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Punf fights the rulebook

As those who were on the old Sirlin Games Tabletop Discord server might be aware, a few years ago there was a user on there called Punf. As part of writing a digital implementation of Codex, he started asking sharpo some awkward rules questions, which I thought I’d start archiving here before the server disappears.

The first set is below, more to follow. Some of these questions might have since been answered more succinctly in the rules questions thread, but I thought the resulting discussion might interesting for those who want to see how long discussions about particular rules can run.

Tracking multiple sources of armour, and sharpo makes a dangerous offer

25/04/2019

Punf
if a unit has multiple sources of armor and takes damage, what order does the armor get lost in? (this matters if the sources have different durations)
intuitively i would expect the shortest duration armor to get lost first, is this the case?

GRAG
I think it all just sort of goes into a pool
overall though I think the answer is usually going to be “whatever benefits the active player most”

Punf
well say i have a 1/1, safe attacking in play, and sensei’s advice on it so it has 1 armor. i attack a 1/1 with it, so it has 2 armor while attacking and takes 1 damage. after attacking does it still have 1 armor from sensei’s advice?

GRAG
yes
if it has 2 armor and takes 1 damage, it loses 1 armor
buuuuut armor effectively disappears at the end of your turn anyway, so unless that unit can also somehow attack twice in one turn, it’s sort of moot

Punf
well theres tons of ways to unexhaust it so it could well matter

GRAG
are there?
Vigilance doesn’t require exhausting to attack, but can only attack once
Elephant is so rare in being able to ready itself after attacking that it includes explicit helper text saying it can attack twice
(in which case, yeah, armor persists until it’s all used up or until it expires on its own)

Punf
off the top of my head, ready or not and that green thing that can attack twice
my confusion is when the expiring occurs when the armor came from multiple sources
like, under the ‘pool’ interpretation, i could see it being: your unit has 2 armor, it loses 1 from attacking, and then loses 1 from safe attacking expiring so it ends up with none

GRAG
spells do their thing and then go into discard
safe attacking is an upgrade, which you can’t lose during your own turn anyway (probably?)
yeah, you’re right about Ready or Not
so yeah, those two cards do make attacking twice in one turn plausible

Punf
is ‘whatever benefits the controller the most’ reasonable? (not necessarily active player since you could have multiple sources of armor on a patroller)

GRAG
well, while you’re patrolling, you don’t have armor except from being squad leader

Punf
which comes out as ‘lose the shortest duration armor first’ and ‘lose the armor that regenerates first’

GRAG
armor only exists on your own turn

Punf
ironbark treant can get regenerating armor when patrolling
and the art of war gives onimaru armor while hes patrolling

GRAG
fair Ironbark Treant
but that’s also only while patrolling
in those cases, said armor disappears during your turn
because by definition, your heroes/units can’t be patrolling during your own turn
their patrol begins when your turn ends

Punf
iirc squad leader and ironbark regenerate each turn but art of war doesnt, which matters in ffa

GRAG
aha, hmm

Punf
so presumably you lose the regenerating part first, and get it back on the next player’s turn

GRAG
free-for-all does throw a wrench into this
@sharpobject is probably a better source for rulings, but my gut says “you get patrol armor bonuses once, and they do not regenerate between opponent turns”
so when you end your turn and patrol Ironbark Treant, it gets +2 armor (and maybe +1 from leader) and that’s it until your turn comes up again

Punf
the squad leader thing has been asked a bunch, that one definitely regenerates each turn

GRAG
okay, I’m getting a little confused here
I’m pretty sure at least that squad leader regenerates each turn, but only each of your own turn
like, when patrol begins

Punf
it regenerates on opponents’ turns
so in ffa you can absorb a spark from each opponent

GRAG
really? hmm
I may simply not remember this rule!
at a glance, I don’t see anything in the rulebook about armor during FFA

Punf
heres sharpobject: https://discordapp.com/channels/236670649995755520/236670757726322688/283683595661475840

GRAG
you can lend patrollers, but again, patrol only happens when it is not your turn
aha, huh
this is news to me!
Sorry : o

Punf
oh i missed this earlier but he appears to rule on my question here https://discordapp.com/channels/236670649995755520/236670757726322688/342836500796276737
this seems to imply that if i have a 1/1 with sensei’s advice and safe attacking in play, and attack a 1/1, i end up with 0 armor

GRAG
huh
I must grant that I’ve only played FFA a few times, and it was a while ago now ^^;

Punf
(for whatever its worth im not just asking this to be annoying, i need a rigorous definition of armor because im coding a codex thing)

GRAG
right, yeah, that’s perfectly fine!
I intended to help but quickly found out that I was out of my league ^^;
good luck!

