Judge Exam Guide

2018-2019 Q1 Judge Exam Guide

Provided by US Judge Council


Hello rulers! Thank you for participation in the very first Level 0 judge exam. This exam featured nearly 400 participants and resulted in about 15% of the test takers becoming Level 0 judges. We hope to see many more of you passing in the future!

Now that the exam period is over, the US Judge Council has decided to put together this article. It will contain a guide for how to correctly answer each question. Make sure you study this document hard when preparing for any judge exams! You never know what you might find useful.


Question 1

Which of the following symbols indicates an automatic object?


A: Colon (:)

B: Semicolon (;)

C: Brackets ([Text])

D: Arrow (=>)

E: Parentheses ((Text))


When checking the abilities of a card, the syntax of the ability is important. Automatic abilities use an arrow to differentiate [trigger condition]=>[Effect], activate abilities are denoted as [cost]:[effect], semicolons are used to separate options on abilities that require a modal choice, brackets are used to denote God's Art names and similar ability aspects, and parentheses are used for reminder or rules text.


906.1. Abilities described as "<trigger condition> => <effect>" are automatic abilities.

-SMS


Question 2

What timing can cards without [Quickcast] be played at through “Speaker of the Eternal Night’s” (0) ability and “Gill Lapis, Rebel of Darkest Fires’” (X) ability?


A: Speaker’s ability allows the player to play the card outside of main timing, while Gill Lapis’ ability only allows the player to play the card with main timing.

B: Gill Lapis’ ability allows the player to play the card outside of main timing, while Speaker’s ability only allows the player to play the card with main timing.

C: Both abilities allow the player to play the card at any time they have priority.

D: Both abilities require the player to have main timing to play the card.


When comparing these abilities to the way cards without [Quickcast] are normally played, we must note two things. The (x) ability of Gill Lapis only gives you the ability to play the card until end of turn.  It makes no difference when the card may be played, only that you may now play a card you normally do not have access to. The (0) ability of Speaker, however, specifically instructs you to play the copy during the resolution of the ability, should you choose to play the copy.  Being as this is during the resolution of an ability, this is outside of main timing.

-SMS


Question 3

Which of the following is/are true of the despair side of Inverse resonators?


A: Its total cost is equal to the total cost of its hope side.

B: Its total cost is zero.

C: If moved from the field to the removed area, it returns to its hope side.

D: If moved from the field to the top of its owner’s deck, it returns to its hope side.

E: None of the above.


From the rules regarding double sided cards, we have the following:


“1302.3e-i. If an Inverse card moves to a zone by a non-playing method, unless otherwise specified, that card moves to the new zone physically hope side up.”


If an inverse card is moving from the field, by definition it is moving by a non-playing method. Therefore, it will enter any new zone on its hope side, regardless of which side it was on in the field. We also have:


“203.5a. If a card doesn't have any cost, the total cost of that card is 0.”


Since there is no printed cost on the despair side of an Inverse resonator, its total cost will be zero.

-SJL


Question 4

On Andy’s turn, he plays “The Final Battle” for (X) = 8 to destroy all of his opponent’s resonators. He then moves to combat and declares an attack with “Majin Dark Elf.” In response to the attack, Nicole plays and resolves “Alisaris, Scholar of Phenomena. Which of the following is an accurate representation of what happens when Alisaris resolves?


A: Because Alisaris was played after “The Final Battle” resolved, its ATK and DEF are unaffected, and Nicole may block with it.

B: Alisaris is destroyed due to the continuous effect of “The Final Battle,” and Nicole is able to order Alisaris’ “enters the field” automatic ability and “put into a graveyard from the field” automatic ability any way she wants, since she controls both of the abilities.

C: Alisaris is destroyed due to the continuous effect of “The Final Battle,” and Andy is able to order Alisaris’ “enters the field” automatic ability and “put into a graveyard from the field” automatic ability any way he wants, since he is the turn player.

D: Alisaris is destroyed due to the continuous effect of “The Final Battle,” but the “enters the field” automatic ability must go on the chase first, since Alisaris entered the field before going to the graveyard. Thus, Nicole is unable to play the chant she removes with Alisaris’s “enters the field” ability.

E: None of the above.


