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Doomkaiser Dragon
Card# CSOC-EN043

Doomkaiser Dragon's effect isn't just for Zombie World duelists: remember that its effect can swipe copies of Plaguespreader Zombie, too!
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Summon vs. Summoned, and Much Much More
Alan Campbell

Last week, I attended a Yu-Gi-Oh! tournament. I had gone there with the intention to duel. I hadn’t been to one in while and was feeling a bit rusty. But unlike every other tournament I had been to before, from the moment I walked in the door, I found players arguing amongst themselves. There was no judge and no rule. The storeowner was beside himself as he didn’t have any information at hand and knew very little about Yu-Gi-Oh! gameplay. As quick as lightning, I stepped in and told the storeowner that I would be willing to forego playing that week and step in as head judge. Skeptically, he looked at me, sizing me up. He agreed to give me a shot, and I immediately jumped to work.

Organizing everyone into younger and older players, I paired off duelists into a deck buddy system. Each person’s deck buddy is supposed to watch out for the other person’s deck. That way people are constantly checking each other and making sure each other’s decks don’t get lost or stolen. I then gathered everyone together and established some rules—standard stuff really, something you might hear at a Regional or National event. Keep the noise down. When you are done, mark the sheet with your wins and losses and sign it. And above all, if you have a question, please raise your hand, cause I don’t want to heat anyone shout, “Judge!” There was mild laughter at this, immediately followed by a person yelling out a question. I just stared at him blankly, and he finally raised his hand. I pointed to him. “Do you have a question?” I asked. I could tell from the look in his eyes that I was going to be standing there for a while.

“Can I activate Trap Hole on any monster that has 1000 ATK or over at any time?” he asked.

“Great question,” I replied. I went on to explain that Trap Hole can only be activated at the time that the monster of 1000 ATK or greater is summoned to the field. There is no time after that that it can be activated. See, Trap Hole has an “activation condition.” An activation condition can be defined as a requirement that must be fulfilled in order to activate the card effect. Generally, when a card has an activation condition, it must be activated directly after that condition has been fulfilled. For example, Mirror Force has an activation condition that requires it to be activated when your opponent declares an attack with a monster. This means that Mirror Force must be activated directly after the attack has been declared, or at least within that chain. So, if you (and I was pointing to the kid) declare an attack with your monster, let’s say your Neo the Magic Swordsman, that activation condition has now been fulfilled and I can activate my card.

Immediately, another hand shot up in the air. “But you said that it could be activated within the same chain, what do you mean by that?”

Let’s say that you declare an attack against me with your Archfiend Solder. I have two set trap cards, and I’m staring at your field full of face-up attack position beefy monsters, which look eager to chomp down on my life points. Once you declare that attack, I can activate my Mirror Force, which I do. I ask my opponent if he wishes to respond. He starts to pick up his monsters . . . “But wait!” I cry, “There’s more.” Just to add insult to injury, I declare that I am chaining my other face down trap card, Magic Cylinder. Both Mirror Force and Magic Cylinder are spell speed 2 traps, so they can be chained to one another. Both have the activation condition that an attack must be declared, so it is legal to activate both within the same chain.

If we were to look at the chain, we would see that Magic Cylinder would resolve first as it was the last card activated. It checks to see if the monster is still there, and because it is still there, Magic Cylinder resolves and negates the attack, dealing 1900 damage to you (pointing at kid) when you attacked me with Archfiend Soldier. Mirror Force would then resolve, negating the attack, and destroying all monsters in face-up attack position.

I might as well have been a Martian at that point, as the kids were looking at me as if I was from another planet. Some were livid, some were puzzled, and another hand was raised. “How can you negate the attack of a monster twice, though? Wouldn’t negating the attack stop the other card from getting its effect?”

An even better question, I thought. These kids were really getting into this. It all goes back to the discussion about activation conditions. Both Magic Cylinder and Mirror Force look for two things in order to resolve. The first is, has there been an attack declared? The answer is an obvious “yes,” as you have already activated the card. The second is especially important in the case of Magic Cylinder: Is there a monster still there? In the case of Magic Cylinder, the monster “there” has to be the attacking monster. If the monster is still there, it resolves. In the case of Mirror Force, it simply is looking for a face-up attack position monster. If there is one or more, they are destroyed and sent to the graveyard. If there are none, Mirror Force resolves without effect. As these are the only things the trap cards are checking for in order to resolve, it does not matter that the attack was already negated. The card activation was legal, and if the monsters are still there, the cards will resolve regardless.

