Friday, July 30, 2010

Banlist Fever

It happens to a lot of players, usually around months before the upcoming format's banlist is revealed. There are many symptoms associated with the condition, but most focused on a decreased interest in the playing/trading and a urge to call it quits. 

Why is this? Well, I'm no psychology expert but the reason most likely is due to a sense of foreboding. Players don't like it when they work hard to build a deck that turns out to be destroyed by the following formats banlist. 

Back in the September 2009 format, I perfected a Monarch variant I called Level Control Monarchs, which utilized both Tragoedia and Level Eater to generate infinite tribute fodder. I was devastated when I learned that Tragoedia was limited to 1 in the March 2010 banlist. Even now, although I've altered my deck's build to function with Battle Fader and Oracle of the Sun instead of Tragoedia, I possess great fear that Fader will get hit by September's list due to its immense popularity in the current meta. 

Banlist discussions I've often found to be quite pointless as players tend to be a bit melodramatic with their arguments. Besides Konami can be quite unpredictable with some of their choices. Those who wish to act on assumptions can be my guests, but I think I'd rather wait and see how things make their turn.

Remember players, the game ends with you.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Bahamut ZERO

Us TCG players have a huge advantage in this game. Since the vastly majority of our card pool has been previously released in the OCG, we are fortunate enough to have a number of pre-tested strategies at our disposal. Sure the secondary market prices are higher here, but that's usually not an issue for the dedicated duelist. After all, if you want to play something that wins, why not just use something someone else has proven successful. 

Now, I'm not trying to encourage netdecking or anything, but even have to admit the folk in the East can make some really innovative builds. Take a look at the following Absolute Zero varient created by OCG player Bahamut84, the build here was taken from Neuxcharge's YouTube channel:


MONSTERS (17)
1 Gorz the Emissary of Darkness
2 Elemental Hero Neos Alius
1 Elemental Hero Stratos
2 Elemental Hero Prisma
3 Elemental Hero Ocean
2 Honest
2 Debris Dragon
1 Elemental Hero Voltic
3 King of the Swamp

SPELLS  (19)
3 Miracle Fusion
3 Polymerization
3 E – Emergency Call
2 Fusion Recovery
2 Gemini Spark
1 Heavy Storm
1 Future Fusion
1 Parallel World Fusion
1 Super Polymerization
1 Mystical Space Typhoon
1 Reinforcement of the Army

TRAPS (4)
2 Bottomless Trap Hole
1 Torrential Tribute
1 Hero Blast 

EXTRA DECK (15)
3 Elemental Hero Absolute Zero
2 Elemental Hero The Shining
2 Elemental Hero Great Tornado
1 Elemental Hero Gaia
1 Elemental Hero Terra Firma
1 Chimeratech Fortress Dragon
1 Gungnir, Dragon of the Ice Barrier
1 Black Rose Dragon
1 Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier

Now the first thing that caught my attention was the name. For those of you unfamiliar with the series, Bahamut is the name of a recurring Dragon summon in the Final Fantasy series. He is usually one of the more powers summon and is even known as the King of Dragons. Such a fitting name for a deck that specializes in summoning Dragon-type Synchros and Elemental Hero Fusions.

Unfortunately there are a number of cards not currently available in the TCG and out of these there are even a few without any planned release date. But this shouldn't discourage one from building the deck. With a little innovation I think can make this deck TCG compatible and competitive.

Remember players, the game ends with you.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Abnormal Monsters


Since it's been confirmed that the promotion card for the upcoming Duelist Revolution will be the effectless Scrap Archfiend, I'd like to clarify something for everyone today:

Ritual, Fusion, and Synchro Monsters that lack the "Effect" designation alongside their Type are NOT treated as Normal Monsters.  
From: --------- [mailto:_______@yahoo.com]
Sent: Friday, July 16, 2010 8:14 AM
To: us-ygorules@konami.com
Subject: Normal Monsters

With the last bit of Normal Monster support we've gotten somewhat recently, this has crossed my mind concerning some of the interactions.

Is it possible to assume that all non-effect monsters are treated as Normal Monsters, for the cases involving Swing of Memories, Non-Spellcasting Area, and the like?

