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 Post subject: Understanding Relentless Rats and Commander
AgePosted: 2018-Oct-20 10:46 am 

Joined: 2015-Sep-02 2:49 am
Age: Drake
Location: Connecticut
I know that Relentless Rats and Rat Colony allow you to violate the Singleton rules in Commander, but it’s also my understanding that they don’t let you violate the 100 card restriction. I’m interested in the rules logic that created this outcome. I agree with the status quo here, so this isn’t a complaint. I was once a tier 0 judge trying to go level one, and rules interactions interest me. It seems here like card text trumps game rules works on two tiers, and the singleton rule is a lower tier of format rule than the 100 card limit. Can anyone help me understand what is going on?


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 Post subject: Re: Understanding Relentless Rats and Commander
AgePosted: 2018-Oct-20 12:02 pm 

Joined: 2012-Mar-31 11:52 am
Age: Elder Dragon
*Not a judge*

There are two applicable rules here: your deck may only contain one copy.of any card not including basic lands, and your deck must have exactly 100 cards including your general(s). Relentless Rats allows you to bypass the former, but not the latter.


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 Post subject: Re: Understanding Relentless Rats and Commander
AgePosted: 2018-Oct-21 1:34 am 
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Joined: 2006-Dec-31 12:26 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Consider: In regular (tournament) magic, all that ability does is let you play more than 4 copies. So, it lets you play more copies of that card than normally allowed.

As well, it does not allow you to otherwise break the other restrictions of the format.

Consider: Relentless Rats in Modern, lets you play a deck of 20 swamps & 40 relentless rats -- because it's letting you skip the "max 4 copies" rule. But Relentless Rats doesn't let you play only 30 of them and 20 swamps in the same format. Because there is a restriction that says you must have at least 60 cards.

So applying that to Commander -- it lets you play more than 4, but it doesn't override the deck restriction of 1 Commander + 99 other cards in the commander's Colour Identity.

Which is the same reason you can't play relentless rats in a mono-green Commander deck. They don't let you break every deck building rule.


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 Post subject: Re: Understanding Relentless Rats and Commander
AgePosted: 2018-Oct-21 9:41 am 
EDH Rules Committee

Joined: 2006-May-18 5:21 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
If you put 150 Rats in, how are you legally adding your commander?


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 Post subject: Re: Understanding Relentless Rats and Commander
AgePosted: 2018-Oct-21 10:13 am 

Joined: 2015-Sep-02 2:49 am
Age: Drake
Location: Connecticut
That makes sense - I got so focused on the rules regarding Relentless Rats and co, that I didn't think about the rules for other cards in the deck.


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 Post subject: Re: Understanding Relentless Rats and Commander
AgePosted: 2018-Oct-21 1:27 pm 
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Joined: 2006-Dec-31 12:26 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
I love how typically, people select their commander first, as that (potentially) restricts the cards they can put into their deck. And all the rules I've seen state information about the commander first before the remaining cards in the deck. (Both Comp Rules and the rules here list the Commander first.)

And yet, a theoretical question about adding your commander in last is what convinces you.

No counter of "put the commander in first, then add in the swamps then rats"? 'cuz, if order of putting cards in your deck matters, why not just re-order them?


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 Post subject: Re: Understanding Relentless Rats and Commander
AgePosted: 2018-Oct-21 6:07 pm 
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Joined: 2012-Sep-19 1:30 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Carthain wrote:
if order of putting cards in your deck matters, why not just re-order them?

Because the rules check for a legal deck both when you put it onto the stack, and on resolution?

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 Post subject: Re: Understanding Relentless Rats and Commander
AgePosted: 2018-Oct-22 10:45 am 

Joined: 2015-Sep-02 2:49 am
Age: Drake
Location: Connecticut
It was a different understanding of Relentless Rats that I needed. Technically, if there were a legendary relentless rat, and some relentless swamps, I could build a 2,000 card commander deck. I never stopped to think that allowing relentless rats to violate the deck construction rules doesn't allow my swamps and commander to do so. The takeaway message from this thread is that I'm dumb.


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 Post subject: Re: Understanding Relentless Rats and Commander
AgePosted: 2018-Oct-22 11:21 am 

Joined: 2012-Mar-31 11:52 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Baron Cappuccino wrote:
It was a different understanding of Relentless Rats that I needed. Technically, if there were a legendary relentless rat, and some relentless swamps, I could build a 2,000 card commander deck. I never stopped to think that allowing relentless rats to violate the deck construction rules doesn't allow my swamps and commander to do so. The takeaway message from this thread is that I'm dumb.

