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Important News Regarding Evilswarm Castor and Constellar Pollux

May 15th, 2013

This past weekend, the YCS in Meadowlands, New Jersey introduced Hidden Arsenal 7: Knight of Stars to the major competitive Dueling landscape. As is always the case with new cards, new questions and new situations arose, and as always, our incredible volunteer Judges rose to the challenge and performed admirably.

As is the case in any game or sport where officiating exists, which is basically all of them, players and officials can and will disagree on the rules and their interpretations. In this game, we welcome such disagreements as they promote discussion and help us understand the different ways our players and judges view the game, the cards, the card text, and the rules in general.

All information gathered is carefully examined and processed so that we can improve the way our cards are written and create the best gameplay experience possible for all Duelists. It normally takes a while before you see any changes based on such information, but an interesting situation arose this past weekend in New Jersey that we feel a need to address right away, as it’s likely to affect this weekend’s National Championships around the world.

The core disagreement this past weekend was on the mechanics of Evilswarm Castor and Constellar Pollux, monsters that provide extra Normal Summons for their respective themes. They read as follows:

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.)

As you can see, these effects don’t start a Chain. You can tell because they have no colon or semi-colon anywhere to be seen. What you might not know, is that this text isn’t new. It’s been used before back in 2011 on Dverg of the Nordic Alfar, who says this:

During the turn this card is Normal Summoned, you can Normal Summon 1 “Nordic” monster in addition to your Normal Summon/Set. (You can only gain this effect once per turn.)

Identical, apart from the past tense verb in Castor and Pollux. Castor and Pollux were written this way because the cards are supposed to work the exact same way. And that’s where the big disagreement stemmed from this past weekend. At the YCS, Castor and Pollux were ruled to be Continuous Effects. That makes them work just like Dverg of the Nordic Alfar, and follow all the same rules as Dverg of the Nordic Alfar, as posted on the official website. That meant that you could negate the effect with Effect Veiler or Skill Drain, and if Dverg/Castor/Pollux aren’t on the field, you can’t use the extra Summon. This was obviously the correct ruling to make, considering the identical text of the cards, knowledge of Problem-Solving Card Text, and the published Storm of Ragnarok rulebook.

Players disagreed. Most strongly in fact. In the past 72 hours, “How do Evilswarm Castor and Constellar Pollux work?” has been the most asked question at us-ygorules@konami.com by far. It eclipses the usual most asked question “Can Number monsters be destroyed in battle by non-Number monsters?”* by almost 2000%. The players say that Castor and Pollux should work like the extraordinarily similarly worded Dodger Dragon from Extreme Victory, which has rulings in the Extreme Victory rulebook that say it works the exact opposite way of Dverg. Namely, that once it’s Normal Summoned successfully, unless Skill Drain was already face-up on the field when it was Summoned, your opponent can’t play Counter Traps for the rest of the turn, no matter what they do to Dodger Dragon. Dodger Dragon says:

Your opponent cannot activate Counter Trap Cards the turn this card is Normal Summoned.“

Aside from the order in which the phrases are placed, this card is identical to Dverg, Castor, and Pollux. But it has rulings that say it works completely differently than those cards. What we end up with is a situation where the judges were right, but the players have a valid and very pressing point. It’s everything that we wanted to avoid when we introduced Problem-Solving Card Text.

So we’re going to clear this up once and for all. They’re rather unique effects, as there are only 5 cards in all of Dueling that work like this. They are, Dverg of the Nordic Alfar, Constellar Pollux, Evilswarm Castor, Dodger Dragon, and Blizzard Princess. And the way they are meant to work is this:

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

Because of the unique nature of these cards, we’re still working on the best way to present their text to show that this is an effect, and there is a way to negate it, but that they are not a Continuous effect like Atlantean Heavy Infantry that can be negated at any time. We do welcome suggestions on what each of you, personally, think would be the best way to word such effects. You can send your thoughts on that to us-ygorules@konami.com. Regardless, if you’re getting ready for your National Championships or other major events this weekend, keep in mind that all of these cards will now be ruled the same way, as stated above.

One more thing before I go, however. Some of you may be asking “Well what about Photon Cerberus? Isn’t it the same?” It’s not. Photon Cerberus is pretty special, but it was much easier to write it because it works like a standard Continuous Effect, it’s just a Continuous Effect that is only active for one turn – the turn it’s Normal Summoned. To indicate that it works this way, we actually used a holdover from the old way that Continuous Effects were written, to make absolutely sure that it’s read and interpreted correctly. Here’s its text from its upcoming Number Hunters re-release:

During the turn this card was Normal Summoned, neither player can activate Trap Cards while this card is face-up on the field.

That’s the same “while this card is face-up on the field” we used back in Extreme Victory to let you know that Karakuri Komachi mdl 224 “Ninishi” was a Continuous Effect that can be negated.

And so the strange tale of Castor, Pollux, Dverg, and Dodger comes to an end. A big thank you to our judges at the YCS for a job well done, and another big thank you to all our players for your continued passion and love for the game. I hope you all enjoy your events this weekend, and remember: it’s always time to Duel!

Jerome McHale
KDE-US R&D Specialist

*Incidentally, we totally agree with fans of Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXALthat it would be awesome to give the real-life Number monsters the same alien powers as their TV counterparts, so we made Number Wall in Number Hunters just for you!

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