Despite being a relatively old concept, the difference between Card
Activation and Effect Activation for Spell and Trap cards are only being
With the increasing amount of negation effects that applies only to
Card Activation, there is a need to understand the difference between
Card Activation and Effect Activation in order to comprehend the
limitation of said negation effects.
In this article, Card Activation and Effect Activation are both only referencing to Spell and Trap cards.
Card Activation (カードの発動) of a Spell or Trap card refers to the
activation of a Spell or Trap card from the Hand or from the Set
position on the Spell/Trap Zone.
Effect Activation (効果の発動) of a Spell or Trap card refers to the
activation of a face-up Spell or Trap card on the field (i.e.
Continuous, Equip or Field), or the activation of a Spell or Trap card
that triggers upon meeting some conditions.
Counter Traps are limited to negating only Card Activation. They are unable to negate the Effect Activation of Continuous/Equip/Field Spell or Trap cards.
For example, Player A activates Monster Reborn and Player B responses
with a Royal Oppression from the Set position on the Spell/Trap Zone.
Player A can activate Solemn Judgment as that is considered a Card
However, if Player B responses with a Royal Oppression that is
already face-up on the field, Player A may not response with a Solemn
Judgment as that is considered an Effect Activation. Player A on the
other hand, may still response with a Trap Stun, as Trap Stun negates
the Effect, and not the Activation.
Similarly, Solemn Warning can only negate the activation of Spell and Trap cards that perform a Special Summon on Card Activation.
Valhalla, Hall of the Fallen and Infernity Launcher are immune to
Solemn Warning as both cards do not perform a Special Summon on Card Activation, but performs a Special Summon on Effect Activation.
Despite being rather similar, Card Activation and Effect Activation are
vastly different due to their interaction with effects that negates Card
Activation and effects that negates Effect Activation.
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