Rulings to Know: Magical Meltdown

In this article of the Rulings to Know series we will take a closer look at Shaddoll Invoked. It seems Shaddolls are returning to the metagame once more and, as before, they are supported by Invoked's Magical Meltdown, a card that has been causing confusion ever since its release.

Magical Meltdown

magical meltdown

Players tend to splash the Invoked engine into many fusion-based strategies. The engine can turn a single Aleister into an omni-negate in the form of Invoked Mechaba. Moreover, the Invoked engine's field spell Magical Meltdown adds a lot of consistency to the deck and protects fusion spells from having their activations negated. However, Magical Meltdown has caused a lot of confusion and discussion in the last few years. Before we take a look at some specific situations, we will first take a look at Magical Meltdown itself. The card reads:

  • When this card is activated: You can add 1 "Aleister the Invoker" from your Deck to your hand. The activation of your cards and effects that include an effect that Fusion Summons a Fusion Monster cannot be negated, also your opponent's cards and effects cannot activate when a monster is Fusion Summoned this way. You can only activate 1 "Magical Meltdown" per turn.

The part that causes the confusion is the part about preventing effects that would fusion summon from being negated and about stopping the opponent from activating cards and effects in response to fusion summons. We will now take a look at some specific situations involving Magical Meltdown.

aleister invocation invoked mechaba
"Normal summon Aleister, okay?"

Ash Blossom Versus Shaddoll Fusion

Assume player A controls Magical Meltdown and activates a copy of Shaddoll Fusion. Their opponent chains Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring to negate the Shaddoll Fusion. Firstly, Ash Blossom can indeed be chained to Shaddoll Fusion because Shaddoll Fusion includes an effect to send monsters from the deck to the graveyard as fusion materials. It can even be chained if player B does not control a monster special summoned from the extra deck at the time of activation of Shaddoll Fusion.

ash blossom shaddoll fusion solemn judgment

Now the question might arise whether or not Magical Meltdown protects the Shaddoll Fusion from being negated by Ash Blossom. In this case, the Ash Blossom will successfully negate the effect of Shaddoll Fusion. Magical Meltdown only prevents activations from being negated. However, Ash Blossom does not negate the activation of Shaddoll Fusion but merely negates its effect. A different scenario would be if Solemn Judgment was chained to the activation of Shaddoll Fusion. Then the Shaddoll Fusion would still resolve since the Judgment would try to negate its activation, but Meltdown would protect the Shaddoll Fusion from having its activation negated.

Not Being Able to Respond

Next, we will take a look at Magical Meltdown's effect that prevents the opponent from activating cards and effects when your monster is fusion summoned by an effect that fusion summons a monster. The main application of this is seen in Shaddoll Invoked decks. Typically, the player who fusion summons a Shaddoll monster can activate a variety of effects after the summon. For example, El Shaddoll Construct would trigger to send a Shaddoll card from the deck to the graveyard. Moreover, the Shaddoll fusion materials used for the fusion summon would also be able to activate their effects. It is this precise time window in which the opponent cannot activate cards or effects.

El Shaddoll Construct shaddoll squamata shaddoll hedgehog

Let us illustrate this with an example. Player A uses Shaddoll Fusion to special summon El Shaddoll Construct from the extra deck while Magical Meltdown is active on their side of the field. They use Shaddoll Hedgehog and PSY-Framegear Gamma as materials for the summon. After the summon, Construct and Hedgehog can activate their effects (sending a Shaddoll card from deck to graveyard and adding a Shaddoll monster from deck to hand) in a new chain. In this chain, the opponent cannot activate cards or effects. This means, they cannot chain Ash Blossom to Hedgehog or Construct (depending on which of them is chain link two). This is also the main reason why Meltdown is so extremely powerful in Shaddoll strategies. It makes Shaddolls very resilient to hand traps.

Meltdown Versus Meltdown

Next, we will check what happens in the mirror match. Assume both players control a copy of Magical Meltdown. Player A activates a copy of Shaddoll Fusion and player B chains their copy of El Shaddoll Fusion. The chain resolves backwards and player B summons a copy of Construct from the extra deck and then player A also summons a copy of Construct at chain link one. Both Constructs have on-summon trigger effects. Does player A's Meltdown now prevent player B from using their Construct's effect while player B's Meltdown prevents player A from activating their Construct's effect (and possibly the effects of Shaddoll monsters used as fusion materials in both cases)?

El Shaddoll fusion El Shaddoll winda reeshaddoll wendi

Indeed, player B will not be able to activate their effects after the successful summon because of player A's Meltdown. However, player A will be able to activate their own effects despite player B controlling a copy of Magical Meltdown on their own. The reason for this lies in the way Meltdown is worded. Meltdown is a "when effect." This means that it can miss its timing and this is precisely what's happening here. When player B's Construct is summoned as chain link two, Magical Meltdown would prevent the opponent from activating cards or effects. However, we are still resolving a chain, so no cards can be activated at this point anyway. Then player A's Construct is summoned at chain link one and its effect triggers in a new chain afterward. Since the last thing that happened was the fusion summon of player A's monster, their Meltdown prevents player B from activating their Construct's effect. Thus, only player A's effects can activate after the chain has resolved.

