Synchro Summoning is a way to gain consistent access to powerful monsters that are always available.
Synchro Summoning solves a problem found in tribute summoning, fusion summoning, and ritual summoning. These other forms of summoning were clunky, you needed each piece in order to make them work. With the invention of Tuner monsters, the barrier to powerful monsters was almost eliminated.
What is a Synchro Summon
A Synchro Summon is a type of Special Summon and is performed by sending one Tuner-monster and one or more non-Tuner monsters to the graveyard; then combining their levels; then summoning a Synchro monster from the extra deck with that new level.
Synchro monsters can get very specialized. There are some that require synchro-material monsters from a specific archtype, or of a specific attribute or type. These restrictions are a lot easier to manage and allow players to build decks more suited to their play-style.
A Tuner monster is a monster class, similar to Gemini or Union monsters. They are used to create a Synchro Summon event.
You can use any monster as a non-Tuner monster, except Tuner monsters (obviously) and Xyz Monsters. To be used in a Synchro Summon, a monster must have a level. Since Xyz monsters have a Rank instead of a Level, they cannot be used.
Initiating a Synchro Summon Event
A Synchro Summon is an Inherent form of summoning, meaning one that does not start a chain and is not done as a result of a card effect.
The first step is deciding what monster you want to summon. Then, you send two or more monsters you control to the graveyard whose levels combine and become equal to the level of the monster you want to summon. Then, you place the monster on the field. Since a Synchro Summon is an Inherent Summon, at this time, your opponent may choose to activate a card that would negate the summon of a monster.
If your opponent does not negate the summon, the monster is considered properly special summoned. Summoning a monster does not start a chain. Your opponent may respond to this summon event, but not “chain” to it. The difference between respond and chain is not that big, you effectively act the same way with either, but it does help to illustrate the difference between chaining to card effects and responding to game events.
Effect Based Synchro Summoning
Properly Synchro Summoned
Formula Synchron is a great example of a card effect initiating a proper Synchro Summon event. The effect activates to Synchro Summon, and if that effect is not negated and then resolves, the monster you selected to summon gets placed onto the field.
Remember that a Synchro Summon is a type of Special Summon, so to say that a Synchro Monster was summoned properly, it was Special Summoned by a Synchro Summon.
A properly summoned Synchro monster behaves just like other monsters when it comes to the field. It gets sent to the graveyard when it is used as a tribute or destroyed. It gets banished the same as every other card. And if it is in the graveyard or banished, you can special summon it back in any way.
Improperly Synchro Summoned
An improper Synchro Summon places a synchro monster onto the field as a Special Summon, rather than properly Synchro Summoning it. An improperly summoned Synchro Monster cannot be special summoned back from the graveyard or if it is banished, regardless of how it got there
Blackwing – Vayu the Emblem of Honor is an example of a card effect special summoning a Synchro Monster without Synchro Summoning it, thereby the synchro monster was special summoned improperly. Any monster summoned with Vayu would lose the benefits of being recovered from the graveyard or as a banished card.
This monster requires 1 tuner + 1 or more Earth monsters. It doesn’t have the “1 or more non-tuners” restriction.
Red Nova Dragon
This monster requires 2 tuners + Red Dragon Archfiend. Not only does it bump up the number of tuners (I like Overtuning), but it also requires a specific monster as material for its summon.
Feel free to suggest updates to this article as new cards come out, or if you have any specific card questions! Ask me directly on twitter @mattcarterwa!