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

Obliterate!

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?

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Yu-Gi-Oh! Explaining the End Phase

The most important tournaments for most competitive players are on the horizon, the WCQs. To aid in preparation for these, I thought it would be an appropriate time to take a look at some of the rules and game mechanics that are likely to crop up during the course of these events. An important thing to remember is that none of what I say should be interpreted as official word from Konami.

To start things off I’m going to be looking at the End Phase in detail, and trying to explain some of the intricacies involved. For most of the lifespan of Yu-Gi-Oh! the End Phase has been of little consequence to the general flow of play. It was merely when a turn ended, and maybe you had something happen during the End Phase, like the effect of Lightsworn monsters. However recently some of the finer details of the End Phase have become rather more important to performing well at the game.

Resolving effects during the End Phase

You've caused so many problems Effect Veiler.No one beats me in a waiting contest.

When you reach the End Phase there will often be two things you’re concerned with. Either effects which activate in the End Phase, or effects which last until the End Phase. How these two interact can be quite important, especially if an effect that lasts until the End Phase is preventing you from properly resolving an effect with activates in the End Phase. The situation gets even more complicated if some of the effects are mandatory whilst others are optional. When these issues arise, there’s a sequence of events you should follow to try and resolve the issue.

1. The turn player may activate or finish effects. If they do, restart the cycle. If not go to Step 2.

As usual in Yu-Gi-Oh! the first player who has the choice of making an action during the End Phase is the turn player. At this point they could activate or finish any of the mandatory or optional effects they have. This might be relevant if both players have an effect that activates in the End Phase, but the turn player wants to use their one first to prevent the opponent from using theirs.

Remember when I was a problem?

For example, let’s say both players have a Wind-Up Zenmaines on the field, ready to use their effects. However the opponent’s one doesn’t have any materials left, meaning that if it were to be destroyed again it wouldn’t get a chance to use its effect. In this scenario the turn player can choose to activate the effect of their Zenmaines first, destroying the opponent’s and preventing them from using the effect of Zenmaines.

Once this is over we return to the start of the cycle and start all over again. This can be important for a couple of reasons. Firstly it means that the turn player has the opportunity to activate or finish all of their effects which work during the End Phase before the opponent does. This can give the turn player a lot of control over how the flow of the End Phase goes, and will even prevent the opponent from getting a chance to use some of their effects. Secondly there is the fact that the effect you’ve just activated or finished will have changed the game state. This might result in even more effects that want to activate, so it’s important not to miss them out.

Miss me?

As you’ll see later, after each step it’s possible to return to the beginning and start over again.  By leaving some of your optional effects until this point it’s possible to get around your opponent’s mandatory effects. This will be very relevant for Prophecy players, because they’ll want to use Justice during their End Phase without things like a pesky Effect Veiler getting in their way. It is possible to return to this point once all or some mandatory effects have been dealt with, but we don’t necessarily need to have ended the turn yet. This is the perfect opportunity to slip in effects like Genex Neutron or Justice of Prophecy, now that they’ve been freed from Effect Veiler’s influence.

What this means, is that optional effects that activate in the End Phase cannot be stopped by cards like Effect Veiler or Forbidden Chalice. Provided of course that the user of those effects is careful and knows how to navigate the End Phase.

2. The opponent may activate or finish effects. If they do, restart the cycle. If not go to Step 3.

After the turn player is done, it now moves onto the opponent who has a chance to make the same actions. Usually you will reach this step once the turn player has finish with all of their actions, or else they’re deliberately passing for some reason. There might for example be an action the turn player wants to try and make, but something of the opponent’s might be preventing this.

Just like with the turn player, on return visits to this step it’s possible for the opponent to bypass the mandatory effects of the turn player, by waiting until after they’ve been forced to resolve them. Just like with the turn player, they can wait to allow some of their optional effects to get around cards like Forbidden Chalice.

