Court of Appeals: The Paleozoic Edition

Joe Frankino

1/12/2017 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.

Patrick G. writes…

Hi Judge Joe,

My question has to do with Number 78: Number Archive and its interaction with Number 24: Dragulas the Vampiric Dragon. So let's say I Xyz Summon Number 78: Number Archive and I use its effect revealing Number 24: Dragulas the Vampiric Dragon to overlay on top of it. If I use Number 24's effect to set himself face-down, does he get banished during the End Phase by Number 78: Number Archive's effect?

Thank you for your time Judge Joe! - Patrick G.

Hello Patrick!

Flipping Number 24: Dragulas the Vampiric Dragon face-down will remove the previously resolved effect to banish it in the End Phase. Even if it turns face-up later, it won't be banished during the End Phase.

 Number 24: Dragulas the Vampiric Dragon
Number 24: Dragulas the Vampiric Dragon121475
Set Dragons of Legend: Unleashed
Number DRL3-EN022
Level 6
Type Xyz/Effect Monster
Monster Wyrm
Attribute DARK 
A / D 2400 / 2800
Rarity Secret Rare
Card Text

2 Level 6 monsters
Once per turn, during either player's turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card, then target 1 face-up monster on the field that was Special Summoned from the Extra Deck; change it to face-down Defense Position. If this face-up card in its owner's control is sent to your Graveyard or banished by your opponent's card effect: You can Special Summon this card in face-down Defense Position. If this card is flipped face-up: Send 1 card on the field to the Graveyard.

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Scott S. writes…

Hello Joe! I am writing to you again today for a very important question on the Paleozoic trap cards. I activate Phoenix Wing Wind Blast and currently have no cards in the graveyard and I pay the cost for its activation by discarding any one of the Paleozoic traps. Assuming my opponent doesn't have a response, could I then activate the Paleozoic trap card I discarded for cost in response to the Phoenix Wing Wind Blast?

Hello Scott!

The activation condition for the Paleozoic Normal Traps includes this text: “when a Trap Card is activated while this card is in your Graveyard.” When you activate Phoenix Wing Wind Blast, the Paleozoic Trap Card isn't yet in the graveyard, so you haven't met the activation condition. Even though the card is in the graveyard when it's time to activate the Special Summon effect, the activation condition wasn't met, so you can't chain your Paleozoic trap effect.

Going back a ways, Joel M. writes…

Hi there. Let's say that I have a Guiding Ariadne in my Pendulum Zone and I use Mystical Space Typhoon to destroy it. Its effect activates in my Extra Deck as a monster effect, correct? In that case, one would be able to chain Solemn Strike to negate it. Since it wasn't on the field, I would think that Ariadne would be sent to the graveyard.

I have been told that, then, Ariadne's effect would activate again. This seems off to me, because if you, say, use Divine Wrath on Sacred Phoenix of Nepthys, it won't come back at all. Then again I could be understanding this incorrectly. If you could clarify, that would be great! ~ Thanks, Joel

Hello Joel!

The trick here is that cards in the graveyard can't be destroyed, so when you Divine Wrath a Sacred Phoenix of Nepthys, the activation condition for its Special Summon effect hasn't been met. However, monsters effects that activate in the Extra Deck can be both negated and destroyed from the Extra Deck by card effects. This has been the case going as far back as Elemental Hero Absolute Zero. This is also how any Pendulum Monster interacts with a card like Divine Wrath and Solemn Strike.

So when Guiding Ariadne is destroyed the first time by Mystical Space Typhoon, its effect activates in the Extra Deck. When Guiding Ariadne is destroyed from the Extra Deck and sent to the graveyard, it meets the activation condition again.

