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Messages - ringkichard

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Rules Discussion / Re: Slow gaining Fast
« on: November 06, 2016, 08:11:13 PM »
Also, this has been a frequent question on the rules board. E.g. in which Shad0w (who had the official power to make rulings) treats Darth's speedy affirmative  answer as completely non-controversial.

Rules Discussion / Re: Slow gaining Fast
« on: November 06, 2016, 07:57:13 PM »
Ok, a few things.

It is entirely possible to have multiple instances of a trait that doesn't stack.

Quote from: codex
Regenerate X
This object heals (removes) X damage each Upkeep Phase. The Regenerate trait does not stack or combine with other Regenerate traits. If an object acquires more than one Regenerate trait, use only the highest one. The Finite Life trait prevents regeneration.

The rules don't say that you can't gain multiple instances of a trait, just that if you do, only the highest one counts.

Spells, creatures, objects, and attacks may all have a number of special abilities called traits, printed on their card. These traits may allow you to act in ways not normally allowed, such as moving farther during an action phase.

Traits are listed on the lower half of a spell card or inside the attack bar. Some spells and abilities may also add traits to an object. For example, you might cast an enchantment to give a creature the Fast trait.

Many traits are followed by a value. For example, the Highland Unicorn has the Regenerate 2 trait. This number shows the strength of the trait. Regenerate 2 means that the Unicorn will heal 2 damage every Upkeep Phase.

Sometimes, this strength value has a plus or minus sign. Multiple traits of the same kind with plus or minus signs can be combined on the same object. So, if a creature with Lightning +1 is enchanted with a spell that gives Lightning -2, those two traits combine and the creature now has Lightning -1.

If a trait does not have a plus or minus sign, it does not combine with other traits that have the same name. Only the trait with the highest value counts. If the same unicorn was enchanted with a spell that gave it Regenerate 3, it would only heal 3 damage every round, not 5.

In these rules, and on the spell cards, traits are always capitalized. See the Codex at the end of this rulebook for a list of all trait effects.[/quote]

So, if there were a rule that prevented you from gaining multiple instances of the same trait, this is where that rule would be. But instead there is a rule that says that if you *do* have multiple instances of the same trait, only the highest one has an effect. And there's no rule here that says that e.g. two instances of Regenerate 2 is somewhow different than one instance of Regenerate 2 and one instance of Regerate 1, because traits without +s don't combine.


Also, I think it's worth distinguishing between a trait and the *effects of* a Trait. You're right that often when the rules want to make it clear that the trait goes away, they say that the object "loses" the trait. And also that these traits which "cancel each other out" seem different from that.

But it says that Slow and Fast cancel each other out as traits, not just as effects. If a creature that has the Slow trait gains the Fast trait, those two traits cancel each other. Why decide that this means the traits stay but we ignore the effects? That seems like the sort of thing the rules would explicitly note, if it were intended.

But why would that be the intended behavior? The rules aren't a trick on players. Why have a technically Slow creature that can move and attack?

This creature is very slow. If this creature takes a move action, its Action Phase immediately ends. It does not get to take a quick action after moving. If a Slow creature gains the Fast trait, both traits are canceled out.

To me, that sounds a lot like Lightning +1 and Lightning -2 becoming the Lightning -1 trait. They have different names, so it's not the identical situation, of course. But doesn't it seem reasonable to describe a melee +1 trait and a melee -1 trait as "canceling out?" And if you instead want to propose that they combine into Melee +0, why are we calling it that and not Melee -0?

I mean, if a creature were enchanted with both Cheetah Speed and Enfeeble, and there were a spell that could only target creatures with the Slow trait, why would the system be set up intentionally so that the enchanted creature would be a legal target?

I guess it comes down to what we think "canceled out" means. I'm inclined to treat it is "is stopped and has no further effect" similar to other uses of the word cancel in the rules. I mean, it's pretty clearly natural language, not strictly defined jargon, so it's not 100% clear. But all jargon has to have, at root, some sort of natural language explaination. And given the lack of exact definition of this use of "cancel out" why go with the interpretation that causes weird rules issues?

Rules Discussion / Re: Slow gaining Fast
« on: November 06, 2016, 12:36:20 PM »
The answer to this question is that timestamps resolve the issue. If a creature has Slow, then you give it Fast, it has neither trait. Then you can give it Fast again, and now it has the fast trait.

