Skill Drain vs Light/Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror

Imprisoning MirrorWith Lightsworn, Undead Synchro and Grave Blackwing topping the current metagame, it is not surprising to see Light-Imprisoning Mirror and Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror in various side decks. Though the effects of both Imprisoning Mirrors look very similar to the effect of Skill Drain, they are in fact very different. It is not uncommon that players often mixed them up.

Firstly, we shall have a look at Skill Drain:

Skill Drain
Continuous Trap
Pay 1000 Life Points. The effects of all face-up Effect Monsters are negated.

Skill Drain‘s effect is rather straight-forward; if the Monster remains physically face-up on the field when its effect is resolving, then Skill Drain will negate it. Point to note here is that Skill Drain only cares about where the Monster physically is, it does not care about where its effect is activated. Hence Skill Drain is able to negate Continuous Monster Effects as well.

Now looking at the Imprisoning Mirrors:

Light-Imprisoning Mirror
Continuous Trap
When the effect of a LIGHT monster activates on the field or in the Graveyard, negate it.

Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror
Continuous Trap
When the effect of a DARK monster activates on the field or in the Graveyard, negate it.

Notice that both Imprisoning Mirrors do not care about the physical position of your Monster when its effect resolves. What they care about is where the effects were activated (i.e. on the field or in the graveyard). As a result, they do not negate Continuous Monster Effects.

Lets have an example to illustrate the difference:

Dark Armed Dragon is Special Summoned.
Chain 1: Dark Armed Dragon‘s effect is activated, targeting a set card.
Chain 2: Bottomless Trap Hole is activated.
Chain 3: Skill Drain is activated.

Resolving the chain, Skill Drain‘s continuous effect will now be active, followed by Dark Armed Dragon being destroyed and removed from game by Bottomless Trap Hole. When Dark Armed Dragon‘s effect is resolving, Skill Drain will not negate it as Dark Armed Dragon is physically in the RFG zone.

Replacing Skill Drain with Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror:

Dark Armed Dragon is Special Summoned.
Chain 1: Dark Armed Dragon‘s effect is activated, targeting a set card.
Chain 2: Bottomless Trap Hole is activated.
Chain 3: Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror is activated.

Resolving the chain, Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror‘s continuous effect will now be active, followed by Dark Armed Dragon being destroyed and removed from game by Bottomless Trap Hole. However, when Dark Armed Dragon‘s effect is resolving,Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror will negate it as was activated on the field. It doesn’t matter that Dark Armed Dragon is physically in the RFG zone.

This is the reason for why Honest not being negated by Light-Imprisoning Mirror; Honest is activated in hand, even though it is physically in the graveyard (due to activation cost) when its effect resolves.

The same reason applies for Necro Gardna and Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror; Necro Gardna is activated in the graveyard, even though it is physically in the RFG zone (due to activation cost) when its effect resolves.

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