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 Post subject: Lifeline and Theros gods
AgePosted: 2018-Apr-17 1:24 am 
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Normally, with Lifeline, if all creatures would die from a wrath then no creatures would return as there isn't a creature in play. With the Theros gods, if your source of devotion was the other creatures, then the god stops being a creature when they are in the graveyard, so I was wondering if the Lifeline triggers would see that god as a creature for the purposes of bringing the other creatures back. I know the god will stop being a creature, but at what point during the Lifeline triggering process?

I wasn't able to find a ruling with a search, so I am asking here.

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 Post subject: Re: Lifeline and Theros gods
AgePosted: 2018-Apr-17 3:19 am 
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Quote:
If more than one creature is on the battlefield and all the creatures on the battlefield go to the graveyard at once, then none of them are returned at end of turn. This is because Lifeline’s ability has an intervening-if clause, which means that there must be at least one creature on the battlefield at the time the ability resolves.



Since all you have on the battlefield is a Legendary Enchantment when Lifeline's ability resolves, you would not get your creatures back.

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 Post subject: Re: Lifeline and Theros gods
AgePosted: 2018-Apr-17 4:26 am 
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Why is this not in the rules forum? :)

Normally triggered abilities that rely on things leaving the battlefield and ending up in the graveyard "look back" in time to see what would trigger just before it left the battlefield. So I believe Lifeline would trigger.

However -- the trigger on Lifeline is a "when/whenever/at <trigger> if <condition>, <effect>" trigger ... so the "if <condition>" clause needs to be true both when it would trigger, and when it resolves. So while it may be a creature in time for it to trigger - it won't be when that trigger resolves, so Lifeline would not bring that creature back.

Comp Rules wrote:
603.4. A triggered ability may read "When/Whenever/At [trigger event], if [condition], [effect]." When the trigger event occurs, the ability checks whether the stated condition is true. The ability triggers only if it is; otherwise it does nothing. If the ability triggers, it checks the stated condition again as it resolves. If the condition isn't true at that time, the ability is removed from the stack and does nothing. Note that this mirrors the check for legal targets. This rule is referred to as the "intervening 'if' clause" rule. (The word "if" has only its normal English meaning anywhere else in the text of a card; this rule only applies to an "if" that immediately follows a trigger condition.)


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 Post subject: Re: Lifeline and Theros gods
AgePosted: 2018-Apr-17 4:39 am 
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Carthain wrote:
Why is this not in the rules forum? :)

Normally triggered abilities that rely on things leaving the battlefield and ending up in the graveyard "look back" in time to see what would trigger just before it left the battlefield. So I believe Lifeline would trigger.

However -- the trigger on Lifeline is a "when/whenever/at <trigger> if <condition>, <effect>" trigger ... so the "if <condition>" clause needs to be true both when it would trigger, and when it resolves. So while it may be a creature in time for it to trigger - it won't be when that trigger resolves, so Lifeline would not bring that creature back.

Comp Rules wrote:
603.4. A triggered ability may read "When/Whenever/At [trigger event], if [condition], [effect]." When the trigger event occurs, the ability checks whether the stated condition is true. The ability triggers only if it is; otherwise it does nothing. If the ability triggers, it checks the stated condition again as it resolves. If the condition isn't true at that time, the ability is removed from the stack and does nothing. Note that this mirrors the check for legal targets. This rule is referred to as the "intervening 'if' clause" rule. (The word "if" has only its normal English meaning anywhere else in the text of a card; this rule only applies to an "if" that immediately follows a trigger condition.)


I think you're referencing "last known information" there with that "look back" thing, and if you are and I understand correctly, I think you're mistaking a specific principle for being much broader than it is. "Last known information" references that if we want to use information about a creature but it's left the zone we expect it to be in, we just use the last known things about it. It's specific to that situation and not a sort of global principle for other types of interactions. (That's referenced in rule 608: resolving spells and abilities a few times and is relevant to cards like Kresh the Bloodbraided.) There's no other "look back" phenomenon that I'm aware of.