Punf
so as far as i can tell from sharpobject’s ruling how it works is:

  • when a new effect giving +armor occurs, add that amount to the unit’s armor stat (without recording the source)
  • when an effect giving +armor ends, subtract that amount from the unit’s armor stat (without caring where the subtracted armor is from)
  • when the unit takes damage, subtract that amount from the unit’s armor stat (again source is irrelevant)
  • when a unit starts being squad lead it gets +1, and when it stops it gets -1
  • squad lead gives -1 then +1 each turn (so no effect if the unit has armor, but if it has 0 armor then it now has 1 armor) and same for treant with -2/+2, which is what causes the armor regeneration
    i think this is the most consistent way to implement that ruling, but it has some weird consequences (like the sensei’s advice/safe attacking thing)

GRAG
wait, I thought SQL gave +1 no matter what
unless you mean, like, between opponent turns
in which case, that makes sense

Punf
well yeah it gets the +1 when it starts being SQL, and then start of each opponent’s turn it gets -1 and +1 (which only matters in ffa)

GRAG
ah, OK, so maybe treat it as “-1 at end of an opponent turn, then +1 when an opponent turn starts”

Punf
which sort of makes sense if we think of it as ‘your units stop patrolling and then start patrolling again against the new opponent’

GRAG
yeah
also, very cool that you are working on rule enforcement for Codex
maybe one day there can be an official rules-enforced digital version ^^

Punf
a related question would be, what if your SQL loses its armor, gets zaned out of SQL, and then gets grappling hooked back? id assume it gets a new armor

GRAG
…huh
I feel like the bonuses happen once per turn
but that’s a very good and interesting question
yeah, I dunno if the SQL armor is a thing that happens once at the beginning of the patrol turn, or if it’s an inherent characteristic of the slot that is granted upon being moved there
I have trouble imagining why an opponent would push an opposing patroller into SQL, but that’s irrelevant to the discussion of what should happen then
the rest are easy enough to deal with since they’re just ongoing traits

Punf
its kinda weird because elite is just continuous - you always have +1 atk for as long as youre elite - but SQL isnt - you lose the armor the moment you take a damage, despite still being SQL

GRAG
right

Punf
yeah

GRAG
so we’re assuming SQL gets hit, Zane maxbands and pushes to other slot, then also in the same turn that player also uses Grappling Hook to put it back in SQL
that’s a really interesting question and I kind of hate it!

Punf
i guess if we want it to be more realistic it could be a different opponent grappling hooking you back into SQL
which makes more sense as a politics tactic than one guy changing his mind

GRAG
in that case it seems much easier to just say “upon arriving in SQL for the first time in a patrolling turn, unit/hero gets armor”

Punf
well my own intuition is that it should work and you should get another point of armor

GRAG
hmmmm
I guess the big question is, do the cards “remember”

Punf
to put it another way, if it was never in SQL but then it got grappling hooked there, i would expect to get an armor

GRAG
right
same here

Punf
wheres sharpobject to save us from this purgatory :frowning_face_with_open_mouth:

GRAG
other question: if Grappling Hooked out (no damage) then pushed back in by Zane (damage after arriving in slot), would it then have two armor?
because SQL says on the board “+1 armor”
although I guess, wait, duh
it loses the armor when leaving SQL (in theory?)
wait, yeah, of course it does

Punf
it would be mega weird if it didnt, and make grappling hook a much weaker card

GRAG
that’s how we’ve always played
I’m Galaxy Braining this
okay, yeah
in that case, my gut says “card gets +1 armor for arriving in SQL”
if it was originally SQL then it lost that armor for being removed from SQL
then if it gets put back, it should get that armor back, instead of the armor just vanishing

sharpobject
hi
a unit or hero just tracks how much armor it currently has, and it loses armor as armor-granting effects expire
basically you always get the worst possible outcome for the player who is stacking armor-granting effects
I think if you use zane and grappling hook like that the squad leader slot will grant new armor when you move the unit back into it
can i play your codex thing :smiley:

26/04/2019

sharpobject
Punf I’m happy to answer other questions, other people who said they would make this sort of thing got me to decide basically everything already