Ex. Being able to use Swing of Memories to revive Gaia Knight, Force of the Earth.
===================================================================
From: "US YGO Rules" [us-ygorules@konami.com]
To: "---------" [_________@yahoo.com]
No, it is not. Gaia Knight, Force of the Earth is a Synchro Monster, not a Normal Monster. Only actual Normal Monsters and cards with effects that treat them as Normal Monsters (like Gemini monsters do) are considered Normal Monsters.
 
It might seem obvious to some of you players, but a simple misplay can cost you the match.

Remember players, the game ends with you.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

They See Me Rollin'

They hatin'
Patrollin'
They try to catch me bloggin' dirty

As those of you who read my blog regularly already know, a few days ago I wrote an article regarding how unlucky Level 7 Synchro Monsters were regarding their stats, summoning requirements, and/or limitation status. Just yesterday, renowned Konami writer Jason Grabher-Meyer released an article entitled: Lucky Level 7's.

Looks like I just got trolled hard by Konami.

I'm not even sure what to tag this post as.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Pineapple Express

Of all the Duel Terminal/Hidden Arsenal archetypes, the Naturias have been gathering a significant amount of hype. Between Naturia Beast, Naturia Barkion, Naturia Exterio, and Naturia Landoise, the group possessed numerous means of card negation at relatively low cost.

Naturia Beast (Beast-Type/EARTH/Level 5/ATK 2200/DEF 1700)
1 EARTH Tuner + 1 or more non-Tuner EARTH monsters.
While this card is face-up on the field, you can send the top 2 cards of your Deck to the Graveyard to negate the activation of a Spell Card and destroy it.
Naturia Barkion (Dragon-Type/EARTH/Level 6/ATK 2500/DEF 1800)
1 EARTH Tuner + 1 or more non-Tuner EARTH monsters.
Naturia Exterio (Beast-Type/EARTH/Level 10/ATK 2800/DEF 2400)
A Fusion Summon of this card can only be conducted with the above Fusion Material Monsters. You can remove from play 1 card from your Graveyard and send the top card of your Deck to the Graveyard to negate the activation of a Spell or Trap Card, and destroy it.
Naturia Landoise (Rock-Type/EARTH/Level 7/ATK 2350/DEF 1600)
1 EARTH Tuner + 1 or more non-Tuner EARTH monsters.
 You can send 1 Spell Card from your hand to the Graveyard to negate the activation of an Effect Monster's effect, and destroy that Effect Monster.
Unfortunately Beast, Barkion, and Landoise are Synchro Monsters, with Exterio being a fusion of Beast and Barkion, meaning summoning enough of them to generate the lock would be difficult. When it was announced that Naturia Bamboochute would be released in Duelist Revolution, the competitive applications of the deck began to be reevaluated.

Naturia Bamboocute (Plant-Type/EARTH/Level 5/ATK 2000/DEF 2000)
If you Tribute Summon this card successfully using a "Naturia" monster as a Tribute, your opponent cannot activate Spell or Trap Cards while this card is face-up on the field.
With either Naturia Bamboocute or Naturia Exterio and Naturia Landoise on the field, a player would have a near complete lockdown over his/her opponent. Throw in a Royal Oppression and you might as well say "good game".

Some of you might be a bit apprehensive at the notion of getting Exterio to the field, and I can understand that. After all, it is a Fusion between Synchros and doesn't allow you to use Fusion Substitutes. However, there is simple way of getting it into play. 

Remember The Earth - Hex-Sealed Fusion? By Tributing itself and sending the other appropriate Fusion Material Monsters to the Graveyard, you can Special Summon an Earth-Attribute Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck. By getting either Balkion or Beast and then using the Hex-Sealed Fusion's effect, you can easily set-up half the lock.

What about Naturia Bamboochute though? It requires you to tribute a Naturia, most of which have lackluster stats. If you opponent knows what your trying to pull off, you may have trouble keeping your Monsters alive. 

Fear not, the geniuses at Konami's R&D department foresaw these problems and created a TCG exclusive to remedy the problem:


I know what you're thinking, and you are correct. Yup, Konami actually went out and made Plants their own Treeborn Frog. And it's even compatible with Snyffus too.

The combo isn't perfect I'm afraid as having anything other than a Beast or Plant in the Graveyard would allow you to Special Summon Pineapple. However, that can be alleviated by getting the Bamboochute lock set up first before bringing out Landoise. You may even want to forgo the Synchros and focus on using Bamboochute and Pineapple in a Plant-based Naturia deck. It really comes down to preference.

