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Cikk: Priority (unofficial guide) Nem hivatalos prioritás kalauz

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Posted 13 March 2007 - 09:31 AM

Priority: an unofficial guide by Einstein


Since UDE still has no priority article, I wrote this article for my other forum and figured I'd post it here. Note that this is in no way official - this is simply something I wrote based on the existing accepted standard as well as conclusions drawn from certain rulings. Nothing on priority is really official aside from what's in the rulebook for the time being.



The topic of what priority is, exactly, is often very confusing. Some people believe that "Breaker the Magical Warrior" has priority when you summon it, or that "Exiled Force" has priority to Tribute itself when you summon. Both of those, and probably many interpretations you have heard, are incorrect (in this case, because, as I mention below, monsters do not have priority, players do).

Priority is the principle that determines which player has the chance to activate an effect at a given time. In most normal situations, a simpler definition is that priority is the ability of the Turn Player to place an effect of theirs in Chain Link 1.

Yes, this means that only players have priority, not monsters, and that it's a concept or rule, not an actual effect.

Well, what does this mean for the game? Let's analyze it in several sections:

Priority, in General:

As the first part of my definition essentially stated, the player that has priority at any point, is the player that has the sole ability to activate their effect first. This means that in any phase of any turn, the Turn Player has the first chance to activate an effect of theirs. A couple examples:

- During the Draw Phase, after the Turn Player draws a normal card for the turn, the Turn Player has the first chance to activate a card/effect. If the opponent has a card such as "Drop Off", it must be chained to the effect that the Turn Player activates (if any).

- When the Turn Player enters Main Phase 1, he or she has the first chance to Tribute Summon/Normal Summon a monster, activate a card effect, etc.

To summarize what this means, I will tell you what priority means in respect to phases, and gameplay in general:

Whenever the Turn Player enters a new phase, he/she has the first chance to activate a card or card effect. If the phase is the Main Phase, this ability expands to include summoning monsters.

After the Turn Player has activated a card effect, priority is passed to the opponent of the Turn Player, who then has the chance to activate any effect. After that, priority is returned to the Turn Player, who can now activate a desired effect or card, and priority is passed back and forth until the chain is over. Once this chain has ended, priority again returns to the Turn Player, who now has the ability to activate another effect or summon a monster. The phase continues this way until both players have agreed to pass on priority (i.e. the Turn Player declares he/she has nothing left to play, and the opponent would not like to activate anything either). Play then moves on to the next phase (note that a chain works similarly - the chain stops building when both players refuse to add more chain links in succession).

Also, note that since priority exists all the time, there can potentially be a chain in response to every gameplay action, such as drawing a card, adding a card to the hand, or setting a Spell or Trap Card, or Monster. In these cases, the response chains still allow the Turn Player first priority.

Some examples of this type of priority:

(In all examples, assume Player A is the Turn Player)

1) Player A enters their Main Phase 1. Player B has a face-down "Embodiment of Apophis" and would like to activate it. However, Player A has priority upon entering Main Phase 1, and decides to Tribute Summon "Jinzo". In this case, Player B has no chance to activate "Embodiment of Apophis", as Player A has first chance and summons "Jinzo", thus making said activation impossible.

2) Player A has used "Brain Control" to take control of Player B's "Jinzo". Player B has used "Enemy Controller" this turn, to take control of Player A's "Cyber Dragon". During the End Phase, Player A has priority to activate an effect. He or she can choose to use priority and let the effect of "Brain Control" resolve, or pass on priority and allow it to go to Player B. If Player A passes priority to Player B, Player B has the option of resolving the effect of "Enemy Controller", or passing priority back to Player A.

If Player B resolves the effect of "Enemy Controller", "Cyber Dragon" will return to Player A, and then Player A's "Brain Control" will resolve, returning "Jinzo" to Player B.

If Player B passes priority, Player A is then forced to resolve the effect of "Brain Control", returning "Jinzo", and then Player B must resolve the effect of "Enemy Controller", returning "Cyber Dragon".

