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.

Gil writes…

Hi Joe,

Since you just got off posting a few "head asplode" rulings last round, here's one more that actually showed up in a game. If Star Eater is under the control of an equip card such as Mark of the Rose, Falling Down, or Snatch Steal and an attack is declared with Star Eater, what happens?

Hi Gil!

As soon as the attack is declared, Star Eater's effect starts applying and makes it unaffected by other card effects, including the cards you mentioned. So Star Eater switches control and the attack stops. Then, because the attack stopped, Star Eater's effect stops applying and Star Eater jumps back to your side of the field.

#####CARDID=12781#####

Bazzard writes…

Player A controls a Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer and a set Compulsory Evacuation Device. Player B has in his hand, Shadoll Dragon and a Shadoll Fusion, with no other cards.

Upon Player B's turn, he activates Shadoll Fusion, aiming to Summon a Fusion Monster by sending the materials from his deck to the graveyard. But upon activation, Player A chains his Compulsory Evacuation Device on his Castel, bouncing it back to his Extra Deck.

I've hard it ruled that since Shadoll Fusion had already activated with the Extra Deck monster on the field (read as an activation requirement), Shadoll Fusion goes through by sending the cards from the deck to the graveyard as per normal. But at another event I attended the head judge had ruled that while the Extra Deck monster could be read as an activation requirement, it is only 'checked' at resolution, so the card must resolve as far as possible. In this case, Player B didn't have enough monsters, so he had to reveal his hand to confirm that he in fact did not, and thus Fusion went to the graveyard uselessly. If he did have enough, he would have been forced to fuse monsters from his hand. I think this is a little suspect, and as we'll see more Shadolls in the next I'm wondering how you'd rule it. Thanks again Joe. Hope to hear from ya soon.

Hello Bazzard!

I can't speak about previous events I wasn't there for, but my interpretation is that if the monster Special Summoned from the Extra Deck is removed from the field, the player who activated Shadoll Fusion can't use Fusion Materials from the deck and must use Materials on the field or in the hand. If they can't Fusion Summon using what's on the field or in hand, the player must reveal all monsters on their field and all cards in the hand as verification that the effect can't resolve.

Lee Van Rosen writes…

G'day Joe,

I love reading your column – you should consider doing it more often!!! (Which I'm sure you hear a lot.)

My mate has played Elemental HERO almost exclusively for the past three years (#FREESTRATOS). (Joe: #nope) No matter what the format, he tries to find a way to make them work (much to my frustration). The other day I put together a bit of a Hero Artifact build to give him a bit of a mirror match and we found a strange situation.

He only had one set spell or trap set, and no monsters on the field. I Normal Summoned Elemental Hero Neos Alius. He responded with his set Bottomless Trap Hole. I chained Gemini Spark from hand targeting Bottomless Trap Hole, to Tribute Alius. In my understanding, Bottomlessis Chain Link 1, Gemini Spark is Chain Link 2: Spark resolves, destroys Bottomless, draws me a card, and Bottomless resolves but its target is gone. (Joe: Slight nitpick, Bottomless doesn't target.)

He tells me that for the past years, anytime this has happened to him, it was ruled that he can tribute Alius, but can't draw a card! I can't understand how that could possibly be the case! Bottomless is a valid target for destruction, is it not? Even if it's activated, it hasn't left the field yet… If he couldn't destroy Bottomless, how could he Tribute Alius?

Please help Judge Joe! Thanks ~ Lee

G'day Lee!

You're correct. Spell and trap cards, when activated, are placed in a spell and trap card zone. During the chain, they are legal targets for destruction effects. Granted, for Normal Spells and Normal Traps, the cards don't need to be face-up on the field to resolve, so simply destroying them won't do anything; but they can be destroyed. (Card effects need to be negated in order to stop them from working.) In your case, Gemini Spark can certainly target and destroy Bottomless Trap Hole. And because the target will be destroyed, you'll get to draw a card with Gemini Spark.

Shawn Edwards writes…

Hi Judge Joe,

I'm testing a Majesty's Fiend deck with Sinister Yorishiro. (Joe: YES!) I feel Royal Decree is better than some of the other things I've been testing. Does Decree negate Sinister Yorishiro's second effect to protect my Fiends? I believe it resolves in the graveyard. Would it be like Rescue Rabbit and Fiendish Chain?

Hello Shawn!

Firstly, love the choice of deck. It's one of the things I want to test out myself at some point.

This is one of those questions that comes up now and then, and often trips up duelists and judges alike. To answer your question: it's a Little Different from Rescue Rabbit and Fiendish Chain. Royal Decree negates trap effects that activate on the field. Sending the trap card somewhere else before resolution won't affect the end result; Royal Decree would still negate the effect.

#####CARDID=16161#####

James Hurlburt writes…

Hello Joe, I had a fairly big question to ask you regarding Inzektor Hopper. I hate the current ruling on this card because the PSCT on this card says the monster CAN attack directly, not that it has to. Do you have the reason why this card can't be activated during Turn 1 or during Main Phase 2? I've been told by judges to just go with it, and I've never been given the facts as to why it can't be activated. Even in your article on June 13, 2013 someone asked you about Inzektor Hopper but the reason it can't be used wasn't given.