Remember players, the game ends with you.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Unlucky 7's


The number 7 is generally considered a lucky number. In deed, even in this game Level 7 Monsters often possess explosive effects. Dark Armed Dragon, Gorz the Emissary of Darkness, Machina Fortress...all these cards are considered among most powerful in the game. But when it comes to Synchro Monsters, Level 7's seem to be following a trend that the newer sets only seems to confirm my suspicions of.

What's the problem? Well, Level 7's have several factors that limit their usability. 

Most playable Synchros possess levels between 6-8. Since Level 4 monsters are the most commonly played Level and since the available Synchros for Levels 6 and 8 tend to have more usable effects, Level 7's aren't summoned as often as the others.

Now are exceptions to this. Blackwing decks can spam Armor Master after Armor Master, Debris Dragon makes summoning Black Rose Dragon a cinch, and even Rescue Cat makes bringing out double Arcanite Magicians a feasible move. However all these monsters share one problem: splashability.

Let's look at a list of popular Level 7 Synchros:
Ancient Fairy Dragon
Arcanite Magician
Black Rose Dragon
Blackwing Armor Master
Dark Strike Fighter
Power Tool Dragon

Power Tool Dragon and Ancient Fairy Dragon, while not require any specific summoning conditions, need specialized decks to take advantage of their effects. Arcanite Magician requires a Spellcaster Non-Tuner whereas Blackwing Armor Master requires a Blackwing Tuner. Dark Strike Fighter is banned and Black Rose Dragon is limited.

Now compare those with the commonly played Level 6's and Level 8's:
Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier
Colossal Fighter
Goyo Guardian
Red Dragon Archfiend
Stardust Dragon
Thought Ruler Archfiend

See the difference? None of the cards in the second list have any summoning restrictions and only the Level 6's are limited. It's like Konami decided to dump all the limitations onto the Level 7's.

Don't get me wrong. Level 7 Monsters have great effects, but their restrictions and often sub-par stats can be a major let down. Here's to hoping Konami will release more generic Level 7's in the near future.

Remember players, the game ends with you.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Whiplash


The resemble is uncanny, eh? I thought so anyway.

Now I'm not a huge fan of Gladiator Beasts, but even I have to admit that they can be brutal. Back when the archetype dominated the meta, summoning a Gladiator Beast Darius and using it to revive a Bestiari only to Contact Fuse them into Gyzarus was brutal.


Their power waned a bit once Synchros came into the mix and Bestiari became restricted to one, but Gladiator Beasts started seeing more play at the last Shonen Jump Championship. Using Elemental Hero Prisma to send a Bestiari to the Graveyard and then tagging the Prisma (now Bestiari) out with a Test Tiger allowed for easy Gyzarus plays. Using a Cold Wave or Gladiator Beast War Chariot would usually guarantee the combo would go through unhitched.


Speaking of which, I've recently received an update regarding Gladiator Beast Darius's effect. Check it:
From: Pepe
Sent: Wednesday, July 07, 2010 9:14 AM
To: us-ygorules@konami.com
Subject: Regarding GB Darius

Hi,


I have some questions regarding Darius and his negation effect.


1.- Will flipping the negated monster face-down and then face-up sever the connection between them and stop the negation?


2.- If Darius is flipped face-down and then face-up, will the negation start again?


3.- If I chain Bottomless Trap Hole or Compulsory Evacuation Device to Darius's effect, is the summoned monster's effect still negated?

4.- If I chain Book of Moon to Darius's effect, is the summoned monster's effect still negated?


Thanks.
The response:

From: US YGO Rules [us-ygorules@konami.com]
Date: Mon, Jul 12, 2010 at 4:45 PM

Subject: RE: Regarding GB Darius

To: Pepe

1. Yes

2. No

3. No

4. No
Now the answers to the first two questions is the same as its always been. However, in the case of the bolded areas the ruling's been reversed. What's this mean? Well if Darius is not on the field at the time when the Gladiator Beast it revives is summoned, then that monster will not have its effect negated. Let's break it down.
  • I Normal Summon Elemental Hero Prisma and use its effect to send Gladiator Beast Bestiari to the Graveyard.
  • Since Elemental Hero Prisma would now be a Gladiator Beast, I can Special Summon Test Tiger from my hand.
  • I tribute Test Tiger with its effect and return the Elemental Hero Prisma to my Deck to Special Summon Gladiator Beast Darius.
  • When Gladiator Beast Darius is successful summoned I use its effect declaring my intention to revive my Gladiator Beast Bestiari.
  • At this point, my opponent chains Bottomless Trap Hole on Gladiator Beast Darius. Since the chain would resolve in reverse, Gladiator Beast Darius would be removed from play first and then Gladiator Beast Bestiari would be Special Summoned.
  • Since Gladiator Beast Darius and the monster it revived were never on the Field simultaneously, the Gladiator Beast Bestiari would not get its effect negated.
Simple enough.

