|Designer||Mike Elliott, Charlie Catano, and Tyler Bielman|
|Publisher||Wizards of the Coast|
|Players||2 or 4|
|Playing time||Approx 20 min|
Basic Reading Ability
The Duel Masters Trading Card Game is a two-player or 2 vs. 2 team collectible card game (CCG) jointly developed by Wizards of the Coast, Shogakukan, and Mitsui & Co.. The card game is part of the Duel Masters franchise.
The game was released in Japan in May 2002, where it quickly became the number one selling trading card game for over a year. Due to this popularity, it was released in the United States on March 5, 2004. The game shares several similarities with Magic: The Gathering, the world's first collectible card game which was also published by Wizards of the coast. In fact, Duelmasters was originally intended as an alternative and a mind game tradename for Magic: The Gathering and the earlier game play was abandoned in the Duel Masters manga plot to promote this latest experience.
As in Magic: The Gathering, Duel Masters players summon creatures and cast spells using mana. Key differences include the fact that all creatures and spells can act as mana producers, creatures cannot block attacking creatures without having the "blocker" ability, and that creatures only have one "power" statistic. Furthermore, duelists have shields in the form of cards that go to their hand when "broken" as opposed to Magic's "life points". Due to the popularity of Duel Masters, four video games (three released for the Game Boy Advance and the other for the PS2) based around the game have been produced, titled Duel Masters: Kaijudo Showdown, Duel Masters: Sempai Legends, Duel Masters: Shadow of the Code for the GBA and Duel Masters: Cobalt for the PS2.
Fans of Duel Masters around the world support player-organized tournaments and also unofficial national championships. The community centers around 2 main forums internationally which contain translations for Japanese cards. Because Duel Masters is the most successful TCG in all Asia, a new booster set is released every two months, and new theme decks every three months.
As of December 2006, the English sets of Duel Masters has been discontinued by Wizards of the Coast due to weak sales and is now being hosted by Takara Tomy in Japan.
It is rumoured that the game might return with the start of the new Duel Masters anime series "Kaijudo The Rise of the Duel Masters".
In Duel Masters, two players play the role of duelists, using the 'art' of "kaijudo" (a marketing term created for the North American version which supposedly describes the "art of battling with giant monsters"  to bring their creatures to life to do battle. Players battle each other by placing cards into their respective 'mana zones', then using that mana to summon creatures into the battle zone or cast spells.
Each player has 5 shields that protect them from damage; once these are gone, it takes one successful attack to win the duel. Also, if a player has no more cards to draw from his/her deck, that player automatically loses the duel.
Types of Cards
- Creatures: Creatures are the most important cards in the game. Creatures are summoned into the battle zone by paying their mana cost. They can attack your opponents creatures, shields or the opponent himself. Breaking all of your opponents shields and then attacking the opponent is how you win the game. Creatures that have been summoned usually have summoning sickness and cannot attack in the same turn (with exception to evolution creatures and creatures with card effects like Speed Attacker).
- Evolution Creatures: These are put on top of the creatures, or 'evolved'. These cards generally have higher powers and better effects than normal creatures. Usually, evolution creatures have 'double-breaker' or 'triple-breaker' effects which allow them to break more shields than normal creatures. Evolution creatures made their debut in the "Evo-Crushinators of Doom" set. Evolution creatures also have a wide range of mana costs, ranging from costs of 2 mana, "Barkwhip, the Smasher" to 10 mana, [Dorballom, Lord of Demons]. Overall, Evolution Creatures are a good way to quickly attack and gain an advantage over your opponent as an Evolution Creature can attack on the turn they are summoned as they do not suffer from Summoning Sickness.
- Spells: When cast, spells have an effect on either player's cards in their hand, graveyard (discard pile), mana zone or summoned creatures/cross gears and after their effect is used, they are placed into the graveyard. Some spells have special effects like "Cyclone" and "Charger" which sends the spell back to the player's hand or mana zone respectively. Spells can also have many other abilities such as "Double Evolution Burst", "Knight Magic" or "Launcher Energy"/"Photo Energy". Spells can do a variety of things such as allowing the player to draw cards, add more shields to their shield zone, giving power or various breaker abilities to their creatures, or simply destroying opponents cards.
- Cross Gears: Cross Gear's are neither a creature nor a spell. Cross Gear's are put into the battle zone but cannot attack since it has no power. When you choose to "cross" a Cross Gear onto a creature, you must pay the cost of the card again, and the "crossed" creature gained this Cross Gear's ability. However when the creature is destroyed, the Cross Gear remains in the battle zone (as a sort of continuous equip card). There is no limit to the number of Cross Gears that can be crossed onto a creature, and the only way to remove Cross Gears from the battle zone is through effects specifically affect Cross Gears.
- Evolution Cross Gears: An Evolution Cross Gear is a type of Cross Gear that can only be played on a Cross Gear of a specified civilization. It has the same basic functionality as the Cross Gear, and if the Cross Gear used to evolve is initially crossed onto a creature, the Evolution Cross Gear will be automatically crossed onto the target creature. Each Evolution Cross Gear has 2 civilizations, as features "catastrophe" in its card name.
