Demystifying Rulings, Part 13: Advanced Rulings

The series returns for one last article! There are a couple more important game mechanics to cover, informally referred to in this article as “Forgetting” and “The Highlander Clause”. I’ll also address Extra Normal Summons.

This article can serve as a reference whenever a potential situation involving these mechanics comes up (at least until you’ve learned them by heart!)

Extra Normal Summons

The main bulk of extra Normal Summon effects read like Gem-Knight Seraphinite:
During your Main Phase, you can Normal Summon/Set 1 monster in addition to your Normal Summon/Set. (You can only gain this effect once per turn.)

Or Eidos, the Underworld Squire:
If this card is Normal or Special Summoned: During your Main Phase this turn, you can Tribute Summon 1 monster, in addition to your Normal Summon/Set. (You can only gain this effect once per turn.)

The bracketed part means exactly that: there’s no way to get 2 extra Summons this way. Even if you Summon 2 Seraphinite, or 1 Seraphinite and 1 Eidos, you still get only 1 extra Summon.


Next, there are Double Summon and Chain Summoning:
You can conduct 2 Normal Summons/Sets this turn, not just 1.

Activate only as Chain Link 3 or higher. You can Normal Summon or Set up to 3 times this turn.

These guys change your default number of Normal Summons for the turn. Then you can put extra Summons on top. For example, Double Summon + Eidos means that you get 2 default Normal Summons + 1 extra Eidos Summon, for a total of 3.


Finally, there are a lot of extra Normal Summon effects that read like Yosenju Kama 1:
If this card is Normal Summoned, you can: Immediately after this effect resolves, Normal Summon 1 “Yosenju” monster from your hand, except “Yosenju Kama 1”.

These let you Normal Summon when you’re resolving the Chain Link (well, “immediately after the Chain Link resolves”), in the exact same way that effects with similar text let you Special Summon in this way (check the Summons article to refresh your memory).

This type of effect is completely different to the earlier effects. Since the Summon is performed as part of the resolving effect itself, you can perform as many of these per turn as you have effects to do them, completely independently of the number of Normal Summons you’re allowed to do as a player that turn.

For more information (as well as a complete list of extra Normal Summon cards and which category they belong to), Redshift has an article covering it here (which I drew from to write this section).

After a monster has been Summoned, it starts to carry all sorts of information with it, such as the time of its Summon, exactly how it was Summoned, what effects are applying to it, and so on. When a monster stops being face-up for a while,  it ‘forgets’ some of that information, but remembers other parts. This can happen when it is flipped face-down (by Book of Moon, say) or temporarily banished (by Farfa, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss, say)

Here, we will go through the things they forget and the things they don’t.

If a monster stops being face-up temporarily:

– It WILL forget if it was Summoned by a specific method or not.
For example, Naturia Bamboo Shoot will forget whether it was Summoned by Tributing a Naturia Beast Monster:
If this card is Tribute Summoned by Tributing a “Naturia” monster, while this card remains face-up on the field, your opponent cannot activate Spell or Trap Cards.

– It WILL forget previously applied effects.
For example, a Synchro Monster will lose boosts from Yang Zing materials, such as that of Taotie, Shadow of the Yang Zing:
Possession of a Synchro Monster on the field that used this card as a Synchro Material cannot switch.

Also, a monster Summoned by Onslaught of the Fire Kings will not be destroyed if face-down and then flipped face-up before the End Phase:
If your opponent controls a monster and you control no monsters: Special Summon 1 FIRE Beast, Beast-Warrior, or Winged Beast-Type monster from your Deck. Its effects are negated and it is destroyed during the End Phase.

– It WILL NOT forget any Materials used.
If a Synchro Monster is flipped face-down, then flipped face-up, and is targeted by “De-Synchro”, you can Special Summon the materials.

– It WILL NOT forget whether it was Special Summoned or not.
So an Obelisk the Tormentor that is flipped face-down and then back up will still be sent to the Graveyard during the End Phase:
During the End Phase, if this card was Special Summoned: Send it to the Graveyard.

– It WILL NOT ‘forget’ whether it was Summoned that turn.
For example, a “Yosenju” monster set by Book of Eclipse will return to the hand in the End Phase if Normal Summoned that turn.
During the End Phase, if this card was Normal Summoned this turn: Return it to the hand.

– If it was flipped face-down, it WILL forget where it was Special Summoned from, but it WILL NOT forget in the case it was banished temporarily.
So if you Summon an Xyz monster, flip it face-down, and then back up again, your opponent may NOT send monsters from the Deck for Shaddoll Fusion:
Fusion Summon 1 “Shaddoll” Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck, using monsters from your hand or your side of the field as Fusion Materials. If your opponent controls a monster(s) that was Special Summoned from the Extra Deck, you can also use monsters in your Deck as Fusion Material.