Remember players, the game ends with you.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Thank You

I'm sure many of you might have noticed the new banner I put up. Sexy eh? I'd like to take a moment to thank Wslasher for taking the time to vector it for me. He was also the one who vectored the original banner image, although I altered the dimensions with his permission.

So once again, thank you my friend. My gratitude to you knows no bounds.

Monday, July 12, 2010

FALCON PUNCH!

Compared to sending cards to the Graveyards, returning cards to a player's hand is often an overlooked strategy. However, there are certain advantages that come doing so. For one, you can avoid destruction-based negation, and reduce your opponent tempo. Bouncing a Tribute Monster for example, would usually cost the player who summoned it another tribute to re-summon it. I know many players who cringle when they attack a face-down monster only to realize it was a Flip Flop Frog.

So why would anyone ever want to bounce their own cards?
Two words: Mist Valley.

Mist Valley Falcon 
(Winged Beast-Type/WIND/Level 4/ATK 2000/DEF 1200)
This card cannot declare an attack unless you return 1 card you control to its owner's hand.

Mist Valley Apex Avian
(Winged Beast-Type/WIND/Level 7/ATK 2700/DEF 2000)
When the effect of an Spell, Trap or Effect Monster is activated, you can return 1 face-up "Mist Valley" monster you control to its owner's hand and negate the effect of the card and destroy it.

Mist Valley Thunderbird 
(Winged Beast-Type/WIND/Level 3/ATK 1100/DEF 700)
When this face-up card on the field returns to the hand, Special Summon it. This card cannot attack during the Turn it was Special Summoned by this effect.
Seeing the combo yet?

Using Apex Avian and Thunderbird, you potentially have infinite negation at your disposal, barring Counter Traps of course. What's not to like about that?

Using Falcon and Thunderbird, you basically have a 2000 ATK Normal Monster. While that may not sound as appealing, it could prove quite useful in a deck built around the Apex Lock. But perhaps a better way of using Falcon would be with Big Band Shot. You could equip to an opponent's monster and return the Equip Spell to your hand for the cost of Falcon. The equipped monster would then get removed from play due to Big Bang Shot's effect. Did I mention that although a replay would occur, you would not have to repay the cost in order to attack again? Not sure about you but this sounds awesome to me.

Although the Mist Valleys are currently small in number, there is a good chance their ranks will get a boost in some of the upcoming sets as what happened with some of the other Duel Terminal/Hidden Arsenal archetypes. But let's leave that up to Konami.

Remember players, the game ends with you.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

And Now I Know...

...and knowing is half the battle. Go JOE!

Apparently I was wrong on two accounts:
1) Chronomancer does not mean "one who controls time". Chronomancy is actually the divination of the best time to do something, or the determination of lucky and unlucky days. The actually term for a time-manipulation is chronokinesis, meaning that my username should have been Aeon Chronokinetic, but that sounds lame.

2) Apparently The Frozen Inferno was available as a blog name. I must have mistyped it earlier. (Or maybe whoever had used the name before deleted their blog after reading my post, lol.)

Also, I've been getting a lot of spam after starting the blog so I changed my e-mail address. If you wish to contact me, leave a comment and I'll get back to you.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Go with the Flow


The notion of card advantage is not exclusive to Yu-Gi-Oh! Having more resources than your opponent can be very beneficial in a number of games and even in war. More cards means more options and that can be critical in determining which side will be victorious. However, more does not always equal better. If while dueling someone, you find yourself with six Gadgets in hand while your opponent has one Judgment Dragon on their field, the situation is not exactly in your favor. Therefore it is very important that you make optimal use of the resource you have available. Consider the following scenario:


