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  • posted a message on Selvala, Explorer Returned, CR 120.8, and face down typeless cards
    I understand Selvala's mana ability can't be undone.

    Quote from Minoke »
    120.8 specifies that while casting a spell, the card isn't revealed. But that state doesn't continue. If the spell is reversed for being an illegal action for whatever reason, you are no longer casting a spell thus it's drawn normally. So the 'while casting a spell' timeframe ends and the cards drawn by Selvala are put into players' hands as normal.


    This seems like a reasonable interpretation, but are you sure? The "while casting a spell" timeframe has ended, but the card was draw during that timeframe. 120.8 doesn't say "The drawn card is kept face down while the spell is being cast" rather it says "the drawn card is kept face down until that spell becomes cast", the "while" part refers to the timing of the card drawn, not the timeframe for how long it remains face down I think.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Selvala, Explorer Returned, CR 120.8, and face down typeless cards
    I'd like to thank any judges or rules lawyers extensively for your time in advance on this one. It's for a good cause. I intend to make a commander deck around Selvala and other strange interactions of hers if any of this holds ground.
    Selvala, Explorer Returned From the comprehensive rules:

    120.8. If a spell or ability causes a card to be drawn while another spell is being cast, the drawn card is kept face down until that spell becomes cast (see rule 601.2i). While face down, it’s considered to have no characteristics. The same is true with relation to another ability being activated. If an effect allows or instructs a player to reveal the card as it’s being drawn, it’s revealed after the spell becomes cast or the ability becomes activated.

    This suggests that if I declare my intentions to cast a spell, tap Selvala for mana, but refuse to use additional mana abilities/am unable to finish paying for the spell, that the card drawn off of Selvala will continue to be a face down characteristic-less card object (no mana cost, 0cmc, typeless, nameless) for the rest of the game since the only clause in this rule which reverts this face down state is when the spell becomes cast, which it never will. Is this the case? If not, why not?

    Additionally, does the clause in 120.8 about effects instructing players to reveal the card as it's being drawn apply to Selvala's ability revealing the top card and then everyone drawing a card? They seem like two distinct clauses, but if this is the case, that would make Selvala much more busted as every card "revealed" will always be nonland if activated during the casting process since they'd all be typless until the spell resolves.

    Continuing on the assumption that this strange scenario is possible, I don't believe a player can play or cast such an object since the rules only have clauses for how players can cast Instants, Sorceries, Artifacts, Enchantments, Creatures, Planeswalkers, or cards with Morph (there might be additional abilities I'm missing, but this textless card object has none of those). If the card moves zones however, say by being discarded by Thoughtseize, does it retain this weird state? I understand face down permanents lose their face down status when moved zones, but I believe face down in this context is separate from a permanent's status of being face down similar to how it's different for face down exile cards (see CR 110.6d). If this context of face down is the same as for face down exile does that mean it reacts just like face down exiled cards do when sent to the graveyard (or any public zone for that matter) via an Eldrazi Processor effect and revert to its face up state?

    Does having an effect like Omniscience now give the player a route to cast a typeless card? If the card remains face down and characteristic-less on the stack, can a typless card enter the stack or the battlefield? I know through March of the Machines and Neurok Transmuter you can successfully achieve a typeless blue permanent but is there a reason casting a typless card from the hand would be an impossibility? Is the card even considered a permanent card if it was never on the battlefield to start?
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Activating mana abilities timing restrictions (Elesh Norn + Kormous Bell + Urborg)
    Gotcha. I guess I was thinking since playing a land didn't use the stack it didn't use priority. Insignificant difference but good to know. Sweet! I can't wait to get people with this!
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Activating mana abilities timing restrictions (Elesh Norn + Kormous Bell + Urborg)
    Hey Y'all! I'm planning on building an Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite commander deck based around the interaction of my general, Kormus Bell, and Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth. From my understanding, if I have Elesh Norn on the battlefield and I cast Kormus Bell and no one responds to the casting by tapping their mana, I can then play Urborg as a special action if I haven't used my land drop and since playing a land doesn't use the stack, and I still have priority, my opponents can't respond by tapping their lands as they die to the state based action of having 0 toughness or less the next time I cast a card, activate an ability, or pass priority.

