Today we look at my all time favorite Yu-Gi-Oh card,
getting banned just as begin dabbling with the game
As I am not diving back into the game full force
(not even using my own cards), this is not the
review for someone wanting a detailed prediction of
how the new Ban List will affect the game.
I do get a bit scary weird and rant-y in some
is a Counter-Trap.
Being a Trap of course makes the card a
relatively slow play – has to be Set and survive
through your End Phase barring the effects of
certain, other cards and you need to eat up a
Spell/Trap Zone until after its resolved.
Not the harshest of requirements, and in
exchange you enjoy that wonderful Spell Speed of
three, only matched by other Counter Traps.
This has the added benefit of often blocking
further cards stacking onto the resolution chain.
At the cost of half of your Life Points, you are
able to negate the Summon of a Monster or the
activation of a Spell or Trap.
You cannot negate the Summon of a Monster if
the act of summoning it is resolving as part of a
chain; this can get a little confusing as even some
monsters that Summon themselves through an effect do
so in chain, while very similar monsters have subtle
wording differences that mean they do not.
While the coverage is not perfect, it is the most
thorough in the game; while you cannot negate a
Monster’s effect direction, you usually can just
negate its Summon for the same end result.
It should also be noted that the cost is a
“cost” in the game mechanical sense; if your
opponent negates your
Judgment, those Life Points are still gone.
In spite of the risk, this is an amazingly
powerful effect; the fewer Life Points you have, the
Judgment is to Activate, and unless the ruling
was reversed you round up fractional Life Points and
thus, you can always pay for
debuted all the way back in the second English set,
Early on it was used sparingly; while it was
incredibly versatile, the steep LP cost was
considered far too much to run it or run it over the
usual deck mainstays, though keeping at least one in
your Side Deck was common.
Desiring to be different and being a huge fan
of this card, I regularly ran three in my Main Deck
for quite some time, whether appropriate (Suicide
Beatdown) or not (most other things).
Eventually I gave up on it and stopped even
running it in my Side Deck.
Then I ended up taking a break from Yu-Gi-Oh
almost entirely and when I came back,
Judgment was everywhere!
First, as the player base matured it began to figure
out how to use
Judgment well and how to properly value the
Solemn Judgment that was nailed by your
Mystical Space Typhoon was like a free negation
Mystical Space Typhoon; it might still matter an
effect was in play that the successful resolution of
a Spell Card triggered, or if your opponent was just
“proving” your lone Set Spell/Trap wasn’t
but most of the time it was a good deal.
Collectively players had become skilled at
quickly deducing the approximate Life Point value of
cards and how negating a single piece of a huge
combo could obliterate the combo.
Second, the game had gotten to the point where huge
power players were the main method of winning.
While big plays have always mattered, it was
now very easy to spot the “key card” that needed to
be negated; sometimes because it was the only card
your opponent actually needed to “play” that turn,
with the effects snowballing into something massive.
The exact key cards often varied, so being
able to stop a key Monster, Spell, or Trap with a
single card elevated
Judgment to a near and often true “staple”.
Half your Life Points are always worth it to
guarantee the win or ensure you don’t lose this
As Yu-Gi-Oh has developed over time all the aspects
Solemn Judgment great have increased in
prominence, not diminished.
It was often well worth 4000 Life Points (the
cost when Activating a
Judgment with full, starting Life Points)
because either enough cards were wasted by the
effect or you stand to gain enough Life Point
advantage to compensate.
In fact, this makes
Judgment too good; part of what made
Judgment seem balanced before was the steep cost
early game, usually hard to justify.
So the card I once touted as being perfectly
balanced proved to be anything but.
If you don’t win first turn, you probably want this
down to prevent your opponent from winning on his or
her next turn.
We can no longer use it here.
Unless it is brought back later (and I shudder to
think of what cards could justify that),
Judgment will now be “The best negation card you
Utterances of “God says ‘No!’” are now
restricted to the Traditional format.