All rise!

Hello duelists, and welcome back to Court of Appeals! Every two weeks I'll answer card interaction, mechanics and tournament policy questions 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.

That said, let's kick off the new year with the first Court of Appeals for 2014!

Please be seated.

Arno Sack writes…

Hello Judge Joe…

Can I banish Meliae of the Trees for Spore's effect? And if so, does Spore gain any Levels?

My guess is that I can banish it, but Spore doesn't gain any Levels (since Meliae has a Rank) . Otherwise Spore would have stated: "Banish 1 Plant-type monster from your Graveyard that has Level" and so on. I'd appreciate some clarification.

Thanks for your help!

Hello Arno!

Sadly, that doesn't work. Spore got its Problem-Solving Card Text in Generation Force: Special Edition, which was one of the first products to have cards printed with PSCT. Problem-Solving Card Text gets revised to better explain how this cards are meant to work. In later sets, we see cards like Bound Wand and Xyz Reception that mention the phrase "with a Level" to better clarify that the target can't be an Xyz Monster, but we generally treat older cards that deal with effects relating to levels being completely incompatible with Xyz Monsters.

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Joe Alvos writes…

Hey Joe,

This is Joe writing to you about a question regarding the Noble Knights. Last week I was playing against my friend's Noble Knight deck. He had a face-up Sacred Noble Knight of King Artorigus equipped with Noble Arms - Arfeudutyr, Noble Arms - Caliburn, and Noble Arms - Gallatin. I then proceeded to use Soul Exchange on his monster to tribute for my Sea Lancer.

When Artorigus goes to the graveyard due to the Tribute Summon, he then chose to Special Summon one of his other Noble Knights and equip all the equip cards that were attached to Artorigus to his new monster. I was telling him that it was impossible, because when the equip cards left the field, there was no Noble Knight on the field for him to equip them to. I then read that they are all "you can" effects and if I'm not Mistaken he can chain them in specific order so that the Noble Knight gets revived before the equips occur. Thanks for the clarification in advance.

Hello Joe!

Your Reasoning is almost perfect. You're correct in assuming that the Noble Arms that were on Sacred Noble Knight of King Artorigus can't activate their effects if there's no valid target on the field. And while you're correct in stating that your opponent gets to choose the order in how his simultaneous effects will be placed on the chain (so he could put on Sacred Noble Knight of King Artorigus's Special Summon effect as the last chain link), that wouldn't allow him to re-equip the Noble Arms since the re-equip effects will activate in the same chain as Sacred Noble Knight of King Artorigus' effect.

The fallen swords can only be re-equipped to a Noble Knight that's already on the field, since targeting happens at effect activation. By the time Sacred Noble Knight of King Artorigus's target is Special Summoned, it would be too late to choose that monster as a target for the Noble Arms' effects, so you can't activate them.

Eyermen de Los Santos writes…

I've been trying lately to take the Rulings Comprehension Level 1 test, but I keep getting the same message over and over again: "Internal Error 500". What am I supposed to do in order to take the test?

Hello Eyermen!

The link you sent me was incorrect. The correct links to all the Judge Program certification tests can be found on the Judge Program page, which you can find on the official site here.

Riff Freelance writes…

Hey Joe!

Just started reading your articles on TCGplayer. Gotta say, it's been real informative and entertaining. As I'm interested in becoming a certified judge for locals I really liked "Questions a Judge Should (and Shouldn't) Answer." You made me think, and that is awesome.

I sent a question that came up at our locals and couldn't be answered to the collective community's satisfaction. I'm hoping you can give us a call just to see how it lines up with the ideas floating around here.

During a match a player has activated Rivalry of Warlords and has a Warrior-type monster on the field in attack position. The second player summons Ameba as his only monster and activates Mystic Box. Questions:

Can Player 2 activate Mystic Box at all? My thought was yes. Control can switch but will either be the matching type or be destroyed. (At the time a Mistake was made assuming Mystic Box had summoned the Ameba. This was used to render the whole play null.)

