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Challenging a ruling: the dancer in the mirror gets less angry

Hi friends, I’m here to try to clean up the rulings again. I know, so annoying, but you know I’m coding this thing and I don’t want to code in “buggy” things if I can help it. I also intend to play a deck with Truth and Finesse in it for the next tournament, so this might come up for reals.

The ruling in question is about the interaction between mirroring effects and the flip interaction in [angry] dancer tokens:

sharpobject
if you stop the music while you have an angry dancer copying a dancer it will flip to become a dancer, which won’t matter until after the copy effect expires.
if you stop the music while you have a dancer copying a dancer, it will flip to be an angry dancer copying a dancer.

My problem with this ruling is that, in my opinion, the design of dancer tokens is pretty clearly to make them angry when the music stops, and this ruling breaks that design in a weird edge case due to the way the wording on the physical card works.

The reasoning of this ruling, as I understand it:

  1. Mirroring effects (like manufactured truth or Quince’s tokens) copy the physical card.

  2. Do as much as you can means you try to flip the card of the mirrors when the music stops.

  3. Most cards can’t be flipped, so you don’t, and the mirror continues to mirror what it originally mirrored. A mirror of a dancer would continue to be a dancer after the music stops.

  4. An angry dancer mirroring a dancer would flip when the music stops. It would continue to mirror the dancer until the mirror effect ends, then it would be a dancer.

I am here to propose an alternative that would align with the intent of dancers and still maintain the way mirroring works in all other cases.

  1. Mirroring effects (like manufactured truth or Quince’s tokens) copy the face of the physical card.

  2. A mirror of a dancer becomes a mirror of an angry dancer as the music stops, because the face of the original dancer changed to become an angry dancer. Perhaps this only happens if the original dancer is still alive. Not sure.

  3. An angry dancer mirroring a dancer doesn’t flip, for the same reason that an opposing bamstamper lizzo returning from Prynn’s void on Prynn’s turn doesn’t give the Prynn player a free damaging effect: because it’s a weird edge case that doesn’t make any sense in the design of the game.

  4. A dancer mirroring a dancer, should it flip when the music stops? I could go either way on this.

I believe this alternative ruling has merit because it allows the dancers to function as you would expect and it has a coherent reasoning that doesn’t mess with the other cases of how copying works, unless there are other ways to change the face of cards that I have not considered.

4 is the reason the other things work the way they do. Being ambivalent about that case makes the logic you imply in the others fall apart.

Secondly, no other effect in Codex keeps track of what happens to the card it copied beyond “does it still exist.” So, having the MT or Mirror follow the behavior of the original just because the original changed doesnt make sense.

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I don’t like part 2 of the alternative, especially with the “only if original is still alive” rider. Having an MT copy stay somehow linked to the copied card is more complicated than what we already have.

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@zhavier
To be clear, my logic is based on the mirroring effect being the face of the card, not the whole card. On further reflection, it makes most sense that the mirror would not flip, because it is not mirroring the whole card.

@charnel_mouse Yeah, I agree that the “if the original is still alive” is extra sketchy. Scratch that. However, for context I’ll remind you that the current ruling requires one to remember that the angry dancer token that was mirroring a dancer token and is now flipped to be a dancer token is actually a mirror of an angry dancer token. I think “all the dancers are angry when the music stops.” is surely less complicated than all that.

Simplest ruling would be mirrors never flip and never change. I’d be happy with that, though I’m not sure if an explanation is needed for stop the music to be ignored.

I would argue that the mirror of the dancer should still change to angry dancer when the music stops because that’s the intent of the ability on the dancer token. I think this is the most intuitive ruling, and maintains the simplicity of “all the dancers are angry when the music stops.”

I’d prefer either of these to the current ruling.

  • Mirroring effects (like manufactured truth or Quince’s tokens) copy the face of the physical card.
  • A mirror of a dancer becomes a mirror of an angry dancer as the music stops, because the mirror of the dancer has an ability that transforms it into an angry dancer when the music stops. The mechanics of flipping are not important, because we’re not playing with pogs.
  • An angry dancer mirroring a dancer doesn’t flip, for the same reason that an opposing bamstamper lizzo returning from Prynn’s void on Prynn’s turn doesn’t give the Prynn player a free damaging effect: because it’s a weird edge case that doesn’t make any sense in the design of the game.
  • A dancer mirroring a dancer, should it flip when the music stops? Yes. It’s simplest to say “all the dancers are angry when the music stops. Period.” Unless there’s a design-relevant reason to add complexity, we should not.

I believe this updated proposal addresses the concerns raised above. Any more concerns?

