Saturday, 18 February 2017

Link Summoning: Mechanics & Rules Review

With the announcement of the new Yugioh anime comes new rules & a new type of monster: Link Monsters. These new rules created to go with the new mechanic are unique to Yugioh in the fact that they now apply a restriction to how the game is played.
In this review, I will be breaking down & discussing the new changes made to the game. The review will be structured as so:
Changes I agree with will be coloured green.
Changes I feel mixed on will be coloured yellow.
Changes I disagree with will be coloured red.

On top of which, at the end of any sentence I’ll be discussing I’ll mark with a number.[1]
In the event of multiple points per number, more than one number will be included at the end.[2][3]
If the point is connected to text thats coloured specifically then the number will share that colour.[4]
  1. The point I want to make with that sentence will be laid out at the bottom of the text like this, with the point’s number matching the sentence.
All descriptions of the mechanics & rules will be taken from Yugioh Wikia.

Link Summoning & Rules

Link Monster

A Link Monster is a type of Monster Card. The color of their card frame is dark blue with a hexagonal pattern similar to a honeycomb structure. These cards are placed in the Extra Deck.

Like other Extra Deck monsters, Link Monsters cannot exist in the hand or Main Deck (even with card effects). If a Link Monster would be moved to the hand or Main Deck, it is returned to the Extra Deck instead. If a card like "Transmigration Break" or "Degenerate Circuit" is applying, this will override the Link Monster's ability to return to the Extra Deck.

Like other Extra Deck monsters, if an Link Monster is not Link Summoned first, it cannot be Special Summoned from the Graveyard or while banished (unless it specifies another way to properly Special Summon it). If a Link Monster would be Special Summoned from the Graveyard or Banished Zone after being properly Link Summoned first, it is Special Summoned to a Main Monster Zone.[1]
  1. This correlates with my opinion on how Link Summoning should work, found here.

Link Numbers and lack of DEF

Link Monsters do not have Levels, and instead have a Link Number. A Link Monster's Link Number determines either the combined number of non-Link Monster Link Materials or the combined Link Numbers of Link Monster Link Materials (or any combination thereof) required to Link Summon it. A Link Monster's Link Number is also equal to the number of Link Markers it has.[1] A Link Monster's Link Number can be found next to its ATK, in the space occupied by the DEF on other types of Monster Cards.

Because they do not have Levels, Link Monsters cannot be used for Ritual, Synchro, or Xyz Summons (unless otherwise specified). Effects that depend on a monster's Level, such as "Gravity Bind", "Burden of the Mighty", and "Roulette Barrel", have no effect on Link Monsters.

Because they do not have DEF, Link Monsters cannot be changed to Defense Position, and cannot be affected by any cards that would change them to face-down Defense Position, such as "Book of Moon".[2]
  1. Having no levels makes the new monster incompatible with Synchro & Xyz summoning, which is the same idea Xyz took to be incompatible with Synchro. Good design choice.
  2. The rules state that when a monster attacks a defence position monster, and their stats are equal, nothing happens. Since the Link monster is essentially for the 6th monster zone, it seems fair that it’s forced to die in a tie.

Link Markers

Link Monsters also have Link Markers, indicated by red arrows radiating outward from the art frame. These indicators denote the Linked Monster's Linked Zones on the field, which its Link Markers point to. A Zone becomes a Linked Zone if at least one Link Monster's Link Marker points to it.

Fusion Monsters, Synchro Monsters, Xyz Monsters, and Link Monsters can be Special Summoned from the Extra Deck to a Main Monster Zone that is currently a Linked Zone. [1] Monsters occupying a Linked Zone are said to be linked to the Link Monster whose Link Marker is pointing to them. [2]
  1. This is undeniably the biggest change to the game thats ever happened. With this rule, unless the player summons a Link monster OR the opponent summons a Link monster with a Link that points to the player’s field: The player will now only be able to control one Extra Deck summoned monster. I discuss how this changes the game here, and will be talking about why I think this was poorly designed & unnecessary.
  2. As I’ve noticed, some Link monsters affect the ones they’re linked with. This is clever in carefully choosing what monsters should go in the Linked Zones, especially when some zones will be on the opponent’s field instead.

Link Summoning

A Link Summon is the act of Summoning a Link Monster from the Extra Deck using the requisite number of Link Materials listed on the Link Monster, provided that the combined number of non-Link Monster Link Materials and the Link Numbers of Link Monster Link Materials exactly match the Link Number of the Link Monster being Link Summoned. During the Main Phase, the turn player can Link Summon by sending the Link Materials from their side of the field to the Graveyard.

Example: Decode Talker

Type: Cybers / Link / Effect
Attribute: DARK
Link Markers: Top, Bottom-Left, Bottom-Right
ATK: 2300
Materials: 2 or more Effect Monsters

This card gains 500 ATK for each monster in its Linked Zone. During either player's turn, when your opponent activates a card or effect that targets a card(s) you control: You can Tribute 1 of your monsters in this card's Linked Zone; negate the activation, and if you do, destroy that card.[1]
  1. Opening up an Extra Deck zone for your opponent but then not being able to use it as material for this effect seems like a missed opportunity for mind games. Maybe this was done to balance the effect, but I hope in the future this is remedied with other monsters.
In my next post, I'll be discussing my views on the new rules for the upcoming format.

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