 Guiding Ariadne
Guiding Ariadne111135
Set Breakers of Shadow
Number BOSH-EN036
Level 4
Type Pendulum/Effect Monster
Monster Fairy
Attribute LIGHT 
A / D 1700 / 800
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

Pendulum Effect: Apply these effects.
- You do not pay LP to activate Counter Trap Cards.
- You do not discard to activate Counter Trap Cards.
Monster Effect: If this card is destroyed by battle or card effect: You can reveal 3 Counter Trap Cards from your Deck, your opponent chooses 1 for you to add to your hand, and you shuffle the rest back into your Deck.

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Josh J. writes…

Hello Joe, my name is Josh and I really enjoy your articles.

I have a question regarding Paleozoic traps. I notice Book of Eclipse has started gaining favor lately. So if I or my opponent were to Book of Eclipse a Paleozoic card that is being treated as a monster what would happen? I ask only because it is not treated as a trap monster, which would result in it simply going back to spell/trap zone face down.

I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks again, Josh.

Hello Josh!

The Paleozoics all contain the phrase “This card is NOT treated as a Trap Card” which means, as you surmised, it won't go face-down in the Spell and Trap Zone. Instead, it stays in the Monster Zone and becomes a set monster. When it flips face-up, it retains its ATK and DEF stats, but because it was turned face-down, it was no longer Special Summoned by its own effect, so it can now be affected by monster effects.

Going back to September 2016, Joel M. writes…

If I activate a trap card and have multiple Paleozoic traps in my graveyard, can I Special Summon all of them? I feel like you can't, as each one says "when a trap card is activated", rather than “when a trap card's effect is activated.”

However, in the same vein as chaining Torrential Tribute to Bottomless Trap Hole, I'm not sure that activating a trap card's effect counts as the last thing to happen. Maybe I'm just overthinking this but it would be totally sweet to activate one trap and get four monsters out of it.

Hello Joel!

The Paleozoic Special Summon effect isn't a mandatory trigger effect. You may only activate one trap effect from the graveyard per activated trap card since the activation condition of “trap card just activated” is only valid immediately after the trap is activated.

Last question!

Morgan D. writes…

Hey Joe…

I'd love some clarification on trap monsters. There are two types; ones that are still considered traps, and ones that aren't (such as Paleozoics). Recently I heard there was a ruling at an event saying trap monsters that are still considered traps can no longer be used as Xyz Materials (such as Quantum Cat to make a Rank 4). Is that actually true? I couldn't find anything in the rulebook pertaining to trap monsters at all.

And a follow-up: if a trap monster were banished by a card effect that would return it at a later point (Timegazer Magician or Farfa, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss), would they return as a monster, return as a trap, not return at all? I truly have no idea what the game state would consider these traps once they leave the field.

Thank you so much for the ongoing insight and knowledge. ~ Sincerely, Morgan

Hello Morgan!

Trap Monsters are always a bit weird just by their nature of being a Trap first but becoming a monster afterwards. The rulebook specifies that Xyz Materials are face-up monsters you control with the same level that aren't Tokens. That's it. Anything else is fair game.

Now, if they leave the field, they come back when they're supposed to in order to satisfy the previously-resolved effect. For the traditional Trap Monsters like Embodiment of Apophis or Shaddoll Core (*flashbacks* *twitching*) the monster hits the field but is sent to the graveyard by game mechanics. If you witnessed the Head Judge of the 2015 North America WCQ rule this differently, it's because he's stupid and dumb and should feel bad.

Well, the real reason is that the interaction was only specified in an old ruling for Embodiment of Apophis – which is where every ruling for Trap Monsters exists, apparently – and the Head Judge didn't think to look at “Embodiment of Apophis” when asked a question about Shaddoll Core. Go figure.


I'm not 100% on what happens if a “this is NOT a Trap Card” Trap Monster leaves the field and comes back, but my best guess at this point is that the card would go to the graveyard for the same reason as a traditional Trap 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 writes stuff nonsense unrelated to YCGs in his blog, which is located at, and he occasionally streams video game nonsense at It's all very nonsensical, I assure you.

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