If you give a Slow creature Slow, it's Slow. If you then give it the Fast trait, it has neither Fast nor Slow.

Quote from: FAQ
If  an object  is  affected by  multiple  effects, they  are  applied in order  from  earliest  to  latest  effects.  When  an enchantment  is  moved  to  a new  target, it  changes  its  order  it has  amongst  effects  in play,  and acquires  a  new later  “timestamp”.

Example:  If  the  Beastmaster  had  summoned  an  animal and  made  it his  Pet,  before  Deathlock  came  into play, the  animal  would be  able  to keep the  3  Life  it  had  gained from  being  a  Pet. However, once  Deathlock  is  in play, if  the  Beastmaster  attempts  to  make  a  new  Pet, the  new  Pet  cannot  gain 3  Life  if  Deathlock  is  in  play.

Some  rules  and effects  apply  modifications  to objects  that  apply  “continuously”  as  long  as  the  effect  is  active. For  example,  Eagle  Wings  gives  a creature Flying  as  long  as  it  is  attached  to  that  creature.  If  Eagle  Wings  is removed  from  that  creature,  its  effect  immediately  ceases  to  apply.   

Example:  A  Stonegaze  Basilisk, with a  printed life  of  10, is  enchanted with Bull  Endurance  (giving  him  +4 life.) He  now  has  14 life.  After  the  enchantment  is  put  on the  Basilisk, a  Deathlock  is  cast (giving  it Finite  Life.)  The Basilisk  will still have  14  life,  because  the  Bull  Endurance  effect is  applied  before  the  Deathlock  effect,  and Finite  Life  only  prevents  further  gain of  life;  it  does  not  remove  Life  already  gained.   If  the  Bull  Endurance  is  then moved to a  Timber  Wolf  (also with a  printed life  of  10)  , the  Basilisk will  go down to 10 life  (because  the  Bull  Endurance  effect  stops  applying to the  Basilisk)  but  the  Timber  Wolf  will still be  at 10  life (because the  Deathlock  effect  was  in  play  earlier  than the  Bull  Endurance, so the  Deathlock  gives  the Timber  Wolf  the  Finite  Life  trait first,  and  the  Bull  Endurance  attempts  to  give  the  Timber  Wolf  +4  life  but fails to do so due  to the  Finite  Life).  If  the  Deathlock  is  later  destroyed,  the  Timber  Wolf  will go  up  to  14  life (because the  Deathlock  effect  stops  applying, allowing the  Bull  Endurance  effect  to work.)

If  an object  has  conflicting effects, one  of  which causes  it  to  gain  a  trait or  ability,  and  the  other  to  lose  that trait or  ability,  the  later  effect  always  takes  precedence. Example: A creature  that  is  not  naturally  Flying is  enchanted  with  Eagle  Wings  (enchanted  creature  gains Flying)  and is  later  enchanted with  Maim  Wings  (enchanted  creature  loses  flying). Since  the  Eagle  Wings  came into  play  earlier,  the  Eagle  Wings  gives  the  creature  flying  and then the  Maim  Wings  makes  the  creature lose flying, so the  creature  will  not  have  flying.   If  the  Eagle  Wings  is  moved to another  creature  and then back to the  first  creature, the  Eagle  Wings  will then occur  later  in the  order  of  effects.  Thus  the  Maim  Wings  will  be applied  first  (and  have no  effect,  since the creature  does  not  have  Flying to start  with)  and the  Eagle  Wings  would  apply  to give  the  creature  Flying, so the creature would  have Flying.

If  an  effect, spell, or  condition says  this  creature  loses  and  cannot  gain  “X”, then that  creature  cannot  have  “X”, regardless  of  what  other  effects  were  put  on it, and in what  order.   Example:  The traits  Rooted,  Restrained,  and  Incapacitated  say  a creature “loses  and  cannot  gain  Flying”.   A creature with  one or  more of  these traits  loses  and  cannot  have  or  gain  Flying,  regardless  of  what  other  effects were  put  on  it,  and in what  order.   If  it  gains  an  Eagle  Wings  enchantment later,  it still will not have  Flying.

Personally, I wish they'd put it back and define it.

Strategy and Tactics / Re: Mheggedan sunfire amulet
« on: October 30, 2016, 09:13:02 PM »
Drain Soul maybe?

Rules Discussion / Re: Eternal servant & rise again
« on: October 30, 2016, 08:52:01 PM »
Yeah, the whole trap/caltrops issue is *because* things are never simultaneous.