Well they only allow you to ignore the singleton portion of deck construction, not the 100 card maximum.


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 Post subject: Re: Understanding Relentless Rats and Commander
AgePosted: 2018-Oct-23 12:26 am 
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Joined: 2006-Dec-31 12:26 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Baron Cappuccino wrote:
Technically, if there were a legendary relentless rat, and some relentless swamps, I could build a 2,000 card commander deck.

No, you couldn't. Please stop and read what people are saying.


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 Post subject: Re: Understanding Relentless Rats and Commander
AgePosted: 2018-Oct-23 12:30 am 

Joined: 2015-Sep-02 2:49 am
Age: Drake
Location: Connecticut
cryogen wrote:
Baron Cappuccino wrote:
It was a different understanding of Relentless Rats that I needed. Technically, if there were a legendary relentless rat, and some relentless swamps, I could build a 2,000 card commander deck. I never stopped to think that allowing relentless rats to violate the deck construction rules doesn't allow my swamps and commander to do so. The takeaway message from this thread is that I'm dumb.

Well they only allow you to ignore the singleton portion of deck construction, not the 100 card maximum.


Isn’t the latter only because if you stacked 150 Relentless Rats, you wouldn’t yet have broken any rules, but if you added a Commander, it would actually be your Commander breaking the rules because it doesn’t have the particular rules text? Same with lands? It’s not that the rats can’t violate the 100 card limit, but no other cards can, so it ends up the same?


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 Post subject: Re: Understanding Relentless Rats and Commander
AgePosted: 2018-Oct-23 12:35 am 
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Joined: 2016-Nov-27 2:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
I think being preoccupied with “you won't have room for your commander” is a red herring here. (Maybe being carried by one of those rats?) Papa_funk might have been saying that to shift your thinking on the matter. Having room for a commander isn't really a concept in the rules though, so if you want a rules basis it isn't what you should be looking at.

Carthain and cryogen both put it pretty simply at the start:

- There is a rule that says you can only have 1 of each card (except basic lands).
- There is a rule that says your deck is 100 cards, including commanders.

Relentless rats only lets you break the first rule and has nothing to with the second rule. That's all there is to it. The rest is overthinking it.

The same way, I cannot bring a 30 card relentless rats deck to a modern event where there's a 60-card minimum for my deck, because “a deck can have any number of relentless rats” has nothing to do with a total deck size requirement. It doesn't mean “a deck can have only 30 relentless rats”. It just means I can have more than 4 of them in my modern deck.

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Last edited by spacemonaut on 2018-Oct-23 12:42 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Understanding Relentless Rats and Commander
AgePosted: 2018-Oct-23 12:38 am 
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Joined: 2006-Dec-31 12:26 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Baron Cappuccino wrote:
Isn’t the latter only because if you stacked 150 Relentless Rats, you wouldn’t yet have broken any rules
No.


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 Post subject: Re: Understanding Relentless Rats and Commander
AgePosted: 2018-Oct-23 1:45 am 

Joined: 2012-Mar-31 11:52 am
Age: Elder Dragon
"A Commander deck must contain exactly 100 cards, including the Commander."

It's rule number 4. Please show us the text on Relentless Rats which allows you to ignore that rule.


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 Post subject: Re: Understanding Relentless Rats and Commander
AgePosted: 2018-Oct-23 2:02 am 
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Joined: 2016-Nov-27 2:39 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
I'll also point out that rule 5 (the “there can only be one” rule) specifically associates Relentless Rats with that restriction:
Quote:
5. With the exception of basic lands, no two cards in the deck may have the same english name. Some cards (e.g. Relentless Rats) may have rules text that overrides this restriction.

~~~

cryogen wrote:
"A Commander deck must contain exactly 100 cards, including the Commander."

It's rule number 4. Please show us the text on Relentless Rats which allows you to ignore that rule.

Well in the premise of the question, it's the “can have any number” text. After all if I can have any number of Relentless Rats, I can have 150 Relentless Rats right?

But in reality it doesn't let us ignore that rule, because Relentless Rats is about ignoring the 4-of restriction (in normal formats) or the 1-of restriction (in EDH), and I cannot have a deck of 150 relentless rats.

That's not 100% watertight, and I could legally argue that I can have 150 rats, but this is a social format and not a tournament one, so the reason it doesn't work that way is "because that's not how it works".

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Beloved precons: Atraxa, Praetors' Voice; Saskia the Unyielding; Freyalise, Llanowar's Fury.


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