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Author Topic: Defense + Block  (Read 5626 times)

ringkichard

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Defense + Block
« on: July 18, 2013, 03:57:41 pm »
I searched the rules forum and the FAQ for an answer to this question, because it seems quite basic and I expect it has been asked and answered, but I couldn't find it. So here goes.
tl;dr: Does a successful use of Knight of Westlock's 8+ defense allow me to skip past revealing a face down Block?

--

I control a Knight of Westlock with a face down Block enchantment attached. My opponent attacks my Knight with his Wizard's Arcane Zap. If the Knight's 8+ defense ability is successful, does the Block enchantment still get revealed?

Block says,
Quote from: Block
When this creature is attacked, you must reveal Block during the avoid attack step. Block counts as a defense, and the attack is avoided. Then destroy Block. If the attack is unavoidable, destroy Block without effect.

The relevant rules in the "When can you reveal" sidebar say that an enchantment can be revealed,
Quote from: sidebar
"At the end of any of the eight steps of an attack or three steps of casting a spell. Example: After the Avoid Attack Step of an attack, you could reveal the Rhino Hide enchantment on your creature to reduce the amount of damage it will take from that attack."

Since the card says that block is revealed during step 2, I assume that is an exception to the usual rule that enchantments are revealed at the end of each step? Is "at the end" of a step "during" that step?

Working on the assumption that Block is revealed during step 2, and not at the end, do the rules tell us what order the effects are resolved in?
Since the Knight is my creature, can I chose in which order to resolve the effects?

Suppose I chose to resolve the Knight's 8+ defense first, and it is successful.
The rules for attack step 2 (Avoid Attack) say,
Quote from: Attack Step 2
"The defender may now attempt to avoid an attack by using a Defense. Important: The defender must decide whether to use a Defense (see “Defenses” page 24) before the attacker proceeds to the next step and rolls the dice. If the attack is avoided, skip to Step 5: Additional Strikes.

Do I skip to Step 5 without continuing the rest of Step 2? If so, have I avoided revealing my Enchantment?

--

The Defenses sidebar on page 24 is a little confusing, because it seems like it's talking about both defenses like Cobra Reflexes and Single Use Enchantments like Block. This is even more confusing because we sometimes call both types of enchantment "defenses", because a revealed Block says it, "counts as a defense."

The sidebar seems to be talking about the kind of defenses given by Deflection Bracers and Force Sword, but does contain the line:
Quote from: p.24
"Important: A creature can never use more than one Defense against a single attack (even if it has multiple mandatory enchantments that are all revealed when it is attacked!). You must choose only one of the available Defenses to use each time the creature is Attacked."

Do the rules consider the face down Block enchantment a Defense? If my Knight of Westlock were Stunned, it would not be able to use it's 8+ defense. Would it be able to use the Block attached to it? If it were unable to benefit from Block, would the enchantment be revealed anyway, just as if it were attacked by a unavoidable spell? If I chose to use the 8+ defense and it fails, am I unable to use the Block's defense, even if it must be revealed?

I know how I'd play all this if I weren't examining it closely: I would trigger the mandatory Block when the Knight is attacked and chose not to use the optional 8+ defense, which would preserve it for later. If the knight were Stunned, I would have assumed Block works anyway (though now I'm not sure).

But, according to the rules, can I use a Defense ability on a creature before the Block Enchantment has its mandatory trigger set-off, and thereby skip using it?

---

P.S.  I was hoping that the ruling on the interaction between Reverse Attack and Block might offer some insight into this, but Reverse Attack isn't actually a defense, so it doesn't (potentially) end Step 2, it just redirects the attack (per the FAQ), then proceeds with the rest of the steps as normal.
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Shad0w

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Re: Defense + Block
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2013, 04:08:48 pm »
You are over thinking this

Block says,
Quote from: Block
When this creature is attacked, you must reveal Block during the avoid attack step. Block counts as a defense, and the attack is avoided. Then destroy Block. If the attack is unavoidable, destroy Block without effect.