I agree completely it won't work this way for that rule you cited, though I'll go a step further: Lifeline would not even trigger.

Here's Lifeline's current oracle text, for our convenience:

Quote:
Whenever a creature dies, if another creature is on the battlefield, return the first card to the battlefield under its owner’s control at the beginning of the next end step.


When a board wipe hits, we'd do the following:

1. Resolve the board wipe by putting all the non-indestructible creatures into the graveyard.
2. Once someone gets priority, check if any triggered abilities have occurred.
3. We check Lifeline. It has a "Whenever a creature dies" trigger and a bunch of creatures have just died. We check its "if". According to the current board state there is no other creature on the battlefield, only an enchantment. (All continuous abilities are continuously kept up-to-date, and at this point devotion is not met.) We do not put this triggered ability on the stack.
4. Someone gets priority.

So, Lifeline would not trigger, let alone resolve. No creatures will be returned.

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 Post subject: Re: Lifeline and Theros gods
AgePosted: 2018-Apr-17 7:12 am 
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Carthain wrote:
Why is this not in the rules forum? :)

I always get confused when asking a rules question. The Rules forum blurb says "EDH/Commander Rules" so I think it's talking about only game mechanics unique to the format.

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 Post subject: Re: Lifeline and Theros gods
AgePosted: 2018-Apr-17 9:39 am 
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spacemonaut wrote:
I think you're referencing "last known information" there with that "look back" thing
Nope, Not at all. See below :)

spacemonaut wrote:
1. Resolve the board wipe by putting all the non-indestructible creatures into the graveyard.
2. Once someone gets priority, check if any triggered abilities have occurred.
3. We check Lifeline. It has a "Whenever a creature dies" trigger and a bunch of creatures have just died. We check its "if". According to the current board state there is no other creature on the battlefield, only an enchantment. (All continuous abilities are continuously kept up-to-date, and at this point devotion is not met.) We do not put this triggered ability on the stack.
4. Someone gets priority.

My problem is with your #3.

603.10 and 603.10a say (to me) that it looks back and sees the god as a creature.
Comp Rules wrote:
603.10. Normally, objects that exist immediately after an event are checked to see if the event matched any trigger conditions, and continuous effects that exist at that time are used to determine what the trigger conditions are and what the objects involved in the event look like. However, some triggered abilities are exceptions to this rule; the game "looks back in time" to determine if those abilities trigger, using the existence of those abilities and the appearance of objects immediately prior to the event. The list of exceptions is as follows:

603.10a. Some zone-change triggers look back in time. These are leaves-the-battlefield abilities, abilities that trigger when a card leaves a graveyard, and abilities that trigger when an object that all players can see is put into a hand or library.

... & other situations where it does that are 603.10b - 603.10g


So because of that, the trigger "looks back in time" (I'm using the same wording as the comp rules) to see the game state before the creature died. At that point, the god is a creature.

This is different than Last Known Information (as LKI is only for attributes of the card that is no longer where it was originally -- and in this case, we're talking about the status of a different card than the one that has moved.)


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 Post subject: Re: Lifeline and Theros gods
AgePosted: 2018-Apr-17 10:56 am 
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spacemonaut wrote:
So, Lifeline would not trigger, let alone resolve. No creatures will be returned.

Well, the "if" clause doesn't prevent the trigger; it determines if the delayed trigger is created.

I think it would have to be something like the following for the "if" clause to "prevent" the death trigger from even being created:

"Whenever a creature dies with at least one creature still on the battlefield,"

Because once you get to that first comma ("whenever a creature dies,") you have a trigger condition (hence "Whenever a nontoken/flying/etc. creature <you control/you do not control> dies" having all qualifiers before the comma...)


