The Dirty Dozen: Part Two
by Terence Jason Dorman
Two weeks ago I took a look at six of the rules I consider to be easily forgettable/not well known. This week, I round out The Dirty Dozen by taking a look at the second half of the Comprhensive Rules Reference and the various rules it has to offeer.
Without further ado, Part Two of The Dirty Dozen!
You control the cards you play, and the effects generated by cards you control.
Rogue cards frequently cause this rule to rise to the forefront as Rogue is full of control-switching mechanics (Rapine, Palm Glom, Mercenary's Creed, etc.).
The first part of this rule is pretty simple so I will ignore it, but the second part is where the meat exists. The second half of this rule states that the controller of the card is the one who controls its effects. This means that, if a card changes control before its effect resolves, the player ends up controlling the card controls the effect. This means they gain any benefits this may entain, but also any negatives that may come with the effect.
This rule also helps shed some light on cards like Noble Sacrifice that specifically state "own." There is an important difference between the two, and it comes up in the next rule we are going to look at.
You own any card that started the game as a part of your deck, regardless of who currently controls it.
Simply put, cards you brought with you to the game as part of your deck are cards you own. Even if your opponent Jackmove'd your entire deck and has every card in your deck under his control, you still own each and every one of those cards.
Like I mentioned above, this is extremely important for cards such as Noble Sacrifice. If my opponent controls his own Mau Tough and a Scout that he stole from me, I can use a Noble Sacrifice picking those two characters and destroying them both. He controls both, but I own the Scout regardless of where it is in the game.
While the above situation seems awesome, keep in mind that a card like Noble Sacrifice is useless against Rogue steal decks that may only ever have your characters under its control.
If the final adjusted amount of damage is 0, nothing further happens. However, if it was battle damage, the source characteris considered to have inflicted its damage for the purposes of ending the resolution loop.
To be perfectly honest, I don't think I was completely aware of this rule until Gideon and Adriel came into existence and brought so many questions with them, particuarly what happens when an Affectionate Dollkeeper hits one of them.
To answer that question, nothing happens. Nothing ever triggers off zero damage being inflicted as, technically, if zero damage is inflicted, no damage is considered to have been inflicted at all. The only reason it is considered to have been inflicted is to end the resolution loop and make it so that battle actually ends rather than going on forever.
The owner of a Micromajig Token is the player who controlled the effect that created it.
While players are certainly welcome to bring their own Micromajig Tokens to the game (cards, pewter figures, printouts, etc.), the person who brought those materials isn't necessarily the person who "owns" them once they enter play. As you probably noticed, this is different from the ownership rule above, but that is because Micromajig Tokens are not considered a part of a deck.
Similar to above rules, this one usually comes up in reference to cards like Noble Sacrifice. I hate to keep mentioning it, but off the top of my head is probably the most prominent and played card that uses the term "own" instead of "control." Mutineer's Hiatus is another good one, but I definitely think that Noble sees more play.
Replacements donít apply to extra costs. If the thing to be replaced is part of an extra cost, it isnít replaced.
This one probably takes the title as the least-known or most-forgotten rule. This rule is so unknown that even came up during the Constrcted Nationals at Gen-Con this past year in a game I was involved in. My opponent was attempting to Rapine his own Rusty Pickaxe and flip the Pickaxe facedown as a resource. Sadly, this does not work.
Anytime the word "instead" is used in a line of text, it is considered a replacement. Replacements, regardless of where they come from, are NEVER applied to extra costs. If they did, they would make some card interactions (such as Rapine/Rusty Pickaxe) absolutely broken and even create some rules situations that are downright confusing.
For anyone who didn't know this rule before reading this article, I implore you to commit it to memory as it is an extremely critical rule and can greatly impact your games if you don't know it and have to learn it from a judge in the middle of an important tournament game.
Speed Level Ė Find the highest speed among characters that have not yet assigned battle damage during this battle. X is that speed.
I think this rule is usually forgotten because of how people learn the game. I know when I was first taught the game, I was instructed to "count down" the speed levels starting with the highest (usually four). While this usually isn't such a bad method, it can definitely create battle situations that are incorrect.
For instance, if you have already resolved speeds four and three and a speed four character enters the battle via some card effect, he has not "missed his chance" to do battle damage. Instead, he becomes the "highest speed character that has not yet assigned battle damage during this battle." This does not mean that all other speed four characters go again, but simply that this character can assign his damage because he is now the highest speed character.
As more cards enter the game that add characters to battle, this rule will hopefully become engrained in players minds and probably drop off this list. Until then, though, make sure you teach new players exactly how battle works so that this rule won't suprise them at some later date.
Do you think there are other rules that players screw up more often than these? If so, be sure to strike back in the forums and let me know which rules you've seen players have the most difficulty with learning/remembering.