“909.4. If a continuous effect is made by an automatic ability, an activate ability or a spell, and if it applies to any cards with certain conditions, that are not specific cards, it applies to any cards fulfilling those conditions, no matter when the card starts to fulfill the condition. Also, it stops to apply if the card stops fulfilling the condition. In this case, conditions are part of that continuous effect. It is not checked when the effect is made, and the effect is made whether the condition is met or not.”


In this case, our condition is “your opponent controls.” This means that any J/resonator Nicole controls this turn will receive the [-800/-800] effect, even if it enters the field after “The Final Battle” resolves.


As Alisaris enters the battlefield, its “When this card enters the field” ability will trigger. However, when conducting a priority sequence, you must apply all rule processes before playing triggered automatic objects. This means Alisaris will be destroyed by rule process before its enter ability is put on the chase. In the process of being destroyed, its “put into a graveyard” ability will trigger. Thus, by the time Andy or Nicole can place automatic objects on the chase, both of Alisaris’ abilities will be ready.


603.2. If more than one automatic ability is triggered, the turn player chooses one among them that they control, if any exist. If none of them are controlled by the turn player, the non-turn player chooses one among them.”


Thus, Nicole is the player who chooses the order of the two abilities of Alisaris, since she controls both of them and their order is not dictated by the order in which they occurred.

-SJL


Question 5

Which of the following cards would be canceled by “The Eternal Tower”?


A: “Heteroclite Excalibur” on an opponent’s “Sha Wujing.”

B: “The Final Battle” with X = 3.

C: “Severing Winds” played for (0) on the second card an opponent played that turn.  

D: “Evil Elemental Uprising.”

E: None of the above.


“The Eternal Tower’s” ability will trigger whenever a chant with total cost of 1 or less is played.  According to the CR,


203.5. The total cost is the number of wills needed for the attribute cost plus the number on the free cost.


Going by this, the only time the ability of “The Eternal Tower” would trigger from the given scenarios would be upon playing “Heteroclite Excalibur”  or playing “Evil Elemental Uprising.” The reasoning for this trigger or lack thereof is different for every answer. In answer A, “Heteroclite Excalibur” is given an additional cost of (1) due to “Sha Wujing”; however, additional costs are not included in the total cost of a card, so “The Eternal Tower” will still have its ability triggered. For answer B, “The Final Battle” has a total cost of 4, so the ability will not trigger here. Normally, “The Final Battle” does have a total cost of 1, but the CR makes a special allowance for the total cost of cards containing an (X) cost on the chase.


203.5b. If a card has a free cost of X, X is the value you chose when paying for the card, while the card is on the chase. When that card is anywhere else, treat the value of X as zero.


In answer C, Severing Winds still has a total cost of 4, so the ability will not trigger. The ability on “Severing Winds” to play it for less than its normal cost still does not alter the total cost of the card itself.  Answer D contains a card with a total cost of 1 and thus will trigger the ability of “The Eternal Tower.” Even though “Evil Elemental Uprising” says “players cannot chase to this card,” that restriction only applies to cards or abilities that are NOT automatic abilities. The ability of “The Eternal Tower” is an automatic ability and thus may be played to the chase and can cancel “Evil Elemental Uprising.”


We find this exception in 1008.2:


1008.2. An effect that says "cannot chase" to a card or an ability means "as long as the card or ability is in a chase area, you cannot put another card, or an ability that is not an automatic ability into the chase area".

-SMS



Question 6

Which of the following can “Keez’s Call” cancel?


A: “Misty Dragon Spirit’s” delayed automatic ability (generated from its (0) activate ability) to put it into the field from the removed area.

B: A resonator played as a triggered object via [Stealth].

C: “Gem Beast’s” automatic ability.

D: “Willful Samurai Spirit’s” automatic ability.

E: None of the above.


Keez’s Call cancels an automatic ability of a resonator.


“307.4. If text refers to a "card" without the zone it's in, it refers to a card in the field. If a text refers to a "Resonator", "J-ruler", "Addition", "Regalia" or "Magic Stone" without the zone it's in, it refers to a card of the specified type in the field.”


Since it doesn’t refer to a specified zone, Keez’s Call can only cancel automatic abilities of resonators in the field. Since “Willful Samurai Spirit’s” ability does not trigger while it’s in the field, it does not qualify. Playing a resonator via [Stealth] is not an automatic ability.