    605.3a A player may activate an activated mana ability whenever he or she has priority, whenever he or she is casting a spell or activating an ability that requires a mana payment, or whenever a rule or effect asks for a mana payment, even if it’s in the middle of casting or resolving a spell or activating or resolving an ability.

    Is my understanding of this correct? If so, this seems like a cool rules lawyer way to get the drop on my opponents if they don't know the interaction and were holding up a naturalize effect for my Kormus bell.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Caller of the Untamed exiling another card that cares about drafting
    Hey guys!

    I'm thinking about making a cube and noticed a complicated interaction between some conspiracy cards that care about drafting. I did a few google searches and found some interesting information, but didn't find an answer. Here's the scenario:

    I drafted Animus of Predation, removing Chromanticore from the draft. I also end up drafting Caller of the Untamed or Volatile Chimera. If I chose to not have Animus in my deck and exile it to either Caller or the Chimera, does the token or mimic still care that I exiled the Manticore with Animus?
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Legally randomly determining a winner at an official event
    Quote from Zauzich »
    Your proposals, while they contain the same elements of chance events and an agreed upon concession, are distinguishable from legal methods in that your discussion and agreement does not determine who will concede, it determines which chance event will be instilled with the gravity to not just change the game state according to the rules of magic, but to determine the winner directly.

    How I've been envisioning this scenario isn't actually tying the result of the revealed card to winning the game, but as an alternative to asking your opponent to concede if you have an overwhelming board presence. Sorry if I was unclear, I didn't mean to say that players could tie the result of a game state to an actual game effect of winning, just make a gentleman's agreement that the other concede if chance didn't favor them. Like you mentioned earlier, the opponent could change their mind after seeing and still want to draw and there would be no way to enforce the agreement you made.
    Perhaps you could consult the head judge before the event to get their stance as players do with altered cards and the like.

    That sounds like good advice. If I find myself in this corner case scenario I'll probably do that before attempting to make an agreement with my opponent.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Legally randomly determining a winner at an official event
    Quote from LordHelmchen »
    I don't see how you can think that trying to find a way to randomly determine the winner of a game of magic that is somehow legal within the rule that states the winner shall only be determined by playing the game to be either.

    By reading the actual IPG & AIPG rules. Is there some other method I should be using?
    Quote from Zauzich »
    [..]The bright and clear line gets crossed when you and your opponent conspire to determine the winner by mutual deferment to a chance event.

    Gamestates are the result of chance events. Some skill can be used to have better chances at getting ahead in one aspect or another before time is called, but the same can be said for deciding based off a legally drawn card (such as fetching to thin). These two scenarios contain the exact same elements.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Legally randomly determining a winner at an official event
    Quote from LordHelmchen »
    "Uncle" Scott is only (one of) the most senior Judge(s) in the program, and he is the one whose posts in the judge forum are Official answers.

    So this quote is literally what you've been asking about, currently happening: Judges being trained to follow the spirit of the rules, and not the letter of the law, when players try to construct obscure corner cases.

    So then judge rulings are subjective. This raises some interesting ethics questions for me, like if players should play according to what they interpret these subjective guidelines to be, or what they believe the judge will interpret them as. In either case this is good information to know.
    Quote from Zauzich »
    It comes down to how we interpret "outside-the-game method." If you are using the components of the game, the objects in game, actions you take during the game, etc. and attribute to them context, abilities, consequences that they do not and should not have within that game of magic, then those abilities, consequences, etc., that you and your opponent have agreed to imbue them with, are outside-the-game. The fact that drawing and revealing a land/non-land is something that can happen legally within the context of a game is not relevant. The ramifications you have assigned to that action are not part of the game of magic.