3. The turn player must activate or finish a mandatory effect. If they do, restart the cycle. If not go to Step 4.

Once both players have passed on making an action we reach a point where the turn player has to make an action with regards to one of their mandatory effects. If an effect is mandatory it has to happen, even if the player might not particularly want it to happen at that point. This can be where the interaction between the players becomes very important.

If the turn player has a monster which has had Effect Veiler used on it, they would really rather wait until after Effect Veiler has stopped working to use that monster’s effect. However, if the monster’s effect is mandatory they will have to use it before Effect Veiler finishes, unless the opponent chose to end Effect Veiler during step 2. This gives the opponent a degree of control over whether certain actions will happen or not. So they can for example prevent Lightsworn monsters from milling, or Spirit Monsters from returning to the hand.

Stop draining all my strength!I'm finally starting to see some play again!

The fact the cycle restarts if an action is taken during a step is very important here for cards like Light and Darkness Dragon. For example, if the turn player has a Spirit on the field and the opponent has Light and Darkness Dragon, once we reach this step the Spirit monster has to try and return to the Hand. Light and Darkness Dragon will however negate the activation of this effect, preventing the Spirit from returning to the hand. When we start this process again, we will eventually reach the same point, and the Spirit will try once more to return to the hand. If Light and Darkness Dragon still has enough Attack and Defense it will negate the activation of the effect once again. This pattern will repeat until eventually Light and Darkness Dragon runs out of negations and the Spirit monster can finally return to the hand. Ultimately, not only will Light and Darkness not do anything to the opponent, but it will also run out of the ability to use its effect.

4. The opponent must activate or finish a mandatory effect. If they do, restart the cycle. If not go to Step 5.

Once the turn player is done with all their mandatory effects it’s now time for the opponent to start dealing with their own. Often the opponent will not finish effects such as Effect Veiler until this point, because it will prevent the opponent’s mandatory effects from working properly. However as mentioned earlier it’s possible for optional effects to get around this, because you don’t necessarily have to use them until you’ve reached a restart from this step.

5. End the turn.

Now once that’s all over and done with, we can finally get around to ending the turn. By this point they both should have used all the effects they want to, and are ready to move on with the next turn. You might be wondering what happens if we’ve still got some optional effects left, because both players passed without making any actions, perhaps hoping the other one might do something. In those cases it is now too late to use those effects, both players have agreed not to do anything, so it’s now time to move on with the game. Being optional means you have the choice of using an effect or not, so if you forget to use it, there’s nothing you can do about it.

Of course, remember that at all of these steps, when an effect activates you have the possibility of chaining to it and normal rules with regards to this apply.

What actually happens at the end of the turn?

Remember when I was good?Hands up if you knew I existed.

Once that is all said and done, you might think the turn is now over and there is nothing more to be done. However you’re forgetting one very important matter and that’s the issue of hand size. In Yu-Gi-Oh! the maximum number of cards you’re allowed in your hand at the end of the turn is 6, unless you’ve used some card to increase this limit. If you’re over the limit and you reach the end of the turn, the last thing you will usually do is discard for the hand size limit. So this means that if for example you have 7 cards in your hand at the end of the turn, you’ll need to discard 1 of them. Once that’s done the turn is over and it’s time to move onto the next turn.

However, there are some very special circumstances where other events may occur once you’ve discarded for hand size limit. If you discard a card that will activate, such as Dandylion, the effect will still activate. Similarly if you have a card like Dark World Grimoire, which actually interacts with the hand size limit discard, you can activate that. Once this chain has begun you may then add on chain links to this, just as you would for a normal one.

Time to draw my whole deck.

Some of you might be wondering if this is actually relevant to anything though, since most of the time by this point you no longer really care what happens. In decks which run Super Rejuvenation, such as Dragon Rulers this could be quite important though. With Dragon Rulers it can be quite easy to go past the hand size limit, especially with multiple copies of Super Rejuvenation. If you draw extra copies of the card due to the effect of the first one, it’s perfectly fine to use the 2nd or even 3rd copy whilst still in the End Phase to draw even more cards.

