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Poposhka

I think I wrapped my head around Biomatrix Backup ruling.

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Looking through the cards for the term “destroyed” i finally think I get why FFG made the ruling.   

Firstly, “Active player makes all choices” - this is the supreme rule they follow.

when a the active player destroys an opponents creature, the opponent will resolve the “destroyed” effect, but IS NOT ALLOWED TO MAKE CHOICES.

if I control Grenade Snib (destroyed: Your opponent loses 2Æ), and my opponent destroys him on his turn, I get to resolve “destroyed” but there are no choices so (your opponent) MY OPPONENT loses 2æ 

Biomatrix Backup says: “destroyed: you may put this creature in it’s owner’s archives”

So if I control a creature with Biomatrix Backup, and my opponent on their turn destroys it, I get to resolve the “destroyed” effect, but I’m NOT allowed to make the choice whether I archive it or not. I basically have to ask my opponent which way I resolve it, but I AM still resolving it, and “you may” in that case could be read as

“you may, if the active player allows”

Had grenade snib said (destroyed: your opponent may lose 2æ) and my opponent destroys him on their turn, I would resolve destroyed, but my opponent as the active player gets to choose whether or not he would lose 2æ. 

Had I destroyed grenade snib on my turn, I get to resolve destroyed as always, but since I’m the active player, I also get to make the choice whether my opponent loses 2æ

Weird, but it makes sense. 

Edited by Poposhka

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It makes sense, but it’s also a typo. They could just errata it to remove the word may and hopefully in time they will.

So here’s the fun question: Knowing how it was supposed to be intended (not optional) do you let your opponent resolve it on your turn in casual and/or tournament play if it triggers?

No right or wrong answer. In a tourney you play to win and it’s on FFG to fix it so I would not. Casual games, if I can keep my competitive spirit in check I’d say yes.

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37 minutes ago, Bolfry said:

Where did this official ruling come from?  Is there a source other than this forum which is official?  (You got an email back from them?)

The digital rulebook got updated a short while back with a small FAQ

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What.  This is complete nonsense.  "You" on a card refers to the owner of the card, or is there a specific thing that changed this?

EDIT: I read the FAQ and am entirely flabberghasted that this is the ruling.  I cannot imagine why the opposing player would gain control of an effect on a card I control -and- own, but apparently, this is the way things are going to be right now.  This STINKS of the bull ruling from Legend of the Five Rings, where an entire game concept was made up in order to prevent a particular combo from working, then took SIX REVISIONS of the Rules Guide to appear.  

Edited by Hnloaded
Read the stupidest ruling on the planet.

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1 hour ago, Hnloaded said:

What.  This is complete nonsense.  "You" on a card refers to the owner of the card, or is there a specific thing that changed this?

EDIT: I read the FAQ and am entirely flabberghasted that this is the ruling.  I cannot imagine why the opposing player would gain control of an effect on a card I control -and- own, but apparently, this is the way things are going to be right now.  This STINKS of the bull ruling from Legend of the Five Rings, where an entire game concept was made up in order to prevent a particular combo from working, then took SIX REVISIONS of the Rules Guide to appear.  

Nah the OP has a very convoluted way of saying it.

Biomatrix Backup says:

This creature gains, "Destroyed: You may put this creature into it's owner's archive"

 

 

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2 hours ago, 10Ten said:

Nah the OP has a very convoluted way of saying it.

Biomatrix Backup says:

This creature gains, "Destroyed: You may put this creature into it's owner's archive"

 

 

Yeah, but its got a lot of really, really iffy implications for stuff.  I'm kind of fixated on the game not really defining You, as now there are definitely two versions of You/Your in the game by way of this ruling.  I'm aware this is an exception created by this effect being an interrupting replacement effect - but here's what's going on when I read this ruling:

On 99% of cards, in 99% of cases, "You" means the current controller of the card in question.  In that 1% of other cases, though, "You" refers to the Active Player.  This isn't particularly great, because if this ruling stands, I can now go for cards like Mantle of the Zealot and say "Oh, hey. I'm the active player, that means I can use this creature!" which I know isn't true according to the rules (I don't control the creature, so duh), but with this Biomatrix Backup ruling in place there's the framework for that even more abusive ruling to be played.  In this case, it's pretty bad - Mantle of the Zealot is clearly  NOT intended to do this.

Remember that my concern isn't for the game as it is now - this actually makes a pretty by-the-numbers card very interesting - my concern is that it lays the groundwork for some pretty bull rulings to get made in the future, and that's what I'm on guard against.