“906.7b. If the card moved from a ruler area or the field to an area that is not a ruler area or the field, or vice versa, the ability refers to the card when it's in the field or a ruler area.”


The above means that “Gem Beast’s” ability is treated as an ability of a resonator in the field.


You might think that the ability of Misty Dragon Spirit that returns it to the field is the ability of a resonator in the removed zone and therefore ineligible to be canceled by Keez’s Call. This is incorrect. The delayed automatic ability is created by the ability of a resonator in the field, so its source is considered to be a resonator in the field and therefore eligible to be canceled by Keez’s Call.

-SJL


Question 7

Which of the following answers correctly describes the God’s Art <Azure Bonds> of “Alice, Girl of the Blue Planet”?


A: The non-magic stone card is named on resolution of the ability. This Alice cannot use her God’s Art again, but it can be used by new instances or future copies of her.

B: The non-magic stone card is named on resolution of the ability. No God’s Art named <Azure Bonds> can be used for the rest of the game by Alice’s controller, even if on a separate instance or card.

C: The non-magic stone card is named when the ability is played. This Alice cannot use her God’s Art again, but it can be used by new instances or future copies of her.

D: The non-magic stone card is named when the ability is played. No God’s Art named <Azure Bonds> can be used for the rest of the game by Alice’s controller, even if on a separate instance or card.


The non-magic stone card is named on resolution of the ability. Refer to section 903 of the CR (listed in the next question) for an explanation of what actions are taken during the process of playing a card - declaring your choice of card name is not one of them.


“1112.2. "[God's Art] <ability name> < activate ability >" means "<ability name> You can play <ability name> only once per game." “


Since God’s Art <Azure Bonds> always has the same name, it can only be played once per game, total, regardless of the number of “Alice, Girl of the Blue Planet” you play.

-SJL


Question 8

What is the correct order of steps when playing a spell or ability?


A: Choose whether or not to awaken [if a spell] => Choose options => Choose targets => Determine and pay all costs.

B: Choose whether or not to awaken [if a spell] => Choose targets => Choose options => Determine and pay all costs.

C: Choose options => Choose whether or not to awaken [if a spell] => Choose targets => Determine and pay all costs.

D: Choose options => Choose targets => Choose whether or not to awaken [if a spell] => Determine and pay all costs.

E: Choose targets => Choose options => Choose whether or not to awaken [if a spell] => Determine and pay all costs.


The process to play a spell or ability can be found under CR Section 903. When going through this CR section, the process is described in the order that the player must proceed in order to properly play the spell or ability.  The proper order for the listed methods is as follows.


903.2c. If the card being played has an [Awakening] (1109), choose whether or not to awaken that card or not.

903.2e. If a card or ability has the text "choose (number)", the player chooses that number of options in that text. Options not chosen are treated as if they didn't exist.

903.2g. If the card or ability needs targets, the controller chooses legal ones. If they cannot choose a legal target, they cannot play the card or ability.

903.2j. Do the things required to play the card or ability. If they cannot do any part of them, they cannot play the card or ability. If any part of them is replaced by a replacement effect, it is still treated as if they did it.


As you can see, there is even more to the process of 903, but copying that entire section of CR is outside the scope of this article. I recommend that anyone interested in furthering themselves as a Force of Will judge become intimately familiar with that section of the CR.

-SMS


Question 9

At what point is an attacking resonator that is attacking a J/resonator considered “battling”?


A: Immediately after it is declared as an attacker.

B: Immediately after a blocker (or no blocker) is chosen.

C: During the First Strike Battle Resolution Step, regardless if the attacking resonator has [First Strike].

D: During the First Strike Battle Resolution Step if the attacking resonator has [First Strike], or during the Normal Battle Resolution Step if the attacking resonator does not have [First Strike].

Directly after step 804.4, where a blocking J/resonator is declared, we have:


“804.5. From this point, the attacking <J/resonator> battles with another J/resonator as long as the condition is met.”


“804.5b. If there is no blocking J/resonator or the blocking J/resonator stops being a blocking J/resonator before the attacking J/resonator deals any battle damage, and if the attacked object is a J/resonator, the attacking J/resonator and the attacked object battle each other.”


