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I’m pretty sure kills means ‘deals damage to something causing it to die’ so it is an ‘on death’ ability (just an ‘on something else’s death’ ability).

All abilities can trigger as something dies, is the main point. “Dies:” abilities are just the most obvious case.

This relates to how bugblatter works too. If you judgment day my 2 captured bugblatters and whatever else, both bugblatters ability will trigger for all units that die, including each other.


If I kidnap mox with a tech II unit it play it just poofs right? Similarly, if I kidnap the mox without a tech II unit in play, but I then play a tech II unit the mox would poof, right?


Indeed it is thus.


Gunpoint Taxman has a triggered ability, so we are dealing with 2 triggered abilities to enqueue at the same time when you kill a Scavenger with Gunpoint Taxman.

Shadow Blade does not have any triggered ability. So (normally) when you kill a Technician with Shadow Blade, there’s only 1 trigger. Choosing the order of that 1 trigger is not a very powerful choice.


I’d like to have this better recorded sometime! We check for dead stuff “all the time.” That means when resolving a spell or ability that does multiple things sequentially, stuff will be checked for death and die after each part of the spell or ability. Stuff like 2 damage to your base when your tech 1 building dies, losing the game when your base dies, getting rid of 1 copy of a Legendary thing if you somehow end up with 2, or moving tokens and heroes out of your discard pile when they just died also happens “all the time.”

As an aside, this is one of the places where the low-level rules differ from MtG. In MtG if I kill my Raging Goblin with Lightning Bolt, my Lightning bolt will finish resolving and go to my graveyard before the game checks that Raging Goblin is supposed to die, so the Raging Goblin will be the top card of my graveyard. In a similar situation in Codex, my Lightning Bolt would be the top card of my discard pile.


Can you sacrifice Forecasted units while they’re in the future? Or can they literally only be interacted with by cards that specify that they work on Forecasted units?

The “forecasted” zone isn’t in play, so my impression is that nothing can touch those cards unless otherwise specified.


Am I reading you correctly?
It seems that you are saying that when you kill a Technician with Shadow Blade’s first ability, the triggered Technician bonus happens, then you move on sequentially to the second Shadow Blade ability (if Shadow Blade killed the unit that it hit, opponent discards).
So if the opponent had a 5-card hand, they would draw up to 6, then discard 1 of those 6 randomly?

So what makes Gunpoint Taxman’s ability triggered and Shadow Blade’s second ability not triggered?
Is it that Taxman uses “Whenever Gunpoint Taxman kills a patroller” while SB uses “If it dies” (i.e., “when” = triggered, “if”=sequential, non-triggered)?

Wouldn’t that make Scavenger and Technician non-triggered, since they also use the exact same phrase, “if it dies,” in their definitions in the rulebook (p. 5)?

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no, ur wrong. This is what i meant by “semantics”. Imho u guys are paying to much attention to consecutio temporum rather than simple logic and common sense. So far, the game is simple and straightforward, but edge cases are bound to be, so plz let not try to demand that each card text covers every damn possibility. They would be an Enciclopedia Britannica.

As for ur questions: for Shadow B this is no new question, firs u resolve SB, hence if opponent has 5 cards and a tech dies, he first discards 1 put of 5, then draws. SB takes priority, tech goes in queue.

For gupoint t: unit dying and ability triggering happen in the very same moment. Unit dies, hence u get a gold/card and GT can steal 1 gold. Since they happen in the very same moment (when patroller dies) active player can choose the order. SB, instead, demands that before discarding it u must a) deal 3 dmg to patroller and b) if said patroller dies, opponent discards.

Dude, your constant text-speak and misspellings are really hard to parse. I assume you’re writing from a phone?

First, there is no such thing as “simple logic” or “common sense.” For sense to be common, it would have to be shared or uniform from one mind to the next. Different people think in different ways, and what makes obvious sense to one person is confusing to another, usually due to semantics (people have different internal definitions for the same word, for example) or due to different assumptions. And logic is only simple if you’re all operating from the same set of axioms. Since a lot of the axioms in Codex were never explicitly spelled out, we run into problems.
(Some would say, with hyperbole, that the Dominion rulebooks are like Encyclopedia Britannica, but they remain my favorite rulebooks ever because I have yet to encounter a rule situation that could not be definitively answered using only the rulebooks. Dominion’s not that much less complicated; it’s just more clearly spelled out.)