- Fortress: Allows the player to "cross" the fortress to a shield in a similar fashion as a Cross Gear. A fortress card gains its ability after it is attached to the shield while the shield is still in play, some later Fortresses protect the attached from being destroyed in exchange for other shield. Unlike Cross Gear's, Fortresses do not need to pay their mana cost twice like a Cross Gear and are "equipped" onto the shields directly after being played. This type of card is introduced in DM-30 Ultra Duel. An example of a Fortress card in the Light Civilization is Silver Glory, Invincible Fortress.
- Psychic Creature: Psychic Creatures are a card type first introduced in DM-36 Psychic Shock. A Psychic Creature is placed in the Hyperspatial Zone which is next to your graveyard. You are limited to 8 Psychic Creatures per hyperspatial zone and they are counted separately from your main deck of 40 or more cards. At anytime during a duel you are allowed to look at your opponents hyperspatial zone. A Psychic Creature card is two-sided, and features a creature on both sides. When the cheaper side creature activates its awaken ability, you may flip the card over to its higher cost side. This gives the creature a higher power and improved card effects. For example: Bolshack Dragon, the Temporal Blaze flips over to Bolshack Mobius, Victory Awakened when it wins a battle. A Psychic creature doesn't provides any mana as it can only ever be in your battle or dimensional zone, whenever a Psychic Creature is to leave the battle zone, it returns to the dimensional zone.
- Psychic Evolution Creature: These cards are put on top of Psychic creatures like Evolution creatures. They will be introduced in DM-39 Psychic Splash.
The symbol for a card's rarity is marked in the bottom right corner of the face-up side:
- Common: a plain circle
- Uncommon: a diamond shape
- Rare: a star
- Very Rare: a circle with a star in the middle
- Super Rare: four squares put together to shape a diamond
List of Card Mechanics
This is a list of the different Card Mechanics  or effects that a creature, spell, cross gear or fortress may have:
- Accelerator: Allows a creature to use its Accelerator ability whenever it is crossed with a cross gear. A creature with Accelerator is Metalchaos Dragon.
- Awaken: Awaken is a card mechanic that belongs to the lesser side of Psychic Creatures. When a psychic creature completes a certain objective such as attacking and not getting blocked, or having a certain number of creatures in the battle zone. This allows the psychic creature to flip to the other side, gaining them stronger power or abilities. All Psychic Creatures have an Awaken ability.
- Bio Kick: Allows the player to discard the card from his hand whenever a creature of a certain race the player controls attacks and is not blocked. If the player discards that card, the ability triggers. A creature with this ability is Sealed Devil Salvador.
- Bio Tackle: Allows the player to discard the card from his hand at the beginning of a battle whenever a creature of a certain race the player controls attacks a creature. If the player discards that card, the ability triggers. A creature with this ability is Aqua Switch.
- Blocker: Allows a creature to stop an attack from an opposing creature. For example, if a creature attacks one of your shields, you can use a creature with the Blocker ability to stop the attack. Sometimes this is specific to a given trait, e.g. a "fire blocker" can only block fire creatures. A creature with this ability is Gran Gure, Space Guardian.
- "Breaker" Variants : These abilities allows the creature to break extra shields in a single attack if it makes a successful unblocked attack on a player. Each shield is broken one at a time. Should the creature leave the battle zone in the middle of breaking shields (due to Shield Trigger's or other effects) the shields are still broken. Creatures with 2 or more of these abilities can choose to use either one of these - these abilities do not stack.
- Double Breaker - The creature breaks 2 shields rather than the usual one.
- Triple Breaker - The creature breaks 3 shields rather than the usual one.
- Quadruple Breaker - The creature breaks 4 shields rather than the usual one.
- World Breaker - The creature breaks all of the opponent's shields at once.
- Galaxy Breaker - The creature breaks all of the opponent's shields at once. After the attack, all your shields are broken too.
- Crew Breaker - The creature breaks one additional shield for each creature you control that is of the same race as that creature.
- Civilization Breaker - The creature breaks as many shields as you have different civilizations in your mana zone.
- Chain: When a creature with this ability is put in the battle zone, you may look at the top card of your deck. If the card is a creature that costs less than this creature with the chain ability, you may summon it to the battle zone.
- Chain Cascade: allows you to view the top 2 cards of your deck. If they cost less than the creature with the chain cascade ability, you may summon them to the battle zone.
- Rebirth Chain: When a creature with Rebirth Chain is put into the battle zone, or when the creature is destroyed, look at the top card of your deck. If that card costs less than that creature, you may put it into the battle zone.
- Charger: Allows a spell to be put it into your mana zone instead of your graveyard after it has been cast. A spell with this ability is Slash Charger
- EVO Charger: Allows a spell to be put it into your mana zone instead of your graveyard after it has been cast and it also allows you to put a creature from your manazone underneath one of your evolution creatures in the battle zone.
- Cyclone: A spell with the "cyclone" ability is returned to your hand instead of going to the graveyard after its been cast if you've played a creature before casting the spell.
- Dynamo: A special kind of race, with an ability similar to Survivors. Dynamo creatures can tap themselves to add their power and abilities to any Dynamo that is attacking or being attacked.
- Double Evolution Burst: A spell with the ability of Double Evolution has a choice of 2 card effects. If there is at least one evolution creature in the battle zone when you cast the spell, you may choose both.
