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Missing the timing

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Sometimes an optional effect can only be activated "when" a condition happens. In this case, you are only allowed to activate the effect when the activation condition being met was the last thing to happen in the game. If something else happened after the activation condition was met, then you have missed the timing (タイミングを逃す Taimingu wo Nogasu), and cannot activate the optional effect, unless it is a certain type of optional Trigger Effect, such as ones phrased "If... you can...". Optional effects which can miss the timing are phrased "When... you can..." (using the word 時, meaning "when", in Japanese).

Examples

For example, consider the following rulings:

This is because you first Tribute "Peten the Dark Clown" as a cost, and afterwards the other monster is successfully Tribute Summoned. The last thing to happen was not "Peten the Dark Clown" being sent to the Graveyard, so it misses the timing.

  • If "Peten the Dark Clown" is Tributed for "Mystik Wok" or "Cannon Soldier", the last thing that happened was that those effects resolved, so the effect of "Peten" does not activate.

This is because you first Tribute "Peten the Dark Clown" as a cost, and afterwards "Mystik Wok" resolves and increases your Life Points. The last thing to happen was not "Peten the Dark Clown" being Tributed, so "Peten the Dark Clown" misses the timing.

  • "Appropriate" can only be activated if the last effect on the Chain ends with your opponent drawing a card(s) outside of their Draw Phase....
  • Your opponent cannot activate "Appropriate" after you activate "Graceful Charity" since the last effect that resolves with "Graceful Charity" is discarding, not drawing, and your opponent misses the timing. However, if your opponent already controls an active "Appropriate" and you activate "Graceful Charity", then your opponent draw 2 cards.

As explained, the last thing to occur is not drawing, so "Appropriate" misses the timing.

Versus new activations

Activating new effects will not cause an effect to miss the timing. Even if you activate a new card, then it is still considered to be "When..." the activation condition is correct.

For example:

  • You controls 3 copies of "Heart of the Underdog", and you draw a normal monster during the draw phase: You can activate the effect of all those copies by revealing the drawn card once for each one. Then you draw a card for each time you choose to reveal that card.
    • IF you happen to draw a Normal Monster on the 2nd or 3rd chain link: Your "Heart of the Underdog"s will miss the timing. As "You draw a Normal Monster during your draw phase" isn't the last thing to activate.
    • IF you draw a Normal Monster during the chain link 1: You can repeat the process, as the last thing to happen is "You draw a Normal Monster during your draw phase"

Note that all three copies of "Heart of the Underdog" will still activate. After you activate the first copy of "Heart of the Underdog", then last thing to happen is you drawing a Normal Monster (you do not consider the activation of the first copy's effect), so you can activate the second copy.

"Bottomless Trap Hole" can still be activated because it is still considered to be "When "The Wicked Avatar" was successfully Summoned". It does not matter that the effect of "The Wicked Avatar" already activated as Chain Link 1.

Versus conjunctives

Cards with Problem-Solving Card Text have mechanically significant conjunctives ("and", "and if you do", "also", "then", "also, after that") in their card text which determine whether or not different parts of an effect are considered to be simultaneous. In the TCG, for cards without Problem-Solving Card Text, it is necessary to rely on rulings for details on simultaneity.

The conjunctives "then" and "also, after that" indicate that the part of the effect before the conjunctive is done strictly before the part of the effect after the conjunctive. Therefore, if the part of the effect after the conjunctive is applied, effects that can miss the timing cannot be activated in response to the part of the effect before the conjunctive.

For example:

  • Player A controls "Bujin Yamato" and has "Bujin Mikazuchi" in their hand and Player B has "Soul Taker" in their hand. Player B activates "Soul Taker", targeting "Bujin Yamato". "Soul Taker" states: "Target 1 face-up monster your opponent controls; destroy that target, then your opponent gains 1000 Life Points." Bujin Mikazuchi states: "When a Beast-Warrior-Type "Bujin" monster you control is destroyed by battle or by card effect and sent to the Graveyard: You can Special Summon this card from your hand." Player A's "Bujin Mikazuchi" will miss the timing here, since first it is destroyed, then the user of "Soul Taker" gains LP strictly afterwards.

On the other hand, the conjunctives "and", "and if you do" and "also" indicate that both the part of the effect before the conjunctive and the part of the effect after the conjunctive are done simultaneously. Therefore, if the part of the effect after the conjunctive is the last part of the effect to resolve, even effects that can miss the timing can be activated in response to the part of the effect before the conjunctive.

For example:

  • Player A controls "Number 61: Volcasaurus" and Player B control "Bujin Yamato" and has "Bujin Mikazuchi" in their hand. Player A activates the effect of "Number 61: Volcasaurus" by targeting "Bujin Yamato". "Number 61: Volcasarus" states: "Once per turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card to target 1 face-up monster your opponent controls; destroy that opponent's monster, and if you do, inflict damage to your opponent equal to the destroyed monster's original ATK." "Bujin Mikazuchi" states: ""When a Beast-Warrior-Type "Bujin" monster you control is destroyed by battle or by card effect and sent to the Graveyard: You can Special Summon this card from your hand." Since destroying the target and inflicting damage happen simultaneously, "Bujin Mikazuchi" can Special Summon itself from the hand.

Optional effects that do not miss the timing

Note that Missing the timing only applies to optional effect that are activated "When... you can..." something happens. It does not apply to optional effect that are activated "If..." something happens, such as "Watapon" or "Ultimate Ancient Gear Golem", and it does not apply to optional effects that are activated "After..." something happens (like "Voltanis the Adjudicator"). Effects like these can never miss the timing. Similarly-phrased "When..." compulsory effects also cannot miss the timing. Instead, form a new chain with these effects.

See also

Examples of Missing the timing:

Examples of effect that cannot miss the timing:

Official Print Regarding Missing the timing:

Missing the Timing EN-US

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