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Pojo's Yu-Gi-Oh Card of the Day

Solemn Judgment
Ultra Rare

Pay half of your Life Points when your opponent either activates a Magic or Trap Card or summons a monster (including Special Summon) to negate the action and destroy the Magic Card, Trap Card or summoned monster.

Type - Trap
Card Number - MRD-127

Card Ratings
Traditional: 3.58
Advanced: 4.03

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale 1 being the worst.
3 ... average. 5 is the highest rating.

Date Reviewed - 07.04.05



Today is the 4th of July, and we’re reviewing a Trap Card that sees a little – but not much – play, as well as being perhaps the most versatile Counter Trap in the game: Solemn Judgment. Fun fact: J-U-D-G-E-M-E-N-T is actually not an incorrect spelling; it’s used more often in England, whereas J-U-D-G-M-E-N-T is the accepted American spelling.

Now, Solemn Judgment has a very steep cost, namely half your Life Points. Early game, that is very bad; paying 4000 LP isn’t fun. Late game, that is very good; paying 200 or so isn’t bad at all. The fact that you can negate ANY Spell, ANY Trap, and a whole bunch of summons really makes Solemn Judgment at least worth considering.

There are a few restrictions as to when you’re allowed to activate Solemn Judgment as far as negating summons goes. If a monster is being Special Summoned by an external card effect, you can’t negate that summon. For example, if your opponent were to summon a monster with Premature Burial, you COULD NOT negate that summon with Solemn Judgment (however, you could just negate Burial itself, so it’s really not a big deal).

An instance where that DOES matter is if, say, you attack a face-down Cyber Jar. You are not allowed to activate Solemn Judgment to stop your opponent from summoning monsters in that situation, because they’re being summoned due to Cyber Jar’s effect and not their own. You also couldn’t use SJ to negate Cyber Jar’s summon because it was never summoned in the first place.

But I’m rambling. Solemn Judgment is no doubt a VERY useful card. Some people use it in their side decks as a very comprehensive counter to unexpected cards and combos in enemy decks; others have them main decked as a form of surprising negation; others use the LP payment to their advantage, in decks such as Last Turn, that require your LP to be low.

Traditional – CCCC: 3/5
Traditional – Last Turn: 4/5
Advanced – CCWC: 3.5/5
Advanced – Last Turn: 4.5/5

ExMinion OfDarkness
Solemn Judgment

As may be mentioned by the others, this card's CotD selection was inspired by the Patriot Act, negating and destroying freedoms at the cost of half the remaining respect of the American people.

This card's actually seen a lot less play in sideboards. Why? It's no longer really needed and the cost is too great. There are very few competitive decks that see play in Advanced, and the counters to those decks come in the forms of other cards that cost a lot less.

Thousand-Eyes Restrict giving you the blues? Chain Disappearance. Ben Kei? Threatening Roar/Waboku cover that, along with Cursed Seal of the Forbidden Spell. Last Turn? Elephant Statue'll give you the win, and Royal Decree will hurt them if they don't have the Solemn ready.

However, I do know players who have gone to the point of maindecking one Solemn so that when they're going to win, they're -GOING- to win. It's the ultimate card against a topdecking player, but how often are you going to be in that situation?

Traditional: 2.75/5
Advanced: 2.75/5


Happy Fourth of July!  It looks like we get to review my favorite card today, Solemn Judgment.  I reviewed this for a Dealer’s choice day last Thanksgiving, so this will be an update of that review.


Stats                : While being a Trap has always had something of a negative image (you have to Set it and wait until after the End Phase of that turn to activate them and Jinzo proved quite popular and potent), that’s the trade off for being able to use them on either players turn once (once legal to activate).  Solemn Judgment is not just a Trap, but possibly the most elite of Traps in the American game, the Counter Trap.  Counter Traps are Spell Speed 3; this means that they chain to any other card (in the proper situation) and most other cards are too slow to chain to them.  These are excellent stats, in my opinion.  Since being a Quick-Play Spell card (for example), would lower its Spell Speed, I really think this is the perfect way for this card to do its thing.  What is “its thing”?


