When did this change?

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I was reading through a rules Q&A post awhile back and this struck me as odd...


Q: If I control, say, ten creatures with lifelink and they all deal combat damage to my opponent, how many times does Cradle of Vitality's ability trigger?

A: It triggers 10 times. While all damage is dealt simultaneously, it's still dealt separately by each attacker, so it results in separate life gain instructions, triggering the Cradle's ability that many times. (Note that this is a change from previous rulings, so something you find from six months ago won't be accurate anymore.)




It's odd because i remember a giant disscussion we had on this very topic and the conclusion was that all life is gained at the same time and so you'd only get one trigger from the cradle.

Now i read every rules update, and i can't recall when this rule changed. Can someone help me here?
… and then, the squirrels came.
I was reading through a rules Q&A post awhile back and this struck me as odd...


Q: If I control, say, ten creatures with lifelink and they all deal combat damage to my opponent, how many times does Cradle of Vitality's ability trigger?

A: It triggers 10 times. While all damage is dealt simultaneously, it's still dealt separately by each attacker, so it results in separate life gain instructions, triggering the Cradle's ability that many times. (Note that this is a change from previous rulings, so something you find from six months ago won't be accurate anymore.)




It's odd because i remember a giant disscussion we had on this very topic and the conclusion was that all life is gained at the same time and so you'd only get one trigger from the cradle.

Now i read every rules update, and i can't recall when this rule changed. Can someone help me here?



That answer is indeed incorrect. When Lifelink was a trigger, that would be correct, but now all the life is gained in one single event, just as the damage is done as one single event. The Cradle will trigger once. The bonus is that you only have to pay ; the drawback is that you can't target multiple creatures. Something that cares about life loss would only see one event here; by the same token, something that cares about life gain would only see one event. (It would be different if it was somehow worded to refer to a source causing you to gain life instead of you just gaining life.)

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Well i assumed he was mistaken, but i don't know.

… and then, the squirrels came.
I stand by my previous statement and will un-cross it. There is nothing in the rules to justify this ruling as it is, and seems to me more to be a ruling made because someone wants it to work the old way. The rules for lifelink to not specify this, and the rules for damage being dealt say nothing about it. In fact, an example in the rules supports that the ruling is incorrect, as it says that two creatures unblocked, each with 5 power, has a 'damage event' of [10 damage is dealt to the defending player]. This would equate to [10 life is gained by the attacking player] if they had lifelink, as the rules say nothing about lifelink working differently.

Relevant rules:

118.4. Damage is processed in a three-part sequence.


118.4a First, damage is dealt, as modified by replacement and prevention effects that interact with damage. (See rule 614, “Replacement Effects,” and rule 615, “Prevention Effects.”) Abilities that trigger when damage is dealt trigger now and wait to be put on the stack.


118.4b Next, damage that’s been dealt is transformed into its results, as modified by replacement effects that interact with those results (such as life loss or counters).


 118.4c Finally, the damage event occurs.


Example: A player who controls Boon Reflection, an enchantment that says “If you would gain life, you gain twice that much life instead,” attacks with a 3/3 creature with wither and lifelink. It’s blocked by a 2/2 creature, and the defending player casts a spell that prevents the next 2 damage that would be dealt to the blocking creature. The damage event starts out as [3 damage is dealt to the 2/2 creature, 2 damage is dealt to the 3/3 creature]. The prevention effect is applied, so the damage event becomes [1 damage is dealt to the 2/2 creature, 2 damage is dealt to the 3/3 creature]. That’s transformed into its results, so the damage event is now [one -1/-1 counter is put on the 2/2 creature, the active player gains 1 life, 2 damage is marked on the 3/3 creature]. Boon Reflection’s effect is applied, so the damage event becomes [one -1/-1 counter is put on the 2/2 creature, the active player gains 2 life, 2 damage is marked on the 3/3 creature]. Then the damage event occurs.


Example: The defending player controls a creature and Worship, an enchantment that says “If you control a creature, damage that would reduce your life total to less than 1 reduces it to 1 instead.” That player is at 2 life, and is being attacked by two unblocked 5/5 creatures. The player casts Awe Strike, which says “The next time target creature would deal damage this turn, prevent that damage. You gain life equal to the damage prevented this way,” targeting one of the attackers. The damage event starts out as [10 damage is dealt to the defending player]. Awe Strike’s effect is applied, so the damage event becomes [5 damage is dealt to the defending player, the defending player gains 5 life]. That’s transformed into its results, so the damage event is now [the defending player loses 5 life, the defending player gains 5 life]. Worship’s effect sees that the damage event would not reduce the player’s life total to less than 1, so it’s not applied. Then the damage event occurs.


702.13. Lifelink


702.13a Lifelink is a static ability.


702.13b Damage dealt by a source with lifelink causes that source’s controller, or its owner if it has no controller, to gain that much life (in addition to any other results that damage causes). See rule 118.3.


702.13c If a permanent leaves the battlefield before an effect causes it to deal damage, its last known information is used to determine whether it had lifelink.


702.13d The lifelink rules function no matter what zone an object with lifelink deals damage from.


702.13e Multiple instances of lifelink on the same object are redundant.


 


There is nothing in those rules to justify the new ruling. In fact, with the exception of 702.13c being added to clarify that Lifelink will apply even if the source left the battlefield before damage is dealt and 702.13d being added to say that Lifelink will work from other zones, these rules are the exact same as they were written in the rules update of the Magic 2010 release.

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Thanks, Kedar, i'll ignore this ruling and keep with the Offical word as decided upon previously.
… and then, the squirrels came.
Thanks, Kedar, i'll ignore this ruling and keep with the Offical word as decided upon previously.



You could ask whoever posted that answer for clarification.
 
It was on Cranial Insertion (The offical Salvation rules article), if it was some random poster i wouldn't have thought twice.

I just didn't know if there had been a rules update that i had missed. Obviously he's mistaken/confused.
… and then, the squirrels came.
The change occured as a result of the change to Lifelink with the M10 rules.

I remember the argument you refer to, because I hadn't realised it would change until I read the question (which, iirc, focussed on how much mana the player had to pay; or N*, where N was the number of Lifelinked creatures).

