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chadgar24

Thalin and revealed from discard pile

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Lets say you are still in the quest phase with Thalin commited and you had this come up:

 

When Revealed: Starting with the first player, each player must search the encounter deck and discard pile for an Undead enemy, reveal it, and add it to the staging area. Shuffle the encounter deck.

 

If you take an ememy from the encounter deck it seems clear it would recieve 1 point of damage, but what if the enemy is from the discard pile?  It is revealed but Thalin says 'from the encounter deck'.  

 

it would seem like if Thalin was created with Caleb in charge it would have said 'when an enemy is revealed and added to the staging area'  instead of 'revealed from the encounter deck'.  

 

so basic question....Does Thalin's ability trigger on enemies revealed from the discard pile?

 

I mean a 2-player game could have 1 enemy from each pile....so 1 gets a damage and 1 does not...seems odd to me.

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that was cryptic alogos, the guy has an honest question..

 

alogos is saying no: don't trigger Thalin's ability because, as you pointed out, his text says "from the encounter deck."  The encounter deck and the encounter deck discard pile are separate entities.  It's best to play things as literally as you can.

 

ON THE OTHER HAND, a literal reading of rules means that Eleanor cannot be used to cancel *any* treacheries in the Black Riders saga expansion.  Her card says that you can cancel treacheries revealed "by the encounter deck," but the Black Riders have special rules, and encounter cards are revealed "by" players, not the encounter deck.  I have never submitted a rules question for that, but I assume we can ignore that one and continue to use Eleanor's ability in the Black Riders if we wish.

 

In other words, there is a limit to how literal you can get.  So this Thalin thing is not a silly question.  In my opinion it's worthy of official clarification simply because Thalin's text is so old, but my hunch is that they would say no, do not trigger Thalin's ability when a card is 'revealed' from the discard pile.

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Thank you both. I understand point of the first reply, don't assume or add text. And I was playing it the correct way. I asked because playing the literal why seemed...odd.

Now then, by playing this way it makes for interesting decisions when revealing chosen enemies. Do you take them from the deck so they are damaged? Or perhaps the weaker/ideal enemies were already discarded and therefore will take no damage? Interesting choice and perhaps the reason it was written like this.

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From Caleb:

Hi Chad,
Thalin’s ability only deals damage to enemies “revealed by the encounter deck” - that is referring to the rules for the staging step where it says: “After each player has had the opportunity to commit characters to the quest, the encounter deck reveals one card per player.” Any other card effect that causes you to reveal an enemy is not the encounter deck revealing an enemy but that card’s effect. So, an effect that instructs you to search for an enemy, reveal it, and add it to the staging area will not trigger Thalin’s ability.
Cheers,
Caleb
 
so...wow, not what I expected.  No damage at all.  And Caleb took the literal meaning even further!  'revealed by the encounter deck'.   So the important word is 'by' not 'from'.  what he is saying is that step is the only time the encounter deck is revealing something, all other times it is another card (quest or encounter card) that is telling you to reveal it.
Edited by chadgar24

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Whoa!  So, if an encounter card has a surge effect and the surging card is an enemy, then that enemy is not affected by Thalin either.  Ouch!

That didn't seem explicitly mentioned in Caleb's response.  I assume the surging cards would still take damage, but my assumptions have certainly been wrong before.

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oh... I so didn't play him that way... I included surged enemies and any other enemies put into play from the encounter deck during the staging step... going forward this is unlikely to effect me as i'm not likely to use Thalin again,  at least in the foreseeable future - Too many other Heroes I like better. 

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My comment regarding surging cards is based on the fact that they are being added as a consequence of the "surge" keyword, not the game framework "reveal one card per player from the encounter deck".  Using Caleb's language, the card revealed as a consequence of the surge keyword falls under "Any other card effect that causes you to reveal an enemy".

 

Also, to clarify, I'm not suggesting that a card revealed as one of the "one per player" with surge on it doesn't take damage - it does - it's just the subsequent cards.  

 

For my part, I'll continue to use Thalin when I want to soften up the encounter deck.  There are some cases, like the surging crows in Journey Down the Anduin, where he will still shine.

Edited by ricedwlit

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I agree with ricedwlit, it certainly sounds like Surge would cause enemies to be revealed without suffering damage from Thalin's effect.