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I think it was a poor way to handle a typo on a card. I understand why they did it, but I don't agree with the decision.

The why I think is fairly obvious. There is no need to change the card before it gets printed again in future runs. It also prevents inconsistency when a player with an older deck has the typo and newer decks don't. However, this is the information age. I don't think we need this sort of bad ruling just due to some potential difficulty. Everyone has access to the internet, almost everyone will check on-line from time to time to see whats new. The few of those who do not will either find out at any organized play event, or from their friends. Those who only play in a closed  play group won't really be affected either way and probably will use some subset of house rules anyhow.

I think the way they should have handled it is put up an article that says, sorry, its a typo. Play it as if it is not a optional trigger. The word will get out. They could then choose to change the card for future printings and move on with life. Will there be the occasional bout of confusion? Sure, its not like the current ruling has prevented confusion. In fact I would say the choice they made has caused more confusion than not.

 

Just to be clear here, I am not in any way ragging on FFG. I love the game, I just disagree with the choice they made here. Particularly due to the fact that Richard Garfield has openly stated, it's a typo, it should not optional.

 

6 hours ago, Hnloaded said:

EDIT: I read the FAQ and am entirely flabberghasted that this is the ruling.  I cannot imagine why the opposing player would gain control of an effect on a card I control -and- own, but apparently, this is the way things are going to be right now.  This STINKS of the bull ruling from Legend of the Five Rings, where an entire game concept was made up in order to prevent a particular combo from working, then took SIX REVISIONS of the Rules Guide to appear.  

Hnloaded, could you clarify what you mean here? I am not certain which ruling you are referring to and I am curious.

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2 hours ago, Hnloaded said:

Yeah, but its got a lot of really, really iffy implications for stuff.  I'm kind of fixated on the game not really defining You, as now there are definitely two versions of You/Your in the game by way of this ruling.  I'm aware this is an exception created by this effect being an interrupting replacement effect - but here's what's going on when I read this ruling:

On 99% of cards, in 99% of cases, "You" means the current controller of the card in question.  In that 1% of other cases, though, "You" refers to the Active Player.  This isn't particularly great, because if this ruling stands, I can now go for cards like Mantle of the Zealot and say "Oh, hey. I'm the active player, that means I can use this creature!" which I know isn't true according to the rules (I don't control the creature, so duh), but with this Biomatrix Backup ruling in place there's the framework for that even more abusive ruling to be played.  In this case, it's pretty bad - Mantle of the Zealot is clearly  NOT intended to do this.

Remember that my concern isn't for the game as it is now - this actually makes a pretty by-the-numbers card very interesting - my concern is that it lays the groundwork for some pretty bull rulings to get made in the future, and that's what I'm on guard against.

I have a creature that has the card Biomatrix Backup (CoTA 208) attached. Its my opponent’s turn and they use one of their creatures to attack and destroy my creature. What happens?

Since it is your opponent’s turn and they are the active player, they will get to make all decisions for all cards. In this case Biomatx Backup has the word “may”, meaning that the effect is optional

 

 

TURN SEQUENCE(pg4)

The game is played over a series of turns. Players alternate taking turns until one player wins the game.
Each turn consists of five steps:

  1. 1 Forge a key.
  2. 2 Choose a house.
  3. 3 Play, discard, and use cards of the chosen house.
  4. 4 Ready cards.
  5. 5 Draw cards.

The player taking a turn is referred to as the active player. The active player is the only player that can perform actions or make decisions; a player does not make any decisions when it is not their turn.
Each step is described in the following sections.

 

Been there the whole time.

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5 hours ago, Hnloaded said:

Yeah, but its got a lot of really, really iffy implications for stuff.  I'm kind of fixated on the game not really defining You, as now there are definitely two versions of You/Your in the game by way of this ruling.  I'm aware this is an exception created by this effect being an interrupting replacement effect - but here's what's going on when I read this ruling:

On 99% of cards, in 99% of cases, "You" means the current controller of the card in question.  In that 1% of other cases, though, "You" refers to the Active Player.  This isn't particularly great, because if this ruling stands, I can now go for cards like Mantle of the Zealot and say "Oh, hey. I'm the active player, that means I can use this creature!" which I know isn't true according to the rules (I don't control the creature, so duh), but with this Biomatrix Backup ruling in place there's the framework for that even more abusive ruling to be played.  In this case, it's pretty bad - Mantle of the Zealot is clearly  NOT intended to do this.

