All rise!

Welcome to the last Court of Appeals before the 2014 North American World Championship Qualifer! I'll try to get to as many questions as I can so you can be as best prepared for the event going into it. Of course, if you have any questions I don't cover here and will be in attendance, the Head Judge and Assistant Head Judges will be available to answer questions on Friday during pre-registration. That said, here at the ground rules for Court of Appeals.

-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.

A bunch of people wrote some form of…

Does Spellbook of Power actually work the way you said it did two weeks ago in Court of Appeals? I thought the effect to search for a Spellbook Spell Card activates at the end of the Damage Step?

So I thought this was a slam dunk, no-questions-asked question, hence why I included it last time, but obviously people are questioning my answer, and to their credit they have sources that back them up. My initial thought was that Spellbook of Power's target doesn't have to send the monster to the graveyard, so Power's effect would activate after damage calculation when it's been determined the monster would be destroyed. But the other thought is that the effect activates at the end of the Damage Step, when the destroyed monster leaves the field. Rulings on Jurrac Guaiba support this.

I've e-mailed and I'm awaiting a confirmation either way. As always, ask the Head Judge of your tournament if you're unsure of how a card works.


Anthony Day writes…

Hi Judge Joe,

Thanks for asking my last question. Got a question from my Regional I'd like clarification on. In my first match I had Battlin' Boxer Lead Yoke on the field, and Forbidden Dress set. I was playing against Raccoons, so naturally my opponent Summoned Wind-Up Kitten to send Lead Yoke back to the Extra Deck. On the Summon of the Wind-Up Kitten, I chained Forbidden Dress to my Lead Yoke. If I chain Forbidden Dress on the Summon of the Wind-Up Kitten (or any monster with an effect that targets) to my monster, will the targeting protection work?

Hello Anthony!

First, a technical correction for a Mistake a lot of people make: for Summons that don't start chains such as Normal Summons, nothing is being "chained" to the Summon.

Consulting the Fast Effects timing page, when a monster is Summoned the turn player has the first opportunity to activate fast effects. Luckily for you, Wind-Up Kitten isn't a fast effect, so they can't activate it just yet; they have to activate Kitten's effect in an open game state, which won't happen until you pass on activating fast effects as well. Your Forbidden Dress, being a Spell Speed 2 effect, counts as a fast effect, so you can activate it before the turn player can activate Wind-Up Kitten's ability. After the chain resolves they won't be able to target Battlin' Boxer Lead Yoke with any card effect this turn, including Wind-Up Kitten's.

Luke Morton writes…

Hi Judge Joe,

I've got a question for you regarding effects that activate after a card has resolved. An example of such a card would be Last Turn: its old rulings stated that you could still activate it even if your opponent cannot Special Summon due to something like Jowgen the Spiritualist or Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo. This seems to suggest that the activation timing does not have to be correct for these additional effects, in order for the card to be activated.

With that in mind, my question is a relatively simple one. Can you activate Gazer Shark's effect or Advanced Heraldry Art while you have no cards in your Extra Deck? Any answer I've found to that question online has said no, but that seems to contradict the statement made above.


Luke Morton

Hello Luke!

I think comparing anything to Last Turn is a terrible idea. That card breaks so many rules I kinda want to forget it exists. So let's wipe Last Turn from our memories.

Boom. Gone.

Now then, you'd like to know if you can activate Gazer Shark's effect or Advanced Heraldry Art if you don't have an Xyz Monster you could Summon with the other monsters you'd Summon with those effects. Short answer: no. At the time of activation, you'd have to be able to fully resolve the entire card effect; that would include the "immediately after this card/effect resolves" part. If you wanted to get around that, you'd have to chain something to the effect of Gazer Shark or Advanced Heraldry Art that would change conditions to make an Xyz Summon impossible with those monsters.

As an example, you could activate Advanced Heraldry Art then chain Grisaille Prison. The Prison would resolve first, then you'd Special Summon your targets for Advanced Heraldry Art and leave your monsters on the field because you can't Xyz Summon anymore. Yes, I know that's super convoluted and probably not worth the payoff, but you could do it.

Hagosha writes…

Hello Joe,

I just read your article on TCGplayer, and had a couple questions regarding Chaos Emperor Dragon - Envoy of the End, Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning, Chaos Sorcerer, and any other monster that states that it can be special summoned by removing cards in the graveyard from play.

I have a friend who insists that those cards can be Special Summoned from anywhere except the deck or removed from play. IE: "I used Chaos Emperor Dragon's effect to wipe the field and he's in the graveyard. I can remove 1 more light and dark monster to Special Summon him back to the field and hit you for a free 3k on top of the 4.5k I just hit you for."

In addition, can Chaos Emperor Dragon and friends be Special Summoned on MY turn as well as his own? Also, if he Summons it and I use Bottomless Trap Hole, is Chaos Emperor Dragon on the field long enough for it to use the effect in a chain or is it immediately removed from play?

I find myself powerless against his CED and his logic surrounding it 9 times out of 10, and neither of us is a judge and neither of us has access to the Yugioh Wikia or the official site.

Any information regarding those cards or special summoning rules in general would be fantastic.

Hello Hagosha!