Thus, as soon as a blocker (or no blocker) is chosen, the attacking J/resonator battles, either with the blocking J/resonator (or with the attacked J/resonator).

-SJL


Question 10

Andy controls “Dragon Shrine Maiden” and plays her Judgment process. He tries to use Maiden’s activate ability in response, but Nicole calls a judge, believing that Andy cannot do so. Both players declare they have no responses until after the Judgment process resolves and ask the judge to clarify what happens. What should the judge rule?


A: Andy cannot use “Dragon Shine Maiden’s” activate ability because abilities that rest a J/ruler cannot be used after their Judgment process has been declared in the same turn.

B: Andy cannot use “Dragon Shrine Maiden’s” activate ability because Judgment processes cannot be chased.

C: Andy can use “Dragon Shrine Maiden’s” activate ability, but she will enter the field recovered because J-rulers always enter the field recovered when a Judgment process resolves.

D: Andy can use “Dragon Shrine Maiden’s” activate ability, but she will enter the field rested because J-rulers enter the field in the same orientation as the ruler card was in when the Judgment process resolves.


When looking at the requirements to play a Judgment process, we find the following under section 705 Play a Judgment Process in the CR.


705.1. The turn player may play a judgment process if it is main timing, they have a recovered ruler with [Judgment] in their ruler area, and they haven't played a judgment process this turn.


We see here that having a recovered ruler is a restriction placed on playing a judgment process onto the chase. When looking at section 705.3 on how to resolve a judgment process, there is no such restriction. To see the orientation of a card moving between zones, we find this point under the section on zones in the CR.


302.3. If a card moves from one zone to another, if it moves from the field to a ruler area, or from a ruler area to the field, it's treated as the same card and keeps its orientation. Otherwise, it's treated as a new card in a new zone. Unless otherwise specified, any effect applied in an older zone is not applied to the new card.


Being that resolving the judgment process will move the card from the ruler area to the field, it clearly states that it retains its orientation.

-SMS



Question 11

Andy plays “Heavenly Fruit” with only a “Charlotte’s Protector” in his hand. What sequence of events occurs as a result?


A: Charlotte’s Protector goes to the graveyard => Heavenly Fruit goes to the graveyard => Andy puts Charlotte’s Protector’s automatic ability on the chase.

B: Charlotte’s Protector goes to the graveyard => Andy puts Charlotte’s Protector’s automatic ability on the chase => Heavenly Fruit goes to the graveyard.

C: Charlotte’s Protector goes to the graveyard => Heavenly Fruit is removed from play => Andy puts Charlotte’s Protector’s automatic ability on the chase.

D: Charlotte’s Protector goes to the graveyard => Andy puts Charlotte’s Protector’s automatic ability on the chase => Heavenly Fruit is removed from play.

E: Charlotte’s Protector and Heavenly Fruit are both removed from play. Charlotte’s Protector does not trigger its automatic ability.


First, Andy must resolve “Heavenly Fruit.” Card effects are resolved in the order written in the text, so first Andy must discard his hand. “Charlotte’s Protector” goes to the graveyard, and its ability is triggered. Then, the “If a card would be put into your graveyard from anywhere, remove it from the game instead.” effect would begin to apply. Now, Heavenly Fruit is done resolving, and it is time to move it from the chase to the graveyard. The replacement effect applies and removes Heavenly Fruit from the game. After that, Andy begins a priority sequence, and the triggered automatic ability of “Charlotte’s Protector” is put on the chase.

-SJL


Question 12

Andy controls “Lumia, the Fated Rebirth” and a rested “Dimension Dragon, Nidhogg” that was brought into play this turn by “End of Days.” He moves to the end phase and orders Lumia’s automatic ability, targeting Nidhogg, to resolve before “End of Days’” automatic ability. Which of the following will prevent Lumia from EITHER removing Nidhogg from play OR bringing it back into play once removed? (Note: there may be more than one correct answer to this question).

A: The replacement effect of “End of Days.”

B: His opponent, Nicole, playing “Dawn of the Earth” and choosing its first option.

C: His opponent, Nicole, using “Winds of Gold” to give Nidhogg [Barrier] in response to Lumia’s ability.

D: His opponent, Nicole, using the activate ability of her “Princess of Fleeting Hope” to recover Nidhogg in response to Lumia’s ability.

