Yu-Gi-Oh! Preparing for War of the Giants

The second Yu-Gi-Oh! Battle Pack has been out for a while now, and we’re fast approaching YCS Brussels, the first major event to make use of this pack. With this in mind we’re going to be taking a look at some of the more complicated or unfamiliar parts of the cards on offer. Thankfully, since the introduction of Problem Solving Card Text (PSCT), you can largely work out what cards do simply by reading them. However there are still a few that might not be clear to everyone, or involves more obscure game mechanics that don’t crop up during the normal course of play.

Remember, that whilst I have tried to at all times be factually accurate, this is not to be taken as an official source.

The Battle Phase

One of the most important aspects of playing with this pack will be knowing how everything in the Battle Phase works. Since it’s much harder than normal to get rid of monsters directly via effects, you’ll instead have to rely on defeating them in battle. Rather than give a full and comprehensive explanation of the Battle Phase, I’m instead going to concentrate on some of the less familiar aspects.

“If this card attacks”

Remember when we were good?Cyber Dragon's got nothing on us.I hit the TCG too late for anyone to care about me ;_;

There are a few cards in the set which contain the above phrase, namely Goblin Attack Force, Goblin Elite Attack Force and Axe Dragonute. On the face of it, this might seem easy to understand. You might think that if you declare an attack with your monster, it has attacked, however this is not true. In order for the card to have counted as attacking it must have entered the Damage Step. This clear on Axe Dragonute where the timing of its effect shows that it must successfully battle for this to happen.

You might now be wondering when this detail is actually relevant? In this set, the most likely scenario will involve replays when cards like Metal Reflect Slime are played. If the Goblins halt in their tracks because of a replay they will not be forced into defense position.

During Damage Calculation

You shall not pass!Gadgets used to love me.

Something that can be very confusing in Yu-Gi-Oh! is what can and cannot be used during the Damage Step, especially during specific instances such as ‘During damage calculation’. Since this set does not deal with the full complexities of the game, you will mainly need to deal with when attack / defense modifiers can be played. Unless the card specifies that it can be used during damage calculation, such as on Prideful Roar or Injection Fairy Lily, the card cannot be used at that time. This means that cards like Shrink or Forbidden Lance cannot be used against them. These can however be used at any prior point, allowing you to get around cards like Zero Gravity.

Ancient Gears

Crowler would be proud.Finally someone will use me!

Both the Ancient Gear monsters in this set come with an effect which prevents the activation of Spell/Trap cards until the end of the Damage Step, making them quite deadly monsters to face. There are also two aspects of this effect that you need to be careful about.

Firstly, they prevent the activation of Spell / Trap Cards, but have no power over their effects. This means that the effects of already face up cards could still be used. Within the pack, this will mean that cards like Zoma the Spirit can still cause burn damage, even if destroyed by Ancient Gear Golem. This is important to know because that amount of damage could decide the outcome of a game.

Secondly, the fact that they last until the end of the Damage Step means that no cards can be used until you’re completely out of the Damage Step. This might not seem particularly relevant, because most cards that you’d use during the Damage Step would be used before the monsters battle it out. However, there are cards like Sinister Seeds, which can be used when a monster is destroyed by battle, which would be prevented by the Gears. For support of this idea, check out the official rulings on Torapart vs Hero Signal.

To round things out I’m going to be looking at a few individual cards that will be used during the Battle Phase that might potentially cause problems or misunderstandings.

Hyper Hammerhead

It's like IOC all over again.

Hyper Hammerhead can still return monsters to their owners hand even if it’s destroyed by battle. If it needed to stay face up on the field the card would say.

Mecha Phantom Beast Hamstrat

Didn't take long for this card to see a reprint.

If attacked face down, the tokens will not be summoned until after battle has occurred, meaning they cannot protect Hamstrat.

Bull Blader

I'll kill anything!

If Bull Blader chooses to use his effect, but still destroys the card in battle anyway, the card will still be treated as being destroyed by his effect. This is because after being defeated in battle, the monster isn’t actually sent to the Graveyard yet. Which means Bull Blader has another opportunity to destroy it, this time with his effect, which will send it to the Graveyard. This means that cards like Time Machine cannot be used to bring the monster back to life, because it was not sent to the Graveyard as a result of battle.

Fiend’s Sanctuary

This shouldn't even be an issue...

The Token summoned with Fiend’s Sanctuary can still be destroyed by battle. Just because the opponent takes the battle damage does not mean they cannot defeat it in battle.

Equip Cards

Equip cards are another important matter in Battle Pack play that doesn’t normally come up too often during Advanced Format play. The set even includes monsters which can turn other monsters into equip cards, or monsters that can turn themselves into equip cards. If you’re familiar with Inzektors then a lot of this will be familiar to you, otherwise this information might help you win games.

Kevin's favourite card.

For monsters which equip other monsters to themselves, such as Truckroid, the equipping and effects gained by doing so are due to his own effect. This means that negating Truckroid’s effect with cards like Breakthrough Skill would cause him to lose all of his equip cards and revert back to 1000 Attack. If however you tried to use something like Forbidden Lance, aside from the 800 attack loss, he would be unaffected. This is because the equips themselves don’t actually do anything.

How does it even eat?

If on the other hand a monster such as Shocktopus equips itself to another monster, it will function exactly the same as a normal equip card. This means that Forbidden Lance could be used to temporarily halt the attack reduction, but it will not cause Shocktopus to go to the Graveyard. The same will apply for all regular equip cards in the set.

Stop touching things like that!

Finally, you might be wondering how the protection from targeting conferred by Forbidden Dress functions with regards to equip cards. Despite the fact that equip cards will continuously target the monster in question, Forbidden Dress only prevents the initial targeting of cards. This means that equips already active will be unaffected by the Dress, and that it you chain Dress to the activation of an equip card it will already be too late.

Individual cards

Next up I’m going to be looking at some individual cards that can often cause confusion and problems.

Exodius the Ultimate Forbidden Lord


Exodius must be able to shuffle back at least 1 monster in order to be summoned.

Phantom Dragon

Not the prettiest card in the world.

You must have at least 2 free monster zones for Phantom Dragon to lock, otherwise you cannot summon it.

Mausoleum of the Emperor

At least it's now clear you can't pay 3000 for a God.

You cannot mix and match lifepoint costs with tributes. You must do one or the other.

Card Guard

Is that another mouth in the middle?

The counter does not protect himself. It must be given to something else first.

Flame Tiger

He'd be even scarier if there were lots of him.

You may activate multiple copies of Flame Tiger during the same Draw Phase, but if you do, only the final one to activate will resolve properly.

God Cards

Still don't know why he's named after a pointy pillar.Ra's key gimmick in the anime is coming back to life, and yet the real one can't be special summoned...Hello Roger.

The God cards all share a common effect which protects them when they are summoned. However it only prevents cards being activated at the instance of summoning. It does not extend for any period of time beyond this. Ever since cards like Creeping Doom Manta came out, you can always find someone who believes that effects like this either work for the turn, or for the entirety of the duel. Which in the case of the Gods, would quite frankly be unfair.

Unanswered Questions

Finally, I present you with two questions that I do not know the answer to.

Frostosaurus dethroned Summoned Skull and no one cared.

If nothing can withstand such temperatures, why are there monsters that Frostosaurus cannot destroy in battle? Nothing should be able to stop its glacial rampage.

Will Yu-Gi-Oh! ever get Werewolves?

If Gene-Warped Warwolf has incalculable strength, why does his attack say 2000?