However if you’ve already broken the hand size limit, you might want the opportunity to draw even more cards, by adding on those that you discard due to the limit. Normally this isn’t possible, because you’re not allowed to manually start a chain once this discard has happened. If you want to do this you’ll need to discard cards like White Stone of Legend, which will start a chain, and allow you to add on another Super Rejuvenation. Since most of the cards that would cause this do not really fit into a Dragon Ruler deck, this is more something you’d try in a deck like Dragon Exodia. Dragon Rulers could however use Eclipse Wyvern for this type of play.

Once this is all over, if your hand is once again over the hand size limit, you will need to discard again until you’re back down to the limit. If any chains happen in response to this, you will repeat the pattern until you finally have the right sized hand and no more chains occur.

Until the end phase Vs until the end of the turn

Beware the cockroaches!Fairies are a little different in Japan.

One final thing that it’s important to be aware of is the difference between effects which last until the End Phase, like Effect Veiler, and those which last for the duration of the turn, like Maxx “C”. In the former case you need to follow the rules as set out earlier on. In the latter case the effect will continue until the turn is completely over. So for example, you’d still draw from the effect of Maxx “C” if the opponent summoned tokens from a Dandylion discarded for the hand size limit. Similarly they wouldn’t be able to use Dandylion’s effect if currently locked down by Shock Master.

Hopefully some people might find this useful as they get ready for their shot at the World Championship. Alternatively, those helping at the events might find this a useful refresher in case they have to deal with any of these during those events. I’m going to try and get a few more finished before the WCQs start, hopefully covering a few more important areas, and also some lesser known details that I find interesting.

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

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.

Ante

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.

Zolga

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

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.

Preparing for YCS Leipzig Part 3: More cards and game mechanics

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.

Trap Dustshoot

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.

Dark World

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.

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.

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.

Preparing for YCS Brighton: Part 2

As the second part of my preparing for YCS Brighton articles I will be looking at aspects of game mechanics and how cards function which players might not have full understandings of, and will not delve into discussions on strategy, since this can be very much deck specific.

There are some aspects of the game that many players and judges do not understand, and will result in bad decisions. There are also many players who can play, and win, without knowing these things. However sooner or later you may encounter a situation where this can turn the tide of the game for you. Everyone in the main event should hopefully understand the basics of the game, but there are some more complicated matters that fewer people understand. By understanding them it can help you against players who aren’t completely up to speed on things, and can help you discern the players trying illegal tactics because they hope the opponent won’t understand well enough to argue. For judges knowing these things can help in settling disputes correctly.

1. Priority

This is not some magical ability monsters have that allows them to dodge trap cards, despite this being the instance where it is most commonly heard. Priority is simply your ability to make a move. In your own turn you have priority to make a move before it is passed to the opponent to respond. At different points in the game this allows you to do different things. In most cases you retain priority to activate spell speed 2 or higher effects, but there are a couple of exceptions to this, and several situations where people regularly overlook it.

The two main exceptions are when a monster is summoned, and during your main phase.

When a monster is summoned you are, at least in the TCG, also allowed to activate ignition effects, whether it be of the monster you just summoned, another monster on the field, or even a monster in the graveyard, such as Destiny Hero Malicious.

During your main phase, provided all other chains etc are clear you have priority to make whatever move you wish, whether this is playing a spell/trap, a monster, or merely switching a monster’s battle position. Usually this is of little importance and you can play without worrying about this, but situations may occur where this is important.

Some situations that are often overlooked are during the draw phase, and in response to the resolution of previous chains.

