Card of the Day: 31st of Jan

For the final day of January we get our first glimpse of cards from the Madoka booster, and our first Yellow cards. Both of these cards are support cards and suggest an interesting direction the Madoka deck could take.

Cornering contract, Kyubey

Yellow / Level 0 / Cost 0 / 500 / 1 Soul / No Trigger

« 宇宙人 Alien»/ «魔法 Magic»

[C] All of your other «魔法 Magic» characters gain Power +500.
[C] When you pay the Cost of your character’s [CHANGE], you may put the Marker under this card to the Waiting Room in the place of 1 Stock.
[A] When this card is put from your Hand to the Stage, put the top 1 card of your Deck under this card as a Marker.

Kyubey here is the standard support type character for your Madoka deck, since I imagine the vast majority of cards will be «魔法 Magic». This means he will be essential for Madoka decks (as much as some people might hate to have to play Kyubey). Like a lot of the other single attribute support cards he also come with an added bonus in the form of his 2nd and 3rd effect. These effects combined make it much easier for you to use Change effects, since it knocks 1 cost off of them. The only potential problem could be that sometimes you will end up with an important card as a Marker underneath Kyubey, with no immediate way to get it out of there, however this probably won’t happen too often. Since Kyubey supports Change abilities it suggests that the Madoka deck will be based around the concept of Change. This makes thematic sense within the series, since as a Magical Girl show there are a lot of magical transformations or changes.

Kyubey also potentially offers important support to Standard play, since his 2nd and 3rd effect will benefit all decks focused around Change, making things easier and faster for those kinds of decks.

A wish to live, Mami

Yellow / Level 1 / Cost 1 / 2500 / Soul 1 / 1 Soul Trigger

«魔法 Magic» / « お茶 Tea»

[C] During your turn, all of your other characters gain Power +1000.
[A] CHANGE [(1) Put this card to the Waiting Room] At the beginning of your Draw Phase, you may pay the cost. If you do so, choose 1 [Burdened by Destiny, Mami] from your Waiting Room and put it in the Border this card was in.

Mami here is our first Change card, as well as also being a powerful support card. The card itself will never be attacking, hopefully, so you won’t be too bothered about the lousy attack score. I imagine often you’ll play her alongside Kyubey for a one turn boost before upgrading to [Burdened by Destiny, Mami]. We need to wait and see how powerful this card is before we can truly assess how good today’s card is. Thanks to Kyubey this card’s change will often be free to use, meaning you’ll usually only need to pay 1 stock overall for a card that will hopefully be level 2, whilst you are still at level 1. It seems a little odd to me to see a level 1 with 1 Soul Trigger, but this is probably more common than I think, due to not having seen all the cards out there.

Hopefully we’ll see a lot more Change abilities in the future that can make good use of Kyubey. The Madoka deck is already building up to be interesting and I’d like to see what sort of Red cards are on offer soon.

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Preparing for YCS Leipzig: Misunderstood Cards

Following on from my article about misunderstood game mechanics, I’m going to be looking at several cards which players and judges can sometimes have problems with. If any of my readers can come up with suggestions for other cards they’d like to know more about, let me know and I can possibly include them in a follow up article. Some of what follows may seem obvious to some of us, but remember we all have to start somewhere in the game and Yu-Gi-Oh! can be unnecessarily complex sometimes.

Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning

This card cannot be Normal Summoned or Set. This card can only be Special Summoned by removing from play 1 LIGHT and 1 DARK monster in your Graveyard. Once during each of your turns, you can select and activate 1 of the following effects:
● Select 1 monster on the field, and remove it from play. If you activate this effect, this card cannot attack during this turn.
● If this card destroyed your opponent’s monster by battle, it can attack once again in a row.

Long time players should be aware of how this card functions, because they’ll remember last time we could use him. However there have been many many new players since then, who have been using the card for the first time this format.

Using his 1st effect should reasonably be covered by the topic on priority written previously. An important thing to note is that even if this effect were negated by cards such as Skill Drain, Effect Veiler or Light-Imprisoning Mirror you still wouldn’t be able to attack with him that turn.

The 2nd effect is where some players can come undone. For starters you do not need to say you are using this effect during the Main Phase, you will choose to activate it or not when it destroys a monster by battle. Don’t let anyone try to convince you otherwise and cheat you out of an attack. The bonus attack granted by this effect must be used immediately after the initial attack, you cannot save it for later in the turn, or for a following turn, you must use it at the next chance to attack that turn, otherwise you forfeit it. Finally you only ever gain 1 bonus attack per turn, you cannot use this card to wipe your opponent’s field of all their monsters is one blow. All cards which gain a bonus attack in a row function in this fashion.

Shadow-Imprisoning & Light-Imprisoning Mirror

When the effect of a DARK monster activates on the field or in the Graveyard, negate it.

When the effect of a LIGHT monster activates on the field or in the Graveyard, negate it.

Both of these cards cause problems and confusion because people mistake them for functioning in the same way as Skill Drain or Effect Veiler when there are in fact some subtle differences between them. If you haven’t done so already reading up about where effects activate and resolve is a good starting point for how these cards work.

With that in mind you can see how these cards differ from Skill Drain, but are similar to Effect Veiler. Much like Effect Veiler the cards in question do not care for the physical location of the card when the effect is resolving, just where the effect activated. This means Honest, Kalut, D.D. Crow and Effect Veiler can dodge these cards, being Hand effects, whilst Destiny Hero Malicious can’t due to being a Graveyard effect. To work out whether a card will be stopped by these cards, just think about where the effect activates. If a card has a cost which changes the physical location of the card the effect will activate in the location the card was before this cost was paid.

