Court of Appeals: The Activating-A-Spell Edition

Joe Frankino

12/29/2016 11:00:00 AM

All rise!

Hello duelists, and welcome back to Court of Appeals! Every two weeks I'll answer your questions about card interactions, game mechanics and tournament policy submitted to I get quite a few submissions, and I most likely can't get to them all. To improve your chances of your e-mail making it to the column, please follow these ground rules...

-I will not answer new questions in the article Comments. If you have a related follow-up question to a question I answer here, you can ask it in the Comments and I will answer it in a reply.

-Please ask only one question per e-mail. Grammar and clarity helps, too.

-I will credit you with how you sign off on your e-mail. If you don't include a name in your signature, I will use your name as it appears in the e-mail's name field with your last initial.

-All answers I give are unofficial unless backed up by an official source.

-I'll be using official game terms whenever possible. If I use jargon (even jargon that is perceived to be universally accepted), I'll note that it's jargon.

-I'll note sources whenever possible.

-I'll always use the official card database as my card text reference. You can find the official card database here:

-I will not answer any questions about cards not released in the TCG.

Please be seated.

Justin R. writes…

Hey Judge Joe,

Like I said in my previous e-mail, I always seem to come up with crazy questions in Yu-Gi-Oh. Thanks to the new Yosenju support I have some thoughts. I understand that you don't answer questions about cards that have yet to be released here in the TCG, but fret not! This question can be applied to cards that we already have.

Suppose that you have a Wisdom-Eye Magician and a Dragonpit Magician in your Pendulum Zones during your turn. Suppose further that I proceed to activate my set Anti-Spell Fragrance.

The question is: Can you activate Wisdom-Eye's Pendulum effect? That is to say, is placing cards in your Pendulum Zones via card effect the same as activating a Pendulum card as a Spell Card?

There doesn't seem to be an "activation" here since activations can, in principle, be negated. Also, the PSCT seems to go out of its way to not refer to this as an activation of that card. I'm sure you can see how this question relates to the new Yosenju support by now.

So, what's the deal? Do Pendulum decks have a potential way around Anti-Spell Fragrance? Or am I just deeply confused? ~ Always appreciated, Justin R.

Hello Justin!

Your intuition is correct. Activating a spell or trap card has a specific definition: placing the card into the zone face-up, whether it be placing the card from your hand or flipping a previously face-down card face-up. Using Wisdom-Eye Magician's effect does not count as activating a Spell Card during effect activation or resolution, so Anti-Spell Fragrance doesn't affect anything for this interaction.

 Anti-Spell Fragrance
Anti-Spell Fragrance66701
Set Turbo Pack: Booster Two
Number TU02-EN012
Type Trap Card
Attribute TRAP 
Rarity Common
Card Text

Both players must Set Spell Cards before activating them, and cannot activate them until their next turn.

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Roger M. writes…

Hi Judge Joe,

I have a question about how spells and traps are sent to the graveyard during a chain. Let's say my opponent activates Cosmic Cyclone as chain link 1, targeting my set Rise to Full Height. If I were to chain my Rise to Full Height as chain link 2 targeting my Minerva, the Exalted Lightsworn, would it go to the graveyard after it resolves or be banished by Cosmic Cyclone? Thanks!

Hello Roger!

Activated spell and trap cards stay in the Spell and Trap Zone until the entire chain resolves. When Cosmic Cyclone resolves, Rise to Full Height is still in its Spell and Trap Zone and as such will be banished by Cosmic Cyclone.

Chris C. writes…

I've seen a guy Special Summon one Fluffal Mouse then use a Fluffal Mouse effect to Summon two other copies, then activate Polymerization to go into Frightfur Tiger. Can you do that?

Hello Chris!

Can I do that? Give me a Fluffal deck and maybe! But that's probably not what you meant.

Assuming no other Extra Deck Summons happened before this and there's an Edge Imp Sabers that can be used a Fusion Material, yes, it's a legal play. Fluffal Mouse's restriction only applies to Special Summons from the Extra Deck. You may Special Summon any number of non-Frightfur monsters from anywhere besides the Extra Deck before activating Fluffal Mouse's ability.

K. Jenia writes…

Hi Judge,

First time caller, long time listener (sorry, I always wanted to say that). My brother plays a Noble Knights deck while I play a spellcaster deck. If I play Secret Village of the Spellcasters then destroy his Noble Arms, is he able to reequip them to his Noble Knights since they have left the field and we're sent to graveyard and he has no spellcasters on the field?

Thanks in advance if you manage to answer this question, and to any future questions we may ask. ~ K. Jenia

Hello K!

This answer follows the same logic as the Anti-Spell Fragrance question from before. The effect of the Noble Arms Equip Spells to equip themselves from the graveyard to a Noble Knight isn't considered activating a Spell Card. Activating a Spell Card is placing the card face-up from your hand or flipping the set Spell Card face-up. Secret Village of the Spellcasters doesn't prevent Spell effects from activating, so your swords will be able to re-equip to your Noble Knights.

 Secret Village of the Spellcasters
Secret Village of the Spellcasters123516
Set Legendary Decks II
Number LDK2-ENY33
Type Spell Card
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Common
Card Text

If you control a Spellcaster-Type monster and your opponent does not, your opponent cannot activate Spell Cards. If you control no Spellcaster-Type monsters, you cannot activate Spell Cards.