E: None of the above.


This is one whale of a question. The first mode of “Dawn of the Earth” will cause the removed resonator to stay in the removed area because of the replacement effect - the removed resonator trying to enter the field won’t be doing so via being played, which refers solely to a card having been played and put on the chase. If Nidhogg is given “Barrier,” that means it cannot be targeted by Nicole’s spells or abilities for the rest of the turn, leaving Lumia free to remove Nidhogg since Lumia is controlled by Andy. If Nidhogg is recovered by the ability of “Princess of Fleeting Hope” after being targeted by Lumia, then it no longer meets the targeting condition of Lumia’s ability and thus will be unaffected by Lumia’s ability.


The replacement effect of “End of Days” catches any affected resonator that would leave the field and removes it from the game. This works in all scenarios, except when the resonator was already being removed from the game. Since “remove from the game” is being replaced by “removed from the game,” the ability still sees that a resonator was removed from the game and thus brings it back.

-SJL


Question 13

Which of the following scenarios immediately leads to an attacking resonator no longer being considered attacking?


A: “Scarlet’s Agony” resolving with a legal target.

B: Control of the attacking resonator changing.

C: Losing its abilities (e.g. through "Separation of Fates").  

D: The attacking resonator dealing damage.

E: None of the above.


When checking when a resonator stops attacking, we can find a very explicit section of the CR that covers this scenario.


803.5a. In this battle, if the attacking J/resonator becomes a non-J/resonator, loses its ATK or DEF, moves to a non-field zone, or changes its controller, the J/resonator stops being the attacking J/resonator.


While answer A does not fall into any of these categories, removing the resonator from battle will result in it also being removed as an attacker, as a resonator can only be an attacker while also being in battle. Answer B clearly falls into one of the outlined circumstances from 803.5a. Answer C and D do not fall into that bullet. A resonator losing its abilities would not normally cause it to stop attacking barring some outside circumstance, and a resonator dealing damage will not stop battling until the End of Battle Step, which is covered under CR 807.4 after the Battle Resolution Steps in CR 805 and 806.


807.4. Attacking and blocking J/resonators stop attacking or blocking and battle ends.

-SMS


Question 14

Which of the following keyword skills have game functionality in multiples? (I.E. which of the following keyword skills “stack”?)


A: [Flying]

B: [Limit]

C: [Drain]

D: [Pierce]

E: [Bloodlust]


The answers to these should be fairly obvious from reading the relevant CR section (all can be found in section 1100. Keyword and Keyword Skill), but there is a clear divide between the correct and incorrect answers here. The incorrect answers ([Flying], [Pierce], and [Bloodlust]), are all continuous abilities - they change how the game normally works in some way, either by giving an attacker the ability to evade potential blockers, the ability to deal damage through a blocker, or by forcing a resonator to attack when normally resonators do not have to attack. The correct answers are both automatic abilities and will have some obvious functionality if applied in multiples. (Yes, I know that [Limit] is both an automatic and a continuous ability. I pray we never have to deal with what happens if a card ever gains multiple [Limit] abilities, but clearly something will happen.)

-SJL


Question 15

Which of the following cards are legal for Andy to play if he has no non-magic stone cards in his field, and his opponent, Nicole, only has a “Scarlet, the Crimson Beast” and magic stones in her field?


A: “Intervention of Reality” with five revealed Stories.

B: “Soul Concentration.”

C: “Null Darkness” with zero cards in hand.

D: “An Encounter With Cthulhu.”

E: None of the above.


In the case of “Intervention of Reality,” all three [Legend] conditions are filled, so the card has all three clauses of text. Since there are no additions in the field, there is no legal target for that part of “Intervention of Reality’s” effect, and it cannot be played without a legal target for each part of it that targets.


“Soul Concentration” can always be played, since its first mode does not target your J/ruler.


“Null Darkness” cannot be played; there are no legal resonator targets, and “Null Darkness” requires at least one legal resonator target to exist to play it, regardless of whether it has its [Null] text unlocked.


“An Encounter with Cthulhu,” similarly to “Soul Concentration,” does not target, and can always be played regardless of whether each player can banish a resonator or not.

-SJL


Question 16

Which of the following action sequences is legal?