In Gunpoint’s case, you say that unit dying and ability triggering (Scavenger ability, I assume?) happen the very same moment.
In Shadow Blade’s case, you say that unit dying and ability triggering (Technician ability) do not happen in the very same moment, because Technician has to wait for Shadow Blade (the card) to finish.
So why doesn’t Scavenger have to wait for Taxman (the card) to finish?

Is it because Taxman is a unit on the field (not an action in and of himself), and Shadowblade is a spell being resolved (one of the main actions you can take that must be resolved before initiating another action)?
That is starting to make sense to me.

Does this mean that non-channeled, non-ongoing spells always resolve all of themselves before anything they trigger does anything?
But the same is not true of anything (like units, ongoing spells, etc.) that persist and have “if” or “when” clauses?


yes, that is right. Taxman is a simple unit, as someone previously stated, if he had the ability “tap him, deal damage to a unit equal to its printed attack, and if the unit dies and is a patroller steal a gold” then he and SB would be the same. An attack is just an attack tho.

yes again. Another common question is: “If i play martial mastery/booth camp/Dark pact” can i draw the very same card? the answer is no, because first u draw, then u discard the spell. So if the spell causes a reshuffle, it cannot be reshuffled.

I would like to answer but simply cannot understand ur question


Apologies for the wall of text. I’m starting by clarifying in response to @Legion’s last statement. (And thanks @Legion for your response. I’m not trying to be difficult, and I appreciate the thoughtful answer.)

I guess I was asking if the following two statements were true:

  1. Casting most spells, or playing “stand-alone” abilities off an in-play card (like, say Vandy’s spell-fetch, Tri-Cycloid’s direct damage ability, or the Sacrifice to flip ability on Harmony), are actions and have to be completely resolved before any other triggered effects can happen in response to them.

  2. BUT, passive effects–often referred to in this thread as “triggered abilities”–including the “whenever” gold-steal on Taxman, the “whenever” Dancer-creation on Harmony, and the two effects created by Promise of Payment (you don’t finish its abilities immediately; they “stay around” waiting for their triggers)–DO NOT have to be completely resolved at the moment of their trigger before all other effects: other effects that had the same trigger or another trigger that occurred simultaneous with that trigger (such as Scavenger bonus in the case of Taxman) can be resolved first, at the active player’s discretion.

If those are true, then I think I’m on the same page now.

Complication #1:

I think a lot of this came up when @EricF asked about a perceived discrepancy between the first point (Shadow Blade, specifically) and Earthquake. Earthquake is also an action, so it seems like all of it–both the “damaged buildings” ability and the “undamaged buildings” ability–should be resolved before passive/triggered effects, such as the base being damaged by a Tech building’s destruction from the first ability. It seems that it has been ruled (somewhat arbitrarily, but firmly) that the base taking damage from the Tech building’s destruction happens before the second ability on Earthquake.

The way in which Sirlin made that ruling seemed to say that there is space between two abilities on a spell (Earthquake) during which things can happen, which confused a lot of folks because the ruling on Shadow Blade seemed to equate to “There is no space between the abilities: resolve both, then move on to anything either triggered.” It seemed to open up for debate the idea of when triggered effects resolve.

The only explanation is that “Base takes damage when Tech building is destroyed” is not a passive triggered effect like the Technician bonuses (which, as already discussed, wait for spells or other actions to resolve fully), but is instead a unique thing. The base somehow takes damage not after the Tech building is destroyed, or triggered by its destruction, but simultaneous to its destruction. If I understand correctly, it’s the only effect like this in the game, as all other passive triggered effects have to wait for the current action to resolve fully before taking effect.

I think making the “damage your base when your Tech building pops” a triggered effect just like Technician and Scavenger (and making it wait until after EQ resolves completely) would seem more internally consistent and less random/arbitrary (and I think this was @EricF’s point), but if it’s just a separate thing, it’s just a separate thing.

Complication #2:
“Arrives” abilities. When you recruit a unit with an “Arrives” ability, do you have to have to finish the “Arrives” ability before any other abilities triggered by the unit’s arrival?
In other words, is resolving the “Arrives” ability just like resolving the abilities on a spell like Shadow Blade: you have to finish everything on the card related to playing the card before you can move on to effects that are triggered by the card’s arrival? (It fits into Statement 1 at the top of this post.)

Or is the “Arrives” ability just a triggered ability that can be resolved (at the active player’s discretion) after other abilities triggered simultaneous with the unit’s arrival? (It fits into Statement 2 at the top of this post.)

