player A is the first name registered on the Team Registration Form, Player B is the second.

Main Differences Between Tag Duels and the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG

  • Each Team has a combined 16,000 LP. If this hits zero, the Team loses. If a Player would win or lose (such as by Exodia, the Forbidden One), the Team wins or loses.
  • You each have your own field, this includes Field, GY and banished. You must use only your own Deck and Extra Deck.
  • You can only activate cards or effects you control, but can use your Teammate’s cards for paying costs. (This includes using as material for Xyz, etc.)
  • There can be only one Field Spell per Team.
  • The first battle phase occurs in Turn 4.

More Technical Differences

  • On your Teammate’s turn, you can activate effects similiar to an Opponent’s turn. (So Forbidden Chalice can’t be activate from hand, but can be activated if set prior.)
  • You can talk, or share private information with your Teammate, such as showing a card in your hand or seeing a set card. Prior, there was a rule that players must speak verbally in a language all players understand. This has since been conspicuously removed.
  • In contrast to before, the Forbidden & Limited List is now applied per Player and not per Team. As such, both Player 1A and Player 1B can use a single copy of the limited Raigeki, but this does not mean Player 1A can use two if Player 1B forgoes using any.
  • Every Player has access to one of two Extra Monster Zones. When one is taken, the other automatically becomes the Opponent’s. (Total of 2 EMZ per Team, no word on how extra linking is meant to work, if it does at all.)
  • Pendulum Scales may only be used by the Player who controls them. As Tag Duels gets funny about what you “control”, it should be emphasised you can only use the scales on your own field.
  • SEGOC is ordered as such; Turn Player, Turn Player’s Teammate, then opponent’s may order as they wish.
  • With effects that affect an Opponent’s Field, GY, or Banished, they affect both Player’s. With effects that reference their Hand, Deck, or Extra Deck, you must choose which Player you are affecting. (Prior, you had to choose the player sat opposite.)
  • With effects that reference the Hand, Deck, or Extra Deck that state “both Players”, you choose which player from each Team you affect. Note: If a card says “Your” in reference to those, then you have to choose your own. (So Pot of Greed can’t draw from your Teammate’s deck.)
  • You count as controlling cards on your Teammate’s Field, as well as having them in GY, and Banished. For example, if Gozen Match was on the field, and Player 1A controlled a Fire Attribute Monster, Player 1B can’t attempt to summon a Water. You can also interact with these cards in ways like summoning them to your field with Monster Reborn. (They go back to their correct zones when it leaves the field.)

So, why is this even worth bringing up?

Alternative formats are a way to increase diversity in a game, to give different ways to play and encourage people to experiment with things that you might otherwise never do. From a deck building standpoint, Tag Dueling is similiar to Dungeon & Dragon’s Gestalt, a way to mesh together things which could never work well normally and see how they work. Do you work together to try and make a batch of crazy? Or, do you try and cover each other’s weaknesses, to create a hopefully unstoppable juggernaught?

It’s also a way to help teach newer players, by pairing them up with a more experienced player who can freely offer advice. If Speed Duels is the format for learning the basics of Yu-Gi-Oh, then Tag Duels have the potential to act almost like a mentorship, for those interested in that sort of thing.

Overall, I encourage people to give Tag Duels a shot. Unlike most alternative formats, they’re very similiar to the base game, which makes them easy to get into. But, the addition of a new partner, adds a huge level of depth to have fun tinkering with.


P.S. ANCIENT LEAF. If you want to play this format? Buy it.

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NeoArkadia is the 2nd number of "The Organization" and a primary article writer. They are also an administrator for the forum Neo Ark Cradle. You can also follow them at @neoarkadia24 on Twitter.