Commandeer in Multiplayer

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Hypothetical situation: I gain control of a spell in a multiplayer game by using Commandeer. After the Commandeer resolves, but before the spell it targetted does, I lose the game (or concede). What happens to the stolen spell? According to the current CR, well... the card ceases to exist.

800.4a. When a player leaves the game, all objects (see rule 109) owned by that player leave the game, all spells and abilities controlled by that player on the stack cease to exist, and any effects which give that player control of any objects or players end. Then, if there are any objects still controlled by that player, those objects are exiled. This is not a state-based action. It happens as soon as the player leaves the game. If the player who left the game had priority at the time he or she left, priority passes to the next player in turn order who’s still in the game.



Obviously, this is an issue that needs to be fixed. The easiest fix (proposed by TranscientMaster) would be to end control-changing effects first, then make everything else cease to exist. His other potential solution was to make everything on the stack that player owns cease to exist instead.

Any thoughts?

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56819178 wrote:
So, how would I use a card that has a large in the top half and "sui?l? -- pu?? ?is?q" across the middle?
57031358 wrote:
99113151 wrote:
Winning is not important if: 1. You win by a blowout. 2. You pay billions of dollars in cards to win. If you like wasting money just to win one game, while you could have saved it to lose a few and end up winning more in the future, then it is fine by me.
what? do you ceremonially light your deck on fire after a win?
57169958 wrote:
Or did no one notice Transmogrifying Licid before. (And by not notice, I mean covered their ears and shouted LA LA LA LA )
57193048 wrote:
57169958 wrote:
Hmmm... I think the most awkward situation at the moment is simply the Myr Welder / Equipment / Licid / Aura craziness, but I'm pretty sure he's aware of it.
If the most awkward thing going on right now involves Licids, I declare victory.
56287226 wrote:
We regret to inform you of Trevor Kidd's untimely demise in an unfortunate accident involving a mysteriously blown breaker box and a photophobic creature of unknown origin at his home near Renton, Washington. We at the Wizards Community apologize for any inconvenience or delay, and assure you we'll be preparing a replacement to assume his duties as soon as we finish warming up the cloning vats.
[02:47:46] It doesn't merely "come out of suspend" - you take the last time counter off, and then suspend triggers and say "now cast that! CAST IT NOOOOOW!" [02:47:49] Because suspend has no indoors voice
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58158398 wrote:
56761258 wrote:
I don't think there are any cards like that. There are things that prevent you from activating activated abilities, things that increase their cost, and things that counter them, but I don't think anything triggers from them specifically. There are things that trigger from targeting, so that might be relevant, but I can't think of anything that triggers from targeting a player. I'm almost positive there's nothing that triggers from damage being prevented.
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56761258 wrote:
Well played.

 

As the purveyor of both ideas, I support either solution proposed.
Rules Nut Advisor
Seriously, no one cares about this? Let's ask another question, then: What does it mean for a card to "cease to exist"? That is what has to happen by following the instructions for leaving a game in this situation. An actual, physical card, on the stack as a spelll, has to cease existing. What does the game do to it in this situation?
Rules Nut Advisor
What does it mean for a card to "cease to exist"?

It means that as far as the game is concerned, that card no longer exists.
An actual, physical card, on the stack as a spelll, has to cease existing. What does the game do to it in this situation?

How you represent this physically is up to you. Move it to the side of the table, put it into a card binder, shred it, whatever you like.
Seriously, no one cares about this?



No, not really. The proposed solution seems fine and straight forward. I wouldn't be surprised if this change is made in the next update.

Let's ask another question, then: What does it mean for a card to "cease to exist"?



What does it mean for a token to cease to exist? The game stops keeping track of it. The only weird issue is something like the Wishes. Would you be able to wish up the card? In tournaments this is not an important question since you can only wish up cards in your sideboard. 

An actual, physical card, on the stack as a spelll, has to cease existing. What does the game do to it in this situation?



The game crashes and has to be rebooted. What happens when a copy of a spell ceases to exist?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The only issue i see here is whether the game can find the card through wishes.