ETA : You should always check the date of such articles; I remember there was a crop of challenges to rulings regarding interaction of continuous effects after the layer suystem was introduced, because people were looking at now-outdated rulings and not realising that they were outdated. (SCG was the main offender because it did not put dates on its rulings articles.)
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Now i read every rules update, and i can't recall when this rule changed. Can someone help me here?


Here's a link to the rules update you missed.

No, I am not a judge. That's why I like to quote sources such as the rules that trump judges.


Now i read every rules update, and i can't recall when this rule changed. Can someone help me here?


Here's a link to the rules update you missed.



No, did you read the quote, he said that 10 lieflinkers hitting will trigger the cradle 10 times. That's not right, it should trigger it once. It use to trigger it 10 times.

A few months ago we had a huge thread about this exact topic and the Word of God was that it triggered once. He's obviously refering to that when he says " (Note that this is a change from previous rulings, so something you find from six months ago won't be accurate anymore.)"

I just wanted to make sure i didn't miss anything. It's clear he's mistaken.
… and then, the squirrels came.
Oops, I should have checked to see what the ability being referenced was.

No, I am not a judge. That's why I like to quote sources such as the rules that trump judges.

The change occured as a result of the change to Lifelink with the M10 rules.

I remember the argument you refer to, because I hadn't realised it would change until I read the question (which, iirc, focussed on how much mana the player had to pay; or N*, where N was the number of Lifelinked creatures).

ETA : You should always check the date of such articles; I remember there was a crop of challenges to rulings regarding interaction of continuous effects after the layer suystem was introduced, because people were looking at now-outdated rulings and not realising that they were outdated. (SCG was the main offender because it did not put dates on its rulings articles.)



Skibo knows when it changed to what I'm saying is correct; he's referring to a recent post somewhere in which someone said that change had been reversed and the ruling was that it triggered ten times. He was wondering if he'd missed some change back the old way, not when it went to the new way. (I've since clarified that, in fact, there has been no such change and it still works as it was ruled when M10 came out, but Skibo was never unclear about the M10 change itself.)

MTG Rules Advisor
 

Actually, CI is correct (and this is a fairly reversal from the previous ruling). "Whenever you gain life" is a trigger off a sucessful instruction to gain life. It not a trigger off of your life total increasing. Multiple lifelinkers are multiple creatures and multiple instructions to gain life, so if 10 2/2 lifelinkers deal damage, the Cradle will trigger 10 times instead of the previously ruled 1 time.

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Actually, CI is correct (and this is a fairly reversal from the previous ruling). "Whenever you gain life" is a trigger off a sucessful instruction to gain life. It not a trigger off of your life total increasing. Multiple lifelinkers are multiple creatures and multiple instructions to gain life, so if 10 2/2 lifelinkers deal damage, the Cradle will trigger 10 times instead of the previously ruled 1 time.



1) What in the rules justifies this distinction, yet allows for 'life loss' to be seen a single event no matter how many creatures are hitting the player? (Or was that changed as well?)

2) That is much less intuitive than the previous ruling, and this is coming from someone who was used to when Lifelink actually would've resulted in the multiple triggers. When Lifelink got changed so that all the life was gained simultaneously, it became intuitive that anything that looked for you to gain life only looked at the single event of gaining life, no matter how many subsets of instructions to gain life were contained in the single event. Before the Event, you're at X. After the event, you're at X+Y.

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Actually, CI is correct (and this is a fairly reversal from the previous ruling). "Whenever you gain life" is a trigger off a sucessful instruction to gain life. It not a trigger off of your life total increasing. Multiple lifelinkers are multiple creatures and multiple instructions to gain life, so if 10 2/2 lifelinkers deal damage, the Cradle will trigger 10 times instead of the previously ruled 1 time.



So when did this change, because i've read every rules update since M10 and i can't find where Mago talks about this reversal.

Or was this a Ninja change? Because this seems like a fairly large change that went unnoticed.
… and then, the squirrels came.
Alright, after having talked with NateDogg some, it's come to my understanding that CI's ruling is in agreement with an [o] source, so the ruling is an [o] ruling, based on the fact that there are multiple instructions to gain life, even if it is in one event. I'm posting a rebuttal here partly for easy reference should anyone wish to do so:

If you apply the logic that you gain life X times if there are X creatures, with lifelink, dealing damage even though it's all gained at once, then the same logic says that you lose life X times if you are hit by X creatures, even though it's all lost at once. This would mean that Transcendence triggers X times, instead of just once no matter how many creatures hit you. Obviously, this is not how Transcendence has been ruled to work in the past.

My point is this: New players coming into the rules will much more easily intuit that it is a single life-gain event because there is only one change to your life total, just as there is a single life-loss event because there is only one change to your life total.

The current [o] ruling makes the two things work completely different with no support from the rules, and while I'm not the one in charge of the rules, I'd like to think I know them well enough to say that it'll be very hard to word the rules so that there are multiple triggers from the one event while also justifying that there's only a single trigger for lifeloss. I believe the ruling should be reverted to what it was when the M10 update was released, because that falls more in line with what already exists and how it works.

The rules are going to stay this way for a long time--older players will have to get used to it, but there will be a lot more new players who don't understand why the two very-similar things work completely differently, whereas the number of players who understand that the ruling change was an attempt to restore functionality will dwindle until the number hits zero, and then the reason for attempting to restore functionality no longer exists and instead the ruling just causes confusion.

MTG Rules Advisor
 

Alright, after having talked with NateDogg some, it's come to my understanding that CI's ruling is in agreement with an [o] source, so the ruling is an [o] ruling, based on the fact that there are multiple instructions to gain life, even if it is in one event. I'm posting a rebuttal here partly for easy reference should anyone wish to do so:

If you apply the logic that you gain life X times if there are X creatures, with lifelink, dealing damage even though it's all gained at once, then the same logic says that you lose life X times if you are hit by X creatures, even though it's all lost at once. This would mean that Transcendence triggers X times, instead of just once no matter how many creatures hit you. Obviously, this is not how Transcendence has been ruled to work in the past.