    I see what you're saying, but when you take that stance to its logical conclusion, one would then determine that using game states to determine the winner of a game is an outside-the-game method. We can prove this isn't the case from one of the last sentences in the AIPG section 4.3:
    That said, if a player asks his or her opponent to concede because he or she has an overwhelming board position when time is called, that is not Improperly Determining a Winner, because nothing outside the game has actually been introduced into the scenario.
    So this view is logically inconsistent with the AIPG.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Legally randomly determining a winner at an official event
    Quote from user_938036 »
    The board or game state includes all of those things. It isn't simply whats on the battlefield it is everything visible in the game.

    Gotcha. I've only ever used it to mean how strong my position on the board is, like when I'm facing down an aggro deck and have a bunch of cards in hand I'll say something like "Man, I really need to get a board state going." so that's why I was confused.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Legally randomly determining a winner at an official event
    Quote from Zauzich »
    I would still not be comfortable using any of these random methods. Having a conversation about who is more likely to win or who gets the most value out of the win seem to be one animal. Both players agreeing to make the decision by some arbitrary or chance method is something else. I'm not sure that finding "in-game" indicators on which to base the arbitrary/chance decision takes it out of a grey area.

    If both players were determined to do this, I expect it would be hard for a judge. Maybe they really do think that the likely outcome of the rest of the game would hinge on weather or not a player draws a land on turn 5 of extra turns.

    At the same time, though, if one player made such a proposition, unsolicited, to me, and I called a judge claiming that my opponent had proposed to determine the result of the match illegally, could a Judge possibly find no violation? I'm not sure that any amount of "but this is technically within the letter of the rules" would convince me that my opponent's proposition, by any of these methods, was something other than offering to randomly determine the result of the match.

    I get this line of thought, but I personally wouldn't avoid making a complex line of play just because a bad judge doesn't know the rules. As a player I'm going to follow and use the rules to the best of my ability and make the best plays possible.

    Quote from rigeld2 »
    If it helps, I'll also add Uncle Scott's recent words (on a completely unrelated topic, but it's also relevant here):
    Let me reiterate: not every oddball situation that players can (and will!) create, could possibly be covered by our policy documents. That's not a failing of policy, it's an acknowledgment that people do strange things, sometimes. Stop trying to interpret exactly the letter of the law, so to speak; instead, work that hard at understanding the philosophy behind our policies, so you're well-prepared to deal with the exceptions that will occur.


    On that note, if you're using something other than the board state to determine who wins you should expect a USC-IDW penalty.

    I don't know who Uncle Scott is, but I don't think a quote from an unrelated topic can be said to apply here. I don't know the context of this quote (i did some quick google searches but didn't find this) but even if it was relating to the game of magic, I don't imagine unless published in an official format that it actually has any bearing on the official rules. I believe I asked earlier if judges were trained to follow the letter of the IPG or the spirit, which you replied saying that they're not trained to be subjective and that they follow the philosophy of the IPG and AIPG. That statement seems contradictory of what you're implying here. Can you clarify which you mean? Are judges trained to follow the letter or spirit of the law?

    Concerning your last statement about using something other than board state to determine who wins, do you mean that you can't determine winners base off information elsewhere in the game such as the hand, life totals, poison counters, graveyard sizes ect.? If so I'd like to ask if you could provide the EXACT line of text in the AIPG which it states these are improper ways of determining a winner. From my 6th or 7th read over of section 4.3 I can only see reference to one type of improper way to determine the outcome of a game and that's if it's an outside-the-game method (including using illegal actions within the game), meaning other in-game information should be an appropriate way to determine a winner.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Legally randomly determining a winner at an official event
    So the first scenario where you determine off a legally drawn card works. The scenario where you determine based off the effects of a card with random elements works. The scenario where you flip a coin to decide which player will suicide doesn't work. The scenario where you do that but then break rules intentionally double doesn't work. That just leaves one scenario unaccounted for:

    I chose two cards in my hand reveal them to by opponent, then shuffle them and have an opponent guess which card is which. Upon re-thinking through this scenario it seems to me like it qualifies as an outside-the-game method that happens to use in-game cards and is therefore a no-no.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Legally randomly determining a winner at an official event
    Quote from user_938036 »
    Those scenarios aren't similar because you aren't flipping a coin to see if you are going to add red mana with Shivan Reef, you are specifically deciding if you are going to lose on purpose, the actual method of loss is irrelevant.

