Wednesday, April 28, 2010

TSHD Sneak Preview Part 3: Darker Than Black

With the arrival of Raging Battle, Blackwings received tons of support in order to get the first batch of birds moving. This is where it began to be pretty obvious that they would keep getting even more support, but for now, let's focus on this peculiar set, and the 9 support Cards included in it for this theme.

The first one we have is Blackwing - Elphin the Raven:

If you control a face-up "Blackwing" monster, you can Normal Summon this card without Tributing. When this card is Normal Summoned, you can change the Battle Position of 1 monster your opponent controls.

Elphin has a Summoning Condition similar to that of Sirocco. Afterwards, it has an optional Trigger Effect. This effect targets 1 of your opponent's monsters in any position, and switches that position (if the monster is in face-down defense position, it is flipped). This effect can be negated by Pulling the Rug and similar Cards. Keep Elphin in mind, as we'll address it in a minute.

The other Card you need to keep in mind for a second will be Blackwing - Blizzard the Far North:

This card cannot be Special Summoned. When this card is Normal Summoned, you can Special Summon 1 Level 4 or lower "Blackwing" monster from your Graveyard  in face-up Defense Position.

First, we have a Summoning Condition that stops you from Special Summoning Blizzard. It doesn't really blend too well in a theme with lots of Special Summons, but oh well. Next, we have an Optional Trigger Effect. It targets 1 Blackwing monster in your Graveyard, and it Special Summons that monster in face-up Defense Position. This position can be changed during your next turn manually.

These two Cards are pretty simple. And the reason I asked you to remind them was Black Whirlwind:

When a "Blackwing" monster  is Normal Summoned to your side of the Field, you can add 1 "Blackwing" monster from your Deck to your hand that has less ATK than that monster.

This is a Continuous Spell Card with a Trigger-like effect. When you Normal Summon a Blackwing monster, it will start a chain.This effect doesn't target anything. When it resolves, it looks at the current ATK of the Summoned monster, and then it allows you to search for a Blackwing monster with less ATK. The Summoned Blackwing monster must remain face-up, otherwise its ATK cannot be checked, and so, you will not get to search any Blackwing monster (not even a 0 ATK one). Being a Continuous Spell Card, Whirlwind needs to remain face-up in order to resolve properly, so you need both, the Spell and the monster, to remain on the Field until the effect resolves.

Now that we have assembled the unholy trinity of Blizzard, Elphin and Whirlwind, we can proceed with the dreaded ruling about manipulating SEGOC effects. If you Normal Summon Blizzard/Elphin, and you wish to activate Whirlwind's effects, they are two Optional Trigger Effects that you control. If you remember our chat about SEGOC, you can manipulate these effects in any order you wish, be it:

Blizzard/Elphin -> Whirlwind


Whirlwind -> Blizzard/Elphin

So what's the point? If you make the monsters link 1 and have Whirlwind be link 2, the nothing can be chained to these monster's effects. For example, Elphin cannot be negated by Tytannial, and Blizzard cannot be negated by Oppression. This happens because no effects can be activated while building a SEGOC chain. And since neither Tytannial or Oppression can be chained directly to the Card they want to negate, they cannot negate these effects. 

The opposite chain also has its purposes. If Blizzard is link 2, then neither player can respond to the successful Summon of the targeted Blackwing monster (such as with Bottomless Trap Hole or Torrential Tribute). As for Elphin...well, I guess one can't use Tragedy in response to the position change -_-

Elphin and Blizzard are the only Blackwing monsters with Optional Trigger Effects upon their successful Normal Summon, so these two are the only ones that can mess around with Whirlwind. This question is extremely common, so I hope this explanation is clear enough.

The next Card is Blackwing - Kalut the Moon Shadow:

When a "Blackwing" monster you control attacks or is attacked, you can send this card from your hand to the Graveyard during the Damage Step to have that monster gain 1400 ATK until the End Phase.

Before we start, sorry, but I won't address Honest vs. Kalut here. That really deserves its own article Q_Q

With that said, Kalut has a Quick Effect. You must send it from your Hand to the Graveyard as a cost. Kalut's effect can only be activated during the first four Sub-Steps of the Damage Step. That is to say, any time before Damage Calculation, and surprisingly, during Damage Calculation too. You can activate Kalut's effect if you attack directly, and you can activate more than one copy. Kalut's effect doesn't target anything. Since sending it to the Graveyard is a cost, if a Card like Macro Cosmos or Banisher of the Radiance is active, you cannot activate Kalut's effect, as you can't pay its cost.