- Freeze: When a creature with Freeze attacks your opponent and isn't blocked, you may choose 1 of your opponent's creatures in the battle zone and tap it. That creature doesn't untap at the start of your opponent's next turn.
- God Link: This ability is exclusive to the race of Gods. When two Gods are linked together, they will gain each other's effects and power. When a linked God would leave the battle zone, the player can choose which of the linked Gods leaves. Gods can only link with specific Gods, whose names are stated in their card text. Some Gods have "Triple God Link", allowing them to link with 2 other Gods.
- Gravity Zero: This ability allows a player to summon a creature for no cost if the conditions are fulfilled, such as casting a spell or having a certain amount of dragons in the battle zone.
- Holy Field: A creature with Holy Field gains their ability when you opponent doesn't have more shields then you.
- Knight Magic: An ability exclusive to the Knight series of spells. These spells get to use their Knight Magic abilities a second time if you have a Knight creature in the battle zone.
- Launcher Energy: When the Spell with Launcher E is cast, the player can tap any number of non-Evolution creatures you control of a certain race that are not already tapped in the Battle Zone, the spell's effect depends on how many creatures are tapped.
- Life Gate: When the creature with this ability is destroyed, you may take a creature from your ggraveyard and add it to your hand, if so add the creature with the “Life Gate” ability to the bottom of your deck instead of the Graveyard (The races of creatures you can take back from the Graveyard are specifically stated by the card).
- Great Life Gate: Some creatures possess the Great Life Gate ability, allowing you to take back multiple creatures from your Graveyard to your hand (The races of creatures you can take back from the Graveyard are specifically stated by the card).
- Lost Prism: An ability exclusive to the race of Lost Crusaders. When the creature is put into the Battle Zone, reveal the top card of the player's deck. If that card is a multi-colored card, that player adds it to his/her hand.
- 'Mana Reburst: A creature with this ability may be summoned from the mana zone to the battle zone by paying its Mana Reburst number. For example, Beetle Moguttan has Mana Reburst 4, so it requires 4 mana to be summoned from the mana zone into the battle zone.
- Metamorph: When the player's mana zone has 7 cards or more, the creature gets the Metamorph ability.
- Meteorburn: Whenever the event stated occurs, the player may use the creature's Meteorburn ability if the player destroys a card under the creature. This ability is common on creatures with the Phoenix race. A creature with the Meteorburn ability is Ultimate Galaxy Universe.
- Mega Meteorburn: is an upgaded Meteorburn ability that requires the player to destroy more than 1 card under the evolution creature.
- Ninja Strike #: Whenever your opponent attacks or blocks, if you have # or more cards in your mana zone and you haven't used a Ninja Strike ability this attack, you may summon this Shinobi without cost. At the end of the turn you used this ability put this Shinobi on the bottom of your deck.
- Overdrive: When the creature is summoned, the player may tap extra mana to gain the Overdrive ability.
- No Choice: If any player has no cards in their hand, a creature gains their No Choice ability.
- Photo Energy: Whenever the creature with this ability is put into the battle zone, if a creature of a certain race is tapped in the mana zone to summon the creature, the creature gains the Photo E ability.
- Power Attacker: Makes a creature more powerful when they attack. For example, a creature that has power 3000 and Power Attacker +2000 will have a power of 5000 when it attacks.
- Release: Release is an ability that allows the stronger side of Psychic Creatures to flip back over to their lower side when they are removed from the battle zone.
- Revenge Chance: Activated if your opponent puts 3 or more creatures into the battle zone on that turn. The creature with the ability can be summoned without cost.
- Samurai Generation: When a player put the creature into the Battle Zone, the player may generate a cross gear from your hand without paying its cost.
- Samurai Magic: An ability exclusive to Flowing Gear - Dancing Twin Lion Fangs. When you generate this card and you have a Samurai creature in your battle zone, search your deck. You may put a Flowing Gear - Dancing Twin Lion Fangs from it into the battle zone without cost. Then, shuffle your deck. It is a mixture of the Knight Magic and Samurai Generation mechanic.
- Saver: While the creature is in the Battle Zone, when one of his/her creatures of a certain race is destroyed, he/she may destroy this creature instead.
- Shield Force: When a player put the creature into the Battle Zone, he/she may choose one of his/her shields. While the chosen shield remains in the shield zone, the creature gains the Shield Force abilities.
- Shield Plus: The play may adds the top card of your deck on top of one of your shields. The stack is considered as a single shield. "Super Shield Plus" variants do this for each of your shields, while "Ultra Shield Plus" variants add the top 5 cards onto a single shield.
- Shield Trigger: When a shield is broken, this allows you to play the card without paying its mana cost.
- Shield Saver: When 1 of your shields would be broken, you may destroy a creature with the Shield Saver ability instead.
- Silent Skill: An effect that triggers when you refuse to untap the tapped creature with Silent Skill during the untap Step at the start of your turn.
- Slayer: Allows a creature to destroy another creature in battle, regardless of the other creature's power. For example, a 1000 power creature with slayer can battle and destroy a 5500 power creature. Sometimes this is specific to a given trait, e.g. a "nature slayer" can only use its slayer ability against nature creatures.