Remember that my concern isn't for the game as it is now - this actually makes a pretty by-the-numbers card very interesting - my concern is that it lays the groundwork for some pretty bull rulings to get made in the future, and that's what I'm on guard against.

“You” always refers to the controller, afaik. 

Can you give an example of a card that does not refer to the card’s controller as “you”? I.e. “you” does not mean “the controller of this card”.

Edited by Poposhka

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Any confusion generated by this ruling stems either from people wanting the ruling to apply more broadly than it does or are mad that card operates in a different way then they had expected it to behave.

It is very clear that by design there are no interrupts or actions or decisions to be made by the non-active player. Any card that requires a choice is thus resolved by the active player. This has nothing to do with defining "you" "your" or any other word. Again, if an trigger requires a choice to be made, the active player makes that choice.

The culprit card in the case has a trigger that can occur on either players turn, Destroyed, and required a choice to be made. In the current set there is no other card that functions like this. It will be interesting to see if they create more cards in future sets that can be triggered on an opponents turn and require a choice.

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4 hours ago, Lokekar said:

It will be interesting to see if they create more cards in future sets that can be triggered on an opponents turn and require a choice.

The designer himself said it was an error, so I doubt we'll see more of them in the future, unless of course they make more errors... :)

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7 hours ago, Lokekar said:

Any confusion generated by this ruling stems either from people wanting the ruling to apply more broadly than it does or are mad that card operates in a different way then they had expected it to behave.

It is very clear that by design there are no interrupts or actions or decisions to be made by the non-active player. Any card that requires a choice is thus resolved by the active player. This has nothing to do with defining "you" "your" or any other word. Again, if an trigger requires a choice to be made, the active player makes that choice.

The culprit card in the case has a trigger that can occur on either players turn, Destroyed, and required a choice to be made. In the current set there is no other card that functions like this. It will be interesting to see if they create more cards in future sets that can be triggered on an opponents turn and require a choice.

While you are mostly right, I do not agree that it has nothing to do with "you/your". The thing that has people upset is that every single time you/your is used in this game it refers to cards you control. When the non-controller of Backup suddenly gets to make a choice of "you may" over a card that they do not control, that goes against everything we know so far and that is where the confusion comes from. It's clear how they ruled it to work, it's also confusing because it goes against common use of "you/your" with regard to a card's controller.

Edited by Palpster

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1 minute ago, Palpster said:

While you are mostly right, I do not agree that it has nothing to do with "you/your". The thing that has people upset is that every single time you/your is used in this game it refers to cards you control. When the non-controller of Backup suddenly gets to make a choice of "you may" over a card that they do not control, that goes against everything we know so far and that is where the confusion comes from. It's clear how they ruled it to work, it's also confusing because it goes against common use of "you/your" with regard to a card's controller.

Player A controls creature 1 in play with BB upgrade

player B’s turn

player B fights and destroys creature 1

player A resolves B.B. ability: You (controller; player A) may (Must follow player B’s choice on whether to put this in your (controller; player A) archives. 

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2 minutes ago, Poposhka said:

Player A controls creature 1 in play with BB upgrade

player B’s turn

player B fights and destroys creature 1

player A resolves B.B. ability: You (controller; player A) may (Must follow player B’s choice on whether to put this in your (controller; player A) archives. 

so "you may", but really there is no choice because someone else made it for you. We normally pronounce that "you must"

You're not wrong, I was just pointing out where the confusion comes from, which I understand completely. It's counter-intuitive.

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Active player makes all choices during their turn. “May put in archives” is the choice made by player B (active), “you” is the controller (player A). 

Also I agree, it’s convoluted, and dumb. Had they REALLY made a card to have such a complex game state interaction, it would have never left playtesting. They would have redesigned it. 

Edited by Poposhka

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Does anyone actually like this ruling?  You refers to the owner.  Thus the golden rule the owner picks.

But hey you do not want reactions for some unknown reason.  The https://www.thecrucible.online/ plays it as a must an nobody minds that.  In fact eliminating the choice makes the card more satisfactory and speeds play.  Adding a choice for your opponent is just bad.  After all if I put the backup on a creature clearly I wanted it archived.

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18 minutes ago, Dalek5 said:

Does anyone actually like this ruling?  You refers to the owner.  Thus the golden rule the owner picks.

But hey you do not want reactions for some unknown reason.  The https://www.thecrucible.online/ plays it as a must an nobody minds that.  In fact eliminating the choice makes the card more satisfactory and speeds play.  Adding a choice for your opponent is just bad.  After all if I put the backup on a creature clearly I wanted it archived.

