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 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:

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

Please be seated.

Danny Dever writes…

Hello Judge Joe,

My name's Danny. First I'd like to thank you for your articles. They're very enlightening. Now onto my question. I keep seeing a lot of arguing on this and I was wondering if you can activate Madolche Queen Tiaramisu's effect if your opponent has no cards on their field? My understanding of the new PSCT is that you can, because of the word THEN: if effect B cannot happen then effect A still does. I'm kind of an acting judge (not at tournaments) in my group of friends that play, and a few of us use Madolches so this is something that would help out a lot. Thanks for your help and keep up the good work.

Hello Danny!

While you're correct in your interpretation of the word "then" as used in Problem-Solving Card Text, there's an underlying mechanic of the game that gets in the way here.

In order to activate any card or effect, you need to be able to do all of the mandatory parts of the effect before activation. In this case, because your opponent controls no cards, you can't shuffle any back, which means you can't activate. And while I understand Tiaramisu says "up to the number of 'Madolche' cards returned", another currently undocumented rule that we follow is that "zero" isn't a number you can pick when resolving effects like this. You'd have to be able to return at least one card if you activate Tiaramisu's effect.

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

Tim and Shane write…

Hi Judge Joe,

Me and my brother have been debating this situation: Player A Summons a monster and activates its effect. Player B chains Fiendish Chain on that monster. On a later turn, Trap Stun is activated. The turn after Trap Stun resolved, can the monster that is being targeted by Fiendish Chain activate its effect or attack?

Thanks, Tim and Shane

Hello Tim and Shane!

The monster affected by Fiendish Chain will only be able to attack or activate its effect during the turn Fiendish Chain is negated by Trap Stun. Once Trap Stun stops applying, Fiendish Chain kicks back in, negating the monster's effect.

Bazzard T. writes…

Yo Joe! Where do duelists generally put their Side Deck when not in use? I personally stack it on top of my Extra Deck, and they share different sleeves as so to not confuse my opponent thinking that I have a super-sized Extra Deck. I believe a while back anyways it was said that the Extra Deck can be in different sleeves from the Main and Side anyhow.

Most players put them in their deck boxes...which are usually double deck boxes, and that concerns me because it seems easy to smokescreen your Side Deck and simply have essentially two Side Decks that can't be confirmed until you physically check their deck, but I'm also pretty sure there's no "Side Deck Zone". So what's the deal?

Hello Bazzard!

There's no Side Deck Zone, that much is correct. And Rulebook 8.0 doesn't expound too much on the exact logistics of the Side Deck beyond "must not exceed 15 cards." As long as there are 15 cards that exist outside of the Main Deck and Extra Deck, it's a Side Deck. There's no other restriction beyond where it should be located.

Your concern regarding the Side Deck in the deck box, however, is valid. Yu-Gi-Oh TCG Tournament Policy 1.4 has this statement under the Extra Deck header: "Yu-Gi-Oh! cards that are not registered on a Duelist's Deck List as part of their Main Deck, Side Deck, or Extra Deck may not be kept with a Duelist's Deck (in the deck box, etc.) with the exception of cards used and clearly marked as Tokens." In tournaments, all cards in a player's deck box are considered as part of the deck when a deck check occurs. For events that use Deck Lists (Regional Qualifiers, Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series, Official Tournament Store Championships, and such), if there are cards in the deck box that aren't part of the Main, Side or Extra Deck, then they're included as part of the deck, which means the deck doesn't match what's on the deck list. That would result in a Deck Error – Major infraction, and the penalty is a Game Loss.

Long story short: If you keep cards in your deck box during an official match, they should only be the cards for your Side Deck. (Your Extra Deck has to be in the Extra Deck Zone as that's on the Game Mat.)

Jeremiah Hyugga writes…

My opponent Summons Number 101: Silent Honor ARK. If I chain Bottomless Trap Hole, and they chain Trap Stun, I can still chain Torrential Tribute, correct? Also if I chain Black Horn of Heaven, and they chain Wiretap, I can chain Solemn Warning, correct.

I've been trying to understand what it means to respond to an action.

Hello Jeremiah!

Two somewhat related questions, but I'll allow it because this trips up a lot of people.

Yes, you may chain Torrential Tribute. The successful Summon was the "last thing to happen"; after any action that doesn't use the chain, that action is considered "the last thing to happen" even if other cards and effects are activated in response to that action.