3) Player A has "Bowganian" on the field, and Player B has "Kisetai" equipped to an opponent's monster on the field, with 500 LP left. In Player A's Standby Phase, Player B would like to resolve the effect of "Kisetai" first to gain enough Life Points to survive the phase, but Player A has priority to activate the effect of "Bowganian" first. As that is most likely, "Bowganian" will resolve first, causing Player B to lose before "Kisetai" can save Player B.

Priority, in Relation to Monster Summons:

This is the part that often confuses everyone. Who exactly has what kind of priority when the Turn Player Normal Summons a monster in the Main Phase?

When a monster is Summoned during the Turn Player's Main Phase, the Turn Player has priority to activate an effect or card, similar to priority like before. However, the Turn Player's priority in this case is limited to activating the effects of monsters on the field (even the one just summoned), or Spell Speed 2 effects or cards (the Turn Player may not, for instance, activate a Normal Spell Card using their priority in the chain in response to a summon).

When the monster is summoned, the Turn Player has priority to activate its effect or the effect of another monster. This is common in the case of monsters such as "Breaker the Magical Warrior" (note that this is a special example, as I will illustrate in a moment). This means the Turn Player always has the first chance to respond to a summon.

Note that since the concept of priority always exists, it is no different for the example of the negation of summons - Turn Player always has the first chance to respond. To make it a little bit more clear what I'm saying, let me show you a step-by-step chain of a monster summon:

1) Player A pays any costs associated with summoning, if necessary (such as removing monsters in the Graveyard from play for "Chaos Sorcerer").

2) Player A declares he is summoning the monster.

3) Since Player A has priority, he/she can activate something such as "Solemn Judgment" to send his/her monster to the Graveyard (for whatever reason).

4) Player B then has the chance to respond with any summon negators or other counter traps.

5) If the summon is not negated, the monster is summoned and then the "normal" chain, the one "in response to the summon," can occur.

Note that this isn't really verified, but it's the way it really does work.

Some examples of this type of priority:

(In all examples, assume Player A is the Turn Player)

1) Player A enters their Main Phase 1 and Normal Summons "Exiled Force". Using priority, Player A activates the effect of "Exiled Force" and Tributes it. Player B now has the chance to respond. However, since "Exiled Force" is already in the Graveyard, it would be impossible for Player B to use a card such as "Trap Hole", though responses such as "Compulsory Evacuation Device", on the target of "Exiled Force", are acceptable. If Player A did not use priority, Player B would have the chance to activate a card such as "Trap Hole", and Player A could no longer respond with "Exiled Force"'s effect, as it is a Spell Speed 1 effect and may not be chained to a Spell Speed 2 effect.

2) Player A Normal Summons "Breaker the Magical Warrior". Using its mandatory Trigger Effect, the monster automatically activates the effect of placing a counter on itself. If Player B responds with "Bottomless Trap Hole", the chain will resolve in reverse order, and "Breaker the Magical Warrior" will be removed from the game before ever gaining its counter (note that this is a special example because the Trigger Effect of adding a counter "uses up" your priority). If Player B does not respond, and the chain ends, Player A again has priority, and can remove the counter from "Breaker the Magical Warrior" to activate the effect before Player B can respond.

3) Player A Normal Summons "Mobius the Frost Monarch". If Player A chooses to use the effect of "Mobius the Frost Monarch", it is placed in Chain Link 1. Player B can then chain to this effect, with a card such as "Bottomless Trap Hole", but since the effect has already been activated, even if "Mobius the Frost Monarch" is removed from the game, its effect will still resolve, destroying the targeted Spell/Trap Cards.

4) Player A Special Summons "Chaos Sorcerer" using its effect, in Main Phase 1. Using priority, Player A can activate the Ignition Effect of "Chaos Sorcerer" and place it into Chain Link 1. If Player B chains "Torrential Tribute", the chain resolves in reverse order, and "Torrential Tribute" will destroy all monsters before the effect of "Chaos Sorcerer" resolves (meaning that "Chaos Sorcerer" does not have "priority" to remove a monster from play, just to activate its effect). This is an example of how "Chaos Sorcerer" can resolve without effect.

