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  #433  
Old March 10th, 2022, 11:01 AM
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Re: AotP Question Dump

Does the enchantment not go with Nahiri?
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Old March 10th, 2022, 11:21 AM
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Re: AotP Question Dump

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Originally Posted by Tornado View Post
Does the enchantment not go with Nahiri?
This is a good question, and was probably the only argument I could see against my initial interpretation. I think my argument against this is - the enchantment doesn't change control (it is still owned by the player that originally played it,) only Nahiri changed control.

So how about a similar question, one I've considered in the past:

-White enchantment Gideon's Phalanx reads "Enchant Planeswalker - All white creatures you control within 4 clear sight spaces of enchanted Planeswalker get +1 toughness." Do you agree that a white player is allowed to play this card on an enemy black Planeswalker so that the white player's white creatures will gain +1 toughness when near that black Planeswalker? This play sounds completely legal to me. So, even though the enchanted Planeswalker is not ALWAYS under the white player's control (they can enchant any Planeswalker with Gideon's Phalanx) the white player's white creatures will have this +1 toughness as long as those creatures are within 4 clear sight spaces of the enchanted PW.

This above example, IMO, seems parallel to my recent Nahiri mind stealer experience. In my Phalanx example above, the enchantment is still owned by the white player, even if they cast it on an enemy black Planeswalker that the white player does not have control of.

This also begs some potentially more complicated issues/questions that I bet would stem primarily from blue and red taking temporary control of a single enemy creature from a squad that has enchantments, but I think those can mostly be proven/disproven by whether or not those enchantments say something along the lines of "creatures you control", referring to creatures under control of the player that played the enchantment, therefore excluding creatures in the squad that are not under the enchanting player's control.

The crux of the argument regarding the Nahiri scenario probably is: When the more complex enchantments mention "you", what is the definition of you? Is it:

Definition 1: The "you" (player) who drew the card and played the enchantment, the owner of the enchantment?

OR

Definition 2: The "you" (player) who controls the figure in which the enchantment has enchanted?

-If it is the former definition, (and I argue that this is the correct definition,) a few enchantments can act in seemingly odd ways when you consider the legal possibilities; this includes the Nahiri/Not Forgotten scenario.

-If the correct definition of "you" is the latter, then my Nahiri/Not forgotten interpretation is incorrect, as is the freaky Gideon's Phalanx example. With my limited knowledge, I believe that this definition "breaks" more cards than definition 1. I won't be making much of a case here because I do not believe this is the correct interpretation.

Here is where I begin building an argument, bear with me as I go through my understanding of the game. Skimming through some enchantment descriptions, a reasonable portion of them can be generically summed up as "enchanted [figure] gets [static buff/debuff.]" Examples: Divine Favor, Power of Fire, Paths Revealed, Crippling Blight, Despise, etc. These are very straightforward and easy for us to understand. For purposes of deciphering which figures are entitled to the effects of the cards, we need look no further than "Enchant [Planeswalker/squad]" and "Enchanted [Planeswalker/squad] gets..." When we enchant the proper kind of figure(s) with the above enchantments, they immediately meet the condition to benefit from the enchantment, no other strings attached. We can completely disregard the states and attributes of almost everything else in the game because there are no other checks (no mention of adjacency/engagement, figure color, comparing one creature's power to another, how much damage is on the figure, etc.) The enchanted figure(s) will always have these static modifications as long as the figures exist on the battlefield AND the enchantment is actively enchanting them.

Simple example to get the ball rolling: Black's enchantment Despise, reading "Enchant Planeswalker - Enchanted Planeswalker gets -1 power." I'd imagine that most readers would agree that this card was not intended to be played on one's own black Planeswalker (but please, don't let my insistent ravings stop you from enchanting your own PW with this in games against me!) The natural inclination is to play this on an enemy Planeswalker, but the black player is still "the owner" (for my lack of better word at the moment) of the enchantment. The conditions of the card state "enchanted Planeswalker gets," so it matters not who owns the enchantment or who controls the figure. The Planeswalker meets the conditions for -1 power if that Planeswalker exists AND they are enchanted by the card. (This simply demonstrates how loose the enchantment conditions can be for some cards. I will build on this further below.)

