News Shop
Events Chat

Rules Questions thread

Given how loose (and in some cases contradictory) the rules text is, I wouldn’t go scrutinizing the exact phrasing to that degree. The simple answer is that you can’t exhaust cards that aren’t ready, regardless of ownership, and I’m confident that’s the correct answer.


Rule interpretation change proposal:

Attachments are discarded if they are not attached to a creature.

See thread I created about a rules clarification reminder website for context.

tldr; The following edge case was brought to my attention as (paraphrasing) something that doesn’t make much intuitive sense and doesn’t add much even potential strategic value to the game.

The edge case is that attachment spells can be cast without anything to attach to (ie. Spirit of the Panda) if there are no valid targets for it to attach to in play. Because of the wording on ongoing spells, the current ruling allows these kinds of spell to be cast, attach to nothing, and continue existing.

Counter evidence: The rules say that attachments are only removed if the attached creature is destroyed, not removed from play. When a creature is removed from play (due to Forgotten Fighter (or Prynn??)) any attachments are discarded without their host. This implies that an attachment spell cannot continue being in play if it is not attached to anything.

I am proposing that we treat an attachment spell that was cast on nothing the same way we treat an attachment spell that was attached to something that was removed from play, and discard it immediately.

A parasite cannot live without its host.


I agree with this.


Yeah this is what the rule should be. If sharpo accepts this we can immediately implement it moving forwards, but I think the community will probably just agree anyway.


Maybe sort of related to this: can units and heroes attack if there’s no valid target for their attack?

Scenario: opponent has a Lawbringer Gryphon in play, no other units or heroes, and no buildings other than their base (so all their stuff is flying). I have a Plague Lord or midband Troq I would like to attack with, for the Attacks: Effect. Am I allowed to?


If you can cast spells with no valid target then I’d wager that attacking with no valid target is even less of an issue and should be allowable.

Okay, another issue has come up from that other thread from my website idea:

If Shadow Blade kills a Technician (or Gorgon), does the draw proc first or the discard?

@charnel_mouse claims the technician would proc first.
@zango found a conflicting ruling about that on this thread.

tldr; the dispute is about when the death trigger is resolved:

  • before moving onto the next sentence on the card
  • or queued to be resolved after the card is fininshed

I propose that we treat it the same as Gunpoint Taxman or Zane killing a Scavenger, because the wording is as close to the same as possible. The only differences are

  • the source of the damage is spell damage for Shadow Blade
  • the text of Shadow Blade uses the word “if” where Gunpoint Taxman and Zane use the word “whenever”

I’ve been told that the mechanism for Gunpoint Taxman killing a Scavenger is that effectively the dead scavenger triggers (at least) 2 events on death:

  • the scavenger bonus
  • the taxman stealing

Because these triggers happen at the same time, the active player gets to choose the order they resolve.

Likewise, I propose that a Shadow Blade killing a Technician is triggering (at least) 2 events on death:

  • the technician draw
  • the forced discard from Shadow Blade

Because these triggers happen at the same time, the active player gets to choose the order they resolve.

This isn’t really a dispute, by the way. zango found the correct ruling, and I’d misremembered it. The difference here is what’s already in the queue when the patroller is killed:

  • Gunpoint Taxman attacks and kills a Scavenger. Combat is instant, so none of this happens on the queue. Taxman’s ability and the Scavenger patrol bonus both get triggered and go on the queue at the same time, so the active player chooses which one resolves first.
  • Shadow Blade’s effect goes on the queue, and we then start to resolve it. During the resolution, the technician is killed, and the Technician patrol bonus get placed on the queue, to resolve after we’ve finished resolving the Shadow Blade effect that is already on the queue. Discarding a card happens as part of resolving Shadow Blade – as part of the same effect, in fact – so that happens before the Technician draw.

However, this does imply that the effect directly causes a discard, instead of putting a discard effect on the queue. Which is a good example of why we could do with a good explanation somewhere of what does and doesn’t go on the queue. Barrelfish has a nice summary at the start of the thread, but some cases like this are still confusing.

