Quote from Kamonohashi »I very much appreciate your efforts to answer the question, but I just can't accept the answer that you've given.
Winning with Laboratory Maniac WOULD cause the other players to lose the game. One player can't win the game without the other players LOSING the game. The critical question for me is how Magic rules deal with contradictory factors. A card with a +1/+1 counter on it that also gets a -1/-1 counter will eventually have no counters when those two cancel each other out. We don't say that the creature is both a 4/4 and a 2/2 at the same time: we say that it's a 3/3.
Tom's "You can't win the game" + Jane's "Your opponent (ie. Tom) can't lose the game" = Tom can't win the game" + "Tom can't lose the game." Do those cancel each other out? If they don't, we would seem to have a problem. The only conventional game outcome where nobody wins or loses that I know of is a draw. Could no one being able to win and simultaneously no one being able to lose mean that the game ends in a draw. It very well could IF all of the players control an Abyssal Persecutor, but they don't.
One of the players has no win or lose contraints placed on them. Would this fact prevent a "draw" outcome? A draw can only result if NOBODY can win and NOBODY can lose, yet one of the players IS free to win and to lose. Again we hit the instrinsic mutually-exclusive binary nature of winning/losing. Even though the player who isn't controling a Persecutor is free to win or lose, they can't win without the other players losing, and they can't lose without the other players winning. This would seem to me to mean that NOBODY can win this game and NOBODY can lose it.
My sense is that there are only two possible outcomes. Either Magic's rules define this situation to be a draw, in which nobody can win and nobody can lose... OR.... Magic's rules don't take this situation into account and the combo SIMPLY BREAKS THE GAME.
Quote from Kamonohashi »Thanks for responding, peteroupc. Again, though, I can't accept the answer that I'm being given.
I read the thread that you included. I play commander, and the "limited range of influence" option doesn't apply to my play group. That being the case, you're making the claim that "nothing in the rules explicitly states that a player who would win the game makes all other players lose the game." Well, nothing in the rules of poker explicitly states that two diamonds plus two diamonds makes four diamonds. That's defined by mathematics and the English language. Nothing in the rules of chess states that "white" is the color that reflects visible light and "black" is the color that absorbs it. That's defined by the laws of physics and the English language. It isn't necessary for the game rules to explicitly state that one person winning a game of magic makes the other players lose the game-- that's what WINNING and LOSING mean in the English language.
If, during a game of Commander, I were to "win" the game in the manner that you suggest-- casting Laboratory Maniac, attempting to draw a card, and being unable to draw-- you claim that the other players will not have "lost" the game, even though I "won" the game. THIS MAKES NO SENSE WHATSOEVER. The rules of Magic can't override the definition of the word "win" in the English language or the binary logic represented in the concepts of "winning" and "losing" in American societal culture. To "win" is to "not lose" and to "not win" is to "lose." Can you imagine a Superbowl game ending the way you suggest? The New England Patriots win the Superbowl but, fortunately, the Miami Dolphins didn't lose the game, so they're just as happy.
I cannot accept the assertion that the rules of an intrinsically zero-sum card game have the power to redefine what WINNING A GAME and what LOSING A GAME mean, in practical terms, in the real world.
Quote from Kamonohashi »Tom's "You can't win the game" + Jane's "Your opponent (ie. Tom) can't lose the game" = Tom can't win the game" + "Tom can't lose the game." Do those cancel each other out? If they don't, we would seem to have a problem. The only conventional game outcome where nobody wins or loses that I know of is a draw. Could no one being able to win and simultaneously no one being able to lose mean that the game ends in a draw. It very well could IF all of the players control an Abyssal Persecutor, but they don't.
Quote from WizardMN »
I mention Lab Man simply to highlight that a player does not lose simply because another player wins. Losing is outlined in the rules and on certain cards and is a specific situation that has been described very well above. A player winning on the other hand simply means the game is done. The other players did not lose (in game terms); they just longer have a game to participate in because that game is over.