Rulebook v2 PG: 2

The Magic Rule
Mage Wars is a game of magic and magic spells. Often, these spells will violate the normal rules in some way. In all cases, if there is a conflict between the text on a spell card and these rules, the spell card always takes precedence.

Rulebook 2 PG:24
Important: A creature can never use more than one Defense against a single attack (even if it has multiple mandatory enchantments that are all revealed when it is attacked!). You must choose only one of the available defenses to use each time the creature is attacked.

Mandatory Enchantments
Some enchantments, such as Block and Nullify, must be revealed when certain conditions are met, as described on the spell card. You cannot choose to keep one of these mandatory enchantments hidden if the trigger condition is met

You choose what defense to use but you must still reveal all mandatory enchantment that apply to the attack. But you do not get to use more than 1 defense per attack.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2013, 04:33:46 pm by Shad0w »
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ringkichard

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Re: Defense + Block
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2013, 06:26:07 pm »
Thanks for humoring me :)
The reason I'm over-thinking this is that I'm examining the Enchantment Transfusion + Block interaction for a new book design, and I want to be absolutely sure I understand how both Blocks and defenses actually work. And whenever I make a close reading of the rules, these things tend to jump out at me. Sometimes they're interesting, often they're ridiculous. Usually I can work the rules out for myself, but the, "skip to step 5" line got me wondering.

In this case, I wanted to be sure that a Block would trigger on Fellella or a Moonglow regardless of her defense, and that a successful defense didn't end Step 2 before the Block or Reverse Attack could trigger.

The only follow up question I have is: can a stunned creature be defended with a Block?
« Last Edit: July 18, 2013, 06:27:44 pm by ringkichard »
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nitrodavid

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Re: Defense + Block
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2013, 08:01:18 pm »
stun is a condition that causes the effect of incapacitated.

 incapacitated says a creature can't use a defence.

 the defence given by block is a defence but is not used by the creature.

enchantments are spells controlled by the mage. (who can also cast quick non-attack spells even while incapacitated)
Being Aussie we place all our cards face down, apart from enchantments which are face up

ringkichard

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Re: Defense + Block
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2013, 09:46:37 pm »
the defence given by block is a defence but is not used by the creature.

Is there such a thing as a defense not used by the creature?

 The rules text for Step Two goes back and forth between a second person subject "you" and two different third person subjects "the creature" and "the defender." So "the defender" must decide whether to use a defense but "a creature" can never use more than one defense against a single attack, and "you" can never use a defense against an attack that has the unavoidable trait.

Who is using this defense exactly? We know that "some conditions, like stun, prevent a creature from using a defense" but it seems like a cop-out to try to say, "The creature isn't using that defense, I am!" When the rules don't seem to make a distinction.

I'd like to say that the creature uses the defense when the defense is printed on the creature card, and the player uses the defense when it's printed on the enchantment, but I don't know how I'd justify that if my opponent questioned me on it.
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nitrodavid

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Re: Defense + Block
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2013, 09:56:41 pm »
you can only use 1 defence. means you have the choice between

the creatures defence
 or
the block defence.

one is controlled by creature while other is a compulsory enchantment.
Being Aussie we place all our cards face down, apart from enchantments which are face up

DarthDadaD20

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Re: Defense + Block
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2013, 10:27:14 pm »
Block would work while on an incapacitated creature.

Block says it is Countsas a defence. Meaning you cannot use another defence. 

Its the bottom line of "Card text overrides the rules".

I think the word "counts" makes all the difference. It does not say "Block IS a defence.
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ringkichard

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Re: Defense + Block
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2013, 10:48:30 pm »
--Edit to remove confusing text--

Why are we treating the defense from Block (Block counts as a defense.) differently from the defense from Force Sword (This creature gains a defense.)? Is it the "this creature gains" language? That's standard across most enchantments, but could be the deciding factor, I guess? We would have to say that the creature with the Block didn't gain or use the defense, which... seems wrong to me?

