16 May 2013

Card Rulings: Negating the effect of Evilswarm Castor and Constellar Pollux

If you have been to YCS Meadowland, or have been involved in the Yu-gi-oh community recently, you might have picked up the following news. If not, I'll explain it for you.

As said in my last post, YCS Meadowland was the first YCS where Hidden Arsenal 7 was legal. This introduced the new Evilswarm archetype and a few problems.

The cause? Evilswarm Castor and Constellar Pollux' card text was supposed to be similar to Dodger Dragon, but ended up looking more similar to that of Dverg of the Nordic Alfar.

The effect reads: During the turn this card was Normal Summoned, you can Normal Summon 1 “lswarm/Constellar” monster in addition to your Normal Summon/Set. (You can only gain this effect once per turn.)

Problem is that Dodger Dragon and Dverg have totally different rulings.

The difference:

  • Dodger dragon has the ruling that its effect cannot be negated by Veiler, a chained Skill Drain or other cards. The effect even lingers if you got rid of Dodger Dragon. Its effect can only be negated if Skill Drain was already active on the field at the time of the summon.
  • Dverg of the Nordic Alfar, however, has the ruling that it's a continuous effect and can be negated by Veiler, F-Chain or Skill Drain. His effect also stops working when he leaves the field due to card effect.

During YCS Meadowland it has been ruled (after much debate) that the effect of Evilswarm Castor (and therefore also Constellar Pollux) is considered a continuous effect. That made those two cards work just like Dverg of the Nordic Alfar. That meant that you could negate the effect with Effect Veiler or Skill Drain, and if Dverg/Castor/Pollux aren't on the field (due to card effect), you can’t use the extra Summon.

Did the judges screw up?

It's been a long time since so many people have been raging against a YCS ruling, but this time Konami got thousands of mails on this specific ruling. That was logical, because that suddenly made Castor and Pollux "not that great" anymore. Even more, the OCG stated in their rulings that both new cards follow the effect of Dodger Dragon, not that of Dverg.

So, were the judges right in their judgment? The answer to that is: "Yes".

As a head judge, you have to decide the rules that apply with the cards given and they have to make a move. It was in no way the judges fault that the card text seemed more similar to Dverg instead of Dodger Dragon, right? Even if the OCG decided that they follow the effect of Dodger Dragon, that doesn't mean the TCG had to do it the same way, right?

But were the players right in saying the card should follow the rulings of the OCG? Actually, the answer to that is... "Yes" as well.

The double "Yes" brought forth a lot of confusion and leads us to the real question of today... Why are the rulings of Dverg and Dodger dragon different in the first place, if their effects work the same way? The problem-solving card text brought to light an old issue that wasn't really an issue until last weekend (mostly since nobody plays Dverg or Dodge anymore).

Why ARE the rulings different?

Konami realized THEY screwed up by having different rulings on similar working cards. Because they realized that both the judges AND the players were right, they unified the card rulings of Evilswarm Castor, Constellar Pollux, Dodger Dragon, Dverg of the Nordic Alfar and Blizzard Princes (who also has a similar effect). That ruling goes as follows:

If you Normal Summon any of these monsters successfully, and their effects are not negated from the moment they step on to the field by something like (a face-up) Skill Drain, then for the rest of the turn their effect is applied, regardless of what happens to the monster.

"You don't drain my skills that easily, got it?"

Hold up, what about Karakuri Ninishi?

If you're using this situation to abuse monsters that are already good, you're looking in the wrong direction. Cards like Karakuri Komachi mdl 224 “Ninishi” clearly state that the card has to remain face-up on the field and Ninishi's effect is also a continuous effect. So that one can be negated by all known negater cards (Skill Drain/Veiler/F-Chain/...) and the effect stops if the card is no longer face-up on the field due to card effect.

Hope this cleard up any confusion that was still ongoing. You can read the updated ruling of Konami here: http://www.konami.com/yugioh/articles/?p=4956.

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  1. Amazing article! Explains the entire situation really clearly.

  2. Awesome article, I also added you blog to my favorites.

    1. Thanks for the comment & addition.