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Some Shadows Questions (and some other misc. stuff)


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#1 KristoffStark

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 10:55 AM

I recently built a Stark/Greyjoy Alliance Shadows/Winter deck (strange, I know).

My wife objected to my interpretations of a few wordings, I'm looking for others to weigh in.

The first question involves the behavior of Guardian Wolf, who's ability reads:

Challenges: Pay the rest of Guardian Wolf's cost to bring it out of Shadows, knelt, as a participant on your side in any challenge in which you control at least 1 participating Lord or Lady character.

 

I interpret this to mean that Guardian Wolf does not need to have the appropriate Icons for the challenge.  My understand has always been that challenge Icons are only required to be declared an attacker or defender, and I believe FFG has always supported this view.

Okay, the next issues was the interaction between character like Guardian Wolf and Meera reed, with Hidden Chambers.

Hidden Chambers reads:

If it is Winter, reduce the cost to bring your cards out of Shadows by 1. If it is Summer, return Hidden Chambers to your hand.

 

I was using it so that cards like Guardian Wolf and Meera Reed were popping out of Shadows using their triggered abilities for the reduced cost with Hidden Chambers.  My wife argued that since I wasn't "bringing them out of Shadows", but was activating an ability to bring them out of Shadows, their gold cost was part of the cost of activating the ability, not the cost of bringing them out of Shadows.

Reactions?

The next question involved Duplicates for Shadows characters.  The rules mention that a Duplicate of a Unique character already in shadows must be paid for, and brought out to be used to back up the character... but what if it's still in your hand?  Since attaching a duplicate isn't really playing a card, I don't see a problem with people attaching Duplicates from their hand for free.  Has anyone encountered a ruling on this?

And finally, an issue that arose from Scorched Earth, which reads:

Non-Army characters do not count their STR during the first challenge initiated each round.

 

Well, upon reading in the core rules how Challenges are initiated, it sounds like you could initiate a challenge by announcing a type, and a target, but then NOT keeling any attacking characters.  This would have the benefit of eating up Scorched Earth without kneeling any characters ... but it strikes me as not quite in tune with the overall tone of the game.  Has anyone encountered this idea before?



#2 Bolzano

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 11:24 AM

1) That's right, you don't need to have the appropriate icon.

2) Your wife has the right of it, the reducers does not apply to this triggered effect but only to the normal going out of shadows.

See here #13

http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_foros_discusion.asp?efpag=0&efid=16&efcid=4&efidt=520402

 

3) For the duplicates, you're right, there is no problem to attach them from your hand for free.

4) Initiating a challenge is done BY kneeling characters. So you cannot initiate a challenge without characters in it. From the rulebook :

"You must declare at least one attacking
character to initiate a challenge."



#3 ktom

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 11:48 AM

For a little more detail:

1. You are correct that the icon is only checked at the time it is declared. The icon isn't even checked at the time of challenge resolution, so if the character loses the icon during the challenge, it stays in the challenge and counts its STR toward resolution. So if a card effect brings a character into a challenge without declaring it (or making any reference to icon status), the icon is never checked at all.

2. There is a lot of similar reasoning in this question as there is in #1. In #1, declaring a character as an attacker and using a card effect to bring a character into a challenge as an attacker are two entirely different things. For example, if you had a card that said "your Stark characters do not kneel to attack," you would not expect that to apply the the Guardian Wolf, who joins the challenge as an attacker through his card effect, which specifies he joins in already knelt. That's because the "your Stark characters do not kneel to attack" applies to the mechanic of declaring the attackers, not to every possible way a character could join the challenge as an attacker.

The same thing is true with Hidden Chambers. There is a mechanic for bringing cards out of Shadows, which the location applies to, and there are card effects that have the same result as the mechanic (bringing a card out of Shadows). But since Hidden Chambers does not say it applies to card effects that result in cards coming out of Shadows, it doesn't. So Hidden Chambers will work on the Guardian Wolf if it comes out of Shadows at the beginning of a phase in by the normal mechanic, but it cannot be used to lower the cost of a triggered effect that simply results in him coming out of Shadows.

Another way to look at it: Say that you have an event that says "Any Phase: Pay 1 gold to put a character with STR 2 or lower into play from your hand." If you wanted to put a character with STR 2 from a different House into play with that event, would the event cost 3 instead of 1 because of the out-of-House gold penalty? No, it wouldn't, because the gold penalty is only applied to the game mechanic of playing a card from your hand during Marshaling, not to every single card effect that results in a character entering play. That's what you're getting (but reducing, not raising, the cost of the "normal way" without applying to card effects) with Guardian Wolf's ability and Hidden Chambers.

3. The thing to keep in mind here is that when you play a duplicate from your hand, you are consider to be playing a duplicate - which by definition has no text, title, traits, etc. So even though Shadow cards must be played through Shadows, duplicates will not be considered Shadow cards. Of course, if you want to have the extra card in Shadows and pay the extra cash, you are allowed to do so.

