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[Ruling] FAQ (2.1) "Cannot be {Variable}ed"

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Best Answer mplain , 15 June 2018 - 06:02 AM

There are three cases in which FAQ (2.1) as worded does not seem to properly govern certain card interactions:
 
1) Recently we got a ruling on The High Sparrow + Words Are Wind. You said that if player A plays Words Are Wind, the opponent can always choose the "draw 2 cards" option, even if The High Sparrow will prevent drawing any cards. Then you said that if Words Are Wind is played interrupting The Bounty of Highgarden, the "cancel its effects" option cannot be chosen. You said that "cannot be canceled" is a subset of "cannot be X-ed", and is thus governed by FAQ (2.1).

From this we assumed that "cannot be X-ed" is more restrictive than "cannot", because one is governed by FAQ (2.1), and the other is not. So that's why you cannot choose to cancel Bounty, but you can choose to not draw any cards because of The High Sparrow.

We also assumed that if The High Sparrow is present and each player has already drawn 3 cards, if one player plays The Bounty of Highgarden, the other player cannot play Words Are Wind at all, because its effects have no potential to change the game state. So initiating an ability that cannot change the game state is prohibited, but choosing an "either..or.." option that cannot change the game state is allowed (in comparison, in L5R there is a rule saying you cannot select an "either..or.." option that would not change the game state).

Now then, FAQ (2.1) says: "If a card "cannot be {variable}ed, ..."

Thing is, "cannot be canceled" is not a property of the *card* The Bounty of Highgarden, but rather of its ability. And we know the difference between cards and their abilities all too well, thanks to Pleasure Barge + Treachery. So we cannot extrapolate FAQ (2.1) to cover card *abilities* that cannot be X-ed, right? Or else it becomes unclear why Pleasure Barge's ability is not immune to card effects.


You are right that cards and abilities are distinct, and that the FAQ entry you cited only mentions cards. However, the intention is that the same logic applies to “cannot be canceled” abilities, and that players cannot attempt to cancel such abilities.
 

2) Planky Town Trader says "Until the end of the phase, that character cannot leave play".

Strictly speaking, "cannot leave play" is not a subset of "cannot be X-ed", same as "cannot draw cards" is not.

Can a character put into play by Planky Town Trader be chosen to satisfy military claim? Or is "cannot leave play" governed by "cannot be X-ed"?


No, a character that “cannot leave play” cannot be chosen for military claim. “Cannot leave play” is governed by “cannot be X-ed.” This is not as clear as it could be in the FAQ entry, but “cannot leave play” can be considered shorthand for “cannot be removed from play” — the fact that the wording does not follow the “cannot be X-ed” structure is just a quirk of the language, and rules-wise it does fall under this category.
 

3) Daenerys Targaryen (TFM) says: "Daenerys Targaryen's STR cannot be reduced by card effects."

The interesting thing here is that, again, it's not the *card* that cannot be X-ed, but a card's *characteristic*. And no abilities ever target a character's STR directly. If the card said "Daenerys Targaryen cannot have her STR reduced by card effects", then it would formally conform to FAQ (2.1), but as it is now, if Dany's STR cannot be reduced, does this prevent certain card abilities from targeting Dany?

Specifically, Can Dracarys be played at new Dany? It seems to have two separate effects, -4 STR and "kill if STR is 0", so even though Dany's STR is protected from being reduced, I assume the kill effect still applies. But is the -4 STR effect deflected outright, or is it simply ignored for as long as Dany's ability is active? That is, if I play Dracarys at Dany, then Nightmares, will she be killed immediately? Or will I need to use Astapor as well?


Yes, Dracarys can be played on Daenerys to apply the terminal “killed if its STR is 0” effect. The -4 STR modifier is ignored as long as Dany’s ability is active, but if Dany is blanked later in the phase the -4 STR will apply. This means she will likely die immediately if you play Nightmares after having played Dracarys on her (assuming no other STR modifiers).

[Danny Schaefer, 15.06.2018]

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#1
mplain

mplain

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FAQ (2.1) Cannot be {Variable}ed

If a card "cannot be {variable}ed," where {variable} is something that would happen to the card such as "killed," "discarded," or "knelt," that card cannot be chosen to be {variable}ed by a card ability or game effect that would {variable} the card. Further, a card that cannot be {variable}ed ignores any non-targeting ability or game effect that would {variable} it.


There are three cases in which FAQ (2.1) as worded does not seem to properly govern certain card interactions:

 

1) Recently we got a ruling on The High Sparrow + Words Are Wind. You said that if player A plays Words Are Wind, the opponent can always choose the "draw 2 cards" option, even if The High Sparrow will prevent drawing any cards. Then you said that if Words Are Wind is played interrupting The Bounty of Highgarden, the "cancel its effects" option cannot be chosen. You said that "cannot be canceled" is a subset of "cannot be X-ed", and is thus governed by FAQ (2.1).

From this we assumed that "cannot be X-ed" is more restrictive than "cannot", because one is governed by FAQ (2.1), and the other is not. So that's why you cannot choose to cancel Bounty, but you can choose to not draw any cards because of The High Sparrow.

We also assumed that if The High Sparrow is present and each player has already drawn 3 cards, if one player plays The Bounty of Highgarden, the other player cannot play Words Are Wind at all, because its effects have no potential to change the game state. So initiating an ability that cannot change the game state is prohibited, but choosing an "either..or.." option that cannot change the game state is allowed (in comparison, in L5R there is a rule saying you cannot select an "either..or.." option that would not change the game state).

