Let's be honest: we knew Breakers of Shadow was going to be a ridiculous set even before Dimension of Chaos dropped. The previews that Konami gave us for Cyber Dragon Infinity and Neptabyss the Atlantean Prince were enough of a hint that it was going to be high-impact from the word go. And based off results from Regional Qualifiers and YCS Sydney, that definitely appears to be the case. As a side effect, with such powerful new tools in play, there are questions being tossed around.

Let's clear up what we can, shall we?

This week on Black and White: We run down common ruling questions for Breakers of Shadow.

Monsters!
Steel Cavalry of Dinon activates at the start of the Damage Step, before a face-down monster is flipped face-up. If a set Steel Cavalry is attacked by a Pendulum Monster, or if it attacks into a face-down Pendulum Monster, its effect won't activate.

Tuning Magician can be Special Summoned from the hand or graveyard if both of your Pendulum Zones have Magicians in them. Those Magicians don't need to stay in the Pendulum Zones for Tuning Magician's effect to resolve properly; a chained Twin Twisters won't stop Tuning Magician from Special Summoning itself. The on-Summon effect is a "then" effect. Your opponent has to gain Life Points for you to take damage. If you can somehow make it so that your opponent doesn't gain Life Points, you'll avoid the damage. There are some old cards like Bad Reaction to Simochi and Nurse Reficule the Fallen One that can make that happen.

Timebreaker Magician needs to banish both it and its target on resolution, but it doesn't need to return both; just return as much as you can.

Performapal Trump Girl's everything Performapal Trump Witch wanted to be because Trump Girl is Level 2, allowing you to Pendulum Summon her. Use Trump Girl and an Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon for the Fusion Summon of Rune-Eyes Pendulum Dragon, and then next turn, do it again!

Superheavy Samurai Magnet does exactly what you hope it does. If you control two face-up Magnets, one protects the other - and everything else you control – locking your opponent out of attacking entirely. They'll need to clear out your monsters with a card effect to break the lock.

Score the Melodious Diva is kinda like Honest but with a positive twist; Honest can't activate its effect in damage calculation, but Score can, meaning you can de-buff your opponent's monster to zero ATK after all of the popular Damage Step tricks have already been played.

Like Superheavy Samurai Magnet, Twilight Ninja Shingetsu does exactly what you'd want it to; two of them on the field protects both of them – and the rest of your Ninjas – from battle and targeted card effects.

Twilight Ninja Getsuga, the Shogun's Special Summon effect doesn't include the word "both", so if one target can't be Special Summoned, you can still Summon the one that's left.

A lot of the following cards will either reference "Buster Blader" or "Buster Blader monster". Look carefully because there's a big difference between a "Buster Blader" and a "Buster Blader monster".

If a card effect says something like "Target a 'Buster Blader' you control", it only works with cards specifically named "Buster Blader" or cards whose names are treated as "Buster Blader" by their own abilities.

If a card says something like "Target a "Buster Blader" monster you control", it works with any monster with the phrase "Buster Blader" in its name.

It may seem obvious, but before actually reading the cards, I assumed the Dinomists were all Dinosaurs. They're not. They're Machines. No Evolzar shenanigans to be done (yet).

Dinomist Stegosaurus's monster effect can be activated even when it's not the monster battling.

The Pendulum Effects of Dinomist Plesio and Dinomist Rex are tricky if you don't notice the lack of colons and semi-colons. These are not activated effects. You will decide to negate a card effect as it's about to resolve.

Shiranui Spectralsword's Special Summon effect needs to banish both it and its target in order for any of them to be banished and to Special Summon the intended Synchro Monster. See the purposeful use of the word "both."

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Guiding Ariadne's Pendulum Effect lets you activate Counter Traps without paying whatever discard or Life Point costs are usually required. That means you can activate a Counter Trap like Divine Wrath that normally requires a discard without having a card in hand, or activate Solemn Warning while at 2000 or less LP. For a card like Ultimate Providence, you can activate it without having to discard the required card type. And like Performage Plush Fire, if Guiding Ariadne's destroyed from the Pendulum Zone, its monster effect will activate in the Extra Deck.

Engraver of the Mark declares its card name when it resolves, not when you activate it. That's key because you're likely using Engraver of the Mark to ruin a Mind Crush, Prohibition or Psi-Blocker play. Your opponent won't have the benefit of knowing what card name you're switching their card effect into until it happens.