Hmm, good question.

I'm pretty sure I've got the newest PDF. Hard to say since they stopped putting the version number in the file name.

You always choose the order in which events that affect your creatures and objects occur during this phase. In the rare case that a timing issue occurs,  the player with the initiative decides the order. Example: You control a Highland Unicorn with the Regenerate 2 trait that has a Burn marker on it. Since the creature has a lot of damage on it, the Burn effect could destroy it. You can choose to resolve the Regenerate trait first or the Burn condition first.

My sense is that "events" is being used in the natural language meaning of the word, not any sort of jargon.

Er, yes. I've been typing these responses on my phone.

Rules Discussion / Re: Eternal servant & rise again
« on: October 30, 2016, 02:11:11 PM »
Nothing ever happens simultaneously. Sometimes things happen so close together that you can't do anything between them, but that's different.

This isn't really a timing problem. The creature's controler is the only player affected, so they're the only one making decisions. But more importantly, there isn't really a decision to make.

Eternal Servant lets you act when you summon an undead creature. You never summon an undead creature, you summon a living creature through reanimation and then put a Zombie marker on it. Since you don't summon an Undead creature, it's not elegible for eternal servant.


Now, this is actually kind of weird. Perhaps a better wording for Rise Again would have said to "Reanimate it with a zombie marker and damage equal to its level." That way you'd actually be summoning an Undead creature, and you wouldn't have a strange window of time between when the creature came into play and when when it became a zombie. As it is, you could theoretically squeeze other triggered events in between when the living creature was reanimated and when it gained the zombie marker.

As it is a creature brought back with Rise Again triggers "when a living creature comes into play" abilities.  : |

Am I sure? Maybe 85%. There's no official, well spelled out, instructions with examples.

The official rules are that during the upkeep you make decisions affecting your own objects, and if there's a timing issue the player with Initiative decides. That's pretty much all that's written.

The examples I gave assume that the player with Initiative cares about the order of everything that he possibly can, so he or she gets to decide it all.

It's not nearly as powerful as it looks, though. Nearly all abilities that occur in the upkeep only effect one player's objects, or effect them with individualized events, so that no single event affects more than one object.

Burns, all curses except for Death Link, Regeneration, Upkeep +X except for Mind Control, etc all create single object events.

There's some rules ambiguity about which cards exactly qualify,  but off the top of my head, it's mostly only two categories of cards. Idol of Pestilence / Altar of Skulls and that sort of thing on the one hand, and Enchantments with Upkeep +X and a secondary effect like Force Crush on the other. And even with Force Crush, you can't do the damage before you pay the mana because of the way the card is worded.

Force Crush is actually an interesting corner case, because it may not qualify. Normally, the controler of Force Crush would be the one who decides when to pay Force Crush's Upkeep cost. It's not clear if the damage is a new event that the creature's controller must order, or if it's part of the same event, which would cause a timing conflict and be reaolved by Initiative.
Now that I think about it, being conditional like that probably means that Force Crush's controler is the only player who decides when to pay the upkeep, and the damage is added to the event too late for it to matter in the ordering of events.

So there you go. Not even Force Crush counts.

I do know that it matters for Skeelax, Taunting Imp, because if the flame is on an opponent's creature it might go out before Imp has a chance to regenerate.

Really, though, there aren't that many times when it matters. Most players probably never have it come up. You've played this far without worrying about it, right?

During the Upkeep Phase, the player with Initiative makes all contested choices. If the order is contested, the player with Initiative choses who goes first, last, and inbetween.

The player who controls the affected object choses the order of all events that affect only that object, but the player with Initiative can insert the contested event anywhere they want.

Think of it like this:

I control a creature that will be affected by upkeep events A, B, and C. My opponent has the Initiative, so they control contested event X.

So, what happens first? I want C. My opponent wants X. My opponent choses that X happens. Then I get to decide how I want to order A, B, and C.


I want C, and my opponent who has the Initiative thinks that's fine, so there's no conflict. Then I want B. My opponent decides that instead, X will happen now. Then I chose the order of A and B.


Suppose I want X to happen first. Too bad, X affects more than one controllers' objects, and my opponent has Initiative. I can't chose X to happen, and I have to choose something else.  So I pick C. Then I pick B. Then I pick A. Only then does my opponent decide that X happens.


Basically, Initiative gives you two separate powers.