Punf
@ people who want to play it: dont get your hopes up, im making this more as an excuse to learn javascript than as a HOLY SHIT MEGA AWESOME CODEX ONLINE VERSION
like im currently planning to just have it be offline (so you can play it vs. yourself to test some strategies or vs. a friend at your place), or vs. a (probably pretty mediocre) bot

Codex timing, attack resolution steps, and state-based actions

26/04/2019

Punf
can i ask the million dollar question: how does codex timing work
my understanding is that it uses a queue, but you can have other queues that can interrupt existing queues?
like, say you play final smash, which tells you to do three things: A,B,C
A is destroy a unit, so that could trigger more things, D,E,F,G
my understanding is you queue up D,E,F,G in any order of your choice and they go before B and C?
and if E triggers more things H,I,J then that creates a new subqueue and those things go before F and G?
the alternative (where theres just one queue) would suggest you do all three final smash things before resolving any death triggers from the first thing destroyed, which seems super weird
i searched queue and the only ruling i found was that some things are faster than other things (basically die effects that make it not go into the discard pile have to be faster to work). ok, but im confused about how the queue(s?) work at all

Sotek
I believe your description is accurate but sharpo is the true knower

Punf
also what if a triggered ability has two parts and one of those parts triggers something, does that create a new subqueue that resolves before the second part
although im not sure if this ever happens? off the top of my head the only trigger with two parts is brick thief and i dont think the first part ever triggers anything
also a much less important question, does the ‘another’ on brick thief imply you cant target the same thing twice
i guess it would but it matters so little and its marginally more effort to implement

Sotek
I think he can “heal” a thing that’s at full HP so yeah
or … can he? it matters a bit if he can’t\

Punf
theres an existing ruling that he can heal a full hp thing

Sotek
ok then

Punf
but can you damage something and then heal that same thing? ‘another’ seems to imply you cant
and its even harder than the addon thing to come up with a case where youd want to

Sotek
yeah lol
when would you NOT want to heal your base

sharpobject
hello
timing in codex!!!
things happen at more times than they happen in magic
for example, in final smash, there are distinct times at which things happen, whereas in magic, all the ETB triggers from hypergenesis are going on the stack at the same time

Punf
right, state-based actions are just ‘after anything resolves’, i think?
or not even resolves, just like, a part of it resolves

sharpobject
right

Punf
and they can make their own triggers i guess, oh geez

sharpobject
ok but there’s no nesting system
I think what you described is closer to hearthstone/FFG, not what we have

Punf
huh, so why do death triggers from the first thing final smash kills trigger before the other things final smash does?

sharpobject
they don’t

Punf
oh really? huh
wait but the thing still dies before the rest of it resolves, right?

sharpobject
yes
if you play final smash and you have harmony in play, your queue according to the rules is:
[Final Smash] [Harmony Trigger]

Punf
so it actually goes into the discard pile?

sharpobject
but a reasonable implementation that is equivalent to the rules is:
[Final Smash A] [Final Smash B] [Final Smash C] [Final Smash Ends] [Harmony Trigger]

Punf
does that screw with graveyard/second chances/whatever the third thing was?
or are those triggers ‘special’ and actually do interrupt the queue?

sharpobject
yes, those things are ‘special’
sorry !

Punf
so would a reasonable summary be ‘there really is one queue and everything waits for final smash to resolve, except three special triggers that interrupt it’

sharpobject
yes

Punf
that seems pretty implementable since i dont think the special triggers ever trigger anything themselves
wait what about sentry
i guess that trigger is also special?

sharpobject
ok, so when you kill the enemy technician with part A you end up with
[Final Smash B] [Final Smash C] [Final Smash Ends] [Harmony Trigger] [Technician Trigger]
sentry has to work at a weird timing that nothing else works at

Punf
a full list of all things that can interrupt would be nice if you could provide it
currently i have [three things that interrupt dying, sentry]

sharpobject
I think I sent this to someone, so I should be able to find it
to be honest, I’m about to just look at all the cards, since there aren’t that many

Punf
from what i can see none of the interrupts ever create their own triggers or require targeting, so it should be managable
and i guess stuff like flagbearer is sort of a trigger that interrupts, but i have it implemented as static anyway so thats fine

sharpobject
oh, you may want to know that targets are chosen as late as possible, and this matters for resist and the resist + flagbearer interaction

Punf
yeah im pretty sure ive got targeting with resist + flagberaer down

sharpobject
ok great

Punf
oh wait, i guess that makes smoker another trigger that interrupts?