 

This would also mean that Eleanor, who is worded similarly, could  not be used to cancel treacheries when they pop up as a result of Surge or other card effects that make you reveal additional cards.  I doubt anyone has ever played it this way, so it's kind of a monumental ruling.

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I agree with ricedwlit, it certainly sounds like Surge would cause enemies to be revealed without suffering damage from Thalin's effect.

 

This would also mean that Eleanor, who is worded similarly, could  not be used to cancel treacheries when they pop up as a result of Surge or other card effects that make you reveal additional cards.  I doubt anyone has ever played it this way, so it's kind of a monumental ruling.

I really hope this isn't case... isn't not like they are overpowered as they are (as I believe that most people have played them)... and more rules to remember isn't awesome... 

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Heck, the ruling is so literal that I wonder again about the Black Riders quests.   I thought it a silly idea that you wouldn't be able to use Eleanor's abilities to cancel treacheries revealed "by players," but seeing this ruling makes me legitimately unsure of how Caleb would answer.   Thalin is in the same boat, since he uses the "by the encounter deck" wording as well.

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Heck, the ruling is so literal that I wonder again about the Black Riders quests.   I thought it a silly idea that you wouldn't be able to use Eleanor's abilities to cancel treacheries revealed "by players," but seeing this ruling makes me legitimately unsure of how Caleb would answer.   Thalin is in the same boat, since he uses the "by the encounter deck" wording as well.

Aye... but I don't wish to ask Caleb... sometimes ignorance is bliss... 

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Whoa!  So, if an encounter card has a surge effect and the surging card is an enemy, then that enemy is not affected by Thalin either.  Ouch!

 

Yeah thats really a shocker cause even with the aditude to play worst case scenario this (at least for me) was not included when playing Thalin... A real bummer and I'm really unsure if I want to play Thalin or Eleanor this way...

Edited by Crabble

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In the interest of knowing more (for good or for bad) I just sent in some follow questions regarding Thalin's ability (in particular with respect to surge, but also a couple of other cases).

 

Will update here once I get an answer.

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Thanks Richard. Curious to see Caleb's answers on your queries.

 

If I may spend my two cents on this issue, even if I'm relatively new to active LotR gameplay... Caleb's answer on Thalin seems to kill the loophole at the end of Journey Down the Anduin: at the passing of Stage 2, allowing Thalin to damage enemies entering the staging area due to the effect of Stage 3 being revealed, would have meant instant win if Eastern Crows was the only enemy card remaining in the deck. With the actual explanation, this is not to happen anymore, which is good.

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Thanks Richard. Curious to see Caleb's answers on your queries.

 

If I may spend my two cents on this issue, even if I'm relatively new to active LotR gameplay... Caleb's answer on Thalin seems to kill the loophole at the end of Journey Down the Anduin: at the passing of Stage 2, allowing Thalin to damage enemies entering the staging area due to the effect of Stage 3 being revealed, would have meant instant win if Eastern Crows was the only enemy card remaining in the deck. With the actual explanation, this is not to happen anymore, which is good.

 

You need two of them, if it is the only one, you draw it, shuffle the encounter deck then it dies to thalin and you shuffle it back into the encounter deck.

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Thanks Richard. Curious to see Caleb's answers on your queries.

 

If I may spend my two cents on this issue, even if I'm relatively new to active LotR gameplay... Caleb's answer on Thalin seems to kill the loophole at the end of Journey Down the Anduin: at the passing of Stage 2, allowing Thalin to damage enemies entering the staging area due to the effect of Stage 3 being revealed, would have meant instant win if Eastern Crows was the only enemy card remaining in the deck. With the actual explanation, this is not to happen anymore, which is good.

 

You need two of them, if it is the only one, you draw it, shuffle the encounter deck then it dies to thalin and you shuffle it back into the encounter deck.

 

Wait, sorry, not so sure I got this. You shuffle the whole encounter deck, including the discard pile? Otherwise: one card, you draw it, you kill it, it goes back into what remains of the deck and it must be drawn again because it's the only card?

 

(sorry, maybe it's a dumb question, but I'm still trying to learn all the nuances of the game)

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If you have only 1 card in the encounter deck, once you reveal it you'll have to shuffle the discard pile immediately.  According to the core set manual, you're supposed to shuffle the encounter deck discard pile back into the encounter deck immediately whenever it is empty during the questing phase.  