These cards however do not work exactly like Effect Veiler though, in that they don’t negate the effects of Light and Dark monsters, they negate effects which activate. This means continuous effects such as Spirit Reaper’s battle invulnerability are not stopped by these cards. This can also be important for Inzektors, since it means it will stop an Inzektor equipping another one to itself, but it cannot do anything about an Inzektor that has already been equipped, unlike Skill Drain and Effect Veiler.

Debunk

Negate the activation of an Effect Monster’s effect that activates in the hand or Graveyard, and banish it.

Much of how this card functions can be extrapolated based on what I’ve previously said about where effects activate and resolve, and comments about the Imprisoning Mirrors. This means it can stop Hand effects like Maxx “C” and Effect Veiler or Graveyard effects such as Destiny Hero Malicious or Sangan. However it cannot stop Field effects such as Stardust Dragon’s negation ability, Exiled Force (not that anyone uses it anymore), and Inzektor Hornet (although this is also a Spell card at the time).

Remember that because this is a Counter Trap it means you CAN use it in the Damage Step.

Maxx “C”

You can activate this effect during either player’s turn by sending this card from your hand to the Graveyard. This turn, each time your opponent Special Summons a monster(s), draw 1 card. You can only activate “Maxx “C”” once per turn.

Maxx “C” saw a massive upsurge in popularity recently, when people realised it was actually a good card. However there might be people out there who aren’t using the card incorrectly, for one reason or another.

The first thing to remember is that in instances where your opponent summons multiple monsters at once (such as Rescue Rabbit), you only get to draw one card. Also even though it is a quick effect, it does not negate anything, so you cannot use it in the damage step. This means that if you see a Gorz it’s too late to use (well unless it came out via the burn effect…), so you’ll have to play it before attacking and hope the opponent does in fact have Gorz.

The drawing is mandatory, it is not something you can forget about and both players should be reminded of this fact so that the player of Maxx “C” doesn’t forget this. The drawing also does not use the chain, and happens after your opponent successfully special summons a monster.

If your opponent plays a card like Dimensional Fissure or Macro Cosmos their effects are not active until they resolve, which means you can chain Maxx “C” if you wish, although it’s probably doubtful the opponent will follow up with any special summons after this.

Last but not least we have a matter which is probably the most common way the card is misused, and this is in regards to inherent summons. Since inherent summons do not use the chain they are events that cannot be chained to, only responded to. This means that you cannot chain Maxx “C” when your opponent synchro summons, or special summons a card like Dark Armed Dragon for example. You may still respond, but by that point it will be too late to draw a card since the summon has already happened. It means you will have to discard Maxx “C” in anticipation of one of these moves happening, or to try and prevent one of these moves. Of course against special summons that use the chain, such as Monster Reborn, it’s perfectly fine to chain Maxx “C” to this card and then draw when it resolves.

Wind-Up Shark

When a “Wind-Up” monster is Normal or Special Summoned to your side of the field: You can Special Summon this card from your hand. Once per turn: You can activate 1 of these effects.
● Increase this card’s Level by 1, until the End Phase. ● Reduce this card’s Level by 1, until the End Phase.

Wind-Up Shark is a new monster, so of course people aren’t used to playing it yet and are unfamiliar with how it works. His level modify effects need little explanation beyond a reminder that it is once per turn, and not once whilst face up like the other Wind-Ups. How you special summon him is likely to be the area to trip people up though.

His special summon effect is an optional trigger effect. This is important with regards to activating his effect, and activating that of other monsters on the field. Since it is a “When” optional effect it means the summon has to be the last thing to happen. For normal summons this usually doesn’t matter, unless Ultimate Offering is involved, but for special summons there can sometimes be problems. If for example Factory and Magician are set off at the same time then unless Magician is placed as Chain Link 1 you will miss the timing, since Factory won’t have resolved yet otherwise.

Being an optional trigger has some important interactions with other monsters too. Since it is a trigger effect when you summon a Wind-Up the first thing you’ll have a chance to do is use his effect. Should you choose to do so you cannot activate the ignition effect of the monster you just summoned, because you cannot chain a spell speed 1 effect to anything, except in instances where they all activate simultaneously. If you don’t use Shark’s effect you can still retain priority to use the ignition effect, since passing on an optional trigger does not pass priority to the opponent. Of course you could just wait until Shark is summoned to activate the effect of your other monster, but the opponent might have other plans and get rid of your first monster in the meantime.

Reborn Tengu

When this card is removed from the field, Special Summon 1 “Reborn Tengu” from your Deck.

For most people this will be a refresher, but not everyone knows this yet. The biggest point of contention with this card is the matter of what it means to be removed from the field. A while back Konami did a useful article on the matter, so that might be a better source of information. The important matter that people care about though is how he interacts with Xyz. By now most people are aware that turning into an Xyz material is not considered to be leaving the field, and the cards used cease to be considered cards anymore, rather just as Xyz materials, newcomers to the game might not be aware of this though. This means Reborn Tengu does not get his effect when used as an Xyz material, since it is not considered to be leaving the field. Neither does it get its effect when detached, since it was no longer considered a card whilst an Xyz material.

Another matter that comes up occasionally is the issue of Tengu being destroyed whilst face down. If it was by a card effect Tengu does not activate, since at the time it was destroyed it was not a Tengu on the field, so it cannot be removed from the field. If it was by battle it does activate, since to battle him you need to flip him face up, thereby making it so Reborn Tengu is now face up on the field, and aware that he is just about to be removed from the field.

Rivalry of Warlords & Gozen Match

Each player sends monsters they control to the Graveyard so that they only control 1 Type of monster. Each player can only control 1 Type of monster.

Each player sends monsters they control to the Graveyard until they each control monsters of only 1 Attribute. Each player cannot control monsters with different Attributes.

