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 Post subject: Re: Understanding Relentless Rats and Commander
AgePosted: 2018-Nov-01 9:28 am 

Joined: 2014-Jul-26 11:35 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Can we go back to the OP for a second? The question is not "what is the rule" but "why is the rule"

We all agree that the rule is one 100 cards total. But when you try to explain why it breaks down. The honest answer is because the RC says so. We can infer the intended outcome of this rule, but there is no specific unambiguous rule to quote here.

The rules as written allow it. The text on relentless rats does no specify that they only break the 4-of rule, the gather rulings only specify that the rule does not extend to format legality. The comp rules state that card text over-rides the rules so if anything the given rules are in favor of "any number of rats".

That said as a judge if I was pushed to make a call I would not allow it. The RC make specific mention of RR breaking rule 4 but not anywhere else, so the intended interpretation of the rule is for it to break that rule and no others. This is also the only relevant rule that is broken in 60 card formats, so the logical transfer to the commander is that it only affects that deck building restriction.

That said if the rest of the players agree then have your rats deck. I don't see much functional difference between 60 rats and 250 rats when it comes to gameplay.

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 Post subject: Re: Understanding Relentless Rats and Commander
AgePosted: 2018-Nov-01 1:25 pm 
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specter404 wrote:
But when you try to explain why it breaks down.

Can you go back to my first post in this thread then, and show me where my logic breaks down?


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 Post subject: Re: Understanding Relentless Rats and Commander
AgePosted: 2018-Nov-01 1:42 pm 
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specter404 wrote:
We all agree that the rule is one 100 cards total. But when you try to explain why it breaks down.

I think papa_funk's post was pretty clear on this actually.

papa_funk wrote:
If you put 150 Rats in, how are you legally adding your commander?

Even if we accept that RR allows you to violate the 100 card limit (I say no, but let's assume it does) that ability does not extend to any other card in your deck. Therefore, it would be illegal to include any other cards in your 250 Relentless Rats deck... including your commander. As your commander is required, you therefore do not have a legal commander deck. Game over.

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 Post subject: Re: Understanding Relentless Rats and Commander
AgePosted: 2018-Nov-02 1:33 am 
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Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Oakland, CA
papa_funk wrote:
It's actually kind of ambiguous.

specter404 wrote:
The comp rules state that card text over-rides the rules so if anything the given rules are in favor of "any number of rats".

I agree with these statements; Relentless Rats and Shadowborn Apostle seem due for rules cleanup.

I think the easiest way to do it would be to take the Mirror Gallery approach - combine the '4-of' and '1-of' rules into a single rule, give that rule a name (maybe the "limit rule") and state on these cards "While constructing a deck, [that rule] does not apply to [CARDNAME]."

100.2a In constructed play (a way of playing in which each player creates their own deck ahead of time), each deck must contain at least sixty cards.

100.2b A constructed deck may contain any number of basic land cards and no more than four of any card with a particular English name other than basic land cards. A casual variant (see section 9) may modify this number for cards of a certain type or of any type. This is called the "limit rule."

903.5b While constructing a deck for Commander, the "limit rule" (see rule 100.2b) number is modified to one. This means, other than basic lands, each card in a Commander deck must have a different English name.

Sid the Chicken wrote:
Even if we accept that RR allows you to violate the 100 card limit (I say no, but let's assume it does) that ability does not extend to any other card in your deck. Therefore, it would be illegal to include any other cards in your 250 Relentless Rats deck... including your commander. As your commander is required, you therefore do not have a legal commander deck. Game over.

This is fine, but it doesn't address the problem of including a negative number of Relentless Rats to give yourself more room in your deck, and/or putting them in decks without B in their color identity. Both of which could be a valid interpretation of the rules, given the first Golden Rule:
Code:
101.1. Whenever a card’s text directly contradicts these rules, the card takes precedence. The card overrides only the rule that applies to that specific situation. The only exception is that a player can concede the game at any time (see rule 104.3a).


