Welcome back to my series of articles looking at some of the less understood cards and game mechanics in Yu-Gi-Oh! New readers can find the previous articles here. There’s only a week to go until YCS Leipzig so I thought covering more of the situations that regularly cause problems would be helpful. I’m also going to be looking at a little used tactic that could give you the upper hand in certain situations, should you be playing a deck that can take advantage of it. One of these points doesn’t come up with any regularity, but it’s worth bearing in mind for the future in case one day it does. As a side note I also believe this will be my 50th published article on here.
Legendary Six Samurai – Shi En and Naturia Beast vs Inzektor Hornet
Most people reading this will probably already have had it hammered home to them how this situation works, thanks to the malicious rumours that were being spread about the Mexican YCS. However some people may have missed this, or might not have had things explained to them fully yet.
So there is no confusion as we go on, I’ll state right away that Legendary Six Samuria Shi En and Naturia Beast cannot negate Inzektor Hornet.
However the reason this is the case might not be immediately obvious to everyone. At first you might look at the situation and wonder why it’s even a question? Inzektor Hornet is an Effect Monster, so why would you be able to use a card that stops a Spell card against him anyway? If you recall previously when I talked about where effects activate and resolve, you’ll note that not only do these events happen in the same location, but effects are also counted as being of the same kind as the card in question at the time. Inzektor Hornet is an Equip Spell card at the moment when you can use his effect, which means that his effect will also be treated as that of an Equip Spell card. So now you might be asking yourself, why can’t Shi En negate Hornet?
The answer lies in what these cards can negate. The cards in question negate the activation of Spell cards (Traps too for Shi En), not the activation of their effects, and this is an important distinction. When you are using Inzektor Hornet you are activating the effect of an Equip Spell card, rather than activating an Equip Spell card itself. As such both Shi En and Beast have no power over Hornet. It is the same reasoning as to why you cannot use Solemn Warning against Infernity Launcher when you go to special summon 2 Infernity monsters.
How Trap Dustshoot functions should seem simple enough from just reading the card, but the notion of what ‘reveal’ actually means has caused plenty of problems, started once again by a rumour spread in a similar fashion to that above. When it says to reveal your hand you must reveal your hand. This might seem obvious but certain players will use underhanded tactics to try and cheat. As part of the effect of Trap Dustshoot the opponent must reveal their hand, and keep it revealed until the controller of Dustshoot has resolved the effect. This means that even if there are Spell or Trap cards in the opponent’s hand they must also be revealed. It’s not enough to simply show that they are green/purple and therefore not monsters. It’s also not enough to just flash them quickly without giving the user of Dustshoot a chance to confirm what they are. The effect of Dustshoot must be followed and its user should be provided with the appropriate information to make their decision. Of course this doesn’t mean the user of Dustshoot can take liberties with how long they take to choose a card. They shouldn’t take so long as to disrupt the normal flow of play.
Declaring Card Names (Mind Crush/Prohibition/Psi-Blocker etc)
This is another situation which causes similar problems, except in this case it’s a matter of the players trying to cheat by being too literal on the interpretation of the card, rather than being too lax. I’ve heard stories of players refusing to discard for Mind Crush because the opponent got 1 number in the serial code of their Karakuri wrong, or because (and I’m not sure how true this is) their copy of the card in question was written in a different language to the name declared. When you use cards such as these where you are meant to declare a card, you do not have to get the name absolutely correct. Just ensure there is no ambiguity in your intent and that both players understand what you mean. Yu-Gi-Oh! has plenty of long names, which can either be difficult to remember properly, or in some cases even difficult to say properly, because of the use of Japanese terms unfamiliar to a Western audience. Players are not therefore expected to be 100% accurate when it comes to these things.
To illustrate things better we can look at some examples:
1. If player A declares Black Luster Soldier this is ambiguous. Chances are they mean the effect monster, and not the ritual monster, but this is not clear, especially since Black Luster Soldier is the actual full name of the ritual. As such without clarification on this matter, player A is going to be rather disappointed to find out their opponent likely has no Ritual monster in their hand. To avoid this player A needs to specify in some way it is the effect monster. This can be done by including the full name, stating it to be the the Envoy Black Luster Soldier, explicitly saying they mean the effect one, saying something like “The Black Luster Soldier that can attack twice”. As long as it’s clear what they mean it’ll be fine. This applies to all cards where the name, or part of the name is shared with other cards. Saying Demise probably means the King of Armageddon, but you could also be talking about Demise of the Land.
