Demystifying Rulings, Part 5: Conjunctions

A conjunction, in PSCT, is a word/phrase that join two parts of an effect. They condense a lot of information on how an effect works into a single word or phrase, and this makes them a very powerful element of PSCT.

Before we begin, don’t forget to check out the last article on ‘When’ optional effects here: www.ygorganization.com/learnrulingspart4

Introduction
The 4 main conjunctions used are then, and if you do, also, and also, after that. Here’s how they typically look in a card effect (Book of Life, in this example):
Target 1 Zombie-Type monster in your Graveyard and 1 monster in your opponent’s Graveyard; Special Summon the first target, also banish the second target.

Here, the effect is of the form ‘do A, also do B’, where A is Special Summoning the first target and B is banishing the second target. Similar structure applies to the other conjunctions.

Another example is Nekroz of Valkyrus:
When an opponent’s monster declares an attack: You can banish 1 “Nekroz” card from your Graveyard and discard this card; negate the attack, then end the Battle Phase.

Here, the effect is of the form ‘do A, then do B’ where A is negating the attack and B is ending the Battle Phase.

Conjunctions and Timing
The first thing conjunctions tell us is whether A and B are simultaneous or not for the purpose of ‘when’ optional effects.

A and B are simultaneous:
and if you do
also

A and B are not simultaneous:
then
also, after that

Why is this important? Recall the rule for ‘when’ optional effects from the last article: A ‘when’ optional effect can only be activated when its activation condition was ‘one of the last things to happen’. If A and B are not simultaneous, it means A cannot be one of the last things to happen.

Let’s see a classical example. Suppose I use Soul Taker on Lightpulsar Dragon:
Target 1 face-up monster your opponent controls; destroy that target, then your opponent gains 1000 Life Points.

When this card is sent from the field to the Graveyard: You can target 1 Level 5 or higher DARK Dragon-Type monster in your Graveyard; Special Summon that target.
(Note that Lightpulsar’s effect is indeed a ‘when’ optional effect).

Chain Link 1: Soul Taker

The use of ‘then’ on Soul Taker means that destruction and gaining LP are not simultaneous. Gaining LP happens after destruction in terms of timing.

Resolve the Chain: Soul Taker destroys Lightpulsar. After that, my opponent gains 1000 LP.

Hence the destruction of Lightpulsar is not one of the last things to happen, so it now misses its chance to activate.

Conversely, suppose I use the effect of Blackship of Corn on Lightpulsar Dragon (assume I reduced Lightpulsar’s ATK to be lower than Blackship’s):
Once per turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card, then target 1 face-up monster your opponent controls with ATK less than or equal to this card’s; send it to the Graveyard, and if you do, inflict 1000 damage to your opponent.

Chain Link 1: Blackship’s effect

This time, the conjunction is ‘and if you do’, which means that sending to the Graveyard and dealing damage are simultaneous in terms of timing.

Resolve the Chain: Lightpulsar is sent to the Graveyard, and at the same time my opponent takes 1000 damage.

Lightpulsar’s effect’s activation condition was one of the last things to happen, so the effect can be activated.

Note that the effects were Chain Link 1 here – naturally, it’d be a different story if these effects were Chain Link 2 or higher. Always look for the last things to happen.

Conjunctions and Resolutions
Conjunctions also tell us how much of an effect still resolves if something disruptive is Chained. This kind of thing should be familiar from the discussion on the word ‘targeting’ being used after the semi-colon, in Part 2 of this series.

A is required for B:
and if you do
then

A is not required for B
also
also, after that

B is never required to do A – if you can’t do B when the effect resolves, you still do A (ie. you resolve as much as you can).

Suppose I declare an attack. My opponent activates the effect of Nekroz of Valkyrus to negate it, but I chain Book of Moon, to flip my monster face-down.
When an opponent’s monster declares an attack: You can banish 1 “Nekroz” card from your Graveyard and discard this card; negate the attack, then end the Battle Phase.