4. As the rule Bolanzo quoted points out, announcing the challenge type/opponent and declaring/kneeling attackers are two sides of the same coin. You cannot do one without doing the other. It is important to notice that all of the individual steps in a game mechanic, like revealing plots, initiating challenges, or resolving challenges, are not independent. You must do all or none of them. You cannot pick and choose which parts of a game mechanic you will and won't do. 



#4 KristoffStark

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 04:25 AM

Actually, what kind of made me feel like a tool was that I was certain that I was right on points 1, 2, and 3 before I started writing my post, and was really only doing it to humor my wife.

Then, as I was writing point 2, I thought to myself "Aw, crap, it really is paying a cost to activate the ability isn't it?".  I've been playing this game literally since the week it came out (back in the CCG days), I've been the local expert ever since, and I feel kind of silly for missing that slip.

As for the point about attackers and challenge initiation, all I can say is that the core rules book is worded a little vaguely, and a language nit-picker (like my wife) could make the argument based on how it is worded.  I whole-heartedly agree that challenge initiation requires at least one attacker.

As a side note, ktom, let me just say that I've been participating on-and-off through three... maybe more... iterations of this forum over the past... what? 9 years?  Your continued presence, expertise, and level-headedness, are always a welcoming thing to return to.



#5 ktom

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 04:46 AM

KristoffStark said:

As for the point about attackers and challenge initiation, all I can say is that the core rules book is worded a little vaguely, and a language nit-picker (like my wife) could make the argument based on how it is worded.  I whole-heartedly agree that challenge initiation requires at least one attacker.
The Core Rules can be open to interpretation a bit, but the explanation of framework action windows and the flowchart in the FAQ is less so, at least from the timing perspective.

KristoffStark said:

As a side note, ktom, let me just say that I've been participating on-and-off through three... maybe more... iterations of this forum over the past... what? 9 years?  Your continued presence, expertise, and level-headedness, are always a welcoming thing to return to.
Thanks. I appreciate it. I miss madkasel, though. 



#6 KristoffStark

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 05:19 AM

He left?! Aww, that's too bad.

What about Stag Lord?  I thought I saw him flitting about somewhere.



#7 branagan3

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 05:31 AM

So I hate to beat a dead horse but I'm having trouble with the Hidden Chambers interaction with Meera, Guardian Wolf, etc..  So it sounds like the ruling is that Hidden Chambers only effects the Shadow framework and not triggered effects.  Not that any of this is on the card itself, card clarification in the next errata please?  So the following email exchange is the official ruling on this:

"No, he these cards reduce the cost of the game mechanism of bringing a card out of Shadows, not the cost of card effects that bring cards out of Shadows." -email from Nate

Pretty clear but I think there is a precedent for word of mouth rulings being reversed:

"You guys can keep fighting about this all you want.
 
But prior to Days of Ice and Fire, I asked Nate French how this would work.

He stated that triggering Meera's ability while she is in shadows will cause the entirety of the ability to resolve regardless of the whether Meera is already in play or not.  I suggest sending your emails to him if you want to argue about it." -Dobbler post

I know I'm really just being beligerent at this point but I want some Stark shadows love.
 

"Technically, when using Jaqen's ability, you are using his character ability to put him into play from Shadows. Since Hidden Chambers does not specifically reduce the cost of character abilities, you can only apply it to the normal, rules-defined mechanic for bringing cards out of Shadows." -Ktom post

I'm not following this either.  Since Hidden Chambers does not specifically limit itself to the rules-defined mechanic for bringing cards out of the Shadows, why can't I apply it to all "bring out of Shadows costs"?

 

 



#8 branagan3

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 05:32 AM

Also I should figure out those cool quote boxes.



#9 ktom

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 09:51 AM

branagan3 said:

Pretty clear but I think there is a precedent for word of mouth rulings being reversed:
Yes. There certainly is. Whether the word of mouth ruling is reported incorrectly or whether they are true reversals is always a question, but Nate - like all people - has ruled one way in person, then thought about it more, and realized he ruled it incorrectly in the heat of the moment. The "duping Meera from Shadows with her ability" is certainly one of those examples. Nate is correct that triggering her ability while out-of-play allows her entire effect to resolve, but in the heat of the moment, he failed to consider that when the dupe enters play, "Meera Reed" does not enter play. Therefore, the first part of her ability was not successful as far as allowing the "then" part to go. 

branagan3 said:

I'm not following this either.  Since Hidden Chambers does not specifically limit itself to the rules-defined mechanic for bringing cards out of the Shadows, why can't I apply it to all "bring out of Shadows costs"?
What I said is the same thing you said, only the opposite way. I said - and it mirrors the ruling from Nate you said was pretty clear - that because Hidden Chambers doesn't say you can (work with an ability in addition to the regular mechanic), you can't. Your counterargument is simply that because Hidden Chambers doesn't say you can't (work with an ability in addition to the regular mechanic), you can. But everything else in this game follows the "if it doesn't say you can, you can't" reasoning. For example, CS-Khal Drogo doesn't say you can return him to your hand from the dead pile if he dies in the phase you use his Response ability, so you can't. Stoney Sept doesn't say you can get Brotherhood characters from your dead or discard pile, so you can't. And so forth.

