All rise!

Hello duelists, and welcome back to Court of Appeals! Every two weeks I'll answer your questions about card interactions, game mechanics and tournament policy submitted to askjudgejoe@gmail.com. I get quite a few submissions, and I most likely can't get to them all. To improve your chances of your e-mail making it to the column, please follow these ground rules...

-I will not answer new questions in the article Comments. If you have a related follow-up question to a question I answer here, you can ask it in the Comments and I will answer it in a reply.

-Please ask only one question per e-mail. Grammar and clarity helps, too.

-All answers I give are unofficial unless backed up by an official source.

-I'll be using official game terms whenever possible. If I use jargon (even jargon that is perceived to be universally accepted), I'll note that it's jargon.

-I'll note sources whenever possible.

-I'll always use the official card database as my card text reference. You can find the official card database here: http://www.db.yugioh-card.com/yugiohdb/

-I will not answer any questions about cards not released in the TCG.

Please be seated.

Tacio Franco writes…

Hello Joe, the first thing I would like to say is that I really appreciate your articles, they're very helpful. Keep on going with this amazing work!

The second thing is my question. Recently, I've been playing with Madolches, and in most of my duels I have a Madolche Queen Tiaramisu on the field, and sometimes my opponent has nothing on the field. Let's say I have a face-up attack position Leviair the Sea Dragon, Madolche Queen Tiaramisu, Madolche Chateau, Madolche Ticket (face-up) and a Madolchepalooza face-down while my opponent has no cards on the field. I can detach an Xyz Material from Tiaramisu, returning two random Madolches to hand, chaining the effect of Ticket to Summon one Madolche Puddingcess, then chain Madolchepalooza to Summon any other Madolches in my hand to the field, since my opponent's has no cards to be the targets of Tiaramisu? I know this question may be dumb, but the "up to" in the effect of Tiaramisu really confuses me.

Hello Tacio!

I wouldn't be a new year without a Madolche Queen Tiaramisu question!

So there's two chains involved here. (… No, not the hip hop artist. I don't think he plays Madolches.) The first chain is the one with Madolche Queen Tiaramisu's effect, the second one is with Madolche Ticket and Madolchepalooza. Your question about Tiaramisu's effect can be answered by taking a look at the Queen's most recent text update in Astral Pack Six. While I've previously mentioned that you can't pick "zero" when resolving effects that require you to pick "up to" a number of selections, this situation is different because there are literally no cards on the opponent's field to choose from. You can still activate the effect and resolve as much as you can.

For the question about Madolche Ticket, Madolche Puddingcess and Madolchepalooza, that all sounds correct to me. Madolchepalooza resolves first, Special Summoning monsters from your hand, then Ticket resolves, letting you add a Madolche from deck to hand, or Special Summoning one from the deck since you control a Fairy-type Madolche monster (Tiaramisu).

#####CARDID= 11539#####

Manny P. writes…

Good Morning Judge Joe,

Happy new year! I hope this year is prosperous for you. I always look forward to your articles. Now onto my question.

My opponent has a Raging Flame Sprite equipped with Axe of Despair and he attacks me directly. Raging Flame Sprite's effect goes off, making the monster's ATK 2100. On my turn, I activate Book of Moon to flip Raging Flame Sprite face-down, which also destroys Axe of Despair. On his next turn, my opponent Flip Summons Raging Flame Sprite. He says it's still at 1100 ATK. I say no because it's been flipped down and loses the ATK gain.

Who's right? ~ Thanks in advance - Manny P.

Hello Manny!

When a monster goes face-down, the game forgets nearly every effect that resolved on that monster previously. ATK and DEF modifiers go away, effect negation stops applying and other restrictions that previously applied to the monster like "a monster Special Summoned by this effect can't be used as a Synchro / Xyz Material" also go away.

To my knowledge, the only thing a face-down monster "remembers" is if it was Normal Summoned or Set, or Special Summoned. And I use the term "remembers" very liberally since that's totally not an official term for what I'm describing. Short answer: Raging Flame Sprite has 100 ATK when it's Flip Summoned. It lost the extra ATK as soon as it flipped face-down.

Jain writes…

Lately, I've been running into a problem with a rare, but apparently extremely powerful effect. The effect is only seen on two cards: "U.A. Mighty Slugger" and "Armades, Keeper of Boundaries". (Joe: Well… variations of that effect appear on other cards, too. Search the database for the card text "your opponent cannot activate cards or effects" and you'll find a few.)