2. Player B is playing Karakuri and player A wants to slow him down with something like Prohibition. Unfortunately they can’t remember the full name of Karakuri Komachi mdl 224 “Ninishi”. There are several ways to go about solving this issue. Maybe they can only remember her model number (224), or the type of Karakuri she is (Komachi), or her actual name (Ninishi). All of these would be fine provided they are not shared by another Karakuri monster. If they cannot even remember the card’s name there are other options open to them. If player A can remember what the card looks like, they can use that to explain which card they want to Prohibit. In this case something like “The female Karakuri in the Kimono surrounded by cherry blossoms” should suffice, since there should be no confusion as to the intent of player A. If they cannot even remember what the card looks like they can resort to details such as stats and effect. “The Karakuri that allows you an extra normal summon” should be a pretty clear statement from which Player B can identify which card is meant.
Just remember that in all cases it should be clear to both players what the intended card is. There’s no point arguing a few turns down the line that you thought they meant a different card. As long as it is clear in some way, either via the full name, a description of what the card looks like, what it does, or a combination of these, it is okay.
Verifying legal copies of cards
A logical follow up to discussing activating cards like Mind Crush, is to discuss what happens when resolving cards like these. Since it’s the most common example in play nowadays I will focus on Mind Crush for the remainder of this section, but everything here applies equally to cards like Chain Disappearance and Nobleman of Crossout. When player A discards or doesn’t discard cards from their hand for Mind Crush, player B is allowed to confirm whether they are being truthful about this matter. However this does not mean player B has the immediate right to check player A’s hand. If the legal number of copies of a card can be identified then player A has no obligation to reveal the rest of their hand.
Say for example Rescue Rabbit is declared and player A discards two copies. Since Rescue Rabbit is currently at three that means they could still have another copy in their hand. However player A also currently has one copy of Rescue Rabbit banished, this means that all three legal copies of the card can be accounted for, and there is no need to verify whether they are holding any extra copies in their hand. If for example a Restricted card like Sangan is named and discarded, there is no reason to verify any further, because the one legal copy is already accounted for. In cases where the number of copies cannot be verified by looking in areas that are public knowledge I believe (although someone please correct me if I’m wrong) there are ways to perform the verification without having to reveal your entire hand/deck. If for example you have the third copy of a card face down on the field you could reveal that as verification, or with a card like Reborn Tengu you could reveal a third copy in your hand when the second one leaves the field. One thing I believe you cannot do is reveal a specific card from your deck to perform this verification, since your deck is not something you have free access to, unlike your Hand and Field. If anything here is inaccurate please let me know, I’d rather not unwillingly spread false information.
As a final note, it is never the job of a judge to perform this verification. It is something the players should do. Judges are not responsible for performing these kinds of checks.
Blackwing – Gale the Whirlwind
Gale is usually a very simple card to deal with, but can cause problems when applied to cards which either continuously modify their stats, for example Tragoedia, or have an effect applied to them that does the same, such as United We Stand.
Normally you just halve a monster’s attack and defense and leave it at that. However it’s not immediately obvious what happens after this when applied in the situations described above. Tragoedia’s attack and defense is 600 times the number of cards in your hand, so for example if you have 5, he will have 3000 attack and defense. Gale would then halve this to 1500. On the following turn you would draw a 6th card and might be unsure about what attack/defense Tragoedia now has. You might think he has 3600 now, when in actual fact he is ‘frozen’ at 1500 due to Gale. Similarly if you control a Koa’ki Meiru Bergzak equipped with United We Stand he would normally sit at 2800 attack. Halved by Gale this goes to 1400, and from then on it is ‘frozen’ at 1400 regardless of how many monsters you control.
In situations such as these once Gale halves the stats of the monster it will stay like that until a new outside force modifies it again.
Ignoring Summoning Conditions
One of the issues that I feel wasn’t adequately addressed by the new Problem Solving Card Text (PSCT) was the matter of ‘Ignoring Summoning Conditions’ which you can find on cards like Dark Flattop and Level Modulation. I can understand why they might not have included the full details of what this means on the cards, since it could have made the text too bloated, however if you don’t know what this term actually means you can become confused about how these cards work. Unlike what you might think ‘Ignoring Summoning Conditions’ does not mean you can summon the card and ignore everything written on the card with regards to its summoning conditions. The card in question must have been summoned successfully in the first place, before you can revive it. This drastically reduces the power of cards such as these. This means you cannot dump cards like SKY FIRE with Foolish Burial then immediately revive it, since you never summoned it correctly in the first place. You might argue why ‘Ignoring Summoning Conditions’ doesn’t actually allow you to ignore all of them, but you just have to accept that’s how the game works.
