Judgment of the Pharaoh – Monday, August 31, 2020

Good morning.

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

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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.

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Leonard McCoy asks:

Player 1 is the turn player and controls “Black Garden“. Player 2 Special Summons “Altergeist Multifaker” to their own field. Because two triggered Simultaneous Effects – Garden’s triggered effect and Multifaker’s own triggered effect – want to Go Onto a Chain right now, Player 1 activates Garden’s triggered effect as Chain Link 1 of a new Chain. May Player 2 legally activate Multifaker’s relevant triggered effect in this case?

As you and I are both English speakers, I will give an English answer, for English audiences:

Multifaker’s relevant triggered effect stipulates that the activating player “cannot Special Summon monsters the turn [they] activate this effect, except “Altergeist” monsters.”
This specific way of writing the stipulation insists that one may not Special Summon an incompatible monster at any time within the turn BEFORE activating the effect AND AFTER activating the effect.

That hasn’t happened yet in your example.

The thing is, a card effect HAS been activated that will force you to conduct such a Summon while that card effect resolves. Bar that effect being negated, that effect’s activation being negated, or that effect being rendered unable to apply as written, we already know what’s going to happen is something that causes a problem. This is most comparable to how activating a card effect that would have you Special Summon can render certain card effect activations illegal in the process, unless the effect that would have you Summon ends up having its activation negated.

Therefore, to me, it stands to reason that said effect may not be activated.

===WARNING===

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Plertidoures asks:

Player A activates “Mystical Space Typhoon“, targeting a Set Spell/Trap Player B controls. Player B Chains to their opponent’s activation by activating that Set Trap, “Call of the Haunted“, by targeting “Ojama Yellow” in their GY. Neither player Chains to this activation. How does this Chain resolve, and may “Torrential Tribute” be activated after this Chain resolves?

Torrential may not be activated.
Player B will resolve Call and Summon Ojama Yellow, then Player A will resolve MST and destroy Call, and Player B will apply Call’s non-activating effect and destroy Ojama Yellow.
Torrential’s activation condition text is “When a monster(s) is Summoned:”. Note it specifies “when”, not “if”: this means that Torrential’s activation conditions don’t just require a specific event to occur, they also require the activation of Torrential itself to be performed at exactly one specific timing.
In the Chain you describe, the exact time Torrential describes occurs immediately after Call is finished resolving.
This means that moment occurs while a Chain is currently resolving, because Chain Link 1 of that Chain – MST – has not been resolved yet.

One of the most fundamental rules of Yu-Gi-Oh! is as follows:
No activations (of any cards AND any effects) can EVER be performed while a Chain is resolving.
Because Torrential demands being activated at a specific timing, and that specific timing occurs in your example at a point where another game rule says no activations can be performed, no one can perform that activation in this case.

Does the answer change if Player B Chains to their own activation of Call by activating another Set Trap they control, “Imperial Custom“?

No.
Torrential may not be activated, for precisely the same reasons as before.
Doing something to make Call unable to be destroyed by MST’s effect will not change the reasons why Torrential may not be activated, because MST destroying Call was not the reason.
The reason, again, was:
No activations (of any cards AND any effects) can EVER be performed while a Chain is resolving.
The timing for Torrential’s activation is still occurring while a Chain is resolving, even in your modified case, so the answer has not changed.

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Ahmed asks:

Player A activates the activatable Pendulum Effect of a “Servant of Endymion” in their Pendulum Zone by removing 3 Spell Counters from it. Player B Chains to that activation by activating “Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring“. Neither player Chains to that activation, and that instance of that activated Pendulum Effect of Servant is negated.
Within that same turn, if Player A applies various card effects, perhaps including the non-activatable Pendulum Effect of Servant, so that said Servant in their Pendulum Zone once again has 3 or more Spell Counters, can Player A activate that activatable Pendulum Effect of that Servant again in that same turn, and if so, what happens when this new instance resolves?