For the final cards today I have chosen two of the most problematic cards ever printed. Just about all of us have been caught out one way or another with regards to this card and it’s very unusual to go through a large tournament without having to deal with situations around either of these cards.

The first thing that must be pointed out is that these cards are functionally the same, barring the fact one is for Type (Warrior, Dinosaur etc), the other Attribute (Light, Dark etc), despite the minor word differences. Both cards function in the same way and don’t let someone tell you otherwise.

The next way people struggle with these cards is how they actually function. Once you reduce your field to one attribute/type it is not a matter than you have chosen for example to keep Machine on the field, it just so happens to be the type of the only monsters left on the field. Once this restriction is in place you cannot attempt to summon a monster of a differing attribute/type. If for example Gozen Match were active you could not tribute Treeborn Frog for Caius, because Caius is Dark, not Water. Similarly you could not turn Tour Guide from the Underworld and Sangan into Wind-Up Zenmaines, because he is not Dark (or fiend in the case of Rivalry). Even if summoning the card would get rid of Rivalry/Gozen, such  as Uria, you cannot attempt the summon unless you have the appropriate type/attribute on the field.

In cases where a monster on the field has an effect that removes itself from the field in some way (sending to graveyard, deck or banishing etc) in order to summon other monsters you cannot activate the effect unless you can prove there are legitimate cards of that type/attribute to summon. For example you cannot use Rescue Rabbit under Gozen match unless you can prove you have some more Earths in the deck, such as Sabersaurus. Similarly you can only “tag” with a Gladiator Beast if you’ve got a monster of the same attribute in the deck that is a legal summon. For example you can tag out Murmillo if you prove Retiari is in the deck, but you cannot tag out Laquari if the only other Fire in the deck is another Laquari. However in both cases once the monster in question has left the field (assuming they’re the only one on the field) the restriction on types/attributes is no longer applied since the field is now empty. This means you can summon Kabazauls if you wish, or any other legal Gladiator Beast.

In cases where you inadvertently end up with a monster of a different type/ attribute many people handle this wrong, due to misconceptions on how Rivalry/Gozen work. Some people think that when this happens you get to rechoose which to keep, but this is wrong. When a monster of a different attribute/type ends up on your field it realises it should not be there and is sent to the graveyard by game mechanics. This can be a monster summoned through Reasoning, one summoned by Monster Reborn, where Gozen/Rivalry was chained to it, or when one of your monsters is flipped face up as a few examples.

In the case of flipping face up you cannot do this manually, since you are not allowed to try and summon it, but should it happen via for example Battle, should it survive the battle it will then be sent to the Graveyard by game mechanics.

One final point which usually causes confusion and arguments is the matter of switching control of a monster and it’s caught the best of us out. Since this is not considered to be trying to summon a monster you are still allowed to try and take control of an opponent’s monster with a different type/attribute to your own. However as soon as it switches sides and realises it is not allowed to exist there it will be gotten rid of by game mechanics. This can be a useful way to get rid of monsters that are bothering you in some cases.

I hope this has been an enlightening read for at least someone reading this. Please let me know if there is something that is wrong, you disagree with or would like to see expanded upon. It is far better for the information to be accurate.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Preview: Dragons Collide

The next Yu-Gi-Oh! product to look forwards to is the Dragons Collide Structure deck, which brings with it plenty of reprints and 5 new cards. Dragons Collide is the third Dragon Structure Deck, because apparently you can never have too many dragons. This time however the deck is also themed around Light and Dark cards, because once again it’s not like there aren’t already lots of those in the game. Apologies in advance if any names/text etc isn’t 100% accurate, this is being written before the product is released in the TCG.

The majority of the new cards in the deck are purely for the support of other Dragons, but one of them, the new Field Spell, can find uses outside of Dragon decks. The deck brings us 3 new Monsters, one new Spell card and 1 new Trap card all of varying usefulness. To start things off I’ll be looking at the Monsters

Monsters

Lightpulsar Dragon

Level 6 2500/1500 Light Dragon

You can Special Summon this card (from your hand) by banishing 1 LIGHT and 1 DARK monsters from your Graveyard. You can Special Summon this card (from your Graveyard) by sending 1 LIGHT and 1 DARK monsters from your hand to the Graveyard. When this card is sent from the field to the Graveyard: You can target 1 Level 5 or higher DARK Dragon-Type monster in your Graveyard; Special Summon that target.

Lightpulsar Dragon is the signature Light Dragon of the new deck, and of the new cards is arguably the best new addition to the Dragon deck. Lightpulsar can be summoned in a similar fashion to Dark Simorgh, except instead of being a Dark and a Wind, it’s a Dark and a Light, which is much easier to achieve. There are of course many more good Lights than there are good Winds.

Most of the time you’ll want to summon Lightpulsar from your hand, since it doesn’t cost you anything, compared to the -1 you’ll suffer summoning it from the Graveyard. There are cards you’d rather have in the Graveyard instead of your hand, but Dragon’s already have cards like Future Fusion to dump Dragons before they even reach your hand. Since there are no restrictions on summoning Lightpulsar you can also tribute summon or special summon him via other means.

Unlike Dark Simorgh he doesn’t offer a powerful lockdown effect once summoned, basically being nothing but a Summoned Skull whilst on the field. However once he hits the Graveyard he can really start to shine, making the opponent very wary of defeating him. Of course be warned that Lightpulsar can miss the timing, so don’t try and Synchro or Tribute him and expect to get his effect off.

The most obvious target for revival is Red Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon (REDMD), the big boss of the Dragon deck. Once you summon REDMD you can special summon even more monsters, including the Lightpulsar you just lost, opening up the chances for even more special summons. You can continually loop Lightpulsar with REDMD gaining more and more Dragons every time he falls, or if REDMD falls first you can bring him straight back and start all over again. These two cards combined can be quite a pain to take down unless you manage to banish them.