You summon Elemental Hero Neos Alius and use it to attack your opponent's face-down monster which is revealed to be Skelengel. Your opponent draws 1 card due to its effect.
While you might have gained field presence over your opponent, the Skelengel you destroyed has already replaced itself with another card. Cards such as these—known as "floaters"—allow players to make moves without risking a loss of advantage. Look at it this way:

You destroyed a Skelengel by battle. (-1 for your opponent)
Your opponent draws a card due to Skelengel's effect (+1 for your opponent)
Net card advantage is:
-1 + 1 = 0

The Gadgets are a prime example of floater concept as each of the three Gadgets (Red, Green, and Yellow) adds another to your hand, so that even if your opponent destroys it, your card has already paid for itself. It is for this reason that cards like Deep Sea Diva, Elemental Hero Stratos, and Gravekeeper's Spy are widely used.

Note that Monsters need not have effects to be considered floaters. If a Normal Monster were to destroy at least one of your opponent's monsters by battle then it would become a floater.

But as I said earlier, having more cards than your opponent isn't everything. What's important is that you utilize what resources you have optimally. Let's compare two very popular monster removal cards:

Smashing Ground:

Destroy the 1 face-up monster your opponent controls that has the highest DEF. (If it's a tie, you get to choose.)
Lightning Vortex:
Discard 1 card. Destroy all face-up monsters your opponent controls.
While both cards destroy your opponent's face-up monsters, the former is costless and affects only a single whereas the latter requires a discard and can destroy as many as five. Because of this using the Lightning Vortex to destroy only one of your opponent's monsters would not be an optimal play as the former could same without the added requirement (the discard).

Using Lightning Vortex while your opponent has 1 face-up Monster:
-1 (the discard)
-1 (the Lightning Vortex itself)
+1 (for the opponent's monster you destroy)
Net card advantage is: -1 + -1 + 1 = -1

Using Lightning Vortex while your opponent has 2 face-up Monsters:
-1 (the discard)
-1 (the Lightning Vortex itself)
+2 (for the opponent's monster you destroy)
Net card advantage is: -1 + -1 + 2 = 0

Using Lightning Vortex while your opponent has 3 face-up Monsters:
-1 (the discard)
-1 (the Lightning Vortex itself)
+3 (for the opponent's monster you destroy)
Net card advantage is: -1 + -1 + 3 = +1

That's not to say that -1 yourself isn't always an acceptable move but it is not always likely to be advantageous in the long run to the players who does.


Card advantage may sound pretty straightforward, but it's up to the player to know when to respond appropriately. After all it's better to -1 yourself to by using Lightning Vortex to destroy your opponent's Dark Armed Dragon when he/she has two more Dark Monsters in his/her Graveyard than simply want for him/her to summon more monsters. With enough experience any player can make the right call.

Remember players, the game ends with you.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

MIND CRUSH!!!

I did not make this video. Yu-Gi-Oh! © Kazuki Takahashi



Nostalgia FTK! Serious, I can't count the number of times I thought of Yami Yugi mind crushing the his opponents every time I see the actual card. That aside today I'll be discussing a fairly straightforward yet often overlooked ruling regarding the titular card.

Now first let's look at Mind Crush's effect:

Declare 1 card name. If that card is in your opponent's hand, they must discard all copies of it in their hand. If it is not, you randomly discard 1 card.
Fairly simple, no?

Now previously the following rules applied for Mind Crush:
  • You cannot activate "Mind Crush" if you have no hand. Both players must have at least 1 card in hand in order to activate "Mind Crush".
  • You declare the card name when you activate "Mind Crush".
  • If the opponent doesn't have the named card, you can check their hand to confirm.
  • If the opponent discards the named card, you do not check their hand to verify. (Judge List Ruling)
Unfortunately that last ruling poses a little problem. Say if you were to activate Mind Crush and you opponent had multiple copies of the declared card in hand, since they only need to reveal their hand is they claim to have held zero copies your opponent could theoretically discard only one copy and make it look like they they drew into the other copies later in the duel. Now not all players would cheat like this, but in the competitive scene this could pose a major issue as in the case with certain Infernity players setting monsters in their Spell and Trap Card Zones to be able to pull off their handless combos.

Because of this Konami has recently issued a ruling reversal for Mind Crush.
"If the maximum legally allowed number of copies of the declared card cannot be verified as public knowledge, you may ask your opponent to verify their hand."