To be fair "may" was inserted as a typo according to RG who created the card and even he was flabbergasted by the strange ruling so hopefully next update we'll see it changed to the way it was intended to be played because I have yet to see anyone happy about the ruling.

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3 hours ago, Dalek5 said:

Does anyone actually like this ruling?

I do for the most part.

In general when two players sit down there is a social contract made to play by the rules. The ruling as it stands may not be popular but it does abide by the rules and the text on the card. As such it works OK by me and is probably the best solution overall. Keep in mind that a few players will react exactly as you have, but not mind when they play sealed an their opponent has a Biomatrix Backup in their deck. Only to be seriously offended by the ruling when they have the card themselves.

The ruling also made me do a "double take" and check the rules. The rule "The player taking a turn is referred to as the active player. The active player is the only player that can perform actions or make decisions; a player does not make any decisions when it is not their turn." is very easy to overlook, because the preconceived notion is to follow the rules for other games.

It is also true that we have been told by Richard Garfield that the card text is in error. However, he has also noted that correcting the card would require an errata. I think FFG sees errata as a problem, because it entails changing the rules or cards in such a way as it breaks the social contract in a way as it creates two instances of the rules/card text. This is not to say that the errata won't be issued, but FFG is going to make certain that the game will be better for it than without.

3 hours ago, Dalek5 said:

You refers to the owner.  Thus the golden rule the owner picks.

THE GOLDEN RULE (p2):
If the text of a card directly contradicts the text of the rules, the text of the card takes precedence.

We seem to have different Golden Rules.

I think you and your are just referring to people in general, thus making it a rules neutral way of working the cards. From a rules perspective "you" may mean the Active Player, Controlling Player or Owner based on the game state of the card effect at the time. Keep in mind if I somehow steal Biomatrix from you, the situation now becomes that if I am active player and I want to archive my creature I am now asking "you - the owner" for permission.

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I actually like this ruling because

A] the card has broken free from its creator and lives by the rules of the crucible, and

B] I have 4 decks with this card in it as 1-2 of, so I now have a was to demonstrate to people i demo the game to the importance of tactical decision making as using the card as ruled means that the card is more useful for aggressive plays and recursion than a defensive loophole for recursion.

 

I also don't particularly love the 'Racist' martian faction....  which is why all 4 decks i own seem to have been hobbled with them.

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I'll bring up two points, that I haven't seen before.

I'm not particulary happy with the ruling and think it is both not totally consistent with parts of the rest of the templating and rules in general (though i'll admit i don't think there is a solution the card as written can be ruled to be) and unintuitive. (An admittedly subjective sentiment). I also disagree that FFG’s (and Richard Garfields) interpretation is the only possible way this could be ruled/read.

 

1)

While never explicitly stated, the "you" in Biomatrix Backup can obviously only refer to its controller, because a lot (?) of other effects use you as well and there has be no one (at least no one i know) who has seriously suggested otherwise.

In example, does anyone truly believe Mother to allow the active player to draw an additional card at the end of his/her turn?

 If not why would the same word refer to a (at least in some states of the game) different player on this card and this card only? I don't see any logic reasoning behind that. The notion that the "you" part could pretty randomly and unspecificly refer to different players strikes me as quite frankly absurd.

Does the "If you do" in same cards text probably refer to different players as well "depending on gamestate"? What does that even mean? In which gamestate is which "you" which player? If so how do you know? How is it decided who this "you" is? Do you roll the dice to decide? Does the active player get to decide? Do we the community vote on it? (I'll stop before i get to hyperbolic here, but i think i made it obvious that a text refering to a specific thing/word cannot and should not mean different things based on totally undefined criteria. The very notion strikes me as absurd.)

 

2) 

On the matter of DESTROYED effects the Rulebook tells us this (emphasis mine):

Quote

DESTROYED

When a card is destroyed, it is placed in its owner’s discard pile. If a card has a “Destroyed:” ability, the effect resolves automatically when the card is destroyed, immediately before it leaves play.

Ruling that this only applies when the card itself leaves no choice makes this whole paragraph either

a) (at least partially) untrue (The effect does not actually resolve automatically in this instance)

or

b) Completely superfluous as every time it's relevant the text on the card would lead to the same result anyway. 

 

Since i (at least hope) we can agree that it is (or at least should be) neither,  this applies here as well.

 

Just as a quick reminder, the ACTIVE PLAYER section of the glossary (which is largely responsible for this ruling) reads like this:

Quote

ACTIVE PLAYER

The active player is the player taking the current turn. The active player makes all necessary decisions for all card abilities or timing conflicts that need to resolve during their turn.

