[Card Rulings] Explanations for “When” and “If” Optional Effects, “Simultaneous” and “Non-Simultaneous” Effects
In the current era of Yu-Gi-Oh, there are many cards with “When” or “If” in their effect text. Having these in the text can determine whether a card effect can be activated after a scenario has happened. In this article, we will look through some of the cards and scenarios that are inclusive of these card texts and their interactions with “Simultaneous effects”.
1) What are “When” Optional Effects?
“When” Optional effects activate when the condition and/or requirement to activate it, is fulfilled as the last thing that happens. To facilitate better understanding, let us give you an example of a card with a “When” effect. As we are in the Official Card Game (OCG) community, it would be best to include and explain the Japanese card text; alongside the English card text as well.
|Suanni, Fire of the Yang Zing
When this card you control is destroyed by battle or card effect and sent to your Graveyard: You can Special Summon 1 “Yang Zing” monster from your Deck in Defense Position, except “Suanni, Fire of the Yang Zing”. You can only use this effect of “Suanni, Fire of the Yang Zing” once per turn. Once per turn, during your opponent’s Main Phase or Battle Phase, you can: Immediately after this effect resolves, Synchro Summon 1 Synchro Monster, using only “Yang Zing” monsters you control (this is a Quick Effect). A Synchro Monster that used this card as a Synchro Material gains 500 ATK and DEF.
Now, let us take a look at Suanni’s first effect. “When this card you control is destroyed by battle or card effect and sent to your Graveyard: You can Special Summon 1 “Yang Zing” monster from your Deck in Defense Position, except “Suanni, Fire of the Yang Zing”.“.
This means that the last thing that happened, was that Suanni was destroyed by Battle or effect, and sent to the graveyard.
“When” in this case, will be represented by the word “時” in the Japanese card text. Any effects with a “時” in its card text, will only activate when the last thing that happened was the fulfillment of that condition/requirement.
Suanni’s effect is also an Optional Effect because of the words “You can”. In the Japanese text, “発動できる” means you can/may activate and “発動する” means you will/must activate.
What do we mean by ” the Last thing that happened”? Take for example that you have a Chain of effects lined up.
Chain 1: Dark Hole
Chain 2: Call of the Haunted (Targeting Suanni in the graveyard)
It is by our understanding that the Chain will resolve backward. Thus resolving [Call of the Haunted] first, and then proceeding to resolve [Dark Hole].
[Call of the Haunted] will Special Summon Suanni from the graveyard in Chain 2, and will then be destroyed by the effects of [Dark Hole] in Chain 1. In this Scenario, Suanni’s effect will be activated because the last thing that happened, was that Suanni was destroyed and sent to the graveyard by [Dark Hole].
Now, let us give you another Scenario.
Suanni was Normal Summoned in face-up attack position by Player A.
Chain 1: Jar of Greed
Chain 2: Torrential Tribute
Let’s resolve the chain backward again. [Torrential Tribute] was activated in Chain 2, therefore it will destroy Suanni and send it to the graveyard. After which, [Jar of Greed] will proceed to allow the player that activated it to draw a card. In this Scenario, Suanni will NOT be able to activate its effect to Special Summon another [Yang Zing] from the deck. It is because the last thing that happened, was a player drawing a card by the effects of [Jar of Greed].
The 2 Scenarios above will only apply to card effects that have a “When” in their card text, and that their activations are Optional. For Mandatory effects, as long as the activation condition/requirement is fulfilled, it will and MUST activate.
2) What are “If” Optional Effects?
Unlike “When” Optional effects; “If” Optional effects do not need the fulfillment of the condition/requirement to be the last thing that happened. As long as the condition/requirement happened in the chain or in the midst of the chain; you will be able to activate the effect. Here is an example.
|Denglong, First of the Yang Zing
1 Tuner + 1 or more non-Tuner monsters
Looking at Denglong’s third effect to Special Summon a [Yang Zing] from the deck. It reads, “If this face-up card leaves the field: You can Special Summon 1 “Yang Zing” monster from your Deck.“. In the Japanese text, the word “If” is represented by the word “場合”.
“If” Optional effects will activate as long as you have fulfilled the condition or requirement to activate it.
Let’s give you a Scenario.
Denglong was Synchro Summoned onto the Extra Monster Zone in Defense position.
Chain 1: Jar of Greed
Chain 2: Torrential Tribute
Resolving the chain backward, Denglong will first be destroyed by [Torrential Tribute]; then followed by a player drawing a card by the effects of [Jar of Greed]. In this Scenario, even if the last thing to happen was not Denglong leaving the field; Denglong will still activate its effect to Special Summon a [Yang Zing] monster from the deck.
3) What are “Simultaneous” Effects?
“Simultaneous” effects are effects in which two different actions are worked together in the card text. This also means that both the actions of the effect will happen at the same time. Allowing some cards to activate their effects when working together in a combo. Here is an example.
In the English card text, the first action must be completed before the second action of the effect can take place. In the case of [Metalfoes Goldriver], you would need to destroy 1 card on your field first, before being allowed to set 1 [Metalfoes] Spell or Trap card from your deck. This is interpreted in the sentence by the words “destroy it, and if you do“.
In the Japanese text, the words “destroy it, and if you do” is interpreted as “そのカードを破壊し、”. If you notice this in a Japanese card effect, this would mean that it is a Simultaneous effect.
Now as we mentioned that even though there are 2 actions in a Simultaneous effect, they are both actually completed at the same time. Which means that this allows the Simultaneous effect to work well with “When” Optional effects. Here is a Scenario.
Chain 1: Activate Metalfoes Goldriver’s Pendulum Effect, targetting Suanni, Fire of the Yang Zing.
Resolving the effect, [Metalfoes Goldriver] will destroy Suanni and set 1 [Metalfoes] Spell or Trap card directly from the deck. Because destroying a card and setting a [Metalfoes] Spell or Trap card happens at the same time; Suanni’s will be able to activate it’s effect to Special Summon a Yang Zing monster from the deck.
With our understanding of the above scenario, we can safely say that destroying a card and setting a [Metalfoes] Spell or Trap card directly from the deck; is the last thing that happened.
4) What are “Non-Simultaneous” Effects?
“Non-Simultaneous” effects are effects that also has 2 actions worded in a single effect. However, their actions do not happen at the same time. Here is an example.
|Interrupted Kaiju Slumber
Notice how the sentence is worded similarly to a “Simultaneous Effect”? The difference is that you do not have the words “destroy it, and if you do“. Instead, it has been replaced with “then”. This means that you will still need to complete the first action before the second action can be done. However, they do not happen at the same time; causing your “When” Optional effects to be unable to activate.
In the Japanese text, it is very simple to spot the difference. Instead of “し、”, it is worded as “その後、”, which means after the first action has happened, continue with the second action written in the card effect. Let us explain with a scenario.
Chain 1: Player A activates Interrupted Kaiju Slumber, destroying [Suanni, Fire of the Yang Zing], then Special Summoning 2 Kaiju monsters from the deck.
Resolving the effect, even though Suanni was destroyed in Chain 1, the card text was worded in a way that the last thing that happened was the Special Summoning of the 2 Kaiju monsters. Rendering Suanni’s effect to be unable to activate.
With the explanations above, we hope that you can better understand the differences between the various types of effects and how to resolve them. Play your effects right, and the correct card interactions will bring you more advantage in your duels.