This cards should be shown quickly so as not to interrupt the flow of the duel and the opponent should never handle the cards. The intent of this ruling is to show that an effect has been successfully completed, not to reveal private information to an opponent or allow him to take extensive time strategizing over it.
What does this mean exactly? Let's look at some examples.

Example 1: You activate Mind Crush and declare Call of the Haunted. Your opponent responds by chaining their Call of the Haunted targeting the Sangan in his/her Graveyard. Since Call of the Haunted is currently limited, your opponent can not legally own more than one copy and does not need to confirm his/her hand.

Example 2: You activate Mind Crush and declare Call of the Haunted. Your opponent discards one Call of the Haunted. Since Call of the Haunted is currently limited, your opponent can not legally own more than one copy and does not need to confirm his/her hand.

Example 3: You activate Mind Crush and declare Honest. Your opponent, who had previous used a copy of Honest earlier in the duel, discards his/her second copy. Since Honest is semi-limited and your opponent can not legally own more than two copies it, he/she does not need to confirm his/her hand.

Example 4: You activate Mind Crush and declare Honest. Your opponent discards one Honest. Since Honest is semi-limited and there were previously no other Honest(s) in his/her Graveyard, you are allowed to verify their hand for the presence of another copy of Honest.

I hope that makes sense to everyone.

Remember players, the game ends with you.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Black Sheep of the Family


I was going to take Monday and Tuesday off, but after seeing at least three different conflicting rulings I've decided to clarify it here:

Hundred-Eyes Dragon is NOT treated a "Red-Eyes" monster even though it may have "Red-Eyes" in its name. (Hundred-Eyes Dragon).
Why is this you ask?

Look at the Japanese name for 100-Eyes: ワンハンドレッド・アイ・ドラゴン

Not making much sense to you non-Japanese readers, eh? Well translated into English it reads out as "One-Hundred Eye Dragon" (Wanhandoreddo Ai Doragon).

Last time I checked "Red-Eye" is not the same as "Red-Eyes".

Still having difficulty believing me? Well, let's take a look at Red-Eyes Wyvern's effect:

During your End Phase, if you did not Normal Summon or Set a monster this turn, you can remove from play this card from your Graveyard to Special Summon 1 "Red-Eyes" monster from your Graveyard, except "Red-Eyes B. Chick".
Now going by this text this would indict that one could use the effect of one Wyvern to revive another. Red-Eyes Wyvern's name in Japanese appears as: レッドアイズ・ワイバーン

In English, that's "Red-Eyes Wyvern" (Reddoaizu Waibān).

By comparing the katakana of their names, 100-eyes doesn't have that "ズ after "アイ" which would have recognized it as a "Red-Eyes" monster, and as such is not compatible with Wyvern's effect.

Futhermore, in an e-mail sent to Konami:

From: [mailto:*************@aim.com]
Sent:
Friday, May 28, 2010 6:25 AM
To:
us-ygorules@konami.com
Subject:
Ruling Question

Are you able to Special Summon "Hundred-Eyes Dragon" with the effect of "Red-Eyes Wyvern", provided it has been properly Synchro Summoned already? Technically, the card has "Red-Eyes" within its name, despite the fact that the capitalization is different (although the same is true with "Unifrog" in respect to "Frog" monsters).
Thanks in advance.

Their response:

You cannot Special Summon Hundred-Eyes Dragon with Red-Eyes Wyvern. There should be no hyphen in the name.
Looks like Konami's just trying to be extra careful.

Remember players, the game ends with you.


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Absolute Zero Barrier

Remember when the early spoilers for The Shining Darkness pack came out and players were hyping up Infernities? The archetype had amazing capacity to generate field advantage, primarily in the form of Synchro Monsters. Then it was revealed that in the TCG release Infernities would be getting their own Counter Trap, Infernity Barrier, which offered complete negation of all effects with the sole criteria of needing an Attack Position Infernity Monster and no hand.

Players went ecstatic. That one card guaranteed Infernities a spot as a Tier 1 deck. Now, not only could they swarm the field, they could protection themselves while they did. Many called it unfair that an already powerful archetype be given such an all-purpose form of negation. Well, it looks like the folks at Konami still haven't learned their lesson.

