Judgment of the Pharaoh – Sunday, August 2, 2020

Good evening.

I would like to take some time for more of your questions. Do not hesitate to ask questions about policy, as well.


To serve you, I will take your questions about card interactions, rulebook text, policy documents, event logistics, player behavior, and judge duties.

Please e-mail your questions about card interactions, rulebook text, policy documents, event logistics, player behavior, and judge duties to [[email protected]] whenever you like.

To improve your chances of your e-mail making it to the column, please keep in mind these guidelines:
– Please ask only one question per e-mail.
– Please be clear about what you ask. Grammar and precision help make your question easier to understand, and it’s important that the column’s readers understand what you ask, just like how it’s important that I understand.

In addition, there are some important reminders I must give you:
– Answers I give are solely my own opinion unless directly sourced from official KONAMI staff or publications.
– In accord with Tournament Policy, answers I give cannot over-rule the judgments and decisions made by judges and staff at an event-in-progress. Tournament Policy holds that those working an event have operational control of that event.
– I’ll try to stick to official terms whenever possible. In cases where I use community jargon, even jargon that is perceived to be universally accepted, I’ll do my best to remind everyone that I used jargon.
– I’ll note my sources whenever possible.
– I’ll make a point to use the official card database as my card text reference. You can find the official card database here.

Let’s begin.


Sam asks:

My opponent activates the Trigger Effect of their “Knightmare Cerberus” by targeting a “Cairngorgon, Antiluminescent Knight I control, and I Chain to that activation by activating the effect of that Cairngorgon and targeting a face-up “Machina Fortress” I control. Neither player Chains to that Cairngorgon’s activation, so the Chain begins resolving. Should I apply the effect of my Fortress to look at my opponent’s hand and discard a card from it before they apply the effect of their Cerberus to destroy my Fortress?

Cairngorgon in this case ensures Cerberus’ effect targets Fortress while Fortress is face-up. That Cerberus effect was already an activated effect, already an effect possessed by your opponent, and already an effect whose source was a monster when it was activated: all Cairngorgon has done is cause that effect to meet one last stipulation necessary, which is “targets this face-up card.” Before Cairngorgon resolved, it didn’t meet that. After it resolved, it now does.

Therefore, to me, it stands to reason that Fortress’ effect must be applied.

Note that nothing in the text successfully implies the effect that targets Fortress had to be activated BY targeting Fortress. If such were the intention of designers, a bit of rewording would be useful.


Luis asks:

If either player begins applying the effect of a “DNA Surgery” that was activated by declaring the Monster Type “Dragon”, or I begin applying the Continuous Effect of a “Buster Dragon” I control, while either player has already been applying the effect of a “Zombie World” they control, how do we determine the Monster Types of face-up monsters on the field?

Also, what if either player begins applying the effect of a “Zombie World” they control while either player has already been applying the effect of a “DNA Surgery” they control, or while I have already been applying the Continuous Effect of a “Buster Dragon” I control?

It all hinges on the order in which effects are applied to a given monster. In case of these cards that all change Monster Type, the one that most recently applies to the monster will win out.

Keep close track on which effects applied latest, AND close track on the monsters to which each effect applies – Buster Dragon only applies to face-up monsters on its opponent’s field, while DNA Surgery applies to all face-up monsters on any field, and Zombie World applies to all face-up monsters on any field AND all monsters in any GY.


Kyle asks:

My opponent controls 2 FIRE monsters and 1 “Gozen Match“. Can I legally activate the first effect of “Plunder Patroll Booty“? If I can, does Gozen force me to declare FIRE? If it doesn’t force me to declare FIRE, and I do so, how will Gozen relate to how the situation resolves?

Gozen is a card that merits its own special documentation, straight from KONAMI. I sensed I’d be getting a question like this soon. (Rivalry of Warlords and There Can Be Only One also rely on this documentation.)

However, let’s drill down and get to the heart of your situation.

You can activate PPB’s first effect. Gozen does not force you to declare FIRE: in fact, game rules force you to NOT declare FIRE.

The first effect of PPB reads “You can declare 1 Attribute, then target 1 face-up monster your opponent controls; it becomes that Attribute until the end of this turn (even if this card leaves the field), then you can take 1 “Plunder Patroll” monster from your GY, and either shuffle it into the Deck or Special Summon it.”

There is no way for a FIRE monster to “become” a FIRE monster, because it is already a FIRE monster – and making the Attribute of the face-up monster on the field you targeted “become” the declared Attribute is not an optional action within how you resolve this effect. I cannot in good conscience presume that declaring FIRE would be legal here.