Wouldn't that let you get around the rule that a creature can only use one defense against a single attack?
« Last Edit: July 18, 2013, 11:07:44 pm by ringkichard »
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nitrodavid

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Re: Defense + Block
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2013, 10:52:43 pm »
consider the case of force orb/sword vs cobra reflexes vs block

 force orb/sword and CR give the creature a defence while block acts LIKE a defence.

 force orb/sword states it can be used while incapacitated while CR cannot.

 the difference is when a creature gains a defence (force o/s or CR) it is not used
while incap, so the force o/s has to state it can be used on the card.

 while treating as a defence (block) does not equal gaining a defence
 
Being Aussie we place all our cards face down, apart from enchantments which are face up

ringkichard

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Re: Defense + Block
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2013, 11:03:05 pm »
What's the difference between something that "counts as a defense" and something that "is a defense"? If the question is, "Is this a defense?" I think the answer is yes for both? Maybe not? If something "counts as flying" doesn't it interact with everything else as if it actually did have flying?

And in this case with Block, it does seem to really and actually be a defense anyway, because mandatory reveal enchantments are referenced right there in the rules as defenses.

"Most defenses are optional. You can chose to use them or not. Even with an "infinite defense" you can always chose not to use the defense. A mandatory block enchantment must be revealed, but you can always chose not to pay its reveal cost."
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ringkichard

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Re: Defense + Block
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2013, 11:06:28 pm »
Also, sorry for the slow/weirdly asynchronous responses. I'm typing on my phone, and it's hard to keep up while also referencing the rules. I've had to delete a few things to make sense in context whenever I get ninja'd.
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Tacullu64

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Re: Defense + Block
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2013, 12:29:04 am »
This is another one that is hard to tell which way to go. I'm going to weigh in on the side of ringkichard on this one. I think the funny wording on Block is due to the fact that it is automatic and doesn't require a roll, like most other defenses. I think it is still a defense and subject their limitations.

I wouldn't be surprised if I'm wrong on this one.

DarthDadaD20

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Re: Defense + Block
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2013, 12:37:08 am »
My question is: why people (like you Tacullu64 and me) who have been playing since it came out.....are only running into this sort of thing now?!?!

I know while playing the game...I will naturally know the rules without thinking about them....but when asked....I guess that I over think it and will be wrong.

I know this since I have been playing MtG since the start, and never have to think twice about a rule while playing.....but when asked a rules question about the game.....Its like I have never even seen a card before.  :o
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Doma0997

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Re: Defense + Block
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2013, 01:42:42 am »
Long time lurker here, just thought I'd add in a little.

Thematically, I can understand what block is trying to accomplish. It's a shield around the target that blocks an attack before it can even get close to it. I imagine a knight of Westlock putting up his shield but the fireball speeding towards him dissolves a few feet in front of where he's standing. Without knowing any of the rules behind it, I can see it being ruled as incapacitation not actually stopping this from happening.

Considering block says on the type line that it is a defense, my question is this: Is it granting the creature a usable defense? To me it seems that the block exists independently as a defense (counts as a defense), so a creature being incapacitated wouldn't even factor into the equation, as it is not actually using a defense itself. Which also thematically makes sense, as it's a mage controlled shield.

Just my two cents, don't mind me.

DarthDadaD20

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Re: Defense + Block
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2013, 02:24:40 am »
Those were my thoughts on it. I am quite positive thats how it would work.

Good impute and nicely worded Doma0997!
Where does my greatest enemy lie?
It has been around since the dawn of time,
it follows your loved ones as well as mine,
takes the form of a mountain as well as a flower,
it cannot be outrun by the greatest of power.
Where does my greatest enemy lie?
Within Shad0w.