But… this is different for Summon negation. Summon negation's more like spell and trap negation than it is to "response to Summon"-type cards like Trap Hole and Torrential Tribute. Cards like Black Horn of Heaven, Forced Back, Steelswarm Roach and such have to be activated as the Summon is being attempted, as the action is taking place. These cards require that their activation condition be happening at that very moment. It's similar to how, in a 3-link chain, you can't activate Dark Bribe as Chain Link 4 to negate the spell card activated as Chain Link 1.

Negation mechanics are by design different than cards that respond to actions. You won't be able to activate Solemn Warning in your scenario since Warning has to be activated as the monster is being Summoned. Unfortunately, there are no official resources I can point you to regarding these specific negation mechanics.

#####CARDID= 11417#####

Marlon Jones writes…

Does Gazer Shark work on Normal Water monsters even though it says "but their effects are negated," or do the monsters HAVE to have effects to be appropriate targets?

Hello Marlon!

The crux of your question is "how do we interpret the word 'but' in terms of PSCT?" As much as I like to praise PSCT and the articles that describe what it all means, the conjunction "but" isn't defined here. So, we have to extrapolate.

Forbidden Chalice uses the word "but" in its effect; "that target gains 400 ATK, but its effects are negated." Forbidden Chalice can be used on a Normal Monster, so we can extrapolate that "[A] but [B]" means "Do [A], and do [B] if you can."

So yes, you can use Gazer Shark to Special Summon Normal Monsters.

Cole Green writes…

Hello Judge Joe,

I recently discovered your articles through a friend of mine and thought perhaps you could help me out.

My question regards fast effect timing. It's something that I'm constantly judged against at locals even though I'm positive I'm correct. (My best friend is a judge getting invites to head judge YCS tournaments. I have bad days if I don't know my rulings XD). If I add a card to my hand (say through the effect of Fire Formation - Tenki) and the effect is allowed to resolve (searching Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Bear), can my opponent activate Mind Crush to make me discard the searched card? The argument made against me is that according to the Fast Effect timing flowchart, after a chain resolves but before the game state is open the opponent has a chance to activate a fast effect. For example: Chain Rules > Does This Activate a Triggered Effect > No > Turn Player May Activate a Fast Effect > Pass > Opponent May Activate a Fast Effect > Pass > Gamestate is Open.

Thanks in advance.

Hello Cole!

If you thought that you could Normal Summon that Bear before your opponent could Mind Crush it, then I'm afraid I've got some bad news.

The explanation given to you at your locals is completely correct. After Tenki resolves, you get the first chance to activate Fast Effects, then your opponent may activate Fast Effects. Since Mind Crush is a trap card, it counts as a fast effect, meaning he can Mind Crush the Bear out your hand before the game gets to the open game state needed for you to Normal Summon it.

Jose writes…

My opponent Summons Mermail Abyssgaios and Abyss Dweller (with two Water monsters) during his turn. On my turn, when I activate Judgment Dragon's effect, he chains Abyssgaios, then I chain Enemy Controller tributing Lightsworn Sorceress Lyla to take control of Abyssgaios. The effects resolve in reverse… What's going to happen?

Do I take control of Abyssgaios, Abyssgaios' effect resolves on my side of the field negating the effects of my opponent's monsters, and Judgment Dragon's effect resolves? Or do I take control of Abyssgaios, Abyssgaios resolves on my opponent's side of the field negating Judgment Dragon's effect and the effect of Abyssgaios, that is now on my side of the field (which would negate the continuous effect of "monsters of level 5 or higher cannot attack while this card has Xyz materials") and I can attack that turn with any level 5 or higher monster. Which would be the correct answer?

Thank you in advance. ~Jose

Hello Jose!

I like this question a lot. You've considered two possibilities. The actual answer is actually a third option.

Your chain is Judgment Dragon, Mermail Abyssgaios, Enemy Controller. Let's resolve backwards.

Enemy Controller takes control of Mermail Abyssgaios. While your opponent controlled it, Abyssgaios's ATK was 3300 (2800 plus the 500 ATK from Abyss Dweller). Because Abyss Dweller only boosts Water monsters the controller has, Abyssgaios drops to 2800 ATK. This is important.