    That sounds right. The IPG doesn't specify how players have to determine the outcome of a match, just that the outcome isn't determined by an outside-the-game method. So intent is important.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Legally randomly determining a winner at an official event
    We don't want you to determine the outcome of the game based on a coin flip. You can flip a coin to make a decision and if that loses the game for you that's one thing - it's different to say "Eh, I'll scoop if I get heads, you scoop if I get tails." What you're saying is that those two scenarios are equal and they're simply not.

    No, the shivan reef scenario is flipping a coin to make a decision which incidentally loses you the game, specifically not scooping, just like if you were to flip a coin to determine if you wanted to tap out to play jace, the mind sculptor or leave up manna for counterspell, ended up playing Jace, and got stormed out on your opponent's turn. It seems like if one of these scenarios were illegal, then they'd both have to be, unless their's another line of text specifying which of these is okay and which isn't that I'm missing.

    Calling into question my reading abilities isn't contributing to the discussion. I read the AIPG you linked fully and nothing popped out as directly in contradiction to my examples.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Legally randomly determining a winner at an official event
    Quote from rigeld2 »

    From the AIPG:
    "It is not allowed to make an offer like “If I drew another land I would win. If my next card is a land, you scoop to me, else, I’ll scoop to you.”"
    But if it's revealing the card you draw legally it's fine. You can absolutely do that because you're using the board state plus cards in hand.


    So the philosophy behind the IDW penalty does not exclude what the first scenario is trying to do. It is a legal course of action. Good to know.

    You have a card which allows you to actually flip a coin such as frenetic efreet and you propose you determine the winner based on the outcome of that flip,

    You're attaching an outside game action to an in game action. Bad.
    or the effects which happen as a result of the flip occurring.

    You're basing the decision on the current board state. Fine.


    So as long as you word it so that you're determining the game based on the effects of a card's ability it's legal. Good to know.

    You and your opponent both are at 1 life and each have a shivan reef in hand. You decide to flip a coin/play rock paper scissors over who should win, but instead of conceding, make yourself lose the game as a result of in-game effects.

    You're basing the result of the game on something that happens out of game. Bad.
    Sure, you're losing based on an in-game effect, but that effect is only happening because of an out of game decision.


    I didn't read this in the AIPG section you linked, but it might be on another page. It would make sense that if you don't want players flipping coins to determine winners, you don't want them flipping coins for other things when not explicitly told to, but could you quote me where that wording is from? This would mean that flipping a coin when you're on the edge about making a decision and believe your opponent is playing mind games (such as if you wanted to flip a coin to help you decide whether to attack or not, or wanted to flip a coin to determine if you were planning on lying or telling the truth with a liar's pendulum) would be illegal too, which is news to me.

    If the previous scenario would work, then it might follow that you could instead of killing yourself, cause yourself to lose by committing a game infraction such as agreeing the loser of a coin flip will draw an extra card and be penalized with a game loss. If infractions are not considered an in game method on the other hand this wouldn't be viable in any case.

    Well, drawing an extra card isn't a game loss anymore. But intentionally breaking a rule (or allowing an opponent to) with the purpose of gaining an advantage is the definition of cheating so it's not improperly determining a winner - it's USC-Cheating.


    Good to know.

    I feel like you didn't actually read the AIPG


    Not the whole thing no, but the part you linked. It sounds like I was correct in most my interpretations of it.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Legally randomly determining a winner at an official event
    Sorry, first example in the first comment. Proposing to reveal the first card someone legally draws on a turn, and conceding if it's a non-land card, and having the opponent concede if it's a land.

    EDIT: It would be extra helpful if you could explain why each of the 5 examples given is illegal, but if you only have the time to find the answer to one, the first one is the example I'd like to know the legality of most.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
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