Paradox Fusion (Counter Trap)
Activate by removing 1 face-up Fusion Monster you control from play. Negate the activation of a Spell or Trap Card, OR the Special Summon of a monster and destroy that card. During your 2nd End Phase, return the removed Fusion Monster to the field in face-up Attack Position.
When I saw this card in the spoiler for Duelist Revolution, one specific card came straight to mind:

Elemental Hero Absolute Zero (Warrior-Type/WATER/Level 8/ATK 2500/DEF 2000)
1 "Elemental Hero", "Destiny Hero" or "Evil Hero" monster + 1 WATER monster
This monster cannot be Special Summoned except by Fusion Summon. This card gains 500 ATK for each WATER monster on the field other than "Elemental Hero Absolute Zero". When this card is removed from the field, destroy all monsters your opponent controls.
Think about it: Paradox Fusion can do just about everything that Solemn Judgment can do, though without the benefit of being able to negate Normal and Flip Summons. On the flip side, however, you get the cost you paid (the Fusion Monster) returned within two turns anyway, so the card is essentially free negation, without the need to pay half your Life Points.

Speaking of cost, since the Fusion Monster would be removed from playand hence leave the fieldif Elemental Hero Absolute Zero were used to pay the cost, your opponent would loose all their monsters due to Zero's effect. Even if Paradox Fusion were negated, the cost cannot be unpaid, so at the very least you would be able to take out any of their monsters.

Elemental Hero Absolute Zero cannot be Special Summoned, but this doesn't matter. Like the case with Interdimensional Matter Transporter, Paradox Fusion does not summon the Monster back, it merely returns it to play. Meaning that same Fusion Monster can be used to pay for more Paradox Fusions later in the game.

The card is a common in the OCG, but I believe it will be promoted to Super Rare at the very least for the TCG release. If my suspicions are correct, Hero Fusion decks will be making a huge revival within the coming months.

Remember players, the game ends with you.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Powerless Powerhouses

Recently, I had a discussion with a friend of mine regarding future deck projects. During our our little chat, he brought out the fact that he could not understand why a player could not chain his/her D.D. Crow to the effect of Machina Fortress that Special Summons it from the Graveyard.

Machina Fortress:
You can discard Machine-Type monster(s) whose total Levels equal 8 or more to Special Summon this card from your hand or Graveyard. When this card is destroyed by battle and sent to the Graveyard, select and destroy 1 card your opponent controls. When this face-up card you control is targeted by an opponent's Effect Monster's effect, look at your opponent's hand and discard 1 card from their hand.
D.D. Crow:
During either player's turn, you can discard this card to the Graveyard to remove from play 1 card from your opponent's Graveyard.
In the scenario he presented me, his opponent discards both Machina Fortress and Green Gadget in order to Special Summon the former from the Graveyard. His logic was that he should be able to chain the effect of his D.D. Crow after Machina Fortress is discarded from his opponent's Hand as part of the cost to Special Summon it. He could not understand why he would not be able to respond in this way.

In order to resolve this conflict, let's first look at another card:



I'm sure most players are familiar with Cyber Dragon; its ability to be easily Special Summoned combined with its 2100 ATK reinvented the standard of beatsticks upon its release in Cybernetic Revolution. Now technically speaking Cyber Dragon is an effect monster, however, it has no effect. Though it may seem like I'm contradicting myself here, it's real straightforward. Cyber Dragon's text states:
If your opponent controls a monster and you control no monsters, you can Special Summon this card from your hand.
What kind of effect is this? It's neither Continuous, Ignition, Trigger, Flip, nor Quick, which comprise the only five categories by which a Monster's effect can be organized into. In actuality this effect would fall into the range of a Summoning Condition, which explains why Cyber Dragon cannot have it's ability to Special Summon itself negated by Divine Wrath. Machina Fortress, as well as a few other monsters like Dark Armed Dragon, King of the Beasts, and Endymion, the Master Magician, also possess this inherit, or built-in, Summoning Condition, which is not considered part of their effects. As such, cards effects cannot to chained to the action of summoning them. Make no mistake, however, this method of summoning can still be negated with Solemn Judgment or responded to with Bottomless Trap Hole.

Unfortunately there are some rare exceptions that may confuse players. For example, Dark Simorgh has two methods of Special Summoning itself as indicted in its text:
While this card is face-up on the field its Attribute is also treated as WIND. You can remove from play 1 DARK monster and 1 WIND monster from your Graveyard to Special Summon this card from your hand. You can remove from play 1 DARK monster and 1 WIND monster from your hand to Special Summon this card from your Graveyard. Your opponent cannot Set any cards on the field.
In this case, unlike with Machina Fortress, Dark Simorgh's text is actually an Ignition Effect. The difference between both cases is that the former is an inherit Special Summon which involve fulfilling a condition and instantaneously Special Summoning the monster in question without using the chain, whereas in the latter is an effect that Special Summons a monster as part of a chain.

