The End Phase comes after either Main Phase 1 or Main Phase 2 in a "Yu-Gi-Oh!" duel, depending on whether or not a Battle Phase is conducted in Main Phase 1. The End Phase is not necessarily the end of the duel, but the end of that "turn" in which the card effects are activated. The End Phase of a player's turn is the only phase that the player cannot skip unless he skips the entire turn.
Reaching the End Phase
In a "Yu-Gi-Oh!" duel, each player has a deck of cards containing a minimum of 40 "Yu-Gi-Oh!" cards but not more than 60. An additional Side Deck of 15 cards is optional and between your Main Deck and Side Deck you may have a maximum of three of any given card. The dueling players determine who will go first and they begin their "Yu-Gi-Oh!" duel by drawing five cards from their Main Decks. The player going first draws one card from his Main Deck. If the first player decides to enter a Battle Phase, he will activate or adjust his cards for Battle then move on to Phase 2.
Skipping the Battle Phase
A player who does not enter a Battle Phase during his turn will go directly to the End Phase. If he enters a Battle Phase, the Battle Phase is followed by a Main Phase 2 in which additional action may take place. Main Phase 2 can include the same type of actions as Main Phase 1 as long as the standard rules are followed such as using no more than one Natural Summon action. A monster card used in Battle Phase cannot have a mode change during Main Phase 2. A player that skips his turn entirely, such as when having no cards to play, will also skip the End Phase.
The End Phase
When the player has reached the end of his turn he declares that he has reached his End Phase. This declaration lets the other player know he is about to have his turn. If the player in the End Phase has seven cards, or more, he must discard his excess cards into the Graveyard until he holds six or less cards. The discarding of excess cards is the final step in that player's turn and signifies the end of the End Phase. The next player takes his turn and completes it through to his End Phase and the process continues until one player wins.
Declaring a Winner
The winner of a "Yu-Gi-Oh!" duel is determined by a player meeting certain criteria. The player may defeat an opponent by reducing the opponent's LP (life points) to zero. If the opponent runs out of cards from his Main Deck to draw from when it is his turn, the other player is the winner. Additionally, a winner may be selected by gathering five Forbidden One cards in his playing field.
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