Cardfight!! Vanguard Wiki
Cardfight!! Vanguard Wiki
You can't move; you can't attack; you can't even retire. All you can do is just float there.

Suiko Tatsunagi, Episode 130

Star-vader, Chaos Breaker Dragon

"Lock" (呪縛ロック Rokku) is a mechanic which refers to the action of turning a rear-guard face down, changing the state of that rear-guard from a "unit" to a "locked card". This action was introduced in Trial Deck 11: Star-vader Invasion. It is largely associated with the Link Joker clan, and can only be found outside of Link Joker on "Яeverse" units, units corrupted by Link Joker.

In the original anime, Lock is visually shown as two black rings collapsing onto the unit reverting it into card form and on the table, the face down card is shown to emit sparks when the player attempts to touch it, and at the end of the turn, all cards that were affected return to be face up automatically without making a turn.

In Cardfight!! Vanguard G, the locked state is shown as a red sphere engulfing the unit on the field. However, the Star-vaders' variation continue with two orbiting black rings around the locked card. This is done on purpose to differentiate between "invaders" and "native beings of Cray". In the V Series the lock is shown as a red sphere too but only can used to own units to get more attacks or more power when are unlocked by effect.

Despite this mechanic being relatively unique, as well as requiring reminder text when it was first introduced, lock is not considered to be Link Joker's keyword.

How it Works

  • A "locked card" is turned face down, and loses all characteristics present on its face-up side, as well as any other characteristics that it received before being locked.
  • A locked card cannot be used to perform any action; it cannot attack, boost, intercept, use abilities, be used to pay costs, be moved to another circle or zone, or be retired by calling another unit over it.
  • A locked card is neither a unit nor a rear-guard, and while it is locked, the circle where it is on is not regarded as a rear-guard circle, but as a "locked circle".
  • A locked card is not considered to be in [Stand] Stand.png or [Rest] Rest.png state, but physically locked cards are in [Stand] Stand.png.


  • A locked card can only be used by effects that explicitly affect a "locked card" or a "card on the field" (without specifying that the card has to be a unit); and a locked circle can only used by effects that explicitly say "locked circle" or "any circle" (e.g. "Perfect Performance, Ange").
  • If a G unit that is a rear-guard becomes locked, it must be put into to the G zone face up immediately after it is locked.
  • If a Protect card is placed face down as a locked card, it immediately disappears from the game as it cannot exist outside the hand or (GC).
  • If an effect or cost places a card on (RC) as a locked card, that placed card is never regarded as a unit during this process, and "when placed" abilities do not activate.
  • If you would put a card from a hidden zone (such as your deck) onto your (RC) as a locked card, you are allowed to look at the card first, then choose the (RC) you want to place the card on as a locked card.
  • If a locked card is placed on an Astral Plane, or if a unit on an Astral Plane becomes locked, it is put into the drop zone as a rule action.


When a locked card becomes face up due to any method, it is regarded as being "unlocked" (解呪アンロック Anrokku); it ceases to be a locked card and the circle returns to its original type. "Unlocking a unit" means "turn the locked card face up in [Stand] state". A locked card normally unlocks at the beginning of its owner's end phase, but it can be done during any phase with effects or costs as well, even if the effect or cost doesn't explicitly state "unlock" (e.g. Blue Wave Armor General, Galfilia).

A locked card that is unlocked returns to being a rear-guard in the circle where it is located. However, the unlocked card is considered to be a different card than the original, and therefore all effects that the card received before it was locked are no longer applied. (For example, if a rear-guard was called due to a magia ability, and was subsequently locked, the rear-guard that was called does not return to the soul). Also, the unlocked card is not considered as being placed on the circle, and thus "when placed" abilities do not activate.

Starting from Booster Set 14: Brilliant Strike, there are cards that can unlock with their effects, most notably "Salvation Lion, Grand Ezel Scissors", who can unlock all of your locked cards with his Limit Break. This allows units to nullify the opponent's locking efforts or force them to relock units. G Trial Deck 5: Fateful Star Messiah introduced the first cards whose effects are activated when they are unlocked.

Omega Lock

"Omega Lock" (Ωオメガ呪縛ロック Omega Rokku) is a special variation of lock introduced in Booster Set 15: Infinite Rebirth. In card text, Omega Lock is referred to as "cannot be unlocked during the next end phase".

When a locked card is affected by Omega Lock, during the owner's next turn, on his or her end phase, they cannot unlock that card, but it will unlock normally during the owner's next end phase after it is affected. Cards affected by Omega Lock still can be unlocked normally or with effects during any phase in any turn, except during the "next end phase" where they cannot be unlocked by anything. If a locked card is affected by Omega Lock multiple times in the same turn, it will not prolong the Omega Lock's duration.

In the anime, Omega Lock is depicted as "locking the locked card".

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Question: If I have Liberator of the Round Table, Alfred as my vanguard and 1 of my 5 rear-guards has been locked, will my vanguard's power be 19000 or 21000 due to his Limit Break?
    Answer: 19000. Your locked cards do not exist as rear-guards on the field anymore.
  • Question: If my vanguard is Dragonic Overlord and my only rear-guard is an Embodiment of Armor, Bahr which will be locked, will my Dragonic Overlord gets [Power]-2000?
    Answer: Yes. It will be treated as though you have no rear-guards, meaning Dragonic Overlord will get power-2000.
  • Question: If my vanguard is Perfect Performance, Ange, and all of my rear-guards are locked, can I return those locked rear-guards to my hand?
    Answer: Yes, as Ange chooses cards on any circle that is not your Vanguard circle. Locked cards are on locked circles, so they will be returned to the owner's hand.
  • Question: Can a player look at his/her opponent's locked card?
    Answer: Yes, cards that are face down on a circle due to effects or costs are still in a public zone. The information is open to all players. (Do note that it is still not your card, so ask permission to handle them).
  • Question: If I use the skill of "Masquerade Master, Harri", can I put my locked cards into the soul?
    Answer: Yes, It's worded to select the circle and not the rear guard so it can pick locked cards.

Comprehensive Rulings

Comprehensive Rules: English Edition (December 21, 2021) Comprehensive Rules: Japanese Edition (December 22, 2021)

  • Lock: 10.22
  • Locked Cards: 3.8
  • Locked Circles: 3.18, 4.6.7
  • Unlocking: 6.8.1, 10.22.5, 10.24
  • G unit interactions: 10.22.8
  • Dominate interactions:
  • Placing as Locked:
  • Astral Plane interactions: 9.11.2

List of Cards

Can Lock

Angel Feather

Aqua Force

Dark Irregulars

Dimension Police


Great Nature


Link Joker



Neo Nectar

Nova Grappler

Pale Moon

Royal Paladin

Can Omega Lock

Link Joker

Can Unlock

Cray Elemental


Gold Paladin


Link Joker



Royal Paladin

Can Put Cards as Locked

Link Joker


  • The kanji used for lock "呪縛" (Jubaku) can be translated as "Curse" or "Spell".
  • The kanji used for unlock "解呪" (Kaiju) can be translated as "Dispel" or "Disenchant".



Normal Unlock

Unlocking by Effects