But there really isn't anything to discuss here. There was a hole in the rules, someone brought it to the rules team's attention, they'll figure out a fix. There isn't really anything here to strike controversy.
… and then, the squirrels came.
An auxillary question: can you wish  for the card after this happens to it? After all, it wasn't removed from the game - it was removed from existence from the game's point of view.

Regardless of all these silly examples, I'm pretty sure it's not the intention of the rules to randomly delete other players cards from the game when you leave. For that matter, I'm not sure that section of the rule even needs to exist at all. Comandeer is literally the only situation where it can make a difference, at least for spells. Any other time, every spell on the stack they control will also be owned by them, and will leave the game with the first part of the instruction.
Rules Nut Advisor
I agree with the proposed fix, in which control-changing effects are ended before the dead player's stack objects are deleted.

Some objects on the stack don't have owners (activated and triggered abilities), which is why the rules delete abilities on the stack the player controls.

But ending control-changing effects won't be sufficient. What if I control a spell on the stack another player owns, but I was the caster? (Memory Plunder would allow this, for example.) There's no control-changing effect to end, so the spell I stole would still cease to exist, even under the proposed fix.

Deleting two words would work better, I think:

 800.4a. When a player leaves the game, all objects (see rule 109) owned by that player leave the game, all spells and abilities controlled by that player on the stack cease to exist, and any effects which give that player control of any objects or players end. Then, if there are any objects still controlled by that player, those objects are exiled. This is not a state-based action. It happens as soon as the player leaves the game. If the player who left the game had priority at the time he or she left, priority passes to the next player in turn order who’s still in the game.

If it turns out that copies have no owner, then we still need to delete copies the player controls "naturally". So instead of striking those words out, replace 'spells' with 'copies'. (But I'm pretty sure copies have owners.)
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If copies of spells are being exiled ("objects still controlled by that player"), then they cease to be a problem - either they cease to exist as an SBA (like exiled tokens) or the game can't find them anyway (nothing looks for "spells" anywhere but the Stack)
M:tG Rules Advisor
Copies of spells have owners - I checked that before making my last post. I'm pretty sure deleting those two words is a valid solution.
Rules Nut Advisor
Would the following procedure have any issues?


  1. All objects owned by the departing player leave the game

  2. All control-changing effects granting the departed player control of an object end

  3. All objects still controlled by the departed player are exiled

  4. Any objects that would come into existence under the departed player's control don't; any effects that would give the departed player control or ownership of any objct don't.

M:tG Rules Advisor
rmsgrey: That might work, except you'd need to add a new SBA to handle what happens to abilities not on the stack (nothing that currently exists moves them into other zones, so the rules don't cover it).

Meanwhile, Memory Plunder and similar effects throw a wrench into the originally proposed working, since removing control effects would not return a spell cast in such a way. It would still be on the stack when everything ceases to exist, which we want to avoid.

The other option I proposed, vaporizing everything the leaving player owns rather than controls, doesn't work because abilities don't have owners under the current rules. We want to avoid changing rules unneccesarily.

In the end, I think the cleanest solution is the one 4227 voiced. Causing spells on the stack to cease existing is unneeded. They will all be exiled when that part of the player leaving is dealt with. Delete those two words and everything works rationally, as best I can tell.
Rules Nut Advisor
Taking a step back and looking at the very first post ("Obviously, this is an issue that needs to be fixed"), I don't see that this is obvious, or even true. What's wrong with the way it works now?
Jeff Heikkinen DCI Rules Advisor since Dec 25, 2011
Taking a step back and looking at the very first post ("Obviously, this is an issue that needs to be fixed"), I don't see that this is obvious, or even true. What's wrong with the way it works now?


The process of a card, as opposed to a token copy or other intangible objects, ceasing to exist is illl-defined at best, and it's not clear how the game is suppposed to handle the situation. Cards in the game are not supposed to ever stop existing. They're permanent, immutable game objects that can change zones, but are always there... except this one corner-case situation.