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 Post subject: Re: Understanding Relentless Rats and Commander
AgePosted: 2018-Nov-03 7:21 am 
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intreped wrote:
This is fine, but it doesn't address the problem of including a negative number of Relentless Rats to give yourself more room in your deck, and/or putting them in decks without B in their color identity. Both of which could be a valid interpretation of the rules, given the first Golden Rule:

No. Just no. At a certain point common sense has to enter the equation. When you go to an "all you can eat" buffet, you don't go back the next day and expect to eat for free because you paid yesterday for "all you can eat" and they didn't explicitly state "during this visit". There is a common understanding there. In this case, it's that the text on RR refers to the "number of" restriction, and NOT to color identity. And since the rules of EDH deck construction don't explicitly say you may have 1 or 0 copies of a card, can you just say you have -1 copies of some random artifact you're not running so you can increase your deck space? No. So I strongly disagree that those interpretations are valid.

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 Post subject: Re: Understanding Relentless Rats and Commander
AgePosted: 2018-Nov-04 1:53 am 
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While I agree that common sense definitely eliminates the negative number problem and probably for most people the color identity problem too, this thread exists because common sense is subjective and the rules are written with the goal of being objective. Ideally, every player, given sufficient understanding of the rules, can agree what is the proper outcome of a particular situation.

I had always imagined the rule for the 4-of limit was something like "between zero and four, inclusive" but it is actually written "no more than four" which is funny because it means if we abandon common sense, you are correct that the current rules do allow adding a negative Sorrow's Path to fit in your 101th card; the Rat's rules text is not relevant to this flaw in the rules.


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 Post subject: Re: Understanding Relentless Rats and Commander
AgePosted: 2018-Nov-04 4:41 am 

Joined: 2009-Apr-21 3:38 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Palm Springs Area, CA
intreped wrote:
niheloim wrote:
Negative Numbers, pi, etc are all covered by the rules.

None of those rules explicitly prevent including a negative number of Relentless Rats in your decklist. They prevent you from choosing and/or using a negative number for effects in game.

Even if there were a rule explicitly stating that a negative number of cards cannot be used in deck construction, my point was that Rat's rules text could be interpreted to override such text, which is silly, but it seems to be exactly the same argument proposed for how a 150 card deck with at least 50 Rats could be considered a valid interpretation of the rules. Also, why stop there? Why shouldn't it override Color Identity rules as well? Put 40 Rats into an Arcum Dagsson and tutor out a Thrumming Stone (and 2 mana 'of any color' - Coalition Relic, Chromatic Lantern, etc.) as soon as you are able.

Is deck building part of the magic game? The rules for relentless rats affects deckbuilding. Any number has to then be an integer. The narrowness of the rule and its application to CI are tangential.

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 Post subject: Re: Understanding Relentless Rats and Commander
AgePosted: 2018-Nov-04 8:35 am 
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niheloim wrote:
Is deck building part of the magic game?

This is a really good question. I'm not sure the Comp Rules consider it a part of the game, they just define what a deck may contain for certain formats, and even that they don't entirely cover; banlists are kept separately from the Comp Rules.
niheloim wrote:
Any number has to then be an integer.

Negative integers are still integers.
niheloim wrote:
The narrowness of the rule and its application to CI are tangential.

Could you explain this another way? I'm not sure what you mean.


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 Post subject: Re: Understanding Relentless Rats and Commander
AgePosted: 2018-Nov-05 1:29 pm 
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intreped wrote:
This is a really good question. I'm not sure the Comp Rules consider it a part of the game, they just define what a deck may contain for certain formats, and even that they don't entirely cover; banlists are kept separately from the Comp Rules.

If that's the case, then I'll go ahead and add Pi rats to my deck. Just because. No, wait, NEGATIVE Pi.

intreped wrote:
the Rat's rules text is not relevant to this flaw in the rules.

Is it really a "flaw" that the rules aren't written like an air-tight legal contract to close all possible interpretations, even ones that are clearly bunk? The Color Identity and negative number arguments are being incredibly obtuse, and the idea that you can break the upper limit is handled neatly by the requirement to have a legal deck with a commander. There is no actual problem here, unless people go out of their way to make one. I don't think there's an actual law that says you can't drive backwards down the road at 40mph, but try it in front of a cop and see what happens... you'll be bagged for reckless driving in a heartbeat. The law for reckless driving probably doesn't specifically say you can't do that - it's just understood that that sort of behavior is not acceptable.