A: Calling a stone => recovering your ruler with “Hoelle Pig’s” activate ability => doing a Judgment process.

B: Doing a Judgment process => using “Sprinting Flame Horse’s” [Inheritance] ability to give your J-ruler [Swiftness] => calling a stone.

C: Doing a Judgment process => using “High Speed Dash” to return your J-ruler to a ruler => calling a stone.

D: All of these sequences are legal.

E: None of these sequences are legal.


The restrictions on doing a judgment process and calling a stone are covered in the CR at sections 705 and 710 respectively. They are as follows:


705.1. The turn player may play a judgment process if it is main timing, they have a recovered ruler with [Judgment] in their ruler area, and they haven't played a judgment process this turn.

710.1. The turn player rests his or her ruler or J-ruler if it is main timing, he or she hasn't called a magic stone and they haven‟t played a judgment process this turn. If they do, they put the top card of their magic stone deck into the field under their control. This
procedure is called "calling a magic stone".


According to these CR sections, there is a definitive rule against doing judgment and then calling a stone, but there is no such rule prohibiting the inverse, provided your ruler is recovered when you play the judgment.

-SMS


Question 17

Which of the following cards would “Cheshire Cat, Guide to the Mysterious World” gain keyword skills from, if they were in a removed area and removed by Cheshire?


A: “Red Riding Hood, Rainbow to the Heavens” with three magic stones in Cheshire’s owner’s field.

B: “Prokaryotic Being”

C: “Sylvia, the Slave Girl” when there is a [+100/+100] counter on Cheshire.

D: “Statue in the Sacred Temple”

E: None of the above.


To answer this question, we turn to section 902:


902.1. Each ability can be played or apply its effect as long as it's active. Unless otherwise specified, abilities are active as long as the card with them is in a zone as below:

902.1a. Abilities on a J/resonator, addition, regalia or magic stone are active while the card is in the field.

902.1b. Abilities on a ruler are active while the card is in a ruler area.

902.2. If an ability has text that is available in specified area, the ability is active in that specified area.


Simply having a keyword in your card’s text isn’t enough to be picked up by Cheshire Cat - it must actually have that ability, not just reference it. Red Riding Hood does not actually have the relevant abilities - it can gain them if its [Seal] is released, and its [Seal] can only be released if it’s in the field. Likewise, Prokaryotic Being can gain those keyword abilities by use of its activate abilities, but it does not naturally have them. Sylvia and Statue in the Sacred Temple do not actually have these abilities either - they simply reference them in their text.

-SJL


Question 18

If Andy controls “Neo Barrier of Shadows” and eight magic stones, which of the following statements are accurate about cards controlled by his opponent, Nicole? (Note: there may be more than one correct answer to this question).


A: “Sacred Elf’s” activate ability will cost (1) to activate, but Nicole will be able to use it still.

B: Nicole will not be able to banish “Spirit Stone” to draw a card.

C: Nicole will not be able to banish “Majin Stone” to produce (F)(F).

D: “Fiery Fox of Reincarnation’s” activate ability will cost (1) to activate, but Nicole will be able to use it still.

E: Nicole will not be able to call a stone through the ability of “Flute’s Water Dragon.”


“Neo Barrier of Shadows” has two effects which both apply to activate abilities with one effect excluding will abilities. Activate abilities are formatted as <cost> : <effect>. Will abilities are, in most cases, a type of activate ability, and they have certain traits setting them apart from other activated abilities.


907.1. Activate abilities that need no target and produce wills are will abilities. Automatic abilities that trigger by playing a will ability, need no target, and produce wills are will abilities. Spells that produce wills are not will abilities.


The cost-increasing “tax” effect of “Neo Barrier of Shadows” applies to all activate abilities of resonators the opponent controls. This includes activate abilities that are also will abilities, resulting in the ability of Sacred Elf having an additional cost of (1) when played.


The other ability of Neo Barrier prevents the opponent from playing any activate ability, even those of non-resonator cards, provided that they are not will abilities. This means that Nicole cannot even attempt to draw a card with “Spirit Stone” nor can she use the ability of “Fiery Fox of Reincarnation’s.”


Nicole can still play the ability of “Majin Stone” since it falls under the criteria of a will ability.


Now we may look at the ability of “Flute’s Water Dragon.”

