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Now before I get into it, I'll give a brief history of fusion summon. When the game first came out fusion monsters were literally fusions of two or more separate monsters into another, and becoming more powerful, while having no effects. Of course one of the most powerful fusions sometime after the game came out was Blue eyes ultimate dragon. As time went on fusions started to come out with actual abilities, like Dark paladin. Fusions caught on much more in the GX era thanks to the E-Heroes, but took a bit of a back seat during 5D's and Zexal but ill go over those other methods another time. As of late Fusions have made a come back with Shaddolls and Frightfurs.
Standard Fusion Summon: Now as most people would know, to fusion summon you need the appropriate fusion materials, the monsters required in the text of the fusion monster card, and polymerization. This is the original and basic method to fuse monsters together. Now as the game progressed and evolved more methods of fusing monsters were developed and introduced, namely the miracle fusion.
Miracle Fusion: The first major staple of miracle fusion was done by the E-Heroes by performing a fusion summon with monsters on the field and grave but resulting in their banishment by using the spell card, Miracle Fusion. Other types of fusion spell cards that perform fusion summon in this same method include Dragon's mirror, Frightfur Fusion, and Overload Fusion.
Contact Fusion: E-Heroes, while not the first, also excelled at another fusion method, contact fusion. Though technically its E-Hero Neos and the neo-spacians. If we want to technical the first examples of contact fusion would be the Gate guardian cards, and valkyrion the magna warrior, how ever their not technicly fusion monsters so they don't count, however the VWXYZ monsters do. Contact fusion is a fusion summon that does not require the used of polymerization, only that the monsters be on the field to summon the appropriate monster. For example Air humming bird and Neos would contact fusion, forming Air Neos. A major stable of contact fusion are the Gladiator Beasts, as well as the new Ritual Beast monsters.
Fusion Gate: Fusion gate is a field spell that allows duelists to perform fusion summoning without using polymerization, but at the penalty that the monsters used are banished.
Chain Material: A trap that allows you during the turn you used it, to fuse monsters from your hand, deck, field, or grave, but like gate, the materials used are banished. Also you can't attack that same turn. The final downside is if you use this effect to help with a fusion summon, the monsters that are summoned are destroyed at the end phase.
Fusion substitute monsters: These monster's are monsters that can replace monsters for a fusion summon, a well known monster with this ability is king of the swamp. There is are restrictions to these monsters, so you can't just use them for any fusion that you want to.
One is that most require that the other materials used are correct, so you can't use 3 king of the swamp monsters to summon blue-eyes ultimate dragon.
Two, they have to be used to replace a named fusion material in the fusion monster's text. Example, you can't use king of the swam for Evil Hero Dark Gaia, because the material required are a 1 fiend type monster and 1 rock type.
Three, The last restriction involves the text in the fusion monster's card. If the text includes "Must first be Fusion Summoned with the above Fusion Material Monsters." or "Must be Fusion Summoned with the above Fusion Material Monsters and cannot be Special Summoned by other ways" you can not used a fusion substitute, except in a case like E-Hero Prisma who can change it's name to another monster with it's effect.
That's all for this lesson, i hope this has been informative for anyone who read over this, now get out there and used what you learned to be a better duelist, and remember to have fun.
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