PSCT has also caused problems in another area, and that’s for the Dark World monsters. Once you know how to read the PSCT it should be easy enough to understand, but it can be very confusing at first, especially if you’re a new player and this is your first encounter with the cards. To illustrate this matter I’m going to be looking at the text of Goldd, and emphasising certain areas of his text.
If this card is discarded to the Graveyard by a card effect: If it was discarded from your hand to your Graveyard by an opponent’s card effect, you can target up to 2 cards your opponent controls; Special Summon this card from the Graveyard, then destroy those cards (if any).
When you first read the card it is very easy to just read the entire card as a running effect and assume that everything about it is linked to being discarded by your opponent. This makes you conclude that nothing happens when you discard him by your own card effect. This is not the case.
When looking at Dark World cards such as this, you should first read the initial bolded statement. If this was due to your own effect you then skip to the next bolded statement and apply that, safely ignoring the rest of the text. If this was due to your opponent’s card effect you do read the italicised sections of the card and applying those effects. As long as you can identify and separate these sections on the card you should have much less trouble working out how the Dark World monsters function.
The End Phase
The End Phase is usually a very simple part of the game, because you normally don’t do anything at all. Either that or you just have an effect that activates in the End Phase or wears off in the End Phase. The problem lies when you have multiple effects like this all trying to happen at once, controlled by different players. If you control all the effects you’re free to choose the order in which to resolve them, but if they are effects controlled by both players Priority becomes important for resolving things.
In the End Phase the turn player has priority to resolve mandatory effects or pass it to the opponent who can do the same. Then it is passed back to turn player who at this point MUST resolve mandatory effects. It is then passed over to the opponent to do the same.
So if we assume the turn player controls a Spirit monster, but the opponent used Effect Veiler on it, what happens at the End Phase? First the turn player can either try to return their Spirit to their hand, and fail due to being negated by Veiler, or pass priority to the opponent. The opponent can then either ‘turn off’ Veiler’s effect or pass priority back to the turn player. At this point if the turn player has not already done so he MUST try to return his Spirit to his hand. Assuming Veiler is still active at this point the effect will once again fail. The opponent MUST then turn off the effect of their Effect Veiler.
So what does this all actually mean? It means that the player who used Effect Veiler has complete control over what happens to the Spirit monster. They control whether it will return to its owners hand or not, based on their decision when priority is passed to them for the first time. If they turn off Veiler then, the opponent can get their Spirit back (assuming they didn’t already try and fail to do so). If they don’t the Spirit has no choice but to be stuck on the field.
Trigger effects upon summon (aka ‘stealing’ priority)
The final section today will be taking advantage of a little used facet of the game to prevent monsters with Ignition effects using their effects before you can respond to them with cards like Bottomless Trap Hole. When a Trigger is met upon the summon of a monster this effect will activate (should its controller choose to do so), this means Ignition effects of monsters cannot be used, because they can never be chained to another card. The most well known example I covered a while back with King Tiger Wanghu, but he’s only useful against little cards like Rescue Rabbit. What about massive cards like Dark Armed Dragon or Judgment Dragon or cards with more than 1400 attack? Cards which can trigger when cards such as these are summoned are few and far between, and even fewer of them see competitive play. An additional problem with some of these cards, like Stumbling, is the fact that the opponent knows the card is there, so can play around it and there’s no surprise factor. Really the only cards which can make use of this and not be immediately obvious are Dragon Ice and T.G. Warwolf.
Dragon Ice meets his Trigger when the opponent special summons any monster, whereas Warwolf only works for level 4 or lower, but can be used on your own special summons as well. As such Dragon Ice is far more useful, however Warwolf is much more widely used and there exist decks based around using the T.G. monsters. But what does this all mean you may ask?
It means that when your opponent summons a potential game ender like Judgment Dragon you can activate the effect of Dragon Ice to special summon it from your hand and your opponent cannot then chain Judgment Dragon’s effect since you can never chain Ignition effects. You on the other hand could chain a card like Bottomless Trap Hole and banish Judgment Dragon before it could ever use its effect. Your opponent will be quite surprised if you do this to save your field from destruction.
Warwolf is far less useful, since Wanghu serves the job better in most cases for level 4 and below, however I suppose it can be useful stopping something like Dark Grepher from dumping too many cards in Infernities?
I hope some of this has been useful to my readers, and if anyone has any comments please let me know. This can be comments on where they think I’ve gone wrong, where they think I need to add details, or maybe you’ve got your own situations you’d like to see expanded upon that you think the wider community would benefit from.