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.

Zachary Johnson writes…

Hi Joe, I had a question about some of the new Pendulum Monsters, mainly ones like Flash Knight and Foucault's Cannon. These cards have no monster effect and thus are Non-Effect monsters, but are they considered Normal Monsters as well as Pendulum Monsters? Are they affected by cards that would work only on Normal Monsters? I would assume so since their card color is a fusion of green and yellow (the color of Normal Monsters) while other Pendulum monsters are a mix of green and orange (the color of Effect Monsters).

Sincerely ~ Zachary Johnson

Hello Zachary!

You're correct. Flash Knight and Foucault's Cannon are each Normal Monsters and Pendulum Monsters. You can target them with Birthright if they're in the graveyard, and you can activate them as Spell Cards in the Pendulum Zones.

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Vito Soto writes…

Hey, thanks for reading my question! I'm a long time reader and fan of!

Shaddolls' effects say "when this card is sent to the graveyard by a card effect." Can I use Dark World Dealings to activate their abilities?

Hello Vito!

If a Shaddoll monster is sent to the graveyard for Dark World Dealings, then it was sent to the graveyard by a card effect and you can indeed activate the Shaddoll's effect after the chain resolves.

Things to note about this situation:

-"Card Effect" is defined on page 47 of Rulebook 8.0 under the heading "Effects of cards". It basically says if something's not a cost or a Summoning condition, it's an effect.

-Instructions in text that exist between a colon and a semi-colon (or just before a semi-colon in some cases) is done when that card or effect is activated. If your Shaddoll monster is sent to the graveyard when you activate an effect, it was sent as a cost. As seen above, that means it's not being sent for a card effect.

Michael Nutter writes…

Hi, I've been a fan of your articles for a while now and need your clarification on something. A player tried to use Stellarnova Alpha to negate and destroy my defense position Superheavy Samurai Big Benkei that was attacking. The wording on Stellarnova Alpha says that it negates "activated" effects, while Superheavy Samurai Big Benkei's ability to attack while it's in defense position is a "continuous" effect. Can my opponent do that?

Hello Michael!

You have it exactly right. The lack of colons and semi-colons in Benkei's effect to allow Superheavy Samurai's to attack while in Defense Position doesn't activate. Stellarnova Alpha can't be activated to stop it.

(I'm going to assume the mayor of Philadelphia doesn't play Yu-Gi-Oh and you're someone that just so happens to share a name with him.)

Robert Cetnarowski writes…

Hey Joe!

I was wondering if you could resolve Night Assailant's effect if it was used to pay the activation cost of a card, like Super Polymerization or Phoenix Wing Wind Blast? An older ruling stated that its effect would carry over on a new chain link. If it does, I'm assuming the card its being used as cost for has to be Chain Link 1.

Hello Robert!

Night Assailant's effect to add a flip effect monster from graveyard to hand doesn't contain the words "you can", so it's a mandatory effect. That effect will activate in a new chain after the current one resolves.

Siyass Sanderson writes…

I have a difficult ruling question here: this came up at Australian Nationals 2012 in a duel between Macro and Trap Monsters and since then I've forgotten the ruling. It took six judges to figure it out last time.

My opponent controls Lava Golem in attack position and I have Tiki Curse, with Imperial Custom on the field. They attack Tiki Curse with Lava Golem and then my ppponent drops Forbidden Lance on Tiki Curse.

What happens?

Well then.

Tiki Curse's effect doesn't do anything relevant here. Because it's affected by Forbidden Lance, Imperial Custom can't affect Tiki Curse. So it can be destroyed. But when it's destroyed, it leaves the field as a Trap Card, so it goes to the graveyard.

That was sufficiently complicated. Let's hope the rest of these questions aren't as messy as that.

Peter writes…

Hi Joe,

I have a question. If my Amazoness Trainee attacks a Timegazer Magician while both Banisher of the Radiance and Grave Protector are on my side of the field, where would Timegazer Magician be sent after it's destroyed by battle by Amazoness Trainee?

Peter. Why you do this.

I'm going to be perfectly honest here. Current rules documents have absolutely no guidance on this.

There are literally four different effects and mechanics trying tell Timegazer Magician where to go after leaving the field. Current rules don't give a precedent on what effects take priority. If you left it up to me, I'd say whatever card effect last came into play is what actually happens, and I base that off nothing at all. I can only say for certain that the answer is definitely not "graveyard" and not "Extra Deck" because the rulebook says that if card effects contradict rules, card effects win. But I can definitely see a case for "banished" and "bottom of deck" being correct answers as well. Check with your Head Judge if you actually go forward with a strategy like this.

Connor Griffith writes…

Hello Judge Joe! Connor Griffith here again. You helped so much with my previous question that I just had to inquire about another! (And hopefully I won't take so long this time!)

