Manhunt is gaining popularity in Control decks such as Altergeist and Subterror.
Here are some common rulings involving Manhunt.
①: Activate this card by targeting 1 face-up monster your opponent controls; take control of it, but while you control that monster, it cannot attack or activate its effects. When that monster leaves the field, destroy this card.
KONAMI Customer Support [Official]
[Yu-Gi-Oh! OCG Rules Information]
The card with the most inquiries recently is “Manhunt”!
As this is an effect that takes control while targeting the monster, if “Manhunt” is destroyed then control of the monster is returned, and it can perform an attack. #YuGiOh
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The source of this ruling is from a screenshot of an allegedly online chat with KONAMI Customer Support. But by inferring from Tuner’s Scheme, a Continuous Trap that takes control of an opponent’s Synchro Monster, has a similar ruling in the official database that supports this ruling.
The first ruling is regarding Manhunt leaving the field. There is some confusion about this because Manhunt does not state what happens to the monster when it leaves the field.
This is in fact covered by the game mechanic of Continuous Trap. As stated in the Perfect Rulebook Page 125, “The effects of Continuous Traps stop applying immediately when they leave the field.” Thus when Manhunt leaves the field, its effect that takes control of the opponent monster stops applying, and so control of the monster is returned to the opponent.
The second and third ruling is a bit more tricky. They may look similar but are two totally different scenarios.
The second ruling is when Manhunt is activated, targeting a monster. Then Book of Moon is activated in a chain, targeting the same monster.
Chain 1: Manhunt ① effect
Chain 2: Book of Moon ① effect
Resolving the Chain 2, Book of Moon will change the monster to face-down Defense Position. Then resolving Chain 1, as Manhunt only requires the monster to be face-up when activating and targeting it, but does not require the monster to be face-up during resolution, it will still take control of the monster while it is face-down.
When you Flip Summon that monster later, the monster is still targeted and affected by Manhunt, hence it will not be able to attack or activate its effect.
If Manhunt leaves the field later, as the monster was still targeted and affected by Manhunt, control of the monster will return to the opponent.
The third ruling is when Manhunt has already resolved and taken control of a monster. Book of Moon is then activated to change that monster to face-down Defense Position. In this case, you keep control of that monster, and it is no longer targeted or affected by Manhunt.
As mentioned in the Perfect Rulebook Page 168, “If a monster that has been targeted for an already-applying effect of a Continuous/Equip Spell or a Continuous Trap is flipped face-down, that monster is no longer targeted and that targeting effect is no longer applied.”
If Manhunt leaves the field later, as the monster is no longer targeted or affected by Manhunt, you retain control of the monster.
The second and third rulings are especially important for Subterror players.
By sequencing Manhunt and Subterror Guru in the correct order, you could gain permanent control of an opponent’s monster and even attack with it or activate its effect.