Preparing for YCS Sheffield: Trouble cards

YCS Sheffield is only a week away, so it’s time to start getting prepared for the first Sealed Pack YCS. Due to the smaller card pool on offer it’s actually possible to know how more or less everything works in the format. Unlike in Advanced where thousands of cards exist and weird interactions can pop up from time to time. Thankfully most of the cards can now be understood simply by reading them, but there are still some cards around which could cause problems. This is usually due to them being rarely used or Forbidden during normal play, and sometimes just because they’re a complicated card. Here I’m going to try and cover some of these cards in the hope you’ll be able to go into Sheffield a little more prepared.

To start things off there are a few generic things that need to be know. Firstly there are a lot of cards in the set with Continuous effects. This means that Divine Wrath cannot be used on them. These continuous effects include things like being able to inflict Piercing Damage, having to be destroyed multiple times and the Ancient Gear card prevention effects. Power Giant’s effect to stop effect damage is also continuous. In general one of the easiest ways to work out if an effect is continuous or not is to check whether that sentence of its effect contains a colon (:) or a semi-colon (;). If it doesn’t chances are it’s continuous. (Or something else like a Summoning Condition or Maintenance cost.)

It’s also relevant to know that Trap Monsters still count as Traps and occupy their old card zone whilst turned into monsters.

Now I’m going to cover some of the individual cards and either how they work, or ways in which they may cause problems.

Cyber Jar

Cyber Jar is bound to cause problems, so I’m going to try and address as many of them here as possible. Firstly, Face-Down Special Summons are still Special Summons, and as such can be responded to with Torrential Tribute, unlike when you would normally Set a card. Just remember you can’t do this when he’s attacked, since it’ll be during the Damage Step. Secondly, cards which cannot be Special Summoned, such as Yaksha, are instead added to your Hand.

Next, when you use his effect both players reveal all 5 cards to each other, and then the turn player may Special Summon his monsters, then the opponent. This means that the opponent can make decisions about what positions to place their cards after seeing how the turn player will place theirs, but that the turn player will need to try and second guess what the opponent will do. When placing cards face down you are allowed to shuffle them before placing them in order to conceal from the opponent which is which, since otherwise this sort of spoils the surprise of cards being face down. Even though the two players will perform these actions one after the other they are still considered to happen simultaneously, as such if King Tiger Wanghu were summoned by Cyber Jar then all 1400 attack or less monsters summoned in Attack Position would be destroyed.

You also need to remember that when you run out of your Deck you only lose when you cannot draw a card. This means that if Cyber Jar causes you to deck out, you’ll still have one last chance to attack your opponent and try to win before you reach your next Draw Phase.


Jinzo has been around for a long time, so most people realise what he does by this point, however you may not realise this new text increases his strength. The new text suggests that he now has power over Traps anywhere, and not just on the field as previously. You might wonder what this means though, since on the field is where you activate Trap cards most of the time. It means that Trap cards in the Graveyard also cannot be activated. This is relevant to Skill Successor, one of the other cards in this set.

Also remember that if Skill Drain is active before Jinzo reaches the field, his effect will be negated by Skill Drain.

Please bear in mind though that this could be subject to change in the future if his effect gets revised back to the old version. For now assume the text is correct unless direct word from Konami says otherwise.

Skull Archfiend of Lightning

There are two important things to note about this monster. Firstly he has a maintenance cost, this means it cannot be negated by Skill Drain. As such you will continue to pay 500 Lifepoints whilst he remains on the field in that situation. Secondly if you were paying attention in the introduction, you’ll notice his main effect is continuous, and as such can’t be stopped by Divine Wrath.

Dark Magician of Chaos

There are 3 things to note about Dark Magician of Chaos. Firstly he can miss the timing if summoned at higher than Chain Link 1, such as with Call of the Haunted. Secondly the effect to banish other monsters is continuous, and hence cannot be stopped by Divine Wrath. Finally his final effect is a little odd, in that it seems to be a condition of the card which cannot be stopped by Skill Drain. It also means that he remains banished if used with Interdimensional Matter Transporter instead of returning later. It might be worth checking if these situations have changed though, since it’s been quite a while since it was last legal.

Obelisk the Tormentor

Obelisk has a lot of text, but fortunately most of it can be worked out from just reading the card. An important thing to note during the Battle Pack events though is that his effects that saves him from targetting only stops him from being selected as a target. This means that Blast Sphere can equip itself to Obelisk, since the initial equipping does not target.

Change of Heart

Generally Change of Heart is easy to understand, but it could be important to know how it interacts with Interdimensional Matter Transporter. If anyone is familiar with Advanced Format and has played or faced a Wind-Up deck they could be familiar with the concept, but I’ll cover it again for those who are not. If a card which has switched control temporarily, such as via Change of Heart, is temporarily banished, such as via Interdimensional Matter Transporter, it will still return to its original owner when it returns to the field.

Snatch Steal

Snatch Steal is another card of old that many people will not have played with before, as such there are several things that need to be remembered when using it. Firstly, as long as Snatch Steal remains attached to a monster the opponent will still gain Lifepoints, even if control was switched back with Creature Swap for example. Secondly if it is flipped face down it will stay with its new controller. If the equipped monster is banished due to Interdimensional Matter Transporter or Different Dimension Gate the monster will come back to the field and then immediately revert to the original controller.

Finally the card has some tricky interactions with White Night Dragon. If you have stolen a monster with Snatch Steal, then use its effect to send Snatch Steal to the Graveyard a Replay will not occur, and the attack will still be redirected to White Night Dragon. If however something like Skill Drain is active, since White Night Dragon will be negated, a replay will occur. If you control your opponent’s White Night Dragon due to Snatch Steal, and then use Snatch Steal for his effect, then the attack will not be redirected to White Night Dragon, because it has switched sides on the field. It will however still trigger a Replay due to the change in monster numbers.

