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.

"Actually, my ancient scholar's been studying the 'Raise the Dead' ability…"

"So what?"

Please be seated.

Ricky Ofrancia writes…

Good day, Judge Joe! I've been wondering if my combo in my Chaos Dragon deck really works. During my turn, I control Lightpulsar Dragon, Labradorite Dragon, Black Dragon Collapserpent and White Dragon Wyverburster. I use Labradorite Dragon and Black Dragon Collapserpent to Synchro Summon Trident Dragion. I then activate Trident Dragion's effect targeting Lightpulsar Dragon and White Dragon Wyverburster as Chain Link 1, and Black Dragon Collapserpent's effect as Chain Link 2, since they're both optional (I wonder if I'm right).

So the chains resolve and my Lightpulsar Dragon and White Dragon Wyverburster are both destroyed at the end of the chain. I don't know what will happen next. Do I still get the effect of Lightpulsar Dragon to Special Summon Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon from my graveyard, assuming I have one, and a search for a Black Dragon Collapserpent from my Deck? Thank you very much in advance!!! :)

Hello Ricky!

You have it exactly right. Trident Dragion and Black Dragon Collapserpent are both optional effects (because they contain the words "you can"), so you can determine the order they go on the chain. As long as you have Trident Dragion's effect as Chain Link 1 and Black Dragon Collapserpent as Chain Link 2, when the chain resolves, the last thing to happen is Lightpulsar Dragon and White Dragon Wyverburster getting destroyed, so you could activate either or both of their effects in a new chain.

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Lane writes…

My opponent Summons Divine Dragon Knight Felgrand and I activate Bottomless Trap Hole. Then my opponent chains Divine Dragon Knight Felgrand's effect, targeting itself. I chain Fiendish Chain targeting Felgrand to negate its effect. Does Fiendish Chain negate the effect and leave Felgrand to be destroyed by Bottomless Trap Hole, or is Felgrand still unaffected by other card effects?

Hello Lane!

Let's look at the order of how things resolve. First, Fiendish Chain resolves (since it was activated last), negating Felgrand's effect. Then, Felgrand would resolve, but its effect is negated so it doesn't do anything. Finally, Bottomless Trap Hole resolves which destroys and banishes Divine Dragon Knight Felgrand. They key is that Felgrand's target doesn't become unaffected by things until the effect resolves. Felgrand's completely vulnerable until that happens, so anything you can chain that can deal with Felgrand will resolve successfully, barring any other cards your opponent can chain in response, of course.

Dallas O'Brien writes…

If I banish a Dragon Ruler after using its effect to Special Summon it, does it still return to my hand at my opponents End Phase?

For example: I banish two Luster Dragons to Special Summon Blaster, Dragon Ruler of Infernos. Then I banish Blaster to Special Summon Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon and end my turn. At my opponent's End Phase, does Blaster still return to my hand even though it was banished?

Hello Dallas!

All monster effects apply or activate on the field unless otherwise stated. Blaster's effect to return to your hand won't activate if it isn't face-up on the field during the opponent's End Phase. Likewise, if Blaster's effect activates and an effect is chained that removes it from the field, it won't return to your hand (it'll stay wherever it ends up).

Judah Atagoyuk also has a Dragon Ruler question…

Hey Judge Joe! Judah here from the high arctic of Canada!

So here's how it goes. Player A Special Summons a Dragon Ruler, sets down Interdimensional Matter Transporter and ends their turn. Player B goes about their turn doing whatever he wishes and ends his turn, but then Player A intervenes and says "before you end your turn" (still Main Phase 2) and Player A activates Interdimensional and banishes the Dragon Ruler and searches their deck from the effect of the Dragon Ruler. My question here is, what happens to the Dragon Ruler? Our local shop here has two different conclusions for this, both coming from veteran players who I frequently duel against and know the game quite well (one of them reads your articles). (Why not all of them? Why not Zoidberg? - Joe)

The first conclusion is that since Interdimensional Matter Transporter doesn't say "returns on the End Phase" the Dragon Ruler adds back to the hand when it goes back onto the field.

The second is that since Interdimensional doesn't Special Summon the Dragon Ruler back onto the field, the Dragon Ruler gets to stay on the field even during Player B's End Phase. My assumption here is that since Interdimensional says "until the End Phase" it gets added back to the hand.

Thanks in advance and thanks for reading my question! -Judah

Hello Judah!

Sometimes in life, the correct answer is to take a third option. This is one of those times.