 

That out of the way, in the case of Biomatrix Backup we now have to decide whether we can resolve the card by these rules or (when this is not possible) to invoke THE GOLDEN RULE. 

Quote

If the text of a card directly contradicts the text of the rules, the text of the card takes precedence.

To be honest i don't exactly know what actually constitutes a "direct contradiction". At least in other FFG's games it's basically "As long as cou can follow both the rules and what is written on the card, you have to do so".

Whether Biomatrix Backup text is actually in "direct contradiction" with DESTROYED is and ACTIVE player (imo) up to one's interpretation to what constitutes "in direct contradiction".

This leads to three  (in my opinion pretty equally arguable) solutions:

 

a) Don't invoke THE GOLDEN RULE and resolve in accordance with both ACTIVE PLAYER and DESTROYED rules (If you think Biometric Matrix is not in "direct contradiction" with both ACTIVE PLAYER and DESTROYED):

Since according to DESTROYED we have to resolve the effect automatically, there actually is no choice and (the controlling player) has to put the card into its owner's archive. 

Whether Biomatrix Backup text is actually in "direct contradiction" with DESTROYED is (imo) up to one's interpretation to what constitutes "in direct contradiction". If you go with the (admittedly low standard) of "As long as you can follow both the rules and what is written on the card, you have to do so" I'd argue there is none. You can both observe DESTROYED's and Biomatrix Backup's text, and would then be forced to archive the card. (With this low Standard there is no contradiction, as both Biomatrix Backup text and DESTROYED actually allows you to so, DESTROYED is only in conflict with the possibility of [whomever] choosing not to archive).

In this interpretation Biomatrix Backup is not actually in conflict at all with ACTIVE PLAYER.

 

b) Invoke the GOLDEN RULE to ignore ACTIVE PLAYER and DESTROYED rules: (If you think Biometric Matrix' text is in "direct contradiction" with both ACTIVE PLAYER and DESTROYED):

Whether Biomatrix Backup is in "direct contradiction" with ACTIVE PLAYER is again (imo) up to the interpration of "in direct contradiction". If your Standard of "in direct contradiction" means that a card allowing "you" (and as i have stated before, imo every interpretation of "you" not being the controller of the card leads to ridiculous results) to choose something ("you may") and ACTIVE player disallowing exactly that thing are "in direct contradiction", would mean the GOLDEN RULE would give the text on Biomatrix Backup priority over the rules governing ACTIVE PLAYER. So despite ACTIVE PLAYER forbidding it, the controller may still archive because the GOLDEN RULE reigns surpreme. 

In this case Biomatrix Backup is also arguably in "direct contradiction" to DESTROYED as you may choose something in contrast to abilities resolving automatically. So the GOLDEN RULE would have to be invoked in this instance to give priority to the cards text as well.

 

c) Invoke the GOLDEN RULE to ignore DESTROYED rules, but resolve in accordance with ACTIVE PLAYER rules:

I thankfully don't have to really write up what this does, as this is the interpretation that (imo) FFG has taken (even if it was not openly mentioned) and you can read their reasoning in the FAQ. 

 

In summary and as a TL,DR, i think that FFG has taken a sensible (and possible) interpretation of the rules as written, even if it clashes somewhat with the framework (of DESTROYED) and is rather unintuitive. While there is the possibility (imo at least)to interpret the rules in a way that conforms with all Glossary definitions of terms (variant a , I'm not particular convinced this isn't stretching not beeing in "direct conflict" even if this seems to have been the original intent by Richard Garfield).

I also wanted to point out, that while a lot of people have rationalised and probably even supported FFG's ruling as to not have to invoke the GOLDEN RULE, I actually think that the GOLDEN RULE is already used to ignore DESTROYED (even if this is not adressed directly).

So while i think FFGs interpretation is a possible one, if somewhat unintuitive, i disagree with Richard Garfield and FFG (and probably a lot of other people) that the way this was ruled was by necessity the only way the rules could be read/interpreted (something that at least to me Richard Garfield's post seemed to imply.) 

 

As a sidenote, i think it is actually necessary to define the "you" player in the Glossary. While i firmly believe context and otherwise absurd interpretations of cards already make it clear who "you" refers to, the absolute absence of a term quite important to and used on so many cards is simply baffling. I also wouldn't mind a longer explanation what actually constitutes beeing "in direct contradiction" with the rules. 

 

 

 

 

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