The moment I stopped talking, one of the younger players started telling a story about how he had seen someone do this at another store’s tournament and how he had thought it was illegal.

“Nope, perfectly legal,” I replied.

The next hand was raised, and even before I pointed to it's owner, he started talking.

“I’ve heard a few times that there are two trap cards that can destroy Jinzo. I wanted to know if this is true, because I want to know if I’m right and can finally prove my point to this guy I know. He says that there aren’t any trap cards that can stop Jinzo from coming out. I was at a Mall Tour and I had said I was sacrificing a monster to bring out Jinzo but before I finished Jinzo’s name the person I was up against used Horn of Heaven. I asked a judge who was in the area and he told me that it was legal because Horn of Heaven’s spell speed was faster than Jinzo’s. I then asked if there were any other traps that could take Jinzo out like Horn of Heaven and he told me that Trap Hole could as well. So is this information I received right, or is it wrong?”

The boy’s face was beet red. It was as if he had just read me an email. I set the thought aside and began to explain.

There are several issues here. A tribute or a summon has no spell speed, so it cannot be chained to. When you declare that you are summoning a monster to the field, there is a very brief time in which the aforementioned cards can be activated, namely Horn of Heaven and Solemn Judgment. Horn of Heaven has the effect of negating a monster’s summon.

When you summon a monster, the action is taking place at that time. This means that Horn of Heaven and Solemn Judgment have to be activated at the time that the summon is declared, as it is their activation condition. Because you are negating the action of summoning that monster, it never actually reaches the field. You stopped it, and the monster is sent to the graveyard. Because it never reached the field, Jinzo never had time to receive its effect, so it could not negate Horn of Heaven or Solemn Judgment.

But let’s look at Trap Hole. Trap Hole cannot be activated to destroy Jinzo. Trap Hole has the activation condition that there must be a monster of 1000 ATK or more being summoned to the field, and Jinzo is 2400 ATK. So why can’t it be activated? The reason is that Trap Hole cannot be activated until after the monster is on the field. The fundamental difference between Trap Hole and Horn of Heaven is in the word summon.

Horn of Heaven states that it negates the summon of a monster card. Trap Hole states that it destroys a monster card that has been summoned to the field. “Summon” denotes that the action is presently happening (as it is in the present tense). “Summoned” denotes that the action has already occurred (as it is in the past tense). Trap Hole cannot be activated until the monster is already on the field, and Jinzo’s effect is in play as soon as it is face up in the monster card zone. Since no trap cards can be activated, Trap Hole never has a chance to stop Jinzo.

The boy’s hand was raised once more, and I said, “This will be the last question, so we can get to the tournament.” You could see on the kids' faces that they were ready to play.

“But doesn’t Jinzo have a spell speed?” the boy asked. “He does have an effect, couldn’t you chain to that?”

Yes, Jinzo does have a spell speed. Jinzo has a spell speed 1 continuous effect. But continuous effects are a tricky bunch because they cannot be chained to, as there is no real time in which to distinguish when the effect actually kicks in. A continuous monster card effect simply comes out onto the field and is active immediately. Because you cannot chain to a continuous effect, it is safe to assume that you cannot chain Trap Hole to Jinzo’s effect.

I looked around the room. The duelists were antsy, shifting their weight from one leg to the other. "Enough of this, now let’s play some Yu-Gi-Oh!" I said. They all scattered. Excitedly, the players looked at the pairings, sat down, and started to duel. A little worse for wear over the previous discussion, I watched the level of tension in the room decrease. Someone seemed to know what was going on, so the players could feel comfortable and confident that should they have a question, it could be answered quickly and appropriately. And I think the storeowner was a little appreciative, too.

Much like this set of duelists, you too can ask me questions about this article or anything else that you might wish to know at alanc_writer@hotmail.com. Thank you for your time, and good luck.

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