- Solemn Duty: Activated whenever another of your other creatures leaves the battle zone or your mana zone.
- Soul: This is an ability that gains effects when you have other creatures with the various Soul abilities in your battle zone. Each civilization has their own different Soul ability. For example, "Pendelamon, Spirit Knight" protects your other Holy Soul creatures from being chosen as an effect target and "Nazuna Guma, Earth Unstoppable" can untap the Wild Soul creatures in your mana zone when summoned.
- Nature - Wild Soul
- Water - Magic Soul
- Fire - Kung Fu Soul
- Light - Holy Soul
- Darkness - Evil Soul
- Other - Bloody Soul
- Soulshift: Used when summoning Evolution Creature's. While summoning it, the creature's cost is reduced by that of the base creature's. This cannot be reduced below 1.
- Soul Recall: When a creature with Soul Recall attacks, you may choose a certain number of cards in your graveyard and them on the bottom of your deck in any order. If you do, you may activate this cards Soul Recall ability.
- Hell's Soul Recall: - You may activate this effect on both an attack, and to itself. By paying the cost of the certain number multiple times, you may chain the effect to itself.
- Annihilating Soul Recall: - When a creature with Annihilating Soul Recall attacks, you may choose cards from either player's graveyard and put it at the bottom of their owner's deck to activate its Soul Recall ability.
- Speed Attacker: Allows a creature to attack on the turn that it was summoned. This ability is similar to Haste in Magic: The Gathering.
- Stealth: Allows a creature to be unblockable when it attacks an opponent with a specific civilization card in their mana zone. For example, a creature with "water stealth" cannot be blocked by an opponent who has water cards in their mana zone. This ability is similar to the Landwalk abilities in Magic: The Gathering.
- Strike Back: When a card of a certain civilization is put into the shield zone, the player may discard that card, if he/she does so, he/she may summon the creature for no cost.
- Survivor: A creature mechanic that allows your Survivor creatures to share abilities with other Survivor creatures. Note that not all the abilities of a Survivor is a Image:Survivor.gif ability, and thus some cannot be shared.
- Sympathy: The card's cost is reduced by a certain amount for each creature of a certain race in the Battle Zone. The player cannot reduce the cost below a certain amount.
- Tap Ability: Instead of using that creature to attack, you can tap the creature and use its tap ability. When you tap it with this ability, its effect triggers and you can use it.
- Thrilling Three: Reveal the 3 top cards of your deck, for each race-specific card among those 3 cards; you may activate a special ability of the creature with the "Thrilling Three" effect. Afterward, put the revealed cards to the bottom of the deck in any order. Ex: For each "Armored Dragon" cards, you may draw an extra card.
- Turbo Rush: An effect that triggers when any of your other creatures break a shield this turn.
- Wave Striker: A creature mechanic that allows Wave Striker effects to take place if there are three or more Wave Strikers in the battle zone.
Evolution Creature Variants
A creature mechanic that allows you to "evolve" a creature into a more powerful creature. This is done by placing the "evolved" creature on top of the original.
- Evolution - Put on top of a specific kind of creature.
- Vortex Evolution - Put on top of 2 specific creatures.
- Galaxy Vortex Evolution - Put on top of 3 specific creatures.
- Mana Evolution - Choose a specific kind of creature in your mana zone, and put the evolution creature on top of that creature into your battle zone.
- Mana Vortex - Choose 2 specific kinds of creatures in your mana zone, and put the evolution creature on top of those cards into your battle zone.
- Mana Galaxy Vortex - Choose 3 specific kinds of creatures in your mana zone, and put the evolution creature on top of those cards into your battle zone.
- Deck Evolution - Reveal the top card of your Deck. If it is a creature, put the evolution creature into the battle zone on top of the revealed card. Otherwise the revealed card is added to your hand.
- Mad Deck Evolution - Reveal the top three cards of your Deck. If one of those is a creature, put the evolution creature into the battle zone on top of the chosen creature from the three. Rest two of the three cards are put to graveyard afterwards. Otherwise all the revealed cards are put to your graveyard.
- Super Infinite Evolution - Put on top of 1 or more of a specific kind of creature.
- Grave Evolution - Choose a certain type of creature in your graveyard, then put the evolution creature into the battle zone on top of the chosen creature.
- Grave Vortex - Choose 2 certain types of creatures in your graveyard, then put the evolution creature into the battle zone on top of the chosen creatures.
- Grave Galaxy Vortex - Choose 3 certain types of creatures in your graveyard, then put the evolution creature into the battle zone on top of the chosen creatures.
- Super Infinite Grave Evolution - Choose 1 or more creatures in your graveyard and put the evolution creature into your battle zone on top of the chosen cards.
- Hand Evolution - Choose a certain type of creature in your hand, then put the evolution creature into the battle zone on top of the chosen creature.
- Hand Vortex - Choose 2 certain types of creatures in your hand, then put the evolution creature into the battle zone on top of the chosen creatures.
- Ultimate Evolution - Put on top of a specific kind of Evolution creature.
- Ultimate Evolution MAX - Put on 1 of your Ultimate Evolution creature.
