Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Ackbar was wrong, "it's a monster!" after all

Quick Effects are the rarest type of Monster Effect, possessed by really few Monster Cards. While they don't have many surprising rulings or intereasting mechanic manipulations, they are usually a nasty surprise to the opponent.

This type of effect used to be called Multi-Trigger a few years ago. The name change isn't too important, but at least it separates them from the wall of text of mechanics that Trigger Effects have. The most important aspect about Quick Effects is that, unlike any other Monster Effect, they have a Spell Speed of two. This allows you to chain them to other Monster Effects, Spell Cards, and most Trap Cards.

Due to that charactheristic, Quick Effects can be activated almost at any time during the Duel, be it the opponent's turn or sometimes even during the Damage Step. A somewhat large number of them also activate from the Hand, and become really hard to predict by the opponent until it is too late. Perhaps the most notable treat about Quick Effects is how some of them manage to activate at the During Damage Calculation Sub-Step, a very exclusive part of the Damage Step that will be dealt with in future articles.

Their activation requirements are similar to the "triggers" of a Trigger Effect, but having a Spell Speed of two opens more possibilities, such as chaining the effect to a Continuous Trap Card in order to negate it. Quick Effects can be divided into mandatory and optional, with the mandatory ones being a really small minority. This may ring a bell if one thinks of Trigger Effects, but there's a slight problem: Mandatory Quick Effects use the SEGOC rule, while optional ones don't. This means that, for example, multiple copies of Doomcaliber Knight, who has a mandatory effect, will form a long chain with each other immediatly according to SEGOC. It also means that optional effects use the basic rules of chaining, where each player takes turns to respond to the last effect activated.

Quick Effects can be identified most of the time by a line telling you that "you can activate this effect during your opponent's/either player's turn". Even though Trigger Effects can also end up activating during your opponent's turn, only Quick Effects have this line. Other Quick Effects aren't as obvious. For example, if an effect tells you that you can negate the activation of (any) Spell Cards, a Trigger Effect is too slow to be chained to them, so it can only be a Quick Effect. Other than that, the individual rulings of the Card are often the best or only way to figure this out.

Some examples:

Stardust Dragon:
You can Tribute this card to negate the activation of a Spell Card, Trap Card, or Effect Monster's effect that destroys a card(s) on the field, and destroy that card.
D.D. Crow:
During either player's turn, you can discard this card to the Graveyard to remove from play 1 card from your opponent's Graveyard.
Shiny Black "C":
When 1 Synchro Monster is Special Summoned on your opponent's side of the field, you can remove from play this card in the Graveyard to destroy that monster.

In these examples, we see that Stardust Dragon tells you that you can negate the activation of other effects, which requires you to chain Stardust Dragon to their effect. This implies that it has a Spell Speed of two, and so, it is a Quick Effect. D.D. Crow specifies that you can activate its effect during either player's turn, which also implies that it has a Quick Effect. Finally, Shiny Black "C"'s text does not give any clues, and in fact, it looks like a Trigger Effect. However, its individual rulings tell us that it is actually a Quick Effect.

Stay tuned for part 4, about Continuous Effects. If you thought things couldn't get worse than Trigger Effects, you are in for a wild ride...

If you have any questions, feel free to drop me an e-mail at ness00[at]gmail[dot]com. 

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