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There are in the current game plenty of monsters that are unaffected by opponents' monsters' effects. Can piercing damage (which is a monster effect) still be inflicted if they are the target of the attack?

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The answer is yes. Piercing damage isn't an effect that affects the monster per-se, but it does affect the player. Think of piercing damage like burn that happens after the damage step, and just happens to be in increments of your monster's attack minus the opposing monster's defense. It is considered battle damage, but it's damage that is dealt to the player, not an effect that does anything to the monster.

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    "It is considered battle damage, but it's damage that is dealt to the player, not an effect that does anything to the monster." - correct, this is the reason why. Piercing damage is inflicted to the player, and does not affect the monster. – DarkCygnus Jul 6 '18 at 16:10

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