Premature Burial

Just like with Snatch Steal, if the monster is flipped face down it will stick around on the field. You will also need to be aware of how this card interacts with Freed the Matchless General. If you summon Freed with Premature Burial, Freed will destroy Premature Burial, but will not die himself, since he negates the effect of Premature Burial.

Soul Exchange

It shouldn’t need stating by now, but you still see people misplaying with Soul Exchange. When Soul Exchange is played the monster remains on the field until it is used as a Tribute, it is not immediately Tributed and sent to the Graveyard upon resolution of Soul Exchange. Secondly the card makes it clear that the first Tribute you perform that turn must involve the monster affected by Soul Exchange. This probably won’t be too relevant for sealed play though.

Skill Drain

I’ve previously covered Skill Drain and how it works, so you can look there for a detailed explanation. Thankfully the new text makes the card a bit easier to understand, so hopefully problems will no longer arise with it.

Penguin Soldier

Remember that if he’s destroyed by battle he cannot bounce himself with his own effect.

Axe of Despair & Horn of the Unicorn

With both of these cards, if their activation is negated, for example with Magic Drain, they are not considered to be on the field at the time, so cannot return to the top of the Deck.

Bait Doll

Bait Doll is quite a complicated card, so you need to make sure you understand it properly whilst playing with or against it. If it targets something like Magic Drain the card can be used to stop Bait Doll, otherwise Bait Doll will destroy it due to activation timings being wrong. Since Bait Doll forces the activation of another card as part of its effect, the other effect cannot be chained to, since you are still resolving Bait Doll. Finally if it forces the activation of a card with a cost, such as Solemn Judgement, and the timing is wrong, the cost will not be paid.


With Ante I believe that the turn player has to reveal their card before the opponent.

Monster Gate

If you get a monster that cannot be special summoned with Monster Gate, such as Yaksha, the card is instead sent to the Graveyard.

Needle Ceiling

Remember that the first line is just an activation requirement. Changing the number of monsters on the field will not stop the card resolving properly.

Nightmare Wheel

Nightmare Wheel is an usual Trap card because it is also capable of working on face down monsters. This means that unlike in most other cases you cannot save your monster from Nightmare Wheel by flipping it face down with Book of Moon.

Changing Destiny

Changing Destiny is a massive headache for both players and judges, since the wording isn’t the clearest in the world, especially if you’re not a native English speaker (as all the copies used in Sheffield will be). To clear up this confusion, you should be made aware that the final part of this card is read from the opponent’s perspective. So ‘You gain Life Points’ refers to the opponent of Changing Destiny, and ‘Your opponent takes damage’ refers to the controller of Changing Destiny. The user of Changing Destiny will always be left at a disadvantage with regards to Life Points.

Liberty at Last!

Tokens can be targetted by this effect, but will simply disappear, and Xyz monsters will return to the Extra Deck.

Dark Ruler Ha Des

Remember with Ha Des that he will also prevent Treeborn Frog from reviving himself if he’s destroyed by a Fiend.

Alector, Sovereign of Birds

Alector functions differently from other temporary negation cards, since he negates effects until the end of the turn, not until the End Phase. This means Spirit monsters like Yaksha will remain on the field if their effect is negated by Alector whatever happens. Also if the monster is sent to the Graveyard they will no longer be negated by Alector, so he cannot be used to stop cards like Witch of the Black Forest.

Card Guard

If you read Card Guard carefully you’ll notice that he cannot use his Guard counter to protect himself, and can instead only be used to protect the other card that he’s placed it on. You can however swap Guard counters between two Card Guards and use them to protect each other.


If the Tribute summon is negated with Solemn Judgement then the owner of Zolga will not gain 2000 Life Points.

Stealth Bird

Stealth Bird and all monsters like them do not forget the ‘Once per turn’ clause on their first effect when they flip themselves face down with that very effect.

Phantom of Chaos

Probably the most important thing to know about Phantom of Chaos is how it will interact with Skill Drain. If Skill Drain is activated after its effect resolves the copied stats will not be forgotten, and will stick around until the End Phase as usual.


Psi-Blocker will cause headaches if you don’t know what ‘use’ means in Yu-Gi-Oh! terms. Here’s a list of some things that you can and cannot do with cards you are not allowed to ‘use’. Some of these aren’t relevant to Sealed play, but are included for completeness.

You cannot do this with it:
Normal Summon (includes Gemini Summon).
Set without a card effect.
Special Summon without a card effect that starts a Chain.
Use as Fusion Material.
Use as Synchro Material.
Use as Xyz Material.
Declare an attack.
Change its battle position manually.
Activate or apply its effects (If it’s a Spell/Trap Card, you cannot activate the card in the first place).

You can do this with it:
Special Summon it through a card effect like “Monster Reborn.”
Add it to your hand through the effect of another card.
Tribute it for the cost of another card.
Change its battle position through the effect of another card.
Use it for a Ritual Summon.
Use it for the effect of “Future Fusion.”
Use it as Tribute for the Tribute Summon of any applicable monster.

Hopefully all of this will prove useful to those of you attending YCS Sheffield, either as a player or as a judge. If anyone has anything they’d like clarified, disagrees with, finds wrong with the article, or would like added to the article, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment and I will try to address it. I hope that everyone who attends Sheffield, or future large Sealed pack events will enjoy the event, and I may even see a few of you there.


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