Priority, in Relation to SEGOC:

SEGOC, or Simultaneous Effects Go On a Chain, is not a topic that strictly concerns priority. However, it does directly relate to priority in several ways, so I shall address it here.

To get an in-depth idea of simultaneous effects, I advise you to read the "Simultaneous Effects" article in the Advanced Gameplay FAQ. Here, I'll just briefly describe it to you:

When two or more effects attempt to resolve at the same time, they are placed into a chain, even if they are Spell Speed 1 effects. Note that this is an example of Spell Speed 1 effects chaining to each other, which does not usually occur.

A great example is if a "Mystic Tomato" attacks a "Mystic Tomato". Both effects attempt to resolve at the same time, so they are placed into a chain with the following rules:

1. Mandatory effects are always placed on the chain before optional effects.

If there are simultaneous effects are of the same type, the rules for chain placement are governed by Rule 2:

2. Turn Player's effects are always placed onto the chain before the opponent's.

If one player controls two effects of the same type, chain placement is determined by Rule 3:

3. If one player controls two simultaneous effects, that player chooses the order in which they are placed in the chain.

(These rules have been created by me and are not official in any way)

Since in this case, both effects are optional, we skip to the second rule; the Turn Player, or attacking player, places their "Mystic Tomato" on Chain Link 1, and the opponent, or defending player, places theirs on Chain Link 2. It will resolve in reverse order, and the opponent will search first.

In relation to priority as you will need it for the game, the most common issue is in dealing with how simultaneous Trigger Effects activate and resolve.

Some examples of this type of priority:

(In all examples, assume Player A is the Turn Player)

1) Player A summons "Mobius the Frost Monarch" while "Stumbling" is on the field. Both effects trigger upon the summon, so they are placed on the chain. In this case, the first rule shows that the mandatory trigger effect of "Stumbling" must be placed in Chain Link 1, while the optional trigger effect of "Mobius the Frost Monarch" is placed in Chain Link 2 (the second rule only applies if both effects are of the same type). "Mobius the Frost Monarch" will resolve first, destroying two Spell or Trap Cards, and if one of them was "Stumbling", will remain in Attack Position.

2) Player A summons "Exiled Force" while "Stumbling" is on the field. The mandatory trigger effect of "Stumbling" is placed automatically into Chain Link 1 (assuming the Turn Player has no mandatory trigger effects to activate). Now, however, since "Exiled Force" has an Ignition Effect, it cannot be chained to the effect of "Stumbling" (the only time Spell Speed 1 effects can be chained to each other in this type of priority example is Trigger Effects). In this example, the Turn Player essentially "loses" their priority (although this isn't really true, imagine it that way).

3) Player A Normal Summons "Marauding Captain" while "King Tiger Wanghu" is on the field. The effect of "King Tiger Wanghu" is mandatory and is placed in Chain Link 1; however, since "Marauding Captain" has an optional Trigger Effect, it can be chained to that of "King Tiger Wanghu". "Marauding Captain" will still be destroyed, but the monster will be summoned.

4) Player A Normal Summons "Marauding Captain" while Player B's "King Tiger Wanghu" and Player A's "Stumbling" are on the field. According to Rule 1, since "King Tiger Wanghu" and "Stumbling" are both mandatory Trigger Effects, they are placed on the chain first. According to Rule 2, the Turn Player's effect is placed in Chain Link 1, so "Stumbling" will activate its effect, "King Tiger Wanghu" will chain to that, and then "Marauding Captain", an optional effect, will chain to the effect of "King Tiger Wanghu" if so chosen. The chain will resolve in reverse order.

Note that in this example, if Player B controlled "Stumbling" and "King Tiger Wanghu", Rule 3 would mean that Player B would choose which was Chain Link 1 and which was Chain Link 2.
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