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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?

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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

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

Yep!

Good!

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.

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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.

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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.

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Hmm, I think I gave the wrong sort of answer to your Earthquake vs. Shadow Blade question. The real answer is that “When your tech building or add-on dies your base takes 2 damage” is a game rule that happens immediately, while “Dies: Draw a card” is a triggered ability that gets shoved in a queue and will happen after Shadow Blade is totally done.

It really will be shoved in the queue before your opponent discards a card though.

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Can you give me a list of “state based actions”? I’m assuming that all state based actions are those which occur outside the triggered action timing rules described in the OP of this thread, and that would probably significantly help me understand and explain the timing rules to other people. Unfortunately I never played MtG long enough to be familiar with “state based actions.”

  • Tech buildings/Add-Ons dying and that player’s base taking 2 damage
  • Killing enemy heroes and one of your heroes gaining 2 levels if able
  • Tokens that are not in play are trashed
  • Heroes that are not in play are moved to the command zone
  • Anything with lethal damage on it (or otherwise destroyed) is moved to the discard

Anything else? Is it literally “an action that has to do with whether something is alive/in play/in discard/in hand/etc.”? And the distinction between the things in this list and, for example, the scavenger bonus, is that in the former, you “know what to do” because of text in the rulebook, whereas in the latter, it is something that happens because of something written on a card or the playmat.

So “if something happens because the rules of the game say it happens, it happens immediately, interrupting any effect or queued set of effects” but “if something happens because of a trigger on a card or because of a patrol bonus, it follows the usual timing rules for triggered effects.”

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Ah, so the draw happens before the discard?

An incomplete list that is partially dumb online-specific implementation details and partially state based actions is available at https://github.com/sharpobject/codex_rules/blob/master/engine.lua#L310. Here’s a bunch of stuff from that list in English!

  • If a player controls 2 Legendary things with the same name, one of them is discarded. Note that if you just play 2 copies of the Legendary thing back to back this won’t happen (the second one will be discarded instead of arriving). You could make it happen if you used Manufactured Truth though.
  • Tokens that aren’t in play or in the future are trashed.
  • Heroes in the discard go to the command zone and go on cooldown.
  • Players with no base lose the game.
  • Effects with durations that have expired stop applying (Not actually a state based action, but it’s good to keep in mind that this will happen “fast”)
  • If a unit or hero has both +1/+1 and -1/-1 runes, they cancel (This also might not belong in a list of state based actions)
  • 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.
  • Triggered abilities that look for a condition rather than for an event check whether they should trigger, and trigger only if they are not already in the queue. I think this is just Hardened Mox. Way long ago when I wrote this code I said that this also wasn’t really what I’d think about as a “state-based action.”
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No, what happens before the discard is that the “draw a card” ability gets added to the end of a queue of things to do after Shadow Blade is over.

Here, let’s play Shadow Blade on an enemy Technician Older Brother.

at Time 1:
Currently running: the part of my main phase where I choose which action to take, like hiring a worker or playing a spell.
Currently in queue: nothing
My gold: 3
My units and heroes: Vandy Anadrose
My hand: Shadow Blade, Dark Pact
My opponent’s hand: 5 cards
My opponent’s Older Brother: 2/2 with 0 damage in the Technician slot.

I pay 3 gold and put Shadow Blade on the table.

at Time 2:
Currently running: Shadow Blade.
Currently in queue: nothing
My gold: 0
My units and heroes: Vandy Anadrose
My hand: Dark Pact
My opponent’s hand: 5 cards
My opponent’s Older Brother: 2/2 with 0 damage in the Technician slot.

Well, to actually run Shadow Blade I guess we should do the first part of Shadow Blade. I’ll target the Older Brother and deal 3 damage to it.

at Time 3:
Currently running: Shadow Blade.
Currently in queue: nothing
My gold: 0
My units and heroes: Vandy Anadrose
My hand: Dark Pact
My opponent’s hand: 5 cards
My opponent’s Older Brother: 2/2 with 3 damage in the Technician slot.