Complication #3
Leveling a hero is one of the actions you can take on your turn (just like summoning a hero, recruiting a unit, using a “stand-alone” non-triggered active ability on a hero/unit/building). But it can also happen as a triggered effect from another hero dying.
If you max a hero with “Max level” ability (like Zane’s shove), do you have to fully resolve that before it can trigger anything else? (Statement 1)
Or are “Max level” abilities triggered abilities that can be ordered at the discretion of the active player (Statement 2).

I assume what is true for “Max level” would be the same as for “Arrives”. I apologize for not having specific examples here; they may not exist. I’m trying to get at the hard-and-fast rules underpinning the system.


Personally I feel that ruling Gunpoint Taxman and Shadow Blade differently is a rules contradiction, and either shadow blade should have the opponent draw first (so technician and scavenger can happen immediately) or gunpoint taxman cannot steal gold from a scavenger kill if the opponent has no gold (so other things must resolve before scavenger and technician).


I have to agree. Different rules for different triggered abilities that often use the same cards (or rules) text feels messy for no good reason, frankly.


Guys Shadow Blade does not have a triggered ability??? A triggered ability is generally written “Arrives: X” or “Max Level: X” or “Dies: X” or “When Y, X”. Shadow Blade has 2 clauses that happen during the resolution of Shadow Blade, before Shadow Blade goes to your discard pile, sort of like Final Smash has 3 clauses that happen during the resolution of Final Smash.


It doesn’t seem that way from looking at the card. It has two lines, and the second line is a conditional. We know from Earthquake that multiple lines on cards are read/performed separately, and that things can happen between them, so why can’t things happen between “deal 3 damage to a patroller” and “if the patroller dies, its controller discards a card”?

…also is the card-specific ruling for Shadow Blade right? Wasn’t there a whole thing about the discard effect not happening when Illusions got hit by Shadow Blade? Am I thinking of a different card? :cry:


This is generally correct.

There are unfortunately two sorts of things actually written on cards that have to go faster to work. Smoker’s return to hand ability and the game rule that says Illusions die when targeted must happen *right* when things are targeted. Also, triggered abilities that pull cards out of your discard pile (Graveyard, Second Chances, Reteller of Truths) somehow have to cut in line enough to prevent you from shuffling the card they want to pull out into your deck first.

Not all passive effects are triggered abilities. A triggered ability is an ability that watches for an event, and enqueues some action when that event happens. “Pay its gold cost during your next upkeep or lose the game” is a triggered ability. “The next card you play this turn costs 0” is not.

There are lots of things that will happen between clauses of a spell, or between the last clause of a spell and the spell being moved to your discard pile. You can read some of them here Rules Questions thread. They correspond approximately to “State based actions” in MtG, but MtG checks state based actions less often than Codex does.

Also note that continuous effects such as the buffs on Two Step and Master Midori will begin applying or stop applying at this speed, which could cause you to have more “state based actions” to deal with. Your Nimble Fencer might die before the 2nd clause of Final Smash because Two Step stopped giving it +2/+2 when your Tenderfoot died during the first clause of Final Smash.

You can choose any order for these abilities, because they all triggered at the same moment. They will all happen after the action of playing the card is over. If you have Blooming Ancient and you play Argagarg, you can get the +1/+1 rune first or the Wisp first.

Killing an enemy hero awards levels immediately. So if I Doom Grasp your Technician Argagarg, I will get 2 levels on Garth before you draw a card. This particular timing issue doesn’t really matter as far as I can tell, but it’s more consistent to say that this game rule is a “state based action” and happens right away like the other game rules (tokens in your hand go away, tokens in your discard go away, stuff with lethal damage marked dies, etc.) than to let it wait like triggered abilities printed on cards.

You can order “Max Level: X” abilities and other abilities that trigger at the same time however you like. I think the only way you could get a hero’s “Max Level: X” ability to trigger simultaneously with some other ability is to play Metamorphosis.



In some places (like Graveyard, Second Chances, and Reteller of Truths) nobody has yet forced me to make up the particular way things happen, but these places are rare.


This is an easy card to get confused about. I think it’s more like Circle of Life than like Vandy’s Max Level ability though, so I’m claiming it works like Circle of Life.

Shadow Blade cares about whether Shadow Blade kills the patroller. This is true even if it kills it by targeting it because it’s an illusion.

Another card in the game, Firehouse, instead cares about whether it kills something *by doing damage to it*. So Firehouse will not get to ready if it kills an illusion.


Thanks sharpo. I appreciate you taking the time to walk through this stuff in really clear, detailed language, even if I’m still not really getting it… I’ll read back on some more examples in this thread and see if it makes any more sense to me.