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!


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 Dec 27, 2017 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 Dec 27, 2017 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? Dec 27, 2017 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, 2017 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 :/ Dec 28, 2017 at 4:00

2 Answers 2


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.


There are a few things to consider about the game in the Yu-Gi-Oh! universe and why people couldn't play Exodia:

  1. The game was still not that popular even in it's own universe when the show began. There where many people who didn't knew anything about the game and it was only successful because Industrial Illusions was sponsoring the tournaments and was creating the cards, while KaibaCorp provided dueling fields which would make the game more entertaining for the players and those who watched the tournaments on the TV. Ratings probably skyrocketed when people started to watch other people who summon monsters and battle with them. As time progresses, the game started to become more and more popular. Kaiba is the main reason the game became as popular as it did in the DM universe. Which is why when GX begins, there are schools that train people who want to become professional duelists. Kaiba was directly responsible for the creation of such schools, because he realized that many people didn't play their cards properly during tournaments. Which is why the PRO league was exclusive only for strong duelists and it served to further promote the game to the world and make it more popular.

(Anyway I got a bit off-topic)

  1. Game shops, like the one Solomon Muto had, where the only places where you can find and buy cards, and no one was selling cards online like we do now in the real world. So players in the anime only had 2 options: buy boosters to find strong cards, or trade with the people available around them.

  2. If you have read carefully the stuff I wrote above, you should now have a better understanding as to why not many people had the pieces of Exodia. Especially the entire set. I figure that many people didn't want to trade or exchange the Exodia piece they had, because they themselves wanted to find and have all pieces and didn't wanna give away the pieces they already had. And those who where petty about it would not give someone their piece because they wouldn't wanna help someone gather the most powerful monster in the entire game.

  3. Rare cards are rare for a reason in the show. They are hard to find and only have limited numbers of copies released. For example, the Blue-Eyes White Dragon only had 4 copies in the entire world. This tells you the possibilities of finding rare cards and building a strong deck. Rich people like Kaiba could use their connections and resources to track down the cards they needed. This is how Kaiba found the three Blue-Eyes White Dragons. And Leon von Schroeder wrote to Pegasus and requested an entire archetype of fairy tale monsters to be created for him. Pegasus liked the idea so he granted the request. But he probably didn't grant other requests, like releasing more copies of rare cards. Which is why in the Yu-Gi-Oh! universe, there are not many people playing with the same decks like in the real world. The rare hunter called Seeker, who beat Joey with Exodia, used fake pieces of that monster since he probably couldn't find the real cards.

  4. Even if someone did have Exodia in their deck, the probability of drawing all five pieces was very low. A player's entire deck must be build on cards that prevent your opponent from attacking you, and cards which allows you to draw and search the pieces. Seeker used three (fake) copies of Exodia to increase the chances of drawing a part, and he used cards that allow him to draw, to speed up that process.

Other characters like Gozaburo Kaiba and Adrian Gecko used alternative strategies with Exodia, because drawing the parts was not efficient and fast enough to win a duel. Gozaburo decided to dump the parts in the graveyard instead of drawing them, in favor of playing Exodia Necros, which may not give you an instant win, but the monster couldn't be destroyed and it became more and more powerful with each turn.

Adrian, meanwhile, used Exodius the Ultimate Forbidden Lord, and he could either defeat his opponents with attacks from Exodius who becomes stronger and stronger with each normal monster he sends to the graveyard when he attacks, or automatically win when he sent all 5 pieces of Exodia to the graveyard by the effect of Exodius.

So this pretty much sums up why no one was able to summon Exodia until the first duel between Kaiba and Yugi. I hope that this was useful and fun to read.

  • Welcome to Anime.SE! Please remember to put a space after full stops and commas, otherwise it defeats the purpose of using them.
    – F1Krazy
    May 16, 2020 at 23:23
  • Yeah, sorry about that. My english is not that great and from where I live, we don't put space after commas or stops. In any event, thanks for the edit. May 18, 2020 at 18:55
  • Not a problem! The edit function is for precisely that sort of thing.
    – F1Krazy
    May 18, 2020 at 18:59

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