sharpobject
yes, smoker and illusions

Punf
how does that interact with ember volley
do you choose all targets, assign the 5 damage among them in any way, and then illusions die/smoker returns?

sharpobject
you must assign at least 1 damage to each thing you choose
then illusions die and smoker returns
then other things take damage

Punf
but if (insert crazy edge case) you could assign 2 damage to an illusion in order to assign less to other things?

sharpobject
sure

Punf
all right, that makes sense
so if there are multiple interrupt triggers on death, active player chooses the order?
and only the first one does anything?

sharpobject
yes, the other ones will do nothing

Punf
does that still use up their uses (for second chances/reteller)?

sharpobject
but there are some more details that I will tell you when I remember or read

Punf
also thats super annoying because it means ill have to interrupt execution of the original thing to get a user choice on trigger order, bleh

sharpobject
yes sorry

Punf
maybe a better ruling would be ‘if you have second chances and reteller in play together, you lose the game for being annoying’

Sotek
lol

sharpobject
though note you already had to do that for normally timed triggers (?)

Punf
oh right because you have to pick queue order immediately

sharpobject
reteller says “the first two times each turn one of your non-token illusion units dies” which refers pretty clearly to which events it applies to

Punf
i guess theres sort of already a natural gap in execution when something dies so thats not too bad

sharpobject
second chances says something more annoying, and I’m going to go look up what I said about second chances before

Punf
well, ‘leaves play’ is still reasonable

sharpobject
I mean it says “once-per-turn” and not “the first time each turn”

Punf
i feel like the full list of codex trigger timings isnt even that long
theres arrives, attacks, dies (which sometimes have subtimings, dies can be an interrupt or normal, attacks can be before or after)
theres sentry which is a weird interrupt that triggers on damage being dealt
i actually cant think of any more off the top of my head

sharpobject
I think “attacks: X” is at the same timing as obliterate
Rampaging Elephant has “after attacking”

Punf
well ogre recruiter has to take effect after the actual attack to check whether the ogre is still alive

sharpobject
yeah
wow
can someone fix the templating in a patch

Punf
i guess doubling barbarbarian is sort of ‘on gain stats’ but eh its more static than triggered

sharpobject
yeah
I am putting stuff like that, cost changing abilities, targeting restrictions, etc. in a different bucket
cursed crow has “deals damage” timing

Punf
so does molting firebird

sharpobject
which is presumably between obliterate and rampaging elephant

Punf
is this a decent summary of attack:

  1. choose a legal target
  2. resolve all attack triggers
  3. if target is dead, choose a new legal target
  4. attack your target from 1) or 3)
  5. resolve all damage triggers
  6. resolve all after-attack triggers
    its kinda weird because if you think of attacking as one action, attack triggers jump the queue, but i guess it makes sense if you think of attacking as multiple actions?
    unless im completely wrong and attack triggers take place after the actual attack but im pretty sure obliterate is before
    i guess i shouldnt use the word ‘target’ since its not a target in game terms, but like just a choice

sharpobject
I am not clear on the details of 3) but I think if the target has stopped patrolling, you should still get to choose a new target
this matters if your cinderblast dragon was attacking a flying immortal

Punf
oh, huh
actually how wacky would it be if you just got to choose a new target no matter what
would that cause any issues

sharpobject
hopefully the UI can hide that choice if there were no attack triggers lol

Punf
like, is step 1 necessary or can we just have choosing the attack target after attack triggers

sharpobject
one possible issue is setsuki
oh
I’m not sure about that
I think you may be safe to get rid of step 1

Punf
man that sounds super sweet

Sotek
are there any target-based attack triggers?

sharpobject
yeah
my 2 concerns are

Punf
there are some that sort of are like wight

sharpobject
is there a situation where there are no valid attack targets for a unit or hero?
are there any “attacks an X” triggers?

Punf
huh, im pretty sure no?

sharpobject
if it’s no to both I think you can scrap part 1 there

Sotek
yes to the first
it’s really dumb
but yes

Punf
uh oh

sharpobject
oh?
how do you make it happen
I thought we got rid of all the stuff like this

Sotek
lawbringer gryphon

sharpobject
ok great

Sotek
you need him, your base, no tech buildings, and no non-flying units

sharpobject
so if you have a trojan duck, and I have lawbringer gryphon and no tech buildings, you can’t attack me

Punf
hmm, what if we replaced step 1 with ‘verify that there is at least one legal target’ but dont require you to actually pick a target

sharpobject
lmao

Punf
does it work then?

sharpobject
yes that works

Sotek
yeah
actually

Punf
oh what happens if you have duck against lawbringer and two random 1/1s

sharpobject
UI wise I would sort of want the flow you pasted anyway, since I want to drag from my guy to the guy I am attacking and most of my guys don’t have “attacks” triggers

Punf
you obliterate the 1/1s then cant do the actual attack?

sharpobject
you obliterate the 1/1s and then sort of stop
yeah

Sotek
yeah that’s what happens there

Punf
so it sounds like picking the target after attack triggers makes way more sense, hooray

Sotek
unfortunately there’s a case where the outcome is affected

sharpobject
?

