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 Lessons with Judgment: #2 Battle Phase

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PostSubject: Lessons with Judgment: #2 Battle Phase   Sun Feb 09, 2014 10:28 am

Lessons with Judgment:
#2 Battle Phase


Okay, so today I'm going to talk about the Battle Phase, but more specifically the Damage Step (TCG). The damage step is a far more complex thing than most people would think as it is split up into multiple steps, called substeps, to be more specific there are 7 substeps of the damage step.

Quick Notes

One thing I'm going to talk about, as it comes up a lot in this is turn player priority. This means that the turn player has priority to activate certain things before your opponent in certain situations. For example you can't just summon Judgment Dragon and then use the effect of Judgment Dragon, before your opponent can respond. An example of this is say you have a Rescue Rabbit face-up on the field before you go into your Main Phase 1, you can immediately decide to activate the effect of the Rescue Rabbit, before your opponent can use an Effect Veiler in the Main Phase 1.

One thing to note is that if you can't go into your battle phase, for example it's the first turn of the duel. You must go straight to the end phase, skipping you main phase 2, this means you can't use a card like Bujingi Peacock if you can't enter your Battle Phase.

Start Step

The start of the Battle Phase is the Start Step. The turn player has to declare that they are entering the Battle Phase. The turn-player has priority to use any Spell Speed 2 cards now. The non-turn player can activate cards that need to be used in the Main Phase of your opponents turn, for example Effect Veiler, or Formula Synchron, aswell as Spell Speed 2 cards. You can enter the Battle Phase without dclaring an attack, you can just say you want to go straight to the End Step.

Battle Step

When you want to attack with a monster you must enter the Battle Step.

At the start of the Battle Step is Attack Decleration, this is when you declare what monster you are attacking with whatever monster you are attacking with. This is where trap cards that you would use to stop attacks are used, for example Mirror Force, or something like Battle Fader. Due to the fact there is turn player priority, the turn player has the opportunity to activate any effects or cards that are valid to activate at this time. When the priority is passed by the turn player this is when you can activate anything in response to attack, bare in mind this is your only chance to use them, as if you pass back the priority, the window in which you could activate these cards have gone.

After the attack decleration, there is also a window to activate cards that you don't need to use in direct response to attack decleration, but have to be used before the damage step can be activated here. Several chains can be made here if needed.

Damage Step

Now we are actually into the damage step. Certain cards can be activated in the damage step, these are:

Counter Trap cards.
Spell Speed 2 cards that directly alter the ATK/DEF of monsters (only in certain substeps). For example you can't use Scapegoat even if you have a monster equipped with United We Stand, because Scapegoat doesn't directly effect the ATK of a monster. You also can't use cards that the trigger of the ATK/DEF boost is a monster being special summoned, for example Armor Ninjitsu Art of Rust Mist. You can't use Scrap Sheen, Zero Force and Curse of Anubis in the damage step. You also can't use cards like Hall or Nothing, where on the revolution of the card there might actually not be a change in ATK/DEF.
Effects that have activation timings, unless the specifically state they can't be used in the damage step.
Quick Effect (Spell Speed 2) monster effects that negate the activation of a card or effect. They have to directly respond to the activation of the card or effect. For example you can use Photon Strike Bounzer, but you can't use Number 25: Force Focus. This is because, Photon Strike Bounzer's effect responds directly to the activation of it, whereas Force Focus doesn't.
Most Trigger effects and spellcard effects that trigger. Generally effects of this nature can be used in the Damage Step, unless they say you can't. If the trigger or effect involves a monster being special summoned to your opponent's side of the field they can't be used, for example Catoblepas and the Witch of Fate. An optional trigger effect to special summon the card that has the effect cannot be used unless stated it can be, for example Green Baboon, Defender of the Forest.
Flip effects.
Mandatory effects.
Monsters that have effects something along the lines of when this card is destroyed by battle and sent to the graveyard.
Specific cards that don't meet these requirements, but can be used in the damage step; Attack and Receive, Chthonian Blast, Desrook Archfiend, Michizure, Null and Void, and Numinous Healer.

Substep 1

The first substep in the damage step is the start of it. At the start of this substep Continuous monster effects are activated, for example Jain, Lightsworn Paladin's effect to gain ATK. After this trigger effects of monsters activate, for example Neo-Spacian Grand Mole's effect to bounce it and another card. After this has resolved the turn player has the opportunity to use cards that alters the ATK/DEF of monsters directly can be used. Then the non-turn player can.

