Saturday, May 29, 2010

Collapsing Brain Cells

 Select 1 face-up  monster on the field. The original ATK of that monster  is halved until the end of this turn.

Shrink targets a monster. It can be activated during the first three Sub-Steps of the Damage Step (until Before Damage Calculation, included). From what we learnt in the last article, Shrink is an ATK modifier that sets a value, and it's non-freezing.

If there's a topic that no sober judge will ever want to address, that's Shrink's rulings. These rulings, despite being official, are so ugly and misguided that it barely seems possible for them to be taken seriously. Of course, official rulings are still official, so make sure you follow them. In this article, I'll try to explain how Shrink is supposed to work, which heavily contradicts these official rulings. Don't try reading too deep into it, as even if this article is correct, it cannot change the official ones.

I should really get a lawyer for these things. One that gets power from the Sun should work.

First things first, what is wrong and why? It's really easy to say "that is wrong" or "it doesn't make sense" by only using common sense or some obscure unofficial sources. Shrink goes beyond that for a simple reason: The use of bad examples. As you have seen in the last article, ATK/DEF modifiers aren't as simple as they look, so one has to be very careful on which Cards to use as examples. I'm sure I may have even made some mistakes, too. These poor examples create contradictions with other Cards, other rulings of Shrink itself, and in one case, even contradicting Card text. So yeah, let's look at how Shrink is meant to work, then you can enjoy comparing it to the actual rulings:

1) If you target a regular monster, like Blue-Eyes White Dragon or Jinzo, then simply halve its Original ATK and set the amount as the current ATK. So in Blue-Eyes case, half of its Original ATK is 1500. This is the new Current ATK value, not a new Original ATK. This is why using multiple copies of Shrink always set the same value.

2) A temporary addition/substraction like Rush Recklessly is not re-applied. However, the current ruling (which was posted in the Judge Forum) is to re-apply this modifier anyway. Looking at some Individual rulings, the Rocket Pilder ruling supports this, while the Dark Jeroid ruling doesn't:

• If a monster's ATK  is reduced by "Rocket Pilder" and then is affected by "Shrink," the ATK of the monster becomes half of the original ATK.

• If a monster whose ATK is reduced by "Dark Jeroid" is affected by "Shrink", first calculate half that monster's original ATK, then subtract 800 for "Dark Jeroid's" effect; this becomes the monster's current ATK.

Are you starting to feel the love already? Jeroid shouldn't re-apply.

3) A continuously applied addition/substraction is re-applied. For example, if you equip Axe of Despair to Jinzo (2400 + 1000), and use Shrink, halve the original ATK and re-apply the modifier (2400/2 + 1000 = 2200). Remember that if a monster can only affect itself with its effect (such as Card Trooper), then it is considered to be continuously applied, even if its temporary. For example, Light and Darkness Dragon has a Quick Effect, but it can only affect itself, so it is considered to be continuously applied. You would halve its Original ATK, and then substract 500 ATK as many times as needed to the new value. Some examples in the official rulings:

 •If you use "Shrink" on "Earthbound Immortal Wiraqocha Rasca" its original ATK becomes 50 but it retains any ATK gained for this effect.

•If a monster affected by "Shrink" attacks while "Mirror Wall" is in play, both effects are applied and the monster's ATK becomes 1/4 its original ATK. Because "Mirror Wall" continually recalculates, the result is the same no matter which card is activated first.

•If "Exarion Universe" is targeted by "Shrink", its ATK will become half of its original ATK, even if its effect to reduce its own ATK by 400 has been used.

Of course, Exarion is at fault here.

4) If you vary the Original ATK of a monster, recalculate the current ATK and re-apply what's necessary. For example, if a monster's Original ATK is currently 2400 because of the effect of Unstable Evolution, and you use Shrink, its Current ATK will be 1200. If there's a Life Point change, the Original ATK is now 1000, so Shrink halves that value, and the Current ATK is now 500. We'll go back to this rule in a minute. For now, consider this example:

•If "Goggle Golem" has its ATK halved by "Shrink" and it is Normal Summoned again, its ATK will be half its new original ATK, or 1050. (This is the same whether "Shrink's" effect was applied before or after "Goggle Golem" was Normal Summoned again.)

5) If an effect fixes a value, and Shrink is activated, Shrink overrides that value. If Shrink resolves, and an effect sets a new value, that new value overrides Shrink. Again, we'll use this one in a minute. In the meantime:

•If this card targets a monster that is affected by "Shrink", its ATK will become half of the halved ATK, or 1/4 its original ATK. If a monster whose ATK is halved by "Riryoku" is affected by "Shrink", its ATK will become half of its original (printed) ATK.