Its 2500 attack is useful since it means it can go head to head with cards like Stardust Dragon and trade off for a REDMD as a follow up.

Unfortunately there aren’t that many truly great level 5 or higher Dark Dragons after REDMD, so you’ll probably have to hope you can get two in the Graveyard at once. Something like Dark Horus is a potential choice, but you don’t want to be adding to the inconsistency by adding even more high level monsters than you really need. If I’m missing something glaringly obvious let me know, but all I really see is the chance to revive Synchros sometimes outside of REDMD. Within the deck it’s ideally meant to be paired with the next card in the preview.

Darkflare Dragon

Level 5 2400/1200 Dark Dragon

You can Special Summon this card (from your hand) by banishing 1 LIGHT and 1 DARK monster from your Graveyard. Once per turn: You can send 1 Dragon-Type monster each from your hand and Deck to the Graveyard to target 1 card from either player’s Graveyard; banish that target.

Darkflare Dragon is the dark signature card for the deck but unlike its Light counterpart it is a much less useful card. It is basically a walking D.D. Crow / Dark Smog or similar. Unlike those cards it doesn’t have the surprise factor though. It’s also much harder to make up for the discard in Dragons compared to Dark World, relying on other cards like REDMD to revive them. A combination of Red-Eyes Wyvern and REDMD is a potential combination, turning either of those in hand into a REDMD on the field by the end of the turn.

I imagine the card is intended for use with Eclipse Wyvern, the next card in the preview, since it doesn’t mind going to the Graveyard. It also provides a reason for why you’d want to banish one of your own cards from the Graveyard, something Dragons usually want to avoid outside of summoning other monsters.

Eclipse Wyvern

Level 4 1600/1000 Light Dragon

If this card is sent to the Graveyard: Banish 1 Level 7 or higher LIGHT or DARK Dragon-Type monster from your Deck. If this card in the Graveyard is banished: You can add the monster banished by this effect to your hand.

Eclipse Wyvern is a new tutor for the Dragon deck. By combining it with either Lightpulsar or Darkflare you can easily get him into the Graveyard and banish one of your powerful Dragons for later. Obvious choices include cards like REDMD, Light and Darkness Dragon and Dark Armed Dragon. If you’re playing for fun it can even fetch things like Blue Eyes White Dragon. It can also be sent from the field to the Graveyard, should you be forced to summon/ set it to the field. Once Eclipse Wyvern is in the Graveyard you can use him to summon Lightpulsar or Darkflare and retrieve the banished card. If you focused the deck around him you could even use Darkflare’s banishing effect on Eclipse Wyvern. Also good news, since it’s an “If” card you don’t need to worry about missing the timing with this effect.

I can see Eclipse being more useful than Darkflare, but nowhere near as good as Lightpulsar. It may see some use, but the deck needs to be pretty specialised to support it.

Spell Card

Chaos Zone

Field Spell Card

Each time a monster(s) is banished, place 1 Chaos Counter on this card for each of those monsters. Once per turn: You can remove 4 or more Chaos Counters from your side of the field to target 1 banished monster whose Level is equal to the number of Chaos Counters removed; Special Summon that target. When this card is sent from the field to the Graveyard by an opponent’s card effect: You can add 1 LIGHT or DARK monster from your Deck to your hand whose Level is equal to or less than the number of Chaos Counters that this card had.

Chaos Zone is the Field card of the deck, since for some reason structures decks always seem to come with Field cards now. It is also the only general use card of the new cards. It’s very easy to utilise in this deck, gaining a counter when you special summon REDMD by banishing a Dragon or through Red-Eyes Wyvern’s effect, and gaining two when you summon cards like Lightpulsar from your hand. It soon becomes very easy to build up enough counters to start bring back the monsters you’ve banished, or that have been banished by opponent’s card like Dimensional Prison or Caius the Shadow Monarch.

You can banish powerful monsters with the purpose of reviving them with Chaos Zone (Although it will cost a lot of counters, so be careful trying to bring back REDMD this way), or just stick to smaller things like Red-Eyes Wyvern so they can be reused.

The card can also draw fire away from your other Spell/Trap cards by encouraging your opponent to destroy it as fast as possible, lest they allow you to search your deck for any Light or Dark Monster you like. After a certain point your opponent will be stuck choosing whether to let you revive banished cards, or stop that, but allow you to add what could be nearly any monster from your deck to your hand, still leaving you with a +1.

Since neither of these effects are restricted to Dragon monsters it can find a place in plenty of other decks which banish a lot. Macro Cosmos / Dimensional Fissure deck will love this card, since it can have access to both effects, just be careful of having too many continuous Spell/Trap cards that don’t do much on their own. These sorts of decks will especially love the card because it gains counters even when the opponent banishes things, and you can even steal their monsters with its effect.

Another deck which might like it is Lancer Frogs, due to how commonly they banish cards, but I would question the problem it causes for Treeborn Frog and the fact that the deck will probably only build up the counters very slowly. I suppose at the very least the ability to search Effect Veiler and maybe Caius will sometimes be useful, but I doubt you’ll be searching any higher than that.

It’ll be interesting to see what decks if any pick up on this and put it to good use.

Trap Card

Dragon Reincarnation

Normal Trap Card

Banish 1 face-up Dragon-Type monster you control; Special Summon 1 Dragon-Type monster from your hand or Graveyard.