Zany Zebra's effect targets either a Monster Zone or a Spell & Trap Zone. These are neither the Pendulum Zones nor the Field Zone. The Monster Zones and the Spell & Trap Zones are specifically the ones in the center of the game mat with the five Spell & Trap Zones being in the row closest to you and the Monster Zones being directly in front of the Spells and Traps.

Buster Blader, the Dragon Destroyer Swordsman is a monster with "Buster Blader" in its name, so it counts as a "Buster Blader" monster for effects that require one, but doesn't count as "Buster Blader" itself. It won't work with the Destruction Sword monster effects that need an original flavor Buster Blader – or a monster that counts as one.

No rules clarification for Superhuman Samurai Beast Kyubi, as it's fairly straight forward. But I will try to get this monster, Dark Magician Girl and Dark Contract with the Witch on the field at the same time. For reasons.

I had to read Goyo Defender twice to confirm what it actually does; it can Special Summon another Goyo Defender from the Extra Deck assuming you already control one. It can't just jump out the Extra Deck by its own effect, sadly.

Like Alsei, the Sylvan High Protector, Aegaion the Sea Castrum's first effect doesn't detach an Xyz Material. Only the second effect detaches an Xyz Material.

Odd-Eyes Advent can Ritual Summon any Dragon Ritual monster from the hand or graveyard. That's in addition to whatever Ritual Spells those monsters can normally be Summoned with. There's only a handful of Dragon rituals at the moment but keep this card in mind going forward.

Trap Cards
Dragon's Bind will stop applying its effect if the targeted monster leaves the field or goes face-down. The targeted Dragon must remain face-up on the field for Dragon's Bind to check its ATK points.

Pendulum Reborn lacks the word target, so you don't announce what monster you're intended to Summon until Pendulum Reborn resolves.

Forbidden Apocrypha's wording actually clarifies a question I had for a while regarding the Trap Card Tri-and-Guess. Pendulum is not considered an Extra Deck monster card type, otherwise it would've been listed on Forbidden Apocrypha as a possible selection.

Bad Luck Blast says you can only activate one Bad Luck Blast per turn. To "activate" a Trap Card means to flip it face-up in a Spell & Trap Zone. Its "when destroyed" effect isn't restricted by this, so if multiple Bad Luck Blasts are destroyed, 1000 damage happens for each one.

World Premieres and Imports
A lot of people have asked the question about Kozmo Tincan's effects being used in the End Phase if it was Special Summoned by Emergency Teleport. We can clear everything up here. In any phase, the turn player can activate and use effects in the order of their choosing. In the End Phase, there are three effects that can happen: Tincan's add-to-hand effect, Tincan's Special Summon effect and resolving Emergency Teleport's End Phase effect to banish Tincan. If you wanted to, you could use Tincan's add-to-hand effect, then use Tincan's other effect, banishing itself to Special Summon a Level 2 or high Kozmo from hand which effectively avoids Emergency Teleports downside.

Jizukiru, the Star Destroying Kaiju doesn't have to destroy the card it negates. This is a behavior that's not often seen in Yu-Gi-Oh. The last card that I remember doing something like this is the trap card Rebound from Return of the Duelist.

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At the moment, as we currently understand it, Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer can target your own Pendulum Scales and you will search for Performapal monsters. If this changes, I'll update this and post about it in a future Court of Appeals or Black and White.

Dharma-Eye Magician's monster effect reads a lot like Photon Cerberus's effect, in that the effect only applies during the turn it was Summoned and only while it's face-up on the field.

And finally: Traptrix Rafflesia's effect doesn't protect itself from its own effect (because Traptrix Rafflesia isn't a Normal Trap Card with "Hole" in its name). This means, if you send Treacherous Trap Hole to the grave and target Rafflesia with it, it will be destroyed.

Hopefully you found this information useful! If you have any questions about the cards from Breakers of Shadow, card interactions, game mechanics or tournament policy, send me an e-mail (one question per e-mail please!) to askjudgejoe@gmail.com and your question could be answered in a future Court of Appeals!

-Joe Frankino


Joe is a Yu-Gi-Oh! judge and player from Long Island, New York. He'll be at this weekend's Regional Qualifier in Elizabeth NJ. If he's not busy telling players to put their Extra Deck in the Extra Deck Zone, come by and say hi!