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Priority

September 22, 2010

After much deliberation, I have finally decided on my next topic: Priority.

  1. Priority can be defined as a player’s right to activate his / her effect, ensuring its spot on Chain Link 1.
  2. Priority does not allow player’s to automatically activate and resolve an effects without a chain; it simply assures a card’s activation (not resolution), and guarantees a place on Chain Link 1.
  3. Priority tells you who can activate an effect at any certain point in the game.
  4. Cards never have priority; it is the players who have priority.
  5. The Turn Player always starts with priority.

Source: Yugioh Wikia, Priority, 22 September 2010

The 5 rules listed above are essentially most of all that you need to know for priority, provided you have a reasonable grasp of the basic game mechanics. For the benefit of new players or those who have forgotten them, this post will provide a relatively comprehensive revision on Priority.

What you need to know & remember 1: Types of monster effect

  • Flip Effect
  • Continuous Effect
  • Ignition Effect
  • Trigger Effect
  • Quick Effect

There are only 5 main branch of monster effects in the game. Only 4 of them uses the Chain.
Continuous effect does not uses the Chain, hence they are essentially unrelated to Priority.

Ignition Effect
Ignition effect are the most common ones that relates  to Priority. It is frequent to see a player using his Priority to activate an Ignition Effect, such as that of Exiled Force. One thing to note here is that some Ignition effect requires the Monster to remain on field for it to resolve, while others do not.
An example of an Ignition effect that demands the Monster to remain on field for it to resolve successfully is that of Dark End Dragon. Dark End Dragon’s effect requires the Monster to be able to reduce both Attack and Defense by 500 during resolution or it will fail.

Another interesting Monster card would be Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress. Its effect to destroy a Spell or Trap on the field requires it to be able to switch from face-up Attack Position to face-up Defense Position during resolution. Some players are confused over this and misinterpret that they may not activate its effect using their Priority, as the commonly used traps (Bottomless Trap Hole, Compulsory Evacuation Device etc) and quick-play spells (Book of Moon, Enemy Controller etc) would prevent a successful resolution . However, given the scenario listed below, it would be different.

Chain Link 1: Player activates Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress’ Ignition Effect
Chain Link 2: Opponent activates Enemy Controller first’s effect (change position), targetting Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress
Chain Link 3: Player activates Final Attack Orders

During resolution, Enemy Controller will switch the position of Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress to defense position. However, Final Attack Orders will apply a Continuous Effect on Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress immediately (without any new chain as it is a Continuous Effect). As the Monster is still in face-up attack position when attempting to resolve its effect, the effect will resolve successfully.

Trigger Effect
The triggering of these effects are quite simple. The main notables I feel personally are the sequence that they enter the Chain Link. They follow this order:

  1. Turn Player’s Mandatory Effects
  2. Non-Turn Player’s Mandatory Effects
  3. Turn Player’s Optional Effects
  4. Non-Turn Player’s Optional Effects

As a way to remember:

Mandatory first, Optional second, Turn player triumphs, Non-turn player waits.

Typical example:

For these scenarios, A is always the Turn player, B is Non-Turn player.

Scenario 1: Machina Fortress A vs Machina Fortress B
The Machina Fortresses destroyed each other in battle. The target for Machina Fortress A’s effect must be chosen before that of Machina Fortress B’s effect.

Chain Link 1: Machina Fortress A
Chain Link 2: Machina Fortress B

Scenario 2: Giant Rat A vs Giant Rat B
According to the rule above, Giant Rat B will resolve first, followed by Giant Rat A. So player B special summons a monster first followed by player A.

Chain Link 1: Giant Rat A
Chain Link 2: Giant Rat B

Scenario 3: Machina Fortress A vs Shura the Blue Flame B
Machina Fortress A is destroyed by battle after an attack pump on Shura B by Kalut. It must choose a target on the field at that point in time for its triggered effect, that is to say the monster special summoned by Shura B cannot be targeted.

Chain Link 1: Machina Fortress A
Chain Link 2: Blackwing – Shura the Blue Flame B

What I’ve just highlighted is the interaction between Priority and Simultaneous effect go on Chain (SEGOC). Put it simply, priority forces the turn player to always take the initial chain links of similar class of effects, optional or mandatory.

What you need to know & remember 2: Are there any other trigger effects?

In order for an Ignition Effect to be activated as Chain Link 1, there must not be any other effects remaining on the chain. Typically, it is the case of a King Tiger Wanghu stopping a Test Tiger from activating its effect or a Sangan used in the Synchro summoning of a Brionac from activating their effects on summon. Certain spells, such as Future Visions also has Trigger effects that prevents Ignition Effect Monster from activating their effect using Priority on summon.

Closing
The concept of Priority is a very important aspect to grasp should one wishes to fully enjoy the game of Yu-Gi-Oh! in a competitive environment. Understanding such concepts well might allow one to perform game-winning moves while the lackst of such knowledge might subject thyself to poor game-plays. It is almost impossible to cover all aspect of Priority in a single post, one should seek further clarifications should the need arises. =)

Written by MintStar

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