Substep 2

The second substep in the damage step is the flipping up of face-down monsters. Flip effects won't activate at this time, unless specifically stated on the card. If the flipped up monster has a continuous effect it is applied now, for example
Jinzo's trap negation effect. Continuous effects that would normally stop the monster from being attacked wouldn't be applied, as the monster is already being attacked. Continuous monster effects that destroy themselves like Thunder Nyan Nyan are not
applied at this time. After this has resolved the turn player has the opportunity to use cards that alters the ATK/DEF of monsters directly can be used. Then the non-turn player can.

Substep 3

The third substep in the damage step is before damage calculation. The effects of cards like Ehren, Lightsworn Monk activate here. Card effects that activate when they are flipped up like Blast Sphere are appied here, so are Damage-Inflicting effects
like Reflect Bounder. After this has resolved the turn player has the opportunity to use cards that alters the ATK/DEF of monsters directly can be used. Then the non-turn player can. Multiple chains involving these ATK/DEF altering cards can occur

Substep 4

The fourth substep in the damage step is damage calculation. If an effect that happened before this substep, stated that there is no damage calculation in the battle, skip this step an move to substep 5. This is the substep where the ATKs/ATK and Def
of the monsters are compared to determin the outcome of the battle. Certain effects are activated in this substep, some that are continuous and won't start a chain and others like Injection Fairy Lilly will start a chain. Most cards that effect the ATK/DEF of monsters can no longer be activated, unless they state they can be used in damage calculation, for example Honest. Only one chain can occur in damage calculation, so for example both players have Honest in their hands, due to turn player priority the turn player can activate honest first, the non-turn player can then respond with something like Divine Wrath, to negate the effect of honest, the non-turn player can no longer activate the Honest in their hand. Due to turn player priority and the way chains work, the turn player will always win the battle if both players activate honest in the chain and nothing else. The result of the attack is only determined after this chain has resolved and all the continuous effects are applied. If a one of the two monsters involved in the attack is destroyed by something like divine wrath the damage calculation substep will stop and the rest of the damage step will continue, monsters destroyed like this aren't classed as being destroyed by battle.

Substep 5

The fith substep is where battle damage is applied/after the damage step. If the monster flipped up by battle isn't destroyed by this point and has a destruction effect, this is where it is destroyed. Continuous effects that happen when a monster is face-up and the monster has been destroyed by battle are no longer applied. Immediately after the battle damage is inflicted, you can activate the card Flashbang, this can be activated before any other effect is activated, if this card resolves it is immediately the end phase. Card effects that activate when battle damage is applied happen now, for example Tragodia. The effect of Red Dragon Archfiend will activate now. Sebek's Blessing can be activated at this time. Attack and Recieve, Numinous Healer, Damage Condenser and the effect of a face-up Damage = Reptile can also be activated at this time.

Substep 6

The sixth substep is where effects are resolved. Flip effects activate here. If the flip effect targets, you can't target a card that has been destroyed during damage calculation. Trigger effects of monster that occur when they are flipped face-up, but aren't flip effects are activated here. Trigger effects of other monsters such as D.D. Warrior Lady activate here. The trigger effect of Wall of Illusion is also activated here.

Substep 7

The final substep, the seventh is the end of the damage step/when monsters destroyed by battle are sent to the graveyard. Monsters that have been destroyed by battle are now sent to the graveyard/removed from play if something like Macro Cosmos is face-up on the field. Effects that activate when they are destroyed by battle and sent to the graveyard/ destroyed by battle/sent to the graveyard/removed from the field will activate at this time. These effects start a chain. Monster effects that activate when the destroy a monster in battle and send it to the graveyard/destroy a monster by battle will activate now. Cards that state "sent to the graveyard" won't have their effects activate if Macro Cosmos is on the field, but cards that don't state that will activate. Cards that have effects that activate when they are banished will activate, for example Redox, Dragon Ruler of Boulders. Cards that involve counters and anything involving battle will activate now, for example a counter will be removed off a B.E.S. monster. Some effects of specific cards Konami says can be activated at this time, Michizure and Chthonian Blast can be used here. Cards that state at the end of the damage step, for example Chainsaw Insect also activate here. If you have another monster eligible for attack you can go back to the Battle Step and you can choose to declare an attack with the eligible monster or not.

End Step

The turn player can declare they they are going to end the Battle Phase, this is called the End Step. Spell speed 2 and up cards can be activated here, turn player priority is obviously applied here. Specific monster effects like Miracle Flipper also activate here, so do the effects of the Gladiator Beast monsters. Cards the specify they need to be used in the Battle Phase can still be used here.


The battle phase is now over and so with it ends this lesson, I hope you learned about the battle phase and how complicated it is, regardless of how simple it seems.
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