- Psychic Evolution - Put on top of a specific kind of Psychic creature
TCG and OCG Sets
A player must have at least a minimum of 40 cards in their deck. Players can purchase booster packs to increase the number of cards they have in their collection. Expansions are sets of cards that build upon the foundation laid out by the base set, the original set of cards released. Boosters are available in English for the first 12 sets, and Japanese for all for the following expansions:
- DM-01 Base Set: The original set of 120 cards. It introduces many of the basic mechanics such as Attack Each Turn if Able, Power Attacker, Slayer, Blocker, and Double breaker.
- DM-02 Evo-Crushinators of Doom: This set introduces the Evolution mechanic.
- DM-03 Rampage of the Super Warriors: This set focuses on decks that use only one civilization.
- DM-04 Shadowclash of Blinding Night: This set focuses on cards with abilities affecting other civilizations, e.g.: a creature that increases the mana cost of another civilization to hinder your opponent. It mainly focuses on Dark/Light support and hate, and also contains the famous cards Ballom, Master of Death and Alcadeias, Lord of Spirits.
- DM-05 Survivors of the Megapocalypse: This set introduces the Survivor mechanic. It also contains creatures with above 12000 power, the most prominent being King Tsunami which returns all creatures and Billion-Degree Dragon, which has the highest power in English Duel Masters. It also introduces Triple Breakers and Speed Attackers.
- DM-06 Stomp-a-Trons of Invincible Wrath: This set introduces creatures with "Tap" abilities. These are abilities that activate when the creature is tapped. It is also the second set to have 120 cards, including reprints of cards introduced in the Base Set. This set contains the highly sought after "Bolmeteus Steel Dragon". It also contains support for Survivors such as Evolutions, Q-Tronic Gargantua, which breaks more shields for survivors in the 'zone, and Q-Tronic Hypermind, that lets you draw a card for each survivor you have. There are also more, better survivors such as Grave Worm Q, and the first "vanilla" survivor, Promephius Q
- DM-07 Thundercharge of Ultra-Destruction: This set introduces creatures with "Stealth" abilities, allowing them to be unblockable as long as an opponent has a specific civilization card in their mana zone. It also introduces spells with the "Charger" ability, allowing you to put it into your mana zone instead of your graveyard after it is cast. Finally, it introduces creatures that gain extra abilities when you have no shields left in your shield zone.
- DM-08 Epic Dragons of Hyper Chaos: This set focuses on Dragons, and introduces three new Dragon races: Earth Dragons, Volcano Dragons, and Zombie Dragons. It also introduces the Turbo Rush creature ability and the first creatures that gains extra abilities if other creatures aren't blocked.
- DM-09 Fatal Brood of Infinite Ruin: This set adds cards that allow you to power up creatures of a race of your choosing. As well as creatures with a base power of "0000+" (A creature with power 0 or less is instantly destroyed).
- DM-10 Shockwaves of the Shattered Rainbow: This set introduces the dual-civilization and Silent Skill (creatures than you can keep tapped to use their abilities) mechanics. This is also the third set to have 120 cards, including reprints of cards from previous sets. This set also features the first card to be put on Wizards of the Coast's watch list, Bombazar, Dragon of Destiny, meaning that it may eventually be banned from constructed play following tournament results.
- DM-11 Blastosplosion of Gigantic Rage: This set introduces the Wave Striker ability. Creatures with Wave Striker can only use their abilities if there are two other creatures with Wave Striker in the battle zone. This set also introduces dual-civilization spells.
- DM-12 Thrash of the Hybrid Megacreatures: This set brings a new race type, Vortex Evolutions, which include races like Phoenix, Naga, Starnoid and Pegasus. You need two creatures to evolve these strong vortex creatures, the two cards must be of a specific race. Clone Spells let you use the cards effect additional for each copy of that spell in any players graveyard. The set offers new rainbow card evolutions and adds new creatures to the Wave Striker theme.
- DM-13 Eternal Phoenix: This set is the first Japanese-only set, and it features Eternal Phoenix, Phoenix of the Dragon Flame. It also introduces Sympathy, contrasting civilizations and 2 more cards added onto the list - Pacific Champion and Judgment of the Flame Spear and Water Sword. This set also includes the last wave striker [Toronbo, the Bone Fracturing Puppet].
- DM-14 Generation Gear: The fourth set with a Starter Deck, this set focuses on Crossgears, many card remakes and also features Dorballom, Lord of Demons and Crystal Zweilancer. It also introduces winning all battles, doubling power, and crossing crossgears for no cost. Crossgears are like equipment which you can generate (put into the battle zone) and cross to your creatures.
- DM-15 Secret of Hidden Gear: Introduces Shield Trigger X, a Shield Trigger for crossgears. This allows crossgears to be crossed instantly when broken from a shield; and Accelerator, an ability that triggers when a crossgear would be crossed. Also includes Alphadios, Lord of Spirits, and a crossgear that makes reference to Uberdragon Bajula (Bajura's Soul).
- DM-16 Origin of Perfect Gear: Introduces G-Zero which lets creatures be summoned for no cost if a certain condition is met, and reintroduces Dragons.
- DM-17 The Over-Technocross: Introduces Evolution Crossgears and the ability Strike Back, which is similar to Shield Trigger.
- DM-18 Best Challenger: This set is a reprint set, and the biggest set with 151 cards in total. It also has the last Starter Deck in the series released in Japan. The reason for this set is because the older sets have stopped in production.