You are welcome to disagree, but I think it's pretty clear that section is intended to clear out the leaving player's lingering abilities, and possibly copies of spells, rather than to permanently delete other people's game materials.
Rules Nut Advisor
I was focusing on the wrong thing. Yeah, that is weird.

I'm not crazy about giving control back to the previous controller as most of the procedures here would do, I'd rather see the Comandeered spell exiled, but I don't think I can defend that preference in detail - it's more of an aesthetic thing.

I don't think it's unclear what would happen under the current rules - the spell basically goes to the absolutely-removed-from-the-freaking-game-forever zone, nothing can affect or reference it in any way whatsoever - but it's far enough outside the realm of what normally happens in a Magic game that it can't be intentional.
Jeff Heikkinen DCI Rules Advisor since Dec 25, 2011
*shrug* I would've just had control of the spell revert to its original controller and go from there. Having a physical card cease to exist just seems too out there to even talk about. Gets weirder if you Commandeer a copy of a spell...

I picture a multiplayer game somewhere out there that's just stuck because of this. Don't worry people. Help is on the way!
I picture a multiplayer game somewhere out there that's just stuck because of this. Don't worry people. Help is on the way!

Now I'm imagining Matt in superhero garb, crashing through players' roofs to solve intractable rules problems before flying off to the next trouble spot with an "Up, up, and away!"

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

I picture a multiplayer game somewhere out there that's just stuck because of this. Don't worry people. Help is on the way!

Now I'm imagining Matt in superhero garb, crashing through players' roofs to solve intractable rules problems before flying off to the next trouble spot with an "Up, up, and away!"

Ya know, that might also suffice to answer how a physical card ceases to exist: a masked supervillain swoops in and disintegrates it while chortling with evil delight
800.4a. When a player leaves the game, all objects (see rule 109) owned by that player leave the game, all spells and abilities controlled by that player on the stack cease to be tracked by the game, and any effects which give that player control of any objects or players end. Then, if there are any objects still controlled by that player, those objects are exiled. This is not a state-based action. It happens as soon as the player leaves the game. If the player who left the game had priority at the time he or she left, priority passes to the next player in turn order who’s still in the game.
cease to be tracked by the game

What the hell does that mean?

Jeff Heikkinen DCI Rules Advisor since Dec 25, 2011
The process of a card, as opposed to a token copy or other intangible objects, ceasing to exist is ill-defined at best, and it's not clear how the game is suppposed to handle the situation



I feel like if players can grasp phasing they should be able to grasp cards ceasing to exist. The question is do players grasp phasing? 
    

3DH4LIF3

cease to be tracked by the game

What the hell does that mean?



Originally, I had written "ceases to be recognized by the game" so it means that.

But "ceases to be in the game entirely" or "ceases to be a part of the game" might be an improvement.

Well, this got "fixed" in the bulletin... but I think Memory Plunder still has issues.

Copypasta from Article Discussion thread!
Correct me if I'm wrong, the new process is "all objects owned by that player leave the game, effects which give the player control of any objects or players end, and spells and abilities controlled by that player cease to exist"? That works for Commandeer, but creates a Bribery-like situation for Memory Plunder. With a Plundered spell on the stack, there's non control-changing effect to end, so it will stay where it is... and cease to exist for the next part of the sequence anyway.

Rules Nut Advisor
It may be just me, but I don't see the issue.

The owner of a spell is not the caster of that spell, but the owner of the card that represents that spell. See Rule 111.2.
111.2. A spell’s owner is the same as the owner of the card that represents it, unless it’s a copy. In that case, the owner of the spell is the player under whose control it was put on the stack. A spell’s controller is, by default, the player under whose control it was put on the stack. (For noncopy spells, that’s the player who cast it.) Every spell has a controller.



So, if one player resolves Memory Plunder, and casts a card from another's graveyard, the Plunderer may control the spell, but the player who's graveyard the card came from is the owner of that spell.

Therefore, when the second player leaves the game, he will take that spell with him, since it is an object he owns.
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The issue is when the person who cast Plunder leaves the game.
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