After the Warrior's destroyed and Ameba's control is given to Player 1, does Ameba remain on the field? There was some confusion to what effect starting value of the one type of monster meant. Did it have to be the same type as when the chain began (Warrior), or as Ameba was now Player 1's only monster, he controls only one type of monster and Ameba stays on the field? My thoughts are that Ameba stays.

Last question: If Player 1 has two Warrior-type monsters and the same play is made, assuming the play is valid in the first place once resolved Player 1 would have to destroy all monsters but one type. Is that correct? (I assume he would keep his Warrior, but could he decide to keep the other type?)

Hello Riff!

First, thanks for reading! It's good to hear that my writings are actually doing what I intended them to do (which is help other judges!).

Ok, so onto your scenario, which is basically asking "how does Rivalry of Warlords work anyway?!"

Well! I can certainly address the questions you have here. First, take a look at the official site as there's an official card FAQ for Rivalry of Warlords and its sibling Gozen Match. You'll notice the only restrictions that Rivalry of Warlords and Gozen Match apply are on Summons and effects that Summon. Since Mystic Box does none of these, you may activate Mystic Box. The only question becomes what happens after Mystic Box resolves. That's easy.

Take a look at the last two sections on the FAQ:

Can I take control of my opponent's monster with the wrong Type/Attribute?

You can take control of an opponent's monster that's the wrong Type/Attribute with a card like Mind Control. If you do, it's sent to the graveyard immediately after you gain control of it.

Anything else I should know?

If you control no face-up monsters, you can Summon a monster of any Type/Attribute. Also, if Rivalry/Gozen is being negated, you can Summon monsters of any Type/Attribute. If it stops being negated, you have to send monsters to the Graveyard until you control only 1 Type/Attribute again, just like if Rivalry/Gozen had just resolved.

These two sections should address the other questions you had. In one of your questions, Mystic Box destroyed the only Warrior the opponent controlled. Ameba switches control and becomes the only monster the opponent controls, so Ameba stays on the field. In the other scenario, there's another Warrior on the field. Mystic Box destroys one of them, Ameba switches, and is then immediately sent to the graveyard since Rivalry of Warlords says your opponent can only control Warriors at that time.

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Last Question!

Brad White writes…

Dear Joe Frankino,

I have a question concerning Field Spells in Yu-Gi-Oh. For a while now, Field Spells have no longer affected both players, but instead the player who controls it. Classic cards like Umi affect both players by boosting all Fish, Sea Serpents, or so on, regardless of who controls them. Then you have Dragon Ravine that only affects the player who played it. Another example is Chaos Zone. Only the player who plays it gets the effect and the advantage.

Can you give some insight to why Field Spells have started to act like other spells and traps? Not every Field Spell has this advantage, but it's seemed that theme support for a while now now has favored only the player who plays it.

Thanks a lot for your time.

Hello Brad!

An interesting question!

Of course, I don't work for Konami; I'm just a volunteer judge and I have no insight into their card design process. But I have been playing this game for a while now and I've noticed the same thing you have; Field Spells have indeed become more exclusive to the player who actually controls the card instead of being a global effect.

If I had to take a guess as to why Konami started to design Fields like this and continues to do so, I'd guess it was… so people would actually play them? Because I know that I don't want my cards to help my opponents beat me. That's the opposite of what I want.

Jason also brought up this point in his article about people raging about September 2013's Forbidden and Limited List changes; he made the point that if people don't include Trap Cards in their decks, themes that controlled backrow would see no play. Likewise, if people don't use Field Spells, that's a whole bunch of decks that could see play but won't. The Malefic family of monsters needs Fields just to be playable. If there were no good Fields to choose from, why play them? And even though they've seen no competitive play, Earthbound Immortals are high-ATK direct beaters that can't be attacked and have no Special Summon restrictions! If these guys didn't have that whole "I can't live without a Field Spell" condition, people would've been all over them the moment they came out! So it stands to reason that making Field Spells people will want to play opens up deck building choices and widens the game.

And isn't that a good thing? I certainly think so.

And that's it for this week's Court of Appeals! If you have a question regarding card interactions, tournament policy or game mechanics question, send me an e-mail (with one question only, please!) to askjudgejoe@gmail.com!

Court is adjourned.

-Joe Frankino