 

Even if you decide to place a damage token on the crows before you shuffle the discard pile back in, I would still shuffle the discard pile back in before taking the crows out of play.  A card that gets destroyed is discarded "immediately" upon getting the right number of damage tokens -- but now you've got two immediate effects to resolve (get rid of the crows, and shuffle the discard pile), so I'd do the discard pile first, as its condition (empty encounter deck) happened first.

Edited by GrandSpleen

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If you have only 1 card in the encounter deck, once you reveal it you'll have to shuffle the discard pile immediately.  According to the core set manual, you're supposed to shuffle the encounter deck discard pile back into the encounter deck immediately whenever it is empty during the questing phase.  

 

Even if you decide to place a damage token on the crows before you shuffle the discard pile back in, I would still shuffle the discard pile back in before taking the crows out of play.  A card that gets destroyed is discarded "immediately" upon getting the right number of damage tokens -- but now you've got two immediate effects to resolve (get rid of the crows, and shuffle the discard pile), so I'd do the discard pile first, as its condition (empty encounter deck) happened first.

 

Agree and add: also to avoid the crows loophole and encounter deck lock

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Received answer from Caleb.

 

TL; DR: He reversed his earlier ruling.  Excerpt: 

I am changing my answer to the question that sparked the debate to say that Thalin’s ability will trigger against each enemy revealed “by” or “from” the encounter deck while he is committed to the quest. This includes enemies that are revealed by a surge effect or through card effects that instruct you to search “the encounter deck and discard pile” for that enemy.

 

For completeness sake I will include my full question and his reply.  After the reply I've got some final thoughts.

 

What I sent to Caleb:

 

 In a thread discussing Thalin's ability and whether it applies when we are told to search for an enemy and end up revealing one from the discard pile (see http://community.fantasyflightgames.com/index.php?/topic/122991-thalin-and-revealed-from-discard-pile/) the OP posted the reply he received to his submitted question:

Hi Chad,

  Thalin's ability only deals damage to enemies "revealed by the encounter deck"  - that is referring to the rules for the staging step where it says: "After each player has had the opportunity to commit characters to the quest, the encounter deck reveals one card per player" Any other card effect that causes you to reveal an enemy is not the encounter deck revealing an enemy but that card's effect. So, an effect that instructs you to search for an enemy, reveal it, and add it to the staging area will not trigger Thalin's ability.
  Cheers, Caleb"

This response led to a lot of discussion and I thought I would ask some follow up questions to try to better under the scope, particularly for cases where the player has no control over the selection of the card being revealed.

For all of these questions, suppose that Thalin has been committed to a quest and no effect has removed him the quest.

Question 1) If an encounter card is revealed with the surge keyword, then by the core rules we are told to "reveal 1 additional card from the encounter deck". If this additional card is an enemy, does Thalin's ability apply?

Question 2) What if an encounter card has an effect that states "Reveal a card from the encounter deck" (for instance, Massing at Night from the Core set). Would Thalin's ability apply to any enemies that were revealed in this manner?
 

Question 3) What if a quest stage is completed (during the quest phase, so heroes are still committed to the quest) and the next stage states to reveal one or more card from the encounter deck (for example, Journey Down the Anduin 3B: Ambush on the Shore). Would Thalin's ability apply to any enemies that were revealed?

Thanks in advance.

 

 

Caleb's Response:

Hi Richard,

Thanks for following up with me.
My ruling with regard to Thalin was based on the use of the language “by the encounter deck” as opposed to the more prevalent phrase “from the encounter deck.” A strict reading of the core rules makes it seem encounter deck only reveals 1 card per player during the staging step. However, after reviewing other player card effects that use the language “by” and “from” the encounter deck, it seems clear to me that both words were used to mean the same thing from the beginning of the game.
Therefore, I am changing my answer to the question that sparked the debate to say that Thalin’s ability will trigger against each enemy revealed “by” or “from” the encounter deck while he is committed to the quest. This includes enemies that are revealed by a surge effect or through card effects that instruct you to search “the encounter deck and discard pile” for that enemy. Essentially, the phrases “by the encounter deck” and “from the encounter deck” should be taken to mean any card that originated from the encounter deck or discard pile.
Some exceptions to this rule would be:
- Enemies that were previously set aside and revealed during the quest phase
- Enemies that are revealed from some other deck (i.e. the Underworld deck in The Steward’s Fear)
I will make a note to add this rules clarification to the next FAQ.
Cheers,
Caleb

 

 

Final thought: I like it much better this way as it is simple and consistent.  

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