I have a question about this mechanic and ruling that seems relevant:
Does the situation change significantly if Dancers and Angry Dancers are different cards?
It feels like the “Flip” text is more a consequence of saving card space by double printing the dancer tokens.
Imagine if we change the card text to "Sacrifice harmony → “Stop the music.” (Your Dancers become angry!) and “When you “stop the music,” this becomes an Angry Dancer.”
Most of these concerns disappear.

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Agreed.

The “(limit: 3)” would still apply to all dancers, regardless of their anger, so that’s worth a quick mention.

With the new change, If you stop the music while a dancer is copying a dancer, then it becomes an dancer coping an angry dancer, and will return to being a dancer when the copy effect expires.

This is the main difference between it flipping, and it being a “becomes” effect.

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I’m okay with this. Like I said initially, I’m not attached to the outcome in this situation, I just made a decision at the point you quoted because @zhavier took my ambivalence as weakness.

If we take that into consideration, proposal version 3 reads:

  • Mirroring effects (like manufactured truth or Quince’s tokens) copy the face of the physical card.
  • A mirror of a dancer becomes a mirror of an angry dancer as the music stops, because the mirror of the dancer has an ability that transforms it into an angry dancer when the music stops. The mechanics of flipping are not important, because we’re not playing with pogs.
  • An angry dancer mirroring a dancer doesn’t flip, for the same reason that an opposing bamstamper lizzo returning from Prynn’s void on Prynn’s turn doesn’t give the Prynn player a free damaging effect: because it’s a weird edge case that doesn’t make any sense in the design of the game.
  • If you stop the music while a dancer is copying a dancer, then it becomes an dancer coping an angry dancer, and will return to being a dancer when the copy effect expires.

There are a variety of ways the rules could be adjusted to prevent stopping the music from flipping an angry dancer back into a dancer via MT (my preference would be to just rule that the flipping mechanic on dancers is a one-way only effect that only considers the state of the physical cards and not any temporary copying effects, for simplicity), but is this really a goal worth pursuing? The way I see it, you have to jump through some hoops to even set up this scenario, so there’s no way to accidentally trigger this reverse-flip… and if there’s actually a use case where someone would be motivated enough to trigger it intentionally, I’m inclined to let them, just because it’s interesting.

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I am somewhat open to allowing this if a reasonable use case is put forward. The cost of allowing this is a lack of clarity. There’s nothing in the cards or rules that hint that this should be possible, and it’s very clear that the intent of the dancers is to always get more angry not less.

The game suffers enough from lack of clarity with the rules, in my experience, that it seems worth it to get clear, simple rulings.

Allowing crazy interpretations just because they’re interesting is going to alienate players. I know I almost rage quit this community when I heard that spirit of the panda could be played by itself. One man’s “interesting” is another mans “this game is irredeemably buggy.”

Im still of the opinion that an attached ongoing spell should not be playable by itself. A simple “move to graveyard when this isn’t attached” for attached spells would make perfect sense.

It’s not a piece of equipment like MTG has. Its closer to an enchantment aura in function.

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@zhavier I’m gonna nitpick that a bit, to say the ongoing spell should be playable, but when it arrives and fails to attach, it gets sent to the discard pile. Essentially, I’m agreeing with the “move to discard when not attached” state-based action, but disagreeing that it prevents the spell from being played when there’s nothing to attach to. This would be an important distinction when, e.g., Harmony is in play.

@OffKilter I can appreciate that perspective, and I’ve come up with a suitable use case. Let’s say I’m playing [Blue]/Finesse/Blood against [Any]/Finesse/Growth. My opponent just stopped the music and used his Blooming Elm on his angry dancer, which then bypassed my patrollers and broke one of my buildings. I respond by casting Harmony, Kidnapping his angry dancer, using it to bypass his patrollers and break his Elm, then casting Manufactured Truth to have the stolen angry dancer copy the dancer my Harmony produced in response to Kidnapping (causing Harmony to produce a second dancer), then I stop the music to revert his angry dancer back into a dancer before control of it returns to him, while converting the two dancers I own into angry dancers.

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Flipping an Angry Dancer back into a Dancer can also be beneficial a turn before casting Chaos Mirror to give an opponent’s unit/hero 0 attack.

That said, I would be in favor of simplifying the rule to say that stopping the music transforms Dancers into Angry Dancers, period (same as I’m in favor of simplifying Midori’s midband to just say “units with no printed abilities”). I kind of suspect that the flipping thing is just a pun on flipping out.

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Nice example, @Nekoatl, I appreciate that. Maybe enough to soften my opinion on this!

Also, I believe due to my earlier efforts the consensus rule is to treat the attachments precisely how @Nekoatl described.