1 Like

Yea, what is and isnt a triggered effect on the queue is definitely the main source of confusion. Programming this game is difficult because of this lack of clarity.

1 Like

Okay, I updated the ruling in the google doc.

1 Like

Here’s a relevant post:

1 Like

An Immortal with a Feather rune fights the only Fairie Dragon in play. Both take more damage than they have health. However, when no Fairie Dragon is in play, units with Feather runes aren’t modified to be 3/1 units with flying, and 4 damage isn’t lethal for a (5/5) unit. Indestructible heals lethal damage. So, does the Immortal heal the 4 damage from Fairie Dragon?

I’m pretty sure the answer is yes, because death happens “immediately” as it were. You would resolve simultaneous deaths before abilities disappear from death.
I liken this to judgement day+bugblatter: the bugblatter sees every other unit die and deals damage for each one, because they all die at the same time.


Perfect, I was just going to ask for clarification on this kind of case!

Sounds like abilities disappear from death immediately after death, but are not triggers that are queued.

So if a Grounded Guide dies then other units could die as a result, and those deaths would be also immediate but any triggers from those deaths would be queued later than the Grounded Guide’s potential triggers. Am I right?

And two step breaking or other channeling spells breaking would count as triggers and go in the queue?

Also, looks like the 2 damage to base from destroyed buildings are not queued but happen immediately. Do I have that right?

With Bomber’s point in mind, and taking a closer look at the text of indestructible, the ability is a replacement effect, so timing-wise, it should happen at the moment death would occur. Assuming the stat change isn’t also immediate, this seems like a clear-cut case. However, there is a distinction between the wording of Fairie Dragon and Captured Bugblatter. Bugblatter performs an action in response to a triggering event, whereas Fairie Dragon has a static effect that applies while it’s in play. This wouldn’t seem to involve the queue, suggesting the stat change may also be immediate, in which case I’d think the active player could choose the order, maybe?

I agree with Off Kilter about how chaining triggers works, though I notice the wording on Two Step is rather interesting. It specifically mentions that the +2/+2 bonus is only provided while you control both, even though you sacrifice the spell when you no longer control both. If the +2/+2 lingers until some later processing of triggers, which coincides with sacrificing the spell, this language seems to be redundant. This seems to support the theory that the stat change resulting from a static ability ceasing to function happens immediately rather than enqueuing an ability.


So, even if Two Step breaking is considered a trigger, the +2/+2 evaporates immediately. That’s kind of funny. I guess it could effect when it’s discarded.


In regards to grounded guide, and I’m not fully certain, I think the deaths are not simultaneous, because grounded guide dies, then his buff disappears, then other things die at that point.

1 Like

Oh, thanks for the clarification. That’s what I meant. The deaths from Grounded Guide’s death are not simultaneous with Grounded Guide’s death, but are simultaneous with each other and are not queued.

I’ll write a thing later to clear this all up.

In the link Bomber gave, sharpo makes a distinction between state-based actions, which happen instantly, and state-based triggers, which put something on the queue. I think this is a split between things in the rules (combat, death), and things on cards. I’m not entirely sure on that. If so, then we could say that losing a buff from Grounded Guide etc. would come under the latter category. Gaining and losing a buff both counting as a trigger would also make it a bit more consistent with some of the non-intuitive ways that armour works.

My understanding was that triggers were specifically things on cards that have wording similar to:

  • Dies: gain a card
  • … If you lose one, sacrifice two step
  • Arrives: summon a wisp.
  • Whenever you cast a spell, summon a …
  • Whenever Zane kills a …

And that things like Grounded Guide that end on death but don’t have the trigger wording would end immediately after death and not as a trigger, even if it would effect other units and potentially cause a chain reaction of dead units.

I’m fine with this. It makes a lot of sense to resolve triggers that involve player choice in the queue after the current action is resolved. I’m thinking of Crash Bomber and Orpal’s maxband triggering as things that are impactful player choices that should be queued for sanity.

I’m planning on writing an “Anatomy of an action in Codex” post that lays all of this out clearly, assuming I have it correct.