Effect(s)            : Negation.  Nearly everything in the game can be negated by Solemn Judgment, but at the price of half your Life Points.  Of course, early game this tends to be terrible, but late game, it’s often a bargain.  Also, the halving rounds up, so if you have one Life Point left, it’s free! XD So, what cannot be negated by Solemn Judgment?  When a Monster is Special Summoned by the effect of another card, said Monster’s Special Summoning cannot be negated.  You can, however, negate any Spell or Trap card used in the Special Summoning, so for the most part this is a mere technicality.  Similarly, you can’t negate an effect like Kuriboh, as it is used by discarding said card from hand.  You cannot negate the effect of a Monster card.  Remember though, you can negate the Summon of a Monster, and if that would negate the effect, the effect is negated.  For example, if you negate the normal, Tribute Summon of Mobius the Frost Monarch with Solemn Judgment, it doesn’t get its effect, as it was never Summoned.  There are also two annoying Monsters that luck out at the wording of Solemn Judgment.  Since it says to “destroy” the card, if you use Solemn Judgment to negate the initial Summons of Dark Necrofear and Vampire Lord, their secondary effects will still kick in.  At least they are still considered to have never been properly Summoned and are thus illegal targets for revival (aside from their own effects).  You can’t negate the effects of a Field Spell, though you could negate said Field Spell when they attempt to put it into play (whether directly from hand or activating it from a Set). 


Right now, this card is sounding pretty bad, due to all the exceptions, eh?  Remember, anything more or less “normal” can be negated by Solemn Judgment.  I will explain further in the Uses and Combinations section.


Uses and

Combinations  : Using this card requires quick math and a quick evaluation of the game current status.  For example, if my opponent activates Ceasefire and my Life Points are lower than [the known number of effect monsters in play multiplied by 500], then I should most definitely negate that, or else I lose. ;) That is usually the obvious timing for the card. If you are going to win if the attack goes through, and they have nothing set or in hand, you negate the Waboku for the win.  Again, there is no question there.  Less obvious is when your opponent goes to use Waboku but has other options as well.  Do the math and evaluate the scenario.  If they have cards in hand, ask yourself “How likely are they to run Kuriboh?”   If you think they run Kuriboh, ask yourself “How likely are they to have Kuriboh in hand?” followed by “How much will it hurt me if I negate Waboku and then they use that Kuriboh?”  As long as you aren’t making yourself extremely vulnerable, in this scenario, it would still be worth negating the Waboku.  Remember to adjust for obvious exceptions (they run Chaos but you haven’t seen BLS yet).


As of now, I haven’t really gotten into why to run Solemn Judgment.  After all, there are other cards for the scenarios I mentioned.  Why run such an expensive card?


First, notice that it replaces multiple cards.  That’s why I started running it back in the day: even in the days of Metal Raiders, who had room for even two each of Magic Jammer and Seven Tools of the Bandit?  It also functions as a Horn of Heaven you always have the option of using: you can always pay to negate (though you may not always want to).  It’s a very versatile card.


The second reason to use it is summed up in a single word: fear.  Most players I know, good or bad are always weary of running into Mirror Force.  Why?  Because it can ruin your entire offense.  Mirror Force is only a single card!  The odds were pretty low that it would be the only thing set.  Still, we fear it.  Solemn Judgment is similar.  When you run at least one, your opponent will always worry that you can negate something important.  Imagine setting up a complicated combo, only for the key component to be negated, rendering the rest useless.  It’s the stuff of nightmares.  It also matters when, as stated, a single card is all that stands between victory and defeat.  Since it is Spell Speed 3, it does usually end the chain.


If you run multiples and are smart enough to know when to play them, people will fear them.  From personal experience, I have found that while I am really just an “average” player with a penchant for running decks that aren’t the current “thing”, people who remember me fear the Judgments… what, it’s been a while since I went to an actual tournament (ban list protest), and I change decks so much online.