Abyssgaios resolves for your opponent because he was the one that activated the effect. But, something very important changed between when he activated the effect and when it resolved: Abyssgaios's ATK is no longer higher than Judgment Dragon's. Judgment Dragon won't be negated by Mermail Abyssgaios's effect. Then Judgment Dragon resolves and destroys everything else on the field. This worked out incredibly in your favor.

Alex Cimo writes…

Hello Judge Joe! I look forward to reading Court of Appeals every chance I get!

My question is about Chimeratech Fortress Dragon. Based off of the card text, I know that you can send Machine monsters from either player's side of the field (and 1 Cyber Dragon) to Special Summon this card. Say hypothetically my opponent is playing Geargia. He Normal Summons Geargiarsenal, activates the effect, and Special Summons Geargiarmor. Then he activates the effect of the Geargiarmor to set it into face-down defense position and passes. On my turn, since I control no other monsters, I Special Summon Cyber Dragon from my hand.

My question is, can I Special Summon Chimeratech Fortress Dragon using his face-down Geargiarmor, since I can confirm that it's a Machine? I look forward to your response, and thanks so much for all that you do!

Hello Alex!

This is an age-old question that comes up every so often.

Unfortunately, what you know about the game as a human player sometimes doesn't matter in terms of what the game will allow you to do. As a player, you know what that face-down card is. But the game treats it as simply a "face-down" monster. Face-down monsters have no stats that the opponent can see. The controller can do a limited number of things with a face-down monster like tribute it or send it to the graveyard for costs, but that's about it. So even though you as a player know the face-down monster is Geargiarmor, you can't send it to the graveyard to Summon Chimeratech Fortress Dragon. You have to make it face-up first.

#####CARDID= 8233#####

Connor Griffith writes…

Hello Judge Joe! My name is Connor Griffith. I'm a gigantic fan of your Court of Appeals articles and I'm so happy to finally present you with a question!

With Pendulums finally on the scene, new things are going to be brought up. I'm extremely curious as to what Solemn Warning can do against the Pendulum Summon. I base my opinions on the new Rulebook released with the Space-Time Showdown Starter Deck. The book clearly explains that you "declare that you are going to Pendulum Summon" then after you check your Scale, you Summon monster(s) from the hand and/or Extra Deck whose Level is between the Scale.

The text on Solemn Warning reads "when a monster would be Summoned" and that's where the problem is. Warning can't negate the Summon of multiple monsters unless those monsters were going to be Summoned by a spell, trap, or monster effect. Since the Pendulum Summon appears to be no different from the Special Summon of a Cyber Dragon, then Warning shouldn't be able to negate the Pendulum Summon of multiple monsters.

Let's just say I have Timegazer Magician and Stargazer Magician activated and I Pendulum Summon one Scrap Golem and nothing else. Warning can negate it since it's only one monster. But, if I decide to summon Scrap Golem and Scrap Goblin, then Warning can no longer be used since the monsters were not Summoned by any other effect.

Hopefully I have worded everything clearly and I haven't misquoted any official texts. I'm 100% sure you will be the person to finally answer this highly-debated question! Thanks so much for your time.

Hello Connor! Thank you for your kind words!

You haven't misquoted anything, and based on the most current texts of everything so far, I'd agree with the conclusion you came to: Solemn Warning can only negate a Pendulum Summon if only one monster is being Summoned at that time. I don't know if this will continue to be the case, but keep an eye out for reprints and take some regular visits to the Strategy Site just in case we get any updated information regarding Summon negation effects and Pendulum Summoning.

Last Question!

Loukas Peterson writes…

To future bae (aka you, Joe)

I have another ruling question for my favorite judge. I was playing against Evilswarms (snoooooozeville amiright?!?!?) and he has Mr. Ophion out on the field. I Tribute his Evilswarm Ophion for my Volcanic Queen, but my opponent said I couldn't because of Ophion's effect. But I'm all like "ohmahgah yes I can, it's not on the field anymore!" Next they'll be telling me I can't bring out Gigaplant with Lonefire Blossom while Gozen Match is on the field or something. Yeah, he kept arguing that I couldn't, but it was clear as day that I could so I lit his cards on fire (I think that's Volcanic Queen's special effect or something). Needless to say, I won.


… that wasn't a question.

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 and your question could be answered in a future Court of Appeals!

Court is adjourned

-Joe Frankino