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In the first episode of Yu-Gi-Oh!, Yugi manages to assemble all five pieces of Exodia, to which Kaiba says in shock:

Exodia! It’s not possible! Nobody has ever been able to call him!

https://youtu.be/RfqNH3FoGi0

Why was it so tough to assemble Exodia, to the point where nobody had ever been able to summon him? I mean, we see a Rare Hunter do it in the Battle City arc, without really using the new rules Kaiba created. And given the number of people playing Duel Monsters, I would think somebody would have tried and succeeded before, despite the odds.

So why has nobody been able to summon Exodia before Yugi?

  • Cross-sited related. Given you must have every piece of Exodia in your hand before either player is defeated, Yugi is the first to successfully summon Exodia – Wondercricket Dec 27 '17 at 17:34
  • Also, FWIW, the Rare Hunter used counterfeited pieces of Exodia. Also, they designed counterfeit copies of rare cards, including The Winged Dragon of Ra and the five pieces of Exodia – Wondercricket Dec 27 '17 at 17:42
  • @Wondercricket Sure, the odds are difficult, but I would have thought that given the number of players who play the game, somebody would have had good enough odds to succeed. That said, I had forgotten that the Rare Hunters' cards were counterfeit. Maybe there are very few genuine cards in that world, so people just hadn't tried? – Thunderforge Dec 27 '17 at 23:41
  • there's also Gozaburo Kaiba but he only wanted the pieces in the graveyard to summon Exodia Necross which is far more "mortal" than the true Exodia (though i recall him have all the pieces in his hand but to discard them in the ritual) – Memor-X Dec 27 '17 at 23:47
  • @Thunderforge I’m thinking the latter, but I couldn’t find any sources to support it. The related wiki’s don’t provide enough information :/ – Wondercricket Dec 28 '17 at 4:00
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Two reasons: Rarity and plot.

Exodia is supposedly the strongest monster and summoning him means you win. In normal circumstances, summoning Exodia is very hard, and decks that can are hard to pull it off: You draw a starting hand of 5 cards out of a minimum deck of 40 cards. This means you need to draw 5 specific cards in the entire deck, which is roughly 0,00000152 or a 0,000152% chance to pull it off in the starting hand.

Decks that can achieve win safely by turn 1 need to resort in some sort of tutoring and drawing out those 5 pieces. Cards that used to help were Pot of Greed and Graceful Charity, the first drawing 2 cards (a 2:1 ratio) and the second drawing 3 but forcing you to discard 2 (1:1 ratio), yet they were both way too powerful and eventually got banned, forcing Exodia to be a random winning condition for certain rare decks.

And that's only if you actually OWN those 5 pieces. The Rare hunter owns counterfeits, and the other owners of the cards opt for other ways to use them, such as Exodia Necross.

The difficulty alone is why Yugi was most likely the first person in the future world known for summoning Exodia.

The other fact is that it is a plot point. Yugi needs to become notorious in the card game community by being essentially a rising star that is strong enough of a challenge for many. This draws more people towards Yugi, like Seto Kaiba (who was considered the strongest duelist), Pegasus and pretty much everyone else that challenges him in the series.

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