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.

Neil writes…

Bujintei Susanowo attacks and destroys the only monster the opponent controls. Another monster attacks directly, then the opponent Special Summons Tragoedia. Can Bujintei Susanowo attack Tragoedia?

Hello Neil!

Bujintei Susanowo can "attack all monsters your opponent controls once each." It doesn't matter when the monsters show up. If Bujintei Susanowo hasn't attacked it, and it's still your Battle Phase, Susanowo may attack it. I'm aware that Asura Priest has an old, contradictory ruling, but the ruling doesn't apply anymore since both Asura Priest and Bujintei Susanowo share the same text, and Problem-Solving Card Text allows all cards to be played as written.

Mad Morli writes…

Hi, Joe!

Recently there's a surge of popularity in Volcanics, but the old text of Volcanic Scattershot gives me trouble. For instance:

1. When Scattershot is nuking the field, can it make cards like Fire Hand miss timing?

2. When there's no monster left on the opponent's field at the time of resolution, would the other two Scattershot be sent to graveyard?

For the first example, I think there are two parts of Scattershot's effect that can be triggered when it's sent to graveyard. The first is the 500 damage and the second is the field nuke. Because those two effects are on separate sentences, I think it can make Fire Hand miss timing if the nuke effect is on chain link 2, but I'm not sure. Same for the second example. I know we can't send the other two to the graveyard if there's no monster on the opponent's field, but I'm not sure if the opponent's monster disappears in the middle of chain. Old text sure is hard.

I really want to know the answer to these, but you said we can only pose one question per email. Maybe you can answer these two simultaneously: what is Volcanic Scattershot's PSCT text if it's reprinted?

Thanks as always for your help.

Hello Mad Morli!

Unfortunately, taking guesses for what a card's Problem-Solving Card Text could be would be incredibly irresponsible of me, since a future reprint could be different from my prediction, and that would result in confusion among people who read Court of Appeals and people who don't.

But, at the same time, your question is valid since Volcanic Scattershot doesn't have PSCT and Konami just released Blaze Accelerator Reload as direct support for Volcanics, so obviously people are now taking another look at these older cards and have similar questions to yours.

So, let's take a look at some card text. Volcanic Scattershot has two effects, one that triggers when sent to the graveyard, and another when it's sent to the graveyard for the effect of a card with "Blaze Accelerator" in its name. (The text "'Blaze Accelerator' card" is shorthand for "Card with 'Blaze Accelerator' in its name.)Clearly, being sent to the graveyard for a Blaze Accelerator would trigger both effects. Your question essentially hinges on how the chain is formed.

To answer that, we're actually going to look at the oldtext for Goldd, Wu-Lord of Dark World. Goldd's effect was worded exactly the same way: two sentences that each had a trigger that could be shared between them, since being discarded for an opponent's card effect also includes being discarded for a card effect. When Goldd got the PSCT treatment in the Gates of the Underworld Structure Deck, the effect was written as one effect activation – that is, one set of colons and semi-colons – with an additional check at activation to see if Goldd was discarded by an opponent's card effect. I'd wager that Volcanic Scattershot works the same way; if you send Scattershot to the graveyard for a Blaze Accelerator effect, the new chain will contain Volcanic Scattershot as a single chain link that does all of the things Scattershot intends to do. Volcanic Scattershot can send two more Scattershots to the grave as a cost as long the opponent controls monsters.

On resolution, the opponent will burn for 500 and all the opponent's monsters will be destroyed, and by the looks of it, it appears the burn and destruction happen at the same time and independently of each other, so no timing issues there. On a new chain, the other two Scattershots will activate as separate chain links and burn for 500 each.

Think that was complicated? I agree! We can sure use some PSCT for the Volcanic family of cards, especially when direct support was given to the archetype.

#####CARDID= 4575#####

Quinn Cajayon writes…

Hey Judge! Just wanna start off by saying that I love reading your articles about rulings, always a good time. You've probably answered this before, but I just wanted to ask a seemingly simple question about Snatch Steal and Genex Ally Birdman. If I control an opponent's monster with Snatch Steal, and I return that monster to the hand in order to Special Summon Birdman, whose hand does it go to? The card reads, "You can return 1 face-up monster you control to the hand to Special Summon this card from your hand..."

It doesn't specify and say "the owner's hand," so some clarification would be nice. Thanks :) ~ Quinn Cajayon

Hello Quinn!

While the card doesn't specify "owner's hand," game rules imply that cards that are returned to the hand go to the owner's hand. If cards were meant to go to the opponent's hand, the card would explicitly say so.

Nigel Stornes writes…

Hi Joe, love your articles.

Here's the scenario: Player A has Satellarknight Deneb in the graveyard and a facedown Breakthrough Skill that's been set for a turn and a Satellarknight Altair in hand. Player B has an Infernoid Harmadik face-up. Player A Summons Altair and activates its effect, Player B chains Harmadik.

My question is, can Player A chain his Breakthrough Skill to negate Infernoid Harmadik's effect to banish Deneb, or does Harmadik's effect to Tribute itself at activation leave nothing for Breakthrough Skill to negate?

Your assistance on this would be most appreciated.

Hello Nigel!

I'm assuming that Infernoid Harmadik is the only monster player B controls, and that Harmadik is Tributing itself? If that's the case, then Infernoid Harmadik has already left the field when Player A would want to activate Breakthrough Skill. And since there's no face-up monster on the opponent's field, Breakthrough Skill can't be activated.

Connor Griffith writes…

Hey Judge Joe! Connor Griffith here again, hoping to get further clarification on a rather perplexing ruling that apparently has an obvious answer.

I've been seeing many people say that Infernoid Onuncu can't negate monster effects. I would just like clarification from its actual text to show that it doesn't. The text does include "card effects" so I was under the assumption that "card effect" was referring to a spell, trap, or monster. Void Seer also says "card effect" and I'm also under the impression that it gives protection from all three, so why does Onuncu not?

Thanks so much for your time!

Hello Connor!

I'm looking at the database text for Infernoid Onuncu, and it says "Spell/Trap or effect," while Void Seer simply says "card effect," so it looks like there is a difference between the two. Quite simply, if Infernoid Onuncu was meant to negate monster effects, the text would mention monster effects. Interpreting PSCT means looking at what's on the card and also what's not on the card.

#####CARDID= 17764#####

Last question!

John Roberts writes…

Hi Judge Joe! Huge fan of your articles! I was wondering if you could help me with a ruling and if I could count on your vote someday. My question regards Apoqliphort Towers' effect that says "All Special Summoned monsters lose 500 ATK and DEF."

Does this include Special Summoned monsters that were on the field before Towers was Summoned, or only monsters special summoned once Towers was already out? Thanks so much for your help! ~ John Roberts

Hello John!

The effect to reduce Special Summoned monsters' ATK is a continuous effect that will always apply as long as Apoqliphort Towers is face-up on the field. It will reduce any Special Summoned monster's ATK, that includes those already on the field and any that are Special Summoned later.

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