Here is another reason why I believe the former definition of "you" is correct, and I think this does it some justice: Let's review black enchantment Dark Harvest - Enchant Squad - Dark Harvest can enchant only a unique squad you control. When you enchant a squad with Dark Harvest, destroy a creature in that squad. Enchanted squad gets +3 power. Funny enough, note how the very last line sounds just like our simpler enchantments above, "Enchanted [squad/hero/Planeswalker] gets [static buff/debuff.]" We will not be paying particular attention to that, but instead to the conditions on this card that precede it. IMO the way Dark Harvest references "you" can ONLY mean the owner of the enchantment, the black player who drew the card into their hand. "You" cannot mean a player controlling a figure enchanted by the enchantment because there is no enchanted figure while the card is still in your hand! Frankly, I think that using definition 2 of "you" would completely remove one's ability to play this card out of one's hand, but I'll turn a blind eye to that and continue with another train of thought. If we go with the interpretation that "you" means the person in control of the enchanted figure, then I argue that the black player can enchant ANY squad on the board with this card. Requiring a very liberal interpretation of "you" in conjunction with bending the strict translation of the text on this card to make it work for us under definition 2, "you" only becomes valid once the enchantment has enchanted a squad (and therefore, we define who the "you" is by tracing back to the player in control of that squad.) In effect, this strikes null the entire first sentence of Dark Harvest! Example - an AotP game of black player vs a blue player. I, the black player, designate my enemy (blue player) as the "you" on Dark Harvest by enchanting an enemy blue squad with it. However, we need to consider the second "you" in the piece of Dark Harvest where it says "When you enchant a squad....destroy a creature in that squad" and now we have this odd problem. "You" (blue player) didn't enchant the blue squad, it was me, the black player, who performed that action, so "you" have no obligation to destroy a creature; the criteria for that trigger is not met. Under this definition of "you" and our rather rough reading of this card, when we play AotP games with ally players, a black player can use Dark Harvest to gift +3 power (with no squaddies forcefully destroyed by this enchantment) to their comrades' squads by citing this logic! This enchantment simply becomes "enchanted squad gets +3 power" as long as at the time of the initial enchanting, that squad isn't one that the enchanting black player owns.

Let's eye up another black enchantment: Creeping Dread - Enchant Squad - At the start of enchanted squad's turn, its controller chooses to discard a card or deal 1 damage to a creature in enchanted squad. There is no mention of "you" on this card. In similar fashion to Despise, we would be inclined to play Creeping Dread on an enemy squad. If "you" is supposed to mean "the player in control of the enchanted figure," why are the words "...enchanted squad's turn, its controller chooses..." used instead of "...enchanted squad's turn, you choose...?" In my opinion, this implies that definition 2 of "you" is incorrect, and that definition 1 is, if nothing else, closer to the intended use of "you" when it comes to enchantments.

So, let's take a step back now. I think "you" means the player that drew the card from their library and later played that card, the controller of the enchantment itself. Not that this is much proof, but I have spoken to a guy about this situation, he is really into MTGTCG (spends $900+ for a deck of competitive MTG cards.) He said that my interpretation is in line with how a similar situation would be decided within the card game. In AotP, we see "Enchantment - Aura" on most (if not all) of our enchantments. Aura enchantments in MTGTCG are not required to be used on creatures under your control unless they specifically state to the contrary. Straight off MTG Wiki: "An Aura’s controller is separate from the enchanted object’s controller or the enchanted player; the two need not be the same. If an Aura enchants an object, changing control of the object doesn’t change control of the Aura, and vice versa." So, I argue that my original Nahiri/Not Forgotten/Mind Stealer interpretation is correct, since the figure changed ownership while the enchantment did not.

This isn't to say that the developers wrote the rules and cards perfectly and all is well if you use my definition 1 of "you." As you may have heard or seen elsewhere, some of the AotP cards/rules are poorly written (thus this whole explanation, I suppose!) My next example, using definition 1 of "you", is perhaps not the "intended" use of the card, but it is legal, and if I were a TD/moderator for AotP, I would allow it.

Check out Honor of the Pure (I refer to it as HotP going forward) - Enchant Squad - As long as you control only white creatures, all undamaged white creatures you control get +1 power and +1 toughness. There is no mention of "enchanted squad gets..." here, so creatures can be a beneficiary even if those creatures are completely alien to the squad directly enchanted by HotP, since being a member of the enchanted squad is NOT a condition to receive this particular enchantment's benefits. I believe this statement is, at a minimum, unconsciously assumed by most players to be the case. In typical gameplay situations most of us will think something like "let's attach HotP to my Rhox Veterans so that my Kor Hookmasters and Avacyn on Bloodied Wings can also get the buffs!" But, let's surgically shred apart the text on HotP:

#1. First condition - “As long as you control only white creatures,”

Explanation of first condition – First and foremost, “you control only white creatures” as an entire phrase needs to be tackled. I interpret this as “all creatures that you control can only be categorized as white creatures” instead of “you are only in control of figures that are strictly categorized as white creatures” - more on this near the bottom of this entire post. As long as all creatures that “you” (white player that drew and played the enchantment, the ongoing owner of the enchantment) control can only be categorized as white creatures.