Now, to finish this section, let me quickly mention that this actually combos with certain cards to really be the backbone of most decks.  First we have Suicide Beatdown, which purposely burns most of its LP because it knows how to capitalize on that-primarily MegamorphLast Turn decks also benefit from Solemn Judgment to lower Life Points rapidly.  Finally, some life gain decks will love it with Life Absorbing Machine; two and you may break even for negating something on your turn; three and it can get quite sick.  Imagine negating a Waboku for 4000 LP, and then next turn gaining 6000LP.




Traditional       : 3.75/5-I really believe this card should see more play.  Do I think every deck needs three?  No.  I do think every deck should main deck one and most should have another one or two side-decked.  There are so many powerful single cards that having a single means of negating any one of them is potent.


Advanced        : 4/5-Even more potent here.  Traps have finally become a common sight again (though still the least played group).  Big “power” Monsters are on the rise again as well.  Finally, what spell doesn’t seem potent that is commonly played?


Limited                        : 5/5-If you are somehow pulling this in Limited, it’s great.  You can almost always make use of it (it negates Summons, after all), and if they did pull a nice Monster, Spell, or Trap, imagine their face when it is negated.  Yes, it is expensive, but in a Limited event, top decking their single good pull can completely reverse the game.



Great power at a great price.  Note that the second “great” is being used in terms of size: half your Life Points is usually pretty hefty.  Still, you are getting an incredibly versatile card that can negate all but an annoying handful of cards in the game.  Since it has so many uses, it means running fewer cards in the deck, and a smaller deck makes most players happy.  Just remember to do the math to know whether to negate or not.  Winning or at least not using is always worth it. ;)


Coin Flip
So we will review the Yu-Gi-Oh! representation of one of the greatest abortions of freedom the United States has come up with to this date. Counting the Espionage and Sedition acts of World War 1 fame, that is saying a lot.

The Patriot Act is a nifty Counter Trap that stops just about anything. Monster summons? Solemn Judgment. Magic Cards? Solemn Judgment. Traps? Solemn ****ing Judgment.

The cost of freedom of spee- erm, half your LP and 1 card just to stop the activation of 1 card may seem steep. It isn't. Consider how many times you have lost a game to a stray topdecked Heavy Storm, Snatch Steal, Brain Control, Ceasefire, Ring of Destruction, Book of Life, Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning, Pot of Greed, Graceful Charity, Scapegoat, Lightning Vortex, Torrential Tribute, Mirror Force, Magic Cylinder, Brain Control, or Tribe-Infecting Virus. This list is abridged from the other, less common possibilites, most notably Morphing Jar, Cyber J- you get the picture.

When you think about it sensibly, half your LP is better than losing the game. Half your LP and 1 card is better than losing 3 cards to a Heavy Storm or Snatch or whatever at any point in the duel. If it's Black Luster Soldier, it's almost better to lose 4000 LP than to let that guy hit the field. Well, depending upon what counters you have for it.

The cost becomes almost miniscule later in the game, and unlike its Metal Raiders brethren, you will ALWAYS be able to pay for it. The versatility of it is worth the cost. Stopping a crucial card your opponent plays is incredible. If you somehow get into topdeck wars and you suddenly find yourself with Airknight Parshath on the field, you know you're in good shape. Add a Solemn Judgment, and damn. That is almost guaranteed victory.

Outside of situational things, wouldn't you like to keep advantage? This helps. Wouldn't you like to diffuse the pervasive amount of luck in the environment? This helps. That topdecked Pot or Snatch won't help them if it gets negated faster than you can say "****ing topdecks!"

It's also fairly unexpected. I'd play 1 or 2 combined in side/main. It's damn good.

Traditional: 4.5/5

Stopping the opponent's most crucial stuff while using your own to high effectivity is something of extremely high value. LP here is important, yes, but so is drawing. So is not being Geki'd. So is stopping Imperial Order, or Pot of Greed, or Chaos Emperor Dragon. Case closed.

Advanced: 4.8/5

In this format, this is a crucial idea. Stopping… What does this stop? I won't start the list, my review is already almost a page long. Stopping all of that reverts the game to much more a format of skill and of tactics, meaning less and less of an annoying Snatch Steal owning a topdeck war. Timing this right will win you several games.