All of the Dragon Rulers have the condition that you can only use one of their effects per turn and only once that turn. Presuming you used Interdimensional Matter Transporter on your opponent's turn and used its effect to add a Dragon from deck to hand, that would be your one use of that Dragon Ruler's effect this turn. The Dragon Ruler returns to the field in the End Phase, and because you already used that Dragon Ruler effect this turn, the "return to hand" effect won't activate at all. Easy.

Nick Friend, whose name is probably the best name ever, writes…

Hey Joe. I really enjoy your articles, they have helped make me a better player.

At my locals I was running Bujins and I had Bujintei Susanowo on the field against my opponent's Mistake. I activated Susanowo's effect to send a monster to the graveyard and my opponent brought up quite the conundrum: Since Susanowo's ability has the text to either add to hand or send to graveyard would it be shut down completely by Mistake? We had to call a judge, and he wasn't too sure but ruled in my favor. Was he correct? Thank you for your time, and the time you put in to your articles. Can't wait for the next one.

Hello Nick Friend!

I'm gonna agree with the judge in this situation. Because Bukintei Susanowo lets you choose if you add the card to hand or send it to the graveyard, I'd say Mistake doesn't prevent Susanowo's activation. Mistake would prevent you from adding the card to your hand, so you'd have to choose to send it to the graveyard.

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Casper Freehugs writes…

Hello again Joe! Thank you for the insight you gave me the last time I sent you my questions! I want to ask you, what exactly is the interaction between Spirit Reaper and Mechquipped Angineer? Since Spirit Reaper gets destroyed after the targeting effect resolves and Angineer makes it indestructible from card effects, I figure he would live. What is the correct answer though?

Thank you in advance for your time!

Hello Casper!

Spirit Reaper's effect to destroy itself is exactly that: an effect. Mechquipped Angineer's effect will resolve fully, then Spirit Reaper would normally destroy itself here, but because Angineer's effect will prevent Spirit Reaper from being destroyed, it will remain on the field. Fancy.

Last question!

Joel writes…

Hi there, my name is Joel. I was wondering if you could clarify exactly how Return of the Monarchs works. More specifically, is it sort of a Spell Speed 2 effect that you can apply SEGOC to when you Tribute Summon a Monarch, or is it a sort of Continuous Effect that you simply apply after the current chain involving the Tribute Summoned monster's effect (assuming it has one)?

I ask this because in the first case, you can do some cool stuff with Mobius the Frost Monarch (put Return as Chain Link 2, and it can't be Starlight Road'd) and Kuraz the Light Monarch (target Return, put Return as Chain Link 2, search then destroy and draw a card) and your Monarchs can't be Divine Wrath'd by making Return Chain Link 2. In the second case, I would think you could activate two copies and still be able to search even after a single chained Mystical Space Typhoon.

Thanks a lot.

Hello Joel!

I certainly like Return of the Monarchs since it gives the Monarch deck a degree of consistency that the Monarchs themselves always dreamed about having.

As you surmised, Return of the Monarchs's effect will indeed be in the same chain as the Monarch's effect. The term SEGOC (Simultaneous Effects Go On a Chain) is an unofficial term, you won't find it in any official resource such as the rulebook, but the term has been used for years by players and judges alike to describe when effects with the same trigger activate and how the chain is formed. This specifics of this can be found in Rulebook 8.0 page 44 under the section. "When multiple cards are activated simultaneously".

Now, without getting into the specifics of your scenarios, I'll simply give you the proper framework for determining if you can choose the order of how your effects go on the chain. Return of the Monarchs's effect is optional as seen with the phrase "you can activate," meaning it doesn't have to happen if you don't want it to. Some of the Monarchs have optional effects and some of them have mandatory effects, so in some cases, you don't get to manipulate the chain; the order would be determined for you.

As of this writing, the Mega Monarchs, as well as Kuraz and Delg (who I affectionately call "the two oddballs") and original flavor Mobius all have optional effects. You can determine the order of your Monarch and Return of the Monarchs because they're both optional effects. But those other five Monarchs have mandatory effects (as shown by the lack of the words "you can"), so they have to be placed on the chain before Return of the Monarchs is.

And just to be fully clear, you can't activate the search effect of two separate Return of the Monarchs because that last pesky line says "you can only activate this effect of Return of the Monarchs once per turn". Even if you have two of the card, you can only put one of them on the chain.

And that's it for this week's Court of Appeals! If you have a question about card interactions, game mechanics or tournament policy, zip me an e-mail (one question per e-mail please!) to askjudgejoe@gmail.com and your question may be answered in a future Court of Appeals!

So my Ancient Scholar raises the dead.

I floop the pig.

Court is adjourned.

-Joe Frankino