Dragon Reincarnation is a new piece of themed revival for the deck, and also plays into the new banishing theme they appear to be building for Dragons. However compared to generic revival, and cards already at their disposal such as REDMD I find this card a little lacking. The only real advantage I see for this card over something like Monster Reborn is the ability to summon from your hand. However the problem is that cards like REDMD can do this without the need for another card, same for cards that are 1 tribute. Those like Lightpulsar that can summon themselves at the cost of no cards also don’t really benefit from this.

I suppose another purpose of the card is to allow quick summoning of cards from your hand you wouldn’t otherwise be able to do in 1 turn (assuming Dragon Reincarnation was set from a previous turn), but a -2 to do this is just terrible.

The main redeeming quality of the card, is that as a Trap card you can use a smaller monster to bait out certain Spell/Trap cards before reincarnating them into something stronger. This of course doesn’t help against things like Mirror Force or Smashing Ground, but it could find uses somewhere.

With so much revival elsewhere in the deck and generic cards like Monster Reborn around I don’t think this card will see much play.

Let me know if you have any thoughts on these cards, and whether I’ve missed anything obvious out, or disagree with my assessment of some of the cards.

Card of the Day: 27th and 30th Jan

Apologies for the late running of Friday’s card of the day, but as usual I’ve been a bit busy with other things. Friday rounded off the Madoka week with another Madoka card and her accompanying Climax card. This week continues the run of Madoka cards with a new Homura card, this time a level 3.

Health representative, Madoka


Green / Level 0 / Cost 0 / 2500 Soul 1 / No Trigger
«魔法 Magic»
[A] [(1)] When this card attacks, if [Girl from the Dreams] is in the Climax zone, you may pay the cost. If you do so, choose 1 character from your Clock, return it to your Hand, and put the top 1 card of your Deck to Clock.

Girl from the Dreams


Green / 2 Soul Trigger
[A] When this card is put from your Hand to the Climax zone, put the top 1 card of your Deck to Stock, and all of your characters gain Soul +1 for that turn.

Here we have a level 0 Climax combo between Madoka and a Soul/Stock boosting Trigger. The Climax card is one of the +1 Stock/Soul kind, which is very useful for Green decks which need as much Soul as they can get. The Madoka card has reasonable attack for a card with a bonus ability, sitting at 2500. This means that she isn’t completely helpless against other level 0 cards, but you shouldn’t expect her to stick around too long in the face of stronger level 0 cards, since once they get above 3500 it’s unlikely that even support can keep her around.

Her ability works perfectly with the Climax card, because you will always have the 1 stock required to use her effect from the Climax card. Retrieval effects are always useful, and this is no exception, since cards in the Clock can be especially hard to get back until you level up. Unfortunately though the Clock will have a much smaller choice of cards to retrieve compared to the Waiting Room. If you can get multiple copies of this Madoka down at the same time you can gain 1 or 2 cards from this effect, otherwise it will normally be break even (since you lose the Climax card). If you can spare the space on the Stage, this card can be useful at all stages of the game, since you will often have something stuck in the Clock you could really do with in your Hand.

Homura Akemi


Green / Level 3 / Cost 2 / 10000 / 2 Soul / 1 Soul Trigger

«魔法 Magic» / « 時間 Time»

[C] If you have 4 or fewer cards in Stock, this card gains +500 Power and [A] ENCORE [Discard a Character card from your Hand to the Waiting Room]
[C] The Character opposite this card gains -1 Soul.

The 2nd Level 3 in the Trial Deck is another Green card, and this time it’s for Homura. At first it might look underwhelming, but this could be surprisingly annoying in the late game.

Her 1st ability comes into play when your stock is low, which can either happen just because it’s late game and you’ve just played all your powerful cards, or you can combine it with the level 3 Madoka card. Madoka can drain the stock for her massive power boosting abilities, making her able to take down just about any threat, which will then activate Homura’s ability. The +500 boost really doesn’t matter all that much, but when many level 3s are stuck at 10000 base + supports (due to having powerful effects not related to attack power) the extra power can help kill them off. Encore is very useful at level 3, because at this point both Stock encoring and playing another copy from your hand would be very costly.

Her 2nd ability helps protect you from damage, which can be very handy in the late game, when you’ll play her. It basically means everything with Soul 1 can’t cause damage without Climax / Trigger support, and it means Side Attacks have to hit 5 Soul before they can even cause 1 damage, which isn’t exactly an easy thing to achieve. The one down side is that it makes it easier for Front attacks from other Soul 2 cards to kill you once you hit about 5 or 6 stock at level 3, since you’ll usually be taking 1 damage, instead of 2, making it harder to cancel.

UKTCGS

UKTCGS is one of the most active card game communities based in the UK, with both a lively website and facebook group. The site mainly caters to Yu-Gi-Oh! players, but welcomes players from all sorts of card games, such as Magic and Pokemon. The community is made up of players ranging from absolute beginners to World Championship competitors and aims to be be a friendly and inviting environment regardless of which end of the scale you fall onto.

It was originally started by a concerned parent who found it hard to locate events in the local area and details on such events. Nowadays it contains information on events all across the country, so if you’re just starting out you can find out what’s going on around you to build up your experience and if you’re a more experienced player you won’t miss out on the big events. By cooperation with local Tournament Organisers they are also able to occasionally offer free entry to larger events for lucky prize draw winners. In addition the site provides videos and photos of some of the events around the country, allowing players to see what’s going on around them more easily than just with words.

So if you’re looking for events in your area, or just some people to talk about cards with, it could well be worth a visit for you.

Preparing for YCS Leipzig: Misunderstood game mechanics

With another European YCS not too far away it’s time to start getting ready for the event. Some of you may remember my two articles for Brighton detailing general conduct, behaviour and preparations for the event, as well as discussing some game mechanics and cards that people often don’t fully understand. The details of those articles still apply to this YCS and any large event in Yu-Gi-Oh! in general, so if you haven’t already done so it could be well worth checking out Part 1 and Part 2.

