Just when it seems like Invasion: Vengeance just debuted, another releases is now in our hands, bringing support for an older theme and two brand-new strategies to play around with. This week on Black and White: We answer some common questions – and some not-so-common questions - about the cards from Destiny Soldiers.

The D-HERO's
Destiny HERO – Drilldark's effect checks its own ATK on the field when it resolves. That works the same way as the old favorite Black Whirlwind where if the monster isn't face-up on the field when the effect resolves, the effect does nothing. Likewise, if you could increase Drilldark's ATK before the effect resolves, you can Special Summon something with more ATK than you normally could.

Destiny HERO – Dynatag uses the rare "make [a player]" do something line. We've seen that phrase on cards like Apoqliphort Towers and Share the Pain to signify that what's happening here isn't a card effect, so things that would normally be unaffected by card effects or would activate from a card effect don't do so. The popular example is that a Shaddoll monster sent to the graveyard for Apoqliphort Towers didn't activate its effect since it wasn't sent by a card effect.

What does that mean for Dynatag's effect to reduce battle damage? I'm not entirely sure! But be aware that this phrase exists and could have some weird interactions down the line.

Destiny HERO – Decider's Summon effect activates and resolves when it's Normal or Special Summoned. During the End Phase, you perform the search without using the chain regardless of what happened to Decider.

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Destiny HERO – Dark Angel is from the GX anime where it had a very specific effect for the situation it was used in, and that's reflected in the text of the TCG card. First, as long as you've met the condition of "have 3 or more Destiny HEROs in your graveyard", you can discard Dark Angel and target itself to Special Summon it to your opponent's field. The effect that negates Spell cards and effects applies to the current controller of Dark Angel. If you use Dark Angel's third effect and your opponent doesn't have a Normal Spell to place on top of their deck, you get to verify the deck.

Destiny HERO – Diamond Dude gets a minor text update: it now excavates the top card of the deck instead of simply revealing it.

Destiny End Dragoon gets a text update that reflects how the card has always worked but is now super-clear: if you target a face-down with its destruction effect, no damage is inflicted. The card has always worked like that but it's been a popular question for years. Now, it should be super obvious.

The Abyss Actors
Abyss Actor – Funky Comedian's monster effect includes "you can make" and in this instance, it's in reference to gaining ATK points. This inclusion of "you can make" is easier to visualize than Destiny HERO – Dynatag's effect. As an example, if Funky Comedian was somehow unaffected by card effects, it would still gain ATK points because the ATK gain is coming from "you can make" which, for reasons, isn't considered a card effect.

Abyss Actor – Sassy Rookie's Pendulum Effect and Monster Effect work together exactly how you think they should. You can use the Pendulum Effect to destroy itself in place of another Abyss Actor monster(s), and then the Monster Effect activates letting you destroy an opponent's Level 4 or lower monster.

Both of Abyss Actor – Leading Lady's effects that involve lowering an opponent's monster ATK are permanent decreases since they don't mention "until the end of the turn" or anything like that. The ATK will remain lowered until the monster leaves the field.

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Almost all of the Darklords that premiered in Destiny Soldiers share a similar effect. During either player's turn, you can pay 1000 LP to copy the effect of a spell or trap with Darklord in its name in your graveyard, then that spell or trap goes back to your deck.

Take note of the word "then" used in this effect, meaning that shuffling the Spell/Trap is the last thing to happen, which has timing implications for interactions like Darklord Rebellion and the Yang Zing. When you copy a spell or trap from the graveyard like this, you're only applying an effect, you're not paying the cost of the actual spell or trap in the graveyard.

That's important for the two trap cards Darklord Rebellion and Darklord Enchantment which would normally require you to send a Darklord from your hand or your field to the graveyard to activate each of those cards. If you use a Darklord monster to copy the effect, you only need to pay the cost of the Darklord's monster effect – which is 1000 LP.

Reprints and Revised Texts!
The Beginning of the End gets its first PSCT reprint (and its first reprint ever), not changing anything gameplay-wise but bringing its terminology up to date.

Marie the Fallen One and Nurse Reficule the Fallen One are no longer Fallen Ones but are instead Darklords. See my previous Black and White about why card names sometimes change. Oddly enough, Darklord Marie actually fits into the Darklord theme more than other "in name only" members of a theme, since Marie can give you a small refund on the LP you're paying with the other Darklord effects.

Prometheus, King of the Shadows gets its first PSCT reprint, clearing up possible questions about "does this target" and whether it's a mandatory or optional effect. (The effect doesn't contain "you can", so this is a mandatory effect.)

This one isn't a text update since the actual text didn't change, but just a note that Advance Draw specifically says you have to Tribute a face-up Level 8 monster you control. While the rulebook says you can Tribute face-up and face-down monsters for things, the card effect here has the specific requirement.

Strategy Thoughts: Abyss Actors
So we've had all these cards for a few weeks now, and it's very likely you've seen the Darklords come up at your locals or Regionals. But maybe you haven't seen the full Abyss Actor deck yet, and that's what I want to showcase right now, because I think there's a lot of potential there as a sleeper pick.

There's not a lot of Abyss Actors, but looking at their effects, there doesn't need to be. The Abyss Actor deck has inherent draw power since they're all Dark monsters; triple Allure of Darkness is a given. Both Abyss Actor – Funky Comedian and Abyss Actor – Extras are Level 1 monsters, making One for One an option for Summoning it from the deck, and each of them are playable; Extras can Tribute itself to put an Abyss Actor into your Pendulum Scale, while Funky Comedian buffs itself for each of your Abyss Actors, then can give its ATK to another Abyss Actor. This effect, combined with the amount of cards that give you bonus based on how many different Abyss Actor monsters you control, makes a card like United We Stand look like a really tempting option.

Abyss Actor – Sassy Rookie and Abyss Actor – Wild Hope give the strategy searching options when they're destroyed, and they can be repeated as necessary since the entire clan is Pendulum Monsters. The ideal setup, however, is to have Wild Hope and another Abyss Actor in the Pendulum Zones, because Wild Hope's Pendulum Scale is 2, and its own effect can make the other Scale become 9, which allows for the two boss monsters, Abyss Actor – Superstar and Abyss Actor – Evil Heel to take the stage.

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Just on its own, Abyss Actor – Superstar can set the strongest Abyss Script Spell Card, Abyss Script – Rise of the Abyss King, straight from your deck. And because Superstar's Level 7, Rise of the Abyss King's activation can't be responded to, which means it's nearly guaranteed you'll be clearing out your opponent's field! Even if you opponent uses something like Twin Twisters on Rise of the Abyss King before you activate it, you'll claim the other effect, giving you two searches of Abyss Actors and Abyss Scripts with different names. You can even pick another Rise of the Abyss King!

Since they're all Darks and Fiends, the Abyss Actors lend themselves to Rivalry of Warlords and Gozen Match, letting you use them in the Main Deck, and even opening up anti-meta cards like Vanity's Fiend to lock down an established field and put the pressure on your opponent.

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

-Joe Frankino

Joe is a Yu-Gi-Oh! judge and player from Long Island, New York. After writing this, he now wants to build Abyss Actors.