My point is this: New players coming into the rules will much more easily intuit that it is a single life-gain event because there is only one change to your life total, just as there is a single life-loss event because there is only one change to your life total.

The current [o] ruling makes the two things work completely different with no support from the rules, and while I'm not the one in charge of the rules, I'd like to think I know them well enough to say that it'll be very hard to word the rules so that there are multiple triggers from the one event while also justifying that there's only a single trigger for lifeloss. I believe the ruling should be reverted to what it was when the M10 update was released, because that falls more in line with what already exists and how it works.

The rules are going to stay this way for a long time--older players will have to get used to it, but there will be a lot more new players who don't understand why the two very-similar things work completely differently, whereas the number of players who understand that the ruling change was an attempt to restore functionality will dwindle until the number hits zero, and then the reason for attempting to restore functionality no longer exists and instead the ruling just causes confusion.


I would think it makes more sense to rule that Transcendence should trigger for each instance of life loss, the end result doesn't differ at all, as each trigger will only count the life lost for the damage that triggered due to that instance. It would mean that Stife would be much less effective.

I would like to see the CR justification for the [O] rulings for both of those cards.
Alright, after having talked with NateDogg some, it's come to my understanding that CI's ruling is in agreement with an [o] source, so the ruling is an [o] ruling, based on the fact that there are multiple instructions to gain life, even if it is in one event. I'm posting a rebuttal here partly for easy reference should anyone wish to do so:

If you apply the logic that you gain life X times if there are X creatures, with lifelink, dealing damage even though it's all gained at once, then the same logic says that you lose life X times if you are hit by X creatures, even though it's all lost at once. This would mean that Transcendence triggers X times, instead of just once no matter how many creatures hit you. Obviously, this is not how Transcendence has been ruled to work in the past.

My point is this: New players coming into the rules will much more easily intuit that it is a single life-gain event because there is only one change to your life total, just as there is a single life-loss event because there is only one change to your life total.

The current [o] ruling makes the two things work completely different with no support from the rules, and while I'm not the one in charge of the rules, I'd like to think I know them well enough to say that it'll be very hard to word the rules so that there are multiple triggers from the one event while also justifying that there's only a single trigger for lifeloss. I believe the ruling should be reverted to what it was when the M10 update was released, because that falls more in line with what already exists and how it works.

The rules are going to stay this way for a long time--older players will have to get used to it, but there will be a lot more new players who don't understand why the two very-similar things work completely differently, whereas the number of players who understand that the ruling change was an attempt to restore functionality will dwindle until the number hits zero, and then the reason for attempting to restore functionality no longer exists and instead the ruling just causes confusion.


I would think it makes more sense to rule that Transcendence should trigger for each instance of life loss, the end result doesn't differ at all, as each trigger will only count the life lost for the damage that triggered due to that instance. It would mean that Stife would be much less effective.

I would like to see the CR justification for the [O] rulings for both of those cards.



Actually, that was my point--Stifle et al. become less powerful if Transcendence is ruled to work the way it's been ruled to work.

As for justification on triggers:

603.2. Whenever a game event or game state matches a triggered ability’s trigger event, that ability automatically triggers. The ability doesn’t do anything at this point.


The rule for triggered abilities refers to an event happening to cause a trigger to go off. In the case of lifegain/lifeloss during combat damage, there is one event of gaining life due to your creatures having lifelink or losing life due to being hit by creatures. This is a justification for one trigger going off in both cases, not multiple.



MTG Rules Advisor
 

Alright, after having talked with NateDogg some, it's come to my understanding that CI's ruling is in agreement with an [o] source, so the ruling is an [o] ruling, based on the fact that there are multiple instructions to gain life, even if it is in one event. I'm posting a rebuttal here partly for easy reference should anyone wish to do so:

If you apply the logic that you gain life X times if there are X creatures, with lifelink, dealing damage even though it's all gained at once, then the same logic says that you lose life X times if you are hit by X creatures, even though it's all lost at once. This would mean that Transcendence triggers X times, instead of just once no matter how many creatures hit you. Obviously, this is not how Transcendence has been ruled to work in the past.

My point is this: New players coming into the rules will much more easily intuit that it is a single life-gain event because there is only one change to your life total, just as there is a single life-loss event because there is only one change to your life total.

The current [o] ruling makes the two things work completely different with no support from the rules, and while I'm not the one in charge of the rules, I'd like to think I know them well enough to say that it'll be very hard to word the rules so that there are multiple triggers from the one event while also justifying that there's only a single trigger for lifeloss. I believe the ruling should be reverted to what it was when the M10 update was released, because that falls more in line with what already exists and how it works.

The rules are going to stay this way for a long time--older players will have to get used to it, but there will be a lot more new players who don't understand why the two very-similar things work completely differently, whereas the number of players who understand that the ruling change was an attempt to restore functionality will dwindle until the number hits zero, and then the reason for attempting to restore functionality no longer exists and instead the ruling just causes confusion.


I would think it makes more sense to rule that Transcendence should trigger for each instance of life loss, the end result doesn't differ at all, as each trigger will only count the life lost for the damage that triggered due to that instance. It would mean that Stife would be much less effective.

I would like to see the CR justification for the [O] rulings for both of those cards.



Actually, that was my point--Stifle et al. become less powerful if Transcendence is ruled to work the way it's been ruled to work.

As for justification on triggers:

603.2. Whenever a game event or game state matches a triggered ability’s trigger event, that ability automatically triggers. The ability doesn’t do anything at this point.


The rule for triggered abilities refers to an event happening to cause a trigger to go off. In the case of lifegain/lifeloss during combat damage, there is one event of gaining life due to your creatures having lifelink or losing life due to being hit by creatures. This is a justification for one trigger going off in both cases, not multiple.