With the release of Order of Chaos new cards are being used, and older cards are seeing a resurgence in popularity. Some of these involve game mechanics I didn’t cover last time, others may require a refresher. I will also be covering cards which I have often seen played incorrectly, that I failed to cover last time.

Optional Effects: “If … you can” Vs. “When … you can”

Just about everyone in Yu-Gi-Oh! is aware of the idea of optional effects and the fact that the phrase “you can” indicates whether an effect is optional or not. Most people are also aware of the concept of “Missing the Timing”, whereby you miss the opportunity to activate optional effects, and many people would like to see it erased from the game. However what most people don’t realise is that not all optional effects can miss the timing. Most of us assume (myself included for a long time) that all optional effects are the same, so as soon as we see the phrase “you can” our minds immediately think of missing the timing and ignore other sections of the text. In the past this was a fairly safe thing to do because it was rare for optional effects to not miss the timing (I wasn’t aware of the difference until Ultimate Ancient Gear Golem came out), however with the rising popularity of Inzektors and Wind-Ups it is now more important than ever.

The difference between optional effects which can miss the timing, and those which can’t all falls down to a single word, and the meaning that word holds. Cards which state “If … you can” cannot miss the timing whereas those which state “When … you can” can miss the timing. To demonstrate the difference I will look at example of both kinds of effects and explain how the wording relates to the concept of missing the timing.

Example 1: Peten the Dark Clown

When this card is sent to your Graveyard, you can remove from play this card from the Graveyard to Special Summon 1 “Peten the Dark Clown” from your hand or Deck.

Peten is one of the most famous examples of missing the timing, and is probably the card that brought the idea to many people’s attention in the first place. Since Peten states “When” his effect can only be activated in direct response to his trigger, which in this case is being sent to the Graveyard. “When” indicates that at the exact instance of his trigger his effect can be activated, and not any later, since it would no longer be happening “When” his trigger was met. This means that if anything were to get in the way of this he cannot activate his effect, hence missing the timing. This can include the summon of a Tribute Monster or Synchro Monster using Peten as a Tribute or Synchro Material, or cases where Peten is destroyed in the middle of a chain. However if him going to the graveyard was the last thing to happen, so through battle or card effects he can activate his effect.

One other thing to note about “When” effects is that if multiple “When” effects meet their trigger at the same time (for example multiple Poison Draw Frogs killed at the same time), then they can all form a chain together without missing the timing. This is because they all met their trigger simultaneously and you can then build the chain using SEGOC (explained last time). You don’t need to worry about the optional effect in Chain Link 1 causing the optional effect in Chain Link 2 missing the timing, because the concept of missing the timing is related to the activation of effects, not the resolution of effects.

Example 2: Wind-Up Factory

Once per turn, if an effect of a “Wind-Up” monster is activated: You can add 1 Level 4 or lower “Wind-Up” monster from your Deck to your hand.

The difference with Wind-Up Factory is that the card states “If” rather than “When”. This means that the card just has to look for an instance of its trigger happening, and can quite happily wait until the current chain or sequence of events is over before doing something about it. It doesn’t need to be used at the exact moment “When” its trigger is met and just needs to know “If” it happened or not. As such card which state “If” can never miss the timing regardless of how long the preceding chain is.

By knowing the difference between these two effects you won’t get caught out by unscrupulous players who will try and tell you your effects miss the timing, when its impossible for them to. It can also help you defeat decks which rely on effects that can miss the timing, such as Lancer Frogs, because by playing smart you can force their cards to miss the timing. The easiest way to rid yourself of Sea Lancer is by removing it from play (with for example Dimensional Prison), but this will still set off the effects of the attached frogs, meaning advantage for the opponent anyway. By starting the chain off with another card you can cause them all to miss the timing though, this can be as simple as offering Sangan for Caius, using Tengu to make Trishula or adding another Mirror Force before Dimensional Prison to rid yourself of their other attacking monsters as well, Just remember to look out for “If” and “When” and you should be safe.

Activating cards

To many this is hopefully not an issue, but I feel this comes up often enough for it to be worth noting. If a card requires you to do something upon activating it you must do this when you activate it, following this the opponent has a chance to respond. This can be paying a cost (Phoenix Wing Wind Blast), declaring a target (Monster Reborn), or naming a card (Mind Crush). To activate the card in the first place you must be capable of performing this action and you must make this action. If you want to bring a monster back with Monster Reborn you have to tell your opponent what monster you wish to bring back to life. If you want to try and discard a card with Mind Crush you have to tell your opponent what the card is. Following this activation of the card your opponent may then respond in whatever way is appropriate.

Some people believe that by naming a card in either of these cases it has reached a point where it is too late for the opponent to respond, but this is wrong. With cards like these you are not expected to be playing a mind reading game where you have to guess what the opponent is about to do, they are required to tell you what they are doing, so that you can make the appropriate response.

There are some cards out there that don’t work like this, for example Creature Swap or Trishula, which don’t select cards until resolution, which might be where a source of some of this confusion comes from. In the next section I will try to explain where this difference arises from, and how to spot it, since this is usually a matter of whether a card targets or not, but is not the sole criteria to determine whether this is the case, as shown by a card like Mind Crush.

Targeting

In Yu-Gi-Oh! whether a card targets or not is very important, because there are cards which can prevent it, protect from it, or are destroyed by it. If you know whether a card targets or not you can prevent confusion arising with these sorts of cards. Nowadays thanks to Problem Solving Card Text (PSCT) it’s easy to find out whether a card targets or not, since if it targets it will say so on the card. If it doesn’t say so it won’t target. However cards with older text can be a bit more problematic, but hopefully once they’ve been reprinted we will no longer need to worry about this.