Here it is important to keep in mind that Magical Meltdown will always miss its timing when a fusion summon is conducted at chain link two or higher. For example, if player A activates a copy of Pot of Desires and then chains Super Polymerization, their monster will be special summoned at chain link two. Then Pot of Desires will resolve, allowing player A to draw two cards. In this scenario, their opponent could activate cards and effects after the fusion summon, even if player A controlled Magical Meltdown at this point. Their Meltdown would miss its timing since the summon occurred as chain link two.

Meltdown Versus Predaplant Verte Anaconda

The last situation we will take a look at is how Magical Meltdown interacts with Predaplant Verte Anaconda. Specifically, we are interested in the following of Verte Anaconda's effects:

  • You can pay 2000 LP and send 1 "Fusion" or "Polymerization" Normal or Quick-Play Spell from your Deck to the GY; this effect becomes that Spell's effect when that card is activated, also, you cannot Special Summon monsters for the rest of this turn.

The Anaconda's most frequent employment is probably to send Red-Eyes Fusion to bring out Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon, which does not have any on-summon effects whatsoever. But Shaddoll players can also make use of Anaconda by sending their Shaddoll or El Shaddoll Fusion. Let us assume player A uses their Verte Anconda's effect and sends a copy of Shaddoll Fusion from their deck to the graveyard while they also control Magical Meltdown. Now, they can fusion summon a Shaddoll monster from their extra deck, using the appropriate materials. Even though they just fusion summoned a monster, their opponent would still be able to respond with cards and effects in the next chain.

Predaplant Verte Anaconda

Meltdown prevents the opponent from activating cards and effects "when a monster is Fusion Summoned this way," where "this way" refers to the "activation of your cards and effects that include an effect that Fusion Summons a Fusion Monster." However, Verte Anaconda does not fall into this category. The Anaconda's effect is not an effect that fusion summons a monster. Anaconda merely copies the effect of a fusion or polymerization spell card. Thus, if player A uses the Anaconda to send Shaddoll Fusion and special summons El Shaddoll Construct off it, their opponent can respond to Construct's effect with Ash Blossom in this case, even if Magical Meltdown is on the field.

I hope this cleared up some of the confusion Magical Meltdown has been and is still causing among players. If there are still some unanswered questions concerning Magical Meltdown, please post them into the comments, and I will try to answer them for you. Also, if there are any other cards which give you headaches, let me know about those too! Maybe I will dedicate a future article to them.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily Cardmarket.


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niki1411(19.04.2021 09:54)

One effect of cyber dragon nova says that i „once per turn you can detach one material from this card, then target one „cyber dragon“ monster in your GY;special summon that target.“
If my detached material is a normal cyber dragon, is it possible that I summon this card directly as the special summon? Supposed there are no other cyber dragons in my GY

Yukimura(19.04.2021 13:10)

Niki1411 You can special summon the same Cyber Dragon you just detached. However, you may only activate Nova's effect, if there is a legal target to special summon at activation. If there are no Cyber Dragons in your GY, you cannot activate Nova's effect to special summon from the GY. If there is any other Cyber Dragon in the GY, you may activate Nova and special summon back the same Cyber Dragon you just detached.

IoHFalloutBoY(18.04.2021 22:26)

What happens to the costs of a summon, if the summon gets negated?

We‘re playing „Drytron Meteor Shower“ into „Miscellaneousaurus“. The latter one can banish himself and other dinosaurs to summon a dinosaur from the Deck. What happens with them banished cards when the summon is negated?

Yukimura(19.04.2021 06:10)

IoHFalloutBoY The costs still have to be paid. Hence, the monsters remain banished, even if Misc's effect is negated.
Please keep in mind that Drytron Meteor Shower cannot be chained to the effect of Miscellaneousaurus. Drytron Meteor Shower can only negate summons that do not start a chain (such as a Normal Summon, Link Summon, xyz Summon or Pendulum Summon). It cannot negate the summons of monsters that are being Special summoned by a card effect such as Monster Reborn.

IoHFalloutBoY(19.04.2021 07:37)

Well. O. K. What!?

First: Thank you, for your quick response.
Then: Where do you take that knowledge from? The card says „When your opponent Normal or Special Summons a monster(s) […]“. And as a summon by effect is still a summon, why aren‘t you able to negate it?
I mean, I trust you on not bamboozling me. I just wonder how on earth the common Yugioh-Player can possibly know this kind of stuff.

