Summary Of Ruling Changes

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. 

Extract of Main Phase E, Official Rulebook (v1.3), Page 10

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.

If Digimon M uses it's [When Attacking] Effect A to deletes an opponent's Digimon that has a [On Deletion] effect that returns or deletes Digimon M, then all of Digimon M's subsequent [When Attacking] effects will not trigger/resolve.

[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 …"

Digimon M can also use it's [When Attacking] Effect A to summon Digimon N, which will then resolve it's [On Play] Effect entirely to delete an opponent's blocker Digimon before that Digimon can trigger it's blocker effect.

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. 

 

Rule Manual Ver2.1, Page 15

Bandai has also gave us an example of this, in page 15 of their updated Rule Manual Ver2.1.

 

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. 

Summary

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.

4 thoughts on “Summary Of Ruling Changes”

  1. I'd like to point out some of your 'old' scenarios were never in any offical rulebook or Q&A. The old General Rules Q&A from December already said: "Resolving "when attacking" effects comes first. You can decide whether or not to use after seeing how the situation plays out."

    I believe the old scenarios you described were only based on player interpretation of emails from bandai customer support agents directly to individual customers. As such they were never officially vetted by designers or published, and players further extrapolated what they meant. I think this shows it is not safe to rely on emails from customer support if they are not backed up by published rules.

    1. Hi Welgudtor,

      Thanks for pointing out! Yes these are some game scenarios raised by the community, and they are not found in the official rulebook or Q&A.

      The original rulebook indeed stated how the effect would work, as you have correctly phrased.
      I believe that the question stems from whether a new [On Play] effect that is caused by a [When Attacking] effect would precede a effect or not.
      In the past, [On Play] effects are vetted (by customer support) to resolve after the blocker, but in the new ruling it is decided to be before the blocker (or Reaction timing).

      Due to the inconsistencies in Bandai/CARDASS's support agents and the game designers, the rules has been officially updated on April 23.
      We do not know the full story behind the discrepancies between support agents and the game designers, so we shall refrain from commenting on that.

      Yes sir you are right that this has caused a lot of confusion and it is not safe to rely entirely on customer support emails. However, when an legitimate reply has been given from a Bandai-endorsed customer support agent to a player, it cannot be rebuked easily, especially when the replies are very specific and players use them to resolve a ruling conflict in competitive tournaments.

      I think Bandai is aware of this entire mishap, and maybe that is why their customer support has stopped replying emails since about a month ago (prior to this ruling update).
      Hopefully they ensure that this will not happen again, to reinstate our confidence in them and their customer support team 🙂

      1. That is interesting information, I did not realised that customer support stopped replying. That is a good move, to stop confusion of unconfirmed information.

        Thank you for the reply, and for your work on getting the translations to us!

  2. Hi, I have a question too. Does anyone know what is the best method to contact Bandai for future Q&A revision updates, if you don't have a Bandai Cardass account? At first glance it seems Cardass login is for store owners, not general customers. I tried the official Facebook page messenger but I doubt they will read a reply there.

    For example, if a card isn't included yet in the booster Q&A, or a previous Q&A are unclear/mistranslated and you would like them to answer it next time they do an update.

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