Still on the topic of Pendulum Summons, I wanted to ask about the specifics behind "declaring a Pendulum Summon". As I test Pendulum Scraps more (Joe: YES), and with Vanity's Emptiness running rampant, I wanted to ask if you can actually chain effects to the declaration of the Summon. The Rulebook says that you must declare it, so I see Emptiness flipped as soon as I declare I'm going to Pendulum. Is this something that you can do or am I simply declaring the Pendulum Summon so my opponent doesn't get confused as to why I'm randomly Summoning multiple monsters to the field?

Hello Connor!

It's definitely that second thing. You're "declaring" your Pendulum Summon in the same way you "declare" your Chaos Sorcerer Summon. The guide you mention is simply stating that you announce you're using your Pendulum Summon for the turn. This action doesn't use the chain, so the opponent won't get the chance to activate Vanity's Emptiness until after the Pendulum Summon is successful (or not).

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Jay Chernak writes…

Hey Joe, fancy a brain teaser? (Joe: … but I already did two…)

Player A controls a Gemini Summoned Dark Valkyria. They attempt to activate Spell Power Grasp targeting Dark Valkyria. Player B responds with Breakthrough Skill targeting Valkyria. Does Player A add another copy of Spell Power Grasp to their hand, and why or why not? (The real question being of course whether the counter is still added.) Monsters with their effects negated lose all their spell counters, but can they still gain them?

Good luck,

Jay Chernak

That's actually not that bad of a brain teaser.

Of course, nothing official to back this up, but my feeling is that the counter can't go on a monster when its effect is negated. So no counter on Dark Valkyria and Spell Power Grasp stops resolving, so no additional Spell Power Grasp either.

Charlie writes…

Hey Joe, I have a question concerning a few of the Monarch cards.

If I activate the effect of Escalation of the Monarchs while I have Return of the Monarchs active, do I get the search with Return still? I feel I do since it just says when I tribute summon and doesn't specify when, but I couldn't find anything that confirms this.

Thank you for your time,


Hello Charlie!

Return of the Monarchs doesn't specify "during your turn," so you could activate Return's effect during your opponent's turn as long as the activation condition is correct. (Return of the Monarchs is a "When… you can" effect. The Tribute Summon has to be "the last thing to happen" in order for Return to activate. Make sure Escalation of the Monarchs is chain link 1 otherwise you can't use Return of the Monarchs.)

Christopher Aday writes…

Hello Judge Joe!

My name's Christopher and today, I bring you a question about the ever so [in]famous Burning Abyss monsters. So I've done my research on numerous sources, but yet I cannot get a clear answer so I come to you. The question is, if I control a face-down monster and then Summon another Burning Abyss monster, like Scarm, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss, to the field, does Scarm destroy itself? I've seen people say no because there is no way to tell if the face-down monster is a Burning Abyss monster or not. I've seen people say yes because they state that the face-down monster is another non-Burning Abyss monster. As we know, the Burning Abyss monsters say that they're destroyed if you control another non-Burning Abyss monster.

Thanks for reading and if you answer my question on your article, thank you very much!

Hello Christopher!

Even if it's a Burning Abyss monster, all face-down monsters are simply "face-down" monsters that don't have any of their stats or effects applying. Face-down monsters are not "Burning Abyss" monsters, so Scarm will destroy itself.

Benjamin Aleksander writes…

Hey, Joe! I'm a big fan of your Court of Appeals articles, they've helped me a lot during tournaments and the like. Anyway, I have a question for you. I was playing at my locals recently and my opponent Xyz Summoned Stellarknight Delteros; I decided to use Black Horn of Heaven to negate its Summon. However, my opponent chained Stellarnova Alpha to negate Black Horn. I told him that he couldn't do that since the Summon hadn't fully resolved, to which he said that all he needed was a 'tellarknight to use Alpha. As we didn't have a judge available, I argued my case, to which my opponent agreed in order to continue the game. Is this the correct ruling for the interaction of these two cards? Thank you for your help.

Hello Benjamin!

This scenario is very similar to the Gladiator Beast War Chariot questions that used to come up on occasion when trying to Special Summon a Gladiator Beast Extra Deck monster with no other Gladiator Beast monsters under their control. The answer then is the same as the answer now: the player can only activate Stellarnova Alpha if there's another "tellarknight" monster on the field besides the one that's trying to be Summoned. The Delteros being Summoned isn't considered Summoned yet, which means it's not technically "on the field" yet, so you can't send it to the graveyard to pay for Stellarnova Alpha's cost.

Last question!

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Jack Vantine writes…

Hello Mr. Joe,

If I use an effect to perform an Xyz or Synchro Summon like with Artifacts Unleashed, Yang Zing Unleashed, or any of the non-tuner Yang Zing's effects, could they negate the summon with Black Horn of Heaven?

Thanks in advance.

Hello Jack!

In all of these card effects, the words "immediately after this card/effect resolves", meaning the Summon is done not during the effect's resolution, but right afterwards. This is important because it means those Summons can be negated by card effects that do that.

The trick around this is that card effects can't be activated in the middle of a resolving chain, and all of the effects you mentioned are Quick Effects. Make your Summoning effect chain link 2 or higher and Black Horn of Heaven can't be used to stop it!

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!

Court is adjourned

-Joe Frankino