I don't see how that justifies 1 trigger over each trigger, event is a very flexible word in the CR. It means different things to different effects. The damage event itself, may be a bunch of events happening simultaneously to a trigger like the one Transcendence has. In fact, I'll argue that it supports multiple triggers, as similar cases of simultaneous events, like Wrath of God and you controlling 5 creatures, including a Butcher of Malakir result in multiple triggers, or multiple allies entering the battlefield at once for instance (even though they're different objects cause the trigger for each instance, the same can be said about damage being dealt, there are multiple different creatures all dealing damage simultaneously.
Alright, after having talked with NateDogg some, it's come to my understanding that CI's ruling is in agreement with an [o] source, so the ruling is an [o] ruling, based on the fact that there are multiple instructions to gain life, even if it is in one event. I'm posting a rebuttal here partly for easy reference should anyone wish to do so:

If you apply the logic that you gain life X times if there are X creatures, with lifelink, dealing damage even though it's all gained at once, then the same logic says that you lose life X times if you are hit by X creatures, even though it's all lost at once. This would mean that Transcendence triggers X times, instead of just once no matter how many creatures hit you. Obviously, this is not how Transcendence has been ruled to work in the past.

My point is this: New players coming into the rules will much more easily intuit that it is a single life-gain event because there is only one change to your life total, just as there is a single life-loss event because there is only one change to your life total.

The current [o] ruling makes the two things work completely different with no support from the rules, and while I'm not the one in charge of the rules, I'd like to think I know them well enough to say that it'll be very hard to word the rules so that there are multiple triggers from the one event while also justifying that there's only a single trigger for lifeloss. I believe the ruling should be reverted to what it was when the M10 update was released, because that falls more in line with what already exists and how it works.

The rules are going to stay this way for a long time--older players will have to get used to it, but there will be a lot more new players who don't understand why the two very-similar things work completely differently, whereas the number of players who understand that the ruling change was an attempt to restore functionality will dwindle until the number hits zero, and then the reason for attempting to restore functionality no longer exists and instead the ruling just causes confusion.


I would think it makes more sense to rule that Transcendence should trigger for each instance of life loss, the end result doesn't differ at all, as each trigger will only count the life lost for the damage that triggered due to that instance. It would mean that Stife would be much less effective.

I would like to see the CR justification for the [O] rulings for both of those cards.



Actually, that was my point--Stifle et al. become less powerful if Transcendence is ruled to work the way it's been ruled to work.

As for justification on triggers:

603.2. Whenever a game event or game state matches a triggered ability’s trigger event, that ability automatically triggers. The ability doesn’t do anything at this point.


The rule for triggered abilities refers to an event happening to cause a trigger to go off. In the case of lifegain/lifeloss during combat damage, there is one event of gaining life due to your creatures having lifelink or losing life due to being hit by creatures. This is a justification for one trigger going off in both cases, not multiple.





I don't see how that justifies 1 trigger over each trigger, event is a very flexible word in the CR. It means different things to different effects. The damage event itself, may be a bunch of events happening simultaneously to a trigger like the one Transcendence has. In fact, I'll argue that it supports multiple triggers, as similar cases of simultaneous events, like Wrath of God and you controlling 5 creatures, including a Butcher of Malakir result in multiple triggers, or multiple allies entering the battlefield at once for instance (even though they're different objects cause the trigger for each instance, the same can be said about damage being dealt, there are multiple different creatures all dealing damage simultaneously.



There is nothing that says multiple events can't happen at once, but each event has to be different for it to be... different. Gaining life all at once has exactly one result: You've gained life. Multiple creatures going to the graveyard has multiple results: Multiple creatures have gone to the graveyard, so anything that cares about one creature going will trigger for each one that went.

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Alright, after having talked with NateDogg some, it's come to my understanding that CI's ruling is in agreement with an [o] source, so the ruling is an [o] ruling, based on the fact that there are multiple instructions to gain life, even if it is in one event. I'm posting a rebuttal here partly for easy reference should anyone wish to do so:

If you apply the logic that you gain life X times if there are X creatures, with lifelink, dealing damage even though it's all gained at once, then the same logic says that you lose life X times if you are hit by X creatures, even though it's all lost at once. This would mean that Transcendence triggers X times, instead of just once no matter how many creatures hit you. Obviously, this is not how Transcendence has been ruled to work in the past.

My point is this: New players coming into the rules will much more easily intuit that it is a single life-gain event because there is only one change to your life total, just as there is a single life-loss event because there is only one change to your life total.

The current [o] ruling makes the two things work completely different with no support from the rules, and while I'm not the one in charge of the rules, I'd like to think I know them well enough to say that it'll be very hard to word the rules so that there are multiple triggers from the one event while also justifying that there's only a single trigger for lifeloss. I believe the ruling should be reverted to what it was when the M10 update was released, because that falls more in line with what already exists and how it works.

The rules are going to stay this way for a long time--older players will have to get used to it, but there will be a lot more new players who don't understand why the two very-similar things work completely differently, whereas the number of players who understand that the ruling change was an attempt to restore functionality will dwindle until the number hits zero, and then the reason for attempting to restore functionality no longer exists and instead the ruling just causes confusion.


I would think it makes more sense to rule that Transcendence should trigger for each instance of life loss, the end result doesn't differ at all, as each trigger will only count the life lost for the damage that triggered due to that instance. It would mean that Stife would be much less effective.

I would like to see the CR justification for the [O] rulings for both of those cards.



Actually, that was my point--Stifle et al. become less powerful if Transcendence is ruled to work the way it's been ruled to work.

As for justification on triggers:

603.2. Whenever a game event or game state matches a triggered ability’s trigger event, that ability automatically triggers. The ability doesn’t do anything at this point.


The rule for triggered abilities refers to an event happening to cause a trigger to go off. In the case of lifegain/lifeloss during combat damage, there is one event of gaining life due to your creatures having lifelink or losing life due to being hit by creatures. This is a justification for one trigger going off in both cases, not multiple.





I don't see how that justifies 1 trigger over each trigger, event is a very flexible word in the CR. It means different things to different effects. The damage event itself, may be a bunch of events happening simultaneously to a trigger like the one Transcendence has. In fact, I'll argue that it supports multiple triggers, as similar cases of simultaneous events, like Wrath of God and you controlling 5 creatures, including a Butcher of Malakir result in multiple triggers, or multiple allies entering the battlefield at once for instance (even though they're different objects cause the trigger for each instance, the same can be said about damage being dealt, there are multiple different creatures all dealing damage simultaneously.