So, these cover all of Shrink's interactions, and about half of them are wrong already. The main problem with Shrink is its interaction with 0 and "?" ATK monsters. After quickly browsing its rulings, people arrive to a conclusion that Shrink works in only one way for monsters with these values, regardless of which effect the monster may have, and this is completely false. The interactions are only individual cases of the above rules, and while the rulings are almost correct, the poor examples killed them. So let's take a second look:

6)  If a monster has 0 or "?" ATK with no other effect, then Shrink sets its ATK to zero. For example, if Skill Drain is active, a monster like Chimeratech Overdragon or Chaos Necromancer has 0 Original ATK, so using Shrink sets it to zero.

7) If a monster has 0 or "?" ATK, and it gains Current ATK with a continuously applied addition/substraction, then Shrink does nothing. For example, using Shrink on Tragoedia (This card gains 600 ATK and DEF for each card in your hand) will set its ATK to zero, then Tragoedia's effect is re-applied (because it is continuously applied), so it returns to its usual value. Some examples:

•If you activate "Shrink" targeting "Jester Lord," its original ATK of 0 will be halved then its Continuous Effect will be reapplied. (The end result is no change in ATK.)

8) If a monster has 0 or "?" ATK, and its Current ATK becomes a value with a Continuous Effect that fixes a value, then Shrink overrides that value until the End Phase. For example, if you target a Fortune Lady (This card's ATK and DEF are equal to its Level x 300), Shrink ignores the value that is currently being forced by the Fortune Lady's effect, and sets it to half of the Original ATK, which is zero. Then, during the End Phase, the Fortune Lady's Continuous Effect is applied again, since it has no restrictions and it wasn't negated.

9) If a monster has 0 or "?" ATK, and its Original ATK becomes a value with a Continuous Effect that fixes a value, then Shrink will halve that value, and if it varies, Shrink is re-calculated. For example, if you target Tyranno Infinity (The original ATK of this card becomes the number of your Dinosaur-Type monsters that are removed from play x 1000 points) while it has 3000 Original ATK because of its effect, Shrink will halve that value to 1500. If another Dinosaur is Removed from Play, the Original ATK is now 4000, so Shrink is re-calculated and halves it to 2000. Looking at the rulings:

•If “Shrink” affects a monster with ATK that varies due to its Continuous Effect, like “Gren Maju Da Eiza” or “King of the Skull Servants”, that monster’s ATK will be halved. If its ATK changes due to its own effect in the same turn, recalculate the effect of "Shrink" based on the new original ATK. When the effect of “Shrink” wears off, that monster’s ATK will be calculated as normal.

As you can see, the ruling is perfectly fine, except for using Gren Maju as an example. Gren Maju does not modify its Original ATK with its effect, but rather, it modifies its Current ATK. That means that Gren Maju belongs to rule #8, not #9.

10)  If a monster has 0 or "?" ATK, and it has an effect that fixes a Current ATK value on a certain event, then Shrink sets the Current ATK to zero and the ATK remains at zero after the End Phase is over. This, of course, happens if the event that sets the ATK at a value cannot be repeated. For example, if the ATK is set upon the monster's Summon. A monster that does this is Great Maju Garzett (The ATK of this card becomes twice the original ATK of the Tribute Monster you used to Tribute Summon this card). Since you cannot Tribute Summon GMG again, the ATK value is lost. Looking at the rulings:

•If “Shrink” affects a monster whose original ATK is set by its effect when it is Summoned, like “Maju Garzett”, “Chimeratech Overdragon” or “Megarock Dragon”, that monster’s ATK will become 0, and remain 0 even after the effect of “Shrink” wears off.

Once again, the ruling is fine and everything, but Chimeratech Overdragon (The original ATK and DEF of this card are each 800 x the number of Fusion Material Monsters used for its Fusion Summon.) and Megarock Dragon (The original ATK and DEF of this card become the number of Rock-Type monsters you removed from play when you Special Summoned this card x 700 points.) actually modify their Original ATK. If Chimeratech or Megarock Dragon have 5600 ATK because of their effects, Shrink halves that value, instead of setting it to zero for no reason.

And as a final example:

11) The Wicked Avatar and Gradius' Option can be targeted by Shrink, but the effects of these monsters will ignore Shrink and keep their current value. They are arbitrarily ruled to ignore every ATK modifier, even non-sensical ones. this was lame enough. Let's hope the next article doesn't turn people into serial killers. If you have any questions, feel free to drop me an e-mail at ness00[at]gmail[dot]com.

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