Remember, activate abilities are formatted as <cost> : <effect>. The ability in question here does not fit that criteria. Instead, this ability falls under the criteria of a continuous ability and is not affected by any of the abilities of Neo Barrier.

-SMS



Question 19

If “Alice’s World of Madness” is on the field, and Andy plays and resolves “Rapid Growth” on a “Leaf Guard,” then Nicole plays and resolves a “Charlotte’s Water Transformation Magic” on the same “Leaf Guard,” what is “Leaf Guard’s” ATK and DEF?


A: 200/200

B: 400/400

C: 600/600

D: 800/800


Now this question is a doozy involving many different interactions working in tandem.


When examining continuous effects on a resonator, different types of modifications are performed in a certain order, found in section 909.1 of the CR. These orders are called layers. An effect that would modify a resonator’s race, for example, would occur on a layer before an effect that would change that resonator’s ATK and DEF (referred to hereafter as stats).


This solution does not work when we have multiple effects attempting to modify the same quality of a card, such as two effects modifying the stats of a resonator, because both effects operate within the same layer. In cases such as these, we refer to the CR section 909.3:


909.3. If two or more continuous effects are applied at the same time in the above conditions, apply them in the order below:
909.3a. If there are effect A and effect B, and if applying A before B changes what or how B applies, then you apply A after B, B is considered dependent on A. If effect B depends on effect A and A doesn't depend B, B is always applied after A.
909.3b. If the order is not decided after this, apply the effect earlier applied first. The timing of an effect applied is determined as this; at the time the continuous ability became active, or the time the effect is made by an ability. In the case of an addition added to a card where that addition creates a continuous effect, the effect becomes active when the addition is added onto that card. If, for any reason the timing is still the same, the turn player at the time decides which one applies first.


These bullet points refer to what are commonly referred to as dependencies and timestamps. Dependencies don't apply here, but if you plan to move forward in the FoW Judge Program they are worth learning (Feel free to contact any official FoW judge for questions on the topic).


Timestamps, however, are what this question is all about! Since all of the effects in question modify the resonator’s stats, they all apply on the same layer. Since they all apply on the same layer, we apply them in the order that they started acting upon the resonator.


First, we take the base stats of “Leaf Guard” and have a 400/800.


Second, we apply the preexisting effect of “Alice's World of Madness” and end up with 200/600 for the stats of the “Leaf Guard.”


Third, we apply “Rapid Growth” and add +400/+400, resulting in a 600/1000.


Fourth, we apply the wild multi-layer (fortunately not relevant here) effect of “Charlotte's Water Transformation Magic,” and we make the resonator become a 400/400.


The fact that the resonator becomes a 400/400 is very important. This means that, regardless of the stats or pre-existing effects acting upon the resonator, the end result is going to be a stat change that would normally result in a 400/400 (so in this case, a change of -200/-600).

-SMS


Question 20

In which of the following scenarios would a player need to make public the card he or she is searching for?


A: Playing “Fated Reunion” and choosing both options.

B: Using “Gardea, the Guardian Dragon of Heaven’s” [Enter] ability.

C: Using “Rachel, the Ancient Library Researcher’s” “leaves the field” automatic ability.

D: Using an awakened “Planting Beans.”

E: None of the above.


Finally, we reach the elephant in the room. There have been many complaints about this question being worded poorly, and we have heard them. As this was a worldwide exam, the US Judge Council did not write it, but we will do our best to pass your concerns on to Force of Will.


This question is designed to test the candidate’s knowledge of how searches work. There is no CR text that requires a player to reveal a card that is being searched for. Generally, any effect that requires a search for a card with specific information (such as “Search your deck for a resonator…”) will also include specific instructions to reveal it. Since all of these cards require the player to search their deck for “a card,” the player should never need to reveal that card, right?


Well, yes, that’s right, but that’s not what the question asked for. A, B, and C are just simple searches for the card to put it in your hand, but “Planting Beans” requires you to put the card in the graveyard, and then put it from the graveyard into your hand. Since the graveyard is a public zone, that means the card will be made public during the process.

-SJL


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Thank you for reading this article. We hope you enjoyed learning about the rules of Force of Will TCG, and we hope that you’ll use this knowledge to improve your gameplay and your score on next quarter’s Level 0 judge exam!