A lot of the questions you have can be resolved by looking up the most up-to-date text on the cards in question in the official card database. Based on what you wrote here, however, you may not be able to access the database either. Long story short, for cards printed with Problem-Solving Card Text, cards that can be Special Summoned by their own methods will say how to do so and where they can be Summoned from on the card. All three of the chaos monsters say in part "Cannot be Normal Summoned/Set. Must first be Special Summoned (from your hand) by banishing 1 LIGHT and 1 DARK monster from your Graveyard." If you wanted to Special Summon these guys from the graveyard after they were successfully Summoned, you'd need another card effect like Call Of The Haunted to do so.

Players may only Summon monsters during their own Main Phase unless a card effect specifically allows them to do so during another phase or during the opponent's turn.

And finally, if Bottomless Trap Hole is activated, Chaos Emperor Dragon can't chain its effect; monster effects that don't state a specific time to activate and don't say "during either players turn" are Ignition Effects that can only be activated during the turn player's Main Phase in an open game state. Chaos Emperor Dragon will be banished when Bottomless Trap Hole resolves, so if you have some other card effect that you could chain, you could chain that card or effect to prevent Bottomless Trap Hole from banishing the big dragon. Compulsory Evacuation Device would do the trick.

Igor writes…

Hello Judge Joe

I'm a big fan and read your articles every week. I enjoy understanding the intricate niches in the game. Onto my question.

This happened two weeks ago when I was playing in a tournament. I had Mermail Abyssteus on field with a Mermail Abyssocea in hand. My opponent had some back row with a Bottomless Trap Hole set. I summoned my Abyssocea, my opponent had no response to the Summon so I activated its effect and targeted my Abyssteus. No response from my opponent so I brought out a Mermail Abysslinde and a Mermail Abysspike than Tributed my Abyssteus. My opponent responded to the Summon with Bottomless and this is where the ruling dispute happened. I was under the assumption that he can't activate Bottomless Trap Hole since the last thing to happen was the tributing of my Abyssteus and not the Summon. The two judges who were there were playing but they said he could respond to it (both were unsure about it). I just need clarity.


Hello Igor!

Mermail Abyssocea's effect says to "Special Summon… then send that monster to the graveyard." Problem-Solving Card Text conjunctions have specific meanings; according to the PSCT article about conjunctions, "then" means you have to do the first part to do the second, and only the second part is considered "the last thing to happen". After Mermail Abyssocea resolves, the last thing to happen is Mermail Abyssteus being sent to the graveyard. Bottomless Trap Hole can't be activated after the chain resolves.

… two judges playing? Was there no dedicated judge for the tournament you were in? That's unfortunate if that was the case. I wrote about this kind of thing in a previous Court of Appeals.


Joshua Dufault writes…

Hello Joe, I was wondering if you knew if Treeborn Frog's effect can be activated again when it's negated by Light and Darkness Dragon during your Standby Phase? I read that there is different rules that apply in TCG and OCG but now the rules have changed and OCG rules apply in TCG for that card now. Do you know this to be true?

Hello Joshua!

I'm currently not aware of any rule changes regarding Treeborn Frog and Light and Darkness Dragon. As far as I'm concerned, as long as it's still your Standby Phase and Treeborn Frog is in your graveyard, you may activate Treeborn Frog's effect. Should the TCG's rules change, we'll know via official resources such as the main site, the Strategy Site, or new text in a product release.

Zachary Johnson writes…

I have a small question about Rank-Up-Magic - The Seventh One. Would a player be able to activate an effect that discards like Drastic Drop Off in response to its reveal? Is the reveal considered the last thing to happen at that point? Is there a window of opportunity to activate Drastic Drop Off before they reveal it?


Zachary Johnson

Hello Zachary!

When a player draws Rank-Up-Magic The Seventh One for their normal draw in their Draw Phase, they must reveal it right away. This reveal is not considered a game action in the same way drawing a card or Summoning a monster is. When the opponent gets the opportunity to activate Drastic Drop Off, the "last thing to happen" is still "opponent drew a card". Drastic Drop Off may be activated.

Last question!

Loukas Peterson writes…

To the best and cutest Joe I know:

So I was playing some Hero Beat the other day because all these new cards like Number 39: Utopia and the like are mega lame, and turns out it was a mirror match in Round 1 of my locals. My opponent had three cards set and an Elemental Hero Neos Alius on the field, while I had a Neos Alius and two cards set. I declareed an attack to suicide, and my "oh so clever" opponent decided to play Gemini Spark, targeting my Neos Alius. Amateur, am I right?

So I decided to chain my Gemini Spark and target his Alius again! He says, "Well I was EXPECTING THAT!" so he chains his second Gemini Spark. Me, being ultra boss, chained my second Gemini Spark, cause I always have a backup plan. I wasn't expecting what he did next, but he flipped his third and final copy of Gemini Spark, saying "Looks like I win, noob." Classic, right? But I'm always one step ahead, so I had my third Gemini Spark handy, coming out on top. I said I should get to draw three cards, but my opponent said he gets to draw three cards! That's crap! Lay down the law and let me take revenge on this lame-o next week.

Maybe we both should have drawn six cards.



… so did you guys just forget to tribute your Neos Alius's… or were there some Lucky Pied Pipers you Tributed and neglected to mention?

And that's it for this week's Court of Appeals! If you happen to see me at the WCQ, don't be scared to say hi! If you're watching the livestream on Sunday, you'll probably see me a few times. If you have any questions about Pendulum Monsters, Goyo Guardian, or other card interactions, game mechanics or tournament policies, send me an e-mail (one question per e-mail please!) to and your question could be answered in the next Court of Appeals!

Court is adjourned.

-Joe Frankino