Hello James!

Our current understanding of game mechanics says that effects can't be activated if they won't do anything. For Inzektor Hopper that means if you can't attack, you can't activate effects that would allow your monsters to attack directly, because they can't attack.

Extrapolating this, that means you can't use Inzektor Hopper's "attack directly" effect on Turn 1, because there's no Battle Phase on Turn 1. For Main Phase 2, you've already attacked so you can't activate an effect that would allow your monsters to attack directly.

Luis Miguel Martín Herrera writes…

Hi Judge Joe, I'm a big fan of your CoA, never miss one.

I loved Battlin' Boxers since they first came out, I think I know everything about them, but here's a little question. Battlin' Boxer Lead Yoke's protection effect is Continuous, so it doesn't activate (or am I wrong?). The only thing that activates is the ATK boost as far as I know.

Let's say my opponent activates Dark Hole, so I activate Lead Yoke's effect to protect it, then my opponent activates Divine Wrath. Am I able to use its second Xyz Material to prevent the destruction from Divine Wrath? Thanks for the help and Greetings from México! ~ Luis Mi

Hola Luis!

Divine Wrath only negates the activated effect of Lead Yoke. You can indeed use the second Xyz Material to protect Lead Yoke from the destruction effect of Divine Wrath.

Chris Bogner writes…

Hi Joe!

I have a question about Hazy Pillar. Let's say I have Tiras, Keeper of Genesis, a Hazy Flame Basiltrice with five Materials, and a Hazy Pillar on my field. I activate Hazy Pillar to attach Basiltrice to my Tiras. My question is: what happens to Basiltrice's materials? Do they remain attached, giving Tiras six new materials? Or do they go to the grave, leaving Tiras with only one new material?

Thanks you!

Hello Chris!

Xyz Materials won't follow the monster unless the card says so (see: the Rank-Up spells and Xyz Monsters that use other Xyz Monsters as Materials, like Downerd Magician or Gaia Dragon, the Thunder Charger).

Last question!

William Mcgaw writes…

Hello Joe! Been reading for a while now because I'm a sucker for this kind of stuff. Anyways, I write because I have some confusion regarding Breakthrough Skill.

My issue has to do with the applications of both effects. The first effect reads "negate the effects of that opponent's face-up monster," while the second reads "negate that target's effects until the end of this turn".

I don't know how to word it eloquently as a question, so I'll outline what I think this difference means in terms of how a situation would play out. Let's assume Player 1 has both a Breakthrough Skill set on the field and one in the graveyard, both having been where they are now for the duration of the game. Player 1 also has Shapesnatch equipped with Axe of Despair on board. 2200 ATK Shapesnatch. The horror.

Player 2 controls Madolche Magileine only.

Scenario 1: It's player 1's turn. Player 1 activates Breakthrough Skill on the field, targeting Magileine. It resolves, and Magileine's EFFECTS ON THE FIELD are negated. Battle Phase, Player 1 attacks and Magileine's destroyed. Because only her effects on the field were negated, she activates her mandatory effect in the graveyard and goes back to the deck.

Scenario 2: It's Player 1's turn. Player 1 activates Breakthrough Skill IN THE GRAVEYARD, targeting Magileine. It resolves, and Magileine's EFFECTS are negated. Battle Phase, Player 1 attacks and Magileine's destroyed. Because her effects PERIOD were negated, as the effect of Breakthrough Skill that activates in the grave doesn't add the qualifier "face-up", she activates her mandatory effect in the grave and it's negated by Breakthrough Skills graveyard effect.

Am I correct in thinking that this is exactly how these two scenarios would play out?

Hello William!

While there is a wording difference between the two effects listed on Breakthrough Skill, they're applied differently than how you've interpreted them.

As we currently understand game mechanics, when cards move from one zone to another, any effects that affected that card stop doing so unless the card specifically says so. One example is Armed Sea Hunter which uses the phrase "Negate the effects of that monster (including in the Graveyard)." In both of your scenarios, since Madolche Magilene's effect activates in the graveyard, both of Breakthrough Skill's effects don't negate it.

The actual difference between both of Breakthough Skill's effect is more subtle than that.

Both effects target a face-up Effect Monster your opponent controls. As per Problem-Solving Card Text, the on-field effect only needs the monster to remain an opponent's face-monster, while the in-grave effect requires all of the targeting conditions to remain true (the monster must remain an opponent's face-up Effect Monster.) Looking at this text, the only difference is that the on-field Breakthrough Skill can negate a monster's effect even if it stops being an Effect Monster when Breakthough Skill resolves, while the in-grave effect requires the monster to remain an Effect Monster.

#####CARDID=11682#####

The only relevant example I can think of is this: Noble Knight Medraut has a Noble Arms – Gallatin equipped. Medraut's effect activates, opponent chains Breakthrough Skill, then the Noble Knight player chains Mystical Space Typhoon targeting his own Noble Arms – Gallatin. When the chain resolves, Breakthrough Skill still negates Medraut because as per Breakthrough Skill, Medraut doesn't need to stay an effect monster in order to negate its effect. If Medraut could somehow magically activate its effect during the opponent's turn, and the in-grave Breakthrough Skill was used instead, Medraut's effect would resolve successfully.

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