Now then, FAQ (2.1) says: "If a card "cannot be {variable}ed, ..."

Thing is, "cannot be canceled" is not a property of the *card* The Bounty of Highgarden, but rather of its ability. And we know the difference between cards and their abilities all too well, thanks to Pleasure Barge + Treachery. So we cannot extrapolate FAQ (2.1) to cover card *abilities* that cannot be X-ed, right? Or else it becomes unclear why Pleasure Barge's ability is not immune to card effects.

-----

2) Planky Town Trader says "Until the end of the phase, that character cannot leave play".

Strictly speaking, "cannot leave play" is not a subset of "cannot be X-ed", same as "cannot draw cards" is not.

Can a character put into play by Planky Town Trader be chosen to satisfy military claim? Or is "cannot leave play" governed by "cannot be X-ed"?

-----

3) Daenerys Targaryen (TFM) says: "Daenerys Targaryen's STR cannot be reduced by card effects."

The interesting thing here is that, again, it's not the *card* that cannot be X-ed, but a card's *characteristic*. And no abilities ever target a character's STR directly. If the card said "Daenerys Targaryen cannot have her STR reduced by card effects", then it would formally conform to FAQ (2.1), but as it is now, if Dany's STR cannot be reduced, does this prevent certain card abilities from targeting Dany?

Specifically, Can Dracarys be played at new Dany? It seems to have two separate effects, -4 STR and "kill if STR is 0", so even though Dany's STR is protected from being reduced, I assume the kill effect still applies. But is the -4 STR effect deflected outright, or is it simply ignored for as long as Dany's ability is active? That is, if I play Dracarys at Dany, then Nightmares, will she be killed immediately? Or will I need to use Astapor as well?



#2
mplain

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✓  Best Answer

There are three cases in which FAQ (2.1) as worded does not seem to properly govern certain card interactions:
 
1) Recently we got a ruling on The High Sparrow + Words Are Wind. You said that if player A plays Words Are Wind, the opponent can always choose the "draw 2 cards" option, even if The High Sparrow will prevent drawing any cards. Then you said that if Words Are Wind is played interrupting The Bounty of Highgarden, the "cancel its effects" option cannot be chosen. You said that "cannot be canceled" is a subset of "cannot be X-ed", and is thus governed by FAQ (2.1).

From this we assumed that "cannot be X-ed" is more restrictive than "cannot", because one is governed by FAQ (2.1), and the other is not. So that's why you cannot choose to cancel Bounty, but you can choose to not draw any cards because of The High Sparrow.

We also assumed that if The High Sparrow is present and each player has already drawn 3 cards, if one player plays The Bounty of Highgarden, the other player cannot play Words Are Wind at all, because its effects have no potential to change the game state. So initiating an ability that cannot change the game state is prohibited, but choosing an "either..or.." option that cannot change the game state is allowed (in comparison, in L5R there is a rule saying you cannot select an "either..or.." option that would not change the game state).

Now then, FAQ (2.1) says: "If a card "cannot be {variable}ed, ..."

Thing is, "cannot be canceled" is not a property of the *card* The Bounty of Highgarden, but rather of its ability. And we know the difference between cards and their abilities all too well, thanks to Pleasure Barge + Treachery. So we cannot extrapolate FAQ (2.1) to cover card *abilities* that cannot be X-ed, right? Or else it becomes unclear why Pleasure Barge's ability is not immune to card effects.


You are right that cards and abilities are distinct, and that the FAQ entry you cited only mentions cards. However, the intention is that the same logic applies to “cannot be canceled” abilities, and that players cannot attempt to cancel such abilities.
 

2) Planky Town Trader says "Until the end of the phase, that character cannot leave play".

Strictly speaking, "cannot leave play" is not a subset of "cannot be X-ed", same as "cannot draw cards" is not.

Can a character put into play by Planky Town Trader be chosen to satisfy military claim? Or is "cannot leave play" governed by "cannot be X-ed"?


No, a character that “cannot leave play” cannot be chosen for military claim. “Cannot leave play” is governed by “cannot be X-ed.” This is not as clear as it could be in the FAQ entry, but “cannot leave play” can be considered shorthand for “cannot be removed from play” — the fact that the wording does not follow the “cannot be X-ed” structure is just a quirk of the language, and rules-wise it does fall under this category.
 

3) Daenerys Targaryen (TFM) says: "Daenerys Targaryen's STR cannot be reduced by card effects."

The interesting thing here is that, again, it's not the *card* that cannot be X-ed, but a card's *characteristic*. And no abilities ever target a character's STR directly. If the card said "Daenerys Targaryen cannot have her STR reduced by card effects", then it would formally conform to FAQ (2.1), but as it is now, if Dany's STR cannot be reduced, does this prevent certain card abilities from targeting Dany?

Specifically, Can Dracarys be played at new Dany? It seems to have two separate effects, -4 STR and "kill if STR is 0", so even though Dany's STR is protected from being reduced, I assume the kill effect still applies. But is the -4 STR effect deflected outright, or is it simply ignored for as long as Dany's ability is active? That is, if I play Dracarys at Dany, then Nightmares, will she be killed immediately? Or will I need to use Astapor as well?


Yes, Dracarys can be played on Daenerys to apply the terminal “killed if its STR is 0” effect. The -4 STR modifier is ignored as long as Dany’s ability is active, but if Dany is blanked later in the phase the -4 STR will apply. This means she will likely die immediately if you play Nightmares after having played Dracarys on her (assuming no other STR modifiers).

[Danny Schaefer, 15.06.2018]