Sotek
lawbringer gryphon, a tech building, and base.

Punf
kinda weird to have attack triggers trigger when you didnt actually attack, oh well

Sotek
trojan duck obliterates the gryphon but MUST attack the tech building

sharpobject
oh gosh

Punf
so step 1 actually is necessary and we need weird rules on when step 3 lets you retarget?

sharpobject
if we are huge pedants, yes

Punf
either that, or weird rules on what you can pick in step 3 based on what you could have picked in step 1
but even then you should really be locking in the choice earlier in case your attack triggers give you new information

Sotek
that said maybe we don’t match the rules 100% here, lol

Punf
well if i can get official permission from the rules manager to ditch step 1 ill be happy to obey

sharpobject
ditching step 1 doesn’t sound like a big deal

Punf
sweet

sharpobject
but like I said above, in a UI for a card game I want to attack by dragging an arrow from my guy to the thing I am attacking
and this vaguely implies the workflow that includes step 1

Punf
interesting, personally id rather have the attack triggers occur before i pick my target
it feels super weird to target, obliterate things, and then retarget
in the normal case where there are no attack triggers, it works the same whether you target in step 1 or step 3

sharpobject
Rules Questions thread - #2383 by sharpobject
here’s what I said about Second Chances
including pedantry about “x times per turn” vs “the first x times each turn”
Rambasa Twin has a 4th ability that happens at that timing that I left out of a lot of posts
I also got to be sad about wandering mimic vs crypt crawler all over again
though I’m not sure whether to be sad about it or proud to not have imported rule 613.7 from mtg

Sotek
lol

sharpobject
oh I got to the end of the post I linked where I said “Getting a derived state where Escaped Shapeshifter is the only creature with flying seems like a bug to me. So I don’t think this setup is significantly better than the one we have in Codex.”
that’s great

Sotek
lol

sharpobject
re: UI with attack triggers, yes I agree, but the vast majority of attacks have no attack triggers
oh that’s another fix I guess
you could say “if my guy has no attack triggers, drag to defender to attack, otherwise drag anywhere on the other side of the board to attack”
that’s very reasonable

Punf
well nuking step 1 means there probably has to be a separate ‘attack’ button (it cant just be clicking the attacker attacks, because what if you wanted to use an activated ability on it)
having two click attacks (click attacker, click defender) means reintroducing step 1 and possibly having to change your target

sharpobject
I really think it should be what I said, if I was a big budget digital card game company
like in hearthstone, I left click my dude and drag to the enemy dude

Punf
possibly changing target midway through is super ugh from a rules standpoint but i guess it makes the ui better

sharpobject
if my dude happens to be plague lord, instead I’m not allowed to drag to the other dude, and some huge red overlay thing comes up over the enemy board, and dragging to anywhere on that just does the attack trigger
after that I’m forced to choose a thing to attack with plague lord
right click → attack is fine for non-big-budget digital card games

Punf
well i currently have right click → view zoomed in version of the card
i figure people with small screens will just be completely unable to play the game if theres not some way to zoom in on cards
and right click is way more convenient than having a separate magnifying glass or something

Sotek
heh

Punf
also im not getting the second chances thing
my understanding is once-per-turn = ‘this can only trigger once per turn’
so if you have 2 second chances and 3 things leave simultaneously, what stops both of them from randomly choosing the same thing
(in which case youd only get that one thing back)

sharpobject
Rules Questions thread - #2394 by sharpobject

Punf
so one resolves immediately, and then the other resolves when the first rescued thing isnt there any more?

sharpobject
yeah
it won’t be able to pick that thing, so it will have to pick something else

Punf
but then how does the 2 second chances, 1 thing leaving thing work?
the first one resolves immediately, and then the second has no possible targets but still has its use used up?

sharpobject
right

Punf
so the use gets used up from trying to trigger despite having no possible targets? seems weird but i guess consistent

27/04/2019

Punf
is ‘things that should die die’ the only state-based action in codex?
i guess ‘you lose the game if you dont have a base’ might be one too?

