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Rules Question - Abilities during an attack

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Dear community,

first I want to thank you for your overall contribution. I've read for some time in this forum to clarify some rules and to get a feeling for some classes/heroes/monsters/etc. It helped a lot.


But lets get specific: During a game I stumbled upon a question which we couldn't sort out and we couldn't find it in this forum. I thought I saw something similar in the unofficial FAQ but I couldn't find it anymore.

My friend played the heroes and attacked with 'Widow Tarha' as 'Runemaster'. He used his heroic feat on two minions of mine. He used Tarha's ability to reroll the yellow attack die in order to get a surge but didn't get a better result. Both minions would have survived this situation (as he had no surge). I as a OL had the 'Staff of Shadows' and with it a chance of 33.3% for this attack to miss if I had forced a reroll of the blue die (X and range 2). I didn't use it as my minions already survived. He wanted to use 'Rune Mastery' to give himself a surge for this attack. As he would have killed my minions with 'Runic Knowledge' I wanted to use the staff in order to force him to a miss. He sulked and said if I pass the situation and he uses something special I shouldn't be able to cancel the attack altogether. As a player of 'Magic: The Gathering' I said if he acts I could react and vice versa.

After some discussion and looking at the rules he argued that he had used 'Rune Mastery' during step four of the attack as the card reads "When you attack..." and it should therefore be possible during the whole attack (the German translation would be "during"; the English text seems to be more specific and means at the beginning of the attack - correct?). I argued that this step is used to spend surges and not to use an ability. Abilities have to be used before this step.


So, as this mess didn't really change the outcome of the adventure (my Eliza had such a head start he couldn't catch up - with or without the mentioned minions) I granted him his point of view for this situation and we decided for the future to use all abilities during step two of an attack if not mentioned otherwise.

But I got curious and want this to be correct in future games. So my question is:


When is the time to use an ability during a fight if there's no mention of a specific event (like after dice are rolled)? I explicitly don't ask for surge abilities but class cards, Overlord cards, hero abilities and such.


With kind regards,


Edited by becauseofyou

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Rune Mastery is one of those older cards that do not include explicit timing conditions. You need to refer to the FAQs (or the CRRG) to get these cards right. Luckily, there are only very few of them.

Staff of Shadows / Rune Mastery
The FAQ clarified that both cards have the same timing condition. Thus, it is s game of chicken: The overlord can wait until Rune Mastery is used before activating the Staff of Shadows. The hero player can wait until Staff of Shadows is used before using Rune Mastery.

In your situation, just ask your hero player after rolling dice if he wants to do something else in the "roll dice" step. If he does not, continue to step 3 and the window for using Rune Mastery is closed. 


Edited by Sadgit

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