Can I send you messages somehow? Or are you fine with me spamming you‘re article? Cause I have a few of these questions.


Yukimura(19.04.2021 08:04)

IoHFalloutBoY The summon happens during a chain, i. E. When Miscellaneousaurus is still resolving. It is not allowed to activate new cards
Or effects while a chain is still resolving.

I only got back into Yu-Gi-Oh two years ago and I had to learn all this myself. It takes a while to become familiar with such rules. I learned a lot by playing tournaments (which is quite hard at the moment because of the pandemic). I would make a mistake at the tournament and my opponent would point out to me why that interaction does not work. Obviously, it is not that nice to make such a mistake during a tournament but such a learning experience makes it easier for me to remember certain interactions.

One great resource for such rulings is Konami's Ruling Database. Unfortunately, it only exists in Japanese at the moment. I really wished it would exist for the TCG as well. The above Drytron situation is also in there:

Https://www. Db. Yugioh-card. Com/yugiohdb/faq_search. Action? Ope=4&cid=15647&request_locale=ja

(Maybe let your browser translate it into English. The last paragraph contains what I wrote above.)

You can send me a message here or you can also post your questions here. :)

Yukimura(19.04.2021 08:08)

IoHFalloutBoY The link in the above comment was destroyed by the formatting somehow. The spaces in the link need to be removed.

Https://www. Db. Yugioh-card. Com/yugiohdb/faq_search. Action? Ope=4&cid=15647&request_locale=ja

You can also try this one, which uses the English translation:

Https://yugipedia. Com/wiki/Card_Rulings:Drytron_Meteor_Shower

IoHFalloutBoY(19.04.2021 08:44)

O. K.

You say „It is not allowed to activate new cards Or effects while a chain is still resolving.“. I don‘t quite get what you mean with it, as the idea behind traps - as far as I know - is to react on chains. If you weren‘t allowed to activate new cards while a chain is resolving, trap cards would lose half their way of usage (I‘m sure you wouldn‘t say it like this, but I guess you‘ll know what it means ;)), wouldn‘t they?

Yukimura(19.04.2021 13:05)

IoHFalloutBoY Obviously, you are allowed to chain trap cards to the activations of other cards, if their activation conditions are met (if they have any). When both players have chained all their cards they wish to chain, they will start resolving the chain backwards from the last chain link to the first. This is called the resolution of the chain. Until the whole chain has resolved, no new cards may be activated.

In the original example above, Drytron Meteor Shower as the activation condition that it may only be activated when a monster is special summoned (while you control a Ritual monster). The reason why it cannot be chained to the Special Summon effect of Miscellaneousaurus is the following: When the opponent activates Misc's effect, the trap cannot be activated because no monster is being summoned upon activation. Only an effect to special summon was activated. When both players agree to resolve the chain, the last chain link to resolve will be Misc's effect. At that chain link a monster will be special summoned. However, we are still resolving the chain. Thus, Drytron Meteor Shower cannot be activated since we have not completed the whole chain. After Misc's effect has resolved, the monster has already hit the field. Its summon cannot be negated anymore since it has already been successfully summoned.

If you wanted to negate the special summon effect of Misc, you would need a card that specifically addresses this matter. One way to do so would be via Solemn Warning. Solemn Warning has the following effect:

When a monster(s) would be Summoned, OR when a Spell/Trap Card, or monster effect, is activated that includes an effect that Special Summons a monster(s): Pay 2000 LP; negate the Summon or activation, and if you do, destroy it.

The reason Solemn Warning can be used is the latter part "monster effect, is activated that includes an effect that Special Summons a monster(s)". In this case, the activation of Misc would be negated (not the summon!). The first part of Solemn Warning ("When a monster(s) would be Summoned") would not be enough here for the same reason why Drytron Meteor Shower cannot be used.

I hope this clarifies it a bit!

Gardy(06.04.2021 00:24)

This is an absolutely fantastic article! Great to learn these interactions

Yukimura(20.04.2021 13:01)

Gardy I somehow missed your comment. Thank you for your feedback! :)

CardBuyer5(05.04.2021 20:50)

Big props for making this article! This way, people can stop doing guessing work, or letting the local judge decide.

Yukimura(05.04.2021 21:00)

CardBuyer5 I'm glad you like it! :)

Skystriker(01.04.2021 07:19)

An article explaining simple rulings, which judges couldnt get past at certain YCS event, making shaddoll invoked mirror unplayable.

Vanillemilch(01.04.2021 12:51)

While the judges at said event were undoubtedly questionable to say the least, I really wouldn't consider these to be "simple rulings" but maybe that's just me.

Skystriker(01.04.2021 18:07)

Vanillemilch bro the judges couldnt read the card at that event and once HJ made same mistake, they couldnt go back with it. These rulings are quiet easy once you read card and know phases.