If this first condition is not met, the rest of the text means nothing until the existing creatures we control are modified to meet this condition! In a case where a white player has played HotP but they do not meet this condition, I imagine it mostly amounts to "purposefully slay/sacrifice your currently existing/summoned non-white creatures." If this primary condition is met, then you are presented with secondary condition, next!

#2. Second condition - “all undamaged white creatures you control”

Explanation of secondary condition: A point to note - the word "white" in "undamaged white creatures" could have been scrubbed at this point in the card because we have already established under the first condition that all creatures under your control can only be categorized as white creatures. "White" is redundant, this phrase could be changed to "all undamaged creatures you control" and it would change nothing about the logical resolution of the text on this card. Anyway, the strict reading of this card now places a filter upon the white creatures under the control of “you.” A given white creature that “you” control must have no damage markers on it if that creature is to earn the payload/benefits of HotP.

#3. Payload: “get +1 power and +1 toughness.” The end of the card.

A white player may place HotP on an enemy's red squad. Yes, go read the card - Enchant Squad - that is the ONLY requirement for enchanting anything with this card; it must be a squad that exists. Just like our Despise example above where it can be enchanted unto ANY Planeswalker. Once that enemy red squad is enchanted, the white player's creatures shall reap the benefits of HotP as long as that enemy red squad exists, that red squad is enchanted by HotP, and conditions #1 and #2 from above are met. This might not be the optimal way to play, but this is only to say that it appears legal. Perhaps to make best use of this specific scenario, the white player slays all of the enchanted red squad except for one figure so that their turn efficiency and/or imposed threat (less figures activated per turn, akin to our order marker efficiency discussions) is diminished, motivating the red opponent to try and harass white with other figures and leave that red squaddie somewhere by his lonesome so that the white player can benefit from Honor of the Pure for the rest of the game! If you want to live on the edge, stroll on into an AotP game with a white Planeswalker + Kor Aeronaut Captain + Avacyn on Bloodied Wings and use HotP in your deck. Now you have no choice but to leverage your opponent's squad to get HotP buffs for your white heroes! Woe is you if your opponent brings no squads, though...

If you were to ask me how I would change the card to make it function more in alignment with how it seems to have been designed to work, I would make it have the same opening statement as Dark Harvest: "Honor of the Pure can enchant only a unique squad you control." Boom the previous paragraph's oddity is erased; the white player can only enchant a squad under their control. The buff conditions and potential beneficiaries of the enchantment are all left intact because we have not added any phrases like "enchanted squad gets..." that exist on many of the simpler enchantments we reviewed earlier.

(Bonus rules lawyer issue not pertinent to the immediate discussion - Honor of the Pure says "As long as you control only white creatures," well, the developers that wrote this card seem to have left a particular issue up to debate due to how the phrase is structured, and I'm not sure if I have the words to explain it perfectly: when we read the phrase "you control only white creatures," is "white" supposed to be used as the adjective to describe the requirement of the creatures under our control, as in "all creatures that you control can only be categorized as white?" Or, does "you control only white creatures" literally mean that "the entirety of figures under our control must consist solely of white creatures and nothing outside of that classification" in such a way that we would not meet the requirements for HotP if we still have a Planeswalker under our control? As we know, a Planeswalker is not a creature, and certainly it is not a white creature, so under this interpretation, Honor of the Pure is a mostly worthless card until your Planeswalker dies. I play (and I'm sure many readers play) with the interpretation that "all creatures you control must be white" rather than the interpretation that "if you control any figure not classified as a white creature, your entire army is excluded from HotP's benefits." It's not like HotP is skyrocketing to the high tiers of white cards anytime soon, even under my preferred interpretation of "only white creatures.")

Thoughts? As you can tell, I'm totally a guy with the honor of the pure.

Last edited by Unhinged Manchild; March 13th, 2022 at 11:29 PM. Reason: Fixing language.... adding WALLZ OF TEKST... Wait, you think I edited this numerous times? I plead the 5th.
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  #435  
Old March 27th, 2022, 12:48 PM
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Re: AotP Question Dump

I'm back with a another fun AotP question. Also interested to hear any takes on my wall of text in my post before this one.

The short of my question is: May I enchant an enemy squad/hero with Senseless Rage? If so, then once per turn may I re-roll one of the creature's attacks against my figures, if I so choose?

I think/hope most of us are familiar with the whole "once per turn" army card abilities, which in the rulebook they appear to refer to these as "activated abilities." Hasbro support has said that activated abilities can only be used on a turn that the army card has been activated (I suppose that's a "duh!" moment for me) - IE Liliana's Snuff Out would probably be completely busted if the player were literally allowed to activate it every single turn (enemy/ally figure turns included in that.)