I realize that his topic is not easy for many duelists to understand, butgiven timemost tend to get the hang of it eventually. When in doubt the best practice is to check the individual card rulings and look to see if the effect is classified as a summon or one of the five categories of monster effect. (Hint: When looking at the card page on Yu-Gi-Oh! Wikia, look for where it displays "Card Effect Type")

Remember players, the game ends with you.

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Rising Cost of Jewelry


I'm sure many players are familiar with Elemental Hero Prisma. The card achieved much notoriety once players discovered the potential it brought in creating a one-turn
Gladiator Beast fusions (mainly Gyzarus and Heraklinos). The card is a godsend for Fusion based builds mainly for its searchability, thinning the deck, and loading the Graveyard with Fusion Materials. Its usage has extended even into the current meta with the so-called "Prismadiator/Prismaglad" builds which made their debut during the 75th Shonen Jump Championship at Edison, New Jersey.

Though Prisma has long been a fairly expensive card (formerly costing a minimum of $20 for a single copy), its recent reprinting in Gold Series 3 has fortunately allowed for the price to drop. This latest re-release of the card has also sparked a ruling reversal regarding Prisma's effect. Let's look at both texts:


Original Effect: Once per turn, you can reveal 1 Fusion Monster from your Fusion Deck and send 1 of the Fusion Material Monsters listed on that card from your Deck to the Graveyard. Until the End Phase, this card's name is treated as the send monster's name.



Errata'd Effect: Once per turn, you can activate this card's effect by revealing 1 Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck and sending 1 of the Fusion Material Monsters listed on that card from your Main Deck to the Graveyard. Until the End Phase, this card's name becomes the name of the monster you sent to the Graveyard.


Formerly, under UDE Elemental Hero Prisma's effect was considered costless and the Fusion Material Monster selected was sent to the Graveyard at the resolution of its effect.

The Fusion Material Monster is sent from your Deck to the Graveyard when "Elemental Hero Prisma's" effect resolves.

However, as the revised text indicates Elemental Hero Prisma
's action of sending a specifically named Fusion Material Monster to the Graveyard is now the effect's cost. This is likely to match the OCG ruling, which has always been this way.


Showing 1 Fusion Monster to your opponent and sending 1 Fusion Material Monster to your Graveyard is a cost to activate the effect.
Source? This information was obtained from an e-mail sent to KDE:
From:************** [mailto:*************@*******.com]
Sent: Saturday, June 26, 2010 8:33 PM
To: us-ygorules@konami.com
Subject: Elemental Hero Prisma and Prime Material Dragon/Bad Reaction to Simochi

Hello, I have 2 questions.

1. Is Elemental Hero Prisma a cost when sending a monster to the graveyard?


2. If Prime Material Dragon and Bad Reaction to Simochi are both on the field and Gift Card is played, what will happen? Do the players gain or lose life points? What if Ceasefire is played while Prime Material Dragon and Bad Reaction to Simochi are both on the field?
Their response:
US YGO Rules [us-ygorules@konami.com]
Date Tue, Jun 29, 2010 at 1:45 PM
Subject RE: Elemental Hero Prisma and Prime Material Dragon/Bad Reaction to Simochi

1. Prisma is activated by revealing a Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck and sending one of the named Fusion Material Monsters on that card from your Main Deck to the Graveyard, as clarified on the GLD3 text.

2. If Gift Card is played, the opponent will gain 3000 Life Points. If Ceasefire is played, the opponent will be damaged.
What are the implications of all this? Well, formerly since sending a Fusion Material Monster to the Graveyard was part of Prisma's effect, this meant that the effect could still be used even if cards like Macro Cosmos or Dimensional Fissure were active, since the Prisma didn't require the monster to actually reach the Graveyard. However, with the new ruling the cost would not be payable in such a situation. On the bright side this means that if a Book of Moon or Bottomless Trap Hole chained to Prisma's effect won't stop the monster from being sent as the cost would be paid prior to the resolution of the chain.

I hope that cleared things up for today.

Remember players, the game ends with you.