Faulty Ice
Rules Questions thread - #1038 by sharpobject

MollytheBard
If you use Promise of Payment and can’t pay next upkeep, you lose

Faulty Ice
but that is a trigger, not a statebased action

MollytheBard
Okay

Punf
oh damn that seems op

Faulty Ice
?

Punf
what happens if both bases are destroyed at the same time?
im guessing active player wins?

Faulty Ice
How would both players bases take damage at the same time?

Punf
burning volley

GRAG
http://codexcarddb.com/card/careless_musketeer
“And,” rather than “then”

Faulty Ice
I would assume a tie, as all state based actions happen at the same time

Punf
i think careless musketeer actually does the first thing then the second thing? i dunno

Faulty Ice
it does both at the same time, it would need to be on dfifferent lines for them them to happen one after the other
*paragraphs

sharpobject
punf, maybe “tokens in most zones cease to exist”

Punf
oh right

sharpobject
tie if both bases die at the same time I guess

Punf
huh, newlines have a mechanical effect in codex? kinda strange

sharpobject
do we have a rule about + and - runes cancelling?

Faulty Ice
that is in your list of statebased actions sharpo

sharpobject
wow great lets just use that list

Faulty Ice
@Punf yes, statebased actions are checked inbetween lines, this can be very important (for instance if Earthquake can end up dealing no damgae to an opponents base, if it starts undamaged and a tech building/add on is destroyed by the earthquake)

sharpobject
I dont think its exactly “newlines” but this is the thing we chatted about with final smash

Punf
oh what about destroyed tech buildings dealing 2 damage to your base?

Faulty Ice
statebased
again in the list

Punf
hrm im not seeing it

Faulty Ice
If a unit or hero just took deathtouch damage or a unit, hero, or building has lethal damage marked on it, it dies. If it was a hero, an opposing hero gets 2 levels. If it was a tech building or addon, that player’s base takes 2 damage.

Punf
oh, all right

Faulty Ice
it is mixed in with a lot of other things, can be hard to spot straight off the bat.

3 Likes
Interactions between combat stat / ability modifiers

03/05/2019

Punf
is the 0 atk minimum checked in the middle of processing all atk changing effects, or only applied after all atk changing effects are processed?
eg if i have a 1/1, intimidate it, and then give it a +2/+2 buff, does it end up with 0 atk or 2

Zhavier
There is no 0 atk minimum, just a statement that atk can’t heal a target
in other words, it is possible to atk something while you have a negative attack value, its just it has the same effect as if it had 0 attack

Punf
what happens if fairie dragon and polymorph: squirrel are both trying to set the base stats of something

GRAG
Dragon is permanent and squirrel is for one turn, right?
I’d say temporary takes priority for its duration

Punf
it seems weird for duration to affect which one takes precedence

Carpe
P:S transforms it into a 1/1 squirrel with a feather rune on it

GRAG
This is also true

Carpe
The feather rune makes it 3/1

GRAG
So I guess rune does take priority, period

Carpe
That’s how I’d rule it: P:S transforms the base unit, rune modifies unit stats

Punf
theres also the question of whether it has flying since polymorph might make it not?

Carpe
Nah, I think the same logic applies; the rune applies flying and 3/1 stats to the unit, it doesn’t care what the unit is

Punf
actually i think im confused in general about how polymorph: squirrel works
if i sensei’s advice something and then polymorph it, does it lose the buff?

Polari
no
oh wait never mind
misread the ruling
the ruling states it retains bonuses from things like +1/+1 runes, soul stone or spirit of the panda, but does lose “all one-time effects that other things might have granted it before the transform”

Punf
why is that, exactly? is it because sensei’s advice grants an ability?
or does the verb ‘transform’ implicitly end all one-time effects on the target?
im pretty sure temporary buffs arent abilities, and my understanding of the 1/1 part is that its just an override of the unit’s base stats, so it must be something to do with the verb transform i guess?

Polari
I think it isn’t a base stats override and just forces the stats to 1

Punf
but i thought you could buff it by using sensei’s advice afterwards

Polari
and that the exception here is that stuff with persistent objects apply last

Punf
also in that case, does it keep the armor from a pre-polymorph sensei’s advice?