So, activated abilities (often accompanied by the text "once per turn" or mentioning "at X point [usually start or end] of figure's turn") make total sense to me when considered in the context of army cards, because army cards are literally chosen to be activated in action 2, and therefore they are taking a turn. But, what about enchantments with these kinds of words? Off the top of my head, red's Senseless Rage (SR) and green's Equestrian Skill (ES) effectively add up to be "activated abilities" that are spelled out on an enchantment instead of an army card.

ES appears to be less ambiguous about the legal one-time opportunity to activate it, saying "Each creature in enchanted squad...blah blah move 2 spaces... at end of enchanted squad's turn." So, for me to continue my line of thought, I think I'd need consensus on some things, which I currently believe are legal/allowed:

1. If I (as green) attempted to enchant an ally or enemy squad with ES, is that legal? The card only has enchantment condition "Enchant Squad," which means any squad that exists on battlefield.

2. Assuming #1 is true, then whenever that enchanted squad is activated on a player's action 2, at the end of that squad's turn the undamaged creatures in that enchanted squad may move 2 spaces legally due to ES, correct?

Now, assuming #2 is true, I have no further questions regarding ES. I want to move into discussion of my real question regarding Senseless Rage (SR) because unlike ES, SR has the dreaded "you" in it, as well as a more lenient "activated ability" classification of text which simply says "once per turn."

Full text of SR: "Enchant Hero or Squad - Once per turn, you may re-roll all attack dice for enchanted hero creature or a creature in enchanted squad after seeing the defending player's roll."

SR can actually be enchanted unto a wider variety of creatures - "Enchant Hero or Squad." So, empowered by precedent of #1 with ES, a red player may enchant (with SR) any squad or hero that exists on the battlefield.

Two primary things to unpack, in my opinion:

A. What does "Once per turn" mean in SR? We can't use the same exact definition as we can for basically any army card "once per turn" activated abilities, because that requires us to designate that army card in action 2. We don't/can't designate an enchantment in action 2. I can best imply, akin to the way the end of turn clause in ES is used, that "once per turn" on SR is in reference to a turn taken by the enchanted army card.

B. Is "you" a reference to the red player that played the enchantment? Again, based on precedent set by the whole Nahiri/Not Forgotten/Mind Stealer deal, I do believe that "you" on any enchantment is truly referring to the player that put the card into play, as that person is still the "owner/controller" of the enchantment.

If A and B are both true, then we have a funky scenario to consider, which I think some of us may find controversial. To me, under a strict reading of this card and with our previously discussed points, you should now see that SR might be almost as useful for defensive purposes as it is for offensive. You can enchant any hero or squad with this. Is an enemy’s Eldrazi Ruiner (complete with +1 power token and high ground!) barreling toward your poor red Planeswalker? Gift Mr. Ruiner with "the power" of Senseless Rage. When your opponent inevitably moves the Eldrazi in for the attack and rolls 7 hits versus your 2 shields, announce that you (the red player, owner of SR,) after seeing the defending player’s roll, are re-rolling the attack dice for the enchanted Eldrazi, courtesy of SR. If the stars align maybe you’ll get 1 or 2 skulls on the re-roll, and it will make for a funny story when you turn the tables on your opponent and then your opponent literally flips the table. But, roll all skulls on the attack re-roll to slay your own Planeswalker and it may make for an even more memorable story.

This is an extremely odd scenario, but in some sense it is a flavorful representation of the card. This is what somebody with IRL senseless rage would act like - without concern or consideration of what damage they may or may not do while they are wildly and uncontrollably aggressive. For anyone familiar with D&D, this interpretation of SR is almost like having the choice of giving one of your creatures advantage, or giving an enemy creature disadvantage (of course not precisely in a D&D sense because you don't roll both AotP attacks at the same time and pick the higher/lower one. Your opponent may roll 5 hits on 6 dice and you choose to re-roll and there's always that chance that you will roll all skulls, but that's a calculated risk and unlikely to happen!)

What do you guys think of my points? Are there any other "once per turn" enchantments that might help clear this up?

Edit: Well, thanks for the +rep you kind strangers! Would you like to post public thoughts on if you believe this is correctly interpreted?

Last edited by Unhinged Manchild; March 28th, 2022 at 04:43 PM.
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  #436  
Old April 12th, 2022, 10:25 PM
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Re: AotP Question Dump

Does anyone have the German release/version of AotP? Please contact me if you do, I have questions regarding how a few card abilities are written out in the German version.

Edit: Have received scans of the first AotP set and of the Shadows Over Innistrad set, so I no longer need help with those. I am interested in checking out some cards from the German version of Battle for Zendikar, so let me know if you have it!

Last edited by Unhinged Manchild; July 8th, 2022 at 07:39 PM.
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