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.

Now it's Reyn time!

Please be seated.

Owen writes…

Yo Joe,

I'm loving the Court of Appeals, and thanks for clearing up my previous confusion. I'm the go-to guy for rulings in my group, so I was called over due to a contradiction, specifically Ritual Beast Ulti-Apelio against Magic Cylinder. The 'Beast' player was saying Cylinder couldn't deal damage because Apelio states, "If this card attacks, it is unaffected by other cards' effects until the end of the damage step." And after reading both cards in question I ruled in favor of the duelist who played Magic Cylinder because I think it doesn't affect the monster, it just redirects the attack. Did I do the right thing? Others are saying different so I'm second-guessing that ruling. ~ Thanks in advance, Owen

Hello Owen!

Your confusion likely comes from the fact that there's no official way to determine whether a card ability "affects" something or not. To my knowledge, negating a monster's attack does affect it, so Ritual Beast Ulti-Apelio's attack won't be negated by Magic Cylinder. While I don't have an official source to back that up, I'm very confident that's the correct answer.


Erick M. writes…

Hello Judge. I first want to thank you for taking time to answer my question and thank you for your articles. They're really interesting. Now for my question. I'll try to keep it as simple as I can.

First the scenario. I Summon a Satellarknight Deneb. My opponent has a face-up Elemental HERO Shadow Mist. He chains Mask Change to my Deneb's searching effect. When the chain resolves, he Special Summoned Masked HERO Dark Law and last thing to happen is my Deneb's effect to search.

This is where I was confused. After the chain resolves he chains both his monsters' effects: Elemental HERO Dark Mist's effect as chain link 1, and Masked HERO Dark Law's effect as chain link 2 to randomly banish a card from my hand.

My question is, can Dark Law's effect be chained as chain link 2? Basically, does Masked HERO Dark Law's effect have to chained directly to the search effect, or can it be chained anytime directly after the search? I brought up the fact that Starlight Road has to be chained directly to the card that is destroying and not as chain link 3. I don't even know if I explained myself properly but I tried. I hope you can make sense of this. Thanks judge! ~ Erick M.

Hello Erick!

There are two reasons why Masked HERO Dark Law's effect can activate.

1) The "last thing to happen" in the game is "Add a card from deck to hand," from Satellarknight Deneb's effect. Even though Elemental HERO Shadow Mist's effect activates, that doesn't change what the "last thing to happen" is. Dark Law's trigger was met, so it can activate at the same time as any other trigger effects like Shadow Mist.

2) Even if the "last thing to happen” wasn't "Add a card from deck to hand", Dark Law's effect activates "if" the condition is met, not "when". This means as long as the activation condition happened during the previous chain, Dark Law's ability can activate.

Someone writes…

I've run into more than a handful of situations where rules get weird. Some clarification would be nicer than lemonade in July. Card Guard is one of those kind of cards that eat up rulings.

Player A Summons a Card Guard with a Guard Counter and a face-down Dark Smog, while Player B controls a face-down Dark Bribe. Player A uses Card Guard's effect to move the Guard Counter to the set Dark Smog uninterrupted, then proceeds to activate Dark Smog. Player B Chains Dark Bribe to Dark Smog.

Is Dark Smog sent to the graveyard or can it resolve normally since the guard counter prevents its destruction?

…well… ummm…

Card Guard: "Once per turn: You can target 1 other face-up card you control…"

"Player A uses Card Guard's effect to move the guard counter to the set Dark Smog uninterrupted"

Well… I didn't want to use your name on this e-mail, but hopefully you've seen the Error here. This is why I highly recommend using the card database as a resource.

Quinn writes…

I have a question involving Mask Change II. Since you can pretty much splash it in any deck, I decided to try it out in my Trap Monster deck. However, someone brought up that since it has to be a monster when it hits the grave, Mask Change II wouldn't work. But it's still a monster, right? So I guess my question is, can Mask Change II work on my Trap Monsters like Quantum Cat, Tiki Soul, Tiki Curse and Metal Reflect Slime?

Hello Quinn!

Mask Change II looks at the attribute the target had when it was on the field. Trap Monsters are monsters while they're on the field, so Mask Change II absolutely works on Trap Monsters.

Tiago Abner writes…

Greetings, Judge Joe...

