Today we will try to clarify the more important changes in the recent ruling updates. You can read about the updates (in Japanese) here, or the translated version of the Detailed Rule Explanation here.
Note: There are many minor updates and clarifications to the rules, but because they currently lack a strong game scenario hence we will not mention them in this post.
Action and Reaction Timings
The turn player’s actions such as [When Attacking] effects, and effects with the text “when your Digimon attacks …” are now generally lumped under the action timing.
The non-turn player’s reaction towards the turn player’s actions, which includes effects such as “when your opponent’s Digimon attacks …” will now trigger during the reaction timing.
The chart below shows a visual depiction of the action and reaction timings.
So generally now, all the turn player’s [When Attacking] effects must finish resolving before the opponent gets to even trigger any effects under the reaction timing (which includes blocker effects).
All [When Attacking] effects trigger and resolve immediately before moving to the next effects.
[When Attacking] and “when your Digimon attacks …” effects will now trigger and resolve immediately before moving on to the next effects.
If any of these effects causes another effect (whether your own or your opponent’s) then that effect must also trigger and resolve entirely before moving on the subsequent effects.
However, the turn player can choose the order in which they resolve their [When Attacking] effects, to avoid or minimize events whereby their effects are cancelled/nullified as a matter of cause-and-effect.
The opponent’s [On Deletion] effect is not considered as a Reaction timing, as it is not their Reaction or decision, but rather a matter of cause-and-effect. Reaction timing effects only dictate effects with the text “when your opponent’s Digimon attacks …”
One distinct example of this ruling is that the [On Play] effects, as triggered by your [When Attacking] effects, can also trigger and resolve entirely before your opponent’s Reaction timing.
Example: Lordknightmon can now use his [When Attacking] effect to summon a Knightmon, which will then resolve his [On Play] effect entirely to reduce an opponent’s blocker Digimon by 4000 DP. That blocker Digimon will now be deleted and is unable to trigger it’s <Blocker> effect because this happens before the Reaction timing window.
Scenario 1: blocking Crusadermon
Q: You attack your opponent with [BT5-045] Crusadermon and using his [When Attacking] effect, you play a [BT5-042] Knightmon from your hand. Can you destroy your opponent’s blocker using Knightmon’s [On Play] effect, rendering that blocker unable to block Crusadermon’s attack?
A(OLD): Your opponent can resolve the blocker’s effect before your Knightmon’s [On Play] effect. Therefore, your opponent’s blocker will be able to block your Crusadermon.
A(NEW): Yes. Knightmon’s [On Play] effect triggers and resolves before the Reaction timing, deleting the blocker. During the reaction timing, there blocker Digimon no longer exist hence is unable to block.
This is a classic example of the changes made by the new ruling.
Scenario 2: blocking De-Digivolution
Q: You attack your opponent with a Digimon that has the effect [When Attacking] Trigger <De-Digivolve 1> on 1 of your opponent’s Digimon. You target that <De-Digivolve 1> effect on 1 of your opponent’s blocker Digimon, causing it to de-digivolve into a Digimon that no longer has the keyword <Blocker>. Can that de-digivolved Digimon block the attack?
A(OLD): Yes, because the effect is activated before the effect is resolved. By the description of (When an opponent’s Digimon attacks, you may suspend this Digimon to force the opponent to attack it instead), your de-digivolved Digimon will be able to block the attack as long as it is able to suspend itself.
A(NEW): No. During the Reaction phase your opponent no longer has a blocker Digimon therefore he is not able to block.
In this example, if you de-digivolve and opponent’s Digimon into a lower level blocker Digimon, then that Digimon will be able to block your attack.
Scenario 3: blocking Hexblaumon
This is also now very straightforward and intuitive. When Hexblaumon performs the attack declaration, he triggers and resolves his [When Attacking] effect, trashing the digivolution cards below an opponent’s blocker Digimon. During the Reaction timing, that blocker Digimon cannot trigger its <Blocker> effect if it no longer has any digivolution cards.
While the new ruling has reversed many of our recently-established understanding of the game, it has actually simplified the much-debated mechanics on attack timing and is now much more intuitive.
If anything, this new ruling actually resembles our original understanding for the game hence should be a much easier mechanic to embrace and maintain moving forward.
Many thanks to Samuel (Deuk-Boo Jang) for reviewing this post.