Polari
yeah that’s what happens if you apply the effects in timestamp order

Punf
if so then that seems to contradict the ruling that it loses one-time effects

Polari
the quote I pasted is from the rulings doc, green, line 50 Codex rulings - Google Sheets
I’m understanding this as polymorph removing the armor

Punf
that doesnt seem to fit with what the polymorph card says, it doesnt say anything about removing armor
i suppose you could interpret ‘transform’ to implicitly mean that all one-time effects on it end

Polari
that does seem unintuitive but then again I’m not sure what exactly I’m supposed to think of armor as being
I guess it is an “ability”

Punf
so midori’s buff stop applying to your squad leader?
which could mean that becoming a squad leader kills a unit with 1 base hp and 1 damage thats only alive due to midori?
sounds even weirder

Polari
I think squad leader armor is a special case

Punf
i mean it still seems pretty dumb if using sensei’s advice on your unit can kill it, but i guess not quite as dumb
but i really feel like armor isnt an ability

Polari
rampant growth removing midori bonus does seem wrong too

Punf
also god, the midori + behind the ferns interaction makes me want to stab something
i think its the only time when codex timestamps matter? (apart from maybe that mimic + crypt crawler thing?)

Polari
blah, midori rulings don’t explicitly mention armor

Punf
i am growing extremely tempted to just errata midori to ‘units with no printed abilities’ for my implementation

Carpe
So from my vantage point, Advice is a stat buff/debuff applied to the unit as a momentary thing
This contrasts with ongoing buffs from attachments and runes

Punf
it seems to me that it has to be ongoing in some way, since it ends at end of turn
like to me, a one-time thing is like just ‘exhaust target unit’, where theres nothing to keep track of, it just happens

Carpe
It has a limited duration but it’s applied once
Whereas a rune is a sort of “always on” effect that keeps being applied essentially
Like, let’s say I have a spell that says “change a unit’s attack to 10” and then I transform the unit into a squirrel. It no longer has 10 attack
But if I have a “dinosaur” rune which has the effect “This unit has 10 attack”, that rune doesn’t go away when the base unit is transformed
or to put it another way with real cards, casting Deteriorate on it, then polymorph squirrel, vs having a -1/-1 rune on it

Punf
i think the difference between ‘has 10 attack’ and ‘has +2 attack’ is significant
changes of base attack are incompatible, one must win out
but a change of base attack and a modifier to attack can potentially coexist
also, fairie dragon doesnt affect the printed attack of a unit, even though it does affect the base attack of a unit

Carpe
See, I think that if you Deteriorate a unit and then cast P:S on it, that wouldn’t kill the unit, that’s just weird

Punf
yeah i also feel like it shouldnt kill the unit
so perhaps transform could be interpreted as ‘All effects on that unit end’
with the understanding that a continuous effect will be reapplied anyway

Carpe
Right

Punf
i dont see any ruling to support the view that transform implies that, but it seems a lot more intuitive than the alternatives

Carpe
Continuous effects being stuff like tokens and cards that give modifications

Punf
also uh fairie dragon doesnt change the printed atk, but polymorph does? god
i think the key to this, if we read the card text, has to be that ‘transform’ is a word with a lot of hidden rules meaning behind it

Carpe
I’d put it like this imo: “treat it like a 1/1 unit with no memory of past states”
(Arrival fatigue notwithstanding)

Punf
it retains a fair amount of information, eg it keeps the same controller

Carpe
True

Punf
also final smash’s gain control of is a ‘one-time effect’, but surely polymorph doesnt end it and give the unit back to you
that would just be insane

Carpe
I’d basically see things as “outside indicators impose states on it”

Punf
so ‘gain control of a unit’ is fundamentally different from ‘a unit gets +1/+1’, i guess

Carpe
But that’s my way of working it in a legalesque fashion
Like if you really wanted to make it airtight, I think you could say that having a unit on your side of the board continuously indicates your controllership
I’m not 100% sure how to word it in an unexploitable/weird way tbh

Punf
i think just ‘all effects on it end’ works, with the understanding that giving buffs and stuff is an effect but gaining control of something isnt

Carpe
Makes sense

Zhavier
There are state based conditions, like who owns the card, and who controls the card, and rune effects, beacuse they are inherent to either where the card is, or a token or card attached to the card