As you and I are both English speakers, I will give an English answer, for English audiences:

The most recent judgment upheld at premier events within the TCG would not allow Player A to activate that effect again in that same turn, on grounds that resolving an effect that Special Summons Servant would constitute Player A’s one (1) permitted attempt to Special Summon Servant this turn, unless the *activation* of that effect is negated (and remember, Ash Blossom doesn’t negate activations).

However, all those events occurred before the April 1, 2020 rule revisions were applied. Premier events, and nearly all TCG events as a whole, have been postponed in order to ensure players and staff safely avoid transmission of 2019’s novel coronavirus, which is the cause of coronavirus disease 2019 (often abbreviated as COVID-19: CO for corona, VI for virus, D for disease).

Whether or not the rule revisions are relevant to this interaction will depend upon what resources your event’s Head Judge deems legitimate in the present moment.

For example, if your Head Judge holds that only the currently published-in-English resources regarding the rule revisions are valid to enforce, they will likely rule this interaction as prior English-speaking premier events have.

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Bill asks:

Player A controls a face-up “Convulsion of Nature“, whose effect is currently applied, and accidentally taps their Main Deck with their elbow, shifting part of it so that part of the front of one card in the middle of their Main Deck is visible, but should not be visible. How should this problem be resolved?

Oh man, now THIS is a policy question. I’ve been waiting for this.

This is going to cut to some elements of Player Management, up to and including cutting to the heart of why the right fix for a problem can seem counterintuitive, or otherwise complex.

First and foremost, the players need to freeze play and call for assistance from the judges. A floor judge should answer the call and, unless the situation is dire, should handle the rest of the repair process.

The floor judge will inquire with both players about the current situation and identify the problem. For all we know, they may identify something else that is dearly wrong with the current gamestate, and that other problem might be relevant to their judgments.

For example, they would need to determine whether or not there were any signs of this elbow bump not being as accidental as asked.

Put a pin in that determination, we’ll be coming back to it when we consider a possible worst-case scenario. Yes, there is a worst-case scenario. Stay calm and relaxed, we’ll cover that later.

For most scenarios, they will view it as accidental, so for now, let’s presume they do find it as such, as you asked.

Given that Convulsion is applied, it is known to all players and judges which card is currently on top of the Main Deck. Namely, the top of the Main Deck is not random while Convulsion is applied in typical gameplay. This detail is key to a proper fix – namely, the detail that sometimes a card effect can intend to derandomize part of a Deck.

The rest of that Main Deck, including the card accidentally revealed, is meant to be random in typical Convulsion situations, as well. This, too, is key to a proper fix.

The judge will need to investigate the rest of the gamestate as well, including prior plays made, to figure out if any other relevant effects have rendered parts of the Main Deck non-random.

The goal of the fix is to keep identical any non-random portions of the Main Deck that are currently not meant to be random, while re-randomizing the non-random parts meant to be random.

For example, cards returned by an effect to the top or bottom of a Deck in an order known to both players are non-random portions of the Main Deck that should be kept as-is, if possible: a repair that doesn’t mess up such effects is preferable.

For another example, the card accidentally revealed in the question is a part of the Main Deck that is currently no longer random thanks to the accident, but was meant to be random.

Keeping all of the above in mind, I as floor judge would have both players acknowledge the top card of the bumped Deck, set that card aside, re-randomize the rest of the Deck via thorough shuffling (including the revealed card from the middle where the bump took place), and then put the old top card back on top. (The fact that a mishap occurred should not change the top card if the top card isn’t a random unknown card, you see.)

There are some who would disagree: but for me, part of the point of the repair is to restore as much of the pre-repair gamestate as possible, and that includes recognizing the impact certain peculiar card effects can have.

Now, go back to that pin we put into that determination: it’s time to cover the extremely-unlikely one-in-a-million-chance worst case scenario. Since it can be ugly, and it isn’t relevant to the above accidental case, I’ll stick it in spoiler text.

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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.

Pharaoh Atem

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