However, if it is only temporarily banished, the opponent could use monsters from the Extra Deck when the monster returns to the field.

A monster will also not gain a boost from Temple of the Sun if it was Summoned from the Graveyard, then flipped face-down and then back up. But it will if it is only temporarily banished.
Face-up monsters you control that were Special Summoned from the Graveyard gain 300 ATK.

The Highlander Clause
Bujin Yamato reads:
You can only control 1 “Bujin Yamato”.

Similarly, (most) Malefic monsters read:
There can only be 1 face-up “Malefic” monster on the field.

These effects are known as the Highlander Clause.

First things first, the Highlander Clause is indeed an effect, and can be negated by, say, Skill Drain. However, unlike a Continuous Effect, it applies in (almost) all locations, including the hand, Graveyard, and while banished, but NOT while the monster is face-down.

We will use Bujin Yamato as an example for the following rulings on the Highlander Clause:

– You CANNOT attempt to Summon another copy of Bujin Yamato while you already control one (but another can be Set).

Note that this goes even for Tributing one Kaiju to Summon another:
You can only control 1 “Kaiju” monster.

You cannot attempt to Summon the second Kaiju even if it would get rid of the first. This should be familiar from the principles in the Move Legality article.

– Similarly, even if Skill Drain is on the field, you CANNOT attempt to Summon a second copy of Bujin Yamato from, e.g. the hand or Graveyard, because the second copy’s effect in the hand/Graveyard is still applying.

-You CAN change a monster’s name to Bujin Yamato while you control one (such as by the effect of Phantom of Chaos) but the newest copy will be destroyed by game mechanics.

– You CAN take control of another copy of Bujin Yamato, but the new one will be destroyed by game mechanics.

– If a Bujin Yamato is on the field and you have one already temporarily banished by Farfa, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss, then during the End Phase, the banished monster cannot return to the field, so it is sent to the Graveyard by game mechanics.

– Suppose you control 2 Bujin Yamato and 1 is Set. If it is then flipped by an attack and it survives the battle, then it is destroyed by game mechanics immediately after damage calculation, at the same time a Burning Abyss monster would be destroyed. If it does not survive, it is destroyed by the battle as normal. (Refer back to the Damage Step article for more on this).

Finally, for completeness, if multiple Malefic monsters are Set and flipped by an effect simultaneously, such as by Ceasefire:
If a face-down Defense Position monster or an Effect Monster is on the field: Change all face-down Defense Position monsters on the field to face-up Defense Position (Flip monsters’ effects are not activated at this time), also inflict 500 damage to your opponent for each Effect Monster on the field.

The Turn Player’s monsters will be flipped strictly earlier, as (the rulebook says that) turn players perform simultaneous actions first. So if there are 2 Set Malefic monsters, 1 on either side of the field, the non Turn Player’s monster is destroyed.

(Note that Ceasefire will finish resolving first, so cards will be drawn or damage dealt before a monster is destroyed).

If both monsters are controlled by the same player, they choose which to destroy.


Quiz time!

(1) What happens when a player uses De-Synchro on a Synchro Monster after it is temporarily banished by Farfa?

(2) What happens during the End Phase to a Spirit monster that was temporarily banished by Interdimensional Matter Transporter?

(3) Can a player use Mind Control to take control of a Kaiju monster, even if he controls one already? If so, what happens?

(4) Player B controls 2 Kaiju monsters, where 1 of them is Set. Player A attacks the Set one with a monster with higher ATK than the Kaiju’s DEF. What happens?

(5) How many times can I Normal Summon in total if I can apply the effects of both Eidos and Mithra the Thunder Vassal?
If this card is Tributed for a Tribute Summon: You can activate this effect; you can Tribute Summon 1 monster during your Main Phase this turn, in addition to your Normal Summon/Set this turn.

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What next?
I have chosen the topics in this series carefully to give you a solid grounding in the key game mechanics that you will encounter. So by diligently working through this series, you should be equipped to answer most questions you’ll come across!

But there are a lot more questions out there that we won’t have covered. For example, what happens when a BA monster activates its effect in the hand to Special Summon itself, but it can’t be Summoned at resolution due to Gozen Match or Vanity’s Emptiness? For things like this, it’s essential to keep a close ear to the ground of your ruling forum for clarification, or instead to get clarification directly from the head judge of your event, as ultimately they are the authority for that tournament. (The BA monster stays in the hand, by the way). 

If you can’t find anything from a good Google search, don’t be afraid to ask!

And that’s as far as I can take you. If you want to go further and learn advanced rulings, the best I can advise is to lurk the ruling sections for good questions, and do some of your own research into tougher issues. And if you do, don’t forget to bring your hard hat.

Alright, that’s enough rambling from me. Take care!

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