Moving on, we have Blackwing - Shura the Blue Flame:

When this card destroys an opponent's monster  by battle and sends  it to the Graveyard, you can Special Summon 1 "Blackwing" monster  with 1500 or less ATK from your Deck. That monster's effect (s) is negated.

Shura has an Optional Trigger Effect, which you activate at the End of the Damage Step. It Special Summons a Blackwing monster from the Deck, and sets a condition on that monster that negates its effects as long as it remains face-up. Two things to notice is that Shura doesn't target anything, and since it activates during the Damage Step, Oppression cannot negate its effect. Shura must remain face-up until the End of the Damage Step in order to activate its effect, but once it is activated, it doesn't need to remain face-up anymore. Finally, if the Summoned monster is flipped face-down or Removed from the Field, its effects are no longer negated, but this condition cannot be negated by Skill Drain or similar.

As for the last monster for today, we have Blackwing - Armed Wing:

1 "Blackwing" Tuner + 1 or more Non-Tuner monsters
If this card attacks a Defense Position monster, it gains 500 ATK during the Damage Step only. During battle between this attacking card and a Defense Position monster whose DEF is lower then this ATK of this card, inflict the difference as Battle Damage to your opponent.

Armed Wing is pretty simple. Both of its effects are Continuous. The second effect is our usual trample effect, which we have reviewed numerous times. The first one is an ATK boost that you start applying at the Start of the Damage Step if the attacked monster is in Defense Position at that time.

The only other Spell Card for the theme in this set is Against the Wind:

Select 1 "Blackwing" monster in your Graveyard. Take damage equal to the ATK of the selected monster, and add it to your hand.

This Normal Spell Card targets 1 Blackwing in your Graveyard. When it resolves, if the target is still there, you will take effect damage equal to its ATK. If you succeed in taking damage, you will add the monster to your Hand. Despite this dependence on taking damage, it is considered that the damage is simultaneous with adding a Card to the Hand, so there are no timing issues. If the target is not in the Graveyard when you start resolving Against the Wind, you don't take damage (or retrieve the Card). If you do not receive the damage (such as, if you chain Barrel Behind the Door), then you do not add the Card to the Hand.

There are also two Trap Cards in this set. One being Delta Crow - Anti Reverse:

Activate  only while you control a face-up "Blackwing" monster. If you control  exactly 3 "Blackwing" monsters, this card can be activated from your hand. Destroy all face-down  Spell  and Trap Cards your opponent controls.

This Normal Trap Card's effect isn't too surprising, but it's activation requirements are. You can only activate it if you control at least one Blackwing monster. Being an activation requirement, it doesn't matter what happens with the Blackwing monster before this Card resolves. When it resolves, it destroys all or your opponent's face-down S/T Cards. If one or more are chained, those aren't destroyed, but the remaining ones are. The most impressive feature about this Card is that if you control exactly 3 Blackwing monsters, you can activate it from your Hand, and since this Card has no other activation requirements, you can activate it at any time from your Hand (except during the Damage Step), be it your Draw Phase, your opponent's End Phase, etc.

The last Card for today is also a Normal Trap Card, and it's not a very simple one. It is Fake Feather:

Send 1 "Blackwing" monster  from your hand  to the Graveyard and select 1 Normal Trap Card in your opponent's Graveyard. The effect of this card will be the same as the selected Normal Trap Card.

Sending 1 Blackwing monster to the Graveyard is a cost, and similar to Kalut, this Card can't be activated if Macro Cosmos is active. It targets a Normal Trap Card in the opponent's Graveyard, and when Fake Feather resolves, it will perform the effect of the targeted Trap Card. The important thing to note here is that the timing in which you activate Fake Feather must be EXACTLY the same timing as the Trap Card you target. For example, if you wish to target Mirror Force, then you must activate Fake Feather when the opponent declares an attack. You cannot activate Fake Feather during your End Phase just to wipe Attack Position monsters. Also remember that you cannot activate Fake Feather during the Damage Step. 

You do not need to pay any of the targeted Trap Card's costs, but if it targets, you must choose the respective targets as well. If you target a Trap Card that has the ability to remain on the Field (such as Metalmorph), then Fake Feather will not remain on the Field, as this is not part of Metalmorph's effect. Finally, note that Fake Feather's effect upon activation is to copy a Trap Card, and not the Trap Card's effect. This means that if you target a Trap Card that destroys monsters on the Field, Stardust Dragon cannot chain itself to Fake Feather.

Well, that's it for today. Stay tuned for the next part! If you have any questions, feel free to drop me an e-mail at ness00[at]gmail[dot]com.

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