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.

Please be seated.

Blandon Tang writes…

Hey Judge Joe!

I've read all your articles and I actually usually pride myself in knowing my rulings pretty well. That said, I ran into the strangest thing ever.

Let's say we've got a Dark World mirror matchup going on. Let's say that both players have two Grapha, Dragon Lord of Dark Worlds, two Snoww, Unlight of Dark Worlds and two Broww, Huntsman of Dark Worlds each in their hand. What happens if one player uses Card Destruction? Is there an order in which the card effects go off? Is any timing missed for some of the monster effects?

Thanks a lot for your help!

Hello Blandon!

Firstly, I believe all of the Dark Worlds use the word "if" in their activation condition and all the ones I can think of off the top of my head are mandatory… because of that, the Dark World monsters' effects may all activate as long as they were discarded for a card's effect. See the rules insert from the Saga of Blue-Eyes White Dragon Structure Deck for a more detailed explanation.

With that out of the way, the rest of this is pretty standard. Follow the chain construction rules in the rulebook (page 44 of rulebook 8.0). Turn player's mandatory effects go on the chain first in the order of the player's choosing, then the non-turn player adds their mandatory effects in the order of their choosing, then the turn player adds their optional effects, followed by the non-turn player's optional effects, then normal chain rules apply at that point.

In your example, all the effects are mandatory. So the turn player would order his effects however they wanted, then the opponent would order their effects in the order they wanted. Resolve backwards as the chain usually does, so the non-turn player's effects would resolve first, then the turn player's.

#####CARDID= 10722#####

Charles Cooper writes…

If you're running Dark World monsters and both Dark Smog and Imperial Iron Wall are currently face-up, can you still use the discard effect of Dark Smog?

Hello Charles!

Our current understanding of game mechanics is that in order to activate any effect, you need to be able to do all of the mandatory parts of the effect. Dark Smog does two things: it discards a Fiend from your hand and banishes from your opponent's graveyard. If you can't do either of those things at the time you want to activate Dark Smog's effect, you can't activate the effect at all. Since Imperial Iron Wall prevents cards from being banished, you'd be unable to activate Dark Smog's effect. You'll need to find some other method of discarding if you want to trigger your Dark World effects.

It would play out differently if Dark Smog was activated, then Imperial Iron Wall was chained. In that case, you'd resolve Dark Smog as much as possible according to the rules of Problem-Solving Card Text.

Manny Peraza writes…

Hello Judge Joe,

I have Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror active. My opponent has Grapha, Dragon Lord of Dark World in the graveyard. He Normal Summons a Dark World monster. Then tells me he sends that monster back to his hand to Special Summon Grapha but I contest that I have Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror and I call a judge and he rules in my opponent's favor. So I just suck it up and continue playing because I don't like arguing. Can he special summon Grapha while I have Shadow-Mirror active?

Hello Manny!

Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror and its counterpart Light-Imprisoning Mirror work exactly the same way, so you can apply this explanation to either card.

Each of the Mirrors says that the effects of Light or Dark monsters that activate on the field or in the graveyard are negated. The key word here is "activate". The Mirror traps only negate effects that use the chain. They don't negate continuous effects, and they don't stop monsters from doing anything. If we look at Grapha's text, we see the part that allows Grapha to be Special Summoned from the graveyard isn't an activated effect. There are no colons or semi-colons in that part of the text. Because the Summon doesn't start a chain, Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror doesn't negate or stop the Summon from happening.

Stepping out of the Dark World, Heath Ferris writes…

Does a player choose to add a monster to their hand with Fire Formation - Tenki at resolution or do they make the choice when the card is activated?

Hello Heath!

The short answer is that the choice takes place when Fire Formation – Tenki resolves. But I do see where the confusion comes from.

"When this card is activated: You can add 1 Level 4 or lower Beast-Warrior-Type monster from your Deck to your hand." The first part, "When this card is activated:" is the activation condition, which tells you what needs to happen to allow the effect proceeding it to apply. The phrase "When this card is activated:" appears here because this card has an effect that applies when the card itself resolves but also has other effects that apply at other times. The Seal of Orichalcos also uses this phrase to show that you have to destroy all of your Special Summoned monsters when The Seal first resolves.

#####CARDID= 13850#####

Last question!

Judah writes…

Hello judge Joe! Keep up the magnificent work! Because of you, I would like to become a judge one day.(Joe: Awww shucks!)

So this is what happened during a recent Sunday tourney… I go first, do my thing, set Mind Crush, end turn. Opponent draws, he accidentally shows a card by "activating" it, then he takes that card back in his hand (take backsies?) and tries to do something else, but before he does, I activate Mind Crush and declare that card's name.

Here's my gripe, my opponent refuses to send the card I declared to the graveyard, calls me out for cheating and forces us to restart the duel. The zinger? My opponent is the judge. Am I at fault or is my local judge a sore loser?

Thank you kindly Your Honor.

Hello Judah! I'm glad you sent me this question, because it contains a few different aspects I want to address!

Firstly, take a read at KDE Tournament Policy 1.4. On page 8, under the Communication section… "Players may not retract moves once they have committed to them." So in sanctioned tournaments, there are no take-backs, no do-overs, no re-dos or anything of the sort. Once you play a card, the card is played. Of course, it's up to a judge to use their judgment to determine what constitutes a "committed move," but that brings me to the next issue…

Also in KDE Tournament Policy, under the second section "Ineligible Players" we have this very first paragraph… "Any tournament official associated with or working an event cannot play in that specific event. This includes, but is not limited to, the Judge Staff, Scorekeeper, Registration Staff, and Tournament Organizer." This seems pretty cut and dried. If you're playing, you're not judging. And if you're judging, you're absolutely not a player in that tournament.

This isn't to say that someone delegated to be the judge can never play again. I play at my local at least once a week. But I make it a point to not answer rules questions in other games if I can help it. I refer those questions to the actual Judge running the tournament. If you're playing, you can't act as the judge just because you passed a certification test. You're a judge when you judge. The title of "Judge" isn't some magical title you can use to give yourself authority in your own matches. When you're playing, you're just another player in the tournament. Having a judge play in their own tournament would be a huge conflict of interest and I can't imagine other players would want to participate in such an environment. If there's someone else acting as the judge, that person needs to hear the situation and make a decision on how to resolve it. If your opponent is the one who is answering the rules questions and running the tournament, then this needs to be fixed ASAP since judges can't play and work the same tournament.

So to speak to your concerns Judah, the Mind Crush scenario is a moot argument because moves can't be retracted. The closest parallel I can think of is when a game is rewound through necessary means such as applying a Procedural Error – Minor for an illegally activated card from the hand. Nothing is preventing you from activating Mind Crush at your first possible opportunity after the rewind. I'll be one of the first ones to tell you that I'm not a fan of doing this, but in rules and policy, that practice isn't prohibited, so you're not "cheating", as you put it.

But yeah, hopefully for your sake and the sake of the other players at your local, the "Judge" becomes a judge exclusively and not a player who answers ruling questions. The tournament is better served by having a dedicated judge do all the necessary tasks and serving the players.

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

Court is adjourned.

-Joe Frankino