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 Post subject: Re: Understanding Relentless Rats and Commander
AgePosted: 2018-Nov-06 12:52 pm 

Joined: 2014-Jul-26 11:35 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Carthain wrote:
specter404 wrote:
But when you try to explain why it breaks down.

Can you go back to my first post in this thread then, and show me where my logic breaks down?

Literally magic 101 (101.1 to be specific), Whenever a card’s text directly contradicts these rules, the card takes precedence.

A deck may have any number of relentless rats is the card text. Your example is flawed because the rules allow you to have 20 swamps and 30 rats, you are not being stopped from having 30 relentless rats, you are being stopped from not having 10 more cards. The difference between having an upper limit and a lower limit is explicitly important here. The card text on relentless rats allows me to break whichever rules I need to in order to include the number of rats I want to.

The card set legality rule is one that has been specifically ruled on gatherer, making it an official rule for that card. Why then should there not be official rules for other things?

The rules work that way because the RC informally says they do, that is an acceptable reason for me to play, but it is not an acceptable reason for me to explain a judge call.

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 Post subject: Re: Understanding Relentless Rats and Commander
AgePosted: 2018-Nov-06 1:28 pm 
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Comprehensive Rules wrote:
Whenever a card’s text directly contradicts these rules, the card takes precedence. The card overrides only the rule that applies to that specific situation. The only exception is that a player can concede the game at any time (see rule 104.3a).

Gatherer wrote:
The second ability of Relentless Rats lets you ignore the “four-of” rule. It doesn’t let you ignore format legality. For example, during a Masters 25 Limited event, you can’t add Relentless Rats from your personal collection.

The "golden rule" lets you ignore the rule that applies to the situation. The gatherer ruling specifically tells which rule the rats ignore. All other rules are not subject to the rats overriding them. That means color ID, etc. And again, if you have 150 rats, where is the slot for your commander? The commander can't violate the 100-card limit, therefore you can't have a legal deck with more than 100 cards. Period.

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 Post subject: Re: Understanding Relentless Rats and Commander
AgePosted: 2018-Nov-06 1:37 pm 

Joined: 2014-Jul-26 11:35 am
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Gatherer tells us one rule the rats let you ignore and one rule they do not. It could have said "It does not allow you to break other deck building restrictions." but it specifies two rules which were relevant to the situation that they wanted to address.

Gatherer rulings are designed to address specifics and so we probably shouldn't infer broader rulings from them.

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 Post subject: Re: Understanding Relentless Rats and Commander
AgePosted: 2018-Nov-06 1:47 pm 
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specter404 wrote:
Gatherer tells us one rule the rats let you ignore and one rule they do not. It could have said "It does not allow you to break other deck building restrictions." but it specifies two rules which were relevant to the situation that they wanted to address.

Gatherer rulings are designed to address specifics and so we probably shouldn't infer broader rulings from them.

OK, now explain how I can legally include a commander or lands in a pile of 150 rats, since neither of those have a "you may include any number" ability?

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 Post subject: Re: Understanding Relentless Rats and Commander
AgePosted: 2018-Nov-06 2:00 pm 

Joined: 2014-Jul-26 11:35 am
Age: Elder Dragon
You can take that part in one of two ways. Either the rats allow you to break the deckbuilding restrictions which allow you to have more than 100 cards, and so you commander and lands fits on top of that, or the rats allow you the break the deck building restriction requiring a commander, meaning you can have a pile of 150 rats and nothing else being a legal deck.

Neither of these is a particularly good solution, but my argument isn't about what is right, but what is correct.

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 Post subject: Re: Understanding Relentless Rats and Commander
AgePosted: 2018-Nov-06 2:13 pm 
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specter404 wrote:
You can take that part in one of two ways. Either the rats allow you to break the deckbuilding restrictions which allow you to have more than 100 cards, and so you commander and lands fits on top of that, or the rats allow you the break the deck building restriction requiring a commander, meaning you can have a pile of 150 rats and nothing else being a legal deck.

Neither of those are reasonable applications of 101.1. And if they actually were, do you really think RR would still be commander legal?

I'm sorry if I come off a little salty about this topic, but it rears its head every couple years and frankly I think it's completely asinine.

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