Valkyrus can no longer negate the attack, because the monster is already no longer attacking. Hence, because it uses ‘then’, it cannot proceed to end the Battle Phase.

Now suppose I activate Book of Life, and my opponent uses D.D. Crow to banish my Zombie-Type in the Graveyard.
Target 1 Zombie-Type monster in your Graveyard and 1 monster in your opponent’s Graveyard; Special Summon the first target, also banish the second target.

Because Book of Life uses ‘also’, even though I cannot Special Summon my monster any more, Book still banishes the second target.

‘And’
There is one more conjunction in addition to the 4 mentioned above: and. When an effect says ‘do A and B’, it means that A and B are simultaneous (for the purposes of timing). But unlike and if you do and also, you have to be able to do both A and B at resolution, otherwise you do nothing.

For example, Number 53: Heart-eartH uses and:
When this card on the field is destroyed by a card effect while it has no Xyz Materials: You can Special Summon 1 “Number 92: Heart-eartH Dragon” from your Extra Deck and attach this card from the Graveyard to it as an Xyz Material. (This Special Summon is treated as an Xyz Summon.)

A is Special Summoning Number 92, and B is attaching Number 53 as Xyz Material. If D.D. Crow banishes Number 53 from the Graveyard, the effect does not still Special Summon Number 92. Also, the Special Summoning and attaching are simultaneous in terms of timing, so if this happens at Chain Link 1, Torrential Tribute could be activated in response to the Summon.

Miscellaneous
So how do you remember all of these conjunctions? Well, the way they’re worded is a helpful clue. “and if you do” and “then” suggest that B is dependent on A being done, “then” and “after that” suggest that the two parts are not simultaneous, etc. With some practice, they’re easy to remember, and you can always look them up if you’re unsure.

Now for a couple of warnings:

(1) Conjunctions are a slightly newer element of PSCT than the rest. There are some card texts written in PSCT that use and where they mean and if you do, because they wrote the card text before conjunctions were introduced and they haven’t reprinted the card yet. The and conjunction is very rare, so if you see it, double check that the card doesn’t mean and if you do instead.

(2) Conjunctions do not tell us anything about activation legality! They only tell us about how to resolve effects. For example, you cannot activate Book of Life at all while Imperial Iron Wall (Cards cannot be banished) is already face-up, even though you don’t need to be able to banish a monster to Special Summon.

There will be more about activation legality in a future article.

Quiz time!

(1) Player A activates the (first) effect of Yazi, Evil of the Yang Zing, and Player B negates it with Stellarnova Alpha.
– You can target 1 “Yang Zing” monster you control and 1 card your opponent controls; destroy them.
– When this card you control is destroyed by battle or card effect and sent to your Graveyard: You can Special Summon 1 Wyrm-Type monster from your Deck in Defense Position.

When a Spell/Trap Card, or monster effect, is activated: Send 1 face-up “tellarknight” monster you control to the Graveyard; negate the activation, and if you do, destroy that card, then draw 1 card.

Can the (second) effect of Yazi be activated?

(2) Now suppose Player A is activating the second effect of Yazi in the Graveyard, and Player B negates it with Stellarnova Alpha. Can Player B draw 1 card?

(3) What happens to the tellarknight monster I targeted when my opponent Chains Vanity’s Emptiness (which prevents Special Summons) to my Satellarknight Skybridge?
Target 1 “tellarknight” monster you control; Special Summon 1 “tellarknight” monster with a different name from your Deck, and if you do, shuffle the targeted monster into the Deck.

(4) Can my opponent activate Torrential Tribute in response to Satellarknight Skybridge (at Chain Link 1)?

Answers:

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Finally, for additional reference, the Konami blog post about conjunctions is here: https://yugiohblog.konami.com/articles/?p=4514
And you can also check out my complete article here: www.ygorganization.com/Summary-of-PSCT

The next article is on Summons: www.ygorganization.com/learnrulingspart6
General comments and suggestions are always appreciated.

See you next time!

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