In the first situation priority is rarely an issue because little tends to happen during the draw phase, besides drawing. However on rare occasions knowing you have priority to make a move first  can be vitally important. If you suspect the opponent has a card such as Trap Dustshoot face down, and you’ve just hit 4 cards in hand, if one of them is a quickplay you can activate it before the opponent can use their trap card on you, thus preventing them activating it. However this is not an excuse to try and weasel your way out of Trap Dustshoot should it be used on you and you just so happen to have had a quickplay in hand. Unless you had a reason for activating a quickplay that early (such as suspicion of Dustshoot), trying this sort of tactic will likely be looked upon poorly, and could result in penalties.

When a chain resolves the turn player retains priority to activate a spell speed 2 or higher effect, before passing it to the opponent. After this play may then resume as normal. This means that you can, for example, Mind Crush the card your opponent just added to their hand with Reinforcement of the Army before they can summon it.

2. Spell Speeds

This is in the Rule book, so really most players should know this. Surprisingly not all of them do. A card can only be added to a chain if it is of equal or higher speed than the previous card. The only exception to this is the fact that you cannot chain a Spell Speed 1 effect to another Spell Speed 1 effect. This means Ignition Effects (Spell Speed 1) cannot be chained to normal Spell Cards (Spell Speed 1), which in turn cannot be chained to normal Trap Cards (Spell Speed 2), which cannot be chained to Counter Trap Cards (Spell Speed 3). In many cases knowing this will help you understand if you are allowed to chain card X to card Y.

3. SEGOC (Simultaneous Effects Go On Chain)

If multiple effects meet their trigger at the same time they are resolved using SEGOC, which are the rules for how a chain is built. Effects are placed on the chain in the following order:

  1. Turn Player’s mandatory effects
  2. Opponent’s mandatory effects
  3. Turn Player’s optional effects
  4. Opponent’s optional effects

If two effects are of the same type then their controller may choose the order. This is why Blizzard and Black Whirlwind could be used to dodge Royal Oppression in the past. Both of the card effects are optional and have the same trigger (Blizzard being normal summoned), which means the player gets to choose their order. If Blizzard is placed first it means the current final chain link is Black Whirlwind, this means that Royal Oppression cannot be chained, since it must respond directly to an effect/summon. Were the order reversed Royal Oppression would be perfectly legal to add to the chain.

4. Responding to attacks

Most people are aware of how responding to attacks works. Player A attacks with Stardust Dragon, Player B responds with Dimensional Prison, for example. There are however some often overlooked details that can win you games. Firstly, you may only have one chain in direct response to the attack, and cards that specify this timing, such as Mirror Force or Dimensional Prison, can only be used during this chain. This means that if a Counter Trap, such as Seven Tools of the Bandit, is used the player responding to the attack loses anymore chances to use these cards.

After this, but before you actually move to battle, you are allowed an infinite number of chains, provided you have legal cards to activate. This includes cards such as Enemy Controller and Book of Moon. This means that, for example, if you attack a monster with higher attack than yours, and the opponent passes their chance to respond to the initial attack, because they think they’ll win the battle anyway, you may then use Enemy Controller to switch them to defense, and allow you to defeat the monster, without worrying about something like Mirror Force. This will come up on rare occasions, and can be vitally important. Some time ago I witnessed a famous English player taking apart a famous German player because he knew and understood about this, whilst his opponent didn’t.

5. The Damage Step

This is arguably one of the most confusing aspects of Yu-Gi-Oh! and going into the full details of absolutely everything would take far too long, so instead I’m going to focus on what gets asked the most, what you can and can’t use in the Damage Step. You may use the following:

  1. Counter Traps (with a few exceptions like Negate Attack)
  2. Cards which modify Attack/Defense
  3. Quick effects which negate things
  4. Cards which specifically activate in the damage step (Mystic Tomato, Kuriboh, Gorz etc)
  5. Exceptions, such as Michizure

Category 3 is slightly complicated by a few exceptions, but basically no one will use those cards anyway. So if you find yourself questioning whether you can activate a certain card during the damage step, just run through the list and see if your card fits into any of these categories. If not chances are you can’t activate it.