1. You chose the order of events for any control-conflicted event, as if it only affected your objects.

2. You determine who says what happens next. The chosen player may only chose from events that they have control over.

If Alice has only one upkeep event, the player with Initiative decides when Alice's event happens. If Alice has two events, the player with Initiative decides when Alice's first event happens and when Alice's second event happens, but not the order of events. Alice can chose either of her two events to happen first. This is consistent with Alice's power to chose the order of all events that affect only her objects. But whenever there is a contested decision on what happens first overall, the player with Initiative decides.

RAW is an abbreviation for Rules As Written. It conntrasts with Rules As Intended and Rules As Played.


If -- during the upkeep phase -- a card causes an event that does one damage to every creature in the arena, then the player with the Initiative choses when that event happens. This is because that event affects multiple players' objects, and someone has to decide when to complete the event.

On the other hand, if the card causes multiple seperate events, one for each creature in the arena, then there are no conflicts of control and each creatures' controller choses when those events happen to each of their own creatures, seperately.


If a spell, outside of the Upkeep Phase, causes multiple events -- acording to the FAQ for every card that I can think of where it would matter -- the spell's controller choses the order. There's clearly a lost ruling involved here, but that's what the FAQ says.

From a gameplay perspective, it's pretty clearly better this way anyway. We just need a rule to clarify the ruling.

So, to recap again:

1. During the upkeep phase, you decide the order of events that affect objects that you control.

For example, If your opponent's Ghoul Rot is damaging your creature, you decide, not your opponent.

2. During the upkeep phase, if an event should occur, but it would affect objects controlled by multiple players, the player with Initiative decides when it happens.

For example, if Death Link will heal you and damage your opponent's enchanted creature, the player with Initiative decides when to do that.

3. The exact wording of an ability matters. Highland Unicorn gives all creatures the Regenerate 1 trait, so each healing is a separate event, and will happen sequentially. But the 8th skull on Altar of Skulls gives all creatures the Finite Life trait, so it only happens once, not to each creature individually.

4. For a single event in the upkeep that affects multiple objects with seperate controllers, the player with Initiative derermines when the event happens, as if they controlled each affected object.

5. During the upkeep phase, the player with the initiative also determines which player to ask "what happens next?" The chosen player can only answer with events that affect an object they control, as usual.

6. The player with the Initiative may of course choose themselves to pick the next event. And they also are the player that choses the time of occurence for events that affect multiple players's objects. The combined effect of these rules is that for these sorts of events, the player with Initiative choses exactly when the event happens.


Outside the upkeep phase, RAW is that the player with Initiative resolves any timing isues by going first. I concur in part and dissent in part with Zuberi on this one.

I disagree that this isn't a playable RAW. If I have the Initiative and three events that could happen, and my opponent has four, what happens first? The rules say that I "go first," since I have the Initiative. There's no way to reason that away, without declaring a rules error, which I don't see enough evidence for, yet.

Ok, so if I'm not ready to declare a clear rules error it's incumbent on me to explain how exactly we can play the rules as written. Do we take turns or something? Nope.

After having my go, now I have two events and my opponent has four. As happened before, I go first, because I have the Initiative. Then, yet again, there is a timing issue, and I go first. Finally, there is no more timing issue, and the other player acts.

This is exactly what happens in the Upkeep phase except that instead of giving the player with Initiative a choice of player, the rules chose the player for us.


So, uh, are there any other reasons this might be a rules error?

Well, yes. The biggest problem is that I can't find any card this rule would apply to. Zone attacks would be the obvious candidate, but the rules specifically say that in their case the attacker choses the order.

How about Force Wave?
Nope. It's an old ruling, and not justified in writing, but the decision is that the Caster chooses. It's that way in the FAQ, too. Same for Repulse. Same for Gate to Hell. Same for Earthquake.

In fact, I can't find any example where the rulebook is even cited for this sort of question.

So the rule, in actual practice, is that the controller of the spell gets to pick.

I don't know how we got into this situation, but that's the answer. I propose altering the Codex and FAQ to reflect it.

General Discussion / Re: Paladin Starting Equipment
« on: October 26, 2016, 01:57:23 PM »
You're regularly activating all three simultaneous auras?

Mage Wars Academy / Re: Disperse on facedown enchantments?
« on: October 26, 2016, 10:11:44 AM »
Or forcing a timid familiar to Guard so that it would no longer be defended by other guards.

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