Generally if the card asks you to select a specific number of cards, or do something to a specific number of cards, then it targets. Take for example Exiled Force or Icarus Attack. If a card refers to card(s) or monster(s) then it will not target, since it is capable of affecting an indeterminate number of cards at once. This includes cards like Bottomless Trap Hole.

You cannot target cards in the hand, so this means that effects which include performing an action with regards to one player’s hand, such as Trishula or Red Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon, do not target, even though you think they might.

Cards which don’t select anything until resolution also don’t target, but the most prominent of these cards, Creature Swap, has been reprinted with PSCT to avoid this confusion.

Cards which respond to single attacks such as Sakuretsu Armor or Dimensional Prison also target, but the latter at least has been reprinted, so there is no longer any confusion with these sorts of cards.

Monsters who’s effects do something to one or both of the monsters in battle generally do not target, although there might be some exception to this I don’t know off the top of my head. This means that cards like D.D. Warrior Lady, Neo-Spacian Grand Mole and Ally of Justice Catastor do not target, despite what it may seem. As a player you might select the attack target, but the monster itself has no control over what it happens to be using its effect on. Cards like Honest and Kalut also don’t target, since they just happen to be helping out whichever monster is battling at the time.

Responding to cards and events

Yu-Gi-Oh! Is all about responding to actions your opponent makes, whether by building a chain or by starting a new one. Playing a Spell or Trap Card or using a Monster’s effect starts a chain, and both players can add to this chain provided you follow the rules of spell speeds (explained here). Other actions do not have a spell speed, such as summoning a monster or setting a card, so these can be responded to, starting a new chain.

Many cards do not have a specific activation timing, for example Book of Moon or Mystical Space Typhoon, whereas others require specific timing to use them, such as Stardust Dragon or Bottomless Trap Hole. In the former category provided it is legal to activate the card (i.e. at least one monster on the field for Book of Moon) you do not need to worry about when to use the card, assuming all other general rules of play are being followed. In the latter category the cards have very specific timings for their effects, since they are responding to a certain action, however not all cards behave in the same way.

Previously I covered responding to an attack, where you can add multiple cards to the chain all in response to the same attack. Similarly when a monster is summoned you can add multiple cards to the chain that all respond to the summon, so for example you may chain Bottomless Trap Hole to Torrential Tribute, even though it is no longer responding directly to the summon. I think that provided the action you are responding to has no spell speed, you may keep on adding cards to the chain that can be set off by the initial action, but don’t have to be chained directly to said action. Although to be honest I don’t really know of cases beyond attacking and monster summons where this really happens, so this might not be a steadfast rule for all cases.

However if you want to respond to a specific effect, be it monster, spell or trap, you must chain directly to the card in question. For example Stardust Dragon must chain directly to a destruction effect, otherwise it can’t stop it. This is why a clever Gladiator Beast player can use Secutor to get around Stardust Dragon. If you summon two Gladiator Beasts at once, both with effects that activate when summoned, such as Darius, Murmillo or Equeste, you can build the chain with Murmillo first and Darius/Equeste second, meaning Stardust doesn’t have a chance to stop Murmillo. Another case is Solemn Warning. If you use Warning to try and stop a monster summon and the opponent stops you with their own card, such as Solemn Judgment, you cannot chain a 2nd copy of Warning because it must be directly in response to the original summon, and there are now two cards in its way.

Cards activate and resolve in the same place

I stated this previously when I talked about Skill Drain and Effect Veiler, but it bears repeating again, especially with the advent of Inzektors. In Yu-Gi-Oh! irrespective of the physical location of your card after you use its effect the effect will always resolve in the place it was when you first activated the card.

Some well know examples are as follows:

Honest activates and resolves in the Hand, despite discarding him to the Graveyard as a cost to activate the card.

Rescue Rabbit activates and resolves on the field, despite banishing itself.

Destiny Hero Malicious activates and resolves in the Graveyard, despite banishing itself.

The effect of a Gladiator Beast to “tag” for another Gladiator Beast activates and resolves on the field, despite the monster returning itself to the deck.

If a card such as Phantom of Chaos or Hundred Eyes Dragon copies another monster which tributes or banishes itself etc as a cost for its effect, the effect will still resolve correctly, even though the card in question no longer has the copied monster’s effect, since the effect itself still activated on the field.

This explains why cards like Light-Imprisoning Mirror cannot stop Honest or Effect Veiler (they are hand effects), why Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror still stops Destiny Hero Malicious (it is a graveyard effect) and why Debunk cannot stop the first effect of Stardust Dragon (it activates on the field). I will cover these cards again in more detail later for those who wish to gain a greater understanding of how they work.

Another important thing to realise is that card effects are considered to be of the same type as the card in question at the time of activation. This is especially important for Inzektor Hornet. Since it is an equip Spell card when it uses its effect to send itself to the graveyard, its effect is counted as being that of a Spell card, and not a Monster card, which makes it harder to negate.

Monsters which equip other monsters to themselves (i.e. Inzektors)

This mechanic has existed in the game since the early days, thanks to Relinquished, but apart from the reign of Thousand Eyes Restrict during the days of Goat Control they have never had much of an impact on the game. As such most people don’t fully understand how cards like this work, but with the arrival of Inzektors it is now vitally important to making sure you don’t get cheated out of games.

Once a card like Inzektor Dragonfly has equipped another card to itself what keeps the other card there is the effect of Inzektor Dragonfly. This means that if the effect is negated the equip will basically fall off. So for example if you have Dragonfly equipped with Hornet by its own effect and the opponent activates Skill Drain, the Hornet will fall off because Dragonfly’s effect has been turned off.