- DM-19 Spectacle Nova: Galaxy Vortex Evolution creatures are introduced. These are cards that evolve on three other creatures, and are mostly single-civilization Phoenixes, with a gamebreaking Meteorburn effect that takes place when you destroy a card under them, and extremely high power. Examples include Super Divine Star Venus la Saint Mother and Super Divine Star Mercury Gigablizzard. Also focuses on single-raced decks, utilizing cards like General Kuwagatan to summon creature for free when it is destroyed and Great Cactus, which seems to be a very improbable card to be a super rare as it only allows the player to search for a Wild Veggie.
- DM-20 The Ultimate Nova: Introduces Photo E and Launcher E (refer to above). Also has Energy spells which make use of either Photo E or Launcher E. There are also races which relate to other races through their effects.
- DM-21 History of Devil Nova: Introduces Thrilling Three and cards that are high-cost but have a very useful effect. Examples include Captain Mirionparts and Tyranno Link Nova.
- DM-22 The Dragonic Nova: Supports Dragon and Phoenix, and introduces Apollonia Dragons(light civilization dragons) and Poseidia Dragons(water civilization dragons). Also has Ultimate Galaxy Universe, the first card that lets you win the game by an ability, which is also a triple breaker and evolution phoenix. If you attack with Ultimate Galaxy Universe, you can destroy the creatures under it using its meteoburn ability. If you put a phoenix into the graveyard using its ability from the bottom to the top, you win the game. World Breaker is also introduced, and breaks all shields with one attack. An example of a world breaker is Supernova Apollonus Dragerion.
- DM-23 The End of Universe: Introduces Bio-Kick, Bio-Tackle, Life Gate and Great Life Gate. Also has the first two Galaxy Vortex Evolution Phoenix without any Meteorburn ability.
- DM-24 Violence Heaven: God Link is introduced. This mechanic allows two creatures of the race God to link up, thus combining their abilities and power, and becoming a single creature. When destroyed, only one side leaves the battle zone. There are also 3-Civilization cards, and many cards that work great in a Beatdown or Control deck (see below). Includes Bolmeteus Samurai Dragon, a creature that has a lot of support and dominance in later sets. This is the first set to include foiled cards of all rarities, as part of the 5th Anniversary celebrations done by TakaraTomy in Japan, Although there are still holographic commons, uncommon and rares afterward.
- DM-25 Violence Creator: Introduces Overdrive. Also, a combo which has been banned in Japan has been discovered in this set, and it makes use of Romanesk, the Dragon Wizard; Soulswap and/or Crest of Mother to generate lots of mana. Many card remakes like Super Spark and Aqua Super Emeral are also released.
- DM-26 Dragonic Wars: This set has lots of remake foils like Bolshack Yamato Dragon, Ballom Emperor and King Alcadeias. There are many cards which support multi-civilization decks. Creatures with purely God race are also included, for example Aku, Ultimate God and Zen, Transcendent God. This is also the set which debuts alternate "secret" versions of some Super Rares released in the set, as well as other Super Rares deemed useful to be reprinted.
- DM-27 Perfect Heaven: Cards of all civilizations are released, and a 5-God-Link (which has the potential to chain to the point where all 4 copies of each God Link is on the Battle Zone, making it into a 20-God-Link, it is also the only God Link able to do so.) has also debuted in this set (The only other occasion where more than two Gods are linked up is in DMC-40, where 3 Gods link up to become an extremely powerful creature). Some races, who seem to be "discontinued", from the Base Set are also revived.
- DM-28 Battle Galaxy: The seventh set to have 120 cards. This set introduces Samurai and Knight, which trigger an ability if found on a creature/spell/crossgear of that race. Spells and Crossgears also have races now. Mana evolution is also introduced.
- DM-29 Lock-on Heroes: Introduces Shinobi, Ninja Strike and Ultra Shield Plus. The cards above can link together(Power and effect)with God-link.World Breakers are in this set too.
- DM-30 Ultra Duel: Introduces the Fortress mechanic, which can be fortified to your shields to enable your creatures to get certain advantageous abilities, or does something disadvantageous to your opponent. Some Fortresses also have an ability that takes place after the fortified shield is broken.
- DM-31 Greatest Champion: Introduces Samurai Magic and Knight Generation, as well as the new race Origin. This is the first set which non-evolution multicolored cross gears are released.
- DM-32 Evolution Saga: This set releases supports for Evolution Creatures. Introduces the new race Lunatic Emperor and the new ability Double Evolution Burst. The new Ultimate Evolution card mechanic releases.
- DM-33 Rising Dragon: In this set, new Ultimate Evolution creatures like Rising NEX, the Enlightened, White Knight HEAVEN, Lord of Spirits and XENOM, the Reaper King appears.
- DM-34 Cross Generation: Introduces Bolshack Cross NEX and other Galaxy Evolution creatures and introduces the evolution mechanic Unlimited evolution.
- DM-35 Never Ending Saga: Introduces the 6 GOD link ,which effects plays heavily around the shield zone, and the evolution mechanic MAX evolution and the EVO charger ability.