At this point, after the first part of Shadow Blade, the game notices that the Older Brother should be dead! So it dies. Immediately when it dies, we enqueue the Technician ability.

at Time 4:
Currently running: Shadow Blade.
Currently in queue: "My opponent draws 1 card"
My gold: 0
My units and heroes: Vandy Anadrose
My hand: Dark Pact
My opponent’s hand: 5 cards
My opponent’s Older Brother: in my opponent’s discard pile.

The game is now satisfied that the state does not need fixing (through e.g. the killing of things that ought to be dead), so it lets us proceed to the next part of Shadow Blade. Shadow Blade did kill Older Brother, so my opponent discards a card.

at Time 5:
Currently running: Shadow Blade.
Currently in queue: "My opponent draws 1 card"
My gold: 0
My units and heroes: Vandy Anadrose
My hand: Dark Pact
My opponent’s hand: 4 cards
My opponent’s Older Brother: in my opponent’s discard pile.

We ran out of things to do for Shadow Blade, so we’re done casting the spell. It goes to our discard pile, and we move on to the next thing in the queue.

at Time 6:
Currently running: "My opponent draws 1 card"
Currently in queue: nothing
My gold: 0
My units and heroes: Vandy Anadrose
My hand: Dark Pact
My opponent’s hand: 4 cards
My opponent’s Older Brother: in my opponent’s discard pile.

So my opponent draws a card!

at Time 7:
Currently running: nothing
Currently in queue: nothing
My gold: 0
My units and heroes: Vandy Anadrose
My hand: Dark Pact
My opponent’s hand: 5 cards
My opponent’s Older Brother: in my opponent’s discard pile.

We ran out of stuff to do in the queue, and we’re not doing anything right now, so the game moves us along. In this case it takes us back to “the part of my main phase where I choose which action to take, like hiring a worker or playing a spell.”

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No - Shadowblade resolves completely, per timing rules clarified in the OP. Essentially (1) resolve everything listed on a spell/ability, (2) any triggered effects that aren’t listed as part of that spell/ability happen afterwards. If at any point during 1 or 2 a “state based action” occurs, then you resolve that immediately.

Imagine two kinds of spells: Shadow Blade, and Shadow Cudgel. Shadow Blade is the Shadow Blade we know and love. Shadow Cudgel says “Deal 5 damage to a building. If that controller’s base is damaged, deal the base 3 damage.”

Shadow Blade is used on a patroller in the “dies: draw a card” slot: you resolve everything on the card first (you deal the patroller 3 damage, and if it died their controller discards a card). If 3 damage is enough to kill the patroller, that is a “state based action” and happens IMMEDIATELY. This triggers the “dies: draw a card” effect, which is moved to the back of the queue, as you haven’t finished reading/resolving Shadow Blade. The patroller’s controller discards a card. You’ve now completely resolved Shadow Blade and have only “dies: draw a card” to resolve.

Shadow Cudgel is used on a tech building and the building’s controller has 20 HP on their base: you resolve everything on the card first (you deal the building 5 damage, and if the controller’s base is damaged deal the base 3 damage). 5 damage is enough to kill the tech building, this is a “state based action” and happens IMMEDIATELY as is the 2 damage dealt to their base. You then continue reading Shadow Cudgel, and since the base has taken damage, you deal it 3 more damage.

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By the way, originally I was using a Wisp but that adds even more text to this already huge post because it is a token. Other ways to add even more text include having Harmony in play when you use Shadow Blade (enqueues “Summon a dancer” when you pay 3 gold and put Shadow Blade on the table) or killing an enemy Technician Gorgon using Shadow Blade (gives 2 simultaneous “Draw a card” triggers! As the active player, you can choose the order in which to enqueue them).

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Ok, so why does a gunpoint taxman steal gold if the scavenger bonus should happen after you resolve the things on his card?

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There’s no “things on his card” except his triggered ability. He attacks and trades with a scavenger. The scavenger and the taxman die simultaneously (state change action: units die when they take lethal damage), so two triggered actions are added to the queue: “opponent gains a gold” and “taxman steals a gold from an opponent.” As active player you decide the order of resolution of actions that happen simultaneously, and get to choose to resolve them in the order most favourable to you.

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