While this is a bit of a departure from real life since we tend to track winners and losers of things and someone who didn't win is treated as someone who lost. That all makes sense, but Magic structured on a set of rules that dictate *everything* about the game. This includes the definitions of winning and losing. There are a number of ways for a player to lose in the rules. But, according to the rules, another player winning does not make them a loser in game terms.
Quote from Kamonohashi »
This means that, at the end of a Magic game, there are multiple meanings for "winning" and multiple meanings for "losing." The takeaway of this discussion for me is that language is quite sloppy, and words have multiple meanings at the same time. A "house," to Europeans and Americans, is usually a rectangular wooden or brick structure, but it can also be an igloo, a tee pee, or a round thatched hut. In "game terms," winning and losing have very rigorously-defined meanings, but those meanings don't replace or eradicate the colloquial real-world meanings which have a parallel existence and exist alongside the technical meanings-- at least for non-tournament players.
Clearly, my assertion that the terms "winning" and "losing" can't be re-defined by the rules of a card game was mistaken. They obviously can, as you've all pointed out.
Quote from Kamonohashi »Tom's "You can't win the game" + Jane's "Your opponent (ie. Tom) can't lose the game" = Tom can't win the game" + "Tom can't lose the game." Do those cancel each other out?
Quote from Boyachi »
Peteroupc and WizardMN are two of the biggest names in this rules forum. They and one other person are all telling you the same thing... ...My credentials: I have been playing since 1995. I graduated with an English degree.
Quote from Kamonohashi »The original question concerned the outcome of targeting Abyssal Persecutor with Fractured Identity in a multiplayer game. Since there's one player who wouldn't simultaneously win and lose the game (because their Abyssal Persecutor has been exiled), and everyone else WOULD simultaneously win and lose, it appears that (according to C.R.104.3f) the person who didn't cast Fractured Identity and Abyssal Persecutor wins the game by default, according to the rules. Am I understanding this correctly?
Quote from peteroupc »I am not aware of any case in which that rule applies at the time of this writing; see also this thread.
Quote from murgatroid99 »Alice has no cards in her library or graveyard. Nathan has no cards in his graveyard.
Alice controls the following:
Laboratory Maniac equipped with Sword of Fire and Ice.Nefarious LichNathan controls the following:
Grizzly Bears enchanted with Ward of Piety.Nefarious LichThen the following happens:
Alice attacks with Laboratory ManiacNathan chooses not to blockThe Sword's ability triggers. Alice chooses to target the Grizzly BearsWhile the Sword's ability is on the stack, Nathan activates Ward of Piety's ability twice: once targeting Alice and once targeting Nathan.Both Ward activations resolve.Sword of Fire and Ice's ability resolves. The original text of the effect isSword of Fire and Ice deals 2 damage to target creature or player and you draw a card.
After we apply the Ward of Piety replacement and Laboratory Maniac replacement to that effect, it becomesSword of Fire and Ice deals 1 damage to Alice and Sword of Fire and Ice deals 1 damage to Nathan and Alice wins the game.At this point, we apply the relevant Nefarious Lich effects. The result is(Alice exiles 1 card from her graveyard. If she can't, she loses the game) and (Nathan exiles 1 card from his graveyard. If he can't, he loses the game) and (Alice wins the game).
There are no more applicable replacement effects, so the ability finishes resolving. Neither Alice nor Nathan can exile a card from their graveyard, so the end result of this effect isAlice loses the game and Nathan loses the game and Alice wins the game.
Sword of Fire and Ice deals 2 damage to target creature or player and you draw a card.
Sword of Fire and Ice deals 1 damage to Alice and Sword of Fire and Ice deals 1 damage to Nathan and Alice wins the game.
(Alice exiles 1 card from her graveyard. If she can't, she loses the game) and (Nathan exiles 1 card from his graveyard. If he can't, he loses the game) and (Alice wins the game).
Alice loses the game and Nathan loses the game and Alice wins the game.