- DM-36 Psychic Shock: Introduces a new card type called Psychic Creature witch features a creature on both sides of the card such as Bolshack Dragon, the Temporal Blaze. These creatures provides no mana and are placed in a special zone near the graveyard called the Hyperspatial zone and can be summoned using some certain spells like Hyperspatial Bolshack Hole. The various Soul abilities are introduced as well.
- DM-37 Dark Emperor: This set introduces the No Choice, Solemn Duty, and Freeze mechanics, as well as dual-civilization Psychic Creature's and Psychic Creature's whose two sides are of different civilizations.
- DM-38 Angelic Wars: This set introduces the Revenge Chance and Loop Awakening mechanics.
- DM-39 Psychic Splash: This set introduced a Psychic Evolution creature, the SP ("Espy") set of creatures, as well as the Alien, Soul Command and World Command race of creatures.
The deck can consist of minimum 40 cards of any civilization and rarity and further any number of cards can be added (upto 20) to support your deck or civilization.
- DMC-01 : Shobu's Blaze Deck
- DMC-02 : Kokujo's Darkness Deck
- DMC-03 : Shobu's Blaze Power-Up Pack
- DMC-04 : Kokujo's Darkness Power-Up Pack
- DMC-05 : Lightning Thunder
- DMC-06 : Dragon Strikes
- DMC-07 : Eternal Insects
- DMC-08 : Endless Black Hole
- DMC-09 : Shobu's Dragon Legend
- DMC-10 : Hakuoh's Holy Spirit
- DMC-11 : Shobu's Dragon Legend Power-Up Pack
- DMC-12 : Hakuoh's Holy Spirit Power-Up Pack
- DMC-13 : CoroCoro New Generation Pack
- DMC-14 : Crimson Armorloids
- DMC-15 : Eternal Dragons
- DMC-16 : Guardian Blue
- DMC-17 : Dark Warriors
- DMC-18 : Shobu's Holy Dragon
- DMC-19 : Zakira's Dragon Commander
- DMC-20 : Shobu's Holy Dragon Power-Up Pack
- DMC-21 : Zakira's Dragon Commander Power-Up Pack
- DMC-22 : Hell Boost
- DMC-23 : Speed Burn
- DMC-24 : Illusion Blue
- DMC-25 : Shobu's Fullmetal Fire
- DMC-26 : Hakuoh's Angel Kingdom
- DMC-27 : CoroCoro Dream Pack
- DMC-28 : Grand Devil Finisher
- DMC-29 : Arc Seraphim Reverser
- DMC-30 : Tyranno Drake Crusher
- DMC-31 : Great Mecha-O Eraser
- DMC-32 : Mars Flash
- DMC-33 : Edge of Dragon
- DMC-34 : CoroCoro Dream Pack 2: Eternal Legacy
- DMC-35 : Beginner Beat Slash Deck
- DMC-36 : Heaven of Dragon
- DMC-37 : Violence Angel
- DMC-38 : Castle of Demon
- DMC-39 : Victory Soul
- DMC-40 : Heavy Death Metal
- DMC-41 : Wild Kingdom
- DMC-42 : Coro Coro Dream Pack 3
- DMC-43 : Never Ending Hero
- DMC-44 : Endless All Delete
- DMC-45 : Battle of Yamato Soul
- DMC-46 : Arcadias Knights
- DMC-47 : Heroes Cross Pack - Shobu
- DMC-48 : Heroes Cross Pack - Zakira
- DMC-49 : Force of Dragon
- DMC-50 : Perfect Angel
- DMC-51 : Force of Dragon Entry Pack
- DMC-52 : Perfect Angel Entry Pack
- DMC-53 : Legend Chronicle Shobu
- DMC-54 : Legend Chronicle Rival
- DMC-55 : CoroCoro Legend 7
- DMC-56 : The Samurai Legend
- DMC-57 : The God Kingdom
- DMC-58 : Mad Rock Chester
- DMC-59 : Ambitious Samurai
- DMC-60 : Eternal Death
- DMC-61 : CoroCoro Dream Pack 4: Eternal Heaven
- DMC-62 : Ultra NEX
- DMC-63 : Lunatic God
- DMC-64 : CoroCoro Legend 7: Dynamite Movie
- DMC-65 : The Movie Deck: Ultra Fire Spirits
- DMC-66 : Super Best
- DMC-67 : Dramatic Wars: Fire and Dragon
- DMC-68 : Dramatic Wars: Angel and Demon
The Five Civilizations
Duel Masters cards represent the 5 different civilizations  in the Duel Masters world. It is possible to build a viable deck with one, two or even three civilizations. If used properly, the civilizations can complement each other nicely. Each of the civilizations has a zone which most cards of that civilization affect: Fire - Battle Zone, Light - Shield Zone, Nature - Mana Zone, Water - The Hand and Darkness - The Graveyard. The five civilizations are:
- Water : The Water Civilization is composed of sunken, technologically advanced cities.
- Races: Blue Monsters, Cyber Clusters, Cyber Lords, Cyber Moons, Cyber Viruses, Deep Marines, Earth Eaters, Fish, Gel Fish, Leviathans, Liquid People, Merfolk, Poseidia Dragon, Sea Hackers, and Splash Queen.