There are some additional restrictions ‘During Damage Calculation’ whereby only specific cards which modify attack and defense can be used. For example Honest can be used, but Shrink cannot. Counter traps and Quick effects etc. can however still respond to these cards.

6. Effects, Effect Veiler and Skill Drain

Understanding the differences between how these two cards work, and how effects themselves function can win you games. Despite their similarities, Effect Veiler and Skill Drain do not work in the same way, and knowing these differences can save you from making bad decisions.

The most important thing to know about effects is that they activate and resolve in the same place, regardless of where the final card ends up. For example Hand effects, such as Honest and Effect Veiler, activate and resolve in the Hand, despite the fact the actual card will usually end up in the Graveyard. A card that sends itself from the field to the Graveyard as a cost for its effect, such as Stardust Dragon, will still activate and resolve on the field.

With this in mind we can start to understand how Skill Drain and Effect Veiler differ. Skill Drain negates the effects of face up monsters, whilst Effect Veiler negates effects which activate on the field. Now you might think these two are the same, but there is a subtle difference between the two. Skill Drain only looks for the actual state of the card, whilst Effect Veiler generally couldn’t care less.

To demonstrate we’ll look at two examples using Stardust Dragon:

  1. Player A has Skill Drain and a face down Mirror Force. Player B attacks with Stardust Dragon. Player A responds with Mirror Force, Player B chains Stardust Dragon’s effect to try and stop it.
  2. Player A has a face down Mirror Force and earlier in the turn used Effect Veiler on Stardust Dragon. Player B attacks with Stardust Dragon. Player A responds with Mirror Force, Player B chains Stardust Dragon’s effect to try and stop it.

The first thing to know is that neither Skill Drain, nor Effect Veiler negates activations, so using effects is still okay, it’s whether or not they resolve properly which is the issue.

In situation 1 Stardust Dragon is no longer face up on the field when its effect tries to resolve, so Skill Drain will have no effect over it and its effect will resolve properly.

In situation 2, since Stardust Dragon activated on the field it will still be negated by Effect Veiler, even though it is no longer on the field.

As long as the monster is no longer face up on the field when its effect resolves, Skill Drain will have no power, whereas with Effect Veiler it’s very hard to escape its influence. Fortunately though flipping a monster face down, with Book of Moon for example, can sever this link.

7. Ending Phases

You cannot pass from one phase to another unless both players agree to. This can usually be safely overlooked during normal play, since it would only slow things down. However in some situations it is important to realise this. For example, if Player A wants to end his Main Phase, but Player B uses his Formula Synchron to summon Black Rose Dragon, then there has not yet been an agreement to end the Main Phase. This means that Player A can still make further plays before entering the Battle Phase.

8. Cards that don’t work like you think they would

There are several cards out there that function in ways that might not be immediately obvious to you, but it can be very important to know about them.

From reading cards like Gachi Gachi Gantetsu, Jain or Windup Zenmaines you might get the impression their first effects are trigger effects, when in actual fact they are continuous. This means cards like War Chariot or Dolkka cannot be used to stop them in this instance. This can be very useful to know when facing Dino Rabbits.

King Tiger Wanghu has a trigger effect, not a continuous effect. This means he can be hit by, for example, War Chariot or Doomcalibre Knight. It also means you cannot use an ignition effect of a monster if you summon something that will be killed by Wanghu, since Wanghu has already started a chain.

Reborn Tengu will activate even if you have no more legal copies to summon. This means it will get rid of Doomcalibre Knight even when all your copies are spent.

Utopia is not a quick effect. You cannot use it in a chain.

Karakuri Komachi mdl 224 “Ninishi” has a continuous effect to allow an extra normal summon of a Karakuri. This means things like War Chariot and Doomcaliber cannot negate this effect. In addition summoning extra copies of this card does not give you extra normal summons on top of the first one.

Hopefully someone out there has found this useful. If you have any more situations/ issues you’d like addressed or have any comments please let me know. Hope to see people at the event, and remember to have fun.