This is not the case for monsters which equip themselves to other monsters, such as Inzektor Giga-Mantis. In this case it is the effect of Giga-Mantis which keeps itself equipped to the other Inzektor, not the effect of the other Inzektor. As such cards like Skill Drain or Effect Veiler will not do anything to Giga-Mantis.

Building chains when a card is used for a tribute/special summon etc

In the TCG (but not the OCG I believe) when you tribute a monster or monsters for a normal or special summon, or use them as a Synchro material, the monsters used for the tribute/materials are considered to be sent to the graveyard (or appropriate area for the summon in question) first and the summon itself second. This is not considered SEGOC. This means that if the monsters used for the summon have effects they will activate before those of the monster that has just been summoned. For example if you tribute Sangan for Caius, Sangan will be chain link 1, and Caius chain link 2. You do not get to choose the order. This can be especially important when effects which search and draw are involved in the same chain, since adding and resolving them in the wrong order can have a serious effect on the outcome of the game.

Xyz materials, Inzektor Equips etc vs Dimensional Fissure

By now people should be getting used to how Xyz monsters work, but not everyone will be aware of all the small details of how they function, especially how to treat their materials. With the arrival of Inzektors we have a category of monsters which can spend a long time as equip Spell cards, and it’s not immediately obvious how they might interact with cards like Dimensional Fissure.

The important thing to note is that Dimensional Fissure makes Monsters that would be sent to the Graveyard get banished instead. Xyz materials are not monsters, they are Xyz materials. Equip Spell cards are Spell cards, not monsters even if the card in question was originally a monster. This means that when Xyz materials are being sent to the Graveyard they they are not currently monsters, which means they can bypass Dimensional Fissure. Similarly Inzektors such as Hornet are Spell cards whilst equipped, so it’s still a Spell card when it sends itself to the Graveyard, meaning it can also dodge Dimensional Fissure. Macro Cosmos on the other hand doesn’t care what sort of card something is, so it’ll still banish the card when it tries to go to the Graveyard.

Spell / Trap cards can’t target themselves

This is quite a nasty issue, because it can be quite hard to explain beyond simply stating “That’s just how the game works” . Where this usually comes up is a player trying to get rid of a Mystical Space Typhoon, so they can drop Gorz, but the opponent not playing any Spell/Trap cards, or a player trying to use Icarus attack when there aren’t enough cards on the field. In my mind the easiest way to try and grasp this concept is to try and imagine actually casting a spell (assuming magic were real), it would make no sense to try and cast the spell on itself, since it doesn’t exist yet. I believe the actual game mechanic reason is that spell/trap cards don’t effect themselves when you activate them, for example I don’t think Heavy Storm destroys itself (but please correct me on this if I’m wrong), and this can be used to explain why you can’t use a card on itself. If someone can come up with a better explanation or reasoning for how this works, please let me know, since this is one of the hardest concepts to explain when players are adamant you can do it.

Since this is already very long I’m going to cover individual cards in the next part, and try and help explain how certain cards work. I hope this proves useful to someone out there preparing to attend YCS Leipzig or any other YGO event in the future.

Card of the Day: 25th and 26th of Jan

Once again I’ve fallen a bit behind schedule, but fortunately today’s card is very simple and requires very little explaining. On Wednesday we saw our first Blue card in the Trial Deck, and our first Sayaka and Kyoko card. This means it’s looking like the Trial Deck will be a Green/Blue deck unless they do something weird like make a 3 colour Trial Deck, which I don’t think has happened before, although I could be wrong on this. Today brings us another Green Homura card.

Same wish, Sayaka & Kyoko

Blue / Level 2 / Cost 2 / 8500 / 2 Soul / 1 Soul Trigger

«魔法 Magic» / «愛 Love»

[C] During your opponent’s turn, this card gains Power +500 for each of your other «魔法 Magic» characters.

This card reminds me of [China Dress Nagato] from Haruhi, except of course it’s for «魔法 Magic» rather than «Alien». It lacks the encore ability of China Dress but makes up for it with 1000 extra attack. Much like China Dress this is intended as a massive wall for the Madoka deck. Assuming you have other «魔法 Magic» characters on stage this card will have a power ranging from 9000 to 10500, assuming no other support. We can expect Madoka to receive the normal Assist cards, but if they also get level support cards this card could climb as high as 12500 without too much problem. I imagine this card will be a real pain to kill at level 2, and could even weather the storm against some level 3 characters.

Of course it lacks a little bit in power on your turn compared to other level 2s (9000 is the standard for 2/2/2 Soul, 10000 for 2/2/1 Soul) it can still handle other cards which sacrifice power for effects, or if all else fails just side attack. In practically all situations this card will perform better than just plain vanilla cards. We will have to wait and see what other level 2 cards the Madoka deck will have access to though, since there may well be other level 2s which cost less that may prove more useful. Generally you want to save cost 2 cards either for level 3 or for cards with powerful effects such as the level 2 Otonashi from Angel Beats.

Also having «愛 Love» attribute could I suppose lead to some weird mixed Disgaea / Madoka decks.

Black-haired girl, Homura

Green / Level 0 / Cost 0 / 3000 / 1 Soul / No Trigger

«魔法 Magic» / « 時間 Time»

No effect.

This is just a plain old standard vanilla for level 0. Every deck has these sorts of cards, but it’s quite rare to see the level 0 vanillas in use. Hopefully this will still be true for Madoka once all the cards are revealed.

Hopefully I’ll keep on top of things and get the Friday card out actually on Friday. Also stay tuned for hopefully a return of some Yu-Gi-Oh! articles. I’m hoping to provide some analysis of the top decks from the Londinium Battle of the Kingdom, as well as preparatory articles for the next European YCS.