From the Lifeline Gatherer Page:
Quote:
10/4/2004 It fails to bring the creature back if the creature is not still in the graveyard at the end of turn.
10/4/2004 It works for all players and has errata to remove the “your graveyard” text.
10/4/2004 The creature comes back even if Lifeline leaves the battlefield after triggering, but before it resolves.
10/4/2004 If multiple creatures are coming back, they come back one at a time, not all at once. This is because Lifeline triggered once for each creature and set up a separate “at end of turn” effect for each.
3/1/2010 If more than one creature is on the battlefield and all the creatures on the battlefield go to the graveyard at once, then none of them are returned at end of turn. This is because Lifeline’s ability has an intervening-if clause, which means that there must be at least one creature on the battlefield at the time the ability resolves.


Creature Dies
Lifeline "whenever a creature dies" triggers
"If" clause checks for presence of a creature
>if yes, create delayed trigger to return the creature at EOT
>if No, do nothing.
Trigger finishes resolving

Repeat for each now-dead creature

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Last edited by Treamayne on 2018-Apr-17 8:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Lifeline and Theros gods
AgePosted: 2018-Apr-17 11:38 am 
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Treamayne wrote:
Well, the "if" clause doesn't prevent the trigger; it determines if the delayed trigger is created.

Nope, Intervening If clauses need to be evaluated as true for it to even trigger. (see underlined from Comp Rules below.) Then it also needs to be true when resolving (see bolded from Comp Rules below.)

Comp Rules wrote:
603.4. A triggered ability may read "When/Whenever/At [trigger event], if [condition], [effect]." When the trigger event occurs, the ability checks whether the stated condition is true. The ability triggers only if it is; otherwise it does nothing. If the ability triggers, it checks the stated condition again as it resolves. If the condition isn't true at that time, the ability is removed from the stack and does nothing. Note that this mirrors the check for legal targets. This rule is referred to as the "intervening 'if' clause" rule. (The word "if" has only its normal English meaning anywhere else in the text of a card; this rule only applies to an "if" that immediately follows a trigger condition.)


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 Post subject: Re: Lifeline and Theros gods
AgePosted: 2018-Apr-17 11:54 am 
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Carthain wrote:
Treamayne wrote:
Well, the "if" clause doesn't prevent the trigger; it determines if the delayed trigger is created.

Nope, Intervening If clauses need to be evaluated as true for it to even trigger. (see underlined from Comp Rules below.) Then it also needs to be true when resolving (see bolded from Comp Rules below.)


Daedanhi danke mucho gozaimasu. Now I know...

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Seshiro the Anointed - Snake Tribal
Jedit Ojanen of Efrava - Cat and Warrior Dual Tribal
Doran, the Seige Tower - Wall Tribal
Progenitus - Hydra themed Proliferate Deck
Karona, the False God - Backstabbing Hug


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 Post subject: Re: Lifeline and Theros gods
AgePosted: 2018-Apr-17 1:31 pm 
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I used to play Vintage a fair bit, and back then Oath of Druids was a fairly common card that used the 'Intervening If' trigger -- so the opponent needed to have more creatures that you before your turn started in order for it to trigger at all. And, if you could get rid of creatures while the trigger was still on the stack, you could prevent it from going off.

Interestingly, it's no longer an intervening if trigger.


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 Post subject: Re: Lifeline and Theros gods
AgePosted: 2018-Apr-17 11:30 pm 
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My friend explained it to me in a way I understood (and felt stupid for not thinking of myself).

You would resolve the wrath before ever putting the Lifeline triggers on the stack (even if they are delayed), so none of the dead creatures would see the god as a creature, since devotion was lost.

I think since the trigger is delayed, my brain skipped over the part(s) where you still have to resolve the board wipe in total first :)

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 Post subject: Re: Lifeline and Theros gods
AgePosted: 2018-Apr-18 4:26 am 
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That's.... not quite right. The initial trigger would see the god as a creature.

It leads you to the correct answer, but see above for the technical rulings on how it works.