My scores are skewed, but I don't like using numbers to quantify ideas anyway.
Dark Paladin Well, let me, for any of you who care about your country, wish you a Happy Independence Day this wonderful July 4th. I'd also like to say congrats to those who have the day off in observance of this holiday, and I am sadly NOT included in that group.

Anyway, welcome to a week, where at least as of yet, there are no Lost Millenium cards in it. I've cleverly decided to dub this week "If anyone knows the theme for this week, please let me know..."

So, today brings us to one of my all time favorite trap cards:

Solemn Judgment

One of the most versatile trap cards ever. Now, most people know what Solemn Judgment can do, but they steer clear just because of the little text that states "pay half of your lifepoints..."

Now, I admit, early or even mid game, this card can be quite damaging on accounts of you have far too many lifepoints. Obviously, this card is meant to be used late game, when you have say 1000 or less lifepoints and negating the opponents Mirror Force for 500 points will win you the duel.

I love Solemn Judgment just because of all it can do. It negates the summoning of Jinzo which is important at least in my eyes. Also, as I said, it negates EVERYTHING else. Obviously, this thing is a counter trap, so it can be a fairly deadly surprise to your opponent.


Traditional: 4.1/5
Advanced: 4.6/5

Art: 4.0/5

I may have rated this card just a tad higher than it should've been, but it is a personal favorite, and it can do anything, so yea...

You stay classy, Planet Earth :)
Snapper Solemn Judgment

Well it appears as though it’s Nationals Week, and wouldn’t you know it, I completely forgot about Nationals this past weekend. You’re all lucky I did so or I would have dominated all yalls. Granted I didn’t qualify, nor did have anything near CC enough to attend, but you’re still very fortunate I wasn’t there. Anywho, we’re kickin’ off Nationals Week with Solemn Judgment, an extremely versatile card that hasn’t been reviewed in forever.

At the price of half of your Life Points, SJ can negate and destroy the activation of a Spell or Trap Card, as well as any Summon you can think of.
The effect makes SJ, without a doubt, the Swiss army knife to end all Swiss army knifes. It can single-handedly prevent the likes of BLS, Jinzo, and TER from hitting the field, as well as stop the effects of cards like Mirror Force, Lighting Vortex, and Scapegoat from damaging you beyond repair. And what’s the only cost for this multipurpose Trap? Why an amount you’ll always
have: half your Life Points. Of course early on in the game, half your Life Points is going to be very expensive. But the closer you get to losing, the easier it is to pay for SJ.

Now the Life Point payment has two grand uses in my mind: 1) it can cause neat Life Point amounts! If you have 50 Life Points and you use 3 SJs in a row, you’ll have 6.25 Life Points! Of course I think in the case of a fractions Life Points round to the nearest number, but that still leaves you with 6 or 7 Life Points, which is a far cooler number than any 50 or 100.

2) It strengthens the only Deck I’ve ever considered Main Decking it for:
Last Turn. Of course I abandoned the idea of a Last Turn Deck within a few days of making a Deck list AND it was not designed to be a FTK, but SJ could have been very useful. Since it can cause your Life Points to plummet in a short period of time, SJ was the perfect way to quickly and positively bring myself into Last Turn jurisdiction. At the same time though, I was protected from Jowgen killing cards and Trap negation, two fundamental ingredients to Last Turn’s failure. Of course I never proxied the Deck and I’ve no love for YVD, so I never found out if SJ was as useful as it seemed. But it looked good on paper! And that’s what all my reviews are based on…

All in all, SJ is a great card that should be run in twos, in Side Decks anyway. The activation cost is quite hefty, and it’s something you’d probably want to avoid paying unless you stand no chance of surviving what you could be negating, which causes it to be ootedba from most ainMa ecksDa.

Advanced: 4/5. The Swiss sure do make great stilettos for their militia, even if it is a little pricey.
Traditional: 4.5/5. Hey, if it can prevent CED from doing more damage to you than SJ would cost, I’d say it’s worthwhile.
Overall: 4.25/5.
Art: 3/5. I think the picture has something to do with some religion, which eliminates all hope that there is for me to know anything about it.

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