So, although it is written with an activation procedure of “You can declare 1 Attribute, then target 1 face-up monster your opponent controls;”, the activation procedure is functionally “You can declare 1 Attribute, then target 1 face-up monster your opponent controls that does not have that Attribute” – the additional part I wrote in doesn’t have to be writ to still exist as a construct of game rules.

We know you have to declare one of the six non-FIRE Attributes – LIGHT, DARK, WIND, EARTH, WATER, or DIVINE.

But how can I presume activation is legal at all?

Because nothing in the above FAQ Documentation about Gozen forbids activating or applying effects that change Attributes of face-up monsters.

The things forbidden by Gozen are forbidden either because Gozen explicitly says they are forbidden, OR because the FAQ Documentation insists those things are forbidden. Unmentioned things are presumed legal. Changing Attributes isn’t writ as forbade, either on the card or in the document, so until I get word otherwise, I’m ruling changing Attribute as fine.

Even some things directly implied by Gozen’s text are still permitted, because the FAQ Documentation says so: although you can’t Summon face-up something that you “aren’t allowed to control”, you can still take control (and/or be given control) of a face-up monster your opponent controls that you “aren’t allowed to control”, despite Gozen saying you can’t control it. Where the card and the document might be implied to disagree, the document wins, both in what the document explicitly talks about, and in what the document might not explicitly talk about.

Let’s have you activate PPB’s first effect, and presume that no one Chains to the activation of PPB’s first effect.

In such a case, immediately after any monster(s) your opponent controls gains a non-FIRE Attribute(s) and possibly loses its FIRE Attribute (for you, it just gained something non-FIRE and lost FIRE), if Gozen is still applying (for you, it is) and your opponent still controls a FIRE monster (for you, they do), Gozen will assert itself and force your opponent to send the monster(s) who gained non-FIRE to the GY, before PPB proceeds to have you take a monster from your GY.


Alex asks:

A player is applying the effect of a face-up “Lose 1 Turn” they control. I Special Summon a “Witchcrafter” monster to my field, and activate an effect of that Summoned monster during the same turn. If that Summoned monster is not face-up on the field when I would apply that activated effect, and that L1T’s effect is still applying, is that activated effect negated by the effect of that L1T?


It is notable that more than a few of the Witchcrafters’ monster effects are activated by making their source monsters stop being face-up on the field before you would apply said activated effect. See: Genni, Potterie, Pittore, Schmietta.


Thomas asks:

Can I activate a card effect that has no way to legally apply to the current gamestate? For example, can I activate “Dark Magic Veil” while no DARK Spellcaster monsters are in my hand or GY, just because I want to activate a Normal Spell by paying LP?

You cannot, unless given explicit permission by KONAMI. Said permission is often documented in writing, as part of a company-supported explanation about how an effect interacts with the game.

Cases wherein KONAMI gives this permission are cases where KONAMI is out to teach us that something often works in a special, clever, or unintuitive way. If an effect doesn’t have such, it can’t be presumed to be usable in normally-illegal circumstances.


Quincy asks:

Can “The League of Uniform Nomenclature” be activated by targeting a Level 2 or lower Normal Monster with the same current name as at least 1 non-Monster Card in your Deck?

Only if there is also at least 1 Monster Card in your Deck with that same current name, too. If there are no Monster Cards within, it cannot.

Off the top of my head, I know no printed card name shared by both a monster and a non-monster. You would probably need to change the name of a monster you control that is printed as a non-monster but currently summoned as a monster, so that it matches the name of a printed monster in your Deck.

I know that its text says “cards” rather than monsters, but I don’t think that’s good enough in this case on its own to allow the Summoning of just anything.

Card effects cannot Summon non-Monster Cards, except when they say to Summon them *as* some sort of monster. Things like “Magical Hats” and “Paleozoic” Trap Cards come to mind here. They all specialize in doing something otherwise absolutely undoable, and to do it, they get specific about giving the Summoned card necessary details. Hats provide the best example, because it goes about it in the most bare-bones way ever seen: it makes clear, through never giving what it Summons a Type, Attribute, or Level/Rank/Rating, that a monster absolutely must have some sort of ATK and DEF values, even if printed as undefined (?).

Nomenclature doesn’t stipulate that it grants ATK/DEF specifications to non-Monster Cards, so I’m not letting it Summon non-Monster Cards. I’ll let it target non-Monster Cards that have been Summoned as Level 2 or lower monsters and have had their current names changed to match the printed name of something in your Deck.


Thank you for reading.

I will see you at our next episode.

Please e-mail your questions about card interactions, rulebook text, policy documents, event logistics, player behavior, and judge duties to [[email protected]] whenever you like.

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Pharaoh Atem

I'm just a random person, spending time on nothing in particular.