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Understanding the Battle Phase:

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1Understanding the Battle Phase: Empty Understanding the Battle Phase: on Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:27 am


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The Battle Phase is the most complicated Phase in the Game. This is where a lot of things take place and the order of which effects and substeps take place can confuse players that are new to the game and even players that know the game very well. In this Article I will go through the 4 Main Steps of the Battle Phase and the 7 substeps of the Damage Step and what happens in which Substep.

This is where the turn player announces that she/he will be entering the Battle Phase. Remember that if you are the turn player you cannot enter the Battle Phase on the first turn of the duel.

NOTE: When you enter the Battle Phase you do not need to declare an attack. It is perfectly legal to enter the Battle Phase even if you can't attack with a monster.

Once you have entered the Battle Phase you may proceed to Main Step 4: The End Step, or proceed to Main Step 2: The Battle Step.

The Battle Step has two substeps in itself. As the turn player you must declare that you will be entering the Battle Step.

During this substep you will announce which of your monsters will attack which of your opponents monsters. You have Priority to activate a Spell Speed 2 card when you declare an attack and your opponent can respond accordingly. Once the turn player declares an attack, the opponent may respond to the attack and begin a chain.

NOTE: Only one chain can be started in response to an attack. When the chain resolves the attack will go on as per normal UNLESS a Battle Replay occurs.

Multiple Chains are allowed during this substep. Also cards that do not need to be activated in response to an attack or can be activated before the Damage Step may be activated here. After both players do not wish to activate any more cards, you may enter Main Step 3: The Damage Step (if a monster is attacking) or the Main Step 4: End Step (if no monster is attacking and you do not wish to attack with any other monster).

The Damage Step has 8 Substeps and each one has specific rules about what can and can't be activated, some cards cannot be activated at all in the Damage Step, while others can only be activated in specific substeps. You must be careful with the activation and resolution of card effects in the Damage Step. I have numbered in order what happens in each substep and the way you should go about activating cards and how the Gameplay works.

1). Continuous effects of monsters activate at this time. THis will include cards such as Crystal Beast Topaz TIger.
2). If your monster is attacking a face-down monster the monster is not yet flipped up at this substep of the Damage Step.
3). Trigger effects like Neo-Spacian Grand Mole will now activate and resolve without flipping the monster, if a monster is removed from the field during this substep, the rest of the Damage Step will not continue through.
4). If a face-down monster is attacked its effect cannot be activated.
5). Cards that increase or decrease ATK/DEF points of a monster can now be activated (even if it is a Spell Speed 2 card such as Shrink).
6). No other cards may not be activated in this step.

1). Face-down monsters that have been attacked are flipped face-up.
2). Flip effects and Trigger effects (such as cards like Ryko, the Lightsworn Hunter) are NOT activated at this time (see substep 6 for the activation and resolutions of such effects).
3). Once the monster is flipped up any continuous effects it has are now immediately applied, this will include cards like Jinzo.
4). If a continuous effect of a Spell or Trap also exists on the field it is now applied immediately to the monster, this includes cards such as Skill Drain (even though it is Spell Speed 2, its effect is continuous and is applied through the duel).
5). Any effects that activate before Damage Calculation are now applied, you may also activate the effect of a card that increases or decreases ATK/DEF
points at this stage of the step (even if it is a Spell Speed 2 card such as Shrink).

NOTE: As you can see cards like Honest can be activated both BEFORE and AFTER a monster is flipped face-up, this is important to note because some players think that when a monster is flipped face-up, it is too late to activate Honest's effect. This is not the case.

1). You can now activate effects that activate before Damage Calculation in this substep. This will include cards such as Drillroid, where the face-down monster has been flipped up and before Damage Calculation. These type of effects will have something like "without applying Damage Calculation" or similar in their effect text.
2). Card effects that activate when they are flipped face-up, such as Penguin Knight are activated here.

NOTE: Card effects that involve being flipped face-up are NOT the same as FLIP effects. FLIP effects do not activate in this step.

3). Any damage inflicting effects that a monster has are applied at this time.
4). Effects that increase/decrease ATK and DEF can now be activated (even if they are of Spell Speed 2 like Shrink).
5). Multiple chains are allowed, for example: if your Shrink is negated by Solemn Judgment, you may activate another Shrink.
6). After resolving cards and effect during Damage Calculation you must move immidiantly to Substep

1). Effects that activate during damage calculation like Injection Fairy Lily will activate at this time.
2). Only one chain can be activated during damage calculaion. Multiple chains are not allowed.
3). Effects that increase/decrease ATK and DEF cannto be activated at this time. However their are exceptions to the rule. One notable exception is Honest, whos effect can be activated at any time in the Damage Step.
4). After all continuous effects are applied any Battle Damage is inflicted to players.
5). You must decide if a monster is destroyed by battle in this substep (however monsters are not removed from the field).
6). Cards such as Kuriboh can also be discarded at this substep to prevent and Damage from taking place.

1). Cards that destroy themselves due to specific conditions on the field, like Thunder Nyan Nyan are destroyed by their effects in this substep.
2). Effects that activate when Battle Damage is inflicted, like Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer activate here.
3). Cards that have "when you take 'x' amount of damage" or similiar in their card effect can now be activated here (even if the card is Spell Speed 2).

1). Monsters are now considered destroyed from this substep of the Damage Step (however they still do not leave the field).
2). Once a monter is considered destroyed in this substep, its continuous effects no longer apply.
3). FLIP effect monster effects and trigger effect monsters are activated at this time.
4). All targets must be selected and effects must be resolved.

NOTE: cards like Penguin Soldier cannot target themselves during this substep. This is because even though Penguin Soldier is still on the field. It has been already been destroyed by battle.

1). Monster(s) Destroyed by Battle are Sent to the Graveyard (or removed from play if a card like Macro Cosmos is active).
2) If the monster destroyed by battle has an effect that activates when it is destroyed by battle and sent to the Graveyard, its effect starts a Chain.
3). Cards that activate when they are sent to the Graveyard now activate in this substep, this includes cards like Sangan.
4). A monster that activates its effect when it destroys a monster by battle and sends it to the Graveyard such as Blackwing Shura the Flame are also activated at this time.
5). Effects that activate at the end of the Damage Step like Ryu Kokki wil then activate.
6). Monsters that are destroyed by battle and have effects that activate in this step will not be affected by cards like Skill Drain as they are no longer considered to be on the field.

The Battle Phase ends when you have no more monsters to attack with or can no longer declate an attack. you will now immidiantly activate effects like the effects of Gladiator Beasts and proceed into you Main Phase 2.

Thanks for reading I will post another article up in 1-2 weeks Very Happy

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