Judgment of the Pharaoh – Sunday, November 8, 2020

I am glad to be back.

Good morning. It has been a while.

It has been a rough number of weeks for me, involving a number of difficult life matters and physical injuries, but I am returned.

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.


Art Dishman asks:

While I control “Dark Magical Circle“, I Special Summon “Dark Magician” from my GY face-down by applying the effect of “Keeper of Dragon Magic“. May I activate the 2nd effect of Circle, by targeting an opponent’s card?

You may not.


Haxorus asks:

My opponent activates “Question“. I want to Chain to their activation by activating “Called By the Grave” or “D.D. Crow“, targeting the monster nearest to the bottom of their GY, without looking at their GY. May I?

This is a more deeply challenging question than many think.

I have never known this question to ever receive an official answer in any capacity, anywhere on the planet, from any ironclad document created by KDE.

I will remind you that this answer is solely my own, and I reserve the right to rescind it upon receiving information that illustrates a big problem with it.

Keeping that in mind, let’s continue on.

In Yu-Gi-Oh!, a player may commit to taking an action either through physical movement or verbal conviction. If you say you do something, or you motion to do something, you are doing it, if it is legal to do. (This is why the best way to avoid making a play commitment is to move nothing and say nothing: I as a judge will at times be forced to interpret movements or statements as commitments, when rules require.)

Knowing this, the key hinge is one of legality – namely, making clear what card is targeted is not ever an optional thing for activating an effect that targets: activating it without being clear about it is not legal.

Motioning cannot be done clearly without being able to visually ascertain an object. This leaves only activation-by-verbal-conviction.

I would allow you to activate Called *only* by declaring the name of the monster in the GY you target, and which copy of that monster in the GY it is – the copy nearest to the bottom, the copy 2nd nearest, or the copy 3rd nearest.

I would allow you to activate Crow *only* by declaring the name of the card in the GY you target, and which copy of that card in the GY it is – nearest to the bottom, second nearest, third nearest, so on.

When we cannot look at things, we cannot use physical motion to provide the required clarity: it falls to words to make up the difference.

Further, if you cannot be certainly clear about exactly what you target, I’m not going to let you conduct the activation.

So, I will say that Chaining to Question is doable, but that you HAVE to know what you are doing, and be detailed about it, otherwise I won’t allow it on grounds of being too vague.


Vagueness in Chaining to Question can come across like an attempt to fish for information.

The very *point* of Question is to prevent a player from accessing information that they could normally access freely.

If at any point you might try to chain to it and target something that *doesn’t exist in there* at the moment you specify your target, this is a Procedural Error with terrifying implications.

In such a Procedural Error, the fact that verifying “the requested target was never there” needs players to obtain information that they should NOT POSSESS about the GY while applying Question’s effect.

Namely, a poorly conducted activation that would normally be easily repairable when Question isn’t involved might, thanks to its involvement, end up irreparable somehow, or even lead me to begin a Full-Scale Investigation if I suspect the activation was performed poorly on purpose.

This is serious, because if I conclude in such a situation that the activation was performed poorly on purpose, I’d would almost certainly need to classify the act as UC-Cheating, as doing it poorly on purpose in such a situation would constitute BOTH an action performed intentionally AND an action performed that conferred an unfair advantage upon a player. If that is the case, the penalty for that infraction would be Disqualification on the first offense, with paperwork sent to the KDE Penalty Committee and immediate dismissal from the Event Venue.

BECAUSE the *point* of Question is to do something to hide normally-accessible info, attempts to undo the hiding constitute attempts to confer an unfair advantage.

So, let me stress it again, I INSIST you MUST know WITH CERTAINTY what you are intending to do in this situation.


Ahmed asks:

I activate “Monster Reborn” as Chain Link 1, targeting a monster. My opponent Chains by discarding a card and activating “Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon”‘s Quick Effect as Chain Link 2. I want to Chain to CL2 by sending my face-up CL1 “Monster Reborn” to the GY and activating “Forbidden Droplets” as Chain Link 3. May I?

You may.


Vlad asks:

How do you determine if a six-sided die is biased, and/or if a six-sided die was selected for use by its owner because of belief that it is biased?

This is clever.

Allegations of unfair coins and unfair dice nearly never reach the ears of our staff, especially in the current age whereby the purposes of physical coins and physical dice are solved by Yu-Gi-Oh! NEURON for most players and users.

However, let’s presume that you are like me, and currently using an older model of smartphone, one incompatible with NEURON.

In such cases, the next legal road is to use old-school analog objects, and that’s where the meat of your question lies.

More often than not, it is in how the dice and coins are tossed that we may get allegations of unfairness, and we remedy this by demanding a demonstration of how one executes a toss, just as casino staff might.

That said, the first and easiest determinations stem from physically inspecting a coin or die for weight and/or shape irregularities. This is how we’d catch a double-headed coin, for example.

To my knowledge, we have not *yet* engaged in brute-force testing of dice or coins via repeated flips in laboratory conditions as part of a judgely investigation. It is not easy to convincingly allege that a die or coin must be unfairly designed just because of the outcomes observed in a small sample size of uses. This is why I mentioned how the dice and coins are tossed, as an outcome is a product of both the object and its utilization, not just born of one of those two factors.

That much said, this isn’t just about actions, but also statements – we are always listening to all individuals within our venues, for things each one says about their own behaviors and choices.

Presuming we find a die that we somehow determine is physically flawed – that doesn’t establish it was selected for that flaw, or in spite of it.

The only answer is to just investigate the matter as hard as is possible.


Thank you for reading.

I will see you at our next episode. It is my hope it comes with a shorter gap between episodes.

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.

Like us? Support YGOrganization on our Patreon to remove ads!
Become a patron at Patreon!

Pharaoh Atem

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