There is nothing that says multiple events can't happen at once, but each event has to be different for it to be... different. Gaining life all at once has exactly one result: You've gained life. Multiple creatures going to the graveyard has multiple results: Multiple creatures have gone to the graveyard, so anything that cares about one creature going will trigger for each one that went.




And there are different events here, for Transcendence they would be the various creatures dealing damage to you at one time.
For example if an effect read "Whenever you're dealt damage, draw a card." would trigger for each creature that dealt damage to you (at once) in a combat damage step.
[snip]

And there are different events here, for Transcendence they would be the various creatures dealing damage to you at one time.
For example if an effect read "Whenever you're dealt damage, draw a card." would trigger for each creature that dealt damage to you (at once) in a combat damage step.



Actually, a triggered ability worded that way would only net you one card drawn after combat damage. You are only dealt damage once, so you'd draw only one card. If it said "Whenever a creature deals damage to you," however, it would indeed result in multiple cards being drawn. It's analogous to "whenever ~ blocks" vs. "whenever ~ blocks a creature." One triggers once, regardless of the number of creatures, and the other triggers once per creature.

MTG Rules Advisor
 

I sort of get why Cradle of Vitality should trigger once for each creature with lifelink. But then Transcendence should trigger once for each creature dealing combat damage as well. Otherwise the rulings are inconsistent.
Mark has replied back to me on this:

That ruling ultimately comes from me, just because that’s my interpretation of how it works. Multiple different creatures dealing damage = multiple damage events = multiple life gain events (due to lifelink). Just because two events are simultaneous doesn’t mean they’re not two events.


 Also, combat damage is no longer a single object on the stack; that’s where this interpretation is rooted. Of course, when it was a single object on the stack, lifelink was a triggered ability, not an additional result of the damage. So this scenario always resulted in multiple life gain events, though for different reasons.

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Mark has replied back to me on this:

That ruling ultimately comes from me, just because that’s my interpretation of how it works. Multiple different creatures dealing damage = multiple damage events = multiple life gain events (due to lifelink). Just because two events are simultaneous doesn’t mean they’re not two events.


 Also, combat damage is no longer a single object on the stack; that’s where this interpretation is rooted. Of course, when it was a single object on the stack, lifelink was a triggered ability, not an additional result of the damage. So this scenario always resulted in multiple life gain events, though for different reasons.





Would you please ask Mark to justify that ruling in light of the fact that, as far as I know, Trascendence still triggers once even though there are multiple life loss events if multiple creatures are dealing damage? That's the point I'm trying to make here. Transcendence has always been ruled to trigger once during combat, AFAIK, and Mark's line of logic would also result in multiple Transcendence triggers.

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Mark has replied back to me on this:

That ruling ultimately comes from me, just because that’s my interpretation of how it works. Multiple different creatures dealing damage = multiple damage events = multiple life gain events (due to lifelink). Just because two events are simultaneous doesn’t mean they’re not two events.


 Also, combat damage is no longer a single object on the stack; that’s where this interpretation is rooted. Of course, when it was a single object on the stack, lifelink was a triggered ability, not an additional result of the damage. So this scenario always resulted in multiple life gain events, though for different reasons.




I think I see why Transcendence triggers once, it's because it triggers off of the life loss, not the damage that eventually resulted in it. If it read "Whenever your dealt damage, gain 2 life for each 1 damage dealt to you." then it would trigger for each creature that dealt damage to you in a combat phase.
I think I see why Transcendence triggers once, it's because it triggers off of the life loss, not the damage that eventually resulted in it.

That can't be right. The damages causes both life loss and life gain, and it's the same rules that govern both results.

The only way I can think of to try to justify having life loss be treated differently than life gain is that life loss is never replaced, whereas we have Boon Reflection, Lich, Rain of Gore, and Sulfuric Vortex effects to worry about for life gain. But since we have triggers for both life gain and life loss, and triggers are what we're worried about here, I don't think that should really matter.

Basically, I agree with Kedar that this should be consistent.
Mark has replied back to me on this:

That ruling ultimately comes from me, just because that’s my interpretation of how it works. Multiple different creatures dealing damage = multiple damage events = multiple life gain events (due to lifelink). Just because two events are simultaneous doesn’t mean they’re not two events.


 Also, combat damage is no longer a single object on the stack; that’s where this interpretation is rooted. Of course, when it was a single object on the stack, lifelink was a triggered ability, not an additional result of the damage. So this scenario always resulted in multiple life gain events, though for different reasons.





Would you please ask Mark to justify that ruling in light of the fact that, as far as I know, Trascendence still triggers once even though there are multiple life loss events if multiple creatures are dealing damage? That's the point I'm trying to make here. Transcendence has always been ruled to trigger once during combat, AFAIK, and Mark's line of logic would also result in multiple Transcendence triggers.



Transcendence will trigger multiple times, according to Mark.

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Questions don't have to make sense, but answers do.

So are we going to get this in a future rules update? or what?

I was under the imprssion that when the rules change... you have a rules update saying so.
… and then, the squirrels came.
Actually, CI is correct (and this is a fairly reversal from the previous ruling). "Whenever you gain life" is a trigger off a sucessful instruction to gain life. It not a trigger off of your life total increasing. Multiple lifelinkers are multiple creatures and multiple instructions to gain life, so if 10 2/2 lifelinkers deal damage, the Cradle will trigger 10 times instead of the previously ruled 1 time.

Technically, as this is a ruling (an interpretation of the rules), and not a rule (a sentance that specifically says it works this way), you don't need a rules update.

Despite that, it would be nice to have a rule in the Events section that clarifies this.

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"Whenever you gain life" is a trigger off a sucessful instruction to gain life. It not a trigger off of your life total increasing.

How is this based on anything in the rules? "Whenever you gain life" looks, smells, feels, and reads like it trigger on a change in your life total. And no matter how many lifelinked creatures deal damage, there is only one such change, namely when you go from your pre-damage life total to your post-damage life total.
Also, where do the rules say that triggered abilities trigger off of "successfully following an instruction"? All I can find are rules that say that triggered abilities trigger off of events happening. And the event that "whenever you gain life" is clearly a positive change in your life total. For MaGo's ruling to make sense the trigger would have to care about life gain from individual sources.