I hate to say it this way, but I think that because you (admittedly) want the Stark Shadow love, you are seeing what you want to see in the interpretation of Hidden Chambers rather than the way it fits with the usual templating of the game.



#10 KristoffStark

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 04:24 AM

The fact is, and I explained this to one of my players at a Tourney yesterday, that when you're bringing Meera or Guardian Wolf out of shadows with their abilities you are NOT paying to bring them out of Shadows.  What you are doing is paying to activate an ability.  That ability's effect brings them out of Shadows.  Hidden Chambers does not lower the cost of activating your character's abilities.

As much as I'd like it to work that way, it doesn't, not until I see Eratta that says otherwise.



#11 branagan3

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 01:52 PM

 

Agreed that what I am arguing for has been decidedly (for now) been ruled against me.  That said...

Ktom, I did take your argument and say the inverse (which was probaly more douchey than clever).  Still I feel like Hidden Chambers is pretty clear.  It says to "reduce the cost to bring your cards out of Shadows by 1" and Meera says "Bring Meera Reed out of Shadows and into play by paying the rest of her gold cost".  So if I trigger Meera, I am bringing a card out of Shadows by paying her cost and for Hidden Chambers to take effect I need to be bringing a card out of Shadows with a cost (and obviously the winter part) and then I can reduce said cost by 1.

KristoffStark, I don't know if I can accept that I am not paying to bring them out of Shadows.  Obviously, I did trigger an ability but didn't I bring Meera Reed out of Shadows and into play BY paying the rest of her gold cost.  Seems like Hidden Chambers should still apply.



#12 ktom

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 06:51 PM

The difference comes in abilities vs. mechanics.

With a mechanic (like bringing a card out of Shadows at the beginning of a phase, kneeling characters to attack/defend, etc.), cost and result are not separated. Declaring the character as an attacker and kneeling it are the same thing. Paying the non-s part of the cost and bringing the card out of Shadows are the same thing.

But with an effect, there is a separation between paying the cost and resolving the effect. You can trigger abilities (by paying their cost) independently of whether it is even possible for the effect to resolve.

Effectively, bringing a card "out of Shadows" by an effect is as different from bringing a card "out of Shadows" by a mechanic as "play" is from "put into play." And back in the day, people were having the same argument, saying that "reduce the cost to play a character" or "after you play a character" should work on effects that put characters into play - for effectively the same reasons you presented here for why Hidden Chambers should work on "out of Shadows" by effects. The difference, of course, is that there was a wording difference to make the rules (and ruling) clear to everyone that is not present here. But the concept really is the same.



#13 KristoffStark

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 05:01 AM

branagan3 said:

didn't I bring Meera Reed out of Shadows and into play BY paying the rest of her gold cost.  Seems like Hidden Chambers should still apply.

No.  You brought her out of Shadows by activating her ability.  You activated her ability by paying the rest of her gold cost.  I'm pretty sure that I read somewhere that any time an ability involves you paying gold, producing influence, or kneeling something to make it work, that is a cost to activate the ability.

I agree that the ability wasn't phrased well.  If they're going to make abilities all work the same way, they should be phrased the same way: do X to do Y

If this was how they always intended it to work (which is the case from what we've heard), the ability should have been phrased:

Any Phase: Pay the rest of Meera Reed's gold cost to bring her out of Shadows...

Phrasing it that way would have removed the need for this entire argument.



#14 agktmte

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 03:24 AM

 I've been using Meera Reed in a winter/shadows deck and so I've been reading through these posts to make sure I do everything correctly.

I totally understand the Hidden Chambers not reducing a character ability thing and so on, that's great, awesome, I'll pay for Meera, she's worth it.  However, I do wonder how her coming out of Shadows interacts with cards such as King's Landing and Tower of the Hand.  Both of these cards have a passive that activates when a card comes out of Shadows.

Does Meera (or Guardian Wolf) trigger these passives?  I know that she's not coming out of Shadows in the normal game mechanic of Shadows and I want to know if these two locations are references the game mechanic of Shadows or if they will trigger from Meera too.



#15 Bomb

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 04:09 AM

Triggering responses to "coming out of shadows" doesn't need to know how the card came out of the shadows.  The card came out of the shadows in some way, shape, or form regardless.  The difference between the cost on the mechanic and the cost to trigger the card effect for bringing out of shadows is all in initiating them and looking at the play restrictions.  By default, all Shadow card have "Pay X gold to bring out of shadows during the shadows framework window".  Meera Reed, for example, has that and a triggered effect that has a specific cost built into the effect itself, and that is not something you can reduce because it isn't an actual cost to bring her out of the shadows.  It's really just a cost to trigger her Any Phase effect.

So, in short, bringing Meera Reed out of the shadows is still something that happens regardless of whether it is done via the shadow mechanic or a triggered effect.  The only difference is in initiating one or the other and what is done to initiate them.






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