So, Tellarknight Ptolemaeus makes it possible to have a Turn 1 Artifact Durendal as long as you have space for the needed cards in your Extra Deck, and can put Level 4 monsters on the field. My question is: what happens if a Nekroz player activated a Nekroz Mirror and I chain Artifact Durendal's "shuffle and draw" effect?

I know for sure that he would be forced to Ritual Summon a Ritual Monster if possible, but what happens if he claims there isn't a way to Ritual Summon, either because he doesn't have a Ritual Monster to Summon or the Ritual Spell restrictions don't allow him to? Is he forced to show his hand to proof that he couldn't Ritual Summon? ~ Thanks in advance, Tiago Abner

Hello Tiago!

When a Ritual Spell resolves, if a Ritual Summon is no longer possible, the player must reveal cards to prove that the Ritual Spell can't resolve properly. Of course, this will depend on what Spell was used, especially in the Nekroz matchup since all three Nekroz Ritual Spells work so differently.

For example, if the spell is Nekroz Kaleidoscope, and their new hand contains a Nekroz of Clausolas but no other Level 3 monsters, they'd have to reveal their hand, all their face-down monsters and their entire Extra Deck to confirm that there are no Level 3 monsters available to Tribute or send to the graveyard. If their hand contained no Nekroz Ritual monsters, they'd simply reveal their hand to show that no Ritual Monster can be Summoned.

JB writes…

Hello Judge Joe,

This is JB. First off, I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy all your articles, and how much I truly learn from them. My question is about Stellarknight Delteros vs a face-up Lose 1 Turn. Usually my opponent can't activate cards and effects upon the summon of Delteros, but since the effect to negate Special Summoned monsters is continuous, would the other effect of changing the battle positions of Special Summoned attack position monsters then be able to activate and turn Delteros to defense? Your expertise on this situation would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

Hello JB!

Stellarknight Delteros's effect will be negated during the turn it's Special Summoned, and because of that, its effect that prevents effect activations won't apply during this turn either, meaning Lose 1 Turn will activate and turn Delteros to defense. Busted.

Rama writes…

Hi Judge Joe

My name is Rama and I'm from Indonesia. I want to ask you a question about an article you posted. You wrote:

"If a player's LP reaches zero, or if a player is forced to draw from an empty deck, the game ends immediately. If some other win condition occurs in the middle of a chain, resolve the entire effect first, then if the win condition still applies, the game ends."

So, if the player is forced to draw from an empty deck, for example my opponent only has one card left in his deck and I have three, and I activate Hand Destruction, and my opponent can't respond, would I win the duel because they can't draw two cards?

Thank you so much Judge Joe!

Hello Rama! Thank you for your kind words!

A quick correction before I answer your question: since it's not possible for both players to draw two cards, you can't activate Hand Destruction if either player has less than two cards left in deck.

So, let's change your scenario a little bit. Let's assume your opponent has two cards left in their deck, and you have four. If you were to activate Hand Destruction then chain a second copy of Hand Destruction, you'd each resolve the second copy of Hand Destruction, then when the first one resolves, you draw two cards (now having an empty deck) while your opponent draws one card and loses because they can't draw the last card they're required to. Hopefully that makes sense.

Last question!

Jessie writes…

I have a question about Blackwing Tamer – Obsidian Hawk Joe's effect. If I already have Blackwing Tamer – Obsidian Hawk Joe on the field and one in the graveyard, can I bring back Joe from the graveyard using the Joe I have on the field? If so, can I also bring back yet another Level 5 or higher Blackwing monster card using the second Joe I revived?

Hello Jessie! I really like this question for some strange reason!

As long as the Blackwing Tamer – Obsidian Hawk Joe in the graveyard was properly Synchro Summoned and not negated, then you can certainly use the one on the field to Special Summon it. However! The last line on Joe's effect says "You can only use each effect of "Blackwing Tamer - Obsidian Hawk Joe" once per turn." This phrase appears on a whole bunch of cards and it means that the game looks at any card you control named Blackwing Tamer - Obsidian Hawk Joe. You won't be able to use the Special Summon effect of the second one this turn.

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!

What a bunch of jokers!

Court is adjourned

-Joe Frankino

Joe is a Yu-Gi-Oh! judge and player from Long Island, New York. In 2009, Joe piloted a version of Lightsworn that wanted protection from decking out, so he included Iron Core of the Koa'ki Meiru. This led him to including Koa'ki Meiru Ice with only one Continuous Spell in the deck to justify Ice's reveal cost. Joe maintains this was a good idea.