Also, how is this consistent with, say, the rules on a creature "becoming blocked" vs. "becoming blocked by a creature"? Why is a creature allowed to treat multiple events of a blocker being declared as a single event if "whenever you gain life" treats them as multiple events? In both cases, there is a single transition, from "not blocked" to "blocked by ten creatures", and from "pre-lifelink damage" to "post-lifelink damage". Why do the rules specifiy that one triggers only once while allowing the other to trigger ten times?

Mark has replied back to me on this:

That ruling ultimately comes from me, just because that’s my interpretation of how it works. Multiple different creatures dealing damage = multiple damage events = multiple life gain events (due to lifelink). Just because two events are simultaneous doesn’t mean they’re not two events


How is that consistent with the second example of CR 118.4c? That example has two 5/5 creatures deal combat damage, resulting in a damage event of [10 damage to defending player], not [5 damage and 5 damage to defending player].
What is be one event to one observer certainly can be multiple events to different observers. But those observers need to specify that they're looking for those smaller "subevents". And something that looks for "whenever you gain life" obviously doesn't care about how or why you gain life, or how many sources are repsonsible for that, but only about the fact that you do gain life.

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What is be one event to one observer certainly can be multiple events to different observers. But those observers need to specify that they're looking for those smaller "subevents". And something that looks for "whenever you gain life" obviously doesn't care about how or why you gain life, or how many sources are repsonsible for that, but only about the fact that you do gain life.

  The observers should not need to specify the smaller sub-events if doing so would be redundant.

"Whenever you gain life", accourding to you, means "whenever your life total increases in between state-based effects".
What about "whenever you gain life from a source"?  Would that trigger be based on each instruction to gain life?

The only time you gain life, is when a source instructs you to.  However, "blocked" is a game-state, and only rarely is a spell responsible for that.

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The observers should not need to specify the smaller sub-events if doing so would be redundant.

"Whenever you gain life", accourding to you, means "whenever your life total increases in between state-based effects".
What about "whenever you gain life from a source"?  Would that trigger be based on each instruction to gain life?

I'm not a 100% sure on the wording, but essentially yes. To my understanding of the rules, this should be the same difference as between "becomes blocked" and "becomes blocked by a creature".

The only time you gain life, is when a source instructs you to.  However, "blocked" is a game-state, and only rarely is a spell responsible for that.

But "whenever becomes blocked" doesn't trigger on the state of being blocked, it triggers on the transition from "not blocked" to "blocked". (If it triggered on the state of being blocked, the game would grind to a screeching halt and a forced draw on most such triggers, because as soon as the trigger resolved the ability would immediately retrigger.) So maybe this transition isn't the result of following an instruction like gaining life would be, but so what? In both cases there is a transition from one game state to another game state, because something happens; an event occurs.

Yes, gaining life from two lifelinked creatures can certainly be interpreted as two events of gaining life. My beef with that interpretation is that, in my eyes, it runs contrary to how the rules interpret the blocking event. In the blocking case, there are multiple creatures simultaneously responsible for a single transition from "not blocked" to "blocked", yet the ability triggers only once. In the lifegain case, there are multiple creatures simultaneously responsible for a single transition from one life total to another. And the wording of the lifegain trigger certainly seems to imply that it only cares about the fact that life was gained, not who was responsible for that.
So MaGo says that "whenever you gain life" triggers off of carrying out an instruction. Where is the rules support for that? The rules only talk about triggers firing off of events, not off of carrying out instructions. And besides, why would one trigger look at instructions while another looks at an event?

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How is that consistent with the second example of CR 118.4c? That example has two 5/5 creatures deal combat damage, resulting in a damage event of [10 damage to defending player], not [5 damage and 5 damage to defending player].

Reviewing this specifically, the example only cares how much damage is dealt.  It is NOT concerned with the number of sources.  The example points out that before damage is dealt, the player had 2 life.  After damage is dealt, the player has 2 life.  If you had something that triggered off of damage/life-gain, they would trigger, because the event happens, despite the fact that the player's life total did not change.

The observers should not need to specify the smaller sub-events if doing so would be redundant.

"Whenever you gain life", accourding to you, means "whenever your life total increases in between state-based effects".
What about "whenever you gain life from a source"?  Would that trigger be based on each instruction to gain life?

I'm not a 100% sure on the wording, but essentially yes. To my understanding of the rules, this should be the same difference as between "becomes blocked" and "becomes blocked by a creature".

No, it's not.  As I mention later in my post, additional effects can cause the creature to become blocked, not only creatures.  A comparative wording would be "whenever you gain life from a creature", or "whenever a source blocks CARDNAME".  The difference here is not simply General vs Specific, but General case vs Specific cases vs Every case.

The only time you gain life, is when a source instructs you to.  However, "blocked" is a game-state, and only rarely is a spell responsible for that.

But "whenever becomes blocked" doesn't trigger on the state of being blocked, it triggers on the transition from "not blocked" to "blocked". (If it triggered on the state of being blocked, the game would grind to a screeching halt and a forced draw on most such triggers, because as soon as the trigger resolved the ability would immediately retrigger.) So maybe this transition isn't the result of following an instruction like gaining life would be, but so what? In both cases there is a transition from one game state to another game state, because something happens; an event occurs.

Two things wrong with this.
1) Life-gain is not a game state.
2) The trigger would not be able to resolve, because state-based effects are done every time a player may receive priority.  The trigger would go on the stack, state-based effects would see the creature is blocked, the trigger would go on the stack, state-based effects would see the creature is blocked...  Same result, but wrong procedure.  Since this is about following correct procedures...

Yes, gaining life from two lifelinked creatures can certainly be interpreted as two events of gaining life. My beef with that interpretation is that, in my eyes, it runs contrary to how the rules interpret the blocking event. In the blocking case, there are multiple creatures simultaneously responsible for a single transition from "not blocked" to "blocked", yet the ability triggers only once. In the lifegain case, there are multiple creatures simultaneously responsible for a single transition from one life total to another. And the wording of the lifegain trigger certainly seems to imply that it only cares about the fact that life was gained, not who was responsible for that.
So MaGo says that "whenever you gain life" triggers off of carrying out an instruction. Where is the rules support for that? The rules only talk about triggers firing off of events, not off of carrying out instructions. And besides, why would one trigger look at instructions while another looks at an event?