- Traits: Water focuses on hand advantage (drawing cards), bounce (sending creatures back to the hand) and unblockables. Also features blockers, although not as good as most Light blockers. The disadvantage of water creatures is that the cost needed to summon usually are high and their power is usually low. Used correctly, water may be the best choice for a single civilization deck.
- Nature : The Nature Civilization is a beautiful world of never-ending lush greenery.
- Races: Balloon Mushrooms, Beast Folk, Colony Beetles, Earth Dragons, Emerald Monsters, Gaia Command, Giant Insects, Giants, Horned Beasts, Mystery Totems, Snow Faeries, Tree Folk, Wild Veggies, and Wonder Tricks.
- Traits: Nature focuses on mana manipulation e.g.: increasing your own mana and destroying the opponents mana, power attackers, creature searching and rushing weenies (cheap and weak, but numerous creatures used to overrun enemy). Nature possesses one pure Nature Blocker, [Super Divine Star Bigbang Anastathis] but multiple multi-civilization blockers which are always part-light like [Sanfist, the Savage Vizier]. Nature features lots of powerful creatures and are of high-medium cost of mana.
- Light : The Light Civilization is located high among the clouds in celestial structures which is a extremely highly technologically and magically advanced.
- Races: Angel Commands, Apollonia Dragons, Berserkers, Cosmo Walkers, Gladiators, Guardians, Initiates, Light Bringers, Mecha Del Sols, Mecha Thunders, Rainbow Phantoms, Shine Monsters, Soltroopers, and Starlight Trees.
- Traits: Light possesses the best blockers and focuses on shield generation, spell tutoring (searching from deck or recovering from graveyard or mana zone) and tapping and untapping creatures. Light is the civilization that has the least side-effects. Their evolutions are usually of average mana cost and has many high-power blockers in it that possess many useful effects such as double breakers or untapping it after it blocks or at the end of the turn. Exclusive to Light are creatures that can not be the target of an effect that requires a player to choose, for example [Warlord Alizonus] cannot be affected by spells like [Spiral Gate].
- Darkness : The Darkness Civilization is located underground, with an evil and poisoned landscape.
- Races: Brain Jackers, Chimeras, Dark Lords, Dark Monsters, Death Puppets, Demon Commands, Devil Masks, Dragon Zombies, Gargoyles, Ghosts, Hedrians, Living Dead, Pandora's Box, Parasite Worms, and Zombie Dragons.
- Traits: Darkness focuses on hand destruction, creature destruction and slayers. Darkness has many powerful creatures, including blockers, but the cards usually possess negative side-effects so they are considered by some to be the best choice for a deck featuring only one civilization.This type of decks are very useful for those who know how to use its effects well.It has the same standard as light but instead of focusing on shields it focus more on destroying.Light and darkness makes good combination for a deck.Cards like (King Acardias)is very useful for that type of decks.
- Fire : The Fire Civilization is located in a volcanic and battle-torn land ruled by those with the most power.
- Races: Armored Dragons, Armored Wyvern's, Armorloid's, Big Muscles, Dragonoid's, Dune Geckos, Fire Birds, Featheroid's, Flame Commands, Humans, Machine Eaters, Melt Warriors, Rock Beasts, Volcano Dragons, and Xenopart's.
- Traits: Fire focuses on rushing, speed attacking (allows creatures to attack the same turn that they are summoned), mana destruction and creature destruction with power limits (for example: destroy a creature with 3000 power or less). Fire only possesses Multi-civilization blockers (which are always part light) blockers. Fire possess many powerful creatures and double breakers, thus making them one of the more unusual civilizations.
- Rainbow: Since DM-10 Shockwaves of the Shattered Rainbow, multi-colored (or Rainbow) cards were introduced. These contain cards that feature between 2 or 5 civilizations, while also gaining additional races or sharing effects. There are multiple races exclusive to Rainbow, Creator's, Lost Crusader's, Naga's, Pegagus', Soul Command's, Starnoid's, Spirit Quartz, World Bird's, World Command or World Dragon's.
- Others: There are also some cards in Japanese Duel Masters that are of a different civilization that they are supposed to, for example, Aqua Holy is a Pure Light Liquid People. This means that races are not always restricted to one civilization.
There are many races belonging to more than one civilization, including Alien, Arc Seraphim, Brave Spirit, Creator, Deep Marine, Dreammate, Dynamo, Great Mecha King, Grand Devil, God, Lost Crusader, Lunatic Emperor, Luna's Sun Kaiser, Machine Hero, Origin, Phoenix, Saint Head, Shinobi, Survivor, Tyranno Drake and Vehicle Bee.
- World of Duel Masters
- Wizards of the Coast Duel Masters site : Official English Duel Masters site.
- Takara-Tomy : Official Japanese Duel Masters website
- Shobu.io : Only site with English DM-1 through 12, where it's possible to play online with rules support engine. Site started since 2021.05 so working in progress.
- Duel Masters Global Online Community supporting official western and Japanese gameplay, online and offline tournaments, contests, card trading and multi-language card translations.
- Duelzone The most active Duel Masters forum.
- Trade Cards Online Search for Duel Masters Japanese translated and English cards, make trades, play online with other players worldwide Duel Masters.
- Duel Masters Wikia A Duel Masters TV Wikia and TCG/OCG card database.