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 Post subject: Re: Lifeline and Theros gods
AgePosted: 2018-Apr-23 6:25 pm 

Joined: 2012-Oct-24 8:05 pm
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So, if 603.10 means that you check whether the condition is met based on the board state before the event occurs, then Lifeline always triggers when multiple creatures die at once. Usually if no creatures survive, those triggers will do nothing, but if you control it, you can resolve the triggers for your opponents' creatures, then put a creature onto the field at instant speed, and resolve the triggers for your creatures so they'll come back.


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 Post subject: Re: Lifeline and Theros gods
AgePosted: 2018-Apr-23 7:51 pm 
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Carthain wrote:
spacemonaut wrote:
I think you're referencing "last known information" there with that "look back" thing
Nope, Not at all. See below :)

spacemonaut wrote:
1. Resolve the board wipe by putting all the non-indestructible creatures into the graveyard.
2. Once someone gets priority, check if any triggered abilities have occurred.
3. We check Lifeline. It has a "Whenever a creature dies" trigger and a bunch of creatures have just died. We check its "if". According to the current board state there is no other creature on the battlefield, only an enchantment. (All continuous abilities are continuously kept up-to-date, and at this point devotion is not met.) We do not put this triggered ability on the stack.
4. Someone gets priority.

My problem is with your #3.

603.10 and 603.10a say (to me) that it looks back and sees the god as a creature.
Comp Rules wrote:
603.10. Normally, objects that exist immediately after an event are checked to see if the event matched any trigger conditions, and continuous effects that exist at that time are used to determine what the trigger conditions are and what the objects involved in the event look like. However, some triggered abilities are exceptions to this rule; the game "looks back in time" to determine if those abilities trigger, using the existence of those abilities and the appearance of objects immediately prior to the event. The list of exceptions is as follows:

603.10a. Some zone-change triggers look back in time. These are leaves-the-battlefield abilities, abilities that trigger when a card leaves a graveyard, and abilities that trigger when an object that all players can see is put into a hand or library.

... & other situations where it does that are 603.10b - 603.10g


So because of that, the trigger "looks back in time" (I'm using the same wording as the comp rules) to see the game state before the creature died. At that point, the god is a creature.

This is different than Last Known Information (as LKI is only for attributes of the card that is no longer where it was originally -- and in this case, we're talking about the status of a different card than the one that has moved.)

Huh, thank you. I'd never read it that way, but it looks like I might have read it incorrectly.

I thought that 603.10 merely allowed certain abilities to look back in time that actually needed to. Undying and Persist rely on it, or Melek, Izzet Paragon who needs to know where the spell on the stack came from. My reading was that since Lifeline doesn't ask or need to look back in time, it doesn't.

It sounds like 603.10a suggests it always looks back in time though, at least for triggering.

Here's why it can matter: Thopter Foundry. If the trigger does go on the stack (and would later fail to resolve), I can crack it, make a Thopter, and all the creatures come back. If it doesn't go on the stack in the first place I can't do this.

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Decks: Mathas, the Instigator (politics and mayhem), and Intet dragons (so many dragons) (actually not enough dragons)
Beloved precons: Atraxa, Praetors' Voice; Saskia the Unyielding; Freyalise, Llanowar's Fury.


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 Post subject: Re: Lifeline and Theros gods
AgePosted: 2018-Apr-24 2:03 am 
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NMS wrote:
So, if 603.10 means that you check whether the condition is met based on the board state before the event occurs, then Lifeline always triggers when multiple creatures die at once. Usually if no creatures survive, those triggers will do nothing, but if you control it, you can resolve the triggers for your opponents' creatures, then put a creature onto the field at instant speed, and resolve the triggers for your creatures so they'll come back.

Hadn't thought of it that way... but yeah... so long as they don't have instant removal -- that could work.

... I wonder if I still have a lifeline so I can pull that off once. Just once is all I need :D


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