Frankly speaking, because (I think) you've forgotten what an "event" is.
Event
700.1. Anything that happens in a game is an event. Multiple events may take place during the resolution of a spell or ability. The text of triggered abilities and replacement effects defines the event they’re looking for. One “happening” may be treated as a single event by one ability and as multiple events by another.


I used "in-between state-based effects", whereas the CR used "happening".

509.1h
An attacking creature with one or more creatures declared as blockers for it becomes a blocked creature; one with no creatures declared as blockers for it becomes an unblocked creature. This remains unchanged until the creature is removed from combat, an effect says that it becomes blocked or unblocked, or the combat phase ends, whichever comes first. A creature remains blocked even if all the creatures blocking it are removed from combat.

509.7
If a creature is put onto the battlefield blocking, its controller chooses which attacking creature it’s blocking as it enters the battlefield (unless the effect that put it onto the battlefield specifies what it’s blocking), then the active player announces the new creature’s placement in the blocked creature’s damage assignment order. The relative order among the remaining blocking creatures is unchanged. A creature put onto the battlefield this way is “blocking” but, for the purposes of trigger events and effects, it never “blocked.”

117.3
If an effect causes a player to gain life or lose life, that player’s life total is adjusted accordingly.

5 creatures with Lifelink causes the player to gain 2 life.  Once again, that's 5 effects.  In contrast, 5 creatures declared as blockers for one creatures means 6 events happen: 5 creatures are declared as blockers, and 1 attacking creature becomes blocked.

Here's another analogy:
RED DEATH
(Sorcery)
Deal 1 damage to target player. Deal 1 damage to target player. Deal 1 damage to target player.

Assume all three targets are the same player.  How many damage events occur?

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The only time you gain life, is when a source instructs you to.  However, "blocked" is a game-state, and only rarely is a spell responsible for that.

But "whenever becomes blocked" doesn't trigger on the state of being blocked, it triggers on the transition from "not blocked" to "blocked". (If it triggered on the state of being blocked, the game would grind to a screeching halt and a forced draw on most such triggers, because as soon as the trigger resolved the ability would immediately retrigger.) So maybe this transition isn't the result of following an instruction like gaining life would be, but so what? In both cases there is a transition from one game state to another game state, because something happens; an event occurs.

Two things wrong with this.
1) Life-gain is not a game state.
2) The trigger would not be able to resolve, because state-based effects are done every time a player may receive priority.  The trigger would go on the stack, state-based effects would see the creature is blocked, the trigger would go on the stack, state-based effects would see the creature is blocked...  Same result, but wrong procedure.  Since this is about following correct procedures...


For #1: that's not what he was saying.
For #2: actually, state-triggered abilities are handled as GoblinBasar described.

603.8. Some triggered abilities trigger when a game state (such as a player controlling no permanents of a particular card type) is true, rather than triggering when an event occurs. These abilities trigger as soon as the game state matches the condition. They'll go onto the stack at the next available opportunity. These are called state triggers. (Note that state triggers aren't the same as state-based actions.) A state-triggered ability doesn't trigger again until the ability has resolved, has been countered, or has otherwise left the stack. Then, if the object with the ability is still in the same zone and the game state still matches its trigger condition, the ability will trigger again.
Example: A permanent's ability reads, "Whenever you have no cards in hand, draw a card." If its controller plays the last card from his or her hand, the ability will trigger once and won't trigger again until it has resolved. If its controller casts a spell that reads "Discard your hand, then draw that many cards," the ability will trigger during the spell's resolution because the player's hand was momentarily empty.
For #1: that's not what he was saying.
For #2: actually, state-triggered abilities are handled as GoblinBasar described.

603.8. Some triggered abilities trigger when a game state (such as a player controlling no permanents of a particular card type) is true, rather than triggering when an event occurs. These abilities trigger as soon as the game state matches the condition. They'll go onto the stack at the next available opportunity. These are called state triggers. (Note that state triggers aren't the same as state-based actions.) A state-triggered ability doesn't trigger again until the ability has resolved, has been countered, or has otherwise left the stack. Then, if the object with the ability is still in the same zone and the game state still matches its trigger condition, the ability will trigger again.
Example: A permanent's ability reads, "Whenever you have no cards in hand, draw a card." If its controller plays the last card from his or her hand, the ability will trigger once and won't trigger again until it has resolved. If its controller casts a spell that reads "Discard your hand, then draw that many cards," the ability will trigger during the spell's resolution because the player's hand was momentarily empty.

For #2: Ah, got that wrong.  Thanks for teaching me.
For #1: That's... what I was reading.  He's saying that the "becomes blocked" triggers on the transition to the state, not during the state.  This is, I think, supposed to dispute my contention that "The only time you gain life, is when a source instructs you to.  However, "blocked" is a game-state, and only rarely is a spell responsible for that."

What I said there, is that every time you gain life, it comes from a spell or ability.  I point out that "blocked" is a game state, and then he points out the difference between "blocked" and "becomes blocked".  But life gain is not a game state; your life total is.  I specifically chose that spell, because it triggers one of the two "becomes blocked" triggers, and not the other. 

"If a previously unblocked creature becomes blocked as a result of Choking Vines, any “When this creature becomes blocked” abilities that creature has will trigger. Any “When this creature becomes blocked by a creature” abilities that creature has won’t trigger."

The idea was to clarify that those two triggers were not looking at the same event.  One is looking at the transition from one game state to another, the other is looking at how many creatures create said game state.  Life gain is not "I now have 20 life", but how much life you gained that created this game state.