04/05/2019

Punf
err, do steam tank and traffic director’s abilities trigger at different times?
as far as i can see, traffic director triggers before you check for patrollers (it has to, otherwise it doesnt do anything)
but steam tank triggers after you check for patrollers? (based on the ruling on behind the ferns)
also more generally, traffic director seems to necessitate another step in attacking? so now it goes 1) choose what youre attacking, ignoring patrollers 2) traffic director triggers 3) check that youre allowed to attack what youre attacking, if youre not then cancel the attack i guess? 4) now steam tank triggers 5) now all the rest of the attack triggers trigger 6) retarget if original target is dead 7) actually do the attack
actually, i think step 6 needs to be broken down, because you could potentially have traffic director/steam tank untriggering
so uh, replace that with 6) if original target is dead, choose a new target 7) traffic director triggers or untriggers 8) check youre allowed to attack what youre attacking, if not then its too late to cancel the attack so uh go back to 6? 9) steam tank triggers or untriggers 10) do the attack
actually i dont think its possible for an attack to ever have more than one attack trigger? and this situation can be simplified immensely if we make the assumption that each attack has at most one attack trigger

sharpobject
well, I don’t think either of these have triggered abilities
I might rephrase Traffic Director’s ability as “~ can attack buildings as if the opponent had no patrollers.”
armor isn’t an ability for midori
separately, patrol bonuses aren’t abilities for midori
there’s approximately a layer system for handling all your questions about polymorph:squirrel
https://github.com/sharpobject/codex_rules/blob/master/ongoing_effects.txt
I applied polymorph: squirrel in an early layer that also contains chaos mirror and manufactured truth
this makes codex give different answers from mtg, where part of sudden spoiling applies in layer 6 and part applies in layer 7b…
notably my thing contradicts Sirlin’s ruling about “transform” that Polari cited, so I should bug Sirlin to see if I can change that

Punf
so, polymorph doesnt end (for example) sensei’s advice on the polymorphed unit?

sharpobject
I agree with that

Zhavier
In a computer implementation, the way I see an attack working is as follows Step 1) select the attacker 2) choose from all possible legal targets. In both steam tank +behind the ferns and traffic director’s cases, this would mean buildings would be available to attack (barring a detector) 3) trigger any attacks effects, like obliterate, generate skeleton, etc. 4) If the original target is no longer availble, retarget 5) deal swift strike, then deal normal speed damage
steam tank and makeshfit rambaster wuld gain the attack bonus during step 3 there

Carpe
Yeah, that should work for all existing cards. (Wouldn’t work if anything in step 3 could destroy a building, since the attack bonus would be applied before retargeting decisions)

05/05/2019

Punf
i guess if the attacking unit leaves the board in 3), the attack gets cancelled?
also, voidblocker triggers when you attack it, im guessing this occurs for choosing it in step 2 or step 4? so you could potentially have to recheck triggers again after step 4
and if opponent has two voidblockers, you attack choosing one, exhaust something, obliterate it, then retarget to choose the other one and you have to exhaust another thing
im not sure if thats right since it seems weird for an attack to be attacking two things
(where stuff like overpowere isnt actually attacking two things, its attacking one thing and also separately dealing some damage)

sharpobject
you should just have to exhaust once for the second voidblocker
similar story about setsuki except I can’t think of a scenario where you would get to do the same thing vs setsuki

Punf
so if i attack a voidblocker but then (shenanigans) happen to make my attacker leave play before the attack, i dont have to exhaust anything?
and, err, i need to have 1 gold to pick setsuki in either step 2 or step 4, but the actual gold only gets deducted if shes still my choice after step 4?

sharpobject
For the first question, I don’t agree
for the second question, sure sounds good

Punf
how do you conceptualise voidblocker, then?

sharpobject
I think if you use cinderblast dragon to kill itself in step 3, voidblocker still gets to tap down a dude in step 4
and setsuki still gets to make you pay a gold in step 4

Punf
what about if your attacker dies and the defender dies?
do you still get to pick a new target?
(in step 3, i mean)
err, i mean, dies in step 3, do you get to retarget in step 4

sharpobject
I don’t think you get to choose a new target if your attacker is dead…

Punf
thats pretty strange because it means the life of your attacker affects whether you get to escape from the setsuki tax
also i feel like the ‘would’ on setsuki means most people would expect her to trigger earlier than usual, rather than as the last possible attack trigger? shrug

Interesting that there’s this “statebased actions” category, should I update my codex-time document to reflect that language?

Also, this looks great, thanks for sharing!
The “interactions between combat stat / ability modifiers” looks like it’ll clear up stuff that I hadn’t found clear references on earlier. I’m excited to read it once my brain has recovered from reading the other parts!

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