Sunday, April 25, 2010

TSHD Sneak Preview Part 1: e^(iπ) +1=...

Oh yeah, algebra in ur ygoz.

Well, we are one week away from the first day of the Sneak Preview of The Shining Darkness, so during this time we will be reviewing some Cards related to this upcoming set. Just in case, I could start muttering walls of text about the new Cards that everyone is waiting for like Infernity Launcher or Black-Winged Dragon. The thing is, the TCG rulings will be posted later, and some rulings for TSHD Cards may end up being different for the TCG (for whichever reason). Instead, we'll be looking at some existing Cards.

So maybe you have heard of a certain Deck called Infernity, which has most of its Cards included in this new set. Seriously, this Deck has received more press than a presidential campaign. In this article, we'll be looking at the Infernitites that the TCG already has.

The first monster we have is Infernity Dwarf:

While you have no cards in your hand, during battle between an attacking monster you control and a Defense Position monster whose DEF is lower than the ATK of the attacking monster inflict the difference as Battle Damage to your opponent.

Dwarf is a pretty weak monster to trample by itself, so it causes all of your monsters to trample. Like we mentioned in a previous article, trampling is a Continuous Effect. Don't be mislead by the wording: Having zero Cards in Hand is merely a requirement for the effect to start applying, but it does not start a chain when your Hand becomes non-existent.

The next Infernity monster is Infernity Guardian:

While you have no cards in your hand, this face-up card cannot be destroyed by battle or by card effects.

Well, that's much nicer. A monster that just can't be destroyed by neither player. Once again, we are looking at a Continuous Effect. By this nature, Guardian can apply its effect between chain links, so if it's going to be destroyed by Torrential Tribute, you can chain a Card that reduces your Hand size, have Guardian's effect kick in before Torrential resolves, and Guardian won't be destroyed. Similarly, if Guardian is attacked, you can activate some Cards to reduce your Hand and prevent it from losing the battle completely. Note that you would still take Battle Damage, so make sure to place it in Defense Position.

Shortly after their release in the WC09 videogame, Infernities received some support in core sets, like Infernity Beast:

If this card attacks while you have no cards in your hand, your opponent cannot activate Spell or Trap Cards until after the Damage Step.

This effect is very similar to that of the Ancient Gear monsters. Similar to Guardian and Dwarf, this is a Continuous Effect with the additional requirement of having no Cards in your Hand. As soon as you declare an attack with Infernity Beast, the opponent cannot activate S/T Cards. But as the text mentions, only the Cards themselves cannot be activated. The opponent can still activate the effect of already active S/T Cards like Scrubbed Raid. Finally, if an effect makes you have 1 or more Cards in your Hand, this effect stops being applied. It won't be very likely since half of your opponent's choices are locked, though.

From the same set as Beast, we get Infernity Force:

Activate  only when an "Infernity" monster is selected as an attack target while you have no cards in your hand. Destroy the attacking monster and Special Summon 1 "Infernity" monster from your Graveyard.

This Normal Trap Card is extremely similar to Sakuretsu Armor, with heavier activation requirements but a much better payoff. You activate this Trap when the Infernity Monster is chosen as the attack target. Upon activation, this Card targets two monsters: The attacking monster and 1 Infernity Monster in your Graveyard. Note that you need an Infernity Monster in your Graveyard, and you must be able to Special Summon during this turn (that means Vanity Fiend prevents its activation). After that, this Card performs two actions that are not simultaneous: First, the attacking monster is destroyed. If you succeed, the targeted Infernity Monster is Special Summoned from the Graveyard (and the last thing to happen is only the Special Summon). If you fail to destroy the attacking monster (such as, if it is unaffected by Trap Cards or it is no longer on the Field), then you do not Special Summon the monster. Finally, having zero Cards in your Hand is only an activation requirement for this Trap Card, so even if your Hand size increases, it still resolves properly.

We advance one set and find Infernity Necromancer:

When this card is Normal Summoned, it is changed to Defense Position. While you have no cards in your hand, this card gains the following effect: Once per turn, you can Special Summon 1 "Infernity" monster from your Graveyard, except "Infernity Necromancer".

Finally something different! Necromancer has three effects. The first effect is a mandatory Trigger Effect that activates when Necromancer is Normal Summoned. Cards like Pulling the Rug may negate this effect. The second effect is somewhat hidden. The sentence that explains how Necromancer gains its third effect is actually an effect by itself: A Continuous one. If this effect is negated, then Necromancer cannot activate its third effect. Finally, the third effect is an Ignition Effect that targets 1 Infernity Monster. The second effect allows you to activate the third one, but once you target the monster you wish to revive, these two effects are no longer dependant from each other: If your Hand is larger than zero Cards, then the third effect will resolve properly, as you have already activated it.

At this point, it's pretty obvious that I saved Infernity Archfiend for the end. Yay for being evil!

When you have no cards in your hand and draw  this card, you can reveal it to Special Summon it. When this card is Special Summoned, if you have no cards in your hand, you can add 1 "Infernity" card from your Deck  to your hand.

As everyone in the neighborhood knows, Archfiend is one of the two main Card needed to get the Infernity Deck in motion. It also has some weird rulings, which you should definately keep in mind whether you are part of the million players that wish to play this Deck, or one of the many that will end up facing Infernity Archfiends in almost every tournament they attend to.

Archfiend has two Optional Trigger Effects. And like you may have guessed, both can miss the timing. The first effect asks you to draw into Infernity Archfiend when you have zero Cards in your Hand. You reveal Archfiend as a cost, then Special Summon it when it resolves. You can read its trigger as "moving from zero Cards in your Hand to drawing Infernity Archfiend". It doesn't matter if you draw Archfiend alone, or if you use a Card like Morphing Jar to move from zero to five Cards. This is also relevant for Cards that reduce your Hand size and immediatly increase it by a similar amount, such as Hand Destruction: If you have 2 Cards in your Hand, you would move from two, to zero (your lucky number), to two Cards. You drew into Archfiend while you had zero Cards, so you can Special Summon it. This effect can miss the timing if you draw Archfiend in the middle of a chain, or during an effect that hasn't finished resolving. The obvious example would be Allure of Darkness. Finally, this effect cannot be activated during the Damage Step, due to its nature (Trigger Effect that Special Summons the monster from the Hand without specifying that it can be activated at DS).

The second effect activates when Archfiend is Special Summoned. You must also have no Cards in your Hand during the activation AND the resolution of this effect, so if your Hand size increases, you will not add a Card to your Hand. Note that this effect can search for any Card that includes Infernity in its name, be it a Monster, Spell, or Trap Card. This effect can be activated during the Damage Step. This effect can miss the timing if Archfiend is Special Summoned as link 2 or Summoned in the middle of a chain.

As a final act, let's look at both effects at the same time. Notice how the second effect doesn't trigger the first one if you search for Infernity Archfiend: You are adding it to the Hand, not drawing it. Also, a common question has been the misinterpretation of the ruling of drawing into two or more Infernity Archfiends. If you draw both at the same time when you had zero Cards, you can Special Summon both. However, when you do, one of them will be link 2 of a chain, so that Archfiend cannot activate its effect to add a Card to the Hand. The one that is link 1 certainly can.

Well, that's all about Infernities for now. And the least we see of them, the better. Stay tuned for more themes from Shining Darkness. If you have any questions, feel free to drop me an e-mail at ness00[at]gmail[dot]com.

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