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He was pointing out that "Whenever you gain life" triggers on the transition from life total A to life total A+B, similarly to how "Whenever ~ becomes blocked" triggers on the transition from neither-blocked-nor-unblocked to blocked.  Looking more closely now, though, I think he and I were misinterpretting your statement, so his argument for that part isn't applicable.  It seemed as if you were claiming that the state of being blocked was more important to the trigger condition than the fact that the creature made a transition from one state to another, but you were actually arguing that life gain triggers are not analogous to "Becomes blocked (by)" triggers.  Specifically, you were saying that "Whenever a source causes you to gain life" will always trigger when "Whenever you gain life" triggers, but "Whenever ~ becomes blocked by a creature" will not always trigger when "Whenever ~ becomes blocked" triggers.

I still think the relationships between the two pairs of triggers are more similar than dissimilar.  Since the life gain one is hypothetical anyway, you could have it be "Whenever a source of combat damage causes you to gain life" or "Whenever lifelink causes you to gain life" or something like that instead of "Whenever a source causes you to gain life."
As a note, "whenever a source causes you to gain life" vs. "whenever you gain life" is, in fact, analogous to "whenever ~ becomes blocked by a creature" vs. "whenever ~ becomes blocked." In both pairs, the first one will trigger multiple times if there are multiple sources(creatures) involved, but the second one should only (by my reading of the rules) trigger once.

Yes, there are ways other than creatures for "whenever ~ becomes blocked" to trigger, but that's getting into specifics that are completely irrelevant here when you know the point that is trying to be made, and I'll thank everyone to not try to hide the relevant point with unnecessary exceptions and specifics.

However, as it's being ruled, the analogy doesn't work. That, however, is something with which I disagree.

As I already said, while there are multiple subevents here, there is only one relevant event: Your life total increases just once, thus you gain life just once. Someone pointed out that a resolving WoG effect causes multiple triggers from "whenever a creature goes to the graveyard" ability, but the difference here is that there are multiple objects being moved, hence multiple events. In this lifegain situation, however, there is only one thing doing any actions, and only one action: You are the one doing something, and you are gaining life one time.

As the rules are now, Cradle and Transcendence should each trigger once. Don't care what Mark says, there's not really any justification based on the current wording of the rules. Now, of course, once there's a rules update, that's a totally different ballpark, but until then I can't see any justification for the ruling, just a desire to have it work the way it used to work.

I will say, however, that I'm glad Mark's deciding to keep the rulings consistent. As long as they're consistent, I'm fine with it either way, though I would like a CR update to justify the ruling.

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Hmm, 117.3 only applies to effects.....wonder what would happen if your normal draw for the turn got replaced with lifegain....perhaps it should be reworded, to say "effect or game action"
Hmm, 117.3 only applies to effects.....wonder what would happen if your normal draw for the turn got replaced with lifegain....perhaps it should be reworded, to say "effect or game action"

Replacement effect
As a note, "whenever a source causes you to gain life" vs. "whenever you gain life" is, in fact, analogous to "whenever ~ becomes blocked by a creature" vs. "whenever ~ becomes blocked." In both pairs, the first one will trigger multiple times if there are multiple sources(creatures) involved, but the second one should only (by my reading of the rules) trigger once.

Yes, there are ways other than creatures for "whenever ~ becomes blocked" to trigger, but that's getting into specifics that are completely irrelevant here when you know the point that is trying to be made, and I'll thank everyone to not try to hide the relevant point with unnecessary exceptions and specifics.

And I'm saying that you're reading it wrong.  The point that I'm trying to show is why the analogy doesn't work, by using the rules, instead of the ruling. I need to bring up those specifics to do that.

He was pointing out that "Whenever you gain life" triggers on the transition from life total A to life total A+B, similarly to how "Whenever ~ becomes blocked" triggers on the transition from neither-blocked-nor-unblocked to blocked.  Looking more closely now, though, I think he and I were misinterpretting your statement, so his argument for that part isn't applicable.

Right
It seemed as if you were claiming that the state of being blocked was more important to the trigger condition than the fact that the creature made a transition from one state to another, but you were actually arguing that life gain triggers are not analogous to "Becomes blocked (by)" triggers.  Specifically, you were saying that "Whenever a source causes you to gain life" will always trigger when "Whenever you gain life" triggers, but "Whenever ~ becomes blocked by a creature" will not always trigger when "Whenever ~ becomes blocked" triggers.

Right!  The reason why I made that claim is to show that the two "becomes blocked" triggers are looking at two different events, while those two life gain triggers are always looking at the same event.
I still think the relationships between the two pairs of triggers are more similar than dissimilar.  Since the life gain one is hypothetical anyway, you could have it be "Whenever a source of combat damage causes you to gain life" or "Whenever lifelink causes you to gain life" or something like that instead of "Whenever a source causes you to gain life."

Okay, you say you think the two pairs of triggers have the same relationship.  Let me list a few examples.
"Whenever you draw a card"
"Whenever you gain life"
"Whenever ~ deals damage"
"Whenever ~ takes damage"
"Whenever ~ is blocked"
"Whenever ~ blocks"
"Whenever a creature enters the battlefield"
"Whenever a land leaves the battlefield"
"Whenever an artifact goes to the graveyard"
"Whenever an enchantment is exiled"

Does the trigger go in:
When Game state 1 becomes Game state 2


Or does the trigger go in:
Effects A, B, C, and D cause Game state 2

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Okay, you say you think the two pairs of triggers have the same relationship.  Let me list a few examples.
"Whenever you draw a card"
"Whenever you gain life"
"Whenever ~ deals damage"
"Whenever ~ takes damage"
"Whenever ~ is blocked"
"Whenever ~ blocks"
"Whenever a creature enters the battlefield"
"Whenever a land leaves the battlefield"
"Whenever an artifact goes to the graveyard"
"Whenever an enchantment is exiled"

Does the trigger go in:
When Game state 1 becomes Game state 2


Or does the trigger go in:
Effects A, B, C, and D cause Game state 2


I'm not sure I understand the distinction you're making.  As far as I can see, all of those are type 1.  My understanding is this:

       "Whenever you gain life," Type 1
       "Whenever you gain life from lifelink," (or however it would have to be phrased) Type 2

       "Whenever ~ becomes blocked," Type 1
       "Whenever ~ becomes blocked by a creature," Type 2
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