The problem I'm having is with cards that should activate when they touch the graveyard after being destroyed by battle, and while I've read your guide on the Damage Step, I still don't understand why they supposedly don't. Many effects that rely on the monster first being destroyed by battle, then being sent to the graveyard, still don't activate. As I'm to understand, these effects activate between attacks, after the Damage Step and its related sub-phases have finished resolving. Cards like this include Ghostrick Yuki-onna, Cloudian - Sheep Cloud, the Shaddoll Fusion Monsters, and even (more or less) the entire Yang Zing archetype.

That leads me to believe that this effect falls into a type of grey area as far as those cards are concerned. It's also my understanding that Konami hasn't released any rulings surrounding this situation and either card, which doesn't really help in any way. As per your guide, the Damage Step is as follows…

Attack is declared:
- For example's sake, both players choose to pass

The Damage Step is entered:
- Start of Damage Step
- Monsters are flipped-up, if face-down
- Pre Damage Calculation
- Damage Calculation (Where monsters are determined if they're destroyed or not.)
- Post Damage Calculation
- FLIP Effects activate (Cards involved in the battle are still on the field at this time.)
- Monsters are finally sent to the Graveyard (or respective location if otherwise stated)

To summarize what I'm trying to say: "Judge Joe, if I may ask... Why wouldn't a monster's effect(s) that activate after they're destroyed by battle and sent to the Graveyard - or sent to the Graveyard at all - activate if they're destroyed by either U.A. Mighty Slugger or Armades, Keeper of Boundaries?

As I understand, their effects should activate after their conditions are met, which would occur after they've been sent to the Graveyard. I know why my "Shaddoll" Flip Effects won't activate, but this is something that's been bothering me for a few months now because "U.A." decks are gaining popularity in my locals." ~ Can't wait for your reply, Jain

Hello Jain!

The biggest piece of knowledge I can share that may clarify your entire view is this: when a monster's actually sent to the graveyard, banished area, or wherever it goes when it's destroyed by battle, the game is at the "end of the Damage Step" and is still considered the Damage Step where Armades and friends' effect is still applying. If there was an official Konami reference to the Damage Step to back this up I'd absolutely link it here, but alas.

Steven Dobash writes…

Hello Judge Joe!

I have a question on a particular card in interaction with a deck I'm building: The Big Cattle Drive from Cosmo Blazer. The Big Cattle Drive says I can't activate any other Spell/Trap cards or effects during the turn I activated this card. While this drawback may seem minor, it concerns me because of two things. In Gladiator Beasts, the effect of shuffling my monster in the deck is a vital part of the combos and deck itself. The Big Cattle Drive didn't specify effects of monsters, just spells, traps, and effects.

I'm not sure if I'm just not reading the wording correctly or if I'm not familiar with the terminology. I'm also concerned if Cattle Drive would limit me on my Contact Fusion Summons since a couple of the Fusions have effects when they're Summoned. Any clarification would be helpful and very much appreciated. Thanks for your time!

Hello Steven!

Since its release, The Big Cattle Drive has been one of "those cards" for the very issue you're addressing: put very simply, this card should have been worded a little bit better. The way I've interpreted the text: if it was meant to include monster effects, the effect would specifically mention "monster effects". Treat the card as if it reads "You cannot activate other Spell/Trap Cards or Spell/Trap effects during the turn you activate this card."

#####CARDID= 11667#####

Last question!

Connor Griffith writes…

Hello Judge Joe! Connor Griffith here again. Your articles have been great. I've hopped on the Burning Abyss train recently and your rulings have helped a lot. One thing that keeps popping up at my locals is how Apoqliphort Towers interacts with Snatch Steal. If I understand Towers correctly, you can equip a spell to it, but it will be unaffected by whatever the equip spell does. (You can equip it with Saqlifice, but it will not get the 300 boost.) What I wanted to confirm is that you can attempt to equip Towers with Snatch Steal, but it will not be able to swap control because Towers is unaffected.

Thanks so much!

Hello Connor!

You have it right. We understand the term "unaffected" to mean that the monster can be targeted by, and doesn't prevent the activation of, effects that target that monster, but anything that the card does won't do its thing to the monster in question. (If that sentence sounded weird to you, it's because I tried really hard to define the word "unaffected" without using any form of the word "affected". It's harder than you think.) If you equip Apoqliphort Towers with Snatch Steal, they keep Towers and Snatch Steal gives them 1000 LP every one of their Standby Phases. It may be in your best interests to not equip Apoqliphort Towers with Snatch Steal, if possible.

And that's it for this week's Court of Appeals! If you have a question about 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!

Court is adjourned
-Joe Frankino