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Travis Q. writes…

Hello Judge Joe!

Thanks for your column! Your answers are always very helpful. My question today is: Can the Tokens produced by Scapeghost be used for Tribute Summons? I know Scapegoat Tokens can't be so used, but there's nothing in the text of Scapeghost forbidding such. I know that's not always decisive, hence my question. Thanks! ~ Travis Q.

Hello Travis!

There's no hidden rules trickery here. The card doesn't say you can't use them for Tribute Summons, so you totally can! The only restriction on the Tokens is provided by the rules of the game: you can't use Tokens as Xyz Materials. Beyond that, you can Tribute them for a Tribute Summon or a card effect, or use them as Fusion or Synchro Materials!

Brian S. writes…

Hi Judge Joe!

I love playing my Shiranui deck but when playing with some friends we had a dispute over Shiranui Samurai's effect.

My question is on the wording in the middle that says "these effects last until the end of this turn" does that mean that the monster is only banished until the End Phase? Or is that only taking about the damage boost? If not either of those then what is not talking about?

Thank you, sincerely Brian S.

Hello Brian!

“These effects” refers to both the ATK boosting effect and the banishing effect. If it was meant to mean only one of those abilities individually, “until the end of this turn” would appear next to only one of those clauses. But since it explicitly mentions both effects, it applies to both of them.

Kenneth G. writes…

Hello, Judge Joe!

I'm a huge fan of your column, as I've been a judge myself, as well as a player, for many years. I was watching a popular video on YouTube, trying to master the combos of my new favorite archetype's deck - Metalfoes. It involves a high profile player running Metalfoes, against an opponent with ABC's.

During game 1, he starts out using Summoner's Art, brining Metalfoes Volflame to his hand. He proceeds to combo into a full field, using Metalfoes' effects with relative ease (I can see why this duelist is popular). However, I was taken aback when I saw what I believe was a misplay, or just an error in judgment on this duelists' part: He had used Metalfoes' effects to set both Fullmetlafoes Fusion and Metalfoes Combination. This was still turn one. He then played Fullmetalfoes Fusion, and chained Combination. That's where I'm confused.

It's my understanding that you can't play either or quick-play spells the turn they're set. I looked everywhere for a ruling on this, thinking it was an effect of Metalfoes that allow the cards to be played the turn they are set. But I couldn't find one. Nor could I find a Konami ruling stating that the quick-play spell and trap are granted access to themselves through an assumed game mechanic (like if it was considered "set" for a turn).

Is this a misplay, an error in judgment, or is there something that I'm missing? Thanks for your time!

Hello Kenneth!

If it went down as you described, that would be a Mistake in gameplay, which happens from time to time. Trap Cards and Quick-Play Spells can't be activated the turn they're set, and there's no effect in the Metalfoes arsenal that gets around this. Without seeing the video in question, I obviously can't comment on whether this was an actual Mistake or not, but because I've been at feature match tables a judge and writer, I can say it's very easy for a viewer to assume something went awry based only on the view of the game.

Chris A. writes…

Hi Judge Joe, how are you today?! Christopher A. here with another question.

My question today is how does the interaction work between Denko Sekka and Metalfoes Pendulums in the Pendulum Zone? Can the Metalfoes player activate their effects in the Pendulum Zone since Denko prevents players from setting cards or would they not be able to? ~ Thanks! Christopher A.

Hello Chris!

Denko Sekka prevents Spells and Trap from being set by any means, including by card effect. The Metalfoes Pendulum Effect can't be activated while Denko Sekka's ability is in play.

 Denko Sekka
Denko Sekka94557
Set The New Challengers
Number NECH-EN041
Level 4
Type Effect Monster
Monster Thunder
Attribute LIGHT 
A / D 1700 / 1000
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

Cannot be Special Summoned. While you control no Set Spell/Trap Cards, neither player can Set Spell/Trap Cards nor activate Spell/Trap Cards that are Set on the field.

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Last question!

Andrew A. writes…

Dear Joe,

Me and my friend have been having a debate. Paleozoic monsters say they're unaffected by monster effects, but my friend believes that piercing monsters like Downerd Magician and Blackwing - Bora the Spear won't pierce; he thinks piercing isn't affecting the monster, but the player's life points instead. Do Paleozoic monsters take piercing damage?


Andrew A.

Hello Andrew!

Unfortunately, there's no definitive resource that tells us exactly what “affect” means in the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG. The unofficial guideline that I personally go by - which works enough of the time to make it reliable enough for me to answer this question here - is “is this effect changing anything about the card?” In the case of piercing battle damage, the defending monster isn't being changed at all by the piercing effect, so the piercing effect isn't something that “affects” the Paleozoic monster.

And that's it for this week's Court of Appeals! If you have a question about card interactions, game mechanics or tournament policy, send me an e-mail (one question per e-mail please!) to and your question could be answered in a future Court of Appeals!

Court is adjourned

-Joe Frankino

Joe is a Yu-Gi-Oh! judge and player from Long Island, New York. He sometimes streams random nonsense at and he occasionally writes non-TCG-related nonsense at It's all very nonsensical, I assure you.

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