What’s up boys and girls, its T-Time! Every now and then I get questions on my Facebook, youtube, and even my phone asking me ruling questions. Sometimes they are pretty tricky and I have to call a few friends for verification, but generally speaking they are all questions that can be answered with a reasonable understanding of the rules. I want to help illustrate some of the intermediate to complex game mechanics and explain how things work using common examples from the current meta game. In addition, I want to talk about some of the technicalities and wordings in some cards that can generally create confusion among people. I want to try to give an understanding to people as to why rulings are the way they are, not just specific this and that’s. I do not feel that I know everything there is to know about this and I am not a YCS level head judge. In fact, I often find myself asking those judges ruling questions before events on specific cards. However, I really hope that this helps and that it can give you a better understanding of the game that you are playing. Today I will only be talking about monster effects, since this will be more than enough to soak in in one sitting for some players.
There are different kinds of monster effects including Continuous, Ignition, and Trigger. A Continuous effect continues as long as a card is in play. An example of this would be Jinzo. Jinzo’s effect cannot be chained to and it does not activate, so it cannot be negated by cards like Divine Wrath. His effect becomes active immediately upon his summon being successful. This means that cards like Bottolmess Trap Hole cannot be activated in response because he is already on the field whey they would activate and his effect is considered already live. Solemn Warning would stop him because it would negate his summon and he would never be considered on the field. This may seem simple, but you would be surprised at how many people don’t understand this.
Ignition effects are effects that can be used when a specific condition is met and are always optional (remember that mandatory effects like Zaborg the Thunder Monarch’s are trigger effects). In the current TCG, when a monster is summoned with an Ignition effect that can be activated when it is on the field, that player is granted Turn Player Priority and if the player chooses to activate that effect, it becomes the first thing on a chain that can be responded too (examples include Lonefire Blossom or Rescue Rabbit). Trigger effects are sometimes activated when a monster is summoned like Elemental HERO Stratos or Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier. These do not require player priority, but they are still considered the first thing on the chain when that monster is successfully summoned. If an effect is activated on the field, a card like Bottomless Trap Hole (which would be chain link 2 if activated in response to the summon of the monster) would remove the monster from the field, but the effect would still resolve on the chain. For example, if you were to Bottomless a Caius the Shadow Monarch, the effect of Caius would still resolve even though it is not on the field. Other activation cards can be activated from the hand such as Maxx “C” and Effect Veiler. If Effect Veiler is chained to a monster’s activation effect, if that monster would be removed from the field before it’s effect is activated, Effect Veiler’s ability to negate the effect on the field would fizzle and the effect would resolve. An example of this would be if someone tribute Lonefire Blossom, Effect Veiler wouldn’t negate the effect because it is no longer on the field when the effect resolves. In the same respect, if a Player A Summons Caius, activating it’s effect, and your Player B activates Effect Veiler as Chain Link 2, and Player A chains Enemy Controller tributing Caius to take an appropriate target on Player B’s field as Chain Link 3, Caius’s effect would resolve because it would not be on the field for Effect Veiler to negate it.
Complex Activation Ruling Example: If Player A summons a Trishula and Player B activates Bottomless Trap Hole, and Player A gives no response, then Player B activates Effect Veiler as Chain Link 3 to negate the effect, here is what happens. Effect Veiler activates, negating Trishula’s effect on the field. Then Bottomless Trap Hole removes Trishula from play. Trishula’s effect then attempts to resolve on the chain and Effect Veiler’s effect would no longer apply since Trishula is removed from play, so Trishula’s effect would then resolve removing the three cards.
Trigger effects like continuous effects that activate when a specific event occurs, such as King Tiger Wanghu or Ally of Justice Catastor. These effects become a mandatory Chain Link 1 as soon as the condition is met. For example, if your opponent attacks with an Earth monster into Catastor, Catastor’s effect will trigger or activate and cards that can negate it become applicable, such as Stardust Dragon or Divine Wrath. There are optional trigger effects like Peten the Dark Clown, and with those it is possible to miss the timing. So when Peten is tribute for a monster, the last thing that happens is a monster was summoned, causing Peten to miss the timing. However, if two optional triggers happen at the same time, they go on a chain together and do not miss the timing (example being two Mystic Tomato’s being destroyed by battle with one another). With optional triggers, you must be able to start a chain when the effect would resolve, or else the timing would then be missed. A good example of the difference between mandatory trigger and optional trigger effects are Sangan vs Dupe Frog. If you tribute Sangan for a Caius the Shadow Monarch, Caius’s effect will start a chain but Sangan’s effect would not go on that chain and its effect can’t be responded too (even with Debunk). If you tribute Dupe Frog instead, you do not get Dupe Frog’s search because it doesn’t go on the chain for Caius’s effect and Dupe Frog would miss the timing.
Hopefully that explanation of monster effects was helpful. If you have any specific questions, please post them and I will do my best to answer them. If I have misspoken or there is any confusion, feel free to let me know about that too. I don’t want to confuse anybody; this is just the best way I have found to understand things. If you guys enjoyed this kind of article, let me know. I still feel the need to talk about Chains, Spell Speeds, Summoning, Phases, and more. Thanks for reading!